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Banjo-Kazooie spiritual successor canceled, composer says

A proposed spiritual successor to Rare's Nintendo 64 platformer Banjo-Kazooie has been called off, series composer Grant Kirkhope confirmed in a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" post this week.

"The other guys actually had a secret meeting in a pub near Rare and we even got as far as having a character drawn up and a demo level type thing but it all fell to bits .... everyone's got other jobs, etc.," Kirkhope said.

Developed by a team of ex-Rare staffers, the "Mingy Jongo" project promised to retain the detailed environments and googly-eyed characters of its N64 inspiration. The team's Twitter account went dark in December 2012, and a proposed Kickstarter project failed to materialize.

[Image: Rare]

Download deluxe edition of Dragon Age: Inquisition, sit on a dragon skull throne

Now that everybody expects the Dragon Age: Inquisition in October, EA's seen fit to reveal what's in the game's Digital Deluxe Edition. The $70/£60 bundle features the RPG's digital soundtrack as well as a bunch of in-game goodies. That includes everything from a throne fashioned out of a dragon skull to an unfortunately titled Bog Unicorn.

Check out Origin for the full list of Deluxe bonuses, but if you'd prefer a lower-priced, extras-free download, the standard edition is going for $60/£50. If you're after something more physical, EA said it'll have news on a Collector's Edition in the "next few weeks."

As for the game itself, Inquisition centers around a group of allies tasked with uncovering the truth behind the new evil threatening Thedas. As Executive Producer Mark Darrah explained on the game's site, you play as the leader of this formation of heroes. As the Inquisitor, it's up to you to make the tough decisions like passing judgments of guilt and innocence, choosing which paths to follow and which to close off, and how best to use your chief weapons of fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency and a nice red uniform.

Dragon Age: Inquisition is coming to PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on October 7.

Lords of the Fallen trailer gets knocked down, but it gets up again

Image The new Lords of the Fallen trailer is a bit Groundhog Day, except with Bill Murray as an unwavering knight rather than an arrogant weatherman, and instead of reliving some local festivities, he's stuck in an endless loop of grueling, bloody duels to the death. Yup, we'd so watch that movie. As... Continue Reading

Minecraft video demonstrates world customization update


Minecraft developer Mojang showed off one piece of the forthcoming update for the PC game in a new video today, which offers more options for world customization in the game. The video shows the game's 16 new terrain-modifying sliders, allowing players to manually set the foundation of their Minecraft worlds down to its "depth base size" and "upper limit scale."

Additionally, the update will include other customization functions, such as the ability to decide which structures are generated by the game like caves, villages, temples and strongholds. Players will also have the option to set the number of dungeons and the height of their world's sea level in the game. If all that sounds too complex, Mojang included seven preset worlds and their slider settings to get players acquainted with the building tools. There's no word on when the Minecraft update is scheduled to arrive.
[Image: Mojang]

Miegakure solves puzzles, breaks your brain in the 4th dimension


At first glance, Miegakure is just a simple puzzle-infused platformer with a crisp, colorful Japanese setting. That is, until you stumble upon its central mechanic. At the press of a button, the world seems to fold in on itself, collapsing and expanding like an accordion until a new, different world appears (just watch the trailer). Sometimes this new world contains slices of the old one, sometimes it's completely different. Developer Marc ten Bosch's explanation to me made sense, even if I didn't fully understand it: In Miegakure, you get to play with four dimensions, not just three. Throughout the game, you can swap one of the current three dimensions for the fourth.

If you've ever tried to comprehend rotation in four dimensions, you might be familiar with the mind-rending confusion that Miegakure can inspire. That said, I was able to intuit the solutions to Miegakure's puzzles, even if I didn't understand the principles at work. Bosch told me he's perfectly fine with that. "See, the thing that's really interesting to me, is that we've tried to build this game where you can play it and just get a feel for what the fourth dimension is like, without necessarily understanding what the math is," he said. "I sort of see it as like a toy ball. Like, you throw the ball, and you know what's going to happen to it, but that doesn't necessarily mean that you know the math and understand gravity in a very deep way."

Miegakure is planned for PC, Mac, Linux and "another console." The release date hasn't been set.
[Image: Marc ten Bosch]

Introducing Joystiq Deals


Gaming, as we all know, is a fantastic hobby, but it's also an expensive one. Here at Joystiq, we follow sales with as much fervor as you do in the hopes of easing the strain on our wallets while still getting to play everything we want. Today, we're introducing Joystiq Deals, a site dedicated to saving you money on gaming software, consoles, and accessories.

Today's featured deal is the School of Interactive Design's Intro To Game Design w/ Unity3D, a beginner-friendly tutorial package that bundles $989 worth of design software for just $49. Up-and-coming game developers may also opt for the Learn to Code Bundle, which collects eight online coding courses for a price of your choosing.

If you're looking for accessories, we have The Air-Fi Matrix2 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones available for $79.99 and the Sound Step Lightning speaker up for grabs at $99.

We're also kicking off today's launch with The Xbox One Titanfall Giveaway, a contest that gives you the chance to pick up an Xbox One, a copy of Respawn Entertainment's mech shooter Titanfall, and two controllers for the low price of $0. A winner will be chosen on May 31, so enter now for a chance to join the current console generation.
Joystiq Deals is a partnership between AOL and StackSocial. A portion of sales goes to funding this site. Deals are curated by StackSocial independently of the Joystiq editorial team.

Batman: Arkham Origins DLC explores Mr. Freeze's origins


Curious how a supervillain settles on a life of ice-themed larceny, instead of say, crime devoted to penguins or calendars? Today's Cold, Cold Heart DLC for Batman: Arkham Origins offers answers to that bizarre query.

Cold, Cold Heart focuses on Mr. Freeze, as he first encounters The Dark Knight. To counter his foe's obsession with all things chilly, Batman picks up a few new toys for this adventure. The Extreme Environment suit wraps Batman in a thick insulating layer as well as what appears to be ice-melting toaster coils, while the Thermocharged Batarangs and Thermal Gloves lend necessary heat to Batman's ranged attacks and fisticuffs, respectively.

Cold, Cold Heart is available from the PlayStation Network Store, Xbox Live Marketplace and Steam for $10. Those who purchased the Batman: Arkham Origins season pass will be able to download the new content at no additional charge.
[Image: Warner Bros.]

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Joystiq Streams: Blinded by Daylight [UPDATE: Relive the stream!]


Daylight by Zombie Studios is full of lies! Just look at screenshots of that game. There is not an abundance of sunshine present. Indeed, darkness, creeping madness, and monsters seem to be the only things well-stocked in the recesses of Daylight. Doesn't matter! Who needs light anyway? Clear vision is for suckers. That's why we're willing to march into the early version of Daylight blind, having never played it before at all. Joystiq Streams is about as afraid of horror games as Ray Parker Jr. is afraid of ghosts.

To demonstrate our fearlessness, we'll stream Daylight live at 4PM EST on the Joystiq Twitch channel. Anthony John Agnello (@ajohnagnello), having never played the game before, will blindly barge his way into its dark recesses and attempt to convince viewers that he isn't frightened by things very clearly going bump in the night. Richard Mitchell (@TheRichardM) will be hanging out in the chat, feeding your questions, encouragement, and Stygian warnings of unknowable terror to Anthony as he plays.

Joystiq Streams airs every Tuesday and Thursday at 4PM EST on the Joystiq Twitch channel.
[Images: Zombie Studios]

Borderlands, Civilization 4 facing service interruptions due to GameSpy closure


With the impending closure of GameSpy online services on May 31, publisher 2K Games says players should expect a temporary outage of multiplayer modes for a number of its titles as it switches to a new online platform.

The original Borderlands, Civilization 3 and Civilization 4, along with expansions for both Sid Meier titles, will be affected by the transition to the Steamworks platform, 2K Games said in a release today. The publisher did not detail a timetable for the migration to Steam.

A handful of legacy PC titles, including Stronghold 2 and Close Combat First to Fight, will lose online functionality when GameSpy discontinues its online services and will not be transitioned to Steam, 2K Games added. A number of legacy titles across handheld and console platforms will also abandon online features, including NHL 2K10 on Wii and Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution on DS.

A complete list of titles affected by GameSpy's closure can be found in the press release after the break.
[Image: Gearbox, GameSpy]

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Dark Souls 2 PC trailer collects cutscenes, foreshadows your demise

Image A better looking and performing version of Dark Souls 2 arrives for PC users on April 25. The latest trailer collects moments from the game's cutscenes, giving you a taste of all the areas you'll likely die in. ... Continue Reading

Tekken, Soul Calibur teams let loose ancient fighters in Rise of Incarnates



Rise of Incarnates comes from Bandai Namco and the creators of the Soul Calibur and Tekken franchises – and it looks absolutely insane.

Rise of Incarnates is a free, 2v2 fighter that takes place in real-life cities ravaged by massive cold fronts and geological shifts across the planet. The incarnates are humans able to draw power from gods, demons and monsters of ancient mythology, and they're each on their own mission to "defeat the Sovereign of this era." Each incarnate thinks this message means something different – hence the fighting.

The incarnates revealed so far are Dr. Gasper Watteau (grim reaper), Terrence Blake (Ares), Mireia Valentin (Lilith) and Jedrek Tyler (Mephistopheles). See a rundown of their abilities and personalities here. Sign up for the alpha via the same site, with the box in the bottom-left corner.

Rise of Incarnates is due out in late 2014 for PC in the Americas.
[Images: Bandai Namco]

Tesla Effect slinks back into the shadows for now, out May 7


Full-motion space quest Tesla Effect isn't touching down today as planned, after dev Big Finish Games decided to hold it back a couple of weeks for some finishing touches. The PC and Mac game's new release date is May 7, when it will come to GOG.com and Steam.

Players can expect another serving of near-future ham and cheese in Tex Murphy's returning adventure, which sees the hapless gumshoe wrestling with more murders, more secrets and more trouble with the ladies. Also, he's managed to forget the last seven years of his life, which proves to be somewhat of a bummer.

Tesla Effect charges a regular price of $20, but pre-orders are going for $18 and come with previous entry The Pandora Detective and the game's Tex Murphy Live Jazz soundtrack.
[Image: Atlus]

Putt-Putt, Spy Fox join Humongous Entertainment's Steam catalog

Putt-Putt Joins the Parade, Spy Fox in: Dry Cereal and other classic children's adventure games from publisher Humongous Entertainment are now available via Steam as part of a new partnership with Tommo and retrogame restoration group Night Dive Studios.

Co-founded by The Secret of Monkey Island creator Ron Gilbert, Humongous Entertainment produced dozens of kid-oriented point-and-click adventure games for PC platforms throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. Other Humongous Entertainment games making their Steam debut this week include Freddi Fish and The Case of the Missing Kelp Seeds, Pajama Sam: No Need to Hide When It's Dark Outside, Putt-Putt and Pep's Balloon-o-Rama, and Freddi Fish and Luther's Maze Madness.

Tommo plans to launch Steam versions of many more games from Humongous Entertainment's back catalog in the coming weeks, including Putt-Putt Goes to the Moon, Pajama Sam 3: You Are What You Eat from Your Head to Your Feet, Spy Fox 3: Operation Ozone, and Putt-Putt Travels through Time.

All of this week's featured games are available for 50 percent off through April 24. Steam is also offering a Humongous Entertainment Complete Pack, which grants early access to all 27 games in the collection for $99.99.

[Image: Humongous Entertainment]

Dragon Age: Inquisition begins October 7


The just released trailer for BioWare's Dragon Age: Inquisition marks it with an October 7 launch date. The clip also has the proper amount of epic exposition with seasoned gravitas, some gameplay and Varric Tethras from Dragon Age 2. Because if there's anything that needs to be brought over from Dragon Age 2 it's Varric. Let his dwarfy star shine bright!

Moebius: Empire Rising review: Elementary, oh dear

Moebius: Empire Rising is a game about history repeating itself, asking the player to investigate a string of people whose lives mirror those of famous, important figures throughout history. It's fitting that the story itself plays like a knock-off of previously written characters and storylines – most notably Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes series.

The Holmes role is played by Malachi Rector, a highly intelligent antiques dealer-turned-investigator who makes it clear he doesn't want anyone to care about him; Dr. John Watson is filled in by David Walker, an ex-military man who puts up with Rector's snark in order to protect him; and Mrs. Hudson is Gretchen Stern, Rector's long-suffering assistant.

Moebius plays out like bad fanfiction – the action sequences are dramatized to the point of absurdity, the characters are caricatures rather than believable human beings, and the story is predictable. Given the involvement of adventure game guru Jane Jensen, I expected Moebius to have sophisticated characters uncovering a mystery complete with adventure, thrills and, most of all, surprises.

As it turns out, I've read better fanfiction.

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UK Charts: Titanfall holds No.1 spot, 2014 FIFA World Cup debuts 2nd

It's been a while since British soccer fans have seen their nations associated with the words "World Cup" and anything even remotely approaching second place - that said, at least England can say it won the damn thing once.

Enough ancient history: 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil is the highest-placing new release in the UK this week, but unlike FIFA 14 it only reached second place; that top spot is still held by Titanfall. Maybe the most telling thing is FIFA 14 is only two places behind the World Cup game in 4th, some seven months after it was released.

It's lower down the charts where things get a bit more interesting this week. The physical Deluxe copies of Trials Fusion, which contain the game's season pass, did well enough to see the grueling bike-former debut in 7th place. Meanwhile, you have to go all the way down to 20th to find colorful MMO Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn, which has just made its debut on PS4. On the other hand, Square Enix seemed pretty upbeat about the game reaching 2 million registrations last week, so make of that what you will.
[Image: EA]

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Titanfall is the $37 daily deal in Amazon's Gold Box today

Look high into the sky today and you'll see $37 copies of Titanfall, which are ejecting from Amazon Gold Boxes as per the retailer's daily deal. That price applies across all platforms - that includes the newly released Xbox 360 version - so if you've been tempted to mech time for Respawn's shooter, today might be the day to do it.

Amazon is springing a few other Lightning gaming deals over the next day or so, including ones on PS3 Dafoedrama Beyond: Two Souls and both the regular and portable flavors of Batman: Arkham Origins. Check out the Gold Box page for all the deals and their times.
[Image: EA]

Grid Autosport announced, bringing 'authentic' drives to PS3, Xbox 360, PC in June


Codemasters whisked off the sheet on Grid Autosport today, a new entry in the racer series that's swerving onto retail shelves as soon as June 24 in North America and June 27 in Europe. The UK studio unveiled the game for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC, which are the same platforms Grid 2 was released on last summer.

In an extensive introduction, Community Manager Ben Walke said Codemasters is building GRID Autosport based on community feedback to Grid 2. According to Walke, the prevailing message the studio heard was the wish for a more authentic racer experience that tracked closer to some of the studio's previous games.

"If Grid 2 raced off into a more narrative-led world of racing with more accessible controls," Walke said, "it's clear that for many of you, that wasn't what you wanted or expected from Grid 2. So with Grid Autosport we had the opportunity to make a much more focused motorsport game, a desire that many of you have expressed directly to us, and a game that in spirit goes back to some of our earlier titles in terms of content and handling."

To that effect, Walke explained car handling in Grid Autosport veers slightly closer to a simulation than the original Race Driver: Grid, with the game's five different disciplines offering distinctly different drives. While the game is targeted to offer a more realistic experience, Walke noted that Codemasters' aim is for something "authentic, not clinical."

Also, just to stress that Codies is listening to the fans, Autosport features the return of the cockpit view, as well as a dashboard view to provide a total of two in-car cameras. In terms of more on-the-box features, Autosport promises 22 locations with 100 different routes to drive, a single-player career mode and once again RaceNet support for multiplayer.
[Image: Codemasters]

Wasteland 2 gains Linux support on Steam Early Access

The beta version of Wasteland 2 is now available on Linux via Steam's Early Access program, developer InXile Entertainment announced. The sequel to the 1988 Interplay-created RPG first launched in alpha form in December. The project found success on Kickstarter in April 2012, raising $2.9 million to fund the turn-based, isometric strategy game.

InXile also recently added "roughly 400" changes to Wasteland 2's beta, including another large portion of Arizona in the game. The update notes mention reduced loading times, a redesigned vendor screen and added tutorials among all the bug fixes and balance corrections in the patch. The Early Access price for the game is $60, though it includes a copy of the first game, two digital novellas from the Wasteland universe, and a digital art book and sound track.
[Image: InXile Entertainment]

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inSynch is a simplistic rhythm game built in stop motion



inSynch has something to do with music, but nothing to do with goodbyes or frosted tips – it's a rhythm game that allows players to compose their own songs or attempt to survive for as long as possible. It's simplistic and unique, with four shapes rolling down four concrete pathways, meeting in the middle at a well. Pop the shapes up as they reach the spring-loaded platform above the well by pressing one of four keys, and that sound is added to the soundtrack.

Explore mode allows players to craft music themselves, and Exploit is a survival mode, throwing harder and harder combinations of shapes and sounds at players as the game goes on.

"The game is entirely crafted and animated by hand using traditional stop-motion animation techniques, giving a fragile and delicate feel to this musical experience," Them Games Lead Game Designer Oscar Barda says. "Don't let yourself be tricked though, Exploit gets hellishly difficult."

InSynch is due out on Thursday, April 24, for PC, Mac and Linux, available through the Humble Store or the Them Games site.
[Image: Them Games]

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