#30: Hi Score
Does for Game Shows What ET Did for Atari

Gamer.TV: (2001, possibly unaired in the uk?)
G4: (2003)

Game shows that use video games as their main selling point are often going to land in two categories.  Those two categories are good, but short lived or utter crap and deserved the run it got.  There aren't many shows that fit the first category and the amount that fit that bill is so small that you can count them on one finger, and probably have a couple fingers to spare.  The two that I remember being good was Arena on G4, with various hosts during its run including Lee Reherman, Wil Wheaton and Toolbag himself Kevin Periera.  The other good one was Starcade with Geoff Edwards.

Yup, that man.  I still think he's one of the best out there.

But back to the ones that sucked.  There are so many that have made it to airwaves that it's depressing.  You had The Video Game, made by the same people that did Starcade of all shows.  I guess they wanted to try something new, but it blew up in their faces.  Then you had Video Power, a show that had a good premise, but was horribly executed.  Then the last one that I remember in the states was Nick Arcade.  Sure, people can defend it because of it's cool theme & end game, but it's butt hard end game, plus the annoying fart pirate that was Phil Moore makes for a utterly bad show.  But believe it or not, that's not the worst.  No, the worst was aired on G4 in 2003.  A show so bad that there isn't even a Wikipedia Page on it, and that thing even has a page on Justin Bieber that's a mile long.  The show I'm referring to, is Hi Score.

Now, when you see a hot blonde hosting a show, be warned, it means that she probably slept with the boss in order to get the gig, and I think that's how Julia Reed got said gig.  She's blatantly awful, and how do I know this?  She's one of the few that made Robot Wars: The 4th Wars almost unwatchable.  Well, that and Chaos 2 winning the whole thing again instead of Razer or Hypno-Disc, but that's another story for another day.  Anyways, what makes her bad?  How about being someone who really just doesn't sound like she's all that interested in doing this show at all.  Not only that, she just looks plain uncomfortable in front of the camera.  Two sure fire signs of not being a very good host.  Hell, even some of the lesser hosts out there like Jonathan Prince or Andy Collins were at least comfortable in front of the camera & sounded like they wanted to be there.  Joining alongside her is the announcer who goes by the name "Johnny Showbiz".

I have a theory that I want to convey to people right now.  If someone applies to announce a show that's aimed at the 18-34 Male demographic, & he sounds like he smokes 10-20 cartons of cigarettes a day.  Chances are he's going to get the gig.  This happened with the first season of Battle Dome with Scott Ferrall, and it happened here.  And what do both of these guys have in common?  That's right, they are god-awful to listen to.  That's what gets me.  These guys usually rank among the worst at what they do, game show wise, and they are never heard from again.  In Showbiz's case, that's probably a good thing. 

Before the game is even started, they say that this show is in Tournament Rules where the last person standing will win the Ultimate Gamer Prize Package.  And how do they convey that?

By saying that if you don't have the package, you're a sad sorry loser in front of the TV with a cup of cocoa, probably watching Phillipa Forrester back on Robot Wars doing a much better job than Julia Reed can even dream of doing.  But if you do have said package?

Not only do you become the envy of all of the friends you never had....

But you also can get attracted to the opposite sex.  Yeah, right.  Everytime I see this montage, I just cringe.


The first round is Button Bash, where instead of bashing buttons in playing fighting games, it's a speed round...or not.  Two Minutes take up this round to rack up as many points as they can.  Correct answers are 5, incorrect answers freeze players out of the next question.  If the host was a capable question reader, then I wouldn't have a problem with this, but Julia, doesn't have the chops.  I remember seeing her just stand there for 10 seconds and not say a bloody word.  Really, she just stood there being completely flustered.  Truly, some of the most pathetic hosting there.  But since this is supposedly a game show about video games, and the grand prize is 2,000 quid worth of video games, why are you asking general knowledge questions?  And after all of that, we're about 5 minutes into the show and nobody's lifting a joystick or controller or keyboard yet.

We then get into round 2, or as they say Level 2.  It's called Screen Test.  Ok, we see clips of games, but still nobody's playing a video game.  So, we're batting 0 so far.  The contestants watch a clip & have to guess what game is being shown.  10 points for a right answer and a bonus 5 for correct year of release is what's offered here.  Now, what is wrong with this?  Well, they should be playing some video games at this point.  And what else is wrong...

They give the wrong answer for this and it's still deemed right.  This is Pokemon RED!  NOT YELLOW!  IT SAYS FUCKING RED ON THE TOP OF THE SCREEN! GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT YOU FUCKING IDIOTS! 

Next round is the picture arcade.  So, it's pretty much like the last level, except still photos of video game figures and consoles and whatnot.  However, each one has a point total attached to that.  Get it right and earn those points, wrong and you lose those points.  So, we're 10 minutes into the show AND WE STILL DONT' HAVE ANY VIDEO GAMES BEING PLAYED!  Even Nick Arcade had games being played in the first 10 minutes.  I'm just wondering how long until we actually get to see some real video games being played.  And I don't count freeware games on the internet either.  What makes this worse is that they are already recycling rounds and they're only on round 3.  Oh, and lowest scorer is eliminated, so he gets spared from any more monotony.

Level 4 is called Know It All.  This level has contestants answering video game questions worth 5 points again, in a 30 second speed rounds, again, but this time it's a personal speed round with 4 categories to choose from.  So, it's somewhat different from Level 1, albeit not really.  Now after this, we're 14 minutes in and no video games being played yet.  I'm about ready to give up.  Here again, I must complain about Julia Reed's hosting.  She keeps on making comments and wasting the time the contestants have to answer the questions.  I just want to reach into my TV screen, slap her and tell her to just host the goddamned show.

Level 5 is the Games Guru.  This level is broken up into 2 parts...whoopie.  The first round has the Games Guru, also sounding like he's the Marlboro Man's half brother who gets his kicks from the opium den, asks 1 question in the form of Sale of the Century's Fame Game.  So, that's another rip-off round and this time it's from an extremely popular show.  I mean, at least it's a show hosted by Keith Chegwin and you don't see his bits.  After that, it's 5 more question....I'm not going to bother with this.  We're 20 minutes into the show and no video games of any worth are being played.  So, let's just get to the last level called Dinky Bomb.

And what is Dinky Bomb?


So, the two remaining contestants actually play a game, announced horribly by Johnny Showbiz, and I can't be bothered to care about this show anymore.  I mean, the game involves bouncing bombs off of a damned hamburger.  A HAMBURGER!  The logic in that just escapes me.  Anyways, highest score moves on in the tourney, and thank god this show's over.

Where do I begin?  Well, here's a checklist on a bad Video Game Game Show

Doesn't play any real video games..........CHECK
Horrid hosting by vapid blond bimbo..........CHECK
Worse announcing than Joe Alaskey..........CHECK
Has questions not related to video games..........CHECK
Rips off other, more successful game shows..........CHECK
Rips off itself within the first 10 minutes..........CHECK
Annoying Theme Song..........CHECK
Set that belongs on a college budget show..........CHECK

I think I explained myself thoroughly there.  This game sucks so bad that I'd rather watch Scavengers again.  At least some enjoyment can be derived there instead of this black hole of suck.

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