The Twelve Games of Christmas 2011 – Day Six: June

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Electronic Theatre ImageChristmas may now seem like yesterday’s news, but as we head towards the new year we are only just half way through the traditional ‘twelve days’ as of now. Here on day six, Electronic Theatre is taking the time to look at the best videogame releases from the sixth month of 2011, June.

And summer hits. Up until now the release scheduled for 2011 has been pretty generous, however summer is typically the slowest season for videogame retail sales, and so the release schedule follows suit. In 2011? No chance. Of all the months covered by this year’s ‘The Twelve Games of Christmas’ series so far, it was June that caused the most debate amongst the Electronic Theatre team.

Street Fighter IV receives its third retail release as Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition. THQ’s remarkable and enjoyable Red Faction Armageddon stalls at retail, killing the franchise in its wake. White Knight Chronicles returns to both PlayStation Portable (PSP) and PlayStation 3, and does everything that the first title promised it would, and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time comes out of retirement to remind us all just how it was done sixteen years ago. And that’s all before we get to the madness of the Duke and our new horror hero Garcia Hotspur.

 

 

Honourable Mentions:



Child of Eden

 

Alice Madness Returns

 

inFamous 2



Runner Up:



Duke Nukem Forever

 

Duke Nukem Forever divided opinions at launch. While the videogame perfectly encapsulates the era of its birth, it failed to keep up with the swift movement of technology and player expectations. To those who Electronic Theatre Imageunderstood it, Duke Nukem Forever was exactly the sequel that fans of the series had been hoping for, for everyone else it unfairly became the whipping boy of 2011. Hopes are high that Gearbox Software will be able to present a modern Duke Nukem experience that meets the expectations of today’s gamers, but equally there are fears that the puzzling element of the videogame may be left wanting. Just as it was with Duke Nukem Forever for such a famously long development period, only time will tell.



Best of June 2011:

 

Shadows of the Damned

 

Grasshopper Manufacture has developed a reputation on the current generation of videogame consoles for delivering the most eccentric gameplay premises while still presenting wholly enjoyable experiences. Previous titles such as Killer 7 and Contact had already made the studio ‘one to watch’ for the keenest videogames playing audience, but here on current generation systems it was the release of No More Heroes that Electronic Theatre Imagemade Suda 51 a household name. Shadows of the Damned took the expectations gamers had from those previous successes, and wrapped them all up in a flight of fantasy designed by Shinji Mikami, the creator of the Resident Evil franchise.

Shadows of the Damned was a videogame that wasn’t afraid to push against the established boundaries. It’s a survival horror videogame that – aside from the plot – arguably has more in common with the critically acclaimed Resident Evil 4 than Capcom’s own Resident Evil 5 does. Our protagonist, while still likeable, is a twisted, violent mess of a human being, as opposed to the goody-two-shoes cops and investigators we’d all become used to, and his selfish quest to save his rather odd girlfriend didn’t harm the believability of the videogame’s settings or his character. Shadows of the Damned was a videogame designed to ask players to reach beyond what they would normally accept as a conventional premise, and then throws them a mile beyond.

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