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Monday, December 29, 2003  

The first Annual Octy Awards!
I've been planning highlighting some of the things that I've enjoyed over the past year for quite a while now and now that 2004 is days away I had better get to it! The format for the awards will be simple. Each day I'll give out an Octy for a different category (Videogames, Music, Movies, TV, and Technology/Gadgetry.) I'll first mention a runner up (or two) in the category and then present the winner with some thoughts as to why I dug it so much. Then I'll briefly make an honorable mention of another title that, in another time or place, could have been the Octy winner. So I hope everyone gets a kick out of these, and feel free to tell me I'm a dumbass for my choices in the comments.

2003 Octy for best Videogame:
This was a tough category for me as I haven't really been playing a whole lot of video games this year, and the one that I REALLY got into was from 2002. The first runner up in this category is Enter the Matrix. This game got shafted by reviewers, but both Julie and I had a lot of fun playing through it. But the really notable thing about the game is the way its story was presented and how it perfectly complemented the second movie. Hell, one of the characters from the Videogame has become my favorite character of the whole trilogy, and he only has like 2 lines in the movies! And more importantly, the action in the game is top notch and a lot of FUN. Slow-Mo gunplay has been done before in videogames, but that doesn't mean it isn't still fun. Plus there are some really memorable sequences in the game (the first helicopter, fighting an Agent in the plane, the shoot-out in the bank lobby) that match anything in the movies for excitement and explosions.

Had I actually played a lot of videogames this year the Octy would surely have gone to Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic or Prince of Persia, but as it is The Octy goes to: Mario Kart Double Dash! The third incarnation of this venerable series has something none of its predecessors have: co-op play, which reinforces my belief that multiplayer doesn't HAVE to be competitive to be fun. MK:DD is all about getting friends together in the same room to play, and when the de-facto standard of multiplayer gaming is to meet up with your buddies on the internet having people to shout at in the same room goes a long way. I have had several notable evenings sitting down with friends for some exceptionally fun racing and battling since MK:DD was released. And in these days, when often videogames seem to be nothing but a frivoulus time-sink, there is A LOT to be said about spending some quality time with friends trash talking and loosing red shells while the blue sparks are a'flyin'. And you KNOW I bring the blue sparks like the Jesus!

The Honorable mention for Videogame goes to Soul Calibur 2. Any other year this game would have DOMINATED my life, after all I still hold its predecessor as one of the greatest videogames of all time. But I didn't have the time or the hardware (namely arcade sticks) to really get into the game this time, plus it was released during the craziness of our move to SoCal. This isn't to say that I WON'T get into it though. After all the first Soul Calibur dominated our videogame playing for several distinct epochs. But I know that trying to catch lightning in a bottle twice will only leave you singed and I would never want to sour the memories I have tied to the the OG Calibur.

posted by JMV | 12/29/2003 12:56:00 PM
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