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12th Annual Video Game Awards for Overweight Fat Fucks

Believe it or not, this is the 12th Annual Juicy Cerebellum "Best Video Games of ..." awards. Time flies when you're sniping friends, chainsawing enemies and pretending that standing on a really expensive scale actually counts as playing a video game. As we're older than we were in 1997 and a Friday night "out" more often than not means meeting up with some friends to play a deathmatch or two over a few beers (it's not drinking alone if you're wearing a headset, right?), we have more time for games now than ever before. This, dear reader, works to your advantage. We've played all the games on all the consoles and this year we have more categories, more nominees and saggier teabags than ever before (hairier, too)!  

This was a big year for games and with so many to choose from this update wasn't easy. Just narrowing down the nominees to 3 a piece (5 nominees for the grand prize of Game of the Year) was like Sophie having to make her choice if she had not only two children, but two hundred to choose from. Oh Sophie -- if only you knew how easy you had it.

(NOTE: We were unable to secure Jack Black as host of our award ceremony this year as he was tied up promoting Brutal Legend on SpikeTV. In lieu of Mr. Black as host, here's a picture of the thespian with Jack on Sesame Street:
Jack Black Elmo

(NOTE 2: In lieu of our editor not being a pirate like the guy running the ship over at Kotaku, here's a picture of a stoned looking Cap'N Crunch):

Stoned Cap'N Crunch

Now, without further adieu, the video game nominees, the winners and the losers of 2008 ...

Disappointment of the Year Nominees:

Mirror's Edge - PS3/XBOX 360
Too Human - XBOX 360
Animal Crossing: City Folk - Wii

And the most disappointing game of 2008 is ...

Animal Crossing: City Folk
 
Come on, Nintendo -- you really had something with this franchise when the original was released on the GameCube 7 years ago. It was understandable when you released a remake of the same game as a new product for the DS, as portability and Animal Crossing went together hand and hand. But to release the same game a third time? On the Wii? When people could just buy the superior original for 1/5th the price? Here's a tip, Big N: Don't make your new console fully backward compatible with your last console if you are going to release "sequels" to games on your new console that are actually worse than the game that came out on the last one.

Downloadable Game of the Year Nominees:

World of Goo - PC/Wii
Braid - PC/XBOX 360
Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 - XBOX 360

And the best downloadable game of 2008 is ...

Braid


If razor blades counted as food, "food fights" ensued when trying to decide between these three -- World of Goo and Braid in particular (while a great game, Geometry Wars was really just filler). The mind-bending, skull-fucking trip of a time-traveler known as Braid ended up winning the coveted prize. And 3 of our staffers ended up in the hospital with "feline-like scratches" across their arms and faces.

Racing Game of the Year Nominees:

GRID - PC/PS3/XBOX 360
Burnout Paradise - PC/PS3/XBOX 360
Mario Kart Wii - Wii

And the best racing game of 2008 is ...

Mario Kart Wii

Tough competition this year and by some miracle a game for the Nintendo Wii came out on top. This one took what was already improved with the DS game and improved upon it some more. Not to mention the online is seamless (a rarity for a Wii game) and the picture actually fills the entire screen on widescreen televisions (even more of a rarity with titles released for the severely underpowered Wii). But technical prowess didn't win this one racer of the year -- fun did. A whole bunch of over-the-top, arcade-ready fun. Play this one with a female and it will get you laid. Wii promise (get it? "Wii" instead of "we?"). On the other hand, making "Wii" jokes 2 years too late will probably keep you going steady with your hand for a long time to come (get it? "Come?").

Family Game of the Year Nominees:

Lego Indiana Jones - PC/PS2/PS3/Wii/XBOX 360
Lego Batman - PC/PS2/PS3/Wii/XBOX 360
Boom Blox - Wii

And the best family game of 2008 is ...

Lego Indiana Jones

This one was easy. Greatest hero of all time in Lego form. No Crystal Skull included. One of the most addictive family franchises ever created. Trust him.

Party Game of the Year Nominees:

Boom Blox - Wii
Wii Fit - Wii
Age of Booty - XBOX 360

And the best party game of 2008 is ...

Boom Blox

Sure, Steven Spielberg probably put about as much work into the game as he did producing The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas, but unlike the ill-fated Flintstones' prequel, Boom Blox actually turned out to be pretty good. As a single-player title the game is a joke -- so if you have no friends do not buy. But getting four friends together to blow stuff up is a blast. Why was Wii Fit nominated, you ask? Have you ever watched an overweight friend, mother, brother, sister, father, grandfather or grandmother's reaction when they stand up on that scale and watch as their Mii balloons up to John Candy size? Now that's a party!

Trivia Game of the Year Nominees:

Wits & Wagers - XBOX 360
BUZZ! Quiz TV - PS3
Scene It? Box Office Smash - XBOX 360

And the best trivia game of 2008 is ...

Scene It? Box Office Smash

Scene It? is clearly Microsoft's "version" (IE - rip-off) of Sony's BUZZ! But we love movies here (it's sort of what we're known for) and the movie-centric trivia of Scene It? rules supreme at Juicy HQ. Wits & Wagers deserves honorable mention as it is tragically underrated and because of that no one is ever online playing and no new question packs have been released. We hate you, public.

Role Playing Game of the Year Nominees:

Lost Odyssey - XBOX 360
Fable II - XBOX 360
Valkyria Chronicless - PS3

And the best role playing game of 2008 is ...

Fable II

While there was a ton of great RPGs this year (more than the three nominated), Fable II wins in a landslide. The game innovated in so many ways that went unnoticed; it's equal parts depressing and poetic justice coming to bite Peter Molyneux in the ass for all the overpromising and boasting of his games he's done over the years. If anything, he undersold this one. Your dog companion is the best NPC in gaming history. The 10 - 15 hour main quest is a bit short but just the beginning of the game. For those of you looking at those of us still playing Fable II and wondering what the fuck we could be getting out of a game we've played through dozens of times? We're getting what others pay good money on a monthly basis to get out of MMORPGs. We're trading items. Leading each other to rare collectibles. Or just talking about our non-virtual day over a virtual bottle of Rum in one of the many virtual pubs. 
An entire social world has sprung up in Fable II and most of its members have drank to the point of puking dozens of times, have at least 3 children and 5 STDs -- who says fantasy games can't be realistic? Fable II is everything the original Fable was said to be and much, much more.

Survival Horror Game of the Year Nominees:

Dead Space - PC/PS3/XBOX 360
Condemned 2: Bloodshot - PS3/XBOX 360
Silent Hill: Homecoming - PC/PS3/XBOX 360

And the best survival horror game of 2008 is ...

Dead Space

Dead Space takes the win in a weak year for the survival horror genre. Silent Hill was sort of draggy and not very scary (but damn did it ever nail the creepy atmosphere the series is known for). Condemned 2 started strong but went mentally insane in the middle and finally had a complete nervous breakdown in the incoherent, laughable final chapters. That's the bad news. The good news is Dead Space would have been a contender (and probably a winner) in a strong year for the genre. The game is a pulse-pounding, nerve-shredding experience from tension building beginning to bleak and hopeless finish. Nice jabs at Scientology, too.

Shooter of the Year Nominees:

Gears of War 2 - XBOX 360
Resistance 2 - PS3
Call of Duty: World at War - PC/XBOX 360/PS3

And the best shooter of 2008 is ...

Gears of War 2

The campaign in Gears of War 2 one-upped everything from the original. The story is, once again, macho and gruff as hell. The surprise is that it's also a heartfelt love story between a bunch of possibly closeted homosexual men. And those set-pieces. Wow. Riding a Brumak is as much fun as you're going to have in a video game all year. Even the gore is ... gorier. Who doesn't like a little extra blood on their chainsaw? If there are such people, we don't want to meet them.

Multiplayer Game of the Year Nominees:

Gears of War 2
- XBOX 360
Left 4 Dead
- PC, XBOX 360
Call of Duty World at War
- PC/XBOX 360/PS3

And the best multiplayer game of 2008 is ...

Call of Duty World at War

Glitches aside, the original Gears had the best multiplayer experience of the past half decade. Instead of fixing the glitches and keeping everything else the same Epic decided to turn Gears of War 2 into a broken Halo matchmaking lagfest. The only thing they didn't change were the glitches -- they even added a few dozen more, just to keep gamers on their toes. On the other hand, Call of Duty 5 pretty much keeps everything that was great about the fourth and adds a few new tweaks and surprises. World at War multiplayer is the reason this update went up January 5th instead of the morning of December 31st. It really is that addicting and sucks time like a high class whore does politician peckers.

Best Sound Design of the Year Nominees:

Dead Space
- PC/PS3/XBOX 360
Condemned 2: Bloodshot
- PS3/XBOX 360
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots - PS3

And the best sound design of 2008 is ...

Dead Space

No game has sounded as good as Dead Space. The game will scare the shit out of you -- but not just with eerie sounds, screams, scratches, explosions and scrapes -- but with silence. Best sound design for silent moments? To play the game is to understand. The tagline for the original Alien read, "In space no one can hear you scream." 3 decades later one of the best survival horror games ever created proves just why that concept is so utterly terrifying and true.

Best Story of the Year Nominees:

Lost Odyssey - XBOX 360
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed - PC/Wii/PS2/PS3/XBOX 360
Fable II - XBOX 360

And the best story of 2008 is ...

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

The people behind the script of this game have been fucked six ways to Sunday by most video game award shows/blogs. The game isn't nominated in most of them and it's never won. Why? Because the game itself was a buggy disappointment. The story in the game was the best in the Star Wars' universe since the original trilogy. It bridges the two trilogies perfectly and if it were a movie it would have geeks lining up around the block to see it for their seventh, eighth, ninth or tenth time. If you're a fan of Star Wars -- or just a fan of quality storytelling -- you owe it to yourself to watch this game. Sure, you'll also have to play the damn thing, but it really isn't that bad. And with the story as your reward it's well worth the effort.

Art Design of the Year Nominees:

Fable II - XBOX 360
LittleBigPlanet - PS3
No More Heroes - Wii

And the best art design of 2008 is ...

Fable II

We're big fans of Charles Dickens at The Juicy Cerebellum and obviously so are the folks over at Lionhead Studios as their game brings his world to life in a way no film or television show has accomplished. Fable II is pure artistry from the opening drop of bird shit to the melancholy "perfect day" toward the end the game. It paints pictures both beautiful and horrific that are equally unforgettable and for that it's impossible to honor any other title with this award.

Graphics of the Year Nominees:

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots - PS3
Call of Duty World at War - PC/XBOX 360/PS3
Gears of War 2 - XBOX 360

And the best graphics of 2008 are ...

Gears of War 2

This was the hardest one to choose. We played through two of the games a second time before making our decision. Metal Gear Solid definitely impressed with its billion cut scenes, but it started to feel more like watching a movie than playing a game. Gears 2 impressed with massive wide-open levels, just the right amount of color splashed throughout and some of the nicest looking moments in gaming history. One bit of piss on Gears' parade? Cliffy didn't achieve his dream of having the best looking flamethrower ever placed in a game. That honor goes to the glorious thrower of flames in Call of Duty World at War. All 3 games nominated were winners. But Gears of War 2 won. We don't know what that means, either.

And now, the big one ...

Game of the Year Nominees:

Gears of War 2 - XBOX 360
Fable II - XBOX 360
LittleBigPlanet - PS3
Call of Duty World at War
PC/XBOX 360/PS3
Dead Space - PC/PS3/XBOX 360

And the best game of 2008 is ...

Fable II

2008 was a great year for games and to stand out in a year full of standouts you need to be something special. Fable II was a near perfect RPG. Fable II was a near perfect hack and slash. Fable II was a near perfect adventure. Fable II was a near pefect social world that you could inhabit with your friends and find new friends inhabiting. Fable II had that unique collection of "near perfect" gameplay that, when combined, outdid the sum of its "near perfect" parts and turned it into the perfect game. This is a console-seller. This is a can't miss. This truly is game of the year.

Questions? Comments? Bitter disagreements? Email us!



All written content copyright 2009 Alex Sandell/Juicy Cerebellum, Inc.