Please find enclosed the second installment in our (and your) Best of 2009 Non-Awards. Part three is on the way, followed by our Best Game(s) of 2009, then…the Best Worst ofs. And in case you missed it:
Bitmob’s Best of 2009: Part 1
Bitmob’s Best of 2009: Part 2 (you are here)
Bitmob’s Best of 2009: Part 3
Bitmob’s Best Games of 2009
Bitmob’s Best Worst of 2009: Part 1
Bitmob’s Best Worst of 2009: Part 2
Best Character: The Joker, Batman: Arkham Asylum
By Aaron Thomas
Mark Hamill’s portrayal of the Joker in Batman Arkham Asylum was
absolutely amazing. In my mind it’s the greatest character/voice-actor
combination in video game history — there’s really no contest.
While many developers and publishers try to save some cash (or
show how “smart” they are) by going with an unknown actor for their
voice-acting needs, Rocksteady Studios and Eidos wisely opted for an actor who
long ago had proven he could play Joker’s unique brand of crazy on Batman: The Animated Series. Hamill’s commitment to make the
Joker sound like an absolute raving lunatic is what makes his performance so
great. If you swap Hamill for a half-assed actor, neither the Joker nor the
game as a whole would be as interesting.
Words alone don’t Hamill’s
performance justice, so sit back, watch this video, and admire the madness.
Best Boss Battle: Tainted Coil, Brutal Legend
what you will about Brutal Legend‘s
RTS, bait-and-switch design — the final boss is fantastic. Games are
often structured similarly to algebra lessons, and Brutal Legend’s final battle
serves as a test of everything the player should’ve learned up to that point.
On the hardest difficulty, you must skillfully manage a variety of troops and
most if not all of your solos, and take part in the battle yourself. The second
half of the fight doesn’t fare as well, but it’s still a great set piece, and a
wonderful way to end a game. It also helps that Rob Zombie’s “Superbeast“
is the first song that plays during the battle….
Best (Non-Obscenely) Difficult Game: Rhythm Heaven
It happens, and it happens uncontrollably while playing Rhythm
Heaven, the DS rhythm game from the team behind the WarioWare series. Don’t play it on a plane in this
post-underpants-bomber age, unless you want to headline the 11-o’clock news as
the “rowdy passenger” responsible for rerouting a flight.
difficulty comes in multiple flavors. Many of the stages require repeated
attempts to learn the necessary patterns, and the levels rapidly increase in
complexity and variety. Want to prove your skill? The only way to get a
“Perfect” is if you hit every single note — which sounds reasonable,
maybe even natural, except for the fact that the game itself decides when you
have the opportunity to try for a perfect, and on what stage. At that point you
have three opportunities to get it exactly right, or you’ll have to wait
however long until the game deigns to offer you another opportunity.
It is a bastard of a game,
and it’s also one of the best.
Game Everyone Hated But I Loved: Flower, Sun, and Rain
By Suriel Vazquez
Flower, Sun, and Rain is a bad game. Even I’ll admit that. It possesses a malicious intent to all of its
frustrating design that’s extremely off-putting. But I’ve come to love that the
game actually does something different both in terms of design and story. It’s
very likely that I’m suffering Stockholm syndrome (and that I feel the
need to validate my purchase because I spent the better part of a week
looking for a store that actually carried it). It’s definitely not for
everyone, but if you happen to find it for a low price and like quirky games,
it might not be a bad idea to give this extremely odd game a try.
Best Game-Related Meme: Dudebro
more accurately, Dudebro: My Shit Is Fucked Up So I Got To Shoot/Slice You II:
It’s Straight-Up Dawg Time. What started as an innocent comment in an Imagine:
Babyz Fashion thread on the NeoGAF forums took on a life
of their own. The fake game immediately caught the imagination of the
community, and dozens of photoshops and mock-ups ensued. But when user Mik2121
rendered Dudebro in 3D, the meme never looked back.
Now a group of 92 volunteers are hard at work on
an actual Dudebro game scheduled for, believe it or not, May 2010.
Best of Blurbs (click on the title to read the full text)
Television Commercial: The Life, Halo 3: ODST
“It flips the Halo mythology on its head, much like the game itself –
you are not the all-powerful hero. You are a fallible and expendable piece of a
larger machine.” (Watch it here.) -Andrew Hiscock
Life-Ruining Game: Dragon Age: Origins
“For me, Dragon Age: Origins became the thing I did whenever I had a
spare moment. When I would come home from school the first thing I would do is
re-enter its seemingly endless world.” -Dylan
Game About Trains to Play on the Train: Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box
“It takes place on a train, and while it’s about solving puzzles, it
does an amazing job of whisking the player away in a charming and magical
manner. Professor Layton and his cohorts explore every inch of the locomotive,
but also visit a mysterious destination and several stops along the way.” -Jeff Grubb
“Most PC games require split-second reflexes and pin-point mouse
accuracy, and thus, aren’t best suited for play on a speeding hunk of steel. In
Gratuitous Space Battles, you build your fleet — one ship at a time — and
place cruisers, frigates, and fighters in deep space at your own pace. Then
just sit back and watch the fireworks ensue as your fleet engages the enemy!” -Rob
Best One Man Army: Alex Mercer, Prototype
“No one else wrecked as much shit as Prototype protagonist Alex Mercer. While Infamous‘ Cole McGrath was
busy wrestling with issues of morality and loyalty, Alex was kicking
helicopters in the face, literally running up buildings, and throwing tanks at
other tanks.” -Suriel Vazquez