Joystiq Weekly: Sony financials, Destiny review, Minecraft sale 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.
What would you do with $2.5 billion? Sure, Minecraft
creator Markus "Notch" Persson isn't pocketing the entire sum from Microsoft's acquisition
of Mojang, but something tells us he'll uh, be okay for a few years. Unless you're keen on buying small nations and playing a real-world game of Risk
, it's tough to imagine spending your share of a massive buyout like that.
There was loads more to this week than business deals involving yacht-sized bags of money, though. There's hope for a playable taste of Final Fantasy 15
in 2015, reviews for Destiny
, Hyrule Warriors, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call
, a full timeline of Minecraft
's progress from day one and loads more, all awaiting you after the break!
Minecraft has been an indisputable smash, but did any of us realize its parent company, Mojang, is a $2.5 billion prize horse? Microsoft has confirmed its rumored purchase of the little studio that could, but Creepers will continue terrorizing more than Xbox fans: Head of Xbox Phil Spencer stressed that Microsoft intends to continue making Minecraft available on other platforms, "including iOS, Android and PlayStation."
- Speaking of Minecraft on other platforms, PS4 owners can mine retail shelves for a physical copy of the game on October 7. We're still waiting on word about that past-due Vita version though ...
- YouTube star PewDiePie has found some new bros to hang with, as evidenced by a deal signed with MLG.tv. The move results in episodes of "BroKen," PewDiePie's collaborative podcast with YouTuber CinnamonToastKen, appearing exclusively on MLG.tv.
- Sony's financial reports are stark reminders that the PS4's success can't always make up for the media company's other divisions – A new projection estimates a $2.15 billion loss by the fiscal year ending in March 2015, with Sony also downgrading the value of its mobiles business.
- Lightning and friends will fight their demise once more, now that the Final Fantasy 13 trilogy is planned to reach Steam. Lightning's debut will reach the service on October 9 for $16, though dates and prices for the other two games are currently unknown.
Final Fantasy 15 enthusiasts have been waiting for almost a decade to get their hands on the action RPG, and based on a report from Game Informer, they may finally get their chance via a demo in 2015. Plenty has changed since FF15's initial reveal as Final Fantasy Versus 13 however, including designer Tetsuya Nomura leaving his role as director.
- Ice Climbers Popo and Nana won't be in Super Smash Bros. on 3DS or Wii U due to technical limitations concerning the handheld version, according to director Masahiro Sakurai. You'll just have to visit the dynamic duo in Super Smash Bros. Brawl or Melee whenever you get a hankering for clubbing your foes with adorable Eskimos.
Zodiac, a multiplayer online RPG aiming to bash numbers out of enemies next year on iOS and Vita, will draw from the expertise of a few Final Fantasy alumni. Kazushige Nojima, scenario writer for FF7 and FF10, along with Final Fantasy Tactics composer Hitoshi Sakimoto are both members of Zodiac's development party.
Destiny's global sales pulled in $325 million in its first five days, publisher Activision announced this week. That makes it clear that plenty of Guardians are up to the task of saving us all, but we wonder how many will stick around for the dangers lurking in the December expansion, The Dark Below.
- Sure, there are a few new racers rounding the corner, but those that missed out on Need for Speed Rivals during its first lap can catch up with a Complete Edition on October 24 on PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.
- Early Access games are usually paired with a feature list of what will or could be, but in the case of Double Fine's Spacebase DF-9, those ideas don't always see the light of day.
- Now that Disney's toy box is brimming with Marvel cameos, Disney Infinity fans can conquer hordes of enemies as iconic superheroes (and villains) in Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Super Heroes. Feature Content Director Xav De Matos' heroic, day-saving bouts revealed that 2.0 boasts "more variety than its predecessor, but the campaign content included in the base set is still quite repetitive."
- Finding enthusiasm to survive in an apocalyptic, hazardous environment is easier when it's the one featured in Wasteland 2, InXile Entertainment's followup to the series' 1988 debut. Contributing Editor Earnest Cavalli found joy in fending off cannibals and mutants, remarking that Wasteland 2 is "exactly the sort of game the industry should be making," but warned that the experience is "overshadowed by omnipresent bugs."
- Senior Reporter Jess Conditt's thoughts on Murasaki Baby paint the Tim Burton-esque puzzle-platformer as two things: proof that unconventional control schemes can be charming, even if they use the Vita's rear touch pad, and a victory in knowing when to end an experience before it overstays its welcome. With Muarasaki Baby's conscious level design and adequate playtime in mind, Jess concludes that it's "perfect(ly morbid)."
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call's expanded set list of 200+ songs is a fitting move for a rhythmic encore, but Contributing Editor Danny Cowan found more than just extra songs to praise during his battle-supplemented recitals: with all difficulties unlocked from the get-go and the addition of Quest Mode, an RPG-focused challenge that heightens the importance of your party's structure, Danny insists that Curtain Call "outclasses its predecessor to such an extreme degree that it makes the original Theatrhythm obsolete."
- Zelda fans concerned over Hyrule Warriors' departure from the series' traditional, puzzle-focused dungeons might want to consider expanding their horizons: Earnest Cavalli gleefully plowed through fields of enemies in the Dynasty Warriors-style crossover, remarking that it "seamlessly blends gameplay elements from two disparate series into a delicious virtual peanut butter cup, but it's not without its failings."
- Bungie launched the Destiny universe this week, and Reviews Content Director Richard Mitchell's review offers perspective on what the pseudo-MMO is at its heart: "a dungeon crawler. Full stop." Richard's analysis notes underwhelming story elements and a lack of variety in mission structure, but he adds that Destiny's mastery of the town, dungeon, loot loop is a "recipe for losing several hours of your free time."
- Peering into the guts of a Kickstarter campaign is bound to showcase nerves regarding the project's crowdfunded success, but for members of Ray's The Dead developer Ragtag Studio, it also involved a cross-country move, culminating in a rented house shared by the team's families. Contributing Editor Andrew Hayward spoke with Ragtag about what's on the line, how they're able to chase their dream and what it's like to monitor the ticking of a Kickstarter's clock.
- It's been clear for a while that Minecraft's success can stand beside financial behemoths like the Call of Duty or Skylanders series, but watching Microsoft scoop creator Mojang up for $2.5 billion is still a little surprising. To get a better sense of how Minecraft came this far from a simple alpha debut, Danny Cowan laid out a comprehensive timeline of the build-what-you-want simulator's rise to meteoric, gold-tinted success.
- Plenty of Guardians rushed to Earth's aide during Destiny's launch week, but Bungie was apparently prepared for the flood of heroes: Richard Mitchell awarded the communal shooter a Good ranking in the State of Service for Destiny's first week. Richard's report explains that "the Joystiq staff hasn't encountered any persistent connection issues thus far," meaning the only troubles you should be facing is conquering high-level foes and winning dance-offs.
- "Because they're crazy" is a common enough keystone to an antagonist's profile, but Managing Editor Susan Arendt took a moment to acknowledge the difference between fictional, blood-thirsty psychopaths (like those seen in The Evil Within), and the troubling, real-world stigma toward those that are mentally ill.
- The Borderlands series stands as proof that Gearbox Software can handle cooperative shoot-n-looting, but how about a wave-based affair that resets skill tree progress between each stage? Editor-In-Chief Ludwig Kietzmann chatted with Battleborn Design Director John Mulkey about the team's approach to balancing fun, depth and the strengths of each character.
- If you like reading comics about playing video games in addition to actually playing video games, you might want to enter our contest to win a copy of In Real Life. The graphic novel follows a teenage gold farmer, and while that daily grind may not initially sound interesting, you can get a taste of what lies in store by flipping through the gallery at the bottom of the entry post.
- Yeah, attempts to conquer Destiny's grind may seem endless, but there are plenty of other recent releases to consider if you need a break from saving us from aliens! On this week's Super Joystiq Podcast, Community Manager Anthony John Agnello joins Jess, Ludwig, Danny and Earnest to chat about Curtain Call, Murasaki Baby, Hyrule Warriors and Halo: The Master Chief Collection, but there's also the new Final Fantasy 15 trailer from Tokyo Game Show to discuss.