New Game Releases: Skylanders: Swap Force, Wipeout: Create & Crash, Valhalla Knights 3, And More


We’re just going from one dominant kid-oriented brand (though plenty of adults play them too) to another this week. While 3DS owners are still trying to catch ’em all, lots of other people will be swapping torsos and legs. And here I’m talking about the new “Skylanders” game, not some kind of weird horror movie.

Aside from the way my kids went crazy for “Skylanders” last Christmas when one of their uncles introduced them to the franchise (thanks @GameGuyPGH!), I’m not sure I understood the true power of the brand until I read an article about how the figures outsold every other action figure line combined in 2013. Quite simply, it’s a money-making monster.

So let’s tip our hats to Activision Blizzard for recognizing a good thing when it had one and coming up with new ways to keep it fresh. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go wrestle control of the 360 away from my kids again. In the meantime, let’s check out what is releasing this week:

“Skylanders: Swap Force” (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, Wii, 3DS) – October 13 

Oh yeah, some of the Toys ‘R’ Us stores opened at midnight for the release. Here’s a question: whose kids were up at midnight to play “Skylanders” as soon as it released? I mean, I know it wasn’t a school night, but still.

Anyway, assuming you haven’t already been bombarded by ads for the new game, the hook this time is that you can mix and match the top and bottom halves of the figures to come up with different combinations of powers. It looks like a great gimmick, with the only drawback being that you need a new portal to accomodate the swappable figures. So parents, have fun paying for that!

“Wipeout: Create & Crash” (Xbox 360, Wii U, Wii, 3DS) – October 15

Speaking of things my kids love, they’re fond of the TV show “Wipeout” too. And even though I liked it better when it was called “MXC” (and yes, I know that was based on “Takeshi’s Castle” cool kids), it’s still fun to watch people get their spines involuntarily realigned in exchange for their not-even-15 minutes of fame.

This is the series’ sixth(!) foray into the world of video games, and this time you’ll supposedly have more control over exactly how you’re knocking people into the water, hitting them in the junk, and what have you. PS3, you don’t want any part of this kind of fun? Okay then.

“Valhalla Knights 3” (PS Vita) – October 15 

Should we North American gamers take offense to the fact that this Japanese tactical RPG was allegedly made easier for its release on these shores? Or should we be happy that we’re getting a multiplayer mode that folks in Japan didn’t get?

Either way, we’ll get to experience the 7-on-7 battles, create characters from seven races, and explore seven diffeent classes. I’m sensing a theme here. There’s also a red light district where you can recruit female characters to join your party, though they’re all the same class coming from there. Ba-zing!

Also out this week: “Worms: The Revolution Collection” (PC) – October 15; “Space Rangers HD: A War Apart” (PC) – October 17; “The Stanley Parable: HD Remix” (PC) – October 17