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Mortal Kombat X controllers from PDP are lopsided, not final

Gaming accessory manufacturer PDP is working on new gamepads designed specifically for Mortal Kombat X, and the company showed off designs for Xbox One and PS4 at GameStop Expo last week. Iron Galaxy Community Manager Alex Jebailey snapped some photos of the gamepads and posted them on Instagram.

The controllers displayed at the conference featured six big buttons on the stumpy right side of the gamepad – A, B, X, Y, LB and RB for Xbox One – and a directional stick on the left side. It's not an analog stick, PDP told IGN. "The stick that you see is actually a series of micro-switches as well (just like the buttons), not an analog stick. It helps to bring the player closer to the classic arcade feel."

PDP clarified that the gamepads shown at GameStop Expo were not final products. "The Mortal Kombat X controller that we showed at the GameStop Expo is still in development, so platforms have not been finalized," PDP said. "We like to work with the manufacturers to get a licensed product when possible. The controllers are designed along the lines of our VS Fight Pads which came out for the Xbox 360 and PS3 a few years back."

Mortal Kombat X is due out on April 14, 2015, for PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC.
[Image: PDP]

Metareview: Destiny

Our review of Destiny said we're in it to "slay monsters, level up and collect loot." It's an interplanetary dungeon crawler. Go into the experience with that expectation, along with some friends, you'll do just fine.

But, overall, Destiny reviews have skewed toward the lower end of the acceptable game spectrum. The game has been dinged for a lack of content, a lack of story and a lack of refinement. Destiny seems to suffer from "The Lack," which is actually a perfectly acceptable name for a new Destiny villain race.

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Bungie doubles Destiny public events, plans to add requested features

Bungie told Joystiq today that it will roll out a number of post-launch improvements for its multiplayer online shooter Destiny, and notes that it has already "more than doubled" the number of public events players will encounter throughout its world.

"Bungie is hard at work behind the scenes, updating Destiny to make it better," Bungie community manager David Dague said. "We've rolled out numerous patches, tuning updates, and server adjustments. For instance, the frequency of public events has more than doubled."

Dague added: "We'll keep working to ensure our server performance remains stable for our already sizeable community, which has shattered previous records for any Bungie game to date. In an effort to keep our community up-to-date on these changes, patch notes will continue to appear on Bungie.net. The team is committed to a steady stream of post launch support, including the addition of some much requested features."

Joystiq's staff noted a distinct lack of Destiny public events during our post-launch roundtable session, and Bungie's quick response indicates that it is listening closely to player feedback. Destiny's online features maintained a consistent performance during its launch week, and Joystiq's Richard Mitchell praised the game's "well-oiled shooting mechanics" in his review posted today.

[Image: Bungie]

Destiny State of Service: Week One

This is State of Service, an ongoing review of the online service of a recently launched game. You can read our scored review of Destiny here.

Tuesday, September 16 | T-minus 23 days until final verdict
Current State of Service:
Good
Summary: Destiny's launch week has been generally smooth, with a few outlying issues. The game has been updated and new content added.

Launch week has come and gone, and Destiny's servers seem to be handling things well. Bungie has issued an update to the game and added the first "Raid" mission, the Vault of Glass, which is intended for (very) high level players. Over the weekend, players could also jump into a special, limited-time Crucible mode called Salvage. Bungie has announced several other events that will take place over the next few months.

The Joystiq staff hasn't encountered any persistent connection issues thus far. Reviews Content Director Richard Mitchell did lose connection during a Strike mission, though his equipment and experience progression were not lost. He also notes that the update immediately booted him to the title screen – his ship had been in orbit at the time – and prompted him to install the file. Other players have made similar reports, saying that the update notice even kicked them out of missions in progress.

Finally, Joystiq's review of Destiny is now live. You can read it right here.

If you encounter any connection problems while playing Destiny, let us know in the comments, or on the Joystiq Twitter or Facebook accounts. Use the hashtag "#sos" and specify your platform, please.

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FIFA 15 removing trade offers from Ultimate Team mode

Electronic Arts announced that it has disabled a key feature in FIFA 15's Ultimate Team mode in an attempt to crack down on the harmful trade of in-game currency.

In recent FIFA series games, players could exchange in-game items, coins, and players with friends using the Trade Offers feature. Finding that coin sellers often used the service to shuttle ill-gotten currency between accounts, EA removed the feature from this year's game. The coin-selling market is tied to account hacking and phishing, and functions in previous FIFA games could be exploited to cheat players out of cash by artificially inflating auction bids.

EA's Ultimate Team revisions supplement recent changes to its cheating policy, which gives coin buyers three strikes before they're permanently booted from FIFA online play. Sellers are dealt harsher penalties, and risk being banned from all EA-published games for coin selling and farming.

[Image: Electronic Arts]

Halo: Reach free, Valiant Hearts discounted for Xbox Gold members

Welcome to the back half of September, which means Xbox Live Gold members can now grab Halo: Reach gratis from the service. Regularly priced at $25, the Halo prequel covers the events of the planet Reach's evacuation before it was overwhelmed by The Covenant. It's not an uplifting tale.

Following that heavy theme, the emotional Valiant Hearts is also discounted for the week on Xbox One and Xbox 360 for gold members.

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Destiny review: Loot Loops

Ask people what Destiny is and you'll get plenty of different answers. It's an MMO. Or a cooperative shooter. An action-filled space opera. If you believe the marketing, it's an aggressively bold interactive experience that's never been attempted before. If you ask me, it's a dungeon crawler. Full stop.

If you peel away its well-oiled shooting mechanics, look past its social ambitions and set aside the grandiose affectations of its universe, you will find Destiny's loot-driven heart, pulsing with a familiar rhythm. Meet friends in town, visit a dungeon, slay monsters, gain loot and level up, regroup in town, repeat.

In many ways, Destiny makes this old rhythm feel vibrant and fresh, though not without missing a few beats.

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PSA: Destiny's Vault of Glass open for raiding

Once I had Destiny and it was a gas, soon turned out had a Vault of Glass. 80s flashbacks aside, the Vault of Glass raid is live in Bungie's shooter as of this morning, meaning teams of six players can take on what the studio says is "the most elaborate mission" it's ever created.

Bungie recommends you're level 26 or more before taking on the Venusian Vault; "while you may be able to access the raid before you reach Level 26, such acts would be very foolish," says the dev. You'll need to have a team of friends as raids don't support matchmaking, and Bungie warns it's unlikely you'll complete the mission in one go, so be prepared to progress in portions. While you can enter the vault at any time, if you do take a break during the raid your party has a one week limit to resume the mission, and you have to follow the same team leader back into the vault.

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Disney Infinity's Toy Box 2.0 offered as standalone download

When Disney formally unveiled Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Super Heroes in April, the publisher announced that the power discs and base from the first game would be compatible with the one slated to arrive next week. Instead of buying a starter pack for Disney Infinity 2.0 with a new base, returning players will have the option to download the new game's Toy Box mode separately starting on November 4.

The Toy Box mode has improved since the first game, offering options for procedurally generated content and themed templates.

Priced at $19.99, the standalone Disney Infinity Toy Box 2.0 game will be available for PS4, PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii U players. The developer opted for a November release date to time the digital launch with its physical 2.0 Edition Play Sets as well as the game's Disney Originals series. North American players that download Toy Box 2.0 will receive both the Stitch's Tropical Rescue and Brave Forest Siege game discs for free, with details on the limited-time offer on the way from Disney Interactive as November approaches. Disney Infinity 2.0 launches September 23 for Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii U.

Far Cry 4 trailer weaponizes the mighty elephant

Image This is either a new trailer for Far Cry 4, or it's the entry for "elephants" found in the actual Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.... Continue Reading

PSA: Today's Destiny update causes interruptions

Destiny is getting an update today, meaning players may see the above alert in their games. This warning popped up for us on PSN while our ship was in orbit. Bungie.net offers the following message: "Pardon our dust! Destiny is being updated. You will be returned to the title screen to install a title update and will be able to continue playing afterwards."

With the game running in the background, we also received a message to exit Destiny and apply the update, and for more information to search "cat" on Bungie.net. The cat error means there's an update ready to roll.

See our ongoing review of Destiny's online functions in the State of Service series.

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Xbox chief: Minecraft will continue on PlayStation, mobile


When word spread last week that Microsoft was considering a purchase of Mojang and its gaming titan Minecraft, fans were concerned about the game's future. Would Minecraft become an Xbox exclusive? Would it be locked to Windows Phones going forward? In a video discussing the acquisition, Xbox chief Phil Spencer said that Microsoft would continue to help develop Minecraft on all the platforms that made it a $2.5 billion brand in the first place.

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Chivalry: Medieval Warfare dashing onto consoles

The knightly carnage of Chivalry: Medieval Warfare is coming to PS3 and Xbox 360 later this year, with Activision on publishing duties. Torn Banner's melee-heavy multiplayer game is set for the consoles' digital storefronts, but prices and release dates are yet to be announced.

Chivalry: Medieval Warfare passed two million units sold in July 2014, which isn't bad for a game that started life as a Half-Life 2 total conversion mod. Back in 2007, Age of Chivalry thrust pikes, clubs and bows into the hands of its Middle Ages warriors, and its first-person, close-combat multiplayer proved a hit. Realizing it was onto a winner, Torn Banner Studios followed it up with the Unreal Engine-based Chivalry: Medieval Warfare which, following a successful $86,000 Kickstarter campaign, made its debut on Steam in 2012.

The two consoles may not be the only platforms welcoming the game in the near future, with Torn Banner seemingly teasing Mac and Linux ports "soon." That or penguin paladin DLC. Also, head below the break for a rather brutal new trailer.

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Why did Microsoft pay $2.5 billion for Minecraft creator Mojang?

Microsoft confirmed its $2.5 billion purchase of Minecraft developer Mojang today, with Microsofts's Head of Xbox division Phil Spencer noting that the acquisition "adds diversity to our game portfolio and helps us reach new gamers across multiple platforms."

It's a big chunk of change to spend on an independent studio founded in 2010, but its juggernaut product has since sold over 15 million units and spawned a merchandising empire. Minecraft earned a reported $326 million in revenue last year, continuing its year-on-year trend of increased profitability.

Creator Markus Persson expressed a desire to move away from Minecraft earlier this year following a notable shift in indie development culture, however. "The current indie scene is as new for the people making games as it is for the audience," Joystiq editor Jess Conditt wrote. "Indie developers don't have trained PR teams to guide them through the drama; many don't know that the press and public will take their tweets seriously; some of them aren't even sure what an embargo is. They receive death threats and then react like candid humans when the audience expects them to behave like detached professionals."

"As soon as this deal is finalized, I will leave Mojang and go back to doing Ludum Dares and small web experiments. If I ever accidentally make something that seems to gain traction, I'll probably abandon it immediately," Persson said in reference to the Microsoft purchase.

Here's a quick rundown of the events that led up to today's deal.

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NBA 2K15 wonders "What if?" in MyTeam trailer

2K Sports recently offered a new trailer and details for NBA 2K15's MyTeam mode. Similar to EA Sports' various Ultimate Team modes, MyTeam has players building a squad of basketballers from across the sport's history, improving their team gradually over time.

One of the ways they'll be able to build their team this year is through a real-time auction house, seen in a few of the game's screens provided by 2K. Players will also have a challenge mode to put their team through its paces in several "What if?" fantasy scenarios. 2K Sports plans to add both multiplayer and weekly challenges to MyTeam throughout the year as well as user-created content. NBA 2K15 will launch October 7 for PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.
[Image: 2K Sports]

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