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Sony sets up Season Passes for Video Unlimited, PS Store

Sony has introduced a new feature for the PlayStation Store and its Video Unlimited service, allowing users to buy full seasons of featured content at a discount.

Starting today, PSN shoppers can queue up a full season of their favorite shows with a single "Buy Season" purchase. The feature is available for the PlayStation 3 and online via the PS Store this week, and support for the PlayStation 4, Bravia TVs, and Blu-ray players is coming soon.

Sony commemorates today's feature launch with a collection of discounts for several popular series, including The Walking Dead. Season Pass launch deals go into effect on October 30, and extend through November 17.

[Image: Sony]

Pixel horror finds a Home on PS4 in October

Home, the pixelated horror game from Benjamin Rivers, is due out on PS4 on October 28, "just in time for Halloween," Rivers writes on the PlayStation Blog. The Vita version will come out soon after, and it is a Cross-Buy game, meaning those who buy it on PS4 automatically get it on Vita, too. Home will be on sale for $3 for the first two weeks after the PS4 launch.

"Home has been a weird little trailblazer, and it now has the honor of being the first title developed entirely within YoYo Games' Game Maker Studio environment to natively hit PlayStation consoles," Rivers says. "It's pretty amazing as an independent developer to be able to make console games, and I couldn't think of a better home for it (pun totally intended)."

In Home, players wake up as a man with no memory of how he ended up alone in a stranger's house. As he makes his way to more familiar territory, he finds things that jog his memory, and the story changes as players decide what objects to pick up and what information to digest. We heard Home would hit Sony consoles this year back in March.
[Image: Sony]

The Legend of Korra review: Bend it like Bayonetta

Bending the elements like folks do in The Legend of Korra is an intoxicating dream. Much as they did in the original Avatar: The Last Airbender cartoon, many people born in Korra's world can freely manipulate the four elements through martial arts. The Avatar, born into every generation to maintain the spiritual balance of the world Dalai Lama style, is the only one who can bend all four. Fire from your fingers, literally riding the wind, lifting up the earth to make an easy chair, and never needing a squirt gun; the promise of feeling unity with the physical world, even if you're just playing around, is mesmerizing. Who wouldn't want to do that?

That Platinum Games captures even a little of that feeling in its video game adaptation of The Legend of Korra is impressive, but physical fantasy is only one piece of the show's winning formula. Platinum's made a fun, flighty, sometimes infuriatingly pedantic game that's admirably old fashioned but disappointingly limited. The Legend of Korra is a strong body missing most of its heart.
[Images: Activision/Nickelodeon]

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Heads roll in gorgeous Witcher 3 intro cinematic

Image As this meticulously rendered intro cinematic for The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt demonstrates, Geralt of Rivia's world is a dark place, full of arcane magicks, hardened warriors and horse heads flying through the air like so many bloody pigeons. [Image: CD Projekt] ... Continue Reading

PS4 update rolls out USB music player, Share Play next week

The PlayStation 4's version 2.0 system update will arrive next Tuesday, October 28, PlayStation announced via Twitter. Codenamed "Masamune," the update adds the ability to play music from a USB stick connected to the console. As revealed earlier this month, it also features more game broadcast tools, such as the ability to archive sessions and search for specific games being broadcast, as well as themes to spice up the system's layout.

One of the major features being added to the console next week is Share Play, the pass-the-controller-style cooperative multiplayer game sharing mode announced by Sony at its Gamescom 2014 event in August. Though limited to one-hour increments, the feature will be inherent to all PS4 games, allowing PS Plus members to let a friend take over a game the latter doesn't own via PSN. The Masamune update also adds a dedicated YouTube app as well as improved game library filtering options.
[Image: Sony]

Digital Foundry looks into Evil Within pre-patch problems

Our review of The Evil Within wasn't too keen on Shinji Mikami's latest survival horror epic, but according to the techies at Digital Foundry, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of the game are worse off if you play offline and forego the day-one patch.

As you'll see in the performance comparison video beyond the break, the un-patched game runs 30 to 40 percent slower than its updated counterpart. The slowdown is so bad at times that when creating the video, Digital Foundry couldn't even properly record its findings and "needed to modify the values of our frame-time graph when creating the performance video, in order to accommodate gameplay pauses of up to 100ms." Additionally, while the patched game runs at a resolution of 1920x768, the unpatched game can only manage 1600x900 awkwardly crammed into a 1920x768 window. "What's baffling, though, is that even with a lower resolution, the performance is so much lower all around than the patched product," Digital Foundry adds.

While the development team's impressive work on the game's 1.01 patch can only truly be appreciated when witnessing the technical troubles of its original incarnation, it does drive home the worrying nature of our new "always online" hobby.
[Image: Bethesda Softworks]

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Joystiq Streams: Relapse with Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions [Replay]

Update: It's over, so catch the full replay after the break!

Don't worry, the hard days are all in the past. The habit's been kicked. No more obsessing over leader boards. No more retries at dawn, trying to best your friend's achievements. No more shakes when you put down the controller. Geometry Wars 2 was 2008! We've all moved past it. Wait. There's a Geometry Wars 3? It warps and distorts the old twin-stick shooting? Fine. Just one play. It's easy to stop after just one round. Let's do this.

Lucid Games joins Joystiq Streams today to give us an early taste of Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions. Starting at 5:15PM EST on Joystiq.com/Twitch, Ludwig Kietzmann (@LudwigK) will pick up his controller and relapse hard.

Joystiq.com/Twitch broadcasts live every Tuesday and Thursday at 4:00PM EST, but if you want to catch streams of weird games and upcoming releases like this one, follow us on Twitch to know whenever we go live.

[Images: Sierra]

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Joystiq Discussion: Will you get a new console this fall?

One year later and the current crop of gaming machines are looking a whole heck of a lot different than they did in the fall of 2013. Mealy launch exclusives like Knack, Ryse and Nintendoland are distant memories. Now the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Wii U are cooking with gas. Sony's got heaters like Infamous: Second Son, Xbox One's got freaks like D4 alongside bruisers like Forza Horizon 2, and Wii U has heavyweights like Mario Kart 8 and weirdoes like Bayonetta 2 backing it up.

The question now is: Is that enough? If you haven't taken the plunge yet, have any of the new machines sufficiently convinced you? Are you considering adding a second new console to your living room domain? Or have you walked away from the console world for good? Take the poll then take to the comments to discuss.


[Images: Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft]

Dead or Alive 5 Last Round picks a fight in February 2015

The updated, supposedly final iteration of Dead or Alive 5, known as Dead or Alive 5 Last Round, will reach the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PS3 and Xbox 360 on February 17, publisher Koei Tecmo has revealed.

Alongside the wealth of fighters and stages included in Dead or Alive 5, Dead or Alive 5 Plus and Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate, Last Round introduces two new fighters and new stages, including "The Crimson," a remixed Dead or Alive 2 stage where players battle their way across tin rooftops before plummeting onto a busy Asian street to continue the fight. Like all of Dead or Alive 5's best stages, The Crimson features "several all-new over-the-top Cliffhanger events" for those times when you just have to toss your opponent off a building.

Dead or Alive 5 Last Round will feature a $30 price tag on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 and a $40 price tag on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. However, PlayStation 4 owners can download the free Dead or Alive 5 Last Round: Core Fighters for a test drive featuring four fighters and limited gameplay options, with the option to purchase additional pieces of the game later. Xbox One owners can purchase access to Core Fighters for $5, or they can play a free demo that lacks Core Fighters' DLC options.

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The Unfinished Swan painting PS4, Vita next week

Giant Sparrow's surreal exploration game The Unfinished Swan will arrive next week on PS4 and Vita, just over two years after it first launched on PS3. The game will launch on Tuesday, October 28 in North America and the following day in Europe for $14.99 (€12.99/£9.99). The Unfinished Swan will also be Cross-Buy enabled, so those that own any version of the game will be able to download it on the other two systems.

Our review of the PS3 game noted that The Unfinished Swan's power "lies in its engagement with our imagination, in its ability to remind us of that capacity for whimsy and fantasy." It's the first game from the Santa Monica-based developer, which is currently working on an as-yet-unannounced game that is not a sequel to The Unfinished Swan, but is "not a million miles away either."
[Image: Giant Sparrow]

Lords of the Fallen dev addresses complaints about slow-moving characters



Lords of the Fallen, the Dark Souls-ian role-playing game from Deck 13 and City Interactive, has had trouble communicating what it's all about to potential players ahead of its release on October 28. Looking to better explain his game, Tomasz Gop of City Interactive released a video detailing the different ways Lords of the Fallen can be played.

Following a number of YouTube videos and live streams of the game, Gop moved to address criticisms that characters move too slowly. "The first thing I wanted to talk about it movement speed," said Gop. "We don't believe the game is too slow or too fast for anybody because you can adjust quite easily the way that you move."

He goes on to explain how weapon and armor choice significantly change the speed with which your chosen character can dodge and block attacks. Gop also reiterates that the game will take approximately 50 hours to complete, and that as with nearly all role-playing games characters change dramatically over that time.

Joystiq's own time with Lords of the Fallen during preview sessions at E3 demonstrated how difficult it is to get a sense of the full range of character options with just a short time with the game.

[Images: City Interactive]

Battlefield 4 class action lawsuit dismissed on 'puffery'

42-15392482| RF| ¿ Royalty-Free/CorbisAtlantic Puffins, One Gaping, Newfoundland, CanadaAtlantic puffins (Fratercula arctica)
No, not puffinry. Puffery.

A class action lawsuit levied against Electronic Arts for allegedly misleading investors over the performance of Battlefield 4 was dismissed this week, with U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California Judge Susan Illston labeling the publisher's promises as pre-release "puffery," rather than intentionally misleading hype.

The lawsuit was filed late last year, accusing Electronic Arts of misrepresenting "the development and sales of the Company's Battlefield 4 video game and the game's impact on EA's revenue and projects moving forward." Battlefield 4 suffered numerous issues upon its launch in November, leaving many players unable to access its online multiplayer component. Fixes arrived months after the game's initial release, leading EA CEO Andrew Wilson to later describe the debacle as "unacceptable."

EA argued that its pre-release statements had no direct bearing on the plaintiffs' decisions to purchase company stock. In addition, the publisher noted that five of the eight company-issued statements labeled as misleading in the suit were made after plaintiffs had already purchased EA stock.

"Defendant [CFO Blake] Jorgensen's Oct. 29, 2013 statement comparing 'BF4' to a World Series ace pitcher is puffery," Judge Illston wrote. "Defendant Wilson's Oct. 29, 2013 statement explaining that EA 'worked more closely with Microsoft and Sony throughout the entire process' resulting in a 'launch slate of games that are the best transition games that I've ever seen come out of this company' is an inactionable opinion, as well as a vague statement of corporate optimism."

Illston's response does not represent a total dismissal of the case. Lead plaintiffs Ryan Kelly and Louis Mastro must revise their statements by November 3 to continue the suit.

[Image: Getty]

Melodrama strikes Japan in Samurai Warriors 4 launch trailer

Image To celebrate the PlayStation 4, PS3 and Vita debut of Sengoku-era musou brawler Samurai Warriors 4, publisher Koei Tecmo has issued a launch trailer that is equal parts histrionic rock music and androgynously sexy Japanese historical figures - exactly what series fans would hope for. [Image:... Continue Reading

PSN Sale of the Dead is 2 weeks of spooky game discounts

PSN is a scary place right now. The Sale of the Dead starts today, offering discounts of up to 65 percent – and 80 percent for Plus members – on a lineup of games over two weeks. On sale in the first week's round is Dante's Inferno ($6.50, $3.90 for Plus), Dead Space 2 ($6.50, $3.90 for Plus), Dead Nation Apocalypse Edition ($7.50, $6 for Plus), Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare on PS4 ($26.50, $19.90 for Plus) and Tiny Brains on PS4 ($5, $4 for Plus), among others.

Week two begins on October 28 and includes Castlevania: Symphony of the Night ($5, $4 for Plus), Catherine ($10, $7 for Plus), Corpse Party: Book of Shadows ($10, $9 for Plus), Guacamelee: Super Turbo Charged Edition ($10.50, $7.35), Manhunt ($5, $4 for Plus), Outlast ($10, $5 for Plus) and Silent Hill Book of Memories ($15, $12 for Plus).

Week one of the sale concludes on October 27, and week two ends on November 3. There's also a lineup of horror movies and television shows on sale during both weeks.
[Image: Sony]

The Walking Dead stumbles to PS4, Xbox One

Both seasons of Telltale Games' episodic adventure The Walking Dead are now available digitally and at retail on Xbox One and PS4. Retail versions of the two seasons are also out now for Xbox 360 and PS3. At least, this is the case for North America; European players will have to wait until October 31 for the Xbox One and PS4 versions.

The European release date always differed from that of North America, as the adventure game's two seasons were previously expected to reach the next-gen platforms on October 24. Telltale's ten episodes generally impressed players, though the final episode's conclusion left a lot to be desired according to our review in August. The developer added that The Walking Dead series has sold "more than 39 million episodes worldwide" to date.

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