Known as “the people’s gaming awards” and now in its 28th year, the Golden Joystick Awards 2010 have become one of the biggest and most prestigious out there with a massive 1,223,646 votes cast last year and more predicted in this.
Well as you have probably guessed they are back: the nominations for the 16 categories (which have been changed from last year and now reflect categories rather than consoles, much like the BAFTA Video Games Awards 2010) have been announced, and the voting has already started with nearly 370,000 having been cast at the time of writing.
So let’s have a look at the 10 nominees that are up for each award; and in order to save your eyes we will look at them eight at a time with in alphabetical order which of course means we will be starting at A…
As with every award that we will look at this list is full of incredibly good games, and as you can imagine from the very open category title they do range dramatically in style:
Assassin’s Creed 2, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Bayonetta, God of War III, Heavy Rain, Just Cause 2, New Super Mario Bros Wii, Red Dead Redemption, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves.
One can’t help thinking that its large fan base will mean that Uncharted 2 will take this award — something that would align with the BAFTA ‘experts’ opinion — but one can’t help but thing that Assassin’s Creed 2, Batman and Heavy Rain are also in which an especially good chance.
This is a category that may not have as large a number of die-hard fans, but certainly has the variety to make up for it with the following offerings:
‘splosion Man, Assassin’s Creed 2: Bonfire of the Vanities, Battlefield 1943, Call of Duty: World at War: Zombies, FIFA 10, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, Little Big Planet, Plants vs. Zombies, Shadow Complex and Trials HD.
With so many of these being spin-offs of the major releases it would seem obvious that one of them would win this (with FIFA 10 and GTA being at the top of the probability list) but seeing as it is completely down to a public vote things aren’t always that predictable.
A genre that is very often overlooked, but that will be eternally popular for the button-bashers and Hatton wannabes across the gaming world, and contains a nominee list that includes some pretty well known names, as well as some less so!
BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger, Dragon Ball: Raging Blast, Fight Night Round 4, Punch Out!!, Soul Calibur: Broken Destiny, Super Street Fighter IV, Tatsunoko vs Capcom Ultimate All Stars, Tekken 6, UFC 2009 Undisputed and WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2010.
Unsurprisingly considering their enormous success and ability to change the face of living rooms across the country, the Guitar Hero franchise (which includes Rock band and DJ Hero) makes up 90% of the nominees and it does look incredibly likely that one of them will win, though it would be a brave person that bets on any one of them!
Band Hero, DJ Hero, Guitar Hero 5, Guitar Hero on Tour: Modern Hits, Guitar Hero: Greatest Hits, Guitar Hero: Metallica, Guitar Hero: Van Halen, Just Dance, Lego Rock Band and The Beatles Rock Band.
One to Watch
Predicting the next big game isn’t always easy, but when you have numbers on your side it helps, and that is probably the reason why this category has produced many winners over the years that have gone on to top the bestsellers lists! With an additional 5 nominees (which unfortunately doesn’t include Portal 2) this category should be one of the tightest:
Brink, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Crysis 2, Dead Space 2, F1 2010, Fable III, Fallout: New Vegas, Final Fantasy XIV, Gears of War 3, Halo: Reach, Mafia 2, Medal of Honour, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Super Mario Galaxy 2 and The Legend of Zelda Wii.
I personally am really looking forward to F1 2010 and Crysis 2, and I think that the latter along with Call of Duty and Gears of War are in with the best chance of winning this category.
This is another category that has 15 nominees, and of course another that will be closely contested. Unlike the ‘online’ category in the BAFTAs which looked more at how the online capabilities was utilised in the game, this category is based on games that are accessible online which means we won’t be seeing FIFA 10 picking up the award here as well! The nominees are:
2029 Online, Aion: The Tower Of Eternity, Allods Online, Bejeweled Blitz, Champions Online, Dragonica, Fallen Earth, Farmville, Gangster City, Global Agenda, League of Legends, Need for Speed: World, Star Trek Online, Lord of the Rings Online: Siege of Mirkwood and Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online.
There is an interesting split here between the games with high numbers of casual gamers (such as Farmville and Bejeweled Blitz) as well as the more ‘serious’ ones (like Star Trek Online and Lord of the Rings Online: Siege of Mirkwood) which are more likely to get voted from their solid fan base than popularity!
Much like the ‘Downloadable’ category this one features many spin off games that attempt to follow the glory of the full titles, and as the fact that they are included in the shortlist indicates those that do this do it very well! Joining them are a scattering of purpose-made games for portable consoles, all of which you will probably have heard of:
Assassin’s Creed: Bloodlines, Assassin’s Creed: Discovery, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare — Mobilised, Call of Duty: World at War: ZOMBIES, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, Little Big Planet, Plants vs Zombies, Pokemon Heart Gold/Soul Silver, Professor Layton and Pandora and The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks.
This is the category that probably features more games you haven’t heard of than any other which makes it very interesting, and a good place to look to get a good new game when the results are announced! The 10 nominees are:
3D Pictocross, Ace Attorney Inverstigations: Miles Edgeworth , Arkanoid Plus!, Brain Exercises with Dr Kawashima, Katamari Forever, LUXOR: Mah Jong, Professor Layton and Pandora’s Box, Scribblenauts, Super Monkey Ball: Step and Roll and World of Goo.
My personal favourite of these would be ‘World of Goo’ which I found incredibly enjoyable and challenging (and would recommend to anyone looking for a cheap new game), but having heard promising things from many of the others it will by no means run away with the award!
So that’s the first eight — stay tuned for the rest shortly!
Don’t forget to head over to the Golden Joystick Awards 2010 and cast your votes, and have a good look at the very impressive list of nominees!