At the end of my DVD review for The Irate Gamer Volume 3 I said that was likely going to be the last Irate Gamer DVD review I would ever write as it had been over two years since the last volumes had been released. Well what do you know, only a short time later and here we are again! This was a pretty exciting one as I had only seen maybe half the episodes before so a lot of it was going to be a mystery. I couldn’t get to it right away because of that damn action movie marathon but I’ve watched it from start to finish and oh man I have some things to say so off we go!
You all know who the Irate Gamer is so I will be forgoing any sort of introduction. If you want to know more about him and my general thoughts on the show, go back and look at any one of the previous DVD reviews for it for a quick overview. The big thing with this DVD is this is meant to be the Irate Gamer’s movie. It’s meant to tell an on-going story that continues from episode to episode. It’s called “Rise of Red” here which is an odd title choice for reasons I will get into later. First off, let’s list the episodes you get in this set:
Robocop 2 and 3
Masters of the Universe
Power Rangers SNES
Power Rangers Genesis
Power Rangers Sega CD
12 episodes! Easily the most on any one of these Irate Gamer DVDs. The total run time is just under two hours so in terms of actual content, that’s not bad. Actually it’s enough episodes that I don’t want to take the time and talk about each one individually, which is fine because this is supposed to be a movie and as such I should talk about it is one entity. Now any movie review usually starts with a breakdown of the plot which I’m going to attempt now so if you don’t want to be spoiled perhaps don’t read any further.
We are introduced to the Shadow Overlord (aka Bores’ silhouette) who I guess now is Evil Gamer’s boss. They want to destroy the world apparently so they steal Irate Gamer’s magic Magnavox Odyssey (though wasn’t that a History of Video Games episode, not a proper Irate Gamer episode?) and extract the AI from it, thus creating the robot Red. They then clone Red into a bunch of robots with purple eyes and set them loose on the world. They are immediately destroyed. Meanwhile a couple of monks decide Irate Gamer is the chosen one and give him a magic sword and magical powers. He eventually has to use them against the Pixel Demon, an ancient evil who is built up as the most terrifying entity in the known universe. The Pixel Demon is destroyed immediately. Then Shadow Overlord releases a giant ass robot on the city so one of the sages who is actually Zordon recruits Irate Gamer and 4 pals to pilot the zords from Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers (they are not meant to be the actual Power Rangers for the record as it’s made clear they also exist within this universe, so why not just get them to pilot their own zords?!). So then the giant ass robot fights a bunch of footage of old Power Rangers episodes and the footage beats him and he explodes. The end. Cue Owl City song.
I don’t want to blow your mind but I found this movie to be a touch all over the place in terms of plot. If instead this has been done as several mini episodic arcs then ok but no, this is meant to be taken as one continuous plot. Its lack of focus is startling. We spend several episodes building up the robot army only to have Rob the Robot (who is now a good guy after being reprogrammed by Tony) dispatch them with almost zero effort. Then suddenly it’s a fantasy movie and there are swords and magic powers and then all of a sudden we have a giant robot and then we have the Pixel Demon in there for no reason as he contributes absolutely nothing to the story.
Actually let’s talk a little bit more about The Pixel Demon. I didn’t pay attention before the Silver Surfer episode was released but I understand there was a lot of hype placed around the Pixel Demon character. Before his arrival in the episode, every character hears his name and flees. He is described as something so evil he had to be locked away in a difficult game where nobody can find him. He then walks out and is revealed to be this MS Paint blob who literally just stands there and allows Irate Gamer to throw a bomb at him and kill him. It’s hinted at that he’s still alive but he never makes another appearance after that. It just seems so pointless. I guess it was meant to be the representation that Irate Gamer has mastered his Inferno magic powers but there are so many other enemies, couldn’t he have fought one of them instead? You know what, I just realized that when all of this is over, I’m pretty sure Irate Gamer has no clue Shadow Overlord even exists. Why kind of villain is that when the hero has no clue he is even a thing! Couldn’t he have faced down Shadow Overlord with his powers? The Pixel Demon just feels like a waste as then suddenly we’re in a Power Rangers episode and it’s all just insane. I have several problems with the story of this movie but the general lack of focus is probably the biggest.
Another problem – there is almost never any difficulties to overcome and at no point does it feel like Irate Gamer has to triumph over any sort of adversity. He is essentially all powerful and can take down any enemy with minimal effort. That’s not entertaining to watch at all. I guess there are a couple points during the Power Rangers episode where a character says they are in trouble but it never lasts long. There’s always a quick solution to whatever the problem is. It’s hard to get invested in a plot where it feels like nothing matters.
Also, was Irate Gamer always this big of an asshole? He was always kind of a prick, I mean it fits the name, but here he is such an unlikable son of a bitch that it makes it even harder to care about what is happening. At least before it felt like he had friends, now it feels more like he is a crime lord and they are his minions who are too scared to speak up to him. He greets all of his companions with variations of “What the fuck are you doing here?!” and he murders people constantly. I’m not kidding. In the X-Men episode, he kills each individual member of the X-Men for almost no reason. He kills Wolverine because he had the audacity to not like being made fun of. He kills Cyclops because he points out that there’s a hidden level in the X-Men game. This is after he orders them around like they are his slaves. And they are terrified of him! I guess it’s supposed to be funny but at the same time, shouldn’t your lead be someone to root for? Should he be using these powers that were bestowed upon him to murder innocents? Shouldn’t the sages who gave him these powers step in and tell him “this wasn’t exactly the plan here. Maybe stop killing people.” There were a couple of points where I was starting to think this might be leading to a twist where Irate Gamer was actually Evil Gamer the whole time as he seemed like a way bigger villain but nope, never happens. The guy is just a dick who I kinda wanted to see lose in the end.
Something else strange about this being considered a movie is for three episodes – Die Hard, GI Joe and Star Trek – the plot doesn’t move forward in any way. These are just standard episodes where games are reviewed and jokes are told, which as a result made them my favourite three episodes. It’s actually explained in one of the bonus pieces that the idea was for these episodes to represent the time when Irate Gamer was mastering the power of inferno for later use. But then, shouldn’t we see some of that? Didn’t he already master it in the Silver Surfer and X-Men episodes? This all might seem nit-picky but if you’re going to throw out there that these episodes are meant to be your movie, that’s how I’m going to analyze it. That all being said, these episodes were kind of a nice change of pace as they went back to the classic days of reviewing a game and that was that. Hell I didn’t even find the review portions of these that bad, though the jokes are still cringe-worthy.
Let’s actually take a moment to address the jokes. Here more than ever it really seemed like most of the jokes were taken from other places. Damn near everything felt like a joke I had already heard somewhere else, mostly The Simpsons. Things like someone yelling “I regret nothing!” or having someone yell “you know nothing of my work!” or the deleted scene where Irate Gamer yells “Shake harder boy!” at Mega Man shaking his fist (that one is literally a Simpsons joke though), they are all jokes that have been done elsewhere, in some cases many times. Hell the X-Men even do that annoying nervous collar pull that the Simpsons put in every episode for like 5 years. Some may defend it by saying that the joke is the reference to the source itself but references aren’t jokes! Haven’t the Epic Movie people proven that yet? Repeating a line from something else isn’t humour, it’s fucking lazy. The worst though, the WORST though, is in the Robocop episode. After Rob the Robot does…something, I already forget, Irate Gamer says “My own personal Robocop! Or should I say Rob-o-cop!” Get it? Cuz like, it’s the same letters. Oh you do get it because it’s the simplest joke on the planet? Wellllllll just in case, the joke is then broken down both with audio and a fucking visual representation that shows the break down of the pun. I was stunned. I had to go get my wife and show her who rolled her eyes at the joke itself, then yelled “Oh my god is he explaining it?!” right afterwards. Telling a lame joke is one thing, fine it happens, everyone does it, whatever. But to then have no faith in the audience to understand your lame joke? That’s crossing the god damn line. I’m not sure it’s “I was ROBbed bad” but holy shit. I couldn’t even believe that happened for real.
Anyway back to the story arc. The final three Power Rangers episodes are just kind of insane. Putting aside that I immediately object to the SNES episode as that is a great game, the climax of this story is mostly made up of footage from an old TV show. Isn’t that kind of nuts? The huge final showdown, is largely made up of footage that Chris Bores didn’t even shoot himself. It’s such an anti-climax. What if you saw Days of Future Past and the final battle mostly consisted of footage from the first movie? You’d be pretty mad right? Same thing here, how can you be excited when the finale is 50% taken from another source entirely? Also how in the hell is this on a DVD that is being sold? There’s so much stolen footage here! It’s all just so weird! What is happening?!
You know, I try in these reviews to invoke the Angry Video Game Nerd as little as possible but it’s getting harder and harder as it really seems like Chris Bores is trying to start some sort of feud or is convinced he’s already in one as there seems to be a lot of references/pot shots here. He dresses like the character in crowd shots, makes references to games “already having been reviewed”, and in a crowd scene in the final episode, includes a clear clip of someone yelling “Fuck you AVGN!” You can’t tell me he didn’t know that was there. Obviously I haven’t seen the AVGN movie yet, but is there any chance at all it’s not better than this? None right? Like zero chance? He just talks so much shit without a credible product to back up the words. Again, the whole thing is insane to me. It’s awesome to be confident about your work and Bores clearly is, and you know good for him. Stand by your shit dude, that’s awesome. But maybe tone down the ego just a touch. You’re making decently popular online game videos, not nursing stray dogs back to health. Perhaps focus less on what a certain other guy is up to and maybe work at making your own stuff better. I know lots of people like it but even the fans have criticisms that seem to be constantly shut down so maybe focus a touch more on that instead.
Christ these always turn out so long but I think that’s all I needed to say. The show itself is the same as always and my thoughts haven’t changed so I wanted to focus more on the story arc here. I’m still not sure why it’s called the Rise of Red as after the first couple of episodes Red does dick all but whatever. Overall, I respect the idea of having an on going story arc but it’s far too scattered here to work as one consistent story line. There’s like 8 bad guys by the end and yet none who pose a credible threat. We’re essentially just watching an all powerful human be awesome all the time with nothing that can stop him. Hooray?
Alright, time to hit up the back of the DVD box and see what we got!
“The 4th season of the Irate Gamer Show is taken to a brand new level as the Shadow Overlord threatens the entire world. The Irate Gamer and his friends will try to stop him through the use the inferno force, help from ROB the Robot and battle Zords to the world safe from evil!”
The use the? To the world safe from evil? You had two sentences to get right man! Two sentences on a product you’re charging twenty dollars for! That’s the ultimate sign of having little to no respect for anyone interested in buying the product. You can’t even tell me it’s because the DVD was rushed because it’s two fucking sentences! That takes literally 10 seconds to check before deciding “well, guess this is ready for sale”. Was someone holding him at gun point saying “It’s 8:52 and that shit better be for sale by 9!” Fuckin’ hell man.
I’ve always pushed for more bonus features on these and there is actually a decent number here, with the main piece being a 20 minute behind the scenes interview thing. It’s a lot of what you would expect, talk of the story line and why certain decisions were made, etc. The one stand-out for me though was the admission of certain episodes being done purely for the purpose of serving a single joke or idea. For example, the 7-Up episode (for the record I really, really like Cool Spot) was done because he wanted to do the joke at the end where he sends away for the prize and gets a bunch of copies of Cool Spot. This does bother me a little as it’s a sign that sometimes it’s not about “oh I gotta show how shitty this game is” but instead “How can I show this game as shitty?” and that seems like a cheat. Granted it’s not surprising considering how forced many of the complaints are. Yes the show is mostly intended as a comedy but there are definitely people out there who take the game reviews side of it to heart (just check out his video comments) so it sucks to know how misrepresented they often are. Complaints like “you mean if I die I have to start the level again?” or “You mean all I do in a Power Rangers fighting game is fight?” are kind of absurd and can be very frustrating to watch, knowing you can’t jump in and be like “What are you talking about!? These complaints are insane!”
Outside of the interview piece, we have some deleted scenes and a blooper reel, the usual stuff, not much to say about either one. We get a short I didn’t know existed where all of the characters from the show try out to be the new Aflac duck. It’s just odd and not very funny. Even odder and less funny is another video I didn’t know about where Ronnie the Skeleton and his family sing Deck the Halls. I…what is this? This thing boggled my mind. I watched it twice to make sure I didn’t imagine it. If my life absolutely depended on explaining how this video is supposed to be funny, I would be doomed. We also get IG Shorts, which I do remember from a few years back and I guess are no longer a thing. A Mario character shows up and hurts IG, that’s it.
So that’s the Irate Gamer Season 4 DVD. Look, if you’re a big fan of this show, the DVD is honestly not that bad in terms of content, I can at least say that. Though if you’re interested you may want to snap it up soon as with the amount of copyrighted footage on here, who knows how long it may last. The attempt to tell a story line doesn’t work out great and the show itself is the same as always, lame and often stolen jokes as well as good games being forced to look bad. If you aren’t already a fan, there is nothing here that is going to change your mind.