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1997 saw the second round of major Nintendo 64 releases. By this point, developers were starting to get confortable working on the new platform, and it showed in the dramatic increase in the level of quality and sheer rate of new games produced during that year.
Foremost among these was GoldenEye 007, a game so influental, it revolutionized the first-person shooter genre. Indeed, its impact was so profound that the gameplay elements it created would be incorported into many of the best releases of the following decade. The disproportionate reaction to GoldenEye 007 can even be seen in this year's awards: if nothing else, it swept more categories than even Super Mario 64 did during the previous year.
Despite the large shadow cast by GoldenEye 007, there were plenty of other great releases during this year, even if they lacked the same enduring fame. Among these were Tetrisphere, Mischief Makers, Bomberman 64, Turok: Dinosaur Hunter and Star Fox 64, all appealing to different crowds of Nintendo gamers. WCW vs. nWo: World Tour was also notable for an unexpected surge of popularity with pro-wresting fans and gamers alike.
Perhaps the most interesting contest during these awards was the rivalry between Mario Kart 64 and Diddy Kong Racing, both light-hearted racing games appealing to gamers of all ages. Although it appears that Diddy Kong Racing may have come out ahead as far as these awards are concerned (it won Best Racing Game and came in second for Best N64 Game overall), both games continued to be wildly popular for many years afterwards.
Lastly, it came as a shock to even Nintendo Power editors of the time that there were still enough quality Super Nintendo titles being released to make the Best Super NES Game category worth even including. This is mostly due to the surprise hit Harvest Moon, a latecomer RPG with the novel idea of simulating a peaceful life on a farm that would eventually spawn an entire series of sequels. This, combined with a strong showing from Kirby in Kirby's Dream Land 3 and the sleeper hit The Lost Vikings 2, gave the SNES the respectful farewell it deserved.
Winners and Runners-Up
The following is the list of winners and runners-up.
|Best Play Control|
|Best Racing Game|
|Best Sports Game|
|Coolest Item or Weapon|
|Best Party Game Since Twister|
|Coolest Code or Trick|
|The Creative Chaos Award|
|The Golden Rumble Pak|
|The Golden Bandage Award|
|The More-Annoying-Than-The-Spice-Girls Award|
|Best Hero or Heroine|
|Best Super NES Game|
|Best Game Boy Game|
|Best N64 Game|
Total number of nominations
The following lists the number of nominations for each game.
- GoldenEye 007 - 17 (16) nominations*
- Star Fox 64 - 12 nominations
- Diddy Kong Racing - 12 nominations
- Turok: Dinosaur Hunter - 11 (10) nominations*
- FIFA Road to the World Cup '98 - 7 nominations
- Top Gear''''' Rally - 7 nominations
- Mario Kart 64 - 6 nominations
- WCW vs. NWO: World Tour - 6 (5) nominations*
- Blast Corps - 6 nominations
- San Francisco Rush - 6 nominations
- ClayFighter 63⅓ - 5 nominations
- AeroFighters Assault - 4 nominations
- Automobili Lamborghini - 4 nominations
- Harvest Moon - 3 nominations
- NFL Quarterback Club '98 - 3 nominations
- Madden 64 - 3 nominations
- NBA Hangtime - 3 nominations
- Extreme-G - 3 nominations
- Tamagotchi - 2 nominations
- Mischief Makers - 2 nominations
- Bomberman 64 - 2 nominations
- Duke Nukem 64 - 2 nominatinos
- Hexen - 2 nominations
- Doom 64 - 2 nominations
- Tetrisphere - 2 nominations
- Multi Racing Championship - 2 nominations
- Wheel of Fortune - 2 nominations
- F-1 Pole Position - 2 nominations
- Donkey Kong Land 3 - 1 nomination
- Kirby's Dream Land 3 - 1 nomination
- Ken Griffey Jr. Presents: Major League Baseball - 1 nomination
- The Lost Vikings 2 - 1 nomination
- Mace: The Dark Age - 1 nomination
- The NHLPA & NHL Present Wayne Gretzky's 3-D Hockey '98 - 1 nomination
- Tetris Plus - 1 nomination
- Mortal Kombat Mythologies - 1 nomination
- International Superstar Soccer 64 - 1 nomination
- War Gods - 1 nomination
- Dark Rift - 1 nomination
- Arkanoid: Doh It Again - 1 nomination
- Brunswick World Tournament of Champions - 1 nomination
- Mole Mania - 1 nomination
- Some categories (specifically Coolest Item and Weapon as well as The Golden Bandage Award) had multiple nominations from a single game; the second, italicised number has been adjusted to reflect this.
Total number of awards
The following lists the number of awards for each game.
- GoldenEye 007 - 14 awards
- Star Fox 64 - 2 awards
- Harvest Moon - 1 award
- Donkey Kong Land 3 - 1 award
- Diddy Kong Racing - 1 award
- Turok: Dinosaur Hunter - 1 award
- NFL Quarterback Club '98 - 1 award
Readers of the magazine were presented with the list of nominees in Nintendo Power volume 106. Votes could be cast by subscribers either by email or "snail" mail. The votes were then tallied and announced in the pages of Nintendo Power volume 108.
- On the page announcing that Slippy Toad had won "The More-Annoying-Than-The-Spice-Girls Award," the editors quiped that "if you thought Slippy's non-stop whining was annoying in Star Fox 64, you should've heard his acceptance speech!"