Review of the Year 2013: February

February was weird. I mean, it has Valentine’s day right in the middle of the month. A saccharine, pink-soaked powder-puff of a day, sickeningly sweet and stuffed full of sexual chemistry and commercial opportunity. But many of us didn’t fall in love until the 21st.

The PlayStation Meeting took place in New York City and we sent Alex along to see it happen. We knew there was a PlayStation 4 coming and we knew it would be a big deal for Sony. We expected fanfare, noise and bright lights. What we weren’t quite prepared for, perhaps, was just how strongly Sony would come out of the gate.

That first big announcement of the PlayStation 4’s imminent arrival was breathlessly exciting. I preordered two at half two in the morning, as soon as the live stream had finished and they became available. In the days that followed, plenty of simpletons made a big deal out of them not actually showing the console but the glaringly obvious point that those idiots failed to spot was that Sony had shown the important bits fans would care about and they’d spoken about the bits that their development partners wanted to hear about.

After a couple of hours of Andrew House & Co. basically standing on stage shouting “Oh, you like games, do you? Well, here, have a bit of that then!” the dust settled to show an extremely powerful console, stuffed full of more memory than developers were expecting (and better memory, too) and a range of games that The Players would want to see. Some complained that there was a bit of a focus on driving things and shooting people from what was shown but to those people I said (and say): driving things and shooting things are kind of a big deal in this videogame malarky. And that looked like some good driving and shooting. So shush.

Regardless, we were just about to see the dawning of PlayStation’s indie revolution too, with the PS4 taking up the mantle about to be so enthusiastically grasped by the Vita and putting every indie game PlayStation could snap up onto the platform. February’s PlayStation Meeting wasn’t perfect – it felt a little flat in places and was probably half an hour too long – but it set the tone for what would be an incredibly successful, incredibly well-focused run up to the PlayStation 4’s launch.

That wasn’t the only thing to happen in February, though. Oh no. This was the month that saw Thomas Was Alone announced for PS3 and Vita – the first big indicator that something big was about to happen with PlayStation’s relationship with indie developers. Uncharted 3 went free-to-play as Sony experimented with the next big bubble in sales models and we got a delay announcement for The Last of Us.

We also saw the final sell off of THQ’s remaining assets as other publishers picked over the carrion left after a disastrous foray into low-end art tablets for HD consoles and a marketing budget for Homeland that would have paid for several banker’s bonuses, if we were looking for something even more wasteful to spend it on.

Rayman Legends was also delayed, but announced for PS3 and Xbox 360. This caused many Wii U owners to contemplate the very meaning of existence itself but Ubisoft soon made it up to them by giving them a free game mode via the eShop (and eventually giving them the best version of the game anyway).

The weather was, as usual for February, a bit cold, a bit cloudy and not very rainy. There’s not much to say about it, other than to point out that it was a bit sunnier than usual. At least it was a bit sunnier than usual in Scotland, northern England and Northern Ireland. In southern England, where weather is most important, it was a bit more cloudy but still not bad for the time of year. Exciting, huh? One month we’re going to have a monsoon or a typhoon or something and then you’ll be glad we include these ironic weather paragraphs in our Review of the Year. That’ll show you.

The news channels in February were full of the usual depressing stuff about a suicide bomber at a US embassy, the escalation of the ongoing conflict in Syria and North Korea’s disturbing march towards becoming a nuclear threat.

In one slightly lighter news story, Pope Benedict XVI announced that he would become the first Pope since 1415 to resign. There would be Popes who probably had homosexual lovers and certainly Popes who fathered many illegitimate children that would stay in office between 1415 and 2013 but Pope Benedict XVI resigned, not due to a scandal of that magnitude but because he thought God told him he was getting a bit old for it. Fair play, Benny, all that sitting on gold thrones and mumbling latin into microphones must be exhausting.

Game releases were in fine form, with Dead Space 3 and Fire Emblem: Awakening getting the month off to a good start before Aliens: Colonial Marines at least gave us something to joke about in the middle of the month. Crysis 3 and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance provided the end of February’s big budget releases, as well as more than its quota of stupid made up words.

February was a good month then, with plenty for a PlayStation fan to sink their teeth into. If you want to see what March brought us, stick around for more in our ongoing Review of the Year series.

4 Comments

  1. Oh man, Fire Emblem. I gotta get that for my shiny new 3DS.

  2. If only Andrew House had actually said that, lol.

  3. I wanted to see the console at the announcemunt, not jussed da controller, so I resemble that remarker abowt beeying stoopud. On reflected, it definitely wasn’t a huge deal, but it was a well delivered announcement!

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