LittleBigPlanet tops Game Critics Awards' E3 noms

Adorable PS3 platformer gets five nods from game-journo panel; Gears 2 and Left 4 Dead get four nominations; Spore, Fallout 3, Resistance 2 and Mirror's Edge receive three.

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This week, the organizers of the Game Critics Awards announced their nominees for the best games of the 2008 E3 Media & Business Summit. As in previous years, the awards are chosen by a panel of leading game journalists in the country, including MTV's Stephen Totilo, Game Informer's Andy McNamara, GameTrailers' Shane Satterfield and Geoff Keighley, Newsweek's N'Gai Croal, and GameSpot's own editor-in-chief, Ricardo Torres.

Last year, the multi-instrument rhythm title Rock Band was crowned E3 2007's Best of Show by the Game Critics Awards jury. The Harmonix, MTV Games, and EA Games offering was nominated a then-record five times, and went on to win two prizes other than the Best of Show honor: Best Social/Casual/Puzzle Game and Best Hardware for its guitar, drum, and microphone peripherals.

This year, Rock Band's record was tied by one of the most anticipated--and adorable--games of the year. Developer Media Molecule's adorable side-scrolling platformer LittleBigPlanet, which encourages game creation via a robust level editor and cast of cuddly characters, charmed the judges to the tune of five nominations. The PlayStation 3 exclusive is present in a quintet of categories, including Best of Show, Best Original Game, Best Console Game, Best Social/Casual Game, and Best Online Multiplayer Game.

Not far from LittleBigPlanet's orbit were two much less family-friendly titles, with Gears of War 2 and Left 4 Dead each receiving four nominations. Epic Games' gruesome sequel is up for prizes in the Best of Show, Best Console Game, Best Action Game, and Best Online Multiplayer Game fields. Valve's co-operative zombie apocalypse shooter is up for the latter two categories as well as for Best PC game and Best Original Game.

Four other games--Fallout 3, Mirror's Edge, Resistance 2, and Spore--scored a hat trick of nods in a variety of categories. A full list of nominees is below, and the winners will be announced next Tuesday, August 5.

Best of Show
- Fallout 3 (Bethesda Softworks for PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
- Gears of War 2 (Epic Games/Microsoft Game Studios for Xbox 360)
- LittleBigPlanet (Media Molecule/Sony Computer Entertainment for PlayStation 3)
- Mirror's Edge (DICE/Electronic Arts for PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
- Spore (Maxis/EA for PC)

Best Original Game
- Flower (ThatGameCompany/Sony Computer Entertainment for PlayStation 3)
- Left 4 Dead (Valve for PC, Xbox 360)
- LittleBigPlanet (Media Molecule/Sony Computer Entertainment for PlayStation 3)
- Mirror's Edge (DICE/Electronic Arts for PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
- Spore (Maxis/EA for PC)

Best PC Game
- Dragon Age: Origins (BioWare/EA for PC)
- Left 4 Dead (Valve/EAP for PC)
- Spore (Maxis/EA for PC)
- Warhammer 40000: Dawn of War II (Relic/THQ for PC)
- Warhammer Online (EA Mythic/EA for PC)

Best Console Game
- Fallout 3 (Bethesda Softworks for PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
- Gears of War 2 (Epic Games/Microsoft Game Studios for Xbox 360)
- LittleBigPlanet (Media Molecule/Sony Computer Entertainment for PlayStation 3)
- Resistance 2 (Insomniac Games/Sony Computer Entertainment for PlayStation 3)
- Resident Evil 5 (Capcom for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

Best Handheld Game
- Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia (Konami for Nintendo DS)
- Chrono Trigger DS (Square-Enix for Nintendo DS)
- Puzzle Quest: Galactrix (D3Publisher, Nintendo DS, PC, Xbox 360)
- Resistance: Retribution (Bend Studio/Sony Computer Entertainment for PSP)
- Rhythm Heaven (Nintendo for Nintendo DS)

Best Hardware
- Lips Microphone (Microsoft for Xbox 360)
- Rock Band 2 Ion "Drum Rocker" Set (ION Audio/MTV Games for Xbox 360)
- Wii MotionPlus (Nintendo for Wii)

Best Action Game
- Far Cry 2 (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft for PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
- Gears of War 2 (Epic Games/Microsoft Game Studios for Xbox 360)
- Left 4 Dead (Valve/EA for PC, Xbox 360)
- Mirror's Edge (DICE/Electronic Arts for PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
- Resistance 2 (Insomniac Games/Sony Computer Entertainment for PlayStation 3)

Best Action/Adventure Game
- Dead Space (EA Redwood Shores/EA for PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
- Prince of Persia (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
- Resident Evil 5 (Capcom for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (LucasArts for PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360)
- Tomb Raider: Underworld (Crystal Dynamics/Eidos for PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

Best Role-Playing Game
- Chrono Trigger DS (Square-Enix for Nintendo DS)
- Dragon Age: Origins (BioWare/EA for PC)
- Fable 2 (Lionhead/Microsoft Game Studios for Xbox 360)
- Fallout 3 (Bethesda Softworks for PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
- Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood (BioWare/Sega for Nintendo DS)

Best Racing Game
- Baja: Edge of Control (2XL Games/THQ for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
- Midnight Club: Los Angeles (Rockstar San Diego/Rockstar Games for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
- MotorStorm: Pacific Rift (Evolution Studios/Sony Computer Entertainment for PlayStation 3)
- Pure (Black Rock/Disney Interactive Studios for PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

Best Fighting Game
- Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe (Midway Chicago/Midway for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)
- Soulcalibur IV (Namco-Bandai Games for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
- Street Fighter IV (Capcom for Arcade)
- Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix (Capcom for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

Best Sports Game
- Madden NFL 09 (Tiburon/EA for All Systems)
- NBA Live 09 (EA Canada/EA for All Plaforms)
- Shaun White Snowboarding (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft for All Systems)
- Skate It (EA Black Box/EA for Nintendo Wii)
- Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 09 (Tiburon/EA Sports for PC, PS3, Wii, Xbox 360)

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