December 30, 2001

~ PART 2 ~

This is the second part of the Future Gamez 2001 Awards where a winner is picked for each different game genre as well as a winner for the Best Overall Game of 2001. If you missed Part 1 of the awards where the best and worst of 2001 as well as best developers, peripheral and technology were awarded then I would suggest you go there to check out the other winners first. If you've checked them out then read on.

Best Puzzle/Strategy/Interactive Game
Winner: Super Bust-A-Move (Taito)
A very lean year for puzzle games but once again the addictiveness of Taito's bubble bursting classic is a winner. The two-player mode is among the best ever while the game has enough addictiveness to have you coming back long after you've finished other games. Hopefully, Taito will create an online version soon after the broadband adapters release.
Runners Up: Moderngroove: Ministry of Sound Edition (UbiSoft), Age of Empires 2: Age of Kings (Konami).

Best Fighting Game
Winner: The Bouncer (Square)
A very weak year for fighting games on Playstation 2 with no release for SNK Vs Capcom 2 or Guilty Gear X here in Australia this year, but next year is looking a lot hotter. By far the best fighting game on Playstation 2 this year was The Bouncer. I still stand by the review score but in a very weak year there was little else to pick from.
Runners Up: Kengo (UbiSoft), Street Fighter EX3 (Capcom).

Best Platform Game
Winner: Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy (Naughty Dog)
It came out very late this year, but literally blew away the competition in what has been a fairly solid field this year. Jak & Daxter is one of the funniest games available while retaining some very solid gameplay. The game has a good variety of gameplay styles while the graphics have more detail then a feature Disney movie. This is one game that every person that enjoys platform games at all must buy. It's terrific fun and another winner from Naughty Dog.
Runners Up: Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil (Namco), Rayman Revolution (UbiSoft).

Best Sports Game
Winner: SSX Tricky (EA Sports BIG)
Despite what people may say SSX Tricky is more of a sequel then just an update to last years game. There are 2 new tracks, several new riders but a totally overhauled new graphics engine which pushes the game much further then before. Better still Electronic Arts have included DTS sound to astonishing effect. The action is fast as SSX Tricky trounces the competition, not technically, but through the sheer amount of fun while playing. .
Runners Up: Madden NFL 2002 (Electronic Arts), This is Soccer 2002 (Sony).

Best Action (non FPS) Game
Winner: Devil May Cry (Capcom)
Released just in time for Christmas there is little doubt about the quality of this title. It's fast, frantic and full of action. The game also has some stunning cut scenes, which help tell the games wonderful story. Unlike many other games released today it's a fair challenge, although admiring the scenery usually results in your demise on quite a few occasions. The whole game is rounded off with some of the best sound heard in a game for some time.
Runners Up: Onimusha Warlords (Capcom), Silent Hill 2 (Konami).

Best First Person Shooter Game
Winner: Red Faction (Volition)
While many people claim that it ripped off Sierra's Half-Life
there is little argument that the inclusion of the Geo-Mod technology (to blast through walls and rock etc) was great to see. Trapped in a corner? Use a rocket to blow your way through another wall. The strong storyline was excellent as well as fairly solid AI combined to make the game a winner.
Runners Up: Half-Life (Valve), Quake III Revolution (Bullfrog).

Best Role Playing Game
Winner: Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance (Interplay)
While PAL territories once again have to wait until next year for Final Fantasy X RPG gamers had to settle for this Interplay title. But it's not that bad a game at all. In fact, while I haven't completed the review this game will likely score in the high 80's or low 90's and is a must have for RPG fans. The game includes plenty of battles and a great storyline to keep you occupied for hours.
Runners Up: Dark Cloud (Level 5), Summoner (Volition).

Best Racing Game
Winner: Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec (Polyphony Digital)
How can you go past Gran Turismo 3 in this category? It's not only the best racing game this year, but of all time. The only way this game could get better is with the inclusion of damage and online gameplay, the latter of which is expected with Gran Turismo 4 in a couple of years. With so many cars and tracks on offer, as well as a splendid 6-player i.Link mode, this game is at the top of the list.
Runners Up: Wipeout Fusion (SCEE), Burnout (Criterion).

Best Sound in a Game
Winner: SSX Tricky (EA Sports BIG)
It was only the second game to make use of DTS sound but the difference from 2-channel stereo is stunning. Dogs bark in the rear speakers, other riders have more presence and the music seems more lively. Even without the DTS sound this game would still win the category due to some stunning real-time mixing of the music, including Run-DMC's "It's Tricky" as the theme track while the sound effects mix perfectly into the game.
Runners Up: Devil May Cry (Capcom), Wipeout Fusion (SCEE).

Best Graphics in a Game
Winner: Jak & Daxter (Naughty Dog)
There is little doubt that this game has some of the most impressive visuals ever. The animation on the characters could easily rival a Disney movie while the variety of the characters is impressive. Combine this with some stunning effects such as water, fire and weapons and you soon realise just how much detail Naughty Dog have put into the game. Oh and in case you miss it while playing the game, check out the real-time changes for weather and the time of day. Most impressive.
Runners Up: Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec (Polyphony Digital), Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil (Namco).

Best Game Of 2001

Winner: Jak & Daxter (Naughty Dog)
Some people may argue that Jak & Daxter is merely another platform game, but it's so much more. The game takes on a life of its own as Naughty Dog have pushed the platform genre to new levels, particularly in terms of graphics, sound, and enjoyment. This is a game that can be enjoyed by both adults and kids alike both in terms of gameplay and entertainment. Plenty of comedy abounds in this cartoonish world which has better animation the most Disney animated features. It's not an overly long game with a completion time of about 15 hours but its the quality, not the quantity, that makes Jak & Daxter a winner. From start to finish this game is a complete joy to play. This game should be in every Playstation 2 collection.
Runners Up: SSX Tricky (EA Sports BIG), Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec (Polyphony Digital), Devil May Cry (Capcom), Red Faction (Volition).

Click here to go to Part 1 of the 2001 Awards, including the worst of 2001.

I hope you enjoyed reading this Awards for 2001. If you have any comments feel free to e-mail me at the usual address: