The Year That Was: August 2013

Platforms: Android

Ah! The balmy days of August. Catching up on that suntan, relaxing in the park, feasting on constantly undercooked BBQs. Yet, while everyone was outside, avoiding the dull flickering of those entertainment devices, some of us ( were trapped away, suffering what may be gaming’s greatest tragedy, staring in bewilderment at the unique mess that was Ride To Hell: Retribution.

Technically of course the game came out in June, but we tried so hard to put it off for as long as possible in the end it took us two months to build up enough courage to put the disc in the console. I’ll never get those sunny August days back. Meanwhile in other wonderful gaming release news, the heartrending indie experience Gone Home appeared on the PC and everyone sobbed. We didn’t cover it, presumably because we were all too teared up to put pen to paper.

Gaming lows and highs...

August is of course a notoriously gamer unfriendly month and more of us had to endure many of the special games that publishers sneakily snuck in that month, like turd under the carpet. Taking yet another one for the team, our faithful reviews editor Luciano attempted to play movie tie-in The Smurfs 2 remarking that it failed ‘to entertain at the most basic level even for the newest of gamers’. Worthwhile purchase then. Perhaps the most unfortunate was James who had to battle through an onslaught of smutty double-entendres to bring us his review of Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded, ending with his own suspicious pun calling it ‘a bit limp’. And that’s being kind. Very kind.
Boobs are the flavour of the month in Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded.

Yet, despite the lack of physical clouds in the sky, the metaphorical cloud of gaming releases managed to summon a silver lining. Rob found some sibling love in the wonderful Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, awarding it the highest possible score, showering it with praise and calling it ‘nothing short of a triumph’. Similarly lucky was Ryan who discovered the Wii-U exclusive Pikmin 3 to be ‘by far the best first party game currently available for Nintendo’s latest system.’ My personal pick of the bunch however goes to the re-release of the insanely difficult Teleglitch with its Die More Edition. This gloriously retro roguelike shooter garnered praise across the board and apparently drove our features editor Gareth to insanity. It’ll do that.
Brothers touched a few hearts.

In other gaming news, Sony and Microsoft continued their ferocious battle over the next-gen, announcing their release dates and launch lineups. We all sighed and went back to playing classics from the past, because the past is a happier place. It’s nice to see Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs there, later delayed until March 2014, presumably because the world would explode if it tried to fit in any more generic open-world adventures.

Possibly because we were all away enjoying lavish cruises in the Caribbean or, more likely, avoiding the sweaty sun-bleached bodies at Clacton-On-Sea, the features section was suspiciously quiet in the month of August. Yet one brilliantly rambling article that seems to have no particular point yet shines through as a tribute to a life lost to gaming is Sam’s Top 10 greatest gaming regrets. Clearly driven mad by games such as Teleglitch, he unleashes such poignant phrases as ‘I know this essay’s due but GANDHI BACKSTABBED ME AND HE MUST PAY’, ‘when did I last save? Oh f--’ and this:
Oh August, we will never forget thee.

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