This is one of my favorite times of year. This is the month in which the annual awards are given by the major gaming publications. This is the month that makes it easy to catch up on the happenings of the gaming world. Need something to blow that Christmas cash on? Check the lists. Cannot remember the name of that really great strategy game that was released in May? Check the lists. Need something to read while waiting in line for a parking place at the mall? Print the lists. Add the sudden increase in size of the bargain bins and clearance sections that typically appears around this time of year, and the month of December is a gamers paradise.


    Unfortunately, the lists do not tell the whole story. Some events of the past year are left out, and some awards are just not given. Never fear! With a fearlessly inflated ego, Salem shall step into the breach and bring you the one, the only… The Only Year End Awards Article You Really Need To Read! So, without further ado, let the OYEAAYRNTR begin!

    First up, the award for Worst Game Title goes to….. Final Fantasy X-2. No, despite the name, this is not an experimental aircraft. Nor is it a bad way of writing Final Fantasy 12. Nope, this is bad game naming on steroids. Final Fantasy XI is a separate game from X-2. X-2 is apparently somewhat a spin off of the main Final Fantasy line, or at least of the main Final Fantasy naming scheme. No doubt some will disagree, but whenever the name of a game in a well established franchise leaves you scratching your head, something is amiss. Or there are experimental aircraft involved. One of the two.

    Next, the award for Best Move by a Gaming Company goes to….. Infrogrames Interactive for changing their name to the much more recognizable and easily pronounceable Atari. On a side note, it is comforting to see best selling games bear the Atari name once again. However, there is a realm of possibilities not yet explored that this move has opened up. Imagine if games under the old Atari label could be morphed onto some of the games in the new Atari label. How about a new unit in Civilization 3 that grows longer every time it destroys something? No? Ah, well… at least I no longer will spend hours wondering if the

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