With the VGA nominees announced ... well, a lot of people are rightfully questioning some of the picks. At least in my mind they are, because some of the categories are filled with abysmally weak choices (hi, Best Song in a Game) or are missing out on games that should be in there with them (Minecraft in the Indie Category instead of P.B. Winterbottom? Super Mario Galaxy 2 or Kirby's Epic Yarn for GotY, or any Wii game for that matter? Any semblance of love for the PC crowd?) or are categories that shouldn't really need to exist (Most Anticipated Game, which is already going to go to Gears of War 3 because it's BROTASTIC).
But there was one category that stood out among the crap for ... well, for not being crap:
Best Downloadable Game
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light
Monday Night Combat
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game
Given the long list of downloadable games this year, any number of other titles could have and perhaps should be included in the "Best Downloadable Game" discussion that didn't make it into the indie category, like Shantae: Risky's Revenge, Comic Jumper, Recettear, Breath of Death VII, Alien Swarm, Shank, Bit. Trip Fate, Cave Story Wii, VVVVVV ... the list can go on for quite a long time. And it'd be easy for me to sit here and slice the VGAs as a whole up for not including one or more of them in the discussion.
But I'm not going to, because this was the only category I really didn't come away with thinking that Spike dropped the ball on. All four of the games on this list are absolutely worthy of winning the award, each for their various strengths. They've all scored very well among reviewers, and on top of it, all four games are in entirely different genres (RPG, action/adventure, team-based combat and beat 'em up, respectively), not to mention among the best new games this year in each of those genres. And coming up with an excuse as to why they don't deserve to be in the category really comes down to personal preference, because that's the only reason I could even remove one of the games from the list. I don't think you could say that for any other category, even the similar Best Indie Game category (see intro paragraph).
As for which one I'd pick? Scott Pilgrim over Monday Night Combat. But whichever of the four win will have very much deserved it, and that's one thing everyone involved can walk away with feeling great about.
Now, if only all the other categories were as proper as this one ...
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