Thoughts on The Game Awards Show

-This year’s The Game Awards was the first video gaming awards show I’ve seen in over 15 years.

The Game Awards is now history for 2020. Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us II was the star of the night, winning Game of the Year, as well as awards in the Best Game Direction, Best Narrative, Best Audio Design, Best Performance (Laura Bailey as Abby), Innovation in Accessibility, and Best Action/Adventure. Final Fantasy VII Remake (Best Role-Playing, Best Score and Music), Hades, (Best Indie, Best Action), Ghosts of Tsushima (Best Art Direction, Best Player’s Voice), and Among Us (Best Multiplayer, Best Mobile) all brought home two awards apiece. Check out all of the results HERE.

It has been well over a decade since the last time I’ve tuned in to an awards show of any kind. They aren’t the type of programs that I find entertaining. This isn’t to bash any of the work or effort that goes on behind the scenes to make events such as these happen. Having an undergraduate degree in television broadcasting, I have an appreciation for all that goes into any production that involves the video medium. Also, in no way does my lack of interest in award shows diminish my gratitude for everyone who has been involved in making these standout gaming projects happen. But I’m not an awards show type of guy. I only watched about 25 minutes of The Game Awards live stream.

My highlight of what I saw of the show was the remix musical performance of Persona 5’s Last Surprise by Lyn Inaizumi and the Persona Music Band.
Courtesy: Gamespot, The Game Awards Live Stream

There were two parts of the show that I enjoyed during my short viewing. Lyn Inaizumi and the Persona Music Band performing a remix of Persona 5’s Last Surprise was the highlight for me. The vocalist had incredible range and soul in her voice that made the performance a blast to watch and listen to. With the style of Persona 5’s soundtrack, several of the tracks have a groovy and blues type feel to it. So the vocalist would need to be someone who can pull off that style. Inaizumi nailed it.

Several other musical acts were featured on the awards show. The other major performance was a Super Mario Bros. Medley by the London Philharmonic. It was also very well done. Video game music is one of the most underrated and underappreciated forms of music, in my opinion. It is not featured in mainstream culture and you can’t access it by listening to mainstream music radio stations. Yet I find video game music to be my favorite type of music. From the classical and orchestral tunes found in many role-playing games to the adrenaline pumping tracks in action titles, I believe some of the most talented music artists in the world are connected to video games. People like composer Yasunori Mitsuda (Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, Xenogears) are legendary musicians.

Sephiroth being announced for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was one of the big surprises of the show.
Courtesy: The Game Awards Live Stream

People in the live chat lit up when the trailer played that introduced Final Fantasy VII villain Sephiroth to the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate universe. They went berserk with glee. I get it. For fans of the game, this is a major addition. With Final Fantasy VII protagonist Cloud Strife already in the game, now Super Smash Bros. Ultimate players can have their own Cloud vs Sephiroth showdown on the Nintendo Switch platform. It almost seems like a consolation prize for Switch owners because Final Fantasy VII Remake has not been announced for the console.

I own Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for the Switch and it is a tremendous fighting game. But when it comes to fighting games, I much more prefer games from series such as Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, Tekken, and Soul Calibur. Smash Bros. is good fun though and I fire it up every once in a while. The game has a good amount of DLC, but because I’m not as invested in the game as true fans of the game are, I couldn’t justify purchasing the extra content. I will admit that having characters such as Byleth from Fire Emblem Three Houses, Terry Bogard from Fatal Fury, Joker from Persona 5, and The Hero from Dragon Quest is pretty cool.

Above is the complete live stream of The Game Awards that took place on Thursday if you wanted to check out the entire show. I also embedded the two musical performances below it. Along with the awards and musical performances, there was also a decent amount of trailers and teaser content. IGN.com did a wonderful job of collating all of that content into one article that you can check out HERE. It looks like 2021 is shaping up to be a jam-packed gaming year.

I’m thrilled that Supergiant Games was able to get some recognition this year for their fantastic title, Hades. It is a terrific title and one that completely blew me away. I was not surprised at how well The Last of Us II did and I’m sure it is a great title. But the series does not appeal to me. I have struggled for several years to get through half of the first game. The Uncharted series (also developed by Naughty Dog) was very easy for me to dive into and maintained my interest the whole way through. I can’t say the same about The Last of Us series.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend. I’ll be back with more content on Tuesday.

-TVGA

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