2009 Calvin Awards: Best Videogame

February 9, 2009

I must admit that there is a lot to smash in this picture.

Speaking of RPGs, another Square Enix property takes the third place spot. This time, it's Chrono Trigger, a port of a Play Station game that has been improved and expanded for the Nintendo DS. Not only is Chrono Trigger one of the more inventive RPGs you're likely to find, but it also has a variety of endings, which once again means that there is reason to return to the game again and again. For my money, the DS is ideally suited to the RPG genre, and the Square Enix games in our top two are perfect examples why.

The games in positions four through eight all share something in common. Each one is playable on the Xbox 360 platform, and in fact, all of them except one are exclusive to the system. Fourth place goes to Left 4 Dead, a 360 title from Valve Corporation, the same folks responsible for Half-Life, its sequel and all of the titles that go along with it such as Portal. Left 4 Dead is a survival horror game that pits humans against zombies that emphasizes cooperation amongst the Survivors. The great thing about Left 4 Dead is that it allows players to either work with or against each other in online play, which means that at last zombie fans have the chance to enjoy this genre of gameplay together rather than alone in a dark room.

Fifth place goes to Rock Band 2, for what are probably obvious reasons. A number of us were early adopters of Guitar Hero, playing the game long before it attained true popularity in the mainstream population. It's only natural that we'd want to move forward to a game that allows us to not only jam on the guitar, but to show our prowess on all of the instruments and vocals.


Fallout 3 and Gears of War 2 take the sixth and seventh spots. Fallout 3, which is playable both on the Xbox 360 and the PS3, is an action role-playing game set nearly 300 years in the future, and has players trekking through a ruined Washington, D.C. to locate a parent who has disappeared. As for the follow-up to Gears of War, we liked that it had a deeper plot than the original game and also thought the new Horde mode was highly worthwhile.

Rounding out the top ten are Too Human, Mario Cart Wii and in a tie for tenth, LittleBigPlanet and Wii Fit. It was probably inevitable that we would honor Too Human. From developer Silicon Knights (creator of the aforementioned Eternal Darkness), Too Human is a futuristic retelling of Norse myths, which makes for a unique and engaging story and immersive experience. If you don't know what Mario Kart is, well, you've missed out over the years. A racing game full of fun, the Wii finally allows players to compete online, which is good for sucking hours and hours of your day away. And finally we have LittleBigPlanet to close things out. This amazing game, exclusive to the PS3, has you play as Sackboy, a charming little fellow with whom you explore and create your own world. It's one of the most innovative games to emerge in recent years, and it seems a bit of a shame that more people aren't getting into it. On the other hand, everyone seems to know all about Wii Fit, the game that gets you off your couch and working to become more fit. It's not quite a perfect workout, but we appreciate the effort at something new and more active. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

Best Actor
Best Actress
Best Album
Best Cast
Best Director
Best DVD
Best Overlooked Film
Best Picture
Best Scene
Best Screenplay
Best Supporting Actor
Best Supporting Actress
Best TV Show
Best Use of Music
Breakthrough Performance
Worst Performance
Worst Picture

Top 10
Position Title Total Points
1 Super Smash Brothers Brawl 58
2 Final Fantasy Tactics A-2: Grimoire of the Rift 50
3 Chrono Trigger 48
4 Left 4 Dead 42
5 Rock Band 2 36
6 Fallout 3 34
7(tie) Gears of War 2 28
7(tie) Too Human 28
9 Mario Kart Wii 26
10(tie) LittleBigPlanet 24
10(tie) Wii Fit 24

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