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Battlefest starts this weekend with bonus Battlefield 4 XP

Just in time for the July 15 debut of Battlefield 4's Dragon's Teeth DLC, EA kicks off Battlefest, a month-long promotion designed to reward those loyal virtual soldiers who've stuck with the shooter despite its infamous track record.

Battlefest begins on July 12 with a two-day, double experience point bonus for all players. From there, EA will offer new content on a weekly basis, including free camo unlocks and Community Missions that force players to work together to reach a formidable goal. Assuming players complete the mission, everyone who logged into Battlefield 4 during the event will receive a free Gold Battlepack.

Finally, EA is launching a month-long stunt competition. If you've got awesome footage of ramping a motorbike off a pile of rubble into a helicopter like some poorly planned Die Hard sequel, send it in to EA. The top three most impressive clips will be awarded what EA calls, "a massive prize."

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Dragon Age Inquisition: Eight romances, no deadly war hounds

Following a lengthy Raptr Q&A session hosted by the developers of Dragon Age: Inquisition, we've learned a number of new things about BioWare's upcoming roleplaying epic.

While combat has been expanded to add new abilities and spells, and to grant the use of bows to all rogues, fans should not expect to fight alongside the noble mabari. According to BioWare, the faithful war hounds will not appear in combat in Inquisition. The game will feature numerous chances for amoré, however: eight in total, two of which require players to meet race restrictions. For those who feel that dipping one's pen in the party's virtual ink is strictly verboten, you can seek affection outside of your crew of like-minded heroes as BioWare is including "at least one" relationship option outside of your companions.

Games.On.Net has a bullet list round-up of the remaining information. There's a lot there, and while it qualifies as "miscellaneous" at best, and offer no details on the game's plot, it should prove informative to fans of the series.

Ubisoft reports first-quarter growth of 374%, bolstered by Watch Dogs

Ubisoft announced its financial results for the fiscal quarter ending on June 30, revealing that it has shipped more than 8 million copies of its hacking-themed sandbox action game Watch Dogs to date.

Reporting €360 million (approximately $490 million) in sales for the first quarter of 2014-2015, Ubisoft notes a year-on-year improvement of 374 percent compared to the €76 million recorded for the same quarter last year.

The publisher attributes its growth to the release of Watch Dogs and a strong showing in its digital segment with recent games like Valiant Hearts, Child of Light, and Trials Fusion. Ubisoft previously reported a 32 percent jump in year-on-year digital sales for the 2014 fiscal year.

More details regarding Ubisoft's first-quarter financial performance will be available soon.

[Image: Ubisoft]

Watch Dogs ships 8 million copies

Ubisoft has shipped 8 million copies of Watch Dogs since the game's launch in May, the company announced in its Q1 2014 – 2015 financial report.

Sales for the quarter were above expectations, hitting €360 million of an expected €310 million, and that's thanks in large part to Watch Dogs, Ubisoft says. In its first week at retail, Watch Dogs sales hit 4 million, making it Ubisoft's "best-selling game ever in week one." It also broke the publisher's day-one sales records.

"The success of Watch Dogs and the quality of our games portfolio presented at this year's E3 highlight our strategic positioning as well as our continuous drive for innovation, and affirm our long-term approach," Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said in today's report. "Watch Dogs is now well-positioned as a major franchise and we will be able to replicate and build on its success in the coming years. Its sales performance testifies to Ubisoft's expertise as a creator of blockbuster brands."
[Image: Ubisoft]

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Danganronpa 2 trailer is 219 seconds of madness

A new trailer for Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair claims to offer a "simple explanation" of the class trial. And it's true, we can't say it doesn't explain the game's Survivor-like twist on its Ace Attorney-esque gameplay. That said, it's also utterly bonkers.

Suffice to say, here's a warning if you don't like talking rabbits getting thumped by talking bears, or NSFW content (Teruteru, man, what's up with you?) Anyway, Spike Chunsoft's Vita game hits North America on September 2 and Europe three days later.

If you'd prefer something a bit lighter, below the break there's another NIS America trailer for Vita platformer The Firefly Diary, which is due on PSN this fall.

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Heavenly Sword movie slicing and dicing in September

Cinedigm announced the Heavenly Sword movie arrives on Blu-ray. DVD and the PlayStation Store on September 2, proving this is still a reality in which the Heavenly Sword movie exists. It's still so weird to see Blockade Entertainment's CGI film in action, knowing it's the first major use of the Sony property since Ninja Theory's 2007 PS3 game.

As IGN reports, the film stars Fringe actress Anna Torv as heroine Nariko, Alfred Molina as King Bohan, Thomas Jane as Loki and Nolan North in a surprise Nathan Drake cameo - okay, that last one's not true, but maybe it should be. North is really in the film, but a man who isn't is Andy Serkis, who wasn't available to reprise his role as the villainous Bohan.

Meanwhile, rumors of a Haze film adaptation remain something we made up just now.
[Image: Sony]

Enjoy 16 minutes of Dragon Age: Inquisition gameplay

Dragon Age: Inquisition Creative Director Mike Laidlaw takes us through 16 minutes of the game's E3 demo, wherein one super-cool dude with horns and a magic staff walks through some beautiful scenery, an aerobic lady with a bow and arrow takes out some baddies, and a hulking guy with a giant axe helps defeat a big, angry dragon.

Dragon Age: Inquisition is due out on October 7, also known as "the day you might accidentally spend $300 on video games."
[Image: BioWare]

Rogue Legacy inherits PlayStation systems this month

Cellar Door Games' 2D descendant-dependent game Rogue Legacy will arrive later this month for PS4, PS3 and Vita. The game is scheduled to arrive in North America on July 29 and one day later in Europe. The game reached PC just over one year ago, followed by Mac and Linux in October. The PlayStation versions of the game, most of which is courtesy of Abstraction Games, were revealed during Sony's Gamescom press conference in August.

Rogue Legacy is described as a "rogue-lite," as players battle through a constantly-changing magic castle at the risk of losing their progress at the drop of a blade. Upon dying, the child of the fallen hero/heroine rises in succession, each time carrying a genetic trait (and their parent's money) that makes the next attempt unique. The PS4, PS3 and Vita versions will be Cross-Save enabled, so players can carry their progress across each platform. They will also be Cross-Buy-capable, putting one price to all three versions, which has not yet been revealed.
[Image: Cellar Door Games]

Ellen Ripley leads Nostromo crew's return in Alien: Isolation's pre-order DLC

Sega revealed Sigourney Weaver and several members of the original Alien cast reunite in two missions from the upcoming Alien: Isolation. Temper your excitement, because Sega is making both missions pre-order bonuses, with one exclusive in the US to GameStop.

Sega says all pre-orders come with the "Crew Expendable" mission, in which you can play as either Ellen Ripley, Dallas or Parker in the moments following Brett's protracted death in the film. Meanwhile, the GameStop pre-order mission is "Last Survivor," in which players as Ripley try to escape the Nostromo by boarding the Narcissus shuttle.

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Japanese gamers can play The Evil Within unedited with 'Gore Mode' DLC

While the retail version of Bethesda's The Evil Within will hit Japan in a censored state compared to other regions, Japanese players will have the option of restoring the game to its full gory glory with add-on DLC available after launch, Famitsu reports (via Siliconera).

Directed by Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami, The Evil Within is a survival horror game that puts players at the scene of a recent mass murder, alone and ill-equipped to handle lurking creatures. ZeniMax Asia general manger Tetsu Takahashi notes that an edited Japanese release will earn a lower CERO content rating, allowing it to reach a wider audience.

"If we were to make it the same way as the foreign version, it'd be rated CERO Z [18 and up] and we felt that it'd be best to release it the way the creators make it," Takahashi said, via Siliconera's translation. "However, that would limit the sales and advertising, so we'd lose the opportunity to reach out to as many customers possible."

Downloadable copies of The Evil Within will be split between CERO D (17 and up) and CERO Z versions at launch, while the Japanese retail release is CERO D-only. Japan's "Gore Mode DLC" will restore The Evil Within's violent content, which will remain uncensored in the North American retail release launching on October 21.

[Image: Bethesda]

Battlefield 4 grows Dragon's Teeth on July 15

Following recent rumors, we can now confirm that the Battlefield 4 DLC dubbed "Dragon's Teeth" will arrive on July 15.

According to EA's official confirmation notice, Dragon's Teeth will offer players five new weapons, a new gadget dubbed the "Ballistic Shield," and something called the "R.A.W.R." that the publisher describes as a "a remote controlled ground vehicle armed to the teeth." Additionally, Dragon's Teeth adds the new Chain Link gametype, a modification of the series-mainstay Conquest which asks players to link capture points to win. Most crucially, Dragon's Teeth introduces four new maps that invite players to shoot one another amidst the concrete splendor of urban Chinese life.

Keep in mind, that July 15 release date is only valid for members of the Battlefield 4 Premium service. Those who haven't spent the cash to purchase all of the game's DLC and a handful of exclusive bonuses will need to wait until July 29 to explore Dragon's Teeth. Like past DLC offerings, Dragon's Teeth will bear a $15 price tag.

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PSN Tuesday: Another World, The Wolf Among Us finale

This week's PSN Tuesday is out of this world, headlined by classic adventure game Another World 20th Anniversary Edition on PS4, PS3 and Vita as a Cross-Buy for $8. In other tri-platform Cross-Buy news, there's cheesy puzzle game Mousecraft for $15. The Wolf Among Us Episode 5 is out today on PS3 for $5 – a screaming deal, if we may say so (our review certainly does).

Up for pre-order is the Destiny Digital Guardian Edition for PS3 or PS4 ($90), and Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty for PS4 ($30). With today's update, PS3 also gets Le Tour de France – Season 2014, One Piece Unlimited World Red and Sacra Terra: Kiss of Death.

For one week, PS Plus members can get DC Universe Online: The Hand of Fate for $4.90, DC Universe Online: War of the Light Part 1 for $4.90, Another World for $7.20, and the PlayStation Plus pack for Blacklight Retribution for free. Everyone can snag that DC Universe Online content for $7 apiece during the sale this week, along with a lineup of DLC for Assassin's Creed 4 Black Flag, Canabalt for $1.50, Kung Fu Rabbit for $2.50, PS2 Classic Stella Deus for $4 and Breakquest: Extra Evolution – Minis for $1.50.
[Image: The Digital Lounge]

'From Masher to Master' offers Street Fighter crash course

Hoping to attract a few new faces to the growing fighting game community, author Patrick Miller has debuted "From Masher to Master," a simple, easy to understand guide for anyone hoping to pick up the basics of Street Fighter.

The 131-page tome, which can be downloaded at no charge from Shoryuken, features strategic basics, general game theory and a combo primer, alongside screenshots and helpful illustrations. Unlike most Street Fighter guides, Miller does an excellent job avoiding jargon, and where it's necessary, he often includes a sidebar explaining the term's meaning and origins. There's not enough here to earn a completely green player a spot at the next EVO tournament, but Miller presents a solid primer on how to go from bewildered to passably competent.

Once you've absorbed his book, Miller also offers advice on where to go from there. The final page of "From Masher To Master" includes a handy list of articles, books and YouTube videos designed to improve high-level Street Fighter play - a handy inclusion for those who burn through Miller's book in an afternoon.

Mighty No. 9 seeking $100K more to add Japanese voice acting

Comcept revealed additional stretch goals for Mighty No. 9 a few short days ago, giving fans the opportunity to bolster the game's development with funding via PayPal on its official site. The $100,000 stretch goal was introduced to fund English voice acting for the game, which the original game's funding support won't cover. Mighty No. 9's funding page has since changed, however, upping the developer's goal to $200,000 and adding Japanese voice acting to its list of ambitions.

Additionally, a Japan-only Makuake crowdfunding project from Comcept popped up with a 10 million yen (roughly $98,296) goal, specifically geared toward providing Japanese voices for Mighty No. 9. We've reached out to Comcept to clarify the two funding avenues and whether the two goals for Japanese voice acting overlap.

The game, a project by Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune, earned over $4 million combined from Kickstarter and PayPal in October 2013. It was by far the biggest earner in the crowdfunding space in the past year, which saw a total of $35 million spread across 341 gaming projects. Mighty No. 9 is expected to launch in spring 2015 for many platforms: Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Mac, Linux, 3DS, Wii U and Vita.
[Image: Comcept]

The Wolf Among Us 'Cry Wolf' review: Ever After

"You know, you're not as bad as everyone says."

Words to those effect are said twice to Sheriff Bigby Wolf during "Cry Wolf," the final chapter of The Wolf Among Us. The first time, it's a sneer hurled across a room, dripping with derision. The second time, it's a salve for wounded feelings, delivered with knowing kindness. Both declarations are accurate, for Bigby is no longer just the Big Bad Wolf that once prowled the Homelands. He is now both larger and smaller – part of something more than merely himself, and as a result, confined to the restrictions of human life, where problems can't simply be solved with tooth and claw. Things were really so much easier when you could just rip someone's head off and be done with it.

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