Features// SPOnG's Review of the Year 2010: September

Posted 31 Dec 2010 09:52 by
This is a continuing SPOnG retrospective of the year?s events.

September

Gamers only had one game on their collective hive-mind come September - Halo: Reach, Bungie?s sci-fi swansong and the prequel to the Master Chief adventure that started it all nine years ago. And Microsoft was going to make the launch as memorable and fun as possible.

Naturally, that enthusiasm meant that a lot of the month?s most popular editorial ended up being Reach related. From our preview of the multiplayer mode to our definitive single-player review and down to the multiplayer opinion piece, there was plenty to get excited about.

Unless you had a 4GB Xbox 360 console. For those poor souls, co-operative play was locked out (No Halo Reach Co-op Campaign for 4Gig Xbox 360 Owners, 15th September). Players who tried to access the mode were greeted with a ?Hard Drive required? error message - the 4GB Xbox 360 S model uses a flash-based solid state drive rather than a traditional hard drive, which was the cause behind the confusion. Microsoft was said to be working on a fix.

As hard as Microsoft pushed, Halo: Reach had a hard time staying at the top of the UK Video Game Charts in September. That?s not to say it wasn?t a flat-out success, as the game outsold the launch week for Halo 3 by 20,000 units. But while Bungie?s #1 release week win was expected, what wasn?t was Sony?s PlayStation Move title Sports Champions taking the #2 spot (20th September). One week later, Halo: Reach would hand over its brief time at the top to F1 2010 (27th September).

PlayStation Move?s popularity surprised us all, particularly given that our first thoughts when it was unveiled was that it was too late to hop on motion gaming train. We had a bit of a playtest with two Move controllers and a selection of games shortly before the peripheral?s launch and ended up really liking it. You can read our thoughts right here where Tim, Marcus and Mat became overnight virtual Bocce converts. It?s almost sad, really.

Sony was keen to stress that the Move would present gaming freedom for hardcore players as well as the casualites, with Worldwide Studios boss Michael Denny expressing the potential of a Move-enabled Killzone 3 (Killzone Move: the Tip of the Hardcore PS3 Move Iceberg, 14th September). According to Denny, it?s quite cheap for developers to implement Move support, making the possibilities limitless, or words to that effect.

Halo: Reach and PlayStation Move weren?t the only things we reviewed this month. Mark looked at Dead Rising 2 and concluded it lacked a fair bit of spit-polish - its zombie-crunching satisfaction combined with its difficulty curve earned it 73%. Patrick found the XBLA prequel, Case Zero, a bit easier to manage at 85%.

David was given an offer in Mafia II that he couldn?t refuse, and was able to draw himself into the game world enough to award it 82%. Michael also took Metroid: Other M for a spin and was a bit non-plussed at the Nintendo/Team Ninja collaboration, giving it a reasonably good 75%.
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