2010 Calvin Awards: Best Videogame

February 8, 2010

Just snap the dude's neck and save millions of lives!

For those members of our staff who didn't get enough of a superhero fix from Arkham Asylum, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 did the trick, which explains its sixth place finish. Featuring over 50 beloved comic book characters and one Deadpool joke that still makes me giggle every time I think about it, this videogame showed much more deference and respect to Marvel's icons than X-Men Origins: Wolverine did. Meanwhile, ferroequinologists should take note of our seventh place selection, The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks. Featuring cel-shaded graphics similar to The Wind Waker, the designers of this DS game threw out the flawed sailing aspect of that title, thereby saving many players from motion sickness. The player movement in this Zelda game has replaced boats with trains and created an absurdly fun atmosphere in the process. Between this game and Scribblenauts, this was the best year to date for the DS in the estimation of our staff.


The rest of the top ten sees two well established properties and a definite first for the purposes of our voting. The novel selection goes to Doodle Jump, a maddeninly addictive iPhone/iTouch app that requires the user to tilt their touch screen in order to jump to various platforms. Meanwhile, there are enemies who must be eliminated in the process, making this game equal parts Q-Bert, Jumpman, and Super Mario Bros. Several of our staff members at a treatment facility right now trying to overcome their Doodle Jump addictions. Ninth place goes to The Beatles: Rock Band, a game that comes almost half a century after the British Invasion, making it arguably the first game for kids AND their grandparents. Our final selection has somewhat similar appeal. Twenty-two years after Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! became one of the anchor titles for the original Nintendo, Punch-Out!! for the Wii reminded us how much fun it is to memorize the flurry combinations of comically over the top opponents. Yes, this game lacks a boss character as challenging as Tyson himself was back in the day, but it's still a blast to play as well as a tremendous workout for those who are bold enough to play the game using motion control.

Just missing the top ten was Halo: ODST, the game that allows Malcolm Reynolds and Caprica Six to fall in love in the heat of alien invasion. It actually tied for tenth place, but then lost a run-off vote for the final spot. Other titles in strong contention for selection were Street Fighter IV (we went old school across the board with our vote this year), Borderlands, Pokemon Platinum Edition Muramasa: The Demon Blade, and a pair of iPhone apps, Words with Friends and Flight Control. Can you tell we spent a lot of time in airports this year? (David Mumpower/BOP)

Best Actor
Best Actress
Best Album
Best Breakthrough Performance
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
Best Videogame
Worst Performance
Worst Picture

Top 10
Position Title Total Points
1 Batman: Arkham Asylum 140
2 New Super Mario Bros. Wii 136
3 Left 4 Dead 2 90
4 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 88
5 Scribblenauts 80
6 Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 68
7 The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks 50
8 Doodle Jump 48
9 The Beatles: Rock Band 42
10 Punch-Out!! 40

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