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This week Yahtzee gives out his game awards for 2008.

TranscriptEdit

My longtime refusal to give arbitrary scores at the end of reviews has earned me several complaints from people (obviously some extremely thick people who can't pay attention for ten seconds because they get distracted by clouds and shiny objects) who claim to be frequently unable to decipher whether or not I think a game is good. And since it's the new year - traditionally the time when self-important gaming media outlets bestow accolades to the utter indifference of gamers and developers alike - here are the Zero Punctuation Awards for 2008. I wasn't sufficiently married to this idea to create actual trophies, but winners are encouraged to make their own (if it's that important to them).

The "Indiana Jones in a Fridge" Award for Franchise Murder

2008 was a year suffering from a terrible case of the sequels. Most of them were really just going through the motions, stagnating their respective franchises rather than outright slaughtering them; but no series this year was euthanized quite so thoroughly as Metal Gear Solid. Not content with transforming the wildly beloved central character into a terminally ill, old fogey with a Magnum P.I. mustache, Metal Gear Solid 4 then proceeded to irreversibly tie up every slightest loose end with the rapid efficiency of an obsessive-compulsive man in a shoelace factory - none of which would have mattered so much if they hadn't killed most of the stealth aspect in favor of frustrating action sequences and an entire mini-series' worth of cut scenes, culminating in an ending as sickening and arduous as a cheesecake the size of a manhole cover. Rest in peace, you preachy, overwritten pile of tripe.

The "15 Year Old School Leaver" Award for Biggest Disappointment

Silent Hill: Homecoming was my first choice for this award for creating an installment to a series that specializes in subtlety and pacing and opening it with a bloke getting a Buster Sword up the jacksie. But then I remembered Alone in the Dark from earlier in the year, which took subtlety and pacing, lit them on fire, and ramped off them several times in slow motion. And it would have been remiss of me not to also mention Dead Space, which might have been alright if it had merely copied System Shock completely, but which felt it had to extract all the subtlety and pacing and blast them out the nearest air lock. So rather than choose from the many worthy candidates, I've decided to award Biggest Disappointment to the entire survival horror genre - because there weren't any mainstream horror games this year, just a bunch of action games full of enemies with arms growing out of their tits.

The "Proximity to Jason Voorhees" Award for Stupidest Main Character

For most of the year, it seemed like Ethan Thomas from Condemned 2 was going to sweep this award for his game's spectacular abandonment of gritty seriousness that left him using shouty superpowers to fight stage magicians. But that was more stupid character development than behavior, and he was pipped at the post by the Prince of Persia in the recent installment of the same name, who - without giving away the kind of spoilers that get me spat on in the street - does something at the end of the game that destroys everything he'd been working towards for the benefit of a character no one likes. And they force you to do this within gameplay if you want to see the ending! That's like refusing me my dessert until I've pushed the entire main course up my nose. . .sort of.

The "Turd in a Chocolate Box" Award for Surprising Poor Quality

Mirror's Edge was a hot contender for this award, until I remembered that the game's badness didn't come as any surprise to me because it was by EA, and I am apparently more skilled in pattern recognition than most. So the award goes to none other than Grand Theft Auto IV, which decided that the best way to bring in speciality madcap sandbox fun into the new console generation was to dip the graphics in filthy dishwater, construct all the vehicles from depleted uranium, and break up the gameplay every five minutes to make you wheel your fat cousin to places and shovel burgers into his gob. Congratulations go out to all those at Rockstar, as soon as someone wakes them up.

The "Turd in a Turd" Award for Unsurprising Poor Quality

Again, Mirror's Edge was a hot contender, as were Too Human, and Haze, and every other game no one gave a toss about before release and gave even less of one afterwards. But at the risk of beating a puddle of waddling giblets that used to be a dead horse, I couldn't in good conscience give this award to anyone other than Sonic the Hedgehog for his latest opus, because he has been trying so damn hard for something like six games but continues to fail to notice that all along, he's been running on the spot in a pile of sticky, unplayable mess (which is at least laudable for its consistency). Sonic Team are to be congratulated for their epic storytelling and orchestral soundtracks, and their sheer, dogged determination to overlook the fact that their main character is a fucking cartoon rat!

The "Copulating Jelly Baby" Award for Fucking Sweet Game

Longtime viewers may be perplexed by GTAIV's award because in my original review, I may have accidentally called it a good game. At the time, you see, I was jaded by release drought and the neverending flow of completely drivulous fan mail, and was spending most of my time in a blurry haze in which I mistook the slightest mental stimulation for actual fun. It wasn't until recently when Saints Row 2 came along that I remembered what a fun sandbox game is and isn't: What it isn't is brown, gritty and forced tutorials, and what it is is taking all your clothes off, hurling yourself out of a plane and landing ass-crack-first on a sunbather's face. Saints Row 2 might not be the smartest game in the world, but I had more fun with it than any other 2008 release, so I guess it had better be my game of the year - but don't let it go to your heads.

The "Attention Deficit" Award for Games I Haven't Reviewed Yet

What with pretty much all the big releases this year being homogenous, interchangeable sequels and everything, it's only natural that a couple should slip the net. Gears of War 2, Tomb Raider: Underworld, and Far Cry 2 all escaped the year un-reviewed, largely due to my utter indifference, but never let it be said that I am prejudiced. Now we're after the Christmas release glut - there should be plenty of time to give them a good sound maiming to ring in 2009, and all of them could potentially surprise me and cause me to rethink my choice of game of the year (except Tomb Raider, obviously).

AddendaEdit

Would like to thank the Academy: Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw

Actually I'm given to understand that they're making another Metal Gear Solid so best of luck to Hideo Kojima and the three people who care

Maybe next year I'll make some little images to put on your box art

ScreenshotsEdit

Awards for 2008 1

And they force you to do this within gameplay if you want to see the ending!

Awards for 2008 2

Game of the year

Awards for 2008 3

All of them could potentially surprise me

External LinksEdit

Zero Punctuation review

Episodes
2007 - 2010
2007
Q3 The Darkness Demo · Fable: The Lost Chapters · Zero Punctuation (Episode) · Heavenly Sword and Other Stuff · Psychonauts · Console Rundown · BioShock · Tomb Raider: Anniversary · Manhunt · Peggle
Q4 Halo 3 · Tabula Rasa · The Orange Box · Super Paper Mario · Medal of Honor: Airborne · The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass · Clive Barker's Jericho · F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate · Assassin's Creed · Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock · Mass Effect
2008
Q1 Super Mario Galaxy · Silent Hill: Origins · Crysis · The Witcher · Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles · Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare · SimCity Societies · Yahtzee Goes to GDC · Uncharted: Drake's Fortune · Devil May Cry 4 · Burnout: Paradise · Turok · Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure
Q2 Army of Two · No More Heroes · Condemned 2: Bloodshot · Super Smash Bros. Brawl · God of War: Chains of Olympus · Mailbag Showdown · Grand Theft Auto IV · Painkiller · The World Ends With You · The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion · Haze · Metal Gear Solid 4
Q3 Webcomics · Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures · Alone in the Dark · Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures · The E3 Trailer Park · Ninja Gaiden II · Prince of Persia Retrospective · Soulcalibur IV · Braid · EVE Online · Too Human · Spore · XBLA Double Bill
Q4 Mercenaries 2: World in Flames · Star Wars: The Force Unleashed · S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky · Silent Hill: Homecoming · Saints Row 2 · Dead Space · Fable II · Fallout 3 · Guitar Hero: World Tour · Mirror's Edge · Left 4 Dead · Sonic Unleashed · The Year in Review - 2008 · Prince of Persia
2009
Q1 Awards for 2008 · Tomb Raider: Underworld · Far Cry 2 · Gears of War 2 · LittleBigPlanet · Thief: The Dark Project · Skate 2 · F.E.A.R. 2 · Spider-Man: Web of Shadows · The House of the Dead: Overkill · 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand · Resident Evil 5
Q2 X-Blades/Halo Wars · Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars · MadWorld · Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X · Siren: Blood Curse · The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena · Valkyria Chronicles · Velvet Assassin · Duke Nukem Forever · Bionic Commando · InFamous · The Second Annual E3 Hype Massacre · Prototype
Q3 The Sims 3 · Ghostbusters: The Video Game · Overlord 2 · Red Faction Guerrilla · Wii Sports Resort · Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood · The Conduit · Silent Hill 2 · 2.5-D Hoedown · Tales of Monkey Island · Wolfenstein · Batman: Arkham Asylum · Beatles Rock Band & Guitar Hero 5 · Darkest of Days
Q4 Scribblenauts · Wet · Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story · Brutal Legend · Washington D.C. · Uncharted 2: Among Thieves · Dragon Age: Origins · Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 · Assassin's Creed 2 · Left 4 Dead 2 & New Super Mario Bros. Wii · Demon's Souls · Holiday 2009 · The Saboteur
2010
Q1 Awards for 2009 · Torchlight · Darksiders · Bayonetta · Dark Void · Borderlands · Mass Effect 2 · Dante's Inferno · BioShock 2 · Aliens vs Predator · Heavy Rain · Battlefield: Bad Company 2 · Final Fantasy XIII
Q2 April Fools 2010 · God of War III · Red Steel 2 · Just Cause 2 · Silent Hill: Shattered Memories · Splinter Cell: Conviction · Nier · Dead to Rights: Retribution · Monster Hunter Tri · Alan Wake · Red Dead Redemption · Alpha Protocol · Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands · E3 2010
Q3 No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle · Super Mario Galaxy 2 · Singularity · Crackdown 2 · DeathSpank & Limbo · Shadow of the Colossus · Split Second: Velocity · Transformers: War for Cybertron · Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days · Mafia II · Metroid: Other M · Video Game Voters Network · Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Q4 Halo: Reach · Dead Rising 2 · Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions · Castlevania: Lords of Shadow · Enslaved: Odyssey to the West · Fallout: New Vegas · Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II · Call of Duty: Black Ops · IPhone Games · Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood · Splatterhouse · Epic Mickey · Holiday 2010
2011 - 2014
2011
Q1 Top 5 of 2010 · World of Warcraft: Cataclysm · Fable III · Minecraft · A Shadow's Tale · Dead Space 2 · DC Universe Online · MindJack · Two Worlds II · Bulletstorm · Killzone 3 · Kirby's Epic Yarn · Dragon Age II
Q2 Pokémon White · Yakuza 4 · Crysis 2 · Nintendo 3DS · Portal 2 · Castlevania: Symphony of the Night · Mortal Kombat · Brink · L.A. Noire · The Witcher 2 · Hunted: The Demon's Forge · Duke Nukem Forever (for real this time) · InFamous 2
Q3 Alice: Madness Returns · Shadows of the Damned · F.E.A.R. 3 · The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D · Call of Juarez: The Cartel · Bastion and From Dust · Catherine · Red Faction: Armageddon · Deus Ex · Deus Ex: Human Revolution · Driver: San Francisco · Dead Island · Resistance 3
Q4 Gears of War 3 · Hard Reset · Rage · Kinect · Batman: Arkham City · Battlefield 3 · Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception · Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 · The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim · Saints Row: The Third · Assassin's Creed: Revelations · The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
2012
Q1 Serious Sam 3: BFE · Top 5 of 2011 · Super Mario 3D Land & Rayman Origins · Sonic Generations · Star Wars: The Old Republic · Amy · Resident Evil: Revelations · Darkness 2 · Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning · NeverDead · Syndicate · Mass Effect 3 · Twisted Metal
Q2 Yakuza: Dead Souls · Ninja Gaiden 3 · Silent Hill: Downpour · Kid Icarus: Uprising · Fez and I Am Alive · Prototype 2 · Risen 2: Dark Waters · Sniper Elite V2 · Diablo 3 · Max Payne 3 · Dragon's Dogma · E3 2012 · Lollipop Chainsaw
Q3 Quantum Conundrum · Spec Ops: The Line · Walking Dead · Inversion · The Amazing Spider-Man · Half-Life · Wreckateer and Deadlight · Steam Roundup · Sleeping Dogs · Darksiders 2 · DayZ · Guild Wars 2
Q4 Borderlands 2 · FIFA 13 · Resident Evil 6 · Dishonored · XCOM: Enemy Unknown · Medal of Honor: Warfighter & Doom 3: BFG Edition · Assassin's Creed 3 · Halo 4 · Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 · Hitman: Absolution · Far Cry 3 · ZombiU
2013
Q1 Top 5 of 2012 · Paper Mario: Sticker Star · Black Knight Sword & Hotline Miami · Anarchy Reigns · DMC: Devil May Cry · The Cave · Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch · Dead Space 3 · Aliens: Colonial Marines · Crysis 3 · Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance · Tomb Raider · SimCity
Q2 The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct · BioShock Infinite · Lego City Undercover · Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon · Injustice: Gods Among Us · Star Trek · Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon · System Shock 2 · Metro: Last Light · Next Gen Buyer's Guide · Fuse · Remember Me · E3 2013
Q3 The Last of Us · Deadpool · Animal Crossing: New Leaf · Ride to Hell: Retribution · Dark · Mario & Luigi: Dream Team · Rise of the Triad · Papers, Please & Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons · Pikmin 3 · The Bureau: XCOM Declassified · Saints Row 4 · Killer is Dead · Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs
Q4 Grand Theft Auto V · Lost Planet 3 · Beyond: Two Souls · The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD · Batman: Arkham Origins · Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag · Call of Duty: Ghosts · Exclusives Showdown · Ryse: Son of Rome · Dead Rising 3 · Super Mario 3D World
2014
Q1 Top 5 of 2013 · Knack · Killzone: Shadow Fall · Survival Special · Broken Age · Might & Magic X: Legacy · The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds · Dark Souls · Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII · Strider · Thief · Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 · Dark Souls II
Q2 Titanfall · InFamous: Second Son · Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes · The Elder Scrolls Online · South Park: The Stick of Truth · FTL: Faster Than Light · Child of Day-Light · The Amazing Spider-Man 2 · Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure · Wolfenstein: The New Order · WATCH DOGS · E3 2014 · Murdered: Soul Suspect
Q3 Tomodachi Life · Enemy Front & Valiant Hearts: The Great War · Shovel Knight · EarthBound · Transistor · E.T. · Firefall · Sacred 3 · Risen 3: Titan Lords · Daikatana · Lichdom: Battlemage · The Sims 4 · Destiny
Q4 D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die · Hyrule Warriors · Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor · Alien Isolation · The Evil Within · Bayonetta 2 · Sunset Overdrive · Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare · Assassin's Creed: Unity · Far Cry 4 · Dragon Age: Inquisition · Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric · Top 5 Games of 2014
2015 - 2017
2015
Q1 The Talos Principle · Elite: Dangerous · Five Nights at Freddy's and This War of Mine · Lords of the Fallen · Saints Row: Gat out of Hell · Dying Light · Grim Fandango · Evolve · The Order: 1886 · The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D · Resident Evil Revelations 2 · Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number & Ori and the Blind Forest
Q2 Battlefield: Hardline · Bloodborne · Half-Life 2 Update · Axiom Verge & Stealth Inc 2 · Mortal Kombat X · Grand Theft Auto Online · Broken Age: Act 2 · Wolfenstein: The Old Blood · Cyberpunk Double · The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt · Splatoon · Hatred · E3 2015
Q3 Alone in the Dark: Illumination · Batman: Arkham Knight · Yoshi's Woolly World · Cave Story · Godzilla · Rocket League & Tembo the Badass Elephant · King's Quest: A Knight to Remember · Nom Nom Galaxy & Freedom Planet · Everybody's Gone To The Rapture · Volume · Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain · Mad Max · Gears of War Ultimate Edition · Until Dawn
Q4 Super Mario Maker · SOMA · Rock Band 4 · Assassin's Creed Syndicate · Halo 5: Guardians · Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 · Rise of the Tomb Raider · Fallout 4 · Star Wars: Battlefront · Just Cause 3 · Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water
2016
Q1 Top 5 Games of 2015 · Devil's Third · Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam · Assassin's Creed Chronicles · Xenoblade Chronicles X · The Witness & Bombshell · Gravity Rush · XCOM 2 · Firewatch & Layers of Fear · Far Cry Primal · Stardew Valley & SUPERHOT · The Division · Salt and Sanctuary
Q2 Republique · Shadow Warrior · Quantum Break · Dark Souls III · Ratchet & Clank · Star Fox Zero · Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door · Uncharted 4: A Thief's End · Doom · Homefront: The Revolution · Overwatch & Battleborn · Mirror's Edge: Catalyst · E3 2016
Q3 Mighty No. 9 · Inside & Shadow of the Beast · The Technomancer · Furi & Song of the Deep · I Am Setsuna · Headlander & Quadrilateral Cowboy · Quake · No Man's Sky · Grow Up · Deus Ex: Mankind Divided · Metroid Prime: Federation Force · The Curious Expedition & Mother Russia Bleeds · ReCore
Q4 Capcom Five · Clustertruck & Lichtspeer · Paper Mario: Color Splash · Mafia III · Gears of War 4 · PlayStation VR · Battlefield 1 · Titanfall 2 vs Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare · Dishonored 2 · WATCH DOGS 2 · Final Fantasy XV · The Last Guardian
2017
Q1 Top 5 Games of 2016 · Let It Die · Dead Rising 4 · Hitman · Gravity Rush 2 · Resident Evil 7 · Yakuza 0 · Nioh · For Honor · Nintendo Switch & Breath of the Wild · Horizon Zero Dawn · Nier Automata

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