The Anti-Awards 2009

Not only did Infinity Ward inadvertently reward the elite of the online battlefields with Pave low perks and game-breaking nukes, they accidentally left a whole bunch of nasty cheats in for folk to exploit too. From scenery glitches that allow you to shoot at people but not be killed inside a rock to loadout combos that turned you into a suicide bomber, MW2 was riddled with these flaws until the developers finally patched things up.

Above: That sure was a fun week of multiplayer

But where will it stop? Just as Infinity Ward removes one problem, the great unwashed of the online gaming find another way to spoil things for other people. Boosting sessions where a bunch of idiots agree not to kill each other are all the rage at the moment. This involves using the G18 pistols and a riot shield – shoot the shield of another patsy and you’ll unbelievably gain XP up to 5000 and beyond. No wonder there are far more people online with Prestige rankings.

We understand that even the most careful QA sessions will inevitably throw up some problems that slip through the net, but Modern Warfare 2 EASILY contained the most in 2009.  

Runner-up – Ghostbusters: The Video Game (PS3)

The dialogue was out of synch, the game would occasionally freeze for no reason and a certain ghoul was missing from the game entirely, meaning you couldn’t collect a Trophy for recapturing them all.

But then Terminal Reality released a patch for PS3 and it fixed everything that was broken. Except – and this is a big one – upscaling the visuals to 720p, which means it’s not actually an HD version of the game. Oh, and - at the time of writing - that missing ghost is still missing. Oops.

Come now, Capcom. Off-screen decapitations when Chris and Sheva get too close to bag-wearing chainsaw dudes? That just isn’t going to cut any sort of mustard. Where are Resi 4’s gruesome and painfully slow death animations? The ones where you can feel every sinew, muscle and piece of flesh writhing in agony as Leon gets his head sawed off, impaled by hundreds of spikes courtesy of an Iron Maiden or his faced melted right the hell off.

Above: Censored for your SANITY

OK, so technically there’s still quite a lot of blood and guts in Resi 5. But compared to its predecessor, the toned down deaths are a bloodless slap in the face to the little gore hound in all of us. Not only do they look laughably tame next to Dead Space, they also rob the game the sickening shock value that used to come with getting butchered by a baddie in Leon’s Spanish adventure.

Runner-up – Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2

2008’s Ninja Gaiden 2 was a hyper-violent, 360-only action title that continued the series’ trend of flashy, stylized gore. The PS3 remake, released in 2009, replaced most of the red spray with just plain lovely purple swooshes for no compelling reason. Um, it’s already an M-rated game, guys. You might as well leave its trademark limb-severing goo intact.

Above: 360/PS3 comparison – where’d the blood go?

At one point called “the worst-kept secret of E3,” the PSPgo presented a radical redesign of the PSP that somehow managed to completely ignore the one improvement fans had spent years asking for: a second analog nub (and no, the ability to use PS3 controllers with it doesn’t really make up for that). In its place, we got a slightly smaller screen, a compact slide-open design, 16 GB of built-in memory and no UMD drive. And while that latter omission means faster load times and longer battery life, it also means there’s no way to play any UMD games you may already have bought.

Above: It can, however, access the PlayStation Store… but so can regular PSPs

In essence, what was teased as a brand-new machine turned out to be five-year-old hardware in a smaller package, with some of the functionality removed. There’s nothing wrong with that by itself – after all, Apple and Nintendo do similar things all the time – but what makes it outrageous is the $250 price tag. That’s about $80 more than the original-flavor PSP-3000, and only $50 cheaper than a new PS3. If it were less expensive than the existing model, or even the same price, we could get behind it – but paying new-technology prices for an overdue redesign that offers little new functionality, and effectively renders your existing game collection useless, simply doesn’t make sense.

Runner-up – Twitter on Xbox 360

Social media is about spontaneity and immediacy… we want to know what our friends are doing right this very minute. If getting us that information involves a torturous ten-minute process of twitchy analog sticks, useless controller buttons and constant mistake correction, we’d rather they just – you know – call.

Despite its flaws, Brutal Legend was damn loveable. When the heart and soul of a designer so clearly seeps through every second of a game, it’s hard to criticize it. On the other hand, some of us felt cheated by a devious switcheroo – we expected a hack-and-slash action game, and we got that, but with significant RTS portions sneaked in. We’re fans of the genre, but not so much on consoles, and Brutal Legend further confirms why RTS games simply cannot work well within the limits of a controller.

Without the speedy, precise control of a mouse, commanding multiple troops while trying to manage resources is like trying to herd screaming 4-year-olds through hip-deep mud. To make matters even more finger-breaking, you weren’t some ghostly god surveying the battlefield, but instead still controlled Jack Black, so you had to build units and command them to move around while also playing a third-person hack-and-slash game. For no reason other than to be annoying, the game also only let you command troops within earshot unless you used special guitar solos. Then there were the Grim Reaper horse-riding guys that seemed able to kill your whole army single-handedly. On Normal difficulty. And finally, there were special attacks you could perform that the game never even told you about or didn’t properly explain, which you’d only know about if you read the manual.

Really, we did love Brutal Legend. But in the sequel, please Tim Schafer, no more RTS sections. They were so NOT metal.

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  • Oddeh7 - May 27, 2010 7:26 p.m.

    "It’s an awful game guys, every major reviewer has given it a poor score, don’t buy it, trust me on this. – 5.0/10 – 2/5 Your kids will be immensely disappointed. 6.1 Cat says: 12/17/2009 at 5:54 PM Well, I have to respectfully disagree with you and the other reviewers. As you can see from the video, my son (who is 8 by the way) absolutely loves the game. He’s not an adult, serious gamer, but a child that enjoys the ability to skateboard in our home in a safe environment. From a parental perspective, I enjoy it as much as he does. There’s no violence and he’s getting physical activity. 6.2 Alakazam says: 12/17/2009 at 6:06 PM I suppose children ARE easily amused,,,,, 6.3 Cat says: 12/17/2009 at 6:08 PM Yes sir, they are." I actually found this on the site's review for this. LOL. Also, who scores games by just saying if you should buy it? reCaptcha: penwell would Yes he would. (soz for long post)
  • ActiveCancer - March 26, 2010 4:29 a.m.

    That seslers rant was hilarious "do you F*** your mother" i haven't got a ps3 and if i were to get one and a game i would look at killzone
  • theres1dentevil - February 13, 2010 6:13 p.m.

    sessler had me in stitches, he had a right to be pissed off.loved the inventive put downs when having a go at the nobs who wrote to him. brilliant.
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  • TheHolyHandGrenade - January 18, 2010 9:22 p.m.

    I dont know whats worse. The Great Killzone debate or the MAG Argument. seriously, on every single youtube video of MAG theres sombody who says the games crap and somone how compares it to COD6 and somone who says both games suck. Its starting to annoy the hell out of me
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  • WrathLord03 - January 12, 2010 9:52 a.m.

    I honestly think the Eye of Indra Comic Book Series by Naughty Dog should be mentioned in the Shameless Grab for Cash. I mean, they release the first and second comic one week and then the third and last one the next. The first one is free, and the other three are $1.75 AUD each. Then, one week later, they introduce a pack that allows you to buy all four comics along with TWO exdclusive multiplayer skins for $4.25AUD! Shameless!
  • country1st - January 12, 2010 3:57 a.m.

    if you have to glitch to win a game or get kills your a pussy and have no life. which means you must search the internet to find them too, that's fukin sad!! :(
  • country1st - January 12, 2010 3:50 a.m.

    ok for starters i own a 360 but killzone 2 looks bad ass. hell i want it my brother does and says its bad ass so people need to get over their bias bullshit. for all i care do all reviews for games on just ps3 or 360 unless there is an exclusive. their both fine systems and they both may have their drawbacks.Bias my ass.
  • venomman01 - January 10, 2010 10:02 p.m.

    I hate MW2 so fucking much reCAPTCH:medicine flushed
  • marioman50 - January 10, 2010 8:36 p.m.

    Oh god, the only thing I ever saw Rourke in was Sin city. Now I can totally picture Marv singing on stage at a jazz club, lol.
  • holiday7291 - January 9, 2010 6:31 p.m.

    hahaha, great killzone 2 video. couldnt stop laughing. and that guy is an idoit
  • AndyGiff93 - January 8, 2010 5:26 p.m.

    The Adam Sessler thing is brilliant, but he's right, the whole fanboy thing really became ridiculous around Killzone 2. Good article though, probably even more entertaining than the actual awards... lol
  • speno93 - January 8, 2010 3:18 p.m.

    Finally i was waiting for someone to confirm my 2 year sequel release suspicions and i was right!. Good article by the way.
  • reaperman22 - January 8, 2010 6:20 a.m.

    lol in that killzone vid the guy spelled stupid wrong, i love irony
  • inconceivable - January 8, 2010 6:19 a.m.

    The Wife Arm is never going to not be funny. I was just thinking that if his arm is his wife's essence, what does that make masturbation? (Please note: I'm a little bit drunk, but that does not affect the rest of my comment). Anyways, hilarious article. I was LOLing often, which led to me trying to explain to my mom what was so funny about the Anti-Awards. That didn't really work out.
  • ghostx101 - January 8, 2010 3:39 a.m.

    hahahahah on the video for killzone the guy, cliptag, said, "call me stuped" haha he spelled stupid wrong
  • FETALJUICE - January 8, 2010 1:55 a.m.

    Ha! Even before the whole awarding giving began, I just KNEW what game would be the worst of 2009, JUST by looking at the award icon. lol Anyways, IMO all of these awards were dead on. Great article GR!
  • Samael - January 8, 2010 12:59 a.m.

    @crumbdunky Dude, no offense, but if you need to rant that much, start a blog. Please stop clogging the comments. Great list, both funny & depressing.