Festive greetings Eurogamer reader! We hope work has finished, your slippers are on and you're snuggled up with your families. As in, your individual families. I'm not saying you're a bigamist or whatever.
Anyway, by now you will have been subjected to Eurogamer contributors' views on the biggest and most interesting games of 2009. But what about the Eurogamer you don't see, like the management, Expo, tech and sales guys? What's their deal? Let's find out.
Matt Martin, editor of our sister site GamesIndustry.biz and probably the only shell-toe-wearing hip-hopper living in a remote village in Wales, singled out DJ Hero.
"I love DJ Hero because it doesn't compromise the soundtrack. Not only has it got hard rap Masta Ace, Gang Starr, Public Enemy but it's remixed, chopped and scratched by some of the best in the business with J Period, Z-Trip, Yoda and Grandmaster Flash all turning in original work. On top of that the pop tracks get the credibility of DJs at the peak of their game, flipping chart tracks and eighties hits into something you'd only usually hear spontaneously on a mixtape or at a club.
"Activision may have wanted a big hit for Europe, but DJ Hero is one of the most niche games in years. It's ugly though maybe they should invest some money into getting a proper graphic artist (Futura 2000, Shepard Fairey?) to give a visual overhaul for any sequel."
Phil Elliott, GamesIndustry.biz managing editor, has picked old Bat-face.
"For me it's Batman: Arkham Asylum - one of the few games this year to hook me in completely and make me want to explore everywhere. The solid, satisfying action made combat easy to get into, even though it required dedication, and for a really pleasant change I also found I was going after all the riddles because it was fun to do so - not because I was being a slave to Achievements."
Kath Brice, GamesIndustry.biz deputy editor and new kid on the block, has gone for Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars.
"GTA on a small screen sounded fiddly, no matter how much they bigged up the being-able-to-deal-crack bits of it. But when I played it, it ended up being my best DS experience ever. Yes, even above when I first got my DS and spent five hours in the bath playing Sprung: The Dating Game.
"Chinatown Wars isn't just great because of the new stuff the developers thought of putting in it, but because everything is so much fun. It's easy to spend a day messing around on things like pulling off the perfect Ammo-Nation van heist. Basically it's like playing GTAIII for the first time again. Dare I say the GTA series was starting to look a bit vast, samey and unapproachable to me. This little lovely is the perfect reminder of Rockstar, and GTA's, complete brilliance. "
James Hills, Eurogamer TV's cameraman, went for Trials HD.
"Empire: Total War and Football Manager Live (until they decide to reset it all!) are on my list but the winner has to be Trials HD. Stupidly addictive, superb level design and unless I'm mistaken, I am the best player at Eurogamer..."
Scott MacKintosh (PiD), ad trafficker, also went with Trials HD.
"It's going to be Trials HD because it was basically the most fun I've had in a game in a long time, and it's one I keep going back to in order to do the same repetitive stuff. And I don't think I've ever suffered abuse from a game on the level I have with Trials HD from the editor right down to Marty [Taylor - Eurogamer designer].
Mark Kennedy (sharpkiddie), Eurogamer's lead developer, latched on to Machinarium.
"I only played Fallout 3 earlier this year and that was brilliant. Shadow Complex was great too. But my game of the year is Machinarium. It rekindled my enthusiasm in game development and made me want to try again sometime - its back-to-basics approach to design and art felt really reachable."
Rupert Loman (rauper) is Eurogamer's managing director, and he's also sat on a fence between the FIFA 10 and Trials HD gardens.
"Game I've played the most this year is FIFA 10. But I just can't score goals, which means the best I can hope for is nil-nil. A nil-nil is a win! The game I've had the most enjoyment from was Trials HD - and also the most frustration."
Nick Loman, brother of Rupert and co-creator of Eurogamer, has picked The Beatles: Rock Band.
"I wasn't a huge Beatles fan when I picked up the game, I just wanted to boost my Rock Band song collection - even 'Wanted: Dead or Alive' by the Jove was getting tired. But lo and behold I found more than a mere DLC pack. From pop pin-ups to stadium rockers to psychedelic hippies to grumpy studio squabblers, the magical journey of The Beatles was brought to life beautifully.
"The quality of the familiar songs meant they were a joy to play, and even being rubbish on drums wasn't a problem thanks to ham-fisted Ringo. Hannah [other half] had a great time trying to hit the harmonies and we whizzed through the story mode in one sitting, finishing in the wee hours. I spent the next month listening to The Beatles on my iPod and discovered albums I'd never really properly heard. Inspirational!"
Dan Robinson (Spydez), chief Eurogamer sales person, picked Uncharted 2: Among Thieves... and then sold it a house, camel and used car.
"Even though it's not the best game I've ever played, Uncharted 2 does everything brilliantly and with loads of polish. Each section's playability is amazing, the acting is brilliant and it's the first story I've cared about in ages. Blends together really well."
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