The Golden Joysticks, the UK's version of Spike TV's Video Game Awards, were handed out today in London. The winners are decided by gamers, and some 200,000 participants voted. Because of the show's tight seal on eligible games, a favorite of 2004 stole the show.
To vie for a Golden Joystick, a game must have been released between October 29, 2004, and October 28, 2005, in the UK. These requirements made this year's crop start off with a bang--as the much-heralded Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was released in the UK on October 29, 2004.
Just because it was the oldest game eligible for an award doesn't mean it gave ground to the new guys. In fact, quite the opposite. San Andreas took home five awards, including Joystick d'Or for Ultimate Game of the Year, PlayStation 2 Game of the Year, and Best Game Soundtrack.
The undead were very much alive in the show as well, with Resident Evil 4 winning GameCube Game of the Year, Editor's Game of the Year, and (oddly enough) Best Film-Based Game of 2005. Resident Evil 5 took home the One to Watch for 2006, despite conventional wisdom pointing toward a 2007 release for the game.
Nintendo took home Publisher of the Year, thanks in part to Super Mario DS, the Handheld Game of the Year. Another Nintendo game, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, rode off with the One to Watch for Xmas award, despite the fact that it won't be released until April 2006 at the earliest.
Other winners include Halo 2 for Xbox Game of the Year, Half-Life 2 for PC Game of the Year, World of Warcraft for Online Game of the Year, and the PSP for Game Innovation of the Year.
And the winners are:
Ultimate Game of the Year: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
PlayStation 2 Game of the Year: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
GameCube Game of the Year: Resident Evil 4
Xbox Game of the Year: Halo 2
PC Game of the Year: Half-Life 2
The Carphone Warehouse Handheld Game of the Year: Super Mario 64 DS
Best Film-Based Game of 2005: Resident Evil 4
BBC Radio One - Colin and Edith's Best Game Soundtrack of 2005: Grand Theft Auto San Andreas
The Sun Online Online Game of the Year: World of Warcraft
Publisher of the Year: Nintendo
The In Stock Magazine Retailer of the Year: Play.com
The Game One Gaming Innovation of the Year: PSP
The MCV One to Watch for Xmas: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
The Sun's One to Watch for 2006: Resident Evil 5
Hero of 2005: CJ from Grand Theft Auto San Andreas
Villain of 2005: Officer Tenpenny from Grand Theft Auto San Andreas
The Girl's Choice for 2005: The Sims 2
Editor's Game of the Year: Resident Evil 4
Unsung Hero of the Year: Fahrenheit (Indigo Prophecy in the US)