Zen Pinball's 'South Park' tables launch this week

Two South Park-themed tables join Zen Studios' pinball lineup this week. South Park: Super Sweet Pinball and South Park: Butters' Very Own Pinball Game will launch on all platforms except Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, Zen announced this morning. That means they'll be on the Zen Pinball or Pinball FX applications for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Mac OS and Windows PC and iOS and Android. Super-Sweet Pinball features characters, scenes and gags from the 17-year-old series, spanning main characters Stan, Kyle, Kenny and Cartman to regulars like Wendy, Jimmy and Timmy, Chef, Mr. Garrsion, Mr. Hankey and ManBearPig. Butters' Very Own Pinball Game adapts three stories involving him over the years: "Marjorine" from season nine, in which Butters infiltrates a...

Grim Fandango returns with updated graphics, orchestral score and fan-made controls

A remastered version of Grim Fandango coming to PlayStation and PC platforms next year feels something like a video game miracle. Thanks to developer Double Fine's efforts and some smart people at Disney and LucasArts — people who can make things happen — players will get the opportunity to play Tim Schafer's classic noir adventure game, now lovingly overhauled. At Indiecade, Double Fine and PlayStation brought the PS4 version of the game — it's also coming to PlayStation Vita and Linux, Mac and Windows — putting their remastering efforts on display. The most noticeable difference comes, unsurprisingly, in the game's graphics. Grim Fandango's pre-rendered backgrounds have been uprezzed and textures for real-time 3D models have been wholly recreated. Players can switch between the...

Minecraft hits PlayStation Vita in North America on Oct. 14

Minecraft PS Vita Edition will launch digitally in North America on Oct. 14 for $19.99, while the retail version hits stores Nov. 11, according to the PlayStation Blog. Players with the PlayStation 3 version of the sandbox crafting game can transfer their existing saves to and from the PS Vita edition, and then on to the PS4 edition of the game. The game is also cross-buy for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita. Players who have Minecraft on either platform can upgrade to the PS4 Edition for $4.99. A European release date of Oct. 15 was announced for the game yesterday. In September, Microsoft purchased developer Mojang and Minecraft for $2.5 billion. Mojang's founders, including Markus "Notch" Persson, will not remain with the company.

Hotline Miami 2 pushes into late 2014 or early 2015 for 'final tweaks'

Dennaton Games' mega-violent top-down 2D action game, Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, won't be ready until late 2014 or early 2015 to accommodate for "some final tweaks and polish," according to the game's official Twitter account. "Your patience is appreciated and will ultimately be rewarded with everything you hoped for and nothing like what you expected," the Twitter account added. Hotline Miami 2, a sequel to the acclaimed title released in 2012, was initially expected to launch in Q3 of 2014. The game takes place following the events of Hotline Miami and will include a level editor. Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number is being developed for Linux, Mac, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and Windows PC. For more on the game, check out our preview below.

The Wolf Among Us hitting retail, Xbox One and PS4 on November 4

Americans head to the polls on the first Tuesday of November to pick their new elected representatives, but they'll also be able to make a much more impactful and difficult decision: Will they play The Big Bad Wolf as a super total monster jerk or just a regular, everyday jerk? The first adventure of the Fabletown sheriff, The Wolf Among Us, comes to retail (as well as making its first Xbox One and PlayStation 4 appearance) on November 4. All versions will cost $30 dollars, but the emotional cost of being the Fabletown schlub everyone loves to hate will be so much more.

Minecraft is finally coming to PS Vita later this month

The PlayStation Vita edition of Minecraft is heading to the Sony system on Oct. 15, developer 4J Studios announced today. The date only applies to European Vita owners, however, as no North American release date has been confirmed as of yet. We've reached out to the studio for additional launch information. The PS Vita edition is a Cross-Buy release for any users who previously purchased Minecraft on PlayStation 3. Those who own the PlayStation 4 edition, which released just last month, will be required to purchase the Vita version as a stand-alone. The next step for 4J Studios is a general update that aims to match all console versions to the current 1.6 PC build, known as the Horse Update. The developer confirmed this via Twitter, adding it "may take some time" before we can expect...
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Quality Control

We're talking Murasaki Baby on our game review podcast Quality Control

Our podcast, Quality Control, is a pretty simple idea. In each episode, Polygon managing editor Justin McElroy talks to a critic after they review a new game and allows them to add a little bit of extra context and insight. Why did they feel the way they did? What do they wish they had been able to discuss in more depth in their review? Also: Did they play it wrong? In this episode, we talk with Megan Farokhmanesh about her review of Murasaki Baby which you can find right here.We'd love to know what you think in the comments below! Read the review Subscribe to the podcast (RSS) Subscribe on iTunes Email: qualitycontrol at polygon dot com Music: Goodwill by The Custodian of Records

Vib-Ribbon has basically the best tutorial ever

Why aren't the rules and procedures of every game explained to you in a sing-song demonstration conducted by a rabbit? It's an undeniable fact that Vib-Ribbon mastered the art of the game tutorial over a decade ago — show the basics, force players to read the instruction manual for the game's advanced maneuvers and get the demo over with in under a minute and a half. Also, sing the whole thing. The whole thing. You can check out Vib-Ribbon's how-to in the video above, and play it for yourself — it's available now on PS3 and PS Vita.

Murasaki Baby review: Wild world

Muraski Baby is what I imagine parenthood to be: weird, uncomfortable and easier to do with both hands. This strange little PlayStation Vita game is the debut of Ovosonico, a developer headed by Massimo Guarini of Killer7 and Shadows of the Damned fame. It’s a pedigree that practically demands oddity at every turn, and Murasaki Baby doesn’t disappoint. The game’s world thrives on the imagination and fears of the young, where the unusual becomes terrifying. Muraski Baby is both a complicated escort mission and a visually appealing exploration of how the Vita’s touch capabilities can make for fun puzzles. But its intriguing concept is held back by its own childlike simplicity. In Muraski Baby, my goal was to guide a frightened little girl with an upside-down face and wisps of curly...

PlayStation Now open beta coming to PlayStation TV, Vita on Oct. 14

Sony's streaming game service, PlayStation Now, will be available in "open beta" on the PlayStation TV — and the PlayStation Vita, whose hardware it's based on — when the micro-console launches in North America on Oct. 14. Currently available on both the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, PlayStation Now offers gamers "over 150 PS3 titles" to rent at prices that range from reasonable ($7.99 for 30 days) to crazy (as much as $4.99 for four hours). Sony has said that pricing for PlayStation Now is subject to change and that this open beta period is designed to gather feedback. "These are the early days, so we're always listening to feedback," Sony's Jack Buser told Polygon in July. "Over time, new content and a lot of other changes will be based on feedback and usage we'll see in the...

FIFA 15 review: football fantasy

One play and its aftermath fairly summarize the subtle distinction of FIFA 15 from the five-year run of best-in-class offerings that preceded it. It was beyond the 90th minute in a match between FC Barcelona, one of the best teams in the game, and Tottenham Hotspur, under my frantic direction. We'd given up a goal at the end of the first half and now I was looking at a 1-0 loss. I sent the entire team into an all-out attack. Then the miracle happened. Not only did it look like one, it felt like one. My goalkeeper scooped up an indifferent Barcelona shot and boomed the ball well past midfield. Federico Fazio chest-trapped it and, in one motion, turned and lobbed a soft ball to Emmanuel Adebayor, steaming in from the left. The striker headed it into the back of the net past the...

Vib-Ribbon is finally coming to North America

Cult classic musical platformer Vib-Ribbon is finally coming to North America for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita, the president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America announced today. The game, released on PlayStation in 1999, will be available as a download from the PlayStation Store on Tuesday, Oct. 7. In a post on the PlayStation Blog, SCEA president Shawn Layden apologized for his E3 2014 tease, when he took the stage at Sony's PlayStation press conference to wax nostalgic about Vib-Ribbon. Layden's mention of Vib-Ribbon was interpreted by some to herald a revival, sequel or re-release, but — much to the disappointment of Vib-Ribbon fans — was actually nothing more than a fond remembrance. Until today. "It was not my intention to rub salt in the Vib-Ribbon wound, but...

PS Vita gets themes today with firmware 3.30

PlayStation Vita owners can now deck out the handheld's interface with themes, once they update the device's firmware to version 3.30, which is available now. Themes allow users to replace backgrounds for the PS Vita's Start and Home screens, customize system icons and change the background music. Generic themes called Crystal, Four Seasons and Stitching are now available from the PlayStation Store; some are free while others cost money. Sony says that PS Vita themes based on games such as Uncharted: Golden Abyss and Tearaway are coming soon. Sony announced last month that PS Vita and PlayStation 4 themes were on the way. Themes have been available on PlayStation 3 since November 2007, when Sony released the console's v2.0 firmware update. PS Vita system software v3.30 also adds some...

Spend $100 on PlayStation Store in October, get $15 back

October 2014 is a big month for new video game releases, which makes Sony's new cash-back deal on the PlayStation Store a timely offer. PlayStation Network users who spend $100 or more on the PlayStation Store from Oct. 1-28 will get back a PSN wallet code for $15 no later than Nov. 7. Pre-orders count for the deal, so customers can pay ahead of time for November games like LittleBigPlanet 3 and Far Cry 4. This particular deal isn't as good as the one Sony offered in March 2013, where users would get $10 back for every $50 spent, but it's hard to complain about cash back if you were already planning to spend the money. The $15 code must be redeemed on PSN by 11:59 p.m. PT on Dec. 5. Once the code is redeemed, the $15 will remain in the PSN wallet forever. The deal is available only...

Skullgirls Encore on PlayStation 4, PS Vita delayed into 2015

Skullgirls Encore's release on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita is being pushed into 2015 to accommodate for additional features, according to a post on the PlayStation Blog Europe. The port is "still coming," but the game has been expanded "with the aim of making it a better upgrade for fans and a better value for everyone." The post also details the recent release of Eliza, a "diva with a dark secret," and upcoming character Beowulf. Eliza includes a story mode that Lab Zero calls its most comprehensive yet, and the character will be free to players for a three-month period. Beowulf, meanwhile, is a wrestler who can use a folding chair to attack opponents. "Beowulf will feature a ton of pro wrestling references," the post reads. "Similar to Ms. Fortune, Beowulf will also have...

Here's the PlayStation Plus lineup for October

PlayStation Plus subscribers in North America will get access to seven games across three PlayStation platforms this October, including the driving game sampler DriveClub PlayStation Plus Edition for PS4. DriveClub PlayStation Plus Edition will offer players 11 tracks and 10 cars playable across the full game's suite of gameplay modes. The PlayStation Plus Edition of the driving game can be upgraded to the full version of DriveClub for $49.99 when it's released next week. Plus members will also get access to new PS4 games Dust: An Elysian Tail and Spelunky — a cross-buy title — for free this month. On PlayStation 3, Batman: Arkham Asylum and Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara — which contains two D&D arcade games, Tower of Doom and Shadow Over Mystara — are free as part of...

Side-scrolling platformer Shu coming to PS3, PS4 and Vita next year

Coatsink will release 2.5D side-scrolling platformer Shu for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita by "the middle of 2015," creative director and co-founder Tom Beardsmore announced via the PlayStation Blog. Coatsink has previously worked on mobile titles such as Pinch and Fatty. In Shu, players will guide characters with special abilities through a land ravaged by a deadly storm. As players travel, they'll happen upon lost villagers who can join their party; those caught in the storm, however, will be swept away and lost forever. The game is being created in partnership with three-man developer Secret Lunch Games, who — according to Beardsmore — originally came up with the idea. "In order to make the game a reality and bring it to Playstation platforms, we decided to go...

We don't need a new version of Final Fantasy 7

"A Final Fantasy 7 HD remake will save the series" is a phrase I am tired of hearing. I am a Final Fantasy fan. Every fiber of my being gets excited when I read Final Fantasy 15 news. I have dedicated an inordinate amount of space in my brain to franchise trivia and I've sacrificed precious days to complete quests in games I didn't even really like that much. I'm looking at you, Final Fantasy 12. Square Enix seems to be very fond of upgraded remakes, as evidenced by its treatment of the Kingdom Hearts series leading up Kingdom Hearts 3, and the company hasn't been shy about re-releasing some of the older Final Fantasy titles for new platforms. Many games have already received the remake treatment, from the original Final Fantasy to Final Fantasy 10/10-2 HD. Final Fantasy 6 is...

Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair review: sophomore effort

Spike Chunsoft took a clear "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" approach to Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair. There's a lot to love about that kind of thinking, considering how well-done the first game was. When it launched in the U.S. earlier this year, Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc impressed me with its killer combination of social sim, mystery and courtroom drama. Its sequel, Goodbye Despair, is happy to pick up where the last game left off. Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair has little to say in the way of new concepts, but it uses the familiar to its advantage. It's deja vu of the most charming kind. What begins as a strange vacation spirals into a deadly game Hajime Hinata is a high school student attending Hope's Peak Academy, a school known for training the nation's top...

Sony rethinks mobile business, expects 1,000 layoffs after projecting $2.1B loss this year

Sony will cut over 1,000 jobs from its 7,100-person mobile communications workforce following a warning of an annual net loss of $2.1 billion, the company announced. Yesterday, the company confirmed a new projected loss roughly four-times the amount it initially expected for this financial year based on the difficult smartphone market. While initial projections believed a net loss of $466 million was on the cards for that time frame, it now projects a loss of $2.14 billion. As a result, the company is reassessing its business focus — which includes moving away from mid-to-lower-range mobile phones — and will instead continue to push its PlayStation division. The company has already exited the PC market following a continuing decline in consumer interest in DVDs, Blu-Rays and other...
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