3rd Annual PSX Extreme Awards
It was certainly a hellishly fun affair in the action genre this year on the PS2, and that's said almost literally. Capcom's Devil May Cry stormed onto the shelves and tore a bunch of new ones to nearly every other action title out there, but at the same time we saw unbelievable stuff like Metal Gear Solid 2, Grand Theft Auto 3, Ace Combat 4, Onimusha: Warlords, Twisted Metal: Black, and Star Wars: Starfighter. These are easily some of the best action titles on the market, be it aerial or surface. Of all the mentioned titles, only one will be taking home the Extreme Award. And the winner, for Action Game of the Year is...
Easily the most controversial videogame ever, Rockstar's/DMA's GTA3 breaks the censorship barrier to push the envelope as far as possible. The action in this game was about as close to reality as it can possibly get, so it's no wonder the game was a winner.
Silver: Devil May Cry (Capcom)
Bronze: Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (Konami)
Honorable Mention: Twisted Metal: Black (Sony)
It was an incredible year for PS2 gamers who are also fans of the adventure genre! We were treated to some of the most breathtaking titles since Super Mario 64, namely: Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy. In addition, incredible titles such Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil, Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, Rayman 2: Revolution, and of course ICO! Each and every one of these games displayed an adventure that made it a memorable feat. And the winner of the Adventure Game of the Year category is...
While it scored slightly lower than ICO, everyone seemed to agree that Jak and Daxter are the winners of this category. Naughty Dog's secretive adventure game on the PS2 turned out to be one of the greatest the genre has to offer. Jak and Daxter is quite possibly the best adventure game since Super Mario 64, and that's saying a lot!
Silver: ICO (Sony)
Bronze: Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance (Interplay)
Honorable Mention: Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil (Namco)
Well, there really is no contest as far as the extreme sports genre is concerned, but nevertheless some pretty good software was put out for the genre. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3, which also received a perfect overall score, is not only one of the best games available on the market, but easily the best extreme sports title. But that is not to disqualify ATV: Offroad Fury, EA's SSX Tricky, Acclaim's Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2, Midway's NHL Hitz 2002, and EA's NBA Street. All were excellent games and earned their deserved critical acclaim and fortune. But only one has prevailed and that is...
It's obvious that everybody reading this already knows the outcome of the Extreme award for this genre, so in a way it's a battle for ol' Silver. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 is the very first online title on the PS2, and is currently the only one. With incredible visuals, and the most addictive gameplay, can anybody question Tony Hawk's success?
Silver: SSX Tricky (EA Sports Big)
Bronze: ATV Offroad Fury (Sony)
Honorable Mention: Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2 (Acclaim)
It's inevitable, that at the moment the fighting genre is at a stand still. But PS2 owners still managed to get a decent dosage of fisticuffs on their PS2's. Capcom was kind enough to port and release Capcom vs. SNK 2. SquareSoft dropped a great fighting game with a story (while short, had multiple pathways and dozens of secrets altogether), The Bouncer. Sammy and Arc Systems brought down the house with their fantastic 2D fighter, Guilty Gear X. Lastly, Activision unleashed some hell with Bloody Roar 3, as it was quite a fierce and enjoyable game altogether. Those were the only fighters to be released on the PS2 this year, thankfully, all of them were very good. But one of them was the best...
It's probable to think that no one expected the year's most underrated game to win this award. But if more attention was paid to The Bouncer, it would've been notable that this game is longer than it looks. With mutliple pathways, multiple endings, secret stages, characters, modes and four-player compatibility The Bouncer is easily the best fighting game of the year. We suggest you give this one a look, and don't judge it as fast as everybody else did.
Silver: Capcom vs. SNK 2 (Capcom)
Bronze: Guilty Gear X (Sammy Entertainment)
Honorable Mention: Bloody Roar 3 (Activision)
First Person Shooter:
A pretty damn good year for fans of this genre. Some grade-A titles made it out on the PS2. THQ brought out its technologically boastful first person shooter, Red Faction. Sierra decided to port their most prized videogame, Half-Life, by overhauling its visuals and adding various extras not found in the original. While it's a light-gun shooter, Namco's Time Crisis 2 is still an FPS in our book, and there's no doubt about it that it was an awesome game. [Note: The day after the nominees went live, we received a retail copy of Giants: Citizen Kabuto. The game allows to switch between 1st person and 3rd person views, and for that it was accepted as a last minute entry, taking the place of 007]. And the award for the First Person Shooter of the Year goes to...
To be honest, none of us had played the original PC version of Giants, and when we first heard the game will be ported over to the PS2, none of us expected it to be such a hysterical riot! You've got space troopers with British accents and attitudes, aliens with Australian personalities, and a 40 foot tall ally that is ready to cause some major damage! Giants is one fresh adventure, this game should not be overlooked.
Silver: Red Faction (THQ)
Bronze: Time Crisis 2 (Namco)
Honorable Mention: Half Life (Sierra)
In this genre, some awesome flight and shooters were released. It was limited, but the effort was truly exceptional. And so, the winner is...
While it's already been classified as an action game, Twisted Metal: Black's shooting qualities, with all of its missiles and rapid fire machine gun, TM:B qualifies as a shooter in our book. Therefore it earns the award.
Silver: Star Wars: Starfighter (LucasArts)
Bronze: Ace Combat 4 (Namco)
Honorable Mention: Spy Hunter (Midway)
It's yet another one of those "duh" categories. As we saw with the extreme sports genre, the racing genre is pretty damn painfully obvious. But nevertheless, there were racing games other than Gran Turismo 3, like ATV: Offroad Fury, Extreme G3, Splashdown, and Tokyo Xtreme Racing: Zero. But of course the winner is...
If you people were actually expecting a description, you're just psycho. You know what this is all about, and that's all you need to know. This is GT3; greatest racing game ever.
Silver: Splashdown (Infogrames)
Bronze: ATV Offroad Fury (Sony)
Honorable Mention: Extreme G3 (Acclaim)
Because of Square's last minute decision to bring Final Fantasy X out on to the PS2 in time for the holidays, it was quickly obvious that this would be the RPG of the year. That is not to say that the PS2 doesn't have a fair share of other RPGs available this year, because it most certainly does. UbiSoft released its great sequel, Jade Cocoon 2. Interplay brought Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance (it's an RPG game as well). Midway enters with Shadow Hearts. And Atlus releases Tsugunai: Atonement. But without question the RPG of the Year is...
The second milestone in the series, to follow VII, Final Fantasy X is the most addictive, innovative and playable RPG of the year! This is also arguably the best FF to date. This is of course the RPG everybody should be playing.
Silver: Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance (Interplay)
Bronze: Jade Cocoon 2 (UbiSoft)
Honorable Mention: Shadow Hearts (Midway)
As far as the best sports game of the year is concerned, if you kept on eye out on our sports reviews, you could've caught Snake mentioning his prediction for the sports game of the year. Developed in only 5 1/2 months, Sega debuts its very first sports game on the PS2, and it quickly becomes the best pigskin sim on the market. Since there's only room for one football title, NFL 2K2 ultimately snubs Madden and claims the crown. But did it dominate over the likes of NHL 2002? And the winner is...
Being in development for the shortest amount of time, the team at Visual Concepts was able to craft not only the finest pigskin on the market, but hands-down the best sports game of the year.
Silver: NHL 2002 (Electronic Arts)
Bronze: NCAA Football 2002 (Electronic Arts)
Honorable Mention: FIFA Soccer 2002 (Electronic Arts)
That about does it as far as genre based awards go. Next will be technological merits and yearly achievements, leading up to winner of GOTY.
1/3/2002 PSX Extreme Editorial Staff