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Joystiq Weekly: Telltale takes on Minecraft, Xeodrifter review, broken games and more

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Welcome to Joystiq Weekly, a "too long; didn't read" of each week's biggest stories, reviews and original content. Each category's top story is introduced with a reactionary gif, because moving pictures aren't just for The Daily Prophet.
Telltale Games looked at Minecraft's build-what-you-want universe and decided to build an episodic, narrative-driven game instead of a crummy castle like the rest of us. At this point, we wouldn't even be surprised if Telltale Games' next project is a narrative-driven series starring Samuel the rock ... it would probably be well-written, too.

There's a bit more to this week's recap beyond Telltale's latest reveal though, including ports of the last two Devil May Cry games, free games for those that own Assassin's Creed Unity's season pass, a review of Xeodrifter and an assessment of recent high-profile, broken-at-launch games. All that and more is waiting for you after the break in this edition of the Joystiq Weekly!


News
  • In its apparent devotion to telling stories in every universe, Telltale Games has announced Minecraft: Story Mode- A Telltale Game Series, an episodic collaboration with Mojang that will build its tale sometime next year. Minecraft: Story Mode will mix new characters with familiar Minecraft elements, but it won't dwell on the details or focus on an official story for Steve, one of the game's default character skins.
  • Should you spend hours creating a masterpiece in Mario Maker, know that you'll be able to share your work with the less creative among us. Beyond that, Nintendo Senior Product Marketing Manager Bill Trinen stated in a recent interview that creators will "be able to see what happens when other people play your course or when you play other people's courses."
  • Judging by its predecessors, The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt will probably be a lengthy adventure. Geralt of Rivia's feet are bound to tire from trekking through a few dozen hours of wilderness, but thankfully a new playable character named Ciri will stand in at some point to give Geralt a rest.
  • Capcom was already chipping into the remaster trend with Ultra Street Fighter 4, but Xbox One and PS4 ports of DmC: Devil May Cry and Devil May Cry 4 will help build the developer's contribution to the pile. Dante, New Dante and Nero will all make the jump to current-gen hardware by summer of next year.
  • Xbox Live and PlayStation Network users, you've still got a few days to tag into Marvel vs. Capcom Origins before it disappears from the digital storefronts. As a reminder, the double pack offers up Marvel vs. Capcom and Marvel Super Heroes.
  • Duck season (RABBIT SEASON) opens on December 25 for Wii U owners, as Duck Hunt will arrive on the Virtual Console just in time for the family festivities.
  • Ubisoft is ready to give away free games to early Assassin's Creed Unity season pass buyers, with choices including Far Cry 4, The Crew, Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, Watch Dogs, Rayman Legends and Just Dance 2015. The giveaway is in response to Unity's buggy state at launch, but before you pick your preferred freebie, mind Game Informer's caution that accepting a game revokes your ability to join any future class action lawsuit.
  • Speaking of bugs, some Xbox One owners faced a 40 GB, full-game re-download when they tried to grab the latest Assassin's Creed Unity patch this week. Ubisoft advised effected users to delete and reinstall the base Unity file in order to get the patch down to its normal 6.7 GB size.
  • Since Humble Bundle's debut sale in May 2010, the organization has raised more than $50 million for charity and $100 million for game developers. The series of pay-what-you-want sales has offered compilations of games spanning different genres and studios, allowing customers to tip the payout scales toward whichever beneficiary they desire.
  • Recent job listings suggest Microsoft is working on a project called "Arcadia," a streaming system built on the Azure cloud that's meant to stream games or apps to Microsoft devices. Of course, considering that even Arcadia's development team isn't finalized, the project is likely a long way from launching for the public.


Reviews
  • Reviews Content Director Richard Mitchell settled in to the 3DS and PC's retro-themed Xeodrifter, feeling it to be "more an homage to bygone eras of video games than a direct recreation." With developer Renegade Kid throwing a few of its own ideas into the retro-themed experience, Richard found Xeodrifter to be a satisfying, challenging action game with just-right pacing that gives players "enough time to master the game's mechanics without those mechanics becoming stale."

Featured Content
  • High-profile games have suffered broken components for weeks after launch this season, and Richard recently addressed the issue by comparing the apparent trend to the norms of past decades. The need to have a game the moment it's released and to place pre-orders is also discussed, underlining a growing question concerning pre-order incentives: "Is this shining trinket a treasure – or a trap?"
  • Dark Souls certainly has a reputation as a demanding, cutthroat classic, but there is a demographic that could never learn to embrace repeated death due to frustrations with slow combat. Community Manager Anthony John Agnello is among that crowd, but his recent session with Bloodborne, Dark Souls developer From Software's upcoming world of dark art and dangerous beasts, suggests that Bloodborne's agile combat is "potentially more inviting to the unconverted that never quite got Dark Souls."
  • Up until now, Evolve's beast hunters have faced two variations of the same basic threat: big, boulder-hurling stompy-death, and big, lightning-spewing stompy-death. Editor-in-Chief Ludwig Kietzmann found a new threat to fear (and wield) while playing as the Wraith, the latest creature to slink from developer Turtle Rock Studios' closet of monsters.
  • If you've read Joystiq for a while, you've noticed our fondness for puns. Our Fearless Leader, Ludwig, is a seemingly-endless well of wordplay, but everyone on staff has sheepishly grinned while rewriting at least one headline to allow for a joke. We took a moment to gather up our favorite puns from the last year, and our readers rose to our challenge perfectly in the comments.
  • If the November video game blitz is our industry's Oregon Trail, well ... Feature Content Director Xav De Matos is dying of dysentery. Senior Reporter Jess Conditt, Anthony and Ludwig gather 'round his sickbed for this week's Super Joystiq Podcast, lightening the mood with talk of Dying Light, The Talos Principle, Bloodborne, Evolve, The Witcher and a general discussion of video game stories.
[Image: Telltale]

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