By Pierce 4 Comments
I remember a time more innocent and pure, when one could notice the early morning dew and realize that school was in session. I'd have to walk about a mile to get to my elementary school. But not without first waking up at the crack of dawn and watching some early morning TV!
Looking back, the show's concept was savvy, yet very corporate. You start out with a question and answer session with Johnny Arcade, and kids in the audience tried to ask questions to stump Johnny at his game and overall jokery knowledge, similar to when Ryan tried to stump the ridiculously savant Jeff.
After this brief opening session, kids were chosen to do battle in the honorable courts virtual. Throughout the show we'd see them play games, trying to rack up the most points. In between status updates of these kids was an amazing concept - a cartoon show based on video game characters akin to Nintendo's Captain N.
This little animated ditty included video game characters like the knight from Wizards and Warriors, Tyrone from Arch Rivals, Kwirk the tomato, Bigfoot, and some police dude. I thought that Kwirk was pretty cool in his abilities. I can't remember who they fought against in the show, but Wikipedia tells me it was Mr. Big and some other characters. Funny that the Mr. Big they foiled in the cartoon show was truly the one controlling the Video Power TV show from behind the scenes - I'm pretty sure only a select number of games ever appeared on the show, depending on which game company was funding the bank roll.
At the end, one of the lucky kids who got the highest score was given a velcro suit to wear and sent thru the maze of aweful aweful videogames, where the kid could run around for about a minute and start slapping video games onto the velcro outfit. I always thought the games they were giving away were pretty lame - I'd never even heard of most of 'em, and the games that I liked just weren't on the show.
Now, apparently this is an amalgamation of the two formats the show went thru. I remember both, and my memories don't really show where one format began and another ended. I do remember the later formula was very colorful.
The one game I remember most being on that show was Heavy Barrel, from Data East. We actually had that game, and spent a lot of time trying to beat it. Data East was known for making hard games like that. Anyway, I remember clearly when Johnny Arcade pronounced the name. His East Coast accent really came out, making him sound like "Havvy Baarel". It was funny.
So you look at a show like that, and you see how far we've come, and how influential shows like this were, even though they were still pretty bad looking back. Mr. Arcade, I tip my hat off to you.
- Johnny Arcade is a fictional character played by Stivi Paskoski. Apparently, Stivi has been a pretty busy dude.
- One of the companies involved in producing Video Power also produced the American show Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Gross.
- So that guy in the green coat is now president of Live from Earth Entertainment, a production studio. Hasn't really done much since the glory days of Video Power.