Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Spike TV Video Game Awards 2009

Developer: Geoff Keighley
Publisher: Spike TV
Release Date: Dec. 12, 2009
System: TV
ESRB Rating: M
Official Web site

In a nutshell: More like Video Game Awards POO!
0:00 I've watched the Spike TV VGAs a few times in the past and each time come away less than impressed. I was out at a holiday party this Saturday evening, but I did DVR the live festivities out of morbid curiosity, if nothing else. I managed to avoid reading about the winners -- or even the nominees -- up to this point, but I did hear about the big Green Day: Rock Band announcement already, so that's one less surprise I have in store for myself over the next hour.

0:01 The Comcast info screen for my recording says, "Coverage of the seventh annual awards ceremony honoring achievements in the video-game industry is featured." Coverage? Like it's a news program or something. Also, hooray for passive voice.

0:02 It's seems my DVR caught the end of some cheesy cop show. One guy is crying to another guy about the girl that got away or got murdered or some such. What is this, Lifetime? Where's the violence?

0:03 After a warning about "M-rated game footage" and "viewer discretion," we fade in to an elaborately lit stage with a giant wrapped box in the center. A tag on it says "Don't open until 12/12." "Good evening, gamers. Welcome to the biggest night in gaming," says the voice of Mark Hamill's Joker, straight out of Arkham Asylum. "I miss you all so much. But 'tis the season to be naughty, and I'm ready to give you all presents." Huh? "Are you ready for a big surprise?" The box pops open and two black-clad henchmen pop out, walking through the audience and spraying "gas" on the crowd. One woman coughs violently. Two other guys look extremely bored. "Here's a sequel you didn't see coming," says the Joker. "Too bad you won't be able to play it." Wait, it's a sequel to Arkham Asylum. I think EVERYONE saw that coming, actually.

0:06 Well, the most I can gather from that trailer is that the sequel is going to feature the Joker again, that part of it might take place in the streets, and that there might be bumper cars involved. Seriously, there was exactly zero gameplay footage or even hints at what changes might be coming to the next game.

0:07 "Welcome to the biggest night of the year for gamers around the globe," says a computer-ish female voice. I'm not sure if I'd go THAT far ... but whatever. "Shown in over 180 countries, it's the Spike TV Video Game Awards." 180 countries? I didn't even know there WERE 180 countries. I'd love to see that list. "With killer world premieres and official announcements of the most anticipated games of the future." And awards, right? You are gonna give out awards at some point? It's not just a big advertisement for upcoming games, right?



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