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Wiiloveit.com Presents: Best of Nintendo Awards 2010

Special Feature
2nd January 2011; By Team Wiiloveit

Welcome one and all to Wiiloveit's second-annual Best of Nintendo Awards feature for 2010! Our awards focus on all of the current Nintendo platforms, including Wii, DS, WiiWare and DSiWare. This year, we decided to do something different from the 2009 awards. Over the past few weeks, Team Wiiloveit has gone through a series of nominations and votes to come up with the feature you see before you today. Because of the range of opinions we have here, we allowed for two choices during the voting stage, with the first choice earning the most in a simple points system. We're excited to finally present our choices to our readers! We hope you enjoy reading our picks.


Best New IP/Character

Winner: 
Sissel (Ghost Trick)

Runner-Up: 
Ivy (Ivy the Kiwi?)

With a stance that screams confidence and sass, not to mention that sweet hair, it's of little wonder that we found ourselves drawn to Sissel. Not to be forgotten is Ivy, the latest creation by Yuji Naka. She managed to score herself a modest number of votes too.

Other Noteworthy Nominations:
Zip (Flingsmash) / Payne (Red Steel 2)



Best Offline Multiplayer
Winner: 
Wii Party

Runner-Up: 
Goldeneye 007

Wii Party's high level of appeal and it's great level of variety managed to win over much of the team. It easily snagged this award. But Goldeneye 007 put up enough of a fight to place second for this award.

Other Noteworthy Nominations:
chick chick BOOM, HoopWorld, Jam with the Band, Dragon Quest IX



Best Online Incorporation

Winner: 
Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars

Runner-Up: 
Goldeneye 007

A simplified online structure in addition to well-established barriers between players made Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars the online game of 2010. Although certain aspects could've been better, there was much fun to be had in Goldeneye 007 as well.

Other Noteworthy Nominations:
Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing, Call of Duty: Black Ops



Best Boxart 

Winner: 
Kirby’s Epic Yarn

Runner-Up: 
Sonic Colours

Just about everyone felt the boxart design for Kirby's Epic Yarn was worth praising. What a great tease this is! It effectively conveys the mood of the game in an undeniably-alluring manner whilst also providing a hint of story. Sonic Colours also had a great boxart that really put you in the mood for the speedy action the blue hedgehog is known for.

Other Noteworthy Nominations:
Donkey Kong Country Returns



Best Graphics

Winner:
Sonic Colours

Runner-Up: 
Red Steel 2

There was a fairly even split between these two for first place, but Sonic Colours just managed to take the gold. Evidently, though, Ubisoft did a great job with the sequel to their Wii launch title. After all, it did earn itself enough votes to be awarded second place in this category.

Other Noteworthy Nominations:
Metroid: Other M, Batman: The Brave and the Bold



Best Accessory/Peripheral

Winner: 
uDraw Tablet

Runner-Up: 
Wii Remote Plus

THQ did really well with this device in 2010 - so much so that no other choice could replace it as the best peripheral of the year. Although it's disappointing Nintendo waited this long to release the Wii Remote Plus, it's still pretty slick in the level of accuracy it provides.

Other Noteworthy Nominations:
Rock Band 3 Pro Instruments



Third-Party Developer of the Year 

Winner:
Gaijin Games

Runner-Up: 
Shin’en Games


The masterminds behind the award-winning series captured everyone's hearts this year thanks to Bit.Trip RUNNER, and even Bit.Trip FATE for some. Shin'en Games also managed to dazzle us with great gameplay and remarkable visuals in Art of Balance and Jett Rocket.

Other Noteworthy Nominations:
Hudson Soft, Ubisoft, Sabarasa



Arcade Game of the Year

Winner: 
Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: 
Ultimate All-Stars

Runner-Up: 
Art Style: light trax

As if Photo Dojo could compete with Tatsunoko vs. Capcom. Just about everyone agreed it deserved to win this one. Because some of us feel Art Style: light trax was a highlight of 2010's WiiWare line-up, it was no surprise to see it represented here. This arcade-style racer was very fun to play, despite the lack of multiplayer.

Other Noteworthy Nominations:
Photo Dojo, Flingsmash



Music/Rhythm Game of the Year

Winner: 
Bit.Trip RUNNER

Runner-Up: 
Mix Superstar

Once again, this masterpiece managed to win another award from the team. The tunes contained within this music-platformer hybrid in conjunction with the incredibly addicting gameplay made this everyone's favourite! Mix Superstar was another great pick that earned the Runner-Up title. Digital Leisure did more than just facilitate music creations by means of a user-friendly package. Mix Superstar also improved their reputation on WiiWare.

Other Noteworthy Nominations:
Just Dance 2, DanceDanceRevolution, 
Maestro! Green Groove, Rock Band 3



Racing Game of the Year

Winner: 
Sonic & SEGA 
All-Stars Racing

Runner-Up: 
Art Style: light trax


Sumo Digital did such a good job with Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing. Excellent track designs, great fan service, plus intense online races to keep players entertained for months. Everything just came together so nicely. Art Style: light trax received the second-largest amount of votes, once again proving just how much of an effect this title had on some of us.

Other Noteworthy Nominations:
AiRace



Wii Game of the Year 

Winner:
Trauma Team

Runner-Ups:
Flingsmash, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Sonic Colours, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom

It seems like everyone had differing opinions on what game should be awarded Wii Game of the Year, and rightly so. There were a lot of good games in 2010! And yet, one game stood out as being the only nomination to receive multiple votes. That game was Trauma Team. ATLUS' newest title in the franchise was just fantastic, and I for one am very pleased it won this award.

Other Noteworthy Nominations:
Donkey Kong Country Returns, Kirby's Epic Yarn, Epic Mickey, 
Metroid: Other M, Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love



DS Game of the Year 

Winner: 
Professor Layton and 
the Unwound Future

Runner-Up: 
WarioWare D.I.Y.

The final game in the first trilogy of Professor Layton titles happens to be the only game we've ever given a perfect score to here on Wiiloveit.  It served as a fitting conclusion to a heart-warming and thoroughly engaging adventure. Nearly everyone agreed that WarioWare D.I.Y was its own beast of a game too. With such a big level of appeal rooted in user-generated content, this latest WarioWare title set new bars of replayability and self-promotion. It also deserved to be recognized as one of the best DS games released in 2010.

Other Noteworthy Nominations:
Dragon Quest IX, Pokemon Heart Gold / SoulSilver, 
Kingdom Hearts Re:coded



Hidden Gem of the Year (Retail)

Winner: 
Nine Hours,
Nine Persons,
Nine Doors

Runner-Up: 
Sakura Wars: 
So Long, My Love

Whether in the case of 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors or Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love, we found ourselves surprised by how engrossing these two games were. But what's upsetting is that most haven't even given these games a second thought (especially with Sakura Wars). It's a real shame because both of them are really strong titles. Nevertheless, both of these games are worthy recipients of this award. 

Other Noteworthy Nominations:
Batman: The Brave and the Bold


Shame of the Year
 
Winner: 
Space Trek

Runner-Up: 
Warmen Tactics

You know something is wrong with a developer's team if both their 2010 titles received the most votes for Shame of the Year. What surprised me was not the fact that Space Trek won in this department, but the fact that many of us actually played it. I never touched Warmen Tactics personally, but it seems like those who did had a lot of resentment towards it. As Murat said, it turned out to create a real "fiasco".

Other Noteworthy Nominations:
Smart Series: JaJa’s Adventure, Flingsmash, 
Frogger Returns, Triple Throwing Sports



Most Anticipated Wii Game for 2011

Winner: 
Rhythm Heaven Wii

Runner-Up: 
de Blob 2

Hearing that a Rhythm Heaven game was being developed for Wii was thrilling. Even though the possibility of a NA & EU release may be slim, it's still a very exciting development! Almost as exciting is what's taking place with de Blob 2. Although it's not getting a fresh coat of paint, the original left a mark on many of us, prompting us to choose de Blob 2 as Runner-Up.

Other Noteworthy Nominations:
Earth Seeker, Cosmic Walker, The Last Story
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Driver: San Francisco



Most Anticipated DS Game for 2011

Winner: 
Ghost Trick: 
Phantom Detective

Runner-Up: 
Pokemon Black and White 

Nearly everyone agreed that Ghost Trick is their most anticipated title for the new year. It seems like everyone is excited to try out Capcom's newest release once it hits North America & Europe. Pokemon Black and White earned an adequate number of votes which made it place second in the overall standings.

Other Noteworthy Nominations:
Radiant Historia, Okamiden, "Kirby-10"

Most Original /
Innovative Game

Winner: 
Looksley’s Line-Up

Runner-Up: 
And Yet It Moves

While some complained viciously about issues with the execution, Looksley's Line Up was great fun if care was taken over the playing conditions. And Yet It Moves also did well enough to make a mark as a Runner-Up in this category. Its clever mechanics and puzzle-solving elements really stood out for us.

Other Noteworthy Nominations:
Fragile Dreams, Move Your Brain: Rollway Puzzle, Rooms: The Main Building



Best Storytelling

Winner: 
999: Nine Hours, 
Nine Persons, 
Nine Doors

Runner-Up: 
Fragile Dreams

The game writers behind 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors should feel proud for earning this award. Clearly, the script had a big impact on those who played the game. Fragile Dreams was also pretty popular, generating enough votes to earn itself the Runner-Up award for this category.

Other Noteworthy Nominations:
Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, Metroid: Other M, 
Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions



Best Musical Score

Winner: 
Bit.Trip RUNNER

Runner-Up: 
Sonic Colours

It's of little wonder that RUNNER earned top marks during our voting phase. Gaijin Games effectively pumped out tunes that filled us with joy as we played. Sonic Colours was also to be commended for having one of the best soundtracks for a recent Sonic game. The tracks from Planet Wisp were especially beautiful.

Other Noteworthy Nominations:
Bit.Trip FATE, Cave Story



Biggest Disappointment

Winner: 
Stop Stress: A Day of Fury

Runner-Up: 
Furry Legends

The whole premise behind Stop Stress was great, but the execution was flawed on multiple levels. That's not to say it didn't have it's moments, but as a whole, it failed to meet up to expectations. Furry Legends was almost as bad, with the biggest culprit being the unreasonable price tag. We seriously hope for some significant improvements in the next chapter.

Other Noteworthy Nominations:
Worms Battle Islands, Raving Rabbids: Travel in Time, Metroid: Other M



Biggest Surprise 

Winner: 
Picross 3D

Runner-Up: 
Walk It Out

Picross 3D surprised many of us with how strong of a contender it turned out to be in the DS family of puzzle games. Konami's Walk It Out managed to take second place for this award. Yes, the trailer is terrible and the boxart isn't much better, but it was such a pleasant surprise for some of us to see that the game was actually enjoyable to play.

Other Noteworthy Nominations:
Rooms: The Main Building, Art Academy, Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love



Action/Adventure Game of the Year

Winner:
Monster Hunter Tri

Runner-Up: 
Batman: The Brave and the Bold

Early "Game of the Year" cries could be heard before many even put a dent in Monster Hunter Tri's lengthy quest. It's action-packed gameplay and RPG-style elements were the reason why it easily stole the show. But WayForward's approach towards Batman: The Brave and the Bold certainly deserved to get the Runner-Up award.

Other Noteworthy Nominations:
Samurai Warriors 3, Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions



Platformer of the Year

Winner: 
Donkey Kong Country Returns

Runner-Up: 
Jett Rocket

Whether because of nostalgia or just for being so much fun to play, Donkey Kong Country Returns stole the show in this category. Everyone who played it can agree it was one of 2010's best games. Jett Rocket also impressed us to the point that it even beat Chronos Twins DX and Cave Story for the Runner-Up title.

Other Noteworthy Nominations:
Cave Story, Chronos Twins DX, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1



Party Game of the Year
Winner: 
Wii Party

Runner-Up: 
Pop Island: Paperfield
 
Was there ever any doubt? Wii Party was a shoo-in for this category and sure enough, it scored top marks. Pop Island: Paperfield just barely managed to score second place, but it totally deserved it.

Other Noteworthy Nominations:
Just Dance 2, Globulos Party



Simulation Game of the Year

Winner: 
Endless Ocean: Blue World

Runner-Up: 
Pearl Harbor Trilogy – 
1941: Red Sun Rising

Personally-speaking, this was one of my favourite titles of the year, so I was happy to see other team members felt the same way. We felt the beauty of underwater life was captured remarkably well in the game, making it totally deserving of this award. Legendo did a great job with the first release of Pearl Harbor Trilogy as well, which was both realistic and challenging to play. Needless to say, we're really looking forward to seeing the next episode.

Other Noteworthy Nominations:
Snowpack Pack, The Sims 3



Puzzle Game of the Year

Winner: 
Picross 3D

Runner-Up: 
Art of Balance

As if the original DS title wasn't addicting enough as it is, Picross 3D offered players a new spin on the formula with the end result being an enjoyable puzzler you could really sink your teeth into. Art of Balance got a fair number of votes as well, earning it the Runner-Up spot for this category.

Other Noteworthy Nominations:
Heron: Steam Machine, Trajectile, Professor Layton & the Unwound Future



Strategy Game/RPG of the Year

Winner:
Dragon Quest IX

Runner-Up: 
Starship Defense

Dragon Quest IX left a lasting impression on some team members, which comes as no surprise since there's so much to like about the game. Some of us also felt Starship Defense deserved recognition here as one of the best strategy games (nay, one of the best DSiWare releases) of 2010.

Other Noteworthy Nominations:
Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light



Sports Game of the Year

Winners: 
NBA Jam & HoopWorld

There was a perfectly even split between these two. Either way, both are worthy of the title for their own reasons. We encourage you to check 'em out!



WiiWare Game of the Year 

Winner: 
Bit.Trip RUNNER

Runner-Up: 
Jett Rocket

Just looking at all the praise we've given Bit.Trip RUNNER both here and in our review, there should be no surprises that nearly all of us agreed it was the best title released on the service. Our votes chose Jett Rocket as the Runner-Up for this category, another selection from the handful games that really impressed us in 2010.

Other Noteworthy Nominations:
chick chick BOOM, And Yet It Moves, Zombie Panic in Wonderland, 
Dive: The Medes Islands Secret, Tomena Sanner, Fluidity, Cave Story



DSiWare Game 
of the Year 

Winner: 
Alphabounce

Runner-Up: 
DodoGo!

Alphabounce totally took a new approach to the block-breaking formula and developed it into something really extensive and deep. It's hard to believe the game was only 500 Nintendo Points. The action-puzzle elements that made DodoGo! such a great game to play are also what earned it the second place award.

Other Noteworthy Nominations:
X-Scape, Starship Defense, Trajectile, 
Aura Aura Climber, Shantae: Risky’s Revenge



Hidden Gem 
of the Year (Downloads)

Winner: 
PictureBook Games:
The Royal Bluff

Runner-Up: 
HoopWorld

I was so pleased to see other team members felt the same way I did towards 'The Royal Bluff'. If you've yet to experience this relatively-obscure title, we highly recommend you give it a shot. The same goes for HoopWorld, Virtual Toys' exhilarating "Basketbrawl" title, which managed to just barely score 2nd place over lilt line.

Other Noteworthy Nominations:
Art Style: light trax, Monsteca Corral, 
Save the Turtles, Aura Aura Climber, Number Battle



Most Anticipated WiiWare 
Game for 2011

Winner: 
FAST Racing League

Runner-Up: 
Bit.Trip FLUX


It's of little wonder why many of us chose Shin'en's upcoming racing game as our Most Anticipated WiiWare Game for the new year. Just looking at the screens for this game, you definitely get the feeling this is going to be a great racer. And with Shin'en backing up the project, why wouldn't it be? The exact same could be said of Bit.Trip FLUX. I think we're all eager to see how it will close off the last five games.

Other Noteworthy Nominations:
Protocol, NightSky, Rush Rush Rally Racing



Most Anticipated 
DSiWare Game for 2011

Winner: 
Spirit Hunters Inc.

Runner-Up: 
Glory Days – Tactical Defense

Nnooo’s approach towards augmented reality has us all intrigued. Spirit Hunters Inc. sounds like it could be a real hit amongst families, especially because of the large trading potential. And what about Glory Days - Tactical Defense? Come on, who wouldn't want a tower defense game inspired by Pop Island's antics?

Other Noteworthy Nominations:
Mecho Wars
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