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Bayonetta 2, Hearthstone among first Game Awards nominees

The maiden voyage of Geoff Keighley's new video games awards show, the cleverly titled "Game Awards," won't kick off until December 5, but today we've learned which games are up for recognition.

You'll find a rundown of the key categories beyond the break, but the big one, the Game of the Year field, includes such notable standouts as Dark Souls 2, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Hearthstone, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and Bayonetta 2. You can peruse the other categories at the Game Awards website, though at the moment the site is only sporadically functional.

The Game Awards will take place on December 5 at the Axis theater in Las Vegas. If you can't attend the event in person, you can watch the spectacle live on Twitch.
[Image: Nintendo]

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Joystiq Streams: That's a tiger in my Far Cry 4 and I'm happy to see you

Smell that fresh air! Glory in the plush, pink suits! Grapple hook a gun-toting lunatic to an elephant and grab a drink, because it's time to head into the wilds of Far Cry 4 and see what there is to see.

Today on Joystiq Streams, our very own Ludwig Kietzmann (@LudwigK) will climb back up the mountain after completing his 4.5-star review of Ubi's new open world shooter. Joining him for the stream and feeding your chat questions directly into his earholes will be Anthony John Agnello (@ajohnagnello).

All the action starts on at 4:00PM EST, just like it does every Tuesday and Thursday. Remember: if you dig these streams, make sure to follow us on Twitch and we'll serve up a whole lot more.
[Images: Ubisoft]

Joystiq presents Humble Weekly Bundle, made just for you

The Joystiq staff tried to package and send out boxes love to everyone on the internet, but shipping costs were crazy, so we helped prepare this Humble Weekly Bundle instead!

The Humble Weekly Bundle Joystiq edition includes Beat Hazard Ultra (plus DLC), Intake, Dungeon of Elements and The Dream Machine chapters 1 - 4, all for whatever price you care to pay. For $6 or more, add on Slender: The Arrival and Primal Carnage. Pay at least $15 and also get Costume Quest 2.

Joystiq's Humble Weekly Bundle supports The AbleGamers Foundation, an organization that advocates on the behalf of the disability community to make games more accessible for players of all types. We spoke with AbleGamers COO Steve Spohn this year about the climate facing players with disabilities.

"When we are denied something, the walls come down around us and we're locked, trapped," Spohn said. "When you break that barrier the walls come down again, and you feel like you can rejoin the world. What we do is for the people. That's what this is about. Giving people a sense of control over their own lives."

Check out the Humble Weekly Bundle Joystiq edition right here, or use the sweet widget below.

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New Super Mario Bros Wii crosses 10 million copies sold

New Super Mario Bros Wii reached 10 million copies sold, Nintendo announced via Twitter. The side-scrolling platformer first launched on Wii in November 2009 and became Japan's fastest-selling game for the console two months later.

Nintendo's return to 2D platforming action in the Mario series was popular for its multiplayer offerings; up to four players could traverse the Mushroom Kingdom's environments together, knocking into one another along the way. The publisher has since returned to Mario-leaping action on Wii U with games like 2012's New Super Mario Bros. U and last year's Super Mario 3D World, the latter listed by Joystiq as one of the ten best titles that launched in 2013. Nintendo shipped over two million copies of Super Mario 3D World as of May.
[Image: Nintendo]

Guild Wars 2's revamped sPvP rewards skillful play, not just wins

ArenaNet's Justin O'Dell is on dev blog duty today for Guild Wars 2, and his post is all about planned updates to the game's sPvP matchmaking and ladder ranking systems.

"We decided to move to a score-based search method that takes into consideration several metrics that we believe are important for a match to be fun," he explains. "We chose a score-based system over other methods because we found that it's a good compromise between the often competing goals of match quality and short queue times." The system will do its best to match players by skill level, rank, party size, and so forth.

Points awarded through the ladder ranking system are determined by final score and odds of victory in an attempt to ensure that playing well in spite of a loss is encouraged and that luck isn't the driving force in ranking.

"Imagine a world where everyone took the saying 'It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game' seriously," O'Dell says. "Wouldn't that be great?"

Far Cry 4 on PS3 fix: Delete everything

Ubisoft has a fix for problems with downloaded versions of Far Cry 4 on PS3, but it isn't pretty. To fix the "delete FC3 game data" issue, players have to delete the entire game, including save files, and re-download the "correct version" from the PlayStation Store, this one with a download size of 9.4GB.

Below, see Ubisoft's full instructions on how to delete Far Cry 4 and its save files on PS3.

Ubisoft has a cleaner fix for the PC version of Far Cry 4, which has an issue that sends the game to a black screen when it detects external USB devices. Patch 1.4.0 will launch on Friday, and Ubisoft says it should fix this issue. "Some have been able to temporarily fix this problem by disabling USB devices and certain drivers, but we realize this is in no way ideal," Ubisoft writes.

All of this info comes courtesy of Ubisoft's new blogs featuring Live Updates and patch information for Far Cry 4 and Assassin's Creed: Unity.

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Persona Q review: When worlds collide


When I began playing Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, I expected it to be a time-biding knockoff of the Persona franchise, meant to placate rabid fans until Persona 5 finally emerges and provides fresh meaning in our lives. (We Persona fans are a little intense, ok?) I admired the super-cute art style and was naturally pleased to see the familiar characters, but a crossover with Atlus' other long-running RPG series, Etrian Odyssey, didn't seem like a good fit, except perhaps as a marketing ploy.

I was completely, totally, utterly wrong. Persona Q is a brilliant game in its own right, more than able to take its place in the Persona lineage, taking the best elements of each franchise and combining them into an addictive, hour-devouring experience.

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Call of Duty franchise tops $10 billion in sales, Advanced Warfare biggest digital console launch

Activision announced this morning that Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is the "biggest entertainment launch of the year." Believable, since the overall franchise has reached sales of $10 billion worldwide and making money is what Call of Duty does. Curiously, no Advanced Warfare sales data accompanied this announcement like in prior years.

Analysts have speculated the franchise is in decline, but Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg previously deflected this by saying, "Preorders are a good barometer for day one, but I don't think they reflect the overall demand for the product."

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New Nintendo eShop releases: Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Pokemon Omega Ruby / Alpha Sapphire

In the case of Nintendo eShop's new releases this week, size does indeed matter. With just a smattering of games on Wii U, one of them a late spring PS4/Xbox One hit and another being an obscure Game Boy Advance curio, you'd think the console would be on shaky ground. Not so. It's got big, big goods. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, with all its 8-player insanity and high definition glory, finally comes home. That's the good news. The bad news is that, unlike the other eShop releases this week, you'll have to wait until Friday, November 21 to play it.

If you have a Nintendo 3DS, though, you can tide yourself over with plenty of other, admittedly slower fights. Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire, new 3D remakes of classic GBA Pokemon games are available to download. If you absolutely need to see Charizard burn something on Thursday, they're perfect options.

Poke-shenanigans are the top options on 3DS, but Wii U does have those aforementioned Smash Bros. boosters in the wings. First is the long-awaited, rumored-to-be-cancelled Watch Dogs from Ubisoft. Finally, Wii U Virtual Console gets yet another Game Boy Advance game in its library with puzzle game DK: King of Swing, wherein you swing Donkey Kong around from an overhead view. It's trickier than it sounds.

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HBO Go app arrives on Xbox One

HBO launched its HBO Go app on Xbox One today, finally allowing owners to stream episodes from shows like True Detective and Game of Thrones. The network also offers a number of films, such as its documentary on gaming addiction, Love Child. The app is Kinect compatible, so viewers can navigate the network's streaming selections with their voice or gestures.

HBO's app was one of 35 announced for Microsoft's platform in June that are expected to launch by the end of the year. Of course, HBO Go is available to those with a subscription; stand-alone streaming subscriptions for HBO will first be available in 2015. The app also requires authentication with an eligible TV provider, a list of which can be found on Microsoft's announcement page.
[Image: HBO]

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Driveclub update adds photo mode, three new tracks

Evolution Studios updated Driveclub yesterday, adding a photo mode option as well as three new tracks. Players can now press the right side of the DualShock 4 controller's touch pad to enable photo mode, then use the system's sharing features to send their pretty car screenshots across the web.

Driveclub's three new tracks, which include reversed variants, are located at Yedapalli in India, Los Pelambres in Chile and Wester Ross in Scotland. The developer posted the patch notes to Driveclub's official Facebook page.

The update also added support for two upcoming expansions, the Ignition Expansion Pack and Photo-Finish Tour Pack. Both pieces of DLC will launch on November 25 in North America. Driveclub's latest update featured changes to corner and collision penalties as well as corner cutting "for balancing purposes." In addition to new menu and club functionality, the update also introduced "a number of minor bug fixes, performance improvements and usability tweaks." Driveclub has been plagued with server connectivity and performance issues since its October launch.
[Image: SCEA]

Disgaea team lets loose Firefly Diary in February 2015

The Firefly Diary, a new game from the developers behind Disgaea and The Guided Fate Paradox, is due out on Vita on February 24, 2015, published by NIS America. The standard edition is $20, while a limited edition runs $30 with pre-orders directly from NIS America. The limited edition includes the game, a collector's box, softcover artbook and the original soundtrack CD.

The Firefly Diary is a dreamy, fairytale-style platformer about a young girl named Mion and her two fireflies, one that thrives on darkness and the other one full of light. Players shift between the two fireflies to guide Mion among beast-filled ruins, uncovering her lost memories along the way.

See the second official trailer for The Firefly Diary below.
[Image: NIS America]

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Hit List Q&A: Nathan Vella, co-founder of Capy

In the "Hit List" from the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, the video game industry's top talents describe their current gaming addictions, their most anticipated releases and more. This week: Nathan Vella, co-founder of Capybara Games.

Nathan Vella is co-founder and president of Toronto-based independent game developer Capy (short for Capybara Games). Perhaps best known for collaborating on Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, Capy also recently developed Super Time Force and has created many other games for consoles, handhelds, PC and mobile. Vella is presently working on Below, Capy's upcoming game about exploration, survival and discovery.

At the upcoming D.I.C.E. 2015 Summit in February, Vella's will explore the rewards of collaboration, and he'll share key lessons on why and how it works best.

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Video: If Pac-Man for the Atari 2600 was released today

Image We've seen variations on this sort of thing before, but this mocked-up glimpse at our industry's terrifying future is more plausible than most. Something Awful founder Rich "Lowtax" Kyanka proposes what Pac-Man for the Atari 2600 might play like if it was released today in the video above. The... Continue Reading

MMO dev: Steam Greenlight still 'a big black box' for indies

Fairytale Distillery is an independent studio based in Munich, Germany, with four full-time developers and a handful of freelancers who help out as needed – and they're all making an MMO for PC, Mac and Linux called Das Tal. It's not as massive as EVE Online or as intricate as World of Warcraft, but it's a huge project for such a tiny team to tackle. Fairytale Distillery co-founder Alexander Zacherl seems to have a solid development and launch plan that sees Das Tal thriving until the late 2020s, when he expects it to shut down.

With just two founders and two developers who work on the game daily, Fairytale Distillery is overextending itself trying to handle all aspects of launching an MMO. Everyone on the team has hands in designing, developing, marketing and selling the game, Zacherl says.

Part of promoting and selling Das Tal was the game's Greenlight campaign on Steam. Das Tal was approved for sale on Steam on November 6, after 91 days on Greenlight. During this process, Zacherl noticed a shift in Steam's approach to Greenlight – approved games aren't announced in batches anymore. Instead, it seems as if games in the top 100 are constantly getting the go-ahead with no official announcements, he says.

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The Joystiq Podcast

The Joystiq Podcast

Super Joystiq Podcast 121: Assassin's Creed Unity, Dragon Age Inquisition, Harvest Moon

Latest episode: Friday, November 14th, 2014

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