The first video game I ever played, Space Invaders, rendered fighting in a sickly green hue, with squid-like aliens descending down the bulbous surface of a beige monitor. As much as I admired their patient and orderly see-saw attack pattern on our planet, it made it easy to blow them away from below. You see, it's not about the violence, but timing and pattern recognition.
My other starting game was some kind of Mad Libs program, which accepted a list of nouns and verbs and then spat out a boring or comical story, depending on how creative your input was. The key to playing this game well, I determined, was baking a well-timed "pie" into the plot. The archer reaches into his quiver and removes ... a pie! Help, the sheriff's been shot in the pie! The crowd sucked the air out of the room as the boxer fell to a critical blow from his opponent ... the PIE. You see, a video game lets players control (and probably ruin) the story.
Back in July, Comcept updated their crowdfunding efforts and asked for $200,000 to add both English and Japanese voices. However, at the beginning of October, a Kickstarter update explained that funding was insufficient for supporting both languages.
"Rather than stick to the revised target of $200K for both English and Japanese voice acting and close it down short of the goal, we've decided to lower the goal back to the original $100K for one language," the update reads. "And, rather than dictate which one voiced language we offer in the game, we want to put it to a vote and let you, our loyal backers decide: English or Japanese!" Now that the votes have been tallied, it appears the former is the winner.
Mighty No. 9 is due to release in spring of 2015 for ten mighty systems: PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Vita, Wii U and 3DS.
PSN's discounted movies vary in price based on whether viewers pick up the standard or high-definition versions. Kill Bill Volume 1 and Volume 2 are $6.99 each ($9.99 HD), as is Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and its follow-up, Lara Croft: The Cradle of Life ($10.99 HD each). Plus, Five Resident Evil films as well as four Underworld movies are discounted this weekend to $8.99 each ($9.99 HD). The sale ends at 3:00 p.m. EST (12:00 p.m. PST) on Monday, October 20.
Oh wait, you don't have any of those things? Don't worry. Vib-Ribbon, the PlayStation classic newly released in the US for the first time, provides the same experience. A sugar-fueled fever dream about skittering sketch rabbits jumping through hoops to the music in your soul. That's what this game's all about!
Starting at 4:00PM EST on Joystiq.com/Twitch, we'll be streaming a whole lot of Vib-Ribbon in order to give you a transcendent psychedelic experience. Why? Because it's the weekend and Vib-Ribbon is awesome. Richard Mitchell (@TheRichardM) digs deep into his CD collection while Danny Cowan (@db_cowan) and Susan Arendt (@SusanArendt) riff on the cultural detritus that birthed this beauty of a game.
That's Joystiq.com/Twitch at 4:00PM EST, just like we do every Tuesday and Thursday. If you want to see every freaky stream we do, make sure to follow us on Twitch.
[Update: Sony confirmed Race the Sun indeed hits PSN in North America on October 21, priced $10. Flippfly's Aaron San Filippo told Joystiq the team's working on confirming the date for Europe, and the game will be available there at a roughly equivalent price.] [Update 2: MagicalTimeBean's Ian Stocker confirmed to Joystiq that Escape Goat 2 will also reach North America on October 21, and while its European launch is yet to be set in stone, Stocker notes it "won't be far behind."]
Race the Sun is already confirmed as a cross-buy game for PS4, PS3 and Vita, meaning if you buy the game on one PS platform you get it for free on the others. Cross-save is also supported to carry scores across systems.
As part of the new update, PlayStation 4 owners can jam out to their own beats with the USB Music Player. Though players can't transfer music to the console, they will be able to play MP3, MP4, M4A and 3GP files directly from an inserted USB stick as background music during gameplay sessions.
In an effort to increase social interaction, the PS4 will now list suggested "players you may know," recommending PS4 users your friends frequently game with. Additionally, if purchasing themes doesn't interest you, the update will allow players to customize the background color of the PlayStation 4 user interface.
Saving hard drive space, the new update will feature an option to add a game to your library, rather than forcing you through the steps of canceling a download. Growing libraries will also be easier to manage, with improved filters to organize your collection.
Enhancements to the PS4's live broadcasting tool are perhaps the most anticipated tweaks in the update, allowing users more control for following broadcasts, searching for specific games and, finally, archiving sessions.
A comprehensive list of changes coming to the PS4, including some tweaks coming to the Vita and PlayStation App, can be found on the Official PlayStation Blog.
Though sales of video game hardware jumped an impressive 136 percent year over year - which makes sense given that the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 had yet to launch in September 2013 - total industry sales only grew by two percent. This is due to a 36 percent decline in year over year sales of new, physical console and portable games, that, while countered by a 33 percent increase in accessory sales, is complemented by a 35 percent decline in total software sales, which includes the aforementioned console games as well as their PC counterparts. However, the NPD notes that a direct comparison is difficult as September 2013 saw the launch of Grand Theft Auto 5, a game that holds the record as the most successful launch in history.
Despite the dip in software sales, Sony claims September 2014 was a "record-breaking month" for the PlayStation Network Store. "Last month's PlayStation Store revenue increased nearly 90 percent compared with Sept. 2013," stated Sony Network Entertainment International vice president Eric Lempel. "Working closely with Activision and Bungie, we wanted to make the launch of Destiny a special experience for PlayStation fans. We're thrilled to see this high engagement from PS4 and PS3 owners."
The top ten best-selling games saw a shakeup in September, with Destiny pushing Madden 15 out of the top spot and both Super Smash Bros. 3DS and Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor joining the list, at spots four and five, respectively. That success, Nintendo claims, is largely responsible for the sale of 140,000 3DS units during September. Likewise, Nintendo believes the Wii U's double-digit increase in sales can be attributed to Mario Kart 8 and Hyrule Warriors. Beyond the break, you'll find a full rundown of the top ten best-selling games for September 2014.
"PSN is currently offline, and we are hard at work to resume service," the message reads. "At this time an estimate as to when PSN will be online is unavailable; however, we will update this article as soon as there's additional information." Those affected by the outage are urged to follow the @PlayStation Twitter account for updates on when service has resumed.
Anecdotally, reports we've received suggest that the PSN Store is available to some players, while connecting to an online match results in a server error. Internal testing reveals that Joystiq staffers are unable to connect to Destiny's multiplayer Crucible mode.
Update: As commenter Mule points out, Sony's Twitter suggestion isn't quite accurate. For updates on the status of PSN, follow @AskPlayStation. The @PlayStation account may let you know once the service is back up, but for now is just angry PlayStation owners complaining en masse.
Update 2: PSN is once again online.
Currently available on Steam Early Access, Hand of Fate combines elements of an action brawler with a tabletop deck-building game. Players explore dungeons, its structure built via a series of cards, and battle swarms of enemies that appear throughout the caverns in search of loot and an exit.
Defiant Development's freshman console effort is also slated to arrive on the Vita, but no release window has been revealed for that version.
PSN shoppers have access to a big batch of deals this week, including a selection of new Ultimate Edition Bundles. Also up for grabs are Octodad: Dadliest Catch for $7.49, Jimmie Johnson's Anything With An Engine for $4.99, and Strength of the Sword 3 for $1, among many other featured games.
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Other newly-collected Ultimate Editions include Dead Island: Riptide, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and Toukiden: Age of Demons. Sony is also hosting a sale this week on many previously-released Ultimate Editions, including Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Saints Row 4, and Resident Evil 6.
PlayStation Plus members get an additional discount on top of listed price drops. Sale prices remain in effect through October 20.
PS3 is packed full this week, too: Batman Arkham Origins Ultimate Edition, Dead Island Riptide Complete Edition, Tears to Tiara 2: Heir Of The Overlord, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2, Best of Board Games and a selection from the PS4 pile as well. Minecraft is finally out on Vita today, as is Nidhogg, Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus and Muramasa Rebirth Complete Collection, among others. See the complete list on the PlayStation Blog, and check out the Joystiq reviews of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel and The Evil Within.
PlayStation pre-orders are live now for Lords of the Fallen, Resident Evil Revelations 2 and The Legend of Korra.
The PlayStation TV launches today in North America boasting compatibility with a large number of PSP, PS Vita, and PS minis games, but users at NeoGAF point out that a last-minute compatibility update renders several major titles unplayable on Sony's new hardware.
Just prior to the system's stateside launch, Sony updated its PlayStation TV compatibility list, removing entries for notable PSP games like Twisted Metal: Head-On, Valkyria Chronicles 2, and WipeOut Pure. Several Konami-published PSone games are also no longer compatible with the PlayStation TV, including Metal Gear Solid, Silent Hill, and Suikoden.
The lack of omitted games that begin with the letters A through L suggests that Sony may be sorting out cross-platform rights issues alphabetically. While SNK-published PS minis games like Time Soldiers and Vanguard didn't make the cut, fellow SNK Arcade Classics 0 ports like Athena and Guerrilla War remain listed, hinting that further compatibility updates may be in store.
Positioned as a non-portable alternative to Sony's PS Vita system, the PlayStation TV plugs into any HDMI-equipped television and plays games and movies downloaded from the PlayStation Network. The system is available today as a $99.99 standalone package and bundled with a DualShock 3 controller and memory card for $139.99.
Tetris Ultimate makes a beeline for 3DS on November 11, Ubisoft has announced. The game will launch on Xbox One, PS4, Vita and PC in the winter, locking in a slight delay for consoles, which previously had a summer launch window.
On 3DS, Tetris Ultimate is cheaper as a digital purchase, $20 compared with $30 at retail. The digital price reduction makes sense on the surface, since that version doesn't have to factor in costs associated with a physical release, but it is a fairly unprecedented move. The Vita has boasted a few reduced-price digital games in the past, but largely, publishers offer one price for downloaded and physical games.
The 3DS version of Tetris Ultimate includes four single-player Challenge modes, as outlined by Ubisoft: "Master" has Tetriminos drop instantly and appear at the bottom, "Rotation Lock" makes the orientations of the Tetriminos random and frozen in one position, "Escalation" has players clear more lines as the game levels up, and "Invisible" makes the Tetriminos invisible as they drop to the bottom.
"The game does indeed look fantastic on the big screen, and the DualShock controls bring a new feel to the game's mechanics," reads a description on the PlayStation.blog. "We've reworked all the touch mechanics to maximize the experience when played with those controls. Knowing that PS Vita players will play directly with PlayStation TV players online, we've worked hard to ensure the game is balanced for both parties, without either one having a competitive advantage." The PlayStation TV is slated to launch tomorrow, October 14.
Additionally, the update adds a new "restart-from-checkpoint" system to the sci-fi shooter, allowing players to put their mission on hold without having to suspend the game to the PS TV or Vita menu screens.