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Joystiq Streams: When a Canadian coaches a scrub in NHL 15

The Rangers versus Kings Stanley Cup final this past June was one of the most watched Stanley Cup finals in a generation. NBC reported it had about 5 million viewers total. To put that in perspective, the Super Bowl snagged 111.5 million viewers in February.

Who cares, though! So the NHL doesn't have the same kind of following as the NFL. Big surprise. That doesn't make the league or the sport any less fascinating. What we need is a guide to walk us through those confusing frozen halls. Lucky for us, Joystiq has a secret weapon: Xav de Matos!

Starting at 4:00PM EST on Joystiq.com/Twitch, Xav (@Xav) is going to teach Anthony John Agnello (@ajohnagnello), a complete NHL neophyte, how to play NHL 15 on PlayStation 4. Don't know what icing is? We're going to find out. How weird is it going to get? Pretty weird.

Joystiq Streams broadcasts on Joystiq.com/Twitch every Tuesday and Thursday at 4PM EST, but we regularly broadcast other days of the week so make sure to follow us on Twitch to know when we go live.
[Images: Electronic Arts]

In Real Life: A gaming graphic novel giveaway from Joystiq

With the fall gaming season in full swing now, it's easy to get overwhelmed by the flood. Do I play Destiny? Hyrule Warriors? What about good ol' Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call? Too many games! Let's step back from playing, give our brains a collective breather, and just read about playing them instead. Doesn't that sound relaxing?

Lucky for you, Jen Wang and Cory Doctorow have just released In Real Life. With slick writing and warm art, In Real Life is a graphic novel about a teenage gold farmer that will soothe the savage gaming beast inside. Read a preview of the book in the gallery below.

We're giving away five free copies of In Real Life. All you need to do to snatch one is Like Joystiq on Facebook and/or follow us on Twitter using the widget below. Check out the full rules below as well!


In Real Life: A gaming graphic novel giveaway from Joystiq
[Images: First Second Books]



JoySwag Giveaway Rules

Plague Inc: Evolved catches custom scenarios on Steam

The Steam Early Access version of Ndemic Creations' global pandemic sim Plague Inc: Evolved has updated with a new Scenario Creator, letting players unleash their own devastating diseases across a simulated Earth.

After installing today's update, players are able to create and share their deadly scenarios with fellow Steam users via Steam Workshop. Over 200 custom-created scenarios have launched in the update's first day of release, and players can browse publicly shared creations using Plague Inc's new in-game browser.

"The biggest and most-requested update yet, the Scenario Creator allows players to hit the lab and use the same tools that we do to create awesome new content for Plague Inc: Evolved," producer Marc Pick said. "The content will grant a dynamic flow of new, user-generated content to players of the game."

[Image: Ndemic Creations]

Massively's ArcheAge launch diary: Day five - Random knowledge

Today's diary entry is going to skip around a bit, as I'm still dabbling all over ArcheAge and finding it nearly impossible to convey everything important inside of a few thousand words. If you're just joining us, this is day five of Massively's launch chronicle because even though the game "launched" yesterday, it really launched last Friday via the founder head start.

I'm aware that some people had disconnect issues and nightmare two-hour login queues on the 16th. I did not have much trouble with either, presumably because of my Patron account status regarding the latter. Trion does have some work to do, though, as I noticed a lot of slow-down in high-traffic areas throughout much of my play session last night, and I also logged into a black screen more than once and had to re-queue as a result.

In other words, it was a typical MMO launch day. I've seen better, but I've also seen far, far worse.

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A mindset to match The Evil Within

I think a lot about mental health. Partly because I co-founded a charity dedicated to increasing empathy and education about mental health issues, but mostly because I love horror games like The Evil Within. Zombies and ghosts and demons are fun, of course, but what I really like is a good old-fashioned psycho killer. See? "Psycho," as in "crazy," as in "mentally ill." Part of The Evil Within, like so many other horror games, takes place in an abandoned mental asylum (they're always abandoned and left to decay, never bulldozed and turned into condos). There is a stigma about mental health that prevents people from seeking care, and even though I believe the way mental health is portrayed in entertainment is a big factor in maintaining that stigma, I still love me some crazy bad guys. So, I think a lot about mental health.

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CastleStorm: Definitive Edition catapults to Xbox One, PS4 next week

If you missed out on CastleStorm's multiplatform launch last year, you'll have the chance to catch up next week with an expanded edition premiering for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, developer Zen Studios announced today.

CastleStorm: Definitive Edition bolsters its physics-driven tower defense gameplay with a visually updated 1080p presentation and a collection of new gameplay modes and features not found in the original release. The package also includes the "From Outcast to Savior" and "Warrior Queen" expansions, both previously released as DLC for the PlayStation 3 and other platforms.

CastleStorm: Definitive Edition will be available for $9.99 when it hits the PlayStation 4 on September 23 and the Xbox One on September 24.

[Image: Zen Studios]

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call review: Take a bow

Music is an essential part of the Final Fantasy series. Players who have spent any amount of time with the franchise likely have a few overworld themes buried deep in their subconscious, and the series as a whole covers a wide variety of musical styles, ranging from catchy 8-bit tunes to fully orchestrated scores.

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy premiered for the Nintendo 3DS in 2012, repurposing a handful of Final Fantasy soundtracks for a rhythm-driven experience with light RPG elements. The result was both a nostalgia trip and a solid game in its own right, supplementing its pedigree with inventive beat-matching gameplay that made satisfying use of the 3DS touch screen.

Sequel Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call easily surpasses its predecessor, tripling the original game's track list while polishing its gameplay to a mirror sheen. It's a loving, reverent tribute to a beloved series that skillfully recontextualizes one of its standout features, creating something worthwhile both for its fanbase and for newcomers.

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WildStar's housing gets huge with Drop 3

wildstar
Housing fanatics (including those eternal level 14s) in WildStar have great reason to cheer for the upcoming Drop 3. Carbine Studios is giving a ton of love to the player housing system, including a huge expansion of how many items can be placed.

In yesterday's Nexus Report, the team answered many housing questions and outlined some of the big changes coming with Drop 3. When it hits, players will be able to place up to 1,000 decor items both indoors and outdoors, which is an increase from the current 300 exterior and 800 interior limits. Other improvements include musical selection, more lights, separate sharing privileges for gardens, and a blank housing choice. The team has also been discussing new base terrains and the ability to move FABkits around.

We've got the full video for you after the break, so chow down!

[Thanks to Greg for the tip!]

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Destiny sales reach $325 million worldwide

Activision has pegged sales of Destiny at $325 million worldwide in its first five days, which follows last week's announcement that the MMO-shooter dungeon crawler shipped over $500 million into retail. We don't have time to explain how Activision has time to explain where it got those numbers.

"Destiny is a platform that will grow and evolve and we will continue to work closely with our partners at Bungie to bring a long line of new experiences and content to life in the game," said Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg. The company spoke to Joystiq yesterday about changes coming to the game, saying it has already "more than doubled" the number of public events players will encounter.

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Quake Live hosts free-to-play arena battles on Steam today

Id Software's free-to-play arena FPS Quake Live unlocks on Steam later today, bringing its '90s-styled twitch gameplay to an expanded audience.

Based on the popular Quake 3 Arena, Quake Live originally premiered in 2010, and currently features over a dozen gameplay modes across 100 featured deathmatch levels. The core game is free for all players, while subscribers receive access to a broad selection of Create Match options and clan features.

[Image: Id Software]

NHL 2K series returns to mobile this fall

2K announced the return of its NHL 2K hockey video game brand today with the aptly-named NHL 2K. The game is in development for iOS and Android devices as a "premium mobile game" slated to launch this fall for $7.99. Players will take to the ice in classic NHL Winter Classic, Free Skate and Shootout modes, a three-on-three Mini-Rink mode, a "detailed" My Career mode and turn-based multiplayer shootouts.

NHL 2K is the first entry in the series to surface in four years, the last being 2010's NHL 2K11 for Wii and iOS. The latest game is the result of a cooperative effort between NBA 2K developer Visual Concepts and Virtuos Games, the same studio that lent a hand to Square Enix with Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster in January. NHL 2K will include iCloud support on iOS devices, NHL GameCenter Live connectivity and MFi controller support.

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The Evil Within not without TGS trailer


The Evil Within, from Resident Evil maestro Shinji Mikami, is heading to this week's Tokyo Game Show with a new gameplay trailer. The game already features a cast who know grisly, but the game's environments don't seem to be holding back either.

There's plenty of gore, blood and terror to go around in this trailer, but the room with spinning blades is a nightmare room. No wait, the one with the stamping spikes is a nightmare room. Wait, the barbed wire fishtank of drowning is. It's all a nightmare room!

Final Fantasy 13's new portal page has a Steam logo

In suspiciously timed news, Square Enix launched a new portal page for the Final Fantasy 13 saga that conspicuously features the Steam logo. The site, launched today, features the Steam image next to logos for already confirmed platforms. FF13, FF13-2 and Lightning Returns all initially released on Xbox 360 and PS3, and the trio are also coming to Japan's Dive In mobile streaming app, as announced last week.

So is Lightning about to strike thrice one more time? Square Enix's not announced any PC ports of the JRPG trilogy so take all this with a pinch of salt. That said, the publisher does seem to have a few things up its sleeve for the Tokyo Game Show, which begins tomorrow. Also, earlier this year, Final Fantasy producer Yoshinori Kitase told Eurogamer he was "definitely interested" in pursuing PC versions for future games, and he also touched on why the FF13 saga didn't come to PC in the first place.

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Hyrule Warriors review: Moblin warfare

Though The Legend of Zelda series includes some of the most beloved games of all time, Hyrulean protagonist Link has seen some less than stellar adventures in the hands of developers not named Nintendo. Capcom's Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages Game Boy games were excellent, but both relied on gameplay elements and graphics borrowed from Nintendo's own The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. More notorious are the three CD-i games which transplanted Link into a wholly new gameplay style that's best described as a hybrid of the sidescrolling stages of the second Legend of Zelda game and an unending litany of poor design decisions. The less said about the games' baffling take on Nintendo character design, the better.

Despite this disappointing history, Nintendo has now granted Koei Tecmo – more specifically, its most notable developers, Omega Force and Team Ninja – the rights to craft their own Legend of Zelda entry, a melee-focused Wii U spin-off dubbed Hyrule Warriors. It would be difficult to match the depressing legacy left by the CD-i entries, but it seems an even more daunting task to match Nintendo's pedigree of sterling high-fantasy adventures. Fortunately for fans of both The Legend of Zelda and Koei Tecmo's flagship musou brawlers, Hyrule Warriors is successful on nearly every level.

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Nab a free copy of Bejeweled 3 on Origin

Bejeweled 3 is the latest entry in Origin's On the House program, meaning the normally $5 tile-matching puzzler is free for Windows PC and Mac until October 28. As with the other On the House freebies, once you claim the game, it's yours to keep.

PopCap's super-successful series may be in its teens, but it's only seen five releases to date, including two spinoffs. Bejeweled 3 added four new modes to the mix which you unlock as you play through, but as Joystiq's Richard Mitchell put it in his 2011 XBLA in Brief video, "Why are you still watching this? It's Bejeweled. It's the same game it's been for a decade, except it's prettier and it's got more stuff."
[Image: EA]

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The Joystiq Podcast

Super Joystiq Podcast 112: Danganronpa 2, Azure Striker Gunvolt, downtime & future games

Latest episode: Friday, September 12th, 2014

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