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Neither Nintendo nor Squenix get anything from Game Critics' E3 Awards

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Over at , Game Critics have awarded several E3 games with prizes dependingon how promising they look. We built ourselves a little list with comments inside. Take a look!

Best of Show/Best PC Game/Best Action Game/Special Commendation for Graphics: Half-Life 2
(Valve LLC/Vivendi Universal Games for PC)

Half-Life 2, unless you didn't know, was pretty mind-blowing, even for the RPG fanatic. What seems even more interesting than Half-Life 2, however, is the idea of an RPG built on Half-Life 2's Source engine, which would mean characters with 40 muscles in their face, dynamic, realistic water, fully interactive environments, and incredible scripting and AI capabilities. Put Final Fantasy X into an engine like that and you just have to wonder what Squenix might hopefully come up with for PS3 if Valve is setting the standard with Half-Life 2. Ouch.

Best Original Game/Best Simulation Game: Full Spectrum Warrior
(Pandemic Studios/THQ for Xbox/PC)

Squad-based first-person combat set in a realistic military scenario? Not my cup of tea, but critics (especially Game Critics) seem to think it's leaning towards the "good". In any case, a training sim gone videogame at least means that someone's taking these things seriously, even if it's technically military propaganda. It should certainly be somewhat fun for the psychotics among us who enjoy reliving the war in Iraq. Vindication!

Best Console Game: Halo 2
(Bungie Studios/Microsoft for Xbox)

As any Xbox fan will weep when seeing this title plastered across his screen, so will someone not particularly interested in the genre look upon it with an air of skepticism. While Halo 2 didn't show particularly much insane improvement over the original compared to Half-Life 2, which is understandable since there was less development time, it did promise some interestingly maddening scenarios with the player getting dropped into the middle of gigantic battles, with some interesting squad-based artificial intelligence (it seems that's all the thing, these days).

Best Peripheral/Hardware: EyeToy/The EyeToy Games
(Sony Computer Entertainment for PlayStation 2)

In case you don't know about this little piece of a miracle yet, here's your opportunity. EyeToy is a small camera you can connect to your PS2, which then serves as the input device instead of, say, your PS2 controller. It tracks movement on the X and Y-axis, and can see bright colours (like a red glove), so it can use the variation in size of that colour to track the Z-axis. Coming packed with some quirky games, this peripheral essentially means you'll be doing crazy stuff that involves waving your hands about in front of a tv screen. It should be fun for at a party, or it could be a good way to get yourself arrested. Either way, it's certainly a promising idea.

Best Action/Adventure Game: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
(Ubi Soft Montreal/UbiSoft for All Game Systems)

Ye olde Prince, for those of you who are only 13 and hence don't know anything beyond Final Fantasy VII (if even that), was an interesting platform game several decades ago that involved running back and forth and jumping up and down. Sounds dull, but it introduced interaction with your environment (my god, you could climb) previously unseen in the normal platformer game. Since then, various ungraceful 3d applications of the series have graced a variety of systems, but not one of them looked as gorgeous as Sands of Time does. Screens show beautiful middle-eastern environments coupled with the dancing sword style (think Aladdin, whom you may know from Kingdom Hearts) that definitely portray something of a colourful, lively game world.

Best Fighting Game: Soul Calibur 2
(Namco for All Console Systems)

Fighting was never as smooth as with Soul Calibur 2, it would seem. But while improvements over the original Soul Calibur lie mostly in the fine-tuning of control and aesthetics, several new characters come into play, including a bunch of weird ones like Link from the Legend of Zelda. But hey, who hasn't wanted to kick ass with the badass from Nintendo's 2000 Spaceworld demo? The game additionally gives you a really good feel of how the characters play, with realistic physics governing everything from how fast you fall to how much your breasts bounce. And that's worth something, right?

Best Role Playing Game: Fable
(Big Blue Box/Microsoft for Xbox)

See, where Xbox really starts to show its quality is with titles like this one that technically can't really be achieved on another console. Fable puts you in a Morrowind-like game world where it's up to you to shape everything about your character - so don't expect a linear, complex storyline of Final Fantasy nature. But along with living out your character's life comes, it seems, a huge trendsetting amount of variables that the traditional RPG fanatics oh so adore. Every choice you make, for instance, has repercussions on how you look, how people act around you, how NPCs talk about you with each other, and how you fight. So Fable introduces new elements into the genre that make how you act actually relevant, rather than you being able to murder random people for fun, run away, and come back with a clean slate like you can in Morrowind. Wonderful! Morality in videogames!

Best Racing Game: Gran Turismo 4
(Polyphony Digital/Sony Computer Entertainment for PlayStation 2)

Okay, take a team of car-loving freaks who are fanatic to the point of being religious and give them a lot (like, 1000) of cars to tinker with. Give them several years of experience using the PS2 system architecture. What do you get? An over-the-top gorgeous racing game that really oozes with detail, gameplay, and replayability. But don't go into this game expecting an easy playthrough - races might take you anywhere from 30 minutes to 5 hours, and the aim is to be as realistic as is humanly possible. And they call us RPG-lovers dorks! Ha!

Best Sports Game: Tony Hawk's Underground
(Neversoft/Activision for All Console Platforms)

The traditional gameplay involved in your average Tony Hawk game up till now involved riding around a random location on a skateboard and getting points for doing random stunts. The developers did this a couple of times and got bored, it would seem, so they took everyone's favourite concept (Grand Theft Auto) and did what every smart developer would do: they ripped it off. Enter Tony Hawk's Underground, where you're a badass newbie skateboarder out for respect in the skating community. Of course, earning respect involves stealing cars, beating people up, and lots of random scenes involving thugz and bitchez that otherwise have nothing to do with skateboards. But we're not complaining.

Best Strategy Game Rome: Total War
(Creative Assembly/Activision for PC)

If you like turn-based strategy like the kind prevalent in last years' Medieval, then Rome is your new candy for the upcoming year. Taking giant armies and giving you ultimate control over their fate, from the level of war to the level of which little dude runs where, developers Creative Assembly have apparently hit the nerve of close-to-perfect management. But perhaps this genre of gaming is becoming a little bit insane, catering only to those who really want to control an army rather than play with it.

Best Online Multiplayer: City of Heroes
(Cryptic Studios/NCSoft for PC)

The Massively Multiplayer Online genre is certainly one that's expanding at an abnormal rate, moving from the traditional RPG as-to-be-expected Final Fantasy XI and Squenix's motorcycle gang outing to first-person implementations and space war sims, and now with City of Heroes to a ludicrous, fun concept altogether. You're a superhero in a city full of superheroes. Make a living and beat up bad guys. Choose how cool you look. Choose your superpowers. Make a status for yourself. Whatever random variation to Spiderman or Batman you dreamed up when you were 9, you can now be him in this game. And that's certainly a noteworthy concept.

So do you think Squenix or some other company should have taken off with one of these awards, or you have something else to say about all this? We want to hear it, because we have no life and that's just what we do. So tell us here, or post something in the Square Haven Forums of Death!

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Fine, bitchs, I spend 40 minutes writing up this shit for you and no one bothers to comment here or in the forums. Well, see if I do this again!
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