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Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions review: Game cubed

PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, Mac

In 2008, Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 was the ruler (pun intended) of Xbox Live. It riffed on Asteroids aptly, mixing simple, refined shoot-em-up with a hypnotic techno frenzy. Like a three-legged pub crawl with tequila shots, it delivered in short, impelling bursts that kept you drunkenly chasing high scores through the night, or at least until your thumbs passed out. In short, it was a black hole of time in the best possible way.

After such a siesta, it's hard to see Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions outside of what came before. Oddly enough, it's a sometimes overlooked Geometry Wars entry, Galaxies, that brings the most enjoyable component to developer Lucid Games' revival: a dense, challenge-based campaign. In contrast, GW3's freshest defining quality, the third dimension, doesn't make the same impact. If you view GW3 in the inebriated, blurry lens of GW2 it comes up a little short. Take a more sober look at it, and it's a welcome, faithful enough return that you can still sink plenty into.

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Hitman HD, Deadly Premonition join December's free PS Plus slate

Sony already mentioned that PlayStation 4 owners with subscriptions to PlayStation Plus will receive gratis access to both Secret Ponchos and Injustice: Gods Among Us in December, but this morning we learned of the other four games joining the service that month.

PlayStation 3 owners with active PlayStation Plus subscriptions will have access to both bizarre horror game Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut and the Hitman HD Trilogy, an upgraded re-release of Hitman 2, Hitman: Contracts and Hitman: Blood Money. Vita owners will also receive two games: tower defense strategy game Final Horizon and neo-retro shooter Titan Attacks.

As always, these free games are only available to those with active PlayStation Plus subscriptions. A one month subscription is priced at $10, while a year-long subscription features a $50 price tag. Sony has all the information you need to sign up at its online store.
[Image: Ignition Entertainment]

Joystiq Streams: Will Shadow of Mordor on Xbox 360 break us?



The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have, for all their technological advancements, returned the gaming world to a place few expected it would go: the land for the down port. Way back when, PC and arcade games too beefy for consoles would be adapted to run on older, less capable machines, hence why you'd end up with a version of Double Dragon on Commodore 64 that looks like it's made of wood chips or Atari Donkey Kong. With games coming to both Xbox One and PS4 as well as their predecessors, Xbox 360 and PS3, the art of the down port has come back to the fore.

The question, then: What happens to Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, so reliant on its processor-pushing Nemesis system, when it's crammed into the nearly decade-old Xbox 360? Let's find out!

Starting at 4:00PM EST on Joystiq.com/Twitch, we'll be playing the Xbox 360 version of Shadow or Mordor to see how it stacks up to the current gen version. Join us ahead of time for a bonus stream of Geometry Wars 3 and some pre-show banter!
[Images: WBIE]

WWE 2K15 review: Disqualification match

Like past games in the series, WWE 2K15 spends a lot of time looking back on wrestling history. Propped up by years of real-life stories, cuts and bruises, the series continues to be a good source for professional wrestling nostalgia. Still, while 2K Sports' efforts pay off in a few areas, the publisher missed a chance to be the best in the world by a wide margin this year. By dropping a number of customization options and introducing an annoying game mechanic, WWE 2K15 loses touch with what made the series special.

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Destiny's Dark Below trailer runs through the goodies

Image Destiny's upcoming expansion The Dark Below brings a boatload of new features to Bungie's multiplayer FPS, and the trailer above outlines what you can expect to see. Featured additions include new equipment, guns, environments, story missions, Crucible maps, a multiplayer Raid, and maybe even a J... Continue Reading

Joystiq's Games of the Year 2006-2008

Those who don't learn from their past are doomed to replay it again and again. In the case of these games from Joystiq's "Best Of" lists from 2006 through 2008, that's not really a bad thing. As we celebrate our decade of existence, it seemed like the right time to look back at the games we thought were the greatest in their respective launch years. (The 2004 and 2005 lists remain classified.)

In some cases, our selections are part of franchises that have stood the test of generations, while others are like trying to recall what happened after that fourth Red Bull with a Mountain Dew chaser. Here are our selections and links to explanations to the best ghosts of Joystiq's past.

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Tales from the Borderlands Episode One review: Busy earnin'

PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, Mac, iOS, Android

You should probably know who Handsome Jack is. That's really the only advice I'd give to anyone looking to dip into Telltale's latest episodic series, Tales from the Borderlands. Granted, Borderlands doesn't have the most sophisticated lore, subsisting largely on dick jokes, pop culture references and lots of screaming jerks, but suffice it to say that you don't have to be intimately familiar with Gearbox's first-person shooters to appreciate Tales. If you know that Handsome Jack is a villain, perhaps heard his smarmy voice in a trailer or two, you should be fine.

In other words, regardless of your level of Borderlands experience, Tales from the Borderlands is a witty, well-written adventure with broad appeal. And yeah, there's a dick joke or two.

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PlayStation Co-Op Sale: Dark Souls 2, Far Cry 3, Rayman

In the spirit of the money-saving holidays (and Thanksgiving, we guess), Sony kicked off a new Co-Op Gaming sale today that discounts games with local or online multiplayer functionality. The deals end on December 1, and PlayStation Plus subscribers get a bigger discount than other PSN users: up to 80 percent off the price of some games.

Of the group, there are ten PlayStation 4 games on sale through PSN this week, among which are Awesomenauts Assemble ($5.39), EA Sports UFC ($13.99), Mercenary Kings ($8.99), Rayman Legends ($19.59), Surgeon Simulator: A&E Anniversary Edition ($6.39), TowerFall Ascension ($7.34) and Trine 2: Complete Story ($7.99). Other notable deals include Borderlands 2 (PS3, $4.54), Dark Souls 2 (PS3, $19.59), Rayman Origins ($13.29 on Vita, $9.79 on PS3) and Far Cry 3 (PS3, $9.79).
[Image: Ubisoft]

PSN Tuesday: Tales from the Borderlands, Geometry Wars 3

This week, PS4 and PS3 people get episode one of Telltale's Tales from the Borderlands, Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions and the FIFA 15 Holiday Edition. There's also a demo of Tales from the Borderlands for free on PS3.

PS4 now has Speakeasy, Akiba's Trip: Undead and Undressed, Aqua Kitty – Milk Mine Defender DX and Thomas Was Alone. PS3 players can now buy Jetpack Joyride Deluxe, the Armageddon Riders + Planets Under Attack Bundle and PSOne Classic Boxing. Vita gets Aqua Kitty as a Cross-Buy game with PS4, Jetpack Joyride Deluxe, Rocket RPG and Boxing.

Pre-orders are now live for Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, both on PS4.
[Image: Telltale]

Sony to shift focus from TVs, smartphones to PlayStation

PlayStation 4 console
Following a recent forecast that predicts Sony's mobile division will lose up to 30 percent of its sales by next Spring, the electronics giant has opted to increase its focus on the perennially successful PlayStation brand.

According to a Reuters report, Sony has instituted a three-year plan for the shift that aims to reduce support for its mobile device and television divisions and to boost sales of the PlayStation division by 25 percent, up to as much as $13.6 billion. Sony is also relying heavily on sales of image sensors, which the corporation believes could increase by as much as 70 percent, thanks to their use in iPhones and an increasing number of Chinese-manufactured smartphones.

"There's a lot of expectation for Sony now, but nothing is sure until there are results," Ichiyoshi Asset Management chief fund manager Akino Mitsushige told Reuters. "Getting out of the mobile market is an option, but they can't do that now, so they will need to make some fundamental changes."
[Image: Sony]

Activision issuing DMCA takedowns on Call of Duty exploit videos

Activision is issuing copyright strikes on YouTube videos that "promote cheating and unfair exploits" within its Call of Duty series, Eurogamer reports.

Gaming network Machinima warned its userbase in an e-mailed newsletter this week that videos showcasing glitches in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare are currently being targeted for DMCA takedowns, and affected accounts will receive copyright strikes. YouTube users who earn multiple copyright strikes risk having their accounts permanently disabled.

"Activision is being particularly vigilant about their Call of Duty videos lately; issuing strikes on videos showing glitches," Machinima's statement reads. "If you post videos highlighting these glitches, your channel may be liable to receive a copyright strike so please be careful."

Activision issued a response to Eurogamer claiming that it intends to curb cheating and unfair play within Advanced Warfare's multiplayer mode.

"We're excited that so many fans are having fun playing the game and posting videos of their gameplay," an Activision representative wrote. "We love watching the videos ourselves. Occasionally, some folks post videos that promote cheating and unfair exploits. As always, we keep an eye out for these videos - our level of video claims hasn't changed. We are appreciative of the community's support in helping to ensure that everyone has the best playing experience possible."

[Image: Activision]

Assassin's Creed Rogue review: Avast ye, clone!

PS3, Xbox 360

Here are just some of the things you can do in Assassin's Creed Rogue: climb a tower, hunt a whale, hide in a haystack, steer a ship in a storm, stick a sword through a man's eye socket, air-assassinate a fox, fight off a boarding party.

If the opening of this review sounds mostly familiar, it's because it was mostly copied from our review of Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag. This was done to illustrate a point: If you're looking to Rogue to bring something fresh to the table, keep pillaging elsewhere. Assassin's Creed Rogue is essentially a clone of Black Flag's setting and systems.

If you can accept rampant copy-and-paste in another full priced entry, you'll more than likely enjoy what Assassin's Creed Rogue has to offer.

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Tales from the Borderlands rollin', rollin', rollin' out today

The first episode of Telltale's Tales from the Borderlands hits Steam across the globe later today, as well as PS4 and PS3 in North America. Next up are the Xbox One and Xbox 360, with worldwide releases due tomorrow, November 26, and December 3 respectively. Last but not least, PS owners in Europe also join the episodic party on December 3.

As for prices, on PlayStations and Xboxen each individual episode is $5. On PSN there's the option to purchase all five episodes in a $20 season pass, while on Xbox Live you can get Episodes 2-5 in a $15 season pass upgrade. On Steam the asking price for the season is $25, which you can bring down to $22.49 with a pre-purchase. Finally, Telltale's previously said the first episode should hit iOS and Android before the end of the year.

To see the launch trailer in action, move 'em on and head 'em out past the break. Also, that title is not referencing Limp Bizkit - you guys are just the Durst.

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Expanded Dark Souls 2 coming to smite Xbox One, PS4 owners


You might have thought that buying into the new generation of consoles would protect you from the gleeful, maniacal punishment of the Dark Souls series, but you were wrong. Namco has revealed that a new edition of Dark Souls 2, subtitled Scholar of the First Sin, is headed to Xbox 360, PS3, PC and now, for the first time, Xbox One and PS4.

On all platforms – according to Namco – the expanded edition of the game packs some new features, including improved balance, new NPCs, an expanded story, and new item descriptions. These improvements will also be available to existing Dark Souls 2 owners via a free update. Meanwhile, the Xbox One, PS4 and DirectX 11 PC versions of the game will offer "enhanced graphics," with Namco explaining to Joystiq that this includes higher resolution textures and improved lighting effects, among other things. Furthermore, these versions of the game will increase the maximum number of online players.

Of course, it wouldn't be a proper re-release without packing in some DLC, and all versions of Scholar of the First Sin will include all three of Dark Souls 2's DLC episodes. Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin is set to arrive on April 7, 2015 – just after Bloodborne, developer From Software's newest game, hits the shelves.

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Marvel's Venom infects Zen Pinball games next month

Zen Studios announced a new table for its pinball games based on the popular villain from Marvel's Spider-Man universe, Venom. The table explores Venom's rivalry with Spider-Man as well as Carnage, the offspring of the dark Symbiote, hosted by the first of Venom's victims from the webbed superhero's comics, Eddie Brock.

As with Zen Studios' other tables, the add-on will launch for multiple Zen Pinball and Pinball FX games on December 10 and December 11. It will cost $2.99 (€2.99/£2.49) for Zen Pinball 2 and Pinball FX 2 players on PS4, PS3, Vita, PC, Mac, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Wii U. Those playing Zen Pinball, Zen Pinball HD and Marvel Pinball on iOS and Android will need to pay $1.99 (€1.79/£1.49) to access the Venom table in those games.
[Image: Zen Studios]

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