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Game Developers Choice Awards 2001
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on March 27, 2002   |   Episode 14 (Show Archive)  

Game Developers Choice Awards 2002 Coverage Truths, Predictions, and Utter Lies! UPDATED: March 23, 2002 And the winners are ... okay, not yet, first we have to take care of some business. This might not be the first GDC Awards, but it is the first that Defunct Games has covered. Each page has been updated accordingly, so you can now see who the winners are, and how I faired. So, on to the awards ... Feb 23, 2002 Ladies and Gentlemen, the award season is upon us. The Academy Awards announced their nominees and the Golden Globes have already been handed out. The Grammy's are starting to threaten to take all the fun out of music, and I hear the Cable Ace awards are just around the corner. So, what have we forgotten? The International Game Developers Association's own Game Developers Awards. As with years before, the 2002 GDA awards focus on the best and most innovative games of 2001. Leading the pack of nominees is Sony's sleeper hit Ico with five nods. Grand Theft Auto III, Halo, and Black & White are also expected to walk away with one or two awards as they have two nominations each. In all 19 different games were nominated for seven awards, and we'll find out who the winners are when they are announced March 21st. This article will give you predictions, insight, and maybe some games that SHOULD have been nominated. We'll be back to update this section on the 21st, so perhaps we'll all find out together how my predictions held up. So what are you waiting for? Why don't you take a look at the nominees!! Top Row: Dan Arey and Evan Wells for animation in Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy Fumito Ueda and team for art direction in Ico Kazunori Yamauchi and team for modeling in Gran Turismo 3: A-spec Bottom Row: Lorne Lanning and Farzad Varahramyan for art direction in Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee Tetsuya Mizuguchi and team for art direction in Rez metal gear solid 2 AND THE WINNER IS ... : Ico Hey hey hey ... off to a good start! I thought Ico would win, and guess what? IT DID!! So far I'm 100%! One for one ... hey let me rub it in now, soon I won't have any right to to. metal gear solid 2 Who's Missing: Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and Halo (tie) Two of the best looking games of the year are not even nominated? AND ODDWORLD IS?? And Ico? And Jak & Dexter?? What the heck is going on?? Metal Gear Solid lets you destroy everything, and interact with all ... and Halo is just as amazing. And Halo even supports HDTV's, so where are they? Snubbed I tell you, snubbed. metal gear solid 2 Who Will Win: Ico The castle in Ico, the enemies, the characters, everything about it is enough of an artistic statement to win this award. It might be a hard battle with Rez in the mix, but Ico is one sentimental journey. The light effects are beyond belief, and the way the clothing blows in the wind will have you convinced that this is one of the best looking games ever. metal gear solid 2 Who Should Win: Rez Sega revives old school vectrex graphics in one of the most visually (and aurally) pleasing games you are likely to play. If the voters are daring they would see just how great the graphics in a game like Rez really are. It's something you can simply trip out to. Which brings up an interesting question ... just how many of the voters are tweakers? I guess we'll find out soon enough. Top Row: Kazunori Yamauchi and team for physics in Gran Turismo 3: A-spec Andy Gavin for programming in Jak & Daxter Jason Jones and team for programming in Halo: Combat Evolved Bottom Row: Richard Evans for artificial intelligence in Black & White Sherman Archibald, John Carmack, and Ryan Feltrin for graphics in Return to Castle Wolfenstein metal gear solid 2 AND THE WINNER IS ... : Black and White Hmm ... I didn't see this one coming. No really, I totally didn't see this coming. I thought everybody would be jaded by the first person shooters, but as you'll soon find out, that wasn't the case this year. Hmm ... well, 50% I guess, one for two. ico Who's Missing: Ico If Jak and Daxter brought back interest in the 3D platformer, and Gran Turismo 3 brought back interest in the racing simulator, then Ico brings back the old school Prince of Persia-type game! Flashback, Out of this World, and even the original Oddworld were all based on this style of game play, but Ico perfects it, and brings it into full 3D. It's a shame the game wasn't included on this list. return to castle wolfenstein Who Will Win: Return to Castle Wolfenstein We are living in a patriotic time right now, so will that help Return to Castle Wolfenstein win the award? Possibly, but I just have a gut feeling that a majority of the voters are going to be blown away with this PC title. It's the right game for the right climate on the PC. Black and White is too mellow, Halo is great, but PC gamers won't appreciate it like console gamers. And Gran Turismo 3, while great, is more of fan choice. gran turismo 3 Who Should Win: Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec Non-racing fans will likely pass over Gran Turismo 3 as just a graphical upgrade, but anybody that plays it for any amount of time should be able to see it's improvements. Fiddling with settings really affects the game play, and it's customizable enough for even the pickiest gamer around. It won't win, but as far as I'm concerned it should. Top Row: Craig Filshie, William Mills, Chris Rothwell, and James Worrall for level design in Grand Theft Auto III Fumito Ueda and team for level design in Ico Ghost Recon team for level design in Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Bottom Row: Scott Campbell, Dave Jaffe, Kellan Hatch and team for level design in Twisted Metal: Black Toshihiro Nagoshi and team for level design in Super Monkey Ball metal gear solid 2 AND THE WINNER IS ... : Ico While I love Ico, this was a great time for the voters to recognize the underapprecitated Twisted Metal: Black. I agree that Ico has some of the best layout ever seen, but I guess I'm just partial to Twisted Metal. I can't believe that Grand Theft Auto III didn't win ... I guess I'm 1/3. Jax & Dexter Who's Missing: Jax & Dexter Why no nomination for Jax and Dexter? It features one huge world that is quite unique. The living, breathing world that these characters inhabit is like nothing you've ever seen before, and as time goes on it only becomes more and more impressive. Most gamers will likely never see all of this huge game, and that's a heck of a lot better than most games these days. Grand Theft Auto III Who Will Win: Grand Theft Auto III It's not until you really start walking through all three areas of Liberty City do you realize the scope of design. You can get up on roofs and shoot people on the street, you can use the subway below, and best of all, you can hunt people down with a boat. There is so much depth to all of the levels it's almost a given it'll win the award. Twisted Metal: Black Who Should Win: Twisted Metal: Black While it's easy to love Grand Theft Auto III, one shouldn't take anything away from how great Twisted Metal Black is. Each of the almost 20 levels have tons of secrets, they all need to be played differently, and they are all challenging. Who can forget fighting on a boat, on a cliff, and even on in an airplane ... you simply MUST see the levels in action to understand how cool it is! Top Row: Fumito Ueda and team for game design in Ico GTAIII team for gameplay in Grand Theft Auto III Lorne Lanning and Chris Ulm for story/writing of Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee Bottom Row: Peter Molyneux and team for game design in Black & White Shigeru Miyamoto and team for game design in Pikmin metal gear solid 2 AND THE WINNER IS ... : Grand Theft Auto III Hey look, I got another one right. I'm 2/4 now, that's 50%. Grand Theft Auto III takes the top honors, and why not, it's the best game of the year. It does things you've never seen before, and a few you've seen. I think we've already said enough about the greatness that IS Grand Theft Auto III. Final Fantasy X Who's Missing: Yoshinori Kitase, Motomu Toriyama, Takayoshi Nakazato, Toshiro Tsuchida, and Entire Square Team For Final Fantasy X One of the most overlooked games of the year was Final Fantasy X, which not only brought us one of the best Final Fantasy stories, but also some of the best updates the series has ever had. Almost every single complaint I had about the battle system, team configuration, and level building was answered by Square in this one huge adventure. It's a shame the game wasn't nominated, and even more of a shame that most people won't even give it a look. Grand Theft Auto III Who Will Win: Grand Theft Auto III The Grand Theft Auto III Team deserves all the credit it can get for this brilliant game, but I question why it's up for Game Play. The entire game, right down to story and writing, is perfect in Grand Theft Auto III. The game play, while great, is almost over shadowed by the depth of everything else in the game. If this doesn't win, I would put my bets on either Black and White or Pikmin. The chances of Ico winning are fairly slim. And why is Oddworld even on this list? Black and White Who Should Win: Black and White Grand Theft Auto III is a great game, but few games are original in scope like Black and White. Peter Molyneux and team spent years perfecting their Artificial Life program, and what they brought us, while not perfect, is one heck of a game. It's kind of a long shot, since it's not as exciting as Grand Theft Auto III, but what is demonstrated in this game is far above anything else all year. Top Row: Erik Kraber and Jack Grillo for sound design in Clive Barker's Undying Harry Gregson-Williams for composition in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty Josh Randall for sound design in Frequency Bottom Row: Marty O'Donnell and team for sound effects in Halo: Combat Evolved Thomas Engel for sound engineering in Star Wars Rogue Leader: Rogue Squadron II metal gear solid 2 AND THE WINNER IS ... : Halo I'm not a roll now ... two, two, TWO right guesses in a row!! Here we have Halo easily winning top honors in the audio category, and why not? It's use of 5.1 surround is one of the most amazing things yet. SSX Tricky Who's Missing: SSX Tricky Some of the most amazing DTS 5.1 sound effects in games today. Great music mixed by one of the Beastie Boys. These are just two of the reasons SSX Tricky should be on this list of nominees. The PlayStation 2 version of SSX Tricky is a show piece of what a proper 5.1 set up can do, with a system that wasn't supposed to be able to do it. Halo Who Will Win: Halo It'll be a tight race this year, but I have a hunch Halo will come out on top with this prestige award. It features fantastic surround sound effects, creepy sci fi music, and an all around brilliant use of sounds. Frequency is nominated in the place of Rez, and Star Wars doesn't stand a chance, even with the force on its side. Does anybody really expect undying to win? Metal Gear Solid 2 Who Should Win: Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty Though too little of the game is actually in 5.1, every moment of Metal Gear Solid 2 sounds perfect. The score is top notch, the dialogue is as good as it can get, and the sounds are necessary and realistic sounding. Few games require you to listen as well as look. Top Row: Dante from Devil May Cry Daxter from Jak & Daxter Ico from Ico Bottom Row: Max Payne from Max Payne Munch from Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee metal gear solid 2 AND THE WINNER IS ... : Jak & Daxter What kind of screwy world is this??? How could neither Ico OR Dante win?? Jak & Daxter?? All logic seems lost to me, for some odd reason. It's a great game, and these are pretty good characters, but are they truly original?? Charlie Kane and Son Who's Missing: Charlie Kane and Son (Twisted Metal Black) This father/son duo puts the "family" back in Family Values. Never mind that the son is the only one that seems to be alive, thanks to a bullet hole in the middle of poppas forehead, "Son" can really kick some Metal butt. There car, the Yellow Cab, is also one of the most used around the Defunct Offices. Dante Who Will Win: Dante He has the right attitude for this award, no question about it. He's faster and stronger than all the other nominees, not to mention the evil's he has to battle throughout the game. And how many other characters went to hell and back? Ico simply doesn't say enough, and Daxter says too much. Much was in a bad game, and Max Payne, while a great character, is too much like Dirty Harry. Ico Who Should Win: Ico So the horned hero in Ico doesn't say much? And can't understand the world around him? So what ... that just makes for a better character. Five hours into this simply amazing quest one finds themselves identifying with Ico more than any other character in years. It's a shame this character has no chance of winning what so ever. Top Row: Black & White (Lionhead Studios) Grand Theft Auto III (DMA Design/Rockstar Games) Halo: Combat Evolved (Bungie Studios) Bottom Row: Ico (Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.) Max Payne (Remedy Entertainment) metal gear solid 2 AND THE WINNER IS ... : Grand Theft Auto III Okay ... so I said Halo would win, but hey, I also said Grand Theft Auto III SHOULD win. I have technically 3 for 7, which isn't all that good. But I'll take my defeat, since Grand Theft Auto III won. Metal Gear Solid 2 - Sons of Liberty Who's Missing: Metal Gear Solid 2 - Sons of Liberty For a year and a half magazine after magazine, web site after web site, and advertisement after advertisement have been touting that Metal Gear Solid 2 would be the game to beat. And the sales certainly showed. But it's missing from the list of nominees this year, while Ico and Max Payne are given the nod. Halo Who Will Win: Halo I'm going out on a limb and predicting that Halo will oust much talked about games Black and White and Grand Theft Auto III. A lot of the past winners have been the popular choice, and not always the best nominee. Last year we saw The Sims walk away with it, even against tough competition from Deus Ex, Jet Grind Radio, and Shenmue. If Halo doesn't win the sure winner will be Grand Theft Auto III ... unless a majority of voters were PC users, then it could go to Black and White. There is no chance of Ico or Max Payne walking away with the top honors, however. I'm putting my money on Halo. Grand Theft Auto III Who Should Win: Grand Theft Auto III If you want to vote for the game that is the most daring, the most original, and the most playable, then there's no reason to pick anything other than Grand Theft Auto III. Ico is a sentimental favorite, and Halo was a fantastic game, but years from now games will be ripping Grand Theft Auto III off. Very games live up to the hype, and Grand Theft Auto III is one of them.


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