BEST OF THE BEST: Part 3 (10/22)

I hope you had a good weekend, because the look back at the past 4 years of Inside Pulse Gaming Awards continues. Today’s it’s the long dead Best Alternative Sports Game award, and the best PSP and 360 awards.

9. Best Alt. Sports Game (DEAD)
Winner in 2003: Tony Hawk’s Underground
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Neversoft Entertainment
Release Date: 10/27/2003
System Released On: Microsoft Xbox, Nintendo Game Boy Advance, Nintendo Game Cube, PC, Sony Playstation 2.

Winner in 2004: Tony Hawk’s Underground 2
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Neversoft Entertainment
Release Date: 10/04/2004
System Released On: Microsoft Xbox, Nintendo Game Boy Advance, Nintendo Game Cube, PC, Sony Playstation 2.

Holy Crap! Tony Hawk won back to back. As you’ll see later on, it’s one of only four franchises to ever win an award back to back. The others? Pokemon, Mario Party, and ESPN NFL Football.

I haven’t played either of these games. My only experience with Tony Hawk was the fourth non-Underground game and I thought it was crap. I never understood how people enjoyed these games, but then I love pretty much any game with Geese Howard in it, so who am I to judge? If you’d like a review, Alex Williams reviewed THUG2.

We basically stopped doing Alt Sports, because we just merged it with the normal sports category. No reason not to, as all this category would ever be is skateboard, UFC, and Wrestling. Too niche and not enough games per year to warrant an award. Good thing too, because SD vs Raw 2006 would go on to win Best Sports game in 2005! Yes I know. The way people date a video game a year out is confusing. Blame the publishers. I do.

10. Best Sony Playstation Portable Game
Award Winner in 2005: Lumines
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Q Entertainment
Release Date: 03/22/2005
Genre: Puzzle

Award Winner in 2006: Gradius Collection
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Konami
Release Date: 06/06/2006 (OOOH!)
Genre: 2-D Shooter

Okay, I just have to ask: How sad is it that the best PSP game in 2006 was a remake/re-release that didn’t even win the Remake/Re-Release award that same year? Don’t get me wrong. I love Gradius, and Gradius Collection is amazing. It’s just that this winning here shows you just how bad the PSP was doing in 2006 in terms of quality selection.

Lumines in 2005 was in a similar situation. The PSP just didn’t have a lot of games that were better than mediocre. Then when there is a game that was actually great, well, it blew the competition away and stayed fresh in everyone’s mind 9 months later when voting on this category occurred.

You can read Liquidcross’ review of Lumines here

11. Best Microsoft Xbox 360 Game
Winner in 2005: Call of Duty 2
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Infinity Ward
Release Date: 11/17/2005
Genre: FPS

Award Winner in 2006: Oblivion: The Elder Scrolls IV
Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: Bethesda
Release Date: 03/20/2006
Genre: Action RPG

If you missed it a couple of days ago, you can read Mark B’s review of Oblivion here. Michael O’Reilly was the staffer who reviewed CoD2. Interesting enough is this quote from the end of Mike’s review: If I were to say that this is a stellar game, the best on the system, I’d be lying through my teeth.

Heh. It won that award anyway. Go figure.

The Xbox 360 has pretty much been a system for FPS and Oblivion, and this award shows that stereotype to be true. With Halo3 and Bioshock the front runners for the award this year, it’s sure to be a stigma the 360 isn’t going to shake any time soon.

Tomorrow we start looking at the awards that have had three winners (for whatever reason) over the past four years. The trip down memory lane continues then.