In Episode 1, Vendolyn the Dumb Dancing Bear ventures out virtually to Las Vegas, where Geoff Keighley's first annual Game Awards will be livestreamed. This will be live blogged beginning at 9p ET.
The Game Awards 2014
Welcome to the very first episode of Run With Fire. Sometimes I'm bad and stand in the fire. Sometimes I just stand there on purpose. Life's hard when all you want to do is just be a dancing bear. Even dumb dancing bears want to do special things when they get a column. When I heard it would go up this week, I figure, why wait til tomorrow to talk about what's happening tonight? I think it'll be far more fun to launch this column while liveblogging tonight's Game Awards 2014, which will be broadcast on YouTube and Twitch, live from Las Vegas. Both mediums are available through The Game Awards website.
There are two nomination categories: one from a selection of judges and one chosen by fans. The judging jury is comprised of twenty eight gaming media personalities, and what's chosen by fans has been submitted previously by registered participants. There's a large array of categories, but I'm surprised that anything that looks like MMORPG, MMOG, or MMO isn't in any of them. The closest would be “Best Online Experience,” which includes titles like Call of Duty and Destiny. Then again, so many MMOGs seem to be either out last year or in various testing stages with future launch dates, so it's understandable that a category like that doesn't exist for this awards show. The full categories are:
- Jury Voted
- Game Of The Year
- Developer Of The Year
- Best Independent Game
- Best Mobile/Handheld Game
- Best Narrative
- Best Score/Soundtrack
- Best Performance
- Games For Change
- Best Remaster
- Best Shooter
- Best Action/Adventure
- Best Role Playing Game
- Best Fighting Game
- Best Family Game
- Best Sports/Racing Game
- Best Online Experience
- Fan's Choice
- Most Anticipated Game
- ESports Player Of The Year
- ESports Team Of The Year
- Trending Gamer
- Best Fan Creation
While some of these categories are pretty self-explanatory, I'm not quite sure what ones like “Games For Change” really means, and looking at the games nominated doesn't really help me either. It should also be known that some of the games in the “Best Remaster” category also include sequels, like the new Grand Theft Auto. I think it would have been neat to see one group of categories that featured both nominations from fans and professionals, rather than two different groups, but that's just me.
A Different Awards Show
Do you remember Joel McHale hosting last year's VGX awards show from Spike TV? McHale was being McHale, but apparently that was just painful for some people to deal with. I guess they've never seen Talk Soup before and expected his Community character to be hosting (although, let's be honest about how Jeff Winger isn't too far off from McHale). I'm not sure what people expected out of McHale, but I don't see what the big deal is. Then again, I've been a fan of his brand of humor for well over 15 years at this point, so I'm pretty used to it. If you don't care about the actual content of what was at last year's VGX awards show (coincidentally the final VGX), here's an awesome compilation of McHale-isms entitled, “Most Awkward Moments from the 2013 VGX”. Thanks, GamingByte, for the entertainment.
While I'm certain that McHale wasn't the reason behind this, the 2013 VGX awards overall are what lead Geoff Keighley to conceive tonight's The Game Awards 2014. The most notable part about Keighley's awards show is that he is paying for this completely out of his pocket. Why? Because he wants to bring gaming award shows back to gaming. He's been a long time gaming journalist and host, most known for G4TV. So, you could say that he's been around and probably knows what he's doing. His name is all over the brand, and at first I thought it was out of ego until I realized that this is because he is putting up his own money to do this. Knowing that has completely changed all of the preconceived notions I originally had. I'm sure that some people might be interested in this awards show just because Imagine Dragons are performing tonight. Keighley is also promising world premiers, which could be excited. I haven't had a lot of exciting happening lately, so hopefully something rad will come of it.
This image from the awards test run was tweeted earlier by The Game Awards.
Liveblogging will begin below, when the awards show begins. Dumb dancing bears are still trying to figure out how to type.
Where have games brought us? Why do they give us such a satisfaction? Why do we feel the need to play them, to cherish them, to celebrate them? Before we broke out in a solo piano Mario dance (and whatever is happening now, we're first asked to define games and where they have brought us. I'm not sure what's going on now, but I think I can dance to it. I'm just a dumb bear, but at least I can dance. That I understand.
What's new for Nintindo? There's like, Smash Brothers. But, with 2015, we return to roots with Mario. Not just Mario, but a Mario creator in all its glory with Mario Maker for WiiU and 3DS. Geoff Keighley says that's not the only Nintendo news for the night.
Kiefer Southerland plays games. Bear likes games. Bear likes you, Kiefer. Says games are the future. Listen to Snake. See Snake Southerland take selfies.
Whew, good thing Double Fine is here to class it up with dick jokes!! Best part, with Trey Parker winning "Best Performance" for South Park: Stick of Truth, nothing is more appropriate than dick jokes as an introduction. Hey, Parker's a gamer, too. One of us. One of us. One of us... "Only in games can Trey Parker beat out Kevin Spacey for acting!"
Tacoma world premier!
Destiny won Best Score/Soundtrack and Best Online Experience. I totally shoulda tagged that game. Grats Bungie dudes, it's been a good year for y'all. Total Biscuit is Trending Gamer of the year (but not anyone who has made more news, because that's a controversy). Now a world premier for Hazelight, the new IP from EA.
Friends of Ten Ton Hammer (okay, okay, we livestreamed some gameplay of the first Dungeon Defenders from four of us at Team Hammer awhile back and I blabbed about meeting some folks from Trendy awhile back when I covered GatorLAN2014. Today they released some exclusive content to The Game Awards. Here's the Early Access trailer!
So, like, I can dig on dancing. Before this show started, I was just hangin' out in my garrison next to Tree Dude (actual name, for serious), just dancin' along. Just a bear and her tree. No big. However, I can't dig on this day glow stuff. I don't get chiptunes. I have friends in a chiptunes band (Cartoon Violence is a pretty damn good name, too). This whole 8-bit music thing just doesn't click with me. I'd rather be sad and listen to The Smiths, thankyouverymuch. After that was the premier for a space adventure enveloped in solitude entitled Drift, which is hard to Google. Sorry this isn't below, unless it gets hashtagged into the Twitterverse. Oh hey, that's because it's written in l33t speak. Adr1ft trailer here.
Bears get super surprised when it's Smash Bros vs Hearthstone for best mobile/handheld game and the winner ends up being Hearthstone. Most people I know who play it (and I know soooooo many) don't play it on a mobile device. However, most people I know with a handheld are playing Smash Bros. Hey Blizzard, what's up with no Android client for that? I know it's your company Christmas party and all, but bears have demands. Oh, it's later this month. Okay, cool thanks. Good work, good job, have fun at the party and don't storm the castle too hard.
Congrats to Nintendo for being developer of the year. Sorry you didn't win for Smash Bros. It's kind of like Oprah, though, so you get an award for something before you go home! Then it was time for the world premeir for the multiplayer portion of Code Name S.T.E.A.M. (release date revealed, March 13, 2015), which looked kinda like this:
BUT MOAR WORLD PREMIERS AND WHAT IS GAME OF THE YEAR YOU GUYS???????
More premiers include Battlefield: Hardline, which looks like other Battlefield games, but with slightly better graphics than last year. This one will have interesting characters and good multiplayer. I believe this, because it's being said on the internet, and nothing on the internet is ever wrong. March 17, 2015 and another Battlefield beta to experience the fastest multiplayer ever (I'm not sure what that means). I missed something else, but it might have been because I was lost in Troy Baker and FarcryFarcryFarcry chants. More bad music, but at least The Game Awards aren't punishing us with post-And Justice For All Metallica. The song was called "Karma" and I think it could be in Sons of Anarchy.
Because Keighley wants to focus on the fans and community, rather than just the developers, but Nadeshot is the best eSports player of the year. If that sentence doesn't make sense, I kindly point you to the above category breakdowns, where this category is picked and voted on by fans. Imagine Dragons, a "music band" from Las Vegas not only plays League of Legends when they tell their wives they're recording new music also double as award show hosts. Mario Kart gets Best Racing Game. I think the world is ready for a new Pole Position.
Stuff happened and I totally missed it. Twitter is distracting, y'all. I need to comprise some things with this stuff, because these people are far funnier than I am on my best of days. I guess it was something something Playstation and The Order 1886, which I cannot believe is not out yet. I feel like I've been writing about this game for a good year and a half so far. Also in the Playstation experience: football, Uncharted 4, an exclusive (/drinks) look at Until Dawn that features a creepy clown face, solidifying it in my forever pile of NOPE for all eternity. Apparently when I was squinting and dashing away from clowns, I missed some creepy rape scene in Until Dawn that features a woman being tortured. Awesome ._______.
Next up: world premier (/drinks) for the latest Lara Croft: and the Temple of Osiris. Fun fact: a lot of the sounds in the game are farts. I know the guy who does a thing, which mostly includes holding a microphone near a gassy coworker. I'm not sure if I feel sorry for him or envy him, because he either has the best or worst job ever. And then more Destiny pretty things with a new content trailer and a cute short clip from Double Fine letting us know the first half is over. Time to tally up my /drinks while we wait for news from Last of Us, Imagine Dragons the music band performing and other things.
I'm not sure why they announced a halfway point, because I thought it was time for a break. Nope, here's Casey from BioWare/Mass Effect announcing Best Shooter! Will Destiny get more rewards? I mean, Farcry is in this (farcryfarcryfarcryfarcry) and...there's more Wolfenstein? When did this happen? FARCRY FARCRY FARCRY wins, y'all. I forsee more chanting on Twitter about now.
Game of the Year time y'all and it looks like there wasn't even a pile of nominees to choose from, because they mentioned Hearthstone before they even began talking about GotY. Oh, it's just a nomination? Well, that's confusing. Hey, it's Damien from CD Projekt RED! He's here to talk about The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, who would prefer to be eating biscuits in his underwear. I'm conflicted with this image. I mean, I do like biscuits. Here's some dudes from Ubisoft, but not any of the dudes I know from Ubisoft, here presenting...er, receiving an award, or two rather, for Game for Change and Best Narrative for Valiant Hearts. I guess they're mixing categories here and I'm lost and oh, hey, world premier (/drinks) okay everything is better now okay. World premier for something pretty space alien thing called No Man's Sky. Hello Games Shawn Murray on deck. Hello to you, too. He's on the team working on No Man's Sky. They don't have what we just saw loaded up, so here's the (just as pretty) E3 trailer while we all listen to an exclusive (/drinks) first from the soundtrack. I'll also note this is the first music played tonight that I haven't hated. Love me some droney post rock. Drone on, friends.
Super, super quick edit. Their name is 65daysofstatic and I'm really into this. Like, really really, okay?
While writing about the love story turned to Sierra Games and Mystery Quest, a game they decided "needed pictures" (actual quote), I accidentally closed this tab. BAD BEAR BAD. Congratulations to Ken and Roberta Williams for the first ever Icon Award. I was just trying to look up the name of that show on A&E that this announcer reminds me of, jeez. Roberta tells us there is a new King's Quest coming, which will be through Activision. This is probably the most exciting part of the show, and maybe I'll just get lost after this. Anyone not watching right now just missed probably the most adorable moment in gaming history, as the crown was passed to the new development team who have King's Quest in their hands.
Coming up, several more world premiers (byebye, liver, it was nice knowing you) and the Game of the Year award. Oh, and I guess Imagine Dragons still needs to play. They seem to be a big deal or something.
Dungeon Defenders II will be a Playstation exclusive title, available tomorrow through the PS Experience.
I'll admit, I didn't know the name Lindsey Sterling before what just happened right now, but instead of just a trailer with some cheesy A&E show voiceover, BioWare seems to have stepped up their game (uh, sorry for the unintentional pun) by having Sterling do a live performance, as well as having a trailer with custom dialog made just for Dragon Age: Inquisition's nomination for Game of the Year. I think y'all win the show. That was seriously awesome. Like, almost as awesome as me getting misty eyed over the Sierra exchange or loving 65daysofstatic. That was so, so rad and I feel bad for the Best Indie Game nominees, because y'all got overshadowed. I do love me some indie devs, though (fun news coming tomorrow!) so I'm sticking around to say that Shovel Knight wins the award, hooray!
Next nominee for Game of the Year is sexy real estate agent, Bayonetta 2. All I really want to do at this point is tally up my drinks from all of the premiers (oh nonononono they just said it again) and watch City Confidential because it was...murder. Hooray Human Element world premier and a reminder that the awards show isn't over, but hey, there's another premier (/drinks), the big GotY award, and Imagine Dragons still needs to play their music band. I might pass out if I hear the word premier ever again. I'm pretty sure one of them is playing. Space is happening, you guys. Oh, hey, it's the stuff about EVE I never hear about. This was actually a pretty good trailer, even if it was the longest. I'm usually so bored whenever it's brought into the discussion, so kudos to CCP for making me get excited about it.
BUT GAME OF THE YEAR IS BEING ANNOUNCED AND THE BIG AWARD GOES TO...DRAGON AGE: INQUISITION CONGRATS BIOWARE GOOD JOB, WELL DONE.
Now bear can sleep peacefully, quietly, with trees.
Sappy not happy with bear dances. Why Sappy why dumb tree.
Hey Reggie, can you tell me about the next Zelda game? IT'S ANOTHER WORLD PREMIER GUYS SO LET'S DRINK. We're looking at the new Zelda. It looks cool and is kind of awkwardly dubbed. Starfox (which the awkward American dialect dub makes it sound like Star Fucks) will be out before Zelda.
Overall, my thoughts for all four hours of this: so much marketing. Is this really about the gamers? I'm not so convinced. It was entertaining, to say the least, but that' probably because I found a drinking game pretty early on. There were some good moments (and some rather awkward), but in order to really say this is for and about the gamers, this will need far less marketing (omg premier ok) and far more celebrations of gamers. What was up with everyone who wasn't in the industry constantly giving their mini-resumes for their gaming histories, anyway? Bonus awesome Tweet because I can't stop laughing. Imagine Dragons are putting me to sleep with pretty, anyway. Goodnight from bear. Thanks for reading.