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Games of a Lifetime: Alexander's picks

After more than ten years devoted to video games and the people who make them, Joystiq is closing its doors. We won't be reporting on the best games of 2015, so join us for one last hurrah as the Joystiq family reveals their Games of a Lifetime.

Hunt the Wumpus
One of my earliest game experiences was playing Hunt the Wumpus on the TI-99/4A. I can't recall if we had this early home computer because my mother had gone back to school for a degree in computer science, or because my aunt worked at Texas Instruments. Anyway, I played a lot of Hunt the Wumpus, which was like Minesweeper meets Evolve. You're tasked with moving a hunter through various interconnected circles, where red dots indicated the Wumpus was two spots away, but there were also bats that could move you to another location and insta-death pits that were telegraphed like the Wumpus, only with green dots. It was one of the earliest games I can remember playing consistently, teaching me before I was in kindergarten on how thoughtful game design can convey a wealth of information.

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2D fighter Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax will reach the West

Following its Japanese debut last November, Sega has announced plans to publish Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax on the PlayStation 3 and Vita handheld in Western territories later this year.

As the title suggests, Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax is a dream match of sorts that pits characters from the Dengeki Bunko line of Japanese light novels against one another in fairly traditional (if visually spectacular) 2D combat. Because Sega's publishing the game, Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax also features some notable characters from the company's extensive history in games, including Selvaria Bles from Valkyria Chronicles and Virtua Fighter icon Akira.

No specific launch date has yet been nailed down for Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax, but Sega plans to release the game to both retail and the PlayStation Network at some point this Summer.
[Image: Sega]

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Square Enix triple packs March to the US

The Ultimate Action Triple Pack and Ultimate Stealth Triple Pack from Square Enix will launch for Xbox 360 and PS3 in North America on March 31, a spokesperson confirmed to Joystiq today. The Ultimate Action Triple Pack includes Tomb Raider, Sleeping Dogs and Just Cause 2; the Ultimate Stealth Triple Pack features Thief, Hitman: Absolution and Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

North American Amazon listings for both packs hit the 'net earlier this week, with a price tag of $30 each. The Ultimate Action and Ultimate Stealth packs launched in Europe last year.
[Image: Square Enix]

Find a way to watch Life is Strange's launch trailer

Image In Life is Strange you don't need a Cher button to turn back time. The $5 first episode of the teen drama is available now on Steam, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and it's on the way to PS4 and PS3 later today. For more on Dontnod's new joint, make some time for our preview. [Image: Square Enix]... Continue Reading

Watch Marshawn Lynch play Mortal Kombat X, say more than 7 words

Image Yes, this Conan O'Brien "Clueless Gamer" bit features Mortal Kombat X (which, by the by, Ermac was just confirmed for). More importantly, we now know that sportsballer-of-few-words Marshawn Lynch likes to play Toad in Mario Kart, while Rob Gronkowski is all about the Bowser. For several reasons t... Continue Reading

Battlefield Hardline beta test arrives February 3

Hoping to both stress test its servers and drum up an extra bit of pre-release hype, publisher EA has announced plans for a five-day beta test of its imminent cops versus robbers shooter Battlefield Hardline scheduled to begin on February 3.

"There's nothing more valuable to our team than the relationship we have with our community. Their passion feeds our passion and their feedback has definitely helped make Hardline a better game," said Battlefield Hardline executive producer Steve Papoutsis. "We want them to play the hell out of the beta next week and trust that they'll keep that feedback coming so we can continue to fine tune the game."

The beta test will be available on PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and on PC via the Origin digital distribution platform. No purchase is necessary to join the beta, but the file is likely to be a big download, so hopefully you have bandwidth to spare.

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Transistor, Yakuza 4 heading to PlayStation Plus next month


Sony has revealed next month's PlayStation Plus lineup, announcing that subscribers will receive free downloadable copies of Transistor, Yakuza 4, and more starting next week.

Featured PlayStation 4 freebies for next month include Supergiant Games' Bastion follow-up Transistor and Alien Trap Games' side-scrolling action game Apotheon, while PlayStation 3 owners can expect to see Sega's open-world crime drama Yakuza 4 and Eidos Montreal's first-person stealth game Thief. The PlayStation Vita will host Jaywalkers Interactive's Kick & Fennick, and Cellar Door Games' roguelike platformer Rogue Legacy will be freely downloadable across the PlayStation 4, PS3, and Vita.

All featured games will be available as free downloads for PlayStation Plus subscribers after the PlayStation Store updates on February 3.

[Image: Sony]

Watch Dragon's Dogma Online gameplay in the debut trailer

Going by its first trailer, Dragon's Dogma Online plays much like its name indicates. The newly unveiled RPG allows parties of up to four players to take on a variety of monsters, small and large - sometimes very large. Like in the original Dragon's Dogma, players can cling to bigger beasties and get their Wander on, as you can see in the video below the break.

Along with the video, new screenshots some of the "Online" side including towns that players can congregate in and the chat windows pictured above.

Finally, the trailer confirms initial reports that Dragon's Dogma Online is a free-to-play game for PS4, PS3, and Windows PC, and that it's coming to Japan this year. According to Capcom, a Western release isn't in the company's plans.

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Reptile gets the go-ahead for Mortal Kombat X

Who's next? Mortal Kombat series veteran Reptile will return in the upcoming multiplatform sequel Mortal Kombat X, developer NetherRealm Studios confirmed with IGN this week.

After making his debut as a hidden character in the original Mortal Kombat, Reptile went on to appear in many subsequent series entries, boasting a moveset that revolves around his ability to spit acid and draw in his opponents with magnetic projectiles. Hopefully, you won't need to trigger a secret match-up to see him this time around.

Mortal Kombat X will launch for the PlayStation 4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC platforms on April 14.

[Image: Midway]

Grab a pint with free Dragon Age: Inquisition tavern songs

The songs that fill the tavern at Skyhold are now yours for the downloading, for free until February 9, when they will be sold on "popular digital platforms," BioWare says. The download includes sheet music, as well.

"If you've indulged in the opportunity at Skyhold's tavern to enjoy a break from the demons and Venatori, chances are you've heard some of the bard's lovely songs," BioWare writes. "Although bards do perform to entertain travelers, they also serve a greater purpose: to carry the tales of triumph and tragedy across the land. We've received many inquiries from our fans asking where they can get these songs, and we're thrilled that you're enjoying them as much as we do."

The tavern songs from Dragon Age: Inquisition are performed by Elizaveta and written by Hollywood composer Raney Shockne.
[Image: BioWare]

Guilty Gear Xrd arcade to receive console-exclusive fighters

In a recent Japanese-language update, developer Arc System Works reveals plans to add the console exclusive characters of Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- to the fighting game's arcade incarnation.

According to a translation by the fighting game devotees at Shoryuken, an update for the arcade game will be released that will both balance the game to more closely mimic its console counterpart and add three new fighters: Sin Kiske, Leo Whitefang and Elphelt Valentine. Sin is an unlockable playable character in the console game, while Leo and Elphelt were both added to Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- as separate DLC characters after launch.

Arc System Works offers no word on when it plans to launch the update.

Square Enix action, stealth triple packs head to North America

Square Enix is preparing to launch the Ultimate Action Triple Pack and Ultimate Stealth Triple Pack for PS3 and Xbox 360 in North America this year, according to listings on Amazon spotted by @Wario64. The Action Triple Pack includes Tomb Raider, Just Cause 2 and Sleeping Dogs; the Stealth Triple Pack features Thief, Hitman: Absolution and Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Each bundle is $30 and available for pre-order. The release date – December 31, 2015 – is most likely a placeholder.

The Stealth and Action triple packs launched in Europe last year for £30 / €40 each. We've reached out to Square Enix for clarification on the release date.
[Image: Square Enix]

PSN Store Update: Phrasing!

Alright, let's talk about dying lights, grim fandangos and how life is strange. No, not that recent rumor, silly-billy! We're totally referring to this week's new releases on the PlayStation Store, which include Techland's Dying Light ($60), the Grim Fandango remaster ($15) and the debut episode of teen drama Life is Strange ($5).

All three of those are on PS4, while you'll also find Life is Strange on PS3 and Grim Fandango on Vita. By the by, Grim Fandango is cross-buy; if you buy it on PS4 you'll unlock it on Vita for free, and vice versa. Meanwhile, Life is Strange won't be available until Friday, January 30.

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Madden predicts Patriots over Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX

Image With Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday, it's time again to gaze deep into the crystal ball that is the latest version of EA Sports' Madden NFL to see how the game will shake out. End result? Patriots beat Seahawks, 28 to 24, thanks to four touchdowns from Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady. [Image: EA Sports] ... Continue Reading

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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