August: A month of summers ending, scholarly duties beginning again, and the tail end of intense heat. This particular August with jam packed with fantastic releases that'll make any kid wish the summer just lasted one month longer... with big triple-A releases such as Saints Row IV, Nintendo exclusives like Pikmin 3 and Mario and Luigi: Dream Team, and even more nostalgia driven releases like Duck Tales Remastered is enough to keep any gamer busy and wanting more gaming time.
Of course, while August of 2013 might be one of the biggest release months we've seen in a while, how was the eighth month of the year like in the past? Well, there's only one way to find out... let's go down memory lane to find out!
In 2003, August was a good month for fans of more niche genres. There wasn't a deluge of releases, but the ones that did come out were bound to keep most hardcore gamers happy. However, Soul Calibur II goes a little beyond that. The 3D fighter made a release on all three consoles, and started the series' 'different exclusive characters dependent on the console' feature. Also, the game was easy to jump into but complex enough to take a while to master, giving casual and veteran gamers alike a title to enjoy.
Other Notable Releases: F-Zero GX, Silent Hill 3, Virtua Fighter 4: Evolution
It's sort of funny that, almost exactly nine years after the release of Pikmin 2, we would get the next title in the series. It's almost like Nintendo planned it! Okay, probably not... but anyway, August 2004 gave us Pikmin 2, which was of course the sequel of the original Pikmin. This second entry to the series gave us two captains to control, new Pikmin to use, and got rid of the daunting 30 day timer from the original. For fans of the original, Pikmin 2 offered plenty more for gamers to get into.
Other Notable Releases: Doom 3
Alright, I understand that Nintendogs may not be the first game you think of when you think of a list like this, but this DS series was seriously important to the console in its early life. Released in August of 2005, Nintendogs gave casual gamers to pick up the portable before there were any truly killer apps for the system, helping to introduce the portable--and in some cases, gaming in itself--to a whole new crowd. Also, those puppies were gosh darn adorable.
Other Notable Releases: Dungeon Siege II
Much like Nintendogs was to the Nintendo DS last year, Dead Rising was a release set to really put the Xbox 360 on the board in August 2006. Dead Rising is from a time before zombies were an overplayed plot device, and offers a real-time way to explore the infested mall and beat the crap out of the rotting foes. With multiple endings and a relatively open ended experience, this zombie title really gave a lot for gamers to have fun with.
Other Notable Releases: Saints Row, Xenosaga Episode III: Also Sprach Zarathustra
August 2007 was a fantastic month for every type of gamer. So many great titles and new IPs alike came out this month, but nothing, and absolutely nothing, could beat the release of Bioshock. This title made huge waves in the gaming industry in 2007, with a riveting plot and rewarding gameplay. Exploring the fallen city of Rapture and making difficult moral decisions is just a few of the many things that make this title a modern classic in most gamers' eyes.
Other Notable Releases: Mega Man Star Force, Rune Factory: A Fantasy Harvest Moon, Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
The end of the summer in 2008 wasn't too bad for the Xbox 360. At least, not for RPG fans on the Microsoft console. This particular August brought the release of Tales of Vesperia to US shores. The first Tales game to be released in the West on the (then) next generation, the title offered enhanced graphics and gameplay, and a plot that touched a little more on darker aspects than previous iterations. Tales of Vesperia ended up doing well for itself in the West, helping to anchor the series' popularity and future releases for the RPG series.
Other Notable Releases: Too Human
The eighth month of 2009 was a little light on the releases, but few cared as the droves of Final Fantasy fans dove into Dissidia: Final Fantasy. This unlikely crossover fighting game featured heroes and villains from all across the series and threw them into an alternate realm where they can duke it out for sake of the universe. The story might be crazy, but the combat is interesting and holds up well, melding traditional Final Fantasy aspects with frantic combat.
Other Notable Releases: Metroid Prime: Trilogy
August of 2010 was surprisingly light on the release front. Thankfully, a fun brawler in the form of Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: The Game came to fill the empty end of summer gap. The game with made with a retro feel in mind, but with plenty of modern touches to keep the game fun and fresh. You could level up to get new combos, and buy items to increase various stats, all in the name of beating up ex-boyfriends. Alone or with local co-op, many gamers found this beat-em-up to be a blast to play.
Other Notable Releases: Metroid: Other M
2011 had a bit of an unexpected release. The next entry in the much loved Deus Ex series, Deus Ex: Human Revolution debuted in August and faced very little real competition during the month. A prequel to the original, Human Revolution focused on open-ended gameplay and a plot that focuses on many interesting social issues. Fans of the series found the title to be a great continuation of Deus Ex, while newcomers were able to enjoy the series for the first time.
Other Notable Releases: Rock of Ages, El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron
August 2012 was a surprisingly big month for releases, much like this very August is. The biggest of these multitude of releases was Persona 4 Arena, a fighting game that's a bit of a sequel to Persona 4. Fans may not have expected their RPG game to continue in another genre, but the transition was well-done. The title had an in-depth Story Mode for Persona 4 fans to enjoy, while having deep gameplay that fighting game fanatics could get into without even playing the series before.
Other Notable Releases: The Last Story, New Super Mario Bros. 2, Guild Wars 2, Mutant Mudds, Dust: An Elysian Tail
That's all for the ten past August releases! September and October are known for being the 'calm before the Holiday storm', so I wonder how the releases of the past reflect those supposed droughts? We'll start to find out next month!
What were some of your favorite August releases? Any that I missed? Let me know in the comments below!