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Beyond Good & Evil creator working on an 'extremely ambitious sequel'

Lest you were afraid that Beyond Good & Evil creator Michel Ancel forming a new studio would mean the death of all hope of ever seeing Beyond Good & Evil 2, fear no more: Ubisoft has confirmed to IGN that Ancel is heading development of a sequel to 2003's critically-loved-but-commercially-underwhelming game about a photojournalist with a bo staff and her anthropomorphic pig uncle.

"It's still far too early to give many details about this new title, but what we can say is that while Michel and the team at Ubisoft Montpellier are working with the core tenets of BG&E, they're developing something that aspires to push past the boundaries of a proverbial sequel and leverages next-gen technologies to deliver a truly surprising, innovative and exceptional game," Ubisoft told IGN. "The entire team is excited about the direction this extremely ambitious project is taking, and we'll have more to share later, as it progresses."

A sequel to Beyond Good & Evil has been on the minds of fans for a long time. A long time. Like, "the first teaser was revealed in 2008" long. More recently, Ancel shared concept art of heroine Jade wearing a sleek, samurai-influenced outfit that looks pretty darn close to what we saw in leaked game footage. Still, things have been relatively quiet, and six years is a long time to wait; we don't blame you if your heart has been hardened and you no longer believe.

Still, Ancel said in 2011 that the scope of BG&E2 would require next-generation consoles and well ... we've got those now. Maybe cross your fingers one last time? Hey, it worked for Mirror's Edge.
[Image: Ubisoft]

'Imagine tennis crossed with Street Fighter:' Rust dev unveils Deuce

Alongside Riftlight, an arcade shooter revealed earlier this week, the developers at Facepunch Studios are also working on a game called "Deuce," which a new blog post describes as "an arcade style tennis game with a focus on unique characters and courts." Or, more succinctly, "tennis crossed with Street Fighter."

Though still in its early stages, Deuce appears to combine traditional tennis scoring rules with the "distinct, over-the-top characters with unique moves" aspect of the fighting game genre. "The characters won't look like typical tennis players ... so no Wimbledon starch white shorts here," writes developer Ian James. "We want to build a selection of characters that could star in their own games in the future or perhaps play different sports." James then offers concept art which includes the menacing-looking mariachi band seen above and a redneck stereotype toting a racquet that's just mesh attached to the barrel of a shotgun.

There's no word on when we can expect Deuce to reach the public, but James promises frequent updates to the devblog as progress rolls along. Those who want to inspect every minute aspect of the game's creation should follow Deuce on Trello.
[Image: Facepunch Studios]

Clockwork Empires goes Steam Early Access in August

Clockwork Empires, an upcoming steampunk bureaucracy simulator from Dungeons of Dredmor developer Gaslamp Games, will make its Steam Early Access debut on August 15.

Previously described here as "a less militant Age of Empires as written by H.P. Lovecraft," Clockwork Empires asks players to rule over a growing group of colonists in a world as rife with overly complicated brass machinery as it is with squamous, unknowable horrors that exist only in shadow. Developer Gaslamp Games claims each citizen will have his or her own motivations, personalities and potentially dangerous secrets that will only complicate the task of ruling your superficially sleepy hamlet.

When Clockwork Empires makes its Early Access debut on August 15 it will feature a $30 price tag. If you'd rather not wait for Valve's digital distribution service, you can grab the latest build of Clockwork Empires by visiting the game's website.
[Image: Gaslamp Games]

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Joystiq Deals: Google Play store credit giveaway

There's no better deal than free money, which is why today Joystiq Deals is highlighting the ongoing $1,000 Google Play store giveaway. Those who register for the contest will be entered to win Google Play store credit from one of three prize tiers: The grand prize winner walks away with $150 credit, the runner-up takes home $100 and 15 others will receive $50.

No purchase is necessary to enter the giveaway, but all entries must be in by the drawing on September 31. For full, official rules, see the drawing's lengthy legalese section.
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.

Gods can be listening to the Gods Will Be Watching soundtrack

The soundtrack to Deconstructeam's Gods Will Be Watching is available on creator fingerspit's Bandcamp page for your listening pleasure, publisher Devolver Digital recently announced on Twitter.

We've taken a few looks at the point-and-click PC game over the course of its development, up to and beyond its July 24 release date. It ain't exactly sunshine and rainbows as you make decisions regarding who lives and who dies as you and your team travel across the galaxy.

But then, you could probably have guessed that, with tracks like "The Face of Genocide" and "Suicide Mission to Save the World" on the game's soundtrack. Heck, the very first track is titled "Self-Justified Sacrifices." But while the music may not be particularly cheery, we can't deny its quality. Have a listen and give your day a dose of drama.
[Image: Devolver Digital]

Super Joystiq Podcast 107: Oddworld, Rogue Legacy, 80 Days, detective games

This week's Super Joystiq Podcast has never missed saving a Mudokon.

Join us on an oddysee into a week's worth of games. Ludwig, Susan, Earnest, and Sam join forces to discuss the return to Lorne Lanning's original in Oddworld: New N Tasty. Earnest pours some love on Rogue Legacy (Spelunky purists beware), and Susan talks 80 Days. And as always, we flipped a coin to decide whether we have a lengthy discussion on adventure games or detective/mystery games, and tails it was, so gear up for some detective game talk and recommendations.

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

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Steam keys for Stained now available to Indie Royale customers

Developer RealAxis has issued Steam keys for its Greenlit side-scrolling action game Stained to Indie Royale bundle buyers in response to community feedback and fan demand.

Earlier this week, RealAxis denied Indie Royale customers their promised Stained Steam keys, citing unexpectedly low sales following its release. RealAxis originally launched Stained as a featured title in Indie Royale's Debut 3 Bundle, pledging to issue Steam keys to buyers after earning community approval via Steam Greenlight.

Steam users who purchased Stained as part of the Debut 3 Bundle should soon receive a key via their Indie Royale accounts.

[Image: RealAxis]

Motes of Light are your ticket past level 20 in Destiny

Though Bungie's open-universe shooter Destiny features a soft progression cap at level 20, Guardians can continue to grow their abilities thanks to collectibles dubbed "Motes of Light."

According to Bungie, though characters will be unable to gather experience points in the traditional, murderous ways beyond level 20, they can boost their effective level by gathering Motes of Light. Find enough Motes and the Speaker found in the Tower will exchange the glowing currency for new gear that can boost your character's stats beyond their temporary plateau. This won't change your actual, in-game level, but with better gear boosting your stats your level 20 Guardian will suddenly be able to tackle more difficult missions.

IGN's compiled a look at a later-game character, boasting an effective level of 29, to demonstrate how progression works beyond level 20. You can catch the walkthrough in its entirety above or, skip to 3:40 for the first-person gunplay.
[Image: Activision]

Guardians of the Galaxy sets Marvel Pinball free on iOS

To celebrate Zen Studios' new table modeled after Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy, the virtual pinball developer is now offering the iOS version of Marvel Pinball at no charge.

Like all of Zen's recent pinball games, Marvel Pinball is less a game itself, and more a shell that DLC tables can be bolted onto via in-app purchases. Those tables are usually priced at $2 each, but the gratis game also includes the Avengers table Zen released in 2012.

If you're intrigued by this offer, don't put off downloading Marvel Pinball. This discount is only available for the next week, after which Marvel Pinball will return to its standard $1 price.
[Image: Zen Studios]

Joystiq Discussion: How much would you pay for EA Access?

From aggressive downloadable content campaigns to Online Passes, EA has never shied away from trying new ways to make cash with games. Following the success of programs like PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Games With Gold, EA is embracing the subscription gaming model with EA Access on Xbox One.

For $30 per year or $5 a month, Xbox One owners can access a buffet of full games like EA Sports UFC and Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare gratis. EA also says it has "no plans" to remove games from the service, so provided you maintain your subscription, the games will stay in your library just like they do on PS Plus.

Even when paying for Xbox Live Gold on top of EA Access, there's readily apparent value. Intrepid Redditor Hidesquadron1 broke down the value of paying for a year of XBL Gold and EA Access and his math found that the annual $90 cost of both equated to roughly $672 in goods and services. Many players, however, may not value the things offered by these packages. Collectors and archivists, for example, may not want to pay to maintain access to Dragon Age: Inquisition forever even if they may want to sample other titles. For that player, the perceived cost of EA Access is more than just an annual fee.

The question then: How much would you pay for EA Access? Is it a bargain? Would you pay more? Or do you not want to pay anything for this type of subscription? Take the poll and discuss in the comments.

[Images: Electronic Arts/Moby Games]

P90X on Xbox One will possibly make your heart explode

Do you even lift, bro? Well, with workout program P90X now available via Xbox Fitness on Xbox One for $59.99, you can either take the first step toward rock-hard abs (and biceps, and quadriceps) or supplement an existing fitness plan. The 30-day program features custom exercise routines exclusive to Xbox One, and uses the Kinect sensor to give feedback on your form.

Xbox Wire also notes that sometime this month, the P90X program will add a downloadable calendar and nutrition plan to help you keep on top of your goals.
[Image: Microsoft]

PSA: August's Games With Gold now live

A new month brings with it new things. Most of them, like bills, aren't fun. But you know what is fun? Video games. And if you happen to be an Xbox Live Gold subscriber, there are four games you can snag this month for free, three of which have just gone live and are available right now.

From today until August 15, you can dress your Xbox Avatar in some off-road gear and rev engines in Motorcross Madness for Xbox 360. Xbox One owners meanwhile can fly the unfriendly skies in either Crimson Dragon or Strike Suit Zero: Director's Cut. In the former, players control a dragon. In the latter, you'll get behind the flight stick of a transforming spaceship fighter.

The only deal not currently active is the Games With Gold offer of Dishonored. But that's okay; being the stealthy assassin he is, we imagine Corvo is just taking his sweet time to line up the perfect kill. Dishonored will sneak out of Games With Gold's shadow on August 16 and remain free until August 31.
[Image: Microsoft]

ESRB rates Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 for Xbox One

The ESRB has issued a content rating for the unannounced Fruit Ninja Kinect 2, suggesting that a sequel to Halfbrick's fruit-eviscerating action game will soon find its way to the Xbox One.

The Australian Classification Board outed the follow-up in a rating issued last month. Neither developer Halfbrick nor publisher Microsoft has issued a statement confirming the game's existence or upcoming release.

Prior to its Xbox 360 Kinect debut in 2011, Fruit Ninja was a hit on mobile platforms, topping the App Store sales charts and spawning the animated film-based spinoff Fruit Ninja: Puss in Boots. Teetotalers beware: the ESRB warns that Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 features oblique references to alcohol in on-screen text descriptions like "In Eastern Africa you can buy banana beer." Scandalous!

[Image: Halfbrick]

FIFA 15 won't feature Brazilian clubs due to licensing

Unlike FIFA 14, Brazilian domestic clubs and the players belonging to them don't feature in FIFA 15. EA revealed this week that, because of changes to how Brazil's domestic league licenses players - the company didn't note what those changes might be - it failed to reach an agreement that would let players feature in its latest sportsballer.

So, while players in Brazil's national team and Brazilian players based abroad still feature, it's adeus to the likes of Palmieras, Santos and Flamengo.

After Brazil's disassembling by Germany at the World Cup, we wonder if the country's fans would have things that way 'round. With that elephant in the room crudely dealt with, all that's left to say is FIFA 15 is coming to another bevy of platforms this year, starting with Xbox One, PS4 and PC on September 23 in North America, and September 26 in Europe.

Divinity: Original Sin review: Old-school absolution

Divinity: Original Sin is an unashamed timewarp, a beast unrestrained in dragging old-school RPG values into the modern day. The concessions it makes are often by-products of the things it pursues, qualities like agency, depth and challenge. The game is so loaded with depth that, like an inventory-laden hero, it's almost crippled by it, teetering over the abyss of complexity and perplexity. What keeps Original Sin grounded is turn-based combat that's consistently a joy. Its symbiosis with the sheer scope of the game raises the whole thing to heady heights that harken back to another age.

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The Joystiq Podcast

The Joystiq Podcast

Super Joystiq Podcast 107: Oddworld, Rogue Legacy, 80 Days, detective games

Latest episode: Friday, August 1st, 2014

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