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PS2 Game of the Year
Shadow Hearts: Covenant
Developer: Nautilus
Publisher: Midway (North America)

Set during World War I, a year after its widely applauded predecessor, Shadow Hearts: Covenant brings together all the elements of a classic console RPG, perhaps most noticeably a gripping storyline and a cast of highly memorable characters. It adds in a unique combat system using a mechanism called the Judgment Ring that makes both timing and strategy critical to success, especially in the use of team-based combo attacks. The visuals are very nicely and stylishly done, the soundtrack is a definite strength and the production values are first-rate overall.


Honorable Mention
Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne - Atlus

Xbox Game of the Year
Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
Developer: Obsidian
Publisher: LucasArts

It's pretty difficult to imagine a greater challenge for a new studio than being chosen to create the sequel to a consensus game of the year. Formed by five accomplished, veteran RPG developers, the Obsidian team proved it was up to the task. Set a few years after the events of the original, The Sith Lords weaves a forceful story- and character-driven tale that builds on the strengths of its predecessor while capturing the epic sweep of the underlying property and adding a new layer of personality or style that helps make it a outstanding experience in its own right.


GameCube Game of the Year
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
Developer: Intelligent Systems
Publisher: Nintendo

While still reflecting the innate charm of its illustrious forebear, The Thousand-Year Door expands the experience by incorporating a mixture of mini-games that come into play when you face an adversary since they affect the damage you deal out. During their adventure, Mario and friends also collect coins by defeating enemies, purchase special ability badges and other items in shops, and solve a range of puzzles. The inclusion of some humor elements adds to the title's distinctive overall sense of style, which makes it a worthy winner in this category.


Honorable Mention
Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean - Monolith Software, Namco

Previous Awards

2003 RPG Vault Awards - January 12, 2004

2003 Action Vault Awards - January 19, 2004

2002 RPG Vault Awards - January 13, 2003

2002 Action Vault Awards - January 14, 2003

2001 RPG Vault Awards - January 18, 2002

2001 Action Vault Awards - January 18, 2002

2000 Vault Network Awards - January 3, 2001

1999 Vault Network Awards - January 11, 2000

Vault Network Best of 1998 Awards - January 16, 1999

2003 RPG Vault Awards
We announce our selections for the past year's outstanding achievements in the CRPG and online world categories.
2002 RPG Vault Awards
We pick the defining achievements and other memorable notes in a fine year for CRPGs and online worlds

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