It suddenly came to Troy and James that they hadn't done mid-year awards. Considering that we were running a little low on ideas for this week's column, it seemed like the perfect way to kill two birds with one award column. So without further ado, our mid-year awards.
Best Game NINJA GAIDEN, Xbox
There were a lot of good games released during the first half of the year, but none of them stood as high as NINJA GAIDEN. Even though there hadn't been a game based on the series for some time, old and new fans alike rushed to heap praise on the newest game on the series, with some calling it the best game ever on the Xbox. With beautiful graphics and gripping and precise gameplay, NINJA GAIDEN is easily the best game at mid-year. - TR
Most Disappointing DRIV3R, Xbox and Playstation 2
Most Addictive - MARIO VS DONKEY KONG, Game Boy Advance
This game really did come out of nowhere for many gamers. I had been waiting for this game for a while and it's worth its weight in gold. Imagine a game where you play a 2D Mario game, with plenty of Mario moves, in the Donkey Kong world, and a focus on platform puzzling. You now have MARIO VS. DONKEY KONG, a game that is perfect to be played for those few minutes where you have downtime. This game single-handidly bumped my nerd factor back up as I was always pulling out the GBA at random points and just playing. If you haven't checked it out yet, it'd be worth your time. -JS
Biggest Announcement THE LEGEND OF ZELDA, GameCube
Quite possibly one of the biggest announcements in years, Nintendo rocked E3 this year when they announced and showed footage from the newest game in the long-running LEGEND OF ZELDA series. Allowing players to control an adult Link for the first time since the class Nintendo 64 hit LEGEND OF ZELDA: OCARINA OF TIME, the currently untitled game has fans foaming at the mouths. - TR
Most Anticipated Game in the Second Half of '04 - HALO 2, Xbox
Biggest Surprise - THE SUFFERING, Playstation 2 and Xbox
DOOM III has gone gold and the demo is coming...EA has announced a new Japanese themed expansion to its hit ULTIMA ONLINE game...The US District Court of Seattle has ruled that a state law forbidding the sale of games showing violence against law enforcement officers violates the First Amendment...
ESPN NFL 2K5 is released and is only going to have a price tag of $19.99. If it's anything like the previous versions of the game, this is worth picking up if you've never played the series before, or even if you haven't played it recently. Maybe you will find that it is better than MADDEN. The only other release is SUDEKI - the new Xbox RPG from Microsoft.
Gamers' Thumb is our weekly Video Game column.