A free, once-weekly round-up of all the best Nintendo Switch links, articles and videos from the past seven days.
Subscribe
Gears of War 2 by
published Monday, Jan 26th

Gamebrit Game Of The Year Awards 2008

Gamebrit.com opened it’s doors back in August of 2008, but us as a team have been gaming for a large number of years, so, in a incredibly late fashion, it’s with pleasure that we present to you the first annual Gamebrit Awards.

The Gamebrit Awards aim to celebrate the best in videogaming from the past twelve months, and not only are we honoring all games on all major platforms, we will also be selecting the best home grown title; along with the best game developed right here in the United Kingdom.

All the titles in the categories below were pre selected by Gamebrit’s staff team and after much further debate an overall winner was chosen. We hope you agree that our choices are deservedly awarded, if not be sure to join the debate on our forums to discuss the awards and the industry as a whole with like-minded gamers.

So without further a due let the awards commence:

iPhone Game Of The Year

Winner – Sim City iPhone

Nominations:
Fieldrunners
Super Monkey Ball
Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart
Bomboozle

Sim City
The visuals of SimCity 3000 combined with the gameplay of SimCity 2000 gave us the biggest and most ambitious iPhone app of 2008: SimCity iPhone from EA. With the ability to pinch in and out of your custom-built city to edit those fine details, this rendition of SC is both pretty on the eye, and pretty damn playable. The fun, addicting gameplay that you remember from the PC version remain intact to give great value for your £5.99 to provide hours of high fun.

Nintendo DS Game Of The Year

Winner – Professor Layton And The Curious Village

Nominations:
Advance Wars: Day of Ruin
Apollo Justice
The World ends with you
Soul Bubbles

Professor Layton & The Curious Village

It took its sweet time to arrive here but Professor Layton and the Curious Village was worth the wait. After a clever ad campaign and word-of-mouth it became one of the most sought after titles over the Christmas period, selling out across the country and fetching stupid prices on eBay. This popularity was no accident as Professor Layton is one of the most addictive and engrossing games of the year and a great bridge title to bring together new and old gamers.

Playstation Portable Game Of The Year

Winner – Patapon

Nominations:
Loco Roco 2
Echochrome
God of War: Chains of Olympus
Space Invaders Extreme

Patapon

The people behind LocoRoco have once again delivered a game that’s crazy, original and downright addictive. Patapon built on the idea of simple 2D graphics and combined it with a rhythm led, side scrolling, fighting game. This may sound like an unusual match but it’s an instant hit and has won critical acclaim across the industry. It covers all bases providing artistic visuals, perfectly mapped controls and a soundtrack that will get stuck in your head and won’t let go. This is not only one of the PSP’s finest but a game that should be experienced by everyone.

Multiplayer Game Of The Year

Winner – Burnout Paradise

Nominations:
Gears Of War 2
Left 4 Dead
Smash Bros Brawl
Mario Kart Wii

Burnout: Paradise

Despite being out for more than a year, Criterion, another UK based developer, have been supporting Burnout Paradise with a slew of downloadable content since release, it’s this continued support along with a amazingly thorough game to build upon that make Burnout Paradise our multiplayer game of the year. A solid multiplayer experience, different to any other racing game make Burnout Paradise such an appealing multiplayer affair. The open structure of the multiplayer gave gamers a choice in how to play which is still refreshing more than a year after release.

Download Game Of The Year

Winner – Braid (XBLA)

Nominations:
Geometry Wars 2
Lost Winds
Pixel Junk Monsters
Megaman 9

Braid

An independently developed title takes the scoop for downloadable game of the year. Braid (available on Xbox Live) married beautifully unique visuals with captivating and thought provoking gameplay. A highly satisfying puzzle challenge with indefinte style. Jonathon Blow, congratulations.

British Developer Of The Year

Winner – Media Molecule

Nominations:
Fable 2 – Lionhead Studios
GTA IV – Rockstar North
Banjo Kazooie Nuts & Bolts – Rare
Viva Pinata: Trouble In Paradise – Rare

Media Molecule

Coming from a small office in Guildford, newly formed Media Molecule gave the world not only LittleBigPlanet but also a fresh approach to games development. They’ve drawn on 70+ years of combined gaming experience and are packed full of people who love making and playing games. This is incredibly clear from the game they’ve made so far and the community feel they’ve created that surrounds everything they do. The Media Molecule ‘family’ has got a bright future ahead of them and it’s genuinely exciting to wonder what project they’ll embark on next.

PC Game Of The Year

Winner – Red Alert 3

Nominations:
Spore
Football Manager 2009
Far Cry 2
GTA 4

Red Alert 3

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is the famous phrase, but EA went ahead and fixed it anyway, by introducing a fully playable online co-op campaign. Fortunately nothing has stopped the consistency of the Red Alert franchise from being the awesome Real Time Strategy gaming series that we all remember, as the third (if played alongside a friend) could be considered the best yet of the trilogy. It may not do a great deal to introduce new players to the series, but RA fanboys will be drooling over HD Tesla Tanks, heavy naval combat and most importantly… Jenny McCarthy and Gemma Atkinson wearing leather in HD!

Playstation 3 Game Of The Year

Winner – LittleBigPlanet

Nominations:
Metal Gear Solid 4
Grand Theft Auto 4
Burnout Paradise
Resistance 2

LittleBigPlanet

Fresh from new developers Media Molecule, LittleBigPlanet put creativity back in the hands of players. Combining classic platforming with a do-it-yourself attitude, this game established itself amongst the PS3’s elite titles. Add to this an adorable lead character, limitless customization and one of the most fun multiplayer experiences around and you have an incredibly enjoyable game. With the ongoing content updates as well as the numerous user built levels being uploaded every day, LittleBigPlanet’s hold on the gaming world isn’t due to end anytime soon.

Wii Game Of The Year

Winner – Smash Bros Brawl

Nominations:
No More Heroes
Mario Kart Wii
De Blob
Zack & Wiki

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Despite all the massive hype, director Masahiro Sakurai managed to deliver on just about all his promises for this sequel. The impressive selection of playable characters, stages cameos and nods to the company’s glossy past made this a virtual wet dream for Nintendo fans around the globe and it quickly became one of the best selling hardcore titles of the year. The addition of a fully-fledged single player, online options and level editors gave gamers even more reasons to immerse themselves in the Smash Bros universe.

Xbox 360 Game Of The Year

Winner – Gears Of War 2

Nominations:
GTA 4
Burnout Paradise
Fallout 3
Fable 2

Gears Of War 2

Gears of War 2 was a highly anticipated sequel to a game that has sold over 5 million copies worldwide and had won many awards in 2007 including Game of the Year. It did not disappoint. A compelling story saw the characters progress in the fight against impossible odds with scenes of great atmosphere. Gripping multiplayer with new modes, such as Horde, meant that Gears of War 2 set a new record for the number of simultaneous players on Xbox Live, with over 1.5 million people logging on to play the game.

Gamebrit Game Of The Year

Winner – Gears Of War 2
Nominations:
Grand Theft Auto 4
Metal Gear Solid 4
LittleBigPlanet
Burnout Paradise
Fallout 3
Spore
Professor Layton & The Curious Village
Left 4 Dead
Smash Bros. Brawl

Gears Of War 2
As the above mentions, Gears of War 2 offered enough fresh material, coupled with the necessary high standards of graphics and sound, to win both Xbox 360 Game of the Year and Game Brit Game of the Year 2008. Congratulations Epic.


by
published Tuesday, Dec 09th

Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 Review

After an extended hiatus Red Alert is back, on Xbox and (eventually) PlayStation 3 consoles. The Red Alert franchise is known for its excellent storytelling albeit through lengthy cut scenes and over the top characters and this title is no different. This, in addition to gameplay that spans the previous two titles have made Red Alert 3 one of the most anticipated RTS games of all time. The opening shows the Soviets on the verge of defeat as the Allies roll onto Russian soil. Thinking fast, the Russians employ the use of an experimental time machine, go back into time before all of the events of the Red Alert series, and eliminate Albert Einstein. With no Einstein, there’s no nuclear weaponry, and when the Russians go back to the future, they find that the Soviet forces are no longer on the verge of crumbling. Instead, the Allied forces are down and out. But the feeling of victory doesn’t last long, as a new threat emerges as a direct result of the timeline-tampering and the Japanese forces rumble onto the scene to create a three-way conflict.

The three different entities and a big focus on naval combat provide the beef of Red Alert 3’s gameplay. The good thing here is that the faction differences are meaningful enough to require you to employ different strategies, but similar enough so that no team has an advantage. The campaign mode takes you through all three factions and like previous C&C games, you’ll find bonus objectives to complete, and the story is told via full-motion HD video sequences that set up each mission. You’ll also get a lot of video during the missions in a window that doesn’t block your view of the action. This gives the missions a lot of personality and keeps you engaged in the Red Alert world at all times. All of the FMV and interaction between characters really makes the campaign a treat to see, as you’ll encounter a lot of great moments on all sides.

Another new feature of RA3 is that the game has been built from the ground up with co-operative play in mind. That means that you’ll always have a co-commander by your side, either a friend on Xbox Live or an AI-based partner that you can give limited commands to. In most cases this works great, as in some cases your partner will have a base in a different area of the map, making them better suited to attack immediate threats, or letting you double up on the offense. Unfortunately there’s no matchmaking for this, meaning you’re going to have to invite a friend every time you want to co-op campaign it up’. Probably a sensible decision, but it would have been nice to have it included in there for those without RTS buddies.

As said, there are large naval/water sections on the maps, in fact, every one of the game’s multiplayer maps has some water. This means you can now build most of your base at sea, with only the structures devoted to deploying ground units locked to land. This changes a lot of the strategy commonly found in real-time strategy games and really forces you to rethink the best ways to attack. But besides this rather notable difference to prior games, Red Alert 3 is still based on the classic C&C foundations. But this time you’ll find it difficult building gigantic forces and slowly evolving your base to completion before you even think about attacking the enemy. This is a fast-moving game, and pumping out small forces of multiskilled units and sending them off to fight seems to be the key to victory, rather than building up enough units to stomp around the map at will. As such, expect to see enemies heading your way pretty frequently, too. And sometimes managing your wide array of units gets to be a bit much. You’ll find yourself getting overwhelmed and even stressed when battles got hectic. But the game is rewarding. As you play more and more, you’ll learn when to employ each strategy in a more calm and collected fashion, and reaping the rewards as you go. During the course of the campaign mode, the cut scenes are more than entertaining and even humorous at times, with the likes of Jenny McCarthy and Gemma Atkinson on board as Tanya and a ranked Lieutenant respectively.

In addition to co-op play, you can also set up 4 player matches both online against humans or as skirmish matches against the AI. In terms of graphics, the game looks fantastic on a large screen HDTV, with some beautiful explosions to be viewed during campaign. For someone who hasn’t played a RTS before would perhaps find the Xbox 360 controls much more manageable than mouse and keyboard on PC. However it can be difficult trying to remember every single option and the different unit selection controls, adding to the stress that can be had during frantic battles. While there isn’t a great deal to be said about the music, fans of the previous two games will be pleased to hear many of the original themes and sounds have been re-worked for the third game. From the banging, upbeat theme of the main menu to the interactive in-mission music that picks up whenever battles commence, music is just about as good as it possibly could be.

For the hardcore Red Alert and Command & Conquer players, the changes made in RA3 (thankfully) haven’t abandoned the core of what makes these games so good, which makes this the best console RTS ever. Unfortunately, the excellent cutscenes won’t be quite enough to grasp a new audience and keep the casual gamer at the command post.