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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%
Zkuq said:

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).

FF13's flaws IMO are just common JRPG subgenre flaws for the most part, like a frequent lack of appreciation for subtlety. And generic, squealing anime girl Vanille who's highly annoying chirpy infantilization grates on my nerves. And the music's nothing to write home about. Those are small potatoes to me in comparison to the soullessness of 15's overarching storyline. It's super easy to tell that a lot of heart and soul went into Final Fantasy XIII's tale about finding your own purpose in life and the importance of having one and the pacing thereof. The 15th entry, by contrast, felt to me more like a half-hearted concession to Western design tastes. And also much too heavily male-oriented for me.

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This was the year I joined the 7th generation, picking up both a Wii and an Xbox 360.

Both were amazing; coming off of PS2, Gamecube, and Xbox, games like Gears of War and Bioshock looked unbelievably gorgeous, drawing me into their rich, atmospheric worlds. 

Then there was the Wii; playing Wii Sports for the first time felt downright futuristic, while Mario Galaxy and Twilight Princess showed that even without HD graphics, Nintendo still knew how to create deep, masterful adventures packed with charm.

It was also my first year of University, and my RA (Residential Advisor, basically a second year in charge of our dorm floor) had a PS3 that any of us were allowed to use; Uncharted 2 blew my mind.

Good times.

There is no other right answer

Assassin's Creed 2

Another fantastic year for me.

Dragon Age: Origins has shown that Bioware still has what it gets to make a good CRPG. It had some of the best written companion characters, and though not without faults (especially mechanical, trying to simulate WoW too much), it was really satisfying experience.

Assassin's Creed II improved on most aspect of the original. I still prefer original for its setting and story, but I liked this one quite a bit as well.

Red Faction: Guerrilla came as a surprise to me. Red Faction is FPS with destructible environment, and somebody decided to seize the day and make GTA clone out of it. On Mars. And it worked. It had destructible buildings, engaging world and "people vs mega Corps" story. As a sucker for Mars Trilogy (Red, Green, Blue Mars), it was right up my alley.

Wii Sports Resort saw a lot of gameplay time in my home. Such a fun collection of minigames.

Trine started in 2009. Beautiful physics based puzzle platformer that could be played in local 3 player coop. Loved it.

Risen was "unofficial" Gothic, since Piranha Bytes at the time lost rights to Gothic, they had to make another world. Which was a blessing in disguise, since they reverted to the more intimate design of Gothic 1/2, instead of the fully open world approach of Gothic 3. A real feast for Gothic fans.

Torchlight was Diablo "clone", but for some reason I enjoyed it more than Diablo. Not sure why, but some of co-designers of Diablo made that one.

Mini Ninjas was something I enjoyed a lot for its gameplay, world, characters and lovely art  - I never understood why it didn't get more popular.

Plants vs. Zombies was another game that surprised me a lot - it looked like Flash game, its "story" was about plants defending  a lawn from zombies, yet i couldn't get my hands off of it.

My favourite game from that year is Machinarium. I knew of Amanita Design from their short point&click adventure games, Samorost 1/2, but this was their first full length game. It immediately skyrocketed to my all-time favourites for its beautiful art, interesting world and characters, and fun and clever puzzles.

And then there's Demon's Souls. I have to admit, when it came out, I thought "so, like Severance: Blade of Darkness, but with clumsier and slower combat, but with respawns", so I didn't really quite catch on at first. It took me some time to disregard its average (but serviceable) combat and appreciate it for what I came to primarily appreciate Souls for - exploration and rich atmosphere.

But I have to give my vote to Batman: Arkham Asylum. As a kid in the 80s, I didn't care for Batman comics, SpiderMan is where I was, but when it came to games, it was the other way around - there aren't really any Spiderman games that I really loved, but plenty of Batman games. And Arkham Asylum was one that really shown that AAA game can be about superhero and be fantastic. Enjoyed sequels as well, but this one is still my favourite.

Honourable mention goes to Angry Birds. At the time I thought "oh, Crash the Castle ripoff" thinking it won't amount to much - boy, was I wrong.

EDIT: Another causal game launched that year, to become a worldwide phenomenon - FarmVille.

Last edited by HoloDust - on 17 November 2023

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Demon's Souls for me this year. It's actually the first game I got for my PS3. It was back in 2011 that I finally saved up enough money for an HD system and it had to be a PS3 (been a PS kid forever lol). I originally wanted to get Dark Souls since that game was mega popular at the time but since it was brand new, it was too expensive for me to get with the system.

I looked around for used games in the online marketplace of my country and I managed to find a used copy of Demon's for a really good price. I said "why the hell not". I went through that game 2-3 times before I had enough money to get more games and what an experience it was. I loved the combat, the mood, the bosses, the soundtrack and even the very mysterious plot was very memorable for me. I specially loved both possible endings and the game ended up being my N1 favorite for PS3 to this day.

Oh and when I did get Dark Souls down the road, I ended up preferring Demon's by A LOT! Haha

Little Kings Story for me this time.

Tough choice between Arkham Asylum and Wii Sports Resort. The latter is the personification of fun, while the former is the standard for 3d Metroidvanias and superhero games. I'm gonna go with Arkham as a more 'complete' game and to try to combat my Nintendo fanboyism.

Bayonetta, Left for Dead 2, and Assassin's Creed 2 are also amazing games.  I have always found the Uncharted games and Modern Warfare 2 to be very overrated.  I do get the hype for MW2, at least, but for me it's when COD began to lose its identity and devolved into playable Michael Bay movies instead of the gritty war games the franchise had strived for before, and only the first 2 Black Ops games approached the quality of the pre-MW2 CODs.  I vastly prefer the gameplay of the first 2 Tomb Raider reboot games to anything from the Uncharted series.  Naughty Dog games just never click with me and outside of the graphics I don't get the hype.

New Super Mario Brothers Wii is probably underrated these days because of how the series stagnated and died with the 2012 releases.  But in 2009 it was incredibly fresh and a joy to play, and the 4-player co-op was innovative.  But it wasn't game of the year material the way something like Wonder is.

Last edited by h2ohno - on 17 November 2023

Uncharted 2

Plants vs. Zombies

Resident Evil 5

Demon's Souls

Dragon Age: Origins


Voted Uncharted 2 this time. My favorite in the series and one of the best action adventure games ever. They knew that the scene climbing up a train that is hanging down a cliff was so great they needed to use it twice.

Shout out to League of Legends. A game that gets more hate than it deserve. Few games can match it in the free to play subset of games. It is a good multiplayer experience, some of the spin off games are fantastic and their music is one of the best in the industry. I feel like their revenue set up is fair as well, at no point have I felt like I need to spend money in order to be competitive or enjoy the game. It took the moba genre out of Warcraft III and made it a standalone experience growing the esport part of the industry a substantial amount. I have a lot of respect for the game.

Last edited by Pajderman - on 17 November 2023