Spike TV’s VGAs 2010 Thoughts

You know, I expressed my disinterest in this year’s show because I thought it was gonna be an embarrassment to watch. I expressed this over on Twitter and some of you said you were just watching for the trailers. I pointed out they’d be posted on GameTrailers anyway, yet you all still went on about it. Well I watched the encore presentation right after the first airing and I was absolutely right about the whole thing.
The show starts off with a big, showy dance entrance for Neil Patrick Harris. At first, I had no idea what the hell to make of it until he showed up, told them all to stop and wondered what any of that had to do with video games. I chuckled and agreed…until they went the route of “video games = violence” by having him gun down the dancers in the least believable act I’ve ever seen. This, right here, set the tone for the rest of the show. Poor Neil. He’s a great actor, but good god, did they give him some of the worst material to work with. When you have him using video game names as porn titles, you know SpikeTV believes that video gamers are total morons.

From there, we got a bunch of celebrities that have nothing to do with video games other than “Hurr, I play video games!” Dane Cook…WHY? Why would you invite him? No one likes him. Only hipster kids that have never heard of the comedians who’s material he’s stolen from and loose women like him.

The other celebrity they grabbed was Olivia Munn. Talk about Sloppy Thirds, right there. She’s not with G4 anymore, is likely gone from her trial run on The Daily Show and it’s obvious she’s just there to stand around and look pretty. Why else would she bitch at Neil Patrick Harris for being a host when she’s “gone through 4 Red Rings of Death to watch all of the cutscenes of Metal Gear Solid 4” or how she had to “gargle hot dogs  for nerds on TV?” These are her words, too. That should tell you why no one in the gaming industry likes her.

For the musical performance, we got a thrilling performance by…My Chemical Romance? What the hell? Well according to Geoff Keighley, they’re relevant to video games because their music’s appeared in Rock Band and Guitar Hero, as well as having a song in Gran Turismo 5. Really? You couldn’t get a better band? Hell, you couldn’t have made it actually related to video games in some way? Why not get all of the many bands that can do Mega Man covers? If you really wanna outdo it, get The Black Mages to perform some Final Fantasy music. That way it’s at least video game related and not fucking terrible to listen to.

So what were we talking about? Oh yeah, this was a video games award show, right? I totally forgot because of all of the unrelated celebrities and god awful skits thrown around. So let’s start with the trailers. One of the things Geoff was bragging about was a special guest appearance by someone famous. Several people on Twitter asked if it was Kevin Butler or some of the big name creators. Turns out it was just movie director Guillermo Del Toro announcing his new game. Well okay then. So much for that one. Moving on, we got another trailer for Portal 2. I love Portal and I can’t wait for Portal 2, but come on. We already knew it was coming and the trailer really only showed us what we’re likely going to be doing for the multiplayer aspect without using any actual game footage. So how’s that a “World Premiere” when everything else was revealed for the first time?

Finally, let’s talk about the awards…the part they covered the absolute least of, oddly enough. Two things that absolutely bothered me before the week of this show were the nominee selections and the categories. One quick glance through the list and you’ll see this show is only targeting Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 games. Oh sure, there’s a PC category, a Wii category and a Handheld category, but where’s the rest? PC games were hardly mentioned in the genre categories, obviously missing an MMO category (Geoff Keighley actually believes Final Fantasy XIV did not release this year) and so on. Wii games were also missing from various genres, leaving it solely being 360/PS3 titles and Nintendo only having its pitiful Wii section. And why are the DS and PSP slapped into just one category? I could understand if there was maybe some Apple games thrown in, but there were only 2 DS and 2 PSP games to choose from. Are you kidding me? Speaking of ridiculous categories, why oh why does “Best Soundtrack” contain ONLY music games? You have a “Best Music Game” section for that reason. Not only that, but there’s a third section titled “Best Original Score.” Can we be even more redundant? Yes, we can; “Best Song in a Game.” Cut that shit out. It should be just “Best Music Game” and “Best Soundtrack” with music games being NOWHERE near the “Best Soundtrack” section.

And where’s the “Best Fighting Game” section? It’s nowhere to be seen. I know for sure we saw Super Street Fighter IV, BlazBlue: Continuum Shift, Tatsunoko vs Capcom and a couple of Dragon Ball Z games. Oh, I see why. It’s because they’re Japanese games. A good hard look at the list of games chosen were dominantly made in the west. Bias? Totally not true!

Now let’s also take a moment the games chosen to be on the list. The VGAs were held on December 11, meaning they had to have had the votes in before that time for planned skits and so on. Voting began around three weeks ago, which was basically around the end of November.

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops
  • Donkey Kong Country Returns
  • God of War: Ghost of Sparta
  • Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood
  • Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit
  • Dance Central

Six games voted for “Best Game” sections that were all released in the month of NOVEMBER. Donkey Kong Country Returns wasn’t even out yet when the list of nominees was chosen. So not only are games chosen by reviewers that have had access to copies of these games prior to their release (as well as outlets just anticipating the games), but we also get votes from people who’ve yet to play the games just because they’re excited for them. These games shouldn’t even be on the list as they’ve not had time to marinate; to settle in with the rest of the games released this year to be truly worthy of being called the best of the best.

All in all, this was absolute shit, as I knew it would be. It’s a complete mockery and a total insult to those that actually do enjoy video games and aren’t the slobbering morons that SpikeTV likes to believe we are.

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One comment on “Spike TV’s VGAs 2010 Thoughts

  1. I agree with your opinion on the Spike VGAs in general. I mean, best movie/TV based game last year was the South Park game for XBLA which was just average while they completely forgot about Ghost Busters. However, I did agree with their Game of the Year for 2009 though. Personally though, I never watched any of the VGAs except for the first 15 minutes of last year’s and then I decided I will never watch this again.

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