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G4 Canada's 2010 Game of the Year Awards

Jan 18, 2011

By John Powell, Daniel Barron - G4 Canada

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GAME OF THE YEAR

Game of the YearJohn Powell: Red Dead Redemption

No other game in 2010 delivered the complete package like 'Red Dead' did. From the action and storyline to the graphics and sound, 'Red Dead Redemption' has it all. It was THE game people returned to again, again throughout the year. From start to finish, an incredible piece of work. Not only the best game 2010 had to offer but one of the best games ever, period.

Honourable Mentions: Invizimals, Call Of Duty: Black Ops, Dante's Inferno, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction, Alan Wake, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Golden Eye, 007: Blood Stone, Mafia 2, Halo: Reach, Donkey Kong Country Returns.

Game of the YearDaniel Barron: God of War III

Easily one of the greatest gaming trilogies of all time, this third entry in the series actually justified using that typically overused adjective - epic. It's an action game like no other, with set piece after set piece that will literally have your mouth wide open in awe. Developer Sony Santa Monica used every ounce of power the PS3 has on tap it seems, often filling the screen with multiple titans, with no slowdown whatsoever. The gameplay is smooth as butter - and violent as all hell - and the voice acting superb. Oh, and those boss fights? Without hyperbole, some of the best to ever grace a console system, period. A mind-blowing game from start to finish.

Honourable Mentions: Halo: Reach, Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom, Kirby's Epic Yarn, No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, Transformers: War for Cybertron

BEST AUDIO

John Powell: Red Dead Redemption

The period music soundtrack and the sound effects set the tone for 'Red Dead Redemption'. Without them, the game would not have the character it does.

Honourable Mentions: Call Of Duty: Black Ops, Dante's Inferno.

Daniel Barron: Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom

A tale set in a fictional land, this game deserves huge props for the soundtrack it employs. Simply put, it's some of the best gaming music we've heard in years, and fits perfectly with the touching story of two friends on a huge adventure to save their land.

Honourable Mentions: Halo: Reach, God of War III, Chime

Game of the YearBEST GRAPHICS

John Powell: Dante's Inferno

How could everyone forget about this entry and its bizarre yet phenomenal design work? As I wrote way back in March of 2010, "the art direction in 'Dante's Inferno' is exactly that…pure art.  Ghoulish prisoners scream out in misery, pushing against web-like barriers. A cyberpunk rendition of the four-headed guardian Cerberus is a belching beast with tentacle-like necks and a lipless mouth crowded with tombstone teeth. A topless, demonic Cleopatra spawns her minions by secreting them through her nipples. Her lover, Marc Antony, has molten lava pulsing through his undead veins. Rivers of bubbling blood flowing at the feet of immense statues whose twisted faces are frozen in agony and despair. Human genitalia are employed as weapons against you. Eat your heart out Clive Barker. At times, 'Dante's Inferno' obliterates the boundaries of good taste and as such is not suitable for youngsters. Those, such as myself, who adore the grotesque and the unusual will find this carnival of madness to be a place of wonder."

Honourable Mentions: Halo: Reach, Call Of Duty: Black Ops.

Game of the YearDaniel Barron: God of War III

It all starts with the opening sequence, with multiple titans waging an all-out war against the gods. They climb Mount Olympus lead by Gaia herself, and all the while, Kratos is battling on top of her as Poseidon transforms into a giant horse/spider abomination, doing his best to knock her from the side of the cliff. This is but one sequence of many that prove nothing could touch God of War III in 2010 when it came to eye candy. Marvel at how the world transforms with each god's death at the hands of Kratos, and stare in awe as you battle Hades in his chamber in the underworld, beat Hercules to a bloody pulp in a giant arena, and take on Cronos himself in a level based solely on top of the titan. This is what high definition was made for.

Honourable Mentions: Kirby's Epic Yarn, Lost Planet 2, Vanquish

Game of the YearBEST MULTIPLAYER

John Powell: Call Of Duty: Black Ops

With its new experience points system, betting system, zombie modes and a whole lot of ideas ripped from 'Modern Warfare', 'Black Ops' has a truly addictive multiplayer experience that seems to never grow old.

Honourable Mentions: Halo: Reach, Red Dead Redemption.

Daniel Barron: Halo: Reach

Once again, the folks at Bungie prove that they own the world of multiplayer, specifically when it comes to first-person shooters. Reach is the culmination of years of tweaking and perfecting, making for a game that is addictive in every sense of the word. You simply can't beat Reach's lobby system or variety of game types. Whether you want a tactical game of capture the flag, or just want to pump a few DMR shots to enemies' heads in Team SWAT, there's something for every shooter fan here.

Honourable Mentions: Transformers: War for Cybertron

BEST STORY

John Powell: Mafia 2

Although it was a very, very close call, 'Mafia 2' took the prize simply because its storyline is what propelled and excelled the experience. Since it wasn't really the sandbox title it appeared to be,  'Mafia 2' had to somehow entice players to keep moving ahead and they did that by creating an enthralling  plot that required two hours of cut scenes pulled from a 700 page script. That amounted to 15 chapters of gameplay. The authenticity of the characters, the timelines and the happenings are all astounding and the finale is heart-breaking after everything you have went through and the bonds that you made on your journey.

Honourable Mentions:  Alan Wake.

Daniel Barron: Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom

An exhilarating and heartbreaking story all at the same time, this game about two friends fighting together to save their world just never lets up. In between cool setpieces, challenging puzzles, and surprisingly awesome boss battles, a fantastic story unfolds and grabs hold, keeping the player's interest until the final cutscene.

Honourable Mentions:  Halo: Reach, Transformers: War for Cybertron

Game of the YearBEST CHARACTER

John Powell: John Marston, 'Red Dead Redemption'.

Even though 2010 saw more zombies that you can fire a shotgun at, this dusty old West varmint with a sense of humour and dry wit as quick, sharp as his gun hand is a pleasure to portray. He is  flawed. He is funny. He is fierce. Rob Wiethoff's work is some of the finest you will ever hear.

Honourable Mentions:  Alan Wake, Dante ('Dante's Inferno'), zombies, zombies and more zombies.

Daniel Barron: Travis Touchdown, 'No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle'

Travis' wicked name only sets up one of the coolest characters to grace the small screen. This guy walks around relentlessly slicing and dicing foes with his light sabre-esque sword, all the while spewing hilarious one-liners. Thing is, he also has a heart - the main reason he's taken his mission in this uber-violent followup to the original No More Heroes is because he wants to avenge his best friend's death. This sideburned, pissed off, cat-loving dude is completely over the top, but there's a little bit of him in all of us.

Honourable Mentions:  Majin and Tepeu (Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom),

BEST DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT

John Powell: Red Dead Redemption: Zombie Nightmare.

The best bargain on XBL. It is not another set of chapters extending the experience but instead a whole other adventure that is just as engaging and just as intricate as the original. Hours, hours and hours of two-fisted fun.

Honourable Mentions: Mafia 2: Jimmy's Vendetta, Alan Wake: The Signal. 

Daniel Barron: Chime

Difficult to explain, but a joy to play. Kind of like Tetris, but as you fill the screen with newly-created blocks, what starts as a mute game becomes a symphony controlled by how creative you are. That being said, whether you're a beginner or a pro, you'll be making beautiful music.

Honourable Mentions: Halo: Reach Noble Map Pack

CONSOLE AWARDS

Game of the YearBEST XBOX 360 GAME

John Powell: Red Dead Redemption

For all the reasons mentioned above, it was the title to own for 360 gamers.

Honourable Mentions: Call Of Duty: Black Ops, Dante's Inferno, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction, Alan Wake, 07: Blood Stone, Mafia 2, Halo: Reach.

Daniel Barron: Halo: Reach

Besides the superb online multiplayer portion, this also happened to have one heck of a great sci-fi campaign, with great characters, memorable moments and most importantly - no Flood!

Honourable Mentions: DJ Hero 2, Alan Wake, Chime, Limbo

BEST WII GAME

John Powell: GoldenEye

The developers didn't take the easy way out and just port over the old title. Instead, they tore everything down and reconstructed 'GoldenEye' from the ground up turning it into something new. How many games do you know that if you change the level of play, new areas and objectives open up? What a brilliant job. If you own a Wii and are serious about gaming, you can put this on  the "must-own" list.

Honourable Mentions: Super Mario Galaxy 2, Donkey Kong Country Returns.

Game of the YearDaniel Barron: Kirby's Epic Yarn

The unassuming little pink puff jumps onto the Wii in one of the most surprising games of the year. Prior to its release, we heard that it was good, and that it was cute, but this thing just oozes personality. Combine that with rock-solid platforming and one of the best art styles from 2010, and you have yourself a true masterpiece.

Honourable Mentions: No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Sin & Punishment: Star Successor

BEST PS3 GAME

Daniel Barron: God of War III

There was never any doubt that after his first two adventures, Kratos would have to go out with a bang. Even so, few could have guessed just how spectacular and massive this game was going to be. Kratos goes one-on-one with numerous gods and titans, all the while seeking the revenge he so desperately feels he needs. Needless to say, this violence-injected campaign shows Kratos angrier than he's ever been, making things that much more fun for the player. The ending, meanwhile, may just surprise a few people.

Honourable Mentions: Transformers: War for Cybertron

Game of the YearBEST PSP GAME

John Powell: Invizimals

One of the most underrated, undervalued and overlooked games of 2010, 'Invizimals' really pushed the gameplay boundaries and created a whole new style. Spring boarding and playing off the hyper reality or the augmented reality concept, with its camera attachment, Invizimals turns the entire world around us into a gameplay area starring hidden creatures - Invizimals - who are everywhere and just waiting to be discovered, captured and made into pets.  Novarama, and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe have created a gameplay innovation which will undoubtedly be wrapped into other copycat titles, sooner rather than later.

BEST DS GAME

John Powell: Batman: The Brave and the Bold

Warner Brothers Interactive and Wayforward perfectly captured all the fun and action of the animated series while also putting their own spin on the classic platforming genre.

Honourable Mentions: Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies, Alice in Wonderland, Professor Layton and the Unwound Future.

Daniel Barron: Wario Ware D.I.Y.

Whodathunk a game about making games could be this fun ... and funny?! For aspiring programmers and game lovers alike, 'D.I.Y.' somehow managed to make sense of creating games. No, you won't be typing out code or doing any MoCap, but you will be able to make some pretty fun minigames, while learning a thing or two while you're at it.

Honourable Mentions: Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem!

Game of the YearBEST KIDS GAME

John Powell: Invizimals, Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions (Tie)

Invizimals for the innovative ways it allowed a child to roam free with their imagination and Spider-Man for bringing together four diverse gameplay experiences into an amazing tribute to everything  Spidey.

Honourable Mentions: Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Pokémon Rangers: Guardian Signs, Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures, Alice in Wonderland (DS).

BEST SHOOTER

Game of the YearJohn Powell: Halo: Reach

Some may argue with the gameplay changes but there is no denying the intensity and how kicking it was to return to the Halo universe.

Honourable Mentions: Call Of Duty: Black Ops, Golden Eye, 007: Blood Stone, Singularity.

Daniel Barron: Halo: Reach

This is console shooting, personified. Halo is the series that truly sent console first-person shooters into the mainstream, and it proves that it's still numero uno in 2010 (and beyond).

Honourable Mentions: Transformers: War for Cybertron

BEST SPORTS GAME

John Powell: FIFA Soccer 11

Reshaped and remolded, so it was actually worth the buy.

Honourable Mentions: NHL 11

Game of the YearMOST DISAPPOINTING GAME OF 2011

John Powell: Crackdown 2

Crash and burn, badly. A total letdown. The original was so much crazy fun because of its simplistic approach. The lazy sequel didn't improve upon anything, it just added some zombies and became really boring, really fast. I don't know of anyone who actually finished this game.

Dishonorable Mentions: Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2, Smackdown Vs Raw 2011.

Daniel Barron: Lost Planet 2

This game should have been one of the best games ever made - seriously. It was all there - the dazzling environments, the 4-player co-op, the huge enemies, the extensive multiplayer. But along the way Capcom managed to mess up two key aspects - the campaign's co-op matchmaking, and the friendly AI. These two things ruined a game that showed oh-so-much promise, thereby relegating it to the scrap heap of disappointing games of 2010.

Dishonorable Mentions: Heavy Rain, Disney's Epic Mickey, Trauma Team

ABSOLUTE WORST GAME OF 2010

Game of the YearJohn Powell: Final Fantasy XIV.

Some games are wonky. Some glitch here and there. Some games just piss you the hell off. Rare is the game that you cannot even freaking play. Square Enix's attempt at a massively multiplayer Final Fantasy was an atom bomb. I mean, they had to "restructure" the entire development team because of the unmitigated disaster that was Final Fantasy XIV and have made numerous public apologies for the glitches and lags that made the game simply unplayable. What a mess.

Dishonorable Mentions: Splatterhouse, Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, Clash of the Titans, Tron Evolution.

Daniel Barron: Dead to Rights: Retribution

This game is just not fun. Sure, it has its moments, but there aren't nearly enough of the good to make up for all the bad. A silly plot, annoying controls, predictable and cliche lines, and more glitches than you can shake a stick at, 'Retribution' could hardly do anything right.

Dishonorable Mentions: Disney's Epic Mickey, Lost Planet 2

 

 
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About G4 in Canada
G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see www.g4tv.ca.