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New Smash Bros. feature boosts damaged players' knockback power

Super Smash Bros. has a concept quite different from most fighting games; rather than trying to deplete an enemy's life bar, you're out to increase their damage percentage and send them flying off the screen. The higher an enemy's damage percentage, the further they fly. And so it has been for generations.

In Smash Bros. on 3DS however, the attacker's damage percentage factors in too - the more damage you have when you hit your foe, the further they'll get knocked back (or up, or down, or sideways). It's unknown if the feature is something unique to the 3DS version of the game.

Just to be super clear here, this does not mean that the higher an attacker's damage, the more damage they'll do. The effect seems limited to knockback only. CLASH Tournaments, a Smash Bros. fan group, refers to it as "The Rage Effect." You can check out a video showing the new mechanic in action after the break.

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Ultra Street Fighter getting free Omega Mode, PC network fixes

Ultra Street Fighter 4 fans will have plenty of new combos to practice once Capcom distributes Omega Mode, a free portion of DLC due later this year that switches up the normal and special attacks of Ultra's entire roster. Capcom Unity's related post explains that since Omega Mode is focused on fun, balancing every minute character strength was less of a priority in favor of making the roster's collective moveset feel fresh. Omega Mode will support online bouts, but they'll be restricted to unranked matches only. For a sense of what to expect, Capcom put together a demonstration video that's waiting for you after the break.

Capcom's separate version 1.04 patch, due to hit the streets in October, will help PC competitors battling more than just their rivals. Version 1.04 should address problems regarding online play, like slowdown caused by players getting pinged in the middle of a match, as well as other connectivity issues. There are finer details to Version 1.04 that Capcom Unity elaborates on, like balancing tweaks and a delayed wake-up option for training mode dummies, but a full list of balancing fixes will be "disclosed closer to the release date."
[Image: Capcom]

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Weekly Webcomic Wrapup doesn't get it

On Friday, September 19, something amazing happened. It was revolutionary. It was historic. It was ... a new iPhone. Yes, the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are now out in the wild, and while some people were literally trembling with excitement, I personally was very un-enthused. Don't get me wrong, the iPhone 6 seems like a nice improvement over its predecessors, and I don't look down on anyone for getting the happy-jitters, but for me, it was just another phone.

Thus, my question to you this week is as follows: what's something you just didn't "get" the excitement for? What's a game, toy or piece of tech that failed to ignite your hype-osphere and send you careening off into the ether, riding a vapor trail of rainbows? Let us know in the comments after you vote for your favorite webcomic after the break!

Penny Arcade (Take It From My Hands)
Three Panel Soul (Smash Bros)
Critical Miss (Destiny's Treadmill)
ReadySoup (Driving Me Crazy)
Ctrl+Alt+Del (You Had One Job)
ActionTrip (Balloons: Snake's Answer to Everything)

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National Videogame Museum finds a home in Frisco, Texas

Traveling galleries from the Videogame History Museum can be spotted at industry events, but the collection will soon find its first static home: As reported by DallasNews, The Frisco Community Development Corporation board in Frisco, Texas, has approved a deal that grants the nonprofit museum a 10,400 square foot space in the Frisco Discovery Center. By April, National Videogame Museum 1.0 should be ready for patrons.

Frisco will spend up to $800,000 for building improvements and extra parking, with $100,000 donations (that the museum matched with raised funds) from the CDC and Frisco Convention and Visitors Bureau contributed to help with startup costs.

Museum co-founders Sean Kelly and John Hardie told DallasNews that aside from preserving games for future generations and building a traditional arcade space, education is a primary focus for the museum, both regarding industry history and games themselves. Kelly and Hardie described hypothetical workshops that would teach students how to build their own version of Pong and better understand the science and mechanics behind video games.

The Videogame History Museum's portfolio spans decades, and due to limited space and the collection's scope, portions of the museum will be periodically rotated to help show more of the industry's depth than just what can fit in a single space.
[Image: Videogame History Museum]

Engadget goes thumbs-on with new 3DS XL

There was always that one kid in your fourth-grade class who "had a cool uncle" that worked at Nintendo, and "totally knew" about all the fancy doodads and thingamajigs the company was working on. Well, we've got a cool uncle too: His name is Engadget, and he's gotten some hands-on impressions of the recently-revealed new 3DS XL model.

It was Engadget Senior Editor Mat Smith who had the privilege of toying about with Nintendo's new hardware, and his initial impressions have left him ... well, not exactly jumping for joy, but not weeping in woe either. "If we're honest, there really wasn't much difference from my now-obsolete 3DS XL at home on initial handling," Smith wrote. "There are no games that appropriately make the most of the analog stick (at least, not yet). Here at TGS 2014, with Monster Hunter 4G, the right stick was assigned to camera duties, a role it shared with the d-pad and, er, about a third of the touchscreen too."

At least when it was getting use, the new stick felt responsive and pleasant. Smith also noted that the new ZL and ZR triggers on the back of the device were "appropriately spaced" so that users shouldn't have problems with accidentally bumping the wrong button.

The new 3DS and 3DS XL launch in Japan on October 11. As for those of us stateside and in the Europe/Australia regions, well ... we can hope.
[Image: Engadget]

Outland switches platforms, absorbs bullets on Steam

Resogun developer Housemarque's platforming, bullet-dodging hybrid Outland will make its way to Steam on September 29. A related post on Housemarque's blog notes that in addition to Outland's campaign co-op, the port will include "a revamped checkpoint system," which should be helpful for those going against flowing, tone-changing bullet patterns for the first time.

Outland's intricate, dangerous environments first appeared on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade in April of 2011, and while Editor-In-Chief Ludwig Kietzmann wished the co-op had altered the experience in a meaningful way, his review concluded that Outland "succeeds where it counts."
[Image: Ubisoft]

Mojang drops price, doles out freebies for Scrolls tablet launch

Scrolls, Mojang's - or is it Microsoft's? - card battle game, will see a price drop of more than 75 percent when it launches this fall, the developer announced on its blog this week. This means that the normally $21 game will drop to $5, regardless of platform. If you've already dropped a Jackson and Washington on the game, that might sound like bad news - but there are several upsides.

First, those who have already purchased the game will receive the $20 shard package, which allows players to purchase new scrolls, pre-constructed decks and player avatars, free of charge. Also, not only will the price be the same across platforms, but so will gameplay; Scrolls players on tablets will be able to compete with those on PC and Mac, as well as have their collections and progress transfer from one version to the other.

"Our current price of $21 isn't feasible for tablets," Owen Hill of Mojang wrote. "As you probably already know, games are cheap on those things. Free-to-play would be an option, but we're not keen on the way that that form of monetisation can affect gameplay."
[Image: Mojang]

Titanfall Sand Trap map rounds out IMC Rising DLC

The final map in Titanfall's season pass-related DLC, IMC Rising, is called Sand Trap. In a recent post on the game's official site, Respawn Entertainment Game Designer Chris Dionne gave us a general layout of the to-be-broken-in warzone.

Sand Trap features a maze of trenches surrounding a buried bunker, which is inspired by architecture found on the Fracture map, and these subterranean locales shelter pilots from Titans patrolling the ground level. They aren't all OSHA-complient pathways however – some give way to wells of fuel, which are slightly lethal for anyone clumsy enough to fall into one. With pilots facing better odds of survival while submerged in the trenches, the dunes above are typically a Titan-dominated landscape.

Like Titanfall's previous DLC packs, IMC Rising will be free for season pass holders and go for $9.99 when purchased separately. Respawn has yet to elaborate on IMC Rising's general Fall 2014 arrival window.
[Image: Respawn Entertainment]

Rust creator on Mojang sale: 'I'd have done the same thing'

Rust and Garry's Mod creator Garry Newman has some thoughts regarding the recent purchase of Mojang by Microsoft to the tune of $2.5 billion. Specifically, Newman gives some insight as to reasons why he views the sale as a positive thing.

"Once you start hiring people your whole attitude changes. You're not just fucking about with your life anymore, you're fucking about with other people's lives – and the lives of their families. You can't just sell out and fuck everyone over," Newman wrote on his blog. "I am sure more than the top guys at Mojang became very financially rich due to this deal and that's something that should be admired – not seen as a bad thing."

"Long story short. I'd have done the same thing," Newman wrote. Hear that, Microsoft? The game about naked men with rocks who become clothed men with guns could be yours for the low, low price of another $2.5 billion.
[Image: Mojang]

Xbox One launch in China delayed, due before 2015

Following the lift of China's ban on gaming consoles in January, Microsoft poised itself to introduce the nation to the Xbox One on September 23. China should have said "No take backs!" however, as that specific launch date has now given way to a general "by the end of this year" launch window, according to a press release from Microsoft.

"Despite strong and steady progress, we are going to need a bit more time to deliver the best experiences possible for our fans in China," the statement reads, noting that Microsoft is working with IPTV partner BesTV to meet its end-of-the-year launch goal. Even with the delay, Corporate Vice President Yusuf Mehdi added that Microsoft is "thrilled with the response we've seen in China, including pre-orders beyond our expectations and growing anticipation of our launch."

Microsoft will still invite fans to an event on September 22 at the Oriental Pearl Tower, where games will be playable and 100 Xbox One consoles will be given away. Enwei Xie, General Manager of Xbox and Studios at Microsoft China, stressed that those who placed pre-orders for the September 22 launch in mind will still receive their consoles first, "along with an added bonus."
[Image: Microsoft]

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Destiny servers down, blame the cattle [Update]

Bungie's Destiny is currently experiencing issues with matchmaking and login on all platforms, according to a (since-deleted) tweet from the Bungie Help Twitter account. You can see a screenshot version of said tweet after the break.

This marks the first time since we wrote our week one State of Service review for Destiny that servers have encountered a serious problem. We have reached out to Bungie and Activision, and will update if we hear anything back.

Update: The only thing Bungie's Guardians should have to fear at the moment are the various agents of The Darkness out to blast them to bits; the servers are back up.

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Sony games division to launch internet TV by end of year

While the PlayStation 4 continues to sell like black, plastic hotcakes, not all of Sony's business divisions are doing so well. Thus, it shouldn't be too surprising that the company is trying to push their little slanted box's success as much as they can.

Andrew House, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, told the Wall Street Journal that includes launching an internet television service by the end of 2014, as well as a service that could stream games onto mobile devices other than Sony's own Vita - though the latter has no planned release window. It's not clear if the proposed video steaming service would change release plans for Powers, the Sony Pictures Television-produced adaptation of the comic of the same name.

House told the Wall Street Journal he was "absolutely focused" on creating a profitable ecosystem that would benefit Sony as a whole, but some doubt how far the PS4 can carry such a burden.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Merrill Lynch analyst Eiichi Katayama said that, while games can be a source of stable income, "for a company with such diversified income streams as Sony, it would be wrong to portray games as a business that could support the company alone."
[Image: Sony]

Oculus now an official platform, build target for Unity 5

Oculus is now an official platform and build target for Unity 5, Oculus VR's VP of Product Nate Mitchell announced during today's Oculus Connect event.

A related press release notes that Unity will "now fully support Oculus and the Rift with a dedicated add-on that includes stereo imaging optimizations, 3D audio support, and other features specifically for virtual reality."
[Image: Oculus VR]

More than 130k developers have signed up with Oculus

Nate Mitchell, VP of Product at Oculus, revealed today at the Oculus Connect event in Hollywood that the company has more than 130,000 users signed on via the Oculus dev center.

If that number isn't quite as astronomical as you'd like, would you perhaps prefer enjoy knowing that the Oculus SDK has been downloaded more than 550,000 times? Or how about the fact that the 325-plus VR games and experiences have been downloaded more than 699,000 times via Oculus' sharing platform?

We imagine that, with the announcement of a new Rift prototype - codenamed "Crescent Bay" - those numbers will only continue to climb.

Oculus VR reveals new prototype, Crescent Bay

Oculus VR CEO Brendan Iribe revealed Crescent Bay during today's Oculus Connect event, the latest virtual reality prototype from the hardware manufacturer. Crescent Bay boasts a higher resolution, refresh rate, 360 degree tracking, LEDs on its back, and removable integrated audio.

Iribe stressed that while Crescent Bay is still not the consumer version of Oculus' vision, Crescent Bay's improvements over the Crystal Cove are comparable to the advancements made from DK1 to DK2.
[Image: Oculus VR]


The Joystiq Podcast

The Joystiq Podcast

Super Joystiq Podcast 113: Hyrule Warriors, The Master Chief Collection, Murasaki Baby, Theatrhythm

Latest episode: Friday, September 19th, 2014

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