The Platinum Chalice Awards 2009

You know how big Halo is today? About 15 years ago, Street Fighter II was arguably bigger. Obviously the console versions were selling millions of copies each year, but the real impact was cultural – every arcade, pizza place, bowling alley, mini golf course and amusement park had at least one (if not more) units raking in fistfuls of quarters. A movie was fast tracked into production, several cartoons sprouted up, plus toys, spin-offs and a burgeoning tournament scene cemented Street Fighter as a genuine phenomenon. Sadly, by 2000, American arcades were gone, and this once unchallenged series faded from the spotlight.

Above: Until this year, that is 

After years of vague sequels aimed at diehard fans, Capcom delivered a true follow-up that recaptured the fun and accessibility of Street Fighter II while simultaneously reigniting the tournament crowd (and fighting genre) to new levels of popularity. The buzz was strong, the press reviews were near perfect and the community was flooded with gamers who all remembered the joy of interrupting an uppercut into a dragon punch.

Above: If there’s a tourney near you, do yourself a favor and GO 

Simply put, this level of resurgence rarely happens in any medium, and no one could have predicted such an astronomical recovery. Capcom hired the right mix of technical expertise and community-minded planners to pull this franchise back from the brink, and we’re immeasurably pleased with the results.

It’s rare when years of unrequited devotion return to love you back, but Punch-Out!! managed just that. It was a beautiful update, but more importantly it proved that our fond memories of acting out the sweetest science with a bare minimum of buttons didn’t require a rose-tinted interface. Knock your mom off that Balance Board and give it a whirl.

Anyone that decided to pass on Episodes from Liberty City's hard-hitting one-two of bad-tempered biker violence and well-groomed neon anarchy seriously missed out on some of the most fun to be had in 2009. Any Grand Theft Auto fatigue we may have been feeling post-GTA IV swiftly evaporated as both stories - Lost and Damned and Ballad of Gay Tony - effortlessly sucked us back in for more chaos and mayhem in Liberty City.

That Rockstar can *still* keep us completely hooked using the same basic sandbox shooting/driving template as first seen in GTA III eight years ago is testament to the developer's amazing creative talent. For our money, Ballad of Gay Tony actually marks itself out as being one of the highpoints of the entire series, with some of the best, most enjoyable, most outrageous, most shocking moments we've ever had the pleasure of playing. On this evidence, the phrase 'too much of a good thing' really does not apply.

The lombax and his metal sidekick used to be a big deal for PlayStation. But now... not so much. Which is criminal, because while the formula is certainly well worn, it's been a while since we had quite this much fun traversing the galaxy hoovering up bolts.

While some games are happy to use one trick as its main gimmick (like the physics destruction of FlatOut), DiRT 2 uses it more subtly, in a real-life context. If you hit a tyre wall, it comes apart. It doesn't fill the screen with tyres and cover the track – real life doesn't work like that. It's the subtlety that wins it. Not so subtle: our gushing Super Review that awarded the game a 9/10. Check it.

Incredibly, there's something breathtaking everywhere you look. We can't think of one bit that's merely average. Water reflects sun, scenery and cars, while it ripples in 3D. Stone breaks when you hit it, grass flattens under your wheels, squishy tires react to pressure. Telegraph poles can be knocked over, their cables coming down to and reacting to your car as you brush them. Wing mirrors continue to reflect the scenery as they fly through the air after a particularly massive crash. In short, it's amazing.

From the 3D recreation of the famous Cavern Club to the psychedelic scenes of the intro sequence, it's simply perfect. Even the Fab Four's facial hair is chronologically accurate. Good job, as Beatles fans are probably the second-most hawk-eyed scrutinizers of their subject in the world. Right after game fans.


  • deathrebellion - January 27, 2010 8:11 p.m.

    @ Ricohet3438 thats the UK/US english difference u dope
  • deathrebellion - January 27, 2010 8:10 p.m.

    cudn't agree with u guys more
  • Ricochet3438 - January 6, 2010 12:54 a.m.

    it drives me crazy when you ppl at GR spell wotds that should have z's with s's. realized for instance. read the thing for borderlands. it should be realized but instead they put realised. its not the first time theyve done it either. just because a word has an s sound dsnt mean tht it is spelled with an s. maybe tht hypothesis about videogames ruining your brain is correct. if so, GR is certainly proving it.
  • Anduin1 - January 6, 2010 12:18 a.m.

    uncharted 2 wasnt revolutionary? What game came before it that did what it did and garnered that kind of acclaim? Sure AA was good but game of the year good? HELL NO. Nobody even disputing if its good or not. All I know is gamesradar has forever lost the shred of credibility it had. They couldve put any other game in that place but when in a review you state that "x is better than Y" and then give y the prize, you lost.
  • racsonia - January 5, 2010 9:48 a.m.

    Idk y but at one stage i was thinking of not getting Uncharted 2 and shrugging it off, but now after it came runner up it sounds great, maybye the ads just didint do a good enough job for me?
  • sofaku - January 5, 2010 1:02 a.m.

    i cant say im not surprised. Arkham asylum is a great game but i dont know about game of the year. i think the onlything i really like about arkham asylum is the satisfaction of slowely taking out every enemy in a room and watching their heart rate rise. my pick for game of the year would either be MW2 or assassins creed2.
  • t3rry747 - January 4, 2010 4:20 a.m.

    sry 4 the twin post but 4 all you people saying uncharted is better than AA thats exactly what there say just that uncharted wasnt revoultionary it stuff every one has seen batman is the first good comic book game EVER!!!! read the article damn it
  • t3rry747 - January 4, 2010 4:09 a.m.

    wow im really suprised AC2 didnt win anything it was fantastic.
  • dante1924 - January 3, 2010 2:20 p.m.

    Sorry for another post, but EVERYBODY I know seems to think that all of these games are complete shit. Except for MW2, L4D2, and maybe Assassin's creed 2. For everything else, they all stare at me blank eyed, then talk about how stupid I am. I think I should print this list and show those fanboys who's right!
  • dante1924 - January 3, 2010 2:04 p.m.

    I tried spreading the word about Muramasa, just like you said, but everyone that I told about it said it looked stupid. That should be a crime! Also, it's not really related, but at nintendo world, I saw that you could play Muramasa! So I started it up, and it said that I needed the nunchuck to play. But there was none! So why the hell was it even on display? It's good and all, but if you can't play it, than why... Oh gamesradar, how you like to shoehorn okami into anything!
  • kevs223 - January 3, 2010 1:41 a.m.

    Damn...I can't believe Arkham Asylum won coz i really hate dis game(^^no offense for the players of this game) coz i think Assassin's creed is way better...
  • shinyscizor93 - January 1, 2010 2:20 a.m.

    Just got Batman Arkham Asylum, and I have to agree 100%. The most amazing game I've ever played. Great graphics, storyline, combat system, and unique boss battles (like Scarecrow levels) plus the accuracy from Batman's story make it one truly amazing game. Even the demo is so great it will make you want to go buy the game immediately.
  • oreomonkey - December 31, 2009 4:16 a.m.

    personally, Batman Arkham Asylum is garbage and boring no way is it game of the year
  • Anduin1 - December 29, 2009 4:15 a.m.

    and yea the whole review by you guys stating its better than AA is dumbfounding, looking real foolish
  • Anduin1 - December 29, 2009 4:13 a.m.

    Wow... uncharted beaten by arkham asylum? I mean Batman is prob my top 3 comic book heroes ever but Uncharted 2 was just epicness in gaming unseen as of that point. I can take that slight but "oh shit" moments in MW2? Are you kidding? The game played like a fantasy shooter with its ridiculousness whereas Uncharted 2 had real moments that could actually happen. Chopper on the rooftops, tank invading a village, moving through a train...vs snowmobiles and uzis, and what? I once read something real poignant about MW2. MW1 if it was a movie would've been directed by Francis Ford Copola whereas MW2 was a Michael Bay movie. At least you guys gave Demon's Souls some love, game doesn't get enough press imo.
  • Howetzer - December 28, 2009 10:01 p.m.

    phoenicks, excellent point! From the reveiw of Uncharted 2 in the section that GR puts in called is it better than... Batman: "Yes, just. And before you Batman fans get your knickers in a twist, let us explain. AA's combat system is fantastic and the world they've created around the Dark Knight is well realised, but it is relentlessly dark and bleak. The variety of environments and the aformentioned story-telling in Uncharted 2 snatches the victory." So can GR explain their way out of this one? Hrmm. I thinks not. Please though GR answer phoenicks question won't you? oh yeah and @LieutenantCipher, all I got from your comment is that I had excellent points, so thank you very much for that =). Peace.
  • phoenicks - December 27, 2009 4:09 p.m.

    Not for nothing, but the review for Uncharted 2 clearly states that it is a better game than Arkham Asylum. How, then, can Batman be the Game of the Year?
  • LieutenantCipher - December 26, 2009 11:34 p.m.

    I should have known that not even the Platinum Chalice Awards would be safe from fanboy rage, Howetzer and Crazyqazqaz, you two should be ashamed, both your comments are riddled with fanboy rage and you have 1 or 2 good points. As for you Gamesradar, I sense some serious Sony ass-kissing going on here, Uncharted 2 seems plastered all over this article in an uncharming way and Arkham Asylum wasn't nearly as great as you say it was.
  • secretsearcher - December 25, 2009 5:35 p.m.

    Really? Was Batman really THAT good? I haven't played it, and honestly, I don't intend to. I guess I just can't get past the "superhero games automatically suck" mindset. Oh well. Thumbs up for the Okami Award. Which reminds me. If you haven't yet, please buy Okami and play it. Please. Your life is not complete until you play this game.

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