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The Anti-Awards 2009

OK, we complain about this every year, but for the most part, developers have gotten pretty fair with aftermarket additions. Nevertheless, 2009 saw more than its fair share of high profile digital grifts. Prince of Persia kickstarted the gouge with DLC exclusive ending, brazenly entitled Epilogue. Capcom released a $5, less than 2 MB download for Resident Evil 5 about 45 minutes after the game hit store shelves, then proceeded to shake Street Fighter IV fans by the ankles over five character costume packs of questionable worth that could not be purchased individually. Madden 10’s “Elite Status” demanded an extra Abe Lincoln for the privilege of playing online in All-Madden difficulty, even though that’d always been possible offline free of charge.


Above: Parts of your favorite games most never got to see

But one of the biggest offenders for us was a clandestinely underhanded measure that used DLC to lure gamers back to retail. The Force Unleashed rewarded Star Wars fans - admittedly, a small audience -  with a handful of timely, reasonably priced DLC… then turned the tables on broadbanders by making the final expansion exclusive to the retail-only TFU: Ultimate Sith Edition. While it’s nice new players could purchase the whole shebang at a reduced cost, DLC users, those who arguably made the investment worthwhile, were left in the cold unless they wanted to re-buy a bunch of content they already owned just to complete the story.


Runner-up – Modern Warfare 2 UK price hike

There’s little more shameless than asking consumers to pay more for your game because it’s just so good and it cost so much to make, and, oh, a weak pound, right guys? Right, or maybe you just wanted to see if you could get away with it.


By now, you’ve undoubtedly forgotten that X-Blades ever existed in the first place. But the console versions of this wholly unremarkable PC title sure as hell received more than their fair share of unwarranted hype thanks in part to a “sexification” of the game’s Battle-Thong-clad heroine, Ayumi.


Above: The Japanese box art and a piece from the official art book entitled “Oops…!” shows that X-Blades was far more concerned with spilling DNA than blood

So what if the game featured highly derivative combat, next to no substance, and a light and dark skillset where “Blah” and “Boring” synthesized into the all new combat element of “Blahring!” Marketing didn’t let something as surmountable as yawn-inducing gameplay or a sense of dignity get them down, no sir! Instead they focused on what the game didn’t have: proportional tits and sensibly covered ass cheeks!


Above: GR fanned the flames with our “Turn Any Game Into X-Blades” contest


Runner-up – Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 boob jigglin’

We understand that advertising a rerelease of a game renowned for severed limbs and ball-breaking difficulty is a tough sell for television airwaves. But we’re really starting to resent the demographical target Tecmo has painted on us; from Dead or Alive to Ninja Gaiden, they’re resolute in their belief that our wallet is inextricably tethered to our erections.


Each and every Final Fantasy carries its own fanbase. Millions of Square-Enix devotees rally around the numbered entries, making each game not just a sequel, but also a franchise unto itself - a feat that no other series can claim. Here at the ‘Dar, we’re immeasurably fond of FFIV, the SNES entry that really shaped the future of Square’s RPG efforts. And despite those achievements, along with several remakes, no direct sequel was ever made. Until last year, that is.


Above: Broken Heart indeed

At first glance, it’s everything we wanted. Classic 16-bit graphics. All our favorite characters back together. Just weave a decent story, spruce up the battle system and we are so effing there. Oh, what’s that? It’s 800 Wii Points… for the first chapter? And the subsequent SEVEN chapters are all 300 Wii Points, concluding in ANOTHER 800 Point chapter? JESUS.


Above: Forty bucks, buddy!

Aside from the mobile phone-style price gouging that made the plot a disjointed mess, the game itself was a bastard-hard relic of tired gameplay. While the guts were the same, the battles were supremely boring and loaded with recycled enemy sprites and painfully uneventful bosses. Worst of all, the random encounter rate was off the scale, usually thrusting you into fights every other step. It all added up to a repulsive sequel that managed to sully an already outstanding (and completed) storyline. The old one holds up. This just plain sucks.


Runner-up – Damnation

We had our suspicions about Damnation, seeing as it came from a developer (Blue Omega) whose only previous work was in obscure horror films, but the game’s gritty, alternate-history steampunk setting and cowboys-meet-Prince-of-Persia action were enough to keep us interested right up to its release. Then we found out it was an unbearably tedious, hilariously broken and surprisingly ugly wreck, and suddenly we couldn’t distance ourselves from this clunker fast enough.

69 comments

  • 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. http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/104/1048292p2.html – 5.0/10 http://www.gamespot.com/xbox360/sports/tonyhawkride/review.html – 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.

Showing 1-20 of 69 comments

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