Golden Joystick Awards 2012: Best Handheld category – who are you voting for?

As voting for the Golden Joystick Awards 2012 enters its final weeks, we take a look at each of the individual categories. Today is the turn of Best Handheld category.

Best Handheld shortlist:

Who are we voting for?

Matt Cundy (UK Editor): Wipeout 2048 on Vita is Wipeout’s signature Speed/Design/Sounds formula tweaked to blissful perfection, which makes it all the more gutting that the Studio Liverpool team behind the series has been closed down. Massively instrumental in defining and popularising the PlayStation brand and bringing gaming at large to the masses as a cool, credible form of entertainment, a Golden Joystick is the very least Wipeout deserves in recognition of its contribution to gaming culture.

David Houghton (UK Associate Editor): It's Super Mario 3D Land. No question about it. Forget any nonsense you might have heard about it being a cut-down, simplified 3D Mario game. It's actually far from it. What we have in SM3DL is the absolute best qualities of original 2D Mario filtered through the lens of everything Nintendo has ever learned about 3D design. It's not like Super Mario Galaxy, because it's not trying to be. In stead it's a glorious re-realisation of everything Mario was about before polygons happened, and as such it's the finest and truest Mario game since the SNES. 

Justin Towell (UK Content Editor): Even though I gave Mario Kart 7 my first ever 10/10 at review, I still think even that masterpiece is second to Super Mario 3D Land. I’ve seldom played a game that keeps the level of quality so high throughout its duration, nor one that works so well for novices or experts. It’s absolutely flawless and I love it, even after the 100th retry on that last extra level. I just wish I hadn’t finished it so completely because now there’s not really anything left to see.

Those are the handheld games getting our votes, but what about you – who are you voting for? Tell us in the comments.

Head to Golden Joystick Awards to vote. Voting closes 22 October. The Golden Joystick Awards 2012 take place 26 October.

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  • Stejli - October 12, 2012 10:54 a.m.

    Gravity Rush for me. Since I don't own a 3DS I can't say much about other games. Spent most of the time during Gamescom trying to get all the achievements and did it while waiting to play DmC/Resi 6/Lost Planet 3. Plus it looks great, the gameplay is simply amazing but the best part is flying or rather falling around the city. On the downside the story is rather simple and as stated before by sweetchiliheat the sliding is not executed well
  • ThatGamerDude - October 11, 2012 7:07 p.m.

    I guess I'm the odd one out because I voted for Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance. That game was some of the best time I have spent playing a DS in years!
  • AshLynx - October 11, 2012 6:07 p.m.

    Pokemon Black and White 2 for me. Yes, it's the same tried and true formula, but I'm having way more fun with 2 than I did with 1 to be honest. Also, I don't have the money to get either a Vita or a 3DS right now or in the near future, where's an option for the DS people who can afford some games, but not the new handhelds? Especially when we did have a great game released this year? I do want to get Gravity Rush at some point though.
  • Clovin64 - October 11, 2012 11:38 a.m.

    Resi Revelations for me, no question. It was everything I'd hoped for: a proper old school Resi adventure utilizing Resi 4's over the shoulder view. It also proved that Capcom still knows how to do good survival horror and it single handedly restored my faith in the Resi franchise. Miles ahead of the dissapointing Resi 6.
  • jackthemenace - October 11, 2012 11:30 a.m.

    Definitely Dream Drop Distance. It might not be AS amazing as Kingdom hearts 2, but, when the other game's Kingdom Hearts 2, it's never going to be. The game plays amazingly well, considering it's on a handheld, and the graphics- not to mention the controls- are a big enough step up from the PSP, not to mention the DS instalments. The story's brilliant, and worlds are original- if not a little forgettable- and it plays like a charm. It's got my vote for sure.
  • sweetchiliheat - October 11, 2012 6:39 a.m.

    My favourite isn't actually on the list, but I'll give my two cents regarding what I thought on each game (that I own) 3DS Mario Kart 7 was pretty good. One of the few games I can play with the 3D maxed, it felt like a true upgrade from MK Wii. However, after beating the mirror cup with a star rank on each track (gr...Rainbow Road...) I really didn't feel any need to play it, just at leisure. KH3D felt like more of the same. I really didn't enjoy having to switch between Sora and Riku, the worlds felt like hollow copies of each other (for the sake of the story, they are) and although BBS included multiple characters, the worlds explored new areas, and you didn't immediately revisit the same world. I still haven't finished KH3D, but it doesn't seem to have gripped me like KH2 or BBS Vita The only Vita game I own is Gravity Rush. Many positive reviews had me eager to get the game, and it didn't disappoint. The controls are extremely good, save for gravity sliding, and the story is generally interesting. Your super powers make traversing the city a general delight and combat is relatively simple, but that doesn't mean it's easy. Although I haven't finished Gravity Rush, whenever I start to play it I lose 3-4 hours of my life to it. It's a game where free roam exploration and side quests are something you'll want to do, not because they're unique, but because you want to gain stronger powers and level Kat up. And finally my favourite handheld game of this year: Final Fantasy Theatrhythm, despite having a name atrociously hard to spell, is my favourite game this year. Although I've only finished one numbered entry (FF13) I love this game. Maybe it sprouts from the delight I had playing Dissidia, but I find this game immensely enjoyable. The controls are good, the music is outstanding (obviously), the DLC is there, but not required for the whole experience (it's just extra tracks) and the multiple difficulties and ranks make it worth playing over and over. I could spent a whole lot of time explaining everything about it, but you don't want to hear that. Instead I'll just leave it at: My favourite handheld game this year is Final Fantasy Theatrhythm.
  • taokaka - October 11, 2012 3:59 a.m.

    Gravity rush, Gravity rush, a thousand times Gravity rush! But firstly why I didn't vote for the others I've played, golden abyss was just an average action game with excellent writing and graphics but far too many gimmicks and an inaccurate camera. Kid Icarus was the biggest influence on me getting a 3ds and it was certainly a good game, the dialogue was entertaining, the graphics were outstanding and the level design was great, however the bad guys were truly overshadowed by the true villain, the controls. WipEout 2048 was the best racer I played in years, the controls and physics were outstanding, it did the near impossible for the racing genre, it actually looked different visually but my only problems with it were the loading times and the random capital E in it's title. Super mario 3d land was my second attempt at 3d mario games after 64 DS failed to hook me, at first 3d land succeeded but about half way through I just lost interest after having the good level design ruined by something the game was actually praised for, it's 3d. I got annoyed after so many situations where the camera moved to a stupid angle and I would fail a jump a few times then resort to turning on the eye murdering 3d and succeed immediately, if you play with the 3d on this shouldn't be a problem but it was damn annoying for me. Now why Gravity Rush? Kat's eyes. But apart from my love for her glowing red beauties I also just loved falling everywhere, screw walking, flying, swimming or any other mode of transport I just want to fall everywhere now. It was also one of the few games I actually went out and collected the hidden items and on top of that it had a simple yet fantastically told story. The only bad thing about this game are the boss battles however the greatest thing about this game is it's the most beautiful looking game of the year. And also falling...... and Kat's eyes.