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PSN Tuesday: Octodad, Cel Damage HD, Walking Dead

Happy PSN Tuesday! This week on PS4 we get Octodad: Dadliest Catch ($15), Putty Squad ($25) and Cel Damage HD ($10). Even though Octodad is a new indie game on a Sony console, it's not free for Plus members – and the developers at Young Horses put a lot of thought into that development.

Cel Damage HD is also available on PS3 and Vita, while Putty Squad is also on Vita. The PS3 lineup includes Defense Technica and SoulCalibur Lost Swords (that one's free). On Vita, there's The Walking Dead Season 2: Episode 1, Demon Gaze and Starlight Inception.

PS Plus members this week get PixelJunk Monsters Ultimate HD free on Vita. Whee!
[Image: Young Horses]

Soulcalibur: Lost Swords finds a home on PlayStation 3

Today marks the debut of Bandai Namco's Soulcalibur: Lost Swords, an attempt at transferring the free-to-play success of Tekken Revolution to the publisher's other big 3D fighting franchise.

Like Tekken Revolution, Soulcalibur: Lost Swords is exclusive to the PlayStation 3 and can be downloaded from the PlayStation Network at no charge. Though superficially a one-on-one fighter mechanically similar to Soulcalibur 5, Lost Swords is a single-player game where players fight their way through typical Soulcalibur battles, earning items which can then be used to customize their chosen character. As in Tekken Revolution, each battle requires that players expend a certain amount of in-game currency, though once this supply runs low, players can either wait for it to gradually refill or shell out real-world cash to speed the process.

To reward those who just can't wait to slice and dice their polygonal foes, Bandai Namco is offering a gratis set of "bonus items" to anyone who plays the game within its first month of release. There's no word on what exactly these bonus items are, but knowing the series it could be anything from new weapons to inexplicable Star Wars tie-ins.
[Image: Bandai Namco]

Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 saves PacWorld later this year

First it was a game, then it was a cartoon, then it was a game, and now it's a game ... again! Don't worry about following that baffling pedigree, all you need to know is that Bandai Namco has announced Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U and 3DS handheld.

Like its predecessor, Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 is based not on the arcade classic that everyone reading this site should be familiar with, but is instead based on the ongoing Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures animated series. As a result, Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 is not focused on maneuvering a ravenous yellow pie chart through a neon maze, chomping pellets, but is instead a platformer where Pac-Man devours Power Berries which allow him to change into special, super-powered forms. Proving how far Pac-Man has come from his origins as an armless, blind eating machine, the iconic character will also be able to pilot a number of vehicles seen in the animated series.

Though Bandai Namco has yet to attach a specific release date to the game, the publisher hopes to debut Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 at some point during 2014, presumably alongside the first episode of the second season of the animated series.
[Image: Bandai Namco]

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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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Ace Combat Infinity boarding PS3s on May 27

Bandai Namco's free aerial fighter Ace Combat Infinity is set to lift off on May 27 for PS3. The next entry in the long-running Ace Combat series was first announced last year in July, and was listed as the first free-to-play game in the series one month later. The game includes a single-player campaign as well as cooperative and competitive multiplayer, and Bandai Namco plans to add a player-vs-player mode following the game's launch.

The PS3 exclusive takes place on an alternate-reality Earth in which global authorities construct massive guns to save the planet from incoming debris caused by the destruction of a moon orbiting Jupiter. Ace Combat Infinity was originally due to land in 2013, but its flight suffered delays in December. The game entered open beta for one week in February.
[Image: Bandai Namco]

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PS3 RPG Tales of Xillia 2 hits North America, Europe in August

Bandai Namco's PlayStation 3 RPG sequel Tales of Xillia 2 is headed stateside in August with a bonus-packed Collector's Edition in tow, the publisher announced today.

The Tales of Xillia 2 Collector's Edition includes a figurine of the game's main character Ludger Kresnik, along with an art book, a soundtrack CD, a plush charm, and a replica pocket watch. The package also features a collection of costume DLC featuring classic series characters Yuri Lowell, Emil Castagnier, and Asbel Lhant.

Tales of Xillia 2 is one of many Tales series games arriving stateside this year, accompanying the recently released Tales of Symphonia Chronicles and the upcoming Tales of Hearts R. Tales of Xillia 2 will hit store shelves in North America on August 19. A European release will follow on August 22.

[Image: Bandai Namco]

Ragnarok Odyssey Ace treks to EU, AUS, NZ next week

Ragnarok Odyssey Ace brings its additions to Europe, Australia and New Zealand on April 30, and that Wednesday due date points towards a PS Store release [Update: GungHo confirmed to Joystiq it's PSN-only].

Ragnarok Odyssey Ace is the updated version of Game Arts' Vita action-RPG, and it brings the game to PS3 for the first time as well as Vita, along with cross-platform play between console and handheld. Monster hunters breaching the new version will find all the DLC from the original bundled in, but in terms of what's new, there are an assortment of fresh bosses, AI companions, skills, and dungeons to master/lose hundreds of hours to.
[Image: GungHo Online Entertainment]

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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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]

Assassin's Creed series tops 73 million in sales


Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed series reached a total of 73 million in sales according to the publisher's corporate website, which lists its "worldwide best-selling franchises." Assassin's Creed, which has featured six releases in the main series since its 2007 debut and eight additional games on browser and portable platforms, leads Ubisoft's second-best-selling property Just Dance (48 million) by 25 million units.

Assassin's Creed will likely continue to sell by the millions given that the next game, Assassin's Creed: Unity, will arrive on PS4, Xbox One and PC this holiday season. Unity was just announced in March and takes place in Paris during the French Revolution of the 18th century, a setting that was vaguely foretold at the end of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood.

The next three series in the publisher's top five in sales bear the late Tom Clancy's name: Splinter Cell (30 million), Rainbow Six (26 million) and Ghost Recon (25 million). Head past the break to see the rest of Ubisoft's sales list.

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Return to the castle, watch half an hour of Wolfenstein: The New Order

Image Bethesda is streaming bits of upcoming old-school shooter Wolfenstein: The New Order, and the publisher uploaded roughly the opening half-hour for your eyes to scrutinize. The game proper storms the world on May 20, coming to PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. [Image: Bethesda]... Continue Reading

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 caught in PS3 bundle's web

Sony announced a new PlayStation 3 bundle via Twitter today, boxing up the latest Spider-Man game with a 500 GB console. The $270 package is available for pre-order through Walmart and includes the Activision-published game The Amazing Spider-Man 2, as well as the The Amazing Spider-Man movie. The bundled movie is available via the movie streaming service Vudu.

Developed by Beenox Studios, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 follows the next adventure for the web-slinging hero from the upcoming film, and features supervillains The Kingpin and Kraven. The PS3 bundle is expected to ship on Tuesday, April 29, the same day the game launches.

While it will stick its landing this month on PS4, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, 3DS and PC, Activision postponed the launch of the game on Xbox One yesterday.
[Image: Sony]

Big Band, Skullgirls' first male character, joins the fight next week


Though Skullgirls Encore has always been defined by its distaff roster of pugilists, the 2D fighter is about to get a shot of gender equality in the form of Big Band.

As his name makes plainly clear, Big Band is an oversized character who relies on musical instruments to beat down his opponents. Developer Lab Zero Games describes Big Band as a "high risk, high reward" character capable of dealing out massive damage, just as long as his attacks don't miss. Alternately, if you prefer a defensive playstyle, Big Band is the first Skullgirls character with the ability to parry incoming attacks. Most notably, Big Band's Blockbuster attack allows players to perform wildly damaging custom trumpet solos, such as the surprisingly well-orchestrated tune in the above video.

As Big Band's development was funded by the massively successful Skullgirls Kickstarter, the character will debut at the attractive price of "totally free." Simply download the addition once it appears on your platform of choice and Big Band's musical fisticuffs are yours to command.
[Image: Lab Zero Games]

PlayStation 99-cent sale discounts Tokyo Jungle, Super Stardust, more

The PlayStation Network Store is hosting a flash sale for dozens of games this weekend, each discounted to 99 cents. The sale spans PS3, Vita and PSP games as well as both PS2 and PSOne Classics, such as the Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon series.

The sale features standout gems like PopCap's Plants vs Zombies, Jonathan Blow's Braid, Sony's own Tokyo Jungle and Housemarque's Super Stardust HD. It also includes full seasons of episode Telltale-developed games Back to the Future and Jurassic Park as well as the adventure studio's five-game Tales of Monkey Island bundle. The full list of games included in this weekend's sale can be found after the break.
[Image: Sony Online Entertainment]

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Car combat comes to PlayStation next week in Cel Damage HD

Classic car-combat game Cel Damage will hit modern PlayStation platforms next Tuesday with the launch of Cel Damage HD, developer Finish Line Games announced today.

Released alongside the original Xbox back in 2001, Cel Damage will return on the PlayStation 4, PS3, and PS Vita on April 22 as a Cross-Buy game that includes all three versions with a single purchase. Cel Damage HD boasts 13 maps and six playable characters, and the console versions will feature split-screen multiplayer.

Cel Damage HD will premiere at $9.99, with a 10 percent discount available for PlayStation Plus members.
[Image: Finish Line Games]

GameStop Easter Weekend sale offers 'Buy 2, Get 1 Free' on used games under $20

GameStop is celebrating spring with an Easter Weekend event, offering a "buy 2 get 1" on a select stock of used games. The promotion begins today at all GameStop retail locations across the United States and online. The deal comes with certain stipulations, however: only games priced under $20 are eligible, with the free title coming at equal or lesser value.

Though the promotion undoubtedly means PS4 and Xbox One titles are off the table, previous generation software is up for grabs. According to GameStop, the company "has recently reduced a large percentage of games from the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 libraries to $20 or less."

The promotion ends on Sunday, April 20.
[Image: GameStop]

March NPD: PS4 leads hardware sales, Titanfall rules software

PlayStation 4 console
The PS4 sold more than the Xbox One or any other console in March – making it the hardware leader for the third consecutive month – market research group NPD reports. The Xbox One and PS4 pushed US hardware sales in March up 78 percent from 2013, from $222 million to $395 million. Overall game sales in March were up 3 percent year-over-year.

Five months in, the PS4 and Xbox One are out-performing initial sales of the PS3 and Xbox 360, NPD Group's Liam Callahan says: "When comparing the first five months of sales for the Xbox One and PS4 to their predecessor's first five months, total Xbox One and PS4 sales are up close to 60 percent."

Xbox One has shipped 5 million Xbox One consoles, with 311,000 sales in the US in March alone, Microsoft announced today: "Of course, we're just getting started with this generation and the months ahead will bring several announcements we think you'll love. The team will continue to deliver regular improvements and new features based on your feedback through frequent system updates .... We can't wait to share more games with you in June at E3."

On April 16, Sony announced that PS4 sales had passed 7 million.

Titanfall was the top-selling game for the month, launching for Xbox One and PC on March 11. It is the second-highest selling game for Xbox One after just one month on the market. It was followed by Infamous: Second Son, South Park: The Stick of Truth, Call of Duty: Ghosts and Dark Souls 2. See the complete game sales list below. On PC, Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls sold the most on a unit and dollar-amount basis.

Software sales declined 27 percent overall. "Year-over-year sales of every platform declined from March 2013, with the exception of the PS Vita, which saw sales grow due to the release of Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster," Callahan said.

Sales of video game accessories in March rose 4 percent, led by sales of controllers for Xbox One and PS4, NPD says. Other notable accessories included Turtle Beach headphones and headsets for next-gen consoles. Turtle Beach sales grew 50 percent year-over-year.
[Image: Sony]

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Gran Turismo 6 GT Academy competition begins next week

Sony will launch its sixth annual GT Academy event next week, giving superior Gran Turismo 6 players the chance to put their skills to the test on a real-world racetrack.

As in previous years, GT Academy players compete to enroll in a three-month driver development program, with global champions earning a spot on Nissan's NISMO race team. Judges in Europe, North America, and Germany will each pick a single winning driver to enter the program, and this year marks the first time GT Academy qualifying events are available to players in Canada.

GT Academy online qualifying events will begin in-game on April 21.

[Image: Sony]

PSA: Terraria upgraded to version 1.2 on Xbox 360, PS3, Vita

As expected, the console versions of Re-Logic's 2D sandbox platformer Terraria have been updated to version 1.2 today. The update brings a large list of bug fixes as well as improved gameplay mechanics and graphical changes to the PS3, Xbox 360 and Vita versions, such as a brighter sun and darker midnight portions of the game. Version 1.2's change log is a "direct copy from the PC change log with console exclusive changes added to them," putting the console versions more on par with the PC game.

The game has found massive success for Re-Logic on all platforms, topping 1.3 million downloads on iOS and Android and one million downloads across Xbox 360, PS3 and PS Vita as of late March. It first launched on PC in May 2011 and just hit Vita in December. The game's creator, Andrew Spinks, discussed plans for a sequel to Terraria in October, noting that it wasn't in development at the time.
[Image: 505 Games]

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Halo composer Martin O'Donnell's music remains in Destiny after Bungie departure

After the surprise announcement that longtime Bungie composer Martin O'Donnell had been terminated, Joystiq confirmed with the studio's COO Pete Parsons that O'Donnell's music remains in Destiny. We were on hand at Bungie for a preview event, where Parsons told us, "Even the music you heard yesterday was from Marty and Mike Salvatori and C. Paul Johnson. All of their music is in." O'Donnell has collaborated with Michael Salvatori on the Halo series soundtrack for years, and more recently with Bungie sound designer and composer C. Paul Johnson.

Earlier this week, O'Donnell tweeted that Bungie's board of directors fired him "without cause" on April 11. Bungie community manager David Dague responded, saying O'Donnell and the studio parted "as friends," and wished him luck "in all his future endeavors." Later on the same day, Parsons addressed O'Donnell's departure, saying, "At Bungie, we don't take that kind of thing lightly. We don't make decisions lightly. We're a team that's committed to making an amazing game, set in an amazing universe."
[Image: Activision]

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