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On 9/1/2016 at 18:02, Floyd said:

 

Iain's cool. he's got a new show on late nights on talk radio. It's a good laugh

 

Iain Lee's show on TalkRadio is kind of the same as the Absolute days... except with hardly any callers and depressingly low listening figures; so he puts literally everyone on the air, then he ends up waiting out the clock by reading from the newspapers and talking about his depression and alcoholism.

 

Still, I did like Iain in the Absolute days.

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I think that as a videogames show, it was poor. But, it wasn't a videogames show. It was a panel show which featured videogames as questions, and in that respect it worked pretty well. The biggest problem it will face as it goes on is being on Dave, and thus maybe struggling to attract the calibre of guests that the more mainstream channels can call upon to fill seats. Susam Calman? Even by panel show standards, she's a little bit of an unknown. David James was much more like it, but it might turn out that he was the main chunk of the budget and we're left with the usual depressing fare of Z-listers. Or, even worse, the "Who the hell is that?" faces that were littered all over Videogame Nation.

 

Oddly, what has been generally regarded as the high point was two players being not particularly good at a game. The Tekken 2 skills were woeful, but as they were equally bad players this made for an entertainingly tense affair. Battlefront was just downright dull, and I didn't even notice any gameplay in the last round. There will almost certainly be a lot of Mario Kart, Nintendo permitting, in the rest of the series, and I can see that leading to some equally decent television. 

 

Dara did a good job, too. He's no Jimmy Carr, but he has the polish for this kind of thing down at this stage in his career. Ellie was similarly fine, her TV writing sounding just like the voice in my head when I read her Eurogamer stuff. The weak point was the "expert" team captains, who were possibly a touch nervous at the audience, possibly a touch star-struck?

 

As a first episode, there's definite signs it can improve. Such shows depend entirely upon the chemistry of the guests, and it will probably work in the show's favour to keep the games less technical and more ... obviously gamey. I'll certainly watch episode two!

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I remember reading in one of the many GamesMaster retrospectives that there was a feeling it came along at the right time - games were graphically impressive enough to be appealing, but not so technical that they made for poor viewing.

 

Battlefront suffered in this respect. There's an audience for viewing highly skilled players among fans of the game, but as casual television it was just dull and appeared to be two people button mashing until one fell over, in an arena nobody gives a fuck about. Tekken 2 worked best because it was an easily followed head to head battle, even if the players were equally as (un)talented at it.

 

There are plenty of games that would fit the bill, and not just those limited to the mid nineties and before, but they need to be well chosen for this sort of passive experience rather than anything else.

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I really enjoyed it, and my wife - who isn't a gamer in the slightest - did as well.  We might not need the history lesson for each game, but others do.  She was excited to see Chuckie Egg.

 

I actually listened to Declan Dineen's podcast on the way home yesterday - see http://declandineen.com/checkpoints/ - and the latest is with Steve McNeil, once of the creators of Go 8-Bit.  Some pretty interesting background in the podcast.

 

Don't expect any Nintendo games - they couldn't get rights clearance.

Bob Mortimer will be on a future show.

 

I think Sam and Steve will take a few episodes to warm up, and they have hopes that future series will attract more celebrities and smooth out rights negotiations. Fingers crossed.

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Thought there were many good points, and I liked the set (especially the chair icons that lit up, and Dara's pixel throne).

 

And good to show different eras of games, although playing Tetris on the Wii was an odd choice.

 

But still some rough edges, and Ellie's satire did wear a bit.

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1 hour ago, Xevious said:

Don't expect any Nintendo games - they couldn't get rights clearance.

Bob Mortimer will be on a future show.

 

 

Nintendo still haven't grasped the concept of free advertising!  It still annoys me all my Nintendo YouTube stuff gets copyright claimed.

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3 hours ago, Darhkwing said:

 

Nintendo still haven't grasped the concept of free advertising!  It still annoys me all my Nintendo YouTube stuff gets copyright claimed.

 

Same. I got so annoyed with it I just stopped all sorts of Nintendo coverage.

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Well, that was a fun slice of telly. I think they've done good with the format - wasn't familiar with the co-host but as someone with a mancrush on Richard Osman I can say she filled that role very well. The team captains were alright too, a bit quiet but imagine they'll warm up through the series. I thought the rotating stage might get tedious, but it was oddly charming after a while, and necessary! As a TV nerd I can imagine the meeting where they realised the easiest transition between panel show (face the audience) and game tournament (face the screen). It's obvious, but someone got a high-five for that.

 

Shared elements with the immortal Gamesmaster, but didn't ape it in any way. The last challenge was grand silly fun, much like Dave's other good show, Taskmaster. That's had two series with a third on the way.

 

I've negged anyone who dissed Calman. Listen to the News Quiz, you fucking heathens.

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It's not like that, you don't have traditional games as such (although it was pert of a retro games competition, I came second at Bomberman fact fans. And last at Mario Karts because I was looking at the wrong panel and went the wrong way).

 

All your phones connect with their wifi network and you do quizzes, play whack-a-mole type things, guess higher or lower, reaction speed things, that sort of stuff. I can't really remember that well as I was pretty pissed to be honest, but it was a lot of fun. Iirc there were around forty people playing as two teams and it all worked smoothly. There was also a bit where people off each team went up to play a game, my mate Hit did some football thing but I can't remember the details.

 

EDIT: Oh, you mean First Class! Man, I don't know, they had their own cobbled together button controllers that the BBC made, you just have those on the desk.

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Watched this and for a first episode I think it was OK but they need to remove that bit where they spin the bloody stage round between rounds. That was crap time filler.

 

Also Battlefront was bloody awful - why did they choose 2 characters with just light sabers? I haven't played it but assume there are guns in it?

 

There are a lot of great games for this that would be good for TV viewing so I hope they choose wisely. 

 

For instance - 4 player Overcooked on TV! 

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On 6 September 2016 at 15:07, Xevious said:

I actually listened to Declan Dineen's podcast on the way home yesterday - see http://declandineen.com/checkpoints/ - and the latest is with Steve McNeil, once of the creators of Go 8-Bit.  Some pretty interesting background in the podcast.

 

Cheers for the shout out! I didn't like the stage revolving bit but otherwise thought it was pretty great. It's a tricky proposition to keep gamers happy and appeal to a broad audience and I think they did a fine job of it. Certainly seems to have gone down well.

 

One of the things I found most interesting about getting clearance was how difficult it was to figure out who owns what. Especially with older games, because companies have been bought and sold and dismantled so many times, tracking who owned the copyright was a nightmare. For instance, somebody might own the rights to the character, but another company might own the rights to the code, and somebody else might own the rights to the IP. There were some instances where companies would have to tell them honestly that they think it'd be OK, but even they couldn't be sure they actually owned the rights. 

 

My favourite trivia was that Steve's first comedy job was as the guy in the audience for this infamous Brendon Burns bit: 

 

 

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I thought this was OK as well. Disappointed they weren't better at the games to justify their claims of being gamers though.

 

And for all the history fact checking I was a little suspect about the 1,000,000 copies of Chuckie Egg. I know Doug Anderson (the A from A'n'F) and he'd laugh at that. Perhaps if they were talking pirated copies...

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On 01/09/2016 at 16:52, Mr Cochese said:

Did Dara O'Briain really used to be a comedian? I've only ever seen him present vaguelly sciency programmes and those panel shows where a load of smug idiots jockey to crowbar in their pre-prepared material, but pretty sure I've never actually seen him tell a joke.

 

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I enjoyed it more than what I was expecting. I suppose they got O'Briain due to him mentioning GTA and other games in his standups. He seems to be everywhere these days. Not necessarily a bad thing, I suppose they could have gotten someone annoying. I didn't like that loud woman playing the games though.

 

It's not Gamesmaster, but fills that void nicely.

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1 hour ago, Xevious said:

On again tonight, guests are Marcus Brigstoke and Gina Yashere.

Weren't they both regulars on Mock The Week? At least Yashere was anyway, although Brigstoke was a couple of times, I'm sure.

 

Windjammers would be an ideal game for this. Pong-like but more exciting and has potential for amusingly poor play.

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