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RetroBlazer feels like Doom by way of Saturday morning cartoons

Amil Parra isn't a big fan of violence. That might sound strange coming from a man designing an homage to '90s sprite-based FPS games like Doom and Wolfenstein 3D, but one look at the game in motion and it becomes obvious that the inspiration Parra draws from those games is the feel, not the aesthetic.

Meet RetroBlazer: a PC game that feels like a 1994 run-and-gun shooter, but looks like something you'd catch between episodes of Biker Mice From Mars and Mighty Ducks (that's the cartoon featuring space-ducks fighting space-dinosaurs by the way, not the live-action film featuring a lawyer fighting to be a better person).

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Dying Light launch trailer shows catastrophe on a hot tin roof

Image Dead Island creator Techland is once again chucking a ton of undead at your face, but this time you have to freerun from them. "Go anywhere, climb anything," but try to stay alive, eh? Dying Light is available now on Steam for $60, with physical copies also out today in North and South America f... Continue Reading

Hyrule Warriors ships a million, celebrates with wallpaper party

Hyrule Warriors shipped a million units worldwide since it launched last fall, which equates to many, many millions of enemies taken out in the army-mashing crossover. Famitsu reported the milestone today, which we've confirmed with a Koei Tecmo Europe representative.

Koei Tecmo is celebrating like cray by publishing a set of new wallpapers based on the Wii U brawler, and they're not bad desktop bling, it has to be said. Also, there's still plenty of steam in the game's DLC train; Majora's Mask content is due to arrive next week.

And yes, the DLC features Tingle. Like absolutely everything should.
[Image: Tecmo Koei]

Guild Wars 2 is replacing its trait unlock system

Make it ever so much easier to not be bad.
Do you like the current unlocking system for traits in Guild Wars 2? If you don't, you're in good company; very few people actually like it. The good news, at least, is that it doesn't appear that it's going to be a problem in the near future. Game director Colin Johanson spoke out recently on the game's forums stating that the pending release of Heart of Thorns gave the team more freedom for discussing future plans and core gameplay changes.

With the inclusions of specializations and account-wide masteries, the existing trait system is going to be replaced by a simpler system to ensure that progress and advancement is where the development team wants it for all Guild Wars 2 characters. More updates on how the system will work are promised as the release draws closer, but if you don't like the existing system, you can at least take heart that it's going to be gone before too much longer.

Dragon's Dogma Online announced

Dragon's Dogma Online is official, after Famitsu announced it's featuring the game in the latest issue of its magazine. The entry in Capcom's action-RPG series was much speculated after trademarks showed up in Europe and Japan last month.

We're waiting on official details, but going by reports based on magazine scans, Dragon's Dogma Online is a free-to-play game for PS4, PS3, and PC. According to Siliconera, the game is due for release in Japan this year.

While the European trademark may raise hopes for an international release, a Capcom UK representative told Eurogamer this morning there are no plans to release Dragon's Dogma Online in the West.

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Design ideas we love and want more of in 2015

When dissected, our favorite games are usually composed of many ideas and designs that make the entire package worthy of our time.

In 2014, there were countless game ideas and design choices that we were enamored with: from the educational value of Never Alone to the co-op found within the crazy world of Bayonetta 2. In this feature, Team Joystiq recalls a handful of ideas that made 2014 a great year for gaming. Here are designs we hope to see more of in 2015.

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Rumor: Joystiq closing shop

cane corso puppy portrait
'AOL is likely to shutter' Joystiq, reports Recode. Hey, wait a minute... that's us! Well, we may as well handle this the same way we've been covering the video game industry for ten years.

"We do not comment on rumor and speculation," one staffer told us, wishing to remain anonymous, preparing for their lucrative PR career. Others are still trying to figure out next steps. Another anonymous staffer said, "We're still working until we can't."

Sources tell Joystiq that the staff is aware of the closure, but corporate hasn't officially told them, so they are unable to acknowledge anything out of concern that it will cause immediate shutdown. We've reached out for more information. We will update, as we always have, when we know more.
[Image: Shutterstock]

The Witcher 3 on consoles can simulate world states, can't import Witcher 2 saves

On PC, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt can import a Witcher 2 save file to "impact your playthrough" of the third entry, but on consoles CD Projekt is taking a different approach. In a roundtable interview Level Designer Miles Tost told Joystiq that The Witcher 3 will look to simulate world states based on decisions taken in an in-game conversation.

"The way how it works is that the game on the consoles will ask you whether you want to simulate a specific state of the world, coming from previous games," Tost explained. "If you choose 'yes,' then you will get a special conversation at one part of the game - I don't want to spoil where it happens. It's basically a conversation with a character and the conversation is about the adventures of Geralt of Rivia. And you can basically deny or confirm whatever [the character] has heard of whatever tales of [Geralt.] It's actually kind of a cute mechanic. If you don't want to simulate the state then this conversation doesn't take place."

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League of Legends Amumu music video is a tear-jerker



Amumu is the saddest of all League of Legends champions – as he wanders around Summoner's Rift, he says things like, "Come play with me," "Let me give you a hug" and "Where are we going?" with the most broken, depressing inflection. See, Amumu is cursed with eternal sadness and an inability to make friends, as Riot's new music video, "The Curse of the Sad Mummy," demonstrates with beautiful, terrible clarity.

Ugh. You can sit with us, Amumu! See the video and Amumu's creative spotlight on the official League of Legends site.
[Image: Riot]

Golem to follow Omen's lead onto Killer Instinct roster


Following a reveal earlier this month, developer Iron Galaxy has issued a proper trailer for Omen that, like past Killer Instinct character trailers, is nearly overshadowed by a cameo at the end.

The walking mass of rocks and shrubs that crashes onto camera and squishes Orchid is named Golem. Whether or not words can hurt you is irrelevant, as Golem brings both sticks and stones - two items notorious for bone trauma - to the Xbox One-exclusive fight. Unfortunately, beyond that brief footage, none-too-surprising name and the pun about sticks and stones, we know nothing about this new fighter. Outside of this brief footage, Iron Galaxy has yet to reveal any useful information on Golem.

We can tell you, however, that Omen will join Killer Instinct later this week. On January 30, the character will be available for owners of Killer Instinct Ultra Edition, while those with Killer Instinct Combo Breaker Edition will be waiting until February 5.

Sony accepting claims on 2011 PSN data breach settlement

If you were a PSN, Qriocity or Sony Online Entertainment user at the time of the April 2011 Sony hack that disrupted the PlayStation Network for nearly a month and compromised 70 million user accounts, now's your chance to get a piece of the class action settlement levied against Sony last year.

To qualify, you must have held a PSN, Qriocity or Sony Online Entertainment account on or before May 14, 2011. Each service is eligible to receive different claims, but PSN users are able to receive either one or two games - if you already received a free game in Sony's 2011 "Welcome Back" promotion, you're only eligible for one; if not, you're eligible to choose two - from a list that includes standouts like LittleBigPlanet and God of War HD. Notably, none of the games on offer are for the PlayStation 4. If none of the games tickle your fancy, you can instead choose free dynamic themes for your PlayStation 3 or free PlayStation Plus subscription time.

After wading through multiple pages of bureaucratic legalese, you'll find everything you need to make your claim at the PSN-SOE settlement website.
[Image: Sony]

Smash Bros. creator Sakurai also has trouble tracking down amiibo

If you've been unsuccessful in finding an amiibo of your favorite Super Smash Bros. character, you're not alone. Series creator Masahiro Sakurai recently vented similar frustrations on Twitter, noting that he went home empty-handed when he hit up local retailers in Japan in the hopes of tracking down Meta Knight, Sheik, Lucario, and Rosalina & Luma.

Nintendo of America announced last year that it would phase out many amiibo after an initial print run, leading to shortages and price hikes on secondary markets like eBay and Amazon. The Lucario figure also remains elusive in the weeks leading up to its release in North America, with exclusive distributor Toys R Us recently raising confusion over whether customer pre-orders are still valid.

First-wave amiibo figures Wii Fit Trainer, Villager, and Marth have not yet seen a second print run in North America, leading Nintendo fans to import cheaper equivalent figures from Japan. Amazon additionally sold out of its initial allotment of Sonic the Hedgehog figurines after opening pre-orders last week, hinting at another impending post-launch shortage.

Destiny dev: DLC mistakes won't be repeated

Destiny designer Luke Smith recently addressed concerns over Bungie's future updates for the game. Namely, Smith said "the mistakes [Bungie] made with the DLC1 reward economy will not be repeated," in a NeoGAF thread, admitting the developer's previous attempts at expanding the first-person shooter with add-on content resulted in a few problems for players. Smith claims the developer will avoid mistakes such as "vendor gear invalidating the effort of [Vault of Glass] Raiders" and exotic gear upgrades resulting in a talent reset.

"Our philosophy about rewards/loot continue to evolve as we see how players play and react," Smith wrote. He noted that item drop rates appear to be "much improved" in the Crota's End DLC compared to Vault of Glass, and that Bungie plans to "improve acquisition stories and frequency" as well as "lessen the grind and get players to the fun parts of their arsenal faster." It issued a hot fix for Destiny in December to boost the drop rates for the Crota's End raid mission.
[Image: Activision]

Silence: The Whispered World 2 also has words for the PS4

Alongside its "early 2015" PC, Mac and Xbox One debut, publisher Daedalic Entertainment has announced that lovely, snowbound adventure Silence: The Whispered World 2 will be released on the PlayStation 4.

A sequel to 2010's The Whispered World, Silence: The Whispered World 2 casts players as Noah, a 16-year-old boy attempting to find his younger sister in the ethereal world of Silence. The duo enter Silence in an effort to escape from a war in their world, but quickly find that the wondrous land of Silence is also embroiled in conflict (not to mention populated by nasty beasts and self-serving political factions). It's sort of a Chronicles of Narnia situation, only with fewer Christian allegories in the form of sage predatory felines.

Though the original Whispered World featured 2D graphics, Silence: The Whispered World 2 employs 3D models and a method the developers call "camera projection" that "allows [the artists] to maintain the high detail level of our hand-drawn art, while still being able to use the benefits of 3D game design."
[Image: Daedalic Entertainment]

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Joystiq Deals: Android Game Developer Bundle

Today, Joystiq Deals serves up the Android Game Developer Bundle, a seven-course selection that will put you on the road to launching a fully fledged mobile game studio.

The package includes the No-Coding-Required Game Building Course, the Beginner Game Reskinning Course, the Android Lollipop Complete Development Course, the Unity3D 2D-Game Development Course, the All-Level Unity3D C# Game Development Course, the Intro To C# Programming & Scripting for Games in Unity, and the All-Level Android App Development Course. All seven courses can be yours for $49 through this Saturday.


Joystiq Deals is a partnership between AOL and StackSocial. A portion of sales goes to funding this site. Deals are curated by StackSocial independently of the Joystiq editorial team.

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The Joystiq Podcast

The Joystiq Podcast

Super Joystiq Podcast 128: Reviews, New Nintendo 3DS, Majora's Mask 3D

Latest episode: Friday, January 16th, 2015

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