It was a wild ride this year in the video game industry, with countless titles being released that will forever be cemented in many of our hearts, At the same time, there were several games that will be burnt into our retinas- for all the wrong reasons. Luckily, we here at Review Fix try and make sense of it all as we count down our picks for video games of the year.
Best Game: Tons of great games came out this year, several of which that garnered tons of awards. Even though we don’t have the opportunity to break them into as many categories as we’d like to, here are our picks on the best games of 2009.
Beatles Rock Band: One of the best music games ever-produced, on arguably the greatest band of all time, “Beatles Rock Band” will stand the test of time as one of the best tributes to the Fab Four, ever.
You can check out my review of the game here.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii: Nintendo’s system may not have the best selection of third-party games, but as always, they deliver a top-notch re-visioning of their franchise game in the “New Super Mario Bros.” Fun, challenging and always endearing, this game is a soon to be classic.
Demon Souls: Atlus shocked the world when this game was released last month to critical acclaim. A masterpiece of modern video game design, “Demon Souls” is as beautiful as it is difficult. And boy is it tough.
You can check out Nick Valente’s review of the game here.
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars: Just because the game didn’t sell well isn’t an indication of its quality, but more of its intended demographic. The DS isn’t a system fans of this series usually turn to, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a phenomenal game. As a matter of fact, it’s arguably the best game ever released on the DS.
Batman Arkham Asylum: Batman games for a long time have been big hits or big misses. Thankfully, the newest title in the long list of Caped Crusader games lives up to the hype and then some.
You can check out Ron Hatcher’s review of the game here.
Winner: While “Demon Souls” is an amazing game that will undoubtedly usher Atlus and the rest of the Action/RPG genre into the future, “Batman Arkham Asylum” is the game of the year because it is easily accessible to every gamer and doesn’t detract players with incredibly difficult gameplay. Instead, while it is far from a cakewalk, it’s just hard enough to keep you playing and just like “Demon Souls,” immerses you completely in its world. Unlike most titles based on source material, this game has it all, excellent graphics, a one of a kind story and solid gameplay and control. In the end, you can’t ask for more… and you won’t.
Worst Game: Yeah, there were some stinkers this year; check out our pick for the biggest pile of crap.
Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Slayers: Bikinis, zombies, and swords. Can you ask for more here? Um, yeah, how about making the game fun? Aside from scandalously-clad women, this game offers absolutely nothing but a cheap and dirty gameplay experience. If there was ever a way of catching an STD by playing a video game, this would be it.
Rogue Warrior: Bethesda broke our hearts with this disaster of a game. Everything about it is knock off, even the game’s cover, which looks like it was stolen from a “Punisher” comic.
Stalin vs. Martians: The title says it all. In the middle of an economic depression, it seems that Dreamlore games thought this title would be the thing to take their company to the next level. Why do we get the feeling that the holiday season was filled with pink pieces of paper for anyone associated with this game?
Even the trailer is proof enough that this game should have never been released.
Winner: Any game that has a former communist leader dancing [like he’s in an episode of “Seinfeld”] every time he’s on the screen is worth a look, but if you look at “Stalin vs Martians” long enough, you may never want to dance, or play video games again.
Biggest Sleeper: Most likely, you’ll have no idea about any of the games mentioned here. Shame on you!
A Boy and His Blob: A classic on the gameboy in the early ’90s, Majesco came out of nowhere and ended up producing one of the most enjoyable games on the Wii.
Wet: Stylish and brutal, “Wet” got little fanfare once it was released, but its combination of several unique methods of gameplay, effectively borrowing elements from “Prince of Persia,” “Ninja Gaiden” and “Max Payne” make it a winner. Plus, the ever-lucious Eliza Dushku voices the main character. One word: meow.
You can read my demo preview of this game here.
Raiden Fighters Aces: In spite of possessing three great shooting games in one package for a bargain bin price, this game completely slipped under the radar.
Winner: A Boy and His Blob: Cute, endearing and a tribute to the classic it was based on, this title is an example of what the Wii is capable of when it doesn’t depend on the technology that makes it so entertaining to casual gamers.
Worst Sequel: Game companies have always tried to make money off of lackluster sequels. Here are our picks for the worst of ’em.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2: It’s not a bad game, it just lacks the polish, depth and fun that made the first game in the series so much fun.
You can read my review of this game here.
Tekken 6: A great game, but essentially a rip-off of the other games in the series. After a few hours of gameplay it becomes painfully obvious that this is “Tekken: Dark Ressurection” on steroids. Much like the game’s main baddie, Heihachi Mishima, this game is getting older and losing more hair by the day.
You can read my review of this game here.
Resident Evil 5: While “Resident Evil 4” was heralded as the best game in the series, its younger brother, in spite of being slightly better looking, lacked a personality and was a bit socially awkward. Short and lacking the gameplay depth and scare factor of its predecessors, it seems that the series is headed in a different direction.
You can read Chris Butera’s review of the game here.
Resident Evil 5: Say whatever you want to say about “Tekken 6” and MUA 2, but in the end, both of those games were solid enough to stand on their own two feet. “Resident Evil 5,” however, is a short and sullen experience that fails to the live up to the legacy of its name.