Cary’s Best Video Games of 2009 Awards Show!

klonoaiconWelcome everyone, to the highly anticipated “Cary’s Best Video Games of 2009 Awards Show!” With special guests and celebrity entertainment! Well, maybe not, but you can at least read about my picks for best games of this past year. Everyone’s invited, come on in and ring in the New Year by looking at my favorite games from 2009. And since my tastes in games usually don’t go over the T for Teen marker, most of the games on my list are family friendly, too!


Now, keep in mind that this is my list only, and no other outside opinions are present. This means my list may be a little unfair because of my tastes in games (so stuff like Call of Duty won’t be on here). And plus, I’m only one person so I can’t play ALL the games. But enough with the introductions. Please sit back and read about my picks for Best Games of the Year!


Since I grew up on old classic games, arcade remakes and collections are some of my favorite genres today! So there are a lot of games listed in this category.

Retro Game Challenge (DS)

This was based on a Japanese TV show where a guy plays old classic games and oftentimes gets frustrated. So we’ll probably never see the show in the US. What’s neat about the game is that none of the classic titles in the collection are real. They’re made up specifically for this game. And aside from Rally King, each of the made-up games is really fun! The reason why Retro Game Challenge wins this award is because it captures the experience of playing classic 8-bit titles, even OUTSIDE the game. Experiences like talking about games with friends, and getting tips and cheat codes—not from the Internet–but from in-game fictional magazines. They’ve accurately depicted what it was like to play games back then. I liked this game so much, I imported the sequel, and I don’t know a lick of Japanese!

Runners Up:

Legacy of Ys: Books 1 and 2 (DS)

I never really got into the Ys games before, since they were on consoles I didn’t own. But I sure really did get into this classic update on the DS! It kept all the fun of the classic game with less of the frustrations that would sometimes come with that. And the music rocks. Can you guess who my favorite character was?

Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection (360, PS3)

Fantastic collection of Sega Genesis, Master System, and arcade games. And it was a good price, too. I wish more companies would do it this way rather than just sell one game via DLC.

Samurai Shodown Anthology (PS2, PSP, Wii)

A very nice collection of one of the most memorable and stylish SNK fighters around. Guess who my favorite characters are here, too!

Raiden Fighters Aces (Xbox 360)

Even though it only had 3 games, the attention to detail in the features was spectacular, and the 20 dollar price tag couldn’t be beat.

Space Invaders Extreme (Xbox Live)

Sure it was done on the DS last year, but the 360 version looks oh so good in high-def. Multiplayer modes are spiffy, too.

Bubble Bobble Plus! (WiiWare, 360)

The last couple of Bubble Bobble updates left me cold, but this one works well because they didn’t change much. Worth the 600 points if you like these games. The same game is on the 360, but it’s called Bubble Bobble Neo and plays and looks a little better, too.

Metroid Prime Trilogy (Wii)

It’s a good deal for all three Metroid Prime games, and it’s great to experience the first two with Wii controls now.


LEGO Rock Band (360)

Sorry Beatles, the only way to get me into a Rock Band game is to make it silly, and that’s what the LEGO version did. Plus it had Ghostbusters. And they made it accessible for the youngest of Rock Band fans, so I think that’s good. I’m still a little bitter that music games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band have flourished while my favorite music game: Taiko Drum Master, sinks into obscurity. But at least games like Rock Band are quality stuff and good for families. I’ll admit that, at least.

Runner Up:

DJ Max Fever (PSP)

I thought it was neat that a super popular music game from Korea got brought to the US. Catchy music and fun videos. Gameplay was kind of hard, though. You’d think that my best music game choice would’ve been Rhythm Heaven, seeing that it was done by the WarioWare folks. But believe it or not, I didn’t like Rhythm Heaven. I never got the hang of the flicking controls, and I felt the game was too hard. So it doesn’t win anything from me. Sorry.


Dissidia: Final Fantasy (PSP)

I’m not too big into the newer FF games, but I was totally into the old school 16-bit Final Fantasies. Square didn’t just copy other crossover fighting games, they made Dissidia their own. The Kingdom Hearts-ish 3-D battles were unique and fun. Being a handheld game, the single player modes needed to be robust, and were they ever! I’m still playing it off and on! And it was fun seeing some of my old favorite characters again, like Terra and Kefka. Dissidia was so good that it quickly rose to my top five favorite PSP games, alongside Loco Roco 1 and 2, Mega Man Powered Up, and Half-Minute Hero!

Runners Up

Street Fighter 4 (360, PS3)

I’m not really much of a fan of fighting games. Not my cup of tea. I guess SF4 is all right, but I can understand the complaints and problems people have with it. I really got SF4 because my little brothers and their friends loved playing Soul Calibur 4 so much; I thought they might enjoy playing SF4 as well. Unfortunately, they didn’t like it as much (neither do I). That’s why I didn’t get BlazBlue for them to play, plus 60 bucks is still a lot of money. Can you guess who my favorite Street Fighter 4 characters are?

Tekken 6 (360, PS3)

To be honest, Tekken 6 isn’t THAT great. I was a little disappointed with the character customization. I enjoyed it so much in Soul Calibur 4 that I was hoping this one would be like that, but it’s more like a dress-up mode in Tekken 6. I did make gals Asuka and Alisa look like bad tacky tourists, though, and that was fun. The campaign mode isn’t very good either, but I liked it regardless because it reminded me of old school side scrolling beat ‘em ups.

BlazBlue (360, PS3)

I never did get BlazBlue. But a friend brought it over to my house one time, and what little I played of it, I could tell it was a quality game. So I put it here. I also reviewed the new King of Fighters game, but I wasn’t as impressed with that. It needed a few more additions to compete with the current crop of brawlers. It’s sad when my favorite thing about the new KOF game was the hot dog blimp that was in one of the stages!


Wii Sports Resort (Wii)

I’m not really big into sports games either. The original Wii Sports replaced NES Super Dodge Ball as my favorite video sports game, if that gives you any indication. Wii Sports Resort had fun new events as well as returning popular old challenges (like the great bowling). And the activities made excellent use of the new Motion Plus attachment.

Runner Up

We Ski and Snowboard (Wii)

While the sequel to We Ski is more of the same, it’s still lots of fun for everyone and the play control is so good that you don’t even need the balance board to have a good time. Namco really knows how to make family friendly sports games.

You might be wondering why there’s no Wii Punch Out on my best sports game list. I haven’t gotten around to playing it yet, and I’m not in a rush either. I don’t HATE the Punch Out games, but I’ve never really gotten into them. I played the NES game a few times at a friend’s, and I rented the SNES one once. Never really played the arcade game as I was more into Pac-Man type stuff, and the bigger kids hogged the Punch Out machine most of the time anyway. I’m sure the Wii Punch Out game is good, but eh, it just doesn’t interest me that much.


Boing! Docomodake DS

It’s a 2-D platformer action puzzler starring a mushroom mascot for a Japanese cell phone company, so I’m really surprised they brought it over here. It’s not too terribly challenging or anything, but it is fun, and worth the low price. And it helped stave off some of the boredom on the down times when I was visiting family in Alabama last time I was there.

Runners Up:

PictoBits (DSiWare)

It’s a fun and original downloadable game on the DSi. It’s pretty hard, though! I do like all the classic NES references and themes.

Mighty Flip Champs (DSiWare)

Another fun (but hard) downloadable DSi game. It’s a single screen 2-D romp where you can flip the ‘pages’ to progress. I hear WayForward is making another Shantae game for DSiWare.


Treasure World (DS)

All you do in this game is search for Wi-Fi signals to collect stuff to show off online. It’s a pretty interesting idea, and rather weird, too. Even weirder is the fact that this game wasn’t even made in Japan, but right here in Austin, TX. I used to live there when I went to college!

Runners Up:

Gardening Mama (DS)

The Cooking Mama games are naturally weird. This is pretty much the same idea except with a gardening theme. Cooking Mama 3 came out this year as well, but it was more of the same.

Major Minor’s Majestic March (Wii)

It’s the one and only marching band game, so that’s pretty weird. Also made by the folks who did PaRappa and the same character designer even did the characters here, too.

Holy Invasion of Privacy Badman! What Did I Do to Deserve This? (PSP)

This was a really unique dungeon making environment simulator with a surprisingly elaborate monster ecosystem. It’s your job as the bad guy to make monster filled dungeons to kill all the heroes who enter your maze. And it had 8-bit style graphics. Only problem is that it’s really hard.

Scibblenauts (DS)

This one almost won the award, but it did have some gameplay issues. Not only do the games in this category have to be weird, they also have to be fun. But being able to type in so many different words to solve the puzzles was pretty creative, and I’m glad I got to review this game.


Half-Minute Hero (PSP)

This RPG requires you to beat the quests in 30 seconds, so it’s one of the few RPGs I can actually find time to beat nowadays! Actually, it’s an action game clever disguised as an RPG, but I don’t care. I liked it a lot and I’ll give it the award because I want to! I loved the 16-bit styled graphics that spoofed the genre, but it also had great artwork you could unlock as well. And don’t forget the fantastic music, some of which was done by the great Yuzo Koshiro. If you have a PSP, you definitely want to check this one out.

Runners Up

Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story (DS)

I thought this would win the best RPG award, but I was just so thrilled with Half-Minute Hero. I did manage to beat this game, too. It’s still great. The action-packed battles are a blast and you could really consider this to be Bowser’s own game since you play as him more than half the time.

Final Fantasy IV: The After Years (WiiWare)

A lot of the reviews for this one are rather negative, and I can understand some of the complaints. Like having to pay a few points for each chapter, for instance. But if you’re as big of a FF4 fan as me, I think you can look past some of these problems and have fun with the game anyway. People griped about how they used the same graphics and locations, and that’s true. But in those same locations are new surprises and enemies and strategies. Folks have also said how it’s nowhere near as good as the original FF4. Now, the original FF4 is oftentimes on many people’s top RPG lists, including mine (alongside FF6 and Chrono Trigger). So that’s a pretty tall order to expect this to be as good. For what was originally a cell phone game in Japan, I think it’s pretty darn good, myself. I like to think that Square Enix was nice enough to release it here to give the US an opportunity to play this, although they probably really did it to make more money with the Final Fantasy franchise. But sometimes I think it’s OK to be a little bit naïve and look at the best of things and people. I’m having fun with FF4: The After Years and that’s all that matters, so that’s why it’s here.

My World, My Way (DS):

It’s not the gameplay that grabbed my interest on this one, but the premise. You play as a spoiled princess who goes on a quest to show an adventurer that she’s not a spoiled wimpy brat. But the princess has the power to pout her way through any situation (yes, there’s pout points and a pout menu). If enemies don’t give you enough gold or if you don’t like the area you’re in, pout and you can change it. The game really requires that you pout a lot if you want to get anywhere, either. Lots of cute lines and funny fourth wall breaking moments, too.


TellTale Games

I WAS going to do a ‘best point and click adventure’ category, but they were all done by the same company so I decided to change it to recognize how cool TellTale Games is. My favorite this year was their Wallace and Gromit games, but the Tales of Monkey Island episodes were great, too. After playing the Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition, I have even more respect for TellTale! And I’m glad they put their games on consoles as well. I recommend checking out their site, they have free downloads and special deals all the time! I’m just glad they’re keeping one of my favorite game genres alive, and I can’t wait to see what they do next! I hear it might be Season Three of Sam & Max! YES!

Runner Up


They’re a niche game company, similar to Atlus or NIS America. But what separates XSEED is that their games managed to interest me way more this year. Heck, two of their games won awards in my blog just now! I can’t wait to see what they come up with next year. I think they’re giving other companies like Atlus a run for their money!


The Maw (Xbox Live)

This hidden gem by an upstart game company was quite a fun Xbox Live surprise. You’re an alien boy who totes around a monster who eats everything and grows bigger. It’s one part Banjo-Kazooie, one part Katamari Damacy, and one part A Boy and His Blob. Only problem is the game is incredibly easy. There’s NO way you can die! But because of that, it makes The Maw a great game for kids, and good kids’ games on the 360 are hard to find. I also thought it was cool that Twisted Pixel, the makers of The Maw and ‘Splosion Man, is based in Austin, TX, too!

Runners Up:

Ghostbusters: The Video Game (360)

The one player mode on Ghostbusters was kind of short, but it was still a fantastic game based on one of my all-time favorite movies. I still want to play this online, so let me know if you want to do that with me.

The Munchables (Wii)

I hate to copy other reviewers’ descriptions, but calling it a cross between Pac-Man and Katamari Damacy is right on the money. You control a round ball and eat everything in sight, but you grow as you eat and the world gets smaller around you like Katamari. The characters have a Digimon/Tamagotchi vibe to them, too, so that may be the Bandai influence going on there. Not a very hard game, but it’s still fun and that means it’s also great for kids. Only problem I had with the game is that the only motion control was to flick the remote to jump. That’s so stupid! It’s just as easy to press a button to jump. Luckily, Namco was smart enough to put classic controller support, so I just did that.

Marble Saga: Kororinpa (Wii)

It’s another ‘tilt the maze to roll a marble’ Wii game, but this one’s a heck of a lot better than the Wii Monkey Ball game (which is a shame since the GameCube ones were so great). Even though it had less stuff, I think I actually enjoyed the first Kororinpa game more, but the sequel is pretty slick, too.

LEGO Indiana Jones 2 (360)

An old friend of mine said it best: “LEGO games aren’t very good, but they’re still a lot of fun.” This sequel has smaller levels so the makers could focus on the level building aspects. Unfortunately, I thought the creation modes were too limiting as well. But the game is still good enough for a mention on my awards show blog.


The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (DS)

Yeah, I know, it’s a 3-D game, but most of what you do is on a 2-D plane, so I decided to give it the award here. I like to call it Chugga Chugga Zelda. It’s pretty much Phantom Hourglass except you drive a train instead of a boat. Sure it’s a little silly, but it’s a video game, so who cares? It’s like having your own virtual train set, and I like trains! All the train sidequests where you ship freight and passengers were fun, too. And you don’t have that frustrating time-based tower like in the first DS Zelda game, so that’s good. Music is also better this time. I think my favorite thing is that Zelda’s spirit follows you throughout the game, and she can possess phantom knight armor to help you solve puzzles. So in a way, this Zelda game does what I’ve wanted for a long time: let you play as Princess Zelda herself!

Runners Up

Loco Roco 2 (PSP)

It may be more of the same, but when the first game was so much fun, that’s okay. Loco Roco is one of the few Sony properties left that I still go ga-ga over. How can anyone hate such a cheerful and happy game?

The Legendary Starfy (DS)

It’s a great game for kids and platformer beginners, but I’m just glad a Starfy game finally made it to the US!

Muramasa: The Demon Blade (Wii)

Made by the same people who did Odin Sphere. It’s a lot like that game, too. Great 2-D ninja fun with artistically beautiful graphics.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii)

A lot of people would say this was 2009’s best 2-D platformer, but not me. It’s a great game, don’t get me wrong. But I didn’t like the slippy slidey controls and the confusing multiplayer. Plus I’d rather see a multiplayer 2-D Kirby game on the Wii (I like Kirby games better than Mario titles anyway). I did like all the classic Mario gameplay references and the return of the Koopa Kids, though.

A Boy and His Blob (Wii)

I loved the original game on the NES. Sure the game was full of bugs and other problems, but I liked the gameplay idea of feeding different flavor jelly beans to a blob so he could change into different items for the boy to use. I’m surprised Jelly Belly never hopped on to help market this game! The original NES game was basically another version of Pitfall 2, what with the giant cave maze and all. Which makes sense since both games were made by David Crane. I met David Crane at an E3 once, which was pretty cool. Anyway, the new game was done by WayForward, makers of Shantae for the GBC, and they did a great job here, too. It’s a little different, though. Instead of a giant maze, stages are broken up into short little puzzles, and you get limitless amounts of jelly beans and lives, so it’s not as frustrating. You can find hidden treasures and secret levels, too. There are a few control issues and inaccuracies here and there, but overall WayForward did a fantastic job. There’s even a level that makes reference to the original game! And I love the hand drawn animation of all the characters. And yes, there’s even a button that makes the boy hug the blob, which serves no purpose other than being cute.

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. Taiko drum roll, please…


Klonoa (Wii)

Hey, what can I say? It was my favorite game on the PSOne, and the Wii remake does everything right. If you want a good example of the kinds of games I like, here you go. It may be short and easy, but even hardcore gamers can appreciate the solid gameplay, bittersweet story, imaginative characters and worlds, and all the hidden secrets. If you missed out when Klonoa was on the PSOne, don’t make the same mistake again! If there’s one game deserving of a second chance, it’s this one. Yeah I know I’m off my rocker for giving Klonoa the best award, but hey, remember what I said at the beginning. It’s my awards show and I can do what I want. But if you really, really don’t like my choice for Game of the Year, you can pretend I said it was Dissidia: Final Fantasy, Half-Minute Hero, Retro Game Challenge, or Spirit Tracks if that’ll make you feel better.

And that’s all for now. In the comments section, feel free to speak out on my picks. Do you agree with them or am I off my rocker? What were YOUR favorite games of 2009? If I had my own awards show on TV, would you watch it? What do you think it would be like?

Next time on my blog, the award show continues with a special feature on my Best Games of the Year for every year of the past decade! So until then, see you next year! –Cary

9 Responses to “Cary’s Best Video Games of 2009 Awards Show!”

  1. Klonoa Wii Namco’s games, gameplay much.

  2. Oddly the above comment makes complete sense if you’ve played Klonoa – or watched your 6-year old boy enjoy it. Great call Cary!

  3. Award Replies 1:

    Sonic A.: I love your caveman response. And it does make sense!

    GD: Yeah, there were other, possibly more deserving games this year, but I enjoyed Klonoa just as much as the others, so I wanted to give it some recognition, too. –Cary

  4. Don’t forget Twisted Pixel under cool companies! The Maw and ‘Splosion Man are both fantastic.

  5. Twisted Pixel’s The Maw was great. It won my ‘best 3-D adventure’ award. At PAX, I even bought a Maw plush from them. ‘Splosion Man was also good, but it didn’t wow me enough to play the game after the demo. I can’t wait to see how their next project comes along. –Cary

  6. I’ve been thinking about grabbing The Maw.

    Thanks for noting my “Pac-Man meets Katamari Damacy” line. Unless you got it somewhere else.
    Also good picks and I agree about LEGO Rock Band. I think it was bone-headed for them to release it so soon after Beatles though.

    Hmmm… favorite company is an interesting question… probably the guys who made – especially wrote and plotted (Dini!) Batman: Arkham Asylum.

  7. I didn’t play many games this year.

    SMB Wii is a good one. MP is great because, tah dah, it allows my son and I to play at the same time. It was a bit frustrating here and there. But give it some time and try and go back and play by yourself. You miss mp. You can’t press A in sp. You have to restart levels if you fall into a pit. I miss not having to do that in mp as long as your teammate is still alive.

    WiiSports REsort was great, but only got play for 2 weeks here. I think the wow factor wasn’t there for me this time around. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it get back in vogue in our household, but I thought it was going to really be a bit hit all the way through xmas.

    ExciteBots Trick Racing might be my game of the year although I don’t think I played it quite as much as ExciteTruck. But we played it enough to get unlock Super Excite mode if I remember right. And the mp was a blast. Really solid with the only knock being the usual friend codes crap. The over the top racing was insanely weird and fun.

    Punchout wasn’t a $50 game. The split-screen mp mode was fun for an hour. The sp game we completed up to where the fighters repeat with different abilities. Fun, but grew tired of it after a few days. Forgot if we rented it or bought and sold.

    I didn’t play much more than that. I have WiiFit Plus and there are some fun mini-games there, but have been too lazy to check it out for more than an hour.

    Ok I did play (or sample) a few 3rd party games. HotD:OK had too many f-bombs to keep around. And really it was too much of a straightforward generic lightgun game to be fun for me.

    MadWorld had a seamless gameplay original world. I liked the look and style too, but the violence? I don’t know. I guess I’m not a big fan of sticking stop signs through bodies and such. Also got repetitive, and controls weren’t just flakey enough to turn me off. I like games that I can play with my son (or with him watching) which brings me back to the violence part.

    That’s it I think. I didn’t even play a pc game this year save perhaps for some WoW for 30 days back in May. And I really just gave Blizzard $15. I wouldn’t call it playing.

    Oh I did play World of Goo on the Mac, but I don’t see the big deal about it. Son took over after 10 minutes and I never played it again.

  8. Games is Enjoyable for every human in the idle times. Fighting games is enjoyable among the two or above players. So Computer Games is best policy for who man is free.KOF Series games is more favorable.

  9. Games!!! Really enjoyable for everyone to kill time. Fighting games might be more enjoyable among two or more players. Above all Computer Games are the best way to kill idle time.

Discussion Area - Leave a Comment

Tired of typing this out each time? Register as a subscriber!