2013 FAN Gilded Gamepad Awards

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Posted on December 15, 2013

Another year another slew of games to pass judgment on. The fine fans over in the FAN forums have spent the last week voting on which games were deserving of taking home one of FAN’s Gilded Gamepads. Let’s see who they deemed worthy. Did your favorites win?

Best Voice Cast

Winner: The Last of Us

 

Top to bottom The Last of Us is filled with strong performances by every voice actor involved. From the powerful and emotional performance of Troy Baker as Joel to Ashley Johnson’s great spin as Ellie, to even a very surprising performance from Nolan North as David.

Best Female Voice

Winner: Ashley Johnson as Ellie (The Last of Us)

 

Ashley Johnson’s portrayal of Ellie was one of the strong points to The Last of Us. Johnson’s performance helped make Ellie believable and helped prove that she wasn’t just a child like Joel thought.

Best Male Voice

Winner: Troy Baker as Joel (The Last of Us)

Troy Baker’s stock has been skyrocketing the last few years, and for good reason. He was so good this year that he was nominated for both his performances in BioShock Infinite and The Last of Us. Ultimately, it was his role as the grizzled, aging Texan man Joel in The Last of Us that won over the voters.

Best Art Style

Winner: Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

 

It should come as no shock that the voters have deemed the art style in the collaboration between Level-5 and the venerated anime film studio Studio Ghibli to be the best of the year.

Best Graphics

Winner: The Last of Us

 

Naughty Dog wrung every last drop of graphical power out of the PS3 to produce the stunning visuals in The Last of Us. From the lush foliage climbing over the remains of human civilization to the water to how characters bleed, everything is dripping with gorgeous detail.

Best Original Score

Winner: The Last of Us

 

When you have the two-time winner of the Academy Award for Best Original Score Gustavo Santaolalla working on your game’s score, you expect the best, and the best is what we received. The beautifully crafted score accentuates every moment in the game and is highlighted by the somber acoustic guitar main theme.

Best DLC

Winner: Turnabout Reclaimed (Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies)

In this additional case for Capcom’s latest entry in their beloved legal adventure series, you are tasked with defending a killer whale. Need I say more?

Best Indie Game

Winner: Guacamelee!

DrinkBox Studios’s latest game is easily one of the best Metroidvania-style games to date. Using wrestling moves to both attack enemies and traverse the world is incredibly fun.

Best Rhythm Game

Winner: Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F

 

It took several years, but Sega finally brought the popular Hatsune Miku: Project Diva series to the West with Project Diva F for the PS3. The virtual idol-based rhythm game was a different kind of rhythm game from what many gamers were used to, but luckily it resonated with the voters.

Best Driving Game

Winner: Need for Speed Rivals

 

The latest entry in the Need for Speed series was created by the newly formed studio Ghost Games along with some help from Criterion Games. Rivals allows you to play as both a cop and a racer as you drive through an open world spanning over 100 miles of open road.

Best Fighting Game

Winner: Injustice: Gods Among Us

 

The masters of Mortal Kombat have taken another crack at making a fighting game featuring DC heroes and villains. Needless to say, they’ve done much better the second time around.

Best Strategy Game

Winner: Fire Emblem: Awakening

 

One of the premier strategy role-playing series returns, this time making the jump to the 3DS. Featuring the series’s great gameplay combined with a great cast of characters and an engaging story, Awakening is not just the best strategy game of the year, it is one of the best games released all year.

Best Platformer Game

Winner: Guacamelee!

 

Much like 2010′s beloved Super Meat Boy, Guacamelee! is a very difficult platformer, and yet the game is so finely tuned that any failure is the fault of the player. Lightning fast reflexes are required to master this lucha libre-themed Metroidvania game.

Best Adventure Game

Winner: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies

 

The latest entry in the Ace Attorney series has the titular Phoenix Wright return to the courtroom. However, he’s not the only defense attorney you’ll take the reigns of. You’ll also spend time as fellow series title character Apollo Justice and the rookie attorney Athena Cykes. Great laughs and interesting twists occur as the engaging stories of each case unravel.

Best Action Game

Winner: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

 

Platinum Games is the king of action games and Metal Gear Rising is definitely up to the quality standards people have come to expect from them. Great boss fights and an awesome soundtrack are just the cherries on top of the best sword-based gameplay to ever grace gaming.

Best Role-Playing Game

Winner: Pokemon X & Y

At long last a major shift has happened to the Pokemon series, as the franchise has finally moved to full 3D for its main games. And while X and Y are regarded as being easy, the game is nevertheless still very fun to play.

Best Action-Adventure Game

Winner: The Last of Us

 

The Last of Us has accomplished something many thought nigh impossible, being a survival horror game that is still tense and scary in the daylight. Each fight is a battle for survival and players must be mindful of their supplies, as they can easily burn through the stock they worked so hard to fill in just one engagement.

Best Third Person Shooter

Winner: Splinter Cell: Blacklist

 

In the latest outing of Ubisoft’s popular stealth series, Sam Fisher, along with the newly formed Fourth Echelon, must stop the terrorist group called The Engineers from completing their Blacklist, a list of attacks on United States assets.

Best First Person Shooter

Winner: BioShock Infinite

 

Irrational Games’s return to the BioShock franchise was well worth the wait. The floating city of Columbia looks amazing and the journey Elizabeth and Booker take over the course of the game is something every gamer should experience. While the weapon selection was a bit narrow, it is made up for by the fun that is combining Vigors.

Best Vita Game

Winner: Tearaway

 

The latest game from Media Molecule is a charming adventure through a papercraft world. Tearaway utilizes every function of the Vita, making it an experience you can only enjoy on Sony’s current handheld.

Best 3DS Game

Winner: Fire Emblem: Awakening

 

In a new move for the franchise, Awakening features a Casual Mode, which removes the series’s trademark permadeath. This made Awakening a more accessible game in the franchise and allowed players to fully enjoy the large cast of characters. Combined with one of the more mature stories ever told in a Nintendo game, it is easy to see why Fire Emblem: Awakening won this award.

Best PC Game

Winner: Papers, Please

 

In Lucas Pope’s Papers, Please, you play as an immigration inspector at the border checkpoint of a fictional Eastern Bloc country. You have to decide who to let in and who to turn away. It is an experience unlike any other and was a standout game on PCs this year.

Best Wii U Game

Winner: The Wonderful 101

 

Developed by Platinum Games and helmed by the Viewtiful Joe visionary Hideki Kamiya, The Wonderful 101 is about a team of 100 superheroes who can combine together to form powerful weapons, such as a whip, a gun, and a giant fist. While the gameplay has a learning curve that can turn many people away, those who persevered were rewarded with a hilariously nonsensical story and cast of characters.

Best Xbox 360/Xbox One Game

Winner: Dead Rising 3

Arguably the premier exclusive of the Xbox One’s launch lineup, the large amounts of zombies on screen is a sight to behold. The series’s trademark humor returns with gusto, as does the ability to combine items into stronger weapons.

Best PS3/PS4 Game

Winner: The Last of Us

The Last of Us wins in the only unanimous decision this year. The stellar graphics, gameplay, music, story, and voice acting put it far and above the other nominees.

Best Multiplatform Game

Winner: Grand Theft Auto 5

 

Much like how GTA4 was seen by many to be the true arrival of the seventh generation of consoles, GTA5 is seen as its farewell. Rockstar North’s great attention to even the most minute details in the newly crafted Los Santos is breathtaking. Easily the multiplatform title to push both consoles it was on. The release of a new GTA game is a gaming event, and thankfully anyone with a PS3 or 360 could experience it this year.

Studio of the Year

Winner: Naughty Dog (The Last of Us)

 

While Rockstar North may have put great detail into GTA5, the voters decided to go with Naughty Dog, whose The Last of Us pushed storytelling in gaming to new heights and potentially changed the future of its genre.

 

And now without further to do, it is time for the award that ultimately is the only one that matters to most people, the Gilded Gamepad for Game of the Year.

Game of the Year

Winner: The Last of Us

 

What can I even say about The Last of Us at this point? The proof is in the pudding, and one just has to look at all of the other awards it was given by the voters. I guess the only thing I can say is that The Last of Us has made history in that it is the first game to sweep the FAN Gilded Gamepads, winning in all 9 categories it was nominated for. So, congrats Naughty Dog.

And there you have it, folks. Another year of games in the books. What will next year bring? Only time can tell. Until then, keep calm and game on.