Civil Disobedience
Market and State?

Game Developers Choice Award Nominees Bland as Ever

Once again, the Game Developers Choice Awards are basically a popularity contest between the games with the biggest budgets, most of which I find myself profoundly neutral towards. At least this year I have a title I can support in a few categories - That Game Company's flOw is up for Best Debut and Best Downloadable Game. But seriously, what am I going to pick for Best Visual Art in a field that contains only the obvious shiny rubbish, and nothing much with creative art design? Must I vote for Super Mario Galaxy - a game for which I have severe criticisms - in Best Game Design, simply because the alternatives underwhelm me? (Yes, even Portal). I'll abstain in Best Game Audio, and don't get me started on Best Writing.... Well, good luck Jenova and co., at least!


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Hi Chris,

If you could vote for any game in each of these categories, what would they be?

I'm always keen to hear about games I might have missed.


Gareth: way to turn the question back on me! :)I'm not quite sure which games fall in the catchment area for this year's awards...

Was Okami in 2007? That had great visual flair but I think it was released in 2006 in the US and so doesn't qualify. I have a funny feeling everything I liked in 2007 was released in the US in 2006. :(

So when asked to put my money where my mouth is, I can offer little and must accept that I'm whinging about the awards because I'm not seeing interesting titles that might or might not actually exist, and that I simply *want* to exist...

Anyone else tell me what they thought was an exceptional game in 2007 and bail me out? ;)

I can see tossing my hat into the ring for TF2's visual design and Aquaria for debut game.

Puzzle Quest would edge out Zelda for handheld, only because Zelda was ridiculously short, meaning I've logged far more hours enjoying Puzzle Quest a single time than I did playing Zelda twice.

Notice I didn't really use the word "exceptional" anywhere in my comment...

TF2 has a nice style, yes. Audio and visuals match up too, maybe you could say the same about the style of play as well?

I really enjoyed the Turret & GLaDOS monologues in Portal, though I'm not a big puzzle gamer so wasn't as blown away with the game as a whole as everyone else was. The end music theme was cute too.

I also really enjoyed playing Resident Evil 4 on the Wii, which was only released in 2007, though the original on Game Cube was 2005 so I don't know if that counts.

(mind you, I see the Game Developers awards included the recent re-release of fl0w even though it was originally released back in 2006)

Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock was a lot of fun until I got to the Hard difficulty level where I've kind of plateaued. This was my first exposure to the GH series, so maybe it doesn't seem so exciting to everyone else.

I wanted to love Bioshock, but my gfx card is too crappy to enjoy playing it on even the lowest quality settings :(

Apparently Okami was originally released in 2006, but I haven't played it yet so you can imagine how happy I was to hear that it's coming out on Wii in a couple of months! I've just put in a pre-order so I'll have a lovely surprise at the end of March.

Gripe time: I'm going to go out on a limb and claim that flOw didn't really have that much to do with Flow.
But hell, who really cares about an obscure psychological theory when you have a nice looking game?

Corvus: I had an awkward choice between Puzzle Quest and Phantom Hourglass, especially as I haven't played more than 10 minutes of each. Ultimately, I thought there was more innovation in the latter than the former (although I don't doubt there's most play in the former).

Gareth: I've only seen stills of TF2 but the art style looks awful to me; maybe a matter of taste, and it might look better in the context of the game.

RE4 on the Wii? I haven't played the Wii version, but I doubt it takes the game much further - I really respect the design of this game, though, apart from the "quick time event" blunder.

I can't play the Guitar Hero games because I find combo rhythm action games to be too stressful and frustrating to be fun (I have a piece that connects with this point in the works), but I really respect what Rock Band offers in terms of non-violent co-op play - I voted for that in one or two categories.

I'm excited about a Wii Okami myself, since it didn't come out in the UK until I moved to the US, and I'm not about to buy a US-region PS2 just to play one game!

Enjoyed reading your perspective on 2007 here - thanks!

zenBen: I agree, flOw has little to do with Flow the theory - although it *was* the inspiration for the design, so there is a legitimate connection. Also: I'm going to be mean and say that flOw is basically a turbocharged version of Snake! >:)

However, it is so nicely constructed, and the interface has been simplified to the point that I have seen 70 year-olds able to play and enjoy it - these two points alone, coupled with its indie roots, make me respect it as a game.

Thanks for the comments everyone!

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