(WARNING: If you did not watch last night’s VGA, you are a dumb***)
It is hard to believe it has been a decade since the “Gala of Gaming” first premiered on Spike TV in 2003, giving all of gaming geek-dom a year end treat to their favorite games and a look at future games. This year’s event was extra special as the Video Game Awards celebrated 10 years gaming entertainment. The show kicked with a hilarious “Hobbit” parody courtesy of South Park’s Cartman beating the tar out of Bilbo before introducing returning host Samuel L. Jackson, who gave us a look at the upcoming South Park game “The Stick of Truth”. The game features all of the characters that we’ve come to love over the show’s 15 year history. It parodies the upcoming “Hobbit” movie as well as the “Lord of the Rings” movies. The foul-mouthed fourth graders are just as raunchy and hilarious as ever and maybe even more so. The next World Premiere video was for a game titled “Phantom Pain”. The video depicted two men who were injured in combat as they try to escape a hospital overrun by soldiers who are mercilessly killing patients. This sets up to push the survival horror genre to a new level by illustrating the feel of helplessness. A new trailer for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 was shown with Gabriel set up to fight for the power he once had after proclaiming himself to the dragon—the Dracul. Robert Carlyle gives an amazing performance voicing Gabriel. The trailer was more about Gabriel’s story, not action packed like the E3 reveal earlier this year.
Other world premieres included Tomb Raider, Last of Us and Dark Souls 2 which received high praise from the audience. These trailers were simply amazing, both in story and in graphical detail. No amount of attention was spared in the creation of these games. I cannot wait see how they look and play once they are released. VGA also gave a peek at the new DLC for Assassin’s Creed 3 titled “The Tyranny of King Washington”. The concept of this is to tell an arc in the story where George Washington, rather than fight for independence, has proclaimed himself king and rules over the Colonists with an iron fist. The highly anticipated Bioshock Infinite was also shown with an action-packed sequence that will blow your mind. The world in the sky above is breath taking in a graphical scale that is unimaginable. Fans of the series will be truly impressed.
Presenters for the various award titles included Marlon Wayans, Snoop Lion (formally Dogg), Jessica Alba, Jack Osbourne, Jack Black, Camilla Luddingtion (who is the new voice behind Lara Croft and yes, she’s British), and three cast members from the Walking Dead. But the main presenter was the man of the hour—Samuel L. Jackson. The four-time host was in rare form, keeping the entertainment going from start to finish. The fun and laughs did not stop with Jackson on stage. Throughout the show, he guessed starred in parodies of various games set on “Sam Jackson” mode where he was being no one else but himself. These bits were incredibly funny and very imaginative. By night’s end, the bleep machine was all but burned out.
Among the announcements was a gaming first. “Journey” composer Austin Wintory was nominated for a Grammy for Best Original Score, the first for a video game. The orchestra performed the music from the game with other game footage playing in the back ground. It was truly epic and well worth the Grammy nod. This is an awesome announcement because it really shows the direction that games are going in. Who knows, with the right people we might actually get s proper movie adaption of a game (Uncharted *nudge, nudge, wink, wink*). The musical were, as always, entertaining. Linkin Park’s performance was as awesome as always. They were a bit softer this time but the music is still epic. They sounded almost acoustic in their guitar work but the drums and keyboards helped flesh out the inspiring song dedicated to our Armed Forces men and women. Tenacious D performed their song “Rize of the Fenix”, closing out the show and they are nominated for a Grammy. Jack Black gives an amazing performance as only Jack Black can do, with all the zaniness and craziness he’s known for.
The Video Game Awards never cease to amaze me and this year’s event was no exception. As a gamer, I’m glad something like this was created and hope it stays around to celebrate another ten years. I cannot wait for next year’s extravaganza and I will be watching.
Here’s a recap of this year’s winners. Some categories were not featured in the show.
Game of the Year: The Walking Dead
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 Musical Score: Journey
Best Graphics: Halo 4
Best Xbox 360 Game: Halo 4
Best Shooter: Borderlands 2
Best Multiplayer: Borderlands 2
Best Action/Adventure: Dishonored
Best Independent Game: Journey
Best PS3 Game: Journey
Best Original Score: Journey
Character of the Year: Claptrap from Borderlands 2
Game of the Decade: Half-Life 2
Best Adapted Game: The Walking Dead
Best Downloadable Game: The Walking Dead
Studio of the Year: Telltale Games
Best Wii/Wii U Game: New Super Mario Bros. U
Best PC Game: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Best RPG: Mass Effect 3
Best Individual Sports Game: SSX
Best Driving Game: Need for Speed Most Wanted
Best Song in a Game: “Cities” by Beck, from Sound Shapes
Best Fighting Game: Persona 4 Arena
Best Team Sports Game: NBA 2K13
Best Handheld/Mobile Game: Sound Shapes
Best DLC: The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim – Dawnguard
Best Social Game: You Don’t Know Jack
Most Anticipated Game: Grand Theft Auto 5
Until next time, see you on the next level!