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Giant Bomb's Game of the Year 2009, Day One

Which 2008 game dominated our time in 2009? Which game divided us like none other? Our awards kick off right now!

Day one of Giant Bomb's Game of the Year 2009 feature is upon us! Be sure to check out today's supplementary podcast for some insight into our process. And so, without further ado...
 

2009's 2008 Game of the Year


Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4



We laughed, we cried, we cast Bufu on things. Clocking in at 99 hours of actual playtime, Persona 4 was easily the game from last year that we spent the most time with in 2009. Persona 4 literally took over our lives for the better part of a year, and everyone in the office was affected in one way or another. It wasn't just the time spent with it that burned it into our souls, it was also the fact that it's, frankly, an incredible game. The writing and story, while insane at times, always come across as sincere, in a an odd, localized way. So what if people are falling into televisions?  You've still got crazy Japanese highschooler drama to deal with, like exams and watermelon parties. While 2009 had a host of big, fancy, current generation releases, we will never forget the time we spent with Charlie, Chie, and of course, Ghoul.

Runners-Up: Fallout 3, Fable II
 
 
 
  
  
 
 
 
 

Most Divisive Game


Flower


Of course we all have different opinions within the office, but for the most part we are gracious enough to respect those opinions and move on. Flower, on the other hand, became the game that would tear this family apart. While some found its meandering gameplay and artistic style to be refreshing, even innovative, others argued that leaning on "flowers are pretty" and calling that a novel notion is as lazy as it comes. Floating around colorful fields of flowers is soothing to some, yet wafting through what is arguably a glorified graphic's card demo is inane. Changing the environments halfway through the game can be considered a daring and exciting twist, though some felt having the "ugly" encroach on the "pretty" pales only in comparison to your drunk uncle's hip swaying in terms of memorable twists. While Flower may have entered 2009 promising beauty and tranquility, it has left nothing but pain and sadness in its wake.

Runners-Up: Demon's Souls, Altitude
 
 


 

Best Song In A Non-Rhythm Game


"Everybody Loves Donuts"


Everybody loves donuts. I know I do. Let's eat just one or two. Everybody loves donuts. I know I do. You and I should share a few.

Donuts! Go nuts!

No song was as much a pleasant surprise this year as 'Splosion Man's "Everybody Loves Donuts." From the moment you wrap your 'splosive litte arms around the portly, donut eating scientist to the instant you finally send him to cruller heaven, you'll be singing along with this catchy tune. The song only plays during these few brief moments, and that's part of what makes it so great. There's really no reason for it to be there. It begs the question "Which came first? The donut scientist or the donut song?" Would one be funny without the other? These are the deep questions that 'Splosion Man seeks to answer through its lyrical nonsense.  If that's not enough to make it stick in our minds, Vinny's use of it as his ringtone will.


Runners-Up: The end credits to Rogue Warrior, Street Fighter IV intro

 
 
 

Best Late Title Card


X-Men Origins: Wolverine


The late title card is a curious cinematic device that has, in recent years, crept its way into the world of video games. It's hard even for us to pinpoint what it is about a well-executed late title card that makes us so giddy, but there's a certain undeniable cockiness to waiting 20 minutes before putting your title up on the screen. It's as if to say "that was just a warm-up, now things are really going to get crazy." A good late title card should also give you a sense of what kind of tone you should expect, which is part of why X-Men Origins: Wolverine takes the prize here. This game is borderline absurd in how graphic it gets with its queasy demonstrations of Wolverine's accelerated healing abilities, and his plunge from an exploded helicopter, which, sawed-off bad-ass that he is, he segues almost seamlessly into an opportunity to turn an earthbound enemy into red paste, sums this up just perfectly.

Runners-Up: Assassin's Creed II, InFAMOUS  
  

 
 

Best Original Soundtrack


Shatter


Music and video games have an odd, long-standing relationship that turned a little weird when licensed music started becoming a lot more ubiquitous. Not that there's anything inherently wrong with licensed music when it's used smartly, but it can rarely pack the same punch as something tailor-made. All the nominees in this category feature original music that managed to stick with us well after our time with the games themselves was over, but the propulsive, urgent electronic bangers that comprise the soundtrack to Sidhe's Shatter was the one that we actually kept listening to. Creating music from scratch that matches the rest of your game is tough, and creating game music that's listenable without the context is even tougher. Managing to do both, well, that deserves some kind of award.  

Runners-Up: The Saboteur, Halo 3: ODST
 
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Posted by Brad

Day one of Giant Bomb's Game of the Year 2009 feature is upon us! Be sure to check out today's supplementary podcast for some insight into our process. And so, without further ado...
 

2009's 2008 Game of the Year


Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4



We laughed, we cried, we cast Bufu on things. Clocking in at 99 hours of actual playtime, Persona 4 was easily the game from last year that we spent the most time with in 2009. Persona 4 literally took over our lives for the better part of a year, and everyone in the office was affected in one way or another. It wasn't just the time spent with it that burned it into our souls, it was also the fact that it's, frankly, an incredible game. The writing and story, while insane at times, always come across as sincere, in a an odd, localized way. So what if people are falling into televisions?  You've still got crazy Japanese highschooler drama to deal with, like exams and watermelon parties. While 2009 had a host of big, fancy, current generation releases, we will never forget the time we spent with Charlie, Chie, and of course, Ghoul.

Runners-Up: Fallout 3, Fable II
 
 
 
  
  
 
 
 
 

Most Divisive Game


Flower


Of course we all have different opinions within the office, but for the most part we are gracious enough to respect those opinions and move on. Flower, on the other hand, became the game that would tear this family apart. While some found its meandering gameplay and artistic style to be refreshing, even innovative, others argued that leaning on "flowers are pretty" and calling that a novel notion is as lazy as it comes. Floating around colorful fields of flowers is soothing to some, yet wafting through what is arguably a glorified graphic's card demo is inane. Changing the environments halfway through the game can be considered a daring and exciting twist, though some felt having the "ugly" encroach on the "pretty" pales only in comparison to your drunk uncle's hip swaying in terms of memorable twists. While Flower may have entered 2009 promising beauty and tranquility, it has left nothing but pain and sadness in its wake.

Runners-Up: Demon's Souls, Altitude
 
 


 

Best Song In A Non-Rhythm Game


"Everybody Loves Donuts"


Everybody loves donuts. I know I do. Let's eat just one or two. Everybody loves donuts. I know I do. You and I should share a few.

Donuts! Go nuts!

No song was as much a pleasant surprise this year as 'Splosion Man's "Everybody Loves Donuts." From the moment you wrap your 'splosive litte arms around the portly, donut eating scientist to the instant you finally send him to cruller heaven, you'll be singing along with this catchy tune. The song only plays during these few brief moments, and that's part of what makes it so great. There's really no reason for it to be there. It begs the question "Which came first? The donut scientist or the donut song?" Would one be funny without the other? These are the deep questions that 'Splosion Man seeks to answer through its lyrical nonsense.  If that's not enough to make it stick in our minds, Vinny's use of it as his ringtone will.


Runners-Up: The end credits to Rogue Warrior, Street Fighter IV intro

 
 
 

Best Late Title Card


X-Men Origins: Wolverine


The late title card is a curious cinematic device that has, in recent years, crept its way into the world of video games. It's hard even for us to pinpoint what it is about a well-executed late title card that makes us so giddy, but there's a certain undeniable cockiness to waiting 20 minutes before putting your title up on the screen. It's as if to say "that was just a warm-up, now things are really going to get crazy." A good late title card should also give you a sense of what kind of tone you should expect, which is part of why X-Men Origins: Wolverine takes the prize here. This game is borderline absurd in how graphic it gets with its queasy demonstrations of Wolverine's accelerated healing abilities, and his plunge from an exploded helicopter, which, sawed-off bad-ass that he is, he segues almost seamlessly into an opportunity to turn an earthbound enemy into red paste, sums this up just perfectly.

Runners-Up: Assassin's Creed II, InFAMOUS  
  

 
 

Best Original Soundtrack


Shatter


Music and video games have an odd, long-standing relationship that turned a little weird when licensed music started becoming a lot more ubiquitous. Not that there's anything inherently wrong with licensed music when it's used smartly, but it can rarely pack the same punch as something tailor-made. All the nominees in this category feature original music that managed to stick with us well after our time with the games themselves was over, but the propulsive, urgent electronic bangers that comprise the soundtrack to Sidhe's Shatter was the one that we actually kept listening to. Creating music from scratch that matches the rest of your game is tough, and creating game music that's listenable without the context is even tougher. Managing to do both, well, that deserves some kind of award.  

Runners-Up: The Saboteur, Halo 3: ODST
 
Posted by Afroman269

Congrats to Persona 4. Definitely saw this coming.

Edited by fishmicmuffin

Persona 4 is an awesome game, glad they gave it to that instead of fallout 3! I always thought they would do a review of the game when they finished. Also, that Donuts song is awesome.

Posted by eldiax

awesomeness!

Posted by asian_pride

Great to know that Persona 4 has made such an impact at Giantbomb, and it does show with the staff as well as the community itself. Lol the donut song is hilarious, and I do agree that Shatter's soundtrack is beast (even though I haven't played the game itself).

Edited by Fritzerbacon

Oh Street Fighter iV's intro songs....good the first time you hear it...and thats the only time

Posted by Dethfish

Glad Persona 4 won. I'm also glad the Shatter soundtrack won. That thing is great.

Posted by The_Philosopher

Awesome stuff guys.

Posted by ReTarDedFisHy

And so it begins.
Posted by AvengerNinja

Now I really want to get Flower!
Posted by Zicdab

Listening to that sample of the Shatter soundtrack and GODDAMN is it good.

Edited by Sanj

Whooo Persona 4! And that Shatter tune is awesome. Never played the game and i don't plan to, but i want that soundtrack.
Posted by Cynic04

I, for one, love donuts.

Edited by Blair

Oh, how I miss seeing a Persona 4 image on the home page.
 
I can't wait for the next endurance run... and Persona 5 for that matter.

Posted by Fubar

Might not fully agree, but atleast  they didn't do anything as stupid as Gamespot picking   Demon's Souls as Game of the Year ... so far that is !

Posted by TheClap

Can anyone find the chords for "Everybody Loves Donuts?"

Posted by Metal_Mills

No Dragon Age OST. :( 
 
I guess they didn't play it so they didn't know...

Edited by Death_Burnout

No flashy skin or awards page this year?
 
But hey...the video graphic on Ryan's top ten is good enough.

Edited by Legend

Why did you have to post the first episode of the endurance run here? Now that I'm reminded of how much I miss ER, I'll have to watch all the episodes all over again. My life is ruined..
 
Edit: By the way, I was expecting something similar to last year's awards page: 
 http://www.giantbomb.com/features/best-of-2008/1/
 
Feeling a bit lazy this year, guys? :)

Posted by Willy105

Great for having a late title card award!

Posted by wwfundertaker

Its good Persona 4 won.

Posted by Cynic04

Also, in responce to the Giant Bomb folks start the game of the year stuff, in the vulguar words of Mickey Rourke, "sorry assholes, your quite day at the office is about to get severely fucked up"

Edited by Creamypies

Good to see P4 getting an award! Especially seeing as technically, speaking for us Europeans... it IS a 2009 game.

Posted by gingertastic_10

Good to see Shatter win for best music. That game is awesome too.

Posted by Colin
@zicdab said:
"Listening to that sample of the Shatter soundtrack and GODDAMN is it good. "

It's f'ing amazing, long time since I've heard such a good tune.
Posted by Alphazero

I had to put Persona 4 on my best of 2009 as well. The calendar can suck it.

Posted by teh_destroyer

Flowers looks like a buy to me.

Posted by Solarus

The Shatter soundtrack is definitely awesome. Good set of awards! A friend of mine who doesn't play games that often has been singing Everybody Loves Donuts for a while, and I didn't even know where it came from. It's apparently pretty widespread.

Posted by Agent_Lost

Persona 4 woot and Yukiko is awesome.

Posted by Luthorcrow

I still need to finish Persona 3.  That Messiah card is a real bitch.

Posted by Cerza

Nice! The Persona 4 award was a no brainer and the others are good as well. I'm glad to see Flower won something.I had not played Shatter, but now you guys got me downloading the sound track and wanting to play it.

Posted by Rinkalicous

The Donuts song is available for free download on the 'splosion man website. 
 
http://www.splosionman.com/  
 
go there, then click the 'Free Stuff' tab and scroll your fine self down for some free tunes. 

Posted by get2sammyb

Agree with Shatter winning the original music award but I do think Killzone 2 should have been mentioned.

Posted by Hilikus

Just bought the Shatter soundtrack, great stuff

Edited by mythus

definitely agree with persona 4.  there could be no other last year's this year for giantbomb. 

Posted by NickM

I wish ACII got the late title card award. Although, I have to admit that, it was way better on the second play-through. Hearing your brother tell you that he wishes for your lives to always be like they are, seconds before the title screen, yet knowing that shit will hit the fan soon enough, makes it a really powerful moment. In fact, its probably one of my favorite moments in video games.

Edited by Undeadpool

WOOHOO! Game of the Year crap!

Loved seeing P4 up there. Surprised to see Wolverine win anything considering how that game kinda meandered at the end. Though I guess that's why it won something for its beginning.

Posted by Derios

WHERES THA SKIN YOU GUYSES????

Posted by Darkstar614

Man I didn't even remember that late title card in wolverine, but now that I see it in the QL.. that's pretty epic.

Posted by jonnyboy

I love Wolverine: Origins, and that intro was the shit. 
 
Also I cried the first time I heard the donuts song.

Edited by SJSchmidt93

Ummm... where's the I MAD3 A GAM3 WITH ZOMB1ES!!!!11 song? 

 
 
 
 
I love the GB video game awards more than any other... there's so many dumb and humorous awards. Love it.
Posted by Sweep

the Avatar movie doesn't flash up the Title Card until the very end of the movie. You have to wait 150 minutes to see that fucker. AND the font sucks.

Moderator
Posted by ImperiousRix

Excellent choices one and all.  Especially great to see Wolvie get up there for something.

Posted by sandwich_adjustment
Posted by buzz_killington

No Unchated 2 nod for original soundtrack? That game had some awesome, weird, moody music.  But yeah, Shatter deserves to win.

Posted by FunExplosions

Shatter! Awesome. I liked the soundtrack way more than the actual game. I guess the soundtrack made the game itself pretty good as well.

Posted by mankvill

Fallout 3 was defintely my 2k8 game of 2k9.

Posted by Maxszy

Great nod for Splosion man! I honestly totally forgot about that song, but I loved it! Its so catchy indeed!

Posted by wefwefasdf

I am addicted to "Everybody Loves Donuts" now...

Posted by Jedted
@NickM said:
"I wish ACII got the late title card award. Although, I have to admit that, it was way better on the second play-through. Hearing your brother tell you that he wishes for your lives to always be like they are, seconds before the title screen, yet knowing that shit will hit the fan soon enough, makes it a really powerful moment. In fact, its probably one of my favorite moments in video games. "
 
I felt the exact same way when i played through a second time.  As much as i love AC2 the "shock value" of Wolverine title which pops up right before you kill a dude is why it wins the award! 
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