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"I'm Tim Rogers. You are watching the Action Button review of TV Tropes!"

"Hello, and welcome back to video games!"
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Action Button is a Video Game Analysis Channel hosted by video game journalist and indie developer Tim Rogers. Rogers began the project in May 2020.

A Spiritual Successor to both Rogers' old text reviews at ActionButton.net and the video reviews/essays he previously did for Kotaku, the videos consist of part long-form analysis, part retrospective reviews of various video games which he finds historically significant for the games as a medium in one way or another. Along with ruminations on core elements of the game in question, such as gameplay loop and story, as well as the historical circumstances surrounding its development, Rogers also peppers his videos with various anecdotes from both his personal and professional life related to the game in question.

So far, videos have been made about the following games:

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Season One:

Season Two:


Tropes used and discussed in the Action Button reviews:

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: invoked Tim cannot help but find that Yoshio Saotome, the cheerful best friend of Tokimeki Memorial's Player Character, comes across as somewhat of a mentally disturbed and creepy stalker, and maybe even potential serial killer, what with his just-a-little-too happy and friendly demeanor combined with his forthcomingness about his distressingly detailed and extensive notes on him and the protagonist's female classmates, which not only chronicles their mood, hobbies, favorite places to visit, and relationship with the protagonist on a day-to-day basis, also contains their blood-type and bust, waist, and hip measurements. Tim also notices, much to his disquiet, that Yoshio eventually adjusts all of the girls' bust measurements up by 1cm during the endgame as the High School Graduation day approaches. When playing the game in one of the post-review streams, Tim outright compares Yoshio to the titular character of Dexter.
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  • And I'm the Queen of Sheba: Tim does an aside to this effect when briefly discussing the graphical capabilities of the PlayStation 5 in the Cyberpunk 2077 review.
    Tim: Let me also take a second to note how shriekingly ridiculous it is that the PlayStation 5's box has a little "8K" logo on it. Come on, man! If that thing can do 8K, I'm a brain surgeon.
  • Bookends: Tim's reviews start and end with a segment called "The Bottom Line" in which he sums up the entire review in one sentence at the very beginning, which usually either doesn't make any sense or seemingly makes sense, before he then does the actual review. At the end, he says that sentence again, but with new meaning. For example, in the Cyberpunk 2077 review, he states that the game "gives us everything" in a positive manner at the beginning, but at the end delivers the same sentence in a negative tone and makes a case for why that's actually a bad thing.
    • Season One begins and ends with two games with the number "7" featured in the title which were released much more recently than every other game reviewed in the season. Tim states was intentional in the Cyberpunk review.
  • Boss Battle: Discussed. In his analysis of Tokimeki Memorial, Tim comes to the conclusion that on a mechanical level the various girls the protagonist meet and date are in many ways analogous to the bosses the player would encounter in a more straight-forward video game, and when viewed through this lense it means that Shiori Fujisaki is actually the Final Boss of the game.
    Tim: Shiori Fujisaki is, in my opinion, the greatest final boss ever conceived and executed in any video game ever made. [...] Shiori Fujisaki, history's softest, smiling final Dracula, sits upon an endgame throne as tall as the moon, ready to reveal every miserable secret in your little pile.
  • Doorstopper: His Tokimeki Memorial video is almost 6 hours long, a fairly ridiculous length by any video standards. His Cyberpunk 2077 review is split up into multiple hour-long videos that total up to 10 hours long (though he strongly recommends in the opening video that the viewer selects two of them to watch before moving onto the final one).
  • Even Better Sequel: invoked Discussed. As groundbreaking as he thinks Tokimeki Memorial was, Tim mentions that he finds Tokimeki Memorial 2 to be the superior experience, feeling that the story was better written and more willing to play with darker themes.
  • Every Episode Ending: Every review ends with Tim reciting the following:
    Tim: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that video games were created awesome. That I was born stupid. However, I will not die hungry. Video games forever... Action Button.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Tim leaves a veritable litany of small blink-and-you-miss-it text bits all over the videos.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: As with his other works, Tim avoids swearing on principle, even when quoting the game in question. This leads to some hilarious moments such as when he calls a Final Fantasy VII enemy a "Heck House".
  • Hotter and Sexier: Tim discusses this with the Final Fantasy VII Remake, finding that it in quite a few ways comes across as more "horny" than the original game, especially with both Jessie and Tifa flirting both more frequently and aggressively with Cloud.
  • Most Gamers Are Male: Discussed. Tim ponders the ways Cyberpunk 2077's different Romance Sidequests can be discovered and the way they influence the story seems to at least imply that this perception is at play.
    • Meeting the heterosexual female love interest, Panam Palmer, is part of a mandatory story mission, and her romance sidequest can potentially factor directly into one of the ending branches.
    • Meeting the lesbian female love interest, Judy Alvarez, is also part of a mandatory story mission, and her romance sidequest can potentially influence the tone of two of the endings.
    • The gay male love interest, Kerry Eurodyne, can only be met at the ending of a completely optional sidequest-line, and it requires the player to already be four sidequests deep into the questline, and, like Judy, his romance sidequest is limited to only influence the tone of two of the endings. However, the questline is centred around Johnny Sliverhand, so if the player is at least just a bit invested in Johnny's story, they are likely to want to follow it through.
    • Finally, the heterosexual male interest (i.e. the one meant to appeal directly to a heterosexual female player), River Ward, requires the player to invest about 10 hours into another completely optional sidequest line, but this one doesn't directly relate to any other character in the story, so it might be skipped by a lot of players. Finally, like Judy and Kerry, River's influence on the endings is again a matter of slightly influencing the tone of two of them.
  • Munchkin: invoked Discussed as a tactic, during the Cyberpunk 2077 review, as Tim notices that it is rather easy to break the game's combat system and character progression. That is to say, he tells the story of how he realized early on that the game's "Quickhack" mechanic was extremely easy to exploit, as it could pretty reliably deal pretty huge amounts of damage with very little effort. He goes on to describe that this realization lead him to Min-Maxing his character towards using the system to "Death Note" enemies, ultimately resulting in him playing as a "ridiculous, boring Batman", in that his character ended up cruising around Night City in a vehicle looking for known gang members walking the streets, and then, without ever leaving the comfort of said vehicle, spammed Quickhacks to pretty effortlessly kill them from afar, while raking in experience points, street cred, and money by the truck-load for doing so. Tim eventually worked his way towards combining the method with a character that, equipped with various clothing and weapon buffs, got an almost 100% likelihood for scoring Critical Hits with every shot fired from any equipped assault rifle, and as such also made very short work of pretty much all of the game's dungeon levels, even the supposedly quite difficult endgame ones, and even rendered the Final Boss an Anti-Climax Boss, if not a borderline Zero-Effort Boss. With the power of hindsight from looking over the gameplay footage, Tim laments how this whole character build might be extremely efficient at "winning" the game and earning more money than the game would ever give the player any opportunity to actually spend, but it makes the dramatic tension of the game's story is supposed to convey pretty much one great big joke, and makes for really boring footage to show off for an audience, as pretty much all the combat is skipped, in favor of, at best, staring at enemies desperately, but futilely trying to close the distance to the player before their damage effects inevitably kill them, and, at worst, outright staring into a wall and watching the off-screen enemies' HP steadily tick down in the distance.
  • Oscar Bait: Tim discusses it in connection with The Last of Us, in an attempt to analyse how "Video Game Oscar Bait" are both similar to and different from "regular" Oscar Bait.
  • Overly Long Gag: invoked The start of the Cyberpunk 2077 has Tim explaining the game's increasingly Troubled Production, starting with the delays, before moving on listing every patch and hotfix released following the game's release, this goes on for about 40 seconds, before the video "glitches" out and skips to Tim talking about the bottom line.
  • Photographic Memory: Tim has the condition known as hyperthymesia, which gives him near-perfect recall of the vast majority of his life experiences. He frequently uses this in the videos to describe his first encounter with the game in question, which sometimes happened in his childhood, or how the gaming press was receiving it at the time.
  • Running Gag:
    • Reusing the Doom shotgun sound effect, especially when what's happening makes it out of place. The Tokimeki Memorial review in particular gets a lot of use out of it.
    • Reusing the "BINGO!" line from Smash TV, usually combined with a clip of Ayako Katagiri from Tokimeki Memorial, in a similar manner to the Doom shotgun sound effect.
  • Start My Own: Tim claims in the Cyberpunk 2077 review that Action Button was born when the CEO of the new venture capital owner of the site he previously worked for was a shallow weirdo to him and he decided he would make a go of what he had done there on his own, creating an outline for season 1 of the channel.
  • Tamer and Chaster: In the Tokimeki Memorial episode, Tim discusses how the game was one of the first Dating Sim that found broad success in courting a mainstream audience by completely doing away with the pornographic material that the genre was otherwise infamous for. He notices with some amusement that the game is tame to a degree where the most intimate possible interaction the protagonist can have with the girls he is dating is some innocent hand holding, and that there isn't even a Smooch of Victory with the final girl at the end, even though many would probably argue that it is a borderline obligatory trope for the romance genre.
  • Take That!: Quite a bit of the comedy from the videos comes from Tim delivering some rather deadpan burns to games he didn't particularity care for.
    • This bit from the The Last of Us
      Tim: If The Last of Us is The Sopranos of video games, that'd make BioShock Infinite The Wire of video games, in a parallel universe where The Wire isn't good.
    • In the Cyberpunk 2077 review Tim goes on a tangent on how, in preparation for playing the game and getting a feel for the genre, he decided to look at other games that something to do with "cyber" and "punk", and as such played Rocky Rodent and found it to be a surprisingly good game. Thinking he could find some other overlooked diamonds-in-the-rough, he tried playing a bunch of other Mascot with Attitude platformers from the time period, and immediately found that the genre's reputation of being not altogether that good was rather well deserved.
      Tim: I booted up Awesome Possum... I wish I hadn't. I was thinking, while I was playing platform games starring mascot rodents, I might as well visit Konami's Rocket Knight Adventures [...] I even played it's sequel Sparkster, which totally sucks. For a good measure, and to finish the poisoning, I chocked down Aero the Acro-Bat, Aero the Acro-Bat 2, and Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel. More like, Zero out of Ten the Kamikaze Squirrel out of Ten!
  • Unreliable Narrator: Tim will regularly reveal that some of his claims, while entertaining, were lies, that he is a fictionalized character rather than Tim Rogers the actual real person, and expose various other falsehoods in his videos to make it clear you shouldn't take all his asides too seriously.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that video games were created awesome. That I was born stupid. However, I will not die hungry. Video games forever... Action Button."
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