Game of the Month: January 2009
[Editor's Note: We'd like to apologize for the delay in announcing our January Game of the Month winner. We've had quite a busy time with the transition to the new site, but you can expect the rest of this year's GOTM Awards to continue on track as usual.]
It goes without saying that 2008 was a quality year for gamers. Our Game of the Month Award winners included such gems as Prince of Persia, LittleBigPlanet, Valkyria Chronicles, and Metal Gear Solid 4. Now that we're already into 2009, it's time to see how this year's line-up stacks up against last year's winners. With titles like Uncharted 2, MLB 09: The Show, inFamous, Killzone 2, Resident Evil 5, Street Fighter IV and many more expected to see retail releases this year, the games of 2009 definitely have a chance to trump last year's slew of excellent releases.
January 2009 was a slow month for the gaming industry, and rightfully so. Considering it's the first month after the hectic holiday season and a lot of developers are preparing for events such as CES 2009 and GDC 2009, it's not too uncommon for January to drudge along. Thankfully there was one title released in January that deserves a Game of the Month Award -- Electronic Arts' hit sequel to the revolutionary Skate. Skate 2 hit retail shelves late in the month, but it didn't disappoint. While the original title revolutionized the skateboarding genre and stole the spotlight from long-running champion Tony Hawk, Electronic Arts knew they had to up their game in order to not end up in the same rut as their competition.
PSU Editor Eric Blattberg has an E.T. moment
Skate 2 saw the introduction of customizable spot creation. Gamers were given the ability to move ramps, railings, tables, and many other objects around in order to create their very own skate spot that could be uploaded online and played by others. While it was disappointing to not be able to create a spot with a friend online, it's still an appreciated feature that gives the series that extra little oomph.
Not much changed in the gameplay department, but that can be attributed to the old adage, "if it isn't broke, don't fix it." Skate's revolutionary "FlickIt" control system (utilizing both analog sticks as your different feet on the board), still feels as fresh as it did the day the original Skate launched. It allows gamers and fans of the sport to step outside the box and try something new. Skate 2 continued this gameplay mechanic while doubling its bag of tricks, further perfecting the series' flowing play style.
Skate 2 stole the show in January and is worthy of our January 2009 Game of the Month Award. As always, we're going to turn to our community to see what our readers thought of the title.
"This game is SICK!!! Havnt had any problems playing it. Played from 6pm yesterday to 2am today... Work is a drag but at least i have some sessions to look forward to when i get home.. As far as the realistic vs arcade... you got it, Real lines or never in a million year lines. The online features are pretty sweet.." -AZTwiztidJuggla
"Skate 2 builds on the winning formula that was Skate - and polishes the rough edges of its predecessor. Black Box have listened to fans and given us the ability to make our own lines and to get off the board. They've given us new tricks and abilities. Its early days and I'm certainly still finding out LOADS about what Skate 2 has to offer. For those who decided to stay away from the PS3 version due to rumoured frame rate issues - reconsider. Trust me. It is without a doubt the continuation of a series that now defines what a Skate game should be about. The perfect mix of fun and realism." --Deadpool-
Instead of giving one more excerpt, we've decided to demonstrate one of the best forum members' skills through his Skate.Reel video.
February is a mediocre month for games, but there are certainly a few heavy hitters to choose from for our next Game of the Month. Will Street Fighter IV overtake the brilliant Killzone 2? Will F.E.A.R. 2 make a surprising debut? Will 50 Cent and his crew bust up our houses until we give the award to Blood on the Sand? You'll have to wait until the month concludes to find out.