Tuesday, 5 January 2010

TGN Game of the Year 2009

It's 2010 so, naturally, we look back at the previous year in various different ways. The most popular form seems to be all over the TV in the form of list shows, but they're inexpensive to make and get good viewing figures (I think), so I'm going to conform to that because I'm pretty bored, and the Blog hasn't had a new article all year (hurr-durr). SO! I went into the GotY thread on TGN and tallied up the "votes" and came to a really unsurprising conclusion. I'm going to do it anyway. I'm bored.

Now, the nature of the thread means that this is all pretty sketchy, as Mr Party Hat couldn't select a single game, so he told everyone to list 5 and most did, though some only mentioned one, and one person put down 10. But it seems to work regardless of that (as per usual on TGN), certainly, my GotY hit the top spot. A bunch of games were only mentioned once, so I got rid of them for the countdown. I ended up with a Top 8. At least it's an even number…

Tales of Vesperia
2 votes

I haven't played this, yet, so I'll hand it over to quotes from the thread.

Master hunter:
"An example of how JRPG's should be done. Addictive story, likeable characters, awesome soundtrack, nice length, and I can't think of where they took a step wrong besides having unskippable cutscenes."

"Truly awesome experience. The fighting just worked, there were some unreasonably tough sections but the majority was do-able with challenge. On the second play-through it made you feel like God.

…it was simply a joy to play, and a truly epic experience."

Ghostbusters: The Video Game
2 votes

I've waxed lyrical about this game on TGN, or at least if I haven't I bloody well should have done. No, I definitely think I have. You see, it's Ghostbusters and it's a video game, but it's a damn fine video-game. Prior to its eventual and troubled release there was a feeling in the air that it might be a bit rubbish, as with most licensed games, but it really isn't. The ghost trapping is spot-on and it's incredibly fun, too, and the cast is there in their entirety… almost. You've got all the Ghostbusters, Janine and even dickless himself, Walter Peck. Only Dana and Louis are missing, but that's not really a problem. It's not as funny as the movies and certainly not as quotable as the first, but it's got a lot of legs, as you'll find on your third or fourth play-through. It's also got a fairly well-done and enjoyable multiplayer, even if it's a little difficult to get into a game with a friend. Then there's the fan-service; it references the film almost non-stop throughout the game, whether it's a dancing toaster or the portrait of Vigo (who will admonish you should you approach him), to the brilliant boss-battle with the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, and the back-story given to the Gray Lady, the very first spectre the 'Busters encounter. Fantastic.

2 votes

Mr Party Hat:
"There isn't much that can be said about Borderlands that hasn't already been shouted from the forum-tops by an adoring Internet. It has more satisfying gunplay than any FPS released all year, perfects WoW's loot fetishism in a way even other MMOs struggle to do and is set in a strikingly pretty world. Above all else though, and perhaps more than any other console game this year, it was created out of the developer's desire to do so, rather than financial necessity, and this comes through in every acid bleeding, blood splattered, shotgun wielding Badass Midget Psycho."

Enough said, I think.

Assassin's Creed 2
3 votes

Now, this only got two mentions in the thread, but I got it for Christmas and I'm adding a vote for me. I haven't even completed it yet, but I'm absolutely loving it.

Apocalypse Dude:
"A perfect example of how exactly to do a sequel. They took on board everything that was criticised from the first game and corrected it, improved everything that was already great, and then threw a heap of new stuff in on top. Utterly superb.

Also, best last boss ever."

I can't say anything at all about the last boss, but I've played enough to know just how good a game AC2 is. It takes a while to get into the game proper, but it's a testament to how good a game it is that it doesn't matter, as you'll still have a lot of fun. The parkour elements are just as fun as ever, and I found myself climbing the tallest buildings just for the sake of it. There's nothing like the immense sense of satisfaction to be garnered from pulling off a perfectly executed assassination without being seen and without your notoriety going up.

Street Fighter IV
3 votes

A game I've got and have played, but not a game I've played a lot or know much about. I do know it's got fantastic graphics, and what I did play was a lot of fun. Here's a couple of quotes:

Boss Man:
"Brings the classic characters and gameplay from what we loved from SFII. Got this game when it came out and I'm still playing it today."

"Surprised only Boss Man has mentioned it so far, given that it was officially declared as GOTY 2009 when we did the 2008 thread last year

Can't fault it, aside from the lack of an online spectators lobby...looking forward to Super SFIV fixing that though (and adding in Cody!...GOTY 2010 for sure!)"

Uncharted 2
3 votes

Mr Party Hat:
"So beautiful it makes me want to get my cock out, so I've got a third eye to watch it with."

I'd like to leave it at that, but I have to add more stuff in so the box-art doesn't get messed up with the next game.

"For me, this is unquestionably the Game Of The Year. Surpassing the original Uncharted in almost every aspect, Uncharted 2 is a blooming masterpiece from start to finish. Stunningly rendered locations, the best acting on a videogame to date, and a fantastic action-adventure romp.

Perhaps most impressive is the almost complete lack of filler. No endless repeating corridors, no copy-and-paste areas, and none of those endless waves of enemies from the original game. You're always moving forwards, and there's something round every corner. A fast moving river to cross, a collapsing bridge, being chased by a tank, scaling to the top of a ruined luxury hotel… every single minute is gold. With the possible exception of a slightly cheap final boss."

Batman: Arkham Asylum
6 votes

Ah, finally, a game I can talk about. Arkham Asylum is pretty much as perfect as a game can get. It's challenging without being unfair, the story is entertaining and thrilling without going over the top or being too convoluted, the graphics are superb and there are close to no glitches whatsoever. It makes you feel like Batman; you spend most of the game using your grappling hook to get into vantage spots to take out the enemy in the most impressive or efficient way. It's a joy to finally play a game and know that whenever you get hurt, it's pretty much your own fault completely. It must be possible to go through the whole game even on the hardest difficulty and not get hurt at all. That's one of the beautiful things about Arkham Asylum, it never gets frustrating and stays at the right side of challenging throughout. Whenever Batman gets hurt, it's because you've fucked up. You never feel like you've been harshly done by, and whilst there might be times when you'll get a bit angry, it'll only be anger directed toward yourself, never to the game. You might say something like "how the hell was I supposed to know that was going to happen", but deep down, you'll know you did something wrong and could easily have stopped it from happening were you looking in the right direction or what have you.

Every part of this game and every part of Arkham Asylum has been paid so much attention to, it's surprising when you realise that it was made by a little known developer from London whose only previous game was Urban Chaos: Riot Response on the PS2. No, I've never heard of it, either. I can't wait to see what Rocksteady are up to nex– oh, wait Arkham Asylum 2! Sweet.

Number 1
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
7 votes

Predictable? Yes, but as you can see from the votes, it only just won. Undeserved? Definitely not. While the single-player story might be a bit of a mess, it's not so much about the story but rather the situations the game puts you in. In a recent interview with Gametrailers.com, some of Infinity Ward's lead designers talked about the process of the story's development, and said that they had an idea of a bunch of different set-pieces, then crafted the story around that. You can see that quite clearly, as set-pieces such as invading the Gulag, scaling a glacier and the infamous 'No Russian' level are talked about far more than the actual story. Even with all that said, the single-player campaign is, for most people, only about 10% of the actual game. It's the multi-player that makes up the reason this game is so lauded. It's predecessor, Call of Duty 4, was so good it dominated Xbox Live play-time over the likes of Halo 3 and Gears of War, but Modern Warfare 2 makes CoD4 obsolete in every way shape or form.

At first, even to CoD4 veterans, the sheer amount of new perks, killstreak rewards, deathstreak perks, weapons, weapon add-ons, equipment, challenges, callsigns and game modes can be overwhelming. Once I first started playing the multi-player, I didn't know where to start, and found myself just staring at the screen with my mouth agape. After a few games, though, I was squeaking down my microphone at my friends with sheer delight as I tried out the new care-packages and called in a Precision Airstrike. The amount of times in CoD4 where I've lamented a perfectly placed airstrike missing every opponent because of the random angle the airstrike came in at. Now you have full control over where it strikes and where it comes from. But this isn't even the best killstreak reward; the AC-130 might not be the most effective form of air-support, but it sure is fun and the Chopper Gunner is just ruthless, with a cannon that unloads molten death onto anyone you care to aim at. Then you've got the Nuke. The End Game in its purest form. Incredibly satisfying to use, especially when you're on the losing team. It sounds a little unfair, but, believe me, if you can get a 25 killstreak, you deserve to win the game. I haven't even mentioned Spec-Ops yet, and I can't bothered to, either.

So, there we have it. 2009's best games as (kind of) decided by the gloriously proportioned members of TGN. 2010 will probably be better…

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