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Titanfall adds 'Black Market' and in-game currency system

Respawn Entertainment added a new in-game market to Titanfall known as the "Black Market," which allows players to redeem credits in the game for burn card packs and insignias. For instance, the game's standard burn card pack costs 5,000 credits and contains six random pilot and Titan burn cards. Players will have access to the Black Market once they reach level 11 and have opened the burn card menu.

Respawn emphasized that the game's new currency and market updates do not indicate that Titanfall players will be spending real money in the game at any point, driving the point home with an all-caps "NO MICROTRANSACTIONS" note in its announcement. Players will only be able to receive credits in Titanfall by playing the game, namely through match completion (500 credits, according to a provided screenshot) and victories (250 credits), completing daily challenges, selling burn cards and achieving their first win of the day (1,000 credits). Additionally, once a player reaches level 50, a percentage of the experience points they earn will be converted into credits, though the developer did not clarify how big of a chunk of XP will be converted.
[Image: EA Games]

Kickstarter-funded game developer at heart of Airbnb squatter scandal

Reports from multiple sources identify the culprit behind a recent high-profile Airbnb squatting case as Maksym Pashanin, a game developer who turned to Kickstarter last year to fund the courier-themed roguelike RPG Confederate Express.

Airbnb is an online service that allows travelers to seek out low-cost temporary lodging provided by independent homeowners. According to CNN Travel, Pashanin is taking advantage of a California law that protects squatter's rights. After using Airbnb to negotiate a 30-day stay at a privately owned condominium in Palm Springs, Pashanin and his brother refused to move out afterward, claiming that tenants who occupy a living space for more than 30 consecutive days are automatically granted a month-to-month lease under state law.

Pashanin's crowdfunded game Confederate Express exceeded its $10,000 funding goal in November of last year, but a finished product has not yet surfaced. Initially committing to a release by June 2014, Pashanin recently claimed that an investment firm offered to fund Confederate Express' stretch goals in return for licensing his pixel art engine technology, resulting in significant project delays.

Confronted with an eviction notice, Pashanin reportedly threatened to press charges against condominium owner Cory Tschogl for "blackmail and damages caused by your negligence and malicious misconduct, including $3,800 PID Espresso machine as well as medical bills for my brother's hospital visit after he got sick here drinking unfiltered tap water," according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

While USA Today reports that Airbnb is offering Tschogl financial compensation and legal support, Pashanin and his brother continue to reside at the condominium, and the situation remains unresolved.

[Image: Maksym Pashanin]

Court approves settlement over Sony's 2011 PSN breach

The US District Court for the Southern District of California approved a settlement for the class action lawsuit resulting from Sony's 2011 PSN data breach. The settlement may result in Sony doling out as much as $17.75 million, which includes an offer for one free game (PS3 or PSP only), three PS3 themes or credit for three months of PlayStation Plus membership (valid only for new subscribers).

The claimant groups are divided based on whether PSN account holders prior to May 15, 2011 took advantage of the "Welcome Back" program following the intrusion. Those that did not accept the PSN Welcome Back offer can claim two of the benefit options among the games, themes and PS Plus membership credit on a first come, first served basis until a $6 million allocation from Sony is reached. For those that did take advantage of the program, they will receive one of the benefits above until a $4 million allocation is reached.

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New Nintendo eShop releases: Siesta Fiesta, Wooden Sen'Sey, Master Reboot


As we're still stuck in the July drought of major new releases, now's as good a time as any to check out some of the smaller games hitting systems. The Wii U has a few such games this week, including some that have made the journey from other platforms.

If you like the sound of sci-fi first-person horror, Master Reboot's exploration of uploading consciousness may be for you. If you'd prefer something lighter, Wooden Sen'Sey promises action-platforming with "Japan Steam Rock" humor - y'know, like all those Japanese Steam Rock sitcoms. Both games are also available on PC, and PS3 too for Master Reboot.

The game that catches our eye this week, though, is on 3DS, and it's Siesta Fiesta. It looks like Breakout combined with the colorful, over-cheery craziness of games like Rayman and LocoRoco, and it's definitely the season for something like that.

As ever, faithful readers of this weekly post, you'll find the full list of new releases below the break. That just leaves new sales to talk about: Trine 2 is 60 percent off - that's down from $20 to $8 - until August 12, while Atlus games Devil Survivor Overclocked ($15), Shin Megami Tensei: Soul Hackers ($15), Shin Megami Tensei 4 ($24) and Code of Princess ($15) are all on sale until August 4.

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Dark Souls 2 'Crown of the Sunken King' review: Lost and crowned

After losing days to just navigating Lordran, I understood the switch to more linear pathways in Dark Souls 2. Still, I missed getting truly lost in the first game's open world. It was a labyrinthine mess that coiled in on itself in the most confusing ways, and it added another layer to an already oppressive game. The world itself was against you in Dark Souls, and it magnified those feelings of dread, challenge and, eventually, satisfaction.

It's great to see Crown of the Sunken King, the first Dark Souls 2 DLC expansion, is closer to the first game's mazey madness, albeit in a more conscise form. Its rocky inclines and crumbling chambers don't so much twist and turn as gently lead you astray, and the interconnections are more foreshadowed. It makes sense for the DLC's scope; it takes five hours to find and defeat the final boss, and that's even if you lose your way a few times.

All the same, in its stone-cold heart of hearts, Sunken King is just more Dark Souls 2, albeit inevitably tougher. There are a few new enemies - some total bastards - while others are more reworked and re-skinned, but generally the higher difficulty comes from placement and numbers.

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Disney Infinity 2.0 hits North America on September 23.0

The Marvel-stuffed Disney Infinity 2.0 is officially hitting North America's store shelves on September 23, a date that's been rumored for a while. We've confirmed with Disney the release date applies to the PS4, Xbox One. Wii U, Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the sequel.

Disney also confirmed the pre-order program GameStop's been advertising, which bundles in an extra $14-value Disney Infinity 2.0 figure, is available at "top retailers nationwide." We reached out to Disney to find out the figures are available in the promo - UK retailer GAME says players can choose between Nick Fury, Hawkeye and Iron Fist.

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Akiba's Trip 2 brings the full monty, including PS4, to North America


Akiba's Trip 2 AKA the helpfully named Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed is confirmed for PS4 in North America. Acquire's action-RPG leaves its hat on the PS4 sometime this holiday season, after arriving on PS3 and Vita on August 12.

One of this year's more intellectual games, Akiba's Trip 2 tasks you with taking the clothes off vampire-like enemies terrorizing Tokyo. Because you want to shine sunlight onto their vampiric skin, of course. There's no other motivation than that, as the above NSFW trailer clearly shows.
[Image: XSEED]

Final Fantasy's Tetsuya Nomura envisions a new Batman

Square Enix unveiled a new Play Arts Kai statue that provides a glimpse of what a Batman game might look like in the hands of Tetsuya Nomura. The figure is one of a new Batman line dreamed up by the Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts designer, and it's on display at the San Diego Comic Con, which kicks off today.

The word that springs to mind for us is sharp, literally. The cape looks sharp, the horn-like ears look sharp, the additional claw things look sharp - generally the caped crusader looks dangerous to even touch. The most surprising aspect? We can only see the one belt.

Check out a larger shot of the very dark knight below the break. If you prefer your Batmen more 8-bit and purpley-blue (who doesn't?), take a gander here.

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PlayStation 4 gets 3D Blu-ray support next week

Sony revealed 3D Blu-Ray support is coming to PlayStation 4, the announcement arriving just days after Microsoft confirmed the same thing for Xbox One. Whether it's a response by Sony, a coincidence or something else entirely, what's important is both PS4 and Xbox One owners get to watch all those lovely Frozen snowflakes right up close.

The PS4's 1.75 firmware arrives next week, while the Xbox One update - which introduces a few other features - is pinned for sometime in August.

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Jazzy noir stealth game, Third Eye Crime, lands on Steam

Third Eye Crime has jumped from mobile devices to Steam, available on PC for $5. Third Eye Crime is a jazzy, telepathic stealth game where you play as a criminal who is able to predict where enemies will move as they attempt to capture or stop your ne'er-do-welling. Players are able to lay traps and plant false leads in a top-down world.

Third Eye Crime has three acts, eight environments and more than 120 levels. The game comes from Moonshot Games, a team of former AAA and Bungie developers, and it launched on iOS earlier this year. Moonshot started work on Third Eye Crime last year, after funding for a download-only console shooter, Fallen Frontier, fell through.
[Image: Moonshot Games]

Not even spies suspect a thing when Octodad goes to a party

Image Don't blame the sniper in Short-Lived Heroes' YouTube vid "OctoParty: Dadliest Spy" - a mash-up of Octodad and SpyParty - for having trouble spotting the undercover agent slinking through the crowd of partygoers; after all, the sneaky cephalopod slipped by us at E3, too. [Image: Short-Lived... Continue Reading

The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection free through Origin this week

After recently ending official support for the PC version of 2004's The Sims 2, Electronic Arts is now offering all Origin users a copy of The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection for free, through the end of the month.

Users can redeem the expansion-bundled freebie by entering the code "I-LOVE-THE-SIMS" after choosing "Redeem Product Code" from the Games tab after firing up the Origin front-end. Downloads will remain available through July 31st at 10 a.m. PDT, so act fast if you want to add the classic human-torment simulator to your Origin library.

[Image: EA Maxis]

Gods will be launching tomorrow, prepare with trailer



And on the twenty-third day of July, lo did publisher Devolver Digital bestow upon the world a new trailer for Deconstructeam's point-and-be-sad-click game, Gods Will Be Watching. And thus did Joystiq readers weep, for they knew the many feels the game would bring on the morrow, when it releases in both standard and collector's editions.

And those that did not know of Gods Will Be Watching, they saw that Joystiq did stream the game with developer Jordi de Paco, and thus knew that they could learn more about the game. Which, again, tells quite the sad tale. Seriously.
[Image: Devolver Digital]

Hohokum launch trailer is just the right amount of weird


The arrival of Honeyslug's cheerful Hohokum is mere weeks away, and it's still impossible to classify. The game received a new trailer to celebrate its August 12 launch date (August 13 in Europe), showing the meditating hermit-like star of the game in addition to the squiggly, flying worm that players control.

Devised by artist Richard Hogg, Hohokum became a 2011 IGF finalist before Sony Santa Monica began working with the Hogg and Honeyslug in May 2013 to bring the game to PlayStation platforms. It will be Cross-Buy-enabled as well, so the $14.99 price will give players access to the PS4, PS3 and Vita versions.

Hohokum is part of the PlayStation Store Play event Sony announced just yesterday, in which players that pick up four games in August will receive $10 of in-store credit. Additionally, pre-orders for the four games are 20 percent off each for PlayStation Plus members. Joining Hohokum in the deal are Rogue Legacy, The Swapper and CounterSpy.
[Image: Sony]

Updated Steam Controller adds an analog stick

Ah, there it is. A new version of Valve's Steam Controller includes an analog stick on the left-hand side, replacing a series of four directional buttons previously in its place. The new controller design still has two circular track pads, four lettered buttons, bumpers and triggers, among other features included in previous iterations.

The new design shows up in the latest Steam client beta, as spotted by SteamDB and on the Facepunch forums (via Engadget).

We've tried out previous Steam Controllers in the wild, and found the latest version to be functional but awkward: "It's impressive that the Steam Controller can bounce between styles as disparate as 2D adventure and first-person puzzling, and its touch pads could become second nature over time, but it's definitely not going to provide a seamless transition from traditional controllers, at least not in its current state," our reviewer, Richard Mitchell, said.
[Image: Valve]

The Joystiq Podcast

The Joystiq Podcast

Super Joystiq Podcast 105: Wildstar, Dragon Age Inquisition, The Wolf Among Us, GaymerX2

Latest episode: Friday, July 18th, 2014

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