It's been a month where the phrase 'quality over quantity' has proven particularly pertinent, especially on consoles. PC titles such as the fantastic Gunpoint and the impressive (if not exactly revolutionary) Company of Heroes 2 put their noses to the window of this month's list of the best, but could only muster honourable mentions.
Indeed, June has been mostly characterised by zombies and XBLA, by the PS3 and Naughty Dog, and by catching fish for that lazy anteater you have living next to you on the 3DS.
State of Decay - The patch is out, but in all honesty State of Decay would have made the list even in its rather buggy and broken state. We're not excusing releasing barely complete glorified betas, but this was something different, something a bit special: a game that allowed us to live out our own version of The Walking Dead, our own stories of community survival in an ever-changing open world with dynamically-generated missions and horrors. You were confronted with choices, forced to make hard decisions instead of simply watching them, and then made to actively deal with the consequences. Fantastic. - 8/10
The Last of Us - While State of Decay embraced the open-ended player agency that the post-apocalyptic setting affords gamers, Naughty Dog's The Last of Us delivered a cracking crafted narrative that was well paced, superbly written, and boasted some of the best visual and audio work of this generation. Naughty Dog delivered a hefty emotional gut-punch in the first ten minutes and never let up, with Ellie staking a firm claim to being one of the finest female protagonists of this generation. - 8/10
Animal Crossing: New Leaf - It's the best game in the series to date, a perfect entry point for newcomers. As we wrote in our review, stepping into the role of mayor connects you better than ever before to this joyous world of camaraderie and generous spirit. New Leaf is a game that lets you fashion an identity in whatever manner you choose, and then share it with the world. But it was a difficult choice to make, and was only sealed during a little excursion the other day.
Outside of our home console pods, Nintendo created a game that's really all about hanging out with your chums (be they 'real' or 'written') in a virtual world and doing nice things for them. Given the social properties of the 3DS, it's one of the first games to really warrant it's own limited edition console and, taking a turn in the sun the other day, it was telling to see just how many groups of friends (and families too) had come together, whipped out their 3DS consoles, and spent time in the sun playing games on the tropical island and trading bits of Nintendo memorabilia. New Leaf might not be a particularly original game in terms of content relative to the rest of the series, but in the way it's being played and the audience it's reaching, it perhaps encapsulates the friendly, inclusive, boundary-pushing ethos that the 3DS and its culture can now claim to have better than any other game. And that's a bit special. - 9/10
So if you want to bag a copy of Animal Crossing: New Leaf, all you have to do in order to get involved is to tell us which videogame character you'd most like to be friends with and why. Pop a little blurb into the comments box below and job done.
The competition will close on Fri 5th July at noon.
This month's winner will be determined by scrutinising weather patterns and seeing which entry, when read aloud, brings thunderstorms.
A few little house rules:
- UK entrants only please
- No duplicate accounts
- Please use a valid email address
- Do feel free to comment more than once in the thread, but we'll only count you once for entry.