Review of the Year 2011: July

July; the calm after the storm that is E3. Well, no, not really, there were about three weeks before July started to let the gaming world setting down. So, July – the calm after the three weeks after E3 happened.

July was a relatively quiet month in terms of news; nothing too big happened, which is to be expected at this time of the year. However, there were a few things that gained relative interest from gamers. Firstly, Sony confirmed their take on the online pass trend, with the ‘PSN Pass’ which would soon be appearing on all Sony published games that feature an online mode.

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This confirmation was the final straw for some people, and there was a large backlash against online passes, which now seem to feature in every single game under the sun. Not confirmed, but we’ve heard from a source they’re even recalling N64s, adding online functionality, and then patching in online passes for all of the games.

Aside from that absolute bombshell, Nintendo announced they were to drop the price of the 3DS by almost a third due to sales not meeting their requirements. This was a bold move by Nintendo, who tried to appease early adopters of the handheld console by announcing some free classic NES and Gameboy games for those of us who picked the console up before August.

Oh, and we thought that Vita’s release date had leaked and that is was arriving in October, due to a flier from Blockbuster. However, as we now know, this information was wrong and it would instead release… wait, that didn’t happen in July so I can’t go into any further detail.

[drop2]July wasn’t a great month in terms of game releases; we were served with very few excellent games and many mediocre ones. In terms of excellence, it was all about downloadable titles.

We saw the release of LIMBO on PS3 and the brilliant platformer Ms. ‘Splosion Man released on Xbox live, shortly before the Summer of Arcade promotion which included Bastion – a brilliant RPG with sublime narration and visuals – and From Dust – a God-sim game that was well-received by those who played it.

With retail releases in July, nothing really managed to stand out. We saw Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D, Earth Defence Force, Captain America: Super Soldier, El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron and UFC Personal Trainer all hitting shelves. Also released were the terrible Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and Call of Juarez: The Cartel.

517 articles were penned in the month of July by our team, with reviews of the games throughout the month, opinion pieces and many bits of news and other content. We also kicked off our Top 100 of 2011 recap, looking back over those games that we had listed at the end of 2010.

Outside of our little gaming bubble, the real world carried on and we found out just how low news companies could stoop when it was revealed that News of the World had hacked into the missing Milly Dowler’s voicemail in order to find out more information for themselves.

Breaking some news before anyone else is one thing, but public opinion turned against News International as the consensus emerged that they’d stepped significantly over the line. The scandal dominated the news for July, and the News of the World was shut down on the 10th of July due to the overwhelming public outcry.

The most terrible news of July was undoubtedly the attacks in Norway on the 22nd. At twenty five past three, a car bomb killed eight people and injured many others in the centre of Oslo. Less than two hours later a brutal attack on a youth camp occurred, when a gunman dressed as a police man opened fire and killed sixty nine people attending the camp.

It was the worst attack in Norway since the Second World War and shocked the world. Even though a man – 32 year old Anders Behring Breivik – was arrested and then charged, the shock did not subside and the fact that nearly eighty, mostly young, people lost their lives that day due to one individual seemed to much to bear.

2011 saw the coolest July since 2000 over the UK. The east of Scotland and the north-east of England had twice the usual rainfall, with some flooding across Scotland (we should probably just become amphibians). However the Midlands had a relatively dry month and the South of England had close to average sunshine. So, another distinctly average month for weather and games; July wasn’t all that.

In fact, I don’t think I like July any more.

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37 Comments

  1. Probably the most expensive month of my life thus far, got married on the 1st, so no time to play any of the big pile of average that was released that month. It was the month that got me hooked on playing Tiny Tower on the iPad though which I think was released about the same time.

    • “Probably the most expensive month of my life thus far, got married”
      LOL tell me about it. 2 years ago my other half and I got married in September… a week after her birthday :| Expensive times!

      • Wow – Add me to the pile; Just over a year ago i got married. On my wife’s birthday. In September. :O

      • Well my wife and I got married in Sri Lanka, on the beach in beautiful sunshine……and it cost £450* ;P

        *Price includes wedding ceremony, meal for 20 guest and Elephant. Flights not included :(

      • We managed the slightly less glamerous location of Broadstairs, Kent, but we were lucky enough to get the only day of sun I think the UK experienced last summer. I think £450 would just about have covered the cost of our suit hire!

      • @Forest- wow, spoooky :) Just think, it will work out in the long-run as you can (possibly) get away with giving her a combined anniversary-birthday pressie. Less effort and less money spent ;D Works for me for my other half. She’s a lucky lady…

        @Youles- damn, thats a bargain! Even with family friends handling the venue and catering ours still came to over £5000 and that was here in the UK :( Great day though of course :)

        @Shields_t- Yeah I didn’t realise how pricey suit hiring could be. If i’d known in advance I wouldn’t have told my father, best man, father-in-law and brother that I’d get their suits sorted, lol ;)

      • You got lucky with the weather then! It was too hot for us really, even in a linen suit. It didn’t help that I had to discharge myself from hospital so we could get married…I got severe food poisoning about 3 days before our wedding, I lost so much body fluid that my sight started to go and I had the most painful cramp in my jaw! Never a dull moment, lol.

      • :| wow, thats intense! Strangely I was ill a couple of nights before my wedding too, though mine was because we went out drinking to be fair… ;)

      • @R4U Eldave0 – I know, weird right? In fairness though, the main reason for doing it on her birthday was so that i could never forget our anniversary! Smart you see… :)

        Although if i DO forget… Well, lets say the funeral directors would probably be getting a call!

        But yeah, combined pressies ftw!

        Oh & just to add to the strangeness, i was ill a couple of days before my wedding too. Nothing as serious as food poisoning though! :O

      • I was only ill afterwards, on the Honeymoon. Marrakech didn’t agree with my well honed English stomach sadly.

        @R4U Eldave0 – I did exactly the same, even dressed our ushers. 26 degree sun, plus 3 piece tailed suits – that was rather warm. Thankfully our photographers wetre skilled enough to not draw obvious attention to my man-sweat!

      • Must admit I’m glad we paid the extra and went for the Garden party + Marquee approach for our reception. Precious shade! :)

  2. Good lord, that really was a crap month! I know July isn’t usually a great month in the world of gaming but it definately seems a lot worse when written down lol

  3. Limbo was awesome, still proud of my 100% trophies….oh the frustration! ;0

    • I could never be bothered with the whole game in 5 deaths or less bit, but the hidden dark obstacle course was one of the best gaming experiences of the year..

  4. “Not confirmed, but we’ve heard from a source they’re even recalling N64s, adding online functionality, and then patching in online passes for all of the games.”

    Would not surprise me in the slightest tbh. This gen… *shakes fist angrily at the sky*

  5. Also, i kinda liked Captain America: Super Soldier – It was like a poor mans batman in some ways, but i found it pretty entertaining.

    • Definately an enjoyable Platinum run :)

      • It looked okay, I remember being tempted based on the TSA review. I might pick it up once the back-log has been worked though.

      • I hated the challenges so didn’t go for plat

  6. Bastion… One of the greatest games I have ever played. The narration was excellent and I really loved the art style.

  7. What a crap month when you think about it. El shaddai was a september release I thought. Really unique game I must say.

    • Was September perhaps when you won your copy though (you did win a copy didn’t you?)?

    • I remeber you winning it. And the TSA community turn a bit ugly on that article. I think some of us drove away a new member. :(

      Didn’t you trade it in a month later for Dead Island? ;)

    • yes I did win it in septmeber :D (thanks TSA again). I did trade it in for Uncharted 3, bought Dead Island myself which was a mistake.

      Also yeah not the best of comments from some of us in that article :/

    • Just read the comments on the competition article. Wow. Honestly if I had won a copy I would have asked for it to be sent to that poor guy.

      • I was never going to give up a free copy of the game for someone who didn’t read the article properly. Sounds harsh but that’s me.

      • To be fair its probably my festive cheer talking at the moment… ;)

      • Ooh – Now i am intrigued!!

      • I did feel gutted he didn’t get a copy though for getting all those bad comments.

      • I do hope you aren’t trying to turn my perfectly innocent comment into an inyourendo :P

      • no no :P

    • My sources were incorrect! Well, let’s pretend so July seems a little bit better :|

  8. Bastion is cool, I only recently got it off Steam. I’m yet to get El Shaddai but plan to eventually. Does sound like it was a shitty month.

  9. I think my Childhood’s body has been let’s say tickled by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2:the game. I enjoyed 2-5(4 was average at best and medicore at times). I think EA just gave up and said “feck it, make it GOW Harry Potter style”.

    Now that i think about it, July was mostly rubbish. I don’t mind the PSN passes provided it is only in games with an actually online MP or if the game has an online service and the pass unlocks some decent DLC(Mass Effect 2 and the cereburus network). But if they do stick in every excuslive game regardless of whether it has an online part then i will be annoyed.

    The News Of The World incident. The fucking scumbags.(sorry, i depise what they did to a dead girl’s phone and gave her family false hope). I can’t believe that some journalists are saying that privacy is for criminals and that if we are innocent, then we won’t mind having our privacy invaded. It’s still going. Has News Corp actually been punished yet? Or is DC and co siding with their pal.(sorry, i seem to be going a bit off topic today).

    Didn’t someone give Dan Lee a lot of Energy Drinks that month thus resulting in a record breaking 517 articles? ;)

  10. Bastion is ace, got it cheap of Steam, exellent story telling and lovely to look at, wonder if it will ever come to PS3? El Shaddai was a bit samey and dull for me, but nice to see something different. News of the World, well they didn’t do anything every other newspaper/gossip mag isn’t doing as well, still one less shit paper is good I suppose. Any one else been listening to the Leveson Enquiry live this week – no, just me then.

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