It's the self-styled bible of the UK games industry, so when it came to Edge magazine's annual awards ceremony - held at the Edinburgh Interactive Entertainment Festival's party - there was more than a sense of the almighty giving its considered opinion.
But unlike the deity of Old Testament brimstone, Edge's best game award came with a more acceptable face; and that wasn't just down to the presence of editor Margaret Robertson, who only minutes before had been revealing that games (and on occasions screenshots) really do make her cry.
Perhaps surprisingly in that context, the winner, which was chosen in what Robertson called 'the most overwhelming decision to date' by Edge's select panel of judges was Nintendo's Brain Training
(aka Brain Age
) for Nintendo DS.
"Who would have thought a game would make people want to do maths?" she said.
Accepting the award was Nintendo UK's David Yarnton, who remarked it was the third time in four years the company had picked up the award.
2006 also saw the first Edge Mobile Award, which saw Infospace/MTV's Dirty Sanchez
party game win out the votes of the magazine's public online poll, against opposition from Fountainhead/id's Doom RPG
, Digital Chocolate's Tower Bloxx
and Gameloft's Lumines Mobile
Unlike other awards, Edge's competition has always placed its stress on the ability for developers to try something imaginative and ambitious, even at the cost of not quite fulfilling its initial goals. Commercial success rarely comes into the equation, with companies such as EA, Activision, Sony, THQ and Ubisoft notable by their absence.
Instead, the full list of nominees where:
(aka Indigo Prophecy
) (PC/PS2/Xbox): for its attempt to do something different in terms of storytelling and emotional attachment.
(GC/PS2): for its sometimes outrageous combination of graphics and audio within an unsettling environment.
Ossu! Tatakae! Ouendan!
(DS): for its bonkers combination of rhythm action drumming and emotional mini-games. Incidentally, it was one of the games Robertson had highlighted in her talk Games That Make Me Cry.
Dragon Quest VIII
(PS2): Beautifully implemented as the culmination of 20 years of role playing games, even if not the most imaginative game ever made.
(DS): Is it a game or something else entirely? The combination of installation artist Toshio Iwai and Nintendo produced a playful musical instrumental, ideally suited to DS' touchscreen.
(X360): Surprisingly for a launch title, the graphical style of its user interface and veered from Barbie dolls on the BBQ to manga and MTV on crack.
(PS2): The game that makes you think you should have jacked in college, formed and band and spent your life on tour.