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PSN Tuesday: Shadow of Mordor, Persona 4 Arena Ultimax

Today's PlayStation Store update rolls out with a large selection of featured games, marking the digital debuts of Monolith's stealthy action-RPG Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and Atlus' 2D fighter sequel Persona 4 Arena Ultimax.

The PlayStation 4 and PS3 share a number of premiering titles this week, including NIS America's tactical RPG Natural Doctrine, Koei Tecmo's large-scale brawler Warriors Orochi 3, and Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments. Notable Cross-Buy releases include the retro-styled RPG Pier Solar ($14.99) and vibrantly colorful rail shooter Futuridium EP Deluxe ($12.49).

This week also brings a handful of retro arcade compilations to Sony platforms, marking the PSN debuts of featured classics like Pole Position, Mappy, Gaplus, and The Tower of Druaga. Today's five Namco Museum releases are priced at $5.99 apiece.

[Image: Warner Bros]

Flee from a toothy, clawed storm in 2.5D platformer Shu

Surely you can outrun a perilous, world-ending storm, oh proven master of the platformer genre, but what about fellow villagers that don't have your finesse? Would you just run past, leaving them for the ominous black cloud that's sporting a full set of teeth? "Of course not," you (probably) said, because you (probably) have a heart! You can lead endangered villagers to safety in Shu, a 2.5D platformer that's dashing and floating its way toward PS3, PS4 and Vita.

In Shu, saving villagers gives you more than just warm, fuzzy feelings. Villagers boast unique abilities, which you'll be able to harness if you spare the time to lead them from danger. You'll need to convince them to tag along quickly though, because if the incessant storm reaches you, it'll snatch your companions one by one. You don't want to lose your adorable fellow villagers and, on a definitely-less-important note, the abilities that you can only borrow in their presence, right?

Shu was originally conceived by Secret Lunch, but has since turned into a collaboration with Coatsink Software. Shu is planned to reach PlayStation platforms in mid-2015, but you can get a better sense of what you'll be running from right now in the trailer after the break.
[Image: Coatsink Software]

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Report: America favors gaming consoles for media streaming

Game consoles aren't really game consoles anymore. Sure they play games, but they're also capable of plenty of non-gaming activities. In today's age, we have an abundance of apps and features installed on our consoles that make watching our favorite shows and movies easy and convenient. But of course, you already knew this.

What you may not have known is that researchers at Parks Associates claim that game consoles are currently not just able to help us catch up on the latest season of <your favorite show>, but are reportedly the most popular method of doing so in the US. As reported by Home Media Magazine, Parks' data shows that roughly 46 percent of broadband-connected homes use a console to access non-gaming content via the internet, and of those homes, 28 percent use the console as their primary connected device.

This high percentage of users edges out connected Blu-ray players, as well as streaming devices such as a Roku box or Apple TV. Smart TVs are reportedly the second-most popular way for people to enjoy non-gaming internet media.

This may sound surprising, but really, using game consoles for non-gaming entertainment has been around for some time; after all, one of the PlayStation 2's most-touted features was its ability to play DVD movies. Remember those? Remember physical media? Good times. Gooooood times.

Update: An earlier version of this story incorrectly related the statistics regarding usage of game consoles. It has been corrected.
[Image: Sony/Microsoft]

Colorful rail shooter Futuridium jets to PS4, Vita next week

Stylishly fast shooter Futuridium EP Deluxe will launch next week on PlayStation 4 and Vita. Now slated to launch on Tuesday, September 30, the game will cost $12.49 and will launch at a 20 percent discount ($9.99) for PlayStation Plus members. The game is also Cross-Buy compatible, so those with both systems will only need to pay for it once.

Futuridium EP Deluxe locks players in 50 forward-scrolling levels, blasting obstacles to reach five bosses and eventually unlock extra modes. It comes by way of Italian independent developer MixedBag, which first offered a free PC and Mac version of the game in June of last year. The studio confirmed plans to bring the brightly-colored game to PlayStation systems in February. Futuridium EP Deluxe will be compatible with PlayStation TV when it launches on October 14. If you're curious, you can catch a launch trailer for the game after the break.
[Image: MixedBag]

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Square Enix Collective finalist Moon Hunters aiming for 2015 release

Kitfox Games will launch its multiplayer roguelike action-RPG Moon Hunters for the PlayStation 4, PS Vita, and PC platforms next year, the developer revealed today.

Moon Hunters is a one-to-three hour game in which players establish a heroic reputation as they search for a planet's missing moon. Key game elements are randomly generated throughout each session, and defeated heroes are immortalized as constellations that appear in future playthroughs. Though its quest is short, Moon Hunters boasts multiple character classes and biome types, upping replay incentive.

Today's announcement arrives as the studio enters the final hours of its Kickstarter campaign, which was approved and promoted by Square Enix's curation-focused Collective platform earlier this year. Moon Hunters will debut in "late 2015."

[Image: Kitfox Games]

OlliOlli2 ramps up for PS4, Vita release in 2015


High-flying skateboard stunt sim OlliOlli is getting a sequel on the PlayStation 4 and PS Vita, developer Roll7 announced today.

OlliOlli2: Welcome to Olliwood expands on the framework of its predecessor with split-route levels, an improved grinding system, and a local four-skater multiplayer mode, among other major additions. The sequel will also feature combo-linking manuals and reverts, putting it on an evolutionary path that matches early Tony Hawk's Pro Skater sequels.

OlliOlli2 will premiere in 2015.

[Image: Roll7]

Kanji's crew busts a move in new Persona 4: Dancing All Night trailer

Image Vita-exclusive rhythm game Persona 4: Dancing All Night is still a ways off -- it's currently stuck in "TBA 2015" territory as Atlus gears up for the North American launch of Persona Q later this year -- but the newly released Japanese trailer above might tide you over in the meantime. Here, you... Continue Reading

PSN Tuesday: Flockers, FIFA 15, Slender: The Arrival

It's time to kick some sheep! FIFA 15 and Team 17's bloody sheep-herding puzzle game, Flockers, are both out on PS4 today, alongside Defense Grid 2 and Castlestorm: Definitive Edition. FIFA 15 is also on PS3 and Vita.

PS3 gets the bulk of today's game dump, with Slender: The Arrival, Ar nosurge: Ode To An Unborn Star, Arcana Heart 3: Lovemax, Resonance of Fate and Wall-E, a PS2 Classic game. Joining FIFA 15 on Vita is Arcana Heart 3: Lovemax and Frozen Synapse Prime. Pre-orders for the PS4 version of Sleeping Dogs are live now as well.

There's a lineup of Assassin's Creed and Borderlands content on sale via PSN this week, including Black Flag for $32.50 on PS4 and Borderlands 2 for $5 on PS3. The PlayStation Blog lists all of the week's fresh games and discounts.
[Image: Team 17]

PS TV hits US on October 14 with 'nearly 700' compatible games

Though the PlayStation TV won't support all Vita games at its October 14 debut, the miniscule console will play "nearly 700" Vita releases, according to Sony.

Less a proper console and more a device that combines the functionality of numerous Sony gaming machines, the PlayStation TV plays digital Vita games, PSP games and PlayStation One games, while streaming PS3 games via PlayStation Now and PlayStation 4 games via that console's Remote Play feature. Specifically named among supported Vita games are hits like Rayman Origins, the God of War Collection, Borderlands 2 and Persona 4 Golden. Additionally, Sony has announced that the upcoming Adventure Time tie-in game, Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom from Little Orbit, will launch simultaneously for both the Vita handheld and the PlayStation TV on November 18.

Sony has revealed plans to add support for additional games in the future (including Minecraft), though the PlayStation.blog offers no timeline on when those updates might be available.
[Image: Sony]

Destiny retains UK No.1 against Disney Infinity 2.0, Hyrule Warriors

Destiny "comfortably" held on to top spot in the UK, says data compilers Chart Track, despite new releases Disney Infinity 2.0 and Hyrule Warriors charging into second and third. Sales of the space-roaming shooter had a typical second week dip, going down by 78 percent, but it was enough for Bungie's guardians of the galaxy to see off Marvel's guardians of the toy box.

While it didn't take top spot, Disney Infinity 2.0 sold 32 percent better than the first entry did in its debut week in the UK. Similarly Hyrule Warriors, Nintendo's link to the Dynasty Warriors, notched one of the best UK charts debuts for a Wii U game, only bested by the likes of Mario Kart 8 and Pikmin 3. In other Nintenews, 3DS nostalgia-fest Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call fell short of the top ten, placing 17th in its first week.

For the full UK top ten (and customary music video), head below the break.

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Persona 4: Dancing All Night delayed, Persona team leading development

Atlus' Persona team is now leading Persona 4: Dancing All Night's development troupe, according to IGN's translation of a blog post from the game's producer and director, Kazuhisa Wada. Hatsune Miku: Project Diva series developer and Dancing All Night collaborator Dingo will continue working with Atlus on the routine for Vita, but a delayed Japanese release to January 2015 suggests the rhythm game needs some more time to practice.

Dancing All Night was first announced alongside spinoff Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, fighter expansion Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, and the next entry in the main series, Persona 5. We know that P4 Arena Ultimax's ring opens on September 30 and that Shadow of the Labyrinth's dungeons will flood with monsters on November 25, but Persona 5 and Dancing All Night share a less specific launch target of 2015.
[Image: Atlus]

Project Scissors is a spiritual successor to Clock Tower

Nude Maker, a Japanese developer led by Clock Tower series creator Hifumi Kouno, has begun development on a new horror-focused franchise. According to the studio's press release, Project Scissors is meant to be a spiritual successor to Clock Tower, and will involve Masahiro Ito, creature designer for the Silent Hill series, Takashi Shimizu, director of the Ju-on films, and other "well known talents in the Japanese game industry" that will be announced later on.

In Project Scissors, a luxurious cruise ship has a murder mystery problem. Once enough of the crew fall victim to the killer, the ship is essentially adrift at sea, leaving passengers to share an inescapable space with whatever is keen on knocking them into the afterlife. Solving the mystery is the player's focus, although the increasingly-difficult goal of not dying is of comparable importance.

Project Scissors will eventually welcome aboard iOS, Android and Vita owners, but a release date and a glimpse of the game itself are currently as elusive as Project Scissors' killer.
[Image: Nude Maker]

Weekend-long PSN Flash Sale discounts a pack of racers

Even if your weekend pace is relaxed and leisurely, you should still be able to reach the PlayStation Store's Flash Sale before it ends on September 22 at 3pm EST. You can make up for your slow-and-steady demeanor by setting lap records in this Flash Sale's racing-oriented deals, unless you prefer to destroy everything in sight in Burnout Crash.

Pack leaders include Need for Speed: Most Wanted for $4.99 on PS3 and Vita, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed for $9.99 on PS3 and Vita, Cel Damage HD for $2.49 on PS3, PS4 and Vita, Crazy Taxi for $2.49 on PS3, and GRID Autosport on PS3 for $12.49, among others. You can check the PlayStation Blog's complete breakdown of the sale's standings, or just round the corner as fast as possible and race straight into the deals.
[Image: PlayStation]

Hohokum dev's latest boasts llamas that go boom

Super Exploding Zoo is a game that developer Honeyslug describes as a "arcade-y tower defense-y explode-em-up," though most players will simply know it as "that game where explosive llamas stop an alien invasion."

"That old family favorite, the Super Exploding Zoo, is under attack from evil aliens who've come to devour all the lovely, tasty animal eggs," reads the developer's brief story synopsis. Since humanity is useless in the face of alien invasion, it's up to a squad of militant animals to fight off the omelette-loving extraterrestrials. Some critters feature their own unique abilities – the crocodile can ford rivers while the meerkat can dig – but regardless of which critters you lead into combat, gameplay in Super Exploding Zoo boils down to a war of attrition against increasingly lethal waves of alien invaders. Helpfully, Honeyslug mixes things up a bit with the addition of puzzle stages and online multiplayer gameplay.

Super Exploding Zoo is slated to appear on the PlayStation 4 and Vita handheld where it will feature cross-play functionality. Honeyslug has yet to reveal a release date for either version of the game.
[Image: Honeyslug]

Final Fantasy series developers unveil Zodiac for Vita, iOS


French developer Kobojo has assembled a team of Final Fantasy series veterans for Zodiac, an upcoming multiplayer online RPG for iOS platforms and the PlayStation Vita.

Taking place in a persistent online world, Zodiac features gameplay that spans side-scrolling 2D environments interspersed with turn-based battles. The project boasts the involvement of Final Fantasy 7 and Final Fantasy 10 scenario writer Kazushige Nojima and Final Fantasy Tactics composer Hitoshi Sakimoto, among other creative talent.

Zodiac is due to launch in 2015.

[Video: Kobojo]

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