March was warm. Unseasonably warm. We had temperatures hitting a maximum 20.9 °C, and it felt like summer was launching early after a nightmare few months of cold and flooding. However, that was a bit too optimistic and, as if to play with our emotions, fog descended upon the land quite often turning the UK into a rather large Silent Hill set. Thankfully Pyramid Head didn’t grace us with an appearance. Globally things were heating up in the conflict sense, primarily due to the clashes in the Crimea region between Ukrainian forces and Russian backed separatists. It’s a very complicated affair which is still going on to this day.
The month passed by me without much incident as a lot of my time was spent writing news for some site called TheSixthAxis. It’ll never catch on, trust me. Yes, gaming news is a thing and March had quite a few big stories break. A big reveal for the month of March was Sony’s Project Morpheus, which finally confirmed that a VR headset was coming to PlayStation. Many positive reactions there. Oculus didn’t want to be outdone so it went and got bought by Facebook for $2 billion. There was quite a lot of negative reactions to that news, and Notch even cancelled an Oculus version of Minecraft due to Facebook creeping him out. Our own Tef decided to look at the other side of the situation, and discuss how the deal could be a good thing for Oculus.
Other big industry news was Jack Tretton stepping down as Sony Computer Entertainment America’s President, after 19 years as part of the company. This led to Peter compiling a list of what Jack could do next, including such careers as a Mob boss or a bare knuckle fighter. Apparently Jack himself was so impressed with the list he contacted Peter about it, obviously after some advice on which career path to choose. Meanwhile at Microsoft Phil Spencer gained control of the Xbox division, I assume after packing in a career related to bare knuckle fighting. Don’t blame him, I wouldn’t want to fight Tretton either.
In actual game related stuff The Last Of Us reared its head again, first with the confirmation that a movie based on the title was being made, and that Neil Druckmann would be penning the script. That wasn’t the only time we’d hear about Joel and Ellie’s tale as rumour had it a remastered edition was getting a PS4 release, after a retail listing appeared for it on a Spanish website. Apparently it did come out but there didn’t appear to be much fanfare. In other Naughty Dog related news some people left the developer for new horizons like Amy Hennig and Justin Richmond.
Games were also announced in March with the biggest perhaps being Assassin’s Creed: Unity, which would take players to a revolutionary Paris complete (or should that be incomplete?) with dodgy frame rate and render issues. Another remaster rumoured for release was the Metro Redux collection, and developers 4A took a different route to other PR teams when it comes to early leaks by actually giving us information. Huzzah for them! I hope you other PR teams took note of that, because we like new things and want to know everything about them.
March also saw new games actually appearing across digital stores, as well as on some ancient relic called shelves in strange buildings called shops. One of the biggest releases was the PS4 exclusive InFamous: Second Son, scoring 9/10, which helped boost the console’s sales by 106%. Those sales were in addition to the six million PS4s that had already been purchased. Another game that released was one of the best RPGs to have graced the gaming world in a long time. I am of course talking about South Park: The Stick Of Truth, which managed to actually release despite the original publisher crashing down around it. It did get some censorship in Europe, but thanks to the wonders of the internet you can see those scenes on places like Youtube. Take that, draconian measurements!
Microsoft had backed one of its own console exclusives during March too, with Titanfall dropping onto Xbox platforms and PC. It was billed as a huge blockbuster from ex Infinity Ward staff studio, Respawn. I hear it’s doing okay these days. A major cross platform and cross gen title to release that same month was Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, a £20 demo that lasted a few minutes if you were really quick. Good thing it had quite a few secrets to discover and different ways to play through it then. Nintendo also got in on the action of big releases by bringing out Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, though I don’t think they actually fight each other. That would have been something to see though. I bet Layton’s hat is like Mary Poppins’ bag, containing all sorts of weaponry. Pokemon got rolled out too, this time in Pokémon Link: Battle, because you can’t go a few months without Pikachu’s face appearing somewhere
Outside of the big hitters you had games like Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends releasing, with the marketing team forgetting that “xtreme” is so 90’s. Steamworld Dig also dug its way to both PS4 and Vita, ever expanding the list of games that have somehow made the job of mining incredibly entertaining. Dustforce also appeared in the gaming sphere, where it received a around average score of 6/10. It’s visual and sound design seemed to have won Jim over though, so if you like pictures and sound then you might like Dustforce.
Rambo: The Video Game failed in its attempt to make a decent adaptation of the original movie trilogy. I don’t know how you can screw something as basic as Rambo up, but it happened. I was unlucky enough to review Witch & The Hundred Knight. Just don’t bother unless you’re a hardcore NIS America or Nippon Ichi fan, and if you are then you’ve already bought it. I’m so sorry. Magus was released by a relatively small studio called Black Tower, and perhaps that’s where the game should have stayed since it scored a disappointing 3/10. Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z also scored low with a 4/10 from Jim. In fact Jim gave a lot of low scores that month. Maybe he just hates the month of March?
March was a busy month wasn’t it? I bet the same thing happens with March 2015 too, though we won’t know until it hits. What you will find out in the near future is how April 2014 stacked up, and you can read all about it tomorrow.