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Game Of The Year Picks: Gamasutra's Simon Carless

As part of Gamasutra's end of year round-up, we've asked our readers to submit their choices for ...
As part of Gamasutra's end of year round-up, we've asked our readers to submit their choices for top three games of 2005, which we will publish over the next few days alongside picks from the Gamasutra staff. Today's remaining picks come from Gamasutra and Game Developer magazine editor and Independent Games Festival chairman Simon Carless, whose top titles are as follows: "Guitar Hero is important for a multitude of reasons, firstly because it shows you can make an awesome video game without spending $15 million - a big deal if game innovation is going to survive. Secondly, Harmonix and RedOctane have created a title that's getting genuine mainstream buzz, even from those not necessarily interested in conventional gaming. And thirdly - 'I don't share your greed, the only card I need is... the Ace of Spades.' We Love Katamari is, it's true, a straightforward, barely iterative sequel to an existing title. But when Namco's original Katamari was one of the best new video game ideas of the past decade, and Keita Takahashi's sequel piles on cuteness like underwater levels (cats wearing snorkels!), snowball-rolling and flower-collecting levels, and an adorably unhinged plot. It works for me, and, I fear, for the obsessive collector in all of us. But where's the Katamari novelty record, like Pac-Man Fever? Psychonauts made me happy this year, because it showed me that you can create an original-IP living, breathing world in a console game that I (and a lot of other people) cared about. Sure, I could take or leave the persnickety platforming parts, but Double Fine's trials and tribulations ended up birthing a title which made me feel like video games were a vibrant art form all over again. In the words of Tom Cruise - 'Much love'." Anyone else interested in answering this question should use the official Question Of The Week page until January 2, 2006. Respondents should ideally keep their answers under 500 words.

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