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Stiq' Tips: A Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn starter guide


Any MMO can be daunting if you go in blind. Although Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn isn't nearly as hardcore as FFXI, it still has a few snags that newcomers can hit if you aren't careful. Since many of you will be jumping in for the first time with the PlayStation 4, I've compiled some tips to help you ease into the process.

First, understand that when creating a character, your race doesn't matter all that much. Yes, you can definitely do your research if you want to min-max and get that extra half a percentage of efficiency for your favorite class, but as a general rule the game is designed around the class system, so don't freak out when you're making your first step into the creation process.

Having said that, the game is also designed to accommodate one character -- no alternates (alts) needed. What I mean by that is one character can simply switch classes, start from level one, and go all the way up to the maximum of 50 at any time (once you've unlocked the ability in the main story). Say you're a Lancer; all you need to do to become an axe-wielding Marauder is visit the Marauder's guild in its major city, talk to the guildmaster, get your first axe, and equip it. Boom -- you've switched classes.

This encourages you to play the entire Realm Reborn experience with one main, in addition to full access to freely explore other classes and earn some select "cross-class" abilities to bring back to your other jobs. The other neat thing is that the game keeps the level of your highest class in mind, and gives you an experience bonus proportional to what level you are with your new class -- so experiment away!

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'Every Action Counts' in space shooter Galak-Z

Image In Galak-Z, every action counts! Why? Because in 17-BIT's upcoming PC, Vita and PS4 "roguelike spaceship shooter," death hits the reset button on your progress. Can you help maintain the exemplary 34% success rate? Find out this fall. [Image: 17-BIT]... Continue Reading

Curses 'N Chaos waves in reveal trailer


Mercenary Kings developer Tribute Games showed off its new game, Curses 'n Chaos at PAX East this past weekend, but if you weren't lucky enough to see it then, here's what it looks like.

Yup, what you see is pretty much the deal. It's an extremely minimalistic 2D action game where players survive wave after wave of baddies, collecting coins and special power-ups to survive whatever monster pops in from the periphery of the screen. Survive the horde mode this fall.

Nintendo turned down Skylanders exclusivity deal

Nintendo reportedly turned down a deal that would have launched Activision's highly successful toys-come-to-life series Skylanders exclusively for the Wii. A report from Polygon on the Toys for Bob franchise notes that, despite Activision's confidence in the product, it was looking for a partner to spread the risks of the venture.

"[Nintendo] spent a long time looking and looking," Toys for Bob co-founder Paul Reiche said. "They were just like 'we have never seen anything like this before.' I've always wondered about the full meaning of that comment [laughs]." Nintendo opted out of making a full commitment to the project, though the two companies did enter a co-marketing agreement for the series. "Clearly, they have got properties well suited to this world," Reiche added. "Why it is that they didn't rush in here will probably haunt them for the rest of their days."

Activision's Skylander series has since surpassed $2 billion in sales worldwide. The franchise has found its way to ten different platforms, including the recently launched Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Though Nintendo would later experiment with a similar game in the disappointing Pokemon Rumble, it would be Disney that would eventually invest in the genre with its Disney Infinity series, leveraging the company's multitude of popular characters.

"Nintendo could have kicked Disney's ass," Reiche said. "If I was running Nintendo I would have jumped on this."
[Image: Activision]

PlayStation Now-capable Bravia TVs launching in June

Sony has announced that its upcoming series of PlayStation Now-compatible 4K "Ultra HD" Bravia televisions, first revealed at CES 2014, will launch in June. A total of nine models from three series will hit the market with prices ranging from a $2,099 (49") to $24,999 (85").

With the ability to access Sony's upcoming PlayStation Now service, the Bravia sets will be able to stream PS3 games and play with a DualShock 3 controller (which, for the price, you'd hope would be included, but Sony's press release doesn't specify). The foundation for PlayStation Now is Gaikai, the games streaming service Sony purchased for $380 million in 2012.

Sony is one of many television manufacturers that continues to push HD technology into the 4K future. Ultra HD 4K televisions (also simply known as UHD TV) claim to deliver four times the picture resolution of standard 1080p sets; 4K televisions increase pixel count per image from two million to eight million.

"We strongly believe 4K is the future for entertainment and we remain committed to leading the 4K movement, from lens to living room, in a way that only a company like Sony can," said Mike Fasulo, president at Sony Electronics.

Japan gets Niconico PS4 streaming on April 30

PlayStation 4 owners in Japan will have the option to stream gameplay to Niconico, a site that lets users upload, view and share video clips, starting April 30, Sony announced (as translated by Gematsu). Those visiting the Nico Nico Super Conference 3 on April 26 and April 27 will be able to test the streaming functionality in person before it arrives via firmware update. While the two updates may not be related, the upcoming 1.70 firmware for the console brings the ability to save videos and screenshots to a USB drive.

The PS4 launched in Japan in February, selling 322,083 units in its opening weekend. According to a translation of the Niconico's website, it will begin offering free one-month trials for PS4 users shortly. The streaming service carries a monthly fee of about $5; it is unclear if the service will require a PlayStation Plus subscription as well.
[Image: Sony]

Watch Firaxis boldly bring Civilization to space from PAX East



Missed the PAX East panel that revealed Civilization: Beyond Earth to the world? Maybe you just want to relive the magic you already witnessed live in Boston? Firaxis has you covered either way, uploading its panel from the show, complete with a peek at the future of the Sid Meier series.

Civilization: Beyond Earth takes the addictive franchise into space this fall, though the developer has some experience with space exploration. The developer's decision to boldly go into space allows its designers and artists to free themselves from a "historical context," Firaxis designer and programmer Anton Strenger told Joystiq at PAX East.

"We, as designers, were free to come up with really fun new gameplay systems that didn't really make sense in a more historical game, or even like a fantasy game." In Beyond Earth, Strenger said for example, players may launch satellites over a planet, influencing the events below.
[Image: Firaxis]

Deadlight now free for Xbox Live Gold members

As promised, the Tequila Works-developed survival game, Deadlight, is the latest freebie for Xbox Live Gold members. The Xbox 360 game – regularly priced at $15 – will remain free until April 30.

In her review of Deadlight, Joystiq's Jess Conditt said the game "shines in its detailed world-building," though its gameplay "fails to live up to the standard" set by the game's "glorious" art direction.

The Xbox Live Games with Gold program offers two free titles per month to Live subscribers. Earlier this month users were offered a free copy of Hitman: Absolution. Unlike the program's PlayStation counterpart, players can continue to enjoy any games they have downloaded if their Live subscription lapses.
[Image: Tequila Works]

Behind-the-scenes 'Final Hours of Titanfall' app now available

The Final Hours of Titanfall, an in-depth look at the development of Respawn Entertainment's first game, is now available to download on iPad, Windows Surface as well as PC and Mac via Origin for $1.99. Versions of the app are also planned for Android and iPhone, and both a text-only version for Kindle as well as an audiobook version are being considered.

Created over a four-year span by Geoff Keighley, the app is a 25,000-word deep-dive on Titanfall's development and the legal issues that Respawn co-founders Jason West and Vince Zampella settled with Activision in May 2012 pryor to West's departure from the developer in March 2013. Keighley conducted interviews with over 80 people to chronicle Respawn's beginnings, which cover the "toxic mix of office politics and creative struggles the build the next great videogame franchise." It also features concept art and videos from the early days of the game's development.

This isn't Keighley's first foray into longform app development, as the behind-the-scenes "Final Hours" series includes an episodic webseries on Square Enix's Tomb Raider reboot, an app for Portal 2 and one detailing the creation of Mass Effect 3.
[Image: EA Games]

The latest Rocksmith 2014 DLC is Garbage (in a good way)



You're not paranoid, Rocksmith 2014 owners: Ubisoft does indeed have more DLC coming your way, and this time it's three hit singles from '90s grunge band, Garbage. Those looking to relive the glory days of Clinton, Beanie Babies and denim overalls can learn to play "Only Happy When It Rains," "I Think I'm Paranoid" and "Stupid Girl."

Songs are available for $2.99 purchased individually, or for $7.99 when purchased as a pack. And don't worry, you don't need to be a '90s kid to get this - everyone with access to Xbox Live, the PSN or Steam can download the songs now.
[Image: Ubisoft]

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Final Skylanders Swap Force character debuting next week at Times Square

Hundreds of ravenous Skylanders fans will swarm the streets of New York next week to herald the arrival of final Swap Force series character Doom Stone during a special giveaway event at Times Square.

On Wednesday, April 23, the first 500 customers who line up at Toys 'R' Us Times Square will receive a free Skylanders toy and a chance to own Doom Stone before the figure is released to the public at large. Costumed Skylanders characters will also be in attendance, giving players the chance to meet some of their questing buddies in real life.

Attendees are advised not to break costumed employees in half and attach them to other Swap Force characters. They probably wouldn't appreciate that.

[Image: Activision]

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Ransack Steam for War of the Vikings

Those of you who woke up this morning with a craving for blood and glory will be happy to learn that publisher Paradox Interactive and developer Fatshark have officially launched War of the Vikings.

Normally this is where we'd outline the historical action game's features, but in this case we can do you one better. Last week our own Richard Mitchell and Anthony Agnello were joined by War of the Vikings producer Gordon Van Dyke for a Joystiq Stream. Don't worry if you missed the initial broadcast, you can find an archive of the entire thing by visiting our original post.

If that hour-long glimpse at the blood-slicked chaos of battle has piqued your interest, you can pick up War of the Vikings from Steam at a price of $25. Alternately, those of you with deeper pockets can spring for the $35 "Blood Eagle" edition of the game which offers an art book, soundtrack and special in-game gear, or the $175 "Valhalla Edition" which features all content found in the Blood Eagle version of the game, along with all future DLC content, a strategy guide, a digital novel, and quite a bit more.
[Image: Paradox Interactive]

New BloodRayne teased by fighting game studio

Arc System Works is teasing a new game called "BRCS," which appears to be related to the BloodRayne franchise. VG247 points out the iconography on the character's medallion and sword are that of red-headed dhampir, Rayne.

In recent years Arc System Works has been best known as a fighting game developer, with Guilty Gear, BlazBlue and Persona Arena to their credit.

However, the company also did Hard Corps: Uprising in 2011, which was a heavy-action sidescroller, so that's also a possibility for this potential BloodRayne game. The last good game to use the license was BloodRayne: Betrayal, a well-executed 2D action game by WayForward.
[Image: Arc]

Steam's Daily Deal offers System Shock 2 at half price

If your life is painfully lacking in malevolent AI and angry, telekinetic monkeys, today is your lucky day: Steam is currently offering survival horror classic System Shock 2 at a 50 percent discount.

Co-developed by Irrational Games and Looking Glass Studios, and designed by BioShock maestro Ken Levine, System Shock 2 drops players into the dark corridors of a faster than light spaceship where a routine rescue operation has gone horribly wrong. Armed with scavenged weaponry and a handful of special powers, players must battle the twisted denizens of deep space, all the while being mocked by SHODAN, a once helpful AI that has started to lose her virtual marbles.

Despite being a "Daily Deal," System Shock 2 will remain at its current $5 price point until Monday, April 21 at 10AM PT. Would-be players need not worry about system compatibility, as Steam offers System Shock 2 in PC, Mac and Linux flavors.
[Image: Night Dive Studios]

Broken Sword 5, Episode 2 out today on Windows, Mac, Linux


The second episode of Revolution Software's classic-styled point-and-click adventure game Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse is out today on Steam, Good Old Games and Get Games, finishing up heroic duo George and Nico's latest globetrotting journey.

The first episode of The Serpent's Curse launched late last year for PC and mobile platforms. Broken Sword 5 exceeded its Kickstarter goal in 2012 during a boom period for crowdfunded point-and-click adventure game projects, earning nearly $800,000 in backer pledges.

Broken Sword: The Serpent's Curse - Episode 2 is due to hit the PlayStation Vita, iOS and Android devices soon.

[Video: Revolution Software]

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Eufloria Adventures hits PS Mobile this week

Omni Systems brings its latest project to the PlayStation Vita and supported Android platforms this week with the release of Eufloria Adventures, a PlayStation Mobile-exclusive follow-up to its ambient real-time strategy game Eufloria.

Eufloria Adventures puts players in control of a single floating Seedling Ship for a series of exploration-based challenges, contrasting the strategic, troop-swarming gameplay of the original Eufloria. Levels are procedurally generated, and players can choose to specialize in Speed, Strength, or Energy attributes as the difficulty ramps up at lower depths.

Eufloria Adventures includes both a casual mode focusing on low-key exploration and a roguelike mode for hardcore players. The game is available from the PlayStation Store for $7.99.

[Image: Omni Systems]

Chaos Reborn funded, births in 2015

Julian Gollop, the creator of X-COM: UFO Defense, has hit the $180,000 goal for Chaos Reborn, an update to his 1985 strategy game, Chaos: The Battle of Wizards. Unlike many, many projects seeking funding on Kickstarter, this game is already in a solid prototype state. We know, because we streamed it with Gollop as our adversary.

The prototype of Chaos Reborn is accessible through the game's Kickstarter page. The game itself now has the funding to gussy up the graphics and hopefully make its May 2015 launch on PC, Mac and Linux.
[Image: Gollop]

Bust-A-Move 4 on the PlayStation Network this spring

Natsume announced that it will release a digital PSone Classics version of Taito's Bust-a-Move 4 this spring, bringing the classic bubble-bursting puzzler to the PlayStation 3, PSP, and PS Vita.

Bust-a-Move 4 expands on the color-matching gameplay of Taito's arcade-born Puzzle Bobble series with new pulley mechanics, challenging players to balance bubble clusters throughout its single-player Puzzle mode. The game also includes a friendship-straining competitive Versus mode, along with an Edit mode that allows players to create and save up to 25 custom level layouts.

A specific release date for Bust-a-Move 4 was not announced.

[Image: Natsume / Taito]

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Indie Royal Bundle 12 says you are not a banana

The Debut 12 Bundle from Indie Royale is live. The pay-what-you-want bundle features eight independent titles looking for Steam Greenlight campaign support: Yrminsul, Selknam Defense, Luna's Wandering Stars, Rot Gut, Storm over the Pacific, You Are Not A Banana: Chapter 1, Pester and GEARCRACK Arena.

At the time of publishing, the bundle's average purchase price is $2.92. By raising the minimum of $5, Indie Royale is offering a bonus album of independent music.

All games in the bundle are available for Windows via the Desura distribution. The sale ends in less than seven days.
[Image: Indie Royale]

Bethesda under fire from barbed wire industry, reports The Onion

Image The Evil Within publisher Bethesda Softworks is under fire from the barbed wire lobby for its portrayal of the industry's spiked resource, The Onion has learned. Remember: The Onion. [Image: Bethesda]... Continue Reading

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The Joystiq Podcast

The Joystiq Podcast

Super Joystiq Podcast Special: PAX East 2014 with Capy and Wadjet Eye

Latest episode: Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

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