|This is not my beautiful Extended Play.|
These days it seems fashionable - hip even, to trash Tech TV's Extended Play. Hell, the other day some 12 year old rabblerouser in a Halo tshirt called me an "Extended Play watchin', Adam Sessler lovin', Gamecube playin' whore." Well, I guess that makes me a whore - although I was just aiming to be a slut. I, in fact actually do enjoy watching Extended Play - for once I get to see excerpts from games playing as they would look on my nicotine-stained tv, and reviews that are more lively and often, more insightful that 4 pages of a Gamespot forum review.
Yes, Extended Play is a fine show - from the awkward and never professional demeanor of the host, Adam Sessler, to the razor thin budget that forced them to travel from arcade to arcade to shoot their intro shots in. And in the beginning there was a female co-host, wasn't there? She appeared to do a jolly good job as well, although I don't really recall her ever actually saying anything until the episode she left. Nonetheless, Extended Play was my creature comfort - it spoke to me like no other non-animated video game show ever has. Well, except for Captain Lou in the Super Mario Brothers Super Show. He roused my spirits many times more than Sessler's spikey hair.
And then one day (yesterday to be exact) I turned on my TV and Extended Play was gone. X-Play was staring at me instead.
|Rumor on the street is that they didn't have the gold to get Rod Roddy on board.|
X-Play is the new incarnation of Extended Play. It features an actual studio, edgier reviews, more filler material and former Screen Savers studio crew member Morgan Webb as a co-host. From the moment the title scene passed before my eyes, I knew something was awry - X-Play features voiceover from a voice artist that would make Rod Roddy sound subdued. Additionally, in a desperate attempt to live up to the 'X' in their title, all studio clips feature handheld camera shots with a poor excuse for an After Effects noise filter slapped on it. Adam and Morgan look extremely uncomfortable - you can see each twiddling their hands and shifting nervously whenever the camera focuses on the two of them - if I wanted to feel uncomfortable I'd go ride public transportation and play chicken with the 350lb. muscleman on the back of the El.
There are a few bright spots in the makeover though - the ever-reliable reviews are in abundance (no previews here!), and the insipid 'codes' segment have been replaced with an entertaining jab at all the morons that populate BF1942 games. They've upped the budget on their skits too.
|Just be glad that this corporate mascot isn't hosting X-Play.|
To coincide with their review of the new Rainbox Six game, they filmed part of what appeared to be a junket for the game, which included gearing up and acting out what it would be like to be part of a tactical squad elite army corps shooting neon discs at each other. The entire bit, which while overly lengthy and had all the tension of real estate infomercial, was still more entertaining than cycling through channels for about five minutes.
Perhaps it's just new show jitters - I know I get them every time I go before the camera. Or maybe it's more like watching your friend perform his first guitar solo on stage. You want to take him seriously, and he grits his teeth and tries his damnedest to look serious while he slides on his knees towards the audience Van Halen style, but once the two of you lock eyes - you just start cracking up and he breaks a string. So it goes.