IVG Podcast 21: Episodic games, porn on consoles, and more next-gen speculation

This week – Closer to PS4 launch, Xbox One’s India prospects, pros and cons of episodic games, porn on consoles, year-end sales, GOTY, and more.

IVG GOTY 2009: Overall Game of the Year

After a month of voting and deliberations, we’re finally now able to announce IVG’s Game of the Year for 2009. Below are the IVG Community’s top 10 games of 2009 as voted by our members on the forums throughout December. To see the list of games that made up the rest of the top 20, head over to the discussion thread here.

IVG GOTY 2009: Best Fighting Game

Last year was without a shadow of a doubt the Year of the Fighting Games with almost every legendary franchise churning in a contender for the crown. While games like King of Fighters XII deserved to go into the garbage bin straight out of the factory, most of the others were solid heavyweights who put up a quite tough fight in the ring.

IVG GOTY 2009: Best Multi-platform Game

Getting nominated for the Best Multi-platform Game of 2009 is a tough gig. Not only does the game have to be excellent, but it has to be excellent across all platforms. And that is no easy feat. It has to look good, control right and, if possible, build upon the strengths of each platform as well. Let’s take a look at our nominees and find out why they got the nod over other equally good games.

IVG GOTY 2009: Best Handheld Game

The handhelds are often shunned as kiddie or commuter devices. But truth be told, both the DS and the PSP sell by the droves and millions around the world can spend their time better in the train/bus/school/office/plane. It’s not just the portability though; both come with a line-up of fantastic games – some good enough to give their console counterparts a run for their money.

IVG GOTY 2009: Best Action-Adventure Game

Choosing a winner for this year’s action-adventure category turned out to be an action-adventure game in itself; and a pretty tough one at that. Imagine going up to a deadly assassin or the Dark Knight himself and telling them that their respective entries, while being awesome beyond words, didn’t quite make the cut. Apart from the imminent health hazard that such a (thankfully) hypothetical situation presents, picking out a winner for this category in 2009 truly felt like a grave injustice to the other nominees.

IVG GOTY 2009: Best Downloadable Game

Flower is so relaxing a game that the staff and community voted it to be our number one fix, replacing alcohol, porn and edging out Shadow Complex by 6.74%. So go ahead, check it out and realise why a game without much of a plot, fairly simplistic art-direction and gorgeously spartan controls and gameplay was the unanimous choice for best downloadable game.

IVG GOTY 2009: Best RPG

Staff casts nomination on Dragon Age: Origins! Staff spots wild PS3 fanboys! PS3 fanbots cast nomination on Demon’s Souls! PS3 fanbots level up! PS3 fanbots spot overclocked PC fanboys! PC fanboys cast nomination on Dragon Age: Origins! PS3 fanbots and PC fanboys caught in Flame War! PS3 fanbots and PC fanboys in deadlock! Staff sits […]

IVG GOTY 2009: Best Platformer

Platformers have seen a bit of a resurgence over the last few years. 2008 was a fantastic year for the genre and 2009 was no different. And it’s the traditional side-scrolling platformers that dominated our nominees for Best Platfromer. In fact, only one of the five nominees this year is a 3D platformer.

IVG GOTY 2009: Best PC Game

PC gaming is dead. Or so they’ve said since the inception of the PSOne. And while two indie titles, two RTSs, the usual Sims release, and a top-notch RPG don’t exactly represent the most robust of health for the platform, it’s a far cry from being even close to life-support, let alone death.

IVG GOTY 2009: Best Game No One Played

It was great to have sequels to popular franchises such as Call of Duty, Halo, Uncharted, Killzone, Resident Evil and Assassin’s Creed, all in one year. But an unfortunate side effect to such a glut of big budget sequels was that some great games that lacked the hype or rich pedigree went by largely unnoticed. We give these quality titles their due in our Best Game No One Played category.

IVG GOTY 2009: Best Story

Telling a tale – whether it be about a tail or not – is easy. Getting others to sit through it is not easy. When it’s a video game it gets substantially harder because the player has a say in where the story goes. This year we’ve introduced a new category to honour those games which took up the challenge of presenting an engaging, thought provoking, entertaining story.

IVG GOTY 2009: Best Character

A great character can carry a mediocre game on his/her shoulders. Some of them catapult an already great game into legendary status. And a few stay with us much after we’ve forgotten the game. This is one of the new categories we’ve introduced this year because we wanted to recognise the efforts to bring a few polygons to life using outstanding dialogue and voice acting.

IVG GOTY 2009: Best Shooter

If analogies were to be drawn between gaming and movies, shooters would surely be the equivalent of big budget blockbusters. Being the greatest proponents of the modern day rage that is online multiplayer gaming, a great shooter can be a big contributor to the console’s overall success.

IVG GOTY 2009: Best Strategy Game

2009 was a good year if you’re an RTS fan. The sheer amount of variety we had in different RTS games that were released last year was amazing to see. And nowhere was this reflected better than in our nominees for Strategy Game of the Year. Both Anno 1404 and Tropico had great city building […]

IVG GOTY 2009: Best Use of Co-op

There are some games that are built around co-op, some that offer co-op as a secondary option, and others in which co-op is included as a game mode separate from the campaign. 2009 had fine examples of each of those, allowing us to enjoy these great games in more ways than one.

IVG GOTY 2009: Best Sports Game

There’s no way to sugar coat this one – 2009 was not a good year for sports games; at least not the kind we play in India. While MLB 09: The Show, NHL 10, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 and the NBA games from EA and 2K were all great, no one cares for those games in these parts. So for us, the picture wasn’t quite as rosy.

IVG GOTY 2009: Best New IP

2009 wasn’t the best year for new IP. Like most experts, let’s just blame it all on recession and assume that publishers felt they were better off investing in existing IP rather than risk new ones and lose money. Jokes apart, new IP are the backbone of the gaming industry, because not only is it important to remember that every Goliath in gaming started off as a David, but new IP are a perfect way to bring new ideas and a fresh perspective to the table.