For years now, there has been an argument between gamers and the art world on whether or not video games are art. Games like Okami and Journey are definitely two games that have a hefty amount of artistic value. They’re not alone in this though, as many studios are trying to provide gamers with a beautiful game to play. Last Day of June is definitely striving to become one of these games, with a heavily stylised world for players to play through.
An Art Form
Last Day of June is a stunning game. Walking through the game is like stepping into a painting. It is absolutely phenomenally designed, with some of the most wonderful graphics that I’ve ever seen in a game. Not focusing on realism, ditching that idea in favour of a wonderful impressionist style. Everything looks absolutely incredible, from the cutesy character designs to the brilliantly beautiful village that the game is set in. It all fits together so perfectly that I really struggled to escape from it. With every step I took, I was joined by as scene that you could happily hang on the wall. What makes it even better is that, because the game is so beautiful, it should age very, very well. Games such as Okami or Chrono Trigger may be old now, but they’ve hit the absolute pinnacle of their art styles and will be forever remembered because of it. Last Day of June is certain to join this illustrious and exclusive group.
For an arty game, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the story. Usually with these titles I expect a very strong visual aspect of the game – which Last Day of June definitely provides – but normally the story is a bit lacking. I even went into this game expecting the story to be very much an afterthought, but I was completely wrong. The story is wonderful, touching and so brilliantly put together that it is thoroughly enjoyable to experience. Even without the gorgeous graphics, this story would hold up in any game. Very few games manage to combine such terrific writing with the fantastic visuals on offer, but Ovosonico really managed it here.
The story in Last Day of June is fantastic, but there is one hole in it. It’s completely understandable why they’ve made the game without any actual voices, opting for general noises instead. This way they can reduce the costs of translations and rely on people’s understanding of general human behaviour to convey the message they want. It’s not an approach I’m fond of though. Rather than have some weird, high pitched grunt or groan, I’d like a voice. That way it’s always clear what is going on. Instead of a ‘mehhhh’, I’d like to know what the character is saying. Additionally, the noises that some of the characters come out with are just painful on the ears as well.
The Final Word
The grunts and groans are definitely a low point of the Last Day of June, but in terms of artistic merit, the game is fantastic. Just the artwork alone should be enough to persuade anyone to play the game, but there is a great story to go along with it. The hard work that Ovosonico have put into it has really paid off as it is a brilliant game and will be remembered for it.