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X-Play: It's Game Time!


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#1

Lantern7

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Posted Jan 23, 2004 @ 6:28 PM

Note: The following is a simulation of a game review as seen on the show.

Do you have Tech TV? Yeah, if you got Direct TV, you probably stumble past it from time to time. It'll be the middle of the night, and you're half-asleep, wondering "What's Lister doing hosting 'Battlebots'?" or "Jeez, are the opening credits of 'Anime Unleashed' the only good thing about them?"

Back in the day, there were a lot of video game magazines that kept you entertained and informed. However, they were no TV shows. The closest was "Gamepro," which aired before cartoons on Saturday mornings, and was co-hosted by J.D. Roth, famous for hosting "Fun House." Anyway, with all the video game systems out there, "X-Play" provides reviews and entertainment.

The show is hosted by Adam Sessler (semi-toolish guy) and Morgan Webb (semi-hot gaming chick). The duo provide commentary on new games, occasionally cracking wise over substandard platformers or gaming quirks. For instance, in "Star Wars: Galaxies," they showed Wookies dancing. For real. Jaw-dropping moments like that air a few times per week...like Snoop Dog in "Streets of L.A." getting run over, a prelude to a medival sex scene in "Gothic II," or a final "Street Fighter"-type duel between the hero of "Fugitive Hunter" and Osaama bin Laden. In the end, the games are rated on a scale of 1 (sucky, like "Hunter") to 5 (can't miss games, like "Mario Kart: Double Dash.")

Sometimes, Adam and Morgan go out on assignment, checking out stuff that video games are loosely based on. There's also comedy...such as Morgan dressing up as Ulala from "Space Channel 5" to annoy coworkers, or interns getting abused for no real reason other than for being interns. The comedy is hit or miss, but you can get some decent yuks.

Personally, I haven't owned a system since Super Nintendo (I know, I suck), but I'm engrossed by "X-Play." If I ever got an X-Box, Game Cube or PS2, I'll know where to go. I give "X-Play" from Tech TV a four...out of five.

Okay...anybody else wishes to share the love?
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#2

Glark

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Posted Jan 23, 2004 @ 6:33 PM

I make a good chunk of my living off videogames and I'm a hardcore gamer myself so I don't think I'm exactly in X-Play's demo market so take this as you will when I say there's never been a good videogame show. Period. This one is, however, better than others. It's better than when it was Extended Play and it's especially better that Electric Playground which is just painfully awful.
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#3

jazmyne

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Posted Jan 23, 2004 @ 8:38 PM

I love this show! Mind you, I never actually play video games, even though every video game system ever invented can be found in my house. One of them is even mine, and I don't think I've touched it since we bought it. But this show makes me laugh, educates me enough so that I can occasionally freak out my students with my knowledge of random video-game related things, and has made me want to play a game or two. Some of their more spelling-challenged Viewer Mail segments top my list of favorite things ever.
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#4

Lantern7

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Posted Jan 23, 2004 @ 9:53 PM

Glark: I never saw "Playground." Wasn't that the one with Julie Stoffer? *brrrrrrr*

MTV's done specials, but nothing too useful. The one hosted by EGM's Seanbaby focused more on how games affect people. For instance, the "Zelda" segment showed us a band that covered the game's tunes, "Final Fantasy" segued to Cosplay, etc. "Video Mods" on MTV2 was cute, but I think it was an one shot deal. Besides, the novelty of a bunch of rainbow-wigged Sims lip-synching "Hey Ya" might wear thin with some people.

I saw the non-denominational holiday special, where Adam and Morgan acted blissed out as all get-out. They even had a Festivus pole. How cool was that?

Morgan: How's the hot cocoa?

Adam: I wouldn't know. I switched to gin five minutes ago.
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#5

Glark

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Posted Jan 23, 2004 @ 11:28 PM

EP is hosted by two total tools. I don't know their names. Maybe one is named "Total" and the other is called "Tools". And they always hang out together. In that order. It's painful.

It's like watching nerds trying hard to be frat boys or something. It's the worst of all worlds.
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#6

designmerc

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Posted Jan 24, 2004 @ 12:07 AM

I'd say 99.9% of my motivation to watch X-Play is just to gawk at Morgan for 30 some-odd minutes just because I find her very, very hot. I think it's the combination of her geek-ish personality with her physical attributes that gets me.

Re: Video Mods
I've caught snippets of it and honestly? It's nothing more than a 30 minute commercial for Electronic Arts. However, my attitude towards the VJ that "hosts" the show swings between extreme pity (for being saddled with an EA infomercial) and a rising urge to kill him (because he seems like such an utter tool which may be the reason he got the assignment in the first place.)
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#7

Ultratwist

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Posted Jan 24, 2004 @ 12:14 AM

I have some mixed feelings about X Play. I like most of the reviews and, in small doses, Adam Sessler. But Morgan Webb seriously and utterly bugs me. Why not hire a girl who comes across like an actual gamer? We do exist you know. Instead, it just seems like they hired her as the "hottie" who wears tight shirts and uses the lingo, so to speak.

The M2 special was okay. I love Seanbaby's website, so it was neat to see him on TV. His article on the naughtiest games of all time had me laughing out loud. For the curious, it is right here. Though it is naturally adults only.

Edited by Ultratwist, Jan 24, 2004 @ 12:17 AM.

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#8

Glark

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Posted Jan 24, 2004 @ 12:39 AM

Also? Not hot.
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#9

Sprout

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Posted Jan 24, 2004 @ 1:03 AM

I've also recently discovered X-Play, and I think it's pretty good. Way better than most of the shows on that crap-fest network G4, or as I like to call it, the Tool Box. Intern abuse and blissed-out non-denominational holiday specials amuse me, what can I say?
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#10

mtvcdm

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Posted Jan 24, 2004 @ 9:24 PM

Would you believe I consider this appointment television, I love it so much? I mean, even if they don't review a game I have the slightest interest in, there's the whole sitcom factor, that being they're funnier than most sitcoms I've ever seen. For example, at the pachinko place in Tokyo:

Adam: I'd like to talk to Morgan now. Here are her plane tickets. I'd like to tell her that her friends will be very sad if she didn't come home. Come home.
Morgan (briefly looking away from her pachinko machine to see the tickets): I can trade these in for more balls!

Which brings me to the fact that Adam and Morgan have great chemistry together. (Much better chemistry than Adam by himself, or Adam with one of his past co-hosts.) And if they're tools, it's because they play video games all day. Which they seem to like to flaunt in our faces. (And who wouldn't? You play video games, slam those that displease you, and get paid for it.)

Oh, and about Morgan? She's hot enough. Or at least hot enough for her to have drawn an audience on the X-Play website (as is said twice a show, techtv.com/xplay) that reminds me why we have mods like Glark, Sars and Wing. Because if they weren't here, we'd turn into that. (They also seem to be taking suggestions for 'Disembodied Voice Intros' coming out of commercials. I seem to have submitted about two dozen. )
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#11

Lantern7

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Posted Jan 25, 2004 @ 9:11 PM

Morgan's alright...she looks nice, and can acheieve hotness in doses.

Saw the review for "Aquaman"...yeah, I can see how anybody not in Peter David's thrall could rank on AQ's mullet. And it did look like a sucky game.
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#12

SVNBob

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Posted Jan 26, 2004 @ 2:25 AM

Ultratwist, I beg to differ about Morgan not coming across as a gamer girl. From what I've seen of her on both X-Play and her former gig on The Screensavers (another good show on TechTV), she's a gamer. More of an RPGer and an otaku, but a gamer nonetheless.

One of my favorite moments on the show is the segment on Fanime when Morgan goes to show the link between gaming and anime. She brings back Adam a game, "Do You Like Horny Bunnies?" The way she exclaims, "It's Porn!" is just so damn cute.

Total word that the show got exponentially better when it changed from Extended Play to X-Play. The on-screen chemistry between Adam and Morgan works well, as does their disdain for most of their viewer mail. What they say sucks, does. Same with the games. Aquaman and Freedom Hunter are the benchmarks of bad. Hopefully there'll never be a game with a 0 out of 5 rating, for both our sake and theirs.
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#13

Ultratwist

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Posted Jan 26, 2004 @ 4:06 AM

SVNBoB, since that's the case, then I take back my original statement. Not the one about her grating on my nerves mind you. Seriously, I would rather see Chris Pirello in a dress and all hepped up on Whoop Ass.

Edited by Ultratwist, Jan 26, 2004 @ 4:07 AM.

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#14

mrow

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Posted Jan 26, 2004 @ 9:24 AM

I love this show, but what exactly is their budget? It seems like they let a lot of little mistakes go on air when it seems it would be possible to just do another take, and I figured they would only do that if they had a shoestring budget. The little mistakes don't bug me, however, it's one of the things about the show I like.

Being a host on x-play looks like the coolest job in the world. I wish that they would do a contest where they would let two winners host x-play for an episode and I would win that contest and me and my cohost could say "Hi, I'm not Adam Sessler." "And I'm not Morgan Webb" "But this IS x-play", that would rock. Am I pathetic for having put thought into this?
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#15

mtvcdm

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Posted Jan 26, 2004 @ 10:02 AM

Well, it IS expanded cable, so they're not going to have the biggest budget, plus it says on the website that they are kind of on deadlines on these games-- you know, get to a certain level or do a certain thing by this time so we can get a shot of it in the review-- which isn't always that easy (apparently the game developers send them cheat codes or copies with all the levels available from the get-go just in case). So they may not have too much time or money to do many takes.
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#16

jazmyne

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Posted Jan 26, 2004 @ 8:26 PM

I wish that they would do a contest where they would let two winners host x-play for an episode and I would win that contest and me and my cohost could say "Hi, I'm not Adam Sessler." "And I'm not Morgan Webb" "But this IS x-play", that would rock. Am I pathetic for having put thought into this?

No, as long as you agree I'm not pathetic for really really wanting to be your cohost.
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#17

mtvcdm

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Posted Jan 26, 2004 @ 9:23 PM

Is 'conveniently located cameraperson' taken?
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#18

jazmyne

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Posted Jan 26, 2004 @ 9:44 PM

You can do that, or be "voiceover guy".
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#19

Lantern7

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Posted Jan 27, 2004 @ 1:14 AM

I saw the one with "Streets of L.A." Seriously, why do I always laugh anytime Snoop Dogg gets run over? I don't hate him, but it's so funny.

They aired the con episode today...I was at Comic Con International. That is some hard-core fanboy shit right there. Great place for interviewing people in makeup and costumes about how bad comic games suck. Oh, and Morgan brings back the "Horny Bunnies" tape for Adam. So THAT'S the anime porn tape!

ETA: "Heeeeere comes a lead enema!" Note to self: get life. Get place of my own. THEN get video game system.

Edited by Lantern7, Jan 27, 2004 @ 3:36 AM.

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#20

MegaJ

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Posted Jan 27, 2004 @ 5:49 PM

I love X-Play simply for the fact that they FINALLY recognized that GTA: Vice City isn't one of the greatest video games ever like just about EVERY video game outlet thinks it is and they finally pointed out that GTA:VC is glitchy and buggy as shit.

The Non-Denominational Special was great too.

Adam: (sipping hot cocoa) "I scalded myself!"
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#21

Lantern7

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Posted Jan 28, 2004 @ 2:40 PM

"What The Cool People Do" segment was funny. Watching Adam grow aggitated around a geek talking about cel shading...and then cracking his own skull with a beer bottle. The interns carrying him off? Added bonus.

What else...Morgan tortuing DBZ fans, Adam getting pissed at reviewing a Batman game...yeah, I'm having fun.
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#22

mtvcdm

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Posted Jan 28, 2004 @ 4:52 PM

Yea, the busting-bottles-over-own-head thing was funny, but I missed the part where it had anything to do with video games. I think it was more of an unspoken advertisement for that new show on Tech TV, 'Nerd Nation'.
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#23

HoneyBee

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Posted Jan 28, 2004 @ 4:58 PM

What else...Morgan tortuing DBZ fans


Heh, heh. My friend and I was watching it and when she kinda bashed DBZ game, he was boiling. Mind you, I love DBZ so much - but there's a limit for how many video games to be made since 1995.
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#24

Polter-Cow

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Posted Jan 30, 2004 @ 11:36 AM

She brings back Adam a game, "Do You Like Horny Bunnies?" The way she exclaims, "It's Porn!" is just so damn cute.


Hee hee! Yeah, I discovered this show over Christmas vacation, and my brother and I watched it as much as we could. It's so entertaining. I mean, in what other video game show would half of the review of SOCOM II consist of victory dances?

Also? Morgan's hot.
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#25

mtvcdm

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Posted Feb 3, 2004 @ 9:40 AM

As a devout Pokemon hater who made it out of the fad's peak with only a copy of Pokemon Snap, let me just say that I loved the Pokemon Channel review.

"And this is the weather channel, which you have to watch until the weather changes. No, I'm not kidding."

"Pokemon Channel gets a 1 out of 5 for not actually being a video game."


Oh, and apparently they're doing this 'Viewer Mod' episode in March where viewers vote on what reviews get shown, what outfits Adam and Morgan wear, and even a word you want them to incorporate into the show (the leader right now is 'Tinkie Winkie'). Well, one show down, 84 zillion shows on 14 zillion networks to go.

Edited by mtvcdm, Feb 3, 2004 @ 9:41 AM.

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#26

Lantern7

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Posted Feb 4, 2004 @ 12:48 AM

I saw Naked Raiden. Why? I dunno what's funnier...being able to move him around while he covers his nuts, or Adam screaming in horror.

And they showed it again tonight! Adam did a review of an x-rated game from Japan. Afterwards, while answering fan mail from a female viewer, Morgan unleashed Raiden. The screaming? Priceless.
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#27

Diabetic Envy

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Posted Feb 5, 2004 @ 5:18 PM

It's nice to see that some of my fellow TWOPers' are also hardcore gamers like myself.


Anyway, this show is the not the best but at least it beats Electric Playground with Tommy Talirico, quite possibly the most biased toolyist tool that ever tooled.
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#28

mrow

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Posted Feb 5, 2004 @ 9:45 PM

Claire Danes looking perplexed in the Terminator 3 game review was a really funny running gag. But man, that really does look like a crappy game.
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#29

Johnny McAfro

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Posted Feb 6, 2004 @ 1:31 AM

Anyway, this show is the not the best but at least it beats Electric Playground with Tommy Talirico, quite possibly the most biased toolyist tool that ever tooled.


ElecPlay has gotten better through the years. Sometimes their segments are only as good as their subjects and when the people don't give very good interviews there's not much you can do. I'm glad they do less segments where they do some sort of stupid story. Plus they can do without their obvious/biased X-Box and PS2 sponsor segments.

Yes, Tallarico is an ass. If you look up "sleazebag" you'll see his face. An associate of mine used to work at Eidos and he said that Tallarico came in for a client meeting with fake bodyguards and women he paid to cling to him. I'm not kidding. True he's the most successful US composer, but that's because he'll take any third party crap job that comes his way and creates sub-par techno with stock sound effects. Real developers know well enough to stay far away from him because he's two-faced and downright unprofessional. The ironic part is when people comment on his work in his same tactless manner, he throws a fit like a twelve year old. I guess that's why he surrounds himself with the teenage G4 forum members that constantly kiss his ass.

X-Play's pretty good. I've met the hosts a couple of time. Sessler is a spaz and a half but he's a nice guy and really loves his job.
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#30

pwbk

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Posted Feb 6, 2004 @ 6:11 AM

I've been watching both incarnations of this show for way too long. TechTV has undergone so many staff changes in the past year that it's almost a completely new network. The only people that are still there from the ZDNet days are Leo (who's stuck hosting 2 1/2 shows a week now) and Sessler (who I still find mildly amusing.)

X-Play is one of the few bright spots in the new TechTV. The ScreenSavers went downhill big time after Morgan, Megan and Martin left. After Chris Pirillo left Call For Help I stopped caring (I like Leo, but he's no Pirillo). Then Sumi Das left Tech Live (which had already been butchered after they cut it down to once a day and only 1/2 an hour) and Fresh Gear and I really stopped caring. Erica Hill's gone too. Martin's Unscrewed is REALLY bad (is it still on?) and Megan didn't get rehired after she had her baby.

So, after that mini tirade, this is pretty much the only show I watch on TechTV anymore. It's on at 1:00pm and 1:30pm in my timezone, which is when I get home from my classes often, so I try and catch it even if it's a pretty old repeat. The episode where Adam dresses up as Robin to go find Adam West for a talk about 13 was hilarious and I always laugh at Morgan playing Space Channel 5 (Damn, I wish I had a Dreamcast). Also, unlike most here in this thread, I'm a gamer (PS2 and PC) and actually use the show as a resource. They are almost always dead-on. I pretty much only buy a game these days if they give it a 4 or a 5. So ywah, that's it. Keep doing a good job guys.

p.s. - Morgan is very much a gamer and a geek. She did her stint on Screensavers and proved that she knows her stuff. Sure, she's eye candy, but she knows what she's talking about too, and I think she's better for the position than a lot of the other people would be.
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