Tuesday, 11 December 2012

The VGAs - Good, bad, ugly, and extremely questionable

The VGAs have finally passed for yet another year, and again this one was set to be the "best one yet!" by the one and only Geoff Keighly again and, what a show eh!.......right?

Celbrating 10 years. Wait, they've ran for 10 years?!?

There was a lot of speculation on what this would turn out like before it even began, and not only that, there was a fair bit of debate about some of the awards as well, considering that at the time of announcing them, The Walking Dead(which was in GotY and such) had an episode left to be released, and two of the games for the Wii award weren't even out yet as the Wii U hadn't hit anywhere! So they where questioned as to why they where added. No response was ever given from what i remember, but i still never agreed with the idea. Trailers flew everywhere, two new title announcements where thrown in the loop, some update trailers to games and some new content trailers shown as well. That was all good and fine, but this never felt like an award ceremony in the end. Before i begin, here's the list of awards and who won each(taken from Destructoid):

  • Game of the Year: The Walking Dead
  • Studio of the Year: Telltale Games
  • Best Xbox 360 Game: Halo 4
  • Best PS3 Games: Journey
  • Best Wii/Wii U Game: New Super Mario Bros U
  • Best PC Game: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
  • Best Shooter: Borderlands 2
  • Best Action/Adventure: Dishonored
  • Best RPG: Mass Effect 3
  • Best Multiplayer: Borderlands 2
  • Best Individual Sports Game: SSX
  • Best Team Sports Game: NBA 2k13
  • Best Drviing Game: Need for Speed Most Wanted
  • Best Song in a Game: "Cities" by Beck, from Sound Shapes
  • Best Original Score: Journey
  • Best Graphics: Halo 4
  • Best Independent Game: Journey
  • Best Fighting Game: Persona 4 Arena
  • Best Handheld/Mobile Game: Sound Shapes
  • Best Performance by a Human Male: Dameon Clarke in Borderlands 2 as "Handsome Jack"
  • Best Performance by a Human Female: Melissa Hutchison in The Walking Dead as "Clementine"
  • Best Adapted Game: The Walking Dead
  • Best DLC: The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim - Dawnguard
  • Best Downloadable Game: The Walking Dead
  • Best Social Game: You Don't Know Jack
  • Game of the Decade: Half-Life 2
  • Character of the year: Claptrap from Borderlands 2
  • Most Anticipated Game: Grand Theft Auto 5

Now here's where the issues arise. Only six of these awards where shown during the 2 hour ceremony. Six. Take that as 1 every 20 minutes. This is disgusting. You've made an award ceremony more like an entertainment event and less of a congratulations for those that made these titles. What's more, if the situation with Jennifer Hale is anything to go by, we know that awards that where given away outside of the screened event weren't even mentioned to all the nominees. During an interview 45 minutes after the Best Performance by a Human Female was given out, she was told that Melissa won it. She didn't even know beforehand and was still hoping for a win. How terrible can you get at this? For an event that is 10 years old this year, they certainly haven't learned how to run it properly yet. It also tells me that these promises of Keighly, and Spike TV no less, are all empty and hold no solid ground.

The trailers shown throughout weren't bad i'll admit, and we got a good dose of them too. South Park : The Stick of Truth opened the event fairly well, and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 got a good showing. The Last of Us was dated finally for the 7th of May next year, far earlier than i had expected it to be, and showed off a new trailer. Tomb Raider had a new trailer, but was kind of ruined by the camera going to focus on the orchestra more, as much i respect the music, we where there for the game. Halo 4 and Assassins Creed 3 showed off new content in the works for it, Halo 4 with the latter half of the Spartan Ops season, and AC3 with The Tyranny of King Washington, a "What if" kind of DLC focusing on if he was a tyrant instead of a hero, basically.

Watch as MGS reveals itself to you.

Finally, two new trailers showed themselves. We got The Phantom Pain from Moby Dick Studios, which we may as well just say now is Metal Gear Solid V. it was quite obvious by some of the tells on the screen as well as the title screen shown. Also, noone is fulled by "Joakim Mogren", Joakim is an anagram of Kojima, and Mogren is a reference to Project Ogre. All in all, say Hi to MGSV. One other title was announced, Dark Souls II. Presented by Jessica Alba, which was ok, but i felt she was a little out of place with the whole event. Dark Souls 2 has me both excited and concerned. It means more Dark Souls, which is never a bad thing, but at the same time it's not Hidetaka Miyazaki directing, but Tomohiro Shibuya, who's more well known for Resident Evil: Outbreak. He wants to make it more "straightforward" and "understandable" for players. This worries me, but a topic for another day.

We then got a fair dose of music from Tenacious D, Linkin Park(for Medal of Honor: Warfighters theme i think) and some orchestrated music from composers who worked on AC3 and other titles. All seems well and good right? Well, not really. Sure Samuel L Jackson presented it well, but where were the awards? where the heck was the respect to the other nominees for awards given out outwith the screened event? Where was this "return of a classic franchise", as it sure as hell wasn't Castlevania, as we knew it was there already. This wasn't an award show, it was an excuse to blow their budget on whatever big names they could get and make it look fancy, and as such turned into a show of nothing more than trailers, music, with nothing much else to speak of. If this is the way things are going to continue moving forward, i don't want to be a part of it. And i hope to hell that companies catch on, avoid all the glamour this seems to bring with it companies as best you can, it's not really well designed and it sure as hell ain't fun to watch either. Give us a proper set of awards, ones where all games are out for the public to vote on, where we don't need big names to make it fancy, because it doesn't need to be fancy in the first bloody place. Keep it clean, keep it simple, and keep it fair. Try it for a change, you may learn something. Oh, and don't tell NeoGAF what you are doing when you aren't, it's not always a good idea to get them angry, or so i hear.

Ah well, i guess we can take one major positive out of this. Micheal Pachter said The Walking Dead would never win Game of the Year. DIDN'T PREDICT THAT ONE WELL, DID YOU NOW?!?

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