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Games we love and hate

It's always a drag when you're in love with a game and your friend doesn't see how wonderful it is. Alternatively, it's maddening when you're sure something is terrible and your pals think it's fantastic. But that's how opinions work in our crazy world!

To warm us up for the "Best of 2014" voting process, which is sure to come to blows (or, at the very least, harsh name-calling), the Joystiq staff has engaged in a debate. One game, two editors, and an argument for why that game should be loved or hated.

You decide who makes the stronger point in the comments below.

Joystiq Streams: Super Smash Bros. for Wii U Amiibrodown

We've waited patiently, quieting the nigh on unstoppable power in the collective Joystiq gut with games like Shadow of Mordor and Bayonetta 2. Now our acrobatic feats of destruction can be unleashed. Now, after so long, we can finally beat the ever loving crap out of each other online in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.

After taking an extensive look at Smash Wii U's single player content on Joystiq Streams this past Wednesday, we're going to dive into the online multiplayer as a team. Ludwig Kietzmann (@LudwigK), Richard Mitchell (@TheRichardM), and Anthony John Agnello (@ajohnagnello) will test their mettle, while Danny Cowan (@db_cowan) and Thomas Shulenberg (@T_Schulenberg) may join the fun later on.

It all goes down on at 4:00PM EST.
[Images: Nintendo]

Joystiq Giveaway: 3 copies of The Art of Assassin's Creed: Unity

For all of Assassin's Creed: Unity's foibles, from lackluster mission design to myriad, horrifying glitches in the initial release, one thing is undeniable: It's gorgeous. Ubisoft's digital recreation of Revolution-era Paris is a monumentally impressive work of digital artistry. Who can blame old Arno for constantly getting stuck on the environment? It's gorgeous!

That elegant facade was carefully designed by a talented team of illustrators whose work is compiled in The Art of Assassin's Creed: Unity, the equally gorgeous tome. Joystiq is giving away three copies of this book. One grandprize winner will also receive the Assassin's Creed: Unity Abstergo Handbook as well.

How do you enter? Just use the Rafflecopter widget below between November 21 and November 28. Winners will be selected after the Thanksgiving holiday and contacted via email. Full rules and details after the break.

Joystiq Giveaway: 3 copies of The Art of Assassin's Creed: Unity

[Images: Ubisoft]

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Super Joystiq Podcast 122: Far Cry 4, GTA V, Assassin's Creed Rogue, WWE 15

This week's Super Joystiq Podcast is having trouble finding Kyrat on Google Maps Mapquest.

Another week in November means another week of big releases. Ubisoft is back seeking reception with another open-world game with Far Cry 4-thankfully, this one seems to have turned out a bit better than its France-set label sibling. Ludwig, Xav, Mike, and Earnest cover plenty more as well, including GTA V for Xbox One and PS4, WWE 15, Assassin's Creed: Rogue, and Pokemon Omega Ruby / Alpha Sapphire.

*Feed is currently non-functional as we do some work behind-the-scenes. Please use the direct download link or embedded player after the break. Thanks!

Listen to the Super Joystiq Podcast: Podcast timestamps and relevant links are available after the break.

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Activision, Vivendi lawsuit settlement amounts to $275 million

Activision Blizzard reached a settlement this week over a shareholder's lawsuit in regards to the Call of Duty publisher's October 2013 buyout. As a result, Vivendi and others will pay $275 million to Activision to settle the litigation, which began in August 2013 before Activision's $8.2 billion purchase of itself from Vivendi was completed. Under the settlement terms, Activision will also add two directors to its board and must change the terms of its voting rights.

According to the lawsuit, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick and Co-Chairman Brian Kelly seemingly benefited from insider knowledge of the company's purchase, obtaining a 10 percent discount when Kotick's investment firm purchased 172 million shares of Activision for $2.34 billion. The lawsuit alleged a "breach of fiduciary duties, waste of corporate assets and unjust enrichment." Emails from the suit presented in July revealed that Vivendi wanted to fire Kotick in 2013 during the purchasing negotiations.
[Image: Activision]

PSA: Chat commands barrage Akiba's Trip streamers with underpants and foreigners

Akiba's Trip isn't what you think it is. You spend your time in Marvelous' action RPG mercilessly beating vampires with folding chairs and forcibly removing their clothing, but it's not some kind of perv fiesta made for voyeurs. Players are performing a public service getting rid of those vampires! Of course, that doesn't mean Trip doesn't hide voyeuristic thrills inside, they just happen to be reserved for folks watching Twitch streams of the PS4 version, which is out next week. With just a few simple chat commands, viewers can smother an Akiba's Trip player in panties, aunties, and more.

The extensive list of commands chat can use to alternately aid and torture players includes a sizable number of summons. Type in "tourist" or "gaijin," you'll summon in some non-Japanese natives onto the screen. Not too weird. Type in "gothic lolita" and you'll call in a woman dressed like this, not a copy of Vladimir Nabokov's novel with a Cure sticker on it. Also not weird. Type in "auntie" and someone's aunt will show up. Fine, very weird.

Weirder are the actions. Type in "look," and every character on screen will turn around and stare into the camera. Speaking of those unmentionables, typing in "pantyjump" will blow all panties, boxers, and briefs into the air where they fly around like leaves on the wind.

Yes, by simply typing typing "auntie," "pantyjump," and "look" into Twitch chat, you too can turn a friend's Akiba's Strip stream into a horrific anxiety dream about being stuck in class in your underpants.

More commands after the jump.
[Images: XSEED]

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GOG Big Fall Sale Finale: FTL, Fez, Sam And Max, Rogue Legacy kicked off its DRM-free Big Fall Sale Finale this morning, putting more than 700 games on sale until Tuesday, November 25. The sale is split into two 48-hour periods, the first a "recap of flash deals" that rapidly come and go, and a second period with the Big Fall Sale's daily bundles that starts on Sunday. Thrifty buyers may want to act fast, as some of the flash deals will expire within hours.

The deals include Fez ($5), Rogue Legacy ($3), Deus Ex: Game of the Year Edition ($2.49), Pathologic ($2), System Shock 2 ($5), Rollercoaster Tycoon: Deluxe Edition ($3), FTL: Advanced Edition ($5) and the four primary Wing Commander games are $3 each, with the first two games bundled together. Sam & Max Save the World and Beyond Time and Space are $15 each, while The Devil's Playhouse is $17.49. also has deals on bundles starting today, such as the Fedora Deluxe Pack, a five-game Tex Murphy bundle that players can download at 80 percent off ($7.16). The digital games distributor is also offering a movie bundle for $8.45 that features five films, including The King of Arcades, Pixel Poetry and Minecraft: The Story of Mojang.

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Sunset Overdrive free this Saturday

Xbox Live Gold members with an Xbox One will be able to play Sunset Overdrive for free all day Saturday, according to Microsoft's Major Nelson. Access to the free trial will begin at 12:01AM Eastern Time tonight. It is the "full game" and those who decide to purchase the game later can pick up right where they left off. We've confirmed this will also occur in Europe, but don't have clarification on timing as of posting.

This is a pretty swanky deal to try out Sunset Overdrive, which we gave five stars in our review, saying it "sets out to create a world where the apocalypse is fun instead of depressing." There's no option to preload the demo, so if you're interested in the demo, make sure to set an alarm so it'll be waiting for you come morning.

WoW previews Highmaul raid, kicks off anniversary events today

And this time, slightly less than a year between updates!
Are you ready to start in on the raid cycle of Warlords of Draenor? Yes you are; that's what you do here. You can start by checking out the latest World of Warcraft development blog that shows off Highmaul in all its glory. The raid's release will be staggered into four parts, with Normal and Heroic releasing on December 2nd, Mythic and the first part of the Raid Finder difficulty releasing on December 9th, and the final two wings being added to the Raid Finder on December 16th and January 6th.

Highmaul contains seven bosses, three of which are optional and two of which are mandatory. Players will take on Kargath Bladefist to kick off the raid experience, while the ultimate encounter leads players against Imperator Mar'gok, the pinnacle of ogre power in the region. You can also take the time to play around with the game's new Twitter hashtag campaign while you wait. That won't help you with the raid at all, really, but it will help pass the time.

In other WoW news, Blizzard will be kicking off its previously announced anniversary events today. Both the 40-man, level 100 version of Molten Core and the Southshore vs. Tarren Mill battleground will become available to players through the raid finder and battlemaster queue, respectively. Everyone who logs in will receive a molten corgi pet as a happy birthday present from the team. The events end January 6th.

Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd review - Pretty punisher

PS3, Vita

We had the chance to stop her, but now it's too late. Hatsune Miku has taken over.

At this point, Miku is a global phenomenon. The virtual pop idol recently infiltrated American culture in a guest appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman and as an opening act for Lady Gaga, but her worldwide success comes as a result of a fascinating mixture of official licensing and fan-made mythos. Miku herself may be rooted in sterile voice synthesis software, but it's the work of fans that gave her a vibrantly marketable identity.

This unique melding of fandom and Japanese idol culture defines Sega's Hatsune Miku: Project Diva series, which showcases fan-made art and music alongside slickly produced rhythm-driven gameplay. The latest series entry, Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd, introduces game-changing features and streamlines its predecessor's weaker elements while crafting a surprisingly diverse challenge for rhythm game veterans.

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Game of Thrones teaser offers a Stark reminder: Cersei is evil!

In fairness to Cersei Lannister, you could argue most of the characters in HBO's Game of Thrones would register 6.0 or higher on the Richter scale of Pure Evil. Yet when it comes to House Lannister's leading lady, every word drips with ice-cold vitriol, and every sentence veils her poisonous cunning. In other words... she's evil. Evil!

All of which makes her perfect to introduce the first official teaser for Telltale's Game of Thrones adaptation - you'll find the video below the break. As it suggests, actress Lena Headey reprises her TV show role in the upcoming game series, as does Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell and Iwan Rheon as Ramsay Snow. And of course, Peter Dinklage ghosts in as Tyrion near the end, confirming we'll see at least one other Lannister in the game.

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Titanfall Deluxe Edition welcomes new pilots to the fight

Publisher EA has announced that giant robot-pocked shooter Titanfall is being re-released alongside all of its DLC map packs in a bundle dubbed the Titanfall Deluxe Edition.

Exclusive to the PC and Xbox One, the $40 Titanfall Deluxe Edition includes the core shooter as well as the three map packs released for the game to date. Between Expedition, Frontier's Edge and the IMC Rising DLC, these downloadable additions add an additional nine maps to Titanfall's default complement of 15.

Titanfall Deluxe Edition is currently available for download on Origin, though Xbox One users will not see the digital bundle until next week. So far there's no word on retail version of Titanfall Deluxe Edition.

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Apple changes 'free' button to 'get'

The Apple iTunes and Mac App Stores have converted from labeling games with in-app purchases as "free," instead inviting you to "get" them. As TechCrunch reports, this follows a similar change by Google under pressure from the European Commission.

There is an odd inconsistency to the change. First-party Apple apps appear to still be "free," while all other free apps, whether they have in-app purchases or not are "get." Under the "get" button there is a notation if there are in-app purchases.

Bladestorm: Nightmare carves a path through history in March

Omega Force's history-based brawler Bladestorm: Nightmare is coming to the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PS3 in North America on March 3, publisher Koei Tecmo revealed this week.

Taking place in Europe during the Hundred Years' War, Bladestorm: Nightmare recreates a series of 14th and 15th century battles in the context of a hack-and-slash story mode similar to Koei Tecmo's Dynasty Warriors series. In addition to a port of Bladestorm: The Hundred Years' War's campaign, the game boasts an alternate-history Nightmare mode in which players fight off armies of dragons and giants, helmed by a demonically possessed Joan of Arc.

The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of Bladestorm: Nightmare will launch digitally and at retail in North America and Europe the week of March 3. The PlayStation 3 edition is available exclusively as a PlayStation Store download.

[Video: Koei Tecmo]

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GameStop stock drops on declining sales, despite new hardware

GameStop's third quarter financial results show global sales are down for the quarter ended November 1, 2014, totaling $2.09 billion, compared to 2.11 billion over the same period last year. Net income fell to $56.4 million, as compared to $68.6 million during the third quarter last year.

Despite this overall decline, the company says that sales of new hardware rose 147 percent, adding that after a year on the market, the installed base of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 is 73 percent larger than that of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 after their first year of availability. GameStop's bread-and-butter pre-owned sales, meanwhile, grew by 2.6 percent over last quarter. Sales of mobile devices, a new focus for GameStop, grew by 125 percent thanks to "continued expansion and strong results" for the company's new Spring Mobile stores.

So, with all of this apparent growth, why the drop in sales? GameStop CEO Paul Raines pins the decline on Assassin's Creed Unity, which was delayed to November 11 earlier this year, meaning it couldn't be included in GameStop's third quarter results. Wall Street hasn't taken kindly to the news, with VentureBeat reporting that GameStop's stock has dropped by 13 percent.


The Joystiq Podcast

The Joystiq Podcast

Super Joystiq Podcast 122: Far Cry 4, GTA V, Assassin's Creed Rogue, WWE 15

Latest episode: Friday, November 21st, 2014

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