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The Acegamez Awards 2009 – Winners

By James Hamblin on January 13, 2010
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Welcome, one and all, to the Acegamez Video Games Awards for 2009 – and what a twelve months it’s been.

In part 2009 was a year in which we were reunited with some old friends. Capcom re-ignited excitement in the immortal words “Round 1 – Fight!” Rocksteady Studios resurrected The Dark Knight, while, rather regrettably, for many Tony Hawk Ride was utter shi…Anyway, moving on. On a more positive note, 2009 also saw the glorious return of the matinee idol in the form of Naughty Dog’s Nathan Drake, a more charismatic and enjoyable hero to play as than you could find anywhere else; even if Uncharted 2’s plot did end up with the world’s greatest treasure being guarded by a bunch of steroid abusing Smurfs (so that’s what they been up to since they stopping doing TV work).

2009 wasn’t just about reviving the past though, with many games tackling hard-hitting, current affairs issues head on. Infinity Ward used their mega-release, Modern Warfare 2, to put forward their own solution for improving airport security – forget forking out for expensive body scanning machines, just shoot everyone in the terminal. It may sound drastic but it has a 100% success rate in stopping terrorists (unless the people doing the shooting are actually terrorists themselves, that would kind-of completely undermine the whole thing). At the same time, Ubisoft were more concern with using Assassin’s Creed II to highlight the previously undocumented risks of repeated Sunbed use, with lead character Desmond Miles shown suffering serious mental side-effects after prolonged periods on a hi-tech Animus model. Does this fresh evidence uncovered by the Montreal-based developer mean that David Dickenson is actually the secret leader of the Knights Templar? Who knows?

If 2009 was about just one thing however, then it was probably the future. While OnLive revealed the concept behind their new cloud computing system, for which the most appropriate first release must surely be Heavy Rain, the real showdown came at E3 where both Microsoft and Sony unveiled their new motion control systems. Microsoft went first with Project Natal, which turned out to be the most expensive way ever to train yourself and your family to become a band of travelling mime artists. While in response to the threat of possible Natal launch titles such as the hilarious ‘Man Stuck inside Invisible Glass Box’ and the thrilling ‘Man Attempts to Push Invisible Boulder’ Sony retaliated with what looked like the kind of thing that would result if Gandolf went into the ice cream business.

Anyway, now it’s time for the biggest highlight of 2009, the one we all came here for tonight – full-frontal male nudity!…….What? That’s not what you’re here for? You want to know the 2009 Acegamez Awards Winners. Well, I’ll be (lost and) damned. Alright, here they are, as voted for by the Acegamez staff:

Section 1 – System Awards

Batman_Arkham_Asylum_360_GotYXbox 360 Game of the Year: Batman: Arkham Asylum

A truly super band of nominees was topped by 2009’s ultimate superhero. Rocksteady’s almost infallible combination of brooding setting and differing game play styles helped light up The Dark Knight like never before.

(Also nominated: Forza 3, Borderlands, Dragon Age: Origins, Halo 3: ODST, Street Fighter IV, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Assassin’s Creed II, Left 4 Dead 2)

Uncharted_2_PS3_GotYPlayStation 3 Game of the Year: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

“Naughty Dog has topped the first Uncharted in every way with a sequel that’s possibly the most cinematic video game ever released. Uncharted 2 is the video game equivalent of an awesome action blockbuster movie, and many small improvements to the game play, including the addition of a robust online component make Uncharted Sony’s undisputed flagship franchise.”  Anthony LaBella – Acegamez Staff Member.

(Also nominated: Assassin’s Creed II, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Flower, inFamous, Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time)

NSMBW_Wii_GotYWii Game of the Year: New Super Mario Bros. Wii

As our nominees show there was a great range of titles released on the Wii this year; but at the end of the day, if you wanted a game that epitomised the console’s cross generational appeal, your first call was still to the portly little plumber. NSMBW was, as Acegamez Staff Member Liam Pritchard, put it “A triumphant return to classic 2D platforming action and an unequivocal success.”

(Also nominated: Metroid Prime: Trilogy, Punch-Out!!, Madworld, Wii Sports Resort, LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias, Dead Space: Extraction)

Dragon_Age_Origins_PC_GotYPC Game of the Year: Dragon Age: Origins

“This stunning Role Playing Game is easily one of the most detailed, most expansive, most thrilling and down right addictive games of the year. Its quality is unmatched and is a true testament to Bioware’s skills as a developer. How they’ve managed to find the time to make a game this big and well crafted is anybodies guess.” Tom Clark – Acegamez Staff Member.

(Also nominated: Left 4 Dead 2, Plant vs. Zombies, Torchlight, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II, Empire: Total War, Zeno Clash)

Scribblenauts_DS_GotYDS Game of the Year: Scribblenauts

Alright, so mechanically 5th Cell’s cartoon puzzler may be a bit janky in places, but ever since its’ release the DS has been a hotbed for developers pushing the envelope, and in 2009 Scribblenauts was leading the charge with a jetpack strapped to its back. As Acegamez Staff Member Gina Harrison says “The fact that you can think of absolutely any object and it appears in the game is something completely new and refreshing.”

(Also nominated: Chrono Trigger, Age of Empires: Mythologies, Professor Layton and Pandora’s Box, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story, Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars)

GTA_Chinatown_Wars_PSP_GotYPSP Game of the Year: Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

Despite being much maligned, a quick glance at the nominees for our game of the year provides only a top slice of the quality on offer on Sony’s handled; and while it may have been a port of the original DS release, the quality with which GTA: Chinatown Wars arrived on the PSP showed exactly which the system is possible of.

(Also nominated: LittleBigPlanet, Patapon 2, Resistance: Retribution, Dissidia: Final Fantasy)

Section 2 – Genre Awards

Forza_3_Driving_GotYBest Driving Game: Forza 3 (Xbox 360)

If Burnout, with it’s near-perfect open-world arcade racing, had debuted this year then we may now be talking about a different winner; but 2008 was Paradise’s year, and while Acegamez would thoroughly recommend DiRT 2 to anyone looking for a top quality racing game, Forza 3’s combination of on and off track choice and quality made it the more than worthy winner.

(Also nominated: Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box (Multi), DiRT 2 (Multi), WipEout HD Fury (PS3), Need for Speed: Shift (Multi), Fuel (Multi), Excitebots: Trick Racing (Wii))

A_Boy_and_His_Blob_Puzzle_GotYBest Puzzle Game: A Boy and His Blob (Wii)

“The term ‘Wiimake’ may have negative implications, but this remake of retro hit A Boy and His Blob is a charming effort that harks back to a simpler time of slick 2D platforming. With a touching story, intricate hand-drawn visuals and taxing puzzle sections, this is one Wiimake it’s hard to find a reason to criticise.” Dave Cook – Acegamez Staff.

(Also nominated: Scribblenauts (DS), Professor Layton and Pandora’s Box (DS), Puzzler World (DS), Echoes (PSP), Lucidity (PC/Xbox 360), Boom Blox Bash Party (Wii))

The_Beatles_Rock_Band_Music_GotYBest Music/Rhythm Game: The Beatles: Rock Band (Multi)

With music games currently hitting store shelves at a greater frequency than notes on a Through The Fire And Flames highway, to stand out you need to do something very special; and while Acegamez gives huge respect in particular to DJ Hero for cutting through the genre’s conventions, the love and reverence with which Rock Band crafted a complete Beatles experience was a joy for the eyes, ears, hands and just about every other part of your body.

(Also nominated: SingStar Take That (PS3), DJ Hero (Multi), Lego Rock Band (Multi), Guitar Hero 5 (Multi), Lips: Number 1 Hits (Xbox 360), DJ Star (DS))

Fight_Night_Round_4_Sports_GotYBest Sports Game: Fight Night Round 4 (Multi)

“Fight Night Round 4 is the closest a game has come to capturing the depth and strategic elements of boxing.  A delicate balance between aggression and restraint makes for some tense, calculated bouts and an infinitely enjoyable fighting experience.” Dave Cook: Acegamez Staff Member.

(Also nominated: Madden NFL 10 (Multi), FIFA 10 (Multi), Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 (Multi), Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 (Wii), Wii Sports Resort (Wii), Skate 2 (Multi), Punch-Out!! (Wii))

Modern_Warfare_2_Shooter_GotYBest Shooter: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Multi)

An unrelentingly intense single player campaign, combined with possibly the most comprehensive range of online modes and some of the tightest mechanics found outside of a Swiss watch means that while Borderlands, ODST and Left 4 Dead 2 all have special places in Acegamez heart, nothing makes it beat as fast as MW2. As Acegamez staff member Mick Frazer succinctly wraps it up “There really is nothing better.”

(Also nominated: Borderlands (Multi), Left 4 Dead 2 (Xbox 360/PC), Halo 3: ODST (Xbox 360), Killzone 2 (PS3), ArmA II (PC), Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising (Multi))

Uncharted_2_Action_GotYBest Action/Adventure Game: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3)

“Uncharted 2 has arguably the best graphics seen in a console game to date. The game play mechanics are solid as a rock and the storyline is perfectly paced from start to finish. Its real trump card however comes in the form of the game’s protagonist. In Nathan Drake Naughty Dog have created the most charismatic videogame character of this generation, and one of the first that can stand shoulder to shoulder with Hollywood’s finest.” Liam Pritchard – Acegamez Staff Member.

(Also nominated: Batman: Arkham Asylum (Multi), Resident Evil 5 (Multi), MadWorld (Wii), Resistance: Retribution (PSP), Cursed Mountain (Wii), Zeno Clash (PC))

Plants_vs_Zombies_Strategy_GotYBest Strategy Game: Plants vs. Zombies (PC)

“Addictive, simple, and easy to grasp: Popcap at its best once more.” Andrea Varotsis – Acegamez Staff Member.

(Also nominated: Halo Wars (Xbox 360), Plants vs. Zombies (PC), Empire: Total War (PC), Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II (PC), AI War: Fleet Command (PC), Anno 1404: Dawn of Discovery (PC), Age of Empires: Mythologies (DS))

NSMBW_Platformer_GotYBest Platformer: New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii)

A category that came down to a battle between NSMBW and Ratchet & Clank, two platformers at completely opposite ends of the genre’s spectrum. In the end the little Italian just managed to jump slightly higher than the Lombax and stomp on the head of the competition.

(Also nominated: Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time (PS3), LittleBigPlanet (PSP), Trine (PC/PS3), Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure (DS), Patapon 2 (PSP), LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias (Wii))

Dragon_Age_Origins_RPG_GotYBest RPG: Dragon Age: Origins (Multi)

“One of the best RPGs to come from a Western developer this decade. DA:O has amassed a huge army of fans in a short space of time, cementing its place as RPG of the Year. Not only brilliantly scripted and exceptionally plotted, but also incredibly deep and continuously surprising.” Mick Fraser – Acegamez Staff Member.

(Also nominated: Torchlight (PC), Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story (DS), Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 (PS2), Star Ocean: The Last Hope (Xbox 360), Chrono Trigger (DS), League of Legends (PC), Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice (PS3))

Street_Fighter_IV_Fighting_GotYBest Fighting Game: Street Fighter IV (Multi)

Acegamez would like to recognise Dissidia: Final Fantasy, for being much better than it had any right to be, and Tekken 6, for being just as good, and slightly strange, as it should have been; but with no official BlazBlue release in the UK in 2009 there was only one winner here. As Acegamez Liam Pritchard described it: “Street Fighter IV was the perfect mix of old school and new school, delivering the tightest, most refined fighting mechanics of 2009.”

(Also nominated: Tekken 6 (Multi), Marvel vs. Capcom 2 (Xbox 360/PS3), Dissidia: Final Fantasy (PSP), King of Fighters XII (Xbox 360/PS3), Garou: Mark of the Wolves (Xbox 360), Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny (PSP))

Machinarium_Traditional_Adventure_GotYBest Traditional Adventure Game: Machinarium (PC)

Despite Tales of Monkey Island achieving the almost impossible feat of being a more than worthy addition to possibly the greatest point-and-click franchise in history, the Monkey Island vote was split between this and the original Special Addition, leaving  a little known game from the Czech Republic a winner no one could argue with. Acegamez Dave Cook explains why: “Machinarium’s great handle on visual comedy helps its lead robot become an instantly likeable character without even saying a word. Tomas Dvorak’s soundtrack is chilling and the hand drawn visuals are painstakingly beautiful. This is a true labour of love for the developer and it will leave a lasting impression on you as well.”

(Also nominated: Tales of Monkey Island (PC/Wii), Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures (PC/Xbox 360), The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition (PC/Xbox 360), Sam & Max: Season 2 (Xbox 360), Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars – Director’s Cut (DS/Wii))

Left_4_Dead_2_Horror_GotYBest Horror Game: Left 4 Dead 2 (Xbox 360/PC)

OK, so L4D2 isn’t the kind of slow-moving, traditional fright-fest many people might put in this category, but over recent year the genre has mutated in some amazingly exciting ways, and in the Acegamez dictionary Left 4 Dead is now the very definition of what survival horror has become.

(Also nominated: Cursed Mountain (Wii), Resident Evil 5 (Multi), House of the Dead: Overkill (Wii), Dead Space: Extraction (Wii), Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles (Wii), Silent Hill: Homecoming (Multi), Cryostasis: Sleep of Reason (PC))

Assassins_Creed_II_Sandbox_GotYBest Sandbox Game: Assassin’s Creed 2 (Multi)

Pushed all the way by Red Faction: Guerilla, AC2 finally triumphed as the best sandbox game of 2009 thanks to its’ superior elegance, both visually and mechanically, over the competition. As Acegamez Mick Fraser sums up: “In a word Assassin’s Creed 2 is incredible. Never before has a developer listened so closely to their fans and critics as Ubisoft did, and the result is a game that, this time, definitely won’t disappoint.”

(Also nominated: Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (DS/PSP), inFamous (PS3), Red Faction: Guerrilla (Multi), Prototype (Multi), Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City (Xbox 360), Brutal Legend (Xbox 360/PS3))

Section 3 – Feature Awards

Uncharted_2_Visuals_GotYBest Visuals: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3)

The fact that so many developers struggle with the PS3’s Cell Processor makes what Naughty Dog achieved all the more stunning; and stunning is a pretty appropriate word when you’re talking about Uncharted 2’s visuals. The clarity and attention to detail are second to none, and the game’s looks are just as epic as the locations they depict and the story they tell. A truly beautiful sight to behold.

(Also nominated: Trine (PC/PS3), Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Multi), Batman: Arkham Asylum (Multi), Assassin’s Creed II (Multi), Street Fighter IV (Multi), Machinarium (PC), Flower (PS3),Killzone 2 (PS3), Muramasa: The Demon Blade (Wii))

Red_Faction_Innovation_GotYBest Innovation: Red Faction: Guerrilla’s destructible buildings (Multi)

In the end this category came down to a straight fight between Red Faction and Scribblenauts; and while the latter’s object summoning abilities were the standout feature of its gameplay, the Acegamez staff felt that the groundbreaking complexities of Red Factions physics engine had the potential for much wider application, and are something certain to be envied, and iterated on, by many other developers.

(Also nominated: EyePet’s camera interactivity (PS3), Project Natal’s motion controls (Xbox 360), Scribblenauts’ object summoning (DS), WiiMotion Plus’ 1 to 1 motion controls (Wii), 1 vs. 100’s massive multiplayer game play (Xbox 360), Flower’s use of motion controls (PS3), New Super Mario Bros. Wii’s help system (Wii))

Batman_Arkham_Asylum_Music&Sound_GotYBest Music & Sound: Batman: Arkham Asylum (Multi)

Dave Cook, Acegamez Staff: “From Mark Hamill’s cackling joker, the orchestral soundtrack and to the chilling intercom jingle that follows you throughout most of Batman Arkham Asylum, the audio is so integral to the game’s atmosphere that it makes the dilapidated institution feel all the more real. The way the sound effects and music in the Killer Croc battle erupt then fall mute so quickly really makes you fear his presence, and when the music flares up again you know you better leg it fast!”

(Also nominated: Brutal Legend (PS3/Xbox 360), Halo 3: ODST (Xbox 360), Flower (PS3), Modern Warfare 2 (Multi), DJ Hero (PS3/Xbox 360), Afro Samurai (Multi), Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City (Xbox 360))

Uncharted_2_Story_GotYBest Story: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3)

So many potential winners, each with their own uniquely compelling arguments, but Uncharted 2’s combination of film-quality script, voice acting and animation gave it a story more polished than even the Cintamani Stone.

(Also nominated: Dragon Age: Origins (Multi), Batman: Arkham Asylum (Multi), Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time (PS3), Assassin’s Creed II (Multi), Chrono Trigger (DS), Modern Warfare 2 (Multi), Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story (DS), Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City (Xbox 360), Professor Layton & Pandora’s Box (DS), inFamous (PS3), Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 (PS2), Cryostasis: Sleep of Reason (PC), Dead Space: Extraction (Wii), Flower (PS3))

inFamous_Original_IP_GotYBest Original IP: inFamous (PS3)

Pushed hard, in particular by Borderlands and Dragon Age, the Acegamez staff crowned inFamous their best original IP of 09 thanks to the skill with which developers Sucker Punch brought together it different elements that included morality choices, superhero powers and a huge city that was so entertaining to just simply move around.

(Also nominated: Borderlands (Multi), Dragon Age: Origins (Multi), Brutal Legend (PS3/Xbox 360), Machinarium (PC), Scribblenauts (DS), Flower (PS3), Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure (DS))

Batman_Arkham_Asylum_Gameplay_GotYBest Gameplay: Batman: Arkham Asylum (Multi)

“There was a fair amount of scepticism behind Rocksteady Studios considering their only previous game was the decent, though easily forgettable, Urban Chaos: Riot Response. Thankfully they completely nailed what makes the Batman franchise so great with Batman: Arkham Asylum. You’ve got the crime fighting Batman, who can take down enemies in a heartbeat; but there’s also detective Batman, who can find hidden passages and easily follow trails right to an enemy. Both aspects of the Caped Crusader are balanced perfectly in the gameplay, and of course the large cast of villains (headed by the Joker) make for some memorable foes.” Anthony LaBella – Acegamez Staff Member.

(Also nominated: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Multi), Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3), Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time (PS3), Street Fighter IV (Multi), Assassin’s Creed II (Multi), Left 4 Dead 2 (Xbox 360), Plants vs. Zombies (PC), Flower (PS3), Trine (PC/PS3), inFamous (PS3), Red Faction: Guerrilla (Multi), Halo Wars (Xbox 360), New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii), Machinarium (PC), Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (DS/PSP))

Capcom_Developer_of_the_YearDeveloper of the Year: Capcom

Tom Clark, Acegamez Staff Member: “Developer of some of the highest scoring titles this year including Street Fighter IV, Resident Evil 5 and The Darkside Chronicles. For consistent greatness, Capcom takes the biscuit.”

(Also nominated: Naughty Dog (Uncharted 2: Among Thieves), Infinity Ward (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2), 5th Cell (Scribblenauts), Valve (Left 4 Dead 2), Rocksteady Studios (Batman: Arkham Asylum), Gearbox Software (Borderlands), Ubisoft (Assassin’s Creed 2), Sucker Punch (inFamous), Bioware (Dragon Age: Origins))

EA_Publisher_of_the_YearPublisher of the Year: Electronic Arts

“Continuing after last year’s surprising turn in the quality of games the publisher now releases, which saw the emergence of two exciting new franchises – Dead Space and Mirror’s Edge – EA continue to reverse the negative money grabbing image they’ve been stuck with for far too long. Now providing more support for their own games and developing their EA Partners programme, re-invigorating stale franchises such as Need for Speed, and introducing exciting new properties, never has a publisher made such a dramatic turn in quality in such a small space of time. Long may it continue.” Acegamez’ Kieron Giacopazzi explains why EA was the top publisher in 2009.

(Also nominated: Capcom (Resident Evil 5, Street Fighter IV), Sony Computer Entertainment (Uncharted 2, inFamous, Flower), Activision (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Guitar Hero 5, Prototype), Nintendo (New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story), Eidos (Batman: Arkham Asylum), Microsoft Game Studios (Halo 3: ODST, Halo Wars, Forza 3), Activision (Guitar Hero 5, Assassin’s Creed 2))

Xbox_360_Sytem_otYSystem of the Year: Xbox 360

Almost certainly the most divisive of all the categories in this year’s awards. If you’re a 360 owner you can look to Microsoft’s continuing mastery of premium online content and, despite the PS3’s price drop and better slate of exclusive titles in 09, its regular trouncing of Sony’s console in both hard and software sales as the reasons for its victory here. If you’re not a 360 owner then you can just fall back on the argument that the result was a forgone conclusion, as the 360 continues to be the most commonly owned console amongst Acegamez staff members – but then maybe that’s the biggest endorsement of why it deserves its’ win.

(Also nominated: Wii, PS3, PC, DS)

Flower_Download_GotYBest Game Available By Download Only: Flower (PS3)

Acegamez’ Niall Rough: “Flower is just simply an elegant creation and one that had a greater emotional impact on me than any of the other contenders. As a game, it’s certainly an experience, and short though it may be, its purity, its beauty and its poignancy to my mind more than justify it as the winner.” ‘Nuff said.

(Also nominated: Machinarium (PC), Shadow Complex (Xbox 360), Battlefield 1943 (Xbox 360/PS3), Torchlight (PC), Trials HD (Xbox 360), Plants vs. Zombies (PC), Grand Theft Auto: The Lost and Damned (Xbox 360), Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony (Xbox 360), Trine (PC/PS3), I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES 1N IT!!!1 (Xbox 360))

Modern_Warfare_2_Multiplayer_GotYBest Multiplayer Game: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Multi)

Despite Left 4 Dead in particular putting up a worthy fight, the decision over best multiplayer game was a pretty simple one. As Acegamez’ Liam Pritchard put it: “Modern Warfare 2’s multiplayer will single-handedly swallow gamers lives whole. Its truly excellent blend of co-op and competitive modes are the reason you can expect this fantastic title to sit at the top of the XBL and PSN charts for many months to come.”

(Also nominated: Borderlands (Multi), Left 4 Dead 2 (Xbox 360/PC), Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3), Battlefield 1943 (Xbox 360/PS3), Fat Princess (PS3), Killzone 2 (PS3), Halo 3: ODST (Xbox 360), House of the Dead: Overkill (Wii), Boom Blox Bash Party (Wii), New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii), Halo Wars (Xbox 360), Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II (PC))

Batman_Arkham_Asylum_GotYAcegamez Game of the Year 2009: Batman: Arkham Asylum (Multi)

(Also nominated: Borderlands (Multi), Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3), Dragon Age: Origins (Multi), Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (DS/PSP), Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Multi), Torchlight (PC), Assassin’s Creed II (Multi), Left 4 Dead 2 (Xbox 360/PC), Street Fighter IV (Multi), Plants vs. Zombies (PC), Machinarium (PC), Flower (PS3))

We’re not going to lie to you, the voting for Acegamez Game of the Year 2009 basically ended in a dead heat between Batman: Arkham Asylum and Uncharted 2. Both are stunning creations by their respective developers, and if you’re personal preference is for the latter then you won’t find many amongst the Acegamez’ staff who will argue that hard against you. But a single winner had to be chosen, and while we’re more than aware that Uncharted comes complete with some incredibly strong multiplayer options, we finally plumped for Arkham Asylum for two main reasons. Firstly, it was an original Batman IP, and in the current economic climate that’s a much harder thing to bet the future of your studio on than a much anticipated sequel, and secondly, and possibly most importantly and impressively, Rocksteady managed to achieve what had before seemed almost impossible, producing a game whose lead character is not only a superhero and a film star, but one who comes with so much baggage you almost need a entire Bat Cave to store it in, and still ending up with something completely unique and special.

So that’s it for 2009, congratulations to Rocksteady Studios, and everyone else who won and was nominated. The Acegamez Awards are now on a 365 day break (round about), but for now, everyone at the site wishes you all a fantastic 2010 and we’ll leave you with our staff with some final words of praise for our game of the year:

“Finally, a Batman game done right! Rocksteady Studios created the perfect game for Batman enthusiasts, but they also achieved the difficult feat of making a game that will also appeal to non-fans, and may even convert more than a few.” Anthony LaBella

“For a developer to create a new licensed IP that fully captures the essence of its source material the way Rocksteady Games did with Batman Arkham Asylum is a groundbreaking achievement. Not only did the game capture the dark, brooding overtones of Batman’s world to a tee, it also had slick gameplay, a twisted atmosphere and well-realised villains to boot. Special recognition should also go to Mark Hamill for his superb voice acting as the Joker.” Dave Cook.

“Put simply, this game proves that no one is better than the big black bat when done right. You must own this – it’s the law!” Tom Clark.

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