October turned out to be a fairly close-run thing, but not featuring the games that we were expecting, to be honest. Had we been predicting this month's top three back over the summer, the likes of Quantic Dream's Beyond: Two Souls and WB Montreal's Batman: Arkham Origins might have found their way into the mix. Both, however, fell well short of the mark.
But to cast October as a disappointing month would be unfair. On the contrary, we've had a smashing new Pokemon game; Nintendo overhauled one of their most divisive Zelda titles and turned it into a model of modern perfection; Ubisoft listened to their critics and delivered a stonkingly good game in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag; and then you have WWE 2K14, Dragon's Crown, The Wolf Among Us, and Pheonix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies.
It's been a damn fine month.
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD -- This was a close one, to be honest, with the office split between Nintendo's excellent adventure, reawakened on Wii U and this month's eventual winner. The Zelda franchise normally serves up games of very high quality and the original Wind Waker was no exception. But what the HD remake managed to do was provide solutions to all the bug bears of the original to provide a sublime experience for all. It took what was a great game and made it an essential purchase for another generation of Nintendo fans, providing the perfect example of how to reboot a classic game in meaningful fashion. -- 10/10
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag -- Ubisoft killed it this time around. We were all left pretty disappointed by Assassin's Creeed III, but by relocating the series to the Golden Age of Piracy and allowing us to live out our adventurous fantasies on the high seas, AC4 delivered a piratical feast up there with Sid Meier's classic. The stealthy mechanisms were back and better than ever, with world teemed with interesting things to do that brought back the allure of historical tourism, and we had the best time of it, running down Spanish brigs, searching for buried treasure, stealing from plantations, giving stabby backhands to Templars, and singing shanties with our crew. We're adding the finishing touches to the review, but we'll have it with you soon.
The Stanley Parable -- It came down to the wire, but when all was said and done, the fact remained that we've never really played a video game quite like The Stanley Parable ever before. It's been by far the most memorable game of the month. Here's what Jon said in his review:
The Stanley Parable is as much of a statement as you want it to be. It's a cutting and insightful parody, if you like. An exploration of the medium at its best and worst, poking fun at the cynical ways in which many games try to sucker you in, a commentary on the fact that videogames never give us any real decisions to make. Or just a supremely fun little adventure that provides laughs aplenty and numerous water cooler moments to discuss with your mates down the line. Though the price tag might initially seem a little steep, you'll still get several hours of enjoyment out of both playing and thinking about this superb little gem, even if you own the original mod. Thanks to a full rebuild, an incredibly apt office setting that beautifully sets off the lack of choice some of us actually feel in our daily lives, it's an essential purchase whether you've experienced it before or are coming in fresh and ready for something truly new.
Indeed, you'll never look at games quite the same way again, and will always be looking deeper (if not over your shoulder) while playing them.
It's one of the bravest, most anarchic, funniest and worthwhile games you'll play this year, and it might very well change the way you think about games going forwards. -- 9/10
To win a copy of The Stanley Parable, all you have to do this month is tell us what the funniest game you've ever played is and why.
The competition will close on Friday 8th October at noon.
This month's winner will be chosen by blindly bobbing for apples with the names of participants written on the underside of the fruit.
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.