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RPGDot 2003 Awards: Biggest RPG Surprise
The RPGDot Team, 2004-01-12


The last couple of weeks you could vote for the best RPGs and MMORPGs that have been released in 2003. Not us but you the player decide who receives the RPGDot 2003 Awards in the various categories. We thank all those who entered their votes and helped us in making it possible to select the best games of 2003.

Biggest RPG Surprise

Some games we play are worse than we ever anticipated, some are exactly what we expected and some take us by surprise. This award is for the games that took us by surprise and are way better than we expected them to be.

The winner: Star Wars - Knights of the Old Republic
Why would a RPG using one of the world's best-known licenses and made by one of the most recognised RPG developers catch players by surprise? Perhaps both these brands are big factors. There have been numerous average (or even poor) Star Wars games with only a few classics and licensed games are often disappointing. Despite Bioware's successes the single-player campaign for Neverwinter Nights was dull. Many players were uncomfortable with the Xbox version taking precedence -- and the simplifications this might entail. Whatever the reasons, KotOR surpassed many players' expectations and obviously caught them by surprise.


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Runner Up: Gothic 2
I think I get it - the less the uproar the better the game!

Seriously, we had so much heavily advertised games this year, and many of them turned out to be a disappointment. But Gothic 2 was another story. Not only that it has been barely advertised, but its predecessor had only a limited audience, too. Well, until very recently anyway... So, with not so many expectations to begin with, it was bound to call out surprise, especially when it is one brilliant game as well.


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Second Runner Up: Greyhawk: The Temple of Elemental Evil
I'll be first to admit to being flat footed (and snuck attack for 2d6 damage) by Temple. It was Troika, which was good. It was party based and turn based which instantly sent shivers down my spine as the spectre of Pools of Radiance 2 (the only D&D game I have ever hated and may it be the only one I ever do) reared its ugly head. In the end it was buggier and more story light than I had expected by the makers of Arcanum... but the combat was easily a dozen times better than I had hoped for. The game was fun and fun is the important part at the end of the day. Plus it had multiple endings, which I think more games should heavily invest in.


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The Numbers
To make it complete we now give you the top 10 as voted by our visitors:

1 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
24,1 %
2 Gothic 2
17,8 %
3 Greyhawk: The Temple of Elemental Evil
14,4 %
4 Freelancer
4,1 %
5 Morrowind: Bloodmoon
2,4 %
6 Neverwinter Nights: Shadows of Undrentide
2,4 %
7 Pirates of the Caribbean
2,1 %
8 Final Fantasy X-2
1,8 %
9 Lionheart - Legacy of the Crusader
1,8 %
10 Dungeon Siege: Legends of Aranna
1,3 %

And 18,8 % of those who participated were unable to select one of the games.

We, the RPGDot team also voted to create our own top 5:

1 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
35,7 %
2 Greyhawk: The Temple of Elemental Evil
23,8 %
3 Devil Whiskey
19,1 %
4 Warcraft 3 - Frozen Throne
11,9 %
5 Gladius
7,1 %

We have the same winner and we ranked Greyhawk one place higher but the rest is as different as it can be.

Note that percentages are rounded to the nearest number.

Overview of all awards on RPGDot
 Best Sound
 Best Graphics
 Best Atmosphere
 Biggest Surprise
 Biggest Disappointment
 Most Anticipated
 Dream Game
 Best RPG/RPG-Strategy Expansion
 Best Non-RPG
 Best RPG-Strategy
 Best RPG

Overview of all awards on MMORPGDot
 Best Sound
 Best Graphics
 Best Atmosphere
 Biggest Surprise
 Biggest Disappointment
 Most Anticipated
 Best Expansion

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