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Calendar Man – Week of 8/27

It’s the last week of August, which means preseason football is wrapping up here in the States and Madden is on the horizon. I remember a time when the release of Madden was a big deal. At one point, EA made these sick day scripts you could use when calling in sick on Madden’s release day. Nowadays, the release of Madden doesn’t seem all that important. Granted, it was never important, just hyped more. The times, they are a changin’.

In other news, Guild Wars 2 comes out, Sony releases collections of a bunch of their first party titles and Mass Effect 3 has some underwater DLC tomfoolery.

New Releases

Bill already talked Madden 13 (360, PS3, Wii, PS Vita) up some and honestly, if you want to know about Madden, Bill is the best guy to hear it from. I’m toying with the idea of renting it on the Vita, just to have something to putter around with, but most likely I’ll just stick to reading comics on my iPad. There’s only so much excitement for the NFL that a fan of the Redskins can muster up.

Guild Wars 2 comes out Tuesday, unless you preordered it, in which case it’s already out. Lots of people are excited for this one, which means that at some point I’ll have to learn about it so that I can contribute to the discussion on JTS. Or, and here’s a thought, I could just read comics on my iPad while Todd goes on and on about it.

The first bit of Mass Effect 3 DLC, titled Leviathin, drops for the PC, the 360 and the PS3 this week and I could honestly care less. Releasing single player DLC that requires you to go back to before events that fundamentally altered the universe, just so that you can muck about on some underwater planet, holds no interest for me. If you play it, let me know how it is, or, and I’m going to go out on a limb here, don’t and I’ll just keep reading comics on my iPad.

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Sony gets down on some hot, first party action, releasing the God of War Saga, the Ratchet & Clank Collection and the inFAMOUS Collection. Of the three, I’d say that the R&C compilation is your best choice, as those games are the most consistent in terms of quality. Honestly, the idea of playing five God of War games in a row, even at a low price, is enough to send me into a blood soaked coma. inFAMOUS 2 was good, at least I liked it, but the first one has some really annoying parts. Regardless of which one you choose, all of these collections offer a ton of content for the price.

Starvoid is a multiplayer RTS that allows you to reenter the battlefield if you get killed, sort of like respawning in an FPS I guess.

If you still have thousands of songs for Rock Band but have long since ditched your plastic instruments, Rock Band Blitz releases on XBLA and PSN this week. I have not played this game, but from what I’ve seen, it looks a lot like the portable versions released for the DS and PSP. Maybe I’ll check out a trial once the game drops. Then again…comics…iPad.


Toys R Us – Free $10 gift card with purchase of Madden 13.

Target – Free $10 gift card with purchase of Madden 13 and select bags of Doritos, not that they’re stereotyping or anything.

Best Buy – 50% off Madden 13 strategy guide with purchase of Madden 13. Get a free $50 gift card with purchase of a Madden 13 PS Vita bundle. Get a free copy of MLB 12: The Show with purchase of a 320 GB Madden 13 PS3 bundle. Save $60 on any NVIDIA graphics card with purchase of Guild Wars 2

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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.

21 thoughts to “Calendar Man – Week of 8/27”

  1. Tempted by Guild Wars, still haven’t seen a third of Secret World though, so I will catch it when the price drops.

    Big plan for me is the finishing of the Tales of Graces f bonus arc; I wrapped the main game Saturday and that just leaves the 8-10 hour post script and then I am leaping right into Darksiders II.

    1. Picked up The Last Story last week and decided to take a break from XC before finishing it off, so now I’m playing The Last Story (also finally picked up Tales of Graces f, while I was at it). While I’m definitely enjoying The Last Story as a break from Xenoblade, it’s nowhere near as good.

      The battle system is extremely funky, with lots of flailing around and trouble differentiating friend or foe (particularly when you have 6 or more friends out at the same time), but you don’t spend all that much time battling, so it’s okay. But, it does feel like they got the game backwards (battles as a break from the story instead of the other way around).

      Where the game shines, though, is in the wandering around and interacting with people and finding side quests part. The voice acting is excellent all around and they’re using a single hub area that’s simply bustling with activity. Of course, since there’s no way to actually track your side quest progress, it almost feels like they don’t actually want me to be doing them, but I’m trying not to hold it against them.

      As for the story itself, it’s weird because they’ve built this world that has the potential to be interesting, but since all the reviews say the story’s extremely cliched, I’m highly doubtful that they’re going to do anything interesting with it. So I’m withholding judgement at this point (already about 1/3 of the way through it, which rather puts the length of XC back in perspective for me).

      1. Hmm, interesting.

        I am now more interested to play it, to see if my impressions match yours, but I am hoping to avoid a new
        JRPG until January after this Graces run is wrapped up.

  2. Comics on the iPad is the #1 reason I haven’t been playing ( or writing about) video games much lately. I’d rather sit and read through 10 issues of Grant Morrison’s Batman run or all of the Simonson Thor books in one sitting than spend the same amount of time on a game I barely care about.

    That said, I really, really want to play Halo right now. I think my JRPG rampage is waning.

    1. I just finished Morrison’s Batman run. Loved everything except Batman Inc. Could not get into that. I have since moved on to Geoff Johns’ Aquaman run. Not a bad book, especially for Aquaman. 😉

          1. YES. Snyder is one of the best writers in comics today, and his Detective Comics run is _outstanding_. I think they’re all in a trade called “Black Mirror”. His current Batman series is great too, as is what he’s doing on Swamp Thing (the ONLY writer that comes close to Moore on that character) and of course American Vampire (Lord of Nightmares is awesome).

            I actually read Batman Incorporated first, which was a mistake…I had no idea who these people were. I also didn’t like how Morrisson was apparently trying to make a surrealist/absurdist version of The Brave and The Bold cartoon (which I love, BTW), complete with intellectual kitsch and plenty of Z-list characters vying for the spotlight.

            But yeah, Batman & Son in particular was amazing. Batman versus Talia’s Man-Bat juiced-up ninjas in a pop art museum was just brilliant.

            I haven’t read the New 52 Aquaman yet, it’s on the list. You know what’s suprisingly good? The Azzarrello Wonder Woman. I’ve never bought a Wonder Woman book in my life, but I dig what’s going on there. It’s more like a Vertigo book. Lemire’s Animal Man is amazing- psychedlic and upsetting. Demon Knights is a blast- big, ridiculous fantasy with characters like Etrigan and Vandal Savage in a D&D adventure.

            I’m reading a bunch of stuff right now…re-reading Miracleman for the first time since the early 1990s, the Bendis Daredevil run which is surpirsingly great considering how much I depise Bendis, Blackest Night which is a fun superhero pageant…oh, and Flex Mentallo. Every man, woman, and child in the world should read Flex Mentallo.

          2. Barnes, I’m not sure why it won’t let me respond to you. Mayhaps we can only go so deep.

            Black Mirror is the shit. I loved that trade. Lots of little touches in those stories that really stood out, although I thought that James Gordon Jr (or whatever his name was) was drawn a little too Sin City-ish.

            Animal Man is great. Picked up that TPB and the Earth One Batman reboot while on vacation. I simply could not put Animal Man down. Earth One Batman was surprisingly forgettable, as was the Earth One Superman book that Straczynski did.

        1. Yeah, weird, I have to reply to myself now.

          Black Mirror was the trade I was talking about. Court of Owls was also very good.

          I don’t like the modern Geoff Johns stuff as much. His original run on The Flash is a lot of fun, especially when he was teamed up with Scott Kolins. He was at his best doing Flash and JSA back in the day.

          Mark Waid’s Daredevil, also very good. The super villain he created had one of the nearest powers I had seen in a while.

          1. When I read Waid’s Daredevil, I thought “this is an Eisner Award-winning book” and lo it came to pass. It is out-fucking-standing, at least for the ten issues or so that I’ve read. The first two books are as good as mainstream superhero writing gets. There’s a GREAT little tete-a-tete with Daredevil and Cap where they wind up switching weapons. Smart, funny, energetic, bright, optimistic…at least four of those are terms that haven’t described Daredevil in DECADES.

            Court of Owls is a hoot. You see what I…never mind. But yeah, great book. I hate that the issues are $2.99-$3.99 on Comixology. Seriously DC…99 cents and I’ll buy just about anything.

            I really, really like the art in Lemire’s Animal Man…it’s got this sickly, vaguely awful look that’s just right for when the acid drops and the whole thing turns into an Animal Planet/LSD nightmare. Really interested to see it cross over into Snyder’s Swamp Thing material, and I wonder if there’s a bigger crossover cooking with the Green/Red/Rot business.

            The Earth One Batman, eh. It was a book alright. I like Johns and he does the big superhero books really well (especially Green Lantern and Flash), but I don’t like him as a Batman writer so much.

            But seriously y’all. Flex Mentallo. One of the five greatest quotes from a comic book ever is in it: “Only an immature, angry boy would confuse realism with pessimism”.

  3. I think Madden release day is still one of the bigger gaming holidays of the year. Obviously not for the NHS audience. But in general.

    I would guess that 20-30 people on my XBL friends list will be playing it shortly after midnight tonight. I won’t be one of them I’m too old for that stuff now. But I am looking forward to playing tomorrow night after I pick it up on my lunch hour.

  4. So, amidst all these discussion about comic books that I will totally get around to reading once I buy an iPad, I was wondering if anybody has already or is planning to check out the surprise release of The World Ends with You on iPhone/iPad.

    I never had a DS, so I’m definitely intending to grab it, although I think I’ll probably wait for Square’s winter iOS sale, but I just wanted to check to see if there’s other people picking it up.

        1. Not to mention I can’t imagine it being as good on a single screen.

          The whole dual-screen/partner system was crazy to control at times, but really good.

          Pay same money for less innovation? Pass.

          1. They still have a partner system, but it’s been reduced to tapping a pin to have your partner come in and do stuff. Supposedly it works well. Unless there’s a sale of at least 50%, I’ll never know.

  5. I’ll definitely be buying the Ratchet & Clank HD Collection in the coming weeks! Anyone who missed these games on the first pass should do the same: they’re some of the most consistently excellent platforming games in the industry.

    I’m also incredibly tempted by the opportunity to play Guild Wars 2 with all the other NHS posters, but with my hard drive space currently dedicated to Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Darksiders II, a $60 PC release is awfully hard to justify. Todd’s impressions in the next episode are going to hold a lot of sway over over this one….

    1. Well, if you’re anything like me, you might want to finish Deus Ex and Darksiders 2 before playing Guild Wars 2. As of now, both Darksiders 2 (which I’ve been waiting to play for 2 years) and Dark Souls (which I’ve been waiting to play for 1 year) are gathering digital dust while I play Guild Wars 2 (which I’ve been waiting to play for 5 years).

      Seriously… it’s very likely that I won’t buy any other games for the remainder of the year. With Guild Wars 2 – and both Darksiders 2 and Dark Souls for when I want a break from GW2 – I’m set for the rest of the year and beyond.

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