News Article

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds Picks Up Best Handheld Game VGX Award

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Disappointment in the Best RPG and GoTY categories

The VGX Awards have finished for another year, in which Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime revealed that Cranky Kong will be playable in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, while also giving the Wii U title an Americas release date of 21st February 2014. It was also an awards ceremony that was odd for not covering all awards, with some winners being announced primarily on the official awards website, bypassing the broadcast entirely.

At the time of writing the "Best Nintendo Game" and "Best Casual Game" categories are yet to be confirmed, though Super Mario 3D World did miss out on Game of the Year to favourite Grand Theft Auto V. More misses came in the "Best RPG" category, with Fire Emblem: Awakening and Pokemon X/Y losing out to Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch.

There was good news in the "Best Handheld Game" category, however, with The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds seeing off competition from Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Pokemon X/Y and the PS Vita's Tearaway to walk away with the prize.

We'll update you with the results for Best Nintendo Game and Best Casual Game once they come through [Update: these results have now been revealed]. What do you think of the awards that have been given out, with Nintendo's nominations scooping just one of the three confirmed so far?

[via spike.com]

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User Comments (82)

Nomad

#3

Nomad said:

Best hand held game for me was a tie between Fire Emblem and Zelda.

Xtremetdifan

#4

Xtremetdifan said:

How did fire emblem and Pokemon xy both lose the RPG category, one of those two should've won... I call hacks!!!!!!!!!

bizcuthammer

#5

bizcuthammer said:

Having played Ni no Kuni, in no way does it beat Fire Emblem Awakening for the RPG award. Both games are great, but FE was phenomenal.

Also, GTAV should not have beat The Last of Us. It probably shouldnt have beat SM3DW or Bioshock either, honestly. In terms of gameplay, creativity and atmosphere, all 3 of those games trump GTA V.

But hey, its a popularity vote, right? Thats all awards shows are. GTA V is more popular, so who cares if its actually the better game?

WiiLovePeace

#6

WiiLovePeace said:

So wierd they skipped showing some awards in the broadcast. Why would they do that? So wierd :S

Excep7ional

#8

Excep7ional said:

@bizcuthammer

Meh, I don't know. I haven't played The Last of Us, but I have seen a whole walkthrough of it. A lot of people say the gameplay wasn't that great so I think GTA V beats it in that catagory. As for atmosphere, and creativity, then sure.
I have played Bioshock Infinite and I do have to say that if I were to choose which game I'd rather play, I'd definitely go with GTA V. A lot more to do, better characters, fun missions, etc. I just enjoyed GTA a heck of a lot more than I did with Bioshock, not saying Infinite is a bad game though. Can't say much about Mario 3D world though as I don't own a Wii U...

cfgk24

#9

cfgk24 said:

The Whole VGX Awards thing seems to be a bit of a shambles really. . .

ThomasBW84Admin

#11

ThomasBW84 said:

I've published a separate article now for the Best Nintendo Game and Best Casual Game results. They were updated after I'd published this article.

shinpichu

#12

shinpichu said:

@bizcuthammer
I can easily see why Awakening wouldn't have won(aside from this being a popularity contest). The game is a bit to easy to break, the story is quite weak(especially compared to previous entries in the series), and the characters are all one note and don't undergo any sort of development.

Pokemon X/Y aren't some sort of unrivaled masterpiece either. While in terms of mechanics it's quite good, the story in this generation is generally accepted to be inferior to the 5th gen games.

brandonbwii

#14

brandonbwii said:

@ThomasBW84
You said disappointing best RPG. From what I've heard it's a great game with great art. Don't tell me you just said that because it's not a Nintendo game.

CanisWolfred

#15

CanisWolfred said:

NIIIIIIIIIIIII NOOOOOOOOOOOO KUUUUUUUUUUUUUNIIIIIIIIIIIIIII

Seriously, this alone makes this whole VGX Valid from now until the end of forever.

shinpichu

#17

shinpichu said:

@Blastoise-san
Not surprising. Awakening isn't objectively that great.

Not to mention that these awards are basically a popularity contest, and FE is rather niche.

ThomasBW84Admin

#18

ThomasBW84 said:

@brandonbwii Not at all, I know the winner is a top game. I said disappointment (not disappointing) in the context of 3DS games missing out, that's all.

Kaze_Memaryu

#19

Kaze_Memaryu said:

@CanisWolfred Well, Ni No Kuni really is awesome, but GTA V as GOTY? I'm not saying it's bad, but both The Last Of Us and SM3DW outrun it. On the other hand, I'm slightly surprised GTA V didn't win every award - that show had almost no other topic...

FluttershyGuy

#20

FluttershyGuy said:

This is easily the happiest I've been about a gaming award outcome in a long time. I think it's easy to say that ALBW is one of the very best Zeldas and recent handheld games, and it deserved this honor!

It'll be interesting to see if ALBW stands the test of time, and is as revered as ALttP and other older Zelda titles in 20 years.

FX29

#22

FX29 said:

Spikes VGA's have always been crap, the VGX this year was no different. The hosts were just irritating with those stupid jokes, especially the one about the female body.

Excep7ional

#24

Excep7ional said:

@FX29

Awesome avatar. Really making miss the Battle Network series. Lol I also agree with your comment, but to an extent.

ricklongo

#25

ricklongo said:

Luigi's Mansion wasn't a nominee for Best Handheld game? Immediate loss of credibility.

ricklongo

#26

ricklongo said:

On another note, man, I wish they'd release Ni No Kuni on the Wii U. It was a 3DS game originally, after all.

rmeyer

#27

rmeyer said:

Nobody takes the VGA's seriously. It's kind of a strange show. Rockstar always wins though no surprise.

Tsuchinoko

#28

Tsuchinoko said:

@shinpichu We get it, you don't like the game, but it really is your opinion. I think its an amazing game and one of my favorites. I'm surprised at the lack of attention that its gotten in the west. Here in Japan it was a huge hit.

shinpichu

#29

shinpichu said:

@Tsuchinoko
People are talking like Awakening is some kind of objective masterpiece and how DARE it not not win best RPG or 3DS game.

You're free to have your own opinion, but in the end it's just that. An opinion.

Tsuchinoko

#30

Tsuchinoko said:

@shinpichu But so are you. And twice you shot down someone's comments about how they wanted it to win and how much they liked it. If you didn't think it was a masterpiece, that's fine, but let other people have their say. I haven't seen you shoot down any other games on this post.

shinpichu

#31

shinpichu said:

@Tsuchinoko
Both of the people who I responded two did not simply say "I thought Awakening was great, and IMO it should have won." Read through their posts again. I'm not reacting to people liking the game, I'm reacting to people acting shocked that Awakening didn't win.

And I did shoot down other games. I noted that Pokemon X/Y have flaws and aren't objectively great/masterpieces either in one of my earlier posts.

element187

#32

element187 said:

Best RPG Ni No Kuni?! I know its a pretty good RPG but it didn't come anywhere close to touching Fire Emblem Awakening nor Shin Megami Tensei IV.... Ni No Kuni was more like a "my first RPG" to introduce young gamers to the genre.

This award show sucks.

LetsGoRetro

#33

LetsGoRetro said:

To jump into this conversation about FE, I'm still trying to decide where I rank it. It's actually my first strategy game, so I'm not familiar with the genre. Hearing it constantly referred to as an RPG, I was quite surprised to find out it is essentially cutscene-virtual chess-cutscene. No typical RPG exploration type stuff.

I'm aware this is a well established genre but, I'm new to it. I expected more like a Final Fantasy. I'm starting Ch 4 now and it's starting to get interesting, but i found the story very "generic fantasy" to start.

From what I understand, building relationships is what this game is all about and I am starting to do that, so we'll see how that goes.

spoilers
I heard such a big deal made of this permadeath feature, but from what I've seen, it doesn't matter much. Sully, Vaike & the archer that begins with a V have all died for me (i know, i suck) and it has not been mentioned in battle or within the cutscenes at all yet. Do I miss out on cutscenes/secrets because of it? What changes?
end spoilers

Anyway, sorry for the long post. But the verdict is still out on this game for me. For the record, comparing what i've played of FE:A to what ive seen/expect fromNNK, NNK could likely beat this game. It looks incredible.

element187

#34

element187 said:

@bizcuthammer I agree. I felt GTA V didn't introduce any new compelling gameplay... It felt like a cartoon version of GTA IV.... Maybe as I get older I just don't enjoy beating up hookers anymore.

element187

#35

element187 said:

@LetsGoRetro its a strategy RPG.... Also, being only on chapter 4, you need to give the game some time to develop. I don't start really enjoying RPG's until I put some serious hours into.

element187

#36

element187 said:

@gaby_gabito agreed. I played all of the games nominated. NNK just wasn't deep enough... It's more like a game I would play with my 8 year old nephew to ease him into the genre.

sugarshack

#37

sugarshack said:

strategies are not your strong suit if FE awakening isn't great in definition by your standards. it's very deep with clever programing. can't speak for the winner, just this game.

Hunter-D

#39

Hunter-D said:

Fire Emblem Awakening is my GOTY, and that's across all platforms let alone handheld or RPG. It's that good.

FX29

#40

FX29 said:

@Excep7ional
Thanks! I also miss the Battle Network series, but it had a good run. Now I just want to see more Mega Man in general lol

PinkSpider

#41

PinkSpider said:

To be honest I wouldn't get your hopes up about nintendo ever winning anything outside of there own named/themed category. The world is a very different place now, where (generally) violence in games is what sells and what people want to see. So don't expect nintendo games to take home the best game awards anymore. I mean come on the show was focused around GTA 5. There was so much swearing in ths show, in the songs, in the profile of the character of Trevor it was ridiculous, I could never let my kids watch this. Such a different industry now. Gone are the days of nintendo being cool anymore. :(
Oh well rant over....

Xiao_Pai

#43

Xiao_Pai said:

...Don't care...I was just watching the thing because of Reggie...my GOTY....I dunno...there's Monster Hunter 3U...I'm enjoying Black Flag a lot...then there's Mario 3D World...

DESS-M-8

#44

DESS-M-8 said:

That's was like watching Total Wipeout USA, Jesus Christ the "comedy" host was appalling and unfunny. There was more of his drivel than anything else.
It was nice to see a show that was secretly funded by Rockstar too.
Could they have masterbated over one game anymore???????
Fire Emblem and Pokemon were far greater RPG's. The Last of Us is infinitely better than GTA V, especially in that category AND Assassin's Creed IV.
They may aswell have called the the show VGTAX.

seronja

#45

seronja said:

oh come on man goty HAD to be the last of us dude! and there is no better choice for best RPG, Ni No Kuni is the most amazing RPG of the year & you would know it if you finnished the game...

Oren

#46

Oren said:

Ni No Kuni deserved it, Fantastic game. I loved Fire Emblem too but it just doesn't comapre to a big screen Studio Ghibli RPG. Pokemon was never going to win it. Another great game but doesn't do enough to justify it beating the other games nominated,

Gamer83

#47

Gamer83 said:

I'm not much for JRPGs but from talking to all my friends who still have high expectations of that genre despite it not being so strong in recent years, Ni No Kuni deserved the award. I'd say Zelda was the right choice for handheld GOTY eventhough there are several other 3DS and Vita games I liked as well. And I know I'll get ripped for it but I don't care, GTA V deserves GOTY, and I'm a big fan of the 4 other games that were nominated as well. Just got the most play time and fun out of GTA.

Oren

#49

Oren said:

@Gamer83

JRPG's are stronger now than they ever were. They did slip off the radar for a while (in the west at least) thanks to Final Fantasy being rubbish these days but it's made them come back stronger. Ni No Kuni, Xenoblade, SMT and Persona are all fantastic. Bravely Default seems like another winner too (only 5 hours in). I feel sorry for people missing out on these gems thanks to a misconception of the genre.

Totally agree with you about ALBW. Fantastic game. Deserves all the praise it's getting.

Gamer83

#50

Gamer83 said:

@Oren

I wish the VGX panel could've found a way to put Zelda in the overall GOTY category. It's a handheld game so unfortunately it probably would've had little chance to win but it's in my top 3 for sure with The Last of Us and GTA V. I'd put Mario 3D World at 4 and Bioshock at 5. Hopefully some of the more mainstream websites that were so busy praising downloadable games like Journey and The Walking Dead as the second comings last year can give A Link Between Worlds a similar treatment. Granted this year is much stronger than 2011 in regards to 'blockbuster' home console releases but I'd still put A Link Between Worlds with the best of them. I have friends who can't stand portable gaming who bought a 3DS just to play this game and none were disappointed. I'm hoping once done they'll try and find some of the other gems 3DS has like Luigi's Mansion and the Mighty Switch Force! games.

ueI

#51

ueI said:

A 3DS game won? I still don't get why all the handhelds had to compete for the same award.

eza

#52

eza said:

Why was a PS Vita game nominated for the "Best Nintendo handheld game" award? ;-)

Shambo

#53

Shambo said:

@ricklongo Yep, "just" DS. With the book and everything. Japan only :( I don't get it how they could make a sequel (?), worldwide, with book, and STILL not please people hoping they'll get to play the original in a language they understand, on a Nintendo handheld... But they did it, while they should've ported the original to 3DS and translate it first, for WORLDWIDE release.

Shambo

#54

Shambo said:

And I'm thinking about getting a Vita. But hard as I try to get a list of games worthy of getting a system for, it stops at
-Tearaway
-Escape Plan
-Persona 4 Golden
-Katamari (which I already have one of on PS3)
-Muramasa (which I have on Wii)
-Dragons Crown (which I can get on PS3 as well)
All the AAA titles don't fit portable gaming i.m.o...
And the Tearaway bundle doesn't include a physical copy of the game... :(
Anyone experienced with Vita who can give some friendly advice?

seronja

#57

seronja said:

@Shambo here are games i find them worth to own on vita: soul sacrifice, ragnarok odyssey, gravity rush, jak & daxter trilogy HD, gucamelee!, new little kings story, muramasa rebirth, persona 4 golden, dragons crown, wipeout 2048, zero escape: virtues last reward, sly cooper: thieves in time, dead or alive plus, hotline miami, jet set radio HD, killzone mercenary, little big planet vita, machinarium, oddworld: strangers wrath HD, playstation all-stars battle royale, retro city rampage, sine mora, sonic & all stars racing transformed, spelunky, tearaway, tales from space: mutant blobs attack & tell tales: the walking dead... and don't let BIG NAMES or big IP's fool you, uncharted: golden abyss, unit 13, cod, resistance: burning skies, limbo, mortal kombat, injustice: gods among us, street fighter x tekken, ninja gaiden sigma 1&2 etc. are NOT good on the vita period! many agreed with me on this one.

Melkaticox

#58

Melkaticox said:

Ni no Kuni winning against Fire Emblem and Pokémon X/Y...PFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFT!!!
Oh well, at least ALBW won handheld game of the year looks at Tearaway take that.

Garios

#60

Garios said:

@Shambo If you have a 3DS, I would say to just stick with that, honestly. I had both handhelds and despite all the Vita's promise, it was just a very expensive paperweight for me. Unless you really want that Persona 4 Golden or other handful of exclusive games, you have to ask if it's really worth it to pay for a console with a future lineup that consists primarily of indie games and ports that are always gonna be available on other platforms. The console is beautiful though and it plays great, but there weren't enough games to justify having one imo.

LDXD

#61

LDXD said:

@Shambo that's a great list I just got a vita and have been playing Ys memories of celceta if you like action RPGs I highly recommend it also just got Ys 7 and Ys oath, persona 4 , soul sacrifice, Killzone mercinary
IMO the vita is worth it just for the Ys series all the other games is icing on the cake
People saying the vita is nothing more than a paper weight have no idea what they are talking about the vita has plenty of games also ps1 ps2 and psp classics you can get off psn I also have a 3ds I love both systems

WhiteTrashGuy

#62

WhiteTrashGuy said:

These awards mean nothing to me. I wait for the Interactive Arts and Sciences awards usually held around GDC.

WanderingPB

#63

WanderingPB said:

Even though we all might disagree on the winners because having OUR CHOICE game win is always a sweet feel…every nominee is an awesome game over all this has been a great year for gaming i can't wait to see what great games the next year brings us!!!

LDXD

#64

LDXD said:

@Shambo also don't forget that its probable that the vita TV and the vita slim is coming soon also something else to think about I think the vita TV is going to be under $80

Sir_Deadly

#66

Sir_Deadly said:

So the game of the year went to GTA, a game which brought nothing new since the first game, go figure. Although i thought Last Of us was boring, it even should have been ahead of GTA, but i was rooting for Bioshock Infinite myself. I was expecting COD or BF would win best shooter and GLAD Infinite beat both of them out hahaha!

StephenYap3

#67

StephenYap3 said:

My best handheld of 2013 would either be Fire Emblem Awakening or Mario & Luigi: Dream Team. A Link Between Worlds is a great game, but not the best handheld game I played in 2013.

Shambo

#69

Shambo said:

@LDXD There's a slim coming? And I heard about that 'TV', but exactly what does it do?
And if I already have PS1/PS2 classics and indie games on my PS3, can I just download them to PS Vita too?

Also, @seronja and @Garios, thanks for the advice, I'll keep that in mind. Many of the games listed are already in my collection for other systems. But I just like portable gaming better. My 3DS is still my number one (since the Link Between Worlds 3DS XL it's even the second most gorgeous console EVER -although I left it in the box and use my Pikachu one- close second to the Famicom Game Boy Micro), but if the price is right, I'll probably get a PS Vita for some games I really want, and then my TV is "paperweight" since 3DS and Wii U are my most used consoles right now ;)

-Crystalline-

#70

-Crystalline- said:

The Last Of Us is a masterpiece of game narrative, immersion, atmosphere and visual presentation. It's one of the best games of this generation, yet, people chose to board the hype train.

Shame.

LDXD

#71

LDXD said:

@Shambo yeah the slim comes with 1 GB built in memory so you won't have to buy an expensive memory card. even if you don't download games you still need a memory card to buy separately just to play games on the regular vita fortunately they still had bundles with and 8gb card that came with mine the slim vita also has an LCD screen and not oled
As far as games that you already have on ps3 I'm not sure which ones uses the cross play feature haven't looked into I just got my vita a few days ago
The vita TV seems neat to me its a small little box that basically hooks to your TV and let's you play vita games on your TV and I hear you can stream ps4 games from it to another TV it isn't compatible with all vita games like probably tearaway that is heavy with touch screen controls but games like Ys and persona or what not shouldn't be a problem
Edit: mean to say the vita TV you don't need a vita at all it has the innards of the vita itself so all you need is the vita TV and the games go right into that its a cheaper option if you want to play vita games but I read that you rather game on the go

Red_XIII

#73

Red_XIII said:

@shinpichu Elaborate about how it isn't objectively great. Yes, its niche, but its hella better than GTAV and Bioshock infinite.

shinpichu

#74

shinpichu said:

@Red_XIII
You mean Awakening? Well, for one the story is garbage. The enemies are all cartoonishly evil, the Valm arc had nothing to do with anything, and the Avatar is a stupid self-insert Mary Sue. All the characters are one note and annoying. There's little to no actual character development throughout the game. As for the gameplay, on the harder difficulties whether you are successful or not basically boils down to whether or not you get lucky. Oh, and the Avatar is broken as all hell. Let's not even get into buyable Rescue and Nosferatu.

Keep in mind this is coming from an FE fan. I've played almost every game in the series(haven't played FE1 or 10 yet).

CanisWolfred

#75

CanisWolfred said:

Trying to prove an opinion is in any way objectably provable as fact is impossible and a waste of time. Just throwing that out there.

shinpichu

#76

shinpichu said:

@CanisWolfred
Very true. I may not like Awakening that much, but in the end that's my opinion. The same goes for people who do like it.

From what I've heard, Ni no Kuni definitely deserved that win. Though I honestly don't see why anybody cares about the VGA s since they're basically a popularity contest.

Excep7ional

#77

Excep7ional said:

@Shambo

I can't comment on any game on that list except for Persona 4 Golden, and Tearaway. P4G is my second favorite JRPG, the first being Persona 3. You really can't go wrong with that game at all. The story is good, and it has some scenes that legitimately made me laugh. The Gameplay is addicting because of the strategic depth you can take with it, and the persona fusing and stuff. You'll enjoy it, trust me.

I only played the demo for Tearaway, but from what I have played it's a very fun game. I just don't like how they force the vita's features down your throat, but with that being said, it's still addicting.

All of the other games on that list have been perceived well, by the majority of Vita owners so take it as you will.

Another game that has gotten really good reviews is the Ys game that just came out. You will probably enjoy that as well. Soul Sacrifice Delta will be coming out soon and so will Dangan Ronpa. The Vita has a bright future a head.

Americasteam

#79

Americasteam said:

The Last of Us deserves GOTY. Not GTA 5 or Super Mario 3d World. Best RPG belongs to Fire Emblem. Zelda a link between worlds deserves handheld GOTY for sure.

JuanitoShet

#80

JuanitoShet said:

I've never cared for awards shows like this one. I prefer to have my own opinion on games, rather than let some meaningless "awards" judge them for me.

Yorumi

#81

Yorumi said:

There's no question ni no kuni deserved the award over FE:A and pokemon. First of all as an rpg pokemon really isn't that great from a story standpoint. What people love is the team customization and such. Sure it's written for kids but so are disney movies and they tend to achieve a lot more than pokemon in terms of story. On that note studio ghibli(who did the art and probably a lot of the story behind ni no kuni) make all G rated movies.

You really watch oliver and the other characters grow over the course of the game. The two main villains are deep and complex though the second one could have used some more screen time. Overall that game is really good and absolutely deserves the award and this is coming from a nintendo fanatic.

Giygas_95

#82

Giygas_95 said:

@shinpichu I'll agree with you about Fire Emblem Awakening. I enjoy it a lot, but to me it's not as amazing as people claim it is.

Plus, I don't really consider it an RPG like I would games such as Earthbound and Chrono Trigger. You kind of have to love strategy to enjoy FEA, more so than you would with an RPG that lets you explore an overworld.

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