Game of the Month: September 2011

And so it begins. After slogging through a lacklustre desert of movie tie-ins and fitness games with just an occasional oasis of triple-A treats to tuck into, the summer software draught finally comes to an end – and not a moment too soon. Yep, it’s September, which means for the next few months the industry’s biggest companies will be scrapping it out for our hard-earned cash as shops are flooded with some of the most anticipated releases of the year. Uncharted 3, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, Batman: Arkham City are just some of the titles we can look forward to getting our grubby mitts on – but let’s not ahead of ourselves. We’re here to extol the virtues of September’s line-up, and boy has it been quite the sumptuous software smorgasbord to say the least.

High definition remakes have been the star of the show in germs of PS3 games, with ICO and Shadow of the Colossus Collection and God of War Origins Collection both offering unmissable experiences in their own right. In particular, the former is a testament to designer Fumito Ueda’s sheer brilliance in crafting unique, emotionally-charged tales that for the most part survive the test of time with minimal wrinkles. Also worth a punt is FIFA 12, the latest in EA Sports’ annual footie sim, and downloadable horror classic Resident Evil 4 HD, which despite looking a little rough around the edges still remains one of the most engaging actioners ever conceived. Needless to say, things are only going to get better from here on out, and we’re already feeling the strain on our wallets.

Inevitably however, there can only be one recipient of our Game of the Month accolade, and September’s award goes to the stunning ICO/Shadow of the Colossus Collection for PS3. Indeed, Team ICO’s HD-powered pack is brimming with quality, offering some of the most compelling tales of Sony’s last-gen console, and best of all they’ve aged remarkably well. ICO’s showing a few creases here and there, most notably the control system, though its blend of exploration and puzzle solving, combined with the stunning art style makes for a satisfying, cerebral adventure romp. As pointed out in our review however, Shadow of the Colossus is easily the highlight of the bundle, with its jaw-dropping aesthetics and majestic landscapes setting the scene for some massive boss battles as you attempt to eliminate these gargantuan beasts in order to save the woman you love.

You can find an extract from our review below, but be sure to read the full thing here.

With a two-for-the-price-of-one package, HD graphics, 7.1 surround sound, Trophy support, and 3D capabilities, Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Collection is the perfect investment for long-time fans, and indeed for those who have yet to experience any of these classic titles. Yes, there are shortcomings, but they are easy to overlook when the overall experience is so powerful, deep, and yet fresh at the same time. Needless to say, you simply must add these last-gen gems to your collection, if only to relieve the PS2 era and to get you excited for Team Ico’s hugely anticipated PS3-exclusive, The Last Guardian.”

Don’t agree with our choice of Game of the Month? Maybe you thought Resident Evil 4 HD deserved the accolade? Or possibly Child of Eden? Let us know in the comments section below