It's the penultimate podcast of 2014, and we still have plenty of games, released and forthcoming, to discuss. Ludwig, Xav, Jess, and Anthony are here with impressions of Dying Light, praise for Bloodborne's authentic goth, and hope for Evolve's team play. Also on the slate, Jess's thoughts about Croteam's The Talos Principle, and a lengthy discussion about the role and scope of story in games.
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Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Assassin's Creed: Unity. Driveclub. What do these games share? All of them hit consoles this fall in semi-functional states. Halo's matchmaking is still busted, Assassin's Creed is still working to iron out kinks, and Driveclub's many social features, the very things that distinguish it from other driving games, took weeks to properly work at all. As Joystiq's Richard Mitchell put it in his recent editorial, we're paying for broken games.
One reason that the big budget gaming industry is able to sell incomplete products as part of its business model is the pre-order ecosystem. The "insidious psychology" of wanting the latest thing first, as Richard puts it, is taken advantage of by the publishers producing the most expensive games in the world and people end up buying broken goods as a result. A solution to the problem: Stop pre-ordering.
Problem is, sometimes pre-ordering games is the only way to reliably get your hands on them. Limited run items like the retail PS4 version of Retro City Rampage sold out before the game was released. Obviously an international release like Assassin's Creed: Unity isn't going to suffer from the same shortage issues, but some physical releases by larger publishers are rare all the same, particularly limited editions.
The question: Do you pre-order games? Do you do it regularly or only in special circumstances? Take the poll and discuss in the comments.
Players of Mario Maker, the upcoming Wii U game that lets players build their own 2D worlds in the style of the Super Mario Bros. series, will be able to share their creations online, according to Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto.
In a recent interview with YouTube personality iJustine (translated by Nintendo Senior Product Marketing Manager Bill Trinen) Miyamoto said, "You'll be able to see what happens when other people play your course or when you play other people's courses. There will be some popularity rankings for the most popular courses and things like that. So there's a lot on the community side."
Miyamoto hopes you won't forsake those in your own home though, elaborating that he still pictures couch-based play, with a creator handing off their level to a friend or family member who is in the room. "But of course we will have the internet ability to exchange courses as well." We can't wait to see all the age-appropriate and completely family-friendly designs that the internet will come up with.
The PlayStation 4 is in high demand for the second holiday season in a row, according to Sony Computer Entertainment Europe CEO Andrew House. Without offering specific sales numbers, House told Reuters that the console is potentially "going to be quite inventory challenged." Shipments for the PS4 reached 13.5 million consoles as of the end of October.
"I'm not going to say you won't be able to find a PlayStation 4," House added. "I think it's going to be kind of hand to mouth in terms of that market." The CEO noted that sales for the system in December were in line with Sony's projections, though it was a "tougher" month thanks to the $50 holiday price cut by its main competitor in the United States, Microsoft's Xbox One. While its gaming division is thriving, Sony upped its loss forecast to $2 billion in September due to struggling smartphone sales and opted to not renew its FIFA sponsorship at the beginning of this month to spend more money on structural reforms.
Marvel vs. Capcom Origins is retiring from online storefronts later this year, in the hopes of living a normal life free from superpowers, arch-villains and all that fun stuff.
Capcom announced the crossover compilation goes off sale from PSN on December 23 and XBLA on December 31. The publisher didn't explain why it's delisting the Xbox 360 and PS3 game, but expired licensing wouldn't be a giant leap of speculation.
Captain Toad's UK adventure may be starting early, after his game began showing up on British doorsteps ahead of its January 2, 2015 due date. While Nintendo's yet to comment, multiple reports indicate the publisher's given retailers the green light to release Captain Toad: Treasure Trackerearly - or less late compared to the North American release date.
MCV reports it's "been told" all UK online retailers can start shipping the game ahead of a new launch date of Monday, December 22. Similarly, Nintendo Life sources indicate GAME has begun shipping the game out, while VideoGamer.com went to its local GAME store and bought a copy this morning. In other words, if you're a Brit waiting patiently for the Wii U puzzle-platformer, you might want to track down some early treasure on the high street.
While you're doing that, we've reached out to Nintendo for official clarification.
The Lords of the Fallen game coming to iOS and Android isn't a port of this year's console and PC game. In a statement provided to Joystiq, CI Games CEO Marek Tyminski confirmed the mobile game is instead a "brand new" experience. Tyminski also said the Lords of the Fallen sequel announced earlier this week is in development for PS4, Xbox One and PC.
Tyminski's statement in full reads:
"I can confirm that the statements made recently to the local Polish media at a press conference earlier this week in Warsaw, and mentioned on Facebook by Executive Producer Tomasz Gop, are true: a Lords of the Fallen sequel is currently in development for PC, PS4 and Xbox One. The reaction from fans to the news has been tremendous so far, and we're eager to take on the challenge of improving upon the solid experience that has been created with Lords of The Fallen.
"I'd also like to offer some new information - we're currently working on a mobile game that takes place in the Lords of the Fallen universe, which we're aiming to launch on iOS and Android in 2015. It will not be a straight port of the game though, but rather a brand new Lords of the Fallen experience. More details on that are still to come."
Majesco Entertainment completed an investment round that resulted in $6 million in funding, the Cooking Mama publisher announced today. $1 million of the funds were issued to the company with the rest stashed in escrow until certain, as-yet-unknown conditions are met by Majesco. The company also appointed two people to its boards of directors to replace two that stepped down, one of whom is Jesse Sutton, who will remain Majesco's CEO after resigning from the company's board.
SEC filings in November admitted that Majesco "suffered losses that raise substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern." It reported a 27.2 percent drop year-over-year in net revenue in September, as well as net losses of $2.7 million. As a result, Majesco laid off several staff in October to reduce fixed costs. The company also noted last month that it is "currently not developing any significant new games for release in fiscal 2015," which ends on October 31, 2015.
Sure Halo: The Master Chief Collection has already seen its share of stability patches and performance updates, but any fans of the original Halo: Combat Evolved should be pleased by the newest update released by developer 343 Industries, which introduces a playlist dedicated to maps from Halo: CE.
Prior to The Master Chief Collection's launch, 343 specified that the Halo: CE playlist would be held until they were able to "provide the best experience possible." The developer now touts that many of the game's needed tweakings and improvements were added via the most recent patch, and so players can queue up to take one another down, old-school style. The playlist features 2v2 battles, which is due to player feedback, according to 343.
Developed by Enter the Gungeon creator Dodge Roll Games, Holiday Profit Hike is a vertically scrolling action game that blends gameplay mechanics from Nintendo's Ice Climber and the classic arcade game Roc'n Rope. Players ascend an icy mountain using an infinite supply of ropes and pulleys, grabbing any cash they find along the way to fill Parker's pocketbook. Be careful, though -- the climb is perilous, and each death deducts cash from Parker's savings to cover medical costs.
It's a short game (there's an achievement for players who can climb the mountain in under 12 minutes), but the platforming within is surprisingly complex, and it'll take you a while to fully grasp how the rope mechanics work. Good luck, and try not to bankrupt Devolver Digital. Think of the indies!
Far Cry 4's "Escape from Durgesh Prison" DLC will be available to download on January 13, Ubisoft announced today. The DLC will have players racing across Kyrat to finish challenges and recover lost weapons, upgrading their gear and skills along the way. Escape from Durgesh Prison will be playable in both single player and cooperative multiplayer modes, but should they die in the DLC, players will have to start the mission over from the beginning.
Escape from Durgesh Prison was revealed as part of Far Cry 4's season pass in October, which gives buyers access to multiple add-on missions including the season pass-exclusive DLC, The Syringe. Those without the $30 season pass can still pick up Escape from Durgesh Prison separately for $10. Far Cry 4 launched in November and received praise for its "interesting and absorbing" world in our review.
Ubisoft is giving away free games to Assassin's Creed Unity players who purchased a Season Pass before November 25, fulfilling an offer made in response to widespread bug reports following Unity's November launch.
Eligible players can head to this site to submit a claim. Ubisoft is offering affected players their choice of one of several featured free games, including Far Cry 4, The Crew, Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, Watch Dogs, Rayman Legends, and Just Dance 2015.
All Assassin's Creed Unity players will receive the upcoming Dead Kings DLC expansion free of charge once it launches next year. Season Pass buyers have until March 15, 2015, to redeem their free game codes.
As the turkey takes the prominent spot at your dinner table this Christmas, Nintendo has another bird in mind for your TV. The Wii U Virtual Console edition of Duck Hunt, announced earlier this year, will hit the eShop on December 25. Once you're stuffed to the gills, why not take aim at a few virtual ducks? Or, if you need to cater to Grandma's delicate sensibilities, you can always blast a few clay pigeons instead.
Here's hoping the Wii Remote makes a decent stand-in for Nintendo's classic Zapper light gun.
A watch that only tells time is so 16th century. Nowadays there are watches that can tell time, connect to the Internet, count our steps, even take our phone calls. Such is the case with the upcoming Apple Watch, which Joystiq Deals would like to give to you for free.
To earn a shot at winning the Apple Watch, simply head over to the giveaway landing page and click the green "Enter" button. To earn more entries, share the page or follow Joystiq on Twitter and Google Plus using the links on the giveaway page. The giveaway closes December 23, with the Apple Watch due to release in early 2015.
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.
See my vest/see my vest/as we strap a KOR-FX Acousto-Haptic Video Gaming Vest to our chest/Feel this peripheral/it ain't medicinal/it just makes games less ephemeral/Oh please, won't you see my vest!
Today on Joystiq Streams, something different! Richard Mitchell (@TheRichardM) received a KOR-FX Acousto-Haptic Video Gaming Vest in the mail. Like having a sub-woofer strapped to your torso, the vest is intended to simulate the physicality of your character in a video game. This can range from the whimsical (feel the impact of landing a crazy jump in Sunset Overdrive) to the deeply macabre (feel yourself get shot in Call of Duty. Yeesh).
Starting at 4:00PM EST on Joystiq.com/Twitch, Richard is going to play a variety of PlayStation 4 games using the vest. What happens when you're caught in Alien: Isolation? How about when you interrogate an Uruk in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor? We'll find out live.
Joystiq.com/Twitch broadcasts every Tuesday and Thursday at 4:00PM EST like clockwork, but if you want to catch every stream we do, vest or non-vest related, make sure to follow us on Twitch.