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Hearthstone Naxxramas Plague Quarter opens its doors tonight

Curse of Naxxramas, Hearthstone's single-player content styled - and named - after the floating necropolis of Naxxramas from World of Warcraft, will be receiving its first update tonight. Following Blizzard's plans to release each of the locale's five wings individually over the course of five weeks, players in the Americas will be able to download The Plague Quarter starting tonight at 11:59 PM Pacific.

Those of you planning to stay up late might want to plan for a long night - The Plague Quarter features three boss fights, two class challenges and six new cards to unlock. Good luck!
[Image: Blizzard]

Activision reveals Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare special editions

Activision today unveiled a lineup of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare collector's editions, putting an array of bonus-bundled physical and digital packages up for pre-order at its official website.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's Atlas Limited Edition ($79.99) includes a retail copy of the game packed in a SteelBook case, the Welcome to Atlas: Advanced Soldier Manual, the bonus multiplayer map Atlas Gorge, and the Atlas Digital Content Pack, which features themed character exoskeletons and weapons. The Atlus Pro Edition ($119.99, shown above) includes all Limited Edition content along with an Advanced Warfare Season Pass that will digitally deliver four multiplayer map packs to players throughout next year.

Also up for pre-order is the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Atlas Digital Pro Edition ($99.99), which includes all Pro Edition content, minus the retail edition's physical goodies. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare will hit the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PS4, and PC platforms on November 4.

[Image: Activision]

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PSN Tuesday: The Last of Us: Remastered, Rogue Legacy

The Last of Us: Remastered is out now on PS4, meaning your tears are finally in 1080p (that's how this works, right?). Rogue Legacy is also out on PSN today as a three-way Cross-Buy, making it a one-time purchase of $17 to get it across PS3, PS4 and Vita. Pure Pool is on PS4 as well.

Pre-orders for Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition are live now across PS4 and PS3, as are PS4 pre-orders for Madden NFL 15. Vita and PS3 get WRC 4 – FIA World Rally Championship, while Vita picks up Ratchet & Clank Collection, Lego Ninjago: Nindroids and a free game, Treasures of Montezuma: Arena.

Persona 4: Arena and a ton of its DLC is on sale, along with Rock of Ages, Zeno Clash 2 and some orbs for Destiny of Spirits.
[Image: Sony]

NIS America to pay agreed pledge for GaymerX2 [Update]

Just yesterday, NIS America stepped away from its $3,000 pledge to cover costs for the GaymerX2 convention held in San Francisco on July 11 through July 13. According to the LGBTQ-focused event's founder Matt Conn, the situation between both parties is currently being resolved, and will result in NIS America agreeing to pay the full amount it promised to the event holders.

"After talking with their team, [NIS America] have apologized for the misunderstanding and offered to make right and pay the full amount that they agreed upon," Conn told Joystiq via email. "We have apologized for escalating it to a public level so quickly and we are pleased with how quickly they offered to resolve the situation and make right on their promise, and we harbor no ill will towards them."

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LittleBigPlanet 3 launching November 18, pre-orders net costumes and plushies

Sony announced that its DIY platformer sequel LittleBigPlanet 3 has a bundle of free goodies in store for pre-order buyers ahead of its November launch, including exclusive Sackboy plush dolls and a variety of retailer-specific in-game content.

Plunk down some pre-release cash for a physical copy of LittleBigPlanet 3 at participating retailers and you'll get a handsome Sackboy plush, free of charge. Target customers get the same plush with a Sackboy-sized Target hat as a bonus. All PS4 pre-order customers, regardless of their preferred retailer, will additionally receive a batch of in-game costumes inspired by EA's upcoming Dragon Age Inquisition.

The PlayStation 4 version of LittleBigPlanet 3 also boasts unique pre-order costumes available only at select retailers. Players who purchase a copy from GameStop will receive the Mythical Creatures Costume Pack, Best Buy customers get the Hidden Creatures Costume Pack, and Amazon buyers receive the franchise-spanning PlayStation Favorites Costume Pack (shown above).

LittleBigPlanet 3 will make its PlayStation 4 debut on November 18. A recently announced PlayStation 3 version will ship the same day.

[Image: Sony]

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's story includes some very hostile takeovers


Between the bang-bangs and the pew-pew-pews, developer Sledgehammer Games is using Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare to tell a story. The game's latest trailer proves as much.

It seems terrorists have attacked nuclear power plants all over the globe in a show of unlikely coordination that causes the world's governments to topple. In the wake of this collapse, a private military corporation rises to restore order to humanity. Unfortunately, that corporation is lead by Kevin Spacey in full megalomaniac mode, and after cleaning up the streets he uses his company's military might to assume de facto control over the planet.

Are you a bad enough dude to rescue the planet from one of America's finest living actors? If you do, will any scenery remain unchewed? Find out on November 4 when Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare makes its official debut.
[Image: Activision]

Atelier dev Gust merges with Koei Tecmo on Oct. 1

Come October 1, Atelier Rorona: Alchemist of Arland developer Gust Co. will officially merge with parent company Koei Tecmo.

Though far from a household name in the West, Gust has developed a loyal niche following by offering classically-styled roleplaying games that blatantly pander to time-honored anime tropes. What Gust's games lack in Shakespearian dialogue, they more than make up for in moon-eyed magical girls and solid roleplaying game fundamentals.

According to Koei Tecmo (via Gematsu translation), Gust will continue to operate as normal, developing new entries in the Atelier and Ar Tonelico series' as well as new properties, only it will do so under a new name: Gust Nagano Development Group. Koei Tecmo believes this new arrangement will allow Gust to operate more efficiently than it has been under the studio's previous publishing agreement.
[Image: Koei Tecmo]

Meet Elise, the 'fiery Templar' of Assassin's Creed Unity


Following raucous online backlash against the notable lack of female characters in Assassin's Creed: Unity, publisher Ubisoft has introduced Elise, a female Templar who apparently plays a key role in the game's plot.

"This new trailer for Assassin's Creed: Unity shows Arno racing against time through a dense and chaotic central Paris in order to prevent the beheading of Elise, a character central to Assassin's Creed: Unity's story," reads Ubisoft's official announcement. "As an independent young noblewoman, Elise is determined to secure her place in the Templar dynasty amidst the chaos of the French Revolution. Her quest leads her to cross paths with Arno and establish an unlikely bond with him."

In addition to her appearance in Assassin's Creed: Unity, Elise is also slated to star in a paperback novel of the same name that chronicles her experiences with Unity protagonist Arno during the French Revolution. Assassin's Creed: Unity will be written by novelist and Renaissance historian Oliver Bowden and will be published by Penguin Random House.

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The Sun At Night reaches Steam on August 1

Following a lengthy stay in the proving grounds of Steam Greenlight, Minicore Studios' alternate history platformer The Sun At Night will debut on Steam proper come August 1.

To celebrate this release, Minicore plans to offer The Sun At Night at a 15 percent discount for its first week of availability. Normally priced at $15, those who purchase the game immediately after it appears will only spend $12.75. Before you budget the necessary funds, however, keep in mind our middling-at-best review, which claims The Sun At Night features both "bland gameplay" and an "awkward, convoluted story."

Those waiting for news on The Sky Below, the second part of Minicore's Laika trilogy, will be saddened to hear that development on that episode is now on hiatus. "[T]he team has decided to see how Steam sales of The Sun at Night go before committing further resources to that project," reads the studio's official statement.
[Image: Minicore Studios]

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League of Legends properly introduces Gnar

What would you use to describe other, similar champions?
After teasing players about the nature of the newest champion arriving in League of Legends, Riot Games has provided a full introduction for the prehistoric yordle known as Gnar. He looks nice enough, actually, even sort of cute. At least until he gets angry and transforms into Mega Gnar, a hulking brute who's happy to crush everything in his path and then start down a new path so he can crush more things. Anger issues, in short.

So how does Gnar play? It's all about managing the rage. In mini form, he's a quick attacker with some range who also has access to a handy escape ability. When he enrages, though, he's a tank-happy fighter with plenty of durability and burst damage. Both forms have their own weaknesses and strengths, so the art of playing him comes down to carefully maximizing his fits of rage before getting back out of danger. After all, who'd believe the little cute guy could get that angry?

Toki Tori devs ar-rive with new platforming shooter


Two Tribes announced its latest game today, a "metal wrecking, robot hacking shooter" called Rive. The game is a 2D shooter-meets-platformer with "old school gaming values," in which players blast robotic enemies and alter their enemies' behavior by gathering and installing hacks. Rive's announcement trailer shows the players' tank-like hero of sorts leaping across levels and firing in 360 degrees, emphasizing the game's blend of arcade-style shooting and platforming action.

Rive is the first game from the Toki Tori developer following its reboot in January. At that time, Two Tribes cut its team down to just two (now three for the development of Rive), switching its focus to publishing as opposed to development. The developer did create a hi-res Wii U port of Awesomenauts developer Ronimo Games' first game, Swords and Soldiers, which launched in May. Rive will launch in early 2015 for PC and unspecified consoles.
[Image: Two Tribes]

Xbox Deals With Gold delivers discounted Battlefield 4 DLC

Battlefield series die-hards can pick up an arsenal of discounted DLC this week through Microsoft's Deals with Gold promotion, which currently offers a 33 percent discount on Battlefield 4's Premium membership, China Rising, Second Assault, Naval Strike, and Ultimate Shortcut Bundle add-ons for the Xbox One and Xbox 360.

The Xbox 360 Games on Demand versions of Madden NFL 25, FIFA 14, and NHL 14 are half-off this week for Gold members, and 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil is available for 70 percent off its regular price. Xbox Live Silver members, meanwhile, can pick up a copy of SpikySnail's liquid puzzler The Splatters for 50 percent off through next week.

[Image: EA DICE]

Payday: The Heist gets its pricetag stolen on October 18

Remember, everyone: Crime doesn't pay, but that won't matter on October 18, when Payday: The Heist will be available to download for free. Developer Overkill is growing its community in preparation for the Payday franchise's third anniversary, and has put together a list of rewards for each milestone they hit.

Overkill is aiming for 1.5 million community members on its official Steam page by October 18 - as of writing, the total sits at just a bit more than 1.1 million. Due to such impressive numbers, this gaggle of gangsters will receive a multitude of exclusive in-game rewards for Payday 2, including weapons, masks, characters and new heists. If you're just after the free game though, it looks like The Heist will be made available to all.

Robbers who know how to share the wealth. Who knew?
[Image: Overkill]

Cooking Mama 5 spices up 3DS on September 16

Is your 3DS library coming up short in terms of food preparation sims? Don't worry; Mama will fix this. Cooking Mama 5: Bon Appétit! will hit retailers in North America next month with a gaggle of new recipes in tow.

Cooking Mama 5 features 60 new recipes, allowing players to virtually prepare international dishes like sushi, parfaits, Hawaiian pancakes, and the most exotic food of all, chicken nuggets. The game also offers a variety of side-missions and activities like pet-feeding and food delivery, and its multiplayer mode supports single cart download play for up to four competing chefs.

Cooking Mama 5: Bon Appétit! premieres on September 29.

[Image: Majesco]

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Joystiq Streams: Secret Ponchos grudge match giveaway [UPDATE: Relive the stream!]


This is what Joystiq knows about ponchos: they keep you warm, look cool while you're riding a horse in a storm, are appropriate attire for selling burritos outside a Phish concert, and they make excellent dog beds when you're done with them. The things we don't know about ponchos? That's a secret.

Switchblade Monkeys has the arcane knowledge that Joystiq covets. Secret Ponchos is Switchblade's new PvP shooter, hitting PC and PlayStation 4 this year and currently available through Steam Early Access. Always willing to fight for our right to party and know things about ponchos, Joystiq will take on Switchblade Monkeys in their own game on Joystiq Streams.

We'll be playing the brand new 4-versus-4-player mode in Secret Ponchos on Joystiq.com/Twitch at 4PM EST. While Joystiq pits its negligible skills against Switchblade, we'll also be giving out free copies of the game in the chat while we play.

Joystiq Streams broadcasts regularly on Tuesday and Thursday at 4PM EST on Joystiq.com/Twitch, but if you never want to miss a surprise stream make sure to follow us on Twitch!
[Images: Switchblade Monkeys]


The Joystiq Podcast

The Joystiq Podcast

Super Joystiq Podcast 106: The Crew, Gods Will Be Watching, The Walking Dead, game delays

Latest episode: Friday, July 25th, 2014

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