I’ve been promising that a review of the Volume 2 DVD of The Irate Gamer is “coming soon” for years now, but I feel that’s very much in the spirit of the Irate Gamer himself, so I’m not going to give myself too hard of a time about it. Alas, the time has finally come. Let’s talk about Volume 2!
Also please note there won't be any images throughout the review because after rewatching this for the review, I couldn't get the DVD to work in any device. Take that information however you like.
I already stated my overall thoughts about the Irate Gamer character in my review of Volume 1 a while back (you can read that one here - http://www.totalactionadventure.com/content/are-they-worth-it-dvds-inter... ) but just in case, let me quickly summarize things. I’m not a fan of the Irate Gamer in the sense that I enjoy what he does. I’m more of a fan in the sense that he is an overall fascinating entity. He’s a video game reviewer that doesn’t seem to particularly enjoy video games, or know too much about them, with every attempt to sound “legit” coming off incredibly forced and unnatural. He often seems as though he has the sort of ego that is usually reserved for the biggest of Hollywood stars, refusing to take criticism of any sort and talking himself up at every opportunity. The latter point being made especially more interesting since neither the review, nor comedy, portions of his reviews work on nearly any level.
With most shows, you often see an improvement in the later episodes, with the early ones feeling a lot rougher than what comes later. This idea does not apply to the Irate Gamer. Here are the episodes featured on the Volume 2 DVD:
Zombies Ate My Neighbors
Contra Parts 2 and 3
ROB the Robot
ROB the Robot Part 2
The first thing you’ll notice is that there is very little episodic content here. These eight episodes (I’m tempted to just say six and count Contra and Rob as single episodes) only add up to just over an hour. There’s absolutely no reason (well aside from money I suppose) that this and Volume 3 should have been made as separate products. Granted, an hour’s worth of content could almost be justified if the content was of high quality, but I think you already know that is not the case here.
The Zombies Ate My Neighbors episode may be the best example of an episode that shows everything that is wrong with the Irate Gamer as a whole. The complaints about the game (which is fantastic, and this is the consensus of most people) are incredibly forced, taking a good game and creating problems with it that don’t really exist. Stated issues with the game include: it’s too hard (aka there are enemies and you have to actually try), there are more enemies than just zombies despite the title (seriously?), popsicles killing enemies doesn’t make sense, and, of course, the ending isn’t good because of ….reasons. It’s not a real review, this is a guy picking a Halloween themed game and searching out problems to have with it that no rational human being would ever consider a flaw.
This episode is also a shining example of how the humour simply doesn’t work, at least for me. I understand comedy is very subjective, but I just don’t get how this is supposed to be funny. This is where we’re introduced to Ronnie the Skeleton, a Jewish skeleton who rambles on about nothing and I guess that’s the joke? Oh and he says “Goodness me” a lot so if that sounds humorous to you then you are in for a treat because they go back to the well on that a lot. Everything about this character’s existence is baffling and despite showing up a bunch of times since this initial appearance, I’ve never once understood what exactly we should be laughing at with this guy. There’s also the classic Bores gag of listing things and then throwing in a joke entry (I never noticed how often he does this until now), jokes stolen from other places (here it’s the Simpsons with a joke about calling in to a non-call in show), out of place references to other games, and random swearing that sounds incredibly forced. This is probably the worst episode on the disc, so at least you get it out of the way first.
Granted the others don’t fare a whole lot better. The forced criticisms and lame humour are pervasive across all of the reviews, but each episode does seem to find its own unique way to be bad.
The Tetris review is a great example of an episode feeling very padded, as there isn’t a whole lot to say about Tetris. This means lots of montages, pointless lists (at one point he literally just says the things you do in the game) and seemingly more lame sight gags than the average episode. At the very least he doesn’t force himself to say Tetris sucks, though he does say the Tengen version is “good despite its flaws” despite having not listed any real flaws previously. Ok he actually does say Tetris 2 sucks because….it has bombs I guess? I don’t know, he never really says why. He does say it sucks Nintendo revamped the formula and added things, overall not really grasping the concept of a sequel and what they do.
The Contra videos cover Contra, Super C, Contra III, and Contra 4, although that last one only gets about 30 seconds devoted to it. Again, at the very least he admits that the original Contra is great, though he’s mad that: it doesn’t have a backstory in the game itself (I think this complaint is solely to do his own little skit that doesn’t even seem like it’s trying to be funny, I don’t get it), it’s hard, and the laser gun is useless, though it’s worth noting that the last complaint stems from the fact that he is using it wrong. As for the other games in the series: Super C’s flaws are that it’s hard and has enemies, Contra Force sucks because it isn’t a true Contra game (though he does have a few nice things to say about it), and Contra III’s flaws are that it’s hard and has a bad ending. Contra III does have my favourite moment where he says the creator of the fifth level “really needs to be shot” in the least irate voice possible. Contra 4 doesn’t have any flaws listed as almost zero time is devoted to it.
It’s also probably worth noting that this episode is where we are introduced to the character of the Wise Sage, who is one of the few characters not played by Bores himself. He starts things out here as an unfunny “parody” of a Star Wars character who thinks Bores’ name is actually Luke. I believe this angle is completely dropped later as I remember an episode revealing they have known each other since high school. Anyway it’s neat to see a different person involved in this show, but you end up just feeling bad for the guy as he is saddled with some truly terrible dialogue and often seems to be very aware of this fact.
The Q-Bert episode would be just a short, kind of boring write-off if it weren’t for the attempt at an April Fool’s joke. The final chunk of the episode instead features another Youtube show called What the Buck where a guy tells really awful jokes in the form of a fake newscast. I just checked and he is still making new episodes but this snippet certainly doesn’t make me want to check out any more of them.
The Predator review I don’t really have anything to say about, it’s pretty standard stuff. The only thing I will mention is that the fist fight Bores has with the “predator” at the end of the video is pretty hilarious stuff.
We close things out with the two part ROB the Robot review, which of course goes the route of having ROB be evil, a concept no reviewer seems to be able to stray away from. Though this does lead to another unintentionally, hilariously inept fight at the end of the episode. I think that’s about all there is to say about the episodes themselves.
The packaging for the Volume 2 DVD looks exactly like the others, and uses the same menu art/set-up as well. Of course it wouldn’t be a review of a Chris Bores DVD if I didn’t write out the exact blurb that appears on the back of the DVD so let’s get to that right now.
“At last the Second Season of Irate Gamer Show is here! Many great moments of the show is in this collection! Watch as the Irate Gamer tears apart classics like Contra, Tetris, and Q-bert, as well as games that truely deserve it like Predator, and Stack up! Also included is a missing scene from the ROB the Robot 2-part episode. Don’t miss this one!”
At this stage these write-ups really speak for themselves. Word fought me so hard on these mistakes that I had to keep going back and purposely putting in the typos. If it was doing that for me, what is Bores’ excuse?!
The bonus features are, not surprisingly, lackluster. We have:
· a 90 second blooper reel (I still feel like these bloopers are being done intentionally),
· a 40 second deleted scene from the Zombies Ate My Neighbors episode where it shows the Evil Gamer using a switch box in the hallway to electrocute the Irate Gamer (?),
· a 30 second lame spoof of those Direct TV ads where the character talks directly to the camera (though this isn’t really a spoof, he is just replicating one of those ads),
· a 90 second “banned” Christmas video that’s just a clip montage followed by about a minute of the Irate Gamer, Ronnie, Tony and The Devil as dancing elves (no clue what lead to this being “banned),
· About 90 seconds worth of deleted scenes from the Contra, Predator, and ROB episodes. They add nothing and the Predator one seems to be missing the audio for the majority of the time.
In total, that adds up to about 6 minutes worth of bonus content. There HAS to be more that could be added to this. A commentary track, anything. I mean yes it would be more for me to have to get through but it would at least make the package more appealing to the fans who genuinely want this.
Overall, the Volume 2 DVD of the Irate Gamer show may in fact be worse than the first. The episodes are about the same in terms of overall quality, but there is less content here which is pretty astounding considering how lackluster the first DVD was. I don’t think I’m going to shock anyone by saying that I really don’t think you should buy this, even at the $9 sale price it has seemingly been at forever now.