XBox 360 Universe Straight from the source
  • scissors
    June 30th, 2013JoystiqNews

    It's not that there are too many indie games; it's that there aren't enough hours in a day to play all of them. The Joystiq Indie Pitch curates the best indies to play now and watch out for in the future.

    The Joystiq Indie Pitch Dungeon Smash
    What's your game called and what's it about?

    Dungeon Smash is about being a heroic champion, surviving insurmountable odds, rescuing the princesses, vengeance, love, duty, lust for power, forgiveness and bringing peace to the kingdoms.

    The story begins with our champions accompanying their wards, the princesses of the war-torn five kingdoms, to the neutral city of Overkalix to sign a peace treaty. On the eve of the signing of the treaty, Overkalix is attacked by demons and the princesses are abducted. The players take on the roles of the princesses' champions and set off toward the Dark Isles to rescue the princesses. Each player is presented with an individual back-story which may influence how they play the game.

    Why develop for Xbox Live Indie Games, rather than PC or other platforms?

    It's relatively easy to get published to a potentially massive market and the hardware is fixed so you only really have to cater for two screen resolutions. Dungeon Smash is a twin-stick shooter and you really need a controller for that. However, development has been stopped on XNA and Microsoft is being coy about self-publishing on the Xbox One80, whereas Unity on the PlayStation 4 is sounding pretty attractive.

    Continue reading The Joystiq Indie Pitch: Dungeon Smash

    JoystiqThe Joystiq Indie Pitch: Dungeon Smash originally appeared on Joystiq on Sun, 30 Jun 2013 16:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    June 30th, 2013GamespotUncategorized

    Before we get to my no-nonsense review of Animal Crossing: New Leaf, let me tell you the story of how I became mayor of a small town called Polaris.

    It was rather unexpected. I got off the train, ready to start my new life as a villager and saw the other villagers there to cheer for me. It was odd to see such a celebration for me and then I found out why; their mayor was supposed to be on that train. But I was the only one who disembarked, so they decided to make me mayor! It was all very confusing and shocking, but they wouldn't accept my confused denials. So I took the job and became mayor of Polaris.

    My humble beginnings.
    First thing to do was visit my home... which wasn't built yet! Luckily Tom Nook, now a full time realtor, got to work and began it immediately, but my first night would be spent in a tent. They sure don't know how to treat a mayor right! So I visited the Nooking Junction (now run by Timmy and Tommy Nook) to buy a fishing rod and shovel and begin an adventure that will surely last for years to come.

    Welcome to Animal Crossing: New Leaf, the newest entry in Nintendo's simulation series. It is once again time to join a town with anthropomorphic animals and build a community the way you desire. Everything you may remember from prior titles - fishing, bug catching, decking out your home - is back, with new additions to keep it fresh. But the major change that separates New Leaf from the prior Animal Crossing entries is your role. You are not just a villager, you are the mayor, and that gives you more power and freedom than the series has ever given you before.

    Once you've settled into town, the changes in New Leaf become apparent. First you choose you the location of your house and then get to know your neighbors. Talking with your neighbors still works much like past entries, where you make small talk with them on various subjects (their day, their fashion, the town, gossip, etc). They also can ask you for items or ask you to deliver items to other villagers. There are some new tasks added to New Leaf - villagers can ask you to replace furniture in their homes with another one of the same size and challenge you to a game of hide-and-seek, among others. Villagers also plant flowers, shake trees and buy items from the shops. The total number of possible villagers has increased to 313, so if you're a veteran, you'll see a good mix of old favorites and neophytes.

    I see you staring at my coelacanth.
    As always, you can decorate your home's interior with all kinds of wallpapers, carpets, and furniture. You could go all out and try to make a specific theme, hoping to impress the Happy House Academy, or go crazy and throw anything anywhere. Your house becomes a reflection of you and you want it to look exactly the way you want. And yes, you will be spending a lot of time on this, even if you insist now that you won't care. You must have the house in good condition for the villagers and other human players! (Jealous of my coelacanth? You should be.)

    The shops, museum and post office are located on the north side of town and most of them return from past titles. Tom Nook's shop is now run by his nephews, Tommy and Timmy Nook, while the elder Nook has opened up a home shop and gone into the realtor business full time. Mabel and Sable return to design clothes, umbrellas and other fabrics, while Labelle has returned to the shop (after working for Gracie in City Folk) to sell accessories. Spending money at the shops will lead to upgrades to existing shops and the creation of new shops, such as a garden shop and a shop that sells shoes and socks. There's also a flea market store, Re-Tail, located within town which lets villagers (including you) put up items for an asking price, and other villagers will purchase them. They also tend to offer higher prices when selling items than the Nooks do. New shops can also be built as public works projects. 

    Every good City Hall has a fountain in front.
    Public Works Projects are the biggest new addition to New Leaf. As mayor, it's your job to decide what will be built in your town. There are benches, stone tablets, campsites, clocks and more that can be built almost anywhere you choose. Each will require "donations" before they can be constructed. However, you'll be the one footing the bill, because the villagers donate very little to these projects and there's no taxation in New Leaf (but you could have other human players donate money to the projects when they visit).

    Ordinances give you more control over how you want to play. If you play often in the morning, you can enact Early Bird, and shops and villagers will be awake earlier. Conversely, enacting Night Owl means the shops and villagers stay up later. If you just want to make more money, enact Bell Bloom to increase selling and buying prices by 20%. Beautiful Town significantly reduces the amount of weeds that crop up while you aren't playing and encourages villagers to plant more flowers. These ordinances do a great job of making the game malleable to each player's needs and are a strong addition to the series.

    This is an excerpt from the full story which was originally featured on gamrReview, read the full version here - Animal Crossing: New Leaf (3DS) - Review
  • scissors
    June 29th, 2013JoystiqNews
    FIFA 14 to feature Messi and Chicharito on North American cover
    The North American cover for FIFA 14 will feature both Lionel Messi and Manchester United's Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, EA Sports announced. Fans in the US will have the option of the dual-athlete cover or the global cover, which only features Messi. Hernandez will also have his own solo cover art for the game in Mexico.

    The FIFA cover was announced as part of a multi-year endorsement deal signed by Hernandez with EA Sports. The publisher noted that Hernandez will specifically appear on Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game. EA Sports also recently announced that New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur won the cover vote for NHL 14.

    The FIFA series has a distinct trend in terms of its cover athletes. Messi seems much more distraught this year compared to the FIFA 13 cover. It's likely that he's fully taken over the "angry shouting guy" duties previously held by Wayne Rooney as recently as FIFA 12. If the trend holds up, we await a ticked-off Chicharito on the box for FIFA 15.

    JoystiqFIFA 14 to feature Messi and Chicharito on North American cover originally appeared on Joystiq on Sat, 29 Jun 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    June 29th, 2013GamespotUncategorized

    As a comic book character, Deadpool embodies everything that an over-the-top game character should - a maniacal, murderous, and very schizophrenic antihero, the extreme counterbalance to the stereotypical "good guy." When Wade Wilson first came onto the comic-scene, he was very "edgy" compared to the early '90s standards of the atypical heroes that graced the glossy pages of Marvel and DC publications, and the same could be said for the gaming industry. Flash forward 20 years, and now both industries thrive on the much more morally grey hero, one who falls in line with the Machiavellian principal of "the ends justify the means." With High Moon Studios bringing the "merc with a mouth" to consoles, is Deadpool 20 years late to his own party? Can the original Marvel miscreant badass make the jump to the virtual world? 


    What's very apparent right from the first line spoken is the influence that long time Deadpool writer Daniel Way had on the game as whole, and not just solely on the writing of the game. High Moon Studios has unprecedentedly recreated, with the help of Daniel Way, the complete essence of Deadpool. His delusional interactions with Cable and seeing him as a big-breasted fangirl, his unhealthy obsession with Wolverine and creating his own Logan plushies, his schizophrenic conversations with the other two voices in his head, his sex-crazed infatuation with any animated female (living is optional), the constant breaking of the fourth wall to explain game mechanics, why his teleport has been nerfed, or to call to argue with High Moon Studios' president Peter Della Penna about why 8-bit graphics were used even though Deadpool donated his own bank account to his game - it all comes together to form something truly great and unique. 

    Even the story has a unique spin. Deadpool's original "big game idea" was rejected by High Moon, but with some minor persuasion, which may or may not have been a mail-order-bomb, Wade's next project was given the green light and slaved over by the "nerds" at High Moon Studios. Given a contract by accidentally one-time-lover Domino, Deadpool adventures from his playroom to take out a corrupt media mogul, but is thwarted by Mr. Sinister and a couple of the Marauders (or D-List villains, as Wade likes to call them). Clearly, Deadpool will have none of this, and continues his murderous rampage in order to get revenge on Mr. Sinister for complicating his payday. With Daniel Way providing the writing, Deadpool shines with its story. It's a hilarious and widely entertaining undertaking where you'll find yourself just sitting back and listening to the great interactions that king-of-the-voice-actors Nolan North has with himself in the guise of Deadpool and his two bat-shit crazy personas. Other times you'll go the extra mile and slap an unconscious Wolverine a couple dozen times just to listen to what Wilson has to say, schmooze with the ladies in a hallucinated sexy-time hot tub party, run around eating chimichangas, or just listening to his vulgar, depraved mind. Every piece of Deadpool holds the same style that the character has become beloved for, and it's an impressive effort put forth by High Moon and Daniel Way.

    This is an excerpt from the full story which was originally featured on gamrReview, read the full version here - Deadpool (X360) - Review
  • scissors
    June 29th, 2013GamespotUncategorized

    As a comic book character, Deadpool embodies everything that an over-the-top game character should - a maniacal, murderous, and very schizophrenic antihero, the extreme counterbalance to the stereotypical "good guy." When Wade Wilson first came onto the comic-scene, he was very "edgy" compared to the early '90s standards of the atypical heroes that graced the glossy pages of Marvel and DC publications, and the same could be said for the gaming industry. Flash forward 20 years, and now both industries thrive on the much more morally grey hero, one who falls in line with the Machiavellian principal of "the ends justify the means." With High Moon Studios bringing the "merc with a mouth" to consoles, is Deadpool 20 years late to his own party? Can the original Marvel miscreant badass make the jump to the virtual world? 


    What's very apparent right from the first line spoken is the influence that long time Deadpool writer Daniel Way had on the game as whole, and not just solely on the writing of the game. High Moon Studios has unprecedentedly recreated, with the help of Daniel Way, the complete essence of Deadpool. His delusional interactions with Cable and seeing him as a big-breasted fangirl, his unhealthy obsession with Wolverine and creating his own Logan plushies, his schizophrenic conversations with the other two voices in his head, his sex-crazed infatuation with any animated female (living is optional), the constant breaking of the fourth wall to explain game mechanics, why his teleport has been nerfed, or to call to argue with High Moon Studios' president Peter Della Penna about why 8-bit graphics were used even though Deadpool donated his own bank account to his game - it all comes together to form something truly great and unique. 

    Even the story has a unique spin. Deadpool's original "big game idea" was rejected by High Moon, but with some minor persuasion, which may or may not have been a mail-order-bomb, Wade's next project was given the green light and slaved over by the "nerds" at High Moon Studios. Given a contract by accidentally one-time-lover Domino, Deadpool adventures from his playroom to take out a corrupt media mogul, but is thwarted by Mr. Sinister and a couple of the Marauders (or D-List villains, as Wade likes to call them). Clearly, Deadpool will have none of this, and continues his murderous rampage in order to get revenge on Mr. Sinister for complicating his payday. With Daniel Way providing the writing, Deadpool shines with its story. It's a hilarious and widely entertaining undertaking where you'll find yourself just sitting back and listening to the great interactions that king-of-the-voice-actors Nolan North has with himself in the guise of Deadpool and his two bat-shit crazy personas. Other times you'll go the extra mile and slap an unconscious Wolverine a couple dozen times just to listen to what Wilson has to say, schmooze with the ladies in a hallucinated sexy-time hot tub party, run around eating chimichangas, or just listening to his vulgar, depraved mind. Every piece of Deadpool holds the same style that the character has become beloved for, and it's an impressive effort put forth by High Moon and Daniel Way.

    This is an excerpt from the full story which was originally featured on gamrReview, read the full version here - Deadpool (X360) - Review
  • scissors
    June 29th, 2013JoystiqNews
    Information on upcoming BioShock Infinite DLC is expected to arrive in late July, Irrational Games tells Joystiq.

    It's unconfirmed if the as-yet-unannounced DLC is part of the BioShock Infinite's season pass, which grants guaranteed access to three DLC packs for the game. The game's "Columbia's Finest" DLC was recently made available as a separate download on Steam.

    JoystiqIrrational to unveil BioShock Infinite DLC in late July originally appeared on Joystiq on Sat, 29 Jun 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    June 29th, 2013JoystiqNews

    EA Sports' NHL series will see a goalie on the box for the first time since NHL 97, as Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils won the annual cover vote to become the cover athlete for NHL 14. Brodeur beat out runner-up Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets goalie. Brobrovsky won this year's Vezina Trophy, which is given to the goaltender that is considered the best in the league.

    The cover vote tallied over 22 million votes, though EA has not revealed how the votes break down. NHL 14 is coming to Xbox 360 and PS3 in North America on September 10, and will launch worldwide on September 13.

    Continue reading Devils' Martin Brodeur named NHL 14 cover athlete

    JoystiqDevils' Martin Brodeur named NHL 14 cover athlete originally appeared on Joystiq on Sat, 29 Jun 2013 10:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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  • scissors
    June 28th, 2013GamespotUncategorized

    From the word go, it’s clear that like many platformers, Ethan Meteor Hunter won’t be taking itself too seriously. You’ll fill the shoes of the titular Ethan, a mouse hit by a meteor, who finds himself imbued with cosmic telekinetic powers. Ethan must now go on a journey through 3 different worlds, spanning 50 levels, in order to piece together the meteorite that hit him, and the mystery surrounding it. 

    Ethan 2

    I’ve played through a couple of these levels, and what I’ve found is that Ethan Meteor Hunter is, well... fine. Now, I’d imagine that’s not a word many developers would proudly display on their cover art, but it is what it is, and it certainly isn’t a bad thing. 

    Unfortunately there’s a misconception amongst gamers today that if a game isn’t mind-blowingly incredible, or raising bars left, right, and centre, then it isn’t worth picking up. It’s a habit we’ve got into because, quite frankly, we are spoilt as gamers, and whilst there is a lot of quality out on the market, there is still a lot of fun to be had with games that are good, well-rounded experiences.

    This is an excerpt from the full story which was originally featured on gamrReview, read the full version here - Ethan Meteor Hunter: Platforming, Puzzles and Telekinesis - Preview
  • scissors
    June 28th, 2013JoystiqNews

    For those who weren't at E3, here is the walk-and-talk through of Saints Row 4's behind-closed-doors presentation. It starts off with a Sorkinian West Wing opening and gets playfully ludicrous from there.

    Your guide on this journey is Jim Boone, senior producer of the game, who shows off the game's new alien threat, the Blackhole Launcher and some of the new player superpowers. We always knew there were nukes under the White House, but who knew about the double-cannon flak guns?

    Preordering the game - along with previously mentioned bonuses - will also net costumes The Iron Rogue and Queen Amazonia. Just gonna skirt that similarity lawsuit.

    JoystiqSaints Row 4 E3 demo walks and talks West Wing style originally appeared on Joystiq on Fri, 28 Jun 2013 15:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    June 28th, 2013JoystiqNews
    State of Decay issues second patch to fix screen tearing
    Undead Labs, developer of State of Decay, has issued another title update hoping to strip away some of the unsightly crud clinging to the Xbox Live Arcade game.

    The update is substantial, enabling a V-sync option designed to eliminate screen tearing. It also addresses pathing issues for zombies and soldiers in "The Armory" mission, improves analog stick sensitivity when aiming and squashes a bug that prevented story progression involving one of the survivors, Quentin. This second update follows a first attempt by Undead Labs to address some of the technical issues plaguing State of Decay.

    After its debut earlier this month, State of Decay has been quite the success, reaching 250,000 copies sold in its first 48 hours and eclipsing half a million in sales as of last week. An MMO sequel, codenamed Class4, has always been planned at Undead Labs, though it's currently stuck in limbo at Microsoft.

    JoystiqState of Decay fights back with second patch originally appeared on Joystiq on Fri, 28 Jun 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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