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GamesRadar's Officially Annual Platinum Chalice Awards 2008

 

We can’t stress enough that Time Hollow isn’t really a game at all; even the term “interactive novel” is stretching the truth. Sure, you have to tap the screen with the stylus to progress through the story (with a few very minor pixel hunts), but it’s no different than turning the pages of a book, and we don’t call that interaction.


Above: Gameplay! 

So the fact that we actually stuck it out until the end is proof enough that the story compelling. You play as teenager Ethan Kairos, who mysteriously acquires a pen that allows him to cut holes in time and alter past events. Wielders of the pen pay a price though, and every time he uses it, his own aging is accelerated as a side effect. The story starts with Ethan simply trying to reverse the mysterious deaths of his parents, but quickly adds complexity by throwing in a second, malevolent pen-wielder who’s fighting equally hard to keep his parents dead and erase Ethan along with them. Inexorably entwined in the whole mess is a woman who has somehow been left behind by the flow of time completely, and it’s up to Ethan to figure out how to safely return her to her own timeline without killing her in the process.

Time Hollow brilliantly shows the rippling qualities of cause and effect, and while we hate that it’s such a non-game, can’t help but commend it for a story that can hold its own against most of today’s popular anime fare and the like.

 

 

TFU was supposed to be played, not watched. With boring level design, idiotic targeting, repetitive enemies and enough bugs to torpedo any game without Wookies, this “canon” is far, far from classic.


 

 

The trailer for House of the Dead: Overkill left many a GR staffer squealing with delight at its lurid 70s B-movie stylings. After all, who doesn’t love random, shamelessly titillating cutaways to campy strippers and terrifying poisonous creepy-crawlies? It’s the stuff exploitation films thrive on. Looking back at the trailer, though, we realized that the game itself looked pretty underwhelming when isolated from the swingin’ presentation. While Overkill will certainly attempt to channel the grainy teen-slasher-drive-in vibe with its creepy carnival setting and faux distressed filters, we’re still harboring a healthy dose of skepticism. 

Take, for example, the developers salty claim that as many as 30 zombies will appear onscreen at once. While 30 whole zombies may challenge the upper limit of the Wii’s puny processing power and permanently scar many an 8-year-old raised solely on Poniez and Babiez and PetzCatz, it will likely feel anemic to true zombie mob connoisseurs fresh from Left 4 Dead and Resident Evil 5. Add in the fact that shooters are generally awkward on the Wii, and you have a game that will probably not live up to the excitement generated by its ingenious trailer. However, if Sega does somehow manage to recapture that House of the Dead arcade magic in Overkill, it’ll be a great M-rated boon to Wii owners slogging through that system’s craptacular family-casual overload.

 

 

Our media-soaked brains revel in the heightened states of consciousness induced by self-referential entertainment. Or, as Jack Donaghy on 30 Rock calls it, “Hippie humor.” On its face, Hazard seems to offer gamers a chance to seal themselves inside a giant mirrorball of videogame archetypery as the washed-up hero struggles to reclaim his former glory. Unfortunately, early reports indicate it may turn out to be a missed opportunity.

 


 

 

LIttleBigPlanet might look cute and innocent, what with its shiny-eyed Sackboys and their adorable range of expressions, but that’s just a cover for a surprisingly powerful, easy-to-use creation tool. And what’s the first thing the masses do when handed an outlet for their creativity? That’s right: they figure out how to use it to make dicks.


 
LBP puts a truly appalling arsenal of dick-making tools at the player’s disposal. With a few minutes and an absolute minimum of effort, creativity and/or thought, anyone experimenting with LBP’s level creator can create a crude, spongy dick-shape, a piston-powered mechanical phallus or an elaborate fire-breathing cock-monster with googly eyes and working mandibles. It’s even possible for users to take photos of their own dicks using the PlayStation Eye camera, and then plaster them across dick-themed levels for a level of online dick-sharing that’s unprecedented in console history.

 

True, the user-moderated content-filtering system does prevent a lot of those dicks from actually staying online, but even with restrictions, LBP’s incredible ease of use and ability to put a vast array of dick-shaping options at players’ fingertips makes it nothing less than a revolution in dick-shaping technology.


 
 

Spore doesn’t offer quite the same level of create-anything versatility that LittleBigPlanet does, but it’s got it all over its console rival in terms of popularity and sheer volume. Within seconds of Spore’s free Creature Creator becoming available, the internet was flooded with “Sporn” that largely consisted of dick-shaped (or just huge-dicked) creatures and enormous-breasted quadrupeds, and that proved PC gamers aren’t quite the high-minded elitists so many of them pretend to be.

 



 

We’ve mentioned Chronicles three or four times already, even more in TalkRadar, but we still feel like it’s going to absolutely disappear into the ether over the holiday break. There’s so much going against it (niche genre, exclusive to PS3, crowded release calendar) that there’s almost no way it’s going to keep its head above water. Why didn’t Sega port it to 360, or even PC given its strategy gameplay and unique presentation?

 

Funny how this happens, no? The entire gaming industry got behind Okami (including your pal GamesRadar), constantly telling you umpteen reasons why you desperately needed to play it. Then, once the horrid sales numbers starting coming in, and we realized how few people listened to the torrent of accolades, the industry spat out numerous articles saying yet again why you should play it. And no one did. Then it came out for Wii and the same thing happened again, again.

And now it’s going to happen with Valkyria Chronicles. Yet another solid, beautifully crafted game doomed to die because of circumstances entirely out of its control. Well, except for the release date. Sega really could have dropped it in a month that didn’t have 100 other games shipping. Oh well, at least it will be a glorious, beautiful death.

 

 

Okami can’t catch a break no matter what year it is or what platform it’s released on. It won this award back in 2006, and this year the Wii version fails to finish first in a category we made up specifically for it.

87 comments

  • rabbeseking - January 10, 2009 5:07 a.m.

    I'm going to go ahead and give credit to 4Player Podcast, a blog, podcast, community, and live broadcasting team. They raised over 1,500 dollars, from donations, for cancer research by doing a 24 hour live streaming video game-thon, and have also done a Legend of Zelda: OoT Race, to see who could beat it first. Read their blog: http://4playerpodcast.blogspot.com/ Where that video happened, and where you can watch them live: http://www.justin.tv/fourplayerpodcast Thanks rabbeseking, Forum Mod at 4PP Forums
  • sk8erb0iluis777 - January 3, 2009 7:52 p.m.

    |_| |_| | |
  • Codemunkey117 - December 30, 2008 1:26 a.m.

    EXELLENT ARTICLE!!! I agree with all but the GoTY runner up choice. Did we forget the anticipation and reviews of Halo 3!?!? At least something other than GTA4!!!!
  • NelosAngelos - December 28, 2008 7:26 p.m.

    Fallout 3, hell yes!! Game of the year ladies and gentlemen, and I couldn't agree more.
  • xSaintias - December 28, 2008 1 p.m.

    NO, WHY did you make the runner up for game of te year GRANBD THEFT AUTO 4 The game sucks, next time try something better?
  • WittyUsername - December 28, 2008 9:33 a.m.

    Capcom's retroness was so amazing this year it made me shat enough bricks to build a house that I could live in until the stench got to me and I had to raze it to the ground in a magical bonfire of shit and alcohol because of all the vodka in the shit house. So I'm basically saying they were good.
  • Gungfung - December 28, 2008 6:19 a.m.

    I also agree on Fallout 3 AND GTA 4 as GAME OF THE YEAR because they were the most funnest and long lasting games of 2008 AND i cant wait to see wat is in store for 2009!!
  • PerezI - December 24, 2008 6:50 p.m.

    Fallout 3 All Day Baby! Best game of the year by a long shot. How did GTA 4 make it to second place though? Boring as hell! I bought it the first day it came out and sold it the second day. Left 4 Dead. Right on there with every zombie just jumping on you because of the car alarm because of a stupid teammate woh wants the "challenge." Great Article!
  • strollingchimp - December 23, 2008 9:15 p.m.

    i'm glac that you have chosen fallout 3 for game of the year and i'm glad that gtaiv as runner up because i love both games
  • pinoklin - December 23, 2008 7:23 p.m.

    fallout kicks ass lol but i cant believe that they didnt included WOW WOTLK here...its easily the best game ive played all year...even though its an xpac it rulezzz......and last suckas
  • CountFenring - December 22, 2008 8:27 p.m.

    Huh, Okami got runner up at it's own award.
  • Milkman_Supreme - December 22, 2008 7:36 p.m.

    I'm happy that Fallout 3 and GTA4 won goty, they were my favorite games of the year too.
  • Jordo141 - December 22, 2008 5 p.m.

    So right in saying Rainbow 6 Vegas 2 is a very underrated game. It has multiplayer second only to Vegas 1
  • EvilInkarnate - December 22, 2008 4:18 p.m.

    "I'm not making the plan next time!!" Hahahaha!! Awesome L4D video!! Only thing better than that is the Super Mario Frustration video. Anywho, awesome article GR!! I, unlike a bunch of guys on this comments forum, totally agree with Fallout 3 for GoTY. I've been saying for a while, and especially after I got it the 1st day it came out, that it was gonna get GoTY. Between the openness, all the different paths, the gorgeous graphics and eerily surreal wasteland, the game is the closest game to near perfect that I've played all year. It's actually my 2nd favorite game, next to the perfection that is Bioshock!! I even have my Vault Boy bobblehead on the dash of my car...
  • foodlist97 - December 22, 2008 4:50 a.m.

    Yay!Fallout 3 got game of the year! that is probibly the best game i have ever played. im also happy that gears didnt get any rewards. that games suckes like hell. GTA 4 was a good choice for second. i knew Fallout 3 would be awesome because it resembles Oblivion and Oblivion is an awesome game.
  • RebornKusabi - December 21, 2008 11:32 p.m.

    I'm glad someone besides me thinks of Shanoa from Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia is hot. I guess it kinda proves, along with the runner-up choice, that you don't have to have massive cleavage and next to no clothing to have a hot game chick! Oh yeah and nice shout-out to the awesome Street Fighter Remix songs.
  • RonnyLive19881 - December 21, 2008 7:36 p.m.

    "I really do have to get around to buying Okami and no more heroes. I've been meaning to buy them for ages now." Do it! They are both awesome. I hope Okami gets a sequel like NMH! That would make my Decade.
  • jtan189 - December 21, 2008 4:01 p.m.

    Awesome article. I thought the LBP award was especially funny. GamesRadar is becoming my go-to place for games. Good work.
  • dreamgor - December 21, 2008 8:11 a.m.

    i HAVE TO AGREE on this it's so good but dissidia i have read that it comes to ds but some ppl say its only for PSP PLZ SAY THAT IT ISN't TRUE IT CAN't BE I WANT DISSIDIA!!!
  • marcusfenix22 - December 21, 2008 3:34 a.m.

    im so glad fallout 3 won over gta IV! Im tired of GTA IV taking in all the awards and fame! fallout 3 is just as good! anyway, great article!

Showing 1-20 of 87 comments

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