RE4 named Game of Year at Spike Awards

[UPDATE] Capcom's zombie thriller joins World of Warcraft and King Kong as big winners at Spike's third annual game awards show.

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LOS ANGELES--The "First Network for Men" taped its third annual awards show for games Friday night in a star-studded affair set to air next month.

Spike TV held the 2005 Video Game Awards at the Gibson Amphitheater in Los Angeles with a variety of rappers, rockers, and movie stars praising the winners of categories voted on by industry veterans and Spike viewers.

This year, Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction, Snakes on a Plane) served as MC, delivering award show banter with a gaming twist and introducing performances by Missy Elliott and Def Leppard. 50 Cent, the first musical act to perform on the show, apparently needed no introduction.

Also appearing on the show were Snoop Dogg (last year's host), Carmen Electra, The Rock, Vin Diesel, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Carson Daly.

Based largely on the formula of the Video Music Awards on Spike's fellow Viacom network, MTV, the show featured plenty of celebrity presenters, several musical acts, and a less-than-formal approach to the show in general. Another thing it had in common with MTV's awards show, and most awards shows for that matter, was scripted banter between the presenters.

A number of innuendo-laden (or outright profane) jokes drew sizable laughs throughout the night (Jackson's gag about one Katamari Damacy code that lets players "roll their balls over Paris Hilton" and another to cure them of whatever ailments the first code brought got the best reaction), but they were rare. More common was the sight of celebrities distancing themselves from material that bombed, noting for the record that they didn't write the jokes.

A certain irreverence regarding not just games but the awards show itself saturated the taping. Jack Black, in a taped segment accepting the award for Best Performance by a Human--Male, thanked "all the people of the b******* academy over there," before wondering aloud, "Who votes on this thing?"

And like at other award shows where winners are given time to speak afterward, some chose to use the moment as a platform for a cause. After receiving the award for Best Action Game, God of War designer David Jaffe talked about people who "didn't get" the darkly violent game. "They're trying to shut games down, to keep them down and keep them quiet," Jaffe said, obliquely referencing recent political outcry over violence in games.

Jackson also chimed in on the issue, satirically juxtaposing California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's recent stance on protecting children from violent video games with scenes from Schwarzenegger's own Terminator series of action movies.

Another serious issue Jackson touched upon with a wink and a nod was the depiction of race in games. After complaining that people of color are only featured in sports games, Jackson took the audience through some racially reimagined game franchises. Some of his "Hot Chocolate mod" included African-American revamps of Super Mario Bros. and Halo.

As for the big winners, World of Warcraft took home awards for Best Multiplayer Game, Best PC Game, Best RPG, and Most Addictive Game Fueled by Mountain Dew. Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie wasn't far behind, taking home awards for Best Cast, Best Performance by a Human--Male, and Best Game Based on a Movie. Resident Evil 4 also had a good night, bringing home the Game of the Year award, as well as Best Graphics.

The night did have a few surprises, as Kiefer Sutherland gave a world-premiere peek at the upcoming game based on his hit show 24, and the audience was treated to new footage of Scarface: The World Is Yours and Spy Hunter: Nowhere to Run (introduced in person by The Rock).

As much as Spike might have refined the show over its past pair of efforts, it was clear the network had not yet found a way to perfectly merge the subject matter, the celebrities, and the audience. Nowhere was evidence of this more pronounced than in the significant number of audience members heading for the exits right after Missy Elliott's climactic performance, having seen all they came for and not caring to find out who was going to take home the Game of the Year award.

Winners for Best Gaming Publication, Best Gaming Website, and Best Gaming Blog were not announced at the show. Spike TV will broadcast the show December 10 at 9 p.m. EST.

The following is a list of nominees with the winner in each category highlighted in bold:

GAME OF THE YEAR
God of War (Sony Computer Entertainment America)
Resident Evil 4 (Capcom)
Call of Duty 2 (Activision Inc.)
World of Warcraft (Blizzard Entertainment)
F.E.A.R. (Vivendi Universal Games)

BEST ACTION GAME
Resident Evil 4 (Capcom)
Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie (Ubisoft)
The Warriors (Rockstar Games)
50 Cent: Bulletproof (Vivendi Universal Games)
God of War (Sony Computer Entertainment America)

BEST INDIVIDUAL SPORTS GAME
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 (Electronic Arts)
SSX On Tour (Electronic Arts)
Tony Hawk's American Wasteland (Activision Inc.)
Top Spin (2K Sports)
Fight Night Round 2 (Electronic Arts)

BEST TEAM SPORTS GAME
Blitz: The League (Midway)
Madden NFL 06 (Electronic Arts)
NBA 2K6 (2K Sports)
World Soccer Winning Eleven 8 International (Konami)
NBA Street V3 (Electronic Arts)

CYBER VIXEN OF THE YEAR
Charlize Theron as Aeon Flux in Aeon Flux (Majesco Entertainment)
Jessica Alba as Invisible Woman in Fantastic 4 (Activision Inc.)
Traci Lords as Cassandra Hartz in True Crime: New York City (Activision Inc.)
Joanna Dark in Perfect Dark Zero (Microsoft Game Studios)
Maria Menounos as Eva in James Bond 007: From Russia With Love (Electronic Arts)

BEST GAME BASED ON A MOVIE
Star Wars Battlefront II (LucasArts)
Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie (Ubisoft)
The Warriors (Rockstar Games)
James Bond 007: From Russia With Love (Electronic Arts)
The Matrix: Path of Neo (Atari Inc.)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A HUMAN -- MALE
50 Cent in 50 Cent: Bulletproof (Vivendi Universal Games)
Jack Black in Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie (Ubisoft)
Michael Chiklis in Fantastic 4 (Activision Inc.)
Sean Connery in James Bond 007: From Russia With Love (Electronic Arts)
Terrence "T.C." Carson in God of War (Sony Computer Entertainment America)

BEST SUPPORTING MALE PERFORMANCE
Eminem in 50 Cent: Bulletproof (Vivendi Universal Games)
Dr. Dre in 50 Cent: Bulletproof (Vivendi Universal Games)
Christopher Walken in True Crime: New York City (Activision Inc.)
Michael Clarke Duncan in The Suffering: Ties That Bind (Midway)
Diddy in Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure (Atari Inc.)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A HUMAN -- FEMALE
Charlize Theron in Aeon Flux (Majesco Entertainment)
Naomi Watts in Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie (Ubisoft)
Josie Maran in Need for Speed Most Wanted (Electronic Arts)
Jessica Alba in Fantastic 4 (Activision Inc.)
Cornelia Hayes O'Herlihy as Fiona Belli in Haunting Ground (Capcom)

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE PERFORMANCE
Maria Menounos as Eva in James Bond 007: From Russia With Love (Electronic Arts)
Rosario Dawson in Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure (Atari, Inc.)
Natasha Bedingfield in James Bond 007: From Russia With Love (Electronic Arts)
Mariska Hargitay in True Crime: New York City (Activision Inc.)
Traci Lords in True Crime: New York City (Activision Inc.)

BEST CAST
Fantastic 4 (Activision Inc.)
Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie (Ubisoft)
50 Cent: Bulletproof (Vivendi Universal Games)
True Crime: New York City (Activision Inc.)
James Bond 007: From Russia With Love (Electronic Arts)

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
"Maybe We Crazy" by 50 Cent in 50 Cent: Bulletproof (Vivendi Universal Games) "Lights and Sounds" by Yellowcard in Burnout Revenge (Electronic Arts)
"When I Get Angry" by Spider Loc in Madden NFL 06 (Electronic Arts)
"Getting Up Anthem: Part I" by Talib Kweli and Rakim in Mark Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure (Atari Inc.)
"Error Operator" by Taking Back Sunday in Fantastic 4 (Activision Inc.)

BEST SOUNDTRACK
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (Rockstar Games)
50 Cent: Bulletproof (Vivendi Universal Games)
Tony Hawk's American Wasteland (Activision Inc.)
Guitar Hero (RedOctane)
SSX On Tour (Electronic Arts)

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Call of Duty 2 (Activision Inc.)
We Love Katamari (Namco Hometek Inc.)
God of War (Sony Computer Entertainment America)
Indigo Prophecy (Atari Inc.)
Perfect Dark Zero (Microsoft Game Studios)

DESIGNER OF THE YEAR
David Jaffe for God of War (Sony Computer Entertainment America)
Rob Pardo for World of Warcraft (Blizzard Entertainment)
Michel Ancel for Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie (Ubisoft)
Shigeru Miyamoto for Nintendogs (Nintendo Co. Ltd.)
Craig Hubbard for F.E.A.R. (Vivendi Universal Games)

PONTIAC BEST DRIVING GAME AWARD (Viewer's Choice)
Gran Turismo 4 (Sony Computer Entertainment America)
L.A. Rush (Midway)
Forza Motorsport(TM) (Microsoft Game Studios)
Burnout Revenge (Electronic Arts)
Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition (Rockstar Games)

MOST ADDICTIVE GAME FUELED BY MOUNTAIN DEW (Viewer's Choice)
We Love Katamari (Namco Hometek Inc)
World of Warcraft (Blizzard Entertainment)
Lumines (Ubisoft)
Nintendogs (Nintendo Co. Ltd)
Meteos (Nintendo Co. Ltd.)

BEST FIGHTING GAME
Fight Night Round 2 (Electronic Arts)
Soul Calibur III (Namco Hometek Inc.)
Tekken 5 (Namco Hometek Inc.)
Darkstalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower (Capcom)
Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks (Midway)

BEST FIRST-PERSON ACTION
Call of Duty 2 (Activision Inc.)
Far Cry Instincts (Ubisoft)
F.E.A.R. (Vivendi Universal Games)
Battlefield 2 (Electronic Arts)
Perfect Dark Zero (Microsoft Games Studio)

BEST MILITARY GAME
Call of Duty 2 (Activision Inc.)
Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood (Ubisoft)
Battlefield 2 (Electronic Arts)
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Chaos Theory (Ubisoft)
SOCOM 3: U.S. Navy SEALs (Sony Computer Entertainment America)

BEST GRAPHICS
Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie (Ubisoft)
Call of Duty 2 (Activision Inc.)
F.E.A.R. (Vivendi Universal Games)
Project Gotham Racing 3 (Microsoft Game Studios)
Resident Evil 4 (Capcom)

BEST HANDHELD GAME
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (Rockstar Games)
Lumines (Ubisoft)
Nintendogs (Nintendo Co. Ltd.)
Meteos (Nintendo Co. Ltd.)
Burnout Legends (Electronic Arts)

BEST MULTIPLAYER GAME
World of Warcraft (Blizzard Entertainment)
SOCOM 3: U.S. Navy SEALs (Sony Computer Entertainment America)
Battlefield 2 (Electronic Arts)
City of Villains (NCSoft)
Guild Wars (NCSoft)

BEST BREAKTHROUGH TECHNOLOGY
Sony PSP (Sony Computer Entertainment America)
Xbox 360 (Microsoft Game Studios)
Nintendogs Voice Recognition (Nintendo Co. Ltd.)
Unreal Engine 3 (Epic Games Inc.)
Facial Mo-cap of NBA Live 06 (Electronic Arts)

BEST PC GAME
Call of Duty 2 (Activision Inc.)
F.E.A.R. (Vivendi Universal Games)
Sid Meier's Civilization IV (2K Games)
World of Warcraft (Blizzard Entertainment)
Battlefield 2 (Electronic Arts)

BEST RPG
Jade Empire (Microsoft Game Studios)
X-Men Legends II: Rise of the Apocalypse (Activision Inc.)
Dungeon Siege II (Microsoft Game Studios)
Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords (LucasArts)
World of Warcraft (Blizzard Entertainment)

BEST WIRELESS GAME
Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure (Atari Inc. & Glu)
Need for Speed Underground 2 (EA Mobile)
Massive Snowboarding (Gameloft)
The Incredibles 3D (Disney Mobile)
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Chaos Theory (Gameloft)

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