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Joystiq Streams: Sunset Overdrive tastes the rainbow [UPDATE: Live!]



Insomniac, it's been such a long, long time. Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus was a snack, Fuse was a dud, and 2011's Resistance 3 was kind of brilliant but it was also a bummer. Seriously, no matter how hopeful the ending was that game was grimmer than a birthday party where the clown is an IRS auditor. We miss your breakdancing bombs, Insomniac. We miss your blasters that turn people into penguins. Now here's Sunset Overdrive and its gallons of orange goo, its LP gun, its Tony Hawk's Pro Skater-ian acrobatics. Are you finally home, Insomniac? Let's find out.

Starting at 4:00PM EST on Joystiq.com/Twitch our very own Ludwig Kietzmann (@LudwigK) will stream the retail version of Sunset Overdrive for your Insomniac-longing heart. Danny Cowan (@db_cowan) will be chilling in the chat feeding your questions to Ludwig.

That's Joystiq.com/Twitch at 4:00PM EST, just like we do every Tuesday and Thursday. Starting tomorrow, though, we're streaming nothing but horror games every day until Halloween so make sure to follow us on Twitch to know when we go live.
[Images: Insomniac]

No one man should have all that Power of Shadow Middle-earth DLC

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor received a free DLC pack today that adds three new runes and a playable character skin to the game. The Power of Shadow add-on introduces the Black Hand of Sauron skin for protagonist Talion. Players can also toy with the One with Nature, Ascendant and Elven Grace runes.

One with Nature grants players immunity to poison attacks from Uruk captains and Ghuls. Likewise, players get double focus time for ranged combat with the Ascendant rune. Finally, Elven Grace increases players' defense, cutting the damage taken by enemy strikes in half. Monolith recently introduced a new photo mode to the game via an update. Shadow of Mordor will get a few other content packs as part of its season pass program that add new story missions.

Hyrule Warriors to Link up with Amiibo figure

An Amiibo figure slated to launch alongside Super Smash Bros. for Wii U next month will also be compatible with the recently released Wii U brawler Hyrule Warriors, Nintendo of America announced today.

Players who purchase Super Smash Bros. for Wii U's Link figure can register the Hylian hero with Hyrule Warriors, presumably after a software update. No further details regarding Hyrule Warriors' Amiibo functionality have been announced, but Nintendo notes that more information will be available as Super Smash Bros. for Wii U approaches its North American launch on November 21.

[Image: Nintendo]

Xbox One Digital TV Tuner reaches Europe

Coaxial cables won't stop European Xbox One owners from using the console's various media center capabilities thanks to the debut of the Xbox One Digital TV Tuner.

Though the Xbox One is designed to augment and enhance a user's existing cable TV stream, in Europe many people still receive television through coaxial cables, which is a problem given that the console has no coaxial input. The Digital TV Tuner accepts a coaxial input, then outputs the cable TV stream into USB, which the console can more easily recognize. Once everything's connected, users will have full access to the Xbox One's voice commands and OneGuide program listing.

The Xbox One Digital TV Tuner is now available for £25 in the UK, while Xbox One owners in France, Germany, Italy and Spain can pick up a Tuner for €30. There's currently no word on a potential North American launch.
[Image: Microsoft]

Custom backgrounds headline Xbox One's November update

Xbox spokesman Major Nelson has a look at the new features coming to the Xbox One in the November system update, including custom backgrounds, enhanced Twitter integration and an improved Xbox Live Marketplace.

"For the first time, each account on your Xbox One can have a customized background," reads the update description. "You can choose a custom color or achievement art as your background on Xbox One, with more customization options coming down the road." Following the update, Twitter users will be able to share game footage captured on the Xbox One directly with their followers. Additionally, the Xbox Live TV app will allow users to search for shows based on their Twitter popularity and to watch a live stream of tweets about a show from within the app, among other social-networking enhancements.

Most promising are the improvements coming to the Xbox Live Marketplace. "The Store pages on Xbox One have been improved to enable you to more quickly browse and find content. The navigation buttons were moved to the far left so you can find them easier. You can also more quickly find game add-ons, perform store specific searches and recommendations are more prominently displayed. Finally, store categories have been standardized so you can easily see the top items in each query at a glance."

Full details can be found at Major Nelson's blog, though he fails to mention when the update might be released to the general public.
[Image: Microsoft]

Deals With Gold: Strike Suit Zero, Burnout, DBZ

Need a little more Goku in your life? This week's Deals With Gold lineup offers price drops on Dragon Ball Z Battle of Z and Ultimate Tenkaichi for the Xbox 360, along with a collection of acclaimed racers from EA and Codemasters.

The Xbox 360 Games on Demand versions of Burnout Revenge and Burnout Paradise are currently priced at $5.09 each for Xbox Live Gold members, and Need for Speed Most Wanted, Hot Pursuit, and Undercover are on sale for up to 75 percent off. Codemasters' Dirt 3, Vigil's Darksiders, and R.B.I. Baseball are also up for grabs at steep discounts.

Xbox One owners can pick up Forza Motorsport 5's Car Pass for 25 percent off this week, along with discounted copies of Strike Suit Zero Director's Cut and Zombie Driver Ultimate Edition. Listed price drops are active through October 28.

[Image: Bandai Namco]

Metallica will rock out at BlizzCon 2014

MetallicaImagine that you're a big-name game developer with a pile of money and millions of fans to impress at your yearly convention. Would you hire your favorite band from your youth to play a custom gig? Hell yeah you would! And so would Blizzard, which is why the studio's just announced that Metallica will be performing at BlizzCon next month. It's the perfect band to listen to while riding around on your Azeroth Chopper and playing your Orc.

"We're thrilled to announce that Metallica will be performing the closing concert at BlizzCon 2014, playing before a sold-out convention crowd on the night of November 8!" Blizzard gushed in its announcement post earlier today. "If you didn't score tickets to the show, don't worry -- you can still get a front-row seat from home with the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket."

Hey, at least it's not Blink-182.

Fantasia: Music Evolved review: The rhythm is gonna get you

If you've seen the movie Fantasia, you know the bit where Mickey, the Sorcerer's Apprentice, puts on his robe and wizard hat and tries to make magic happen, arms sweeping grandly through the air. Things eventually get out of hand, of course, but for a brief while, Mickey feels the euphoric glee that comes with mastering something really difficult, and in its best moments, Fantasia: Music Evolved makes you feel the exact same way. Pulling off its complicated combos makes you feel like an honest-to-goodness wizard, bending the forces of light and music to your mighty will. Best of all, no pesky brooms to clean up if you miss a beat.

The game doesn't really bear all that much resemblance to the movies that shares its name, though cranky sorcerer Yen Sid does make an appearance. You are indeed his apprentice, but your job is to clean up the noise that's cluttering several different areas of the world after Scout, another protege of Yen Sid, accidentally releases it by trying to get a peek at her future. She'd be happy to clean it up herself, but she doesn't have the magic that you learned as the sorcerer's apprentice, so it's on you to restore the music to each location. As cleanup duties go, it's way more fun than mucking about with a bucket and broom.

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The Stanley Parable sells one million copies

The existential horror of The Stanley Parable has sold over a million copies. The announcement came from Davey Wreden, the architect of Stanley's prison, who spends his days waiting for Godot... and, likely, creating a new game.


Stanley contemplated if this milestone meant that a million people had taken sadistic pleasure in his torture, but he took solace in knowing his pain brought accolades. He observed the virtual trophy on his screen and a sense of serenity washed over him. He struggled with this feeling. Was it complacency or happiness?

Uber axes Human Resources Kickstarter campaign

Planetary Annihilation developer Uber Entertainment canceled its Kickstarter campaign for Human Resources, the developer's human-harvesting, apocalyptic real-time strategy game. "Every Kickstarter prediction model is showing that we will come up woefully short of our goal," the developer wrote in an update on its funding page, adding that it can't continue spending time and money on a project that won't get funded. "One thing is for sure, Human Resources, as pitched in this Kickstarter, is over. But we adore the world of Human Resources and will endeavor to do what we can to bring it to life in some form."

The developer raised $384,358 of its $1.4 million goal on the funding platform. The lofty goal would have been difficult for any aspiring developer to overcome; just four of the 341 Kickstarter games tracked in our one-year Crowdfund Bookie research series earned that much money in their campaigns. Even the $844,127 hauled in by Harmonix for Amplitude in May was an anomaly in a funding space that scarcely supports big-budget projects like it once did. Human Resources was planned to end in two weeks on Tuesday, November 4.
[Image: Uber Entertainment]

Until Dawn: Modern horror Caged on PlayStation 4



Teens go into cabin. Cabin is in the woods. Slashers are in the cabin. Seems simple, no? Until Dawn, Supermassive Games' exclusive new horror game for the PlayStation 4, is a little unclear with its intentions, though. Are the slashers within its cabin original freaks that are more than they appear to be or just impressions of the classics?

Dawn doesn't just borrow the scenery from myriad horror flicks like Evil Dead and Cabin Fever. It wears its influences and references so brazenly on its sleeve that you'd almost expect to be a post-modern genre riff a la Joss Whedon's Cabin in the Woods. The 20 minute demo Sony brought to New York this month just wasn't enough to determine what it's driving at one way or another, but Until Dawn certainly trades in some extreme situations. Whether those situations will actually be scary depends first on how the game plays out in full, and second on whether Supermassive clears up some troublesome bugs.

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WildStar reveals big lore drops on the Aurin and the Mechari

Boy, this information could have been really useful back when the game launched, but...
It's time to learn everything about the WildStar races that you were afraid to ask. Or, more likely, that you did ask. There's a lot of lore in the game, but it's possible to miss some pieces of important information, and players always have lore questions no matter what happens. So the team at Carbine Studios asked for player questions, and creative director Chad Moore has posted the first set of answers in the form of pages for the Aurin and the Mechari.

Both pages contain an overview of the racial histories, culture, social structures, relations with other races, lifespans... everything you could want to know at a glance regarding the operations of these species. Veteran players will find some elements of this unsurprising, but there's more to learn and some longstanding theories confirmed (like the functional immortality of the Mechari or the Aurin preference for analogies). Take a look at both pages for more information.

PSA: Do not send death threats to digital distribution platform holders

Paranautical Activity is on Kickstarter now
The general public service announcement here is to not send death threats, like, in general, but here's an incident of a developer posting a death threat on Twitter against Valve's Gabe Newell, who runs a little digital distribution shop called Steam.

Polygon has the gritty details, but the shorter version is developer Mike Maulbeck, creator of Paranautical Activity, was having a bad day yesterday with his Steam page. He's also had reported issues with the platform in the past. The latest problem was the Steam page was improperly noting the status of the game and, following a series of escalating tweets, he concluded saying: "I am going to kill gabe newell. He is going to die."

That, don't do that.

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Demon's Crest, Gargoyle's Quest 2 invade eShop on October 30

Capcom will resurrect a pair of demonic platformers from its back catalog next week with the launch of Demon's Crest and Gargoyle's Quest 2 for the Nintendo eShop.

Both games star Ghosts 'n Goblins series antagonist Firebrand, and both feature side-scrolling action bolstered by action-RPG elements. Firebrand navigates an RPG-like overworld in between difficult platforming sequences in 1992's Gargoyle's Quest 2 for the NES, while the 1994 SNES series finale Demon's Crest takes a more open-ended approach, challenging players to return to previously-explored levels as they uncover hidden items and pursue multiple endings.

Capcom's upcoming eShop re-releases will premiere at a significant discount compared to their current aftermarket prices. Cartridge-only copies of Demon's Crest are hovering around $100 on eBay these days, and Gargoyle's Quest 2 is approaching $70. 3DS and Wii U owners get Gargoyle's Quest 2 for $4.99 next week, and Demon's Crest will hit the Wii U eShop exclusively for $7.99.

(For the record, I sold my cartridge of Gargoyle's Quest 2 for $10 and complete-in-box (sob) copy of Demon's Crest for around $20 years ago. I regret my mistakes.)

[Image: Capcom / VG Museum]

Boss Fight Books: Season 2 covers Metal Gear Solid, Spelunky, and more


The second season of Boss Fight Books will feature in-depth analyses of Metal Gear Solid, Baldur's Gate 2, and other landmark games, independent publisher Gabe Durham announced this week.

Boss Fight Books: Season 2 is a collection of six books that each exhaustively cover a single game, with developer interviews and other supplementary material accompanying author insight. Announced works include Spelunky by designer Derek Yu, Baldur's Gate 2 by author Matt Bell, Bible Adventures by Gabe Durham, World of Warcraft by Daniel Lisi, and Metal Gear Solid by Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin'? creators Ashly and Anthony Burch. The subject of a sixth book will be picked from nominations suggested by Kickstarter backers.

Originally pitched as "the 33 1/3 of video games," Boss Fight Books launched last year with a series of six volumes covering Galaga, Jagged Alliance 2, and other titles at length. Actor Ken Baumann penned the first entry in the series, offering a personal look at Nintendo's widely praised SNES RPG Earthbound.

Boss Fight Books: Season 2 has already surpassed its Kickstarter funding goal. Books will begin shipping out to backers in May, 2015.

[Image: Boss FIght Books]

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The Joystiq Podcast

Super Joystiq Podcast 117: The Evil Within, Far Cry 4, Bayonetta 2

Latest episode: Friday, October 17th, 2014

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