Around the Web — Monsoon Edition

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As we head out for the really, really rainy weekend, I thought I’d share some news coverage from the week.

This afternoon we received some exciting news that Shivering Isles won RPG of the Year over at Gameindustry.com. Pretty cool for a couple reasons. First, in the site’s ten years of doing annual awards, Shivering Isles is the first expansion to win this category. Even better is the fact that the voting came from Gameindustry.com readers. We’re truly honored that our fans came out in large numbers to vote, particularly since it was up against some really great games. Many thanks!

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Found in OXM

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The March 2008 issue of OXM made its way onto my desk today and thought I’d share some interesting mentions of our games….

In their “2008 Preview” feature, Fallout 3 is among 50 titles they think should be on your radar. Also, on page 21, if you look waaay down at the bottom, you’ll see that they wouldn’t be surprised if Fallout 3 gets pushed to next year. To that, I’ll reference what Pete said here.

The issue also looks back at 2007 with their “Game of the Year Awards,” and we were happy to see Shivering Isles came away with the award for Downloadable Content of the Year, making it the second year in a row we’ve won that award. I’m also happy to learn that Avatar and TMNT are great titles to boost my Xbox Gamerscore. Time to check those ones out. Like some other folks at the office, I’m a sucker for achievement points.

To check out the rest of the previewed games for 2008 and see who the big winners and losers were in 2007, check out the March issue on a newstand near you.

Oblivion Tabbed ‘Best Game of 2007′ in Japan

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I got a note from my colleague in Japan on this and thought it was worth sharing. A group of 12 editorial staff from Enterbrain (the folks that put out Famitsu in all it’s various iterations) sat down and voted on the game they felt was the best title of the year in Japan without regard for sales figures, fame of the franchise, etc. Only one vote per person, game with the most votes wins. In the end, Oblivion took home the honor as the best game of 2007 with 5 votes. The tally was:

#1 – Oblivion (5 votes)
#2 – God of War 2 (2 votes)
#3 – Super Mario Galaxy (1 vote)
#4 – Legend of Zelda DS (1 vote)
#5 – Monster Hunter Portable (1 vote)

I emailed him twice to say “are you SURE we won?” Needless to say we were all surprised, and thrilled, that the game is that well thought of in Japan given that it’s completely different than the RPGs one usually finds in Japan. So thanks for the nod, we do appreciate it.

Let’s hear it for the nominees

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Yesterday, the Writer’s Guild of America announced their nominees for their inaugural videogame writing awards. As spotted on Variety, the nominees are as follows:

  • “Crash of the Titans,” written by Christopher Mitchell for Sierra Entertainment
  • “Dead Head Fred,” written by Dave Ellis and Adam Cogan for D3 Publisher
  • “The Simpsons Game,” with lead writer Matt Selman, written by Tim Long and Matt Warburton, dialogue by Jeff Poliquin for Electronic Arts
  • “The Witcher,” with lead story designer Artur Ganszyniec, dialogue by Sebastian Stepien, additional dialogue by Marcin Blacha and writers Sande Chen and Anne Toole for Atari
  • “World in Conflict,” story design by Christofer Emgard, story consultant Larry Bond and script consultant Ed Zuckerman for Sierra Entertainment

So, who do you think will win the award? I’ve already put up a new blog poll so folks can vote for the nominee they think will win. Also, feel free to discuss in our comments section the nominees, as well as games you thought deserved a nod.

Congrats to all the nominees!

Decision ’08: It’s going to be a real horse race

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Since starting up a few months back, MTV’s new gaming blog, MTV Multiplayer, has become one of my favorite sites to check daily. Yesterday, the site kicked off a year long venture to find the “Greatest Animal in Video Game History.” To kick off the event, they’ve created a list of potential candidates for the Greatest Horse in Video Game History — a list that already includes the horses of Oblivion. It should be noted that this isn’t a final list, as they’re always looking to hear from the community on what other memorable horses from gaming should be considered.

It should be interesting to keep an eye on this as the year progresses. Hopefully, the winners will square off in an NCAA Tournament-esque bracket. I for one am eagerly awaiting the Best Gorilla vs. Best Marsupial match-up in the Sweet Sixteen.

If you’d like to see your favorite horse come in first, head over to the Multiplayer blog and speak your mind. If you want to start thinking of other animals in Oblivion that deserve to get some props, you might want to check out the updated Oblivion Bestiary — which was written up by Sinder Velvin over at The Imperial Library.

Shivering Isles, Fallout 3 continue to appear on lists…

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Well, we made it into 2008, but coverage looking back at 2007 and looking ahead to this year continues to surface.

Looking back at 2007, Robert “Apache” Howarth has put up Voodoo Exteme’s “Game of the Year Awards.” In the “Best Expansion Pack” category, we’re happy to see Shivering Isles came away as the year’s best.

Over at Joystiq, Justin McElroy has put up a post of his favorites games of the last year, and declares that Shivering Isles was his favorite RPG of the year. He writes:

“I’m going to need you to deal with something: TES IV:O:THS [sic] was, hands down, the best RPG released last year. “What? What did he say?” I’ll repeat it. Thanks to its beautiful graphics, engrossing story and overall radness, The Shivering Isles was the best RPG of 2007. I feel much better now with that off of my chest.”

Moving on to Fallout 3, a few more folks are chiming in that they have high expectations for the game. Charles Husemann at Gaming Nexus put together 20 questions for 2008 that concludes with the question: “How awesome will Fallout 3 be?” You can read his thoughts on that question here.

On non-gaming specific sites, Christopher Fong of the San Francisco Chronicle and John Gaudiosi of WRAL (Raleigh-Durham) both declare Fallout 3 to be one of their most anticipated games of the year. To our north, the Canadian Press has also included Fallout 3 on their list.

Finally, Fallout 3 has received mentions of being at the top of folks’ lists for 2008 on a few blogs. A couple of days ago on Gamers with Jobs, Sean Sands declared that Fallout 3 is his “Game of the Coming Year.” In similar fashion, Mark Wilson of Kotaku sees Fallout 3 as being the game he’s most looking forward to this year.

On that subject, what games are you most looking forward to this year?

Around the Web: Looking back, looking forward

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Here’s a few interesting items I noticed while catching up on things after being away the past few days.

Game Informer has listed their top ten games they’re looking forward to in 2008 for the 360. Fallout 3 cracked the list at #3. Here’s a short sample of what they had to say:

“When word got out that Bethesda was working on Fallout 3, critics assumed the worst and the “Oblivion with guns” cry was born. Having sat through a demo of the game, we can’t say who’s right here, if making such a determination is even possible. All we know is that seeing your character step out of the nuke-proof vault for the first time in his life is a breathtaking gaming moment. We’re eager to explore this terrible world all over again, through a new set of eyes.”

On the Elder Scrolls front, both Oblivion and Shivering Isles have picked up some year end accolades and nominations. At IGN, the PS3 release came away with the Best RPG award. Sticking with PS3, it was also a runner-up in the Game of the Year, Best Graphics Technology, Best Original Score categories. In their PC category, Shivering Isles was a runner-up in the Best Expansion category. On 360, Shivering Isles was a runner-up in the Best RPG and Best DLC categories.

Over at Gamespot, Oblivion and Shivering Isles also received some recognition. On PS3, Oblvion is one of five finalists for PS3 Game of the Year. As for Shivering Isles, it was recognized in two categories, Best Expansion and Best DLC, on Xbox 360.

Around the Web: Neapolitan Style

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Little bit of everything in this round up.

Over at Yahoo the YVG crew has put up their list of the 10 Best Games of the Last Decade and has included Oblivion as their pick for 2006, noting:

“There are big games, there are huge games, there are epic games, and then there’s Oblivion.”

Always cool to see your game on a list like this. Head over to see the full list and what else they had to say about their pick of Oblivion and their other nine selections.

I also noticed a note over at TGR that the videogame symphony tour Play! has announced some new dates, and since it features the music from both Morrowind and Oblivion, I thought it was worth nothing it’s headed to Fort Worth and Seattle in January ’08 for two shows at each stop. Visit the Play! site for more info.

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Around the Web (and Print)

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A variety of things going on that I thought I would mention.

Matt did an interview with the folks at Games Radar for an article they were doing on “Are Developers Even Listening?” Matt’s responses are included along with folks from Lionhead, Rare, Epic, and Bungie. Head over to read the full article.

Primotech did their Game of the Year awards and voted Shivering Isles the Best Expansion. From the article:

Bethesda’s last expansion pack does more than throw open the door to a land suffering from a split personality. It adds nearly twenty to thirty hours of new quests, complete with plenty of gear to acquire and the opportunity to find out just how insane a Mad God can really be.

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