The Spike TV Video Game Awards are a joke and they’ll probably never be more than that. If it wasn’t for the fact that the gaming industry is given the chance to run two hours worth of commercials on prime time hours, I doubt most developers/publishers would even take part in this event. Unfortunately, it is great exposure and a great chance to show off new titles, so it isn’t likely that the VGAs are going anywhere any time soon.
However, despite the majority of the show being nothing but a snorefest filled with God awful music and crappy writing, there are always a few gems that shine through — diamonds in the rough, if you will. Last night, the VGAs did a lot of things wrong, but then again, it had five brief moments where everything felt just right with the world and everything was justified. Though I do tie this in as being pure dumb luck, it should go without saying that it did make the two hours of horror worth watching.
We’ve compiled our top five things that we feel went right last night at the Spike TV Awards and hopefully the show can build on that for next year — but probably not.
Batman: Arkham City
The only downside I can think of of the teaser for Arkham City last night was that it contained some slight footage we had previously seen. Outside of that, the footage was done excellently in CGI and the narrative from Hugo Strange made it very compelling. It’s obvious that Rocksteady wants the best for its Batman franchise and you could really get that sense of TLC while watching Bruce kick some major Splinter Cell ass last night.
However, I really can’t get over the dialogue between Strange and the soldier. It’s similar to a scene in a movie that draws you in and helps give you the impression that you’re truly a part of the world going on within the game. Of course, Arkham isn’t a city you’d probably want to live in, but it drags you in just the same. Batman: Arkham Asylum was such a gem in the rough, it’s hard to imagine any other Batman title surpassing it in quality, but it’s shaping up to feel as though Arkham City will be able to do just that.
I was surprised last night when they lead the show off with Arkham City as well. It gave me the feeling as though maybe the VGAs we’re going to justify how great the industry truly is, but then I remembered the opening number and how ridiculous it was and quickly came back down to reality.
Game of the Year Winner
If you’re like me, you were dreading that gamers would be dumb enough to vote in with Call of Duty: Black Ops as the runaway favorite for Game of the Year. I become increasingly bothered by this when they revealed that Sgt Woods had won Character of the Year — it felt like a bad foreshadowing of things to come and I didn’t like that at all. Thankfully, when NPH finally read off the winner, Red Dead Redemption had won and things felt right in the world.
As a PlayStation website, obviously we would have loved to have seen God of War III win the award, but in all honesty, Red Dead Redemption brought something special to gamers this year. It broke away from the mold and though it still involved pillaging and killing, it did so in a unique way that we hadn’t had the chance to take part in as of late. This was a refreshing experience and something that I truly enjoyed from start to finish.
To further the justification of how gamers got this one right, you only need to look at how well the game was supported after release as well. The Undead Nightmanre DLC has been rich in content and absolutely crazy. It added a new element to the game that made playing it feel brand spanking new. Add on to that all of the other DLC and you have a title that was definitely worthy of its award.
To me, Portal 2’s trailer was done perfectly. It showed off how the game was going to offer 2-player support in the form of co-op and that was it. In all honesty, I didn’t want it to show off any more than that. Portal is the type of franchise that you want to know as little about going into the game so that you can enjoy it fully. You know it’s going to be a great game and it’s going to follow in the footsteps of the original, so it’s only a matter of time before you can pick it up and have it in your hands.