Like a demon rising from the fires of hell itself, BrutalGamer’s Game of the Month returns, and it’s bringing a devil of a game with it.
Hell’s coming with us
Well, it’s been a while. If you’re a regular reader of BG, then you’ve probably noticed that we haven’t picked a Game of the Month since… March of 2020. If you’ll recall, something else happened in March of that year as well, and while we published news and reviews regularly throughout the pandemic’s worst days, we really never got back to any of our staple features. Why? We haven’t a clue.
That changed this very month though, with the return of our monthly PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold (not that that’ll be hanging around long) posts, and now with BG’s Game of the Month. As usual with this feature, the biggest and best games of the past month have been voted on by our staff, and once tallied those votes pick the winner and runners up.
June was a heck of month too, to welcome this feature back. It was loaded with big-to-massive launches, including Street Fighter 6, AEW Fight Forever, Final Fantasy XVI, and what took the crown as our first Game of the Month since the darkest days of ’20…
Game of the Month winner: Diablo IV
Diablo IV brings the world of Blizzard’s dark fantasy to like like never before. Not only does it have a much bigger world, and both a longer and more detailed story to play through, but it just looks drop-dead gorgeous. Add to that the return of the much-loved Necromancer class, a truly fantastic player creation suite, online multiplayer, and the tried and true looting and hack ‘n’ slash gameplay, and you’ve got one of the best titles of 2023.
If there’s a downside, it’s that it’s… always… online. And yes, we mean that it’s always online, even if you’re playing single player through the campaign, completing solo quests. For some reason, this goofy system has reared its ugly head yet again, and it still stinks just as much as always. But as long as you don’t get disconnected (or heaven forbid want to pause your game), you should be in for one hell of a time with Diablo IV.
Runners up for June 2023
While Diablo IV pretty much ran away with it, garnering 51% of our in-house voting, there were two runners up. We mentioned both above, but they should be pretty obvious to anyone who was paying attention to last month’s calendar.
Our first runner up is Street Fighter 6
Capcom’s long awaited Street Fighter 6 brings the marquee fighting game series back to consoles and PC with a vengeance. Not only does the fighting feel better and more fluid than ever, but the current graphics-style has been further refined from SFIV and SFV. It still holds the chunky character designs, but the World Warriors look more detailed, and with superb animation.
The one on one combat doesn’t stop at the arcade modes though, as Street Fighter 6 opens up a world of play through two online modes. Players can compete agains others in the multiplayer Battle Hub, and build out custom characters in the World Tour. The latter has some serious future potential too, playing almost like a lite-RPG/fighting game hybrid. And as a bonus, it’s set in Final Fight’s Metro City!
SF6 is also getting regular doses of DLC, with SFV’s Rashid just being made available for purchase. So if you’ve yet to take the plunge, you might want to grab the season pass as well.
And finally, coming in third for the month…
Our second runner up is Final Fantasy XVI
If there’s a name that’s synonymous with the JRPG genre, it has to be Final Fantasy. Square Enix’ role-playing series stretches back into a history that’s almost as deep as the gaming hobby itself, and continues to evolve… though some may wish it hadn’t. While we’ve seen similar in recent years under the Final Fantasy banner, FF16 is a “fully fledged action RPG”, according to Square Enix. It’s the first one in the mainline series too, and without the traditional turn-based battles anywhere to be found, that may rub some players the wrong way.
Still, if you look at it for what it is, it’s tough to make a good case against the PS5 exclusive Final Fantasy XVI. It’s just a flat-out gorgeous looking role-player, action-oriented controls, a full voice cast, and a script/story that seems top notch (I haven’t played it). And hey, you can’t beat that musical score.
That’s all we’ve got for this go-around, but it’s good to be back. Hopefully you enjoyed our picks for June 2023 as much as we enjoyed voting on them. We hope you’ll be right back here again next month, when we pick our winners for July.
That’s going to be an interesting vote since, well it’s just a little bit slimmer of a litter.