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OCC E3 2012 Awards


Best Fighting Game



Winner: PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale (PS3, PS Vita)

So far, PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale has been on the receiving end of some pretty mixed reactions; some see it as a Super Smash Bros. clone while others are simply excited to see all their favorite PlayStation characters in one ensemble. I, being a big PlayStation fan myself, fit in the latter. I do see the resemblance to Smash Bros., but I have no problem with that; Smash Bros. is an amusing experience in itself. What makes Battle Royale different is the back catalog of PlayStation icons that will undoubtedly make up the bulk of the character selection screen. I mean, who doesn't want to see Kratos battle it out with PaRappa the Rapper or Ratchet and Clank? Like Smash Bros., they will each have their own unique abilities, which makes it even better that the goal of the game is to kill off enemies by unleashing these special attacks. Sony is also known for an expansive third party library and this clearly shows in PlayStation All-Stars, especially with the announcement of Bioshock's Big Daddy as a playable character. I would not be surprised if Sony snags a couple Final Fantasy characters into the game. Stage selection is also a big focus in the game, as each level basically involves a clash of two PlayStation franchises interacting with the fighters. In one, you'll find Hades inflicting damage to the stage as a flood of Patapon takes over the giant. In another, you'll navigate through LittleBigPlanet platforms while Buzz quizzes the fighters mid-match; answer wrong and face death. PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale definitely looks to be a familiar, yet unique experience that PlayStation fans should keep their eyes on.

Runner-Up: Tekken Tag Tournament 2 (PS3, 360, Wii U, Arcade)

More than ten years after the original Tekken Tag Tournament, the direct sequel is back and better than ever. Slated for release this Fall and Winter for PS3, 360, and Wii U, the series returns with its infamous 2 versus 2 matches, allowing players to switch between partners at any time in a bout. New to the series is the inclusion of true environmental shifts. In certain stages, parts of the environment will break once an enemy is slammed into it, transitioning both characters to a new section of the stage – a feature familiar to whomever has played the Dead or Alive series. That aside, we also find new characters and a fighting system that stays deep, yet easy to get into. It doesn't bring anything revolutionary to the genre, but it should be a solid inclusion to the series.



Winner: PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale (PS3, PS Vita)

I only have one selection in the fight game category because there is only one thing that really interests me: PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale. This is Sony's take on Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. franchise, where four players duke it out using various game characters on unique levels. All-Stars: Battle Royale differs from Smash Bros. by not having a visible score or remaining lives on the battle screen. Instead you have to keep a tally going in your head, but that can easily be forgotten with the sheer insanity of the fighting. Your character builds up a charge meter that unleashes a powerful attack, which is the only way to actually "kill" another character. There are three levels of the charge, each more powerful than the last, but there is a risk involved if your attack does not hit. There are several confirmed characters so far (Kratos, Nathan Drake, Big Daddy, Sweet Tooth, and more), and based on Sony's rich history, I am sure many more will be added before launch. The PS3 and PS Vita versions of the game can even play against each other without issue, which means you will never be far from the action at home or on the road.

Runner-Up: NONE




Winner: PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale (PS3, PS Vita)

When PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale was first announced, people started complaining that it was a Super Smash Bros. clone. My answer to them is, so what? This brawler clearly takes a lot of inspiration from Smash Bros., but adds its own flavors to give it a unique feel. Aside from featuring Sony characters, your regular attacks aren't used to hit opponents off the screen, but rather to build up a Special meter. You then use those specials to send your opponents flying off the screen for the kill. As if worrying about your opponents isn't enough, you also have to contend with the environment (though that can be turned off), and one level even has you answering trivia questions by trying to stand on the platform containing the correct answer when time expires – as you can imagine, fighting over a small platform can lead to some intense battles. Only a handful of characters have been unveiled thus far, but Sony has a long, rich history to reach into. The recent confirmation of Bioshock's Big Daddy is a great sign that the cast of characters won't be limited to Sony's first-party games, making the possible launch roster endless. Throw in Cross-Play between the PlayStation 3 and PS Vita, and Sony may have a real winner here.

Runner-Up: Dead or Alive 5 (PS3, 360)

Fighting games seem to be enjoying a surge of late. I've never been a fan of the 2D fighting games like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat – for me, the 3D fighting games like Soul Calibur and Dead or Alive are so much more enjoyable. The 3D environments and movement add a lot more tactical depth to the combat and typically offer a plethora of different moves. The Dead or Alive series is known for its interactive environments and Dead or Alive 5 has ramped that up even more. In addition, it introduces a new move type called the "cliffhanger", which adds interactivity when a player is knocked off an edge, instead of simply falling to the level below. Exact details are a little sketchy, but it seems to add a quick psychological game to the mix, where each player must quickly choose a particular move and different combinations have different results, like the fallen opponent actually hanging on to the ledge and countering the attacker, or both characters falling to the level below. Cliffhangers will not be possible on all stages, so it should be rare enough where it feels like a nice change of pace, even if for a short while.

  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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