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Review: Nom Nom Galaxy

May 22 // Chris Carter
Nom Nom Galaxy (PC, PS4 [reviewed])Developer: Q-GamesPublisher: Q-GamesReleased: May 12, 2015MSRP: $9.99 Nom Nom takes on the concept of capitalism head-on, with one major resource sought after across the galaxy: soup. You fill the shoes of an Astroworker on behalf of Soupco, a company hellbent on dominating the universe with market share. So hellbent, in fact, that you'll sabotage enemy competitors, and defend your base from deadly onslaughts. So a lot like real life. Jolly capitalism! It's a silly plot, but it sufficiently motivates you for the events that unfold over the course of the story. As for the gameplay, think Terraria. It's a platformer at its core, but it also features a hefty amount of exploration on uncharted planets, seeking out resources, building new structures, and battling the hostile inhabitants within. To survive you'll have to covet pockets of air and utilize weapons like a buzzsaw to chop up foes. The Astroworker also has a number of tricks up its sleeve, like the power to build ladders, and so on. It's pretty open-ended, even in story missions that have succinct objectives. Your ultimate goal in most cases is to build soup machines, gather ingredients, craft the soup, and then ship it out on soup rockets to the rest of the galaxy. A part of the HUD in the top-right corner is dedicated to tracking to your competitors, who are also working "behind the scenes" to ship out more soup than you. It all meshes with the story, and although it gives the proceedings a sense of urgency, it never evokes feelings of dread. [embed]292558:58618:0[/embed] Building out a base is often times an enjoyable experience, as you can design elevators to get around easier, and turrets to defend your base at specific chokepoints. Think of the latter strategy like defending the WWE Championship Belt -- sure, you're at the top, but now you need to keep it that way. It's definitely fresh and rewarding the first few times you do it, but by the 10th or so invasion, it starts to lose its luster. Exploration is often filled with new experiences, including boss fights, but base defense is usually a static affair. This is especially true in sandbox mode, where mission parameters cannot be met, bringing about an end to the cycle of repetition. In addition to the campaign there's also multiplayer on any given map, though I haven't had much success with getting it to work a week after launch on the PS4. Whether this is a result of poor netcode or a lack of community is up in the air, but suffice to say that you likely won't be enjoying this feature that often. There's also a selection of weekly challenges, from straight-up races to combat challenges. Races can feature gadgets like pogo sticks, and are actually pretty fun to play when you're not wrestling with the jumping physics. It's one thing to have weak jumps in an easy-going open world format -- another in a pinpoint-precision challenge. Since they feature online leaderboards and two-player co-op (four online if you can muster them up), they serve as a nice distraction. Nom Nom Galaxy isn't particularly exciting, but it's a whimsical little journey that does a decent job at world building. Despite the fact that people are probably clamoring for "more PixelJunk Monsters" as we speak, I'm glad that Q-Games continues to try new things. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Nom Nom Galaxy photo
The great soup war
You really have to give it to Q-Games. With the notable exception of PixelJunk Shooter 2, it has tried something different with pretty much all of its releases, from slot car races, to tower defense, to music visualizers. Not every game is a smash hit, but they all have something unique to offer, including the newly minted Nom Nom Galaxy. 

PixelJunk photo

More PixelJunk! Nom Nom Galaxy hits PS4 next week

As for PS Vita, 'never say never'
May 07
// Jordan Devore
Q-Games' Nom Nom Galaxy (previously PixelJunk Inc.) is coming to PlayStation 4 on May 12. The game is a meld of platforming, exploration, building, and base defense. Broadly speaking, players are on a mission to expand their ...
PS Plus photo
PS Plus

This week's PS Plus freebie is PixelJunk Monsters: Ultimate HD

Clear some space on your PS Vita
Apr 21
// Jordan Devore
Tomorrow is PixelJunk Monsters: Ultimate HD day for PlayStation Plus members. They're getting the game for free on PS Vita once the PlayStation Store update rolls out. This is a tower defense game -- among the best, if you as...
Dtoid Humble Bundle photo
Pay $6 or more and you'll also receive Critter Crunch, Hotline Miami, and PixelJunk Monsters Ultimate!
We've partnered up with the fine folks at Humble Bundle, along with a bunch of our indie pals, to present to you a very special Destructoid-curated Humble Bundle! Pay what you want and you'll get Little Inferno, Super Hexago...

Nom Nom Galaxy photo
Nom Nom Galaxy

Nom Nom Galaxy hits Early Access today at a discount

For a select few
Mar 13
// Brett Makedonski
Q-Games' Nom Nom Galaxy, formerly PixelJunk Inc., will be available on Steam's Early Access program today at 9:00 a.m. PST. The time's significant because it will be offered to the first 1,000 buyers at a discounted rate of $...
PixelJunk photo

PixelJunk Inc. becomes Nom Nom Galaxy

More fitting of the aesthetic, I'd say
Mar 06
// Jordan Devore
Ahead of BitSummit this weekend, Q-Games has announced a name change for its upcoming PixelJunk Inc., a 2D sandbox game about building a soup empire coming to Steam Early Access on March 13, 2014. (You've seen the .gifs, yes...
PixelJunk photo

PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate updates both games for PS4, PS Vita

Yeah, okay!
Mar 05
// Jordan Devore
Double Eleven will continue working on Q-Games' PixelJunk franchise with PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate, announced today for PS Vita and PlayStation 4. If everything goes according to plan, the revamped game -- which is really tw...

Steam: PixelJunk Eden doubles to-date income in 8 hours

The power of Steam sales
Jan 02
// Dale North
Do you want to see the power of a Steam sale? What happened this week for Q-Games is a perfect example.  Their PixelJunk Eden (amazing game, by the way) is part of a flash sale on Steam, priced at 75 percent off the norm...
Q-Games photo

PixelJunk Shooter heading to PC, Mac, Linux next month

Fun with physics
Oct 04
// Jordan Devore
Double Eleven is bringing another Q-Games title to PC this year following its work on PixelJunk Monsters for Steam. Next up is the previously PlayStation Network-exclusive PixelJunk Shooter. It's coming to digital distributio...

PixelJunk Inc. looks mmm mmm good

Sep 05 // Brett Makedonski
[embed]261208:50292:0[/embed] That's where the sandbox elements come into play. PixelJunk Inc. has completely destructible and terraformable worlds that can be used in whatever way you want. As you scout out materials for your brothy product, you can also build your base however you like. Just make sure that it lends itself to the most efficient method of getting your delicious soup on a rocket ship. The most impressive aspect of PixelJunk Inc. may be the fact that the worlds are completely living, regardless of what you're doing. A cavern may slowly become filled with poisonous gas if left unattended. What was previously a pair of enemies may be an entire nest of the buggers upon return. Leave your base unattended while you search high and low for new ingredients? There's a fair chance that aliens will be ripping it to shreds when you get back. Oh, by the way, aliens will totally destroy your operation if you don't tend to the tower defense characteristics of Inc. As if it weren't enough to be burdened by the logistics of soup manufacturing, you also need to build machines and manually defend your base. I spent most of my time with the demo trying to wrap my head around how anyone is going to possibly be able to keep track of everything they need to do. The build that Q-Games brought to PAX eventually dropped us into a fully automated base that's probably representative of several hours worth of play. I simply couldn't fathom the attention to detail that it'll take to build something of that scale. I'm sure it'll be easier to grasp as you work your way up to that degree of magnitude, but going into it blind was incredibly overwhelming, yet impressive. At least you won't need to go at it alone if you don't want. PixelJunk Inc. allows for four player co-operative play. It looks fun enough to take on solo; it seems downright glorious to tackle as a team. The thought of delegating tasks to make the whole affair even more efficient sounds like it'll only add to the experience. PixelJunk Inc. isn't the type of game that you can pick up for a 30-minute demo and immediately get into the swing of. Lead designer Rowan Parker openly lamented as much. However, it is the type of game that you can immediately recognize will resonate with a whole lot of people due to its sheer addictiveness. All this because of soup.
PixelJunk Inc. preview photo
Become a space soup mogul
I feel comfortable going out on a limb to venture that PixelJunk Inc. will be the best game about intergalactic soup empires for a long while. I'd have felt fine with that declaration before my hands-on time with the gam...

PixelJunk photo

PixelJunk Inc. may be the biggest and best in the series

It's right up there with PixelJunk Monsters
Sep 03
// Jordan Devore
Before playing PixelJunk Inc., I thought it looked like a much more visually appealing take on the Terraria formula. That's not wholly inaccurate -- I mean, you can see it too, right? -- but this lovely cooperative PC game a...
PixelJunk photo

PixelJunk Monsters headed to Steam with online co-op

Yet another re-release, but ... co-op!
Aug 02
// Jordan Devore
Even though I'd rather get my hands on PixelJunk Inc. than double dip on yet another Q-Games title, PixelJunk Monsters Ultimate is tempting. It's coming to Steam on August 26, 2013 with local and online cooperative play, game...
PS Plus photo
PS Plus

PS Plus: Dokuro for free, Max Payne 3 for eight bucks

PixelJunk Monsters also discounted
Jul 30
// Jordan Devore
This week's addition to the PlayStation Plus Instant Game Collection is Dokuro, a PlayStation Vita puzzler-platformer from Game Arts. It's got skeletons and an art style reminiscent of children's books -- and it's regularly ...
PixelJunk photo

PS Vita gets PixelJunk Monsters: Ultimate HD on July 30

Release info locked down for revised Monsters
Jul 17
// Jordan Devore
Double Eleven is giving PixelJunk Monsters a fresh coat of paint for PlayStation Vita later this month. PixelJunk Monsters: Ultimate HD will launch on July 30 and July 31 for North American and European PlayStation Network us...
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PixelJunk Monsters: Ultimate HD announced for Vita

Well, that's my day made
Jun 25
// Jordan Devore
This is the exact news I was hoping I'd get to cover following word of Q Games' collaboration with Double Eleven. The latter studio is indeed porting a beloved PixelJunk title to PlayStation Vita. PixelJunk Monsters: Ult...
Q Games photo
Q Games

Q Games partnering with Limbo Vita dev Double Eleven

What a pleasant pairing
Jun 24
// Jordan Devore
Double Eleven, the team responsible for bringing games like Frozen Synapse, Limbo, and LittleBigPlanet to PlayStation Vita, is teaming up with PixelJunk studio Q Games, reports GamesIndustry International. The ...
PixelJunk Inc. photo
Not necessarily in that order
In case you aren't aware, PixelJunk Inc. looks to be the raddest game ever. Imagine Castlevania, Metal Slug, Pikmin, and a tower defense all rolled into one. Also, soup everywhere. Naturally, when I got the opportunity to ta...

PixelJunk photo

The PixelJunk series is half price right now

You should own at least one of these
Mar 27
// Jordan Devore
Did hearing about PixelJunk Inc. put you in the mood for some of Q-Games' other titles? From now until April 9 in North America (and April 10 in Europe), the entire line-up of PixelJunk games is half price. On Steam, it's the...
PixelJunk 1-6 photo
PixelJunk 1-6

You've got my full attention, PixelJunk Inc.

A better look at the game formerly known as PixelJunk 1-6
Mar 25
// Jordan Devore
For a while now, Q-Games has been releasing bits and pieces of information on PixelJunk 1-6 with regular development updates on its blog. Today, we've got a trailer and screenshots for this project, which is now being called...
Pixeljunk FAQ photo
Pixeljunk FAQ

The meaning of Q-Games' company name is revealed

PixelJunk creator lays it all out in an official FAQ
Feb 07
// Chris Carter
One could assume the biggest question Q-Games (creator of the PixelJunk series) gets is "where the hell is PixelJunk Monsters 2?!" I guess they got sick of having to repeat themselves, as Q-Games tackles that and more in a br...

Q-Games explains why PixelJunk 1-6 is coming to PC

Developer isn't leaving PSN behind
Nov 07
// Jordan Devore
It's still unclear what exactly PixelJunk 1-6 is, but it sure looks pretty. The game was announced for PC, which didn't sit well with some fans of Q-Games' prior work. "Given our history with Sony I think people are being rat...

Finally! New PixelJunk game in development for PC

Codenamed PixelJunk 1-6
Nov 02
// Dale North
Q-Games is teasing us with the very first details on the next PixelJunk game, codenamed PixelJunk 1-6. They say it's different from anything else in their catalog as it's being developed specifically for the PC. It is slated ...

Indie Royale bundle has PixelJunk Eden, Escape Goat, more

Jun 14
// Jordan Devore
I respect what the folks behind the Indie Royale have been doing, but for me personally, many of the bundles haven't stood out as must-buys. This new one, however -- hell yes! It's got my full support. For less than $5, you c...

Are you staying up until PixelJunk 4am tonight?

May 15
// Kyle MacGregor
Q-Games has certainly crafted some interesting experiences with their critically-acclaimed PixelJunk series. From shooters to racers, tower-defense to puzzle platformers, Q's PlayStation downloadables seem to know no bounds....

All the PixelJunk games on sale on PSN starting tomorrow

May 07
// Brett Zeidler
Have you yet to complete your PixelJunk collection, but have been waiting for a sale? Well, tomorrow is a good day as any because Q-Games is celebrating PixelJunK's 5th Anniversary by dropping the prices of Racers, Monsters,...

Review: PixelJunk Eden (PC)

Feb 09 // Jordan Devore
PixelJunk Eden (PlayStation Network, Steam [reviewed])Developer: Q-GamesPublisher: Q-GamesReleased: February 2, 2012 MSRP: $9.99Rig: Intel i7-2600k @3.40 GHz, with 8GB of RAM, GeForce GTX 580 GPU (SLI) The core of PixelJunk Eden remains the same for Steam, so rather than completely reiterate what was covered in our original review years ago, I'll summarize the basics. Thankfully, this is a rather minimalistic game, so there's not much to set up. As a little creature called a "Grimp," you feel compelled to use your acrobatic prowess to launch into floating enemies. This recklessness results in an explosion of much-need pollen that gets absorbed by nearby plants. Once fully pollinated, these plants will sprout the next time you bump into them. In terms of objectives, that's practically it. By helping plants grow, you're able to reach new heights and collect pick-ups called Spectra. There are five in each garden to find and collecting them is necessary for unlocking additional gardens. Levels are spacious and non-linear, so it can be more challenging to reach the Spectra than one might initially think. The biggest change for returning players is the control scheme: it's been redesigned for mouse and keyboard. I tend to prefer the comfort of a gamepad outside of, say, real-time strategy, but Q-Games has done such an excellent job with the controls here that I have a hard time imagining playing Eden any other way. Which is good, because there currently is no gamepad support in this version. Given the amount of precision you need to reach certain areas, the new controls don't immediately feel quite right and take some practice -- but the end result is undeniably good. The pacing is such that you're given plenty of time to become acquainted with the controls as you're eased into Eden with fairly straightforward level design. Zen gaming is the category I'd toss Eden in, but that doesn't mean it's boring. The soundtrack by Baiyon had me eager to fetch my headphones every single time and enter a state of bliss. Ending a session of Eden -- breaking the spell -- feels like stepping back into reality. As you become more skilled, you can't help but try zipping through gardens as quickly and stylishly as possible. This is reinforced by a much-needed addition: quick warps. Narrowly missing a jump and plummeting to the bottom of the stage is frustrating, or rather, it would be. At the press of a button, some energy is shaved off and you're teleported back to your last position. Another welcome change to Eden is that now, you don't have to find all five of a garden's Spectra in one go. Instead, you collect one, get sent back to the level-select screen, and can then jump back in. After getting all five, you're able to freely play through the garden, recollecting every Spectra in a single session if you so choose. This may seem like a minor thing, but it greatly helps to alleviate much of the frustration from levels with wind, gravity flipping, and other annoyances. Finally, the five gardens from the PlayStation Network version's "Encore" expansion are included at no additional cost. If you're anything like me, you won't want Eden to end, so this gesture is greatly appreciated. These levels are as solid as the rest of the game. It's a shame to see a few features -- particularly multiplayer -- get cut from this version of PixelJunk Eden, but the warp ability, new controls, and restructured pacing more than make up for the loss. This Steam edition is a must-download for new and returning players alike.

At this point, I think there's at least one game in the ongoing PixelJunk series for everyone. For the longest time, PixelJunk Monsters was the obvious go-to choice for me, but I've since flirted with the idea of giving Pixel...


PixelJunk debuts on Steam with Eden

Jan 27
// Jordan Devore
I was starting to think the PixelJunk series would never end up on Steam. Not so! Q-Games has announced a new version of PixelJunk Eden, due out on February 2. This release includes the five levels from the "Encore" DLC and "...

Preview: PixelJunk 4am

Dec 15 // Samit Sarkar
PixelJunk 4am (PlayStation Move) Developer: Q-Games Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment Release: Spring 2012 PixelJunk 4am is Q-Games’ second collaboration with the Japanese artist Baiyon, who also did the art and music for PixelJunk Eden. The relaxing electronic music in that game, which rose and fell with your actions, suited that experience perfectly. 4am ups the ante somewhat, although the atmosphere is still more “lounge” than “rave.” [Update: Per Q-Games, Baiyon himself calls it “deep.”] While Baiyon’s tracks determine the mood, the PlayStation Move gives you an incredible degree of control over the specific sounds coming into your ears. The foundation consists of four different lines: kick, bass, rhythm, and synth. They’re controlled by the X, square, circle, and triangle buttons, respectively, and the ball on the Move wand changes color to match the track. These “long-play elements” are complemented by four one-off gestures: flicking the Move controller up, down, left, or right plays a particular sound. The result is nothing short of astounding. Holding the Move wand in your hand and waving it around to transform the groove, you feel like a digital shaman taming the spirits of song with a plastic whip. The PlayStation Eye camera and the Move controller combine to give you a three-dimensional performance space. To lay down the base tracks, you hold down the trigger and reach out until you feel the controller vibrate and bring it back into the center before releasing the trigger, unleashing the musical line. You also have effects modulation at your disposal: hold the Move button and move the wand to play with an element, perhaps distorting the sound with a phaser. 4am furthers the DJ experience by letting you mute a particular track -- cut out the bass for a bit -- by double-tapping the face button for that track, or mute everything but a particular track -- just the drums right here -- by holding its face button. The software offers three different visualizers, each with its own ambience and set of sounds. You can switch between them, and because doing so doesn’t stop the music, you can cull your favorite elements from each setting and blend them as you desire. Music is meant to be enjoyed by an audience, and 4am lets you broadcast your DJing live over the PlayStation Network through the app. Q-Games will be putting out a free “viewer,” so you don’t need to buy the software in order to be able to enjoy performances. Just turn on your PS3 and tune in to your favorite DJ to get the party started.

The music/rhythm genre is full of experiences that a reductive person might call “performance simulators.” In essence, games like Rock Band lay out a track of notes to hit -- whether with your voice or a controlle...

Review: PixelJunk SideScroller

Oct 29 // Allistair Pinsof
[embed]214774:41509[/embed] PixelJunk SideScroller (PlayStation Network)Developer: Q-GamesPublisher: Sony Computer EntertainmentReleased: October 25, 2011 MSRP: $9.99 If you beat PixelJunk Shooter 2 and played the unlockable sidescrolling shmup stage, like a tru3 hxcorez dude, then you know SideScroller is a labor of love for Q-Games. SideScroller is more than just an expansion on that idea. It’s the developer’s best game yet. From beginning to end, SideScroller is an immaculately polished, trippy adventure back into the heart of what made a good shooter in the ‘90s. Don’t worry, there are also unlockable difficulty modes and online leaderboards for fans of modern shmups.Like Salamander and Harmful Park, SideScroller gives the player access to a versatile arsenal at all times. The machine gun is self-explanatory. It’s a bit weak, which makes it only useful for the beginning of levels. Then there is the laser and wall gun. The laser is essential for dealing damage fast and the wall guns will help you deal with turrets and other enemies clinging to the walls, above and below. You can level each weapon up to five times (a la Harmful Park), extending their range and power. Finally, there is the charge attack which, as far as I can tell, is completely useless. You hold down the L1 trigger to power-up a charge that sends you spiralling in the direction of your choice. It feels like a half-baked idea that Q-Games never fully developed. We’ll see if high score YouTube videos prove me wrong.The weapon system constantly puts you to the test, as enemies and environments force you to adjust your strategy. Despite the cliché weapon-types, the way Q-Games implemented the system is completely unique and exciting. The challenge grows immensely after the opening stage. (Confusingly, the game has three “stages” that contain four sectors each.) If you don’t know what weapons are good for which environments, you’ll soon find yourself accepting the game’s invitation to play on Casual Mode. Hey, you don’t want that. DO YOU? You want to go to school and have all the kids call you pissy-sissy pants and have sex with your mom? Because that’s what happens when you play on Casual, strangers come to your house and have sex all over your mom. ALL OVER! ON TOP, ON THE SIDE, FROM THE CURTAINS ... I SHOULD KNOW! I'VE BEEN THERE, MAN! I'VE SEEN IT HAPPEN! ALL A SUDDEN YOUR COOL FRIEND BOOZY WITH THE ATV AND KICK-ASS MULLET ISN'T SO COOL ANYMORE. THEN IT'S YOUR SHY FRIEND GABRIEL, THEN IT'S THE ENTIRE FOOTBALL TEAM AND, BEFORE YOU KNOW IT, THE SCHOOL FACULTY! IT'S LIKE A -- As I was saying, Q-Games have done an immaculate job of making every level feel unique through its layouts, mini-bosses, hectic finales, and environmental obstacles. Your ship will weather the elements, although to a lesser extent than the Shooter games. There are no puzzles to be solved here, but lava, gas clouds, and other colorful substances (that I can’t quite identify) make for an ingenious way to restrict the player’s movement. At one point, I cleared a wave of enemies and suddenly found myself searching for safety as a tidal wave of red, boiling death came flowing my way. This game is pretty intense, so feel no shame in punching your pillow, biting your tongue, and letting out a breath of relief as you approach a checkpoint. We all do it. Especially on Hard mode. Along with Casual Mode (...) and Normal Mode, you’ll unlock Hard and Burtal after that. Each difficulty level feels like it was examined in detail, as enemies and environmental hazards are tailored toward each play-level. Even better, Hard mode has an awesome graphics filter that makes the game look like what we thought future Game Boys would look like in 1992. Along with having a less exciting greyscale filter, Brutal mode gives enemies suicide bullets and bullet patterns that flirt with Danmaku.Unlike most shmups, SideScroller doesn’t connect levels together. Each level is played for its own score, so a 1cc isn’t really possible with this game. On the other hand, the combo system and hidden bonuses should keep the dedicated genre-fans returning. Everything in the game, including the bullet patterns, is pretty simple but the game never feels dumbed-down. The weapon system and fluid hazards even out the challenge. However, the checkpoint system may kill it. You basically have infinite continues and you respawn at your last checkpoint. It may be a bit too Call of Duty for shmup-purists, but you’ll be thankful for this in later stages. The visuals in SideScroller are the next best thing to dropping acid at a Daft Punk concert. The scanlines and warped corners of the screen, that replicate a CRT TV, are a loving ode to the '90s, but the actual graphics are jaw-dropping. I thought past Q-Games titles looked like boring Illustrator images made by an ad company, but this game is something entirely different. The way the neon-glow and color palate mix is incredible. I had so much fun getting to the next level just to see how it looked and I was never disappointed. I only wish the game were in 3D, since the game’s scrolling parallax layers naturally pop-out at you due to the colors. The entirety of the final sector, which can only be unlocked via Normal Mode, is one of the most memorable moments of gaming this year. Much like Rez, SideScroller saves the best for last with this epic, mind-bending stage. I’ve never seen graphical glitches so creatively used for tension and visual effect like this before. It’s a brilliant moment when the game’s aesthetic and gameplay come together to make something incredible. I just wish the entire game could have been on this level. Touhou and Cave fans may find issue with SideScroller’s slower-pace and constant checkpoints -- not to mention the levels have individual scores -- but this is a rare shooter that will have appeal to a wide audience. Stoners, hi-score chasers, and shmup veterans will all find something to love in Q-Games' latest. Along with Deathsmiles and Gradius V, SideScroller is one of the few side-scrolling gems of the past decade. So long and thanks for all the bullets, Q-Games.

No, PixelJunk SideScroller is not old-school. Nor is it retro -- OK, maybe a little. But, more than that, it’s a completely contemporary game full of visuals and ideas that feel fresh and original within videogame&rsq...


October 25 is PixelJunk SideScroller day in the US

Oct 17
// Jordan Devore
No, it's not PixelJunk Monsters 2, but that doesn't mean PixelJunk SideScroller isn't worth obsessing over. On the Q-Games Twitter feed, we're told this latest PJ title is set for a North American PlayStation Network release ...

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