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OCC E3 2012 Awards


Best Family Game



Winner: Wonderbook: Book of Spells (PS3)

For better or worse, Sony made quite a splash this year at E3 with a new concept called Wonderbook. Basically, it involves a physical hardcover book that the player "reads" in front of the Playstation Eye camera and the Playstation Move controller. While hardcore gamers may cringe at the thought of playing through a book, this may open up a great entrance for younger gamers and the way they interact with games in general. This E3, the first Wonderbook was shown, titled the Book of Spells. Written by J.K. Rowling – the author who wrote the popular Harry Potter series – the adventure has you following a journey as a student at Hogwarts as you learn spells along the way. All the while, players are enriched in J.K. Rowling's lore onscreen. In my opinion, the direct interactions with stories could open up a multitude of new players to the great educational tool of reading. J.K. Rowling is quite possibly one of the more influential authors for young readers, so Sony's partnership with Pottermore is definitely a good way to go. As for the E3 demo, it came off as impressive, with realistic effects and a high level of interaction; you'll find yourself setting the book on fire (on screen of course), only to be forced to put it out with your hands and clean off the dust. Magic spells look bright and powerful, and the tracking accuracy with the Move controller (a wand in this case) and your hands are very well done. It's truly wonderful to see Sony open up to younger gamers in a new way, similar to how Nintendo was able to get people off their seat with the Wii.

Runner-Up: Scribblenauts Unlimited (PC, Wii U, 3DS)

In 2009, the original Scribblenauts brought forth a brand new concept in puzzle games; the ability to write down whatever object you want and having it instantly appear on screen. Come across a weaponless knight that needed to kill a dragon? Spawn him a sword or better yet, give him a monster truck and run the dragon over. The options were virtually limitless. Each subsequent iteration had the number of options grow, as adjectives were included; a plus for anyone who wanted to spawn an enraged winged blue panda. This E3, developer 5th Cell announced Scribblenauts Unlimited, an entry that promises to offer even greater depth in vocabulary choice. Going one step further than the adjective system, you will now be able to combine multiple objects together into one big creation. Judging from the E3 trailer, a dog with wheels, exhaust pipe, and Mohawk is no longer a dream (yes, you read that correctly). Objectives are also less structured, with the player able to talk with NPCs for new tasks rather than choosing from a menu like past games. With all that's said and done, this is the same Scribblenauts structure that we've seen, though it's not necessarily a bad thing. I'll be looking forward to seeing what else is announced for this game.



Winner: LEGO The Lord of the Rings (PC, PS3, 360, Wii, PS Vita, 3DS, DS)

I love The Lord of the Rings and I love LEGO. What better combination than to have Traveller's Tales combine the two into LEGO The Lord of the Rings: The Video Game? Unlike past LEGO video games, The Lord of the Rings features all the voices from the movie trilogy to better immerse the gamer into the action. There will still be some of that trademark Traveller's Tales humor present in the game, but the company is taking this one seriously as well. It is not every day a company gets the chance to work on a video game adaptation of one of the most beloved book and movie series of all time, and Traveller's Tales wants this The Lord of the Rings game to be the definitive video game adaptation. It just so happens it will be with LEGO minifigures, but hey, what better way to get your children interested in a true classic?

Runner-Up: Project P-100 (Wii U)

Platinum Games may not exactly be known for family games, but I feel its upcoming Project P-100 is just that. The game is designed for the Wii U and features an ensemble of superheroes trying to repel an invading alien menace. These superheroes must join their powers in order to defeat the aliens and can morph into a variety of shapes to accomplish their goal. If a gap is too far to form a bridge, you can make a hangglider out of the superheroes to get across. You can form them into a sword to battle aliens or turn into gelatin to block an attack. The graphical style is pretty cartoony and it looks perfect for the whole family to enjoy once the Wii U launches.



Winner: LEGO The Lord of the Rings (PC, PS3, 360, Wii, PS Vita, 3DS, DS)

There are many games that could be considered family games, but how many games truly appeal to gamers of all ages? The LEGO games do just that. LEGO games are extremely easy to play and offer a cutesy and funny experience with no blood, making them perfect for children. But then there are all the optional hidden secrets that offer up some challenge, appealing to the older gamers out there, while the younger gamers can safely ignore them. If you want to "100%" the game, it'll take time and patience. I love the LEGO games. I also love The Lord of the Rings (yes, I read the trilogy and The Hobbit well before the movies came out). Is it any wonder then, that I'm eagerly awaiting LEGO The Lord of the Rings? LEGO LOTR promises the same fun gameplay and varied characters like previous entries, but this time adds actual voices instead of the typical incomprehensible babbling. In the (slightly altered) words of Gandalf, YOU SHALL NOT PASS! ... on buying this game.

Runner-Up: Project P-100 (Wii U)

If it didn't seem a bit too complicated for younger kids, Project P-100 may have beat out LEGO The Lord of the Rings. A Wii U exclusive from the minds of Bayonetta and Viewtiful Joe, Project P-100 features up to four-player co-op, as opposed to LEGO LOTR's two-player co-op, making it more playable in your typical family environment. One of the best games to be shown off for the Wii U, Project P-100 seems similar to Pikmin, giving players the control of a handful of characters, rather than just one. As you fight, you charge up a meter that allows you to use Unite attacks. To pull off a Unite attack, you sketch a shape on the Wii U screen or trace it out with the thumbstick, if you're not using the Wii U GamePad. Project P-100 may provide some unique gameplay in a colorful environment suitable for gamers of all ages.

  1. Introduction
  2. Best Action-Adventure Game
  3. Best Shooter
  4. Best Platforming Game
  5. Best Fighting Game
  6. Best MMO
  7. Best Strategy Game
  8. Best Racing Game
  9. Best Role-Playing Game
  10. Best Free-to-Play Game
  11. Best Family Game
  12. Best New IP
  13. Most Innovative
  14. Biggest Surprise
  15. Biggest Disappointment
  16. Game of the Show
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