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  1. Wait a minute- January releases? Isn't this March? Yep, we're a little bit late with this feature (okay, we're a LOT late with this) and now we're playing catch-up, but better late than never, eh? And with Elizabeth (Gaiages) taking a breather from the feature, I've decided to step in and help finish what she started, so giddy up! Historically, January has been an interesting month for releases because it comes right after a busy holiday season. Especially in recent years, most major AAA games start coming in March after the new year begins, but a few titles actually did release in January here and there. So let's take a trip down Memory Lane and see what the first month of the year held for the industry over the years. 2003 One of our rather low-key years this time around, January 2003 didn't harbor many releases at all, but there were still a few notable games that came out, with perhaps the biggest one being Sim City 4, which was the first game in the series to primarily use a 3D engine to render its visuals. In the end, this fourth installment did quite well for itself, becoming one of the top-selling PC games of that year and garnering review scores that averaged around the mid-80's on Metacritic. Other Notable Releases: Devil May Cry 2, Panzer Dragoon Orta 2004 Only one true game of note came out in 2004, and it was a remake of one of the most influential games of all time - Metroid: Zero Mission. This GBA classic brought the classic NES original Metroid up to date with brand new graphics, gameplay enhancements, and even a new epilogue mission which saw the first ever appearance of Samus in her Zero Suit. For GBA owners, it was pure bliss, and even to this day is widely debated to be the best handheld entry in the series yet. Other Notable Releases: Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel 2005 What's this? A year where there was two massive games coming out in the very first month? Believe it - this year's January saw not only the release of a new handheld Zelda title, but also one of the most anticipated games of entire generation - Resident Evil 4. To make things more controversial, it was exclusive to Gamecube at first, and Nintendo fans got their sweet, sweet comeuppance with this massive exclusive which made PS2 owners wrench with jealousy. At least for a little while. After Capcom decided that the game did not fall under their exclusivity agreement with Nintendo, Resident Evil 4 was ported to the PS2 and released in October later that year, and with extra content to boot. It was subsequently ported to pretty much every non-handheld platform in existence afterward (no joke), and in fact an HD version just released for Steam recently. But it's all for good reason - Resident Evil 4 is widely considered to be the best game in the entire series, even above Resident Evil 5 and the more recently released (and controversial) Resident Evil 6. Other Notable Releases: The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap 2006 2006... oh boy, where do we start. For the first time in a while, this year started off with no new releases during January. Zero, zip, zilch, nada. But despite that fact, some interesting developments DID happen. Arguably the biggest bit of news during the month this year was that Nintendo announced the DS Lite, which would go on to become the de-facto version of the handheld during the DS generation (more so than even the DSi and DSi XL.) In other news, this was the month that Activision (or more accurately Vivendi, Activision's parent company at the time) acquired High Moon Studios (developers of the recent Transformers Cybertron series of games and last year's Deadpool), and Take 2 acquired Irrational Games, Ken Levine's studio which is most famous for creating the System Shock and Bioshock series. There were also rumors that Cisco was interested in buying Nintendo, though nothing panned out in the end. Finally, Sony was reported to be developing an "Xbox Live-killer" that we all now know as PSN. It doesn't quite live up to that 'description' nowadays, but it does give Microsoft a run for their money with their well-received PlayStation Plus program. Other Notable Releases: Nothing! 2007 If you know your gaming, and you know it well, you'll remember that 2007 was essentially the holy grail of video gaming-dom. It's actually ridiculous how many good games came out that year, and January was no exception. While there were plenty of big games, arguably the biggest release wasn't an actual standalone game but an expansion of one of the biggest games in existence at that point - World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade. Why was it a big deal? It was the first major expansion for the Blizzard MMORPG, and players were hungry for new content, so much that the expansion sold through 2.4 million copies on the first day alone. In addition to a new story campaign, the level cap being raised to 70, new PvP enhancements, and a whole new planet with all-new quests, items, dungeons, raids and more, The Burning Crusade also introduced two new playable races: The Draenei and the Blood Elves. It was one of the best received expansions ever for the game, garnering an average of 91 on both Metacritic and Gamerankings. Other Notable Releases: WarioWare: Smooth Moves, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice For All, Rogue Galaxy, Lost Planet: Extreme Condition 2008 If you thought 2007 was a good year for January releases, 2008 was ecstatic with them. In fact, there were two extremely notable games that released that month, though I'll focus on the one that I believed had a larger cultural impact on the industry for certain reasons. That game was No More Heroes. It wasn't Suda51's first title by any means, but No More Heroes was for many gamers their first taste of Grasshopper Manufacture's wild and crazy antics. Starring a young punk named Travis Touchdown, the game featured a great visual style, unorthodox gameplay, and crude humor to boot. The game cemented itself as one of the Wii's best third-party titles and would go on to receive a sequel a few years later as well. Other Notable Releases: Burnout Paradise, Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice, Rune Factory 2: A Fantasy Harvest Moon, Advance Wars: Days of Ruin 2009 After a great 2007 and excellent 2008, January 2009 was a bit more low-key in terms of big releases. There were ports of Saints Row 2 and Mirror's Edge for PC, but those had released in the Fall of the previous year for consoles already. The most notable title releasing then was likely Skate 2, the sequel to the game that gave Tony Hawk's Pro Skater franchise a run for its money a couple of years earlier. Building on some of the design it started in the first game, Skate 2 managed to score some impressive reviews, averaging around the mid-80's on Metacritic and Gamerankings. Other Notable Releases: Lord of the Rings: Conquest, Star Ocean: Second Evolution, DJ Max Fever 2010 This year saw one of the biggest release months ever for January with the likes of Darksiders, Bayonetta, No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars and more all releasing in close proximity to each other. However, you better believe there was no bigger game on peoples' radars than the Bioware-developed bruiser known as Mass Effect 2. The first Mass Effect was generally well-received by many fans, but Mass Effect 2 took things to a whole new level with its increasingly action-oriented gameplay, deep story, engaging characters, and abundance of personalized choice-based design. It all resulted in what many consider to be the best Mass Effect game yet. Other Notable Releases: Bayonetta, Darksiders, No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars, MAG 2011 Keeping up the momentum from 2010, January 2011 had a few big heavies of its own in its release lineup, but the biggest was probably LittleBigPlanet 2, Media Molecule's smash successor to one of the biggest games of 2009. Though there was a lot that was similar to the first game, LBP2 offered a wider array of options to create your own levels and worlds. The tools were so powerful, in fact, that many could create their own actual games with them, with one person creating a top-down Zelda-inspired game, another recreating a limited version of Final Fantasy VII, and more. Other Notable Releases: Dead Space 2, DC Universe Online, Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, Kingdom Hearts: Re:coded 2012 January 2012 was another bustling month of release activity, and this time it was Square Enix's time to shine with the release of Final Fantasy XIII-2. It was the JRPG giant's chance to rectify some of the faults that made the game's predecessor unbearable for many, and though it did, many critics agreed that the game was still a bit lackluster when compared to numbered Final Fantasy entries of yesteryear, especially in regards to its story. But Square Enix was not one to falter so quickly; they announced yet another a FFXIII sequel later that year, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, though it wouldn't release until February 2014. Other Notable Releases: Soul Calibur V All in all, January has been a pretty decent month for releases, bar one or two years. In fact, it's probably not too far behind the Fall months in terms of importance of games releasing, possibly only being bested by March, which can often rival October and November's release list. Which is a good thing, right? After a holiday lull in December, what better way to get back on the bandwagon with new releases than with games released in January? What were your favorite games that released in the month of January over the years? Let us know below!
  2. December is a joyous time for most. It's the holiday season, and many enjoy their holiday of choice with friends, family, and of course gifts. That said, December is rarely a giving time in the gaming industry. We've gotten a few solid games, such as the PlayStation Vita version of Terraria, but in reality there isn't that much to look forward to this month. Then again, it isn't surprising, as November is typically the time frame for big holiday releases, both on the hardware and software side, and many publishers don't want to confuse and make a rush for consumers with last minute game releases. So, for the most part, December is pretty light on the releases, but there are still some great titles that release right at the end of the year. Which ones? Let's find out by walking down (yes, you guessed it) Memory Lane. 2003 Beyond Good & Evil is one of those much loved games that will probably never get a sequel, despite various teases of the opposite over the last few years. This unsuspectingly good title released in December 2003 to little competition, and its blend of exploration, puzzle-solving, item collecting, and unique setting helped Beyond Good & Evil gain quite the fan following over the years. Other Notable Releases: Deus Ex: Invisible War 2004 The original Knights of the Old Republic game provided Star Wars and RPG fans with a fun romp through the universe, but it was Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords that really put this subseries and Bioware on people's radars. With improved gameplay and an intricate storyline, this RPG offers plenty for fans to play and replay. Other Notable Releases: Mario Party 6 2005 December 2005 was more of a Nintendo month, with the first portable version of Animal Crossing coming to stores, titled Animal Crossing: Wild World. This DS title brings the life/debt simulator on the go, which is perfect for the general bite-sized gameplay that the series promotes. The DS screen also is quite helpful for creating new patterns. Other Notable Releases: Super Mario Strikers 2006 Before Lords of Shadow, the Castlevania series was still going strong with 2D exploration titles, and December 2006 brought us Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin. Portrait of Ruin brought a new playstyle to the table with two playable characters you can switch between at the press of a button. It also allowed for interesting strategies that previous Castlevania games couldn't offer. Other Notable Releases: Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops 2007 Before the Tomb Raider series was rebooted earlier this year, the series universe received another semi-reboot when the series was taken under developer Crystal Dynamics' wing. The second game of this reboot, Tomb Raider: Anniversary, was a remake of the very first PS1 game. This remake expanded on the plot of the first game, as well as helped it tie into the plotline that Tomb Raider: Legend and Tomb Raider: Underworld were creating. In addition, the gameplay was also improved (of course), making Anniversary the definite version of the original game. Other Notable Releases: NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams 2008 When Dissidia: Final Fantasy was first announced, many people were confused by the prospect of a Final Fantasy fighting game. However, when the game released with practically no competition in December 2008, fears and worries were put to rest. Dissidia is an interesting and strong fighting game, with plenty of convoluted plot to get through and items to collect. Other Notable Releases: Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories 2009 Whenever a new Zelda game is released, there is always a good amount of fanfare, even with a title with as unusual of a concept as The Legend of Zelda: The Spirit Tracks. While the first DS entry was a sequel to Wind Waker, complete with sea travel, Spirit Tracks instead gives you a train to ride around, exploring the land and saving Hyrule. Other Notable Releases: Silent Hill: Shattered Memories 2010 Okay, December 2010 was a bad, bad month for gaming. The only release of any not at all was the 25th Anniversary Wii version of Super Mario All-Stars, which was more a less a port of the Super Nintendo version of the game. It may be nice to own 4 Mario games in one place with neat packaging and a mini-book, but most can admit it's a pretty bare-bones port... it doesn't even have the version of Super Mario All-Stars with Super Mario World in it!. Other Notable Releases: That's about it. 2011 The last month of 2011 offered a slightly better line-up than 2010's. Not only was the long-awaited, Bioware-developed Star Wars MMO released, but Nintendo gave then starved 3DS owners a solid experience with Mario Kart 7. This new entry to the series had such new features as kart customization and hang-gliding, providing new experiences for Mario Kart veterans. Other Notable Releases: Star Wars: The Old Republic 2012 Last year, during many months, indie games got just as much recognition as big releases. In December, though, they really got to shine, as when most of the game industry takes a break from releasing games, the indie scene kept their releases going strong. Probably the most memorable of these releases was Awesomenauts, a fun and quirky multiplayer game. While the similarities to games like Team Fortress 2 could be made, Awesomenauts stands on its own with exciting, 2D gameplay. Other Notable Releases: Mutant Mudds, Street Fighter X Mega Man That's all for December's Memory Lane. We rarely got many big-hit releases during the month, but many would probably say that's a good thing. After all, it's important to have time to work on your backlog, especially after the typical deluge of games November brings! Which December release is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!
  3. It's November! In 2013, this is the month we've been waiting for since the holiday season began with its bloated game release schedule, and the next generation of gaming officially kicked off with the release of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Aside from the launch libraries of these new consoles, we'll also got a wide range of releases of many genres for all systems, including Super Mario 3D World, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, and Call of Duty: Ghosts. It goes without saying that this November, with its new console releases, is a bit special, but what about past Novembers, especially the ones without a pivotal console to hype up game releases? For that, we'll have to find out with - you guessed it - a trip though memory lane. 2003 The eleventh month of 2003 was very light on releases, but was also very much a Mario-oriented month, with the GBA game Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga being the big release. Starting a new sub-series of Mario RPGs, this game featured Mario and Luigi having to work together on the field and in battle, lending a light puzzle element to a quirky and fun plot. Other Notable Releases: Mario Kart: Double Dash!! 2004 November 2004 had a significant amount of games released, and many of these hold long-standing memories for gamers far and wide. While most of the games hold significance during its release, the PC title Half-Life 2 is still lauded today as a terrific game, and still remains in the eyes of the gaming community due to a large and boisterous fanbase wishing for a third entry into the series. Continuing after the original Half-Life, Half-Life 2 features more great gameplay backed by the then new Source Engine, and an engaging plot that simply begs for a third entry. It's little wonder that this title became some people's Game of the Decade! Other Notable Releases: Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, World of Warcraft, Halo 2 2005 Remember the N64 shooter Perfect Dark? That, and Goldeneye, are well beloved by N64 fans as terrific games with a great multiplayer element. So it's little surprise that fans eagerly snatched up Perfect Dark Zero when it released November 2005. As a sequel to the original, it may not have been the perfect game fans were looking for, but there's no denying the excitement for the 360 game back in 2005. Other Notable Releases: Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King 2006 Who didn't want to swing their WiiMote around like a madman and pretend like they were really swinging a sword in 2006? You may not want to admit that, but the Wii release of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess helped bring that fantasy to life. The first-party Nintendo game took great advantage of the Wii and the WiiMote, making you feel as though you were really the hero of Hyrule in a way you couldn't before. Other Notable Releases: Wii Sports, Final Fantasy III 2007 November of 2007 was the month. So many fantastic series (or subseries, in the case of Modern Warfare) got their start here, and there wasn't any way gamers could be disappointed with their 360s and PS3s. While most of these titles also share the aspect of being overused to the point of fatiguing even the core fanbase by now, there's no denying the impact these titles had in 2007. Although it's almost impossible to pick a singular game to comment on, Mass Effect managed to impress and bring in new and eager fans with every iteration, disliked ending aside. The mix of RPG and shooting elements clicked with many a gamer, and the deep and epic plot kept fans eagerly awaiting its sequels to see what would happen to Shepard and the expansive universe next. Other Notable Releases: Super Mario Galaxy, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, Assassin's Creed, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare 2008 November of 2008, a month of parkour and shooters. In the midst of the holiday rush, Valve released a new game series onto the world: Left 4 Dead. While zombie games were becoming a bit of a tired trope, Left 4 Dead changed it up a bit by providing gameplay that forced people to work together in order to survive. In addition, varying zombie types kept survivors on their toes as they struggled to make it to safe zones and rescuers. Other Notable Releases: Mirror's Edge, Gears of War 2 2009 Two years after the release of the original Mass Effect, Bioware struck gold again with the first entry of their new series, Dragon Age: Origins. This fantasy RPG allowed for you to enjoy a different origin story based on your race and class, and made decision making less of a choice between good and evil and instead forced decisions to be more meaningful and more ambiguous. Between this and their space epic, Bioware was first in gamers' minds in 2009. Other Notable Releases: Band Hero 2010 November 2010 was a bit of an odd month. Most titles of interest came out on the Wii, with Epic Mickey taking the cake in terms of how it was received. The aesthetically-pleasing Disney game caught the eye of many gamers, and the darker Mickey adventure pleased older fans of the typically sugary-sweet world of Disney. Other Notable Releases: 007: Goldeneye, Bit.Trip Beat 2011 Okay, I may be cheating a bit; Minecraft was technically released in alpha and beta versions before November 2011--but the complete version did not come until this month, so it still counts. Anyway, it's a bit surprising how big of a following this sandbox game received... so much so that the developer is more or less swimming in money and the game basically creating a genre revolving around building and mining stuff. Minecraft isn't a game of misplaced faith, however; the procedurally generated worlds and the tools for survival and creativity make for a wonderful title that deserves its success. Other Notable Releases: Saints Row: The Third, Rayman Origins, Super Mario 3D Land, Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception 2012 While the new console generation is just beginning, it's weird to think that the Wii U is already a year old. The new Nintendo console's release last year came a fair amount of launch titles, and the most well received of them was New Super Mario Bros. U (which we also gave a very favorable review to). The first HD Nintendo first-party game, this "New" moniker game looked and played great on the big screen, and managed to be a great Mario game in its own right, in both single and multiplayer. Other Notable Releases: Halo 4, ZombiU That's it for this month's look back at... well, previous Novembers. Some were great, others were practically barren, but we can at least say that every November had a couple pretty big hits to tide us over until Christmas. Which November release is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!
  4. 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. 2003 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 2004 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 2005 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 2006 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 2007 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 2008 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 2009 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 2010 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 2011 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 2012 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!
  5. Time certainly flies when you're playing a ton of video games, huh? September is already upon us... a time where we finally get a break from intense heat and prepare for the end of year festivities. While usually it seems that the gaming industry slows down on the releases, preparing for the holiday rush, we're getting quite a few big releases this month, from big titles like Grand Theft Auto V to new IPs like The Wonderful 101. Maybe the past Septembers didn't seem like they were this packed, but maybe they were, and were forgotten about? Well, there's nothing better to do than to take a gander down memory lan and find out! 2003 Maybe September 2003 didn't have much going for it, but the one title that really stood out did so in a very big way, and that game was Battlefield 1942. Back before war shooters were a dime a dozen, this PC game gave players a true war game experience, so much so that it won PC Game of the Year from the Interactive Achievement Awards. Not too shabby! Other Notable Releases: The Simpsons Hit & Run (yes, seriously) 2004 Katamari Damacy may not be the biggest hit from September 2004, but it certainly made waves in the gaming world that none of the otehr games released at the same time were able to do. While 'quirky Japanese games' are more or less everywhere now, Katamari Demacy is the game that really brought that quirkiness to a mode widespread (albeit still niche) audience. Besides, how could I not give the game the that gave us the King of All Cosmos the top spot? Other Notable Releases: Pokemon FireRed/LeafGreen, Silent Hill 4: The Room, The Sims 2, Fable 2005 Indigo Prophecy, the main September 2005 release, was also pretty important, though not for as apparent of reasons. Quantic Dream's second title, Indigo Prophecy was the first game to really meld gameplay with the cinematic experience. It may not have been perfect, nor has it aged well, but the developers used this experience to make the great Heavy Rain, and soon to come out Beyond: Two Souls... and despite its shortcomings, is still worth a playthrough today. Other Notable Releases: We Love Katamari, Dynasty Warriors 5 2006 September of 2006 gave us one of Clover Studio's final games, and decidedly the most impressive of them, Okami. The game featured a beautiful world crafted like a Japanese ink painting, and a setting drenched in ancient Japanese culture to match. Even the gameplay used the concept of an ink painting to its advantage, with the Celestial Brush. It was, more or less, an appropriate and beautiful swan song for the studio. Other Notable Releases: LocoRoco, Baten Kaitos Origins 2007 September of 2007 was a pretty good month for 360 owners. While there were a few decent entries into the 360 library, none could beat Halo 3. The first Halo for the 'next gen' console and (at that time) the trilogy ender, fans of Halo's story and multiplayer alike had a lot to look forward to in Microsoft's new installment. Other Notable Releases: Eternal Sonata, Sonic Rush Adventure 2008 The ninth month of 2008 was a bit unusual: Many of the titles released within it were well-received, but most of them were forgotten only a couple years down the road, lost in the shuffle of new and better games. One of these titles was Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. Being the first major game in the media conglomerate in a while, The Force Unleashed got a lot of attention... and was overall well-liked. It even got a sequel... but even now, just a few years into the future, and most people have forgotten about this Star Wars game. Other Notable Releases: Pokemon Platinum, The Witcher: Enhanced Edition, Kirby Super Star Ultra, de Blob 2009 In September of 2009, there may not have been any big releases, but plenty of more niche titles were there to keep most gamers busy. The biggest of these niche titles was probably Muramasa: The Demon Blade. The beautiful VanillaWare game came to the Wii during one of the system's dry periods, and the tough-as-nails action gameplay gave gamers a satisfying experience to enjoy. Other Notable Releases: Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, Scribblenauts, Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days 2010 There's no denying it: September 2010 was a huge month for gaming. A large amount of big name releases made sure to keep gamers busy throughout the fall, and the sequel to a hugely popular zombie series hit stores: Dead Rising 2. This heavily hyped and anticipated title for the most part was the sequel everyone wanted, with more zombies to smash, and more weapons to MacGyver up... even if everyone's favorite journalist was unplayable. Other Notable Releases: Final Fantasy XIV, Bit.Trip Beat, Civilization V, Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep, Halo: Reach 2011 A year passes, and then we get another heavily hyped zombie game thrusted onto us. This time, however, it's a new IP: Dead Island. Of course, this title was anticipated for different reasons (who could forget that heart wrenching trailer?), but unfortunately the title wasn't completely able to live up to the hype. Regardless, it was still the most important releases of this September, disappointment or not. Other Notable Releases: Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland, Gears of War 3, Driver: San Francisco 2012 Sometimes a game's a year old and you don't even realize it... and that seems to be the case with Borderlands 2. The sequel to the hit GearBox game is still pretty widely played today, and the cleverly timed DLC keeps the game fresh in minds and on everyone's "Now Playing" lists... not to mention that it's a really fun game to play! Other Notable Releases: Mark of the Ninja, Torchlight II That's all for the Septembers of the past! Surprisingly, most of the months seem jam-packed with great releases... looks like companies don't always hold onto games until the holiday rush, after all! Which is your favorite September release? Let me know in the comments below!
  6. 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! 2003 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 2004 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 2005 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 2006 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 2007 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 2008 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 2009 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 2010 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 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 2012 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!
  7. July: One of the hottest months of the year... but it being hot temperature wise doesn't mean it's hot gaming wise. We have a few pretty big releases like Shin Megami Tensei IV and Dragon's Crown, but there are no triple-A releases, nor are there any releases that don't cater to a specific audience. In other words, this July is a somewhat odd month for game releases... but with so many huge releases coming just around the corner, it's somewhat expected that we have a dry spell before the deluge. Are other Julys like this, though? Are they more about quality than quantity? Let's take a leisurely stroll through memory land to find out! 2003 Starting off, July of 2003 may not have had too much, but one release of this month is still lauded as the start of one of the greatest RPG series. Star Wars: The Knights of the Old Republic is the game that put Bioware on the map, cementing them as a developer of sprawling, living worlds to explore and plenty of things to do. Based off of the Star Wars franchise, but not being directly connected to any of the films helped to give this title a life of its own, giving you a Jedi that could shape the universe as they saw fit--for good or for evil. Other Notable Releases: Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne 2004 The GameCube was always a bit short on RPGs, but in July of 2004 Nintendo fans got a killer RPG app in the form of Tales of Symphonia. Still thought of by same fans as one of the best in the series, this GameCube game took the battle system into the third dimension for the first time, offering a new way to dispatch foes. Couple that with a great plot and a lot to do, and GameCube RPG fans had plenty to keep them busy. Other Notable Releases: There... wasn't anything else. 2005 Oh, Killer7. July 2005's greatest release is popular, but not the easiest to describe. This is the game that put Suda51 on the map as an unique and somewhat odd developer. Heck, it's pretty hard just to summarize this title! There's shooting, and assassins, and an absolutely crazy plot that gamers theorize about... it's a game you have to play to (probably not even) understand. Other Notable Releases: Facade 2006 July of 2006 was a very slow month... the only real release to speak of was Prey. This first person shooter had a very interesting plot and gameplay mechanic: The main character has spiritual powers, and can even spirit walk through obstacles to help advance the game. A very different type of FPS, fans of the genre certainly got a great game this July. Other Notable Releases: There really wasn't much going on this year, either. 2007 When July of 2007 rolled around, hardcore gamers were given another challenging game to overcome. Ninja Gaiden Sigma was released early in the month, and kept many players busy with its tough learning curve and its skill based gameplay. It may have been an enhanced port of the Xbox original, but this new entry in series had plenty to offer to old and new fans alike. Other Notable Releases: Mario Strikers Charged 2008 July of 2008 was quite different from most of the July's on this list, simply because of the amount of quality titles that were released, triple-A titles or otherwise. Out of all of these, none of them made a bigger splash than Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4. The sequel to the well-recieved Persona 3 took the series' popularity to a whole new level, getting a whole dearth of new fans wondering what this whole Shin Megami Tensei series was about and asking themselves why they didn't give it a try before. Other Notable Releases: Rhythm Heaven, Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride, Soul Calibur IV 2009 The seventh month of 2009 was very light on releases... but at least there was Trine! Trine was an indie title released with a fun mechanic... with the ability to control three different characters, you could find a bunch of different ways to defeat the undead hordes and solve the myriad of puzzles presented to you. With many solutions available and never any one 'right' answer, it's no wonder so many gamers took well to the game. Other Notable Releases: Little King's Story, ARMA II 2010 July of 2010 was actually a decent month for gamers, with great indie releases and good games released for consoles and portables alike. However, the greatest release of the month was a boon to fighting game fans, and that was BlazBlue: Continuum Shift. The sequel to Arc System's fighting series introduced new characters and balanced the old ones, and continued the in-depth (albeit convoluted) plot that the original started. Other Notable Releases: Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies, Limbo, DeathSpank 2011 If there's one thing we can see about more recent Julys, it's that a lot of big-name indie titles are released. Another big indie title in July was Bastion, an action RPG with an interesting world and well presented plot. Bastion made a big splash with both indie fans and even the non-indie crowd, making it a huge July release. Other Notable Releases: Catherine 2012 Last July had a few anticipated titles coming out... even if they catered to specific audiences. One of these titles is Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy, a music game dedicated to the Final Fantasy series and its great soundtracks. Obviously this is a title made for fans of the series, but with such a wide following, it was bound to do well on the 3DS. With the inclusion of a wide variety of tracks via DLC, everyone was bound to find their favorite track and be able to play it. Other Notable Releases: Spelunky, Growlanser: Wayfarer of Time There you have it... the past ten years' worth of July releases! It looks as this this July isn't too different from the past... for the most part, there have been interesting and exciting releases, but rarely so chock full of them that we have trouble deciding what to buy and play! What are some of your favorite July releases? Any that I missed? Let me know in the comments below!
  8. 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! 2003 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 2004 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 2005 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 2006 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 2007 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 2008 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 2009 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 2010 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 2011 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 2012 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!
  9. April this year is a bit of a dry spell for gaming... which is needed considered how many great releases that came out in March. With what seemed like a deluge of fantastic triple-A and niche titles, gamers need time to get through their bulging backlog... and their empty wallets! Gamers may have Injustice: Gods Among Us and Pandora's Tower to grab this April, but for the most part they can continue to work through their numerous March purchases. I have to wonder, though... has the fourth month of the year, and the start of the second quarter, always been like this? This looks like a time to take a trip down memory lane! 2003 If you think this April is light on the releases, it has nothing on April 2003! I'm not quite sure how it happened, but the only notable release at all was Siren, a PS2 horror game that got a slightly warm reception on its release. Siren featured an interesting plot set in a secluded village, and is probably fortunate that it didn't have any competition so that horror fans could sit down and enjoy it. Other notable releases - ...There really wasn't anything else this year. 2004 A lot of MMOs certainly look a lot alike, and certainly seem to play the same way... that is, except for City of Heroes. This superhero MMO hit the market in April 2004, in an MMO market that, while not as over saturated as today, comprised of many similar looking games. Instead of playing in a fantasy land with generic fantasy races, City of Heroes let you create your own superhero, and take on missions such as saving citizenry and battling super villains. It's unfortunate that the game's servers permanently went down late last year. Rest in peace, City of Heroes. Other notable releases - Painkiller 2005 April 2005 wasn't a big month for gaming, either. There were a few small releases, but nothing that trumps one of Double Fine's most famous games... Psychonauts. Many people have said everything there is to say about this game, but with its unique and dark setting, how could one not rave about it? Psychonauts has earned quite the cult following over the years because of it, so what's stopping you from trying it and joining the cult ranks? Other notable releases - LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game, Guild Wars 2006 Is it bad that April 2006's biggest release is a game that some people don't even consider a game? Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Just Minutes A Day! is a little hard to label as a 'video game' per se, but it certainly is a great tool. Being able to flex that grey mass between your ears (and getting better at doing so) is a great reason for a game to become a hit! Other notable releases - Dreamfall: The Longest Journey 2007 The original Guitar Hero brought a plastic guitar and fresh wave to the rhythm genre, and April 2007's release of Guitar Hero II continued to build on its success. Bringing more hit songs to the table, the series' second entry sated the fans that needed more more songs to rock out to. Other notable releases - Super Paper Mario, Pokemon Diamond and Pearl Versions, Penumbra: Overture 2008 April of 2008 had some great releases, but none of them topped Ubisoft's new IP. Assassin's Creed hit gamers with a new and neat open world game. Mix that with a crazy story and killing people, and you know you have the beginnings of a great series on your hands... even if the constant sequels released since have taken away some of the magic. Other notable releases - Okami (Wii version), Valkyria Chronicles, Grand Theft Auto IV 2009 The fourth month of 2009 may not have had any big releases, but it was pretty busy on the indie front, and one of the most memorable April indie releases was most definitely Braid. It offered fun and puzzling time-travel mechanics and a disjointed, thought provoking story. Even four years after its release, it's still very much worth playing today. Other notable releases - Zeno Clash 2010 In Japan, the April 2010 release of Monster Hunter Tri would be met with huge fanfare. Of course, Japan actually got the game many months past, and while the West may not be so obsessively crazy about the series, the Monster Hunter series' new release was the biggest game of the month. It also brought a whole new wave of fans into the series, with its online functionality and fun skill-based gameplay. Other notable releases - NieR, Super Street Fighter IV 2011 The fourth month of 2011 was the month of sequels. All of the major releases of the month had a number at the end of their names... and the biggest sequel to the bunch? Portal 2. The original Portal is considered a modern classic, so the sequel had a lot to live up to, and met all expectations brilliantly. There's a neat single player story and a fantastic multiplayer co-op; what's not to like in this puzzling sequel? Other notable releases - Patapon 3, Arcana Heart 3 2012 Last April was a pretty big month for some people. There may not have been any triple-A release, but that didn't matter to the RPG fans waiting years for Xenoblade Chronicles. This year, the first of Operation Rainfall's campaign games finally reached North American shores to ecstatic gamers and critics alike... and since it's such a long RPG, Xenoblade Chronicles buyers didn't need anything else! Other notable releases - Fez, Legend of Grimrock, The Walking Dead: Episode 1 There's been some great years and bad years, but one thing's for sure: Games are still released in April! It isn't always the 'catch up' month like it is this year, but many times April is not as jam packed with releases like March is. Is that a good thing? Well, that's up to you to decide! What are some of your favorite April releases? Any games I missed that you think are important? Let me know in the comments below!
  10. Looking at March 2013, there are a lot of anticipated hits coming out. From triple-A titles like Tomb Raider and Bioshock Infinite, to those catered to a more niche audience like Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk and HarmoKnight, there's plenty for any gamer to be excited about. But has it always been like this? Has March always been such a month filled with juicy releases? Well, let's go and have a look! Join me on a trip through memory lane as we go through the last ten years of March releases. You might be surprised at how big (or how barren) the past was! 2003 March 2003 was a big month for Nintendo, and its biggest bombshell was The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. While the game's art style put off many fans, it was still a Zelda game at heart, and one that some even flock to as their favorite Zelda game of all time. Whether you love it, hate it, or find it to be merely 'meh,' you can't deny that The Wind Waker ended up being a hit. Other notable releases: Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner, Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire Versions, Amplitude 2004 The third month of 2004 was a bit odd. There were a few new releases to ongoing series, but they weren't always well received... at least at first. Final Fantasy XI falls squarely into that category, with trying to take the series into a bold new direction of a MMO. While fans were skeptical at first, many warmed up to the concept to the point that the game still has an active userbase today. Perhaps Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn will be able to fill its shoes... Other notable releases: Sonic Heroes, Metal Gear Solid: The Twins Snakes, Ninja Gaiden 2005 2005, at least in March, was much like this year's in terms of releases; there were enough games that came out to sate any gamer's tastes. However, a new IP was also released this year... and that was God of War. Despite having to go up against Devil May Cry 3, which came out the same month, this gritty action game was able to stand its own ground, and was the beginning of what was to be one of Sony's best known franchises. Other notable releases: Devil May Cry 3, Lumines, Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, Metal Gear Solid Acid 2006 Unfortunately, March of 2006 was not a big month for gaming, though a couple hits did come out. The biggest game that came out was The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, the sequel to the well-received Morrowind. While not everyone enjoyed the change from Morrowind's unique world to what some think was a more generic one, Oblivion garnered a lot of praise and really helped to get the series onto a lot of gamers' 'favorite games' lists. Other notable releases: Kingdom Hearts II 2007 When writing this, I didn't think I'd ever have to put two games of the same series into the same article. Alas, March of 2007 was such a barren month that God of War II was the only big game that even came out. The sequel to the 2005 hit, God of War II continued to impress and surprise players. Compared to what the first game was up against, the sequel had a much easier time in terms of competition! Other notable releases: S.T.A.L.K.E.R., Tekken 5 2008 To be honest, March 2008 didn't have many big releases either... but then again, the biggest release would have so many gamers occupied that no one would notice. That game was Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the Wii entry into the hugely popular series. With more characters than ever before, more things to do and unlock, and even online modes, it's no wonder that everyone was too busy with Brawl to notice anything else! Other notable releases: Army of Two, Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters 2009 Finally, around this time, March gaming starts coming out of its three year slump and starts really pumping out some hit releases, and the crowning achievement of March in 2009 was Resident Evil 5. The eagerly anticipated entry into the Resident Evil series, 5 took 4's changes and improvements even farther, and even added online co-op so that friends could go through Chris's nightmare together. Players didn't even have to escort the President's daughter around either, which certainly helped the game's reception. Other notable releases: Pokemon Platinum Version, MadWorld, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars 2010 In terms of releases, March 2009's offerings were only a taste of what gamers would get a year later. March 2010 was filled to the brim with big releases, niche releases, and everything else to keep players happy for a long time. This included Mega Man 10--the downloadable sequel to the retro-fied hit Mega Man 9. 10 brought more old-school goodness to gamers' current consoles, offering Mega Man fans much to get excited for involving the Blue Bomber's future. Other notable releases: Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver Versions, God of War III, Final Fantasy XIII, Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, Just Cause 2 2011 Pokemon games have been coming out in March for a while. The last two years saw Pokemon releases, as well as back in 2003, but this is the first time that an entry has really taken the cake. Pokemon Black and White Versions were the long-awaited fifth generation of Pokemon games, sporting tons of improvements to graphics and the user interface. In addition, this entry limited initial Pokemon catching to only the new Unova Pokemon, lending a bit of nostalgia to the game. Other notable releases: Dragon Age II, Okamiden 2012 Finally, we've made it to last year. Much like this year, there were a lot of big hits and niche games alike. Not of that matters, because Mass Effect 3 came out. As the thrilling conclusion to the hugely popular Mass Effect series, the game... certainly got fans talking. About the gameplay, about the ending, everything about Mass Effect, really. Love it or hate it, you can't deny that Mass Effect 3 really got a lot of attention at its release. Other notable releases: Journey, Rayman Origins, Kid Icarus: Uprising, Dungeon Defenders There you have it, ten big releases of the past ten years during March! Gaming certainly has had its ups and downs just in the month of March alone... but does this month paint an accurate picture for the rest of the year? Join me next month to (start to) find out! What are come of your favorite March releases? Any releases not in the list that you're fond of? Let me know in the comments below!
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