Aggie Awards
Aggie Awards

The Aggie Awards - The Best Adventure Games of 2014


Best Console/Handheld Adventure (Exclusive): Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright

Professor Layton and Phoenix Wright are legends among handheld adventure game protagonists. Both the top-hatted archeologist and spiky-haired defense attorney have been the stars of their own long-running, highly regarded Nintendo series, Layton laying claim to two previous awards all on his own (and Wright largely the victim of pre-dating the Aggies). So when it was announced that the two hit franchises would be getting a crossover on the 3DS, expectations were high indeed, mixed with a degree of trepidation – after all, the two series are very different in style. But while some loose ends could have been tied up better and the puzzles proved easier and less numerous than in regular installments, the extent to which the developers managed to allay those fears and meet our expectations is stunning.

The gripping tragedy of Ace Attorney cases multiplied by the sense of scale of a Layton mystery makes Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright the most grim adventure either have experienced, and one of the most compelling. Replacing the investigative parts of a Phoenix Wright game with Layton-style gameplay is a match made in puzzling heaven – occasional exposition dumps notwithstanding – and the developers even saw fit to freshen up the subsequent witch trials with some new game mechanics. The delightful cartoon graphics and rich animation look as good as you’d expect from either series, while the strong rhythms from Phoenix Wright and the rich instrumental palette from Professor Layton fuse to give rise to the best soundtrack of either of its series. With the main Layton series seemingly concluded and there being no guarantee of  future Ace Attorney localizations outside Japan, Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright may be the last we have heard of either of these gentlemen for a while. But they couldn't have picked a better note to leave on, and for that they deserve our 2014 award for best exclusive console or handheld adventure.

Runners-Up:


The Silent Age: Episode Two

Danganronpa (series)

Tengami

The Adventures of Bertram Fiddle: Episode 1 – A Dreadly Business
 



Readers’ Choice: Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright


By far the biggest winner in this category was “No answer”, earning a whopping 79 more votes than its next-highest competitor. This goes to show that adventure gamers are still largely a PC/Mac-centric group. But of those that were nominated, this was also the most competitive category of all. We say it every year, and it happened once again: Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright won the reader award by one vote! Even with two cracks at it, the Danganronpa series wasn’t quite able to top the star-studded lineup in Nintendo’s 3DS crossover adventure.

Runners-Up:


Danganronpa (series)

The Silent Age: Episode Two

The Adventures of Bertram Fiddle: Episode 1 – A Dreadly Business

Tengami
 



Next up: Best Non-Traditional Adventure... the envelope, please!

Continued on the next page...

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About the Author



Comments

lobo pampeano
Feb 18, 2015

Can you please let us know how many readers voted? I’d like to have an idea how many active memebers we have.
Thank you..

threerings threerings
Feb 18, 2015

I totally agree with the Best Story choice.  The Blackwell Epiphany is one of the few (only?) games this year to make me cry.

Skywalker333 Skywalker333
Feb 19, 2015

whoa, huge community love for Tex Muprhy! I must say I didn’t expect it even if i loved the game Smile

gamrgrl gamrgrl
Feb 19, 2015

Really loved the video! Wonderfully edited to some super-haunting music.

DrFrankenstein DrFrankenstein
Feb 19, 2015

What’s with the Tex Murphy domination of the reader awards? Feels like a prank of sorts.

Jackal Jackal
Feb 19, 2015

It’s not a prank, and there’s no sign of voter fraud of any kind. (We looked.)

There are just a boatload of people who love Tex and Tesla Effect, it seems.

after a brisk nap
Feb 19, 2015

Thanks for clarifying that, Jack. The list did look a little fishy. Guess I should try to get around to Tesla Effect at some point!

SunshineSlayer
Feb 19, 2015

So happy for Tesla Effect.  Well deserved.  Here’s to hoping that wasn’t the end for Tex.

zane
Feb 19, 2015

haha…. For a change im agreeing with the site choices more than the reader. Tesla effect was not an awful game… i backed it, i had fun… but geez… not understanding the votes here.

zane
Feb 19, 2015

And the one that really boggles me: best gameplay for tesla effect. Those puzzles… i dont know… and a large part of the game was dungeon crawling in a straight line… just eh…

Conditional Love Conditional Love
Feb 19, 2015

I feel the same DrFrankenstein. I liked Tesla Effect a bit, Tesla Effect probably deserves an award or two, but to give Tesla Effect the Best Setting award is almost ironic. The quality of Tesla Effect’s background art is often shockingly poor.

ChronoWolf ChronoWolf
Feb 19, 2015

From what I understand: “Setting” refers to the universe in which the game takes place, and how encapsulating it is in terms of story, relevancy and delivery. Graphic design is probably a more accurate category when talking about “background art”, presentation or graphics, in which case Tesla was not even a runner up.

thom-22
Feb 20, 2015

Excellent awards presentation! Your efforts are much appreciated—both the decision-making and the fun and informative write-ups. I like the inclusion of the Silver Aggies. I thought it was a great year for our genre and this year holds great promise too.

Majsan Majsan
Feb 20, 2015

A little question about the extras you write about for Blackwell. Is the bloopers and the deleted scene a part of every version of the game? I have the gog version and haven’t found those two, and they only list wallpaper as extra material… Or maybe I just haven’t been “clicking” around enough Wink

smulan smulan
Feb 20, 2015

I guess Blackwell Epiphany i s the right game for best adventure ( _guess_ has to do with me playing far from all of the competitors), especially if you consider it a price for the whole Blackwell series. Tesla Effect, altough a decent game -but far from as good as its predecessors - has a ring of fanboy choice to it.

Jackal Jackal
Feb 20, 2015

Majsan, the bloopers and deleted scene are accessed in-game (via icons) at the appropriate time if you have the developer commentary turned on (which you can do through the main menu “Options” screen).

Thom-22, thanks very much. The Aggies are always a lot of work, but we hope people have fun with them.

DaveGilbert DaveGilbert
Feb 21, 2015

I don’t want to add much to this discussion for obvious reasons, but had to at least leave a message saying thanks. So… thanks!  This made my week.

incometrader
Feb 21, 2015

Odd to find so many votes for Tex Murphy when with the exception of this site and one other, the game reviewers gave it a meh 6-7 out of 10. I don’t blame people for doubting the voting.

I personally hate FMV so I’ll miss out, happy everyone else enjoyed it so much.

Ahenobarbus Ahenobarbus
Feb 21, 2015

I`m just happy for the results. Epiphany and Tex Murphy totally deserved to be in top here. They were both great but Epiphany was especially epic top quality game! Thanks for the whole Blackwell series Dave!
I`m happy to see that The Wolf Among Us and Broken Sword got prices at some categories too. In my books, they were 3. and 4. best games after Epiphany and Tex.

I hope Big Finish Games guys check these results, we need more Tex Smile

Simon_ASA Simon_ASA
Feb 21, 2015

Thanks for your work with Aggies. Once again, you somehow convinced me to check several games that I missed.

lobo pampeano
Feb 22, 2015

Hey Jackal, about my question… you know…  how many voted???

Phaid
Feb 22, 2015

I’m not at all surprised Tex won a lot of these awards.Tesla Effect was a huge surprise to me on many levels - it’s hard to bring the adventure magic of yore back to life, especially on a shoestring Kickstarter budget, but Tesla Effect 100% pulled it off. It was a grand return of Tex - funny, atmospheric, clearly a labour of love. Puzzle-wise, the final acts of the game were weaker than the preceding one, agreed, but that’s the only complaint I have.

I kind of wish The Journey Down:Chapter 2 got more love however, it was absolutely amazing, yet seems to have flown under everyone’s radar.

itseme itseme
Feb 22, 2015

guess i am the only one that voted for the goat as best character…

Jackal Jackal
Feb 22, 2015

Lobo pampeano, I forget the exact number but there were several hundred people who voted.

lobo pampeano
Feb 22, 2015

Ok, something around 400-700 votes, (less than 1000)?

Jackal Jackal
Feb 22, 2015

Definitely less than 1000, and probably closer to 400 than 700. I never actually counted them all up together, and I don’t have direct access to the data at the moment.

Plenty to determine a consensus, anyway.

lobo pampeano
Feb 22, 2015

Ok, thanks!

GreatBird
Feb 22, 2015

Why was CONSORTIUM not considered amongst all those games considered for awards in all those categories?!  Seriously, how is this game THAT over-looked??

It is often referred to as an adventure game (among other genres), and has over 20 voice actors and 4000 lines of recorded dialog as part of it’s fabric….

Jackal Jackal
Feb 23, 2015

Because the game described by its own developers as a “role-playing experience” is not considered an adventure at the only place that matters to the Aggies.

rsommerer rsommerer
Feb 24, 2015

By the way, for the next year I would like to suggest a new category - for best make up: Grim Fandango will be up for voting, as well as maybe a new episode of the Journey Down… Maybe also a new category for worst jokes would be a good idea Smile

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