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Joystiq Discussion: Do you have a gaming tattoo?

Alright guys, I may not get another chance to tell you this, so here goes: I've decided to get a video game-themed tattoo. I already have nine tattoos and plans for a 10th, but this design easily trumps them all. It's a collection of characters and icons that represent games I either respect for advancing the medium or games that I personally love.

There are 27 characters/objects representing 26 franchises (Note: Design not final, will probably add more if I can). Can you spot them all? Check out the image after the break and leave your answers in the comments! Also, if you're having trouble making out details (sorry, I'm no professional photographer!), click the slideshow to get the full resolution image.

And hey, while you're there, why not tell us what you think of video game tattoos, show off your own ink, or submit more design ideas!

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Four in February challenges you to finish the fight

The shortest, yet greatest month of the year is upon us, February. If you followed along with us last year, you know what that means: Four in February is back! The month-long initiative starts tomorrow, challenging you (yes, you) to pick four games to finish in one month.

The rules:
  1. There are no rules.
  2. Seriously, there are no rules. You can pick new games, old games or even titles that you stopped playing that one time during finals week in college because your academic life depended on it (it's cool, we've all been there). The only requirement is that you pick four games.
  3. Start at the beginning of a game, or start where your old save file left off, it doesn't matter! We can't drive over to your house to force you to start a game over; we don't know where you live, after all.
By joining in the fun on Four in February's Facebook page or using the cute little hashtag #4iF on Twitter, you can update us on your progress, like that friend that uploads their daily jogging times to your news feed, except way more fun. Joystiq may be closing its doors, but we refuse to shut our consoles down. Join us in finishing the fight against our backlogs. Head past the break to see Four in February father Mike Suszek's lineup, then share yours in the comments!

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Who The Hell Is: Shulk

The following feature contains substantial spoilers for the game Xenoblade Chronicles.
The rumors are true, and Joystiq is closing. I had only just started my "Who The Hell Is" series, where I gave a brief history lesson on video game characters such as Johnny Gat. After all, if you're going to be playing a game with the character's name in the title, you want to know who he is, right? So for one last time, let me help you get to know someone.

Say hello to Shulk.

For many players, Shulk's first appearance is not Xenoblade Chronicles – the 2010 Wii game he actually stars in – but Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS. There, Shulk can boost his abilities to become harder, better, faster, stronger. He's also the only character possessing a costume equivalent to Samus' sports bra/short-shorts combo thanks to his form-fitting boxer-briefs.

So, why does Shulk get to change his fighting abilities in a way that no one else can? To answer that, we have to go back. Way back. No, further. To the beginning of the world.

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WRUP: All good things...

You were always welcome.

What's everyone playing?

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Octodad: Dadliest Catch reels in $4.9 million in gross revenue

In one year, Octodad: Dadliest Catch has made $4,902,945 in gross revenue, with 459,735 units sold across PC, PS4, Mac and Linux. Not bad for a game starring wobbly, paternal, pre-table takoyaki.

Developer Young Horses shared the stats in an infographic, noting that 61.1 percent of Octodad copies live on PC and 32.6 percent are on PS4. Mac is 5.5 percent while Linux is 0.8 percent of all copies sold. In terms of total revenue, PC composes 55 percent, PS4 is 39.2 percent, Mac is 5.3 percent and Linux is 0.5 percent. Keep in mind that Octodad was never a PS Plus free game.

"It was never a free PS Plus game, but folks tend to think it was because it was announced at the same time that Don't Starve and some other games were as PS Plus at E3," Young Horses President Philip Tibitoski told Joystiq in an email today. "I'm not sure how different our revenue chart might look because I don't know if there's a drop off in sales after you go free, and how many customers you might gain / lose. A lot of that depends on the type of game. I'd wager it can be a good thing for something that's multiplayer or competitive since friends convince friends to hop in and buy."

Octodad: Dadliest Catch took two years and seven months to develop, with nine core team members and 28,208 hours worked. Regarding the game, 37 percent of players completed the story campaign and YouTube Let's Play videos of the game earned more than 200 million views combined – Pewdiepie snagged the most, with 8.4 million views.

See the complete infographic after the break (and check out that fancy award at the bottom).

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I Am Bread to land butter side up on iOS 'later this year'

Surgeon Simulator developer Bossa Studios has revealed that its latest bizarrely engrossing experiment in virtual physics, I Am Bread, will reach iOS devices following its PC debut.

Before you start seeking metaphorical meanings, the game's title is literal: I Am Bread casts players as a piece of bread attempting to toast itself. That's easier said than done, however, as bread isn't very mobile, so players must flip and flop their weirdly pliable square of carbohydrates through complex stages first. If you need a visual aid, you'll find a gameplay trailer past the break.

"I Am Bread for iOS will feature all the new content Bossa is adding to the Steam Early Access version, including this week's major update – an all new garage area in which to find more innovative ways of turning golden brown and Cheese Hunt mode starring Crispbread," Bossa Studios claims.

No release date for the iOS version of I Am Bread has been nailed down, beyond a vague "later this year." Bossa plans to first finish the PC version of I Am Bread, before turning its full attention to the iOS game.
[Image: Bossa Studios]

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Evolve's latest footage hunts alone

Image Evolve centers around a team of hunters stalking giant, ill-tempered prey, but developer Turtle Rock has also included options for those who prefer to play the lone wolf, as demonstrated in this latest look at the upcoming shooter's gameplay. [Image: 2K Games] ... Continue Reading

Joystiq Presents: Sinan buys a Virtual Boy

Mike Suszek (@mikesuszek) talks with Joystiq's Sinan Kubba (@SinanKubba) about the lengths Sinan went to buy a Virtual Boy during a trip to the United States as a teenager. He also discusses his time covering games and spending time with the staff at Joystiq.

Listen to the MP3

Listen to other Joystiq Presents episodes.

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Joystiq Deals: Turtle Beach Headset

Today at Joytiq Deals, we're offering up a refurbished, Call of Duty-branded Turtle Beach Headset for only $39, shaving 64 percent off its regular retail price. The headset is compatible with PCs and modern gaming platforms, and offers an array of high-end features including bass boost, chat optimizations, and an in-line amplifier.


Joystiq Deals is a partnership between AOL and StackSocial. A portion of sales goes to funding this site. Deals are curated by StackSocial independently of the Joystiq editorial team.

2D fighter Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax will reach the West

Following its Japanese debut last November, Sega has announced plans to publish Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax on the PlayStation 3 and Vita handheld in Western territories later this year.

As the title suggests, Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax is a dream match of sorts that pits characters from the Dengeki Bunko line of Japanese light novels against one another in fairly traditional (if visually spectacular) 2D combat. Because Sega's publishing the game, Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax also features some notable characters from the company's extensive history in games, including Selvaria Bles from Valkyria Chronicles and Virtua Fighter icon Akira.

No specific launch date has yet been nailed down for Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax, but Sega plans to release the game to both retail and the PlayStation Network at some point this Summer.
[Image: Sega]

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Westone co-founder working on Monster World successor

Westone Bit Entertainment co-founder Ryuichi Nishizawa has partnered with indie developer Game Atelier to produce a spiritual successor to Sega's Monster World series, publisher FDG Games confirmed this week.

Monster Boy and the Wizard of Booze will feature side-scrolling action-adventure gameplay in the vein of the Monster World series, and boasts a playable character who can change form in order to traverse the game's varied 2D environments. Developer Game Atelier initially pitched the project as The Flying Hamster 2 before securing a publishing deal and canceling its Kickstarter campaign prior to completion.

"Monster Boy will be an all-new adventure and as we closely work together with Ryuichi Nishizawa (creator of the original Monster World) it can be considered as an official part of the series," Game Atelier notes in a Kickstarter update published today. "Since the trademark is owned by SEGA we had to pick a different name."

Developer Westone filed for bankruptcy last year, leaving behind a catalog of dozens of games produced over its 30-year history. Monster Boy will debut later this year for the PlayStation 4 and PC platforms.

[Image: Game Atelier]

Square Enix triple packs March to the US

The Ultimate Action Triple Pack and Ultimate Stealth Triple Pack from Square Enix will launch for Xbox 360 and PS3 in North America on March 31, a spokesperson confirmed to Joystiq today. The Ultimate Action Triple Pack includes Tomb Raider, Sleeping Dogs and Just Cause 2; the Ultimate Stealth Triple Pack features Thief, Hitman: Absolution and Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

North American Amazon listings for both packs hit the 'net earlier this week, with a price tag of $30 each. The Ultimate Action and Ultimate Stealth packs launched in Europe last year.
[Image: Square Enix]

New Nintendo eShop releases: More of the Samus, please

$10 for the Metroid Prime: Trilogy on Wii U with apparently faster load times? Om nom nom. While we're talking, Nintendo, any word on a new Metr-hello? Anyone there?

Oh well. So, check out this week's full list of new eShop releases below the break, as well as the last week of Nintendo's Throwback sale here. And a reminder: After 9AM PT/12PM ET on February 5, Metroid Prime Trilogy goes up to a regular price of $20. Get it while it's hot!

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Report: Ouya gets $10 million investment from Alibaba

Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba invested $10 million into microconsole maker Ouya last month, The Wall Street Journal reported. The two companies have seemingly agreed to bring Ouya's software and game library to Alibaba's set-top box. Ouya announced its Ouya console-less ambitions in March 2014, dubbed "Ouya Everywhere." The initiative allows Ouya to run its software on other devices, starting with Mad Catz's MOJO microconsole. Ouya raised $8.6 million on Kickstarter in 2012, first launching in July 2013. The system didn't generate much revenue for developers as just 27 percent of Ouya owners purchased a game in its first month.

Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman would not confirm Alibaba's investment, but did tell Engadget that the company has "been working with partners to bring our platform and games library to their devices." She said that Ouya is "live with Madcatz in the US and working with Xiaomi in China. There are a number of others in the works, with our focus outside the US because there is where we see the most opportunity and growth. Sometimes new markets leapfrog the established ones -- this may be one of those cases."

The Chinese government lifted its 14-year ban on foreign consoles and video games just over one year ago, issuing a new set of content restrictions for manufacturers this past April. Reports from December found that gaming revenues in the country grew 38 percent year-over-year. The other major console manufacturers are poised to enter the emerging market: While Sony delayed the launch of the PS4 in China earlier this month, Microsoft already reportedly sold over 100,000 Xbox One systems in its introductory week back in October. Nintendo revealed plans in May to approach emerging markets such as China with new hardware this year.

Games with Gold freebie #IDARB (rick)rolls out early

PSA: An eight-player Xbox One sports-platformer that can summon a pixelated Rick Astley is available right now, and it's free to download for Xbox Live Gold members. I know it's hard to believe, dear reader, but it's not like I'd tell a lie and hurt you.

#IDARB interweaves Twitch chat and Twitter hashtag integration with retro side-scrolling multiplayer and a big dose of humor, and it really seems quite nuts. As Joystiq's Danny Cowan describes in his preview, the gameplay is reminiscent of old-school multiplayer classics like NBA Jam, but there are a multitude of crazy twists and turns on tops. Things like arenas filling up with water, everyone turning into clowns and Twitch spectators being able to rickroll you.

Despite releasing ahead of its original February window, #IDARB is next month's Games with Gold freebie for Xbox One. It'll stay free for Gold members throughout the month, after which it'll return to its regular price of $15/£12.

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The Joystiq Podcast

Super Joystiq Podcast 128: Reviews, New Nintendo 3DS, Majora's Mask 3D

Latest episode: Friday, January 16th, 2015

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