Friday, January 1, 2010

Review Round-Up - December

Kneel before the game of the month,
The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks.

The game releases slowed down, but SPC kept on running at full capacity! This month featured some excellent titles with The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks leading the charge with a 9.5. Runners-up this month include Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time, The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures, and Goldeneye 007 all receiving a 9.25. Both Call of Duty games for PS3, 360, PC, and Wii were reviewed and both were given an 8.5 (though by different reviewers) which was the same score given to the charming A Boy and His Blob. Meanwhile, the Xbox 360 got its own installment on the SPC Quickies, and the rotten egg of the month goes to the slightly average Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg.

All scores are out of 10.
5 = Average

A Boy and His Blob (Wii) - 8.5
Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time (PS3) - 9.25
The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures (GCN) - 9.25
SPC Quickies Volume Five - Xbox 360 Blockbuster
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: Reflex Edition (Wii) - 8.5
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (PS3, 360, PC) - 8.5
Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg (GCN) - 5.75
Goldeneye 007 (N64) - 9.25
The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (DS) - 9.5

Ratchet was as poised as ever in December!

Central City Census - January

Happy new year, one and all! 2009 was a fun year, but let's kick it to the wayside and enjoy 2010 to the fullest. But first, let's check out December 2009's census.


The majority of voters said that they weren't planning on getting a new system for the holidays, but you probably didn't need me to tell you that. Out of the platforms that did get some votes, the PlayStation 3 is the highest. No wonder it was the system of the year for 2009 on SuperPhillip Central, the new slim, the relaunch, and a wide catalog of great games. Meanwhile, five percent said they were getting more than one. Lucky devils. Rounding out the voting was the DS with 4 votes, and the Wii, 360, and PSP with 2 votes apiece.

On SuperPhillip Central it was revealed that the PlayStation 3 was the gaming system of the year with its relaunch and catalog of hot exclusive titles. The first census of 2010 asks, what was your system of 2009?

Thursday, December 31, 2009

The SuperPhillip Central Best of 2009 Awards - Day Five

This is it-- the final day of the SPC Best of 2009 Awards. Today we pick out the System of the Year and of course, the Game of the Year. But first, the SPC Best of 2009 Awards are brought to you by...



Now onto the final two awards!

[System of the Year]

Nintendo DS


The undisputed king of this generation keeps chugging along, and while the year wasn't as eventful as previous years, there was a lot of quality software to be had, if you knew where to look. Such excellent games include The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon, The Legendary Starfy, Scribblenauts, and Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure. Don't forget the release of the DSi and all of the interesting DSiware available for purchase!

Sony PSP


The PSP has had a great year with the release of the download-only PSP Go and a multitude of excellent software. These great titles include Motorstorm: Arctic Edge, LittleBigPlanet, LocoRoco 2, PANGYA: Fantasy Golf, Dissidia: Final Fantasy, Hammerin' Hero, and Resistance: Retribution. Sure, software sales in anywhere but Japan are abysmal, but that doesn't stop the fact that the PSP had a stellar year software-quality wise.

Xbox 360



While I've been very clear on my disappointment with the Xbox 360, there have been a lot of worthwhile releases for the white concave box that could including Halo: Recon, Halo 3 ODST, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Left 4 Dead 2, Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, Borderlands, Forza Motorsport 3, and many more. Add in the best online that money can buy, and the 360 didn't do too badly this year at all. Don't count out such awesome downloadable titles such as Trials HD, 'Splosion Man, and Shadow Complex.

PlayStation 3



With a worldwide relaunch and excellent software to go with it, the PlayStation 3 seems to have regain its footing in the console wars. Add in free online and a myriad of online downloadable
titles, and the PS3 is sitting pretty in a comfortable position. The list of notable software releases for 2009 include Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, inFAMOUS, Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time, WipEout HD Fury, Fl0wer, God of War: Collection, Killzone 2, and Batman: Arkham Asylum. With all of these worthwhile titles, it's good to be a PS3 owner!

Nintendo Wii


The reigning champion of the big three home consoles, the Wii, had a pretty lackluster 2008, but 2009 shaped up to be wonderful with both first and third party games to line store shelves. We're not talking shovelware either! Notable titles this year include New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Excitebots: Trick Racing, Little King's Story, Punch-Out!, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, Rabbids Go Home, The House of the Dead: Overkill, MadWorld, and many more. While most titles aren't the Hollywood-esque blockbusters many gamers expect nowadays, they're titles that are fun and worth a playthrough.

And the winner is...





PlayStation 3

The relaunch worked and demand for PS3s is higher than ever before. What an amazing turn around for Sony and the PlayStation 3. With enough great games to fill anyone's stocking this past Christmas and free online, it's no wonder why my choice is none other than the PS3!

Runner-up: Nintendo Wii

===

All right, boys and ghouls. Why am I talking like the Cryptkeeper? Never mind. This is the moment we've all been waiting for. It's time to find out which game will become GOTY 2009! The anticipation is killing me! Before we delve into this year's Game of the Year, let's check out last year's pick for greatest game:

GOTY 2008: LittleBigPlanet

With 40 cleverly concocted levels already in the game from Media Molecule to explore and collect costumes, stickers, and level pieces in, one of the deepest level creators ever seen on a console, and a multitude of users designing mind-boggingly awesome levels both based off games and totally unique, LittleBigPlanet is my personal Game of the Year. It was a close race with Brawl as both games scored the same, but not only is LBP a new franchise but it's one that I've already spent an exhaustive amount of time creating levels and playing online with friends.

And now to GOTY 2009...

[Game of the Year 2009 ~ Nominees]

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3)


Live the life of a famed treasure hunter as Nathan Drake as he searches for the long lost ships of Marco Polo. Who knows what treasure is still aboard those vessels? But watch out as there's even more challenging adversaries to overcome this time around! Swing from cliff to cliff, vine to vine, or train car to train car as you uncover the mystery behind Marco Polo's lost vessels. With big budget visuals, a Hollywood-style approach to story with interesting set pieces galore, Uncharted 2 is without a doubt the best the PlayStation 3 has to offer.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii)


While not a blockbuster in the traditional sense, New Super Mario Bros. Wii makes up for it in pure, unadulterated fun... as corny as that sounds. There's eight worlds to plow through with each level consistently throwing something new into the fray, local multi-player where players can work together or work apart which is a blast, and cool new power-ups like the ice flower, penguin suit, and propeller cap. No matter if you're young or old, New Super Mario Bros. Wii has some fun in it for you as the best Wii game of 2009.

Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City (360)


Steal cars, bikes, planes, and stick up anyone and everyone in your world. After all, Liberty City is yours to take! Play either episode from the bike gang of Lost and the Damned to the vengeful hero in Ballad of Gay Tony. Rule the city your way, any day, every day, and hope everyone else stays out of the way. Fixing the flaws that hindered Grand Theft Auto IV from being the perfect game it could have been, both Episodes from Liberty City add up to be the very best the 360 offered this past year.

The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (DS)


Choo-choo! The Legend of Zelda returns with an all-new adventure. The problems of Phantom Hourglass have mostly been fixed, the game world is fun to explore with hidden treasures, rupees having a use, optional dungeons, and so much more. A new addition to the franchise is having Zelda around (or at least her spirit) to guide you through your perilous quest and even possessing Phantoms for Link to help solve puzzles. Whether you're a veteran to the series or a newcomer, The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks has something special inside for you.

LocoRoco 2 (PSP)


Join the cute and cuddly LocoRoco team as they try to shoo out the evil Moja from their land. The game's easy to pick up as it only uses the shoulder buttons, but don't be fooled, this game is quite the challenge. In fact, the game is the perfect level of difficulty from beginning to end. Filled with secret areas and levels, optional content, cool bosses, and levels that constantly throw something new at the player, LocoRoco 2 stands tall (even for its short, little size) as the best of the PlayStation Portable's 2009 library.

And the Game of the Year for 2009 is...






...








[GOTY 2009: New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii)]


Another platformer earns game of the year. I must be sensing a pattern here. Regardless, with over seventy-five levels, nine worlds (one hidden), multiple cool power-ups like the awesome propeller cap that lets your hover and float in the air for a limited time, catchy music, and a bounty of hilarious multi-player experiences, there's no doubt in my mind that New Super Mario Bros. Wii is the game of the year.


Runner-up GOTY 2009: The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (DS)

===

There you have it. I hope you enjoyed the second annual SPC Best Of Awards for 2009. It was a lot of work putting this together as you can hopefully see, so I hope that you enjoyed it as much as I did putting it together for you. Until next year, I bid you adieu from the SPC Best Of Awards!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The SuperPhillip Central Best of 2009 Awards - Day Four

Welcome to day four of the SuperPhillip Central Best of 2009 Awards. Tonight is the important night to see which games will go on to the Game of the Year nominations! Are you excited? Yes, of course, you are. Why wouldn't you be? Unless your game wasn't nominated or lost. Then yes, I could see you a little less excited than you should be. Nonetheless, we have five metaphorical awards to give out, so let's get to it! We're awarding the best game for all five major platforms save for PC which we don't follow on SPC.

[Best PSP Game]

And the nominees are...

Resistance: Retribution


Sony Bend does it again by taking a well-known console game and translating it down to portable size with an all-new adventure. This third-person shooter feels like Gears of War mini without all the gratuitous swearing and steroids. If the single campaign doesn't satisfy you (which it will satisfy you), you can hop online and duke it out in up to eight player fragfests! For a well-crafted game, look no further than Resistance: Retribution.

Motorstorm: Arctic Edge


What perfect weather to sit inside and play a game set in the frozen tundra... Perhaps that's the last place you'd like to visit during these cold months, but with Motorstorm: Arctic Edge, there's plenty of winter fun to go around. With twelve all-new tracks, multiple paths on each track, and online multi-player, you can't go wrong with Arctic Edge.

LocoRoco 2


The LocoRoco are back and bigger and better than ever. With new powers, new levels, new mini-games and new colors, LocoRoco 2 is perfect for the whole family. Easy to learn (you just use the shoulder buttons to play almost exclusively) but tough to master, LocoRoco 2 is great for either the casual or veteran gamer.

LittleBigPlanet


The other Best PSP Game nominee from Sony Bend, LittleBigPlanet takes all the fun of its big brother and minimizes it to fit the PSP's screen. All new levels, costumes, and creation tools make LittleBigPlanet on the PSP accessible and fun to nearly everyone. While there's no multi-player this time around, the journey through the creator lands is as fun and challenging as ever! To get your creative juices flowing, there's no other choice than LittleBigPlanet.

PANGYA: Fantasy Golf


Fooooooore! The power of the PANGYA is back with PANGYA: Fantasy Golf. New and familiar courses and characters return in this portable version of Albatross18. Play through the story mode with each character to earn pang to buy new gear, costumes, and accessories for your characters, or hop on and play with friends and foes alike. Golf has never been this crazy!

And the winner is...




LocoRoco 2

Bringing some serious charm and eccentricity to the PSP was much needed. LocoRoco 2 in delivering a fun, family experience for both casuals and veteran gamers with its ingenious level design, ease of control, and gradual difficulty making it so you were seldom frustrated when playing. For only twenty dollars at release, LocoRoco 2 is the PSP's best game of 2009.

Runner-up: Resistance: Retribution

===

[Best Nintendo DS Game]

And the nominees are...

The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks


Link's left Epona and the King of Red Lions for a new mode of transportation, a locomotive train! For the first time ever, Princess Zelda joins Link on his quest to right the wrongs of a maniacal chancellor by restoring the tower of spirits back to normal. The stylus controls are fantastic and feel like you're in total control of Link, and the DS is pushed to the limit hardware-wise. The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks truly is legendary.

Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story


Mario and Luigi are back, and this time Bowser's along for the ride with them. Well, technically, Mario and Luigi are inside Bowser, but I digress. This turn-based action RPG features all the comical, wacky, hilarious action and writing that you remember from past games in the series, and all of the hours of fun you expect. For a rip-roaring good time, there's not much better than Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story.

The Legendary Starfy


Starfy finally makes his way across the Pacific with The Legendary Starfy, known as the fifth installment in Japan. To catch up, Starfy is the prince of a cloud kingdom. When a fugitive rabbit crashes in on him, it's up to Starfy to help protect him from the evil gang of misfits trailing the bunny. Play under and over water as Starfy in this one-of-a-kind platforming adventure!

Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure


Good show, Henry! Meet Henry Hatsworth, a treasure hunter and historian, who has just caught wind of a magical golden suit. Unfortunately, there's others in pursuit of the suit! Play through five platforming worlds while occasionally entering a puzzle mini-game in order to earn new items and bonuses in Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure.

Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box


Professor Layton and his apprentice, Luke, return for an all-new mystery. There's a box that when opened, kills the opener. There must be more to this story than that, and that's exactly what Layton and Luke are off to discover! The game focuses heavily on clever and mightily enjoyable brain buster after brain buster to inch closer and closer to the truth behind the diabolical box.

And the winner is...





The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks

Kirby Canvas Curse can move over because now we have a game that usurps it as best use of the DS' touch screen. Controlling Link and using his weapons is as easy as ever. The addition of Zelda as your partner brings a new dynamic never seen before in the Zelda series. The train is a fun, quirky mode of transportation throughout the land of Hyrule. Better than Phantom Hourglass, and better than a lot of Zeldas, it's The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks.

Runner-up: Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story

===

[Best Xbox 360 Game]

And the nominees are...

Left 4 Dead 2


Head into the Deep South and mutilate some redneck zombies as you play as one of four survivors in this cooperative zombie-bashing video game. Sure, you can use firearms as your old standby, but who needs them when you can smash their undead brains in with an axe, a sword, or one of many other melee weapons?

Forza Motorsport 3


If you're waiting for Gran Turismo 5 still, might I suggest a game that can be perceived as just as worth the wait. Check out the brand-new cars from hot rods to more recent sportscars, race on the all-new tracks and locales, and race online with friends and total strangers alike in Forza Motorsport 3, an incredibly fun simulation racer.

Grand Theft Auto: Episodes of Liberty City


Head back to Liberty City (y'know, again) as you play through one of two exclusive side-stories for the Xbox 360 packaged into one game. There's the Lost and the Damned where you play as a man whose part of a bike gang, and then there's the Ballad of Gay Tony where you play as the titular character. Less frustration, more fun, these side-stories definitely deliver where the original GTA IV failed.

And the winner is...




Grand Theft Auto: Episodes of Liberty City

Both episodes in this package are incredible. They fix nearly all the flaws of the original GTA IV by adding simple things like checkpoints, more rewards, and more things to do. Plus one of them has full-frontal nudity. Who can go wrong with that?!

Runner-up: Left 4 Dead 2

===

[Best PlayStation 3 Game]

And the nominees are...

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves


Nathan Drake returns for more treasure hunting. This time, he's dealing with a new quest-- the search for Marco Polo's lost ships. Unfortunately, a new adversary is after the same thing. Not only that but he has to deal with the ultimate test-- an ex-girlfriend! Uncharted 2 features brilliant set piece after set piece from icy mountains to dodging a helicopter while aboard a train. If it's thrills you want, it's thrills you'll get with Uncharted 2.

Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time


Still separated after the events of Tools of Destruction, Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time has Ratchet still searching for his missing buddy Clank throughout the galaxy. This time around the duo are apart meaning different platforming experiences such as Ratchet's charge boots and Clank's mind-bending time puzzles. Even after six installments, Ratchet & Clank feels as fresh as ever with A Crack in Time!

inFAMOUS


One of the only brand-new IPs on our list of nominations for best of, inFAMOUS follows Cole as he rights the wrongs of his actions. He can decide to be good or evil. Perhaps he can dabble in both? Made by the creators of the excellent Sly Cooper series, inFAMOUS utilizes some of the same platforming action from Sucker Punch's previous work and creates one heck of an electrifying experience.

God of War Collection


A compendium of Kratos' first two console outings in preparation of God of War III, God of War Collection features for the first time, God of War and God of War II in HD. For only forty dollars, it's one heck of a steal... er... deal. Combining visceral action with tight platforming and perplexing puzzles, see how the God of War series got its start with God of War Collection.

And the winner is...





Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Once again, Naughty Dog outdoes itself with Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. It plays and feels like a huge cinematic Hollywood epic with enough action set pieces and firefights to make you sweat! The cover system has been upgraded from infallible to more infallible, the gunplay feels tight and response as does the incredible platforming the game throws at you. Simply put, Uncharted 2 is an experience unlike any other.

Runner-up: Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time

===

[Best Wii Game]

And the nominees are...

New Super Mario Bros. Wii


Mario is back in 2-D on a console for the first time in over a decade with New Super Mario Bros. Wii, and he hasn't lost his stride in all this time. Eight (?) worlds, over seventy levels from towers to castles to airships to plains to beaches to oceans, the ability to play multi-player for the first time ever with up to four players, and the return of the Koopalings! If you're yearning for one of the greatest 2-D games of the year, check out New Super Mario Bros. Wii!

Excitebots: Trick Racing


Get excited as it's time for more Excitebots: Trick Racing. Race as one as many animal bots as you push for first place all the while pulling off insane tricks and hilarious actions. Excitebots is one of the most wacky and whimsical games I played all year, and it's just a blast to play either against the computer or with friends and strangers online. Punt field goals, kick soccer balls into nets, and catch butterflies with this wacky racer!

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10


Despite all the controversy surrounding Tiger Woods now, perhaps this will get even more people to check out the newest game starring his likeness. Wii MotionPlus makes putting, chipping, and driving as realistic as the real thing except you need not walk or drive around the courses yourself! As if you'd ever get on Pebble Beach, but that's another discussion for another day! With more modes, dozens of hours of play time, and fantastic online play, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 earns a green jacket this year.

Little King's Story


How's it feel to be king for a day? Perhaps you'd like to be king all year-round? You can do just that in Little King's Story. Command your troops with the nunchuk as you beat down baddies and monsters of all sizes on your conquest of the world! Who says greed is bad? For a charming adventure starring a precocious young king, Little King's Story is the obvious choice.

The House of the Dead: Overkill


Mother-- shut your mouth! This rail gun experience is the best the Wii has to offer in the genre with the most action, most zombie head-blasting excitement, and more laughs and swear words than an Eddie Murphy comedy special. Just be warned that this game definitely isn't for the kiddies! It's the House of the Dead: Overkill, and it's @$#$ing awesome.

And the winner is...






New Super Mario Bros. Wii


Jump, run, shoot a fire/ice ball, pick up a koopa shell, toss it at teammate, teammate dies. Who needs cooperation when you're playing New Super Mario Bros. Wii? Of course, nothing can beat being in a perfect rhythm with your friends as you run and jump through levels perfectly, bypassing enemies by one pixel away from being hit and killed. There's nothing like it, and that's why New Super Mario Bros. Wii is the Wii's best game.

Runner-up: Excitebots: Trick Racing

===

Stay tuned for tomorrow as I announce the system of the year as well as the all important game of the year for 2009. It's gonna be crazy!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The SuperPhillip Central Best of 2009 Awards - Day Three

We're nearly halfway through our awards for 2009! Tonight we'll be finding out which game is the most overlooked, which developer performed the best this year, and which multiplatform game takes the crown this year. With that under our hats, let's get to the awards.

[Most Overlooked]

It seems now more than ever developers are increasing their production of various different games-- some good, some bad. It gets extremely confusing trying to find the right game for the right person. Furthermore, not every company can afford a big budget advertising run like the big boys, so their games get lost in the shuffle. The following are a list of those games. The nominees are...

Excitebots: Trick Racing (Wii)


Not just your ordinary racing game, the goal in Excitebots isn't just to get first-- it's to get first in style. Scoring stars for performing tricks like spins, bar spins, and wacky tricks like super sandwiches and pies in the faces of clowns. It's a shame that Nintendo gave no advertising towards this game because it definitely deserved to be played by more than the 10,000 opening month players it had.

Klonoa (Wii)


A remake of the original Klonoa, entitled Door to Phantomile, Klonoa features all-new updated visuals. The game also showcases brand-new challenge levels that will players' skills to the ultimate test. These are very difficult to complete. As a thirty dollar title, it's surprising more gamers didn't look into Klonoa, but then again marketing, or lack there of, is once again the culprit.

The Munchables (Wii)


The other thirty dollar game on our list from Namco-Bandai, The Munchables' first month of sales was less than a thousand units total in the United States. Once again, no advertising whatsoever seems to be the cause for these pathetic sales. Despite this, The Munchables was a supremely fun game where you gobbled up baddies until your belly is full, and when you're the Munchables, that will take a long, long time!

Little King's Story (Wii)


Are you seeing a theme yet on games listed here yet? No advertising, no commercials, yet they're expected to sell big amounts on the Wii. Regardless, Little King's Story is another one of such titles, and it's one of the better games on Wii this year. Command your troops, rally them in boss fights and minor skirmishes alike, and expand your kingdom beyond its original borders in Little King' Story for Wii.

A Boy and His Blob (Wii)


2-D is back with a vengeance on Wii in 2009, and A Boy and His Blob is just another game in the style. Part platformer, part puzzler, A Boy and His Boy puts in charge of the eponymous boy, chucking jelly beans at your blob. These beans turn your blob into various forms to pass through dangerous enemies, cross chasms, and take out the dark shadowy baddies the game throws at you. Some frustration, all charm, A Boy and His Blob was greatly overlooked this holiday season.

LittleBigPlanet (PSP)


It's no secret that software sales on the PSP have been greatly affected by piracy. It's also no secret that software sales are extremely low for the system. This was the case with LittleBigPlanet on the PSP. It had nearly all the bells and whistles of its big brother save for multiplayer and an extra tier in levels. We've yet to see PSP Go sales numbers of LBP, but seeing as how few picked up one of these costly portables, the outlook is grim.

And the winner is...




The Munchables (Wii)

There's something to be said about a game that sells less than a thousand copies its first month on store shelves. I don't know what that is except someone isn't doing their marketing right. Nonetheless, the insane wackiness and fun of The Munchables makes the sales null and void. Who can worry about sales when you're chowing down on delectable baddies and saving the day? Not I, for one. Not I.

Runner-up: Excitebots: Trick Racing (Wii)

===

[Developer of the Year]

They're the brave men and women behind our favorite games this year. They're the ones who put in the most effort, the most sacrifice, the most time and money into their projects. They're the ones insuring that their games are the best of the best. They're developers. Developers, developers, developers! These are the nominees...

Naughty Dog


Called Naughty God by some overzealous fans, Naughty Dog was once the developer behind the Crash Bandicoot games. Then Sony moved on from Crash, and ND worked on Jak & Daxter, the lovable duo. Now for the PlayStation 3 generation, Naughty Dog has put out two great adventures starring treasure hunter, Nathan Drake. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is the newest and possibly greatest production Naughty Dog has ever created.

Insomniac Games


After six installments in the franchise, Insomniac Games somehow managed to make the latest installment of the Ratchet & Clank series, A Crack in Time, feel fresh once again. That's no easy task for any long-running franchise, especially for one that hasn't even been around for a decade yet. Congratulations to Insomniac Games for pumping out an awesome new sequel for Ratchet and Clank!

Nintendo EAD


Nintendo put out a lot of great content this year despite having a lackluster year in 2008 save for Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Animal Crossing: City Folk. This year, Nintendo EAD, the most influential studio in Nintendo's possession, created two blockbusters, one for Wii and one for DS, in New Super Mario Bros. Wii and The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks.

Sony Bend


Their name may not be familiar to you, but Sony Bend is known for making a lot of PSP titles. In the past they created both Syphon Filter games for the PSP, and this year they came out with not one but two excellent games in LittleBigPlanet and Resistance: Retribution. Both games look and play faithfully to their bigger brothers, and both are a blast to play.

Rocksteady Games


The fine folks behind Batman: Arkham Asylum came out seemingly from nowhere and came out with one of the best games of the year. Not just for comic book fans, mind you, but for everyone. They built the game using the Unreal 3 Engine, crafted and honed an intricate story with familiar characters from the Batman universe, and made Batman feel like Batman more than ever before.

And the winner is...




Nintendo EAD

Pumping out two game of the year contenders in one year is no easy task, yet somehow, Nintendo EAD has managed to do it. With New Super Mario Bros. Wii and The Legend of Zelda: Spirit, Nintendo once again shows their mastery with game design and the most important principle-- fun.

Runner-up: Rocksteady Games

===

[Multiplatform Game of the Year]

What's great about multi-platform gaming is that even if you only have one of the consoles you're more than likely going to get a chance to play the games of your choosing! Exclusives are slowly going the way of the dodo, so it's with that note I present my personal picks for multiplatform game of the year! And the nominees are...

Batman: Arkham Asylum (PS3, 360)


Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na. Batman! This isn't Adam West Batman at all. It's a much darker, brooding Batman voiced by Kevin Conroy and also Joker voiced by Mark "Skywalker" Hamill. Never before has being the bat felt more intuitive and right than he is in Batman: Arkham Asylum. The bat is back, and it's Batman: Arkham Asylum and developer Rocksteady Games that have done it.


Resident Evil 5 (PS3, 360)


Coming off Resident Evil 4, a game highly regarded as the best survival-horror game of all time, is no easy task. There's a lot to live up to. And while Resident Evil 5 isn't better than Leon's escapades, it still is a fun romp. The addition of cooperative both offline and online brings even more fun and action to this adrenaline-pumping installment of the series.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (PS3, 360)


War never changes except when you're going from one Call of Duty to the next! Last year was all about going back to World War II while with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, it's all about war in the present. Play through a single-player campaign straight out of Hollywood, and then enter the exciting dog-eat-dog world of multi-player. If you want to go in hard and deep, then pick up a copy of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 for either HD system.

Assassin's Creed II (PS3, 360)


Return to the world of Altair in Assassin's Creed II. Scale the sides of buildings, leap off rooftop to rooftop, and venture the city as you scout out potential targets and slay them. The original Assassin's Creed was somewhat of a disappointment as it became quite tedious to play. That isn't the case with the newest Assassin's Creed epic!

And the winner is...




Batman: Arkham Asylum (PS3, 360)

As I said before, this game came out from nowhere and it's extremely good. I'm not just saying this as a fan of the bat, but as a fan of the actual game. It's fun for anyone interested in an excellent action-adventure title that just so happens to feature the dark knight. Never has playing as the bat felt so good, so right, so faithful to my ideals.

Runner-up: Resident Evil 5 (PS3, 360)

===

That's all from day three of the SPC Best of 2009 Awards. Tomorrow night we're getting down to the nitty gritty as we award the best of the best on each platform! See you then!

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