Microsoft launching XBLA Awards

Console maker polling Xbox Live users to elect the best downloadable 360 games of 2007; winners announced during GDC 08.

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As award season continues to ramble on, a handful of top games have dominated the short lists, including Super Mario Galaxy, BioShock, and Call of Duty 4, among others. With the big-budget, high-profile games hogging the limelight, Microsoft will be calling out the best downloadable Xbox Live games this year with its inaugural Xbox Live Arcade Awards - 2007, to be awarded at the Game Developers Conference 2008 in February.

Though the finalists were selected by a panel of game-industry journalists, Microsoft is polling Xbox Live users to select the winners. Voting is currently open through Microsoft's Web site, and users will be able to cast their lots in each of the six categories until Wednesday, January 30.

Although each category is open to write-ins, top nominees include the Microsoft-sponsored student project Aegis Wing, classic board-game remakes Catan and Carcassonne from Big Huge Games and Sierra Online, respectively, as well as Backbone's Bomberman Live and Namco Bandai's Pac-Man Championship Edition. Microsoft will also be doling out awards in four additional categories: best-selling game, most played game, highest-rated game, and staff choice.

Nominees for the inaugural Xbox Live Arcade Awards - 2007 are listed in full below.

Best Overall Arcade Game:
Puzzle Quest
Pac-Man Championship Edition
Carcassonne
Bomberman Live
Alien Hominid
Catan

Best Cooperative Multiplayer Game:
Alien Hominid
Golden Axe
Aegis Wing
Double Dragon
Arkadian Warriors
TMNT

Best Family Friendly Game:
Pac-Man Championship Edition
Carcassonne
Catan
Bomberman Live
Hexic 2
Every Extend Extra Extreme

Best Classic Game:
Castlevania
Prince of Persia
Asteroids
Jetpac Refuelled
Sensible World of Soccer
Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Best Competitive Multiplayer Game:
Puzzle Quest
Carcassonne
Bomberman Live
Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix
Undertow
Catan

Best Original Game:
Pac-Man Championship Edition
Boom Boom Rocket
Aegis Wing
Undertow
Band of Bugs
Hexic 2

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