gamrReview 2010 Game of the Year Awards - PSP

gamrReview 2010 Game of the Year Awards - PSP - Article

by Brent Galietti , posted on 21 December 2010 / 9,005 Views

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The PlayStation Portable has been facing an uphill battle since its inception as it has tried to fight off Nintendo’s DS product line, the dominant king of the handheld world. While the PSP has seen mixed results in the sales charts, it continues to pump out solid games. It has been a big year for RPGs, as the PSP received new titles in the Kingdom Hearts, Phantasy Star, Valkyria Chronicles, and Persona series. Also added to the PSP library were new Metal Gear Solid, God of War, and SOCOM entries. Original content was also not lacking, as the PSP pumped out many new IP, including Invizimals, Patchwork Heroes, and Cladun: This is an RPG.

With all that said, some games rose to the cream of the crop. Here are our PSP Game of the Year awards!

Best Shooter: SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs: Fireteam Bravo 3

SOCOM Best Shooter

The well established SOCOM series churns out another strong entry in Fireteam Bravo 3. Put in the shoes of a squad commander on an ultra-secret mission, players lead their squad through the campaign, either with AI comrades or co-op. Throw in five modes of multiplayer action and customizable mission settings and it’s no wonder that 
SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs: Fireteam Bravo 3 took down this award.

Runner-up:
Ace Combat: Joint Assault

Reader’s Choice:
SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs: Fireteam Bravo 3

Best Action/Adventure: God of War: Ghost of Sparta

GoW: GoS Best Action/Adventure

Kratos returns to the PSP as angry and powerful as ever, and we’re all the better for it. Ghost of Sparta adds new attacks and magic to Kratos’s arsenal on top of the standard combat, gory violence, action, and promiscuous mini-games that the series has become known for. The God of War series is known for its excellence, and that continues in Ghost of Sparta.

Runner-up:
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker

Reader’s Choice:
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker

Best Puzzle Game: Puzzle Chronicles

Puzzle Chronicles Best Puzzle

Puzzle Chronicles combines elements of the Puzzle and RPG genres as you match same colored gems to create items of power to strengthen your character. At first glance, it seems to be a mere knockoff of Puzzle Quest, but we found Puzzle Chronicles entertaining in its own right and worth your attention.

Runner-up:
Invizimals

Reader’s Choice:
Invizimals, Patchwork Heroes

Best Racing Game: ModNation Racers

ModNation Racers Best Racing

Kart racers received the Play Create Share treatment this year in 
ModNation Racers. The ability to create new tracks, cars, and characters adds a new layer to the kart racing genre, thought by many to be only a cash-in for established mascots. Throw in robust local and online multiplayer modes with the ability to share your creations with anyone in the world, and it becomes clear that ModNation Racers takes home the cake for racing games.

Runner-up:
Split/Second

Reader’s Choice:
ModNation Racers

Best RPG: Persona 3 Portable

P3P Best RPG

Atlus did not just port over 
Persona 3 to the PSP; they revamped an already great game for the better. New features such as in-party Social Links and direct control over party members enhances the control and immersion of this title. The new female main character puts a new spin on the plot, making this game feel like two games in one. Two great RPGs in one package? Sign us up!

Runner-up:
Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep

Reader’s Choice:
Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep

Best Strategy RPG: Valkyria Chronicles II

VCII Best SRPG

Valkyria Chronicles II moves the series to the PSP, but does not lose any of its strategic luster. The heat is on as you navigate your squad across multiple maps to complete your missions while keeping them out of harm’s way. Selecting the proper squad members, type of tank and proper equipment are often integral to success, and there a multitude of different combinations to make even the same mission feel different every time it’s played.

Runner-up:
What Did I Do To Deserve This, My Lord?! 2

Reader’s Choice:
Valkyria Chronicles II

Best Fighting Game: BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger Portable

BlazBlue Best Fighter

BlazBlue’s stylish, fast-paced fighter makes its way to the PSP and establishes itself as the portable’s cream of the crop. The exciting action that made BlazBlue a hit on the consoles has translated well to the handheld arena. The new Legion mode and Ad-Hoc multiplayer ensure that you will keep coming back to play this fighter.

Runner-up:
Dragon Ball Z: Tenkaichi Tag Team

Reader’s Choice:
BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger Portable

Best Sports Game: MLB 10 The Show

MLB 10 Best Sports

The champion baseball franchise takes another Best Sports game for PSP award. 
MLB 10 The Show provides the most realistic baseball action on the handheld, with the most in-depth game modes and best graphics that a baseball game has ever provided. Chances are, you’ve already heard a mountain of praise for Sony’s baseball series, so consider this award as confirmation that The Show still goes on.

Runner-up:
Hot Shots Tennis: Get a Grip

Reader’s Choice: N/A

Best PSN Game: Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess

MPSMP Best PSN

Have you ever wished that the platformer genre added arcade elements as well as a flair for the dramatic? Then this is your game! 
Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess tells the story of the Duke trying to rescue his princess from the hands of monsters who (probably) stole her away. Defeating the monsters is one thing, but touching every platform in the level allows for the highest scores and the most epic finishing moves. It’s a short game, but a real gem.

Runner-up:
Age of Zombies

Reader’s Choice:
Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess

Best Graphics: God of War: Ghost of Sparta

GoW: GoS Best Graphics

The only thing better than playing through a well-made, mythical bloodbath is basking in its beauty. God of War: Ghost of Sparta makes you feel like you are in the world of the Greek mythos as you lay waste to those foolish enough to stand in your way. The series has always been known for a great visual flair, and Ghost of Sparta is no exception.

Runner-up:
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker

Reader’s Choice:
Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep

Best Original Music Score: Persona 3 Portable

P3P Best Original Soundtrack

Music has a great power to convey the emotion of a particular scene. 
Persona 3 Portable does an excellent job of enhancing the story. Warm tunes accompany happy moments, upbeat music is used in battle, and somber songs are paired with sad moments. These are just among the many songs in P3P’s soundtrack that make the game wonderful on the ears.

Runner-up:
God of War: Ghost of Sparta

Reader’s Choice:
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker

Most Innovative: Invizimals

Invizimals Most Innovative

Any game involving monster collecting and battling has made its players wish these creatures were real. Invizimals grants their wishes…sort of. Using the included camera, players can see Invizimals appear in their own world, on their sofas, dressers, closets, etc. It is then the player’s job to fight and capture the Invizimals, using techniques that involve full interaction with the PSP and the surrounding environment. Invizimals makes us dream of the day when collectible monsters become reality.

Runner-up:
ModNation Racers

Reader’s Choice: (tie)
Invizimals, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep

Biggest Disappointment: ModNation Racers

ModNation Racers Biggest Disappointment

While the game did win the Best Racing game award, 
ModNation Racers also underwhelmed in some aspects. Rubberband AI is not only a presence, but a force, so no matter how well you do, you are still likely to be pushed to the finish line, or worse, blasted at the end. Hazards tend to be more impeding than expected in this genre and the pre-made tracks are a bit plain. Modnation Racers is not a bad game by any means, but it left us wanting a little more.

Runner-up: (tie)
Split/Second, SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs: Fireteam Bravo 3

Reader’s Choice:
Zenonia

Best Game No One Played: Valkyria Chronicles II

VCII Best Game No One Played

As of writing, 
Valkyria Chronicles II was tracked at around 330,000 copies sold. That’s it? The rest of you are missing out on one of the best strategy RPG games ever created. The game boasts a long campaign, a gripping story, massive amounts of customization, hundreds of missions, and even ad-hoc multiplayer and co-op. What more do you need? No more sitting on your hands, play this game!

Runner-up:
Cladun: This is an RPG

Reader’s Choice:
Phantasy Star Portable 2

Most Anticipated Game: Valkyria Chronicles III

VCIII Most Anticipated

After all the praise lauded on its predecessor this year, it’s no surprise that our most anticipated PSP game is 
Valkyria Chronicles III. It takes place during the Imperial invasion of 1935 and follows a squad of cast-offs known as “The Nameless”. Also in this sequel are new and revamped character customization systems, both for the entire squad and for individual units. We wait with bated breath every day for Valkyria Chronicles III to hit our shores.

Runner-up: (tie)
Prinny 2, Monster Hunter Freedom 3

Reader’s Choice: (tie)
Final Fantasy Agito XIII, The 3rd Birthday

Game of the Year: Valkyria Chronicles II

VCII GotY

We’ve lavished a great deal of praise on 
Valkyria Chronicles II throughout these awards, and it all culminates with the PSP’s Game of the Year award. The series’ transition from PS3 to PSP was handled with aplomb, and it not only follows the same formula that made the original game a cult hit, it improves upon it. It is our honor to name Valkyria Chronicles II as our PSP Game of the Year.

Runner-up:
Persona 3 Portable

Reader’s Choice:
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker

Be sure to check out our other Game of the Year Awards here!


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