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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