The 9 mystery developers behind 2009's biggest games

They may not be household names for all gamers, but these companies have talent, and the high-profile projects to prove it.

1- Punch-Out!!, Next Level Games

They may not have the same level of adoration worldwide (yet), but around the GamePro offices, Next Level Games are revered as development gods. Their 2007 arcade soccer funfest Mario Strikers Charged is still being played daily during lunch breaks, well over two years since preview builds first landed on our desks. Before then, the company had created the GameCube's Super Mario Strikers, and the intense hockey title NHL Hitz Pro. All of this has led up to the company's most high-profile title yet, with the Wii's biggest game of the year in the hands of this Vancouver studio. By all accounts, their work on Punch Out has been nothing short of a knockout effort.

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