Recently, Spike announced the nominees for the 2009 VGA's.  These titles were:

- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

- Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

- Left 4 Dead 2

- Assassin's Creed 2

- Batman: Arkham Asylum

I'm a bit frustrated at some of these picks.  Right off the bat, I'll say that Batman: Arkham Asylum and Uncharted 2 are here rightfully.  The other three, honestly, have no business being anywhere near the top prize.  Let's get to the reasons why.

For Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, I am perhaps the most upset.  Halo 3: ODST has received quite a bit of complaining over its relatively short single player campaign (Which clocks in at an average 6-7 hours if you're lucky, maybe less).  However, MW2 seems to be getting a pass from many of the same people who denounce ODST, even though its campaign is now infamously short (4-5 hours).  Why?  Because the Call of Duty brand doesn't receive the same level of "It's way over rated and overhyped" complaints that Halo does.  Fair enough.  But look at other similarities between ODST and MW2.  MW2 introduced Spec Ops - an incredibly fun cooperative mode involving you and a friend completing objective based missions on various levels.  ODST introduced Firefight, where up to four friends work together to fend off waves of enemies.  Both feature terrificly crafted multiplayer, that offers almost limitless fun.  Both are the two highest played franchises on Xbox Live.  Both have short campaigns.


Many people call ODST a quick cash grab that was rushed to steal people's money.  ODST was in development for at least two years.  MW2 was also in development for two years, but you don't see anyone calling that an expansion pack.  Yet again, this is because of the general assumption that Halo is "Overhyped".  I'm not here to comment on either games quality.  That is subjective, and should remain so.  However, I also don't like hypocrites, and that's exactly what people are being when ripping into ODST for doing things exactly as MW2 is doing them.  Since ODST isn't a GotY nominee, Modern Warfare 2, for the exact same reasons, shouldn't be either.  Multiplayer Game of the Year?  Sure.  But not the top prize.

As for Left 4 Dead 2 and Assassin's Creed 2, let's completely ignore the fact that both have been out for less than a week.  For Left 4 Dead, a game that is almost entirely meant to be a multiplayer experience should not be anywhere near Game of the Year.  Yes, there is a story, but never is it meant to be the focal point of the game.  Many people will say that it doesn't matter, because Left 4 Dead 2's gameplay is so brilliant.  Yeah, it is.  And it was less than a year ago, when Left 4 Dead 1 came out.  It's not innovative, and doesn't change nearly enough of the first games formula to be considered truly "new".  Again, this has nothing to do with a games quality, but sequels like this (And ODST.  And Modern Warfare 2) shouldn't be up for Game of the Year.


For Assassin's Creed, at least it has a little more going for it.  The first AC was a bundle of great ideas that were never really executed too well.  Most people, since it was announced, have hoped that the sequel would rectify this, and really deliver on everything the franchise should be.  And it did.  Assassin's Creed 2 corrects most of the mistakes that its predecessor made.  That's perfectly fine.  It just doesn't feel new or particularly exciting.  Had games like Scribblenauts, Dragon Age: Origins, and Infamous not come out this year, I might have agreed about its placement.  As it stands however, I think giving it a nod over non-sequel games, that are honestly just as efficient, is a bit disappointing.

In my humble opinion, this is what the Game of the Year 2009 nominees list should look like:

- Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

- Batman: Arkham Asylum

- Infamous

- Dragon Age: Origins

- Scribblenauts

Hopefully you guys understand where I'm coming from.  I don't dislike those games that I've removed from the list.  Hell, I love all three of them.  But they really don't merit being called Game of the Year.  Tell me what you think should have been nominated, but wasn't.