Christmas Turkey Award: Lair
It was meant to showcase Sony's much hyped SixAxis motion controls and encourage other developers to come up with new ideas for the system. Lair turned into an unmitigated disaster with some of the worst gameplay we've experienced all year. A classic case of 'wow it looks great but why do I keep hitting my head against this textured wall'.
Most Hyped Game of the Year: Assassin's Creed
So many candidates but Assassin's Creed had to take first place. While it's certainly not a bad game and has some amazingly exhilarating moments there's no question it leaves you with something of a sour taste in the mouth. Starts off slowly, gets repetitive in the middle, frustrating at the end. Great Parkour element, though.
Xmas Humbug Award: Activision, MTV and Harmonix
Bah humbug! The farce surrounding a patch that allows Activision's Guitar Hero III controllers to work alongside Rock Band on PS3 is a bit Scrooge-like we think. Currently the Rock Band bundle comes with a drum, microphone and guitar but if players want the full four-player band experience they have to buy yet another bundle. Thankfully all these shenanigans won't effect the Xbox 360 version.
Most Vocational Game of the Year: Trauma Centre: Second Opinion
With its insistence on nimble fingers, attention to procedure and skilled manipulation of equipment Trauma Centre is a demanding yet ultimately rewarding game. No other title can improve your motor skills to this extent and by the time you've finished with it you'll be able to paint your hallway through your letter box.
Nanny State Award: The BBFC
Yes, Manhunt 2 has some brutal scenes and an unremittingly bleak atmosphere but the British Board of Film Classification's continued effort to keep it off the shelves seems barmy, or part of some unspoken agenda. The game is available in the States and just recently the Video Appeals Committee ruled in favour of Rockstar. Eventually this average game will get released and you'll wonder what all the fuss was about, we reckon.
Bargain of the Year Award: Half-Life 2: The Orange Box
Quite honestly any of the five titles in this excellent package could have been released at full price with barely a murmur of disapproval, but with the compilation currently selling at £39.99 you get each for about £8. This makes Gabe Newell the new Santa in our eyes.