2009 in Review

By Darky, Posted 26 Jan 2010

I'm back with a blog, after nearly a year of absence. I've been fine,but very busy. I won't promise I'll stay around for too much, but oh well, at least from time to time. So here's my year in review blog. Hope you're all well and A-OK.

Best and Worst games of 2009

Most surprisingly good game

Mentions:-Ghostbusters (9.2)
         -Borderlands (8.6)
         -Torchlight (8.4)
         -Cryostatis (9.6)
         -Zeno Clash (9)
         -Bionic Commando (8.6)

WINNER: Bionic Commando

Best story

Mentions:-Manhunt 2 (7.4)
         -Cryostasis (9.6)
         -Ghostbusters (9.2)
         -Zeno Clash (9)
         -Braid (9.4)


 Braid offers us a non-coventional tale of love and friendship, time , dreams, imagination and forgiveness, It is epic!

Best Graphics, Techincal

Mentions:-Call of Juarez Bound in Blood (9.6)
         -DiRT 2 (9.8)
         -Batman Arkham Asylum (9.4)
         -Mirror's Edge (9.2)
         -Resident Evil 5 (8.8)
         -Risen (9)
         -James Cameron's Avatar (8.6)
         -Zeno Clash (9)


Best Graphics, Artistic

Mentions:-Trine (8.6)
         -Zeno Clash (9)
         -Borderlands (8.6)
         -Damnation (7.2)
         -The Saboteur (9)


Best New Character:

Mentions:-Morrigan (Dragon Age Origins)
         -Morgan LeFlay (Tales of Monkey Island)
         -Marquis DeSinge (Tales of Monkey Island)
         -Sean Devlin (The Saboteur)
         -Shale (Dragon Age Origins)

WINNER: Morgan LeFlay (Tales of Monkey Island)

Best atmosphere

Mentions:-Red Faction Guerilla (8.2)
         -Batman Arkham Asylum (9.4)
         -Call of Duty 6-Modern Warfare 2 (9.4)
         -Shellshock 2-Blood Trails (7.4)
         -Cryostasis-The Sleep of Reason (9.6)

WINNER: Cryostasis-The Sleep of Reason

Best soundtrack:

Mentions:-Saint's Row 2 (8.4)
         -Burnout Paradise The Ultimate Box (9.5)
         -Painkiller Resurrection (4.8)
         -Borderlands (8.6)
         -Anno 1404-Dawn of Discovery (9.2)

WINNER: Burnout Paradise-The Ultimate Box

Best sound:

Mentions:-Cryostasis-The Sleep of Reason (9.6)
         -Shellshock 2-Blood Trails (7.4)
         -Dragon Age Origins (9.4)
         -Ghostbusters (9.2)
         -Batman Arkham Asylum (9.4)

WINNER: Cryostasis-The Sleep of Reason

Best voice acting:

Mentions:-Star Wars The Force Unleashed (8.6)
         -Ghostbusters (9.2)
         -Tales of Monkey Island (8.8)
         -Batman Arkham Asylum (9.4)
         -Dragon Age Origins (9.4)
         -Serious Sam HD-The First Encounter (8.6)

WINNER: Star Wars The Force Unleashed

Funniest Game:

Mentions:-Ghostbusters (9.2)
         -Tales of Monkey Island Episode 3-Lair of the Leviathan (9.6)
         -Serious Sam HD-The First Encounter (8.6)
         -Call of Juarez Bound in Blood (9.6)
         -Secret of the Monkey Island (9.6)

WINNER: Ghostbusters

Best Bossfights

Mentions:-Ghostbusters (9.2)
         -Lego Indiana Jones 2-The Adventure Continues (8.6)
         -Wolfenstein (8)
         -X-Men Origins Wolverine (8.8)
         -Prototype (8.8)

WINNER: Wolfenstein

Most Improved sequel:

Mentions:-Zuma's Revenge (8.2)
         -Lego Indiana Jones 2-The Adventure Continues (8.6)
         -Anno 1404-Dawn of Discovery (9.2)
         -Football Manager 2010 (9)

WINNER: Lego Indiana Jones 2-The Adventure Continues

Most Memorable content:

Mentions:-spraying a church with **** (Saint's Row 2)
         -EOS Raid (Red Faction Guerilla)
         -Croc's lair (Batman Arkham Asylum)
         -History Museum fight (Ghostbusters)
         -first encounter with big monster (Cryostasis)

WINNER: Croc's Lair (Batman Arkham Asylum)

Most Violent game:
Mentions:-Prototype (8.8)
         -X-Men Origins Wolverine (8.8)
         -Painkiller Resurrection (4.8)
         -Still Life 2 (7.8)
         -Manhunt 2 (7.4)
WINNER: Manhunt 2

Most Original game:

Mentions:-Zeno Clash (9)
         -Braid (9.2)
         -The Void (9.4)
         -Trine (8.6)
         -Raven Squad (6.4)

WINNER: The Void

Best Characters:

Mentions:-Dragon Age Origins (9.4)
         -Risen (9)
         -Tales of the Monkey Island (8.8)
         -Zeno Clash (9)
         -Lego Indiana Jones 2-The Adventure Continues (8.6)

WINNER: Dragon Age Origins

Most Disappointing Game:

Mentions:-Guitar Hero World Tour (7.8)
         -FEAR 2 Project Origin (8)
         -Resident Evil 5 (8.8)
         -The Godfather II (7.4)
         -FIFA 10 (5)

WINNER: FEAR 2 Project Origin

Worst Game Everyone Played:

Mentions:-Watchmen-The End is Nigh (6.6)
         -Star Wars The Clone Wars Republic Heroes (6.4)
         -FIFA 10 (5)


Best game nobody played:

Mentions:-Necrovision (8)
         -Tales of Monkey Island (8.8)
         -Battlestrike-Shadow of Stalingrad (7.8)
         -Cryostasis-The Sleep of Reason (9.6)
         -Serious Sam HD-The First Encounter (8.6)

WINNER:Cryostasis The Sleep of Reason

Best Expansion Pack:

Mentions:-Borderlands-The Island of Dr. Ned (8.8)
         -FEAR 2 Reborn (9.2)
         -World in Conflict Soviet Assault (9.2)
         -Dragon Age Origins- The Stone Prisonier (N/A)


Least Improved Sequel:

Mentions:-The Godfather II (7.4)
         -Left 4 Dead 2 (8.8)
         -Manhunt 2 (7.4)
         -FIFA 10 (5)
         -Chronicles of Riddick-Assault on Dark Athena (8.2)

WINNER: The Godfather 2

Best Action

Nominees:-Ghostbusters (9.2)
         -Batman Arkham Asylum (9.4)
         -Saint's Row 2 (8.4)
         -X-Men Origins Wolverine (8.8)
         -Prototype (8.8)
         -Bionic Commando (8.6)
         -The Saboteur (9)
         -Star Wars The Force Unleashed (8.6)

WINNER: Batman Arkham Asylum

  This year had clearky excelled in high quality action games, & it is really heart-warming to see all these great games as an excellent way to enterntain yourself. A lot to

choose from: the mayhem and destruction in Prototype, the varied GTA-style, very fun options from Saints Row 2, the unforgetable adaptation of Ghostbusters, a Paris WWII based

game The Saboteur, superb action-platforming combination in Bionic Commando, as well as two great series based games, Star Wars The Force Unleahed and X-Men Origins Wolverine. But

the true winner of the year is none other than Batman Arkham Asylum, a game with nearly perfect fighting and stealth techniques, all combined with stunning visuals, top notch

voice acting, memorable characters and atmosphere, which all appeal even to someone who's never been a Batman fan...make Batman Arkham Asylum the best action game of the year.

Best FPS

Nominees:-Cryostasis-Sleep of Reason (9.6)
         -Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 (9.4)
         -Call of Juarez Bound in Blood (9.6)
         -FEAR 2 Reborn (9.2)

WINNER: Call of Juarez Bound in Blood

 Strictly refering to shooting experience, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 offers you the best you can hope for. It is diverse, fast paced and incredibly well done, and although

short, it keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. However, the superbly executed western shooter prequel, Call of Juarez Bound in Blood, wins on a larger scale of

content. I also need to mention the hour long DLC for FEAR 2, Reborn, which proved out to be not only substantially better than the original, but also one of the best FPS

experiences up to date.

Best RPG

Nominees:-Risen (9)
         -Borderlands (8.6)
         -Torchlight (8.4)
         -Dragon Age Origins (9.4)
WINNER: Dragon Age Origins

 The head-to-head contenders for this cathegory were Dragon Age Origins, the true follower of Baldur's Gate, and Risen, the new Gothic-style game.While Risen has substantially

better graphics, and is more optimized, Dragon Age benefits from better music and voice acting. While Risen is better than Dragon Age on account of the open world, more realistic

environment, Dragon Age kicks its @$$ regarding the character and party mechanics. And the list could go on forever. Overall though, mainly thanks to the old skool style, Dragon

Age wins over Risen. Torchlight is also a great Diablo-style H&S, and Borderlands a loot-race based shooter/RPG.

Best Strategy:

Nominees:-Warhammer 40000 Dawn of War II (9.2)
         -Plants vs Zombies (10)
         -Anno 1404-Dawn of Discovery (9.2)
         -Football Manager 2010 (9.2)
         -The Sims 3 (9)
         -World in Conflict Soviet Assault (9.2)

WINNER: Anno 1404 Dawn of Discovery

 Warhammer 40000 Dawn of War II offered us Warhammer in improved Company of Heroes style. Sims 3 offered us more and better of the same ,as World in Conflict Soviet Assault did.

Plants vs Zombies came out of the blue and proved out to be a magnificent casual game. But the true winner of the year is clearly Anno 1404-Dawn of Discovery, which finally lived

up to its true potential and became what it was ment to be:the perfect historical economically-based city builder.

Best Racing Simulator

Nominees:-DiRT 2 (9.8)
         -Race On (8.6)
         -Need for Speed Shift (9.5)

WINNER: DiRT 2 AND Need for Speed Shift

 2009 has been a superb year for all racing simulation fans, with two big titles to satisfy their needs. While Need for Speed Shift is no doubt the best on-track racing simulator

up to date, DiRT 2 combines the best content from last year's GRID with off-road tracks, resulting in the perfect off-road racing simulator. As superb as they both are, they both

deserve the prize. In your face, the ones who thought they were "driving" a car in Most Wanted/Carbon and such!

Best Arcade

Nominees:-Clutch (7.6)
         -Burnout Paradise The Ultimate Box (9.5)
         -Tom Clancy's HAWX (8.2)
         -FUEL (7.8)

WINNER: Burnout Paradise The Ultimate Box

 While HAWX is a very fun and satisfying modern flight arcade, Clucth is worthy of comparison with Carmaggedon & Fuel impressed me with the huge world, the winner is still, by

far, Burnout Paradise, a wonderful port, a game that will never bore you. Thank you, EA and Criterion!

Best Platformer:-Braid (9.2)
                -Trine (8.6)
                -Bionic Commando Rearmed (8.4)
                -Mirror's Edge (9.2)

WINNER: Mirror's Edge      

 Hard to catalogue in a genre, Mirror's Edge is basically a 3D platformer combined with puzzle solving, fist fighting and shooting. But so fun, pleasurable, fast paced and utterly

memorable the platforming is, that it clearly deserves the title of Best Platformer of 2009. Second place goes to Bionic Commando Rearmed, a classy 2,5D platformer, loyal to the

old formula, very funny and satisfying.

Best Adventure game:

Nominees:-Runaway-A Twist of Fate (8.8)
         -Tales of Monkey Island Episode 3-Lair of the Leviathan (9.6)
         -Secret of Monkey Island (9.6)
         -Tales of Monkey Island Episode 2-Siege of Spinner Cay (9.2)
         -Still Life 2 (7.8)

WINNER: Secret of Monkey Island

 A Monkey Island dominated year this 2009, with the classic series making its comeback. Awhile Telltalles's Tales of Monkey Island season hit it big with episode 3, it still can't

compare with the Sam & Max previous works, so the awesome remake The Secret of Monkey Island Special Edition grabs the gold. The third and final chapter in the Runaway series, A

Twist of Fate, also gets a memorable mention.

Best Sports game:

Nominees:-Football Manager 2010 (9)
         -NBA 2K10 (9)
         -Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 (7.6)


 Because this year FIFA 10 was a complete and total disgrace on the PC, and EA's FIFA Manager also went down in quality, Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 claimed the best football

simulator of the year for the first time, while Football Manager 2010 finally surpassed its direct competitor. The award however goes to NBA 2K10, with my regards to 2K Games for

showing us that a series can evolve.

Best Fighting game:

WINNER:Street Fighter IV (9)

 YOu can easily win if you have no competitors, that's for sure. But it's not only that, but the fact that Street Fighter IV is not just an excellent fighting game, but also one

of the best up to date on the PC, worthy of its name.

Best Puzzle game:

Nominees:-Puzzle Kingdoms (8)
         -Bookworm Adventures Chapter 2 (7.5)
         -Zuma's Revenge (8.2)

WINNER: Zuma's Revenge

 Bookworm was OK. Puzzle Quest Galactrix was a major disappointment, while Puzzle Kingdoms was a solid copy of Puzzle Quest Challenge of the Warlords, but far from being that

good. Zuma's Revenge was a great follow up to the popular casual game, with plenty of content to offer. Guess it's pretty clear who won.

Best producer:

Nominees:-Electronic Arts (EA)
         -Pandemic Studios

WINNER: Pandemic Studios

 Even though they do not exist anymore, Pandemic Studios deserve the title of Best Producer of 2009. First with Bionic Commando, but their piece of resistance was clearly The

Saboteur, an excellent game in which they clearly invested a lot of passion and love. Too bad it brought the end to them. My congratulations Pandemic! F**k you, EA!

Special Prize for "Best Worst Game" goes to Hunting Unlimited 2010.
Special Prize for "Worst Good Game" goes to FEAR 2 Project Origin and Resident Evil 5.

Worst game of 2009:

Nominees:-Stalin vs Martians (4.4)
         -FIFA 10 (5)
         -Painkiller Ressurection (4.8)
         -Delta Force Xtreme 2 (3)

"WINNER": Painkiller Ressurection


#10 Call of Duty 6 Modern Warfare 2

 Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 is the perfect modern first person shooter, with a superb, fast paced and never boring single player campaign. Too bad that the multiplayer was

below expectations and it dragged the game down as a whole. But that doesn't mean that Modern Warfare 2 isn't one of the best games of 2009.

#9 Mirror's Edge

 Even though it wasn't that well received by all the critics, I consider Mirror's Edge to be one of the most pleasurable experiences in gaming of year 2009. It's unique, fast

paced, combines a lot of elements with intelligent platforming and delivers a great overall experience, one I will not forget. Try it, you'll see what I mean.

#8 Anno 1404 Dawn of Discovery

 The Anno games have always been good, but they never were excellent, with Anno 1503 The New World very close to that though. Fortunatelly, the new Anno 1404 is so well done and

incredibly polished that it's not only by far the best game in the series, but also the best strategy game of 2009 and one of the best city builders ever created.

#7 Need for Speed Shift AND DiRT 2 AND Burnout Paradise The Ultimate Box

 Again I want to make no difference between the two games, as I told you before. They are both the best in their genre, and Burnout Paradise is also one of the best arcade racing

games I've ever played, if not the best one. While Need for Speed Shift is the most valuable of them, DiRT 2 offers the best content and Burnout Paradise is the most fun to play,

they all deserve this place.

#6 Call of Juarez Bound in Blood

 The prequel to one of my favourite games, Bound in Blood offers us a superb western atmosphere (so rare these days), with incredible, optimized graphics, memorable plot and

characters. It's not better than the first game and it doesn't feature Ray with a Bible, but it's a hell of a good game anyways.

#5 Ghostbusters

 Surprised? Well, if you are, please stop reading, get the game and play it. No, wait, better yet, re-watch the movies and play the game after. Effect guaranteed. Such a good

adaptation of a movie is rare, and to blend it perfectly with a satisfying concept, funny, series-like plot and the use of the original cast's voices, plus many many more brought

Ghostbusters in the Top 5 of 2009.

#4 The Saboteur

 The circumstances in which The Saboteur came to life made me forgive a lot of its mistakes and wrongs. It was sabotaged by EA, but still it managed to be one of the best games of the year. It's not all about the special chromatic style, or Paris, or the great missions or the Irish protagonist. It's a game in which a lot of affection and passion was invested, and it's clear if you look deeper into it, beyond the veil of ugly textures and bugs.

#3 Dragon Age Origins

 Another year one of Bioware's works shines up in the Top 3. This time not with a SF game, Star Wars or not, but with a pure fantasy game, loyal to the old-skool formula and worthy to be called Baldur's Gate true follower. it is not perfect, but it offers you A LOT of content, and none of it cheap as value and embarassing as Bethesda with their Fallout 3 (bleah!). The characters are well contured, probably the best ones Bioware have produced, a very intelligent plot which, even if it makes use of all the overused fantasy elements still manages to have personality and uniqueness, and to all the loot, skills and all the blah blah blahs, combined with great audio and replayability all blend in a masterpiece.

#2 Batman Arkham Asylum

 From the start I'd like to tell you I'm not a Batman fan. And do, nobody payed me to rank Arkham Asylum 2nd. It simply is the nearly-perfect action game. Let's class the audio/visuals as superb and go on to the gameplay, where you have everything: fighting, stealth, using gadgets...all pushed up to perfection. As simple as that. Plus very well worked puzzles, riddles for those who really want to squeeze the game of the last drops of content. And let's not forget about the story, a superb and not at all the hero vs villain tale, and the sombre, adaptable atmosphere, plus pieces of unforgettable content (such as Croc's Lair) and we could have easily had the Game of the Year. That, if it wouldn't have been for...

#1 GAME OF THE YEAR 2009: Cryostasis-The Sleep of Reason

 Yes, this is The One. Cryostasis is by far the BEST GAME OF 2009, I knew it from the start, hell, I knew it even from when I finished the game, waaay back in July 2009. No, it's not very well rated by the Western critics, mainly because it is not an american/canadian/british game probably, but a Russian game. And the Westerners don't always understand the value of games like this, which is not material, shall I say, but spiritual. Let me explain.
 You play as a meteorologist, in year 1969, who is sent to investigate a transport ship in the Northern Sea. Once there, he finds himself into a frozen, still life, and the first priority becomes survival. He can change the fates of certain crue members by preventing them to the the thing which resulted in their deaths. Complicated, but you'll understand when you'll play. He'll find himslef traped, hunted down by monsters of the ice (you'll see what I mean) which shoot cold at you while your bullets are in fact heat. The game itself is basically a race for heat, more and more intense, a desire even for burning in flames. And all this , the "apparent" (you'll understand why I used this word) in parallel of a tale of courage, leaderhip, desire you find written on scattered fragments and different allusions to human behaviour. Which you need to search for, not see just the shooting part, as some can't understand. And I hate and despise them for that. For example, you see a flashback with some of the crue members fighting for a place in the escape helicopter, just before the ship would hit an iceberg. Then you wake up in a room with starving dogs growling at you, tearing each other apart. Or the captain/crew traitor relationship is magistrally pictured by a polar bear mother. Cornered in a cave by two hunters, she is sure to be killed. But a cave-in traps one of the hunters inside and makes him lose the rifle. As the bear, you look at him, but don't attack him, as he sure would have done to you, but flea. Make any connections to the human behaviour?
 Everything in Cryostasis makes it a masterpiece. Even the environmental repetitivity, for which it was severely criticised. Why,oh why? Are they stupid? What do they want from a Russian cargo ship? A casino? A strip club? A swimming pool? No, the repetivity is a blessing, as is intensifies the frozen, lonely atmosphere, it makes you more melancholic, more desperate for things you do not even know. Everything in Cryostasis is a symbol, one YOU NEED to interprete. The end is also, a brilliant, heart warming metaphor.
 It really saddens me to see that commercial games like Call of Duty 6 get all the public's attention (all my respects to the game, but it's worth NOTHING in comparison to Cryostasis), while masterpieces like this one are almost ignored.
 Please play the game, look beyond the simple aspect of it and try to imagine. Also please play it in Russian, with voices in Russian I mean, subtitles in English or whatever. Because Cryostasis without its Russian voice acting is not Cryostasis. You'll thank me after.

Best films of 2009: James Cameron's Avatar and Public Enemies

Top 10 Albums of 2009:

1)KISS-Sonic Boom
2)Steel Panther-Feel the Steel
3)Lynyrd Skynyrd-God and Guns
4)Hammerfall-No Sacrifice, No Victory
5)Rammstein-Liebe ist fur Alle Da
6)Europe-Last Look at Eden
7)Alice in Chains-Black Gives Way to Blue
9)Bon Jovi-The Circle
10)Cannibal Corpse-Evisceration Plague

Best books of 2009: Under the Dome (Stephen King) and The Lost Symbol (Dan Brown)


comments powered by Disqus

  • You talked about some games that I haven't even heard of

    Posted Jan 27, 2010

  • Nice writing mate :) You've picked FIFA 10 & Shift as winners; that stunned me :P Anyways Ratings are more or less good.

    Yet to listen "Bon Jovi - The circle" how good was it ?

    Posted Jan 27, 2010

  • Quite a surprising blog. I don't think I will agree with most of the winners. No, I won't. I'll give one example. How on earth NFS Shift is a good racing game  DiRT2 I agree but then again, it doesn't have the best graphics as you've mentioned. Except the tracks, everything in DiRT2 looks dull. It's totally your opinion though. I can't argue much about it. Two more surprises. Ghostbusters. I think this game needs a serious improvement with its control. And, Cryostasis-The Sleep of Reason. I haven't even heard of this game. Sounds good from your write-up. Maybe I should take a good look into it.

    Posted Jan 27, 2010

  • What a blog!! Nd u also mentioned your logic for choosing the best one out of the list. I totally agree with Saboteur. That game is so good. I am playing it right now. I will write the review soon. As for racing games, i cant agree, simply because there was another game Forza 3 which you didnt mention, which excelled in both graphics and driving simulation. You mentioned Cryostasis. i havent heard that, but I have to take a look at the game. As far as Bionic Commando is concerned: I totally loved Bionic Commando Rearmed, not being a Bionic Commando fan, but also the gameplay. Oh Bionic Commando wasnt developed by Pandemic Studios. They are developed by Swedish developer Grin.

    Overall!! It is a very nice blog. Nice writing. Keep on writing and have fun.

    Posted Jan 28, 2010

  • Cryostasis. Definatly shows a lot more heart than most other games.

    Posted Mar 25, 2010

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