Classic Reviews Classic Game Room
is an online video game review show
made by Mark Bussler which started in 1999, making it the first web game review show.
The first incarnation was know as The Game Room
was a subscriber feature on the website "From US Alive". Presented by Mark Bussler and David Crosson, it was mostly a straight review show of then-current games and a few retro titles, with the occasional bit of silliness. Though it gained something of a cult fan base, it was a bit too ahead of its time (most internet connections were still on dial-up) and folded in 2000.
Fast forward to 2007: Mark Bussler uploads a few episodes on a little site known as YouTube
to promote a DVD documentary about the show. The videos became much more popular than he expected, and in 2008, he decides to revive it as Classic Game Room HD
with backing from the Inecom Company.
Other than its troubled history, it's a standard review show without much in the way of bells and whistles, with most of the humor coming from Mark musing about the inherent Fridge Logic
of the medium, or just letting loose about nothing in particular. Though the show is mostly about the games, it also has reviewed consoles, accessories, game packaging, and even more peripheral stuff (like food based on games). He has since spun-off CGR Garage
which reviews die-cast toy cars.
The videos can be watched here
, and the series also has an official site
, The Happy Video Game Nerd
Classic Game Room provides examples of:
- Alternative Character Interpretation: In-universe (review) :The plot of Cyber Speedway is about a young hotshot hired by the government to participate in a galactic racing contest which has replaced war. However Mark has the Japanese version so he assumes it's really about a drunk fratboy trying to pay accident fees.
- Ascended Fanboy: Mohammed from Qatar who donated lots and lots of games and game systems to CGR and even became some kind of meme has appeared on the show and gave an interview.
- Mark finally got his hands on an El Camino, and a damn good one at that.
- Author Appeal: Mark loves them flamethrowers.
- Awesomeness Is Volatile: RoboCop vs. Terminator is awesome enough, but the games using flamethrowers got him to do this.
- Ax Crazy: Lord Karnage, a recurring character he made up for the Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 review. He had to register his hairs as a lethal weapon, the organizers gave him an award just so he wouldn't kill everybody and if he doesn't get complimented regularly, someone dies.
- In the Madden NFL 11 review, he takes over a newly formed island, grows his own genetically modified football players, and names them all after Japanese Shoot 'Em Ups.
- Bad Future: Claims that in the future, we will be too busy fighting robots to watch these videos.
- Bait-and-Switch Comment: "Celebrate the 25th anniversary of Super Mario Bros by playing some TRUXTON!"
- Berserk Button: Specifically applying to CGR Garage, extremely low-quality die-cast cars and similar knock-offs will set this off for Mark.
- Change the Uncomfortable Subject: Done in this review of Art Of Fighting 3, when Mark lost his train of thought.
- Cloning Blues: Clone!Derek was created to be Derek's co-host for CGRundertow's Tweet Sack. Clone!Derek turns out to be a dick.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Taken Up to Eleven during the original run's review of Robotron 64.
- Cool Ship:: The Intergalactic Space Arcade.
- Department of Redundancy Department: In the Golden Axe Beast Rider review, Mark mentions that he enjoys "burning people with monsters and cutting them in half". And he mentions it again...and again...and again. It spills over to his other reviews that it becomes something of a Running Gag.
- Gag Sub: The Jupiter Strike review has him inserting silly subtitles during the intro cutscene.
- Incredibly Lame Pun:
- Heyzoos the Coked Up Chicken loves Coke... the cola.
- ...and, as revealed in the screen test video, cocaine.
- Lampshaded in the Street Fighter 2 Turbo review:
"Has Ken finally married Barbie? Is Honda now a hybrid? And that last joke was so bad I can't believe I haven't even edited it out. Sinking to new depths."
- Man Child: Mark is one. He points that out when he mentions Big in one of his recent toy reviews.
- He reviewed a Star Wars AT-AT toy by playing it in his backyard.
- Memetic Badass:
- Invoked with Lord Karnage.
- Mohammed from Qatar.
- Mind Screw: The Space Gar "reviews".
- Mundane Made Awesome:
- Nice Character, Mean Actor: The Coked Up Chicken.
- Mascot: The red-eyed squirrel, and the smiley face holding a beer.
- Also, Stella, his pet dog.
- Missing Episode: Some of the original Game Room episodes are neither on the Youtube channel or on the DVD.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Some of his conference antics. Examples includes putting a Vectrex overlay on the camera, asking the E3 Valkyria Chronicles II booth if the game is going to receive a Game Gear port and faking amazement at the "naturally-formed fan" of the Cabela's Dangerous Hunt 2011 truck.
- Perfectly Cromulent Word: "Ebayzably".
- Playing Against Type: From the director of Expo: Magic of the White City narrated by Gene Wilder!
- Reference Overdosed: A Classic Game Room review will have a probably reference various movies, 80s rock bands, 80s cartoons, old muscle cars, beer, Vectrex, and Cosmic Carnage.
- Running Gag:
- Wind Squid.
- Cosmic Carnage.
- Saying that a game needs a flamethrower or a Vectrex port.
- A couple of people found Mohammed from Qatar to be a running gag for when Mark gets a new system or game. This was evidently jossed.
- Rule Of Cool: Mark thrives on this. Any game with ninjas, spaceships or cars, flamethrowers and explosions will be awesome.
- Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer: Half of the Ridge Racer 7 review is dedicated to the Xevious minigame and how much better it is than the actual racing portion.
Allow me to make my own commentary: THIS GAME SUCKS, let's go play Xevious!
- So Bad, It's Good: In-universe: Mark likes games so cheesy even if a game is bad or not so good.
There are many of us that enjoy videogames that aren't very good, but have something likable and cheesy about them that makes them so much damn fun.
- Sound Effect Bleep: Done every time profanity is used.
- Bizarely, Mark refers to most of the other players as 'dickheads' in his review of the multiplayer in Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, but bleeps out the 'heads' part, not the obscenity itself
- His Saints Row: The Third review doesn't bleep out any swearing from the gameplay.
- Undertow uses Super Mario Bros. sounds as a censor.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: In the Grand Theft Auto: Vice City review, Mark spends the first half of the video exploiting the very worst of the game's Video Game Cruelty Potential while a cheery '80's pop tune from the game's soundtrack plays.
- The intro to the Dead Space 2 review features circus music as the main character is mauled by aliens.
- Spin-Off: CGR Undertow, in which other Inecom staff review more PlayStation and Nintendo titles.
- Stylistic Suck: The Wind Squid videos.
- Suckiness Is Painful: Just mentioning the name of the film Johnny Mnemonic hurts Mark's ears.
- Suddenly Ethnicity: Parodied in the Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 The Masters review, where Lord Karnage is said to be able to "change his skin color depending on which ladies he's hitting on at the time".
- Take a Third Option: Which is better? The Nintendo Wii controller, or the PlayStation Move controller? The answer is the Sega Genesis controller.
- This Is Wrong on So Many Levels: His review of Virtua Fighter Kids.
- Throw It In: Frequently done, and frequently lampshaded.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Beer.
- Verbal Tic: Mark tends to pause and put emphasis on some words, sometimes to the point of giving an almost Shatner-esque delivery.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: Demonstrated in their Seaman review, in which they try to kill Seaman after getting fed up with the bad voice recognition and then reset the clock just to do it slowly. They succeed.
- Unfortunate Implications: Parodied occasionally, like when he noted the Sega Dreamcast Sports Edition was black, and claimed it was just reinforcing stereotypes.
- Who Writes This Crap?!: The Coked Up Chicken in his "screen test".
- Xtreme Kool Letterz: Taken to ridiculous extremes with Heyzoos the Coked-Up Chicken who spells 'Sega' "T! R! U! X! T! O! N!"
- You Bastard: In the L.A Machineguns review:
We're all special. And we're all different. Except you!
When I laugh people live. Except you! Yeah...you! You got it coming!