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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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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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Bust-A-Move 4 on the PlayStation Network this spring

Natsume announced that it will release a digital PSone Classics version of Taito's Bust-a-Move 4 this spring, bringing the classic bubble-bursting puzzler to the PlayStation 3, PSP, and PS Vita.

Bust-a-Move 4 expands on the color-matching gameplay of Taito's arcade-born Puzzle Bobble series with new pulley mechanics, challenging players to balance bubble clusters throughout its single-player Puzzle mode. The game also includes a friendship-straining competitive Versus mode, along with an Edit mode that allows players to create and save up to 25 custom level layouts.

A specific release date for Bust-a-Move 4 was not announced.

[Image: Natsume / Taito]

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Joystiq Streams: A graveyard smash in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night [Relive the stream!]




True story: Joystiq Streams was going to broadcast Shovel Knight, the pixel-y, Metroidvania-y, Mega Man-y game coming to Wii U, PC, and Mac this spring, with Yacht Club Games today. Unfortunately those plans fell through at the last minute, leaving the Streams crew desperately thirsty for 2D art and the exploration of interconnected, lushly animated environments. We crave double jumps and locked doors and wacky save rooms! Only one thing could possibly slake our thirst: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.

Starting at 4PM EST on the Joystiq Twitch channel, Joystiq's Richard Mitchell will play Castlevania: Symphony of the Night from the beginning, right when Richter Belmont and Dracula are in the thick of Aaron Sorkin-style banter. Anthony John Agnello will hang in the chat, feeding your questions to him. Some other guests may join us as we play. Dracula's castle is unpredictable. Crazy things happen.

Joystiq Streams broadcasts every Tuesday and Thursday at 4PM EST on the Joystiq Twitch channel.
[Images: Konami]

Thief, Lightning Returns headline Square Enix sale, save up to 50%

From now until March 30, Square Enix is hosting a buy more, save more sale through their official store. Customers who pick up one game or official Square Enix merchandise will save 20 percent off their order, those who pop for a second item will save 30 percent, and those who scoop up three or more products will save 50 percent.

The sale is only available on certain items, and pre-orders don't count. That being said, there are some stand-out items that qualify, such as the recently-released Thief and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy 13. If you long to return to the world of Spira but like your definition less "high" and more "standard," the PS2 version of Final Fantasy 10 is also eligible.
[Image: Square Enix]

European PlayStation Store slashes prices on Rockstar games

From now until April 2, the European version of Sony's PlayStation Network Store is hosting two sales both focused on massively discounting the prices attached to games bearing the Rockstar Games logo.

The core of the sale is aimed at Max Payne 3 and Grand Theft Auto 4, though these particular discounts only last until March 26. Max Payne 3 was originally £15.99 but is now £5.99 while Grand Theft Auto 4 has seen a similarly impressive price drop from £19.99 to £5.49. The sale also offers sizable discounts on the Max Payne 3 season pass, as well as the two Liberty City Stories released as DLC for Grand Theft Auto 4.

The remainder of the PSN discounts are valid until April 2 and include games like Canis Canim Edit (aka Bully), Red Dead Revolver and all three of the Grand Theft Auto games released for the PlayStation 2. Grand Theft Auto 4 is again the highlight here, as the game's Complete Edition, which was originally priced at £24.99, can be purchased for £7.99.

For full details and pricing information, visit the European PlayStation.blog.
[Image: Rockstar Games]

Class of Heroes 2G gets PS3/Vita dual-screen play in the US



For those that missed Class of Heroes 2 last year -- which is understandable, since it was a PSP game released in 2013 -- it was a particularly thorny dungeon crawler in the Etrian Odyssey mold made by Acquire. Class of Heroes 2G is a PlayStation 3 remake of that game, adding new art, dungeons, and characters on top of the original weird story of demons and adventurers attending a magic school.

2G was originally released in Japan back in 2010 so it's strange enough that GaijinWorks is bringing it to the US now, and stranger still that it comes with brand new features. This trailer demonstrates how players can use their PSP or PS Vita as a second screen for character maintenance and dungeon maps via he portables' Remote Play feature. For an exploration-centric RPG, better access to maps is always welcome.

GaijinWorks and publisher MonkeyPaw will release Class of Heroes 2G will be available on PSN "soon." It also may get an extremely limited print run depending on the results of an upcoming poll on GaijinWorks' website.
[Images: GaijinWorks]

PSN Spring Fever franchise deals include Call of Duty, GTA

If the seven games debuting on PSN this month at discounted rates don't spice up Sony's Spring Fever sale enough for your liking, the sale will also include sales on four different franchises. Games and DLC in the Call of Duty, Need for Speed, BioShock and Grand Theft Auto series are on sale at varying points in March for all PSN users.

The sale spans five games in the Need for Speed series, each down to $9.99 ($5 for PS Plus subscribers) tomorrow through March 10. Those games include Need for Speed: Most Wanted on both PS3 and Vita, Hot Pursuit on PS3, The Run on PS3 and Carbon on PSP and Vita. The Call of Duty series continues on March 11 through March 17 and features a variety of game and DLC bundles for Modern Warfare, Modern Warfare 2, Modern Warfare 3, Black Ops and Black Ops 2. Both Black Ops games can be purchased together for $69.99 ($62.99 on PS Plus) as well as all three Modern Warfare games for $64.99 ($58.49 for PS Plus members).

Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto series rolls in next on March 18 with sales lasting through March 24. The sale knocks GTA 5 down to $39.99, GTA 4 to $5.99 ($4.79 on PS Plus) as well as a handful of other PS3 and PSP games in the series ranging from $5.99 each ($4.79 for PS Plus) to $2.99 each ($2.39 on PS Plus). Lastly, the first two games in the BioShock series will also be $9.99 ($5 for PS Plus members) March 25 through March 31. Those games are joined by BioShock Infinite's Burial at Sea Episode 1 DLC for $10.40 ($7.34 on PS Plus) as well as Columbia's Finest Pack and Clash in the Clouds for $3.49 each ($2.44 on PS Plus).
[Image: Rockstar Games]

Four in February: Readers triumph over the Joystiq crew

Put down your buzzers, turn off your engines, sheathe your swords: Four in February has come to a close. The great 4iF challenge brought the Joystiq crew to their knees over the past four weeks. Joystiq Community members, on the other hand, rose to the occasion. Our heroes over on the 4iF Facebook page played through literally hundreds of games, and while not all of them went the distance, they played well.

While a few members of the staff managed to dig into their lists, finishing off entries here and there, not one of us managed to complete all four selections. Richard Mitchell, Joystiq Reviews Content Director, toppled two big ones including Silent Hill: Shattered Memories and Risk of Rain on the maddening Monsoon difficulty. Danny Cowan completed Virtual Hydlide on Sega Saturn while 4iF founder Mike Suszek conquered Tearaway and Toukiden: Age of Demons (though Toukiden wasn't on his original list.) Xav de Matos, Jess Conditt, Anthony John Agnello, and others? Couldn't beat nary a one.

That's okay, though! In fact, failure is just another form of success in Four in February. The point isn't to beat all four, but to encourage diversity in your game playing palette. We all love video games. That's why we're here. Four in February is an event that reminds us of the vast creative richness waiting in the folds of gaming. It's easy to get caught up in the rush of all that's new. 4iF is a conscious effort to slow down and take in our surroundings, to explore what's out there we may have missed. Just playing the game means you've won, even if you didn't see four sets of credits roll.

Still, special honors go to these players. They came, they saw, they kicked four games in the butt. Then "Like" our Facebook page to get in on the next community event, when you can trounce us all over again.

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PSN Tuesday: Thief, Pac-Man Museum, Lords of Shadow 2

The PlayStation Store updated today with new games across every platform, led by the launches of Thief and Basement Crawl on PS4. Thief joins another new release in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 on PS3 this week.

PS3 owners can pick up The Batman Bundle, which includes Batman: Arkham Origins and the Batman: The Dark Knight Returns animated film as well as the Tales of Symphonia Chronicles bundle that comprises both Tales of Symphonia and Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World. Rounding out this week's PS3 additions is Magus and Pac-Man Museum, the latter being a $20 pack of games spanning the yellow gobbler's series.

Vita owners only get one new game this week: Mahjong 2 World Contest, as well as PSOne Classic Herc's Adventures, also available on PS3 and PSP. Though Vita owners can now download the Crackle app to watch movies and TV shows, the marquee media streaming addition this week is the WWE Network app on PS3 and PS4.
[Image: Square Enix]

Now Playing: February 24 - March 2, 2014


Hide your valuables, Thief is on the loose this week ...

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[Image: Square Enix]

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Now Playing: February 17-23, 2014


Use lightning-fast moves to mow down enemies this week with Strider...

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[Image: Capcom]

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Joystiq Tiny Streams: Catching big '90s air in Cool Boarders 2



Presidents Day, son! Today the Joystiq crew is dreaming of a winter break atop a mountain and enjoying the excess snow we seem to have on our hands. In fact, the heavy precipitation has gotten Mike Suszek, Joystiq's Contributing Editor, itching to hit the slopes.

The roughly rendered, low-polygon slopes of Cool Boarders 2. Cool Boarders was Sony's own snowboarding series back on the PS1 and, while the series didn't have the same wild magic as SSX, it was still something special. Behold Mike's shredding skills. If you're feeling inspired, you can download Cool Boarders 2 yourself on PS Vita, PlayStation 3 and PSP Go... because why not.

Joystiq Tiny Streams air every Monday and Friday at 4PM EST right here on Joystiq.com. Anyone who wants to enjoy more of Mike's streams can follow his Twitch channel. Full Joystiq Streams broadcast live on the Joystiq Twtich channel every Tuesday and Thursday at 4PM EST.
[Image: Moby Games/Daniel Hawks]

Now Playing: February 10-16, 2014


Find out the beginning of Ellie's story this week with The Last of Us - Left Behind...

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Sony to sell PC business, reform TV arm, layoff 5,000 employees

Major changes are afoot at Sony, after the Japanese electronics giant announced plans to sell its Vaio PC business and reform its TV arm. As a result, Sony will layoff 5,000 employees over the next year or so, including 1,500 in Japan and 3,500 overseas. Sony was projecting a fiscal year net profit of 30 billion yen converting to $295 million, a figure already adjusted down from previous forecasts. Following the restructuring, Sony expects to post a fiscal year net loss of 110 billion yen, converting to $1.08 billion.

Sony's announcement comes as the company posted a strong Q3 net profit of $257 million, boosted by the launch of the PlayStation 4. The new console contributed to the company's net sales of just under $23 billion, with sales in the PlayStation department rising year-on-year by 64.6 percent, or 33 percent when accounting for exchange rate fluctuations. As revealed last month, Sony placed 4.2 million PS4s in the hands of consumers in 2013, and the console is well on course to meets its fiscal targets.

However, scrutiny will center around the decisions to exit the PC industry and make the TV business its own subsidiary. Sony targeted both areas for a return to profit this fiscal year, which ends March 31, but both will come up short. That means an end for the PC business, with an "understanding" in place to sell the Vaio brand to Japanese Industry Partners; a final agreement is expected to be concluded in March 2014, following due diligence and negotiations. Sony is instead shifting focus towards the mobile sector, and smartphone and tablet products. As for the TV business, Sony's newly formed subsidiary is to focus on high-end models and dominating the 4K market.

In addition to the 5,000 layoffs, 90 billion yen (converting to around $886 million) is being allocated in restructuring expenses over the next year or so. Sony's restructuring follows the overhaul announced nearly two years ago, which resulted in 10,000 employees losing their jobs. As with those measures, Sony stated the decisions it's making today will lead to long-term cost reductions, estimated to be 100 billion yen annually, around $986 million.
[Image: Sony]

Now Playing: February 3-9, 2014


Get in touch with your inner wolf this week with The Wolf Among Us - Episode 2: Smoke and Mirrors...

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Now Playing: January 27 - February 2, 2014


Let the kill streaks pile up this week in Call of Duty: Ghosts - Onslaught...

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Final Fantasy series summons a sale on PSN Europe

PSN Europe has a big Final Fantasy sale going on, probably big enough to be deemed a Sala, if not quite a Salaga. With such a big FF sale, you'd think there was a major new entry in the series on the way, or something.

Among the highlights are FFs 1-2 and 5-9, each half-price at £4/€5, FF4: Complete Collection at £8/€10, and FF14: A Realm Reborn for £16.23/€20 standard or a £20€25 collector's edition. The full list of discounts is on the PlayStation Blog, and the sale ends on February 5.

Now Playing: January 20-26, 2014


Join the Special Ops against the undead this week in Dead Rising 3 - Operation Broken Eagle...

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Tomba 2 caps off latest PSOne retro batch from MonkeyPaw

Niche-focused publisher MonkeyPaw Games has revealed a slate of six classic PSOne games set to launch digitally via the PlayStation Network through January and February.

The studio's Retro Rush campaign will conclude on February 18 with the PSN re-release of Tomba 2: The Evil Swine Return, a cult-favorite platformer originally released in 1999. MonkeyPaw previously oversaw a PSN reissue of the original Tomba back in 2012.

Building up to Tomba 2's return, MonkeyPaw will launch a new PSOne import game weekly, starting with tomorrow's release of Double Dragon. No, it's probably not the Double Dragon that you're thinking of – it's a port of a Neo Geo fighter loosely based on the 1994 film adaptation of Double Dragon, not the original 1987 arcade game.

MonkeyPaw will finish out January with PSN releases for Toshiba EMI's beat-'em-up Lucifer Ring and Human's firefighting sim The Firemen 2: Pete and Danny. February will see the release of Nichibutsu's arcade revamp Hyper Crazy Climber and Data East's horizontally scrolling shoot-'em-up Wolf Fang before Tomba 2 hits on February 18.

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