Despite a shaky world economy resulting in less disposable income to use on purchasing video games and other forms of home entertainment, 2009 was another good year for the industry. But why shouldn’t it be? All three of the major gaming companies, Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft, have had 2007 and 2008 to sell their respective consoles to customers. A more level field emerged in 2009 partly due to Sony’s ability to offer a huge price reduction in its Playstation 3, forcing both Nintendo and Xbox360 to lower their prices in hopes to maintain their dominant market share.
What does this all mean for gamers? Games, games, games, and more games!
Find out what were the favorites in 2009 for mature, casual gamers by viewing the results of Gunslinger Gaming’s 2009 Game Awards! All the below results are based upon poll and write-in votes exclusively casted by gamers 18 years of age and older.
BEST NINTENDO WII GAME OF 2009
Winner: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Reflex
Release Date: November 10th, 2009
For all the Nintendo Wii gamers who loved Call of Duty: World at War and felt left out in the original Modern Warfare release for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360, Reflex was eagerly welcomed. Taking the best of Modern Warfare rather than trying to make an exact, sublevel port of the original, Reflex combines everything that made Modern Warfare a best seller and added Nintendo Wii’s unique motion controls.
The game has been one of the most popular games to grace the attention of Gunslinger members, and it ushered in the largest and quickest membership increase since the group’s formation in 2007. Presently, the fanfare is manifested in its own forum section, a lengthly Master List of friend codes, monthly tournaments, a GS Bar League, and themed events such as Frosty Pints and T-Bag Tuesdays.
BEST MICROSOFT XBOX360 GAME OF 2009
Winner: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Release Date: November 10th, 2009
To say that Modern Warfare 2 is a hit with franchise fans, would be an understatement. The game set a new record for the fastest selling video game in history with over 2.4 million pre-orders and made over $310 million in the first day of its release. And this was accomplished despite a degree of controversy in an infamous stage in which an undercover agent is forced to take part in a massacre of innocent people at an international airport. This inclusion prompted a ban of the game in Russia.
For Gunslinger Gaming, it marked the first time a multi-console title was featured with its own forum section and community leaders.
BEST SONY PLAYSTATION 3 GAME OF 2009
Winner: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Publisher: Naughty Dog
Release Date: October 13th, 2009
The first Uncharted title, while selling well, earned gripes by reviewers over lackluster controllers and camera work, prompted Naughty Dog to come back with a vengeance. Tackling and correcting all the criticisms, Uncharted 2 has one of highest review marks for a Playstation 3 exclusive title. Naughty Dog stirred up an immense pre-release buzz by offering a demo version of the online multi-player aspect of the game months before the game hit shelved. Complete with a gripping and well told story mode, a massive multi-player mode complete with the ability to record and send matches to friends, and a co-op online mode, Uncharted 2 wooed fans and critics alike.
The Gunslingers formed in fandom of Naughty Dog’s first attempt at online gameplay, Jak X. Because of this history, Uncharted 2 was guaranteed its own spot in the Gunslinger Gaming forums and chat.
BEST PC GAME OF 2009
Winner: A TIE! Plants vs Zombies and The Sims 3
Publisher: PopCap (Plants vs Zombies)
Electronic Arts (The Sims 3)
Release Date: May 5th, 2009 (Plants vs Zombies)
June 2nd, 2009 (The Sims 3)
Plants vs Zombies tickled the dark humor of gamers by offering a real-time strategy experience centered around the story of plants none to happy over the notion that hordes of zombies wish to eat the brains of the very green-thumbed people who water them. Plants vs Zombies gives gamers a
comical yet morbid twist on the Castle Defense formula.
The Sims 3 expands on the simulation gaming experienced they are generally considered to have pioneered. Now lending players the ability to freely explore entire towns of communities, extensive creation tools, and offering a large amount of new goals and activities to take part in as a player entertains their Sims self, Sims 3 continues to set the standard of what to expect in the simulation genre.
BEST NINTENDO DS GAME OF 2009
Winner: The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
Release Date: December 7th, 2009
Continuing the artwork and gameplay originating with the Gamecube’s chapter of the Legend of Zelda franchise, The Wind Waker, Spirit Tracks now finds a young version of Link pitted against an awaken demon by the name of Malladus. Supplementing highly popular dungeons, task orientated side quests, and an engrossing story, Link now has the ability to control phantoms.
While the Zelda series has never offered fans an online massive multi-player mode, it remains a favorite for many Gunslinger Gaming members, often cited in general gaming discussions in the chat and forums.
BEST SONY PSP GAME OF 2009
Winner: Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier
Release Date: November 3rd, 2009
The Lost Frontier has a number of firsts for the Jak and Daxter franchise. It marks the first game in the Jak and Daxter series since 2005’s Jak X, the first chapter to not be produced by Naughty Dog (High Impact Games had the honors), and the first time a Jak and Daxter title is released on both the Playstation 2 and the PSP at the same time. The story picks up after the events of Jak 3, and Jak is faced in solving the world’s eco shortage problem. Combined with gameplay mechanics of the previous Jak games, The Lost Frontier offers an involving aircraft dog-fight aspect that included highly customizable vehicle design.
For a community that started out of fanfare for Jak X, the winning of The Lost Frontier as the best PSP game is a welcome return.
BEST NINTENDO WIIWARE GAME OF 2009
Winner: World of Goo
Publisher: 2D Boy
Release Date: October 13th, 2008
World of Goo is one of the best selling WiiWare title ever. In addition, the 1,000 Point download is also one the best reviewed games for WiiWare. These achievements could only be due to the game’s excellent character and world art design, a quirky sense of humor, and original sound score. The demo version of the game has since been made available as a free download for a limited time.
World of Goo marks the only title that was originally released in late 2008 in some regions to sneak into the voting options for the Gunslinger Gaming awards. Fair is fair since it was made as an option, however, and members have spoken their appreciation for the game’s high production value.
BEST MICROSOFT XBOX360 LIVE ARCADE GAME OF 2009
Winner: A THREE-WAY TIE! The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition, Defense Grid: The Awakening, and Space Invaders Extreme
Publisher: LucasArts (The Secret of Monkey Island)
Hidden Path Entertainment (Defense Grid: The Awakening)
Taito Corporation (Space Invaders Extreme)
Release Date: July 15th, 2009 (The Secret of Monkey Island)
September 2nd, 2009 (Defense Grid: The Awakening)
May 6th, 2009 (Space Invaders Extreme)
Members were certainly divided on what sort of gameplay they are looking for when downloading from
Xbox 360’s Live Arcade feature. The differences in genre alone speak volumes. Space Invaders Extreme, which adds boss battles and multi-player modes to the game’s classic formula, is a shooter. Defense Grid, which tosses players into the desperate task of defending futuristic towers against platoons of aliens, is a real-time strategy game. The Secret of Monkey Island, which puts players in a role of a young pirate who must slash and steal his way into respect, is a point-and-click adventure game. What does such a division mean? That is for to you to decide.
MOST ANTICIPATED GAME OF 2010
Winner: The Legend of Zelda 2
Release Date: TBA 2010
The first Legend of Zelda released for the Nintendo Wii showcased a darker and older Link than who is often protrayed in the anime stylized Nintendo DS games. According to an interview of Shigeru Miyamoto, fans will be treated with a more weathered version of Link in the Wii’s sequel. Not much else is known about the project, but, as demonstrated by poll results, franchise fans expect much from the second Legend of Zelda game for the Nintendo Wii.
GAMING CONSOLE OF THE DECADE
Winner: Sony Playstation 2
Release Date: March 9th, 2000 (Japan)
It really shouldn’t be a surpise that Sony’s second stab at releasing a gaming console was the winner of Gaming Console of the Decade. The Playstation 2 does hold the record of the best selling home console in history, after all. It offers free online multi-player abilities. It boasts a gigantic library of titles, exclusive and otherwise. Heck, it was still outselling the Playstation 3 until mid 2009, which is quite a feat for a console published ten years ago.
Thank you all for your involvement in the first annual Gunslinger Gaming Game Awards. Our community has grown quite abit in 2009, and we have our excellent body of members to thank. The Gunslingers look forward to gaming in 2010 and beyond.