PSX Extreme: Game Of The Year Awards 2007
Best Puzzle Game
- Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords
- Lumines Plus
- PQ2: Practical Intelligence Quotient
- Capcom Puzzle World
- Super Puzzle Fighter HD Remix
Winner: Super Puzzle Fighter HD Remix
While the PSP unsurprisingly dominates the nominees in this category, it's the high-definition remake of an instant classic that takes the win. A PlayStation Store title from late summer that managed to hook the unwilling once downloaded, Super Puzzle Fighter HD Remix is one of those puzzle games that's both ingenious and addictive. Be it against the computer or a friend, this title is more than just a remix or a remake- it's the glorious resurrection of an oldie but a goodie. And they made this more than "good;" they made it award-worthy.
Best Music/Rhythm Game
- Rock Band
- Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock
- SingStar ‘80s
- Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol
- PaRappa the Rapper
Winner: Rock Band
Yeah, the third Guitar Hero is great, of course, but with everything Rock Band offers, it's just too good not to win this category. Harmonix has provided music fans with the most complete and fulfilling title in this relatively new genre, and while it's a tad pricey, it's well worth the investment for those who adore this kind of thing. With a few friends, you can suddenly step into the shoes of a popular rock band, and oddly enough, you never feel silly doing it. No, this game just kicks ass from top to bottom, and hey, if you're not into the guitar, you've got a couple other options! Maybe you're a better singer or drummer and you excel in those areas; either way, Rock Band has you covered.
Best Racing Game
- Need for Speed ProStreet
- Sega Rally Revo
- Burnout Dominator
Winner: Need for Speed ProStreet
We have to say, this wasn't an easy category to decide, simply because there really wasn't a clear winner. Without a Gran Turismo, we just didn't see a 9+ racer from the PlayStation consoles in 2007, so it was close. It came down to DiRT and the eventual winner here, and in the end, we just had to go with the game that gave us a giant number of options and made us feel the "speed." EA took the next step by throwing in car damage for the very first time in series history, and that worked extremely well. It may have annoyed some of the hardcore followers of the franchise, who wanted to keep it strictly arcade-style, but you can't please everyone. Need for Speed ProStreet is a great game that gives most racing fans everything they could possibly want, from a bunch of game modes to online play to customization. Winner winner, chicken dinner.
Best Sports Game
- Winning Eleven: Pro Evolution Soccer 2007
- NHL 08
- NBA 2K8
- Madden NFL 08
Unfortunately, most of the sports games in 2007 were just more of the same. They've been using the same formula over and over, and it was just painfully evident this year that most haven't truly advanced into the new generation. Therefore, almost by default, we had to give this award to SKATE, which is the only title of the bunch that portrayed a significant level of singularity. Yes, NBA 2K8 and NHL 08 were good, but neither showed us much of anything new. While SKATE certainly took some cues from the series that originally blazed the trail - Tony Hawk - the end result is an entirely new kind of sports game. Skateboard fans should've been most happy to get this one in 2007.
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
- Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3
- Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions
- Jeanne d’Arc
- Odin Sphere
Winner: The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
The PSP made a very strong push with Jeanne d'Arc and Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions, and we eventually had to make the decision between the latter and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblvion. They're about as different as night and day, but as awesome as the FFT remake is, we have to admit that Oblivion is more than just a remake. When it released, it was a slightly superior version to 2006's Xbox 360 version, and it instantly became a must-have for any RPG fans with a PS3. The open-endedness and ridiculous level of freedom and customization offered by Bethesda's sweeping title is insane, and even highly addictive. If you're talking about "bang for your buck," few titles will give you the sheer amount of entertainment Oblivion offers, and that alone is almost enough to win this category.
- The Orange Box
- Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
- Unreal Tournament 3
- The Darkness
- Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas
Winner: Unreal Tournament 3
We were facing a head-on battle between Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Unreal Tournament 3, but in keeping with the "cost vs. value" tradition set by the last category, we gave the edge to UT3. CoD4's single-player campaign is only 5-6 hours long, and while UT3's campaign isn't as engrossing, at least it's longer. And besides, if you hadn't noticed, Epic's FPS already scored the Best Multiplayer award, so it has that going for it as well. All the way around, the game is extremely well-crafted and once again, we have to repeat: because the developers worked so hard to optimize the game specifically for the PlayStation 3, the final product has both spectacular visuals and almost immaculate gameplay. It just doesn't get much better, folks.
Best Action/Adventure Game
- Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction
- Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune
- Ninja Gaiden Sigma
- Assassin’s Creed
- God of War II
Winner: God of War II
When looking purely at action and adventure elements, nothing tops God of War II. Some of those other titles certainly excel in other areas, but for the action/adventure genre, this outstanding sequel is king of the roost. Not since...well, not since the original GoW did we see such a splendid blend of fluid combat, nicely designed puzzles, accomplished platforming elements and outstanding pacing. Ninja Gaiden Sigma might be faster and deeper from the fighting end of things, Assassin's Creed may outstrip GoWII in terms of detail and world design and Uncharted: Drake's Fortune may compete favorably in just about every aspect, but it all boiled down to action/adventure quality. And quite simply, nothing beats God of War II.
12/26/2007 Ben Dutka