Game of the Month - June 2023

I’m not even sure I like Diablo 4 all that much but yeah, it was just about all I played in June so …

I think this month has been mostly:

  • Arcade Paradise – Fun mindless time management game with some cool progression mechanics and a few nice original twists on classic arcade games (and a few poor ones).

  • Against the Storm – Trying out the new meta progression systems.

And in the last week:

  • DAVE THE DIVER – A very charming game about stabbing Dories and serving them as sushi. Nice blend of light story and repeatable game loops. Only thing I’m not liking are the default controls (which are also the permanent controls…).

  • The Last Guardian – Did everyone realize that there’s a game that blends the sweetness of ICO with the grandiosity (and, yes, jankiness) of Shadow of the Colossus?

Oh yeah, that one’s coming to Game Pass, been meaning to try it out.

…yes, but after buying a PS3 in part for it, it then came out on a system I do not and never will own, PS4. Sigh.

(maybe it’s just as well, though. I found Ico incredibly frustrating and the AI-reliance in Last Guardian sounds like it might well have been as well.)

Ouch, I remember it was in development for a long time; forgot it was originally slated for PS3. I just got a PS4, so that’s why I’m just playing it now.

There have definitely been frustrations with The Last Guardian, but they’re more due to the practicalities of having a giant-ass companion you can climb on–and to some degree the controls for telling it what to do–than anything that overlaps with ICO. But, hey, I would name ICO the single greatest console game ever made, so…

The behaviour scripting of the girl in ICO was a little miracle. Aguro was close though!

My game of June is definitely Street Fighter 6. So good. And the released-late-in-June DAVE THE DIVER would be my runner up.

I also played a lot of Final Fantasy XIV, but nothing about that is new. And also a bit of Age of Wonders 4, which I’ll play more at a later time.

I managed to put 54 hours into Battlebit Remastered already, purchased on the 15th. Fun playing with randoms and tons more fun playing with friends or a good group of randoms. The first two weeks of June were mostly Starship Troopers: Extermination. It was fun at first, then the lack of maps became painfully apparent and a visit to the forum a day or two ago seemed to indicate they had changed the game a lot and I didn’t like the sound of the changes being made. Played a little Diablo IV. I think I played too much during the various beta periods and needed to take a break before tackling it again. Off to play more Battlebit.

Stalker GAMMA consumed me, 100+ hours easily. Now if only Stalker 2 could come out.

This has been a bad month for my ADHD addled brain. I’ve bounced around different games this month like they’re going out of fashion.

I finished Warhammer 40K Boltgun and Max Payne. Re-visited Ballisticng - a perennial favorite that one day I’ll actually properly commit to if the aforementioned problematic attention span lets me. Got my ass whooped some in both Street Fighter 6 and the 30th Anniversary Collection. I had a quick look at Sonic Origins and even re-installed Football Manager 2023, a game I once again forced myself to uninstall as it threatened to absorb my life and become disruptive to my ability to function as a 36 year old man with a job and 4 kids.

System Shock gets the gong for the month. I can’t speak to this games quality as a remake, but it feels like Nightdive absolutely nailed the brief they set themselves.

OH and as usual I forgot the mobile platform: Kingdom: Two Crowns+ on Apple Arcade is actually what I’ve played the most.

Grounded consumed most of my June, just finished it last week. Really enjoyed exploring the yard, and crafting gear from the items and creatures that I found. I’m not much for building structures though; the base I built could be charitably described as ‘functional.’

Far Cry 5 has been installed on my computer for over a year, and last week I finally started playing. Will it be my GOTM for July?

My game of the month was Friends vs Friends with its chaotic and clever card-based combat. Looking for synergies and quickly coming up with (and pulling off) counters is always fun, especially with a friend.

For a week or two I was having a great time with Immortals Fenyx Rising but that’s kind of gone off the boil for no particular reason.

One of the best months in a long time. Street Fighter 6, Final Fantasy XVI, and Wo Long DLC. I’m in hog heaven.

What have I played in June? I’ve been backlog clearing.

I started & finished Outer Wilds at the end of May, yet played the disappointing DLC (Echoes Of The Eye) at the beginning of June.

The first proper game I played in June was the charming Webbed.

I’ve been revisiting the entire HL series as well, mainly because Steam claims I have no playtime in them which I find offensive given how much of my youth was spent in the GoldSrc engine. So I played HL1 and expansions in the previous month, but Half-Life 2, Lost Coast, and Episode One in June. The source counterparts are all great, but they just weren’t as memorable as the original Half-Life. Even now, a few weeks later, I can barely remember them.

After shooting lots I wanted something different, so went with a classic TD that gets recommended on QT3 all the time: Defense Grid: The Awakening. I didn’t really get on with it and dropped it after a few hours. So instead I tried another cult classic, Defender’s Quest: Valley Of The Forgotten. I don’t know what makes this similar-genred game more attractive, but I’ve played it a lot so far and plan to finish. It definitely got it’s hooks in.

I tinkered with Puddle Knights and Noita, but neither really sunk their teeth in. So much so I was drawn to purchasing Subnautica in the Steam sale (Hey, what about that backlog?!), however I only started playing that on the 30th so it doesn’t really count for June, despite all the hours I’ve sunk into it since then. Noita: I’m not really sure why I have it, as I’m not the hugeset fan of wiki-games or roguelites. And Puddle Knights: I find it hard to play that sort of game on my PC, rather than a phone, plus I appear to be terrible at it. At least when I compare my progress with @robc04 that I can see in my Steam feed! Or maybe he’s simply cheating and looking up all the solutions? That’s what I’ll tell myself ;)

So my choice of game of June is between Webbed and Defender’s Quest.

I’ll declare Webbed to be my GOTM, simply because I was so surprised by what sort of game it was and how much I enjoyed it, whereas Defender’s Quest I kind of knew what to expect – it’s your classic Flash-style Tower Defence game that looks like it was made in RPG Maker. It’s great, but it didn’t sweep me away like Webbed did. I wrote about Webbed elsewhere.

Special shout out to the Android port of Simon Tatham’s Portable Puzzle Collection which I play constantly.

I did look up 2 solutions (I forget which levels). They were in the latter half of the game. One I was embarrassed because it was pretty easy. The other was more difficult. I banged my head against them for a couple sessions. I think I’m stuck again on one of the “X” levels and I’m not sure I will go back :-)

Yeah, in many ways I thought this was the perfect month for you. ;)

This game is delightful! It’s scratching my Golf Story itch much better than Sports Story did.

I really need to try out Dave the Diver, if for no other reason than to check if it has a theme song that riffs on Dio.

Dave the Diver! You’ve been down too long in the midnight sea …

I loved golf story so im very glad to hear theres a new game that gives off similar vibes. Hopefully its steam deck compatible