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CESA Recognizes  Wii Fit, Monster Hunter , Miyamoto With 2008 Japan Game Awards
CESA Recognizes Wii Fit, Monster Hunter, Miyamoto With 2008 Japan Game Awards Exclusive
October 15, 2008 | By Leigh Alexander

Tokyo Game Show organizers CESA says its annual Japan Games Awards, given to outstanding titles, are aimed at nurturing talent and ambition in game developers "while communicating the wonder and enjoyment of computer entertainment to even more people."

This year, CESA added a new "Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Prize." In a statement, the association explained the new award's objective: "Japan Game Awards aims at further developing the award system into a more open system that recognizes both 'game software' and 'people' and that has more meaning."

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Nintendo luminary Shigeru Miyamoto was chosen as the first recipient of the prize, awarded to "an individual or to an organization that from the results of a work created and announced in recent years has been evaluated as having made a contribution to the development of the Japanese home-use video game console and software industry."

The association noted the 30-year history of Miyamoto's games, but also noted his current work. "In recent years in particular, his innovative designs that make skillful use of the continually evolving special characteristics of game consoles have completely changed the image of existing games," CESA says.

"He has succeeded in expanding the definition of video games through products with new game concepts that address themes such as 'healing', 'family communication' and 'health."

The awards also recognized individual games; Wii Fit, and Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G were received the "Grand Award" in the Games of the Year category. Capcom's PSP title has sold well over 1.6 million units.

Wii Fit also earned the "Best Sales Award," while the "Global Award: Japanese Product" honor went to Wii Play. "Global Award: Foreign Product" was given to Activision's Guitar Hero III, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare earned a "Special Award."

Additional "Awards for Excellence" within the Games of the Year category were as follows:

- Wii Fit (Wii - Nintendo)
- Super Mario Galaxy (Wii - Nintendo)
- Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii - Nintendo)
- Devil May Cry 4 (PS3/Xbox 360/PC - Capcom)
- Dragon Quest IV: The Chapters of the Chosen (DS - Square Enix)
- Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time/Explorers of Darkness (DS - The Pokémon Company)
- Mario Party DS (DS - Nintendo)
- Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G (PSP - Capcom)
- Ryu Ga Gotoku Kenzan! (PS3 - Sega)
- Professor Layton and the Devil's Box (DS - Level 5)
- World Soccer Winning Eleven 2008 (PS2/PS3/Xbox 360 - Konami)

CESA also offered a "Future Awards" category, a "best of show" awarded to notable titles from the show floor. Though the association has not yet placed an official announcement on its English website, consumer weblog Kotaku translated the Japanese awards list:

- Idolm@ster (PSP - Namco Bandai)
- Gyakuten Kenji (DS - Capcom)
- White Knight Story (PS3 - Sony)
- Star Ocean 4 (Xbox 360 - Square Enix)
- Final Fantasy: Dissidia (PSP - Square Enix)
- Dragon Quest IX (DS - Square Enix)
- Resident Evil 5 (PS3/Xbox 360 - Capcom)
- Monster Hunter 3 (Wii - Capcom)
- 428 (Wii - Sega)
- LittleBigPlanet (PS3 - Sony)
- Yakuza 3 (PS3 - Sega)
- Let's Tap (Wii - Sega)

CESA also honored student and independent development teams with its "Amateur Division" awards, which featured several sub-categories. The Grand Award winner here was Variable Ball Crisis, created by Team SK-III from Niigata Computer College.

Explains CESA, "Although this game mainly uses the physics calculation engine that has now become mainstream, the fact that it was developed as a simple game with a profound depth without adding any unnecessary bells and whistles was highly evaluated."

Several teams were also honored with Awards for Excellence:

- A Void (PC - Niigata Computer College/Seraphim)
- Variable Ball Crisis (PC - Niigata Computer College/Team SK-III)
- Kakiwake! Pon Pon Sweets (DS - Digital Entertainment Academy/Nanananana-nana)
- Clim Load!! (PC - Niigata Computer College/Trigger
- Sharp Shooting (Mobile - Nagoya Kougakuin College/Mr. Ken Inagaki)

Additionally, honorable mentions within the amateur category were awarded to:

- Fate of Midnight Castle (PC - Sendai School of Digital Arts/Mr. Watanobe Takayuki)
- Catch de Poi (PC - Shizuoka Professional Training College of Industrial Technology/Intentional)
- Patapata Panel Puzzle Namipane (DS - HAL Osaka College of Technology & Design/Marudon)

CESA formed the Amateur Division in 2007, combining the former Japan Game Awards Indie Division with the CESA student game awards. "Through the awards made in this division, CESA hopes that by discovering new talent, nurturing that talent and supporting future game creators, we will be able to make a contribution to the development of the computer entertainment industry," the association says.

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