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The Game Developer's Choice Awards are over and the winners have been crowned. I for one am quite surprised. I've owned most of the games that were up for nomination. I totally disagree with the game of the year. Oh well, to each his own. Here are my picks (red is my winner for that category and blue is the actual GDC winner):

Best Game

Animal Crossing: Wild World (Nintendo EAD/Nintendo)
- Katsuya Eguchi, Hisashi Nogami, Takashi Tezuka, Kazumi Totaka

God of War (Sony Computer Entertainment America)
- David Jaffe, Shannon Studstill


Guitar Hero (Harmonix Music Systems/RedOctane)
- Rob Kay, Greg LoPiccolo, Alex Rigopulos

Shadow of the Colossus (Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.)
- Kenji Kaido, Yasuhide Kobayashi, Fumito Ueda


The Movies (Lionhead Studios/Activision)
- Gary Carr, Peter Molyneux, Mark Webley

Ok, I like Shadow of the Colossus. It's an innovative game and just cool all around. Game of the year though? Not even close in my opinion. God of War just excels in so many areas that it should have been a clear winner. I couldn't put it down and finished the game all the way through. The thing is, I really don't like platformer games (of which God of War is) but God of War just had that certain appeal. Maybe it was the Greek mythology storyline, maybe it was the cool moves that Kratos pulls off, maybe it was the awesome visuals...who am I kidding, it was the gore! Just kidding.
Best Audio

Call of Duty 2 (Infinity Ward/Activision)
- Mark Ganus

Electroplankton (Nintendo)
- Toshio Iwai, Koichi Kyuma, Yuichi Ozaki

God of War (Sony Computer Entertainment America)
- Dave Murrant

Guitar Hero (Harmonix Music Systems/RedOctane)
- Eric Brosius, Kasson Crooker


Project Gotham Racing 3 (Bizarre Creations/Microsoft Game Studios)
- Nick Bygrave, Guy Whitmore, Nick Wiswell

Hmm, maybe I need a color for choices that I agree with. Guitar Hero is such a cool game whether playing by yourself or with a group of friends. It comes with a cool guitar and the soundtrack is all new and classic rock songs that everyone knows. Nothing like jamming to some Black Sabbath or some Helmet. I agree with GDC, Guitar Hero is by far best audio and since Guitar Hero 2 was recently announced, I'm even more excited.

Character Design

City of Villains (Cryptic Studios/NCsoft Corporation)
- Ocala Bellows Kulig, Ryan Butts, Jay Doherty, Jeremy Mattson

God of War (Sony Computer Entertainment America)
- David Jaffe, Terry Smith, Charlie Wen


Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath (Oddworld Inhabitants/Electronic Arts)
- Lorne Lanning, Rich McKain, Iain Morton, Raymond Swanland

Psychonauts (Double Fine Productions/Majesco Entertainment Company)
- Scott Campbell

Shadow of the Colossus (Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.)
- Atsuko Fukuyama, Hitoshi Niwa, Shunpei Suzuki, Fumito Ueda


Ok, I can kind of see why this one is close. The collosi are just plain cool and quite a site to behold when you finally meet one. However, they all seem...I don't know...too similar. God of War in my opinion has some seriously cool character designs based off of Greek mythology. Just take a look at the “Making of“ extras included with the game. They even allow you to walk around a museum that includes character designs that didn't make it into the game. They put a lot of thought into making their characters look just right and it shows.

Game Design

Animal Crossing: Wild World (Nintendo EAD/Nintendo)
- Katsuya Eguchi, Hisashi Nogami, Takashi Tezuka, Kazumi Totaka

God of War (Sony Computer Entertainment America)
- David Jaffe

Nintendogs (Nintendo EAD/Nintendo)
- Tsutomu Kaneshige, Hideki Konno, Shigeru Miyamoto, Kiyoshi Mizuki

Psychonauts (Double Fine Productions/Majesco Entertainment Company)
- Erik Robson, Tim Schafer

Shadow of the Colossus (Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.)
- Junichi Hosono, Fumito Ueda


Ok, I'll give Shadow of the Colossus some props on this one. The game is definately unique and just shows that you don't have to keep making the same type of game over and over again. The reason I didn't give this one to God of War is that it is similar to other games in its genre (see also Prince of Persia). The reason I say this category is close is that beyond hunting the colossi and defeating them, there is nothing else to Shadow of the Colussus. That's all you do. Hopefully a new version will take it to the next level (hint...maybe add some RPG elements and random smaller mobs to defeat along the path to the colossi).

Best Technology

Battlefield 2: Modern Combat (Digital Illusions/Electronic Arts)
- Fred Gill, Måns Vestin

Guitar Hero (Harmonix Music Systems/RedOctane)
- Eran Egozy, Eric Malafeew, Phil Winston

Nintendogs (Nintendo EAD/Nintendo)
- Tsutomu Kaneshige

Project Gotham Racing 3 (Bizarre Creations/Microsoft Game Studios)
- Edmund Clay, Roger Perkins, Phil Teschner, Ian Wilson

Shadow of the Colossus (Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.)
- Jinji Horagai, Takuya Seki, Hajime Sugiyama, Masanobu Tanaka

I didn't actually play Nintendogs, but my son did and I watched him on several occasions. If I had the option of not choosing a winner, this category would not have a winner. Sure the little doggies are cute and all and somewhat lifelike, but it still reminds me of that old PC game called Dogz. Is Nintendogs innovative? I don't think so, but it is the most innovative out of all of the other titles. Let me see, let me think of a game that I would put up there instead that isn't on this list....I wonder if Fable was eligible for the awards?

Best Visual Arts

God of War (Sony Computer Entertainment America)
- Steve Caterson, Terry Smith, Charlie Wen

Project Gotham Racing 3 (Bizarre Creations/Microsoft Game Studios)
- Gren Atherton, Julie McGurren, Peter Roe, Kiki Wolfkill

Resident Evil 4 (Capcom Production Studio 4/Capcom Entertainment)
- Yusuke Hashimoto, Yoshiaki Hirabayashi, Yusuke Kan, Masaki Yamanaka

Shadow of the Colossus (Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.)
- Koji Hasegawa, Hironobu Nakano, Masanori Kajita, Fumito Ueda


We Love Katamari (Namco Limited/Namco Hometek)
- Keita Takahashi, Takeshi Ugajin

NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! God of War all the way in this category! Did they choose Shadow of the Colossus due to the lumbering giants? Well, God of War did have a huge Ares (or Mars if you prefer) reigning fireballs on the helpless citizens of Sparta and that huge giant thing carrying Pandora's box. God of War was just beautiful all around. I definately disagree with this category.

Best Writing

Freedom Force vs. The 3rd Reich (Irrational Games/Vivendi Universal Games)
- Ken Levine

God of War (Sony Computer Entertainment America)
- David Jaffe, Marianne Krawcyzk, Alex Stein

Indigo Prophecy (Quantic Dream/Atari)
- David Cage

Jade Empire (BioWare Corp./Microsoft Game Studios)
- Drew Karpyshyn, Brian Kindregan, Luke Kristjanson, Mike Laidlaw, Peter Thomas, Mac Walters

Psychonauts (Double Fine Productions/Majesco Entertainment Company)
- Tim Schafer, Erik Wolpaw


Ok, I will admit that I never played Psychonauts. Maybe it was better. But Greek mythology is just cool all around so I tip my hat to God of War on this one.

Best New Studio

ArenaNet (Guild Wars)
- Mike O'Brien, Jeff Strain, Patrick Wyatt


Double Fine Productions (Psychonauts)
- Caroline Esmurdoc, Tim Schafer

New Crayon Games (Bonnie's Bookstore)
- Phil Steinmeyer

TellTale Games (Bone: Out From Boneville)
- David Bogan, Kevin Bruner, Dan Connors, Troy Molander

Wideload Games (Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse)
- Alexander Seropian

This was a hard category for me as well. From a purely market penetration perspective, ArenaNet in my opinion takes the cake on this one. Guild Wars has a huge following and it almost put the standard MMORPG on its head. Plus, I think ArenaNet did more than just Guild Wars (or am I thinking of the publisher of Guild Wars?) Who knows.

Innovation Award

Nintendogs (Nintendo EAD/Nintendo)
- Tsutomu Kaneshige


Guitar Hero (Harmonix Music Systems/RedOctane)
- Eric Brosius, Kasson Crooker

Tough one. Ok, what's the difference between “Best Innovation” and “Best Technology”. Seem similar to me. I'm picking Guitar Hero. They did a good job of making it feel like you're actually playing a guitar. Miss a note and the song actually stops playing the guitar track (and you here a “twang”). Take a look at the drummer in the background. He's actually playing on the beat to make it look real. The singer, his mouth moves with the actual vocals. So, the puppies poop in Nintendogs. Innovative? Nah, I can do that too.

Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 7:45 AM Gaming | Back to top


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