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The Nostromo crew lives again in Alien: Isolation trailer

Image In this Alien: Isolation trailer, Sigourney Weaver, Yaphet Kotto, Tom Skerritt, Veronica Cartwright and Harry Dean Stanton return to the Nostromo to reminisce about the good ol' days, when men were men, women were women, and aliens didn't care, because human face is equally tasty. [Image:... Continue Reading

Shadowrun Returns: Dragonfall content flies solo in September

A new, standalone version of the Shadowrun Returns expansion Dragonfall will rear its scaly head in September, developer Harebrained Schemes has revealed. The standalone version of Dragonfall is being labeled as a Director's Cut, though what exactly was cut and/or will be added in for this re-release has yet to be revealed.

Harebrained Schemes promises we'll hear more next month, but until then, good news for anyone who backed the game on Kickstarter or already owns the expansion: you'll be getting the Director's Cut for free. Free is our favorite price.
[Image: Harebrained Schemes]

Harada: Tekken X Street Fighter 'still in development'

Remember Tekken X Street Fighter, Bandai Namco's crossover fighter that was announced in 2010? Tekken series producer Katsuhiro Harada sure does, because it's still in development! Also, because he's probably bombarded with questions from fans concerned it's becoming the next The Last Guardian. Thankfully, it doesn't sound like that's the case, as Harada stated during a San Deigo Comic-Con panel that TxSF is "proceeding" and "still in development," according to a report from Polygon.

Harada explained that between Tekken 7, Rise of Incarnates and the ongoing free-to-play efforts Tekken Revolution and Soulcalibur: Lost Swords, finding space for TxSF is a matter of timing.

Maybe you just had a flashback to August 2013, when Harada said that Bandai Namco was "looking for the right time" to release TxSF while reassuring us it was still in development. In the 2013 statement, Harada noted the recent release of Street Fighter X Tekken, Capcom's take on the series crossover project, as a reason we hadn't heard much about TxSF. Considering how similar the titles are conceptually and in name, that makes plenty of sense.

With 11 months between this statement and the last however, it's tough to still consider SFxT a recent release, so hopefully we can catch a glimpse of a new trailer or something soon. You know, after Bandai Namco finishes everything else it's working on.
[Image: Bandai Namco]

Beatbuddy paddling, grooving its way to iOS in September

Beatbuddy's rhythmically-accented adventure will follow along to iOS' beat in September, developer Threaks announced this week. A related press release notes the version has been "completely redesigned for touch," but judging from the above demonstration, it looks like the logical extension of the Steam version's follow-the-cursor gameplay.

If you've yet to swim through the journey's channels, Beatbuddy's musical world of Symphonia is plagued by the vain, detestable Prince Maestro. In order to ensure his nails-on-a-chalkboard-tier music spreads through Symphonia, Prince Maestro kidnaps Melody, a spiritual being from which a component of Symphonia's life-sustaining music stems from. Beatbuddy is faced with undoing this injustice and knocking Prince Maestro down a peg, solving puzzles that incorporate the game's soundtrack along the way.

To get a better sense of just how vital music is to Symphonia and the Beatbuddy experience, you can read our review.
[Image: Threaks]

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Report: Square Enix CTO leaves company

Yoshihisa Hashimoto has left Square Enix, citing personal reasons for the departure, according to a Game Watch report that was confirmed by Polygon. Hashimoto worked as the company's Chief Technology Officer, most recently serving as technical director for Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn, the manager of Square Enix's Advanced Technology Division and the head of development for the Luminous engine, which powered the Agni's Philosophy tech demo we saw at E3 2012.

Hashimoto's departure continues a restructuring trend involving notable members of Square Enix. It reaches back to 2010, when Final Fantasy 13 composer and FF7/FF10 contributor Masashi Hamauzu bowed out to create his own studio. Long-time producer and designer Hiromichi Tanaka's departure followed in 2012, with Tanaka citing desire to work as a "single creator" on future projects.

It continued in 2013, with Yoichi Wada stepping down from his role as CEO (and upgrading to Chairman of the Board). Square Enix America ex-CEO Mike Fischer left his role months later to join Amazon's Japan team, with former Eidos Montreal head Stephane D'Astous calling out a "lack of leadership, lack of courage and lack of communication" during his July departure. Vagrant Story and Final Fantasy 12 character designer Akihiko Yoshida also ducked out in December of that year.

Former vice-president of marketing Karl Stewart left in April of this year, opting to join Petrol Advertising agency, which collaborated with Square Enix for Tomb Raider and is currently working with Activision for Destiny.
[Image: Square Enix]

MMO Week in Review: It is your Destiny

At the end of every week, we round up the best and most popular news stories, exclusive features, and insightful columns published on Massively and then present them all in one convenient place. If you missed a big MMO or WoW Insider story last week, you've come to the right post.

Console fans were treated to a hefty dose of sci-fi pseudo-MMO Destiny this week as the beta opened up for PS3, PS4, and XBone and developers showered trinkets on players. In spite of the game's lack of cross-platform play, at least one analyst predicts Bungie could sell as many as 20 million units.

Meanwhile, we finished up our trio of articles previewing the World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor beta.
WoW's Warlords of Draenor beta: A disappointing start
WoW's Warlords of Draenor beta: The disappointment of garrisons
WoW's Warlords of Draenor beta: Questing, mechanics, and concerns

Read on for a look at the rest of this week's top MMO stories.

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The Guardians of the Galaxy are pinball wizards in Zen Pinball 2

You're going to see a whole lot more of Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Gamora, Drax and Star-Lord - AKA The Guardians of the Galaxy - very soon. We already knew that the rag-tag group of renegades would bring daring adventures to theaters, Disney Infinity 2.0, and Marvel: Avengers Alliance, but now we can add virtual pinball tables to that list.

A Guardians of the Galaxy-themed table will be available for Zen Pinball 2 on PS3, PS4 and Vita starting July 29, and for $2.99 you can bring together all five of the starbound heroes as they battle Ronan the Accuser using the most powerful weapon in the galaxy: friendship a giant laser cannon pinball.
[Image: Zen Studios]

Fat Princess returns in match-three spinoff for mobile, Vita

The Fat Princess series has been overloading on real-time strategy-flavored sweets since its 2009 debut on the PlayStation Network, but Fat Princess: Piece of Cake adds a layer of match-three puzzler frosting to the metaphorical gameplay cake. IGN reports that Piece of Cake will be served on the Vita this fall, but a free, micro transaction-sprinkled mobile version is currently available on the Canadian App Store and Google Play.

Conquering one of Piece of Cake's 55+ stages requires making intelligent matches on its match-three game board, which guides the actions of your party's Warrior, Ranger, Worker and Priest. Pieces are attributed to different skills: matching three hearts will have the Priest use healing magic, for example. All puzzle-based progress is translated into an above battle against the blue army in a scene that's reminiscent of the series' established gameplay.

In a game featuring extensive portions, Piece of Cake's bonus feels fitting: the App Store and Google Play descriptions notes that after clearing level 15, players with a linked Facebook account will "earn access to a download of Fat Princess for your PS3 system at no additional cost." Assuming that amount of progress is feasible without purchasing power-ups or character upgrades, that's a pretty sweet deal.
[Image: SCEA]

Fewer than half of GameStop customers know about trades

If you're a regular shopper at GameStop, you've probably heard it more times than you can count. If you've worked there, you might know the line by heart. "Thank you for choosing GameStop, where we buy and sell used games, how can I help you?"

Although that phrase - and slight variants - might feel to us like they get repeated ad nauseum, GameStop president Tony Bartel told VentureBeat that only 40 percent of the retailer's customers know they can trade in their old products for in-store credit or cash. Bartel says even fewer know they can trade in mobile devices like phones and tablets.

Despite fewer than half of its customers knowing about trade-in options, VentureBeat reports that GameStop saw $1.2 billion in trade credit spent in-store annually, with Bartel claiming that 70 percent of trade credit goes toward purchasing new games. Hey, that reminds us: The Last of Us Remastered is coming out on Tuesday, and GameStop is offering 50 percent off when you trade in a PS3 copy of The Last of Us. You know you can trade in your old games, right?
[Image: GameStop]

Battlefield Hardline's story makes good cops bad cops

We can't uphold or defy the law in Battlefield: Hardline until 2015, but thanks to San Diego Comic-Con, we can get a sense of what will unfold in its single-player content right now. According to Polygon's report, Hardline's story follows a pair of straight-shooting cops as they're set up by another group. As a result of being framed, they land in prison, faced with fighting their way out before settling the score with the people who put them there.

Polygon notes a video shown to panel attendees depicted urban environments, as well as a scene following Hardline's lead cops as they storm a cocaine warehouse in a desert-like area. A crime lord named Roark owns the facility, and given his profession and choice of locale, we can't imagine he's receptive of any stop-ins from local law enforcement.

Eugene Byrd (Bones), Kelly Hu (Arrow) and Benito Martinez (The Shield) will have significant roles in Hardline's story, with Mark Rolston (The Departed) playing Roark. Wendy Calhoun, co-producer of Justified, is serving as a narrative consultant, with The West Wing editor Bill Johnson working as Hardline's performance director.
[Image: EA]

The nightmare returns as Twitch Plays Pokemon X / Y

The Twitch Plays Pokemon social phenomenon continues rolling along today, as the hivemind sets out to conquer the Kalos region of Pokemon X / Y. Not only is this the TPP project's final step to becoming a poke-master (which is to say that the group will have experienced all six generations of Pokemon once they beat it), but this time, rather than play an emulated version of the game like before, Twitch plays on a modified 3DS.

This is a significant change because having an actual copy of the game and an actual 3DS system means being able to take advantage of Pokemon X / Y's online features. You think storing pokemon in the PC or releasing them to the wild was bad? Try dumping them on some hopeless stranger through a Wonder Trade. Chaos! Chaos reigns!

The anonymous streamer in charge had the system's wireless functions turned off for an extended period of time, but it (currently) seems to be coming back. We're not ones to pick a side in whether or not Wi-Fi should be enabled, but someone out there managed to trade with the Twitch-controlled pokemon trainer to bestow upon them a "LADY HELIX."

It's a sign.
[Image: Twitch]

Strategy RPG Tears to Tiara 2 headed to US, Europe this fall

PS3 owners can add one more role-playing game to their ever-growing watch list: strategy RPG Tears to Tiara 2: Heir of the Overlord will serve as its series' Western debut on October 14 in North America, with a November 11 release planned for Europe. Atlus will be publishing Tears to Tiara 2 in the US for $39.99, but a price for NIS America's European version is still to be determined.

Hamilcar Barca leads Tears to Tiara 2 as a man indentured to the Divine Empire, but when the Empire burns an innocent girl at the stake, Hamilcar unhinges, channeling the might of the berserker. With a new-found understanding for his power and the support of a goddess, Hamilcar moves to free his people from the corrupt Empire.

Thankfully, it doesn't sound like Hamilcar will have to take on an entire empire by himself – Tears to Tiara 2 will have more than 15 main characters, with the game's overarching story progressing in a "visual novel style," according to a press release. You'll likely be reading your way through most conversations as well, as Tears to Tiara 2 will retain its Japanese dialogue and offer English subtitles for its "80-hour" adventure.

It only takes 80 hours to overthrow an empire? Jeez, channeling the power of an ancient Norse warrior sure seems efficient.
[Image: Atlus]

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Take the shot with The Last Of Us: Remastered's Photo Mode

When things get frantic in action games, the tension can make it tough to appreciate the scene unfolding at our command. The PS4's Share button has helped players capture moments in snapshots for a while, but The Last Of Us: Remastered's Photo Mode will offer extra filters and camera controls so players can really explore a moment and get the perspective they're most interested in. Once the feature is turned on in Remastered's pause menu, Photo Mode can be toggled with a click of L3.

In the video demonstration above, the narrator explains that players can "enter Photo Mode any time other than a cutscene, though sometimes you'll be restricted from moving the camera." While repositioning the camera might not always be possible, there are still options to adjust a shot's depth of field, brightness, surrounding frame or color. Vignettes and film grains can be laid over photos as well, to help emphasize the desired sort of mood. Once a composition is complete, tapping the Share button will share the snapshot as normal, with another tap of L3 returning players to actively dealing with Remastered's Clicker problem.

Maybe you can grab an exquisitely-gruesome frame of your future brick-on-the-head kills, or catch Joel mid eye roll as Ellie shares another kneeslapper from her joke book. Either way, you can give the photojournalist thing a go when Remastered ventures onto the PS4 on July 29.
[Image: Naughty Dog]

The Walking Dead: Season 3 confirmed by Telltale

The Walking Dead: Season 3 was confirmed yesterday at San Diego Comic-Con, much to the delight of fans and emotional masochists. We're not even sure how Clementine and co.'s travels will end in Season 2, but time - and the shuffling hordes of undead - wait for no man. Season 3 is coming, prepare while you can.

Which ... might be awhile. Or not! We're not really sure, as no details regarding a release window were given. Oh, those darn zombies - so inconsiderate to not let us know when they plan on dropping by.
[Image: Telltale Games]

Weekly Webcomic Wrapup likes Comic-Con, and that's okay

There's quite a bit of news oozing out of San Diego this weekend thanks to Comic-Con 2014. While only some of it is video game-related, why limit yourself when there's so much delicious, nerdy news to be enjoyed? We've seen Game of Thrones bloopers, posters for Ant-Man, new teaser images of Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (including Wonder Woman!) and plenty more.

If I had to pick just one "winner" of the show thus far, I'd have to go with Legendary Pictures. Godzilla 2 confirmed with Rodan, Mothra and King Ghidorah set to appear "in future franchise installments;" an Oculus Rift demo set in the world of Pacific Rim; new teases regarding the Warcraft movie. Sam like.

How about you? What news from Comic-Con has you excited? What made you squeal in your highest-pitch voice? What made you sigh in your most exasperated breath? Discuss in the comments after you check out this week's selection of webcomics!

Fanboys (Ship Wreck)
Hejibits (Evolutionary Tactics)
The Gamercat (Block by Block)
VG Cats (Five Years)
ActionTrip (Professional Assassins)
Nerf NOW!! (Second Jobs)

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The Joystiq Podcast

The Joystiq Podcast

Super Joystiq Podcast 106: The Crew, Gods Will Be Watching, The Walking Dead, game delays

Latest episode: Friday, July 25th, 2014

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