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Skylanders Trap Team to introduce 'Eon's Elite' premium toy line

Activision announced that it will roll out a new collector-oriented series of Skylanders toys following the launch of the multiplatform sequel Skylanders Trap Team this fall.

The new "Eon's Elite" figures feature a metallic finish, and sit atop a golden base inside a premium-packaged foil display case. If you can bring yourself to crack open the packages and ruin their aftermarket value, you'll find that the Eon's Elite toys summon in-game characters who are up to three times more powerful than their non-premium counterparts.

Today's announcement follows up on Activision's recently revealed Skylanders Trap Team Dark Edition, a bonus-bundled special edition of the game that will carry a premium price tag at retail. Recent announcements suggest that Trap Team will move beyond the series' traditional youth-oriented focus in order to appeal to an expanding collector market.

The first Eon's Elite series features relaunched characters from 2011's Skylanders Spyro's Adventure, including Spyro and Chop-Chop. Prices for the new toys were not announced, but given their focus on packaging and presentation, they're likely more expensive than currently available figures.

[Image: Activision]

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Bayonetta 2's co-op mode bets on your success

Platinum Games' Wii U-exclusive sequel Bayonetta 2 will include a two-player mode. That much was revealed at E3 2013 by Nintendo, and further details on the game's online multiplayer offerings are now available via Famitsu (translation courtesy of Siliconera). The game's "Tag Climax" mode allows players to team up online with friends, strangers and CPU partners to annihilate waves of enemies and large bosses.

Online quick matches will also feature a betting system, in which players can wager in-game "Halos" to challenge their partner in a scoring contest to see who will rack up the most points in a match. The in-game currency can then be exchanged for additional weapon variations, accessories and techniques. Players will have the ability to pick their characters and weapon/accessory loadouts of choice as well as stages and their respective difficulty levels, with tougher matches resulting in higher Halos payouts (but at a steeper cost of entry). The equipment players carry in to Tag Climax mode is based on their progress in Bayonetta 2's main story mode as well. The game is slated to launch this October.

Sonic Boom reaches Wii U, 3DS in November

Sonic the Hedgehog will grace the Wii U and 3DS with his newly-lanky, traumatic dimensions in mid-November, according to Sega.

First up is Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal, a 3DS game crafted by Sly Cooper: Thieves In Time developer Sanzaru Games, which is slated to appear on November 11. Then, a week later, Big Red Button Entertainment will debut the Wii U-exclusive Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric. Collectively dubbed the "Sonic Boom initiative," these two games will tell complementary tales that are linked in the surprisingly extensive Sonic the Hedgehog canon.

While you won't need to play both games to receive a full story, those who fall hopelessly in love with this most recent incarnation of 1992's favorite spiny rodent can also look forward to comic books and an animated series to quell their thirst for hedgehog hijinks.
[Image: Sega]

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New Nintendo eShop releases: Siesta Fiesta, Wooden Sen'Sey, Master Reboot


As we're still stuck in the July drought of major new releases, now's as good a time as any to check out some of the smaller games hitting systems. The Wii U has a few such games this week, including some that have made the journey from other platforms.

If you like the sound of sci-fi first-person horror, Master Reboot's exploration of uploading consciousness may be for you. If you'd prefer something lighter, Wooden Sen'Sey promises action-platforming with "Japan Steam Rock" humor - y'know, like all those Japanese Steam Rock sitcoms. Both games are also available on PC, and PS3 too for Master Reboot.

The game that catches our eye this week, though, is on 3DS, and it's Siesta Fiesta. It looks like Breakout combined with the colorful, over-cheery craziness of games like Rayman and LocoRoco, and it's definitely the season for something like that.

As ever, faithful readers of this weekly post, you'll find the full list of new releases below the break. That just leaves new sales to talk about: Trine 2 is 60 percent off - that's down from $20 to $8 - until August 12, while Atlus games Devil Survivor Overclocked ($15), Shin Megami Tensei: Soul Hackers ($15), Shin Megami Tensei 4 ($24) and Code of Princess ($15) are all on sale until August 4.

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Disney Infinity 2.0 hits North America on September 23.0

Update: Disney Interactive confirmed the game's release dates for Europe. It will hit the continent's mainland on September 18 before arriving in the UK on September 19.

The Marvel-stuffed Disney Infinity 2.0 is officially hitting North America's store shelves on September 23, a date that's been rumored for a while. We've confirmed with Disney the release date applies to the PS4, Xbox One. Wii U, Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the sequel.

Disney also confirmed the pre-order program GameStop's been advertising, which bundles in an extra $14-value Disney Infinity 2.0 figure, is available at "top retailers nationwide." We reached out to Disney to find out the figures are available in the promo - UK retailer GAME says players can choose between Nick Fury, Hawkeye and Iron Fist.

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Smash Bros. on demand at Comic-Con

Nintendo is going all-out with its plans for Super Smash Bros at San Diego Comic-Con. The company already announced a tournament and a live show, but it's now adding "Bring Me Smash" to the mix. Using a sophisticated mix of digital technology and analog human power, the publisher will bring the game directly to attendees.

"When a notice goes out through Nintendo's Twitter account, fans will be able to tweet their location to Nintendo for a chance to have a roaming group of Nintendo employees show up with Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS for a brief hands-on session," a company representative explained.

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Guardians of the Galaxy converge in Disney Infinity 2.0

The Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel's oddball ensemble leaping from comics to film on August 1, are visiting earth in the form of tiny figures. Disney Interactive is preparing a cosmic Play Set for the upcoming launch of Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes, rooted in the likenesses of Groot (the tree), Gamora (the assassin), Drax (the Destroyer), Rocket Raccoon (you know) and Star-Lord. (Star-Lord, man. Legendary outlaw?)

The five space criminals on the cusp of heroism are playable in their own story, joined by a handful of crossover characters from other sets. Iron Man swings by to help out in the battle against Ronan the Accuser, while Nova jets in from the Spider-Man Play Set. Oh, and switch "swings" with "jets" there. Now it's wordplay.

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Japanese Mario Kart 8 ad showcases the Luigi Death Stare


Is that a subtle Nintendo endorsement of the Luigi Death Stare? After the House of Mario's understated acknowledgment in its E3 presentation, a new Mario Kart 8 commercial in Japan seems to presents the plumber's ice-cold eyes with another knowing wink. Or is this just inadvertence layered over inadvertence?

Meanwhile below the break, Fire Emblem: Awakening's Lucina remains unamused.

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Skylanders Trap Team Dark Edition debuting at Comic-Con this week

Developer Toys for Bob will showcase the upcoming figure-powered action game Skylanders Trap Team this week at San Diego Comic-Con, giving showgoers an early look at the collector-oriented Dark Edition prior to its launch in October.

Skylanders Trap Team's Dark Edition is a special starter bundle that features the Ultimate Kaos Trap, an accessory that allows players to capture and control series antagonist Kaos for the first time. The package also includes two additional trap accessories, a redesigned Portal of Power, a poster, sticker sheets, trading cards, and exclusive black-and-silver variants of new characters Snap Shot, Wildfire and Food Fight.

Toys for Bob will additionally host a Skylanders-themed panel discussion and costume contest starting on July 24. The Skylanders Trap Team Dark Edition retails at $99.99, and is set to launch on October 5 for the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PS3, Nintendo Wii, Wii U, and 3DS platforms.

[Image: Activision Blizzard]

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Wii U update adds system-to-system transfers

Wii U owners can proverbially move home from one system to another using a new feature introduced in the latest system update. The 5.1.0 U firmware adds "Transfer Between Wii U Systems," allowing you to take all system data - user data, games and saves included - from the original console and move it onto the new one.

The most important things you'll need to switch Wii Us are a SD card capable of holding all the data, and both systems to hand, fully updated and each with a GamePad attached. If you don't have your original Wii U, you'll need to contact Nintendo support. Also, be aware the transfer formats the new system before transferring data across, and also formats the original after the process. So when it's over you'll have your new Wii U with all your old Wii U data on it and nothing else, while the old Wii U will be a blank slate. For more info, check out Nintendo's detailed instructions.

Finally, if you - like us - get frustrated with having to relocate the GamePad when visiting the eShop, those woes are over now. Yes, the update also introduces eShop browsing using other peripherals including the Wii Remote, Wii U Pro Controller and Classic Controller.
[Image: Nintendo]

PSA: Nintendo eShop undergoing maintenance today

Nintendo's Wii U and 3DS eShop services are intermittently down this evening until 5:00 p.m. Pacific (8:00 p.m. Eastern), the company noted in an update on its network status and maintenance site. Additionally, the Wii Shopping Channel and Nintendo DSi Shop will be down at that time.

Today's maintenance on Nintendo platforms affects all services on Wii U and 3DS for a five minute period at 2:30 p.m. Pacific (5:30 p.m. Eastern). Likely, that brief interruption is over by the time you, dear friends, are reading this. So while it'll be a little longer before you can browse the eShop, you may resume your online Mario Kart 8 races.
[Image: Nintendo]

Joystiq Deals: PS4 Battlefield Bundle Giveaway, Wii Fit U

Joystiq Deals is giving you the chance to join the new console generation in style with our PlayStation 4 Battlefield Bundle Giveaway. Enter today for a chance to win a PlayStation 4 console, a copy of Battlefield 4, and an extra DualShock 4 controller -- all free of charge from your friends at Joystiq. Winners will be drawn on September 14.

If you already own a PlayStation 4, you'll want to check out Amazon today for a deep discount on Infamous: Second Son. Retailing at $59.99, Second Son is currently up for grabs at $39.99 through Amazon for a limited time.

For those looking to get in shape over the summer months, Best Buy is offering Wii Fit U, a Wii Balance Board, and a Fit Meter accessory for $59.99, saving you $30 off the bundle's regular retail price. The discount is available for today only, so jump on it fast if you're itching for some Wii U-enhanced yoga action.
Joystiq Deals is a partnership between AOL and StackSocial. A portion of sales goes to funding this site. Deals are curated by StackSocial independently of the Joystiq editorial team.

UK charts: Watch Dogs stands guard, market melts in heat


Watch Dogs notched its fifth UK number one this week, the most for any game in 2014, and that's all well and good. Frankly, the entire country is just too exhausted from the relentless summer heat to notice. Brits are so used to rain, clouds, rain and more rain, so prolonged heatwaves like this one tend to take their toll.

Maybe the heat's even affected games retail in the country, with nationwide sales enduring a 14 percent drop in revenue from the week before as the heat ramped up. Then again, it really doesn't help when you're having a summer drought of new releases.

Since the UK charts refuse to play - it's another week of tiny changes - we're continuing our run of music below the break. In the words of Avicii, wake us up when it's all over.

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Report: Bayonetta bundle split into two purchases on eShop

Are your shelves so stuffed with movies, books and games that they can't fit even one more case? Are you dismayed that, despite Bayonetta 2 for the Wii U bundling a copy of the original Bayonetta into a single package, you simply have nowhere to put the thing? Fret no more, good sirs and madams, for the Nintendo eShop is here for you!

According to a statement given by a Nintendo rep to NintendoWorldReport, this miracle elixir digital store will offer both Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2 as individual purchases. And while those looking for the complete Bayonetta experience will need to make separate purchases, buying both will cost the same as if you had picked up a physical copy. However, neither game's digital version has been given an official pricetag just yet.

It's okay; these things take time. Say, about three months' worth of time? Bayonetta 2 hits the Wii U this October.
[Image: Nintendo]

Soon Shine to tap out ghosts on the Wii U eShop


Being attacked by a relentless flood of ghosts can be a bit of a hassle, but when they're susceptible to a good tap and you're armed with a stylus, there's a pretty promising way out of the situation. Wii U owners can start containing the problem when Soon Shine reaches the eShop for $1.99, with developer Dahku Creations planning on a mid-August launch for the Americas.

Soon Shine is a score-driven challenge played with just the GamePad's touch screen. While players handle incoming spirits, they'll need to switch between the powers of the sun and moon by flipping the medallion the ghosts are advancing toward. Judging by the above trailer, certain types of ghosts seem to be stalled depending on which side of the medallion is showing. There are powerup-esque tokens to be purchased and used as well.

If only we could control the sun and moon in real life. McDonalds would only ever serve breakfast, we'd never have to wait for games to come out, and we would undoubtedly break the integral, orbit-related laws of our galaxy.
[Image: Dahku Creations]

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