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Kentucky Route Zero photo
It's (not) too late to love you now

Hey, quick question. Do you pronounce the word 'route' as "R-out" or "root"? I'm in the latter camp, myself.

Anyway, independent developers Cardboard Computer released another 140-character progress update on the much-anticipated fourth act of their superb bourbon-tinged 'Phantom Tollbooth by way of Johnny Cash' adventure game Kentucky Route Zero. They also posted a teaser image from the episode, which we've embedded above. The fishing trip, an iconic part of Americana, has been stripped of its humanity, leaving its core bare for all to see. A perfect encapsulation of the melancholic nostalgia that oozes from the Zero's every pore.


If you have yet to experience Kentucky Route Zero, you should treat yourself. It's the perfect game to play during these long, dark months, especially as you return to your hometown for Thanksgiving, spending precious free time in a place that you reject for its unflinching tradition but also resent for moving on without you, all the while torn asunder by the space between these two irreconcilable truths. It's an, uh, extremely moody game, if you haven't surmised. But don't let me lead you astray -- Kentucky Route Zero isn't depressing; it's just bittersweet.

Each version of the game comes with the soundtrack, which I'd argue is easily worth the price on its own. There's not much I wouldn't give to hear 'Long Journey Home' on a good vinyl player, and that's to say nothing of the mesmerizing 'Too Late to Love You'.

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Batman: Arkham Knight's Catwoman and Robin DLCs aren't worth playing

Nov 25 // Chris Carter
[embed]322485:61248:0[/embed] At some point there was probably a kernel of a good idea with the Catwoman’s Revenge DLC, but ultimately, it feels rushed like the others. There's almost nothing interesting about the premise: Catwoman, one day after the events of Knight, wants to steal money from The Riddler, who is in jail. We get it, Catwoman likes to steal things, and there is no added depth for either character, nor is there any satisfying conclusion, mostly because the core villain isn't actually present outside of an interlude under the guise of a "prison phone call." It took me about 10 minutes, all told, across two challenge maps (one Predator, one combat), with one very short 30-second puzzle involved. Flip of a Coin is slightly better, but not by much. In this episode, Robin takes on Two-Face at some point following the retirement of Batman, with the help of Oracle by way of remote assistance. There's a slightly interesting dynamic afoot during the DLC, where Oracle assures Tim Drake (whom she is dating) that he can not only measure up to Batman's legacy, but end up coming out of it better than Bruce did. The [albeit mostly played out] duality of Two-Face is also shown quite well with a location that's half destroyed, and half pristine. But again, like every other episode before it, the sheer brevity of the adventure halts any meaningful discussion or character advancement. Players will basically auto-pilot their way through two small Predator maps and two combat rooms for about 20 minutes, all of which operate in the exact same manner as Knight. Unlike Catwoman, Tim feels exactly like Batman gameplay-wise, minus the bullet shield gadget from Arkham City, which is only used briefly during a very staged encounter. To add insult to injury, the final boss fight with Two-Face isn't a fight at all, but a quick one-button QTE. There also isn't even an ending tying together Tim and Bruce's relationship or narrative -- it boots out immediately after the QTE. If this is the last Arkham game from Rocksteady, the poor Season Pass definitely assists in tainting its legacy. There's almost nothing here of worth nearly five months later, and certainly nothing even close to justifying the $40 cost.
Batman photo
Holy Season Pass, Batman!

As I've said before, Batman: Arkham Knight's Season Pass is probably the one of the worst pass prospects in gaming right now. Besides an alright Batgirl DLC, there's a heap of mediocre challenge missions, sub-30 minute "DLCs," and skins. For $40, people probably expected more -- perhaps a quality Cold, Cold Heart add-on -- or something, anything to justify the price.

Alas, the Catwoman and Robin add-ons that dropped this week are just like the Harley and Red Hood DLCs -- disappointing.

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Dissidia photo
Only Ramza is left


She might not be well known at all in most Final Fantasy circles, but XIV fans will recognize Y’shtola the Conjurer. She was featured in the original build of XIV, before moving into the reworked A Realm Reborn, and the recent expansion, Heavensward.

Dissidia Final Fantasy arcade will launch in Japan this week, and the only announced character that hasn't been shown off so far is Ramza from Final Fantasy Tactics.

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Tokyo School Life photo
Up to 40% off...the price

You know, those weird ass god damn Clannad eyes got me thinking; I'm not sure about what, but I'll get back to you if I figure it out.

Anyways, a couple more visual novels are on Steam and these ones at a more reasonable price to boot, too, currently on sale for 34% and 40% off. Tokyo School Life is down to $9.89 and The Men of Yoshiwara: Kikuya has been discounted to $17.99. I don't know how steamy either are, but I pressed through an age-gate like a sieve on the way to those pages to deliver you this news, so you'll have to report back to me.

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PlayStation 4 photo
Pictured: the future of PS VR

According to a press release from Sony, the PlayStation 4 has sold through (read: units actually sold to people, not units shipped to stores) 30.2 million units as of November 22. That's a considerable amount of consoles; for comparison, that's approximately a tenth of the United States' population. For my money, we'll likely see a similar announcement made in the new year once the gift wrap has been torn off those shiny new PS4s and the Christmas Creep is nothing but a memory.

This release is also a very shrewd move on Sony's part. Games reporters have to report on this stuff as part of our job (it's a legitimate piece of news, and it's something readers have historically been interested in), so the news cycle is dominated with stories about the PlayStation 4, right as shoppers are making their Black Friday plans.

Even so, this news has value. 30 million consoles in homes is an important number to consider in the larger debate of "are consoles still viable?" I'd argue this upcoming holiday season is the deciding point. Both systems have strong lineups, competitive prices, and install bases cultivating word of mouth. In essence, they're both out of excuses. God, how I love sales numbers.

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Game Awards photo
What do you want to see?

Host Geoff Keighley confirmed yesterday the rebranded VGA/VGX award show, Game Awards 2015, will feature ten world premieres and ten "on-stage" awards.


The Game Awards 2015 takes place in Los Angeles, California, on December 3, 2015. Tune in from 9pm ET/6pm PT.

Ten world premieres at The Game Awards 2015, confirms Keighley [VG24/7]

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Divekick photo
The Fencer from Nidhogg


After over two years of ongoing support, fighting game parody and community in-joke Divekick has received its final update.

Dubbed Divekick Addition Edition Plus Final, the free update introduces The Fencer from the popular indie game Nidhogg. You can see the trailer in all of its sword-lobbing glory up top.

If you own Divekick, the upgrade to the Addition Edition Plus Final version should have already been applied to your Xbox One, PC, PS3, PS4 and PS Vita copies. If you don’t already have it, the game is getting a permanent price slash of 50%, dropping it down to £3.99/$4.99.

It’s incredibly impressive that what is essentially a joke game is for a niche community has done well enough to warrant free updates for two years. It’s kind of sad that this is the end of the line for the game.

After over two years of ongoing support, fighting game parody and community in-joke Divekick has received its final update.

Dubbed Divekick Addition Edition Plus Final, the free update introduces The Fencer from the popular indie game Nidhogg. You can see the trailer in all of its sword-lobbing glory up top.

If own Divekick, the upgrade to the Addition Edition Plus Final version should have already been applied to your Xbox One, PC, PS3, PS4 and PS Vita copies. If you don’t already have it, the game is getting a permanent price slash of 50%, dropping it down to £3.99/$4.99.

It’s incredibly impressive that is essentially a joke game is for a niche community has done well enough to warrant free updates for two years. It’s kind of sad that this is the end of the line for the game.

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Do you want original Xbox game backward compatibility? Xbox says 'nothing's impossible'

Nov 25 // Vikki Blake
"Right now the focus is making more Xbox 360 games work. [It would be] certainly very challenging. Getting Xbox 360 games to work was incredibly challenging and really a multi-year engineering investment. Going all the way back to the original certainly would challenge the team." "Nothing's impossible," he added. "I'm sure they would love that one as an opportunity to go look at." As a reminder, backward compatibility launched across Xbox One on November 12, 2015.
Xbox One photo
Could be 'challenging'

Responding to questions about backwards compatibility for original Xbox games, Xbox engineering lead Mike Ybarra says that while it may be "challenging," "nothing's impossible."

"We're not looking at original Xbox games on Xbox One yet," Ybarra said, speaking on The Inner Circle podcast (via GameSpot).

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Killing Floor 2 photo
A case study in how to handle criticism

Why does this keep happening? Why do developers who have normally pretty positive communities go and add microtransactions to their games, making everybody angry? First it was Overkill with Payday 2, and now it’s Tripwire Interactive with its early access game Killing Floor 2.

In case you missed the news yesterday, Tripwire has introduced microtransactions to Killing Floor 2. Initially it's intending them to be only purely cosmetic. This might sound okay, but when it gives it a way to introduce game-changing content like weapons that’s a bit of a problem. Not only that, but the game is in early access – adding microtransactions before your game is even done is a bit of a risky move to say the least.

In response to the community backlash to this update, John Gibson, president of Tripwire, spoke to Kotaku about what the company's reasons behind microtransactions are. It’s a long interview, and surprisingly honest. His comments have also made me totally reconsider my stance on the issue.

When talking about the backlash to the update, Gibson makes a not-so-subtle reference to Overkill and Payday 2:

I think the gaming community is still stinging from the recent situation with another game and how they handled microtransactions that left a bad taste in a lot of people's mouths toward in-game economies and micro-transactions. So for some time I think every developer that introduces an in-game economy will face some backlash.

Gibson also points out that Killing Floor also had tons of cosmetic DLC that funded the development of free updates for years post-launch:

Back when we started releasing DLC characters for Killing Floor 1 there was a backlash, and people were saying the same type of things we're hearing about the Trading Floor - "Tripwire are being greedy," "It's a big cash grab," etc. But over time as players saw they kept getting years of free content and updates, they realized that the sales from DLC were keeping the updates coming, and they became ok with it.

A criticism I and many others had when microtransactions were announced was that it took away resources raised by early access purchases that could’ve been put to better use on playable content and getting the game finished and released. Gibson also had an answer for that:

First let me say that about 90-95% of the items we're shipping with the Trading Floor [the in-game name of the microtransaction system] were made by the community. Second, the developers working on the Trading Floor backend are not the same developers that make maps, weapons, monsters, gameplay, etc. So to put it another way, the Trading Floor in no way delayed or impacted when new gameplay content would ship.

I've been very critical of Overkill for the way it's handled the Payday 2 controversy. I think it has repeatedly lied, and I think it's being willfully ignorant of the problems people are raising. When the news that Killing Floor 2 was going down the same route broke, I was convinced I would also be criticising Tripwire for much of the same things.

But you know what? I’m actually pretty happy with Gibson’s statements.

Adding microtransactions to any paid game bothers me, especially one in early access. But Tripwire has now explained where those funds will be going – free, playable content and a lengthy post-launch support, which it has proven it can handle with the almost six years of support Killing Floor enjoyed. The studio also explained how the update came around and reassured us that it didn’t take time away from the development of playable content.

There is still plenty of room for Tripwire to screw this up and introduce pay-to-win aspects, so it's  not entirely off the hook. But as far as I’m concerned personally (and you may feel differently), as long as they keep the system purely cosmetic, Tripwire has convinced me that maybe this update will be beneficial in the long term.

Good job, Tripwire.

Updated: Tripwire on Killing Floor 2 Microtransactions: "This is the Right Thing for the Game" [Kotaku]

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Battlefront photo
Alongside the season pass content

After launching with no single-player content and only 12 multiplayer maps, EA has announced what sort of things to expect from Star Wars Battlefront’s coming DLC. The first bit of new content will be the free Battle of Jakku pack coming early in December.

Some cynics may think releasing a bit of free DLC is the carrot to the ludicrously expensive season pass’s stick. It makes sense: get everybody on board and into the new content first, and then start coughing up for the future DLC or be left behind in the game you’re now invested in.

Except that’s not entirely what EA is doing. Yes there will be paid DLC, and yes the season pass is ridiculously expensive and it deserves to be criticised for it, but there is going to be more free DLC coming in the future as well alongside the season pass content. According to EA’s vice president Patrick Söderlund:

Of course, we are also planning to support Star Wars Battlefront with new content well into the future. We will be adding more of what you love about the game, like new maps and Star Cards, for free in the coming months, in addition to all of the content we have coming with Season Pass. We’ll have more to share soon.

So maybe your initial purchase won’t be the small splattering of maps and hint of disappointment it’s been so far then? At the very least it’ll give those who move on to other games a reason to come back.

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Fallout 4 photo
Or text alert, I'm not your Dad

Fallout's Mysterious Stranger is a fan favorite character in recent years, and for good reason -- he's a badass that lives on the edge.

Now you can download a ringtone to relive that "hnngh"-inducing noise, by way of Android MP3 or iPhone M4R. I really like the three tones provided, as they have a hint of noir to them, to the point where non-fans wouldn't recognize it, but any hardcore Fallout enthusiast would probably give you a thumbs up in public.

Follow the links below to download the tone for your respective device.

MP3, M4R [Major Nelson via Game Informer]

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Heroes of the Storm photo
A 50% discount

Heroes of the Storm's Black Friday sale is upon us today, which provides a 50% discount on everything in the game. But I couldn't find info on the supposed "deeply discounted" 360 day Stimpak (read: XP boost) so I decided to log in for myself and check -- it's $60.

So what is the boost good for? Well, it ups your general rate of leveling for your account, and your leveling process for each character. I wouldn't worry about the former, as you only need a few weeks of casual play to max it out, but for the latter, it can be supremely useful.

Leveling up each character will net you gold at certain milestones, and up to two new color skins (as well as two other mount skins) can be unlocked. Additionally, at level 10 you can purchase a Master Skin for gold. If you play constantly, it's probably going to be worth picking up.

For everyone else, I don't think $60 is quite "deep" enough of a discount to warrant pulling the trigger.

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Animal Inspector is like a cute Papers, Please

Nov 24 // Nic Rowen
Animal Inspector casts you as bureaucratic cog in a machine that eats adorable pets. The government has decided there are entirely too many fluffy little animals and it's time to start getting rid of them by way of committee. You join up to make sure you're in a position to save your own loyal canine when the time comes and things get weird from there. You have quotas to hit and unlike shifting through the work visas and forged passports of Papers, Please, the criteria for accepting or rejecting pets in Animal Inspector are often arbitrary or nonsensical. How exactly are you suppose to gauge the utility of a house cat anyway? Animal Inspector is available for pay what you want on I'd recommend you give it a go. I only played for about 10 minutes but could already see things going in a weird direction. I have a feeling this is one of those games with more layers than you might think.
Animal Inspector photo
Well, if euthanasia is cute

Did you play the dystopian Soviet nightmare Papers, Please and think “this is good, but I bet it would be better if I was accepting or rejecting cute pets instead of these dreary Eastern Bloc sad sacks.” If so, you're a lunatic. But, the good news is some other lunatic went ahead and made that game.

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This Heroes of the Storm map is a lot to take in

Nov 24 // Jordan Devore
[embed]322379:61240:0[/embed] I'm nervous and excited to play some real matches. Now through December 1, Blizzard is restricting the map rotation for quick match, ranked, and versus AI games to Towers of Doom, Battlefield of Eternity, Sky Temple, Tomb of the Spider Queen, Dragon Shire, and Cursed Hollow. Lastly, while we're talking Heroes, that 50 percent off sale in the shop is now live.
Heroes map photo
Towers of Doom

Prior to playing the new Heroes of the Storm map, Towers of Doom, my only real exposure to it was reading the all-too-brief objective summary during the loading screen. Thank goodness I was only training with the AI. This map is bonkers, even when you know what's going on.

For one, each team's core only has 40 HP, and heroes can't do direct damage. Instead, they'll need to capture control points ("altars") that periodically pop up. Also, whenever a team takes out an enemy keep, it regenerates with full ammo and falls under their control. The more keeps your team possesses, the more damage you'll do to the core upon capturing an alter.

If that doesn't make much sense, you ought to watch Blizzard's video. There are a lot of nuances.

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Origin Black Friday arrives early: $15 Inquisition, $12 Hardline

Nov 24 // Dealzon
New Lows Dragon Age: Inquisition (Origin) — $14.99  (list price $40) Battlefield: Hardline (Origin) — $11.99  (list price $30) Battlefield: Hardline Deluxe Edition (Origin) — $13.99  (list price $35) FIFA 15 (Origin) — $14.99  (list price $30) Dragon Age: Inquisition Digital Deluxe (Origin) — $18.74  (list price $50) The Sims 4: Get To Work (Origin) — $19.99  (list price $40) The Sims 4 (Origin) — $24.99  (list price $60) FIFA 16 (Origin) — $35.99  (list price $60) Other Notable Deals Battlefield 4 + Premium (Origin) — $19.99  (list price $50) SimCity: Complete Edition (Origin) — $14.99  (list price $30) Mass Effect Trilogy (Origin) — $14.99  (list price $30) The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 (Steam) — $8.74  (list price $35) Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare (Origin) — $7.99  (list price $20) Tomb Raider Survival Edition (Steam) — $6.24  (list price $25) The Walking Dead: Season 1 — $6.24  (list price $25) Hitman: Absolution (Steam) — $4.99  (list price $20) Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (Origin) — $4.99  (list price $20) Mass Effect (Origin) — $3.74  (list price $15) Game deals from Dealzon. Sales help support Destructoid.
Deals photo
Even some Steam key deals too!

Black Friday for PC Gamers has begun with Origin launching the first salvo of discounts. Now through November 30 (Cyber Monday), get up to 75% off hundreds of titles and DLC packs.

For the most part, Origin has discounts on EA games, but surprisingly there are a few Steam titles in the mix like Tomb Raider and Hitman: Absolution.

The best deals in the sale are a few new historic lows on select Origin titles. Dragon Age Inquisition is only $14.99, which is cheapest ever by $5. Also at historic lows are The Sims 4, FIFA 16, and Battlefield Hardline. Click here for a full list or see our top picks below.

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Star Wars photo
Turning Point

I'm far enough into Star Wars Battlefront's progression system that I have most of the unlocks I genuinely want (aside from the best Rebel and Empire characters, which is the final carrot on the stick). I've played every mode and map enough to have favorites. It's getting to the point where I need to stop playing or risk burning out. When's that DLC out, again?

"The Battle of Jakku" releases on December 1 for folks who pre-ordered Battlefront, and one week later for everyone else. We knew this. But DICE has shared more details on what's ahead, including Turning Point, a new 40-player mode (which hopefully won't be so one-sided).

"Rebels need to locate and capture one of three control points in Imperial control. The clock is ticking, but if the Rebel team succeeds with a capture additional time will be added and new control points will be available for capture. Moving through these increasingly challenging checkpoints, the ultimate goal is the Empire's base where the final stand will take place."

The Jakku maps are Graveyard of Giants (playable with the modes Turning Point, Supremacy, Walker Assault, and Fighter Squadron) and Goazan Badalands (Blast, Drop Zone, Droid Run, Cargo, Hero Hunt, and Heroes vs. Villains). I do hope this is only the beginning of DICE's free DLC offerings for Battlefront. I just can't see me ponying up $50 for that blasted season pass.

Get a First Glimpse of the Battle of Jakku in Star Wars Battlefront [Official site]

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First Assault Online photo
Team-based FPS

The wonderfully named Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - First Assault Online -- GITS:SAC-FAO for short -- is coming to Steam some time in December. It will also be available through publisher Nexon's launcher.

GITS:SAC-FAO is a team-based first-person shooter more reminiscent of Team Fortress 2 than than the philosophical underpinnings of the original Ghost in the Shell. It was previously announced for a 2015 western release, then pushed to 2016 under the new and current western title, and now it's seemingly back to 2015 as it is coming "soon," with a December release month on the Steam page.

Thankfully this news didn't again give me the urge to rewatch the 1995 film, as I coincidentally did so two weeks back. Still great! And apparently that live-action movie is still slated for early 2017 and a Game of Thrones actor is playing the villain. Still unnecessary! GITS:SAC-FAO is free-to-play, so I might give it a shot at some point, but the whole Ghost in the Shell bit kind of feels like set dressing.

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Latest PSN sale celebrates co-op gaming

Nov 24 // Jordan Devore
Note: PlayStation Plus subscribers will see better prices. PS4 Battlefield 4 ($15) Battlefield 4 Premium Edition ($24) Battlefield Hardline Deluxe Edition ($24.74) Battlefield Hardline Standard Edition ($21.99) Battlefield Hardline Ultimate Edition ($49.49) Borderlands: The Handsome Collection ($27) Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons ($10) CastleStorm Definitive Edition ($6) Defense Grid 2 ($6) Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - Ultimate Evil Edition ($34.79) Evolve ($18) Evolve Digital Deluxe ($22.50) Far Cry 4 ($30) Fluster Cluck ($3) Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris ($8) Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris + Season Pass Pack ($11.60) Overruled! ($6) Payday 2: Crimewave Edition ($25) Penarium ($6.99) Rayman Legends ($20) Rocket League ($13.99) TowerFall Ascension ($6) Trine 2: Complete Story ($4) Ultra Street Fighter IV ($17.49) PS3 Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel ($4) Battlefield 4 ($10) Battlefield 4 Premium Edition ($24) Battlefield Hardline Deluxe Edition ($24.74) Battlefield Hardline Standard Edition ($21.99) Battlefield Hardline Ultimate Edition ($49.49) Borderlands 2 ($6) Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel ($21.99) Borderlands: Ultimate Edition ($9) Bust-A-Move 4 ($2.40) Castle Crashers ($4.50) CastleStorm Complete Edition ($4.50) Chivalry: Medieval Warfare ($7.94) Contra: Shattered Soldier ($2.50) Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - Ultimate Evil Edition ($23.19) Double Dragon Neon ($2) Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z ($12) Dragon's Crown ($20.99) Far Cry 4 ($30) Final Exam ($5) Jeopardy! ($8) Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days ($4) Kane & Lynch: Dead Men ($3) Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light ($4.50) Max Payne 3 ($6) Max Payne 3 Complete Edition + Read Dead Redemption ($6.60) Max Payne 3 Rockstar Pass ($4.50) Max Payne 3: The Complete Edition ($7.50) Metal Slug X ($2.40) Midnight Club Los Angeles Complete Edition ($6) MX vs. ATV: Alive ($8) MX vs. ATV: Supercross ($12) Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One ($10.49) Rayman Legends ($20) Realms of Ancient War ($3) Red Faction: Guerrilla ($8) Resident Evil 5 Gold Edition ($10.50) Resident Evil 6 ($8) Resident Evil: Revelations ($12) Serious Sam 3: BFE ($5) Tales from Space: About a Blob ($4) Tales from Space: About a Blob Premium Bundle ($5) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows ($5.85) Trine 2 ($3) Ultra Street Fighter IV ($20) Wheel of Fortune ($8) PS Vita Army of Two: The 40th Day ($4)  Bomberman Party Edition ($2.40) Bust-A-Move 4 ($2.40) Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z ($8) Dragon's Crown ($20.99) Metal Slug X ($2.40) Rayman Legends ($13.50) Resident Evil: Revelations 2 ($20.99) Unit 13 ($10.49) These deals will last through November 30, 2015.
PlayStation Network photo
Which cat are you?

Sony is holding a co-op game sale on PlayStation Network until next week, and if you're a new PS4 owner or will be one soon thanks to Black Friday sales, it's absolutely worth a look.

Some of my favorite titles for the console, co-op or otherwise, are featured here, including Rocket League, Rayman Legends, and TowerFall Ascension. On PS3, Kane & Lynch is $3. Hell, Double Dragon Neon is $2 for anyone who missed that ridiculous $0.99 flash sale last year.

Bonus: There's a one-time-use 10 percent off code for PSN that lasts until December 1. It will work with this sale and upcoming sales, "including any Black Friday deals that may or may not be coming your way," according to Sony. The code is FH24P5BDR6.

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The first hour of Just Cause 3 is predictably wild

Nov 24 // Jordan Devore
[embed]322342:61239:0[/embed] Having skipped around to various points in the video just now, yep, this looks like the typical Just Cause experience, only prettier (and with the line "What a load of horse apples!"). Just as I had hoped.
Just Cause photo
See it now, or just wait a week

It's common for media to share the "first __ minutes!" of a new game release, but I don't recall too many big-name developers partaking in that practice. Avalanche has put up the first hour of Just Cause 3.

If you are concerned that this game starts slow, you needn't be. The first interactive sequence is Rico literally standing on top of a plane while firing rockets (beautiful, infinite rockets!) down on the streets below, infrastructure be damned. No innocents were harmed, I'm sure.

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Fallout Band 4 photo
A duet of cuatros


If you fancy yourself a living room faux-musician, this is probably the closest you'll ever get to looking like a Fall Out Boy. Harmonix has collaborated with Bethesda to add free Fallout 4 Vault-111 jumpsuits to the Rock Band 4 wardrobe.

The sporty threads come as part of the giant December 8 Rock Band 4 update, and they're free for everyone; there's no need to buy Fallout 4 or anything like that. This video shows how to access the jumpsuits once they're available. Decked out in these, you're just a little practice away from being the best cover band in your vault.

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Destructoid's gift guide for the PlayStation fan

Nov 24 // Brett Makedonski
PlayStation 20th anniversary DualShock 4 controller One of the more popular new items we've posted about this year is the PlayStation 20th anniversary DualShock 4 controller -- a throwback to the first chapter in PlayStation history. A PlayStation 4 controller modeled after the design of the PlayStation 1 controller has just the right amount of nostalgia without being obnoxious. It's also a nice bit of variety when contrasted with the standard color-scheme. And, most no one will balk at the idea of having a spare controller lying around. PlayStation 20th anniversary wireless headset Like pairing a fine wine with cheese, this headset perfectly complements the 20th anniversary controller. The PlayStation Gold Wireless Stereo Headset is an elegant first-party solution for anyone looking to upgrade from the lackluster headset that comes free with new PS4s. It offers 7.1 virtual surround sound and an internal noise-cancelling microphone for in-game chat. It's priced at $100, but if that seems a bit high, Sony also offers a jet black model for $80. Bloodborne Undoubtedly, one of the best games of the year is Bloodborne. It's only available on PlayStation 4, meaning that it's one of the best exclusives the system has to offer. And, because it released in March, it's half-price right now. Be warned, though: This title isn't for everybody. It comes from the famously hard Souls line of games. It's unrelenting in its difficulty and it takes commitment to beat. However, those who succeed will be immensely proud and glad that they invested the time. Seagate 2TB hard drive The base model PlayStation 4 comes with a 500GB hard drive. That seems like a lot until you realize that many new games clock in around 50GB. Anyone who makes frequent use of their PS4 will eventually need extra storage. This 2TB hard drive by Seagate should take care of that problem for a very long time. Unfortunately, PS4 doesn't support external storage yet. That means that in order to upgrade, you'll have to transfer your game saves to a flash drive, take out the old hard drive, and install this one. It's not as complicated as it sounds, and this guide should be able to walk you through it. One year subscription to PlayStation Plus If the idea of installing hard drives intimidates you, this gift is considerably more simple. A one-year subscription to PlayStation's premium service isn't flashy, but it's immensely useful. It's the only way you can play multiplayer online with friends and it also unlocks a bunch of handy discounts. But, the best feature is that Sony offers a handful of free games each month PS Plus members. With up to six free games every month (two for each platform), someone who owns a PS4, PS3, and PS Vita could conceivably get 72 freebies per year. That's some solid bang for your buck. Star Wars Battlefront With Star Wars hype through the roof right now, the new Star Wars Battlefront game is selling like crazy. That's a good sign for a multiplayer-only title, as it ensures that there will be plenty of people playing. There's less than a month left until the next Star Wars movie releases, and this is a great way to pass the time. No matter when you give this gift, you'll know that the Star Wars and PlayStation fan in your life will have their excitement at a fever pitch. PlayStation TV PlayStation TV is for those who don't want to pay for the handheld Vita. It's basically the guts of a Vita without a screen. The way it works is that you connect it directly to a TV or monitor, and it's suddenly possible to play most Vita games on a big screen. Another nice feature is that it utilizes PS4's Remote Play function. Essentially, you can play PS4 games over PS TV without actually having your monitor connected to the PS4. It's said to work best when both devices are on a home network, but sometimes it will work over different networks (but results aren't guaranteed). Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain This one isn't just for PlayStation fans; it's for gaming fans. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is one of the best games of the year. It's packed with a ton of content to ensure longevity and the insane attention to detail shows the care that went into crafting this masterpiece. Hideo Kojima's last project at Konami deserves to be played by as many people as possible. Fallout 4 Here's another title that isn't a PlayStation-exclusive, yet warrants mentioning on this list. Fallout 4 is absolutely one of the hottest titles of the year, and it's the newest game in one of the most beloved video game franchises. There are a lot of people wandering Fallout 4's wasteland right now, and any role-playing game lover wouldn't want to be left out. Gift card to the PlayStation Store When in doubt, give a gift card. Seriously, they're the best. If you've been using this guide to shop for someone because they love PlayStation, I guarantee they'll be able to make good use out of this. It's as good as cash, except it comes with the sole caveat that they spend it on video games. That's how they'll know you really care.
Dtoid Gift Guide photo
'Tis the season

It's almost December, and you know what that means: Frenzied shopping for your loved ones (and maybe a few things for yourself). Is there someone on your list who you know is a big PlayStation fan, but you're at a loss for what to get them? Don't worry; we got your back. Here are some of the hottest gifts that PlayStation owners will be sure to love.

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Hyrule Warriors photo
A (Tri)force to be reckoned with


Ganondorf wasn't given a trident in Hyrule Warriors for Wii U. That seems like a missed opportunity of sorts. It was his weapon of choice in some of the best Zelda games ever made.

That misstep is being rectified with the 3DS' Hyrule Warriors Legends. In this new trailer, Ganondorf clears huge swathes of enemies with single swipes. That's all just a warm up for when he throws the trident which causes everyone to go flying.

There's still a bit of a wait for Hyrule Warriors Legends. It releases on March 25. Just four more months until Ganondorf gets to fight the way he was meant to.

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Plans to localize Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 in the West may be DOA

Nov 24 // CJ Andriessen
Sure, we could all be mad at the publisher here for making it more difficult and more expensive for us to buy a game it had no problem publishing in the West three times before, or the fact that this sudden realization that treating women like nothing more than sexual objects had no impact on them selling DLC for Dead or Alive 5: Last Round that is about as revealing as anything you'd find in this game. Sure, we could all get mad about that, but instead of getting mad at one publisher for a terribly written Facebook post, why not reward another that isn't afraid to show a little skin? Surely there is at least one fan service-packed title published by XSEED, Altus, or any other small company that you don't own yet. We have reached out to Koei Tecmo for official word on this story and will update if and when it responds. There are No Plans to Bring DOA Xtreme 3 West Due to Backlash Fears [Operation Rainfall]
DOA Xtreme 3 photo
Sad tromboner

Are you a western gamer interested in Dead or Alive Xtreme 3? Well then you best get your ass to an import website because it doesn't look like the game will be making it our way.

Even after the publisher said fan demand could prompt a localization of the game (that will already have English subtitles), the official Dead or Alive Facebook account poo-pooed the idea that it has plans to publish it outside of Japan and Asia.

I could understand there are a lot of reasons why that would be so. First, it can generally be said the games in this spin-off series are pretty goddamn terrible. Second, has any DoA Xtreme game sold that well? There are many reasons why the developer wouldn't want to spend the cash to publish this in the West, which is why the excuse given on the official Facebook page just warms my heart.

Thank you, Koei Tecmo, for having the balls to say enough is enough when it comes to sexualization of women in the media, but also not having the balls to just not make the game in the first place. It's nice to know you don't want to subject people in the West to the horrors of pretty girls in bikinis playing terrible mini-games, but couldn't give any less of a shit about subjecting people in the East to that kind of, oh let's say, filth.

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Games with Gold photo
Kind of a May retread

Xbox closes out the calendar year not with a bang, but with a whimper. December's free games for Xbox Live Gold subscribers have been revealed a bit early this month. Despite the inclusion of an extra title, the whole lot is nothing to get too excited about.

On Xbox One, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing makes its Xbox debut as a gratis offering from December 1 through December 31. Later in the month, 2014's Thief (which was free on Xbox 360 back in May) joins in from December 16 through January 15.

Over on the Xbox 360 side of things, CastleStorm is free from December 1 until December 15. If the name sounds familiar, the Definitive Edition of the game was part of May's Xbox One Games with Gold. The ill-received Sacred 3 closes the month from December 16 through December 31. There's a bonus game, though as Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising is also free for the latter half of December.

Maybe this is Xbox's way of telling you that you should spend the holidays with loved ones, not plopped down in front of a TV playing Sacred 3.

Close Out an Awesome Year with December's Games with Gold [Xbox Wire]

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Austrania photo
From Ikaruga co-developers


Who wants to read a Destructoid review from 2011? Strania - The Stella Machina has come to Steam today apropos of nothing (the product page notes it's developer G.rev's "long-awaited debut on Steam," by whom I do not know).

G.rev is made up of former Taito (Space Invaders) employees that worked on shooters like G-Darius and RayStorm. The company got by first with contract work, assisting Treasure on the development of Gradius V and Ikaruga. Square Enix bought Taito in 2005. G.rev's last western release was 2013's Kokuga on 3DS.

Strania on Steam comes with the "Side Vower" DLC that let's you, "play as a pilot in the Vower camp that seeks to reclaim the land they hold sacred."

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Billy Mitchell photo
Regular Show, whoaaaaaaaa

Haha, this is such an amazing story.

As a Regular Show fan, I couldn't forget their depiction of Billy Mitchell in the form of Garrett Bobby Ferguson -- a floating head that cheats at video games and holds the universe record for many titles. Apparently the actual Billy Mitchell sued the show despite the fact that it would clearly be protected under parody laws -- as of this week, the case was tossed.

According to the judge, the depiction is a "non-human creature, a giant floating head from outer space," while the real Mitchell is "a human being." Also, the judge noted that the Regular Show character "explodes," while the plaintiff "does not."

Funnily enough, the character does sprout arms and legs, but that's besides the point -- the fact that an actual judge had to rule on this is hilarious.

Former 'Donkey Kong' record holder's cartoon lawsuit tossed [AP]

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Explore and conquer the galaxy in Stellaris

Nov 24 // Steven Hansen
Stellaris (PC)Developer: Paradox Development Studio Publisher: Paradox Interactive Release: TBA So, conquest in space, again, with Stellaris. The Beyond Earth comparison isn't just based on the sci-fi theme, as director Henrik Fåhraeus explained to me last week, Stellaris, "is a grand strategy game masquerading as a 4X game." In that sense it's a departure from past Paradox successes and the upcoming, WWII-set Hearts of Iron IV. He explained in a blog post earlier this year, "The early game is thus characterized by exploration and discovering the wonders of the galaxy," until reaching the mid-game wherein, "there is not much left to colonize and your easy expansion grinds to a halt. At this point, the map stabilizes into the Stellaris equivalent of the world map in Europa Universalis." You begin as one planet directed by a set of cultural guidelines (shown off to us last week was an Individualist Xenophobic empire, which made for a good first encounter with another large empire during which the only dialogue option was, "Alien scum!") that has just discovered faster than light travel. You'll choose between slower , free-moving warp travel; hyperspace across straight lines; and wormhole travels, which requires wormhole stations to be built. [embed]322210:61231:0[/embed] As opposed to pre-canned societies, there are over 100 alien portraits that can be aligned with a variety of traits, so "you will never meet the same aliens again;" or, at least, those bug-eyed purple asshole from your third game might be an inquisitive, pacifist sect next time you encounter that alien art. There are a few other parameters to set, like how many large empires will populate the galaxy you're exploring, but there are also quick start and preset options that reflect Paradox's attempt to widen its appeal, "without compromising our level of depth and complexity." There is an in-game adviser, for example, full voiced to help guide burgeoning emperors (or democratically-elected fish-faced idiots, whatever). In fact, Stellaris is Paradox's first project with a dedicated audio director. Coupled with all the space-faring in a full-figured galaxy and it could prove a little more inviting than playing on a giant map if the grand scope of spaaace isn't too alienating itself. Other simplifications include ditching tech trees for a system, "more like a collectible card game where you draw three cards and pick one." Research into Physics, Society, and Engineering is dictated by your scientists' traits and immediate options are weighted to be most convenient to you at any given time, though sometimes rare research opportunities pop up ("space amoeba weapons" were mentioned). Game progression goes something like this. Start on your home planet, represented by squares arranged 4x4 wherein you can place population unites (and strive for adjacency bonuses, like XCOM's base-builder). Send your science ship around to survey the galaxy, including addressing strange anomalies. In the demoed instance, we were drawn to a distress signal much like our own. There was a 10% failure rate, which just means missing out on the anomaly, though there is potential for catastrophic failure. In this case, the crew of the discovered ship was dead by brain parasite and a trait of our surveying scientist is the only thing that saved our crew from succumbing. Instances like these are neatly thrown into a Situation Log and you can research them from there. Then you'll want to send out ships for colonization and build construction ships to take advantage of resources (habitable planets are rare and meant to be cherished). There's a detailed ship builder, but you can auto-build for the best, too. "I don't want the flow in this game to be too micromanagey," Fåhraeus said. Other systems will start looping back around later. The population of a colonized planet or even your native planet can splinter off into factions of warring ideology, leaving you to choose if you want to say, quash the insurrection with force or give rein to a splintered, population-supported political spin off group. Eventually you will make it to the aforementioned mid-game, where it's "more like Europa Universalis" and you're butting up against large, rival empires. If one scouts you, it has the option to research you before you research it, and make first contact. There are other, smaller civilizations you'll discover, too, some pre-industrial, some post-technology.  To counter past Paradox games' anti-climactic endings when "you reach a point where you know you won," and are just trudging along to victory, late game crises are introduced, revolving around things like dangerous technological advancements or sentient robot worker uprisings -- things that threaten the whole galaxy. And there's maneuvering to do there, too, like letting the killbots off your biggest threat while allying elsewhere, bolstering yourself for the impending man-vs-bot slaughter. Also, you can "uplift" alien wildlife and, say, create a planet of space-faring, extremely loyal dolphins to go space crusade in your name, amen. Stellaris is "coming soon."
Stellaris preview photo
In space no one can hear you scheme

Earlier this year, Paradox offered an alternative for the many disappointed by EA's botched SimCity two years earlier by publishing Colossal Order's excellent city-building-simulator Cities: Skylines.

Now Paradox's internal studio is effectively getting the run back on Civilization: Beyond Earth and addressing complaints of unapproachability levied at its own successful strategy games, like Crusader Kings and Europa Universalis. Mind you, the latter is more important. But while Destructoid's Darren Nakamura gave Beyond Earth a "stellar" 9.5 (misquoted on the Steam page as just a 9), user response on Steam and Metacritic is pretty torn. Clearly people have some mixed feelings there.

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Minecraft screenshots photo
Look at last

The third episode for Minecraft: Story Mode is out today, and it's actually not half bad. I think I took more screenshots this time around than in the first two episodes as a result.

Going through these after the fact, it's obvious my favorite character is Reuben. I think I probably snapped a shot of the blocky pig every time he showed up on screen. Perhaps it says something about the writing that I prefer the character whose only means of communication is through the tone of his squeals and his facial expressions.

Minor spoilers are present, though I have taken the time to cull out a few screenshots with the biggest revelations. Still, go through at your own risk if you're worried about the ruining the story for yourself.

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Dissidia photo
Dissidia Arcade


Have you had enough Lightning yet? No one can, according to Square Enix, and she'll be representing Final Fantasy XIII in the arcade version of Dissidia, set to debut this week in Japan. As a note, she was already in Dissidia 012, the prequel/remake of the original (which was probably just an excuse to make a new game with Lightning in it).

All joking aside, I really dislike Lightning's role in XIII, but she gets more tolerable in Lightning Returns. I actually don't even mind her that much, but the constant need for Square Enix to remind us that she's the greatest hero ever is what really annoys me.

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Review: Minecraft: Story Mode: The Last Place You Look

Nov 24 // Darren Nakamura
Minecraft: Story Mode: The Last Place You Look (iOS, Mac, PC [reviewed], PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One)Developer: Telltale GamesPublisher: Telltale GamesReleased: November 24, 2015 (Mac, PC)MSRP: $4.99, $24.99 (Season Pass)Rig: AMD Phenom II X2 555 @ 3.2 GHz, with 4GB of RAM, ATI Radeon HD 5700, Windows 7 64-bit After having found Ellegaard the redstone engineer and Magnus the griefer in the previous episode, the gang needed only to locate Soren the architect for the full original Order of the Stone to be accounted for. The journey to find Soren takes the party to some peculiar locations, most located in The End. However, since Soren is a master builder, the areas highlighted are more diverse than the typical darkness of The End. Between Soren's feats of engineering in the overworld and colorful constructions in The End, it's a nice nod to Minecraft proper players who are known to build some of the craziest things. Soren himself is a much more likable character than some of the other members of the Order of the Stone. Where Ellegaard and Magnus were basically insufferable (especially after they were brought together), Soren is quirky and at times genuinely funny. Voiced by John Hodgman, he's neurotic and paranoid, but still fun to be around. [embed]321869:61211:0[/embed] Overall, the quality of the writing has taken a half-step up from the previous two episodes. None of the jokes elicited any sustained belly laughs, but I did let out a few snorts and chuckles along the way. The Last Place You Look started up a running gag where Axel falls on top of Lukas repeatedly, which happens just enough to be comical without getting tired. Some of the seeds of drama sown in previous episodes have begun to sprout, and while it still maintains the kid-friendly narrative, it's finally beginning to feel like the events happening matter and Jesse has an important role to play. The greatest success of The Last Place You Look is that it allows the player to feel accomplished while still moving the narrative along. This is, after all, only the third episode in a five-episode season, so anybody who knows Telltale knows everything won't be resolved here. But even so, the climax of this episode feels like a high point for the team. Sure, they're not done with their mission, but they did something, at least. There's never really any downtime during this episode either. Though there are a few sections of walking around and talking or searching for clues, they all serve a purpose and generally lead to action sequences. The first action sequence in particular is probably the best so far in the series, melding the fantastic environments, a sense of danger, and the classic Telltale decision-making into a tight opening credit roll. One thing that might turn some off is the quiet lowering of the bar for success during the action sequences. Some of the quick-time events seem more demanding here than usual, but I noticed after I flubbed a button press or two, the resulting animation didn't seem to react accordingly. Perhaps it takes multiple failures in a single section to make a difference. More experimentation is necessary. As much as I may praise The Last Place You Look, it is with respect to the first two episodes of Minecraft: Story Mode. It definitely is an improvement, but an improvement from mediocrity is just okay. The comedy is slightly improved, but still doesn't hold a candle to that of Tales from the Borderlands. The characters are becoming easier to sympathize with, but they aren't are interesting as those from The Wolf Among Us. The drama is beginning to heat up, but it doesn't come close to what we saw in The Walking Dead. Perhaps it's unfair to compare Minecraft: Story Mode to Telltale's more adult-oriented series. This is built for a particular demographic, and it seems like it's really hitting with that audience. The Last Place You Look is more of the same -- and slightly better, if anything -- so those who have enjoyed the series thus will be pleased to just keep on trucking. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Minecraft review photo
Looking up

Minecraft: Story Mode didn't impress me with its first two episodes. Aimed at young players and Minecraft super fans, its writing didn't have a whole lot going for it past its Saturday morning cartoon plot and series in-jokes. It has been totally passable in that regard, but never exceptional.

At the end of Assembly Required, it felt as though the story could navigate to more interesting territory. The Last Place You Look delivers on that hope, but still doesn't compare to Telltale's best works.

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