Gaming Globes 2002 : Voting

Article - your chance to help decide who gets the gongs in EuroGamer's third annual Gaming Globes

This year sees the Gaming Globes returning to EuroGamer for a third year. The Globes recognise excellence across the entire spectrum of game design, from storylines and soundtracks to visual effects and artwork, and now it's your chance to help pick out the best games and developers of the year in each of the ten different categories. The final shortlist of five nominees for each category is now ready to be announced, and until midnight GMT on Monday 11th March 2001 you can have your say on who gets the gongs by voting for whichever game you think should win in each of the categories. Please think about your vote before casting it - you can only vote once in each category and any duplicate votes will be discarded. And now, without any further ado, here are the nominees for the 2002 Gaming Globe awards!

Best Game

As the name suggests, the Best Game award goes to the best overall game of the year on any platform. Last year's winner was Baldur's Gate II.

Final Fantasy IX As the last original Final Fantasy adventure to grace the screens of PSone owners, FFIX was never going to have an easy ride, but despite slipping up with the eighth game in the series, Squaresoft redeemed themselves in style with the exploits or Zidane Tribal and his band of vaggabonds and rogues. Although arguably too similar to its predecessors in terms of narrative, the game struck a chord with gamers and continues to do so. The game to play in the run up to the series' PlayStation 2 debut this summer, but is it last year's finest videogame? Grand Theft Auto 3 What can be said about Grand Theft Auto 3 in the space of a few lines that adequately encapsulates the hundreds of hours of untiring gameplay to be found behind this bold little son of DMA Design? Officially, it's the last game to issue forth from the Scottish development company, which has now folded into Rockstar Games, but it's a delicious swansong in any event. You take on a life of crime in the big city and through drug trafficking, assassinations, car and boat theft, illegal gambling, corrupt policing, extortion, racketeering and smuggling some of the finest contraband in the USA, you rise through the ranks to great effect. Your list of employers will read like a who's who of organised crime. In terms of graphics, design, content, execution and anything else you could care to mention, GTA3 is immense and unrivalled. The finest game of last year? reviewJak & Daxter If anything deserves recognition from the over-stuffed ranks of PS2 releases it's Naughty Dog's seminal platform adventure Jak & Daxter. Spoonfeeding the player tasty gameplay morsels for more than ten hours, it's certainly the best example of its genre on the PlayStation 2, and perhaps of all time. It boasts terrific character and world animation, sprawling vistas and some of the most comfortable gameplay mechanics ever encountered in a game of this ilk, but misses out on that top score for concluding on one - well, two actually - of the least fulfilling videogame end sequences ever witnessed. But does the overall experience make up for it? I've never lost hours to a videogame like this one... reviewOperation Flashpoint The only PC game to make it on to this year's final short list, Operation Flashpoint emerged from the Czech Republic last summer to take the world by storm. Set during a fictional conflict between the USA and Soviet Union at the tail-end of the Cold War, it offered a great combination of on foot and in vehicle action, with everything from clapped out Russian cars to tanks and helicopter gunships to drive around in, while the infantry faced a mixture of all-out action and stealth missions set across a vast island chain covered in hills, mountains and wooded valleys. reviewPhantasy Star Online In my younger and more vulnerable years, the humble Super Nintendo formed the peak of my videogame habit, and it was left to RPGs like Zelda III, Chrono Trigger, Illusion of Time (Gaia in the States) and Final Fantasy III (VI in Japan) to teach me how enthralling and religious the medium can be. But it was one game - Secret of Mana - which offered a multiplayer mode for two or three players that really won me over. My fascination with Phantasy Star Online is a reflection of those early years. PSO is an immense videogame and, as a single player, one of the Dreamcast's most enjoyable RPGs. But band together with a group of up to three people online and you can take the game on ad infinatum. Those who have played it will understand the addiction, but only a fraction of gamers ever really penetrated it to reveal its most rewarding secrets. With a sequel just released, is it time to appreciate Phantasy Star Online for the videogame spectacular it really was? review

- come back on Monday 18th March for the results.


The Designer award goes to the lead designer of the game with the best original concept, design and implementation. Last year's winner was Warren Spector for Deus Ex.

Devil May Cry Devil May Cry may not have been the best game to arrive on the PlayStation 2 as the console finally came of age at the tail-end of last year, but it was certainly one of the most stylish. Putting you in the shiny boots and long red coat of demon spawn Dante as he sliced, diced and blasted his way through a haunted castle, the game was an example of brainless wall-to-wall action at its finest. From the intuitive controls and spectacular demon attacks to the healthy lashings of gore that resulted from them, it was one hell of a ride. reviewGran Turismo 3 Gran Turismo 3 A-Spec is the finest driving game available on the PlayStation 2, and its first real killer application. Unparalleled visuals for the genre (and this still stands in light of Project Gotham Racing in this writer's opinion) and perhaps the largest scope of any racing game ever released on a console, it was marred only slightly by the use of courses from Gran Turismo 1 and 2, recycled - albeit with a lick of paint worthy of da Vinci - to fill in the gaps. Still, not content with just brushing aside the legions of wannabes in its own genre, it took on the might of rally supremo Colin McRae and Codemasters and came out with a grin on its face. For achieving so much and not once letting itself go, GT3 is a contender for the best designed game of 2001. reviewGrand Theft Auto 3 If design were butter, you'd find an even spread on Grand Theft Auto 3. Very little in the game looks malnourished and very little in the game world acts as fodder. GTA3 offers the most interactive world we've ever stepped into. If you see a bloke walking down the street, you can mug him. If you want you can beat him to death on the floor. If you see a prostitute, you can lure her to a back alley in your flashy pimp daddy wheels and then watch the thing rock from side to side as your health increases. Or on a completely different tack, you can go to the net café, bust in and head upstairs to blow some PCs up, perhaps using the perfectly positioned and angled staircase through the shattered glass full-height shop front windows as a ramp to do a special Hollywood slow-motion jump. There are an endless number of ornate touches to the design of GTA3, and it rivals anything else from amongst this year's field. reviewJak & Daxter Jak & Daxter is intricate to the last, but it isn't so much the developer's ability to give shape and depth to the gaming world with such ease, but the way that they managed to cram so much detail onto the screen throughout the game without hindering the player's enjoyment through slowdown and choppy gameplay. There's even a 60Hz mode which showcases the abilities of the game engine. Jak & Daxter has been nominated because no other game - of this era or any other in fact - has ever presented so much detail in such high concentration within the confines of a two-year-old gaming platform. Anniversary today, in Japan. reviewKurukuru Kururin An odd choice perhaps? Kurukuru Kururin is an extremely original puzzle game. Deserving of this nomination purely for providing us with an excuse to curse loudly on busy commuter trains and in the back of a cab, it increases in complexity with a steep learning curve, but offers the first truly innovative puzzle experience in years. Whoever would have thought it'd be possible to lose yourself to the navigation of a throbbing stick through so many narrow passageways? review

- come back on Monday 18th March for the results.


Another fairly self-explanatory category, this award goes to the single most impressive video game character of the year. Due to a lack of strong female characters last year, we only have one award for Best Character this time round. Last year's winners in the character categories included Minsc from Baldur's Gate II and April Ryan from The Longest Journey.

Dante for Devil May Cry He's the son of a demon knight and carries a hulking great sword, but he's just as happy leaping around John Woo style firing a pair of guns named Ebony and Ivory, or turning into a winged devil to fly through the air and rain destruction on his enemies for that matter. Recipient of some of the smoothest animations and over the top fight choreography of the year, Devil May Cry's anti-hero Dante might be something of a triumph of style over substance, but when you've got this much style does it really matter? reviewDaxter for Jak & Daxter Resembling the Timone character from The Lion King and clearly inspired by Disney's creation, this wily muskrat is making the job of coming to terms with enfuzzlement extremely entertainment. Not so much a strong character in the game world, but the basis for the duo's entire adventure, and available for regular moments of comic relief. His appearances during save sequences, cutscenes and commentary during important gameplay guide and amuse the player in equal doses. Perfectly ingrained on the subconscious of the player, the big question is, can you even remember what he looked like before his transformation? reviewGilbert Goodmate for Gilbert Goodmate & The Mushroom Of Phungoria Coming from the Monkey Island school of adventure games, The Mushroom Of Phungoria might not have set the charts on fire last year but it was the best point and clicker we've seen recently. Heading up the cast was Gilbert Goodmate himself, a young man who sees his grandfather hit over the head by a mysterious hooded assailant who then steals the eponymous sacred fungus. With his humorous dialogue, voluminous trouser pockets, cheeky grin and sometimes bizarre behaviour, he was one of the most likeable characters of the year. reviewMax Payne for Max Payne Sporting a permanent scowl which made him look like he was suffering from a severe bout of constipation (possibly a side-effect of the huge quantities of painkillers that he consumes during the game) and graced with more angst than the entire line-up of a nu-metal music festival, Max Payne was an undercover cop with a score to settle. Spouting lines that sounded like a bad parody of Raymond Chandler and pulling an array of unnatural faces during the comic strip style cutscenes, Max was certainly one of the most memorable video game characters of the year. reviewZidane Tribal for Final Fantasy IX When we meet Zidane Tribal in Final Fantasy IX, it emerges that he's a thief and part-time actor, the top bod amongst his band of theives, skilled in the use of daggers and lanced implements. Everything a strong RPG character should be (in other words, confused and directionless to begin with), he grows with the game and it's impossible not to become fond of the lovable rogue.

- come back on Monday 18th March for the results.

Art Direction

This is the award for the game's artwork and style, particularly focusing on the design of locations such as levels, arenas, tracks and backdrops. Last year's winner was Baldur's Gate II.

Devil May Cry Like everything else in Devil May Cry, the architecture was on a grand scale. From a pulsing organic cathedral and vast ampitheatre to rubble-strewn courtyards and crumbling castle towers, the levels were highly atmospheric and lovingly designed. And in something of a break from Capcom tradition, the dramatic camera angles even managed to show off these glorious settings without hampering the gameplay. reviewJak & Daxter Intricately detailed and beautifully animated, Jak & Daxter's design is unrivalled and marvellously executed, without a blemish to undo the finely chosen confines of the dynamic duo's homeland. From the eerie, boneyard feel of Misty Island to the scorching, hazy crater of a volcano, this game has everything and the effect is mesmerizing and consistently impressive, ever-capable of throwing an a screenful of originality and nuance at the player on a moment's notice. reviewSerious Sam : First Encounter Making a refreshing change from the usual futuristic bases and gothic dungeons of most first person shooters, Serious Sam's first escapade took the genre back to ancient Egypt with a mixture of vast desert cities that stretched as far as the eye could see and cramped temple interiors. All of them were wrapped in intricately detailed textures and packed full of wave after wave of monsters, just waiting to leap out from around almost every corner. reviewSilent Hill 2 Although it doesn't look as magnificent as its PS2 brethren in this category, it achieves absolute terror with all the associated bells and whistles out of next to nothing. Building a tense, suspenseful journey out of a simple stroll around town, it's the little touches like footprints you didn't make in the grass and scratching noises, flashes of light out of the corner of the player's eye and whirling around in terror to find... nothing. There's more to this ornately detailed adventure than meets the eye. reviewTropico Tropico was a breath of fresh air for the usually very serious management sim genre, transplanting the action to lush Caribbean islands and casting you as El Presidente, determined to hold on to power by any means at your disposal. As a result the game sported lush jungles, towering mountains cloaked in clouds, rolling hills and sun-soaked beaches, along with a wide selection of gloriously detailed buildings to ruin your enviroment with, from tobacco farms and ugly tenement flats to schools, hospitals and of course your Presidential palace. review

- come back on Monday 18th March for the results.

Character Design

The character design award is for the best in-game character design and art (models, sprites, skins etc). Last year's winner was Sacrifice.

Devil May Cry Devil May Cry gets another nod for its visuals, this time for the imaginative creatures that inhabit the game. From Dante himself and his leather-clad love interest to the legions of unwholesome monsters which he slaughters over the course of the game, Devil May Cry's characters are a triumph of design, modelling, texturing and animation. There are cackling ghostly witches which attack you with what appear to be giant scissors, scythe-wielding grim reapers, giant birds, magma spiders and lethal marionettes, adding up to some of the most outlandish enemies you'll find in a video game. reviewEtherlords Mixing the turn-based strategy of Heroes of Might & Magic with the card-based combat of Magic : The Gathering, Etherlords borrowed heavily from other titles when it came to the gameplay. Its wide range of creatures were far more original though, ranging from insectoid warriors and triffid-like plants to biomechanical constructs that could almost have escaped from an HR Giger painting. All of these were intricately modelled and textured, resulting in one of the most varied and inventive selections of monsters we've seen in a long time. reviewJak & Daxter The character design, and in particular the variety of different animations and the way the two characters interact, really adds to the world of Jak & Daxter. Whenever Jak uncovers a power cell we see a little five-second animation of the pair depositing it in his backpack, and this action can consist of Jak simply slapping it over his shoulder while Daxter break-dances on the floor or can be as involved as Jak tossing the ball up behind his back and Daxter leaping to slam dunk it. Throughout the game the finely modelled characters work wonderfully, and it's not just Jak and Daxter, but also the supporting cast such as Chief Samos with his wooden stomping blocks and hat, or Keira with her curvaceous swaying to and fro in front of Jak... This game may be an all-round achievement, but highlighting its individual strengths is extremely telling. reviewSilent Hill 2 Silent Hill 2 uses dirt and grime to great effect, and its central character and his chilling assailants are nothing short of hair-raising. Going through every possible variation on gritty, James Sunderland goes in search of his wife, and the people he meets are superbly designed, right down to their back stories and own personal interests, which clash with James'. Not just good-looking, but thoroughly realistic, and that's the amazing thing. reviewStartopia Owing more to The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy than 2001, despite being set on a doughnut shaped space station, Startopia was one of the funniest games of last year. Much of that humour came from the oddball creatures which inhabited your orbiting base, from disco-dancing two-headed scientists and greys who list mutilating cattle and buzzing Mexico City as their hobbies, to purple dreadlocked space hippies and angel-like sirens. Pure genius. review

- come back on Monday 18th March for the results.


The Cinematography category is for the best use of cinematics and scripted sequences, whether pre-rendered or game-engine, and covers the direction, dialogue, graphics and everything else which goes into making a cutscene. Last year's winner was Diablo II.

Anachronox A brave (or perhaps merely foolhardy) attempt to make a Japanese style console RPG for the PC in America, Anachronox emerged as a flawed classic when it was finally kicked out the door last year. But while the gameplay had its problems, the spectacular cutscenes were hard to fault, rendered in real-time using the highly modified version of the Quake 2 engine which powered the game. With dramatic swooping cameras, facial animations, great dialogue, a cast of bizarre characters, plenty of humour and over-the-top special effects, it had all the makings of a sci-fi blockbuster. reviewDevil May Cry So there you are, sitting in your office minding your own business, when suddenly this gorgeous leather-clad lady comes tearing through the door on a motorbike. After a short conversation she impales you on a giant sword, but being the son of a demon knight this is merely a minor inconvenience. With a shudder you pull the sword out of your chest and for an encore blow up the woman's motorbike. And all of this is just the opening sequence. Insane. reviewFinal Fantasy IX What can we say about this game that hasn't been said before? Some would have it as the finest RPG on the humble PSone. In terms of cinematography, it's as gripping to experience as its predecessors. Although you may get a little bored of the hokey, Squaresoft template storyline with its quirks and expected eccentricities, on a purely technical level it's an astounding achievement. The cinematic set-pieces in this game were a forerunner to the Final Fantasy movie. Max Payne Although certain sections of the gaming press chose to criticize Remedy's attempts to create a true Hollywood masterpiece, there are few who would question the developer's gritty, no holds barred portrayal of a determined cop on the road to justice. The story is presented almost entirely via a comic book style, but the game's set pieces, in particular the underground research facility and Max's exhausting climb to the final confrontation are memorable enough to win it a nomination in this category. reviewOnimusha Although widely criticized for being a bit too short and repetitive, the ambitious Onimusha has spawned several ports and a couple of sequels and it's not hard to see why. The Braveheart-style CG battle sequences are amongst the finest ever produced for a videogame, and gave life to the otherwise only faintly inventive tale of chaos in feudal Japan and the loss of a great love. review

- come back on Monday 18th March for the results.


Another fairly obvious one, this award is for the quality of a game's plot and writing. Last year we had seperate categories for original and adapted storylines, and the winners were Baldur's Gate II and The Longest Journey. This year anything goes.

Anachronox Anachronox starts with you being thrown out of a window by a local mobster, and things rapidly go downhill from there. Before long you're faced with mysterious alien artifacts and a plot to destroy the entire universe, and as you seek to unravel the clues you are accompanied by an oddball cast that includes a sentient robot, a grumpy old man, a depressed comic book superhero and a holographic secretary, not to mention a planet which decides everything by committee. Bizarre. reviewFinal Fantasy IX Final Fantasy stories only really appeal to players of the games, failing to work on their own as part of a rigid narrative. The Spirits Within is adequate proof of that, but Final Fantasy IX did a superb job of intertwining the story with entertaining gameplay elements. Revelations punctuate the action and exploration elements, giving FFIX its multi-faceted appeal. It's a little tiring at times, and the confused lead is so typical of the series and genre in general that it's almost cringeworthy, but there are few games which came close to equalling the overall impression FFIX left in 2001. Gilbert Goodmate & The Mushroom Of Phungoria For generations your people have venerated a sacred mushroom which was used to kill an evil wizard, but this morning as your grandfather was cleaning the fungus he was bopped over the head by a hooded crook who made off with the relic for his own nefarious ends. So begin the adventures of Gilbert Goodmate as he tries to clear his grandfather and recover the mushroom. Along the way you will run into an agent from the Phungorian Bureau of Investigation who believes the mushroom may be a controlled substance, a paranoid militia man who sees invading vikings behind every tree, and of course the beautiful Princess Michelle. reviewShenmue 2 Shenmue 2 is the continuation of an evolving narrative, which will eventually span a trilogy of games. Although the game itself is difficult to penetrate without a few hours of struggle, the story that binds Ryu's quest for vengeance together is striking and evokes an emotional response. It's very rare to see a game really manage that these days that Shenmue 2 is an obligatory nomination in this category. reviewSilent Hill 2 The exploits of James Sunderland and his search for his dead wife's spirit forms the central pillar of this game, and it's difficult enough to put the pad down as it is. One man's struggle for inner peace forms a powerful backbone. And it's scary as hell. review

- come back on Monday 18th March for the results.

Visual Effects

As you would expect, the best Visual Effects award is for the game with the most eye-candy laden graphics and special effects. Last year's award went to Sacrifice.

Ballistics Not only is Ballistics the fastest sci-fi racing game ever made, it's also the best looking to grace the PC to date. Although much of the detail is lost on you as you streak around the courses at several times the speed of sound, Ballistics is well and truly laden down with eye candy, from the shiny metal hoverbikes you drive to the beautifully detailed tube-like tracks and the glimpses of spectacular scenery flashing past outside. reviewDevil May Cry Real time 3D levels that put the pre-rendered backdrops of your average horror survival game to shame, intricately detailed and smoothly animated characters, spectacular demonic powers to unleash on your enemies, huge bosses to defeat and more spectacular explosions, arterial spray and flying gore than you could shake a really big stick at. Yes, Devil May Cry was a real treat for the eyes. reviewGran Turismo 3 They may not be real-time reflections lighting up the bonnets and windscreens of the vehicles rolling around in Gran Turismo 3 A-Spec, but there are plenty who would argue that GT3 is a better impression of racing and that its visual style is more appropriate than anything else in the genre. The rally sections of the game really show off Polyphony Digital's abilities, and the rain-soaked tarmac of some of the later races is the pinnacle of detail on the PS2. There are few games which can compete, on any platform, with GT3's mastery of visual effects. reviewJak & Daxter If anything stands a chance of taking this category by surprise, it's Jak & Daxter. Some excellent examples of visual effects in this game include the weather system and its shifting day and night cycle, the windmill and its system of mirrororing dark eco from the Forbidden Jungle and the awesome sight midway through the game of a rampaging boss character floating atop a bed of molten lava... Chthon eat your heart out. reviewTwisted Metal : Black The pinncle of car combat suave, TMB would have been even more impressive with the widespread inclusion of destructible buildings, but even with these cut and the lack of a 60Hz display mode, the game boasts some spectacular visual effects. Take the weapons on display for instance. When you go to fire a rocket, a small launching bay opens and the rocket launcher folds out into the open. It's little touches like this that have served to propell Twisted Metal : Black into the running for this year's awards. review

- come back on Monday 18th March for the results.


The award for the best soundtrack, songs and background music created specifically for a game. It does not cover games which use compilations of existing music. Last year's winner was Icewind Dale.

Final Fantasy IX If there's one thing it's difficult to fault in Squaresoft's epicurean adventure RPG it's the stirring soundtrack composed by Nobuo Uematsu. Already available as an audio CD, this work stands out amongst PlayStation games as a superb example of film values applied to an interactive project, something taken a great deal further by Konami's Metal Gear Solid 2 team on the PlayStation 2. Grand Theft Auto 3 Not 100% original - so much so that a compilation soundtrack release is entirely out of the question - but packed with snippets and original meisterwerks from the hands of DMA Design. And the radio station setup means that the game's soundtrack is presented in such a way that it never gets boring. reviewRock Manager Rock Manager takes a humorous look at the music industry, and obviously the songs are an important part of this. Luckily then they're really good (even when they're being intentionally bad), ranging from punk and heavy metal to catchy Britpop tunes and indie ballads. There's the Oasis-inspired Gollander brothers and their hit Supermarket Love, Firewolf's Iron Maiden style Heart Of Stone, Soul Of Metal and the nervous singer songwriter whose Mountain Of Hypocrisy sounds uncannily like Babybird. The icing on the cake is that you get to mix these tracks yourself, selecting from different variations of guitar, bass, keyboard and drum parts, adding echo and flanger effects and adjusting volumes and panning to try and turn the off-key noise produced by your musical neanderthals into a solid gold hit. Silent Hill 2 One of the spookiest things about last year's spookiest game is the stirring music, making a meal out of the implied threat of beasties around every corner. It's sometimes as though the game can sense that tingle of fear... After building up the association of pounding music and monstrous onslaughts, the designers teased the player with it on several occasions, fruitlessly. A soundtrack to give you goosebumps. reviewTropico Normally I wouldn't touch latin music with the proverbial bargepole, but there's something about the chirpy tunes that grace Tropico's soundtrack which makes them a perfect fit for the game's tongue-in-cheek humour and sunny Caribbean islands. The only real disappointment is that there aren't more of the songs, as they can get a little repetitive after several hours of oppressing the masses and padding your Swiss bank account. review

- come back on Monday 18th March for the results.


As the name suggests, this category is for the best sound effects and use of sound within a game. Last year's winner was Thief II.

Aliens vs Predator 2 It may not have achieved quite that which marked its predecessor's entry into the PC gaming hall of fame, but that telltale blip on the motion sensor is almost impossible to get wrong, and Monolith made damned sure they didn't. Weapon effects are very much like their film counterparts, and the aliens screech and howl menacingly. As for the Predator, you can hear him breathing, even before you an see him... reviewGrand Theft Auto 3 Some of the finest voice acting in any videogame to date, particularly the Mafia chieftains. DMA had a bit too much fun trying to mimic their favourite TV and action movie stereotypes for each of the characters, and the result is a broad catchment of interesting voice roles which serve dutifully to envelope the game in a Hollywood-esque realism. Couple this with more explosions, car sounds and the fearsome stacato chatter of weaponsfire and you have an extremely fine overall experience. reviewMax Payne Simply, Max Payne's gritty voice acting and stylish design collide to produce one of the most believable revenge stories on the PC, and sound is used in so many capacities throughout the game. Apart from demonstrating weaponsfire so aptly, it also creates that bizarre, uncomfortable effect of muted senses witnessed in the bullet time sections. reviewSerious Sam : First Encounter Serious Sam could be a seriously scary game at times, and the sound was an important part of that. From the clattering hooves of the kleer skeletons and the rumbling noise of a stampeding werebull to the screaming suicide bombers, the audio cues would leave you frantically spinning around trying to work out which direction the next wave of enemies would come from. Add to that Sam's own pun-laden contributions and you've got a winning combination. reviewSilent Hill 2 Imagine finding yourself in the middle of a ghost town, in a rundown building with the lights out. It's almost pitch black, and you can barely find your way through your filthy, disused surroundings by touch, when suddenly, you hear the crack of a pane of glass somewhere behind you. Never before has a game used sound to build up a sense of tension and excitement with such frightening effect. Literally. review

- come back on Monday 18th March for the results.

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