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Calendar Man – Week of 10/14

skylanders swap force shot 1

This week marks the next salvo in the ongoing war between Activision’s toys and portal series Skylanders and Disney’s toys and portal series Disney Infinity. Skylanders SWAP Force features all new “normal” (non swappable) characters as well as a number of characters that let children dismember robots and squid pirates and then mash them back together in some sort of grotesque Frankenstinian parable of man’s audacity at playing God. It also features jumping. Disney’s response to this bold move is to sit back and wait, knowing full well that the day the release the first set of Star Wars toys, retail outlets the world over will be rent asunder. I do not have Skylanders SWAP Force, nor am I feeling the urge to fill my house with more figures, but once the PS4 drops, I’m pretty sure I”ll heed the call of plastic. When it comes to toys I have long since learned not to make predictions about me not buying things.

Valhalla Knights 3 drops for the Vita this week if you want a “gritty” RPG that lets you befriend female shopkeepers. I know that when I think gritty, I think of friendly shopkeepers. In the “games I never see anyone buy yet they keep making them” file we have a new Wipeout game as well as a new Cabela’s game.

On the PC side, the Deponia franchise wraps up with Goodbye Deponia. It has three Rufuses which is more Rufuses than any reasonable trash planet can bear. Also out this week is The Stanley Parable, a game that’s a game but also not a game, whatever that means. There’s a free demo if you want to try and figure it out.  Finally, rounding out the release calendar is the PC version of Bad Hotel, puzzle driller Tetrobot and Co., third person adventure game Elusis and the Star Wars Pinball: Balance of the Force pack for Pinball FX2.


Toys R Us – Buy one, get one 40% off on all games.

Target – Nada.

Best Buy – Get Halo 4 for ten bucks, get Diablo III for $49.99.


Brandon loves games, which shouldn't be a surprise given where you're reading this. He has written for GameShark, The Escapist and G4, and made them all less relevant as a result.

7 thoughts on “Calendar Man – Week of 10/14

  1. Trying to wrap up GTA5 here, which will leave me with Pokemon X and Wind Waker.

    Man, new Pokemon is flat-out amazing, definitely the best one I’ve ever had the privilege of playing

      1. Well, they made a lot of small changes and they add up to make the experience so much smoother than it has been previously. They stick to formula, but what they improve makes it so much smoother.

        The online interface, if that’s your thing, is ridiculously streamlined. The battle graphics are such a huge upgrade and it’s purely cosmetic but they really bring the matches to life in a way they did not before. The EXP share is given to you after the first gym and it’s a toggle. Turn it on and everybody in the party gets a little kickback from the fight no matter who takes part, which keeps you from having to grind as much.

        The new Pokemon have been pretty cool so far; no garbage bags. The customizable nature of your avatar is also a simple but fun touch; I love being able to change out gear and clothing.

        There’s also a series of mini-games, accessible within the menus, that let’s you play games with your Pokemon and doing well gives them small stat boosts, which is great for improving those weaker ones you’re building up.

        I haven’t tried the sky or horde battles yet, but hopefully they’re great too. But having played a lot of these in the day, I am way happy with this entry.

      2. I’m with Mark E: Pokemon Y may not be perfect, but my early impressions are extremely positive. I particularly like the little touches, like the way a Zigzagoon will juke left and right during its Tackle animation. The visuals on Fennekin’s Flame Charge are damn gorgeous, too.

        Very early on, you unlock a set of roller skates that let you coast around the overworld much faster than you can run. They’re activated simply by moving the circle pad, and popped back off when you want to walk more precisely with the D-pad. Combined with the revamped EXP Share that Mark described and the ability to see pokemon EVs right on screen, the developers obviously focused on finding ways to streamline out a lot of the grind.

        The pokecology in Kalos is feels remarkably diverse. Starting out in most games, your early routes will be inhabited almost entirely by three or four different species. In Pokemon Y, it’s closer to a dozen — I had a lot of options for how I wanted to tackle my first gym battle.

        Like I said, the game isn’t perfect. Load times are minimal (and save times are effectively instantaneous!), but the menu transitions are a touch longer than in the the DS games. It’s usually faster to use the D-pad for managing a battle, instead of the stylus that worked so well in SoulSilver and White.

        It also still has that bad habit of informing you through on-screen text, “The wild Riolu uses Quick Attack!” before playing the actual animation. Doing those things simultaneously would make the battles flow much more quickly, but as with all Pokemon games, setting the text speed to maximum will really cut down on the wait time.

        At this early stage, Pokemon Y feels like the fully-fledged 3D RPG I’ve wanted to see since Pokemon Stadium. Stay tuned for more impressions as the game unfolds, but I’m very happy with it so far.

        1. Two quick notes:

          1) Several gaming sites are reporting about a game-ending save glitch in Pokemon X and Y. It seems that saving in the streets of Lumiose City carries the risk of hard-locking the 3DS whenever it’s reloaded. Some people have reported that removing the system’s SD card before entering the game, but I’d recommend only saving in building interiors or outside the city limits until things are sorted out.

          2) This is the last week to obtain a Shiny Giratina for Pokemon Black 2 or White 2 from GameStop. The event ends on October 20th.

          1. People don’t save in the Pokemon Centers every time? Does not compute!

            Those horde battles are flippin’ tough. One Pokemon against a pile? Mean! When you don’t have any area attacks at least.

            It says something about the new Pokemon that I have half my group made up of them too. That new bug type is the bomb. I love the Infestation ability something fierce too.

  2. Space Rangers HD: A War Apart, for the PC, should show up this Thursday on Steam. It’s basically a remake of Space Rangers 2: Reboot optimized for higher resolutions (up to 1920×1200, I think), and with some added content (new text adventures, new missions, equipment, and a new faction).

    Judging by how much I *loved* Space Rangers 2, I might be really busy with this one for about one week, because then Batman: Arkham Origins arrives. However, I’m sure I’ll get back to it after I’m done with Batman. Well, until X: Rebirth arrives. Then my life is over. 😉

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