The Platinum Chalice Awards 2009

For a little while there, it looked like 2009 would be another rough year for the PlayStation 3. Sony’s flagship console started the year with a couple of strong exclusive games, although these didn’t really set the world on fire (unless you count the fanboy ranting that erupted around Killzone 2 and inFamous as “world on fire”), and when E3 rolled around, Sony looked to be playing an embarrassing game of me-too with Wii Motion Plus and the just-unveiled Project Natal.

Above: Please no

Beginning in late August, though, the PS3’s outlook suddenly and dramatically improved. First came the release of Batman: Arkham Asylum and its PS3-exclusive Joker levels. Then the PS3 Slim came roaring in out of nowhere – bringing with it the noticeably improved 3.0 firmware – and its $300 price tag proved to be the kick in the ass that hundreds of thousands of gamers needed to at last embrace the system. Finally, SCEA unleashed a one-two punch in the form of Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time and Uncharted 2, with the latter flooring critics, garnering near-universal acclaim and silencing haters.

Above: Finally, an indisputable killer app!

As the year draws to a close, the PS3 still hasn’t trounced its rivals, but it’s made itself a much more attractive proposition – and with MAG, Heavy Rain and God of War III all set to release in the first half of 2010, next year could very well belong to Sony.

Much as we liked the first Assassin’s Creed, it was hard to see it as anything more than a training run once we saw the epicness that was its sequel. Simultaneously fixing the original’s problems while hugely expanding its scope, Assassin’s Creed II took one of the most divisive franchises of 2007 and turned it into something big, bloody and incredibly fun.

Punch-Out!!, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Street Fighter IV and numerous Konami ReBirths... There wasn’t exactly a shortage of classic games that made a successful leap forward in time this year, but XSEED’s title appeared out of nowhere and bested them all without even relying on an established property. Based on a Japanese TV show you’ve never heard of, Retro Game Challenge not only recaptured the essence of classic games like Galaga, Ninja Gaiden and Dragon Quest pitch-perfectly, it celebrated the entire experience of actually being a gamer during that time.

Technically, the game stars a grade school kid and his friend, and is set primarily in a living room with a Famicom… which makes us love it all the more! The new, old games are ridiculously fun in their own right, plus combing through a fictional game magazine for tips and tricks as part of the overall gameplay has strangely validated our entire existence.

In any other medium, Chair and Epic Games’ salute to Super Metroid would seem like a derivative slap in the face. But instead it reaffirmed our love for the Nintendo classic, and showed that there’s plenty of fun (and financial success) to mine from making old new again.

Much like the Oscars tend to ignore movies released in a certain time period, videogame award lists often forget that January, February and March even exist. Unfortunately for Capcom, that’s when they tend to unleash their biggest hits, which this year happens to include the superb Resident Evil 5. It was undoubtedly the highest profile release of the season, with millions sold in a matter of weeks, but now, in late December, who’s still punching blood-caked Majini villagers into oblivion?

RE5 didn’t revolutionize shooters like its predecessor, nor did it fundamentally alter the nature of the Resident Evil franchise. Hell, it wasn’t even particularly scary. It was, however, a face-explodingly awesome action title with some of the best co-op we played all year. There’s new DLC on the way for early 2010 (there they go with that Jan~March stuff again), so even when RE5 becomes a hot topic again, it’ll be both too late and too early for any notable award. Never forget!

Even the few that played Deadly Creatures can’t remember if it came out in ’09 or ’08, which is ironic considering the game’s story is far from forgettable, especially when you realize you’re not just playing a random spider and scorpion – you’re actually playing the hands of Fate. Such a unique premise, wasted and forgotten.


  • 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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