Follow us on:

2014's Box Art: The Year in Review

Gaming is as deeply entrenched in the online age as it's ever been, with more downloadable games hitting storefronts than ever before. So there's no better time than now, while we still can, to commemorate the year through the lens of box art.

So many hours and so much thought goes into creating box art, with designers working their utmost to grab consumer attention at ground level. That makes for a curious mix of designs, turning the average store shelf into a kaleidoscope of logos, familiar faces, and occasionally glittering artwork. That very much remain the case this year.

We've taken 50 of 2014's retail releases - we've restricted it to games that hit physical store shelves (sorry, Shovel Knight) - and compiled them into a gallery to chronicle the year. As for which box art stood out from the rest, we welcome you to illuminate us in the comments.

What was your favorite video game box art of 2014? Which of the covers we didn't include were ones you really liked? And what about the coulda-shoulda-done-betters? Let us know!

Canada celebrates Boxing Day with two-game PS4 bundle

Boxing Day, the festive day following Christmas in which folks shop even more is upon us, friends. To celebrate, Sony will offer Canadian players a new PS4 bundle that includes two games. For $450, players can pick up the 500 GB PS4 console with NHL 15 (because Canada) and LittleBigPlanet 3 this Friday, December 26. Pre-orders for the Boxing Day bundle open on Wednesday, and it will be available through "major retailers."

Canada's Boxing Day bundle's value compares fairly well to previous ones: Sony offered a PS4 for $400 earlier this month that packed in the buyer's choice of one game out of four options, LittleBigPlanet 3 being one of them. Walmart later sweetened that deal by tacking a $50 gift card onto the offer. While NHL 15 wasn't received well at its launch due to a number of missing modes, some of which returned in via patches, the platforming sequel starring Sackboy did get praise in our review for its "vibrant and inviting" world.

Red hot PS4 coming to Japan with Final Fantasy Type-0 HD

It's not exactly red-nosed, but we'd say Japan's new PS4 glows. The red-and-black system is coming to the country on March 19, 2015 alongside HD-ified action-RPG Final Fantasy Type 0.

Sony unveiled the new livery over the weekend, and today it became available for pre-order in limited quantities. The asking price is 46,980 yen (around $392) plus tax, and for that you get the special system, a matching DualShock 4 and 15 days of PS Plus. It also comes with codes for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, the Episode Duscae demo of FF 15 and a unique PS4 theme.

Continue Reading

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is UK's Christmas No. 1

Ding dong merrily on high / In the UK CoD is winning
Ding dong verily the sky / In LA Kotick's grinning
Spa-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-aycey
Kevin in excelsis!

Like an exosuit-clad soldier sneaking stealthily down the chimney, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare sneaks up on FIFA 15 to nick the UK Christmas No. 1. Activision's shooter usurped EA's kicker with a last-minute promotion, which according to Chart Track makes it the fifth CoD ever to claim the top spot in merrytime.

Outside of that excitement, the UK charts are getting into the holiday spirit by barely moving an inch. Nonetheless, if you jingle below the break you'll find the full top ten, and this week a very festive edition of the customary music video - sort of.

Continue Reading

Final Fantasy Type-0 HD's Class Zero is wanted for treason

Image Relations can get a bit dramatic between Final Fantasy Type-0 HD's 12-pack of young heroes known as Class Zero, and those flare-ups work well for the above propaganda clip for a dominant Empire. Try and keep Class Zero together when Type-0 HD reaches PS4 and Xbox One in March. [Image: Square E... Continue Reading

Claire goes back to work in Resident Evil Revelations 2 opening

It's hard to imagine why Claire Redfield of Capcom's Resident Evil universe would put anything other than "I saved you from becoming zombie food" on her resume, but we suppose that's a pretty good attribute when you work for a human rights organization that unravels the schemes of/cleans up the damage made by terrorists using bio-weapons. Unfortunately, being such a high-profile figure also makes you a target, as evidenced by the opening scene of Resident Evil Revelations 2, which you can watch after the break.

Historically, Claire has fared well against both helicopters and men with guns, but age catches up to all of us it seems, and the lady Redfield is unable to save her place of business from attack. Community Manager Brelston writes on the Capcom Unity blog that after this scene, Claire and company wake up on a prison island with "little information, no weapons and no clear way home."

Well, at least our heroine will be in familiar circumstances when Resident Evil Revelations 2 begins its episodic tale on February 17, 2015.

Continue Reading

All but one of Sony's arguments against Killzone lawsuit dismissed

A federal judge has ruled that a class action lawsuit concerning the resolution of Killzone: Shadow Fall may proceed once the lead plaintiff files an amended complaint, according to a release from the US District Court. Lead Plaintiff Douglas Ladore's initial complaint, as reported in August by Courthouse News, alleges that Sony's claim of "razor-sharp 1080p native resolution" is false advertising, as Ladore claims Shadow Fall's multiplayer becomes "blurry to the point of distraction."

Shadow Fall developer Guerrilla Games released a statement in November addressing the game's resolution, explaining that a technique called "temporal reprojection" is used in multiplayer, which "combines pixels and motion vectros from multiple lower-resoultion frames to reconstruct a full 1080p image." The statement added, "If native means that every part of the pipeline is 1080p then this technique is not native."

In the recent ruling, US District Judge Edward Chen dismissed all but one of Sony's arguments - Chen agreed Ladore's negligent misrepresentation claim cannot stand in its current state, as Ladore did not present a non-economic loss (such as personal injury or property damage) suffered in relation to his purchase of Shadow Fall. However, Chen granted Ladore 30 days to file an amended complaint, in case he can "sufficiently allege that he or other putative class members suffered such non-economic damages."
[Image: Sony]

New Final Fantasy 15 footage is pos-Cid-ively Titan-ic



Square Enix showed off new Final Fantasy 15 footage this weekend as part of Japanese gaming, anime and maga convention, Jump Festa 2015. While short, there's plenty of new footage to be enjoyed, including first glimpses at series mainstays Titan and Cid.

Titan is quite a bit larger than the last time he appeared in a Final Fantasy game, but it's Cid that's been given a more thorough makeover; the character, usually portrayed as a male airship mechanic, is now "Cidney," a female. A tough-n-tumble sort of lady who gets down in the dirt and doesn't run around in a chainmail bikini ... because she's wearing hotpants and a jacket too small for a toddler instead.

Kotaku reports that game director Hajime Tabata said the town shown in the trailer will be seamlessly connected to the outside world, and though the development team is aiming to make the whole game seamless, "it may turn out that for important places there will be loading." Tabata also clarified that players will gain experience via battles, but those experience points will not convert into levels until a player makes camp to rest.

A demo for Final Fantasy 15 will be available as part of the initial run of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD when it launches on March 17, 2015.
[Image: Square Enix]

Malkovich, Paxton star in Advanced Warfare Exo Zombies



When Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is overrun with zombies, who do you want standing at your side? If you answered "anyone who survived The Walking Dead's zombie apocalypse," "that girl with the gun-leg from Planet Terror," "the general keeping humanity from extinction in Warm Bodies" and "someone with expertise in exoskeletal power armor, like the Master Sergeant from Edge of Tomorrow," we have two things to say to you: One, wow that's a specific list. Like ... really, absurdly specific. And two, congratulations! You'll get all four when the Exo Zombies mode comes to Call of Duty.

According to a new teaser (which you can view above), the Exo Zombies mode will feature the talents of Jon Bernthal (Shane, The Walking Dead), Rose McGowan (Cherry Darling, Planet Terror), John Malkovich (Grigio, Warm Bodies) and Bill Paxton (Master Sergeant Farell, Edge of Tomorrow; also Private Hudson, Aliens). Unfortunately, there's still very little of the mode to be seen in action, so chew on what morsels of gameplay video you can before the zombies chew on Xbox-owning brains in January, and other platform owners at a later date.
[Image: Activision]

Touhou Project games coming to PlayStation 4, PS Vita

The Touhou Project will make its console and portable debut in Japan starting next year with the launch of a series of officially licensed, fan-made games for the PlayStation 4 and PS Vita, series creator ZUN revealed this week (via Siliconera).

Named as the "most prolific fan-made shooter series" by Guinness World Records, the Touhou Project is a long-running, single-developer franchise helmed by its pseudonymous creator ZUN. Initially a hobbyist project, Touhou evolved to encompass a multitude of commercially produced spinoff games and media works from indie creators worldwide. Previous Touhou games include the acclaimed freeware PC bullet-hell shooters Imperishable Night and Perfect Cherry Blossom.

Upcoming Touhou releases for PlayStation platforms include the roguelike Mystery Gensokyo and RPG Genius of Sappheiros for the PS Vita. The PlayStation 4 will host Touhou's bullet hell shooter Gensou no Rondo. An additional game, Touhou Sky Arena Matsuri, is also in development for an unnamed platform.

Release dates for the announced games are not yet known. A series of Touhou PlayStation Vita system themes will premiere throughout next year in Japan, priced at 432 yen each.

[Image: Touhou Project)

Console Madness: Free Smash Bros 3DS XL, the rarest PS4 game, and much more


So Joystiq's given away a couple of limited edition Xbox Ones, a limited edition PlayStation 4, a crazy edition of Destiny, and a whole mess of random swag. You think we're done? We're not done. Prepare for more! In the lead-up to Christmas, Joystiq is giving away a limited edition Super Smash Bros. Nintendo 3DS XL. Snazzy art plus a copy of the game pre-installed!

That's not all we're giving away, though. There's also a copy of Retro City Rampage for PlayStation 4. Recently released as a physical edition, it's the rarest PS4 game out there and already fetching serious prices on eBay. Finally, we've got an enormous box of mystery swag. What's in the box? You'll have to be one of our three winners to find out.

Here's how to get the goods: Just use the Rafflecopter widget below between December 19 and December 26. Winners will be selected at random and contacted via email. Full rules and details after the break.

Free Smash Bros 3DS XL, the rarest PS4 game, and much more giveaway
[Images: Nintendo]

Continue Reading

I only play Hotline Miami 2 on vinyl

There's this game coming out called Hotline Miami 2. You probably haven't heard of it. Anyway, I found out you can get this sweet collector's edition with the soundtrack on vinyl. It's, like, sixty bucks and comes with three discs – all of them 180 gram, colored vinyl, of course – and it features 28 different tracks from the game. You also get a Steam download code for the game, printed on a special "phone card," which is, like, what old people used before smartphones or something.

You probably haven't pre-ordered it yet. I mean, I heard about it months ago, but it's cool if you like it now, or whatever.
[image: Devolver Digital]

Continue Reading

Joystiq Discussion: Do you pre-order games?

Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Assassin's Creed: Unity. Driveclub. What do these games share? All of them hit consoles this fall in semi-functional states. Halo's matchmaking is still busted, Assassin's Creed is still working to iron out kinks, and Driveclub's many social features, the very things that distinguish it from other driving games, took weeks to properly work at all. As Joystiq's Richard Mitchell put it in his recent editorial, we're paying for broken games.

One reason that the big budget gaming industry is able to sell incomplete products as part of its business model is the pre-order ecosystem. The "insidious psychology" of wanting the latest thing first, as Richard puts it, is taken advantage of by the publishers producing the most expensive games in the world and people end up buying broken goods as a result. A solution to the problem: Stop pre-ordering.

Problem is, sometimes pre-ordering games is the only way to reliably get your hands on them. Limited run items like the retail PS4 version of Retro City Rampage sold out before the game was released. Obviously an international release like Assassin's Creed: Unity isn't going to suffer from the same shortage issues, but some physical releases by larger publishers are rare all the same, particularly limited editions.

The question: Do you pre-order games? Do you do it regularly or only in special circumstances? Take the poll and discuss in the comments.
[Images: Ubisoft]

Sony: PS4 demand is challenging European supply

The PlayStation 4 is in high demand for the second holiday season in a row, according to Sony Computer Entertainment Europe CEO Andrew House. Without offering specific sales numbers, House told Reuters that the console is potentially "going to be quite inventory challenged." Shipments for the PS4 reached 13.5 million consoles as of the end of October.

"I'm not going to say you won't be able to find a PlayStation 4," House added. "I think it's going to be kind of hand to mouth in terms of that market." The CEO noted that sales for the system in December were in line with Sony's projections, though it was a "tougher" month thanks to the $50 holiday price cut by its main competitor in the United States, Microsoft's Xbox One. While its gaming division is thriving, Sony upped its loss forecast to $2 billion in September due to struggling smartphone sales and opted to not renew its FIFA sponsorship at the beginning of this month to spend more money on structural reforms.
[Image: Sony]

Lords of the Fallen on mobiles is 'brand new,' not a port

The Lords of the Fallen game coming to iOS and Android isn't a port of this year's console and PC game. In a statement provided to Joystiq, CI Games CEO Marek Tyminski confirmed the mobile game is instead a "brand new" experience. Tyminski also said the Lords of the Fallen sequel announced earlier this week is in development for PS4, Xbox One and PC.

Tyminski's statement in full reads:
"I can confirm that the statements made recently to the local Polish media at a press conference earlier this week in Warsaw, and mentioned on Facebook by Executive Producer Tomasz Gop, are true: a Lords of the Fallen sequel is currently in development for PC, PS4 and Xbox One. The reaction from fans to the news has been tremendous so far, and we're eager to take on the challenge of improving upon the solid experience that has been created with Lords of The Fallen.

"I'd also like to offer some new information - we're currently working on a mobile game that takes place in the Lords of the Fallen universe, which we're aiming to launch on iOS and Android in 2015. It will not be a straight port of the game though, but rather a brand new Lords of the Fallen experience. More details on that are still to come."

Continue Reading


Featured PS4 Stories

Image

Evolve's Wraith monster steals the show

Posted on Dec 18th 2014 8:01AM

Image

Never Alone review: Into the storm

Posted on Dec 10th 2014 12:30PM

Engadget

Engadget

TUAW

TUAW

Massively

Massively

WoW

WoW