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Game of the Mid-Year Awards

CINESCAPE's game editors pick their choices for the mid-year awards.

By James Stevenson and Troy Roberts     July 16, 2004


A screenshot of ninja goodness from NINJA GAIDEN.
© Tecmo

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


Many

The first released screenshot of multiplayer action from HALO 2.

great things were expected from the newest game in the DRIVER series. Heavily promoted and highly anticipated, the game fell pretty flat as it stumbled out the gate to rumors of conspiracy and complete with more bugs than a rotting log. While the game wasn't necessarily horrible, the game failed to live up to the hype that surrounded it, making it this year's most disappointing game so far. -TR


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


While

A screenshot of ninja goodness from NINJA GAIDEN.

both Troy and I are somewhat skeptical yet, this is overwhelmingly the most popular game that's coming out later this year. It's going to be as big, maybe bigger than GRAND THEFT AUTO: SAN ANDREAS. The one map shown at E3 behind closed doors was cool, and the word from Microsoft employees who are playing the beta is very, very good. We're looking forward to getting our hands on the game whenever Microsoft sends it to us. I'm almost afraid to go near it, as Xbox Live is going to be insane with people kicking my ass since they are STILL playing HALO on the Xbox (one of the only games that is viable over the long term on the system). Should be huge, but can all of this silence make the expectations too huge? JS


Biggest Surprise - THE SUFFERING, Playstation 2 and Xbox


I had

GRAND THEFT AUTO: SAN ANDREAS.

heard hardly anything about THE SUFFERING when a DVD-R of it showed up from Midway. I was working on a deadline and thought I'd get the review in quick one night. I tossed it in with the lights off, and literally an hour later I was in a cold sweat, my hands clammy from gripping the controller, and afraid of the slightest movement or nosie in the room. Besides the stellar atmosphere, the quick gameplay made a difference in the survival horror genre aloing with a creepy creature designs and the ability to choose your path in a rather creepy fashion. This game literally came out of nowhere, and Midway had a huge hit on its hands. If you haven't given THE SUFFERING a try yet, you need to let yourself get freaked out. JS


TIDBITS



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...



ON SHELVES



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.



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