Co-Optimus - News - Beyond Co-Op - December 28th to January 3rd

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Beyond Co-Op - December 28th to January 3rd
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Beyond Co-Op - December 28th to January 3rd

The stories for this week:

- Colony of Gamers Announces Editor and Community Awards

- My Own Personal Best Of


Colony of Gamers Announces Editor and Community Awards

Before I reveal CoG’s final tallies for both the Editor and Community side of things, I want to make clear that we, the CoG Editors, know we made a mistake with how we went about the year end awards on the Community side of things and for that we’re sorry. We had planned to do the site side of the awards and it was decided to just dump our nominations onto the Community for their side of the awards when we should have opened up nominations and whether there was a different pool or not wouldn’t have mattered. Once again, we’re sorry about how this went, but I’m not sure we’d go to the length that bean did and say many people were “angry” about it. Anyway, onto the winners:

Best Action Game
Community - Grand Theft Auto 4
Editors - Tie: Dead Space & Metal Gear Solid 4

Best Sports/Driving Game
Community - Burnout Paradise
Editors - Burnout Paradise

Gaming News Story of The Year
Community - Final Fantasy XIII going multiplatform
Editors - Vivendi and Activision merge to become Activision Blizzard

Best Multiplayer Experience
Community - Left 4 Dead
Editors - Left 4 Dead

Best Handheld Game
Community - Professor Layton & the Curious Village
Editors - God of War: Chains of Olympus

Best Downloadable Game
Community - Braid
Editors - Braid

Best Game Writing (story & dialogue)
Community - Grand Theft Auto 4
Editors - Grand Theft Auto 4

Best Visual Presentation (graphics & design)
Community - Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Editors - Prince of Persia

Best Strategy Game
Community - Sins of a Solar Empire
Editors - Civilization Revolution

Best 'Alternative' or 'Oddball' Game
Community - Audiosurf
Editors - Audiosurf

Best Role Playing Game
Community - Fallout 3
Editors - Fallout 3

Most Surprising Game
Community - Braid
Editors - Braid

Most Disappointing Game
Community - Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
Editors - Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

Best Shooter
Community - Left 4 Dead
Editors - Gears of War 2

Best MMO
Community - World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Editors - World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King

Most Anticipated Game of 2009 - Sequel
Community - Mass Effect 2
Editors - Tie: Bioshock 2: Sea of Dreams, Mass Effect 2 & Resident Evil 5

Most Anticipated Game of 2009 - New Property
Community - Brutal Legend
Editors - Brutal Legend

Game of the Year
Community - Fallout 3
Editors - Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

Source: Colony of Gamers


My Own Personal Best Of

I won’t go down the line again like above, but we also did each of our top 5 games of the year and honestly it was quite sad to see my top 5 be dominated by sequels. Here were my top 5 games as of that post:

Metal Gear Solid 4
Gears of War 2
Far Cry 2
Fable 2

You will note the absence of such games as Fallout 3, Left 4 Dead and Prince of Persia. Well, there’s a reason for that. Having done over 50 reviews this past year at various places (which constitutes at least one per week) and feeling burnt out once November had past, I have not played two of those games as of yet and am still going through Prince of Persia. This is something I like to point out since the Editor’s awards above look a bit different. Well, you have to realize with the small group of Editors we have that we did not all play the games the community may have throughout the year, so our pool is shallower when it comes to nominations and winners more than likely. I hope to play Fallout 3 soon, but I am trying to get through other games before watching that game suck me in.

The three games in my top 5 that I do want to point out and implore people to try are Metal Gear Solid 4, Far Cry 2 and Braid. I would link to the first and third review there, but that is at a site we, the CoG founders, are no longer a part of. Just suffice to say that MGS4 is a perfect way for the series to end (if it actually is ending) and was easily the most emotional and arguably best playing game in the series. Games like this and Burnout Paradise often get forgotten because they came out so early in the year (much like the Academy Awards seem to revolve around the end of the year most times), but it seems like a lot of online publications have not forgotten about MGS4, a truly standout game this year.

Far Cry 2 is one of those games that flies under the radar, but I have seen it crop up in top 10 lists from various people. Yes, the game is not the best when it comes to AI or keeping the action going, but then again you are dropped in a 50 square kilometer area. Do you expect to see someone every second with a map that big? What this game does do is keep you immersed in the fact that you have your map readily available and the world is literally your oyster. The story may not be fantastic and it may have nothing to do with the original, but Ubisoft Montreal should be commended for having made a game that sucks you in this much. Sure, it gets tiring driving long distances to the next mission you choose, but in the real world you’d be doing the same thing.

Finally there is Braid, a game I took a chance on and paid 1200 Microsoft Points to play. I know there are some editors both here and at CoG that detest this game, but then again they never bought the full game and only relied on playing the demo. This game holds the single most memorable level of the year in its final act. The realization of exactly what you just went through is simply mind blowing and the way the level is set up is simply brilliant. The trouble of course is getting to that final level and I think a lot of people were pissed off at this game because they saw the puzzles as too hard. The funny thing is that once you come to the realization of how to continue on you understand just how easy the solution actually was and that you may have been trying to think beyond what was right in front of you. Braid was the most original idea of the year in my mind and it truly is a game to experience.

2008 was a really good year for gaming that was unfortunately filled with a lot of sequels, but ones that were very well done. There were the original games out there as well like the aforementioned Braid and EA’s Mirror’s Edge and Dead Space. It becomes deeply ironic that the year EA steps outside the box is the year the recession happens. Both Mirror’s Edge and Dead Space (along with Boom Blox) are good games that deserve to be played, it’s just too bad they had to come out in such a glut of releases. Let’s hope 2009 is as good as 2008 was.

Source: me