Best of 2007 – Genre Awards & Dubious Honors WINNERS

Continuing with the awards, here are the Genre Awards & Dubious Honors winners!

Previous awards: Special Achievement

NOTE: Any game I have played for the first time this year, regardless of when it was originally released, is eligible to be nominated. If I have not played a game, it is NOT eligible!

• 悪魔城ドラキュラ: Circle of the Moon (GBA)
• Odin Sphere (PS2)
• Ninja Gaiden Σ (PS3)
• The Red Star (PS2)
• Yakuza (PS2)

Finally, a game that takes you and makes you a part of a different seedy underworld instead of the usual GTA fare. While not being as open as the GTA series, I liked it more because the game was more focused and story driven and because of that, I was more involved in the game. I’m really looking forward to the sequel’s eventual release in North America in 2008.

RUNNER-UP: 悪魔城ドラキュラ: Circle of the Moon
I am quite a big fan of the Castlevania series and this is one I missed back when it came out due to not having a GBA at the time. I made up for it by taking advantage of a Play-Asia sale that snagged me a copy of this game for $10 which is likely less than it could be had here for cart only.

• Resistance: Fall of Man (PS3)
• Killzone: Liberation (PSP)
• Warhawk (PS3)
• Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (PS3)

This game is, in my opinion, supremely overlooked by a lot of people who have both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The way each map is scaled to fit each different play mode is great and all of the maps are extremely fun to play.

RUNNER-UP: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Call of Duty 4 is not only one of the best looking looking games of the year, but also one of the best playing shooters of the year. With a mostly good single player campaign and top-notch online multiplayer, it is no wonder this game is popular.

• 北斗の拳 (PS2)
• Virtua Fighter 5 (PS3)
• Tekken: Dark Resurrection (PSP)
• Guilty Gear XX Λ Core (PS2)
• Bleach: ヒート・ザ・ソウル 4 (PSP)

Tekken: Dark Resurrection for the PSP is the most full featured version of this entry in the series and it is on a portable system! Its lack of online multiplayer is dwarfed by the multitude of modes, customization, and that it has some of the most amazing visuals for a portable game ever!

RUNNER-UP: Virtua Fighter 5
The best looking game this year is also one of the best fighting games of the year and it shows! VF5 brings it with the most fighter customization items, great AI, and the some of the best technical fighting found anywhere!

• Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords (DS)
• Tetris 2 + Bombliss (FC)
• くるりんパラダイス (GBA)
• Lumines II (PSP)
• Tetrisphere (N64)

Combining disparate game genres can be a very risky proposition, but if it works the payoff can be big and in the case of Puzzle Quest, it succeeds greatly. Who knew bringing Bejeweled together with RPG elements and a decent story would work so well?

RUNNER-UP: Tetris 2 + Bombliss
Prior to acquiring this game within the last 3 weeks, I hadn’t owned any version of Tetris for many years. I thought I was totally over that game until I picked this one up and it really made me realize that Tetris really is one of the absolute best games of all time. Combine that landmark game with local multiplayer and the best Tetris variant ever in Bombliss and you have one of the best puzzle titles ever!

• 燃えろ!熱血リズム魂 押忍!闘え!応援団2 (DS)
• Gitaroo Man Lives! (PSP)
• Um Jammer Lammy (PS1)
• Parappa the Rapper 2 (PS2)
• Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (PS3)

The follow up to the best portable Rhythm/Music Game 押忍!闘え!応援団, 燃えろ!熱血リズム魂 押忍!闘え!応援団2 proves once again that even a handheld system can provide an extremely fun music game experience without the need for expensive peripherals.

RUNNER-UP: Gitaroo Man Lives!
A game that completely passed me by on the PS2, I decided to pick up the PSP version since it was much cheaper and I was pleasantly surprised that it is still a mostly unique take on the genre that holds up very well. It would be nice if Koei could take time off of their almost entirely crappy catalog of games and spinoffs currently on the market to make a true sequel to this game.

• Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (PS3)
• Mega Man X: Command Mission (PS2)
• Final Fantasy VI Advance (GBA)
• Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 (PS2)
• Lunar Knights (DS)

From the great setting, characters, and top-notch battle system, Persona 3 is the best RPG I have played in years. I am now officially a Megami Tensei fan and anyone who considers themselves a fan of JRPGs needs to play this game!

RUNNER-UP: Lunar Knights
The follow-up to the great Boktai series from the GBA ditches the gimmicky solar sensor and goes for a straight up action/adventure styIe RPG with the same 3/4 isometric view. If you are a fan of other games by Kojima Productions, you owe it to yourself to give Lunar Knights a try!

• Radiant Silvergun (SAT)
• Psyvariar 2: Ultimate Final (PS2)
• Castle Shikigami 2 (PS2)
• Gun-Nac (FC)
• WarTech: Senko no Ronde (X360)

Treasure sure knows how to make a shmup as Ikaruga and this game prove. Even among the ranks of the great shmups many can seem very similar, but even 10 years after Radiant Silvergun has been released, it is still one of the most unique shmups out there and the greatest one I have ever played! Well worth the $170 I paid for mine.

RUNNER-UP: WarTech: Senko no Ronde
I don’t know of any other shmup out there that puts two players playing the game against each other and that is what makes this game so much fun. It also helps that if you take the time to learn the ropes and play skilled players, it can be nearly on the level of competitive fighting games.

• Ridge Racer (PSP)
• Wipeout Pure (PSP)
• Burnout Legends (PSP)
• MotorStorm (PS3)

A racing game where the tracks are the true stars of the show and where picking your line through one is integral to your success. Add great online play to the mix and you have a winner!

RUNNER-UP: Burnout Legends
What can I say? It’s Burnout 3, but in portable form! What’s not to like? Just don’t waste your time with the horrible DS game of the same name.

• Earth Defense Force 2017 (X360)
• Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (PS3)
• Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection Online (PS3)
• Bleach DS 2nd: 黒衣ひらめく鎮魂歌 (DS)
• WTF: Work Time Fun (PSP)

GHIII swoops in late in the year to run away with being the most disappointing game of the year. In my mind, the Guitar Hero franchise should be all about just having fun playing, but starting with GHII it just became “how hard can we make this next entry?” I loved the first game and most of the second, but now it has absolutely no fun in it. They should have renamed the game “Insane Solos III.”

RUNNER-UP: Bleach DS 2nd: 黒衣ひらめく鎮魂歌
As some know, I named the first Bleach DS game as my Best Fighting Game and Best DS Game of 2006, so what when wrong here? Well, first off it isn’t different enough from the first game to warrant a sequel, but it also has stupid changes like 2-button throws instead of 1 and the biggest problem is the fact that it has way too many stupid useless joke characters! This is still a great game, but compared to the first, it is a letdown.

• Earth Defense Force 2017 (X360)
• Art of Fighting Anthology (PS2)
• エレメンタル ジェレイド (PS2)
• Gekido (PS1)
• WTF: Work Time Fun (PSP)

Yes, Gekido is the worst game I have played this year. I love beat-’em-ups, but this game screws up the things needed to make a great game in this genre. The music, while OK licensed fare, is so overbearing and out-of-place that is sounds as if it is coming from a stereo sitting nearby. The graphics and animations aren’t what you’d call quality. Worst of all, the action is weak. Sound effects can hardly be heard which makes the game sound so limp. Games in this genre really need to look and sound visceral to be a success, but that is precisely where Gekido screws up the worst.

RUNNER-UP: WTF: Work Time Fun
Going into this one, I was hoping for a quirky, crazy, fun game, but fun is what it is missing the most. This game is practically a simulator in most boring jobs and it plays like it.

• WarTech: Senko no Ronde (X360)
• Gunpey DS (DS)
• Hotel Dusk: Room 215 (DS)
• Guilty Gear (PS1)
• Lunar Knights (DS)

Why did this game sell so poorly? Because you people think your money is better spent on inferior games like New Super Mario Bros.! For shame!

RUNNER-UP: WarTech: Senko no Ronde
This game is best played in online multiplayer, but there is one problem, there are few players on at any given time. What is wrong with your people?! Go pick it up!

Come back in two days for the final award winners, including the Platform Awards and Game of the Year!

ベスト オフ 2007


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