The Anti-Awards 2009

Being the recipient of the Mom’s Best Game of the Yearis almost reason enough for Anti-Award top status. After all, a disappointing Tony Hawk game is nothing special, but Ride is emblematic of a larger problem currently clogging retail shelves with high-priced shovelware.

Ever wonder why there are so many standalone Guitar Hero games? Because they cost dick to develop! Activision’s basically splitting the cost of R&D between digital development and manufacturing a mountain of proprietary plastic, and that just doesn’t fly in the case of Tony Hawk… especially when you try to pass that cost off to consumers in the form of a shoddy, $120 bundle of failed interactivity.

The board itself is impressively sturdy. Clearly, a lot of time and care went into its creation (Seriously, we play with it all the time around the office without ever firing up a console.) But as a controller… it’s shit. Furthermore, reviewers were so confounded with the act of piloting the Contrabulous Flabtraption the game itself got away with being buggy, visually underwhelming, lacking in features, and a giant leap backwards for the franchise it set forth to resurrect. With all the responsiveness and functionality of a $4.99 iPhone game, you were given the option to play the game with a standard controller, something no gamer born after Wii Fit would ever do.

Runner-up %26ndash; Rogue Warrior

What a long, weird tale this is. First revealed in 2006 in a desert just outside Las Vegas, Rogue Warrior was pitched as Bethesda’s powerful entry into the FPS market. With Fallout 3 still to come and Oblivion raking in the cash, it was easy to assume the company would have another massive hit on its hands. Throw in a potentially revolutionary multiplayer mode that randomizes the layout each match, along with real-life supersoldier Dick Marcinko as the basis for the story and as an expert advisor, and surely we’ll be giving this a 9 or 10 by fall 2007.

Above: OH SHI-

Except Rogue Warrior completely, utterly disappeared. For three years. It switched developers (from Zombie to Rebellion), surfaced suddenly in mid 2009 with little fanfare, then quietly released in the shadow of Modern Warfare 2 and at least three other quality shooters. The result? A cartoonishly gritty, generic as hell FPS that’s choking to death on a 30/100 Metacritic average (25/100 on PC). Did we mention they somehow got Mickey “Nominated for Best Actor in 2008” Rourke to voice Marcinko? And this wasn’t promoted?

Above: We literally can’t quote one line from this. Rourke’s a-cussin’!

What began as a grand, ambitious project became a Z-grade FPS crapped out because everyone was tired of dealing with it. Instead of either canning it or actually sticking to their lofty goals, they called it quits and released this total wreck in the hopes that at least 10,000 people would confuse it with a good game.

Jan 6, 2010

The best games of last year, as chosen by the infallible geniuses at GamesRadar

The worst games, trends and people from an otherwise groundbreaking year

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