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Spike VGX disappoints as Joel McHale flops

by William Schwartz on December 7, 2013


no-mans-sky

The Spike VGX aired tonight, in a new online format that streamed the awards show to watchers across the globe.  The show has seen its fair share of hate over the years. This year, however, most of blame for the show being bad is being cast on Joel Mchale’s performance as the co-host of the awards show.

Juxtaposed with Geoff Keighley’s business first mentality, Mchale’s dry and sarcastic sense of humor rubbed watchers the wrong way, getting him trending on Twitter with an avalanche of hate mail.  McHale’s brand of comedy usually left developers as the brunt of his jokes, leaving watchers of the live stream wondering why Spike TV chose McHale for the job.  McHale also treaded into dangerous territory when he made a insensitive comment in one of his jokes, early on in the show.

It was a  fairly uneventful awards ceremony, even by VGA standards.  There weren’t very many big reveals this year.  We saw a next-gen version of Tomb Raider revealed, a remake of the game that launched earlier this year, due to arrive in January ’14 on the Xbox One and PS4.  There was some brief new gameplay from Titanfall and Destiny.  Telltale Games announced that they’ve got plenty of irons in the fire, with two new games coming out in the near future in the Borderlands and Game of Thrones series, alongside The Wolf Among Us and The Walking Dead.  We caught glimpses of Double Fine’s Broken Age, and we saw a little bit more of Thief, Dying Light, and the impressive upcoming The Witcher sequel from CD Projekt Red.

None of the rumored games, like Fallout 4, were revealed on the show.  We saw nothing from the likes of Naughty Dog.  We got no indications from Nintendo of what to expect from them in the future.  And as far as big next gen games go, we didn’t get much to really look forward to that we didn’t already know about.

It wasn’t all bad comedy and commercials.  We got a chance to see some truly thought provoking upcoming games, though they were few and far between.  Hello Games’ No Man’s Sky was revealed at the show, and it was one of the most impressive takes on science fiction and open worlds that we’ve seen in quite some time.  Sean Murray, one of the four developers working on the indie title, painted a beautiful picture of a game that could potentially be quite interesting.

At the end of the day, it was an awards show.  We saw Grand Theft Auto V win best game of the year.  We saw Bioshock Infinite win best shooter.  And Naughty Dog won for Studio of the Year.  As you would expect, everybody left happy from the VGX, except the watchers.

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  • RoadDerp

    Joel Mchales was funny. Jeff keighly was bloated. Tomb Raider girl <3

  • JP

    it was horrible

  • Duke

    I think the worst thing was that there was no feeling of atmosphere. There wasn’t a crowd of people, just a few guests, camera crew and production staff. Announcing an award winner came off as uneventful since there weren’t cheers and jeers, just some claps from the 2 hosts.

    I think my highlight was seeing gameplay of Quantum Break, it’s pretty much one of the only exclusives that could coerce me into buying an Xbox One.

    Next year they need to have a crowd of people, likely from the industry or people who pay to go see the event. Less previews of games we already know are coming and more reveals. Keep the ads away again(even those stupid 5 second movie ones were annoying). Get better hosts… How about Adam Sessler or bring back Sam Jackson. Somebody who knows gaming and can pull a punchline here and there without it being dry. Have bands play a song here and there. Don’t pull a 20 minute long concert full of crap artists, the soundtrack for GTA V was not good. I sure as hell know hearing Troy Baker and Courtnee Draper perform “Will the Circle be Unbroken” would outdo anything from this year. Hell even having “The Parting Glass” from Assassin’s Creed 4 would complete defaecate all over the concert that was on show. There is always great songs from great games every year. Use those for musical acts in the show.

    There is definitely a lot that can be improved on, lets just hope Spike hears us out and brings something much better next year. Sony completely missed the show which was a bit of a disappointment. Not to mention next year, wouldn’t it be better not to tell everybody what the show would include, it definitely took away any of the hype that could have been had.

  • Geoff Keighly

    “transphobic”

  • Boz

    The VGA/VGX just gets worse and worse year after year. They need a revamp or else just stop doing it all together. To me it felt like the worlds longest poorly done commercial.

  • Guile

    Oh, please. Joel was the only watchable part of that awkward shit-show.

    • Azyral

      Not really. He insulted literally everyone in the gaming community and the developers. You must have a bad sense of humor. Are you a fanboy of Joel and that overrated and crappy Community tv series?

      • Dildoanus

        Joel Mchale humour is big and childish, so is community. He made the bad part become ankward, so slightly entertaining. And it wasnt good entertaining, it couldve been compared to a news report about the growth of catterpillars in uganda with a lama peeing on the announcer.

  • GK15

    Didn’t Respawn promise some type of “big surprise” for Titanfall? All I heard about was 2 new mech classes. Did I miss something?

  • Dorito Antichrist

    Seriously? This ‘awards show’ is nothing more than a three hour commercial filled with garbage and awards that hold no merit and are fundamentally meaningless.

    The developers know it, the gamers know it, Spike TV knows it (And for SpikeTV to know it, that says something) and Joel Mchale sure as hell knows it. The only one who seems to think this matters is Geoff Keighley who had his perfectly sanitized commercial ruined. And thank god for that, otherwise this would have been unwatchable like every other year since its inception.

    I’m sure next year it will again be unwatchable shit that deserves to be ignored.

  • ♫♪FukAratchett♪♫

    What? Joel was the only thing that kept me watching. I’m surprised he even kept composure with the awkwardness in the room.

  • Svengoolie

    Terrible article. McHale was a shining beacon of light in the pile of shit that was that show. He made it funny, and that was the thing needed to keep me watching the trainwreck. I really hope whoever’s idea it was to do an award show without an audience gets fired. It will never sound good if you announce a “winner” with nobody to cheer them on.

    • kbd013

      You obviously weren’t watching the VGX then. It was horrible his jokes were dry and his comments toward Keighley were unproffessional and insulting. You could see the frustration on Geoff’s face.

      • Drew Clock

        The whole show was terrible, McHale’s dry sense of humor was one of the only reasons to keep watching, it was great.

      • Svengoolie

        Honestly I saw the “frustration” that he showed, but that was during the scripted parts. I think that’s just what he looked like as he waited to say his own stupid lines. When they were actually going off the prompter, he was laughing along with Joel, even when he was busting his balls about all the layers he was wearing.

  • Janne Nordström

    It was three hours of advertisement. Like Shopping Channel but worse. McHale was the only saving grace.

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