January 5, 2009

~ PART 2 ~

Here we go the second part of the 2008 Futuregamez.net Awards, and in this section we look at the best game in the most popular categories including Platform game, Sports game, Fighting game and so on. We also take a look at the best new Technology and Best Intro and Cut Scenes in this years games. If you didn't check out Part 1 we suggest you start there before reading this list. You can also see the rules associated with the awards there too. Enjoy.

Best Puzzle/Music Game
Winner: SingStar Abba (PS3, SCEE)
SingStar has always been one of our most loved franchises here and while the game hasn't evolved much the idea of almost every Abba single in one karaoke package was too good to pass up. Indeed the great thing about this title is that you would be hard pressed to find someone who doesn't know these songs - or at least many of them. Now where is SingStar Guns 'n Roses, SingStar Beatles and SingStar Michael Jackson?
Runners Up: Guitar Hero: World Tour (PS2/PS3, Neversoft), Rock Band (PS2/PS3, Harmonix).

Best Strategy Game
Winner: Civilization Revolution (PSP, Firaxis)
The PC has always been the true home of the strategy game, be it turn based or realtime. We aren't going to dispute that. In recent years though consoles have done a bit of catching up and Firaxis have, in 2008, developed the perfect console rendition of one of the biggest strategy games of all time, Civilization. Visually and aurally impressive this is a game worth adding to every collection. Brilliant.
Runners Up: Valkyria Chronicles (PS3, Sega WOW), Pixeljunk Monsters (PS3, Q-Games).

Best Role Playing Game
Winner: Fallout 3 (PS3, Bethesda Game Studios)
Of all the years we have been reviewing games 2008 has to be the weakest and to be honest we struggled to remember three impressive releases during the year on all three platforms. Still there was one standout title - Fallout 3 from Bethesda Softworks. Admittedly the PS3 game is inferior to the PC and XBox 360 versions, but its not enough to stop you buying this superb title which will have you playing for weeks.
Runners Up: Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII (PSP, Square-Enix), Star Ocean: First Departure (PSP, Square-Enix/TOSE).

Best (First of Third Person) Shooter Game
Winner: Resistance 2 (PS3, Insomniac)
The question was simple; would Call of Duty World At War keep the throne for that franchise, or would Insomniac improve enough to overtake it. Well Resistance 2 didn't improve on the original significantly, but Activision's shooter ended up a bit disappointing (but still pretty good mind you). What clinches it for Sony's title is the mammoth 60-player online battles which are simply astounding. Intense and relentless all FPS fans will want to check this out.
Runners Up: Battlefield Bad Company (PS3, DICE), Call of Duty World At War (PS3, Treyarch).

Best Action/Adventure Game
Winner: Metal Gear Solid 4 (PS3, Kojima Productions)
We never thought this decision would be so hard - actually, we did. There is no denying the brilliance of all three titles here. Konami's is full of stunning cut-scenes, but also some breathtaking moments, Rockstar North's was brilliantly scripted and technically polished but perhaps lacking the long-term spark, while EA's title came from nowhere and redefined the action horror genre. Konami get's the nod however due to the technical brilliance, strong online gameplay, and a jaw dropping conclusion to one of the most loved franchises of all time.
Runners Up: Grand Theft Auto IV (PS3, Rockstar North), Dead Space (PS3, EA Games).

Best Platform Game
Winner: LittleBigPlanet (PS3, Media Molecule)
It's not too often that a side scrolling platform game captures the imagination of gamers the world over, but that is exactly what this title has done. Technically proficient controlling Sackboy is a complete joy through the range of levels on offer. When you then get to the thousands of user generated levels online the rage of gameplay is near endless. Throw in 4-player multi-player, both online and offline, and this is a clear winner.
Runners Up: Prince of Persia (PS3, Ubisoft Montreal), Lego Indiana Jones (PS3, TT Games).

Best Fighting Game
Winner: Soul Calibur IV (PS3, Project Soul)
It was easily the biggest fighting game released this year with a tonne of hype, impressive features and visuals to die for. The gameplay wasn't too shabby either and the game was mroe then playable online. Sadly though much of the hype was overshadowed by the denial, and then admission and release of Yoda being playable on PS3, and Darth Vader on XBox 360. Still, despite that rip-off this is a fighting game that stood out in an otherwise weak year for the genre.
Runners Up: WWE Smackdown Vs Raw 2009 (PS3, Yukes), Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm (PS3, Bandai Namco).

Best Sports Game
Winner: Everybody's Golf World Tour (PS3, Clap Hanz)
Who ever said that the best sports game had to be realistic? This is, without a doubt, the most entertaining sports game released this year. Not only is it great offline, but also online where hundreds of gamers are competing online daily (or, at least they were near launch - admittedly we haven't played for a few months now. To top it all off a new course and a couple of players (including Kratos) have been made available through the Playstation Store for a few dollars too.
Runners Up: NBA 2K9 (PS3, Visual Concepts), Madden NFL 09 (PS3/PSP/PS2, EA Tiburon).

Best Racing Game
Winner: Burnout Paradise (PS3, Criterion)
Of all the racing games this year it has been Burnout Paradise that has kept us coming back the most, and there are a number of reasons. Technically the open city environment really is impressive with a sensational sense of speed. The game has dozens, or perhaps hundreds, of races to complete in and this is aided by the numerous, large and free downloadable content released to date. Throw in a brilliant online experience and this is a game to add to every collection.
Runners Up: Pure (PS3, Black Rock Studio), Wipeout HD (PS3, Studio Liverpool).

Best Game People Forgot to Buy
Winner: Pure (PS3, Black Rock Studio)
While not the worst seller of the year this was a stunning racing title that came out of nowhere and really blew us away. It looks stunning (hence it's third place in the next category) and combines ATV racing with SSX styled tricks. If you like either styled game you would do well to check out this stunning game from publishers Disney Interactive Studios and developers Black Rock.
Runners Up: Civilization Revolution (PS3, Firaxis), Everybody's Golf (PS3, Sony).

Best New Technology or Game Engine
Winner: Grand Theft Auto IV RAGE Engine (PS3, Rockstar North)
This engine was actually used in two games - Grand Theft Auto IV and also Midnight Club: Los Angeles, and given the very different genres that's impressive. Everything comes together so well; texturing, lighting, visual effects, animation, and overall looks. It was a tough choice between this and Kojima's effort, but the texturing here gave it the slight edge.
Runners Up: Metal Gear Solid 4 (PS3, Kojima Productions), Pure (PS3, Black Rock Studios).

Best Intro & Cut Scenes In A Game
Winner: Metal Gear Solid 4 (PS3, Kojima Productions)
It could actually be argued that this release was more of a movie with a bit of game thrown in to give you a break from the movies, but there is no denying that Hideo Kojima knows how to script, and develop, a cut-scene. Often over 30 minutes long these were quite exhaustive, but they all contributed to the story and we expected no less from this developer, and franchise.
Runners Up: Grand Theft Auto IV (PS3, Rockstar North), Resistance 2 (PS3, Insomniac).

Best Artistic Style In A Game
Winner: LittleBigPlanet (PS3, Media Molecule)
There were several strong contenders this year but there is no denying that Media Molecule have come up with the goods when it comes to visuals in a game. Not only is the main characters, Sackboy (or Sackgirl), one of the cutest characters ever put into a video game, but the backgrouds and enemies also look like they belong in a living cartoon. Best of all you can build this all yourself to look however you like (as long as it doesn't breach copyright!).
Runners Up: Prince of Persia (PS3, Ubisoft Montreal), Metal Gear Solid 4 (PS3, Kojima Productions).

Return to Part 1 of the 2008 FutureGamez Awards.
Continue to Part 3 of the 2008 FutureGamez Awards.

I hope you enjoyed reading the 2008 FutureGamez Awards. If you have any comments feel free to e-mail me at the usual address: admin@futuregamez.net.