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2003 LCVG Reader Awards, Part 2


Robot Monkey
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Please post your nominations in this topic. Part 1 is here. You can still nominate there or change your choices.

 

When I see 5 good nominees for each category, I will post the next five categories. When nominees have been selected for all categories, we will make polls in the Poll forum to determine the winners.

 

Please make a case for your choices in this thread. I encourage you to debate the choices here as well.

 

Here's the second group of categories for nomination:

 

Best Art Design

Best Voice Acting

Most Innovative Feature

Most Depth

Most Addictive

 

EDIT: To keep things under control, please do not nominate more than two titles per category. And don't forget to explain your choices

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Best Art Design

Otogi: Myth of Demons (XBox) - the look of this game is fascinating, engrossing, and overwhelming. Take the insane particle effects of the Final Fantasy games, put it in ancient Japan, and make a hack'n'slash game out of it. THe menus and loading screens even rock!!!!

Panzer Dragoon Orta (XBox) - everything in this game is just utterly and completely beautiful from the forests to the skies to the desolate landscapes as well. The creature design would scare Heironymous Bosch out of drugs.

Honorable Mention: Silent Hill 3, Dead or Alive Extreme Beach Voleyball

 

Best Voice Acting

Beyond Good and Evil (XBox, GC, PS2) - This game is a complete package, but the voiceovers are urgent and convincing enough to make it that much more credible

Legacy of Kain: Defiance (XBox, GC, PS2) - Kain and Raziel are just total bad-asses, and they needed to sound the part. Luckily they do. The supporting characters are just as good.

 

Most Innovative Feature

Eye Toy (PS2) - I call the shots as I see them, folks.

Rainbow Six 3 (XBox) - OPEN FLASH AND CLEAR!!!!!

 

Most Depth

Disgaea: Hour of Darkness (PS2) - originally my comment was that you could blow 100 hours on this game easily. The reason for that is because your army can consist of 150 different character classes and monsters, there's over 100 different spells, numerous attack chains and combos, a Dark Council to go through to get new characters and abilities, and you can enter your weapons and fight the monsters that live in them to level them up. Whereas most RPG's are essentially find-the-moogle-kill-the-moogle-take-the-moogle's-shit*, this takes that concept way way further.

Tony Hawk's Underground (XBox, GC, PS2) - As if THPS4 wasn't insane enough with the amount of tricks and stuff you could do, now the game is even more open-ended and allows you to walk, go on more detailed quests, and even ride dune buggies.

 

Most Addictive

Bombastic (PS2)- The one-player mode and the traditional Devil Dice game are both addictive as all freakin' hell.

SoulCalibur II (XBox, GC, PS2) - do I really need to explain this????

Honorable Mention: SSX 3 (PS2)

 

*?2004 Jay Vidyarthi. All rights reserved. Unauthorized plagiarism is a violation of copyright law, is subject to criminal prosecution, and makes you a total dick.

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Best Art Design

Panzer Dragoon Orta (Xbox) - Some of the most soothing, surreal and enticing landscapes and some way out there character designs push this game to the top of my list. It's hard to beat each level, mostly because I'm staring in awe at the incredible graphics.

 

Otogi (Xbox) - If this is what Ancient Japan looked like, I'm going! If there are demons and stuff there, I'll likely reconsider. Sega once again shows how beautifully crafted and designed a game could be.

 

Best Voice Acting

Knights of the Old Republic (Xbox) - It's Star Wars and has better acting than Episodes 1 & 2. Everything is spoken, aliens speak their native toungue. It's wonderful, and completely immersive.

 

Beyond Good & Evil (Xbox) - Although the entire game isn't voiced, the voice acting that is supplied is superb. Superbly written, and superbly delivered, the voice acting runs the gamut from whimsical to evil. Excellent, in every way.

 

Most Innovative Feature

Eye Toy (PS2) - Puts you IN the game, and you get a damn good workout too. Wishy-Washy anyone?

 

Karaoke Revolution (PS2) - The game judges your voice? How freakin' cool is that? You'll know if you suck or not, 'cause the game will tell you.

 

Most Depth

TBA

 

Most Addictive

TBA

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Well I'm an owner but since the "Official" LCVG Awards are a unified vision from the staff I'll post my personal picks:

 

Best Art Design - Panzer Dragoon Orta

 

-There is simply no other game this year that was able to draw me into its world as much as Panzer Dragoon. The art direction has always played a key role in this series but Orta really pushed that aspect to the forefront. From the opening level which featured a rain drenched battle with an Imperial Battleship to the golden halls of the Sestren Core there is just no game this year that has anywhere near the imagination of design nor the prowess to make you feel as though you have entered an alien world than Orta.

 

Runner-up - Viewtiful Joe

 

Best Voice Acting - Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic

 

More doesn't always equal better. However in the case of KOTOR it certainly does. With over 13,000 lines of spoken dialogue, almost all of which is done expertly by a fine cast of voice actors you would be hard pressed to find a game to rival the aural accomplishment that is Bioware's baby. Its not enough to only get english voice actors but they went so far as to sustain the authenticity of the Star Wars license by having each individual species speak the correct language. Sure there were a great deal of repeated lines but that does not dimish the effort put forth and the quality of the games voice acting.

 

Runner-up - (TIE) Legacy of Kain: Defiance/Beyond Good and Evil

 

Most Innovative Feature - Pacman Vs.

 

Is the GBA-GC connectivity really innovative? As of a few months ago I would have said Nintendo has really not pushed anything unique out there that really showed me why I should care about connecting my GBA to my GC. That all changed one fine day when I sat down and played Pacman Vs. Its a horribly simple concept. One person plays the tried and true game of Pacman on thier GBA while three friends play as the ghosts. They chomp thier way through that familiar maze to gain the rights to control Pacman. Whoever reaches the top score first wins. It just so happens to the first game to really show off how unique GBA-GC connectivity really is and well its about as fun as fun could get.

 

Most Depth - Dark Cloud 2

 

For anyone that hasn't played Level 5's followup to the one of the first Playstation 2 roleplaying games I offer this advice: Get yourself a pen and open your mind. You have got a whole lot of work ahead of you. Dark Cloud 2 is such a tease too. It begins in an almost unassuming way and suddenly opens up so many options that you wont know what in the hell to do first. There is an intricate and deep weapon upgrade system (that could fill a strategy guide alone). You can go fishing, you can create items through a really unique idea system, you can rebuild a world from scratch, you can upgrade a robotic partner as well as your own stats simply by taking a human partner along with you on your quest. The game is so deep I have no doubt many will become completely lost. For those that can get a handle on it however you'll be playing one of the PS2's best games.

 

 

Most Addictive - Wario Ware Inc.

 

I dare you to try and put it down! Why do I dare such a thing? Because its almost impossible to do. Wario Ware is so damn off the wall you'll wonder how in the world the developers came up with game to begin with. Even more simple a concept than even Pacman Vs. Wario Ware is simply a colletion of mini-games that are played in succession. They range from hitting your button to catch a glass in time to brushing a big old smile on the screen until its teeth are white. Sounds wierd huh? It sure is but it also happens to be one of most addictive games ever created. It comes down to simply seeing if you can beat your best score but it never gets old. Some may not ever admit this either but its perfect bathroom material. :D

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Best Art Design

 

Viewtiful Joe. One day I will play it as well. ;)

 

Most Innovative Feature

 

Project Gotham 2. I love their use of XBL in the single-player game.

 

Most Depth

 

KOTOR. I know, I know. But I was playing pazaak, racing, killing bad guys and then, when I finished, I'm playing all over again and killing everyone I can. And the game is different.

 

Most Addictive

 

Tetris Worlds Online (Xbox). But I checked -- 13JUN03. I'm not changing this pick.

 

Galactic Civilizations (PC). I know, turn-based games are passe. But I am so addicted to them and GalCiv is everything MOO3 should've been. It's fun and, like any good turn-based game, addictive.

 

-j

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Best Art Design

 

Zelda: Wind Waker - Oh, no Celda comments from me. I think this game plays like a violent, amazingly well done cartoon with story and heart. The reason I picked this is not because the game is immediately blow-me-down amazing, but it slowly creeps up on you over extensive play just how damn well the game looks.

 

I never get tired of setting sail in the boat and watching those little curls of wind go by. Note perfect.

 

Beyond Good & Evil - This game looks gorgeous and the baddies are depicted really well, from the tech designs of the soldiers to the organic nature of the Domz. The whole world feels like it's a small place, but a living place as well. The Mammago Garage warrants this award on its own ;).

 

Shame I blew my two, or Viewtiful Joe would be there as well.

 

Best Voice Acting

 

Only one nominee for me, and that's Beyond Good & Evil, which had excellent voice acting for the majority of its characters. Jade's VA does an excellent job with the role, she really does the emotional scenes well. Totally impressed.

 

Although the guy who says "Dank you!" in Wind Waker is worth a mention ;).

 

Meh, everything else is best left to those who have played more games :).

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Best Art Design

 

Panzer Dragoon Orta- Best of the year, best of all time, nothing else compares to PDO. Each of the levels is distinct and wonderfully crafted and the wonderful design is backed up by amazing technical proficiency as well. If there could somehow be a sequel, we would all be blessed.

 

Guilty Gear X2- The highest quality 2-d graphics ever created. Not only is everything bright, crisp, and well drawn, the characters are pretty damn cool as well.

 

 

 

Most Innovative Feature

 

Rainbow 6 3- I must concur and say that the voice commands are implemented well. Perhaps Boktai is more deserving but I haven't played it.

 

 

 

Best Voice Acting

 

Primal- I highly suggest that those nominating other games at least check this one out. The characters are wonderfully played and the stellar acting makes the plot a lot more interesting than it would otherwise be.

 

Lord of the Rings: ROTK- well, it has all the original actors, so what would you expect? That stil doesn't change the fact that it's among the best.

 

 

 

Most addictive

 

Wolfenstein- My first XBL game and still gets a lot of playtime. Regardless of your race and nationality, three truths are self evident:

1. There are Allies.

2. There are Nazis.

3. There are documents.

I think the real stars of the game are the levels though. From the timeless Beach Invasion to the tricky Depot, most every level is well designed, and the game feels very different depending on what level you play. However, the levels are so good that you could spend the whole night playing a single one and not be bored.

 

Ghost Recon: Island Thunder- This game has resulted in more "holy shit, it's 8AM moments for me than any other. Siege. No Respawns. No Regrets. The combination of teamwork and strategy is what entrances me the most about this game. I also think it has the best community on live, with cheaters and 12 year olds at a bare minimum.

 

 

Most Depth

 

Naval Ops: Warship Gunner -I don't think any other game released last year comes close in terms of depth. Warship Gunner is the armored core of Naval combat, but does it one better IMO. You have hundreds upon hundreds of parts to choose from in building your ship, ranging from WW2 tech to far future weapons. There is a wide selection of ship classes and hulls, and you get to control every aspect of building your ship. Guns, bridge placement, engine, launchable aircraft, and much more. Every choice you make has a strategic impact. Laying out your engine parts one way may provide a bit of extra speed, but might also make you more prone to fires and engine damage. Creativity is the main limit. I built an aircraft carrier lined with nothing but rapid fire rockets on both sides that could light up the sky with literally hundreds of rockets at once, all with smoke contrails to boot.

 

Then, once your ship is built, you take it out for some semi-arcadey shooting action. If you bump the difficulty to hard, some of the missions will require extremely intelligent ship design to get by......especially the boss missions. You can also salvage parts off enemy ships, and this is the only way to get some of the rarer weapons. The combat is pretty deep since you can equip up to 7 different types of weapons on your ship. There are 40 missions, giving the game a very solid length. However, you can start over when you finish the game and keep all of your goods. The weapons and parts still progressively get better, and enemies have access to the new tech and come in different locations, so there's definitely enough to merit a second playthrough.

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Writeups to follow later, when I've got time...

 

Best Art Design

Orta or Gregory Horror Show - I'll get back to this

 

Best Voice Acting

Simpsons Hit 'n' Run - Everyone from the show is present, and if anyone knows how to do voice acting its these guys.

 

Most Innovative Feature

Since everyone else is nominating the Eye Toy anyway, I adore the rewind feature on Prince Or Persia: The Sands Of Time. Its a bit like the 'replay' feature in The Killing Game Show, but implemented in a far, far superior way.

 

Most Depth

Soul Calibur II. I'm sure some would argue for Virtua Fighter 4 Evolution, but the depth in SC2 isn't at the expense of an accessible surface, and yet still leaves room for frame cancels, parry returns and all that other stuff I'll never completely get my head around.

 

Most Addictive

Project Gotham 2. Just can't leave this thing alone; between racing and time trial, cone challenge and speed camera, offline and online, and the genius that is Geometry Wars there is always something to suit my mood in this game.

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Best Art Design

Panzer Dragoon Orta (X-box) - All that needed to be said about this game has already been said in this thread. :)

 

Runner Up: The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (Gamecube)

 

Best Voice Acting

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (X-box) - Wonderful, wonderful job of voice work. 13,000 lines all sound very good. I don't think this game would of pulled me in like it did if it had Resident Evil type voice acting. :)

 

Runner Up: Manhunt (PS2)

 

Most Innovative Feature

Rainbow Six 3 (X-box) - Voice commands. Being able to tell my squad what to do

makes the game fun and even more realistic.

 

Runner Up: Project Gotham Racing 2 (single Play Live implementation)

 

Most Depth

TBA

 

Most Addictive

WWE: Smackdown: Here Comes the Pain - Multiple storylines in season mode gives the game lots of replay value there. Add on a great multiplayer and you got the most addicting game of 2003, IMHO. :)

 

Runner Up: The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (All)

 

-Dean-

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Well, most of mine have been nominated already, but I'll jump in anyway for the fun of it.

 

Best Art Design

Silent Hill 2 ? The monsters and environments are so grotesque looking that they should definitely get a nom.

Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker ? I love the look of this game. I found the look very impressive. It was my first Zelda since the NES days and I was knocked out.

 

Best Voice Acting

Knights of the Old Republic ? Really good voice acting. What a great game

Beyond Good and Evil

 

Most Innovative Feature

Rainbow Six 3 ? Voice commands. Once you get past the 'talking to your TV' bit, this is a great feature that really adds to the immersiveness of the game... and saves on button pressing (hey, I'm lazy).

Project Gotham Racing 2 ? Xbox Live scoreboards and top 10 ghosts. I think this is just a great idea. I like being able to compare my times/kudos/whatever to those of my friends. The ghost upload/download feature helped me get a platinum on one particularly difficult speed camera, too.

 

Most Depth

 

Most Addictive

Project Gotham Racing 2 ? DAMN this game is addictive. I can now crush coal into diamonds using my index fingers. By far the most addictive game of the year for me.

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