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Are the free Xbox Games With Gold titles for June 2016 any good?



If I’m being honest, the hype surrounding the free Xbox One and Xbox 360 Games with Gold titles has slightly diminished for me. After the stunning titles delivered with the April scheme, May was a bit of a damp squib.

Now, free games are free games and you’ll never hear me complaining about getting anything for nothing, but as someone who already owns far too many Xbox One titles to mention and the vast majority of those released over the years on Xbox 360, rarely does anything come along that really gets me excited. But hey, enough of the personal pity, I’m here to tell you whether the free Xbox Games With Gold titles for June 2016 are any good.

Well, yes they are. But no they’re not. Because yet again it all depends on the type of gamer you are.

Kicking off the month on Xbox One is the unmistakable Goat Simulator. As a game that received huge hype upon its initial PC release, and then to a lesser extent on Xbox One and 360, you would think that people would be clamoring to play it for nothing. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news though, for Goat Simulator is a bit rubbish. As in very rubbish.

Yes, it’ll give you five minutes of mindless pleasure as you initially get to grips with your fluffy, destructo machine, but once the novelty of the annoying glitches and stupid gameplay wears off, you’ll probably care to never see it fired up again. Hell, even my seven year old daughter, someone who quite happily takes a liking to anything animal based and silly, is bored immensely by it. I knew spending stupid money to keep her quiet was a bad idea.

Thankfully though, Xbox One owners will soon be able to put the misery of licking cars to one side, instead being given the chance to check out a much underrated racer. The Crew originally released at the back end of 2014 and was a bit of a marmite racer. Some loved it and embraced it for what it was, whilst others, on the back of some rather heavy Ubisoft bashing, slated it as another dodgy game to come from the Big U. Personally, aside from a few issues that have now pretty much been ironed out, I really enjoyed my time racing across America in numerous vehicle types, picking and choosing where I was going to go from one minute to the next.

It is therefore with joy that we see The Crew being given away as a free title, if only so the huge percentage of players who were put off the first time round can now get to experience it. Forget about what you think of Ubisoft, and definitely don’t hold their 2014 record against them, and instead just enjoy being behind the wheel of a very clever open world racer. A free open world racer.

And then we get onto the Xbox 360 side of things with two games which are, as is now the norm, also playable on Xbox One. It is these 360 titles that are about as different from one another as is entirely possible.

Super Meat Boy, the first of the two games, is nothing more than an absolutely frantic, mindlessly manic blast. It’s fast, it’s frustrating but if you can get a hold on the mechanics and super intense gameplay, will be something that draws you in with little chance of ever letting go again. The 300+ levels, super epic boss battles, secret areas and hidden characters will ensure it’ll keep you going for many a month yet.

XCOM on the other hand is a much slower (although most things are much slower than SMB), strategy lover’s dream that continues to hold a bit of a cult following. We may have missed out on the opportunity to check out the rather awesome looking XCOM 2 due to its PC only release, but the original will do just fine, especially when we don’t have to pay for it.

With both games playable on Xbox One, it is thankful that they fill the gap that many One owners may feel needs filling after the initial bad start to June. I guess we can’t have a stellar month each and every time but as Meat Loaf (Google him kids) once said ‘three outta four ain’t bad’. Or at least it was something along those lines anyway. It does however completely sum up the Xbox Games With Gold scheme for June 2016 – not bad, but not overly exciting either.

Just keep away from those damn goats.

Neil Watton
Neil Wattonhttps://www.thexboxhub.com/
An Xbox gamer since 2002, I bought the big black box just to play Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee. I have since loved every second of the 360's life and am now just as obsessed with the Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S - mostly with the brilliant indie scene that has come to the fore. Gamertag is neil363, feel free to add me to your list.
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