Videogame Theater: Donkey Kong vs Mario: A Barrel of Hope

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To be honest popularity doesn't always reflect quality as the wonder of modern media has tought us.

You are right about that. However, in this case, it does.

To be honest popularity doesn't always reflect quality.

Neither do forum posts, really. In any case, I can't speak for Frank, Scott and BJ, but I suspect they appreciate constructive criticism, as do the rest of our contributors (not so much me :) ). Scott, for one, has shown a superhuman tolerance for animosity in his repsonses here, and for that I thank him.

I know a lot of folks enjoy this series and it's been a welcome addition to The Escapist. Like it or hate it though, I only ask that you guys here in the forum not get all stupid, and please try to respect that there are ACTUAL LIVE PEOPLE (gasp) behind these things, not forum robots like yourselves ;).

Let's keep it civil and respectful and constructive and there won't have to be any bloodhsed or tears. Capice?

Russ Pitts:
Like it or hate it though, I only ask that you guys here in the forum not get all stupid, and please try to respect that there are ACTUAL LIVE PEOPLE (gasp) behind these things, not forum robots like yourselves ;).

Sorry Russ...I'll try to be a good little forum robot. It's hard though. I was programmed to KILL.

To be honest popularity doesn't always reflect quality as the wonder of modern media has tought us.


I can appreciate that the majority of these comments are clearly running against these videos. That's cool. Everyone is welcome to their opinions.

I will say that most Channel 101 videos posted to YouTube seem to garner extremely small viewership. The one exception is the satirical Kicked in the Nuts. Which is clearly a parody of the mass appeal of nut busters. However, I don't think most people who watch Kicked in the Nuts appreciate the irony. They just like to see a good nad thrashing (and honestly now, who doesn't?). I guess more people are going to find America's Funniest Home Videos amusing than say... Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Although, Larry David's Seinfeld received massive popular acclaim, in the same way that Zero Punctuation is hailed by a larger community of fans. So sometimes (though rarely, in my opinion) popularity across a broad spectrum does reflect on quality.

It could be argued also, that Scott's work IS hailed in broader acclaim than even ZP. I don't know Scott's affiliation with Crank Yankers, for example, but perhaps the sheer number of eyeballs watching that show (a show which never appealed to me) is on par with the number viewing ZP. I don't know.

And then there is also the consideration that this thread is not truly reflective of the broadest reaction to these videos. How many unique people have panned this? Six? And are people who are generally displeased more likely to comment?

Think of a busker in the subway.

Maybe of 100 people who pass, 80 are neutral, 10 are interested, 8 are entertained, and 2 are offended and stop to loudly express their displeasure. If only the 2 stop, the impression the artist may come away with is that they suck. While, in fact, 98% were largely ambivalent or even outright entertained.

All I know is I find both ZP and VGT frickin' hilarious and my opinion cannot be voted into irrelevancy. To each his own, I suppose.

Harry Tatcher:
I don't know Scott's affiliation with Crank Yankers, for example, but perhaps the sheer number of eyeballs watching that show (a show which never appealed to me) is on par with the number viewing ZP.

Just to give credit where it's due, BJ Guyer (VGT's puppet producer) is the one who worked on Crank Yankers (and did an amazing job). My affiliation with Crank Yankers was as a viewer.

More importantly - thanks, Harry. Your two posts are like a cool drink of water in a trek across an unforgiving desert. Much appreciated, and totally refreshing. Thanks also, Sammyfreak -- glad you liked the episode. And of course, thanks Russ for all your support for the show (and for calling me superhuman) (and for using the word capice).

Just one more week until episode #3!

Lame, lame, lame, OH WHAIT...! No... It's just lame...

I didn't know where else to put this but I just watched the "trailer" at the end of another video (*cough*Yahtzee*cough*) and well, I need to take back that statement about avoiding these videos, maybe I just got suckered but it actually looks like this series is going to get better aka more silly. Scott, will ya let me take it back till I feel like roasting the series after the next vid? :P I blame the absurdity of puppet nudes and other potentially more groan but giggle worthy content I saw in that trailer...

I was previously one of the silent tens of thousands of viewers that keep getting referenced in these comments. I swing by The Escapist to watch a few videos (mainly ZP, naturally) and have never before really felt the need to register. But between these videos and the contributor's comments, I felt it pertinent.

These videos aren't to my sense of humor in the slightest. They remind me of a lot of the shows on television that seem to think randomness plus swearing equates to humor. It really doesn't, in my opinion, and that seems to be the overwhelming stance of the viewers. Please don't just ignore and brush off feedback just because it isn't what you want to hear. I'm glad you like your work (as well you should), and I'm glad you've gotten positive reinforcement on it in the past. However, you seem to be disregarding the fact that the reviews in this particular demographic are vastly negative. It isn't because we're "wrong" and it isn't because everyone who likes it is being mysteriously silent. Maybe you're facing a different demographic. Maybe the humor style has been worn out since the last time you presented. I don't know, but I do know that any creator who opts to ignore his or her viewers isn't doing anyone any favors.

I've got to say,

This video does NOT belong on the virtual pages of the Escapist magazine.
Articles like "The Anatomy of Violence" belong here.
Deliciously cynical video game criticisms in the form of "Zero Punctuation" belong here.
The (sometimes hit-or-miss) gamer parodies of "De-Rez" belong here.

"Video Game Theatre" does not belong here. It is for a completely different audience, where completely different people will like it for completely different reasons.

I happen to believe that the people who read the Escapist magazine visit the website looking for media that will appeal to their tastes. Most of the media on this website does appeal to those specific tastes. Sadly, VGT does not.

Escapist readers generally will not like this kind of humour. And I wouldn't count on them changing their mind.

I feel like I need to point out a few thing with this vid first it's not the princess in the Donkey Kong game it's Paulie (Princess Peach was only from the Mario Bros. platformer on) and shame on you for trying to make a video and not knowing that, it wasn't Mario in that game either he was called jumpman also Donkey Kong Jr is the Donkey gong of now not Diddy you see the Donkey kong from the first DK game is called Kranky Kong now and his son is the new Donkey Kong (since DK Country) and Diddy kong is Donkey Kong (Jr's) nephew.
Now anyone who didn't know that has been taught a lesson in VG icons I'll give my impressions on the video, I hated it not only for the mistakes I mentioned but for the fact that it just plain wasn't funny OR clever in anyway and a big fact to this is when someone makes a comment basicaly calling everyone idiot's for commenting with their opinion on their product its what comments are for, yes we "respect" you for making a video but it sucked so try doing something you know about and are good at instead and you won't have your feelings hurt.
Now please take this video down and cancel the series.

I'm a bit new to "The Escapist" so I am unfamiliar with the level of quality that is usually exhibited here (Zero Punctuation notwithstanding as the series that put Escapist on my radar), however, after seeing a preview for VGT after one of Yahtzee's videos, I was looking forward to this.

The concept is pretty good, but the execution needs some solid work. Mostly it revolves around the writing; I actually thought the barrel rolling part was pretty good, up until DK shot himself and I lost all hope for the episode. =( Both the Pac-Man video and this had it's moments, like when Mario said he'd use the money to move out of Luigi's apartment or when Pac-Man was seeing the ghosts and getting all tripped out on those pills. Unfortunately, though, a good portion of the series so far isn't funny because it's trying to be a video-game take on late night comedy and not a late-night take on video games.

If you want an idea of something people who frequent the Escapist might find funny, why not do an angle on if Link from "Legend of Zelda" turned out to be tone deaf, and every time he played the Ocarina of Time, he ended up getting himself and his fairy friend in trouble? Eventually he just defeats Ganondorf by simply playing the Ocarina so much he can't stand the brutally bad music and passes out.

I'd laugh at that, since I always wondered how the heck he could get the music right on the first time anyways, despite being a small, combat-inclined boy with not a lot of prior music experience.

Heck, even a segment about the driver from Spy Hunter trying to get automobile insurance would be funny, if done right.

About the only thing this show has going for it is the puppets. They look great...the content not so great.

I really have not enjoyed this series so far. I will watch the next few episodes because I feel I should give it a chance but so far I am not impressed. It seems that you have a few good ideas which you execute poorly and then just pad it out to make a full episode. It's like looking for pizza in a trash can - you're not going to find more than a couple of slices and any that you do find aren't going to taste too great. As others have said though, de-rez was quite bad to start off with and now is almost on par with the video deity that is zero punctuation. I think if you did something more like MercFox suggested then this could be very funny but what you have at the moment is just uninspired.

I dug this episode. It was harsh at times, but an outside of the box take on how Donkey Kong came to be.

The puppets were well done, I admit. But the jokes were far and few between, especially for something that was supposed to be a comedy.

I'll point out some of the jokes I found good and bad:

Bad: Mario's entire "jackass" act. The ocassional snippet of stuff relating to the princess (for continuity people, paulie) (mostly the "I was a gonna do her" line) wasn't that awful, except when it turned worse than the rest of it (maybe, just maybe, there was a hint of my brain trying to get me to have a flicker of a smile at the "I'm going to fill her holes with hot mozzerella" line, but it just came off... creepy as hell, like if Herbert on Family guy just outright stated he wanted to rape Chris).

Meh: DK's suicide itself. It depends on the audience, but if you are trying to attract the violent crowd that likes to watch family guy (which somewhat seems to be the case, can't be sure due to the general meh-ness of the jokes). If you were targeting that audience, yay. If not, you added another creepy thing.

Good: Only mario's "I was gonna do her" line. That's really about it.

Back to bad: The father son scene. I see potential here, but the execution was failed. It was like the dry humor in KoToR II where it seemed like your T3 unit said something insulting and possibly funny to another droid in his solo segments, except that... it's just beeps and boops, and in this case, it was just roaring. And the whole "only roaring" gimmick just is NEVER going to be funny. Ever. And if you are willing to sacrafice continuity and let DK Jr. talk, then you might as well let DK talk.

Terrible. Absolutely terrible. There is nothing funny about this show.

Did anyone notice that DK Jr. was playing vectrex but holding an atari controller? I mean if you're gonna go all the way to Vectrex do it right.

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