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Forums - Gaming Discussion - Second Runoff Round 2009, Game of the Year


Runoff 2.0, Game of the Year 2009

Batman: Arkham Asylum 23 48.94%
Uncharted 2 24 51.06%

Lightning fast, razor sharp, and bursting with style, both the game and its protagonist oozes cool from every pore.
At a time when the industry was focusing mostly on gritty seriousness, Bayo throws all that out the window and prioritizes sheer fun above all else, and the result is sublime.

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At the time I probably would've opted for Uncharted 2, but that series hasn't aged so well for me. My pick now is Left 4 Dead 2.

I have yet to play Demon's Souls; that could've been a contender for me, since I love the Souls series. I'm still hoping the remake comes to PC one day...

Lots of good titles in the 'other' list too - I particularly have a soft spot for the Halo Wars and Trials series.

Last edited by Machina - on 16 November 2023

Demon's Souls, easily.

The first and the best souls game, one of the most important games from the 2000s spawning a whole sub-genre from itself.

Amazing atmosphere, amazing design, amazing lore, hard as hell right in the middle of the age of hand holding games, "wanna progress? cool, beat the whole level and the boss in the same go and you can progress", one of the funiest online mechanics ever with being able to post fake hints in everyone else's world and also being able to invade them or get invaded yourself.

It's just a freaking masterpiece, and the game I was sure was going to be 7 gen's best until the very until Naughty Dog decided otherwise.

Mad respect for this game, my first true platinum (had gotten Assassin's Creed 2 before just so my PSN account would lose its virginity because I didn't care about trophies yet), and also the game that made me be friend with one of the coolest guys that has ever joined this site, estebxx.

Left 4 Dead 2 gets my vote, simply because it's still fun. I didn't actually play the game in 2009, but that's not an issue. Other strong contenders for me include Uncharted 2, Assassin's Creed II, and... Final Fantasy XIII.

I'd really love to vote for FFXIII, but the game has some serious flaws. Still, there's something magical about that game, and it's something that Final Fantaxy XV, which is in many ways a much better game, lacks - and I'm not getting that good vibes about XVI either (but I haven't played it yet).

Uncharted 2 and Assassin's Creed II are both in the same category for me: solid sequels to games that really wowed me at the time. They both also suffered because of that, since they failed to create that same wow effect. I prefer the sequels to the first games, but at the time, there was some disappointment. Still, they're great games, and I'm glad there's something else so I don't have to pick between these two (but I suspect I'd prefer Uncharted 2, because it is a better game in every way, and it's more faithful to the first game than Assassin's Creed II is).

Last edited by Zkuq - on 16 November 2023

Nathan Drake has nice buns

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For me it's Uncharted 2, followed by Arkham Asylum, Assassin's Creed II, and Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time

Dragon Quest 9 (DS) was my favourite of the year, followed by a tie between Little King Story (Wii) and Monster Hunter Tri (Wii). I also had loads of fun with Just Dance, one of the few times where a “party game” actually worked as a party game (other times included certain board games and WarioWare Smooth Moves) - as prior to that, the closest thing was Guitar Hero or Rock Band - I had to get rid of those games because certain dudes loved breaking them out during parties - within 20 minutes that party would become a sausage party (most of the girls would clear out or be in the kitchen looking for an escape). During that brief 3 year period in the Wii’s second half, the Wii was the authentic party machine. I also enjoyed Assassin’s Creed 2 quite a lot, and Final Fantasy 13 more than most people (although, I am an RPG guy and a big Final Fantasy fan dating back to the first game and original spin-offs). I didn’t play Uncharted 2, but feel that game looked good.

Dragon Quest 9 is a lot like Secret of Mana, it works better as a co-op multiplayer RPG, at least the second phase (more on that shortly). I probably put about 300 hours into this one - way, way more than I’d ever put into single save on any game up to this time. It was more or less the big game of the DS generation for me.

This game has two phases. The first is a traditional linear Dragon Quest story that lasts about 40-60 hours. In the much larger second phase, it becomes an open world RPG with quests, quest lines, and procedurally generated dungeons using all parts of the original game, adding hero characters and enemy bosses from previous DQ games - you also get to resurrect a fallen civilization (something people wanted to do in Breath of the Wild). As it sounds, the second phase is multiple times longer than the first.

The co-op multiplayer is a lot of fun, 2-4 players - it’s closer to Monster Hunter than Secret of Mana - except better. Most co-op multiplayer games limit players to the proximity of each other - but Dragon Quest 9 allowed all players full run of the world, in parties or independently. The only limitation is if the primary player hasn’t completed the main story yet—other players are limited to the locations currently available to the primary player. I have yet to find another co-op RPG that isn’t some kind of MMORPG (with the game world located on a server) that allows this level of freedom; surprisingly, since local co-op multiplayer is much more common these days, especially on Switch. Animal Crossing NH allows players to visit each other’s world and have the full run, but the world is substantially smaller than DQ9.

2009 was a great year. A lot of different game types for different types of gamers and different gaming situations. Perhaps the best year of the generation.

Last edited by Jumpin - on 16 November 2023

I describe myself as a little dose of toxic masculinity.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii, but special mention should go to Punch-Out.

In the poll list I've played...

-Assassin's Creed II (PC)
-New Super Mario Bros (Wii)
-Batman Arkham Asylum (PC)
-Bayonetta (WiiU)
-Uncharted 2 (PS3)

Out of them all - I vote Assassin's Creed II

Huge improvement over the first one and I just love Ezio's story/background , the lore fleshed out really well which paved way to Brotherhood and Revelations which I also enjoyed.

(Too bad III and Liberation werent as great but at least I'm enjoying Black Flag now lol)

Cultural Impact: The Angry Birds. Seriously, in its first six years of existence, games from the Angry Birds series were been downloaded more than 3 billion with a B times, which I think made it just about the most widely-played game franchise ever to exist. The Angry Birds era felt like the pinnacle of casual gaming vogue. Even my mom got into it and she wasn't much of a gamer outside of Tetris. Rekindled a bit of a gaming interest in her during her latter years. (Shh, I played it too. Though I did not exactly become obsessed.)

Probably League of Legends deserves a second-place mention in this category for its massive role in popularizing esports.

Favorite Games: My favorite from this year was Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. It had style. It had flow. It was legit cinematic. Though honestly, for similar reasons, I actually also liked Final Fantasy XIII (although it didn't come out until 2010 here in the U.S.). But Uncharted 2's set pieces were in a league of their own in terms of heart-pounding intensity and sheer awesome. Plus Among Thieves has Chloe and FF13 has, ugh, Vanille. So that's the difference. Though Lightning is one of the best female characters in the whole FF franchise in my opinion and that does make up some of the difference. But really it's between those two games here for me.

I think it may be worth adding here that, speaking of FF13 a bit more, briefly, that this was really the last entry in the franchise that I much enjoyed. It's amazing how differently it was received by region. Over here, it averaged an 82/83% score on Metacritic, but over in Japan, Famitsu gave it a 39 out of 40 score, equivalent to a 97.5%. Cultural differences right there! Over here, you saw lots of people complain about it being too linear, which felt like a new sort of gripe influenced by the recent re-popularization of free-roaming Western RPGs over the course of recently-preceding years. That complaint didn't seem to exist in Japanese media. And you know, its world did feel inorganically linear, to be sure, like many older games did, but the streamlined nature of the whole experience lent to it a more exciting feel; a near-constant sense of forward momentum both narratively and in terms of battle progression that sustained ones attention and interest throughout...except maybe chapter 11, the 'open world' chapter, where that crashes to a halt for no especially good reason and you do a bunch of mostly forgettable chores and level-grinding to compensate for an arbitrary difficulty spike. Chapter 11 was the fan-favorite in the Western world. I never did get that. It was my least favorite part of the game. In 2023, most of our games feel a lot like Chapter 11 of FF13 to me and I miss other sorts of adventures commonly existing in the AAA landscape.

(I actually never played the original Demon's Souls. Thought that may be worth mentioning. I do own the PlayStation 5 remake though.)

Other favorites of mine from '09 included Muramasa: The Demon Blade, mostly for its gorgeous painterly backgrounds and boss animations, Flower (a favorite and super-relaxing casual game of mine), and the highly amusing Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story.

The ranking of favorites:

1. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
2. Final Fantasy XIII
3. Flower
4. Muramasa: The Demon Blade
5. Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story

Smaller list than usual for me because '09 was a suckier year in gaming than usual for my taste.

Last edited by Jaicee - on 16 November 2023