BEST OF THE BEST: Part 16 (11/08)

It’s Platformers and Racing Games today. Click on through and see what games have won for each year.

36. Best Platformer
Award Winner in 2003: VIewtiful Joe
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Clover Studio
Release Date: 10/07/2003
System Released On: Nintendo Game Cube

Award Winner in 2004: Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal
Publisher: SCEA
Developer: Insomniac Games
Release Date: 11/03/2004
System Released On: Sony Playstation 2

Award Winner in 2005: Psychonauts
Publisher: Majesco
Developer: Double Fine Productions
Release Date: 04/19/2005
System Released On: Microsoft Xbox, Sony Playstation 2

Award Winner in 2006: Yoshi’s Island DS
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Artoon
Release Date: 11/13/2006
System Released On: Nintendo DS

I’m not a big Platformer gamer. To be blunt: I hate them. I hate any game where you can die simply because you weren’t a millimeter closer to the edge of the platform and so you fall. This hate sprung up from all the really bad 8 and 16 bit platformers and it remains my least favorite genre. With the push for 3-D gaming and the advent of horrible camera angles, this loathing just grew worse. This isn’t to say I hate all platformers. I’m a big fan of two of the winners here: Viewtiful Joe and Psychonauts. These two games are brilliant and worth playing even if you hate the genre like me.

Viewtiful Joe damn near won best GCN and GOTY the year from us in 2003. It was an amazing and highly innovative game that reminded us all why a 2-D games are so fun while 3-D games tend to be hit or miss. The plot was hip, the dialogue was catchy, and it was a huge system seller for the Cube. Of course, it would show up on the PS2 a year later, but it never stopped appeared on Nintendo systems. It’ll be interesting to see if it pops up on the Wii as it has the DS.

Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal is not a game I’ve played. A ton of the staff loved it though back in 2004. Heck, Alex Williams went out yesterday and bought a PS3 just to play the newest game in the series. That’s devotion and I’d have never thought the Ratchet & Clank series to be a system seller – especially a PS3 system seller.

Psychonauts is probably my favorite platformer ever. Take the cast of Invader ZIm and the guy behind Grim Fandago, put them together with excellent gameplay and weird graphics, and you have a winner. Sadly Psychonauts received critical acclaim, but it sold poorly. I’d love to have a second of these, but it’s not meant to be. You can pick it up for about 5 bucks these days, so there is no reason not to!

Yoshi’s Island DS. You know me. I hate platformers. I hate Mario games. This is two levels of suck combined into one for me. But again, the rest of the staff liked it and I have no problem being in the minority with my opinion.

Reviews:
Viewtiful Joe (Liquidcross)
Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal (Bebito Jackson)
Psychonauts (Lucard)
Yoshi’s Island DS (A.J.)

37. Best Driving Game
Award Winner in 2003: Mario Kart – Double Dash!!
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Release Date: 11/17/2003
System Released On: Nintendo Game Cube

Award Winner in 2004: Burnout 3: Takedown
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Criterion Games
Release Date: 09/07/2004
System Released On: Microsoft Xbox, Sony Playstation 2

Award Winner in 2005: Mario Kart DS
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Release Date: 11/04/2005
System Released On: Nintendo DS

Award Winner in 2006: Excite Truck
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Monster Games
Release Date: 11/19/2006
System Released On: Nintendo Wii

This is probably my second least favorite genre of gaming. As you can tell, I held off commenting on these two awards until the end and then did them both at the same time to save myself pain.

I’ll be honest. I haven’t played any of these games except Double Dash and Excite Truck and neither did anything for me. Excite Truck came with my Wii and it had the honour of being the first thing I turned in for that system.

That being said, Kart games are Widro’s favorites, which explains the large push for both Mario Kart games winning this award.

As this is a genre you I can’t fake caring about – we’ll just go straight to the reviews.

Reviews:
Mario Kart Double Dash!! (Alex Williams)
Burnout 3: Takedown (Alex Williams)
Mario Kart DS -No Review Found
Excite Truck (Widro)

And that’s it. We’ll be back tomorrow with best SRPG and Best Story. Only five awards left to look at. Huzzah!