Uncharted 2 – Game of the #@!%$@ Year! VGA Results

29 12 2009

Back in November, I knew deep down in my core thatUncharted 2: Among Thieves was decidedly game of the year despite heavy hitter Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 not coming out yet. In all the years – and I really mean an approximation of 18 years or so – that I have loved this hobby and it has come to love me back in folds, there has always been a game to define that single year, if not revolutionize the gaming industry. While UC2 did not revolutionize the face of gaming, it has definitely set the bar in the direction all games will be heading towards or hope to head towards.

Every year, Spike TV partakes in a video game judging panel conducted by you, the gamer, in deciding what games go home as the winners that best exemplify a particular category. While I do think that a big portion of the gaming demographic is reserved to mainstream or casual gamers, I tend not to let opinion based award shows such as Spike TV sway my opinion in any shape or form. I do not make an attempt to discern the difference in a mainstream or casual gamer as both tend to fall under the same category if characteristics were mapped out in a Venn diagram. Let’s face it – mainstream or casual gamers may not necessarily be able to identify an excellent game that ascends to a form of art if it hit them in the face because if a video game doesn’t run on high definition medium or include multiplayer or some type of bragging rights in the form of trophies or leaderboards then the game itself should be dismissible. While there are plenty of video games that boast multiplayer, push 1080p graphics or incorporate leaderboards, those qualities alone should not be the staple for a great game, let alone game of the year quality. In my experience and those of others who have expressed as much, excellent games are all about a single component reinforced and held up by several multi-tiered sub-components. For me, the single most important thing about a game that is reinforced by every other factor is the experience that I come out of the game in the initial moment of popping in the video game media in the appropriate platform, in the midst of my adventure and lastly, the summation of that adventure as I’ve finished beating the game and/or completing all the optional tasks that I’ve undertaken. Experience comes in many shapes or forms, but I believe it is a very difficult thing to do to be able to impart a lasting impression on an individual with the vast amount of tools at your disposal.

Without further adieu, let’s get on with the results of the Spike Tv awards.

[Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed henceforth merely reflects the author’s ideology from as much of an objective stance as possible]

{Click on any of the categories if you would like to view specific content}

  • Game of the Year
  • Best Studio
  • Best Independent Game Fueled by Mountain Dew
  • Best 360 Game
  • Best PS3 Game
  • Best PC Game
  • Best Wii Game
  • Best Handheld Game
  • Best Shooter
  • Best Fighting
  • Best Action Adventure
  • Best RPG
  • Best Multiplayer
  • Best Team Sports
  • Best Driving
  • Best Music
  • Best Soundtrack
  • Best Original Score
  • Best Graphics
  • Best Game based on a Movie/TV Show
  • Best Performance by a Human Male
  • Best Performance by a Human Female
  • Best Cast
  • Best Voice
  • Best Downloadable Game
  • Best DLC
  • Most Anticipated Game
  • Most Anticipated Game

    Jem’s Vote: Mass Effect 2

    Winner: God of War 3

    Anticipation is the process in which any number of individuals look forward to something – whether it is an object or feeling or person or even a course of action. The item being anticipated usually determines a course of action at a later point in the future. In this case, video games previewed well before their expected release date generate hype that therein establishes or reinforces a fan base that eventually leads to sales.

    Out of all the candidates, I felt that Starcraft II was going to win this category for the sole reasons that the amount of gamers on the PC vastly outnumbers that of the console gamers, a reputable franchise and fans have been waiting for this game for some time now. As someone who only knows of the franchise due to never having a good PC to play any PC games, I voted for Mass Effect 2 because the entire atmosphere of the game left a lasting impression on me. To my amazement, God of War 3 has been voted as the most anticipated g loame by registered users. I love the franchise and have played the two predecessors as a loyal fan, so I have no question in the back of my mind that I will be picking up the third installment. Saying that, I have not anticipated the 2nd or the 3rd in the series despite loving the 1st one.

    I don’t disagree with the outcome of the results  as all the entrants are of notable background.

    Best DLC

    Jem’s Vote: Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony

    Winner: Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony

    There are only two games in this category – Fallout 3 and Grand Theft Auto IV. While I have always had the intention of buying the Survival Edition of Fallout 3 (and I still intend to do so), other things preceded the game in priority resulting in not having the title to this day. I cannot comment on the two dlc – which is short for downloadable content – for either games as I am usually late in hopping on the bandwagon to download extra content for my games. Downloadable content can be in the form of an expansion further drawing upon the foundation of the primary title or adding completely new areas and story.

    I voted for The Ballad of Gay Tony out of a consensus of good reviews boasting how much fun this content was. I am and will always be a GTA fan for life, so I voted accordingly. Well after the fact, I received The Ballad of Gay Tony/The Lost and Damned as  one part of a Christmas gift. As someone who isn’t into downloading games or content, I am quite pleased with this GTA add-on. For what a dlc should be, it adds just the right amount of story and missions to provide a strong subplot to the main story of the game and there are plenty of references for those who appreciate how Rockstar tied in parts of the main game and the first dlc. It is  just that damn good.

    Best Downloadable Game

    Jem’s Vote: Shadow Complex

    Winner: Shadow Complex

    I only know of 3 of the 4 entrants (Battlefield 1943, Fat Princess and Shadow Complex) through hearsay or an actual demonstration.  I have never played any of the Battlefield games but am aware of the genre and overall gameplay. I have heard from numerous friends that Fat Princess is a very fun and addicting game that many of my friend’s list can vouch for. Shadow Complex is a very meaty and well-developed downloadable game. I went over to my friend’s house and saw how much gameplay elements were incorporated into the game. A primary reason why I never buy downloadable games is because I only buy titles I know will either bring me some sense of happiness and/or will be a good game according to my standards.

    While I was impressed with Shadow Complex, I will not be purchasing this game on my 360. I have such a humongous backlog of games that the purchase of downloadable games still retains no appeal to me whatsoever.

    Best Voice

    Jem’s Vote: Nolan North as Nathan Drake

    Winner: Jack Black as Eddie Riggs

    With the exception of Jack Black, all entrants have exemplary voice acting performances in their respective title. It has been a very long time since I have forgotten that the character(s) before me was a fictional character set in a video game world. Voice can breathe life in a 2 or 3-dimensional character that exists solely on your screen. Ever since Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, I have been a big fan of Nolan North’s voice performance as Nathan Drake. I have experienced his performance as the prince in Prince of Persia on the 360 and Desmond in Assassin’s Creed, there is something notable about his character Nathan Drake that really outshines the other characters in his resume.

    Claudia Black is the new female protagonist in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and while her voice fits her character perfectly and her performance is done convincingly, Nolan North is better of the two. I am surprised that Emily Rose, the voice actress behind Elena Fisher, was not included in this category, but that may be due in part to her supporting role in the game. Mark Hamill’s voice performance as the Joker in Batman Arkham Asylum is truly exemplary and just as top notch as Nolan North’s Nathan Drake. I am convinced of his performance despite not owning the game.

    Now, Jack Black is a generally funny guy, but I didn’t find anything remarkable with his performance in Brutal Legends. I have no real idea why he won as I would have been content with anyone from Batman Arkham Asylum or Uncharted 2: Among Thieves especially Mark Hamil or Nolan North.

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    7 responses

    8 01 2010

    On Dragon Age: Origins what are you playing it on? PC/360/PS3? I only ask because I’m tempted to try it out, but I would only be able to play it on the PS3. The PS3 is rated a lot lower then its PC counterpart, so that has kind of put me off the idea of getting this game. I could only play it on the PC if I upgraded my PC ($$$).

    For DS my vote would have been Professor Layton, I love that series. I haven’t tried Scribblenauts yet, but I expect great things when I do try it out. I don’t mind that GTA won, it’s not my genre so I can’t really form an opinion on it.

    Also going after the deluxe version of Demon’s Souls after they’ve soldout a lot of places? I’m impressed. After thinking about it for a long time I purchased it as well (the regular version). I had been unable to make a decision on this game for many months (I had been debating pre-ordering it). I really wanted to try a demo of it first but…since none were available on the PS3 I decided to gamble on it. We’ll see. Atlus hasn’t let me down yet so…

    Mario Bros. for the wii has proven to be a lot of fun for me. Playing it with friends just becomes a really fun social experience, we got a few extra wiimotes and tonight 4 of us are going to play at once.

    14 01 2010

    @lovelyduckie: You have to keep in mind that when it comes to video games, most games fare better on the PC for obvious reasons. If you are familiar with developers, there are some that are more reputable on certain platforms than others or their primary source for releasing a game tends to be on one platform versus another. Bioware is a company that’s definitely familiar with the PC, so it would come as no surprise that it would be rated higher. Since you only have one platform, then you really don’t have a choice as to what platform you would be playing it on unless you decided to upgrade. When it comes to reviews, you can’t just look at the number – there should be some discernible reason why it got a lower score and if that will affect your gameplay. I have it on the 360 because my gamerscore is sufficient and I would like to work on increasing my gamerscore. Besides, the 360 is an easier platform to develop for especially for third-party developers.

    Of course, I’m hardcore at collecting and video games. I tend to only go for the limited/collector’s edition of video games that I want. It’s beyond sold out at this point; the prices are escalating and I was lucky to get it for a very good price. I really doubt Atlus would do demos of any of their games. It’s extremely difficult so unless you are into that sort of stuff and don’t give up easily, then I don’t recommend this game for you. I don’t know if you know this, but Atlus is a publisher. While they do need to be wary of what games they publish, it doesn’t mean that everything they publish is going to be stellar as is the case with any other publisher. From Software is the developer that made Demon Souls, Chromehounds, and Armored Core.

    20 01 2010

    @jem – I’m not sure if I have the right comparison here, but I was wondering if playing Dragon Age on a console would be like trying to play WoW on a console? That’s hard for me to picture if I have the right kind of comparison in mind. It’s good to know that you played and enjoyed it on the 360. I’ll take my time deciding, there is probably no need for me to rush to make this decision.

    True about Atlus, I’ve definitely avoided quite a few Atlus titles. That game Baroque comes to mind. But of the ones I’ve played I haven’t been let down. I’m wary of Demon’s Souls but I’ll give it a try, I’m too curious at this point to skip it. If it’s beyond my abilities/gaming stamina I’ll just m ake sure the game goes to a better home.

    9 01 2010

    Well I do know that this wont belong here but I am going to rant here anyway.

    I am actually quite displeased where the gaming industry is heading the last few years.Alone all the definitions of the so called market like hardcore,casual mainstream and whatnot.While the industry makes up those terms they often dont know how deliver to those though instead of old trie and tested formula or crappy games.

    The fact that ego-shooters are todays mainstream market and basically the casualest game genre is something that sits wrong in my stomach.Lately we only see brute man fighting against generic enemy and due to popularity if these genres the play time of games get shorter and shorter with a heavy emphasis on multiplayer and a shiny new coat of graphics.

    I am still one of the old school dudes that prefers a good story and immersion instead of hours of oneline play against faceless people across the globe who act like dicks.I mean as the market proves there is a high demand for this and I am not saying that they should stop delivering to this market but when a game has a single player campaign of a few hours I feel ripped off.

    When theres multiplayer I still prefer good old splitscreen with people in the same room but juding from todays market thats only me.

    Another thing is experienced is that todays industry is soooo uncreative and delivers basically the same game over and over.This is as so often especially true in the shooter segment imho.
    As much as I like playing L4D with my bro together I simply didnt feel the need to buy L4D2 after playing the demo. Adding some minor tweaks and new maps isnt enough motivation for me to shell out cash for a nearly identical product.

    And here I enjoy aswell playing together with someone in the same room instead of those VS Campaigns against people on XboxLive.

    The only real glimpse of hope on the horizon are the few Indie Developers nowadays that deliver unique experiences.Ive recently downloaded The Path and its such an excellent game.

    As far as Mad World goes….It doesnt live up to the best pieces of Clover Studios/Platinum Games.I love Viewtiful Joe and Okami to bits but MadWorld is simply a great looking repetetive brawler without much substance.The story was more sophisticated than expected but in the end No More Heroes was superior in nearly all points and it is a way more flawed game with a smaller budget.

    Suda51 is one of the few men I still have high hopes in when hes doing projects.

    Ahh….I totally forgot what I wanted to say…Anyway tl;dr huh? XD

    15 01 2010

    @Blowfish: Very good points that you’ve made here. It’s hard to deliver something really unique with a tried and tested formula because it gets its kinks worked out to the point where the formula for a particular genre is solid enough to be able to deliver a decent experience. I also feel that video game developers like people get into ruts when something is familiar and all too convenient.

    Yes, first-person shooters are as mainstream as you’re gonna get when it comes to video game genres. Let’s face it – this is very much a completely different society that we live in with an overall push towards lack of mental stimulation. While there are definitely redeeming aspects in any gaming genre including shooters, it’s completely lost on a demographic that has gotten accustomed to the bare minimum in thinking. Shooters in general typically don’t last long to tell you the truth. Most games including action and adventure tends to last in a range of 10-15 hours, maybe even shorter in the hands of a skilled person. We mustn’t judge the criteria of one genre towards another because one definitive quality might not transfer over as well…maybe it shouldn’t transfer over at all. The emphasis on multiplayer instead of having balance between an offline and online mode is something that doesn’t sit with me, either.

    I give all games and genres a chance before I go and pass judgment on them. Single-player campaign in a shooter especially first-person will only last 10 hrs. on average for me. If there is something about the single-player campaign that made a lasting positive impression on me even if it doesn’t prompt me to replay it again, it is still a very good game. By lasting impression, I basically need to be “wowed”. Multiplayer is expected to have more appeal to it because it will provide some longevity to your product. If I feel that the multiplayer has had more work done to it at the expense of the single-player then I do get pissed off as in the case with Halo 3.

    I love stories and immersion as much as the next person, but not all games can necessarily execute it. I also think that story or immersion is a requirement to make a good game, either; it depends on the genre of the title. I can name 3 examples of satisfying multiplayer experiences for me – Uncharted 2, Call of Duty 4 and Left 4 Dead. In all instances, I have worked with great groups where getting that last kill, score or objective met is so satisfying. As a matter of fact, I’ve met a bunch of great people where I’ve enjoyed their presence in a game and out of it. Multiplayer can be just as much of a rich experience as a standalone single-player game if done correctly.

    I love splitscreen as well, but I think a game should offer both local and extended online functionality. The thing with splitscreen is that it requires one other person to be readily available to play that game with you. I don’t always have that luxury and I like to play a lot, so being able to go online and play without having to wait for another person is a good option, too.

    In a sense, that argument plagues almost every video game genre. I think it depends on the genre and the particular title in question. There are always limitations to shooters just as much as any other genre. For example, I don’t expect any light-gun game to ever win game of the year or score over 90, but for what it does, they are great in and of themselves. I had a blast with the L4D2 demo because I was highly amused with my friends. Not to mention, the random party I joined beat the demo only because I decided to throw a pipe bomb and inject the shot of adrenaline – which is epinephrine – and sprint to the top of the platforms despite being boomed on. It was great! The biggest appeal with that one and I’m sure it’s just like the first one is the personal experience that you get from doing the versus and/or campaign modes. I thoroughly enjoyed my Versus and online campaign experiences in Left 4 Dead – it was so much fun. I need to go and exchange my game for a copy of Left 4 Dead 2, so I cannot go into further details.

    I’m glad to hear that you are enjoying that game. I’m not very big into downloading anything for a video game unless I really need to. Unlike you, I am very much excited and waiting to see where video games will take us. I’d like to see what games come out whether it’s from an established developer or from an indie source.

    I own No More Heroes and I remember being impressed the first time I saw it at a friend’s house. I haven’t had the chance to play it because I am busy with so many other games. While I was impressed at the time, I guess the appeal wasn’t high enough for me to warrant putting the disc into my Wii, but then again, I haven’t been interested in placing any game into the Wii save Darkside Chronicles.

    It’s very good. It shows that you care about video games. And yes, I read everything XD

    11 01 2010
    2009 in perspective and looking ahead towards 2010 « One 'N Only Jem

    […] Uncharted 2 – Game of the #@!%$@ Year! VGA Results – Rant about the VGA results […]

    7 12 2010

    While we are taking on the topic of Uncharted 2 – Game of the #@!%$@ Year! VGA Results One 'N Only Jem, One factor is certain. Youngsters really like them. They purchase and play them in ever increasing numbers. Electronic games are here to stay.

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