Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Videogames > Comedy > Classic Game Room – The Rise & Fall Of The Internet's Greatest Video Game Review Show (Documentary/Comedy/Video Games/Internet/Special Interest)

Classic Game Room – The Rise & Fall Of The Internet's Greatest Video Game Review Show (Documentary/Comedy/Video Games/Internet/Special Interest)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C+     Main Program: B-



For many years, dated videogames have been getting the shaft and as is always the case with things that are once popular being left behind, many think that is the end of them.  However, nostalgia has finally arrived and before there was a G4 Network or the like, a brief-lived Internet show produced when Internet TV was being touted as the next thing before the dot com boom went bust big time, called the Classic Game Room.


Running from 1999 – 2000, the single season show is the subject of a comic documentary of the same name now arriving on DVD from Inecom.  Before creating his remarkable string of high-profile documentaries (with one on the George Westinghouse history and legacy up next), writer/director Mark Bussler created this Internet show as well as the documentary about it seven years later.


In very off-beat fashion, he and equally wacky, purposely sarcastic and equally loaded with low expectations for these electronics co-host David Crosson explore the then evolving world of the home videogame market.  With an extremely dated remote control tapping a thick glass mug of beer, you can imagine that this will not be a program with the “geek efficiency” and sometimes bad jokes of G4.


Covering now-dated hardware like Sega Genesis, Sega Dreamcast, Playstation One, Nintendo 64 and Atari 2600, they would actually have the graphics form these games projected very large in the background.  If you are sick and tired of bad, junky digital effects in overproduced, ultra-high budget action sequels, you will be very amused by seeing Frogger magnified to the size of a garage door behind the co-hosts.


At the time, a book called Game Over had been written about how Nintendo won the video game war, but Sony and Microsoft have rewritten that history, only to be ironically challenged by Nintendo again.  The more things change, the more at least some of them stay the same.  Though oddly humorous and purposely so, the documentary overall is more of a solid record of videogames past in a history that has been seen as too disposable too long and is possibly the beginning of a new cycle of such programming.  Gamers in particular will find this a must-see, but others who need a good laugh should give it a look.


The 1.33 X 1 image combines new footage with old analog Beta SP and digital archival footage for an amusingly watchable presentation, complete with wacky video tricks that wackily add backgrounds (not unlike Mystery Science Theater) generated by old video.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 sound is stereo at best and varies throughout slightly as the older shows have some signs of their age.  Extras include trailers for this and three other solid Inecom DVDs (like Expo and Horses Of Gettysburg and WWII - American Legacy, reviewed elsewhere on this site) worth looking into, Bussler feature-length commentary and 3 blogs on production including one on Atari 2600.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com