WSB’s ‘2009 Game of the Year’

Why So Blu - 2009 Game of the Year And the award goes to…okay, we’re not the Oscars, but as 2009 comes to a close, it’s about time to acknowledge Why So Blu’s inaugural Game of the Year award.  There have been an impressive array of titles that hit store shelves this year such as highly anticipated sequels Uncharted 2 and Assassin’s Creed II.  The competition was neck and neck to say the least, but this year’s pick goes to none other than Batman: Arkham Asylum. 

With a highly detailed story, strong psychological aspects, upgrade abilities and some of the best graphics to ever hit a gamer’s eyes, Arkham wowed players everywhere with its intuitive gameplay and just plain spooky atmosphere.  The physical environments, the riddles that dotted the landscape, and the chain-combo fight sequences were also strong pluses that sent this title straight to the top of our voting.  Few games drew me in with the dark intensity you’ll find while delving into the rusty depths of Arkham.  This was intelligently complemented by the nightmarish sequences that occur with unnerving fear and dream world anti-realism, courtesy of the Scarecrow. 

Batman: Arkham Asylum

The sound was second to none with one such example taking place in the eerily silent cooridor strolls, save for the leaky pipe overhead.  Things would often change to the intensity of a knuckle-cracking fight when Batman would have the opportunity to spring an ambush on the Joker’s crazed minions.  The grunts and groans from a connecting kick to the abdomen or the solid left to an unfortunate cheekbone were released with painful, calcium-crunching realism.

The graphics cannot go unnoticed though.  The cinematics that played out were absolutely gorgeous.  My personal favorites were any of those scenes that involved Killer Croc making an appearance in front of the camera.  This hulking reptilian brute was portrayed with a grizzly hate that was only matched by the visible lunacy of his fellow inmates and super villains.  Other optically appealing highlights were the structures you would have to pass through, as every nook and cranny of the hospital walls and beyond were finely detailed and colored.  Even the Dark Knight’s costume grew more tattered as the game progressed, which was just another bit of icing on the cake of graphic realism.  Finally, how can we overlook the ‘detective view’ that you could turn on at will, turning the world around you into a clue-revealing environment.

Batman: Arkham Asylum

Hats off to the team at Eidos who put together this stunning piece of work.  Before I close this out, I cannot end the article before giving an acknowledgment to Game of the Year runner-up, Modern Warfare 2.  Just when you think an existing title couldn’t get any more innovative, MW2 stepped in and brought an even more hectic single player campaign and more elaborate multi-player online experience.  Still, Batman: Arkham Asylum contained an originality that MW2 couldn’t touch.  True in that they are two different types of video games, but in the end, they are both still all games. 

I’m already anxious to jump into next year’s fray with an even more competitive line of titles approaching the sales front.  God of War III for the PS3 has been on the waiting list for some time and gamers are clamoring for a chance to shell out some vengeance in that title, which arrives this spring.  Later in 2010 will be the arrival of the massive multi-player online title, Star Wars: The Old Republic.  With the ability to play as a bounty hunter, soldier, Jedi, or Sith, expect this game to be a frontrunner for our 2010 top pick…that is, if all the hype holds true.  Nothing is for certain though and you will always have your sleeper titles that come out of nowhere to make their own case for ‘Game of the Year.’  


Batman: Arkham Asylum Cover Art


Bring home WSB’s ‘2009 Game of the Year’ today!





2 Responses to “WSB’s ‘2009 Game of the Year’”

  1. Bob Ignizio

    ‘Arkham Asylum’ was easily the best superhero game ever. Finally somebody got it right. I also enjoyed the hell out of ‘Ratchet and Clank: A Crack in Time’ and ‘Infamous’. Definitely looking forward to the new ‘God of War’, plus ‘Bioshock 2’ and (forgive me if I don’t hold my breath) maybe a new ‘Final Fantasy’ in 2010.

  2. Thor

    Solid choice Gregg, I enjoyed the hell out of the game though “Left 4 Dead 2” is a close second.