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Calendar Man – End of 2013 Edition


Black Friday is over, Cyber Monday is almost done, Regret Tuesday and Overextended Wednesday loom before us and with that, I’m calling this year in releases.

Wait! Gran Turismo 6 comes out this week. Ok, now I’m calling the year. Enjoy the rest of 2013 people, see you in January.

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Warage Review


You’ll realise, no doubt, that Warage is a clever play on words. Making a compound of “war” and “age” cunningly creates the word “rage”, conjuring the white heat of fantasy melees, the ancient and primal fury felt my elf for orc and vice versa. It’s a smart title.

The game underlying it is not smart. It’s a dumb game, but it’s dumb in a good way, the sort of way that an overly playful rottweiler puppy is dumb, full of teeth and fluff and eagerness. It’s a game where you slap down cards, gloat and chug back beer.

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Calendar Man – Week of 11/25

state of decay

With two new consoles launched and Nintendo having sent new Mario and Zelda games into the wild, I think we can call 2013 done for new game releases. Well, except for Ys: Memories of Celceta and the State of Decay Breakdown DLC. Ok, now we can call it done.

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Calendar Man – Week of 11/18

xbox one

Here we go again. A week after all the hullabaloo that was the PS4 launch, we’re ready to do it all over again with the Xbox One. Me, I’m pretty happy with my PS4 because Remote Play is the best thing ever. That being said, I do wish there were better games for the system but this is the price you pay for buying a console at launch. If you have an Xbox One on preorder or plan on waiting in line for one, best of luck and be safe. Enjoy your new console when you get home and above all us, keep calm and have fun.

In non-Xbox One news, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds comes out on Friday and by all accounts it’s a pretty rad Zelda game. I’m still knee deep in Pokemon and now have the ability to play every PS4 game I own on my Vita so I can’t see spending money on yet another handheld game, even if it is supposed to be amazing. Luckily, Christmas is right around the corner. Also coming out this week is Mario Party: Island Tour, a game that will have to wait for the Christmas at the heat death of the universe to get played at my house. Hey, do you like farming? If so then Farming Simulator may be for you. If not, well, maybe picking a game called Farming Simulator isn’t the wisest choice. Hey look, another Adventure Time game with a weird name. I’m sure the kids love it.  A handheld game I will make time for this week is Tearaway if only to see the game’s cool art style. Hopefully the game itself will also be good. In other news, AC IV comes out on the PC, Need for Speed Rivals comes out on a bunch of non-PS4 platforms, AquaPazza hits the PS3 and the Walking Dead gets a collector’s edition on the 360 and PS3.

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Get British!


As the token Brit on NHS, it’s obviously my remit to drink copious quantities of tea, discuss the vagaries of the weather and get typecast in Hollywood movies as the villain. However I also take it upon myself to bring you occasional snippets of news from the UK games industry.

Here’s the latest: a kickstarter for a new British game, made in Britain starring British people and full of typical self-deprecating British humour. It’s a point and click adventure entitled Her Majesty’s SPIFFING and you can back it at the usual place. Take a look, have a think about it. We’ve fallen a long way since the 8-bit glory days, and frankly, we could do with the business.

Trains and Stations Review


I’ve always loved interaction in games. I’d bet that most gamers do, really, it’s just that those who’ve chosen to embrace the bloodless, over-balanced mechanical model that runs screaming as far from zero-sum games as it possibly can think that logic is more important than interaction. But there is, thankfully, an alternative. Instead of having players taking chunks out of each other, you can instead encourage them to co-operate for mutual gain.

My suspicion is that this what Trains and Stations sets out to do for the light family gaming crowd. Clearly influenced by age-old classic Poker Dice, the game sees you roll a handful of beautifully marbled custom dice, picking what they want to keep and rolling the others again. Except that, in a nod to modern sensibilities of choice and strategy you can actually keep certain dice from turn to turn if you find you didn’t roll the combination you were looking for and you have to pay for each re-roll.

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Calendar Man – Week of 11/11


This is it folks, week one of our two week entrance into the next generation of console gaming. With both consoles needing day one patches for various levels of functionality, it’s going to be a rough go of things. I think we can take that as a given. That being said, keep calm, keep in mind that all consoles have launch problems and threadbare lineups and for God’s sake, if someone wants to buy a new console at launch (like me) and they’re not taking your games and/or money to do so then by all means, let them have their fun.

The first console out of the gate is Sony’s PS4, which also happens to be the one I’m starting out with. I’ll get an Xbox One eventually, just not at lunch. The PS4 is launching with a bunch of games, too many to list out individually but follow that link and you can stuff yourself with super hi-def goodies. Me, I’m going with Skylanders, AC IV and Killzone. Yeah, two of them are already available on other systems but if I can push more pixels, why not do it? The third is because Killzone is gloriously stupid and sometimes you have to sit back and marvel at Teh Stoopid.

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Hornet Leader & Cthulhu Conflict Review


When my children were small and I didn’t get out much I played a lot of solitaire board games, and I decided that I didn’t like solitaire board games all that much. It’s hard to see what they give you that a strategy video game doesn’t, except lots of annoying overhead. There was, however, one exception: Vietnam air-war game Phantom Leader.

It’s part of a whole series of related air combat games from Dan Verssen Games. Hornet Leader is one of the more recent and critically lauded entries, and after my experiences with Phantom Leader I was pretty excited to try it out.

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Calendar Man – Week of 11/4

This week brings the release of Call of Duty: Ghosts, the last big release before Microsoft and Sony trot our their consoles and start massaging numbers to declare who “won” the holiday season. I like the above CoD commercial however for it to be realistic, one of them has to be a twelve year old racist, one has to be doing nothing but tea bagging a dead soldier, two of them have to aggressively sexually harass Megan Fox and none of them are work together.

If soldiering isn’t your thing, see if you can drop a few pounds before the busy Holiday Eating season with Zumba Fitness World Party. Or, and here’s an idea, you can stay seated and play The Guided Fate Paradox or Castlevania Lords of Shadow Collection. You know, whatever works. If bugs are more your thing, Daedilic’s Journey of a Roach unlocks on Monday. If bashing monsters is more your speed, Final Exam releases this week. I’d be more interested in reunions if I could bash in a zombie’s skull at one.

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Calendar Man – Week of 10/28


As October winds down, games continue to get out of the way of console launches and Call of Duty leaving not much more in the year than, well, console launches and Call of Duty. So far, I have found this holiday season to be pretty damn boring. GTA V continues to impress, but that game came out a month ago. Arkham Origins is exactly what you would expect , so take that for what it’s worth. I still have my PS4 preorder and I have a Swap Force Skylander already purchased for the PS4 version of that game, but one game does not an exciting console launch make. That’s not to say that the other launch games can’t be good, I’m just not interested in buying them at the moment. I guess it’s a statement to GTA V’s staying power that I’ve played it for a month straight, single player and online, and not only am I not finished with it, but I want to keep playing it.

Oh, right, new releases. Battlefield 4 is a shooter with dogs, but I think you’re punching them, not leading them into battle. I could give a rat’s ass about Battlefield so…yeah. If soldiering isn’t your thing, how about pirating? Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag releases this week in all of its swashbuckling glory. I’m sure I’ll play it. I’ve played all of them. Whether or not I enjoy it is another thing entirely. It can’t be worse than ACIII can it?

If pirates and soldiers aren’t your thing, how about wrestlers? WWE 2K14 has those, and lots of ‘em from the looks of it. Sonic Lost World 3DS has hedgehogs, because why wouldn’t it? Angry Birds Star Wars has angry Star Wars birds or maybe birds that are angry at Star Wars? I don’t know. Blood of the Werewolf has blood, werewolves and platforming. I guess I should know what this whole Slender Man thing is, but I don’t because I’m old. Slender: The Arrival is the game of the uh, whatever Slender Man is. Master Reboot is a first person sci-fi horror adventure shooter with memories and what have you. Deadly Premonition, a game I couldn’t play for more than twenty minutes before quitting out of boredom hits the PC as does Football Manager 2014. Finally, Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army 2 releases on Halloween because of course it does.

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