My thoughts on who should have won at Spike's VGA show last night

by: John -
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Spike’s VGA took place last night and I found a great way to watch it. I didn’t start until about an hour and half in and just fast forwarded through all the talk and stopped at the world premiers and announcements of who won. I have to say, I enjoyed the show much better that way but as far as the meat of the show, I thought I’d run through and give my opinion on who should have won in most of categories that were shown in which they announced the nominees.

Best Music Game:
Who Won: The Beatles: Rock Band
Who Should Have Won: The Beatles: Rock Band
Out of the four, DJ Hero was the only game that presented something different in terms of gameplay and peripheral used. But, The Beatles: Rock Band just did a great job in the overall package of going through in taking you through a ride of the history of one of the greatest bands ever. As much as I like to reward originality, The Beatles: Rock Band was the choice here in my opinion

Studio of the Year:
Who Won: Rocksteady
Who Should Have Won: Rocksteady
Let’s face it. Rocksteady had the daunting task of making a good super hero game. There hasn’t been many successes but the studio took a beloved IP and turned in my favorite game of the year. Naughty Dog should be commended in making a truly great game in Uncharted 2, Infinity Ward had it easy by just sticking Modern Warfare 2 on the title, and Valve just pumps out quality titles no matter what but Rocksteady did surprised everyone.

Best Voice:
Who Won:
Jack Black as Eddie Riggs
Who Should Have Won: Nolan North as Nathan Drake
This was probably one of the toughest categories as you had four really great performances and one OK performance in my opinion. Guess which one won out? It’s hard for me to think that Jack should get the award over the great Mark Hamill or Arleen Sorkin in Arkham Asylum but to give it over to other great voice performances in Claudia Black as Chloe or Nolan North as Drake is crazy. Nolan I thought did the best job in going through all the emotions you experience in the game and had perfect delivery on most of the comedic lines in the game. I would’ve given it to anyone of the four besides Jack here but with my one vote, Nolan would get it over Mark, Arleen, and Claudia by a very small margin.

Best Team Sports Game:
Who Won:
NHL 10
Who Should Have Won: NHL 10 (MLB 09: The Show if it was nominated)
Really, this was just three EA games against one lonely 2K Sports game but there’s one omission I would’ve put in here and that’s Santa Monica Studio’s MLB 09: The Show. But, since that wasn’t here I guess I’d give it to NHL which is still the best in hockey and for me, more fun that the other three.

Best RPG:
Who Won
: Dragon Age: Origins
Who Should Have Won: Dragon Age: Origins
Are Borderlands or Mario & Luigi really RPGs? I don’t consider Diablo II an RPG, which Borderlands reminds me of. I think that’s more of an action game with some RPG elements in it and it’s not a true RPG like Dragon Age. I’m sure there are more than a few that will disagree with me. Demon’s Soul is one game I didn’t get a chance to play but I’ve heard many good things about it. It seems a little weak this year for RPG so by default in that I guess Dragon Age should win. Don’t get me wrong, Dragon Age is an awesome game so it definitely deserves the recognition.

Best Shooter:
Who Won
: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Who Should Have Won: Left 4 Dead 2
I’m sorry but I just don’t consider Modern Warfare 2 shooter of the year material. I would’ve gone Killzone 2 over the MW2 as well but Left 4 Dead 2 just takes an already great first game and improves it on every single aspect. The multiplayer part of MW2, while fun at times, can be a bout of frustration with migrating listen servers and quick deaths. Left 4 Dead 2, for me, is just a better experience and I can play that for hours on end with different people while having fun throughout the time. Halo 3: ODST just shouldn’t be nominated.

Game of the Year:
Who Won:
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Who Should Have Won: Batman: Arkham Asylum
You had four great nominees and one eh of a choice here. For me it came down to Batman: Arkham Asylum and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. While both were pretty damn good, my pick would have been Batman and here’s why. One, it’s from a very, very green studio who had one or two titles before it so for Rocksteady to come out of the gate with such a fabulous game is almost unheard of. Two, you’re looking at trying to make a good game based off of a superhero license which is not an easy task as many, many have failed. Rocksteady hit a home run in making you feel like the Dark Knight and put in many characters from Batman’s cast of villains that felt right. The cameo by Clayface, *Begin Minor Spoiler* who you never saw but saw him as other people *End Minor Spoiler*, was one of the coolest things I saw in the game. Three, Rocksteady changed the style of the characters, in part to match the Unreal engine, so for a studio to tinker with what most people were used to and still produce something that most everyone enjoyed looking at was a miracle unto itself. Naughty Dog did a great, great job but Rocksteady had so many things against it and come out golden that I think Batman is truly the game of the year in both how fun it was and how surprising it was.

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