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Well folks, it's that time of the year again. It's that special time of year when calling yourself a fan of video games brings an extra sense of dread and embarrassment to all. It's that time of year where cheesy and forced pop culture references are used constantly, yet no one actually enjoys them. It's time for the Video Game Awards! (Now VGX)
I jest, of course. In all honesty, I don't really hate the annual Video Game Awards. While a lot of it is just kind of cringe-worthy, it's still fairly entertaining, and it's nice seeing a lot of industry people in one place to celebrate a year of games. Every year I watch it, I always have a ton of respect for Geoff Keighley, the showrunner, for actually managing to put this huge event together. It's actually quite impressive that it's even remotely good, considering the amount of hurdles I'm sure he has to go through to get it off the ground yearly. Not to mention last year's showing, which I actually thought was very well put together and pretty fun to watch. But I digress.
A few days ago, my friend David and I decided to have a little fun with the VGX. We came up with the idea to write down all of our predictions for the show, and then tally them up at the end to see who has a better understanding of the show as a whole. However, unlike most prediction lists, I thought to do ours a little bit differently. Instead of just saying what we thought was going to happen, we also said what we wanted to happen. I figured it would be a more satisfying journey through VGX if we had something to give us a little hope, instead of just seeing whether we were wrong in guessing the mindset of the show's judges. And, since we're one day off from the event, I decided I'd share with you, the lovely browsers of Game Informer Online, my predictions. And hey, if you want, you can participate in the comment section below!
Note: I'm ordering the categories in the same way that the official VGX website did. That's why Game Of The Year is the first category, and so on. These are most likely not in the order that the actual show will go through with. I'm also choosing the games in my "What I want to win" sections off of the list provided. I don't completely agree with all of the games listed for each category.
Without further ado, I give you my predictions.
GAME OF THE YEAR:
What I want to win: Grand Theft Auto V
This is a game that, no matter how much I play it, still continues to impress me. The amount of detail Rockstar put into the game is absolutely astounding. Every single thing in the world was carefully and masterfully created, and you will constantly find new and unique details. The world in GTA V is also home to some brilliant characters and phenomenal writing, some of which had me laughing until my sides hurt, and some of which had me legitimately glum for what had befallen the characters. While it does have its fair share of problems, they fail in comparison to the things it gets right. If not for a certain 3DS game that came out not too long ago, Grand Theft Auto V would almost me a sure win for my personal Game Of The Year.
What I think will win: Grand Theft Auto V
The gaming industry really likes the Grand Theft Auto series. Every time one is released, it feels like a celebration, and it's reviewed with 10s across the board. While the other games that were nominated are definitely fantastic, I feel as though the judges will be drawn more to GTA V than any of the others on the list.
STUDIO OF THE YEAR:
What I want to win: Rockstar North
I'm sure it's obvious why I want Rockstar to win this award, and if not, let me tell you. It's because of the time and care I believed was spent on Grand Theft Auto V. While playing the game, I could just sense how much the fine folks at Rockstar slaved over creating this experience. Furthermore, the way they handled the troubled launch of GTA Online was very well done and professional, and they fixed the problems in a well timed manner. With that all said, this definitely was not an easy choice for me. The other studios nominated also did fantastic this year, and I'm sure they worked just as hard as Rockstar on their respective games, but I personally believe Rockstar showed it the most.
What I think will win: Naughty Dog
People love Naughty Dog and the people who work there. Evan Wells and Christohphe Balestra, when appearing at press events and the like, are constantly and consistently proud of their teams, and that's something the industry and gamers alike respect astronomically.
What I want to win: Bioshock Infinite
I've seen some people that despise Bioshock Infinite, and I have no idea how that's even possible. With top notch writing, fantastic acting, and a brilliant story, this is one of the best cinematic experiences a game of this year can offer. The gameplay, while not perfect by any means, was good enough to where it was never boring, and I definitely prefer the game to the original Bioshock in almost every way. It's odd for me to say it, but I think this game deserves to be called the best shooter of the year not because of it's shooty bits, but because it's an amazing tale that just so happens to be a first person shooter.
What I Think Will Win: Battlefield 4
I think that people voting in this category will not specifically look at the game as a whole, but at the game's shooting mechanics, and Battlefield has always been a series praised for its shooting mechanics. I'm a little hesitant say this will win, because of the game's unstable nature at this time, but I feel as though the judges may overlook that.
BEST ACTION ADVENTURE: (I hate this category)
What I to want win: The Last Of Us
Naughty Dog made a very large risk when deciding to make The Last Of Us. Instead of the comical, fast paced nature of their previous Uncharted series, they decided to make a slow, serious game about surviving in an a world devastated by a fungal threat. Personally, the world in The Last Of Us is one of the most believable apocalypses I've seen in a video game, and it's based on a real fungus that can actually infect animals and maybe even people. And that's terrifying. But it makes for a pretty good story.
What I think will win: Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
I've seen a lot of praise for Black Flag all over the internet. It's a little surprising, considering how many people disliked Assassin's Creed III, but pretty impressive nonetheless. The thing I've seen praised the most is how fun the gameplay and the game's atmosphere as a whole is, and I feel as though that's the key here. The Last Of Us had a fantastic world, but it was very dark and depressing, and that might be a turn off for some people. Pirates, however, are something everyone can get behind. Especially singing pirates.
BEST SPORTS GAME:
I played none of the games nominated this year, so I'll just say that I think NHL 14 will win on the grounds that Hockey is pretty rad. Moving on!
BEST INDEPENDENT GAME:
I actually haven't played any of the games on this list either, but I want and think that Gone Home will win. I've heard its supposedly brilliant story praised many, many times, and that's something that a lot of people say about indie games, but not as consistently as what I heard for Gone Home. But since I don't know what it's actually about and can't really say either way if I agree, I'm just gonna cop out and say it's awesome.
What I want to win: Fire Emblem Awakening
Fire Emblem Awakening was the first Fire Emblem game I really played, and I instantly became a fan of the series afterward. While playing through it, there was never a moment where I was not having a good time with it. With its polished and fun gameplay, its incredible cast of characters, and its fairly engaging story, there was a lot to keep me entertained, and it's probably my second favorite Nintendo 3DS game. I liked it so much that the main reason I want to play Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem is so I can see Chrom and 'Marth' again. And as a side note, if Nintendo does not put one of Awakening's characters in the new Smash Bros game... I... might be angry at them. That would surely teach them a lesson.
What I think will win: Pokemon X/Y
Pokemon fans are a very rabid bunch. Not that that's a bad thing at all; I very much respect fans that have such a strong devotion to their favorite series. Fans of the series are unanimous in their reaction to Pokemon X/Y, all of them stating how it's a fantastic change of pace for the series with many subtle but big improvements to the overall systems. I'm taking a gamble here in thinking that there will be hardcore Pokefans on the VGX council, but if there's but one, that's more than likely enough to swing the vote.
What I want to win: Divekick
I think Divekick looks like a lot of fun and it's a very good in-joke for fighting game fans, but the main and honestly only reason I want it to win this award is because it'd be hilarious.
What I think will win: Killer Instinct
Killer Instinct has been talked about by fighting game fans constantly since its release, and from what I gather (having not actually been lucky enough to get my hands on it), it's well deserved. The systems at play in Killer Instinct have been talked about as incredibly deep and fun, creating the potential for a lot of great combos and moves from skilled players. But as I said, I haven't actually gotten the chance to play the game myself, and I'm not good at analyzing fighters until I get my hands on them, so that's about all I have to say on the topic.
I didn't play any of the games on this list either, and haven't really looked into many of these games (I'm such a professional!), so I'm going to say I want Grid 2 to win, because I liked the first Grid a lot.
I think and desperately want Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon to win. The idea of it is hysterical, the execution is fantastic, and it's name is Blood Dragon. Blood. Dragon. That's awesome.
BEST XBOX GAME:
What I want to win: Brothers A Tale Of Two Sons
I want Brothers to win for one reason and one reason alone. It's the only game on this list that was at one time exclusive to the Xbox 360. And as a side note, I am baffled as to why there are no Xbox One games on this list.
Screw this category.
BEST PLAYSTATION GAME:
As above, I want The Last Of Us to win because it's it's the only one of these games nominated that is an actual exclusive to the PS3. It's a pretty good game too, and I think it'll at least win this category.
BEST NINTENDO GAME:
What I want to win: The Wonderful 101
I discovered something amazing this past year. I effing love Platinum Games. Metal Gear Rising made them important to me, but playing Bayonetta afterwards really kicked off my love affair. They know damn well how to make a good character-action game, and they haven't made a bad one yet. While I haven't actually played The Wonderful 101 yet, since buying a bunch of $60 games is tough when you don't have a job, I am definitely going to play it around Christmas time. You may think me wanting The Wonderful 101 to win is incredibly biased in this case. And as I rebuttal, I'd like to say... yeah, you're right. But my reasoning is not just because I want a Platinum game to win an award, it's because I want to see Hideki Kamiya finally praised in the eyes of average gamers. I want him to get his due. I want him to be loved. Even if that's difficult with all of his trolling on Twitter.
What I think will win: Super Mario 3D World
3D World has gotten love from every big gaming website in existence, with a 93 average on Metacritic and not a single Mixed or Negative review. Objectively, it is without a doubt the Wii U's best game, and it's the definitive killer app for that system.
What I want to win: A LINK BETWEEN WORLDS A LINK BETWEEN WORLDS A LINK BETWEEN WORLDS
Why? BECAUSE IT'S MY GAME OF THE YEAR THAT'S WHY. (Click that link for a full reason I why I want it to win.)
As I talked about above, Pokemon fans really love Pokemon, so I won't go into that too much. But I do believe that Pokemon is the perfect handheld game. Its pick-up-and-play style makes it work extremely well for playing on the go, and it never requires too much of your time to play a session. This is as opposed to Zelda, which you have to play for at least 30 minutes a time to make any real progress.
BEST CASUAL GAME:
What I want to win: Animal Crossing: New Leaf
Every since the first Animal Crossing game on the GameCube, I've liked the series. While I'm definitely not the biggest fan, I have spent time with every American released game in the series. and while I liked the first one and City Folk, I spent the most time with Wild World on the Nintendo DS. I feel like the series is best suited on a handheld system, and that's why I was excited for New Leaf. I was more or less expecting Wild World in 3D, but to my surprise, I got the most innovative Animal Crossing game ever. Adding a ton of new features, locations, and items kept the game interesting for over 30 hours, and I've been thinking about jumping back into it soon. But I'll have to make a new town, because I kind of sort of haven't played for a few months and I'm sure most of my town is dead now.
What I think will win: Disney Infinity
Take an already genius idea (Skylanders), throw a bunch of Disney characters in it, and boom. Instant profit. From children to adults, I've seen many people talking breathlessly about how cool Disney Infinity is, and honestly, I'm really interested in it myself. That Jack Skellington figure is pretty sweet.
BEST VOICE ACTOR:
Who I want to win: Steven Ogg as Trevor Phillips
I have to apologize to my boy Troy Baker for this, but I'm going with Steven on this one. I've never liked a psychopathic Canadian before quite like I liked Trevor Phillips. Steven Ogg's delivery for the character never once misses its mark, making the idea of Trevor being truly insane seem much more believable. Not to mention that nine times out of ten, the funniest lines in the game come directly from Trevor. You will believe a man eats hipsters, thanks to Steven Ogg.
Who I think will win: Troy Baker as Joel
The best part about Troy Baker's performance as Joel, is that, even though I knew who was playing the character, I didn't actually believe it. Troy Baker does an amazing job at changing is voice to fit the character perfectly, and that's something that I know the VGX judges will love. If I didn't know any better, I'd say Troy Baker really is a natural born Texan. ....Wait... he's what?!
BEST VOICE ACTRESS:
Who I want to win: Ashley Johnson as Ellie
Without this potty-mouthed little badass, The Last Of Us would be a standard survival story with some good gameplay mechanics. Ellie absolutely makes this game for me, and Ashley Johnson does a fantastic job at portraying this character. She's a fourteen-year-old who lives in an apocalypse that's been going on for twenty years. She's grown up in this living Hell, and she doesn't know anything else but it. This takes a performance that can highlight the tragedy of it all, yet still manage to portray the optimism in children, and Ashley Johnson nails it.
Who I think will win: Ellen Paige as Jodie Holmes (Alternatively, Ellen Paige as Ellen Paige)
Beyond: Two Souls is a dumb game. But Ellen Paige is a good actress. In fact, her performance in the game makes it an almost bearable experience, along with Willem Defoe that is. However, the main reason I think she will win is because the industry loves when Hollywood performers are the stars of video games. Case in point: Neil Patrick Harris winning an award for his work in Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions a couple of years back.
Before I say anything, I need to ask one question. WHERE. THE HELL. IS REVENGEANCE ON THIS LIST?!
What I want to win: Bioshock Infinite
There's only one game this year that features both a barbershop quartet rendition of God Only Knows, and a carnival-style rendition of Girls Just Want To Have Fun, and that's Bioshock Infinite. And aside from that, there's a fantastic score to go along with every moment in the game, and it's all done to match the tone perfectly. Seriously, just listen to that Lutece theme along with their banter.
What I think will win: The Last Of Us
I'm picking this for one main reason: the Video Games Awards crowd adores acoustic stuff. I remember around 2009 where they had Jose Gonzales perform his song from Red Dead. I'd be surprised if they didn't haven't something from The Last of Us played at this year's show.
What I want to win: Will The Circle Be Unbroken performed by Courtnee Draper and Troy Baker
What I think will win: A.D.H.D. by Kendrick Lamar
I feel as though this is an unfair nominee since it wasn't specifically done for the game, but I do love the song, and Kendrick Lamar, if he wins, will get a well deserved award. And as I mentioned above, industry folks really like not-video-game-celebrities to show up at the VGAs, so Kendrick Lamar winning this award doesn't seem far fetched.
Finally, we've reached what most consider the best part about these shows: the announcements. I won't go very in depth on these, because I don't want to get myself too excited, so I'll let you guys figure out why I think these may happen. I'm not lazy, I swear!
Fallout 4 - Bethesda is a bunch of liars. This will be announced.
Zelda Wii U - Reggie has said that Nintendo will be dropping a world premiere at this year's show, and since Aonuma has said multiple times that it's ready to be announced, many believe that he'll be showing off a Legend of Zelda game for Wii U.
New Bayonetta 2 footage - A guy can dream, right?
New Smash Bros character - This is the only other thing I can think of that Reggie would be announcing at the VGAs. Maybe it'll be Bayonetta! (Shut up it's possible.)
Metal Gear Rising 2 - I should probably get off the Platinum hype train now...
Mass Effect 4 - Mass Effect 3 was first shown at the VGAs a few years ago, so a new Mass Effect would make perfect sense at VGX. Not to mention they already teased the game on November 7th, so it's obvious that they've been working on it.
New Battlefront footage - I wouldn't be surprised if this doesn't actually happen, but it'd be cool. I guess. I'm tired now.
And that's it for my predictions! What do you guys think? Am I a huge dumb idiot? Let me know in the comments below!