Review of the Year 2011: April

It was just after 9am on a (presumably) glorious Thursday morning in mid-April when Alex posted the following:

The PlayStation Network has been up and down for a good few hours, but it looks like it’s finally crashed properly.

Nobody knows why yet – at least, nobody outside of Sony, but gamers are being blessed with the error code 80710A06.

What followed was probably the worst thing that could possibly have happened to Sony after the Japanese earthquake in the previous month and the console hacking stories from the beginning of the year: the entire PlayStation Network had to be taken offline after hackers managed to compromise the system.

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Whilst Sony put everything on pause, it was a big month for Nintendo following the 3DS launch. Greg went into detail with numbers and analysis, but it’s safe to say that the launch wasn’t as positive as Nintendo had hoped for.

Sales numbers were significantly lower than their predictions, the tabloids were running stories on “how the 3DS will kill you and your family”, and reviews for the launch titles weren’t fantastic either. However, the month also saw plenty of 3DS game announcements, seemingly signalling a brighter future for the fledgling handheld.

[drop2]In terms of new releases, April saw the fantastic Portal 2 arrive on shelves (and Steam libraries), accompanied by Mortal Kombat, SOCOM 4, and Operation Flashpoint: Red River. Even the PSP got two big titles in the form of Patapon 3 and Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection.

Download stores were also in for a treat, with Stacking heading up a list that also includes Outland, The Fancy Pants Adventure and Red Faction: Battlegrounds. PC players got extra treats in the bizarre but brilliant Dino D-Day, and the free-to-play co-op title Spiral Knights.

TSA posted 430 articles, with plenty of talk both about the NGP (now PlayStation Vita) and “Project Cafe” (now Wii U – the codename was probably better). Peter spent some extended time with the Xperia Play, Alex raised questions about iOS’ impact on the 3DS launch, and headline writers everywhere had a field day when the PS2 managed to outsell the 360 in Japan.

Elsewhere on the internet, PopCap announced it would be pre-installing Bejewled on microwaves so you can waste time whilst you wait, Virgin bought Pluto, reinstating it as a planet, and Rebecca Black’s “Friday” overtook Justin Bieber’s “Baby” to become the statistically most disliked video on YouTube. One of those wasn’t an April Fools joke.

The music industry was rocked in April by a strangely sexual string of new releases, from Rihanna’s “S&M” and Kesha’s “Blow”, to 50 Cent’s “Down on Me” and Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep”.

In movies, “Hop”, “Rio” and “Fast Five” made more than six times what “Hanna” and “Source Code”, and in related news, this writer contemplated whether this world was really one he wanted to live in after all.

In the real world, the big story (at least here in the UK) was the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton – in fact, that appears to be pretty much the only big news of the month. America suffered from one of its worst recorded months of tornadoes, and filming wrapped on the last of the Twilight films. Thank the heavens.

Join us tomorrow for a look back at May.

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26 Comments

  1. Wait, the PSN got hacked?! Why didn’t anyone tell me!

    • We wiped your memory of being forced to do every PSN article that month after you nearly killed Peter. ;)

  2. Mortal ‘Combat’??

    Is that autokorrect getting a bit ahead of itself there & korrecting ‘Kombat’??

    • yes… fixed now though :)

    • What about the typo in the tornadoes sentence? I’ll let you find it yourself :P

  3. My vote for best game of the year, Portal 2. I can’t believe I have had it since April yet my mate still hasn’t revisited my house for long enough to finish fifth co-op chapter or the free DLC.

    • I had forgotten about the free DLC, so thanks for that! :)

      Additionally, i am yet to finish the main story, let alone start the co-op stuff (I hit a bit of the story where i couldn’t see where to pop a portal & got stuck)! :(

      • If you want to hook up for a bit of co-op online, give me a shout. Though having near enough played it all hrough I’ll have to give you a decent chance to figure the rooms out for yourself ;-)

      • Yesh, i may very well be up for that – So have you done the ‘Professor Portal’ trophy yet? If not, i could be the noob to give you it! :)

      • No, but I did help someone else out with it way back when though, I think I have to complete co-op first though. Another thing I will say for Portal 2 is that it looks an achievable platinum (at least with the right co-op partner).

      • Portal 2 is an achievable plat. I got most of them just on a play through. If my brother actually cared to help a little then I’m sure I could plat it. Such a fantastic game, probably my GOTY.

      • It was my first ever plat. I have such fond memories when it popped. Gets my vote for GotY

  4. Bought Might & Magic Clash of Heroes in April – my best purchase this year after Dead Space 2. Cost less than a tenner, and easily has 50 hours main campaign, and endless multiplayer. Plus no disc swapping!

    Portal was great, got the Platinum pretty soon after PSN going back live! Need to revisit the free DLC though.

  5. Did you actually mention Red Faction : Battlegrounds??? christ that was a shit shit game!

    • haha yeah it was awful, got it free with plus and I felt ripped off.

  6. Hmmm, I remember April being rubbish, but not THAT rubbish. These recaps make me sad :(

    • I get the feeling that it’s all (well, mostly) uphill from here though.

      One can hope…

      • Just wait until November. That will be hard to beat!

      • Agreed, Oct-Dec should make for some pretty positive reading :)

      • Also expensive. It’s just going to remind us of what we forgot to buy and now want!

  7. Just finished Portal 2’s main story, awesome, though it did make me feel really thick in places, well my wife did. It’s £4.99 on Steam today or you can get 1 and 2 for £5.74 – GO AND BUY.

  8. Moved into a new house in April with my girlfriend, so gaming time was at an all time low for me.

  9. Just realised that i didnt buy any new releases from April. Catch up on them next year then.

  10. Best month in the year, minus the whole PSN debacle. Although I didn’t buy it April, Portal 2 is one the best games I’ve played this year. Superb writing, story, humour and great gameplay. Brilliant stuff.

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