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PSN Tuesday: Octodad, Cel Damage HD, Walking Dead

Happy PSN Tuesday! This week on PS4 we get Octodad: Dadliest Catch ($15), Putty Squad ($25) and Cel Damage HD ($10). Even though Octodad is a new indie game on a Sony console, it's not free for Plus members – and the developers at Young Horses put a lot of thought into that development.

Cel Damage HD is also available on PS3 and Vita, while Putty Squad is also on Vita. The PS3 lineup includes Defense Technica and SoulCalibur Lost Swords (that one's free). On Vita, there's The Walking Dead Season 2: Episode 1, Demon Gaze and Starlight Inception.

PS Plus members this week get PixelJunk Monsters Ultimate HD free on Vita. Whee!
[Image: Young Horses]

Bandai Namco bringing RPG Sword Art Online to NA Vitas this summer

Bandai Namco announced today that its PlayStation Vita action-RPG Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment will hit North American shores as a digital exclusive this summer.

Launching in Japan this week, Sword Art Online merges dungeon-crawling gameplay with dating sim elements. The game offers an in-depth character creation system, and players can team up with fellow PS Vita owners and AI-controlled partners in a monster-slaying multiplayer mode.

A release date for Sword Art Online was not announced.

[Image: Bandai Namco]

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Ragnarok Odyssey Ace treks to EU, AUS, NZ next week

Ragnarok Odyssey Ace brings its additions to Europe, Australia and New Zealand on April 30, and that Wednesday due date points towards a PS Store release [Update: GungHo confirmed to Joystiq it's PSN-only].

Ragnarok Odyssey Ace is the updated version of Game Arts' Vita action-RPG, and it brings the game to PS3 for the first time as well as Vita, along with cross-platform play between console and handheld. Monster hunters breaching the new version will find all the DLC from the original bundled in, but in terms of what's new, there are an assortment of fresh bosses, AI companions, skills, and dungeons to master/lose hundreds of hours to.
[Image: GungHo Online Entertainment]

UK Charts: Titanfall holds No.1 spot, 2014 FIFA World Cup debuts 2nd

It's been a while since British soccer fans have seen their nations associated with the words "World Cup" and anything even remotely approaching second place - that said, at least England can say it won the damn thing once.

Enough ancient history: 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil is the highest-placing new release in the UK this week, but unlike FIFA 14 it only reached second place; that top spot is still held by Titanfall. Maybe the most telling thing is FIFA 14 is only two places behind the World Cup game in 4th, some seven months after it was released.

It's lower down the charts where things get a bit more interesting this week. The physical Deluxe copies of Trials Fusion, which contain the game's season pass, did well enough to see the grueling bike-former debut in 7th place. Meanwhile, you have to go all the way down to 20th to find colorful MMO Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn, which has just made its debut on PS4. On the other hand, Square Enix seemed pretty upbeat about the game reaching 2 million registrations last week, so make of that what you will.
[Image: EA]

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PixelJunk Monsters Ultimate HD free to PS+ members on April 22

PlayStation Plus subscribers with Vitas in hand, tomorrow is going to be Ultimate. Beginning April 22, PixelJunk Monsters Ultimate HD for the Vita will be added to the PlayStation Instant Game Collection.

From developer Q-Games, PixelJunk Monsters is a tower defense game that originally launched for the PlayStation 3 in 2007. Ultimate HD adds touch controls and the Encore expansion pack, featuring a new island and levels for players to defend and a handful of catchy fresh music.

With a new game entering the Instant Game Collection fray, today marks the final day to acquire last month's free offering: Street Fighter X Tekken on Vita. Also expiring from the Instant Game Collection tomorrow is Monster Hunter Freedom Unite for PSP.
[Image: Q-Games]

Assassin's Creed series tops 73 million in sales


Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed series reached a total of 73 million in sales according to the publisher's corporate website, which lists its "worldwide best-selling franchises." Assassin's Creed, which has featured six releases in the main series since its 2007 debut and eight additional games on browser and portable platforms, leads Ubisoft's second-best-selling property Just Dance (48 million) by 25 million units.

Assassin's Creed will likely continue to sell by the millions given that the next game, Assassin's Creed: Unity, will arrive on PS4, Xbox One and PC this holiday season. Unity was just announced in March and takes place in Paris during the French Revolution of the 18th century, a setting that was vaguely foretold at the end of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood.

The next three series in the publisher's top five in sales bear the late Tom Clancy's name: Splinter Cell (30 million), Rainbow Six (26 million) and Ghost Recon (25 million). Head past the break to see the rest of Ubisoft's sales list.

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Treasures of Montezuma: Arena to match up PS Vitas in Europe

Match-three puzzlers are a comfort food of sorts - the rules change a bit with each game, sure, but the core concept is the same: match up colors and shapes for glory. You can use that mindset to approach Montezuma: Arena, a downloadable title announced for the Vita in Europe, but its RPG Story mode involves a more tactical strategy to reclaim your homeland. And really, anything that asks us to battle trident-wielding lizards has our attention.

The story follows Aztec emperor Montezuma's retreat to an otherwordly dimension due to the arrival of Spanish conquistadors. And seriously, when you choose to fight a realm of beasts like "Salamander XVI" in a game of wits instead of facing the conquistadors, you know they're a bunch of jerks. Montezuma's trip is temporary though, and each victory restores power that he'll eventually use to return home.

Aside from the story mode, there are tournament options for competitive multiplayer matches as well as an unlockable Endless mode. Bonuses and items can be purchased with Crystals, a currency that Montezuma: Arena awards for each battle, although there's also a store to buy Crystal with cash. Uh ... the legal kind of crystal, of course.
[Image: Alawar]

Danganronpa 2, Fairy Fencer F, Disgaea 4 dated for Vita in North America



North American Vita owners are going to be busy this fall, with two RPGs and a mystery-centered adventure on the way from NIS America. IGN reports that Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited will lead the effort on August 12, followed by the narrative-focused Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair on September 2, leaving Compile Heart's Fairy Fencer F to be released on September 23. Each game will retail for $40.

While Disgaea 4 is a port of the existing PS3 game, it will offer "brand-new scenarios," all of the PS3 version's DLC, new characters and cameos from the casts of previous Disgaea games. Similar to the style of its predecessor, Danganronpa 2 is an adventure game that follows a highschool student's handling of life-or-death situations. Lastly, Fairy Fencer F is a new, turn-based RPG with character art by Tsunako. It also incorporates concept art by Yoshitaka Amano and music by Nobuo Uematsu, both of Final Fantasy fame.

That just leaves the PS3's Battle Princess of Arcadias to be scheduled, which was assigned a general 2014 release window with the other games earlier this year.
[Image: NIS America]

Tales of Hearts R coming West, stealing your heart winter 2014



Vita-owning JRPG fans, no need to eat your heart out: Namco's Tales of Hearts R is coming to the West this winter. The game, which is a remake of Tales of Hearts for the Nintendo DS featuring new content, was originally released in Japan in March of last year. Tales series producer Hideo Baba announced the news in a special video, where he was surrounded by Tales series merchandise. Just in case you weren't sure who he was or what you were watching.

This is particularly good news for fans of the series, since Baba said last year that at the time, there were no plans to bring any of the Tales games for Vita to the West.

While Baba himself offered no other details on the game in the video announcement, Gematsu reports that Tales of Hearts R will be a GameStop exclusive in North America, though players will also be able to download it through the PSN. Only half a year before those of us on western shores get to tell some Tales on the Vita - be still our beating Hearts. R.
[Image: Namco]

PlayStation 99-cent sale discounts Tokyo Jungle, Super Stardust, more

The PlayStation Network Store is hosting a flash sale for dozens of games this weekend, each discounted to 99 cents. The sale spans PS3, Vita and PSP games as well as both PS2 and PSOne Classics, such as the Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon series.

The sale features standout gems like PopCap's Plants vs Zombies, Jonathan Blow's Braid, Sony's own Tokyo Jungle and Housemarque's Super Stardust HD. It also includes full seasons of episode Telltale-developed games Back to the Future and Jurassic Park as well as the adventure studio's five-game Tales of Monkey Island bundle. The full list of games included in this weekend's sale can be found after the break.
[Image: Sony Online Entertainment]

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Car combat comes to PlayStation next week in Cel Damage HD

Classic car-combat game Cel Damage will hit modern PlayStation platforms next Tuesday with the launch of Cel Damage HD, developer Finish Line Games announced today.

Released alongside the original Xbox back in 2001, Cel Damage will return on the PlayStation 4, PS3, and PS Vita on April 22 as a Cross-Buy game that includes all three versions with a single purchase. Cel Damage HD boasts 13 maps and six playable characters, and the console versions will feature split-screen multiplayer.

Cel Damage HD will premiere at $9.99, with a 10 percent discount available for PlayStation Plus members.
[Image: Finish Line Games]

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, Origins headed to PS Vita

Konami has announced plans to bring a horrifying duo to the Vita via the PlayStation Network. Silent Hill: Origins and Silent Hill: Shattered Memories are both planned for European release, with a date to be announced shortly.

A press release from the publisher confirms the games will be available for £7.99/9,95 Euro each.

Silent Hill: Origins, originally released for the PlayStation Portable, acts as a prequel to the horror franchise. It follows protagonist Travis Grady's search for information regarding a girl he rescued from a fire. The search leads to the mist-covered town of Silent Hill where all forms of hell break loose.

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories eschews combat in favor of running away from terrifying monsters as player-character Harry Mason searches for his missing daughter. Shattered Memories first launched for the Nintendo Wii, and reimagined the original Silent Hill's twisted story.

Joystiq has contacted Konami to ask about release plans in other regions and will update this story if additional information becomes available.
[Image: Konami]

Game Atelier apps go free to promote Flying Hamster 2

French developer The Game Atelier has discounted its digital games catalog to spur backer support for Flying Hamster 2, releasing many of its previous games for free via iTunes.

Through the end of the month, the iOS versions of The Game Atelier's cute-'em-up Flying Hamster, arcade-style gardening sim SunFlowers, and grocery-scanning action game Crazy Market are free to download from the App Store. The PlayStation Vita versions of all three games also get a round of steep discounts, dropping SunFlowers, Flying Hamster HD, and Crazy Market's DLC packs to 49 cents each in North America.

Flying Hamster 2's Kickstarter has earned nearly $30,000 toward a funding goal of $150,000, with 16 days remaining in the campaign.

[Image: The Game Atelier]

Dynasty Warriors 8 bug reports requested for PS4, Vita versions

Tecmo Koei has issued a public request for feedback from players experiencing bugs within the newly launched PlayStation 4 and PS Vita versions of Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Complete Edition in an effort to fix widely reported issues.

The publisher is specifically targeting online connection issues in the PlayStation 4 version of Dynasty Warriors 8 and framerate drops on the PS Vita. Tecmo Koei asks affected players to report "where, [with] which characters, [in] which stages and when" the bugs occur, along with regional details via its Facebook page.

Tecmo Koei additionally revealed that a Steam version of Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Complete Edition is due to launch in May.

[Image: Tecmo Koei]

March NPD: PS4 leads hardware sales, Titanfall rules software

PlayStation 4 console
The PS4 sold more than the Xbox One or any other console in March – making it the hardware leader for the third consecutive month – market research group NPD reports. The Xbox One and PS4 pushed US hardware sales in March up 78 percent from 2013, from $222 million to $395 million. Overall game sales in March were up 3 percent year-over-year.

Five months in, the PS4 and Xbox One are out-performing initial sales of the PS3 and Xbox 360, NPD Group's Liam Callahan says: "When comparing the first five months of sales for the Xbox One and PS4 to their predecessor's first five months, total Xbox One and PS4 sales are up close to 60 percent."

Xbox One has shipped 5 million Xbox One consoles, with 311,000 sales in the US in March alone, Microsoft announced today: "Of course, we're just getting started with this generation and the months ahead will bring several announcements we think you'll love. The team will continue to deliver regular improvements and new features based on your feedback through frequent system updates .... We can't wait to share more games with you in June at E3."

On April 16, Sony announced that PS4 sales had passed 7 million.

Titanfall was the top-selling game for the month, launching for Xbox One and PC on March 11. It is the second-highest selling game for Xbox One after just one month on the market. It was followed by Infamous: Second Son, South Park: The Stick of Truth, Call of Duty: Ghosts and Dark Souls 2. See the complete game sales list below. On PC, Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls sold the most on a unit and dollar-amount basis.

Software sales declined 27 percent overall. "Year-over-year sales of every platform declined from March 2013, with the exception of the PS Vita, which saw sales grow due to the release of Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster," Callahan said.

Sales of video game accessories in March rose 4 percent, led by sales of controllers for Xbox One and PS4, NPD says. Other notable accessories included Turtle Beach headphones and headsets for next-gen consoles. Turtle Beach sales grew 50 percent year-over-year.
[Image: Sony]

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Season 2 of The Walking Dead haunts Vita next week

While the Vita still lags behind its console and computer counterparts, fans of Telltale's critically beloved The Walking Dead won't have to wait much longer for the second season of the emotionally charged zombie adventure.

Barring any unforeseen catastrophe, The Walking Dead: Season 2 will make its Vita debut on April 22. To make up for the delayed release, Telltale has opted to launch both Episode 1 and Episode 2 of the new season simultaneously. Come April 22, both episodes will be available from the PlayStation Network Store at a price of $5, though if you plan to eventually play through all five planned episodes of Season 2, you'll find that the $15 Season Pass offers a 20 percent discount over purchasing each episode individually.

Additionally, Telltale has announced that The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season is now available on Android devices including the Nvidia Shield, Amazon Fire TV and Amazon Kindle HDX.

PSA: Terraria upgraded to version 1.2 on Xbox 360, PS3, Vita

As expected, the console versions of Re-Logic's 2D sandbox platformer Terraria have been updated to version 1.2 today. The update brings a large list of bug fixes as well as improved gameplay mechanics and graphical changes to the PS3, Xbox 360 and Vita versions, such as a brighter sun and darker midnight portions of the game. Version 1.2's change log is a "direct copy from the PC change log with console exclusive changes added to them," putting the console versions more on par with the PC game.

The game has found massive success for Re-Logic on all platforms, topping 1.3 million downloads on iOS and Android and one million downloads across Xbox 360, PS3 and PS Vita as of late March. It first launched on PC in May 2011 and just hit Vita in December. The game's creator, Andrew Spinks, discussed plans for a sequel to Terraria in October, noting that it wasn't in development at the time.
[Image: 505 Games]

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'Every Action Counts' in space shooter Galak-Z

Image In Galak-Z, every action counts! Why? Because in 17-BIT's upcoming PC, Vita and PS4 "roguelike spaceship shooter," death hits the reset button on your progress. Can you help maintain the exemplary 34% success rate? Find out this fall. [Image: 17-BIT]... Continue Reading

Eufloria Adventures hits PS Mobile this week

Omni Systems brings its latest project to the PlayStation Vita and supported Android platforms this week with the release of Eufloria Adventures, a PlayStation Mobile-exclusive follow-up to its ambient real-time strategy game Eufloria.

Eufloria Adventures puts players in control of a single floating Seedling Ship for a series of exploration-based challenges, contrasting the strategic, troop-swarming gameplay of the original Eufloria. Levels are procedurally generated, and players can choose to specialize in Speed, Strength, or Energy attributes as the difficulty ramps up at lower depths.

Eufloria Adventures includes both a casual mode focusing on low-key exploration and a roguelike mode for hardcore players. The game is available from the PlayStation Store for $7.99.

[Image: Omni Systems]

Bust-A-Move 4 on the PlayStation Network this spring

Natsume announced that it will release a digital PSone Classics version of Taito's Bust-a-Move 4 this spring, bringing the classic bubble-bursting puzzler to the PlayStation 3, PSP, and PS Vita.

Bust-a-Move 4 expands on the color-matching gameplay of Taito's arcade-born Puzzle Bobble series with new pulley mechanics, challenging players to balance bubble clusters throughout its single-player Puzzle mode. The game also includes a friendship-straining competitive Versus mode, along with an Edit mode that allows players to create and save up to 25 custom level layouts.

A specific release date for Bust-a-Move 4 was not announced.

[Image: Natsume / Taito]

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