RPGamer Awards 2003 2003 Results  

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   Battle System



Storylines are often one of the most important elements in a video game, and when the genre you love just happens to revolve around a storyline you cannot get by without having a good story. As times changed and gamers grew stories have started to grow along with them. Aging from giving RPGamers a faint theme of heroic saviors, to making or recruiting anti-heroes, and finally ending up in mature themes; the storyline has certainly evolved. With those evolutions comes a constantly changing form of telling the RPG story and the results this year for Best Story certainly show the fact that stories come in all shapes, sizes, and tellings.

Xenosaga Episode I

When it comes to a storyline, many games choose to tell it in a boatload text instead of tons of speech. However, the second installment of the Xeno series took that conventional idea and completely reversed it by making cutscenes the first priority, thus making for a fresh and compelling storyline. Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht coined itself as one of the few, and possibly only RPGs to tell the story mostly in cutscenes, or a scene played out without needing the player to control the characters. This form of storytelling managed to place even more emphasis on the Xenosaga storyline, separating it not only from its previous game, but from other games currently on the market. With this change in storytelling, RPGamer staff members were certainly impressed enough to give it the Best Story first place.

Disgaea: Hour of Darkness

Second place from the RPGamer staffers is probably a game that wasn't the most popular on the shelves or even in many PlayStations, and wasn't even noticed by RPGamer readers in any of their votes. However, RPGamer staff members noticed it and even made noise enough that the twisted, sarcastic, and very funny demon-centric Disgaea: Hour of Darkness takes the silver spot for Best Story. With a delightfully refreshing script, Disgaea's storyline pleased many on the RPGamer staff. Taking control of the Prince of Hell Laharl after the death of his father, the ruler and leader of Hell, many demons are recruited in the tactical fight against a number of other demons to take over the always fun realm of hell. Just try not to get caught up in the all-too funny commentary, you just may miss the great story of a young demon being as bad as he can be.

Breath of Fire V: Dragon Quarter

Ranking third on the RPGamer staffers list of great storylines of 2003 is another sequel game in the long list of sequels this year, and out of the many games listed for voting, this is one of the few you probably at least heard something about. Although readers put the Breath of Fire series on their list only as one of the biggest letdowns, RPGamer staff chose to put Breath of Fire V: Dragon Quarter on their list as one of the best stories. With a time-tested plot of a young man man named Ryu and his female winged fighter friend Nina. Instead of taking place up on the top ground, Dragon Quarter opts for a darker setting underground in a post-apocalyptic world. What is more fun than finding your way to the surface after spending your life as a grunt worker underground? To us, very little.

Skies of Arcadia Legends

Flying in to the number four slot it a game that many of you may have played years ago, and to RPGamer staff members this trip down memory lane was as much loved as the first time through. Set in a world of pirates and thievery, RPGamer staff members enjoyed taking control of the honorable pirate Vyse on his trip through the world on the search for treasures. However, in typical RPG fashion the story of Skies quickly turns into a cookie-cutter recruit parties, trek the world, and defeat the evil empire from taking over the entire world story. Thankfully, Skies kept RPGamer staff members on their toes with a mountain of twists, turns, and other memorable moments rarely found in the RPG genre. After all, if it's not broken don't fix it and Skies of Arcadia Legends is a prime example of that ideal.

Final Fantasy X-2

When RPGamer staff members heard of a sequel to Final Fantasy X some of us couldn't help but jump for joy, while others of us weren't exactly sure of what to say. When the game came out, some of the staffers were disappointed and some weren't but in the end Final Fantasy X-2's storyline was decidedly different than that of it's predecessor. The first direct sequel of the critically acclaimed Final Fantasy X let people know that Spira had changed but some things never change. Some things can only help but fall back into their pattern, no matter how hard they try to change and Spira's world in Final Fantasy X-2 was a great representation of that. Even though the story wasn't as deep as the previous installment to some staff members, other RPGamer staffers couldn't help but love the light, fun tone. No different from the readers, staff members either understood the story or didn't like it at all.

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