news\ Sep 27, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Spike TV 2009 Video Game Awards a bust

December 13, 2009

Spike TV 2009 Video Game Awards a bust
By Dakota Grabowski

Gaming needs a real awards show

Focusing on scripted moments that had Jack Black being removed from the stage by security and moments of silence from the crowd such as Star Trek’s Zachary Quinto hyping up Star Trek Online, the Spike TV 2009 Video Game Awards turned out to be uneventful and overly disappointing.

Featuring musical acts of Snoop Dogg and The Bravery, Spike TV once again proves that they don’t any clue on what gamers want.

This year was supposed to be all about world premieres and exclusive trailers. The end result was actually more along the lines of teasers with little gameplay footage to accompany said games.

Let’s not get started on the awards that were handed out – some were obvious choices, while the majority of others reek with “corporate sellouts” – so that’s a topic for whole another time.

Star Trek Online received no love from the crowd

In case you missed what was revealed, here’s a quick rundown:

  • The show began with the sequel to Batman: Arkham Asylum being announced. This was huge surprise, especially since Batman: AA released four short months ago. The trailer was all CG – the start of when things turned sour (yes, it was the opening minutes of the show).

  • Next, Activision’s True Crime series premiered a sequel and it’ll be set in Hong Kong. Underwhelming from start to finish, the footage was nowhere near gorgeous.

  • Tron Evolution was shown next and it was among the most confusing trailers at the show. The genre isn’t clear and the gameplay footage didn’t exactly connect with the direction the development might be going with the title.

  • Spike TV’s Deadliest Warrior video game was detailed; the footage shown was all CG with a ninja taking on an armored knight. Unsurprisingly, no information was provided on what the gameplay will revolve around.

  • UFC 2010: Undisputed started out with several fighters asking the viewer, “Do you want to be a fighter?” At the tail end of the video, the trailer finally shows in-game footage that shows off Kimbo as one of the new fighters on the roster. Not much to see here either.

  • LucasArts and Samuel L. Jackson presented an all-CG Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II. Not much to see here; there wasn’t any gameplay footage provided in the trailer.

  • Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands debuted Ubisoft’s new character model for the Prince and the canning of the cel-shaded graphics from 2008’s Prince of Persia. The trailer that debuted at the VGAs was no different than the normal VGA world premiere– in other words, all CG.

  • 2K Games Spec Ops franchise is returning and it did so with an impressive trailer that is the fourth title of the night to feature in-game footage. The atmospheric and sweeping sand landscapes stood out among as the better reveals at the 2009 VGAs.

  • Crackdown 2 delivered in-game footage, but it was often confusing to see what was going on and what exactly has been added in the sequel upon first viewing. At least the footage wasn’t CG.

As expected, Crackdown 2 is overloaded with explosions

  • Green Day: Rock Band was announced by the band themselves – too bad nobody cares. Footage looked rather uninspired and contrived; no wonder the genre is in a funk with sales.

  • Electronic Arts showed that it has been watching Call of Duty: Modern Warfare for the past two years rock the sales charts and, thus, has decided to take Medal of Honor into the not-so-distant future as our heroes will be taking down terrorists. Oh, and the trailer confirmed that kicking a chair across a room is laughable.

  • Lastly, Microsoft finally brought forth Halo Reach. No gameplay footage was revealed, but at least the footage was using the newly created in-game engine.

It’s easy to see the biggest problem with the world premieres at the 2009 VGAs – they don’t feature enough gameplay footage.

But without the world premieres, there was not a single reason to tune in and waste two hours watching the pitifully scripted award show. The jokes fell flat such as Zach Braff coming out and calling the audience nerds. The awards that were given out were disastrous including Uncharted 2 not winning Best Action Game while winning Best PS3 Game and Game of the Year later on in the show. How is the Game of the Year not the best game in its genre? Ludicrous, I tell you. Ludicrous!

The list of atrocious decisions that were made at the Spike TV 2009 VGAs is an extensive one. The show has never been above mediocre since its inception and its future doesn’t look all that better either. Let’s hope the light dies out on this terrible award show and one that doesn’t compromise integrity fills its place.

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