Ah, June. Summer is here, E3 shows us all the games we should be excited for, and it's the last month of the second fiscal quarter.
As such, this month tends to be the most abnormal in terms of releases. This month we have some much anticipated titles such as The Last of Us and Animal Crossing: New Leaf, but June certainly isn't bursting to the seam with tons of AAA and niche titles.
Were the Junes of the past much like the June of the present? Let's take a wordy trip down Memory Lane to find out!
In June of 2003, there wasn't too much going on. However, racing fans got a great treat in the form of Midnight Club II. The nighttime racing sequel was well-met by critics and fans alike, offering multiple locales the race along and many secret shortcuts to discover. In addition, the online multiplayer helped the game out a lot; back in the day, it was a pretty big deal!
Other notable releases: Wario World
When the Game Boy Advance version of A Link to the Past come with a second game, Four Swords, gamers that got together and had enough link cables were in for quite the adventure. Later, Nintendo decided to make a sequel to the novel idea and released The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventure on the GameCube in June of 2004. Sure, you still needed a fair amount of GBAs and some link cables (to hook up to the GameCube), but the beefed-up adventure was well worth it for those who could get some friends together.
Other notable releases: Mario vs. Donkey Kong
In June of 2005, the Nintendo DS had only come out a few months ago, and new games using the system's touch screen in innovative ways were still trickling out. One of these titles was Meteos, a puzzle game that required quick reactions and the use of the stylus. Meteos offered a lot of modes and content, making it a perfect addition to the DS's growing library.
Other notable releases: Kirby Canvas Curse, Yoshi Topsy-Turvy
Even compared to other Junes of the past, June of 2006 was pretty bare bones. The start of that summer would have many gamers working on their backlog... unless of course they owned a PlayStation Portable, and instead got the treat of Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories. This prequel to the smash hit Grand Theft Auto III offered a similar gameplay experience on the go... which was more than enough for many gamers to take the plunge and buy a PSP.
Other notable releases: Titan Quest
June 2007 was the month of the remakes. Tomb Raider Anniversary was a remake of the very first Tomb Raider for Lara's 10 year anniversary, and it ended up being a relative hit. This remake faithfully took the entirety of the original and updated the gameplay and visuals, giving a whole new generation of gamers a chance to enjoy the series.
Other notable releases: Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition
In the middle of 2008, nothing of real note came out. Well, except of course Metal Gear Solid 4. The highly hyped new entry to the stealth series was one of the reasons to own a PlayStation 3 in the early days, and 4 does not disappoint fans. Whether you were there for the crazy story or the fan gameplay, Metal Gear Solid 4 was your game of June.
Other notable releases: Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World
June 2009 had many smaller releases that catered more to target audiences rather than AAA releases. One of these titles was Prototype, a tale of a man with strange powers in a city that's losing control. Prototype often gets compared to inFamous, which may or may not be a fair comparison, but the new IP still scratched that free-roaming, super-power itch that many games could not.
Other notable releases: BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger, Rock Band Unplugged
Like most Junes, the June of 2010 was a little light on the releases, but the games that came out were a pretty big deals. This sixth month gave us the sequel to the N64 title Sin and Punishment, in the form of the Wii title Sin and Punishment: Star Successor. The sequel stayed true to the original's roots, offering an on-rails shooter that fans could be excited to grab.
Other notable releases: Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
Alright, alright, Duke Nukem Forever is not actually the best game to come out in June of 2011, nor was it the most hyped release. However, this new release to the somewhat raunchy franchise was very, very long in the making--at least two console generations! Therefore, good or bad, we have to at least celebrate the game's release... hey, at least it was a little entertaining?
Other notable releases: inFamous 2, Alice: Madness Returns
Last year was a bit odd. Most of the releases were portable based, of varying amounts of how anticipated it was, but the only big console release for June was Spec Ops: The Line, which in itself was quite the oddity. Those that have played the entry may know what I'm talking about, but for those that don't... Spec Ops touted itself much like a Call of Duty or Battlefield clone, but ended up being quite different and thought-provoking. Someone that stuck through with the single player until the end got quite the deep experience.
Other notable releases: Pokemon Conquest, Gungnir, Unchained Blades
That's a fair amount of old June releases! Some are more memorable than others to be sure, but you can't deny the impact these releases had on our gaming history... even if a few weren't in the right way!
Which June releases did you enjoy the most? Are there any I missed? Let me know in the comments below!