Ready Up Game Awards ‘08 – The Results

It’s over. The votes have been counted, the results have been compiled, and we have our winners for the Ready-Up Game Awards ‘08. Which game beat out the competition for your online time? Which game did you think was really worth the premium for the collector’s edition? What gaming experience will be remembered as the best 2008 had to offer for Ready-Up readers? Read on to find out!

Sleeper Hit of 2008 – Braid

Artistic, convoluted, ingenious, majestic… Jonathan Blow’s Braid was a game that, despite little commercial hype and a small development team, instantly became a critics’ darling and stuck in the minds of players long after they had switched off their Xbox 360. Some games redefine a genre and push it into new directions – Braid changed the rules so greatly that it became a genre unto itself. Get it.

“I Want That!” Best Collector’s Edition – Fallout 3 Lunchbox

From the latest tech toys to the newest consoles, it’s no secret that most gamers like shiny things. When you enclose a highly-anticipated game in shiny “collector’s edition” packaging, many will pay the premium. Unfortunately, most of these collector’s editions are poorly thought out and aren’t worth your money. The Fallout 3 lunchbox bucks the trend by packaging together the game with bonus materials you actually want (such as an awesome Vault Boy bobblehead) in a smart way which fits the context of the Fallout 3 universe.

Worth your money!

Most Anticipated Release of 2009 – Street Fighter IV

Through the releases of Super Street Fighter II Turbo: HD Remix and Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, 2008 arguably put into motion a revival of the classic 2D fighting-game genre. The next full entry of the Street Fighter series should complete that revival. Taking the series back to its accessible roots while acknowledging advances made during the Alpha games and Street Fight III: 3rd Strike, Street Fighter IV looks to be a real knockout.

Best Night In With Your Mates – Guitar Hero: World Tour

Out of context, it might seem insane to think that a game where players simulate a band using plastic instruments has replaced Mario Kart and Halo as the game of choice for a night-in. In context, I think it speaks volumes about the way games have evolved and just how ridiculously fun it is. With a full-set of quality instruments (game included!), a rock-orientated set list, a robust music creator and an accessible “beginner” mode, Guitar Hero: World Tour is worthy of your cash.

Best Co-Operative Online Experience – Left 4 Dead

Resident Evil provided the atmospheric thrills and Dead Rising impressed with its zombie swarms, but neither allowed us to do what we really wanted: form a zombie survival team to battle the un-dead horde. Highly replayable due to a dynamic AI which alters the game environment, Left 4 Dead manages to be incredible fun even when you’re losing. A quality versus mode also keeps gameplay interesting. A slight lack of content is all that prevents it from being a serious contender for greater awards.

Bill! Louis!

Best Downloadable Game – Super Street Fighter II Turbo: HD Remix

With titles such as Castle Crashers, Lost Winds, PixelJunk Eden and Penny Arcade Adventures, 2008 was definitely the year that downloadable games came into their own. By offering fully-redrawn HD visuals, a welcome set of gameplay tweaks, and – perhaps crucially, given growing Internet rivalries – lag-free network support, Super Street Fighter II Turbo: HD Remix stands out amongst these as an exceptional update to an established classic.

Best Handheld Game – Professor Layton and the Curious Village

Japan is already on its third entry in the series, but we’re no less thankful that we received the delightful Professor Layton and the Curious Village this year. Excellent localisation, charming visuals, and accessible and addictive gameplay have not only brought it to the attention of the enthusiast, but successfully pushed it into the public consciousness. So much so in fact, that even members of the Ready-Up team had trouble finding it at Christmas.

Ready-Up Game of the Year 2008 – Gears of War 2

The first Gears of War was an instant hit when it was released for the Xbox 360 in late 2006. It combined the basics of the third-person mechanics introduced in Resident Evil 4 with the cover system used in kill.switch, and expanded these two elements into an experience that worked both co-operatively and competitively. That Gears of War 2 takes this game as a base and improves on it is expected of a sequel, but what isn’t is just how much it is improved; the gunplay is much tighter, the epic set pieces are more plentiful and more insane, and the graphics engine somehow looks even more impressive than before. In a year of incredible games, the readers of Ready-Up have voted this the very best.

Possibly the most testosterone-driven game ever made!

So that’s it! Thank you to all of the readers who took part in the voting process and entered the competition to win some lovely RetroGT t-shirts. Thanks also to everyone who helped me put together these awards; Kirsten, Dan, John.B and the rest of the Ready-Up team as well as our loyal forum lurkers. I would like to make special mention of the winners of the RetroGT t-shirts (if you have won a t-shirt, you should have already been contacted by Dan):

Nick, Zohair, Jason, Stephen, Ray, Geoffrey, Kat, Jennifer, Tim and Louise.

Stephen was kind enough to meet with me to show off his prize – a C&C t-shirt from RetroGT!







9 responses to “Ready Up Game Awards ‘08 – The Results”

  1. John.B avatar

    Gears of War 2 a deserved winner!

    And congrats on the shirts guys and gals.

  2. Dave avatar

    I’m glad you mentioned that the Gears cover system is derived (perhaps not directly) from Kill.switch, which was also a great game in its own right, sadly underplayed though.

    Great feature dude 🙂

  3. Tony avatar

    Seems I went against the trend. With the exception of World Tour every single thing I voted for failed to win!

    Never mind, I may not agree with all of the results but every single game up there is, by all accounts, a corker.

    2008, an excellent vintage.

  4. vpt Bucky 0hare avatar
    vpt Bucky 0hare

    Agree with the Fallout 3 collectors edition being the best collectors edtion available this year. I only paid £24.99 for mine (in a sale before Christmas). Great value even at full price

  5. Darach avatar

    Must… resist… moaning, about fave game… not winning GOTY.

    😀 You did great guys. Any gamer would be delighted to play any of those. It just goes to show how discerning the average Ready-Upper must be.

    Here’s hoping ’09 can be even half as good.

  6. Rob avatar

    Liking the results. I can’y disagree with any of them. 08 was a great year for games and 09 is shaping up to be another great gaming year. And congrats to the winners 🙂

  7. Thomas avatar

    I love last year of gaming, most people say it was a sequel frenzy but you cant argue with the out come of these? I hope to see more from Bethesda and What i wander what Valve are doing 😛

  8. Lorna avatar

    Oh this year will be awash with more sequels, I’ve no doubt 😀 Can’t wait for another Elder Scrolls though.

  9. Stephen avatar

    Congratulations to my fellow t-shirt winners. I’m very much looking forward to 2009; so full of possibilites. Who knows, Sony may even release Gran Turismo 5 this year! Hah!

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