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Gaming Globes 2001 : The Nominees

Article - the final nominations are posted and now you can vote on who you think deserves the gongs!

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Last year saw EuroGamer launch the Gaming Globes, the gaming industry's answer to the Oscars. Intended to recognise excellence across the entire spectrum of game design, from storylines and soundtracks to visual effects and artwork, the Gaming Globes gives you a chance to help pick out the best games and developers of the year in fifteen different categories.

The final shortlist of five nominees for each category is now ready to be announced, and until midnight GMT on Monday 19th March 2001 you can have your say by voting on which game you think should win in each category. Please vote for the game which you think is the best in that particular category - don't just vote for your favourite game in every single category unless you honestly think that it deserves it. Any duplicate votes will be discarded, so only vote once in each category.

And now, without any further ado, here are the nominees for the 2001 Gaming Globe awards!

Best Game


Foreign Language Game

Male Lead Character

Female Lead Character

Male Supporting Character

Female Supporting Character

Art Direction

Character Design


Visual Effects

Original Music


Original Storyline

Adapted Storyline

John "Gestalt" Bye

Best Game

The nominees for the "Best Game" award for the best overall game of the year 2000 on any platform, are - Baldur's Gate II : Shadows of Amn

One of the most popular role-playing games of last year, Shadows of Amn built on the success of the original Baldur's Gate, fixing most of its shortcomings and adding a whole slew of new features, including the ability to become lord of your own stronghold as well as a much higher experience cap to allow more powerful monsters and magic to be used. It's no surprise then that this was the fastest ever selling game for publisher Interplay on its American release last September.

Review Deus Ex

A mixture of first person shooter, stealth and role-playing elements set in a dingy near future world of conspiracies and nanotechnology, Deus Ex was the first hit to come out of Ion Storm after the disappointments of Daikatana and Dominion. The game received rave reviews, and went straight to the top of the UK charts when it was finally released on this side of the pond last summer.

Review Grand Prix 3

Geoff Crammond has made the Formula One sim his own, with a string of hit motor racing games to his name stretching back to the 1980s. Grand Prix 3 was a long time coming, but his latest effort was certainly worth the wait, with a combination of impressive graphics and sound, a detailed physics model and a bewildering array of settings to tweak on your car. The only disappointment was that the data in the game was two years out of date by the time it was finally released, although that is about to be corrected by an official 2000 season add-on pack.

Review Shenmue

Arguably the most eagerly anticipated game ever to be released on the ill-fated Dreamcast, Shenmue was a role-playing game which promised to deliver a fully interactive living, breathing world for you to explore and interact with. The result is an involving if rather linear adventure, with stunning graphics and a remarkable degree of freedom once you get beyond the constraints of the storyline.

Review Vagrant Story

A stylish and atmospheric medieval action adventure game from Square, one of Japan's best loved developers and the company behind the ever-popular Final Fantasy series, Vagrant Story was arguably the best new PlayStation title to reach the west last year, showing that there's still life in Sony's antique console. With a great storyline, a complex combat and skills system and some of the best graphics ever to grace the original PlayStation, it proved to be a firm favourite.



The nominees for the "Designer" award, for the lead designer of the game with the best original concept, design and implementation, are - Warren Spector for Deus Ex

Warren Spector has been developing role-playing games since 1983, working at Steve Jackson Games and TSR on pen-and-paper games such as Advanced Dungeons & Dragons and GURPs before moving into computer games with a job at Origin. His CV includes work on games such as Ultima VI, Wing Commander, System Shock and Ultima Underworld. He jokingly describes Deus Ex as "the finest entertainment experience ever conceived by the mind of man - the most remarkable achievement since the Creation". And he's not far wrong.

Review Martin Hollis for Perfect Dark

While the Nintendo 64 is now several years old, great games are still being released for it, and arguably the best of the crop last year was the first person shooter Perfect Dark. Its graphics might be primitive compared to what we would expect from a PC or next generation console, but the gameplay itself was rock solid. And as it is developed by the company behind the ever-popular 007 game Goldeneye, that's perhaps no surprise.

Review ? for Red Alert 2

Westwood helped to jump-start the entire real-time strategy genre with the Command & Conquer series, and Red Alert 2 is just the latest installment in the multi-million selling franchise. It was far from groundbreaking, with a decidely old school feel from the sprite-based graphics to the cheesy story, but it managed to take the classic gameplay of the original and tweak it for the 21st century to produce one of the most enjoyable strategy games of the year.

Review Will Wright for The Sims

One of the most imaginative PC games of last year and also one of the most successful, The Sims is essentially an open-ended virtual soap opera, putting you in charge of a small group of Sims and leaving you to look after them and improve their lives. Will Wright himself is a veteran of the gaming industry and the man who put the city management genre on the map with the original SimCity back in 1987. Although some of the games his company has released since then (SimFarm springs to mind) haven't been quite as good, The Sims was a definite return to form.

Review Yasumi Matsuno for Vagrant Story

Having helped to create the Ogre Battle Saga at Quest, Yasumi Matsuno was part of the group that defected to Japanese gaming giants Square, where he designed Final Fantasy Tactics. Vagrant Story has been widely hailed as one of the best games available on the PlayStation, with an intricate battle mode and skill and weapons upgrade systems, along with a labyrinthine plot and a cinematic feel.


Foreign Language Game

The nominees for the "Foreign Language Game" award, for the best game originally developed and released in a language other than English, are - Evil Islands

A gorgeous real-time 3D role-playing game developed by Russian company Nival and originally published by Germany's Ravensburger Interactive, the English version of the game should be available through UbiSoft later this month and a demo has already been released. We've been playing with beta code for some time now, and the combination of impressive graphics, a strong storyline and a focus on stealth over head-on combat, not to mention wonderfully sarcastic dialogue, has made it an instant hit with us.

Preview Final Fantasy IX

The latest installment in the long running Final Fantasy series brought yet another slice of role-playing heaven to the PlayStation, featuring the usual recipe of involving characters and stylish locations with a generous side dish of stunning pre-rendered cutscenes. Although the game has only just been released on this side of the Atlantic, the English language version was first released in the USA last year, and so qualifies the game for the 2001 awards.

Review not available yet Shenmue

Another Japanese role-playing game, this time from Sega rather than Square, Shenmue was one of the Dreamcast's biggest hits but sadly came too late to save the ailing console, which has now been consigned to the scrap heap of posterity. If you need an excuse to buy a Dreamcast before the last units vanish off shelves forever, this could be it.

Review Skies of Arcadia

Another late arrival on the Dreamcast, and another great role-playing game which showed just what Sega's console was capable in terms of both graphics and gameplay. Set in a bizarre Laputa-style fantasy world of floating rocks (as was Evil Islands strangely enough), Skies of Arcadia features a strong story pushed along by stunning real-time rendered cinematics and a small but interesting cast of central characters.

Review Vagrant Story

Having already scooped nominations in the Best Game and Designer categories, it's obviously no surprise to find the superb role-playing game Vagrant Story picking up yet another nomination for Japan in the Foreign Language category. Like Final Fantasy IX, this is another impressive PlayStation outing for the hard-working developers at Square.


Male Lead Character

The nominees for the "Male Lead Character" award, for the best male character with a leading role in a game (generally someone who is central to the storyline and under the player's direct control), are - Zidane Tribal for Final Fantasy IX

Zidane adds quite a bit of colour to Final Fantasy IX - he's part of a travelling troupe of bandits known as Tantalus, and despite his rather shady occupation, is an upbeat, friendly person, whose motto is that "You don't need a reason to help people", especially women! With all sorts of unique abilities and a sideline as a part-time actor, Zidane makes an excellent male lead in Final Fantasy IX, and one of the best of the last year.

Review not available The Meccaryn for Giants

Baz, Tel, Reg, Gordon and Bennett, collectively known as the Meccaryn, are a group of cockney space marines who are stranded after an encounter with a bizarre alien lifeform on their way to a holiday on Planet Majorca. With equipment including a stealth bush (which brings back memories of Monty Python's "How To Avoid Being Seen" sketch) and the vast Millenium Bomb, not to mention some hilarious dialogue in Giants' many in-game cutscenes, the Meccaryn are some of the most amusing and novel characters to grace a computer game in the last year.

Preview Gift for Gift

Probably the most unlikely hero of the year 2000, Gift is a short fat red guy with nothing more offensive than a stick with which to defend himself as he tries to succeed where every other hero has failed by rescuing the busty but delusional princess Lolita Globo. Described by his own creators as a "sneaky overweight slob with a big mouth", Gift is instantly loveable and full of character, from his funny little waddling gait to his cowardly behaviour whenever faced with danger.

Review Jake Logan for Tachyon : The Fringe

While this freeform space combat sim failed to set the world alight, its sarcastic hero Jake Logan did prove an instant hit with the staff here at EuroGamer. One of the main reasons for this was the excellent voice acting, provided by none other than Bruce Campbell, who played Ash in the Evil Dead movies and has also appeared in hit TV series like the X-Files and Xena : Warrior Princess.

Review Garrett for Thief II

Thief II was sadly destined to be the last game developed at Looking Glass Studios, who went bust last year having brought the world a string of truly groundbreaking games such as Ultima Underworld, System Shock and Terra Nova. Once again you stepped into the soft-soled shoes of the stealthy Garrett, a world-weary master thief taking a corrupt new Sheriff and an evil cult while trying to make himself a tidy profit in the process. Always a favourite here at EuroGamer.


Female Lead Character

The nominees for the "Female Lead Character" award, for the best female character with a leading role in a game, are - Alice for American McGee's Alice

The teenage Alice featured in American McGee's take on the classic Alice in Wonderland was a far cry from the one we all know and love from the works of Lewis Carroll. Having seen her parents die in a house fire, Alice is now a disturbed young lady who has left a mental asylum to help save Wonderland from the evil Queen of Hearts. We can't help but feel that Mr Carroll is rolling in his grave, but the result is surprisingly effective.

Review Kid for Chrono Cross

Certainly one of the fiestier characters at the high end of Chrono Cross, Kid is a boisterous, headstrong tomboy, and a member of the infamous Radical Dreamers thief band within the game. Her agility helps her to get out of even the most ridiculous of scrapes, and her mystical ability to avoid injury coupled with her peculiar Astral Amulet offer only an elusive clue as to her past. A superb character and one built up very well within the game, even if Square do try to shock you with her on occasion.

Review not available Julie for Heavy Metal : FAKK2

Although much of the attention lavished on Heavy Metal's heroine Julie was undoubtedly a result of her ample bust and skimpy clothing, she was also an interesting character. Bored of life on Eden, the settlement she helped to create and which is home to the fountain of eternal youth, her longing for adventure is soon more than quenched by the arrival of an evil warlord who proceeds to brainwash or simply slaughter her friends.

Review April Ryan for The Longest Journey

Thanks to a change in the rules regarding foreign language games, the 23rd century art student April Ryan is nominated for the second year running for her starring role in the excellent adventure game The Longest Journey. As if the disapproval of her parents and the problems of having to settle down in a big new city wasn't enough for April to cope with, she also finds herself being transported to a strange magical dream world where she discovers she is the chosen one who must save two worlds from destruction. One of the most insecure and emotionally involving characters of recent years, April is a firm favourite here at EuroGamer.

Review Cate Archer for No One Lives Forever

Monolith's answer to Austin Powers, swinging 60's secret agent Cate Archer finds herself suddenly thrust into the front line against the evil HARM organisation after many of her fellow agents at UNITY are mysteriously murdered. Cate is based on model Mitzi Martin and sports a selection of bizarre Bond-style gadgets and deadly weapons, as well as some colourful costumes which will have you reaching for the constrast controls of your monitor.


Male Supporting Character

The nominees for the "Male Supporting Character" award, for the best male character with a supporting role in a game (generally somebody not under the player's direct control or not central to the game, such as NPCs or secondary party members in a role-playing game), are - The Cheshire Cat for American McGee's Alice

Alice has changed, Wonderland has changed, and so has the Cheshire Cat. Acting as one of your guides throughout the game, the Cat is now looking suspiciously skeletal and has developed a sharp sarcastic wit to match his sinister grin.

Review Minsc for Baldur's Gate II : Shadows of Amn

One of the most popular secondary characters from the original Baldur's Gate, the mad ranger Minsc and his miniature giant space hamster Boo return once more in the sequel. Clearly a warrior who has suffered one too many blows to the head. "Less talk, more fight!"

Review Vivi Orunitia for Final Fantasy IX

Vivi is a mixed bag - innocent at heart but a feared black magic user at the same time, and as if that were not enough, he's yet another RPG character who has no real idea who he is or where he comes from (they probably breed them in special confusion camps). Vivi's quest to uncover his dark past warmed the hearts of FFIX players the world over.

Review not available Odin for Rune

So .. Odin, leader of the Norse gods, a bloke with an impressive beard and some bloody big horns on his helmet. The huge disembodied head of the one-eyed god puts in several personal appearances throughout Rune to guide its hero Ragnar.

Review Charnel for Sacrifice

One of the five deities in Sacrifice, Charnel is the god of strife, slaughter and death, and as such one of the most entertaining gods in the game. "Where there is pain, I am there. Where there is suffering, I flourish". An obvious favourite here at EuroGamer then.

Female Supporting Character

The nominees for the "Female Supporting Character" award, for the best female character with a supporting role in a game, are - Elaine for Escape from Monkey Island

Elaine, the governess of Monkey Island, has been a regular character in the popular comedy adventure series, providing the love interest for Guybrush Threepwood. This time round it is up to you to restore Elaine's position and save her home from demolition after you return from your honeymoon to find that the islanders have assumed she is dead and elected a replacement.

Review Clara for Skies of Arcadia

Clara is an air pirate with a mission - to marry Mr Perfect. Unfortunately, Mr Perfect (another air pirate, by the name of Guilder), isn't particularly happy with this plan... Not that this deters Clara in the least. As Fina describes her "She's the nicest stalker I've ever met".

Review Mrs M for Bangai-O

Mrs M is always on hand in Bangai-o to dispense advice, useful or otherwise. And then charge for her services. She even has a handy line in historical figures to rely on (mech piloting advice from Napoleon, anyone?), and a mercenary attitude to helping the player.

Review not available Callo Merlose for Vagrant Story

Callo is a member of the VKP's Information Analysis Unit, where she trawls through tangible and intangible evidence for information that can help in criminal investigations. All sorts of qualifications and special skills make her more than just a (very) pretty face, and after disappearing she emerges and becomes a strong part of the Vagrant Story.

Review Lilka Eleniak for Wild Arms 2

Lilka is Wild Arms 2's resident Crest Sorceress - a magician who can combine Crest Graphs to create powerful spells. As a member of the ARMS team she must fight not only the forces of Odessa, but also to prove her worth, having spent her whole life in the shadow of her illustrious older sister.

Review not available

Art Direction

The nominees for the "Art Direction" award, for the game with the best overall artwork and style and in particular the best design of locations or backdrops, are - American McGee's Alice

One of several Quake 3 engined games released last year, Alice featured a dark gothic atmosphere which was something of a departure from the original Lewis Carroll novels but proved very effective. The levels were stunning, with some truly warped design courtesy of the team at Rogue from forests to chess board castles and hellish landscapes.

Review Baldur's Gate II : Shadows of Amn

Like the original, Baldur's Gate II featured huge tracts of beautifully hand-painted scenery to explore, taking in cities, dungeons, fortresses, forests, mountains, caves and the proverbial much much more. With the benefit of an improved graphics engine offering higher resolutions, it all looked rather impressive.

Review The Longest Journey

Both the futuristic world of Stark and the magical paradise of Arcadia were beautifully rendered, with some of the lushest backdrops we have ever seen in an adventure game. From towering skyscrapers and a run-down police station to a picturesque medieval town and a flying castle, the scenery was imaginative and visually impressive.

Review MSR

One of last year's big hits on the Dreamcast, Metropolis Street Racer (or MSR to its friends) featured a range of impressively detailed circuits, taking in London, Tokyo and San Francisco with easily identifiable landmarks modelled and textured with an unerring attention to detail.

Review Shenmue

Yu Suzuki and his team at Sega made good on their promise to produce a living, breathing world in Shenmue, with one of the most impressive game worlds to grace the Dreamcast to date. From the towns and their bustling streets to dockyards, villages and open countryside, the locations are often vast in scale and look simply stunning.


Character Design

The nominees for the "Character Design" award, for the best in-game character design and artwork (including models, sprites and skins), are - Evolva

One of the most innovative games of last year, Evolva's aliens were a weird and wonderful bunch which looked like they had escaped from the Burgess Shales. Even your own team was unique, made up of "genohunters" which could absorb alien DNA and then mutate according to your wishes throughout the game, giving you an almost infinite range of skills, attributes, shapes and colours that your four troops could take on.

Review Rune

Taking full advantage of the Unreal engine and adding support for skeletal animation, Rune featured a small but intricately detailed cast of viking warriors, giant snow beasts, goblins and skeletal warriors with some of the most impressive skins we've seen to date. And that's before you started hacking off their limbs and splattering blood all over the shop.

Review Sacrifice

From the moment the first screenshots of Sacrifice were released way back in the mists of time, what caught our eye were the bizarre and lovingly modelled creatures which inhabited the game. From the leathery winged Shrikes and cannon toting gnomes to the weird and wonderful gods and wizards which led them, Sacrifice was a haven of the surreal.

Review Skies of Arcadia

A landmark RPG for the Dreamcast, and one of only a few RPGs on the system full stop. A unique Laputa-inspired world set in the clouds, and enough distractions to keep even the busiest gamer in 7th heaven. Two rogue sky pirates, Vyse and Aika, must locate five crystals that control giant war machines, that could destroy the world by the coming of Fina, a mysterious girl on a mission to prevent the coming destruction. It grows to become an absolute epic.

Review Zelda : Majora's Mask

What can be said about Zelda that hasn't been said before? One of the longest running series (and to our knowledge one of only a few that spans three decades with its various incarnations), Majora's Mask was the icing on the cake for the Nintendo 64 last year, following on from an amazing success with Ocarina of Time. Matched up against the mystical power of Majora's Mask, Link must race against time to stop the maniacal moon from crashing into the world. It's pure genius.

Review not available


The nominees for the "Cinematography" award, for the best use of cinematics and scripted sequences within a game, whether pre-rendered or game-engine, are - Chrono Cross

Chrono Trigger was a milestone in Super Nintendo history, and Chrono Cross is every bit as good, perhaps more so. With multiple scenarios cast along a single story thread, and many different endings, each time you play the game it's a new experience. It has set a bar for all console RPGs to aspire to, and it pulled every gear the PlayStation knew that it had to do it.

Review not available Diablo II

Blizzard's latest offering built on the company's reputation for spectacular cinematics with some stunning CG rendered cutscenes. The hack 'n' slash role-playing sequel apparently became the fastest selling PC game in history when it was released last year, shifting over a million copies worldwide in the space of two weeks.

Review Final Fantasy IX

After a slight dip in quality with Final Fantasy VIII, Square got back on track with number nine. It's a story about an evil queen's desire to gain world domination, and a group of bandits who try to stop her. Brahne, the queen of Alexandria is using magical weapons to threaten neighbouring kindgoms, and it's mile-thick storyline and character development all the way. One of Square's best titles yet?

Review not available Giants

A mixture of hilarious dialogue and scripting with the power of the game's own impressive graphics engine rendering the whole thing in real-time made Giants' humorous cutscenes a real hit. And with characters including cockney space marines, topless magic-wielding blue women and a hundred foot tall King Kong style monster, Planet Moon were obviously on to a winner...

Preview Thief II

Like the original, Thief II featured a selection of impressive hand drawn cutscenes with an almost comic book feel to them, with heavily processed screenshots from the game mixed in for the mission briefings and the whole thing narrated by Garrett himself.


Visual Effects

The nominees for the "Visual Effects" award, for the most impressive graphics engine and use of special effects within a game, are - B17 Flying Fortress : The Mighty Eighth

One of the most spectacular flight sims of recent years, with some impressive graphics both inside and out. The plane is modelled in excruciating detail, and you can follow the crew around as they move between positions within the bomber and see cracked glass and bullet holes appearing as your plane takes damage, while outside there are the constant puffs of smoke from flak bursts and hundreds of miles of terrain to admire as you fly over occupied Europe.

Review Giants

From the garish alien skies and detailed terrain to the beautifully modelled characters and spectacular spell and weapon effects, Giants was a real treat for the eyes with its own uniquely surreal visual style.

Preview Heavy Metal : FAKK2

Powered by a heavily modified Quake 3 engine, Ritual's Heavy Metal featured stunning scenery ranging from strange ancient temples to fog-bound swamps and towering cliffs, not to mention the village of Eden itself. Throw in animated sky boxes (with alien landing ships and meteors flying overhead while rivers flowed past far below) and some rather tasty weapons effects, and FAKK2 was undoubtedly one of the best looking games of the year.

Review Jet Set Radio

Known as "Jet Grind Radio" in the States due to copyright issues, JSR is an incredibly entertaining game about skating in the city. Along with a rocking soundtrack and some incredible tricks, this was also one of the first big games to use the cel-shading technique for its graphics, producing a highly effective cartoon-style look for its characters.

Review not available Sacrifice

One thing you couldn't fault Sacrifice on was its graphics, which were truly spectacular. With vast open terrain to explore, dozens of highly detailed and rather odd looking creatures on screen at once, beautiful skies and some jaw-dropping spell effects (ranging from tornados to volcanic eruptions), it was certainly a good excuse to upgrade your graphics card.


Original Music

The nominees for the "Original Music" award, for the best the best original soundtrack, songs and background music created specifically for a game, are - Chris Vrenna for American McGee's Alice

American McGee's take on Alice in Wonderland featured a suitably eerie soundtrack, described by our reviewer as "twisted, haunting remixes of nursery rhymes and childhood songs". The whole thing was put together by Chris Vrenna, a producer and drummer who has worked with a whole catalogue of well-known industrial and grunge bands from Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson through to Hole and the Smashing Pumpkins.

Review Yasunori Mitsuda for Chrono Cross

Yasunori Mitsuda has created a truly stunning musical score, which not only manages to blend in familiar themes from the previous games (Chrono Trigger and Radical Dreamers) but also breaks new ground, moving away from the purely orchestral style of most current RPGs with a mix of exotic instruments and samples. As is the vogue for current Squaresoft titles, the main theme is used in various forms throughout the game, before finally being unveiled in its entirety (complete with vocals) over the end credits.

Review not available Icewind Dale

Black Isle's dungeon crawling adventure Icewind Dale was unfortunate enough to be released at the same time as Blizzard's long-awaited Diablo II, and sadly it was lost in the stampede. One area in which it more than held its own though was the music, with what our reviewer described as "a truly epic musical score that greatly enhances the atmosphere of the game".

Review Jet Set Radio

Jet Set Radios street gang vandalism theme is backed off with a heady blend of hip-hop and big beat tunes interlaced with elements of gritty indy-rock. The tunes are sheer quality, and outstanding in the way they match the overall theme of the game perfectly, creating a street atmosphere unlike any other game. Do yourself a favour; play it with headphones, loud.

Review not available SSX

Arguably the best game so far released on the PlayStation 2, and certainly the best selling in this part of the world, EA's snowboarding sim SSX was a great looking and enjoyable winter sports game which took great advantage of dynamic music with changes to the tempo and intensity depending on what you were doing at the time.



The nominees for the "Sound" award, for the best sound effects and use of sound within a game, are - Grand Prix 3

Geoff Crammond's latest Formula One meisterwerk looks and sounds just like the real thing, with all the engine noises, brake screeches and cringe-inducing thuds you would expect.

Review Perfect Dark

Perfect Dark was one of the first games to really push the N64 to the very brink of its abilities, and it certainly didn't shirk its responsibilities in the sound department, completely surpassing GoldenEye in almost every respect. Weapons sound incredibly authentic, and the addition of in-game (as well as cut-scene) vocals drags you further into the games shady world - enemy guards yell warnings to each other, aliens scream at you chillingly, and the radio chatter enables you to recieve briefing updates mid-mission. How Rare have crammed it all into one cart is nothing short of genius.

Review Samba de Amigo

One of the more bizarre releases of last year was Samba de Amigo on the now defunct Dreamcast, which came complete with a pair of maracas! The idea was to shake them in time with the music at the appropriate height, and the on-screen audience would react according to how well you were doing. Certainly one of the most innovative games of the recent years, and as it was built entirely around sound and music it was a natural nominee for this category.

Review not available The Sims

One of the things which helped to bring Will Wright's virtual soap opera The Sims to life was the excellent audio, with every household appliance, machine and gizmo in the game making an appropriate sound, while the Sims themselves spoke in a curious gobbledegook language all of their own. You can even listen to different stations on the radio, and hear the screams from a horror movie on the TV.

Review Thief II

From the soft footfalls of Garrett to the clumping of guards marching down a corridor and the grinding of steam-powered machinery, Thief II was a treat for the ears. You could even listen as the guards moaned about their jobs and traded insults across the rooftops. All of this was rendered with 3D echo and reverb effects thanks to EAX and A3D 2.0 support.


Original Storyline

The nominees for the "Original Storyline" award, for the best storyline and plot developed for a game based on an original idea, are - Chrono Cross

Chrono Cross was remarkable not only in featuring a cleverly thought out, well-constructed storyline with some genuinely surprising twists, but also in managing to work in plot and characters from Chrono Trigger without aping or reiterating the original game. The time travelling and parallel dimensions mean that genuine thought is required to follow the story, and the multiple endings allow many of the "what if" scenarios in the game to be played out.

Review not available Giants

Taking in a giant genetically engineered monster created by a race of blue-skinned scantily clad sea-dwelling women, not to mention a group of cockney space marines on their way to the holiday planet of Majorca for some sand, sea and sex, Giants had a storyline which was highly original and incredibly funny at times.

Review The Longest Journey

April Ryan seems like a normal 23rd century art student, until she is sucked into the magical world of Arcadia and told she must save the universe from destruction. Set across two worlds filled with conspiracies, intrigue, and all manner of bizarre characters, The Longest Journey was one of the most involving adventure games of recent years.

Review Shenmue

One of Shenmue's strong points was its (admittedly rather linear) storyline, starting out as a straightforward murder investigation when your character's father is killed by a mysterious intruder, leaving you trying to avenge his death and track down the killer.

Review Vagrant Story

Set in a medieval fantasy world, Vagrant Story puts you in the shoes of the Riskbreaker Ashley Riot, a member of the Valendia Knights of the Peace on a mission to infiltrate the manor which has been over-run by a cult of religious fanatics. It seems straightforward enough at first, but before long the plot has tied itself up in knots with a storyline that has "more unexpected turns than four snakes playing Twister". Told with a mixture of in-game conversations, creepy flashbacks and overheard snippets, it's gripping enough for you to forgive the cod medieval dialogue.

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