- New Releases
First up in gaming news, July 2016 saw the release of Pokemon Go for iOS and Android, Monster Hunter Generations for the Nintendo 3DS, the HD remaster of Resident Evil 5 and Rocket League’s Collector’s Edition for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and Shiren the Wanderer – The Tower of Fortune & the Dice of Fate for the Playstation Vita, among others. There was also a multiplatform release of a new Ghostbusters game, meant to tie into the new 2016 motion picture remake. While Pokemon Go became an instant craze thanks to its easy social media implementation, the most hotly anticipated new console title was easily the new Monster Hunter. The series’ burgeoning popularity has made it Capcom’s biggest saving grace over the last several years.
- Pokemon Go
Speaking of Pokemon Go, the popularity of the title has been nothing short of staggering, especially given its limited features. It has been noted for its ability to inspire people to get out of the house a bit more than they would have otherwise thanks to the requirement of actually going out to search for Pokemon to “catch” via GPS. The game generated an impressive 75 million dollars of revenue within its first three weeks. Android reported that the app was accessed even more frequently than social media titans such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. Despite the undeniable success, critics were still only lukewarm about the title overall due to some technical limitations.
Blizzard’s new hit FPS Overwatch remained just as popular in its third month of official release, and the game also saw its first official new roster addition in the form of Ana, an interesting healing, and support based sniper. Several new balance changes were also put into testing, many involving the admittedly overpowered cowboy, McCree. The time for an attacking team to capture the first point on assault maps was reduced by a minute, and a new counter was implemented to show the current score between teams after rounds are over. These only represent a small handful of the ongoing changes, indicating that Blizzard is doing their best to take community feedback into consideration.
- Upcoming Re-Releases
Two major re-releases caught the attention of gamers far and wide this month. First of all, the Kickstarted new version of Night Dive Studios’ System Shock (the moody action RPG from which the BioShock and Deus Ex franchises derived) was officially announced for PlayStation 4, meaning a much wider audience will be able to experience it. The PS4 is also receiving new versions of Dead Rising, Dead Rising 2, and Dead Rising 2 – Off The Record. The original title was once an exclusive to Xbox 360, meaning many devout Sony players will be playing it for the first time sometime soon. The three titles will also be available on PC and the Xbox One sold separately or bundled together. Release dates are sure to follow soon.
- Street Fighter V
While reports indicated that the game is still underselling, so much so that no new copies needed to be shipped out in the latest quarter, it had a huge boost of general interest and some respectable new digital sales thanks to the Evolution 2016 tournament. For the first time ever, the competitive Street Fighter scene was held in a large scale arena: Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay. The top 8 matches were also broadcast on ESPN 2, another first for the franchise and fighting games in general. While many complained about video games being shown on the traditionally sports based channel, it also won over many new fans, mostly thanks to the promising performance of U.S. player Long Island Joe.
It’s interesting that the gaming landscape was so overtaken by mobile and handheld titles this month. It just goes to show, it doesn’t matter how powerful the hardware is. Even the most basic of premises can set the entire gaming world alight. It will be interesting to see how the likes of Pokemon Go and Monster Hunter will hold up with players as the year progresses. 2016 is only half way over; there’s plenty more gaming to be had!