The 2008 Peoww Awards
Wow, has it really been a year? Last year’s awards were all Halo this and Call of Duty that with a few gems thrown in and was maybe a bit of a generic one. So what of this year? Well, we’ve had some big hitters. Even the PS3 managed to get the odd exclusive as well.
PEOWW went from strength-to-BLEOWW with some hot sexy traffic ratings and more reviews than you could shake a Wiimote at, whilst the world’s economy literally imploded (the two things are related). Now, the industry is thinking ‘fuck the casuals, they’re off buying baked beans and their nans can no longer play Brain Training cos they had to sell the DS to keep their kids in Sunny Delight’ and hardcore gaming is coming back.
2008 had a bit of everything for everyone. Huge titles, hidden gems, wierd stuff from Sony, more pointless arm-waving games for Wii owners and even a bunch of bedroom coded shit on Xbox Live. So let’s celebrate 2008 with the readers of PEOWW and their award votes for 2008. Let’s celebrate it good.
Once again, the 360 got all the sauce over its chops with big exclusives all over the shop. It didn’t outsell the Wii but then it didn’t outsell Leona Lewis either. Know what I mean?
3rd Place – Gears of War 2. Epic’s chav-pleasing shooty fest got a few second and third place votes and just edged out GTA4, Left 4 Dead, Rock Band 2 and the excellent Burnout Paradise for a podium position. Sure, it was just more of the same but it sure was pretty.
“Probably one of the most complete sequels I’ve ever played. Epic have taken on board the criticisms of the first game and improved on them greatly.” – Mafro
2nd Place – Fable 2. Lionhead’s sequel to the ambitious-but-flawed Fable scooped plenty of big votes with our readers.
“After the disappointment of Fable 1, and watching with my tongue firmly in cheek as the staff of Lionhead promised the same things over again for Fable 2, I was surprised at how much of a cohesive world they managed to put together this time round. Everything from the basic combat to the property system is set up to give you back exactly what you put into it. Far from the worries about single button combat equalling only a dumbed-down experience, the rhythm of combat is great fun against entertaining enemies.” – MrCaptainEvil
XBOX 360 GOTY – Fallout 3. The winner by some margin, Fallout 3 was swept into first place. Sure, it alienated fans of the original Fallout games but Bethesda know what they’re doing and if they say Fallout needs to go all FPS then it does.
“Open-ended super-mutated RPG genius” – Cale
Not much choice for games you’d actually vote for this year. As MrCaptainEvil put it “I refuse to choose from a short-list of three games. But as the system sits with a flashing blue light I look back and wonder when a developer other than Nintendo is going to actually figure out how to use it for good.”
3rd Place – Battle of the Bands. It may be the poor man’s Guitar Hero/Rock Band but it scraped enough votes to get in the top three. That’s good, yeah?
“Cheap as chips, easy to play and with great tunes like Blitzkrieg Bop played as a country song this is a must for any self respecting music lover” – Odiedodie
2nd Place – Super Smash Bros Brawl. Ninty’s manic fighter scored a lot of votes with the beat ’em up starved Wii owners on the site.
“Ultimate Nintendo fan service with a great selection of characters and stages from Nintendo’s back catalogue” – Mafro
Wii GOTY – No More Heroes. Um… No More Heroes was good apparently.
“Phenomenal game which poked loving fun at all aspects of the gaming scene and had more inventive ideas than you could shake a stick at.” – Sidekick
Now this is progress. The PS3 awards actually got a few votes this year and not just for stuff that’s better on the 360. Is Sony turning the corner finally?
3rd Place – Wipeout HD. A reinvention of the game that apparently got clubbers gaming, before they started stabbing each other that is.
“riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiidge racerrrrrrrrrrr” – Ambient
2nd Place – Little Big Planet. ‘Do it yourself but let us moderate it to fuck’ gaming from Sony.
“Quite frankly theres nothing else like it. And in this day and age new things are rarely seen in games.” – Odiedodie
PS3 GOTY – Metal Gear Solid 4. Konami may be snatching defeat from the jaws of victory with Pro Evo but this category’s runaway winner, Metal Gear 4, proves they can still make a good game.
“It’s arguably more cut-scene heavy than all the other 3 games put together and the story, whilst tied up, is slightly retarded. However, it’s the first exclusive that genuinely delivered. It looks stunning and attempts to be nicely open-ended for those who struggle with stealth. The camouflage system is now streamlined and Kojima tries his hardest to make this the most cinematic of the series.” – Shindig
We do like an online sesh here at PEOWW even if it usually ends in tears. Usually the big deathmatchy things win out but not this year. Also, LOL @ PendanticJase’s vote for Too Human.
3rd Place – Battlefield: Bad Company A very strong showing for a game that no-one seems to play anymore (bleoww).
“Great arcadey fun that frequently made me laugh with its in-game dialogue. Online is now a million times better with eight-player voice chat.” – Odiedodie
2nd Place – Left 4 Dead. Yeah, fucking zombies or something.
“It’s gotten a bit old too quickly but it’s still one of the funnest experiences I played this year” – Kenbo Slim
BEST ONLINE – Burnout Paradise. Well here’s a shock. A good Burnout game after all this time? Free DLC from EA? It may lack structure but when you want a good doss online, accept no substitute. Burnout Paradise was this categories landslide winner.
“Like Crackdown but with cars. Even though Crackdown has cars.” – Bluce_Ree
Fuck me… what a horrible year for XBLA with some truly disappointing hyped games and fucking outrageous pricing. Still there were some gems in amongst the faeces. No PSN category this year. That would have been as pointless as last year’s PS3 category. Peeeowww!
3rd Place – Rez HD. One of the best games of the previous generation and a reason why you can now box up that old Dreamcast without feeling guilty.
“Never played it before but was instantly hooked. The feeling of chaining to together kills in time with the music was a great feeling and it had some incredible bosses (especially the running man one). Great classic I wouldn’t have ever played otherwise.” – Kenboslim
2nd Place – Geometry Wars 2. Infinitely replayable and addictive and literally six times better than the original and without the awful music.
“It successfully captures the whole essence of the â€œLive Arcadeâ€. The variety of game modes will keep you hooked, as if it wasn’t addictive enough already and the stunning retro-HD visuals are an added bonus.” – Mafro
XBLA GOTY – Braid. Some will say that Braid was overpriced, too short and lacks replay value and they’d be right but that doesn’t even begin to take the shine off one of this generation’s best ever games.
“Braid is not the sort of game I would normally rate as highly. The art style is a sickly-sweet mix of stock-illustration and disgusting surreality. The story and writing is self-congratulating and layered beyond reason. But yet it is one of my best experiences of the year in gaming. The puzzle element is what really stands out, and even with the writing and art style so obnoxiously THERE it refuses to disappear up it’s own arse. The puzzles are unique in this era in that they never over-complicate with the knowledge that most people will just look it us on gamefaqs, they stay solvable and fair within reason. The final level, set up on purpose to become the stuff of game-blog legend gets away with it because it actually is very very clever. Indie cunts.” – MrCaptainEvil
You can buy Fallout, Fable, Gears, Metal Gear and whatever else but sometimes you’re just drawn to buy a sour fucking lemon. Lack of effort, care and general talent. That’s what makes a lemon. If you want more advice, just look at Tiq’s gamercard for the year.
3rd Place – Shawn White Snowboarding. Witht the lemony vote being split over fourteen games, Shaun White got in just ahead of Banjo Kazooey 2. To be honest, if everyone had played it, this would have won.
“Forty quid? Yeah, sounds fair enough. Do you accept Visa?” – Tiq
2nd Place – Home. Sure, the NXE was pretty awful but Sony certainly softened the blow for Microsoft by releasing this virtual fuck up.
“After a wait of ‘just’ 18 months after the original launch date promise SONY release the Beta of Home to what can only be described as a pack of shit-throwing internet monkeys. It’s hard to know what they could have released to make people interested in this sub-second life waste of space after microsoft improved their dashboard hand-over-fist with the NXE… not the avatars or the 3D navigation, but the Party system, keeping the blades but making them a quick menu and useful notifications when turning games on etc. But I tell you what, charging £6 for a shit 3D model of a chair and making people stand queuing for the opportunity to play a shit game of bowls and a shit arcade game is like throwing a coin into a river of shit and expecting everyone to jump in and be happy. Fucking Lemon.” – MrCaptainEvil
LEMON! – GTA4. Not strictly fair, as GTA4 was at least programmed properly and had some fun buried away in there but this was the standout winner. Also, if you’re wondering why you never see Odiedodie online, this was in his Lemon and Best Multiplayer votes.
“So much hype and so little originality.” – Cale
“Another nail in the coffin for Rockstar, solidifying the fact that they just aren’t trying anymore.” – Tiq
“Too much my fault for over hyping it, but frankly it was just a chore to even try and play. FYI in game buddies and socialising has to be the worst thing ever.” – Odiedodie
Where the lemons are just gaming fuck-me-don’ts, this category is for those games that just didn’t deliver, even if they did enough right to woo certain people (think Far Cry 2).
3rd Place – Mirror’s Edge. This cell-shaded, free-running title looked like being a little special. It was. But only in the ‘yellow bus’ kind of way.
2nd Place – Mercenaries 2.
The original was one of the great sandbox experiences. The follow-up was delayed, bugged and then ultimately forgotten about. “Half-made, half-arsed shadow of the original.” – Cale
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT – GTA4. Despite the hype and stellar reviews (hngh), it seems most of you were let down by GTA this time around..
“How Rockstar have gone from San Andreas is a mystery. Failure to address any of the problems that have been present since GTA 3 and devoid of any fun whatsoever. A step backwards.” – Mafro
Graphics whores celebrate! 2008 truly was the year of style over substance but at least it made buying those hi-def tellies worthwhile.
3rd Place – Braid Braid may have won the plaudits for its brain-melting puzzles, but David Hellman’s visuals were also superb in the game.
2nd Place – GTA4. It may not have won many fans at PEOWW with its gameplay but Rockstar’s graphic artists at least did their job right.
“The devil’s in the details, really. Liberty City is painstakingly detailed and seeing the lights go up on Manhattan is one of the real joys of the year. Rockstar have managed to create a city which doesn’t stand out like an uncanny valley.” – Shindig
BEST GRAPHICS – Gears of War 2. Homoeroticism for the win at PEOWW with big, muscley fellas running around with chunky guns. It was the standout game for graphics this year though.
“The Unreal engine gets a lot of flack but Gears of War 2 has shown its ability to produce arguably the best looking console game.” – Mafro
Er… best sound… again…
3rd Place – Left 4 Dead. Seems a lot of you like the sound of moans and screams…
2nd Place – Battlefield: Bad Company.. An odd choice, but it kept turning up in the votes.
“Explosions annd gunfire have never sounded so realistic.” – Mafro
BEST SOUND – Dead Space. EA’s space-based survival horror ran away with this award (and then presumably impregnated its face).
“The moment you walk out into your first spacewalk and notice the dulling of all ambient sounds you know you’re in for a treat. Then an alien attacks out of no-where and whereas indoors the music swells to alert you, the first you know your face is being eaten-off is that you can hear the echoed screams and hurried breathing of Isaac in his space suit. Frightening and so amazingly engrossing it puts everything else this year into perspective.” – MrCaptainEvil
With most devs playing it very safe, surprises were few and far between but if you took a few punts, you didn’t always end up with lemons. The vote was too split for a third place winner.
2nd Place – EA. Mainly due to Burnout Paradise and the masterful FIFA ’09.
“After years of Need for Speed rubbish, Paradise appeared out of nowhere and single-handedly restored my faith in both EA and the racing genre as a whole. Brilliant.” – P Wee
SURPRISE! – Braid. The runaway winner. Braid somehow managed to take a very classic look at the platform genre and injected it with fiendish, time-based madness that caught everyone off-guard.
“A very clever puzzler which came out of nowhere and had a unique take on both story telling and art design.” – MrCaptainEvil.
EA. Yes, seriously.
To be honest they probably only won it because we’re so used to them being cunts but with free DLC for Burnout Paradise and some genuinely high-quality games (including Dead Space which isn’t even a fucking sequel!) they somehow managed to turn around ten+ years of cuntitude.
“For refusing to let Brutal Legend Die” – Tiq.
It wasn’t eligible but Geck’s choice Man Babies probably should have won on principle. Also, ta for all the votes again! 😉
3rd Place – Gamestrailers. Yep… Gametrailers.
2nd Place – Destructoid. A decent site with a very nice reviews editor. Let down by having a forum full of cunts though, which is a shame.
Best Gaming Website – UK:Resistance. Where would we be without UK:R? They won last year and are still delivering the goods.
“Brilliantly cynical and hilariously written.” – Sidekick (who still owns a PS3).
Our final award sees the usual suspects ramping up the cringe-factor but with last year’s Hero of the Year in there dropping the ball in spectacular style…
3rd Place – Sony/Home.
“A shambolic broken lifestyle accessory for the soulless wannabes “cool” people.” – Sidekick.
2nd Place – Yahtzee/Game Damage. Stick to what you do best, Son.
“For coming up with that god-awful Game Damage pilot with what looked like Steve Hawkins geeky little brother and the cross between a hobbit and a plate of jello. Truly painful to watch.” – Kenboslim
LOL @ – Nintendo. A few votes, mainly based around Nintendo’s complete lack of understanding as to what proper gamers want.
“Enthusiastic bastards humiliate themselves for an audience that isn’t watching. Agony.” – Shindig on Nintendo’s E3 showing.