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Web Video / Matt McMuscles

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Matt's skull logo, complete with beanie
Matt McMuscles (aka The Flophouse) is the Youtube channel of former Two Best Friends Play member Matthew "Matt McMuscles" Kowalewski. Unlike TBFP, The Flophouse has more of a focus on pre-planned recorded content, such as examining major gaming flops and bugs, edited playthroughs of games while Matt is intoxicated, and video game "fashion" reviews with his wife Crymetina. Occasionally, he'll do a full-on Let's Play, though not without help. His most well known series is "Wha Happun?", which discusses some of media's most infamous flops and analyzes how they ended up the way they did from the development perspective.

Show Formats:

  • Wha Happun?: A review show chronicling the very worst disasters of the entertainment industry (originally just video games, but the series later branched into film), with particular focus on projects that suffered from a Troubled Production or languished in Development Hell.invoked
  • Crymetina Reviews: Matt's Wife Crymetina is shown video game characters (usually fighting game characters) and she gives her honest critique of their costumes through her experience as a fashion designer.
  • Gone Too Soon: Matt provides retrospectives on the rise and fall of video game developers famous for making multiple Cult Classics and/or Acclaimed Flops.invoked
  • Flophouse Funsies: One-shot let's plays with no particular theme.
  • Bug Report: Matt plays a buggy video game and shares his experience as a video game bug tester to explain where bugs in video games come up, why they do, and how they affect gameplay beyond the obvious.
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  • Matt's Nightmares: Matt plays a horror game, either as a one-shot or a short series. This format originated as a full let's play of Rise of Nightmares (then titled Rise of Mattmares), and retains a variation of that series' titlecard.
  • The Mediocre Spider-Matt: Matt plays one of the many Spider-Man video games.
  • Wii Remember: A spotlight series based on playing underrated titles that premiered on the Wii or Wii U.
  • Matt x Liam: Full-length let's plays with fellow Super Best Friends veteran, Liam Allen-Miller (AKA "RisingSuperstream" on Twitch and YouTube).
  • Matt Nukem Forever: A retrospective of Duke Nukem Forever, where Matt discusses the game and it's problems. It is not a Let's Play, as Matt only covers the highs and lows - everything in between is cut out, not to mention he talks about the story and development in addition to the gameplay.

The Flophouse contains tropes of:

  • Accentuate the Negative: Refreshingly inverted, as Matt's response to most video games that aren't very good is to usually find something positive to say about it, though it often wraps around to Damned by Faint Praise.
  • Analysis Channel: Much of the channel analyzes different parts of gaming.
  • Became Their Own Antithesis: In "Ubisoft Used To Be The Most Insane Publisher Ever", Matt delves into the history of big-name publisher Ubisoft, and discovers to his surprise that they were responsible for publishing a dizzying variety of titles and genres over their history, from a bevy of Batman adaptations to Peter Jackson's King Kong to even the European release of Armored Core 2. He notes that, in 2001 alone, Ubisoft published over twenty-eight different games. However, Ubisoft's acquisition of (and increasing reliance upon) a handful of cash-cow franchises led to the company gradually phasing out its use of third-party titles and homogenizing its own output, until Ubisoft ironically became infamous for its lack of variety.
  • Buxom Is Better: Zig-Zagged. Both Matt and Crymetina are okay with large breasts (and are open fans of Hitomi Tanaka, a porn star), they do call attention to when it would be impractical for Jiggle Physics to be a thing in video games.
    Crymetina, flummoxed by Lien Neville's alternate costume: WHY ARE HER TITTIES BE LIKE THAT THOUGH!?
  • Canada, Eh?: Matt and Crymetina are both from Canada, though Crymetina's accent is way more pronounced since she's Quebecois.
  • Caustic Critic: Crymetina does not pull her punches on her show if the character's wardrobe breaks fashion rules.
  • invokedExecutive Meddling: Discussed frequently on Wha Happun?, due to the role it often plays in derailing a project.
    • The Final Fight: Streetwise episode has a particular focus on this phenomena. Originally, Capcom's Studio 8 was working on a more traditional, cel-shaded entry known internally as Final Fight: Seven Sons. However, after the unexpected success of Grand Theft Auto III in Japan (which Capcom had published), it was mandated that the project be completely retooled to adopt elements of GTA and be significantly Darker and Edgier. Matt openly mourns this decision, as what little demo footage exists of Seven Sons showed promise in his eyes, whereas Streetwise and its sister production Beat Down ended up as abysmal commercial failures in both Japan and North America.
    • The Tomb Raider franchise - and Angel of Darkness in particular - fell prey to this thanks to publisher Eidos Interactive's unrealistic expectations for developer Core Design. Among other things, they exhausted Core's staff with their demand that Tomb Raider be an annual-release series, split Core's resources between Angel of Darkness and Chronicles, and insisted on chopping up Angel of Darkness to fit an impractical episodic format. At one point, Matt succinctly describes Eidos' decision-making as "Ambitious. Stupid, but ambitious."
      Matt: This is a classic case of upper-management maybe getting more involved in the development process than they should, promising things that they weren't even sure could be done, and generally ruining everything for everyone.
  • invokedFollow the Leader: Discussed during the BMX XXX episode of Wha Happun?, where Matt opens by describing the genre of "extreme sports games" that took off in the early 2000s, after the massive success of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater and its sequels. Matt quickly rattles off a list of examples, including Kelly Slater's Pro Surfer, Matt Hoffman's Pro BMX, Shawn White's Snowboarding, Aggressive Inline, Razor Freestyle Scooter, Bike Street Vert Dirt, SSX, Toxic Grind, Crusty Demons, and Dave Mira's Freestyle BMX.
    Matt: Clearly this was a cow that would never, ever run dry, right?
  • Hypocrisy Nod: In a Crymetina Reviews for KOF '06, Crymetina wanted to write Lilly Kane's entire wardrobe off, but felt compelled to give the alternate costume a pass, partially because it didn't weird her out...and because she was wearing something similar that day.
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer:
    • In various episodes of Wha Happun, Matt will occasionally pull a variation on this trope where he reacts with disbelief at a more bizarre detail of his current subject (such as Daikatana having a Game Boy Color port, or Todd Mc Farlane being the lead artist behind Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning), often emphasizing his surprise by speaking off-mic or audibly ruffling through notes.
    • A straight example comes from the Duke Nukem Forever episode of Wha Happun?, where George Broussard briefly emerges from two years of radio silence to sharply contradict a public statement from Take-Two Interactive's CEO via an online forum. Matt paraphrases the post:
      George Bourssard: "Take-Two needs to STFU. We don't want Take-Two saying stupid-ass things in public for the sole reason of helping out their stock. Its our time and our money that we are spending on the game, so either we're absolutely stupid and clueless, or we believe in what we are working on."
      Matt: That's an actual quote that was said by someone who worked for a million-dollar company.
    • At one point during the Fallout 76 episode of Wha Happun, a clip is shown of gameplay lagged down to 3-frames-per-second, with a plain caption at the bottom of the screen assuring the viewer that the clip is real-time gameplay footage and not a slideshow of still images.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: While Wha Happun? is somewhat snarky, it's usually done in good fun and intended to be educational about the pitfalls of game or movie development. The episode on The Guy Game on the other hand, has Matt's barely contained contempt for the concept, the producer, and the juvenile premise boil over and it becomes extremely deadpan mockery.
  • Recurring Element: In Wha Happun?, nearly every disaster he covers usually involves one of four things:
    • A major game engine change and a requirement to throw nearly everything the dev team worked on out and start from scratch.
    • A publisher change, usually to a company not well known for their patience.
    • Over promising features or becoming overly ambitious with new, untested technology.
    • Severe crunch driving the developers to their breaking point.
  • Shown Their Work: All of his documentary-style content and everything he talks about on Bug Report comes from both painstaking research and from years as a bug tester/indie video game developer.
  • Synthwave: The Channel's bumpers, aesthetic and end cards are all based on this. Even the Patreon video has elements of this.
  • Take That!: Often has a word or two with SEGA's often extremely unusual demands, but has a much more...succinct response to the mere mention of Konami:
    Matt: Konami. Fuck 'em.
  • You Keep Using That Word: In the Duke Nukem episode of Wha Happun?, "millennial" is used in place of "Generation Z". The two aren't identical: millennial are those born roughly between 1981 and 1996 (give or take year or two depending on the definition), while Gen Z kids were born in 2000 and afterwards.

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