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Joystiq Streams: The Crew beta giveaway road trip

The end of July is dangerous for the Joystiq crew. As the heat continues to climb and the days stretch on and on, our lust for summer adventure reaches its zenith. We want to fill the car with mixtapes and take to the open road, wearing nothing but swimsuits, sunglasses, and bravery! How could we possibly abandon our audience, though? We can't rightly stream video games for you if we're tearing up the asphalt from here to Kalamazoo! The Crew, Ubisoft's open-nation racing game in beta testing this week, must slake our thirst for a road trip. Plus, you can join us!

Starting at 4PM EST on Joystiq.com/Twitch, Joystiq's newly formed racing team will take to The Crew beta to put it through its paces. Xav de Matos, Richard Mitchell, and Anthony John Agnello will be tearing up the road. Meanwhile, Alexander Sliwinski will be doling out a few dozen beta codes in the chat. How do you get the codes? Just show up and hang out.

Joystiq Streams broadcasts every Tuesday and Thursday at 4PM EST, and many other times when it strikes our fancy. Never miss a stream by following us on Twitch!
[Images: Ubisoft]

Dungeon Defenders Eternity includes gear for sequel

The original Dungeon Defenders now comes in an all-in-one package called Dungeon Defenders Eternity. The $15 bundle includes "previously released material, new content, redesigned gameplay balance and cross-platform play." Owners of the original game on PC, Mac and Linux can upgrade for $6.

There's also a package with "less content" on Android Tegra Devices for $9.99. It'll arrive on other Android devices, iPhones and iPad later this year. There's also a browser version at Playverse.com.

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The Walking Dead Season 2, Episode 4 review: Life and Death

This review covers the latest episode in an ongoing season, and may contain minor spoilers.
Death is better than zombification, but life is the best option of all. Even in a hellhole of a world; even with rotting corpses hunting you down every path, salivating for your flesh; even when you have to kill your friends every day – life is the better option.

That's what "Amid the Ruins" teaches us. More than any previous episode of The Walking Dead, it throws the importance of life in our faces – the fragility of breathing, the futility of fighting, the need to do it anyway – and it makes us wish for life harder than we ever have. Not necessarily our own lives, either. Clementine, for her part, is capable and in charge in this episode. She's rarely in direct danger herself (at least not in any way she hasn't already conquered 50 times before), but she bears witness to the potential deaths of many others, multiple times over. She saves some people. She kills some people. And she survives.

She lives.

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New Mighty No. 9 footage is ready to rock, man

At this point, the best thing that could happen to Keiji Inafune's Mighty No. 9 is if Capcom straight-up sued. Free marketing, great debate, battle lines would be drawn. We don't know what the grounds for the lawsuit would be, but the latest footage of the game comes so close to sharing similarities with Mega Man, it's almost difficult to tell the two apart.

Go ahead and test it yourself. Take the Mighty No. 9 footage found after the break and play it to someone who has general video game knowledge. Take out all the context and just ask: What game is this? Actually, please go ahead and do that and let us know what the other person says.

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Games and Twitch at the heart of Nvidia's Shield Tablet

Nvidia believes the market is ready for a specialty tablet that can run Unreal Engine 4 with ease, play your PC games remotely and broadcast your every demise in Spelunky. Built around its Tegra K1 processor and partnered with a wireless controller, Nvidia's Shield Tablet is that specialty product. It plays native Android games, streams your large Steam library (aren't they all inevitably large?) and offers a quick route to Twitch.

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Watch the Dota 2 International Grand Finals right now

The Dota 2 International Grand Finals are live right now, with Newbee versus ViCi Gaming in a best-of-five matchup. The teams are competing for their piece of the almost-$11 million prize pool. Here's how you can watch (yes, right now):
  • ESPN3: Watch online if you have one of the supported cable subscriptions, or watch via the ESPN apps on consoles.
  • Twitch: The official Dota 2 International channel, complete with all the chat commentary you never knew you wanted.
  • Dota 2: Watch the stream directly on the Dota 2 website.
  • Game client: Load up Dota 2 and enjoy the stream from there.
"At the end of Phase 2 (group stage) there could not have been two teams further apart," the Dota team says. "VG had dominated the entire set of round robin matches ending on top of the standings with a 12-3 record. Newbee on the other hand, squeaked in with a 7-8 record that forced them into a three way TieBreaker."

Yogventures dev breaks down costs of a Kickstarter failure

Developer Winterkewl Games has issued a financial breakdown of its failed Yogventures project, offering insight into how nearly $600,000 in backer pledges was spent without a finished product to show for it.

After wrapping up its Kickstarter project in 2012, Winterkewl weathered a series of setbacks and costly mistakes before calling it quits on the project earlier this month. In one notable gaffe, the project's concept artist departed after two weeks of work, pocketing Winterkewl's lump-sum payment of $35,000 before taking on a job at LucasArts.

While the artist's LucasArts contract prevented them from working on Yogventures and other outside projects, Winterkewl's own contract did not ensure artist exclusivity, nor did it provide a way to recoup its money for failure to render expected services. Winterkewl additionally claims that it gave the Yogscast team $150,000 to create physical Kickstarter rewards and to help hire an additional programmer who never surfaced.

"Since the money was all spent either directly on development of the game or paid to the Yogscast to handle physical rewards and 'licensing fees' I'm afraid Winterkewl Games has a negative balance at this point," Winterkewl's lead developer Kris Vale stated in his final project update. "We don't have any of the money left and as such can't really offer refunds."

Yogscast members announced last week that project backers will receive Steam keys for Nerd Kingdom's in-progress RPG TUG in lieu of refunds.

[Image: Winterkewl Games]

Bethesda: Doom reveal meant to quell negative Id Software chatter

Id Software's upcoming Doom reboot was revealed last week at QuakeCon 2014, though the event's livestream cut out during the presentation. As Bethesda's VP of PR and Marketing Pete Hines told PC Gamer, Doom isn't exactly ready to show off, so the developers at id Software were reluctant to offer images of the game up freely for the rest of the world to pick at.

"We're working with them to say, 'How does this work? What do we want to show?'" Hines said. "And they're like, 'Look, we don't want a stream to go up for a game that isn't at the point where we would formally show it to the world, and now that thing is getting picked apart, and digested, and gone through frame-by-frame and getting nitpicked to death, when normally we wouldn't be showing this to anybody at all.'"

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Sims dev hiring for 'unique, emerging IP'

A recent Maxis (The Sims, SimCity) job posting for a Senior Designer sounds like the studio is in the early stages of creating a new brand in the creative genre.

The job posting notes the candidate should have an "understanding [of] other games in the creativity space, including Little Big Planet, Minecraft and its popular mods, Roblox, Disney Infinity, Project Spark, and other upcoming efforts."

EA describes this as a "unique, emerging IP." We'd describe it as another "me too!" move by the publisher to keep shareholders appeased with a genre that requires massive investment and will be past its prime by launch. Oh well, better this than EA trying to push another MOBA in a saturated market. Sorry, another other MOBA.

UK charts: Watch Dogs stands guard, market melts in heat


Watch Dogs notched its fifth UK number one this week, the most for any game in 2014, and that's all well and good. Frankly, the entire country is just too exhausted from the relentless summer heat to notice. Brits are so used to rain, clouds, rain and more rain, so prolonged heatwaves like this one tend to take their toll.

Maybe the heat's even affected games retail in the country, with nationwide sales enduring a 14 percent drop in revenue from the week before as the heat ramped up. Then again, it really doesn't help when you're having a summer drought of new releases.

Since the UK charts refuse to play - it's another week of tiny changes - we're continuing our run of music below the break. In the words of Avicii, wake us up when it's all over.

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Stand your ground or flee for now in Darkwood trailer

Image You can't play ​Darkwood until it shines a light on Early Access on July 24, but you can make a pivotal decision in an adventurer's life: fight or flight? Don't fret too much about your choice – the survival horror game will show you equally-unsettling things either way. [Image: Acid... Continue Reading

Inside My Radio laying down extra tracks for official release


Action platformers might be second nature to you after years of practice, but how many have you played that demand a knack for rhythm for everything but basic movement? You can add Inside My Radio to that shorter list once Seaven Studio finishes helping TurboDindon expand the build that won the Overall and Audio prizes during 2012's Lundun Game #23 Jam.

Inside My Radio follows a little grinning square as he tries to fix the boom box he lives in. While players can freely move left and right, dashes and jumps must be done in unison with an area's beat. Different sections of the stereo will be backed by different styles of music, with the existing build featuring electro and disco-styled stages. Visuals shift to accommodate each genre, complete with our protagonist swapping headphones for a poofy hairdo between the electro to disco-driven dance floors.

The game's website lists a "when it's done" arrival for the finished version on PC and consoles, but if your interest is piqued and you're running a PC, you can try the Lundun build right this minute. Your clicks don't have to match a beat as you make your way to the download link, but it might prepare you for what's ahead.
[Image: Seaven Studio, TurboDindon]

Steam lights a path to PC and Mac for 2D horror game, Claire

It's been awhile since we heard from Claire, the pixelated 2D horror game from Hailstorm Games; almost three years, actually. Having gathered enough votes on Steam Greenlight since then, the game is now complete and available to purchase on Steam.

Claire follows the life of a young girl named Jennifer - just kidding, her name is totally Claire. Anyway, like most young children, Claire has nightmares about the things that go bump in the night. Unlike most children, Claire actually has something to fear, as her nightmares become real and invade the real world. Armed with a flashlight, Claire must explore and survive the darkness as she seeks out her mother.

Claire has been available since the beginning of the month for PC, but Mac users just got their chance at exploring its haunted pixels earlier this week.

[Thanks, David!]
[Image: Hailstorm Games]

Morrowind-meets-Skyrim mod puts out call for voice actors



TRYING TO FIND MY VOICE
ME: Single Dark Elf (Dunmer), living in province of Morrowind. Own my mushroom-house, can travel via Siltstrider. Reliable, kind, funny. Recently had makeover to improve face and body.

YOU: A talented voice actor with proper equipment who can contribute to the Skywind mod project that's recreating The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind in the engine of The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim. Will you be my voice?

CALL: Actually, don't call - head to the TES Renewal Project Forums to get started. Look forward to hearing from you - or should I say "from myself"? ;)
[Image: TES Renewal Project]

Join Risen 3's Demon Hunters faction, kill creepy beasts

When your world's gods have bailed, how do you combat mysterious, unchecked enemies stemming from the darkness? You side with the faction called Demon Hunters, earn a bunch of skills and gear from quests and then trample everything in sight with your newly-earned power. Risen 3: Titan Lords' adventurers will have three allegiances to choose from, though Deep Silver's recent press release and accompanying batch of screens only detail the Demon Hunters.

The Demon Hunters are recovering from a bit of a slump ... okay, slump probably understates a few decades' worth of time. The point is, they're getting back together, arming themselves to restore their once-glorious citadel and reestablish fear in their enemies, which we're assuming would be the demons.

Risen 3 won't reach the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC until August 12, but you can pass some time viewing its landscapes in the gallery below, complete with twisted creatures that look like some prime prey for the Demon Hunters.
[Image: Deep Silver]

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