Posted on August 9th, 2009 3 comments
What a wonderful year it was for our favorite system, wasn’t it? The year that the PC Engine finally got a little attention, you know? Namco began what’ll prove to be a long series of well-made arcade ports, Hudson released some of the most classic titles the console will ever see, and the first CD-ROM software in video-game history hit the marketplace just before Christmas. Oh, yes yes yes, truly a standout year.
That’s why I’ve rented this luxurious auditorium to host the 1988 PC Engine Video Game Awards, sponsored by Magweasel, with host Kevin Gifford, announcer Kevin Gifford, musical director Kevin Gifford, and judges Kevin Gifford, Gevin Kifford, Fevin Plifford, and the mysterious “Fennec Fox” from world-renowned GamePro magazine.
Organization for this award ceremony was delayed slightly, causing the date to shift a tad from the original January 10, 1989 target. This was entirely due to circumstances beyond my control. There was difficulty in finding and retaining sponsors; ceremony space fell through repeatedly; I was 10 years old at the time. It’s time to make amends, however, and while my plans to feature Master Takahashi singing a duet of “Straight Up” with Paula Abdul have sadly come to naught, I do at least have final award selections to give out after 21 years of deliberation.
The categories and the winners:
Game of the Year – R-Type
I don’t think there’s much room for debate here. R-Type was what put the PCE on the map in Japan and served as the system’s biggest killer app until mid-1989. The level of perfection this port reached also made it a remarkable software engineering effort. Without this release, the PCE wouldn’t have enjoyed nearly as long a life.
Best Action Game – Makyō Densetsu
An early hack-n-slash standout, and one that became heavily used in TurboGrafx-16 advertising once NEC came to their senses. Extremely colorful and varied — until you got to the last level, anyway.
Best Sports Game – Pro Tennis World Court
A tough choice between this and Power League, but the easy-to-pick-up, hard-to-master gameplay and the loony RPG mode give Namco the edge here. I’ll forgive the game for being, at its core, a quick Famicom port.
Best RPG – Jaseiken Necromancer
By default as no other RPGs came out in 1988. This stuff takes time, you know.
Best Graphics – Alien Crush
Perhaps not the most detailed graphics of the year, but almost certainly the visual package that left the biggest impression in gamers’ minds.
Best Original Score – YūYū Jinsei
A controversial choice. I understand that Kevin Gifford’s undying love for the Hudson Soft Lounge Orchestra played the greatest role in it.
With that, the 1988 PC Engine VGAs come to a close. Thank you all for attending, and see you next year.