30/11/2019

๐Ÿ“บ Was The Games Master TV Show Really As Good As I Remember It? ๐Ÿ“บ @GamesMaster

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The Games Master TV programme acts as a warm nostalgia blanket of 90s television whenever I think about it.

The thing I have begun to wonder though is, would this fuzzy nostalgic vision of awesomeness be ruined if I were to rewatch these 90s soaked video games tv programmes in 2019?


Was the show really as good as I remember it?
When I was 12 it was the highlight of my week to watch Games Master on Channel 4. From memory, I think that the programmes begun to air on Tuesday nights and at this point in time I owned a Super Nintendo so I was at the peak of my video gaming love as I devoured anything video game-related. 


The original series was set in a church and after I looked into it I found that the church in question was a 2-minute walk from where I used to work back in the early 2000s. The church itself has now been converted into a Children’s Day Nursery and little do they know that they are in a piece of UK video gaming history that is dear to the hearts of those who grew up into the 90s as gamers!


Fuelled with some fresh info and thirst to relive my Games Master watching days I have decided to launch into series 1 of Games Master via the wonder of YouTube and more specifically Challenge TV which has series one available to watch.


Let’s take a look at episode 1 together to see if it still lives up to my rose-tinted memories of better times.

Episode 1: January 7th 1992
The episode opens up with that iconic title music that evokes the feeling of going to a video games church.

Dominik Diamond bounces onto camera and spurts out some quickfire double entendres and states the fact that this is a piece of video gaming history as it is the first-ever video games based tv show on UK TV.


Then it’s time to introduce the legendary Sir Patrick Moore who would steal the show every week during his virtual appearances as The Games Master.


Then after that intro, it is time for the first-ever Games Master Challenge to take place. It’s one I seem to recall pretty vividly as Daniel Blake from Edgware has to collect 50 coins on the first level of Super Mario Bros 3. 
Up in the commentary box with Dominik is the legendary video games journalist Julian “Jaz” Rignall who is a hero of mine from his Mean Machines Magazine days. 


Despite doubting Daniel’s talents for a moment Daniel walks the challenge with ease as he guides Mario to over 50 coins with 20 seconds to spare.


Cue the Golden Joystick presentation! This is something I always wanted to own but alas will probably never get the chance to hold in my lifetime. I wonder if Daniel still has his?
Next up comes the reviews section which always seemed a bit rushed to me as I was used to Mean Machines giving me a two page spread of hot takes on a video game rather than a 20 second version of “The graphics are good, the gameplay is crap, 68%” which it feels like here but I did enjoy seeing the likes of RAD from Mean Machines weighing in with his opinions on the latest games.
Terminator got a remarkably good 87%, Addams Family on the SNES got a mediocre 63% and Indiana Jones and The fate Of Atlantis got a smashing 93%! I think that review led me to buy this amazing game on my Commodore Amiga 600.

Next up was a Game Boy modding feature which consisted of two strange people talking about sticking things to their Game Boy to ‘mod’ them. It felt pretty odd as a feature but hey it was early days ….. Right?!


Up steps John Fashanu and Simon Reynolds (from Bishops Stortford) to battle it out in that god awful football game called Manchester United in Europe.
Thankfully Simon beats Fash 2-0 and Fash manages to hit the bar from 2 yards with an open goal in front of him. I think this was the highlight of the episode for me as a bloke in the audience is heard belly laughing his way through the next minute of the programme at Fash’s misfortune. This is priceless TV entertainment!


Another Golden Joystick is dished out with the appropriate Diamond double entendres backing up the presentation. It was a knob joke marathon when I look back on it now!


Then comes a section of the show that I didn’t realise was called Console Tation where The Games Master gave out Hints & Tips to gamers who ask the Games Master questions the games they are stuck on. Games Master gave some sage advice on Sonic The Hedgehog (Hidden Zone), Elvira (4 Leaf Clover) and then Simon’s Quest (Deborah Cliff) which was so bizarre that I can’t imagine anyone working that out on their own! 
Then it’s time for Tony Wright to take on Mad Dog McGree and he does with aplomb as he clears up the town and rescues the sheriff in record time! It was almost as though Tony was a ‘ringer’ brought in to clean up Mad Dog so as to entice others to apply for the show...maybe we’ll never know?


With another Golden Joystick in the bag the first show draws to a close, the Monk comes out and presents Dominik with his red smoking jacket and a cup of Camomile and off he trots.


Coming in at around 20 minutes the show felt breezy but focussed and in my opinion, it stands up today as it is still entertaining. I think it helped watching it on YouTube without the ads as it flew by but I would have loved to see the adverts from that ad break in 1992.


This first episode has really whet my appetite for more Games Master magic from the 90s.
Join me for Episode 2 soon as I see if the magic can still take hold of me in this nostalgia fuelled binge watch!
Rich

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