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NHL 15 review: Unsportsmanlike conduct

EA Sports had a secret weapon in its pocket, something it called the NHL series, a franchise that grew better over time despite facing zero competition in the hockey space over the last few years. Leading up to its PS4 and Xbox One debut, NHL 15 looked to be another clear step forward for the EA Canada series, a franchise known for its solid adaptation of the sport and one that has earned the respect of its fans.

To the dismay of this NHL franchise fan, however, EA Canada has lost its way in the transition to new consoles, and it has presented players with a half-baked product.

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Chariot drags the dead to PS4 next week

Chariot, Frima Studio's cooperative platformer, will launch on PS4 next week. The game will arrive on Tuesday, September 30 in North America for $14.99, though European players will have to wait until October 22 to dig into the game. The platformer has two local players (or one solo player) working together to carry a king's coffin to its resting place.

However, the king's ghost is particular about where his body winds up, so players must overcome physics-based obstacles to satisfy "His Majesty." The playable characters in question are the princess and her fiancé, who "gather gold and precious gems to decorate the sepulcher" while traversing Chariot's underground environments. The developer opted for local multiplayer only with Chariot, as "direct communication is very important in the game," and that "the tricks you'll need to do with the Chariot requires a lot of precision and we felt that precision might be lost because of the latency online."
[Image: Firma Studio]

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Play League of Legends in college, win scholarship money

The League of Legends North American Collegiate Championship returns for the 2014 - 2015 season with a larger competition layout and new region splits. Last year, 540 teams competed from 300 universities across the US and Canada.

"This year, the competition's even bigger," Riot says. "The season now spans the entire academic year and we've split North America into four competitive regions: North, South, East and West. We're also making it easier for new players and teams to compete by collaborating with four community partners with a solid history of running League tournaments."

The Qualifiers kick off on October 17 and registration for both the Ivy League of Legends and Collegiate Star League tracks are open from now through October 16. Two additional, shorter Qualifier rounds hosted by TeSPA and WellPlayed Productions take place in early 2015. Each Qualifier track crowns one winning team per region, for a total of 16 groups in the playoffs. The playoffs should be held around April or May 2015, Riot says, and the North American Championship will take place in Los Angeles, California, later in 2015.

The top four teams win scholarship money: $30,000 per team member for first place, $15,000 each for second, and $7,500 each for third and fourth. See the full registration schedule and rules in the NACC FAQ, and check out your school's clubs here. Good luck, Summoners of academia!
[Image: Riot]

Chinese Xbox One launch bumped to end of September

Following a recent, unexpected delay, Microsoft has moved the Chinese launch of its Xbox One console from September 23 - today - to September 29.

That news comes courtesy of Engadget Chinese, which points out that September 29 falls right before a long holiday weekend, allowing new Xbox One owners the chance to properly put the console through its paces. Unfortunately, that may be more difficult than one would expect. Chinese authorities have only approved 10 Xbox One games for sale at the console's launch, and while Microsoft claims to be preparing an additional 70 games, there's no word on when they might reach Chinese retail shelves.

Despite all of this, the Xbox One launch should be seen as a momentous occasion, as it marks the first time a foreign-built console will be sold publicly in China in more than a decade.
[Image: Microsoft]

Sega's JRPG Resonance of Fate pops up on PSN

The PlayStation 3 version of Sega and developer Tri-Ace's cult hit JRPG Resonance of Fate resurfaces on the PlayStation Network this week as a downloadable title, arriving more than four years after its initial retail release.

In Resonance of Fate, players control a Private Military Firm who must trek across a dystopian Earth, fulfilling client requests and outgunning monsters in uniquely cinematic combat sequences. If you haven't yet experienced Resonance of Fate, this oddball scene in particular might win you over. It's...quite a thing.

Resonance of Fate is priced at $19.99. An Xbox 360 Games on Demand version is also available.

[Image: Sega]

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Destiny logs first level 30 character

Guardian "BGTV N3AC3Y" is the first Destiny player in the world to hit level 30 after more than 100 hours of playtime, Bungie reports.

BGTV N3AC3Y racked up 107 hours, 15 minutes, and 22 seconds with Destiny in the weeks after its launch, spending around 25 percent of their playthrough in the multiplayer Crucible mode. The world's top Guardian also spent 13 hours, 6 minutes, and 40 seconds trekking through the recently introduced Vault of Glass raid, dying 251 times in the process.

Man. Look at all that purple gear. No, I'm not jealous. Not one bit. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to return to my post at the cave of wonders.

[Image: Bungie]

Sunset Overdrive live action trailer is impossible

Image Insomniac blurs the line separating fantasy and reality in the latest trailer for its Xbox One-exclusive shooter Sunset Overdrive, demonstrating just how difficult it would be to portray its violent fantasy world using easily punctured human actors. An interactive version featuring bonus content... Continue Reading

Dark Souls 2 DLC officially delayed in North America

Yesterday we brought you word that the Crown of the Ivory King DLC for Dark Souls 2 had been delayed in Europe. At the time there was no word on the status of its North American counterpart, though now we know that it, too, has been pushed back.

"The sheer scope of Crown of the Ivory King facilitated the need for a bit more time to deliver a level of polish that the previous two chapters of The Lost Crown trilogy embodied," stated developer From Software via publisher Bandai Namco. "It is From Software's intent to only release Crown of the Ivory King with the highest level of quality possible." Those who read our earlier article will note that this is the same statement we received from Bandai Namco Europe when we looked into the European delay.

On a positive note, the delay is not a lengthy one. Bandai Namco now plans to launch the Crown of the Ivory King DLC on September 30. While you're waiting, you can pass the time by reading our reviews of the first two DLC packs released for Dark Souls 2, Crown of the Sunken King and Crown of the Old Iron King.

Joystiq Streams: Minimum with Human Head and Steam code giveaway


Human Head Studios had a turbulent decade. The Wisconsin-based developer kicked off the HD console generation in 2006 by finishing Prey, a first-person shooter with some interesting ideas about portals released well before cake memes took over the web. After Prey's success, Human Head turned around and started work on a wildly ambitious sequel, but that game met with a rather grisly, obscure end.

After lighter projects on Android and Wii U, Human Head is back with Minimum, an appropriately named third-person shooter with a spare aesthetic. How has the team's development process changed in the era of early access? What's it like making a shooter in 2014 compared to 2006? We'll find out when Human Head sits down with Joystiq for a look at their latest.

Starting at 4:00PM EST, Joystiq Streams will be playing Minimum on Joystiq.com/Twitch. Project leader Norm Nazaroff and art director Jim Sumwalt will join Anthony John Agnello (@ajohnagnello) and Alexander Sliwinski (@Sliwinski) to discuss the game. Plus: We'll be doling out free copies of Minimum to folks that come out to watch.

That's Joystiq.com/Twitch at 4:00PM EST. Joystiq Streams broadcasts every Tuesday and Thursday at 4:00PM EST, but we go live other times as well so follow us on Twitch to catch every show.


[Images: Human Head Studios]

Rocksmith 2014 tunes up for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 debut

Having already appeared on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, Ubisoft's virtual guitar tutor Rocksmith 2014 is now ready to jump to the next generation of gaming consoles, namely the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Though the ESRB already outed the new-generation version of Rocksmith 2014 last month, Ubisoft's official announcement has only just arrived. According to the publisher, the game will launch on November 4 and will feature 1080p graphics and support for both consoles' streaming and video capture capabilities. Like all PlayStation 4 games, Rocksmith 2014 will feature Remote Play on the Vita handheld, a feature which Ubisoft claims is "perfect for players looking to review a song in its entirety without feedback, study specific sections of songs or practice in another room when it's more convenient."

Those who already own Rocksmith 2014 on either the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 will be pleased to hear that any DLC songs they've downloaded will transfer to their console's next-generation counterpart. If you have no DLC, don't fret - that's a guitar pun - the game comes with 50 songs in tow and there are 300 additional tracks available for download.
[Image: Ubisoft]

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Joystiq's big list of games on Steam Curators

We're tastemakers! The Joystiq staff has lovingly put together a list of the games we most enjoy on Steam, using its brand new Curators service. See the Joystiq Curators page right here. Our premiere picks run the gamut from Metal Gear Rising Revengeance, to Always Sometimes Monsters, to Ys Origins. It's a weird list, just like we are.

This introductory curation page is our way of saying hello, not only to you, but also to Steam's new service. As the Curators platform finds its footing, we'll update our list with even more uniquely selected games – ones we like, and we think you'll have fun with as well. Go ahead and follow the Joystiq Curators page on Steam to see all of our new additions as they happen, and join the Joystiq Steam group to discuss the games you love, hate and want to know more about. Enjoy!

WWE 2K15 gameplay trailer jumps the boogie

It may be 2014, but this WWE 2K15 trailer is partying like it's 1999. Set to Kid Rock's "Bawitdaba," the video flashes the entrances of wrestlers like Randy Orton, John Cena and Brock Lesnar before showing off moves in the ring like Rey Mysterio's 619. WWE 2K15 will launch October 28 for Xbox 360 and PS3. The game's PS4 and Xbox One versions were delayed to November 18 earlier this month.

Those that pre-order the wrestling game will receive two versions of the iconic WCW wrestler Sting. The marquee story mode for this year's WWE game from Yuke's is 2K Showcase, which spotlights the lengthy feuds between Shawn Michaels and Triple H as well as John Cena and CM Punk. The historical mini-documentary-style mode spans 33 matches and unlocks additional attire, wrestlers and championship titles for use in the rest of the game.

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Mario Kart 8 DLC revives the plumber's trusty B Dasher kart

American gamers haven't seen the aerodynamic B Dasher kart since its debut in Mario Kart DS, but that's about to change thanks to Nintendo's burgeoning Mario Kart 8 DLC plans.

"The quick B Dasher kart returns in Mario Kart 8 and will be in the 1st DLC pack," reads a tweet from Nintendo of America. Beyond that details are scant, but it appears the "1st DLC pack" the tweet is referring to is the game's upcoming Legend of Zelda-themed DLC. That pack, which is slated for launch in November, also includes three new characters (Link, Tanooki Mario and Cat Peach) alongside eight additional race tracks and four new vehicles. It's priced at $8, though fans can purchase the DLC as well as a second, similarly immense DLC pack scheduled for release in May 2015 for $12.

Though the B Dasher has most frequently been seen alongside Mario - the duo even grace the cover of Mario Kart DS - as you can see in the above screenshot, Mario Kart 8 will allow any character to take the B Dasher for a spin. Just keep an eye out for low-flying blue shells.
[Image: Nintendo]

NHL 15 update revives a few missing features on PS4, XB1

EA Canada has released a free update for the PS4 and Xbox One versions of NHL 15, adding a number features missing from the franchise's current-generation debut, despite being available on Xbox 360 and PS3.

In addition to tweaks to its Hockey Ultimate Team mode, which transitioned to new consoles unscathed, the update has added a Playoff Mode, Coach Feedback in Be a Pro mode, and an end-game Three Stars selection of a hockey bout's best performers to NHL 15 on PS4 and Xbox One.

The Playoff Mode in today's update allows players to create a 16-team, offline playoff bracket to compete for Lord Stanley's Mug. The added feedback in Be a Pro mode scores players based on the on-ice actions; however, it still does not appear that players can simulate to their next on-ice shift, which will result in watching the game from the bench.

NHL 15 launched earlier this month for Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360 and PS3. In an opinion editorial prior to its release I expressed concern over the game's thinly featured current-generation debut. Following its launch, EA Canada promised to revisit missing modes and add a number of elements to the game, such as those added today and Online Team Play, which has yet to be added.
[Image: EA Sports]

Guild Wars 2 opens limited free trial access [Updated]

OK, guy in the comment section who always asks whether Guild Wars 2 has a free trial: The answer is finally yes.

But there's a catch; free access to the game lasts for one week only, beginning at 3 a.m. EDT on September 25th and ending 2:59 a.m. EDT on October 2nd. ArenaNet says it has already opened registration for the trial so that interested gamers can start downloading the client ahead of time. Old trial accounts will work for this promotion.

Earlier this month, Guild Wars 2's second feature pack overhauled the early game experience, making this an ideal time to be a newbie in the buy-to-play title.

[Update: ArenaNet has posted a number of mechanics changes that will be in place for the trial and affect trial accounts, including restrictions on mail and chat.]

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