The 2011 Spike Video Game Awards: A Retro Diary

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1h:02m — Tony Hawk is up, definitely looking like someone that spent the last 30-plus years of his life skateboarding. I love the guy, but my initial thought being “When did DJ Qualls bulk up?” probably isn’t a good sign.

He presents the first trailer for the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man movie tie-in, and then … that’s it. Welp.

1h:04m — Hulk Hogan comes on stage to yell the word “maniacs” a few times, and then about 85% of the night’s awards are rattled off in a 50-second video montage. AND THE WINNERS ARE *inhale*


They all won stuff for things that they worked really hard on. Congrats!

1h:05m — Back to Felicia for another game, this time bobbing for cupcakes in the name of LittleBigPlanet 2 with Brooklyn Decker. At the end, she tells Brooklyn that she’s “+25 agility in this area” while motioning towards her head. Brooklyn gets the same look on her face that I get when my cousin talks to me about air traffic control, then politely smiles towards the camera. Yikes.

1h:14m — The Black Keys are cool and all, but how much cooler would it be if The Protomen played here instead? I think that would be cooler, anyway. Seeing Miyamoto bob his head to the music made up for it, though.

1h:18m — We meet the Black Baron, a YouTube user that posted a video about the crappiness of last year’s show that apparently hurt Spike’s feelings enough to invite him as a guest to THIS year’s show and sit him next to a Spike executive. This moment is the polar opposite of the Zelda/Hall of Fame segment, for anyone asking.

1h:21m — Stacey Kiebler introduces the world premiere trailer for Transformers: Fall of Cybertron, just as the Mayans foretold.

1h:30m — Charlie Sheen has been in movies that parodied other movies that had video games based on them, so it was only a matter of time before he was presenting the award for Best Shooter to Modern Warfare 3 at the Spike VGAs.

Sledgehammer Games co-founder and COO Michael Condrey gets a teabagging from Sgt. Lipton because Infinity Ward’s Robert Bowling takes too long with his acceptance speech. Somewhere, someone learned a lesson about something.

1h:34m — Weird: Cliff Blezinski is on stage to introduce the trailer for Epic Games’ newest game, Fortnite. Not Charles Barkley, not Zach Galifianakis, not the Ultimate Warrior … someone directly involved in the development of a game was allowed to talk about it for a little bit without fear of teabagging. Crazy!

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Meanwhile, Fortnite appears to be a cartoonier take on zombie survival, channeling more Plants vs. Zombies than Left 4 Dead. It also seems to take its name very literally — fortifying your position in time to defend against enemy hordes that strike when the sun sets.

1h:39m — Bears can smell the menstruation, and so can Dr. Pepper Ten.

1h:42m — Blizzard Entertainment being presented with something called a Gamer God award by the stars of the American Pie movies is pretty much par for the course. At least we get a sweet-ass Diablo III video out of it.

1h:49m — Out-of-Context Quote of the Night: “Your urine is magical!”

1h:50m — Felicia Day comes onto the main stage in a lovely red dress to introduce a BioShock Infinite trailer, and all is right with the world.

Both look magnificent, by the way.

1h:57mThe Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim wins Game of the Year, while also picking up RPG of the Year and earning Studio of the Year for Bethesda. I guess none of the judges played the game on PS3.

2h:00m — Hideo Kojima is always noticeably nervous when speaking in front of American crowds, especially with his less-than-great English. Yet he never backs away from it when duty calls, and you’ve got to respect that.

As for the “truth behind Metal Gear Solid: Rising,” it turns out that I was pretty much right when I said it might as well be vaporware — the game was quietly canceled a while back. Fortunately, Platinum Games was there to pick up the pieces, and the game was renamed Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. Despite some retooling, the game is looking as good as ever, and working with the Metal Gear name will finally get Platinum the sales success that they so sorely deserve.


And that’s the 2011 Spike Video Game Awards. Watching it all over again, yeah, it was mostly terrible. If you look really hard you’ll find a couple of glimpses of competence, almost enough to give you hope for next year’s show.