Game of the Month: June 2014 - Valiant Hearts: The Great War
Posted by Robert Ramsey
We're now deep into the summer months, and 2014's hottest season has thankfully provided some sizzling titles so far. Last month's selection may have been lacking in blockbusters, but we ended up giving out a slew of high scores to a bunch of vastly different games. Alas, as you've probably already guessed, Ubisoft's picturesque historical tale Valiant Hearts: The Great War fought its way to victory in our staff vote.
Giving moustache enthusiasts everywhere something to smile about, we gave the emotional downloadable title a stunning score of 9/10 in our review. "Valiant Hearts: The Great War is a poignant and powerful reminder of the significant human toll borne of the wars that we so often act out in our favourite video games," wrote an enamoured Kell Andersen, before concluding that "while the puzzler’s gameplay isn’t revolutionary by any means, its awe-inspiring visual design, clever soundtrack, and thoughtful plot will break your heart in the best possible way". That makes it two out of three months where publisher Ubisoft has walked away with our coveted award.
War doesn't have to be a mindful experience to be enjoyable, though, as this particular author found out courtesy of Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn. The extremely bombastic hack and slash release boosted back into the darkness of space carrying a great score of 8/10 in its cockpit, as we stated that "Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn lacks a bit of the polish that we've come to expect from recent Warriors titles, but it makes up for it with the most well realised combat and best official mode that the series has seen". Another Japanese game that managed to nab a rather excellent score was Atelier Rorona Plus, as reviewer Mat Growcott cooked up a delicious 9/10. "With its unique gameplay and likeable characters, it’s one of the most charming examples of the genre on the Vita," he wrote.
Meanwhile, retail releases didn't fare quite as well on the PlayStation 4 last month, as Murdered: Soul Suspect dug up a disappointing 6/10, and Sniper Elite III just managed to hit the mark with a solid 7. Writing about the former, reviewer Alex Stinton summarised that "if you can overlook its shortcomings and throw yourself headlong into the fiction, you might just find a detective yarn with a supernatural twist that’ll keep you engaged until justice is done", while also penning that "those willing to spend their time slowly crawling into position, waiting for that perfect shot, will find an engaging experience that encourages experimentation through its enormous levels" in regards to the aforementioned World War II shooter.
Finally, the PlayStation Network played host to a couple of dazzling releases last month in PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate and Entwined, both of which scooped a mighty 9/10 score. Mat Growcott dubbed the former "the very best version of an already impressive effort", and Graham Banas concluded that while the latter’s "occasional lack of identity prevents it from receiving the very top marks" you shouldn't let that fact "put you off this romantic release".
And so we reach the end of another month mostly full of good gaming – but are we right? Are we unforgivably wrong? Take a look at our handy list of all of last month's reviews, vote for your pick in our poll, and then feel free to berate us in the comments section below.
PlayStation Vita Pets - 7/10
Ace Combat: Infinity - 5/10
PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate - 9/10
Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection - 4/10
The Wolf Among Us: Episode 4 - In Sheep's Clothing - 7/10
Entwined - 9/10
1001 Spikes - 8/10
ZRun - 4/10
NASCAR '14 - 7/10
Murdered: Soul Suspect - 6/10
Mind Zero - 5/10
Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse - Episode 5 - 7/10
Battle Princess of Arcadias - 7/10
Valiant Hearts: The Great War - 9/10
Monster Monpiece - 5/10
Atelier Rorona Plus - 9/10
Ultra Street Fighter IV - 9/10
Sniper Elite III - 7/10
Enemy Front - 4/10
Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn - 8/10
What was your favourite game in June? (13 votes)
Atelier Rorona Plus: The Alchemist of Arland
Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn
PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate
Valiant Hearts: The Great War
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