This October has certainly been a huge month for gaming! While the new generation of consoles officially starts next month, the large amount of games coming out for consoles are bound to keep even those that aren't early adopters for months to come. Big releases like Beyond: Two Souls and Battlefield 4, niche releases such as Rune Factory 4 and Etrian Odyssey Untold, and even Pokemon X/Y all have come out during this month, clogging up our backlogs and giving us a bit of a fright before Halloween is upon us.
It's not quite the holiday season yet... so one has to wonder, were the past Octobers so jam packed? You know what that means... it's time for another trip down memory lane.
October of 2013 really wasn't a spectacular month for releases, but Clover Studios made a pretty big splash during this month with the release of Viewtiful Joe. This action game made waves with its cel-shaded style of a superhero movie, and the fast-paced action kept players hooked. Besides, who doesn't want to play as a spandex wearing superhero, anyway?
Other Notable Releases: Jak II
While millions are glued to their screens this month enjoying Grand Theft Auto V, an earlier entry to the series was released in October nine years ago: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. This PS2 title introduced many of the features still prominent in the series today, such as being able to swim and character customization options (though the latter's a bit more scaled back). San Andreas also had an enhanced plot and, of course, a huge city to explore, and has aged a bit better (mechanically-speaking) than its PS2 companions, making it still worthwhile to pick up today.
Other Notable Releases: Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War
This fall month of 2005 was pretty great to many of gamers, but nothing can top the cult classic of Shadow of the Colossus. This unusual experience is cited by many as a work of art, and rightfully so--the world, plot, and experience are powerful and shown only in a way a video game can do. There's little reason that it and ICO are so revered in the community: It really is a well-crafted experience.
Other Notable Releases: Civilization IV, Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
Did you know that numbered Final Fantasy games actually released back in the day? Yes, as crazy as that sounds, back in October 2006 PS2 owners were treated to Final Fantasy XII. After the series taking a bit of an odd turn with Final Fantasy XI being an MMO, Final Fantasy XII brought a somewhat more traditional JRPG to fans, even if the battle system and other mechanics were never seen in the series before. Still, it was an entertaining ride, and worthy of being a numbered entry to one of the most important RPG series.
Other Notable Releases: Bully
October 2007 may have had a few interesting releases, but little in the way of AAA classics. That's alright, though, as a quirky puzzler like Zack & Wiki: The Quest for Barbados' Treasure really got to shine this month. This Wii title had some really tough and intuitive puzzles in it, and it was wrapped in a charming looking art style that lulls you into a false sense of security. It was also quite the content-filled game, with plenty of side objectives and games to do while trying to find some good treasure.
Other Notable Releases: The Witcher, Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations
October 2008 didn't really have much going for it, but Wii owners got a rare treat in the form of WiiWare puzzle game World of Goo. This unusual game made great use of the WiiMote, and the puzzles within were often ingenious and forced you to figure out how to use the various forms of goo to finish the level. On top of that, it also had a somewhat crazy plot, and those are always a bonus.
Other Notable Releases: Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia
Demon's Souls is the game that reminded the game industry and gamers alike that video games can still be tough-as-nails hard, and this fiendishly difficult game was released unto the world in October of 2009. This game, and the Souls series that was made from it, will not hold your hand, and is not afraid to kill you when you make an error. This rough difficulty and gameplay has garnered quite the following from gamers yearning for more challenging experiences in their games, and Demon's Souls did not leave them disappointed.
Other Notable Releases: Bayonetta, Torchlight, Borderlands
October seems to see the release of many Castlevania games, but October of 2010 sees the release of one of the most polarizing games in the series in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. While this was not the first time the series jumped to the 3D realm, it was the first game in the series to be successful in doing so. The fast-paced combat and story reboot earned a fair amount of fans for the new game, even if series die-hards did not like the new direction the series took.
Other Notable Releases: Kirby's Epic Yarn, Fallout: New Vegas, Super Meat Boy
October 2011 was a bit of an odd month for gaming, as indie titles and Demon's Souls' sequel took part of the limelight in terms of releases. However, Nintendo fans got a big Wii treat in the form of Kirby's Return to Dreamland. While Kirby's adventures over the years have taken many different routes, Return to Dreamland was much a return to the Kirby norm, offering a fun platforming experience to Kirby fans.
Other Notable Releases: Orcs Must Die!, Dungeon Defenders, Dark Souls
Before October 2012, not many people had heard of the XCOM series (at least not anyone who wasn't a die-hard PC gamer), but that all changed with the release of XCOM: Enemy Unknown. This re-imagining of the original XCOM game scratched a strategic itch like few games could before. Being in command of an elite military units, you learn about the aliens invading Earth and how to stop them, all in a turn-based format that requires careful and precise thinking.
Other Notable Releases: Resident Evil 6
Looking back, it's pretty easy to see that this October has been a bit of a rare treat. Holiday season doesn't really start until November, but publishers in a rush to get out their games before the new consoles hit gave us quite the overload of games.
Then again, next month may be even better. What did November bring out in the past? Find out next month!
What are some of your favorite October releases? Let me know in the comments below!