The Platinum Chalice Awards 2009

Borderlands is a very dangerous concept, and Gearbox Software are very bad men for realising it. We all know how time-munchingly compulsive RPGs like Diablo and World of Warcraft are, but to seamlessly blend all of that looting, leveling, character customisation and tactical depth with the visceral thrills of co-operative FPS? And a stunningly gorgeous, raucously fun, and downright funny one at that? Fiendish. Borderline insidious, in fact.

Suddenly no-one is safe from that all-consuming addiction usually reserved for WoW guilds. Even the hardiest, stat-avoiding, RPG-allergic shooter fan can’t fail to become absorbed in the accessible depth of Borderlands. Its super-streamlined mechanics make managing your increasingly impressive arsenal a breeze, and pimping out your character’s development into a fully-customised apocalyptic arse-kicker couldn’t be easier. And did we mention that there are potentially 17 million unique guns to forage for? Alone, Borderlands is a compulsive RPG shooter. Played with a co-operative team of complementary character classes, its brainy violence becomes a goddamn way of life.

Rarely has sadomasochism been such a prevalent part of an XBLA game. You’ll try, fail, try, fail and try again to complete Trials HD’s most punishing physics puzzles, and no matter how hard it humiliates you, you’ll always crawl back for just one… more… go…

Most videogame voiceovers are forgettable. Occasionally someone will actually deliver a notable performance, and in a medium where the majority of voice acting is grating, even a decent take comes off as brilliant. Even rarer are voice actors who deliver not just quality work, but also quotable lines that we take with us for months after the game is over. So even though Ellis, Left 4 Dead 2’s lovable redneck, doesn’t have a lot of competition, he knocks it out of the park.

Above: Thank god for his buddy Keith

Ellis is without a doubt the butt of several jokes, but his Southern-style anecdotes manage to be absurd and endearing at the same time. Three GR editors hail from “the South” and applaud Ellis’s (and actor Eric Laden’s) balance of “boy isn’t he stupid” and “whadda guy!”

Introduced as a minor villain in 2003, Fawful takes center stage in Bowser’s Inside Story and brings his one-of-a-kind, intentionally mistranslated speech pattern along for the ride. “I have chortles!”

Wii controls…make game… better? Does not compute. After seeing the likes of Pikmin and Mario Tennis have unnecessary motion controls shunted upon them for Nintendo’s cynical ‘Play on Wii’ GameCube reboots, we expected Prime Trilogy to make the first two games worse, not better. How wrong we were. Reborn on Nintendo’s much maligned little white box, the original groundbreaking masterpiece and its darker sequel were instantly enhanced by spot-on Wiimote-assisted aiming.

Unerringly accurate, the system provided a peerless sense of control for a console FPS. It made shooting Space Pirates a veritable wet dream about femme fatale bounty hunters in form-fitting space suits. And, better yet, the revamped controls let you move and aim at the same time, one of the few glaring omissions from Samus’s incredible GameCube debut. With three amazing titles in one recession-friendly package, Prime Trilogy reminded us motion controls don’t always have to detract from a game.

No, we’re not talking about the unbalanced sequel. Instead our love is for the bundled classic Escape from Butcher Bay. Thanks to an HD-reskinning and Achievement/Trophy support the game miraculously rose from the supreme shittiness of Vin Diesel like a phoenix soaring out of a sewage dump.

It may have had a patchy start, but Apple's iPhone has had a phenomenal year, establishing itself as a true contender in the handheld gaming scene. Top games on the service have already become million-sellers, which is bigger than most console games. There really is something for everyone on iPhone; Flash classics like Peggle, Canabalt and Bejeweled 2 live alongside souped-up ports of old games like Driver. Then there are impressive reworkings of console games like Tom Clancy's HAWX, Resident Evil 4 and Metal Gear Solid.

Above: Driver, HAWX and Metal Gear are surprisingly good

And with lower prices than either portable platform for the majority of releases as well as our favourite price of all for many (that's 'free'), there's very little reason to deny Apple the name of third major player in the handheld market. Take a look at our recent 50 iPhone games you need to play feature and then tell us it's not a proper gaming machine.


  • 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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