2009 was a heck of a year, and as always the games industry plods onwards, staggering us with their artistic talent, their innovations, their re-imaginings and their never-ending ability to keep us hooked to our TV screens (or PC monitors). Our nominees have been posted, the votes have come in, and it’s finally time to kick back, relax, and enjoy the winners.
Without further ado, our 2009 Game of the Year is…(!!!)
Category: Game of the Year
Winner: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Summary by: Shawn Evans
What words can possibly be used to describe Uncharted 2: Among Thieves that haven’t been spoken? Amazing, breathtaking, spectacular, addictive, cinematic, beautiful, jaw dropping, captivating, fun, and memorable have already been taken, and that’s just in the review written here at Gamer Limit.
There really is no individual element that can be singled out to explain why Uncharted 2 is so great. Everything from the excellent single and multi-player gameplay, to the mind blowing visuals, engaging characters, and incredible soundtrack have all been polished to a level of perfection rarely seen in most modern titles. Since games are only as good as the sum of their parts, its safe to say that what Naughty Dog has created with Uncharted 2 is a masterpiece that should be celebrated and played by all.
Runner Up: Dragon Age: Origins
Category: Xbox 360 Exclusive of the Year
Winner: Shadow Complex
Summary by: James O’Connor
Within a month of Shadow Complex hitting Live Arcade, I had already finished it five times. The last two runs were done purely to get the achievement for hitting level 50, and although by the time those last 20 points dinged I thought I’d had my fill, now the mere thought of the game makes me want to go back and play again.
The complex is just so much fun to explore and traverse, thanks to the incredible gadgets, great level design and fun combat you encounter. Shadow Complex is the ultimate realisation of the Xbox Live Arcade’s potential.
Runner Up: Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony
Category: PS3 Exclusive of the Year
Winner: Uncharted 2
Summary by: Martin Bigg
2009 was the year in which the PS3 really started to gain momentum, with top quality exclusives such as Killzone 2 andRatchet and Clank: a Crack in Time complimenting the console’s slimline overhaul. Uncharted 2 leaped over the competition however, and went on to become a leading system seller for the PS3 after a complete landslide of critical acclaim.
To put it simply, no other game could match its exuberant production values, resulting in a landmark title which seamlessly blurred the boundaries between films and games like never before. Protagonist Nathan Drake will be forever affiliated with the PlayStation brand.
Runner Up: Killzone 2
Category: Wii Exclusive of the Year
Winner: New Super Mario Bros. Wii
Summary by: Tony Ponce
New Super Mario Bros. Wii is something that I don’t think anyone could have expected — a brand-new, honest-to-God side-scrolling Mario game for a home console. More than just a nostalgic throwback, it is a testament to hallmark level design and proof that platformers aren’t going anywhere.
With the added bonus of four-player co-op, everyone can enjoy the adventure without having to pass the controller. Mark my words — just as the original Super Mario Bros. represented the old generation, New Super Mario Bros. Wii will be remembered as the face of the new.
Runner Up: Metroid Prime Trilogy
Category: Nintendo DS Exclusive Game of the Year
Winner: Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story
Summary by: Christopher Matulich
The Nintendo DS boasted a vastly fantastic array of titles in 2009, but one such game proved that turn-based RPGs still have a home in millions of gamers’ hearts around the world.
Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story combined wonderful, classic 2D artwork with an innovative, yet traditional JRPG battle system to create one of the best DS titles to date, not to mention one of the funniest. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars would be proud to call Bowser’s Inside Story its’ metaphorical love child.
Category: PSP Exclusive Game of the Year
Winner: Patapon 2
Summary by: Ashley King
Rhythm games have always had great success, whether you love DDR or any of the Guitar Hero/Rock Band games. However, none of these franchises did for the rhythm game exactly what Patapon did.
Dubbed a sleeper hit when the first was released in 2008, the cartoony silhouettes marched their way into PSP gamer’s hearts everywhere. Patapon 2 returned this year with a continuation of the first story and the same great rhythm based play, but with the addition of 4 player ad-hoc gaming madness which turned a great franchise into a perfect one.
Runner Up: Dissidia and Half Minute Hero
Category: PC Exclusive of the Year
Summary by: Andrew Kauz
When you consider the essential ingredients of Torchlight, it’s no wonder that it turned out as well as it did. It starts with a massive heaping of Diablo II, puts in just the right amount of innovation, and slaps a $20 price tag on the whole package.
Sure, many people have lamented the lack of a multiplayer component, but even in its absence, you have a deliciously addictive game that’s fantastic not because of its originality, but because it does everything so damn well. The end result is a game that doesn’t simply fill the void until Diablo 3; it’s the defining PC experience of 2009.
Runner Up: Plants Vs. Zombies
Category: RPG Of The Year
Winner: Dragon Age: Origins
Summary by: Paul Clark
Dragon Age: Origins is a prime example of what an RPG should be. The choices in customisation, as well as the moral choices throughout, not only offer you the chance to replay the game with something fresh, but practically demand you to do so.
Bioware gave us a glimpse into a magnificent world, and with every piece of DLC they release I will be jumping straight back in.
Runner Up: Demon’s Souls
Category: Racer of the Year
Winner: Forza Motorsport 3
Summary by: Kevin Miller
Turn 10 continues to impress and expand upon its increasingly popular racing series. Forza Motorsport 3 is, undoubtedly, one of the greatest racing games of all time. Realistic graphics, physics, and addictive gameplay make most racing fans forget about that other racing series we haven’t seen since before Forza Motorsport series was even introduced.
The extraordinary amount of customization, online gameplay, and deep career mode options make this title stand well above the rest.
Runner Up: Dirt 2
Category: Best Action Game of the Year
Winner(s): Uncharted 2, Assassin’s Creed 2, Batman: Arkham Asylum
Summary by: Chris Carter
2009 was an incredible year for action games. Nathan Drake strutted his stuff in one of the greatest single player epics of all time, Assassin’s Creed II showed us that the series can vastly improve upon its past mistakes, and Arkham Asylum proved once and for all that yes; we can actually have a stellar Batman game! Our votes are tallied, and it looks like there was a three way tie.
But, make no mistake! Every single one of these titles scored at least a 9.0 on Gamer Limit, for obvious reasons: they’re all worthy of being called Action Game of the Year.
Category: Sports Game Of The Year
Winner: FIFA 10
Summary by: Simon Jones
With FIFA 10, EA Sports managed to improve upon an already sterling backlog of football titles. While Konami may have held the mantel as best football developer in the earlier part of the decade, EA cruised back into pole position with its most immersive game to date.
A fully revamped manager mode, 360 degree ball control, and incredible HD graphics, FIFA 10 is at the pinnacle of greatness in a genre where perfection is impossible.
Runner Up: Madden 10
Category: Platformer of the Year
Winner: New Super Mario Bros. Wii / Ratchet & Clank : A Crack in Time
Summary by: Sean Patrick Carey
With a fresh mix of both competitive and cooperative multi-player platforming, NSMB Wii manages to simultaneously innovate and pay homage to its 2D side-scrolling roots. Scoring extra points for introducing griefing to the casual market and showcasing Nintendo’s ability to create fun from simplicity, it garnered enough staff votes for a share of the Gamer Limit Platformer of the Year award.
With a whole new arsenal at hand, Ratchet & Clank returned in 2009 to offer fans of the shoot ‘em up platforming series the most polished and entertaining entry to date. Top notch level design, hilarious writing, and fun new weapons like the Moonwalker-esque Groovitron Glove or the sadistic drone Mr. Zurkon push A Crack in Time into a dead heat for 1st place in the Platformer category.
Category: First-Person Shooter of the Year
Winner: Modern Warfare 2
Summary by: Alex Yue
There is no denying that Modern Warfare 2 was one of the most anticipated games of the year. Usually with anticipation comes some disappointment, but for Modern Warfare 2 this was defiantly not the case. Everything from the gripping single-player campaign to the non stop chaos of multiplayer just shines with polish. You can tell that Infinity Ward pulled out all the stops when making this shooter.
Even among the controversy caused by the “No Russian” mission and lack of dedicated servers on the PC, Modern Warfare 2 sold like hotcakes earning Activision $550 million in just five days. Modern Warfare 2 has not only earned its place as FPS of the year, but also as a staple in popular culture.
Runner Up: Left 4 Dead 2
Category: Fighting Game of the year
Winner: Street Fighter 4 (XBox360, Playstation 3, PC)
Summary by: Jamie Obeso
Hate it or love it, Street Fighter 4 brought the 2D fighter back into mainstream popularity for the first time in many years. The familiarity and excellent visuals, along with its facilitation of executing special moves cater to the crowd that plays fighters for fun, while the game’s balance and depth cater to those who play fighters for blood.
Its universal appeal to gamers of virtually every skill level makes Street Fighter 4 an unmitigated success.
Runner Up: BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger (XBox360, Playstation 3)
So, Gamer Limit community: what was your Game of the Year?