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2008 Awards January 2, 2009

Posted by Matthew in Awards, Feature.
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In my opinion 2008 was almost as good as 2007 in terms of overall quality. Rather than moan about why every other publication/website’s game of the year lists are wrong, I thought I’d create my own. Click below for the results.

Best Graphics

Winner: Gears of War 2

When I played the original Gears of War it was the first game in years whose visuals provided a genuine “wow” moment. Gears 2 has improved on them and then some. The lighting and textures particularly are some of the best around and make Gears of War 2 the best looking console game yet.

Runner-up: Dead Space

Best Art Design

Winner: World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King

Despite being over four years old, WoW can easily hold its own against games released today. Wrath of the Lich King contains some of the most varied and best looking scenery yet. It just goes to show that you don’t have to rely on top-class graphics to make a game look good.

Runner-up: LittleBigPlanet

Best Sound Design

Winner: Dead Space

The best survival horror game since Resident Evil 4 and serious competition for Resident Evil 5. Most of the tense, unsettling atmosphere is due to the use of sound. Enemies crawling through ventilation shafts, exploding fuse boxes, hissing steam pipes and the overall ambience of the spaceship make for a very unnerving experience.

Runner-up: Battlefield: Bad Company

Best Soundtrack

Winner:Super Smash Bros. Brawl

A roster of composers assembled from games including NiGHTS, MGS4, Streets of Rage and Chrono Trigger have remixed and rearranges many classic Nintendo themes. Simply one of the best game soundtracks you’ll hear.

Runner-up: Metal Gear Solid 4

Best DLC

Winner: Rock Band

I barely ever buy DLC but the fact that I’ve bought 36 songs at 160 points each speaks volumes. Great selection of content released weekly at a reasonable price.

Runner-up: Battlefield: Bad Company

Biggest Surprise

Winner: EA
Nothing like the EA of old. New IPs such as Army of Two, Mirror’s Edge and Dead Space show that the new EA are willing to break form their usual norm and take a chance. Plus there is the excellent Battlefield: Bad Company and the best installment of FIFA yet.

Runner-up: Final Fantasy XIII coming to 360.

Most Over-hyped/Most Disappointing

Winner: Grand Theft Auto 4

A double whammy of awards. THIS POST pretty much sums up my thoughts of the game. Add to that a bunch of tacked-on and rushed multiplayer modes (barring free mode). How Rockstar went from crating the best game in the series (San Andreas) to the worst I’ll never know. If, like me you missed the trademark GTA humour and fun, buy Saint’s Row 2 instead. Or even buy San Andreas. Oh and I can’t finish this without linking to the WORST REVIEW KNOWN TO MAN, fucking hell IGN.

Runner-up: Nothing else comes close.

Shooter

Winner: Gears of War 2

The overall shooting mechanics of Gears 2 ave been refined since the first game. It feels a whole lot tighter. The addition of new weapons, especially the excellent Hammerburst and mortar, is an added bonus.

Runner-up: Left 4 Dead

Action Game

Winner: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

The less said about this the better. Not because it is bad, of course, but because I don’t want to spoil anything. What I will say is that MGS4 contains some of the best set-pieces in any Metal Gear game yet.

Runner-up: Gears of War 2

Platformer

Winner: Prince of Persia

A successful reboot of the series which puts far more emphasis on platforming than it does on combat. While it has been simplified compared to the previous games, it retains the elements which made the platforming the best part of those games. Looks absolutely stunning too.

Runner-up: Mirror’s Edge

Music Game

Winner: Rock Band 2

Quite simply the best music game available. Perfect difficulty curve, accurate note-charting and a fantastic selection of songs – even without the DLC and song importing from the first game. Also has the best local multiplayer of the year by far. I only play it on drums, which are so damn fun it makes the other instruments boring.

Runner-up: Rhythm Tengoku Gold

Best Online

Winner: Battlefield: Bad Company

This came along just at the right time. I was getting bored of COD4 and Halo 3, along with the shower of cunts in their online communities. Bad Company offers a welcome alternative. While it did have its fair share of problems initially, most of those issues have been addressed by patches and the NXE allowing party chat. The free DLC including the addition of Conquest mode and more maps adds to the replayability.

Runner-up: Left 4 Dead

Downloadable Game

Winner: Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2

The first Geometry Wars was so annoying it broke my phone. This one, however, is one of the most complete Live Arcade games I have played. It successfully captures the whole essence of the “Live Arcade” with the friends leaderboard. The variety of game modes will keep you hooked, as if it wasn’t addictive enough already. The retro-HD visuals are an added bonus – it looks stunning.

Runner-up: super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix

Handheld Game

Winner: The world Ends With You

A J-RPG from Square-Enix starring an angsty-emo cunt as the main character accompanied by a J-pop soundtrack? It should really be the worst thing ever, but instead it is probably the best handheld game I’ve played since Pokemon Blue. I already raved about it here. Quite simply a must-buy if you own a DS.

Runner-up: Rhythm Tengoku Gold

Wii Game

Winner: No More Heroes

This is how to incorporate motion controls into a Wii game properly without them feeling tacked on and gimmicky. A satisfying combat system, tight controls, memorable cast and stylish visuals make this one of my favourite games on the Wii. It also introduced Travis Touchdown, my new favourite computer game character. I eagerly await the sequel.

Runner-up: Super Smash Bros. Brawl

PS3 Game

Winner: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

Not much to choose from since the PS3 was somewhat low on quality this year (Peoww!) but this the obvious choice.

Runner-up: LittleBigPlanet

Xbox 360 Game

Winner: Gears of War 2

Probably one of the most complete sequels I’ve ever played. Epic have take on board all the criticisms levelled at the first game and fixed what was wrong (apart from the shit multiplayer). A hell of a lot longer than the first game and the story goes more in-depth about the Locust and their origin. Fantastic set pieces too.

Runner-up: Dead Space

Overall Game of the Year

Winner: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

By far my favourite Metal Gear Solid game yet. Great mixture of gameplay throughout and the best cast of characters around. The finale and build-up are without a doubt the best I have experienced in a game. Everything from the story, gameplay and soundtrack come together in what is without a doubt Hideo Kojima’s finest moment and my game of the year. An essential purchase if you own a PS3.

Runner-up: No More Heroes

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Comments»

1. Dave - January 3, 2009

Agreed on all acounts, rock band 2 rocks

2. Game Of The Year Awards 2009 « He Got Games - January 5, 2010

[…] after a two-month hiatus caused by playing about stuff rather than writing about stuff. Much like last year, I’ve decided to do my own awards – at least that way they’ll all be correct […]


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