Halo 2, Burnout 3, GTA, and GameSpot top Spike TV Video Game Awards

The man-centric cable network's second annual game awards was a lot heavier on celebrity and game savvy that its predecessor.


Last year in Las Vegas, Spike TV, Viacom's recently launched "Network for Men," held its first ever Video Game Awards. The event, hosted by David Spade, was widely derided for its dubious selections (Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball won for Best Animation,) and lowest-common-denominator ceremony (where porn star Jenna Jameson flashed the crowd and Jackass alums Steve-O and Chris Pontius dropped trou).

In an effort to class up the Second Annual Video Game Awards, Spike TV moved the ceremony to Los Angeles and cranked up the celebrity factor. Celebrity gamer and hip-hop star Snoop Dogg was picked to host, with E! personality and Need for Speed Underground 2's Brooke Burke anchoring the pregame show. In attendance were a host of stars, including Samuel L. Jackson, Vin Diesel, Green Day, Giovanni Ribisi, Gabrielle Union, Tara Reid, Papa Roach, Tony Hawk, Danny Masterson, Frankie Muniz, Bai Ling, Ron Perlman, Bam Margera, Freddy Adu, Fabolous, Bobby Crosby, Barry Zito, and Michelle Rodriguez. The entertainment was more upscale as well, with performances by Snoop Dogg & Pharrels, Ludacris, Sum 41, Busta Rhymes, Method Man, Red Man, and a newly reunited Motley Crue.

The event also saw the premieres of two heretofore unseen games: The first, Midway's upcoming "urban actioner" Fear & Respect, was introduced by John Singleton, writer and director of the 1991 inner-city gangster classic Boyz N the Hood, and cocreator of the game. The game takes place on the gritty streets of South Central Los Angeles and puts players in the kicks of a retired gangster as he falls back into a life of crime. The title aptly describes the gameplay, as players will decide through their actions whether enemies "look at [them] with fear or with respect."

Electronic Arts also offered up a preview of one of its upcoming gangster titles, this one taking place on the other coast. The Godfather, based on Francis Ford Coppola's 1972 Mafia saga of the same name, will expand on the classic tale of an Italian mobster family in New York. The Godfather trailer can be viewed by clicking on the link at the bottom of the page.

However, when it got down to it, the Spike TV Video Game Awards were about just that--awards. With most categories being picked by "votes from Spike TV's advisory board, made up of a group of gaming industry experts, and consumer voting," the awards this year seemed a lot closer to gamers' tastes than last.

Rockstar's ultrapopular Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas took home the top honor, Game of the Year, as well as one of the top acting prizes, Best Performance by a Human--Male, for Samuel L. Jackson. While accepting the prize for his performance, Jackson flashed some savvy by requesting that he be allowed to do his own motion capture for his next in-game role. On the female side, Brooke Burke took home the top acting prize, while the vampire vigilante BloodRayne was given the more dubious distinction of Cyber Vixen of the Year.

In the genre awards, EA and Criterion's critical favorite Burnout 3: Takedown drove off with the top driving game prize, while EA Sports' Madden NFL 2005 tackled the Best Sports Game category. Midway's Mortal Kombat: Deception beat down all challengers for Best Fighting Game, and San Andreas picked up another plaudit for Best Action Game. Halo 2 also scored multiple wins, taking home the top First-Person Action award and the Designer of the Year prize for Bungie Studios' Jason Jones.

Three Spike TV Video Game Award categories were picked by popular vote: Most Addictive Game, Best Gaming Publication, and Best Gaming Web Site. The first category was won by Burnout 3: Takedown, the second by Minnesota-based Game Informer, and the third by none other than GameSpot. (The GameSpot staff would like to offer their sincerest thanks to all those readers who took the time to vote for our site.)

To view the Second Annual Spike TV Video Game Awards, visit the event's official Web site. A complete list of nominees and winners is also below:

Game of the Year:
Burnout 3: Takedown (Electronic Arts)
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (Rockstar Games)
Half-Life 2 (Vivendi Universal Games)
Halo 2 (Microsoft Game Studios)
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (Konami)
Best Game Based on a Movie:
The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay (Vivendi Universal Games)
GoldenEye: Rogue Agent (Electronic Arts)
Spider-Man 2 (Activision)
Star Wars: Battlefront (LucasArts)

Best Performance by a Human--Female:
Brooke Burke - Need for Speed Underground 2 (Electronic Arts)
Judi Dench - GoldenEye: Rogue Agent (Electronic Arts)
Carmen Electra - Def Jam: Fight for NY (Electronic Arts)
Jennifer Garner - Alias (Acclaim)
Heidi Klum - James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing (Electronic Arts)

Best Performance by a Human--Male:
Vin Diesel - The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay (Vivendi Universal Games)
Hugh Jackman - Van Helsing (Vivendi Universal Games)
Samuel L. Jackson - Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (Rockstar Games)
Christopher Lee - GoldenEye: Rogue Agent (Electronic Arts)
Tobey McGuire - Spider-Man 2 (Activision)

Cyber Vixen of the Year:
Tina Armstong - Dead or Alive Ultimate (Tecmo)
Carmen Electra - Def Jam: Fight for NY (Electronic Arts)
BloodRayne - BloodRayne 2 (Majesco Games)
Luba Licious - Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude (Vivendi Universal Games)
Rachel Teller (played by Brooke Burke) - Need for Speed Underground 2 (Electronic Arts)

Best Driving Game:
Burnout 3: Takedown (Electronic Arts)
NASCAR 2005: Chase for the Cup (Electronic Arts)
Need for Speed Underground 2 (Electronic Arts)

Best Sports Game:
ESPN NFL 2K5 (Sega)
Madden NFL 2005 (Electronic Arts)
NBA Ballers (Midway)
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005 (Electronic Arts)
Tony Hawk's Underground 2 (Activision)

Best Fighting Game:
Def Jam: Fight for NY (Electronic Arts)
Dead or Alive Ultimate (Tecmo)
Fight Night 2004 (Electronic Arts)
Mortal Kombat: Deception (Midway)
WWE: SmackDown! vs. Raw (THQ)

Best Action Game:
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (Rockstar Games)
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (Konami)
Ninja Gaiden (Tecmo)

Best First-Person Action:
Doom 3 (Activision)
Far Cry (Ubisoft)
Halo 2 (Microsoft Game Studios)
Half-Life 2 (Vivendi Universal Games)
Unreal Tournament 2004 (Atari)

Best Song in a Video Game:
Chingy - "I Do," Need for Speed Underground 2 (Electronic Arts)
Green Day - "American Idiot," Madden NFL 2005 (Electronic Arts)
Jimmy Eat World - "Pain," Tony Hawk's Underground 2 (Activision)
Terror Squad -"Lean Back," Need for Speed Underground 2 (Electronic Arts)
Will I Am -"Go," NBA Live 2005 (Electronic Arts)

Best Soundtrack:
GoldenEye: Rogue Agent (Electronic Arts)
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (Rockstar Games)
Halo 2 (Microsoft Game Studios)
Katamari Damacy (Namco)
Madden NFL 2005 (Electronic Arts)

Designer of the Year:
Sam Houser and Rockstar North, for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (Rockstar Games/Rockstar North)
Tomonobu Itagaki and Team Ninja, for Ninja Gaiden (Tecmo/Team Ninja)
Jason Jones and Bungie Studios, for Halo 2 (Microsoft Game Studios/Bungie Software)
Hideo Kojima for Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (Konami/KCEJ)
Alex Ward and Criterion, for Burnout 3: Takedown (Electronic Arts/Criterion)

Best Military Game:
Call of Duty: Finest Hour (Activision)
Conflict: Vietnam (Global Star Software)
Full Spectrum Warrior (THQ)
Rome: Total War (Activision)
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War (THQ)

Best PC Game:
Doom 3 (Activision)
Half-Life 2 (Vivendi Universal Games)
Rome: Total War (Activision)
The Sims 2 (Electronic Arts)

Best Wireless Game:
CBS Sportsline Baseball 2004 (Mforma)
Jamdat Sports NFL 2005 (Jamdat Mobile)
Might and Magic (Ubisoft/Gameloft)
National Treasure (Starwave)

Best Graphics:
Doom 3 (Activision)
Half-Life 2 (Vivendi Universal Games)
Halo 2 (Microsoft Game Studios)
Ninja Gaiden (Tecmo)

Best New Technology:
Half-Life 2 Engine (Vivendi Universal Games/Valve)
Nintendo DS (Nintendo)
NVIDIA GeForce 6800 (Nvidia)
Spherex Xbox 5.1 Surround Sound System (Spherex)

Best Handheld:
Astro Boy: Omega Factor (Sega)
Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour (Nintendo)
Metroid: Zero Mission (Nintendo)
Pokemon FireRed Version (Nintendo)

Best Massively Multiplayer Game:
City of Heroes (NCsoft)
EverQuest II (Sony Online Entertainment)
Final Fantasy XI (Square Enix)

Best RPG:
The Bard's Tale (InXile Entertainment)
Fable (Microsoft Game Studios)
Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne (Atlus)
X-Men Legends (Activision)

Most Addictive Game--Viewer's Choice
Burnout 3: Takedown (Electronic Arts)
City of Heroes (NCsoft)
Donkey Konga (Nintendo)
Katamari Damacy (Namco)
The Sims 2 (Electronic Arts)

Best Gaming Publication--Fan Favorite
Electronic Gaming Monthly
Game Informer
Official PlayStation Magazine
Official Xbox Magazine

Best Gaming Web Site--Fan Favorite

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