Console Creatures’ Games of 2009


The crew at Console Creatures looks back on 2009 and gives you each of their personal experiences with the games they’ve played in the past year.  From each person’s Game of the Year to other categories that may not belong in your typical “Best of 2009” article, we present to you our past year in video games.

Sean C.

Sleeper Game of the Year – The Saboteur
Pandemic’s final outing as a development studio was one that was filled with artistic style, fun gameplay, and an enjoyable yet sometimes campy story (with a nudity unlock DLC btw) .  Being released in the holiday season of 2009 up against blockbuster sequels like Modern Warfare 2 and Assassin’s Creed II, it will be a shame that many will forget what is otherwise an unforgettable romp.

Surprise Contender of the Year – inFAMOUS
inFAMOUS came out head to head with the very similar multiplatform title in Prototype.  Both were sandbox games with a playable anti-hero set in an alternative future but who knew inFAMOUS would still be able stand out so much while the latter was only a game for that passing moment.  With a comic book style presentation, an intriguing story, and an immersible/interactive environment along with the ability to choose you’re path of good or evil, inFAMOUS is a welcome new IP for PS3 owners with a sequel or 3 in it’s future.

Womp womp of the year (tie) – PSPgo/Tekken 6
The first half goes to the PSPgo, not for the system itself but how it was handled right from the getgo.  First the Qore interview with the PSPgo leaked before it’s E3 announcement, then the high price point was introduced, any potential for UMD transfer/trade-in for digital copy was dismissed, the whole PSP library was not available day one, an unsteady flow of PSP minis,  and to cap it all off Little Big Planet PSP suffered a delayed digital release while the UMD playable PSP’s were able to enjoy the game day one.

The second half of this award goes to Tekken 6.  In a year where the fighter made it’s way back on to the main stage with the release of Street Fighter 4, Tekken 6 was  to answer the call for those with a thirsty for a new but familiar alternative.  But with sub-par graphics and a broken online multiplayer, it fell short of many people’s expectations.

Most press hype that convinced me to buy a game wasn’t planning to – Dragon Age: Origins
For some, as soon as you put the word “Dragon” in a title of a game they are automatically interested.  I on the other hand am the complete opposite.  The title itself was a bit misleading as I was to believe this was a prequel of a long running franchise that somehow passed me by all this  time.  But I was wrong…about everything.  This Bioware title was in fact set in a newly created universe taking elements from other similar lore but making it their own.  Bringing to the game what Bioware has a made a reputation on; with superb voice acting, meaningful/consequential dialogue choices and a mature theme contributing to one of the best western RPGs despite the presence of Dragons 😛

Console that won me over – Nintendo Wii

The news around the Wii in 2009 perplexes me immensely.  Here we have the gaming press speculating on and somewhat pressuring a pending announcement on some sort of Wii HD and/or Wii 2 while it continues to top the current install base over the 360 and the PS3.  It took me a while to jump on the bandwagon (and some might say a bit too late) but if you come to accept the system for it’s strengths in social gaming with Wii Sports Resort, active fun with Wii Fit Plus and EA Active, and classic Nintendo franchises like New Super Mario Bros., you should be more comfortable with having the system compliment your 360 and/or PS3.   Anything on top of this can be seen as a bonus especially with recent “hardcore” games like Muramasa, Dead Space: Extraction, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, and the Metroid Trilogy along with  downloadable Wiiware titles in Bit.Trip.Void and Lost Winds: Winter of Melodias

Game of the Year – Uncharted 2
After completing the first Uncharted, I was clamoring for this title the moment it was announced. When it finally dropped in Fall 2009 it lived up to every heightened  expectation I had for the sequel.  Likened to playing through an epic cinematic experience , the game was well paced with a variety of platforming and combat elements with an intriguing story and a strong cast of characters (minus the antagonist).  Like any good cinematic experience, the game left me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end while walking away emotionally attached.

Mike D.

We’re just on the cusp of 09’s end as I’m writing this. I’m still recovering from the giddy excitement of the holidays, though now I pause to reflect on the games 2009 has brought to the table. To me, this year seemed to be pretty short on great games… But what it lacked in quantity, it made up for in quality. Here’s my breakdown of the year’s “best ——-” games, which set themselves apart from the rest in some significant way.

Best Multiplayer Game – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Let’s face it; if you played it, this game is the most fun you had on Xbox live all year. Online play is better than ever in MW2, combining the classic online play of Modern Warfare with a new co-op mode known as Spec. Ops. My favourite memory is playing through a Spec. Ops mission called “Overwatch” with a friend over Xbox live, raining death on his enemies from above with a wide assortment of explosives.

Best Musical Game – Beatles Rock Band
No arguments! This game was the best release for a Guitar Hero/Rock Band style game this year, and I would personally deem it the best of either series. The backgrounds are trippy, the music is great, and playing with someone on drums, vocals, and guitar is a very fun and unifying experience.

Best Handheld Game – Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days
This isn’t just rampant fanboyism; this game has more content crammed into it that any DS game I’ve ever seen, and it sports some impressive graphics to boot. You can control several characters all with their own unique movesets, the “panel” levelling system is innovative, and it pairs a killer campaign with the ability to do almost every mission with a friend.

 

Most “Epic” Game – Uncharted 2
With its epic, albeit cliché plot, the Uncharted 2 experience is not unlike a short of adrenaline directly to the heart. It’s chock-full of action, neat guns, and some great graphics, especially for the character models. Best of all, there are plenty of unlockables, and the “crushing” difficulty will give even the most seasoned player a run for their money.

Game of the Year – Batman: Arkham Asylum
This is one of the few games I 100% completed, and with good reason; the combat flows extremely well, the asylum is sufficiently creepy and fun to navigate, and it’s freaking BATMAN! Not only did this game shatter my expectations for what a superhero game could be, but it shattered my expectations for what a GAME could be; I highly anticipate a sequel.

Well, that’s the spread! Here’s hoping we get some similarly excellent games next year. Happy new year!

 

Zoltan N.

Greatest Accessory of the Year – DJ Hero turntable
I had many doubts when I first heard about this game, but the moment I layed my hands on it, I was blown away by the touch/feel of the DJ Hero turntable.  The weight of the platter, the feel of the fader (though I still think it’s a tad too light) and the whole game experience was way better than I ever imagined it could be.  One of my favorite games of all time, but it easily could have been a distaster if the equipment wasn’t up to par.

 

Best Game to Keep Your Girlfriend Happy – Little Big Planet: Game of the Year Edition
If it weren’t for LBP, I don’t think I’d be able to spend nearly as much time gaming as I would have liked.  This game is amazing on its own, but it excels in its ability to keep my girlfriend interested and, dare I say, excited to play the PS3.  Now if only I could get her into trying Forza…

Gaming Event of the Year – Forza 3 Launch @ the CNE
The sounds of dozens of race-prepped sports cars, the smell of burning rubber and the sites created by these machines racing around an auto-x track all add up to a phenominal launch event that was prepared for Forza 3 in Toronto at the CNE.  Everyone that came out to the event was spoiled by all the automotive porn at every turn, from the cars on the track to the beauties (and the cars) found inside the event building.  A fantastic event that was organized and run without flaw.

Most Bi-polar Game of the Year – Need For Speed Shift
Is it a sim? Is it an arcade racer?  I don’t know!  I tried, I really did, to like this game, but after quite a few attempts I just can’t figure out what it’s trying to be.  In the end, I don’t think it accomplished to be either of those.  Great graphics, good attempt…but in the end, it just couldn’t come close to Forza as the racing game to beat this year.  Maybe next time!

Game of the Year – Modern Warfare 2
It’s hard to argue the popularity and success of the latest iteration in the COD franchise.  I mean, c’mon… $350 Million in sales in the first 24 hours, over $3 billion in sales to date.  Virtually no other form of entertainment can come close to the financial success of this game, let alone the amount of people who play it every single day.  Kudos to the developers… you’ve created a monster!  Hell, even I can’t stop playing it, and I rarely get hooked on anything that doesn’t involve a gas pedal and steering wheel (or turntable, as it turns out…)

 

Game Girl Tess

 

Best use of a lawnmower as a killing machine – Burn Zombie Burn! (PSN)
The chainsaw is quite fun along with the flame thrower but the lawnmower takes the cake! This would have be one of my favorite games this year, very fun and I dig how they incorporated the thriller song in it – lol.

Most fun racing game – My Sims Racing (Wii)
The customization options were great and just playing it was fun and easy. Also, I really loved all of the fun and surprising power ups! This is a great two player game to bust out with your friends too!

Game that brought back the most memories – Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection
This was so awesome to play and remember the good ‘ol days!  Plus it was super cool to have all the old goldies together in one package!

Most epic road trip game – Guitar Hero on tour Modern Hits (DS)
During my road trip earlier this year to Canada’s east coast, in Cape Breton’s Highlands I was rocking out as we were driving through the cliffs and ocean views! Was a great soundtrack for the trip 🙂

Game of the Year – Little Big Planet: GOTY edition/Little Big Planet PSP
This game is so addictive.. I would look forward to playing it all week! One of the reasons I love this game is that you can paste stickers… even funny things on peoples faces! And the sack people are sooo cute! But mostly the created environments (online and those exclusive to the Game of the Year edition) were just so damn creative I just love playing them! Whether by myself on the PSP version or with a friend on PS3, it was still awesome!
Beautiful, fun and different from any other game I’ve ever seen. These were my favorite!

 

Nigel H.

Worst Expansion game of 2009 : Force Unleashed Ultimate Sith Edition
I loved the first original Force Unleashed. It was a great game the breathed new life into Lucasarts and Star Wars gaming as a whole. But  the expansion game treated that love like a 5 minute romp in a back alley. Releasing new levels on gaming networks is fine, but  slapping those (already released) levels together and promoting as something new is just disrespectful the fans. You couldn’t even play the level in proper sequence with the rest of the game!  Ultimate Suck Edition? Definitely!

 Best Downloadable title of 2009: Shadow Complex
Shadow Complex is an example of where gaming is headed. It was a beautifully developed game that harked back to the layout style of gaming classics like Castlevaina and Metroid. As online console networks become more complex, I think more developers will take a good hard look at developing new titles that can be released this way.

Best DLC – GTA 4 Ballad of Gay Tony
GT4 was a huge game already  with a bunch of previously released DLC. But Ballad of Gay Tony took  that to a new level. The marketing set this one apart from the other DLCs with a huge movie-like  advertising blitz. It had original story with action, drama and everything that you would come to expect for a GTA title. Plus it gets them brownie points with GLADD and their ain’t nothing wrong with that.

Most Anticipated Game Of The Year: Call Of Duty – Modern Warfare 2
If you caught our coverage of the midnight release in Toronto, then this choice is a no brainer.  Line up were long but the game did not disappoint. I’m not even a FPS fan and even I had to recognize.

Best Industry News of The Year: Call Of Duty – Modern Warfare 2 Release

See: “Most Anticipated Game Of The Year: Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2”

Worst Industry News of The Year – PSP Go
I understand the reason for the PSP go. The original PSP by today’s standards is like carrying around a boat anchor. Its HUGE! But paying over 200 bucks ( which could hook you up with a home console) for a smaller version is a little extreme. Not to mention that practically all the accessories out there were made for the older models. PSP GO gets a PSP BOO!

Guilty pleasure game of 2009 : Dragon Ball Raging Blast
Yes. I am an anime fan. Yes. I think Raging Blast is the BEST DBZ game ever made. Yes. I have disconnected my ethernet cable so my friends couldn’t see me playing it. Yes. That’s why its my guilty pleasure game of 2009. That’s really all I have to say about that. 🙂

James S.

Best “no one around here but me” Game – Smackdown vs. Raw 2010
Last year’s title was single handedly responsible for getting me back as a WWE regular. SvR’s 2010 installment brought awesome new improvements like cool Road to Wrestlemania storylines, more create-a-Superstar features and the more match types we clammered for. This game is just a blast to play for any WWE fan. “And if you’re not down with that, we’ve got TWO WORDS FOR YA!”

Game i catch hell for playin’ (by all the tree-huggers here at the office) – Cabela’s Big Game Hunter 2010 (PS3)
I always wanted to get into a hunting video game, because it’s something I would never do in real life. Nice graphics along with cool weapons, although, I just wish the controls were tweaked just a bit closer to a COD/FPS setup, we’d be in business. I was so irked how everyone around here was turned off by the whole hunting down of an animal (in a video game I must stress), but have NO PROBLEM whatching/playing GTA and mowing done pedestrians. Oh, and I won’t have any urges to go out and hunt animals after playing Big Game hunter 2010.

Surprise game of the year –  House of the Dead: Overkill
I was always into those light-gun type shooter titles and was really looking forward to HOD: Overkill for the Wii. I was pleasantly shocked on how a super mouthy, gritty title had landed on the cute and cuddly Nintendo Wii. Great two-player co-op and a bunch of mini-games made this game a blasty-blast!

Game I wanted to play but didn’t want to spend money on – Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood (UBISOFT)
I really, really wanted to play this game! I was totally looking forward to some FPS action done Wild West style. Oh well, maybe it’s time to “bite the bullet” and hit the used game sections.

My Dirty Little Secret – Tony Hawk Ride
Well, the critics trash this game, while Mr. Tony Hawk vehemently stands by his creation.  I don’t know what to tell ya, but I’m just having fun playing Ride…and I keep playing it. Maybe it’s the achievement whore in me? Not sure. I’ll say one thing, give Tony credit for taking a chance at some innovation for his franchise.

Best Sports title (tie) – Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 /MLB The Show 09 (PS3)
It was a weird year for me and my sports titles. I still love my NHL 10, Madden 10, and the whole debate of which NBA title is on top this year. I guess I gotta blame my U.S. satellite for eating up my sports gaming time –too much good stuff to watch. One thing is a given though, when Baseball season hits, it’s all about MLB The Show! Another super effort (aside from the horrible new RTTS baserunning controls) from the SHOW peeps, had me hooked playing my career for months.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 bounced back with a super solid release this year. I love a relaxing 18 holes with friends and getting online to beat the GamerNet challenges. Hey! I did this without any Tiger jokes!

~ by consolecreatures on December 29, 2009.

One Response to “Console Creatures’ Games of 2009”

  1. Uncharted 2 definitely GOTY for me. Arkham Asylum was the most surprisingly good game (I always new Sucker Punch’s Infamous would be great 😛 ). Have to say, Little Big Planet was a bit of a disappointment, demanding so many replays of each level to collect and unlock things, the creativity of the level design and the good soundtrack can only keep my attention so long. I’m awaiting my copy of Modern Warfare 2, hopefully it’ll live up to my expectations 🙂

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