The DZ Awards 07: 30 – 16

Hi there! Welcome to the forth annual edition of the DarkZero Awards. The glorious article where we find out what our top games of 2007 were, and where we all chime in with some interesting quotes to amuse you, the person reading this fair article. Oh, and remember, seeing as we are a European based site this list solely consists of Euro releases in 2007 – meaning no Rock Band, WiiFit, or Persona 3, amongst many others. Although we are sure they will make some kind of appearance in next years list so with that lets get started, and take one final leap back into 2007!

(Read Our Review)

Sean: Not so much a game, as an excellent book with moving pictures and puzzles and stuff. Also, it’s one of the best damn things I’ve played on the DS, ever. The art style is wonderful and fits with the game’s tone perfectly, the dialogue is sharp (every character’s text is so riddled with their own sayings and idiosyncrasies, you can actually hear them talking in your head), and the puzzles are mostly pretty good. On the downside, there’s a lot of tedious walking around, waiting to trigger the next important event, and there are a couple of parts in the game where you can be thrown at a GAME OVER screen with little-to-no warning. On the whole, though, you’ll be fine if you don’t do anything daft. And save your game regularly. Oh, and the main character is called Kyle Hyde, so you can’t really argue.

Thomas: I enjoyed what I played of this, although I will admit that I did not reach the end of the game. Yes, it still regretfully sits on my 2007 pile of shame, buy if I get the time I will do my best to rectify that!

(Read Our Review)

Thomas: I am sure most expected this game to bring more changes to the table than it did, but in the end the games unique blend of platforming and shooter action was enough to make it a great addition. Sure, in the light of Super Mario Galaxy it may seem a bit limited, but on the other hand it offered a different kind of entertainment that that game never good

Thomas: What? No one wants to comment? Well just go read our review then! What, we did not review this game? Oh, well I better talk about it then. Erm, I don’t really like RPG’s though. Erm, screw this just go read Eurogamer’s review instead, Thank god for Rob Fahey and his magical words. What? He gave it a 10? Maybe I should check this out!

(Read Our Review)

Tom: Possibly the best Pokemon since the GB Colour days this installment mainly benefits from the hardware change, with the DS’s wireless capabilities you don’t need a link cable any more, nor do you need to be in the same room nay even the same country and that is cool! With even more monsters added to the bunch we are starting to see diverse teams rather than the same monsters popping up again and again. The mon still goes strong!

Alasdair: More than 10 years on, Pokemon this is still one of the most popular franchises man has ever dreamed about. Put simply: It is good. Put in more detail: It is a game that will suck away all your social time and make even the most coldhearted of people care about animals (so long as they can tear each other up). And you’ll love it. The compatibility with a lot of other Pokemon games (6 to be exact) means fans and people who have previously played are in for a complete and engrossing experience.

Sean: Alright, for the sake of balance – I really don’t understand the fuss with this. Don’t get me wrong, I like Pokemon – I’ve got a Pikachu patch on my favourite jacket, for Christ’s sake – but this is almost the exact same game we played ten years ago, and it’s getting really old. Yeah, I know it has wi-fi capabilities, but why would I suddenly want to play a game against my friends when I got bored of it five years ago anyway? Still, sales have barely fallen with each iteration in the series, so there’s no way Nintendo will mess with the formula. So if it’s fine by you, I’ll just carry on going mad in this corner here.

Thomas: Well I am glad more people like this than Final Fantasy XII!

(Read Our Review)

Sean: A classic case of ‘critically acclaimed, commerically ignored’, skate. is an incredible game that somehow managed to perform pretty poorly in the shops, with some chains discounting it to around 25 quid. A lot of people complained that the trick system was too hard – we say they’ve just been playing Tony Hawk games for too long and aren’t prepared to get used to something a bit different. It’s their loss, in any case – once you get your head around it, the trick system is amazingly satisfying and actually forces you to plan your moves ahead of time, rather than just flying off ramps and hammering the buttons. Tony’s certainly got a lot of catching up to do.

Thomas: Yes, I know I made the graphic wrong, and no I am not changing it. Oh, and that skate. is one great game too!

Thomas: Of all the games on this list I think this will be the least played of all by readers of this article. In fact, I am sure all other versions of the game – which are available on a multitude of other consoles and handhelds – sold better than the GBA version. This is a damn shame though, as not only did the GBA version of TMNT trump it’s 3D brawling cousins it was also easily the best 2D brawler released during the course of 2007. If you were a fan of the old Turtles in Time and the other Turtle arcade games of old then you really should track this game down as soon as possible – preferably not in an illegal way as it is already a crime so few people know about this gem.

Sean: Yeah, the GBA version. No, we’re not joking. It really is ace. It’s just a classic, well-made scrolling beat-em-up. If you’ve got one of those mates who likes to go on and on about how games like Golden Axe and Streets of Rage are still amazing, sit him down with this and laugh at him as he repeatedly tries and fails to pass the second level. Unless he does pass it, in which case stop laughing and give me his e-mail address so I can ask him how he did it.

Alasdair: One of the most underappreciated series of last generation storms onto Wii and really sets the standard for what should count as a good game. My one and only gripe about this is that it seems just a little on the short side compared to its predecessors. Other than that, it is phenomenal throughout and I dare anyone to claim otherwise.

Sean: Or, ‘the game that finally got the Wii FPS controls right’. No, it’s not the new Super Metroid (nothing ever will be, and you know it), but it’s a decent game in its own right. Now all we have to do is hope that Ubisoft nick the code and stick it into Red Steel 2.

Thomas: Speaking of Red Steel, I will admit that I bought that game at launch for the FULL RRP. I have never been so disappointed by anything ever. In fact, I hated it so much it made me wary of every FPS since then. However, Thanks to Metroid Prime 3 I think I am finally cured, it was that good.

(Read Our Review)

Ben: Sensible Soccer finally returns to offer the authentic experience offered by the best in the series – SWOS 96/97. It features a very capable career mode that arguably surpasses Championalship Manager as you are able to play the matches yourself. You have one button to do everything, yet the gameplay remains some of the most assessible and satisfying around. The original 96/97 game is still superb fun, but now we have the added addition of online play through XBL.

Chris Mc: A great port, despite its unbelievable delays. As a great fan of the Amiga version of SWOS 96/97 the only disappointment I can find is the lack of licenses; I still don’t understand why 10 year old player names and squads aren’t free. What’s more you can choose between the original or classic music and graphics; it’s nice that “modernisation” hasn’t been forced upon the player; Sega please take note that this is how to port a classic title onto Xbox Live Arcade, long live Sensi!

Thomas: I always did like Kick-Off better, still do.

Sean: In my eyes, nothing has ever really replaced Sensi as the most fun football game ever. Mind you, this could be because I’m becoming a bitter old husk, and also partly because I don’t actually like football all that much. Nonetheless, this is still a truckload of fun, and now it’s got online play. Well worth the fairly silly amount of delays it suffered before it finally came out just in time to make it into this list.

Thomas: Some of the best multiplayer fun I had on the PS3. In fact, I’d dare say some of the best multiplayer fun I had on any console this year!

Dominic: A brilliant piece of online multiplayer. Think of Battlefield, then take that idea, make it arcadey and pump it full of steroids and you’ve got Warhawk. One of the best downloadable contents this year and a great exclusive for the Playstation 3. God those planes are fun to play with!

Sean: Alright, don’t tell anyone, but I’ve not actually played this properly yet. But it’s been the talk of the town for some time now – by which I mean, people won’t fucking shut up about it. Basically it’s a Metroid-style exploration game with a gorgeous 2D art style, a wonderful soundtrack, and a really nice mouse-driven control system. Give it a look.

Thomas: I have played this one, and it is great, but Sean just summed it up in the best way possible. It is Metroid-style exploration, and there is definitely nothing wrong with that. A gorgeous 2D art style, a wonderful soundtrack is spot on too. Please do give it a look!

(Read Our Review)

Sean: We gave this a stupidly high score back when we reviewed it, and it’s just as great as it was then. Only now you can get it for about a tenner on Steam. Without even leaving the house. Oh, and rumours abound that a DS version is in the works. Please, please don’t let this go the same way as Halo DS.

(Read Our Review)

Tom: Possibly the best bad game you will ever play, everything is so ridiculous and B-movie that after judging every single fault, you find yourself having fun… thats right FUN! You can level buildings with the default weapon for crying out loud, how cool is that?

David: This game has so much going against it it’s hard to believe it’s worth even the budget pricetag it sports. Serious slowdown and pop up, repetitive gameplay and level design, bad character animation and a dodgy camera, but it is fun, and that’s what counts. Just running around blasting giant insects and robots with some seriously over powered ordnance whilst the city crumbles around you shows that you don’t need high production values or technical innovation to make a good game.

Sean: Easily one of the most fun games released this year. It’s absolutely atrocious in so many ways, but it just doesn’t matter. Sure, it suffers from slowdown and looks a bit ropey in places, but there’s just nothing else like it. Apart from the PS2 prequel, of course – but there are only about twenty copies of that in the UK.

(Read Our Review)

Ben: 10 years after the brilliant Total Annihilation we finally saw a sequel, albeit an unofficial one. The scale and depth found in Supreme Commander’s multiplayer gameplay establish it as the forerunner of the genre. Many gamers and critics struggled to get to grips with game, but those who persisted found it offered a lot more than the superficial Command & Conquer 3. The stand-alone expansion pack Forged Alliance was released in November, 9 months after the original game, and succeeded in making Supreme Commander even better. If you have a powerful PC and love epic strategy, do not miss this.

(Read Our Review)

David: Some people might find it hard to belive, but Mass Effect really isn’t that great a game. There’s plenty of graphical problems, texture pop ins and frame rate issues, The combat really isn’t that good either, as a shooter it’s quite basic really, and the RPG elements aren’t that deep either. But that doesn’t matter, it’s all about the story, which is amazing, any scifi fan will love it, I guarantee you. And with the conversation/interaction system you can take the story in different directions, which gives you automatic replay value. Not that you’d be disappointed if it didn’t, there’s easily a god 20-30 hours of gameplay here, more if you check out all the side missions, and in these days of shortened single player games that is a godsend.

Matt: A game plagued by its attempt to expand its lifespan with subquests, at times Mass Effect felt horribly sparse and pointless, the rough-edged combat system and antiquated auto-save conspiring to piss all over our shiny HD cornflakes. For all its failings however, Mass Effect is incredible. The production values throughout are nothing short of spectacular, and when you’re gripped by the main story sections rather than faffing about in the floaty-mobile on planet Jennurrik, it’s pure Sci-fi magic. When on form Mass Effect is 100% killer, too often however you’ll be swamped with filler.

Chris Mc: My personal favourite game of the year, but no means without its flaws. Most noticeable I followed and anticipated this from the early stages and was expecting a massive universe to wander through. Now I’m told that downloadable content is on the way, but currently I do not feel that this game is any bigger than Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic; I demand more! Yet, as many others have said, this game’s story is far more entertaining than most titles out there and that’s the important thing for me; I want to be entertained.

Thomas: I had myself so built up for this game I was sure to be disappointed. However, with so many bugs, the limitation of many of the side missions, the repeated interiors on many planets, the stupid loading in the games many elevators, and the pop up textures every time a cutscene loads I sure did find a lot to hate. However, with everything else about the game impressing I will admit it deserves it’s place on this list

(Read Our Review)

Thomas: I don’t know why there is so little talk about this game, I don’t know why more of the staff don’t care, and fret that their will never be a follow up. Crush was easily my favourite puzzler of 2007; it had smart ideas, a very nice graphical style, and topped Super Paper Mario many months before the game even came out. I know I am the only person telling you this, but trust me, if you are a lover puzzle game you will love this. So go out and pick it up now, you will probably find it for a good price as well. Here is hoping that 2008 sees a XBLA or PSN release of Crush, as many more people should be informed of it’s greatness!