Review of the Year 2011: August


August is one of those months I fear as a features editor. Oh sure, with Gamescom and PAX Prime both taking place  there’s plenty of news floating about but if you want games to review it was pretty grim. There were the normal digital releases but even those were a little light on the ground. If you wanted to pick up something during August in a box though? Pickings were slim, at least if you wanted to get something new.

Of course we did have three of this year’s five weeks of XBLA’s Summer of Arcade cropping up. That saw Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, Fruit Ninja Kinect and Toy Soldiers: Cold War all arriving on XBLA, titles that made the sparsity of retail releases a little more bearable. I know you’re probably scoffing a little at me praising a list that includes Fruit Ninja Kinect but Peter seemed to enjoy it in his review, and found that Kinect actually worked well.

There was one retail release that featured prominently in the month, Deus Ex: Human Revolution arrived and seemed to meet with wide praise. Unfortunately that really was about it for releases in the EU. There were a few things that hit in the US that month, but on this side of the Atlantic there were tumbleweeds blowing through high street games retailers.

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[drop2]That’s not to say we were running low on articles though, with 582 popping up at various times throughout the month. Although there weren’t too many games coming out, we had a look at a number of games in the form of reviews and hands on articles. Amongst those we cast our eyes over were Bodycount, Need for Speed: The Run, Skullgirls, Xenoblade Chronicles, El Shadai and the ICO & Shadow of the Colossus HD collection.

In gaming news, August saw Sony explaining that Vita’s lack of 3D was due to the poor mix of glasses-free 3D screens and motion control. They also said they’d rather have a large, crisp screen than have to compromise on quality a little to get 3D. It also saw Zumba’s thirteen week stranglehold on the UK chart come to an end when the very deserving Deus Ex: Human Revolution managed to come out on top.

In a little news about TSA we were nominated for Best Website at the GMAs in August. To be honest this was a bit of a shock, although in a good way. We were extremely pleased to get a nomination, particularly as we weren’t expecting to be recognised in such a public way.

In the wider world the United States managed to put an end to their debt ceiling crisis on the second day of the month, when Obama signed the Budget Control Act into law. The Libyan civil war came to a head, with the rebel forces retaking the territory they’d lost in recent months and pushed forwards all the way to the capital of Tripoli. Although they weren’t officially recognised as the government until September, capturing Tripoli effectively lead to them overthrowing Gaddafi’s government.

In the UK we saw the most wide scale riots in years, which started on the 6th. Although they only lasted until the 10th they managed to cause around £200 million in damages, and lead to over 3,000 arrests in London alone. The causes of the rioting will probably be discussed for some time yet but the consequences have certainly been felt personally for those who lost their homes and businesses, and politically for those considering how to try and resolve any underlying issues that lead to the violence and theft.

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20 Comments

  1. Hated Deus Ex. There, I said it.

    • It’s like you’ve been holding back. I hated it too and it was especially disappointing because it was my most anticipated at the time. I never would’ve even finished it if not for the fact that it was a gift from my wife.

  2. Loved Deus Ex. There, I said it. :P
    Brilliant game, had a massive amount of fun on both PS3 and PC :)

  3. I loved Deus Ex too. But after completing it, I’m not sure I’ll go back to it for extra trophies, there’s just too many other games about since.

  4. Bought Deus Ex recently, it’s average in my opinion. Some silly design choices have really frustrated me. The riots was just shocking – can you not put down UK? there were no riots here in Wales, UK implies everywhere (may have been talk of them but there was none)

    • I agree with Origami Killer. Techinally, it was only England that had riots and not the rest of the Uk. So it should have only said England. If there were riots in Wales or Scotland, or North Ireland then Uk would be ok. :)

    • Yeah, it was pretty contained to a few places really, although I’m sure there will have been people trying to start them all over..

  5. Why is Adam on the front page again? What has he done this time? ;p

    Dues Ex:human revelution is a bit flawed as boss fights are mostly suited to those who prefer to go in guns blazing then those who use stealth. I do plan on getting it at some point.

    I heard that Grainger Games were not being proffessional. They got drunk, insulted people and why free condoms for those who attended it?! Didn’t Kris and our full time thunder cat part time super villain, News Editior known as Dan lee go there?

    • Yeah about Deus Ex, I took a non lethal approach and came up to the first boss needing guns which I didn’t have. Proved quite difficult for me. Hopefully the next boss fight will be a little less of a shock for me having no guns.

      • The second fight is easy even on Give Me Deus Ex difficulty if you’ve upgraded your armour to nullify electricity damage and don’t try physical take-downs. The third fight took about three seconds with the Linebacker. Really it’s just the first one which is a massive assbastard ;)

      • yep im on the hardest setting. Should be fine to get through then thanks

  6. I really loved Deus Ex, although I think I should point out that I think your picture caption should read month, not year ;)

    As wonderful as Deus Ex is, I wouldn’t go quite that far. Not where Skyrim can hear me anyway….

  7. DE:HR is a great game and a personal contender for the GOTY award. The gameplay was great, the controls were spot on, the story was interesting and you could play the game the way you want to. A lot of people talk the game down because of the boss fights but I personally had no problems whatsoever on my non-lethal playthrough. I actually thought the second boss was way harder than the first one, which seemed to cause the most trouble to non-lethal players. During the first boss fight you had so many exploding or gas filled barrels to throw at the boss’ head. After that it only took a few well placed shots and the thing was over.

  8. It was a good month

  9. Ah those riots, probably the 2nd worst event(I think) of 2011 after the PSN outage. I still don’t even get the reason why it started.

  10. The 22nd was one of the most important days of my entire life, this month will live long in the memory. Nothing to do with gaming.

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