RPGamer 2019 Awards – Michael A. Cunningham Memorial Award

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Michael A. Cunningham Memorial Award

Virgo Versus the Zodiac

For our 2018 awards we unveiled a new special award in memoriam of our longtime Editor-in-Chief Michael A. Cunningham. RPGamer’s awards were always one of his favourite projects and it seems only right that his name should remain attached to them. Unlike the other awards that are voted on by the staff as a whole, the Michael A. Cunningham Memorial Award is determined solely by the awards committee and given to a game that we feel is deserving of special recognition for any particular reason, be it one that endeavours to try new things, brings incredible emotion to the genre, or evokes many of the positive elements that Mac himself displayed.



As covered in our Most Overlooked award, Virgo Versus the Zodiac is a delightful title that deserves more attention than it has received. There may be a number of potential reasons for that, but it is exactly the sort of title that Mac would try and ensure he spread the good word about. The game does a great job combining some old-school pixel graphics with fresh gameplay and narrative ideas. It also has a fantastic soundtrack, and if there’s one thing Mac enjoyed, it was a good video game soundtrack. On top of this, a highly enjoyable battle system, a changeable difficulty setting that caters to RPGamers of all types, and excellent writing go together to make it one that, despite a few weaknesses, sticks in the memory.

With so many RPGs being released nowadays, it can be tough to stand out, but Virgo Versus the Zodiac does a fine job of doing so. It deserves all of the love it has received so far, and more. It is fully deserving of more attention from the gaming sphere, and we hope to give it some with this award.


by Alex Fuller



This award is dedicated to the memory of our friend Michael A. Cunningham. Mac started at RPGamer in 2006 and would go on to become the long-running Editor-in-Chief. While Mac loved RPGs, he especially loved handheld games, founding the #TeamHandheld hashtag as well as running a personal project site featuring his musings on portable games.

You can see Michael’s top games, which is to a Google Document because Mac loved organizing lists in spreadsheets, a tradition continued with our speadsheet-based awards voting form. You can also read the tributes to Michael from the community as well as a list of our favorite works by Mac as well as Francis Gayon’s musical tribute based on Mac’s favourite game, Final Fantasy IV. Also, a special thanks to our friends at RPGFan who dedicated their Top 25 Nintendo 3DS Games and Top 20 PlayStation Vita Games features to Michael’s memory.