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Reptile gets the go-ahead for Mortal Kombat X

Who's next? Mortal Kombat series veteran Reptile will return in the upcoming multiplatform sequel Mortal Kombat X, developer NetherRealm Studios confirmed with IGN this week.

After making his debut as a hidden character in the original Mortal Kombat, Reptile went on to appear in many subsequent series entries, boasting a moveset that revolves around his ability to spit acid and draw in his opponents with magnetic projectiles. Hopefully, you won't need to trigger a secret match-up to see him this time around.

Mortal Kombat X will launch for the PlayStation 4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC platforms on April 14.

[Image: Midway]

Grab a pint with free Dragon Age: Inquisition tavern songs

The songs that fill the tavern at Skyhold are now yours for the downloading, for free until February 9, when they will be sold on "popular digital platforms," BioWare says. The download includes sheet music, as well.

"If you've indulged in the opportunity at Skyhold's tavern to enjoy a break from the demons and Venatori, chances are you've heard some of the bard's lovely songs," BioWare writes. "Although bards do perform to entertain travelers, they also serve a greater purpose: to carry the tales of triumph and tragedy across the land. We've received many inquiries from our fans asking where they can get these songs, and we're thrilled that you're enjoying them as much as we do."

The tavern songs from Dragon Age: Inquisition are performed by Elizaveta and written by Hollywood composer Raney Shockne.
[Image: BioWare]

Guilty Gear Xrd arcade to receive console-exclusive fighters

In a recent Japanese-language update, developer Arc System Works reveals plans to add the console exclusive characters of Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- to the fighting game's arcade incarnation.

According to a translation by the fighting game devotees at Shoryuken, an update for the arcade game will be released that will both balance the game to more closely mimic its console counterpart and add three new fighters: Sin Kiske, Leo Whitefang and Elphelt Valentine. Sin is an unlockable playable character in the console game, while Leo and Elphelt were both added to Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- as separate DLC characters after launch.

Arc System Works offers no word on when it plans to launch the update.

Rock out with your Spotify out on PlayStation

Happy clap, happy clap! Music service Spotify is coming to PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 this spring, but the best part is you'll be able to have your songs playing in the background while gaming. The PlayStation Blog also mentions that folks will be able to sign up to the service using their PlayStation Network ID.

The Spotify service will be available in 41 markets. With that said, prior to the launch of Spotify, Sony's Music Unlimited service will close in all 19 countries on March 29, 2015. Sony mentions, "Nearly all of these countries will be among the 41 markets where PlayStation Music featuring Spotify will be available at launch, including the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Brazil."

Spotify is an ad-supported music service in its free version, with premium options beginning at $10 monthly. The company also recently added family plans for multiple users. This is a very cool addition to PlayStation for Spotify's 15 million paying subscribers and over 60 million active users.

PSN Store Update: Phrasing!

Alright, let's talk about dying lights, grim fandangos and how life is strange. No, not that recent rumor, silly-billy! We're totally referring to this week's new releases on the PlayStation Store, which include Techland's Dying Light ($60), the Grim Fandango remaster ($15) and the debut episode of teen drama Life is Strange ($5).

All three of those are on PS4, while you'll also find Life is Strange on PS3 and Grim Fandango on Vita. By the by, Grim Fandango is cross-buy; if you buy it on PS4 you'll unlock it on Vita for free, and vice versa. Meanwhile, Life is Strange won't be available until Friday, January 30.

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Madden predicts Patriots over Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX

Image With Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday, it's time again to gaze deep into the crystal ball that is the latest version of EA Sports' Madden NFL to see how the game will shake out. End result? Patriots beat Seahawks, 28 to 24, thanks to four touchdowns from Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady. [Image: EA Sports] ... Continue Reading

Watch 14 minutes of The Witcher 3's gameplay


Have you finished reading about the first three hours of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt? If you don't want the wild ride to end, then check out this 14-minute gameplay trailer to see some horseback riding, conversations and exploration in the game. The Witcher 3 will launch on May 19 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.

While the PC game can import save files from The Witcher 2, the console versions will not. Rather, the PS4 and Xbox one versions will simulate world states in the game based on an in-game conversation. The Witcher 3 was previously expected to launch next month, but CD Projekt RED delayed the game back in December.

Dying Light launch trailer shows catastrophe on a hot tin roof

Image Dead Island creator Techland is once again chucking a ton of undead at your face, but this time you have to freerun from them. "Go anywhere, climb anything," but try to stay alive, eh? Dying Light is available now on Steam for $60, with physical copies also out today in North and South America f... Continue Reading

Dragon's Dogma Online announced

Dragon's Dogma Online is official, after Famitsu announced it's featuring the game in the latest issue of its magazine. The entry in Capcom's action-RPG series was much speculated after trademarks showed up in Europe and Japan last month.

We're waiting on official details, but going by reports based on magazine scans, Dragon's Dogma Online is a free-to-play game for PS4, PS3, and PC. According to Siliconera, the game is due for release in Japan this year.

While the European trademark may raise hopes for an international release, a Capcom UK representative told Eurogamer this morning there are no plans to release Dragon's Dogma Online in the West.

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The Witcher 3 on consoles can simulate world states, can't import Witcher 2 saves

On PC, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt can import a Witcher 2 save file to "impact your playthrough" of the third entry, but on consoles CD Projekt is taking a different approach. In a roundtable interview Level Designer Miles Tost told Joystiq that The Witcher 3 will look to simulate world states based on decisions taken in an in-game conversation.

"The way how it works is that the game on the consoles will ask you whether you want to simulate a specific state of the world, coming from previous games," Tost explained. "If you choose 'yes,' then you will get a special conversation at one part of the game - I don't want to spoil where it happens. It's basically a conversation with a character and the conversation is about the adventures of Geralt of Rivia. And you can basically deny or confirm whatever [the character] has heard of whatever tales of [Geralt.] It's actually kind of a cute mechanic. If you don't want to simulate the state then this conversation doesn't take place."

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Sony accepting claims on 2011 PSN data breach settlement

If you were a PSN, Qriocity or Sony Online Entertainment user at the time of the April 2011 Sony hack that disrupted the PlayStation Network for nearly a month and compromised 70 million user accounts, now's your chance to get a piece of the class action settlement levied against Sony last year.

To qualify, you must have held a PSN, Qriocity or Sony Online Entertainment account on or before May 14, 2011. Each service is eligible to receive different claims, but PSN users are able to receive either one or two games - if you already received a free game in Sony's 2011 "Welcome Back" promotion, you're only eligible for one; if not, you're eligible to choose two - from a list that includes standouts like LittleBigPlanet and God of War HD. Notably, none of the games on offer are for the PlayStation 4. If none of the games tickle your fancy, you can instead choose free dynamic themes for your PlayStation 3 or free PlayStation Plus subscription time.

After wading through multiple pages of bureaucratic legalese, you'll find everything you need to make your claim at the PSN-SOE settlement website.
[Image: Sony]

Destiny dev: DLC mistakes won't be repeated

Destiny designer Luke Smith recently addressed concerns over Bungie's future updates for the game. Namely, Smith said "the mistakes [Bungie] made with the DLC1 reward economy will not be repeated," in a NeoGAF thread, admitting the developer's previous attempts at expanding the first-person shooter with add-on content resulted in a few problems for players. Smith claims the developer will avoid mistakes such as "vendor gear invalidating the effort of [Vault of Glass] Raiders" and exotic gear upgrades resulting in a talent reset.

"Our philosophy about rewards/loot continue to evolve as we see how players play and react," Smith wrote. He noted that item drop rates appear to be "much improved" in the Crota's End DLC compared to Vault of Glass, and that Bungie plans to "improve acquisition stories and frequency" as well as "lessen the grind and get players to the fun parts of their arsenal faster." It issued a hot fix for Destiny in December to boost the drop rates for the Crota's End raid mission.
[Image: Activision]

Silence: The Whispered World 2 also has words for the PS4

Alongside its "early 2015" PC, Mac and Xbox One debut, publisher Daedalic Entertainment has announced that lovely, snowbound adventure Silence: The Whispered World 2 will be released on the PlayStation 4.

A sequel to 2010's The Whispered World, Silence: The Whispered World 2 casts players as Noah, a 16-year-old boy attempting to find his younger sister in the ethereal world of Silence. The duo enter Silence in an effort to escape from a war in their world, but quickly find that the wondrous land of Silence is also embroiled in conflict (not to mention populated by nasty beasts and self-serving political factions). It's sort of a Chronicles of Narnia situation, only with fewer Christian allegories in the form of sage predatory felines.

Though the original Whispered World featured 2D graphics, Silence: The Whispered World 2 employs 3D models and a method the developers call "camera projection" that "allows [the artists] to maintain the high detail level of our hand-drawn art, while still being able to use the benefits of 3D game design."
[Image: Daedalic Entertainment]

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Dragon Age: Inquisition gets special recognition from GLAAD

GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) has given a special recognition award to Dragon Age: Inquisition. The 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, which has a laundry list of award categories, including comics, singled out the BioWare RPG from the video game pack.

David Gaider, lead writer for the Dragon Age series at BioWare has spoken in the past about the "hump of assumptions" involved in creating and including lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender characters in video games. Inquisition featured the first "fully gay" characters in the series. Straight and bisexual characters have been a BioWare standard for over a decade.

Bioware parent company, Electronic Arts, has also repeated received a 100 percent rating from the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index. The publisher earned the achievement again in 2015.
[Image: C. Felichidá]

On track with the first three hours of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

There's an immediate intimacy to my first three or so hours with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and no, I don't mean the bare buttocks I see in one of the opening cut scenes. The third entry in CD Projekt's fantasy RPG series may offer a new open world that's umpteen times bigger than previous entries. Yet, following a story-driven tutorial, I end up losing myself to the very first landmark, the peasant village of White Orchard.

It's a small riverside muddle of hovels, taverns and fields, its warm hues belying the deeper, darker stories within. There's the impulse to call my horse and gallop towards the horizon, but I find the village's multitude of side quests as welcoming as they are distracting, and certainly meaty enough to steer me away from temptation.

Eventually I drag myself to the main quest and my first wild hunt of The Witcher 3, as I track and take on a huge, bloodthirsty griffin. But before all that, let's return to those buttocks...

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