Features// SPOnG's Videogames Review of 2013: June

Posted 1 Jan 2014 11:07 by
The coming of June meant it was time for all the big players to put their best foot forward and show off at this year’s E3. Microsoft certainly had some making up to do after their disappointing Xbox One reveal last month.

Microsoft being Microsoft, they more or less blew the chance to win over the gaming world by continuing their relentless focus on TV features, clarifying that the console would indeed require a daily connection to the Internet in order to even let you play offline, and their continuing battle with the second-hand market leading to a system so convoluted and draconian it made even lending games to your friends an indecipherable struggle.

Sony would go on to completely own the show this year, openly poking fun at their competitors and taking far more gamer-friendly stances towards sharing games and always having to be online. And when speaking the language that everybody understands Sony won out again, undercutting the Xbox One’s freshly-announced £429 price tag by almost a £100.

If you’re so inclined you can check out the show’s main conferences here and judge how things went down for yourself. And if you notice a disappointing lack of focus on actual games from this E3, what else is new?

If you were hoping to see actual footage of games however, Nintendo were happy to oblige. Opting out of an actual E3 conference, they instead decided to stick to their guns and use a Nintendo Direct to showcase a selection of upcoming titles as well as make some big reveals.

E3 2013
E3 2013
We got to see Super Mario 3D World, Mario Kart 8, a HD remake of classic Gamecube adventure Zelda: The Wind Waker, Bayonetta 2, the presumably working-titled X, and things were capped off with the reveal of a new Wii U and 3DS-bound Super Smash Bros instalment, guest-starring Mega Man. That’s quite a bit to sink your teeth into, almost enough to forget that the Wii U has struggled since launch to build any momentum or attract any mainstream interest.

Once all the E3 dust had settled it was time to carry on with our lives and see through the rest of June. Having endured a storm of criticism following their E3 presentation however, it would be mere weeks before Microsoft would react by abruptly U-turning on all of their Xbox One policies and bowing to popular demand by abandoning their stand against offline play and game trading. There was indeed much egg on many faces.

While the PS4 might have been looming on the horizon however, this month saw one more big surge on the PS3 front in the form of the system exclusive The Last of Us, which was released to massive critical acclaim and quickly became the fastest-selling PS3 title of the year.

Nintendo might have been struggling to get the Wii U off of – and in some cases even onto – the shelves, but the 3DS was enjoying a particularly strong year and one of its biggest successes would be the release of Animal Crossing: New Leaf, the latest instalment of Nintendo’s quirky rural life sim. Fans loved it, millions of them proved it by buying it, all memories of the 3DS struggling through its own disappointing launch were forgotten.

This month would see the release of a few superheroic adventures, with two Marvel licensed games trying to make a splash in a genre that has been pretty handily dominated by DC and Batman over the last few years. Superhero MMO Marvel Heroes was up first finally launching out of its beta period and letting fans take up the fight against all manner of baddies from Marvel’s vast comics universe in a very Diablo-like way.

Next up was Deadpool, in which the titular wisecracking mercenary sliced and diced his way through an underwhelming hack-and-slash beat-em-up. The character’s rise in popularity over recent years meant it had enough clout to rake in some decent initial sales, but at the end of the day the Dark Knight wasn’t quite given reason to start watching his back.

Big Name Releases Due this Month
Animal Crossing: New Leaf - Nintendo
Remember Me - Capcom
The Last of Us - SCEE

Read the Rest of Our Video Games Year in Review 2013
SPOnG's Videogames Review of 2013: January
SPOnG's Videogames Review of 2013: February
SPOnG's Videogames Review of 2013: March
SPOnG's Videogames Review of 2013: April
SPOnG's Videogames Review of 2013: May
SPOnG's Videogames Review of 2013: June
SPOnG's Videogames Review of 2013: July
SPOnG's Videogames Review of 2013: August
SPOnG's Videogames Review of 2013: September
SPOnG's Videogames Review of 2013: October
SPOnG's Videogames Review of 2013: November

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