RPGamer Awards 2003 2003 Results  

   Fun Value
   Battle System



Even though most of the categories for the 2003 awards are celebrating the best of multiple genres, this year wouldn't be complete without the return of the Biggest Letdown category. These are the games that aren't necessarily horrible but in the eyes of RPGamer readers 2003 they weren't all flowers, fantasies, and happy puppies of replay value. However, it seems this year gamers voted less on a letdown and more on their expectations. Of course, this means a line up of the most popular gaming series and leaves the question, "Just what did you expect?"

Unlimited SaGa

Topping the list this year was a game that very few apparently played, and even less people wanted to play ever again. As another installment in the long SaGa series, and coming off the heels of the loved SaGa Frontier 2 presented quite a challenge for Unlimited SaGa. Sadly, this SaGa game didn't quite measure up to RPGamer readers' expectations. With a battle system that took over an hour to understand fully things weren't exactly simple; this was made worse by the endless amounts of battles - sometimes running 2-3 hours of just battling. When you add a confusing battle system in with a confusing world travel system things can only get worse. Traveling a world can often be tedious, but when that world is a game board interface that you move one space at a time -- the tediousness turns into annoyance. With a hearty salute and a hope to never see it again, RPGamer readers give Unlimited SaGa nod as the biggest letdown of 2003.

Final Fantasy X-2

Second place on the list of letdowns for 2003 may come as a surprise to some RPGamers. As the direct sequel of Final Fantasy X, and the first Final Fantasy sequel, this game has seen nothing but praise this year in the awards. However, some gamers seem to believe that Final Fantasy X-2 is a letdown. With a 100% story completion system, some readers found themselves cursing missing a small event to get the perfect ending. With a new, faster battle system came less characters to choose from, knocking the 8 guardians down to 3 women dressed either artistically or trashy depending on personal tastes. Final Fantasy X-2 is certainly just one of the games listed this year as a letdown that left many scratching their heads and wondering just where the other outcomes came from.

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance

The third place letdown for 2003 is yet another Final Fantasy game, leaving some to wonder if the series just has expectations a little too high. This aside, the second in a series of tactical games from Square Enix earned the third place spot for largest letdown for one reason or another. With battles that were often left to just doing a mission for your clan, and over 300 missions, things got a little tedious and dull after a while. With party members that lived even after death, and classes restricted to some races the battle system just seemed less in-depth to some RPGamers. With a shallow storyline to keep things bound together, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance's in-depth and unique classes couldn't even bring this Tactics sequel from the fire of the RPGamer readers.

Breath of Fire 5: Dragon Quarter

Taking a break from the Final Fantasy bashing for a second we come to the fourth place letdown for 2003. Another game that has been fully appreciated by most RPGamers finds itself on the letdown list. Breath of Fire 5: Dragon Quarter was listed as one of the best games of 2003 when speaking to many players, but RPGamer readers don't seem to agree with the in-depth storyline. Instead, they focused on the dismal battle system that sometimes caused the player to "reset" gaining items, experience, rank, and levels. After gaining important items, they could easily be lost in these setbacks and instead of being able to progress forward the gamer is made to repeat the dungeon all over again.

Final Fantasy XI

Returning to the Final Fantasy hatred one last time this year is yet another title that seems to get nothing but rave reviews in almost every area and leaves some staff members in awe and wonderment. The latest Final Fantasy release, and the most ambitious comes from the newest endeavor in gaming -- the MMORPG. Final Fantasy XI has awesome graphics, great replay value, and even a solid cast of choices, classes, and races. Well, that is if you pay the $50 USD for the game, $13 USD a month for the server usage, and if you want to be able to play with your friends you have to earn in-game money just so you can play on other servers. If you're looking to create characters on other servers, be ready for yet another charge to your credit card to the tune of a measly $.83 USD. Though these costs rack up slowly, they can prove quite the challenge for gamers without money. Then there's the fact that this game is simply addictive, even if the battles can get somewhat boring.

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