Login

GoNintendo 'End of Day' thought - Destin Feature - The VGAs: Better, but not quite there yet.

gonintendo endofday border

I did not have a chance to watch this year’s Spike TV VGAs, but our good friend Destin has. He’s put together his thoughts on the show, and I sure hope you enjoy reading them. A lot of people have been discussing this year’s show compared to last, and it’s been very interesting to see what the opinion of the overall product is. A great discussion article to lead us into a new week. See you guys in a few, short hours! - RMC

MainTemplate2.jpg

If you turn on Spike TV around December you’ll probably catch the Video Game Awards.  It’s Spike’s yearly award show that recognizes achievements by developers and actors in areas such as voice acting, best shooter, and game of the year.  It’s also a show where, for the first time you’ll see reveals of all the best games coming down the road.

This year was honestly one of the best shows since it’s inception 8 years ago.  They only had a few things that prevented the show from being the best it possibly could have been.  I have praises and criticisms so lets look at both and hopefully it’ll help it be even better next year.  What follows below is my point by point breakdown and natural reaction to many of the reveals.
What the VGAs got wrong

Opening with dancers
When the show began we were treated to a small dancing number by a group of men in white outfits.  They preformed a choreographed number that automatically had me asking “what is this?”  I was about to go on a tirade along the lines of “we don’t need this” or “why is this here” but luckily Neil Patrick Harris beat me to it.

What they did right.

Neil Patrick Harris
Neil came out after the dancers asking “what the hell is this” before gunning down the lemming like performers.  This move won a lot of brownie points right off the bat.  It was comedic, enjoyable and showed that this year was going to be different.  For the most part, it was.

What the VGAs got wrong

Where’s the Nintendo love?
Did I miss something or did Nintendo just stop mattering at the VGAs?  There was one mention of Super Mario Galaxy which took home best Wii game and that was it.  As a matter of fact the only mention of any motion based system was a joke at the Kinect’s expense.  It was a comment made by Harris that the crowd laughed at.  How dare they allow laughter.

What they did right.

Not talking too much
Last year there were large segments dedicated to the promotion of television shows that we didn’t care about.  This time they didn’t waste their precious 2 hour span with too many jokes as we were watching the first drool inspiring trailer within minutes of the opening.  The trailers were spaced out just well enough that the interviews in-between each reveal didn’t bore me to tears.

What the VGAs got wrong

A bubbly video game vixen after establishing a serious tone.
When we were introduced to Black Ops, Neil Patrick Harris sat in a chair as televisions fell all around him.  This was done via an augmented reality system the VGAs were sporting this year that I’ll mention in a moment.  It set a serious tone and was respectful to the video game genre as a whole.  Then they cut to a famous, incredibly attractive female who spouted off something ditsy.  It was a jarring transition and made me wish they would pick a direction and stick with it.

What they did right.

Augmented reality
I was completely blown away by the special effects that the home audience was treated to.  As I mentioned earlier, televisions dropped from the sky and formed a room around Harris as he presented Black Ops for game of the year.  Characters from Batman Arkham City appeared on the stage that had me wondering if they were actually there, or if it was a special effect created specifically for the home audience.  To put it simply, the effects looked amazing.  I couldn’t help but keep my eyes glued to the TV screen and think, “how did they do that?”

What the VGAs got wrong

A certain comedian
Then they once again took a wrong turn.  A man in his late 30’s took the stage and was allowed to speak in a manner that someone thought would be humorous.  They were wrong.  It’s been widely accepted that Dane Cook is no longer funny.  Unfortunately someone at the VGAs didn’t get the memo.

What they did right.

Adding character to characters
Having Ezio, Kratos, and Growley Mc. Growl from Black Ops accept their awards and nominations was a neat way to show the viewer who the character was and why they were in that category.  The scene where Kratos rejected the show’s attempt to praise him made me smile, and Ezio using his screen time to warn of the Templars was a really cool touch.

What the VGAs got wrong

Why is he there?
Dane Cook was allowed to speak more than once.

What they did right.

Ha ha.  I like him.
When I saw Nick Swarsdon I figured I was in for a treat because he’s a genuinely funny person.  His stories about getting banned from X-Box Live seemed real unlike the other scripted catastrophes the show had to offer.

What the VGAs got wrong

Leaking Mass Effect 3 early.
A few weeks before the show aired a single image was released to help promote the game, the VGAs and get viewers excited about another mystery announcement.  Immediately the internet deduced that this was obviously an image of Mass Effect 3 and their suspicions were confirmed when EA added Mass Effect 3 to their store the day before the show aired.  So when the trailer was actually announced what should have been a moment that facilitated urination in my pants was a moment where I said, “yeah, I saw that coming.”  You’ve got to be careful what you show people these days.  I think I can speak for all gamers when I say we like to be surprised and mistakes on the part of both EA and Spike ruined this one for everybody.

What they did right.

The trailers.
While the surprise was ruined the trailer was still a huge reveal.  We were introduced to what I’ll assume is a new character we’ll meet, and got a brief glimpse of what planet Earth will look like when our favorite space team lead by commander Shepard arrives.  It gave a taste without spoiling too much.  I also noticed what seemed like a conscious decision to conceal Shepard’s face.  Whether this is because he’s been injured or because they wanted players to imagine their own character in that role remains to be seen.  They also showed some impressive gameplay in the Resistance 3 trailer, surprised everyone with Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and even teased us with Guillermo Del Toro’s new project Insane.  Not one of the games shown were a letdown and each had me excited to see what else they had up their sleeves.  Except for Thor.  That one was lame.

What the VGAs got wrong

The scripted jokes.
Okay, I’ll admit that I enjoyed one or two of the bits, but for the most part they didn’t work for the audience at home, or in the crowd.  One portion that springs to mind is the segment with Olivia Munn and Harris.  The bit obviously wasn’t working and it was painful to watch as the crowd remained silent and the two were forced to work through a terrible joke.  Ouch.  The second was during the introduction of SSX Deadly Descents.  One of the presenters made a joke about how much they liked sex to little or no response from the crowd.  Taking a chance on such a tacky punch-line proved not to be worth it.

What they did right.

Stopping before it got any worse.
Luckily, the bad jokes didn’t last too long and we were quickly distracted by pretty graphics or a funny moment from Kratos.  It confuses me why they took so much time with some clearly unfunny gags just so they could find themselves in a time crunch at the end.  I even heard from people who were at the event that there was some confusion as not all the awards were announced.  I don’t know if that’s true, but if it is perhaps eliminating a gag about a live chicken being shot into a group of green painted pigs could be cut.  You know.  So we can find out who won those awards.

What the VGAs got wrong

Dane Cook.
I think I’ve made my point.

What they did right.

Music + gaming = funny.
One of the last jokes they had was a musical number that acted as a memorial to all the video game characters that had died that year.  Q-Bert made an appearance as did one of the ghosts from Pac-Man and they finished off with NBA Elite.  I have to admit that I laughed harder than I probably should have at that one.

While there was a lot of good that came out of the event there was also a few awkward moments that stuck out.  It’s clear that the Video Game Awards are trying to perfect their formula each year and they’ve come closer than ever in 2010.  Getting some true surprises like the trailer for Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, announcing Guillermo Del Toro’s 2013 game “Insane” and making the stunning Uncharted 3 trailer the big reveal of the night were all smart moves.  Even with the bumps we saw during the presentation I think the team behind the VGAs this year deserve a high five, and maybe just a little praise.  I hope to see that they’ve outdone themselves next year.

What did you think?  Did they do a good job or were the VGAs a joke?  Let us know in the comments.

Categories: General News

Comments

You can be first to reply!

Search

Today's VIP

immahnoob's avatar
Joined: March 2016
Fledgling

Social Services

Want to join this discussion?

You should like, totally log in or sign up!