- Scribbled on January 7th, 2009 by Jonah Falcon
- Filed in GameStooge Game of the Year Awards, Microsoft Xbox 360, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii, PC, Platforms, Sony PlayStation 2, Sony PlayStation 3, Sony PSP
This is it – the final segment of the GameStooge Awards – the Platform Awards, in which we declare each system’s best game, as well as the ultimate prize, the Game of the Year Award, among all platforms and genres.
The winners are:
BEST PLAYSTATION PORTABLE GAME OF 2008
God of War: Chains of Olympus
(Other Nominees: Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, MLB 08: The Show, Patapon, WipEout Pulse)
This year for the PlayStation Portable wasn’t strong, but the winner, God of War: Chains of Olympus, was good enough to win in any year. Featuring gorgeous graphics and typical God of War blood-and-bone graphic violence, Chains of Olympus was everything a beat-’em-up fan could want.
Jonathon Howard’s Choice: God of War: Chains of Olympus. God of War‘s fantastic gameplay comes to Sony’s handheld with Chains of Olympus. A bright spot amongst a rather boring year for the PSP.
BEST NINTENDO DS GAME OF 2008
Professor Layton and the Curious Village
(Other Nominees: Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia, Chrono Trigger, Viva Pinata: Pocket Paradise, The World Ends With You.)
On the other hand, the lineup for the Nintendo DS had stronger entries, though partially due to the many adaptations of older Square-Enix titles, one of which (Chrono Trigger) earned a nomination. However, the winner is also the winner of Best Adventure Game on any system – Professor Layton and the Curious Village. Its anime cartoon graphics, challenging puzzles and intriguing plot made this the sleeper hit of the Nintendo DS.
Jonathon Howard’s Choice: Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia. Konami revitalized their flagging Castlevania franchise with this great entry. Adding on to the definitive Symphony of the Night, Ecclesia is a solid platformer/action RPG worth playing!
BEST WII GAME OF 2008
No More Heroes
(Other Nominees: Call of Duty: World at War, Mario Kart Wii, Rock Band 2, Super Smash Bros. Brawl.)
The Wii’s lineup, compared to its handheld cousin, the DS, was very weak. There were few major releases, and even the good titles were either adaptations of games (like Rock Band 2) or just lazy Wii-makes of older Nintendo console staples. That is perhaps why No More Heroes is the best Wii game of the year – it’s exciting, fun and most importantly, unlike any Wii game out there. Over-the-top and crazy, No More Heroes was the antidote to Wii boredom.
Jonathon Howard’s Choice: Super Smash Bros. Brawl. If I have to pick a Wii game this is going to be the only one I can get behind. The same multiplayer madness I remember from the N64.
BEST PLAYSTATION 2 GAME OF 2008
(Other Nominees: FIFA Soccer 09, LEGO Batman, LEGO Indiana Jones, MLB 08: The Show.)
As the PlayStation 2 nears the end of its life-cycle, faithful gamers got the next episode of the popular high schoolers-in-trouble roleplaying game, Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4. Its strength comes not from the solid gameplay, but from the engaging plot with characters you actually care about, so that when bad things happen to them, you feel for them. Persona 4 is definitely a must-buy for any PS2 owner.
Jonathon Howard’s Choice: Persona 4. The best swan song for the PS2 I can think of. Persona is a series that has grown slowly here in the States but has done so steadily, mostly because of the story, in-depth character, and great gameplay (100s of hours of it!)
BEST PLAYSTATION 3 GAME OF 2008
(Other Nominees: Grand Theft Auto IV, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Resistance 2, Rock Band 2.)
LittleBigPlanet continues to be the best reason – some say the only reason – to buy a PlayStation 3. A great looking platformer with reams of user-generated content; LittleBigPlanet has more staying power to it that any other title nominated save Rock Band 2. While LittleBigPlanet is not the system seller that Sony may have wanted it to be, every PS3 owner must own a copy of it.
Jonathon Howard’s Choice: LittleBigPlanet. This game isn’t the hit Sony was hoping it’d be, but it is certainly the best game the PS3 has seen yet. A great misunderstood game that allows for a ton of creativity and fun, even with levels that are pretty NSFW.
BEST XBOX 360 GAME OF 2008
(Other Nominees: Fable II, Gears of War 2, Left 4 Dead, Rock Band 2.)
The Xbox 360 had tons of great titles this year, many of which just fell short of nomination, but we’ll just say this: Fallout 3 was just too huge, too big, too well-written, and too immersive not to win it all. Since this isn’t the last time Fallout 3 will be mentioned in the Awards, we’ll discuss the other nominees: Fable II was everything Fable was supposed to be, and the player’s dog was as brilliant as Peter Molyneux advertised. Gears of War 2 pushed the Xbox 360 to its limits, with definite upgrades to acting and plot as well, while Left 4 Dead and Rock Band 2 were the pinnacles of co-op play, though for different reasons.
Jonathon Howard’s Choice: Fallout 3. See below.
BEST PC GAME OF 2008
(Other Nominees: Grand Theft Auto IV, Left 4 Dead, Sins of a Solar Empire, Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning.)
On the PC, there were fewer major titles, but they were all masterful in their own right. Fallout 3 wins again, but only by a hair over Left 4 Dead, whose gameplay was perfectly fitted for PC gameplay, even more so than the Xbox 360. Grand Theft Auto IV was a latecomer to the PC party, and despite its technical problems was still a great experience with better graphics than its console counterparts. Stardock’s space opera strategy game Sins of a Solar Empire was a nice gift for PC strategy gamers, while Mythic Studios took the best parts of Dark Age of Camelot and used it to make Warhammer Online, the first massively multiplayer online roleplaying game that made PvP tolerable for gamers who hated PvP in other MMOs.
BEST GAME OF 2008
(Other Nominees: Gears of War 2, Grand Theft Auto IV, Left 4 Dead, LittleBigPlanet.)
This is it, the Best Game of 2008. Well, if you’ve read this far, then you know that the winner is no surprise. It won Best RPG of 2008, Best Xbox 360 Game of 2008, and Best PC Game of 2008, and it captures the overall prize. There are so many factors that made Fallout 3 so special: the look of the game, making even a post-apocalyptic desert beautiful; the theme and setting; the storyline and voice acting; the VATS system and action; the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. and Karma roleplaying game elements; from beginning to end, Fallout 3 felt like an event. Kudos for Bethesda, who have the unenviable task of trying to one-up their own creation.
Jonathon Howard’s Choice: Fallout 3. I spent more time with Fallout 3 than I did with any other game this year. It wasn’t even a contest. This game lived up to my expectations and I thoroughly enjoyed it, over and over!