Editor's Picks Genre Awards Platform Awards
Patrick Gann
Eric Farand
John McCarroll
Kyle E. Miller
Neal Chandran
John Tucker
Kimberley Wallace
James Quentin Clark
Ashton Liu
Dennis Rubinshteyn
Josh Lewis
Traditional RPG: Console
Traditional RPG: Handheld
Action RPG: Console
Action RPG: Handheld
Strategy RPG: Console
Strategy RPG: Handheld
Graphic Adventure Game
Indie RPG
PlayStation 2
PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
Nintendo DS
iPhone/iPod touch
Best RPG of the Year

John Tucker's Awards

5) Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 (PSP) I'll admit, if I had played either the PS3 or the Xbox 360 version of MUA 2, it probably would have been on this list instead of the PSP version. Also, I know that my review is far more positive than the other two out there, but I still stand by it. Come into it looking for a fun PSP game, rather than thinking you're buying the PS3 version on a tiny screen, and you won't be disappointed.

4) Dungeon Hunter (iPod/iPhone) It's not perfect, but this game truly raised the bar for what I expect from iPhone/iPod Touch games. Configurable controls, tons of loot, and achievements that keep you coming back for more... if only it had a mini-map! I bought this game for $5, and wouldn't have felt cheated if I'd paid twice that much.

3) Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days (PSP) Over the past few years, I've spent literally hundreds of hours playing Disgaea games on the PSP and DS, and I've loved it every time. And still, I would eliminate Disgaea 2 from this list as a port, except that the PSP version added an entirely new story. OK, perhaps it is a weak excuse, but I don't care. I enjoyed Disgaea 2 enough to accept any excuse I can find. The number of different things you can do, as well as the fact that you never have to continue the main quest until you choose to, make Disgaea 2 just about the closest thing I've played to an open-world SRPG, and I still love it.

4) Dragon Age: Origins My wife calls them "the boring company" (apparently, their games are much more fun to play than they are to watch), but I'm a huge BioWare fan, and Dragon Age: Origins has only added to my love for them. It may not do much that's new - I even recognized a lot of names they used as variations from other fantasy works - but it does just about everything right, and the few new touches (like being able to flag items as "junk" to get them out of your way in your inventory) may be small, but they're great. I loved just about every minute of this game, and I'm sure I'll be playing it more than once.

1) Mario and Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story (DS) A series with a proud tradition gets another outstanding entry. This game lets you play as Mario and Luigi some of the time, as Bowser the rest of the time, and nearly every moment of the experience is worth playing at least once. It takes advantage of everything the DS has to offer, but does it without getting gimmicky.

Disappointment of the Year

Song Summoners: The Unsung Heroes Encore This game is an iPhone/iPod Touch port of an iPod game, which puts it in a somewhat unique position to begin with. The original game was in a difficult position: try to make a turn-based strategy RPG work with a scroll wheel for the controls. However, it did a great job with that scroll wheel, and although it didn't bring very many new things to the table, and had some annoying little flaws, it was a fun game that I was glad I bought. In contrast, the iPhone version's control possibilities are nearly infinite, and the developers still found ways to make those controls worse than they were on the iPod. The static art appears to have been upgraded, but the actual gameplay graphics are the same pixellated sprites used in the original game, when the new platform is capable of so much more.

That's frustrating, but the really huge disappointment here is the loading times. The heart of Song Summoners is making characters from the songs in your library, but it is also the worst part of the game this time around. I have about 8000 songs on my 64 Gb iPod Touch, and it takes literally minutes to load my library before I can create one character. After choosing the song I want to use, it takes a few more minutes to close the library, and if I decide to put myself through the agony of creating another character right after finishing with the first, I have to go through the whole process over again! And just in case there needed to be one more bad thing about this game, you can almost literally watch the battery meter drop while all of this is going on, despite the fact that very little is happening graphically or, presumably, behind the scenes. Song Summoners may not be a big-name title, but it's very definitely the game I was most disappointed in this year.


Twitch Schedule & Status

Sunday, June 24
The Misadventures of Tron Bonne • 10am PDT/1pm EDT

Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth • 3pm PDT/6pm EDT

Star Ocean: Second Evolution • 3pm PDT/6pm EDT
Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana • 7pm PDT/10pm EDT

Alundra • 12pm PDT/3pm EDT
Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana • 7pm PDT/10pm EDT

Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep • 3pm PDT/6pm EDT
Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana • 7pm PDT/10pm EDT

Detroit: Become Human • 3pm PDT/6pm EDT
Guild Wars 2 • 7pm PDT/10pm EDT

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana • 5pm PDT/8pm EDT

Our Favorite Features: Part Three ~ An RPGFan 20th Anniversary Feature

Our Favorite Features: Part Three

20th Anniversary Feature
Dragon Quest XI Preview

Dragon Quest XI

Little Dragons Café Hands-On Preview

Little Dragons Café

Hands-On Preview
Shadows: Awakening Preview

Shadows: Awakening

Cyberpunk 2077 Preview

Cyberpunk 2077