Not long ago we reported that the Spike VGAs will be replaced this year by The Game Awards 2014 — though not boasting a particularly original name, these have a nomination group of 28 publications and an advisory board including Nintendo of America's Reggie Fils-Aime. Quite what that all means in reality is something else besides, but it seems to be an effort by Geoff Keighley and co to draw a line under the poorly received VGX / VGA event last year.

Perhaps we should give it a fair shake — it really can't be worse than last year's VGX awards — ahead of its ceremony on 5th December in Las Vegas. The nominations that have emerged today and, it seems, Nintendo will even have a decent shot at picking up some awards. Below are the categories in which the big N's games or system exclusives are in the running.

Best Action/Adventure

Alien: Isolation - Creative Assembly/Sega
Assassin’s Creed Unity - Ubisoft
Bayonetta 2 - Platinum Games/Nintendo
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor - Monolith/Warner Bros.
Sunset Overdrive - Insomniac/Microsoft

Best Role Playing Game

Bravely Default - Square Enix
Dark Souls II - From Software/Bandai Namco
Divinity: Original Sin - Larian Studios
Dragon Age: Inquisition - Bioware/EA
South Park: The Stick of Truth - Obsidian/Ubisoft

Best Fighting Game

Killer Instinct: Season Two - Iron Galaxy Studios/Microsoft
Persona 4 Arena Ultimax - Arc System Works/Atlus
Super Smash Bros. 3DS - Nintendo
Super Smash Bros. Wii U - Nintendo
Ultimate Street Fighter IV - Capcom

Best Family Game

Disney Infinity 2.0 - Avalanche Software/Disney Interactive Studios
Fantasia: Music Evolved - Harmonix/Disney Interactive Studios
Mario Kart 8 - Nintendo
Skylanders: Trap Team - Toys for Bob/Activision
Tomodachi Life - Nintendo

Best Sports/Racing Game

FIFA 15 - EA Canada/EA Sports
Forza Horizon 2 - Playground Games/Turn 10 Studios/Microsoft
Mario Kart 8 - Nintendo
NBA 2K15 - Visual Concepts/2K Sports
Trials Fusion - RedLynx/Ubisoft

Best Mobile/Handheld

Bravely Default - Square Enix
Monument Valley - Ustwo
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft - Blizzard
Super Smash Bros. 3DS - Nintendo
Threes - Asher Vollmer, illustrator Greg Wohlwend, and composer Jimmy Hinson

Best Remaster

Grand Theft Auto V - Rockstar Games
Halo: The Master Chief Collection - 343 Industries/Microsoft
Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire - Game Freak/Nintendo
The Last of Us - Naughty Dog/Sony
Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix

Best Independent Game

Broken Age Part 1 - Double Fine
Monument Valley - Ustwo
Shovel Knight - Cellar Door
Transistor - Supergiant Games
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter - The Astronauts

Best Fan Creation - (To be voted on by fans)

BEST Zelda Rap EVER!! By Egoraptor
Luigi Death Stare by CZBwoi and Rizupicorr
Mine the Diamond (Minecraft Song) by Tobuscus
Minecraft – TITAN City by Colonial Puppet
Twitch Plays Pokemon by Anonymous

Developer of the Year

Telltale Games
Ubisoft Montreal

Game of the Year

Bayonetta 2 - Platinum Games/Nintendo
Dark Souls 2 - FROM Software/Bandai Namco
Dragon Age: Inquisition - BioWare/EA
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft - Blizzard
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor - Monolith/Warner Bros.

It's a surprise, albeit a very refreshing one, to see the outstanding Bayonetta 2 up for Game of the Year, while there are surely decent odds for a number of Nintendo-related nominations.

You can check out the full list at the source link below, and we'll be live streaming and blogging the awards when they come around; this humble scribe truly hopes it'll be a vast improvement on the VGX festivities, in order to avoid another minor meltdown.