And the Winner for WiiWare Game of the Year Is...

As if there was any doubt. I just received the latest issue of Nintendo Power, which contains the results for this year's Nintendo Power Awards. And as one might expect, the Blue Bomber took home the gold in a few categories, courtesy of his latest adventure in Mega Man 9.

The other nominees in the category "WiiWare Game of the Year" were Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King, LostWinds, Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People, Tetris Party, and World of Goo. And the new class got schooled by the oldschool, as Mega Man 9 took a whopping 39% of the Readers' Pick, with the closest runner-up being Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People.

The WiiWare service had a great start, with a steady output of quality releases that included some of the year's best games. Mega Man 9 tops them all because, in addition to its fun and challenging gameplay, the title is a fantastic example of the breadth of game styles made possible by direct download-- the game would have been considered too risky to ever sell in stores. Here's hoping more creative ideas are given a chance thanks to Mega Man 9's success.

In addition, Mega Man 9 was awarded the title of "Best Shooter/Action Game," taking in an even more impressive 44% of the Readers' Pick votes.

Even though Mega Man 9 was created to play like a decades-old game, its blast-and-jump action stands up to the best that modern gaming has to offer. And although we at Nintendo Power fondly remember similar titles from the good old days, there's much more to Mega Man 9 than nostalgia. It's the ultimate test for elite Wii players of all ages, with incredibly challenging-- but fair-- gameplay that gets even better with optional downloadable extras.

And finally, there was one award Mega Man 9 was up for, but did not take: The "Overall Game of the Year" award. And to be fair, it was up against some very stiff competition, including Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Mario Kart Wii, No More Heroes, Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia, Rock Band 2, and more.

In the end, Mega Man 9 came away with only 2% of the Readers' Pick vote, which is still respectable, beating out other contenders such as Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia and Kirby Super Star Ultra. But it was just not to be.

In addition, Nintendo Power compiled a list of past Game of the Year winners, dating all the way back to the magazine's humble origins and the time the awards were known as "The Nesters," wherein Mega Man 4 took the NES Game of the Year award in 1992.