Joystiq Weekly: Awesome Games Done Quick, Kalimba review, DIY Mario and more

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Joystiq Weekly: Awesome Games Done Quick, Kalimba review, DIY Mario and more
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.
It was a pretty quiet week thanks to the end-of-the-year holiday lull, but things should pick up soon! Like, today even – Awesome Games Done Quick has just kicked off a week-long marathon of high-skill and speedrun-oriented livestreams, with all donations benefiting the Prevent Cancer Foundation. If supporting a worthwhile cause isn't enough of an excuse to watch talented players blaze through games, what is? ... Yes, okay, other than free puppies.

While you're waiting on something of interest that's buried in the event's schedule, catch up on what you might have missed while you were doing relaxing, vacation-y things. PlayStation Network users got good news regarding last week's service outage, Contributing Editor Danny Cowan's relationship survived his Kalimba review, and we explored the history of do-it-yourself Mario and the technical shift in Mortal Kombat X's gore.

  • Were you feeling frustrated during the PlayStation Network's downtime last week? Well ... no, Sony can't transport you back to your holiday break and give you a proper escape from awkward conversations with distant family members, but it can make up for the days you paid for PlayStation Plus while it was essentially useless. All PSN users will also receive a 10-percent-off code for the PlayStation Store.
  • While you're getting used to taking your PlayStation devices online again, get acquainted with this month's additions to PlayStation Plus. If you like shooting neon colors from your fingertips, claymation and the DuckTales theme song, well ... you've got exquisite luck.
  • Xbox Live Gold members, you've of course got your own Games With Gold library updates to look forward to. January's offerings include the Xbox One's Kinect-controlled, point-and-click mystery, D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die, and a sports-to-RPG rotation on Xbox 360 in the form of MX vs ATV Alive and The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings.
  • It's no unstoppable, blazing-fast scorpion hybrid, but developer Croteam's measure to ruin the fun of pirates in The Talos Principle is still pretty effective. If only it included a solution-less puzzle to turn off the elevator music ...
  • Sonic Boom wasn't from Sonic Team, so it doesn't count, right? At least we think that's how this tireless Sonic Cycle of hope works, but anyway – following that logic, Sonic Runners is the next game that will count, but beyond knowing it'll spin-dash to mobile sometime this year, we're in the dark for now.

  • Contributing Editor Danny Cowan learned a heavy teamwork lesson in the Xbox One's Kalimba, noting an "occasionally brilliant puzzle-platformer" that finds its groove about halfway into its single-player campaign. However, Danny found its co-op mode "way too unforgiving and precise," noting that "when the cooperative nightmare that is quadruple-jumping is introduced, easily aggravated couples may end up filing for divorce by the end of the level."

Featured Content
  • After suffering a surprisingly low amount of heated arguments and hurt feelings, Joystiq has tallied up its verdict for the top games of 2014! ...
  • ... And once we finished flatly congratulating each other on our wonderful, collective tastes, we stowed away in our respective writing spaces, giving kudos via our personal Best of the Rest selections to the games that really deserved to be in the top 10. If only our foolish colleagues could understand true genius!
  • Want to work on your teamwork skills without joining a team or putting anything more than a friendship on the line? Clear off your couch, invite your most-trusted pals over and try forming alliances in one of the games featured in our co-op roundup! Just remember: "You're doing it wrong!" isn't exactly constructive criticism.
  • Mortal Kombat X is going to be brutally gory, and very few people will be surprised by that. This isn't quite a case of "same old tricks" however – Contributing Editor Kevin Wong delved into the history of correctly presenting anatomy in art, drawing comparisons to the Mortal Kombat series' shift to a more realistic depiction of terrible things happening to the human body.
  • Every Wii U owner will have the option of creating their own platforming levels once Mario Maker launches, but the modding scene hasn't exactly been waiting around for Nintendo to lend them accessible tools. Contributing Editor Lawrence Bonk built up a history of fan-made Mario games, exploring where the trend started and why the creators took the time to lay out their takes on the Mushroom Kingdom.
  • Golem Arcana is a tabletop game with a mobile app counterpart, and if you're wondering how that sort of setup even works, you're in luck – The video debut of our new Off the Grid series explores Golem Arcana's feature set, from character figurines to an infrared stylus pen.
[Image: Awesome Games Done Quick]
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