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OCC E3 2013 Awards


Best Family Game



Winner: LEGO Marvel Super Heroes (PC, PS3, 360, Wii U, Vita, DS, 3DS)

The LEGO video games are some of the best fun around for kids of all ages, and LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is shaping up to be no different. A staggering 120 characters from the Marvel universe are included, with ones like Iron Man, The Hulk, Captain America, and Black Widow joining the likes of Deadpool, The Abomination, and yes, even Phil Coulson. In LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, the Silver Surfer gets knocked out of the sky and his surfboard shatters into Cosmic Bricks across Earth. The Bricks are capable of immense power, so Nick Fury calls upon the superheroes to retrieve them before villains like Loki, Magneto, and Venom can.

There's bound to be a ton of humor in the game like past LEGO ones from Tt Games, along with some puzzles to solve amidst all the action. LEGO versions of New York City and Asgard are set to appear, and hopefully LEGO versions of the Stark Tower, Quinjet, Helicarrier, Dr. Doom's Castle, and any number of locations from the Marvel universe. This is surely one game you won't want to miss, whether you're a fan of LEGO or Marvel, and regardless if you're a child or a child at heart.

Runner-Up: Pokémon X & Pokémon Y (3DS)

I know seeing a Pokémon game here may seem a little odd, but the long running series is a fantastic way to help young kids learn to read. There's no voice acting in the games, with thousands upon thousands of lines of text being included in each title. It requires players to read to understand what's going on and even get hints as to where to find some of the more unique Pokémon in the world. Pokémon X and Pokémon Y are the newest entires in the series and the first ones to be set in an entirely 3D gameworld. Black and White 1 and 2 both had some 3D elements, but the characters and Pokémon were still presented as sprites. Not so in X and Y, which is a much welcomed transition for the series. It also means the battles are overhauled to take advantage of 3D, with livelier reactions to attacks, and even new battle types.

Sky Battles take place between two Pokémon that can fly, as well as some that can Levitate, and is a way to battle between trainers who are on opposite sides of a cliff. Horde Encounters are a new wild encounter where up to five Pokémon attack you at once, with your single Pokémon having to withstand up to five attacks in a row. Some attacks like Rock Slide can hit all the opposing Pokémon at once, and winning the encounter can reward a ton of experience. A new type, Fairy, has been introduced, with some older Pokémon switched over to it. The Fairy type is a way to help balance out the powerful Dragon type, which before was only weak to itself and Ice. It's unknown what Fairy will be weak to, but perhaps it'll be similar to Psychic in that regard.

There's plenty more to get into with X and Y, from the new region of Kalos (based on France) to the ability to ride certain Pokémon and smash through obstacles, to the hopefully large amount of new Pokémon being introduced. Pokémon X and Pokémon Y arrive worldwide (a first for the series) on October 12, and is a game pretty much everyone can get in to thanks to the series' surprisingly robust RPG mechanics.



Winner: LEGO Marvel Super Heroes (PC, PS3, 360, Wii U, Vita, DS, 3DS)

As I said last year, with LEGO The Lord of the Rings, the LEGO games are some of the few games that actually appeal to gamers of all ages. Considering they can also be played co-op, they really are the perfect family games. This year, we have LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, which is arguably an even more kid-friendly universe. The game features over 100 characters from the Marvel Comics Universe. I'll let that sink in a little – over 100 characters! To put that in perspective, there were only around 60 characters in LEGO Batman 2 and around 80 characters in LEGO LOTR. But it's to be expected – the Marvel Comics Universe is so far superior than the DC Comics Universe. Yeah, I went there.

In any case, if you've never played a LEGO game before, there's no better place to start. As great as all the previous LEGO games have been, I have a feeling that this one will be the best yet. With all the plethora of varied Marvel characters at its disposal, how could it not be?

Runner-Up: Super Mario 3D World (Wii U)

If you're one of the few people to own a Wii U, then there's another option for family co-op play: Super Mario 3D World. SM3W is a follow-up to 2011's Super Mario 3D Land for the 3DS and features free-roaming 3D gameplay mixed with your classic 2D side-scrolling platformer action. The game features four playable characters: Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, and Toad. If that cast sounds familiar, it's the same cast that appeared as playable characters in Super Mario Bros. 2. And like that game, each character controls slightly differently: Mario has average speed and jump height; Luigi has the highest jump and falls slower; Peach can jump and float; and Toad is the quickest. The player can select any character they like at the beginning of a level or you can play up to four-person co-op with each player sharing from a pool of lives. Unfortunately, there's no online co-op, which is yet another missed opportunity for Nintendo.

While the platforming elements and enemies will be immediately familiar to any Mario fan, one new item introduced at E3 was the Cat Suit, which allows players to climb walls, run faster, and pounce enemies. If you manage to keep the Cat Suit to the end of a level, it also allows you to scurry up the flag pole to easily achieve that coveted 1UP. Aside from that, the other major addition to the series is transparent pipes. The green pipes still exist, but now there are also transparent ones that may contain coins, enemies, etc. The game also makes use of the GamePad, wherein you can rub the touchscreen to reveal hidden blocks or items, or even hold enemies to assist players. Sounds like a gimmick that's going to get annoying rather quickly – stopping every "frame" to scrub the screen for any hidden secrets. You can also tilt the GamePad to affect the camera view, but you can do the same thing with the analog stick. About the only redeeming feature of the GamePad is that the game does support Off-TV Play. Despite my distaste of the GamePad, Super Mario 3D World is a refreshing departure from all the Super Mario Bros. rehashes. But the real question is, will it actually release before the end of the year? Nintendo has tentatively said Decemember 2013, making it the only new game unveil actually launching this year. Way to support your struggling console, Nintendo!

  1. Introduction
  2. Best Action-Adventure Game
  3. Best Action Hack-and-Slash Game
  4. Best Shooter
  5. Best Platforming Game
  6. Best Strategy Game
  7. Best Adventure Game
  8. Best MMO
  9. Best Role-Playing Game
  10. Best Free-to-Play Game
  11. Best Survival Horror Game
  12. Best Fighting Game
  13. Best Racing Game
  14. Best Family Game
  15. Best New IP
  16. Best Indie Game
  17. Best PlayStation 4 Exclusive
  18. Best Xbox One Exclusive
  19. Most Innovative
  20. Biggest Surprise
  21. Biggest Disappointment
  22. Game of the Show
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