Game of the Year Awards – Round Two

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Written by: Justin Sanchez

In the second round of awards, we’re going to take a look at a few different categories, all dealing with presentation. To truly be considered great, a game has to deliver on more than just gameplay – things like art direction and music play huge roles in crafting the experience. Oh, and there’s also a random award down at the bottom, but sense I didn’t know where to put it, I lumped it in with this post.

Read on to see the winners.

Best music

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World of Goo – Wii/PC

Wow, this one sure was tough. It seems that as games evolve further and further, the music seemingly has become less memorable. Not so with this year. From the amazing Braid soundtrack, to the happy tunes of LittleBigPlanet, 2008 has been a great year for video game tunes.

For me, World of Goo sticks out as a shining example of how great indie games can be, and the music is top quality. Hell, some of the tracks would fit right into The Nightmare Before Christmas, and oddly enough, they fit perfectly in this game, despite its somewhat silly nature. This is an amazing effort by 2D Boy.

Almost, but not quite: Braid (360), Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts (360), LittleBigPlanet (PS3)

Side note: Given that Smash Bros. Brawl draws upon the huge history of all Nintendo franchises, I didn’t consider it for this category. Whether you agree or disagree, that’s just the way it is.

Best use of sound

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Dead Space – 360/PC/PS3

No game had me creeping and crawling my way through the adventure like Dead Space. With the constant clanking of metal from all directions, it was hard to tell what’s just atmospheric noise, and what is actually a weird alien-human thing ready to chop you into pieces. Dead Space uses 5.1 to great effect – in fact, it may be used too well.

Almost, but not quite: Rez HD (360)

Best art direction

braid_title_new1

Braid – 360

It’s hard to argue against something that looks like a moving painting. Braid delivers in spades, but its visual style brings it all together. While there was some competition, this was the first category that was easy to decide on.

Close, but not quite: LittleBigPlanet (PS3), Castle Crashers (360), Wario Land: Shake It (Wii)

Best overworld

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Fallout 3 – 360/PC/PS3

I hate the far too often used phrase “it’s like a living, breathing world” when referencing a game, because honestly, no game has ever reached that yet. However, Fallout 3’s scope is huge, and Bethesda did an excellent job in making the world believable. With tons of interaction from a wealth of NPCs with varying emotions, it’s almost painful to think about how many hours were pumped into creating Fallout 3.

Close, but not quite: Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts (360)

The next round of awards will be coming soon, so check back. Be sure to read round one.

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2 Responses to “Game of the Year Awards – Round Two”

  1. TheLimper Says:

    Wow World of Goo has better music than Braid? I’ve gotta hear that track.

  2. Justin Says:

    In my opinion, yes, if ever so slightly. I went back and forth, but went with my gut on this one. Check out a few tracks here:




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