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.
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.