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The 2011 Spike Video Game Awards: A Retro Diary

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1h:02m — Tony Hawk is up, definitely looking like someone that spent the last 30-plus years of his life skateboarding. I love the guy, but my initial thought being “When did DJ Qualls bulk up?” probably isn’t a good sign.

He presents the first trailer for the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man movie tie-in, and then … that’s it. Welp.

1h:04m — Hulk Hogan comes on stage to yell the word “maniacs” a few times, and then about 85% of the night’s awards are rattled off in a 50-second video montage. AND THE WINNERS ARE *inhale*

Uncharted3ZeldaSkywardSwordMortalKombatMinecraftSuperMario3DLandBastionFightNight
ChampionPortal2!!!

They all won stuff for things that they worked really hard on. Congrats!

1h:05m — Back to Felicia for another game, this time bobbing for cupcakes in the name of LittleBigPlanet 2 with Brooklyn Decker. At the end, she tells Brooklyn that she’s “+25 agility in this area” while motioning towards her head. Brooklyn gets the same look on her face that I get when my cousin talks to me about air traffic control, then politely smiles towards the camera. Yikes.

1h:14m — The Black Keys are cool and all, but how much cooler would it be if The Protomen played here instead? I think that would be cooler, anyway. Seeing Miyamoto bob his head to the music made up for it, though.

1h:18m — We meet the Black Baron, a YouTube user that posted a video about the crappiness of last year’s show that apparently hurt Spike’s feelings enough to invite him as a guest to THIS year’s show and sit him next to a Spike executive. This moment is the polar opposite of the Zelda/Hall of Fame segment, for anyone asking.

1h:21m — Stacey Kiebler introduces the world premiere trailer for Transformers: Fall of Cybertron, just as the Mayans foretold.

1h:30m — Charlie Sheen has been in movies that parodied other movies that had video games based on them, so it was only a matter of time before he was presenting the award for Best Shooter to Modern Warfare 3 at the Spike VGAs.

Sledgehammer Games co-founder and COO Michael Condrey gets a teabagging from Sgt. Lipton because Infinity Ward’s Robert Bowling takes too long with his acceptance speech. Somewhere, someone learned a lesson about something.

1h:34m — Weird: Cliff Blezinski is on stage to introduce the trailer for Epic Games’ newest game, Fortnite. Not Charles Barkley, not Zach Galifianakis, not the Ultimate Warrior … someone directly involved in the development of a game was allowed to talk about it for a little bit without fear of teabagging. Crazy!

Meanwhile, Fortnite appears to be a cartoonier take on zombie survival, channeling more Plants vs. Zombies than Left 4 Dead. It also seems to take its name very literally — fortifying your position in time to defend against enemy hordes that strike when the sun sets.

1h:39m — Bears can smell the menstruation, and so can Dr. Pepper Ten.

1h:42m — Blizzard Entertainment being presented with something called a Gamer God award by the stars of the American Pie movies is pretty much par for the course. At least we get a sweet-ass Diablo III video out of it.

1h:49m — Out-of-Context Quote of the Night: “Your urine is magical!”

1h:50m — Felicia Day comes onto the main stage in a lovely red dress to introduce a BioShock Infinite trailer, and all is right with the world.

Both look magnificent, by the way.

1h:57mThe Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim wins Game of the Year, while also picking up RPG of the Year and earning Studio of the Year for Bethesda. I guess none of the judges played the game on PS3.

2h:00m — Hideo Kojima is always noticeably nervous when speaking in front of American crowds, especially with his less-than-great English. Yet he never backs away from it when duty calls, and you’ve got to respect that.

As for the “truth behind Metal Gear Solid: Rising,” it turns out that I was pretty much right when I said it might as well be vaporware — the game was quietly canceled a while back. Fortunately, Platinum Games was there to pick up the pieces, and the game was renamed Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. Despite some retooling, the game is looking as good as ever, and working with the Metal Gear name will finally get Platinum the sales success that they so sorely deserve.

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And that’s the 2011 Spike Video Game Awards. Watching it all over again, yeah, it was mostly terrible. If you look really hard you’ll find a couple of glimpses of competence, almost enough to give you hope for next year’s show.

Almost.

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