GamesMaster: A Retrospective – Series Four, Part Two

Continuing from part one, it’s part two of series four of GamesMaster. With more challenges, more news and plenty more near the knuckle humour, thanks to Dominik Diamond. There’s also a special episode at the end of this series. So special in fact, that it had to be shown late at night instead of its usual 6:30 pm slot. But before that, time for some more GamesMaster action and conclude series four.

Episode Ten

GamesMaster picks out the platform game Mickey Mania (Mega Drive) for his first challenge. The game was released for Micky Mouse’s 65th anniversary. With only a 1 minute time limit, the contestants must try to grab as many marbles as they can. Taking this one on is Tyra and Nora. As always, the news interrupts as Roland Emmerich’s Stargate film gets a quick look at as well as a quick mention of the game of the film too. Then there’s a peek at a few Sega 32X games. Virtua Fighter 2 also gets a sneaky look at, even though Dominik keeps annoying calling it Virtua Fighters. Back to the first challenge and Tyra goes first. Missing a few easy jumps, Tyra messes up and dies after just 34 seconds and collecting only thirteen marbles. not a great effort and very easily beatable. Nora next and she only needs to nab fourteen marbles to win, which she does after just 36 seconds to win the golden joystick.

MICKEY MANIA

Review time and Wild West shooter Lethal Enforcers II: Gun Fighters (Mega Drive & Sega CD) gets 75%. Magic Carpet (PC) is given a slightly too high 90%. Finally, Zeewolf (Amiga) is awarded 85%. So, it’s on to the celebrity challenge and the game is Vid Grid (PC)… No, I’ve never heard of it either. It’s a modern spin on one of those sliding puzzle game things, only using music videos instead of static images. GamesMaster chooses the music videos to November Rain by Guns N’ Roses and Give It Away from Red Hot Chili Peppers. So GamesMaster’s music taste is pretty damn awesome. Taking on the challenge is Britpop band Let Loose. The three members of the band, Richie Wermerling, Rob Jeffrey and Lee J. Murray have 2 minutes to unscramble both of the puzzles by working together. Starting with November Rain the boys really make a mess of it and after 50 seconds, they’re no closer to finishing the first puzzle. They do manage to finish it… With only 19 seconds left to sort out Give It Away. Very tricky, but not impossible if they move fast. Honestly, they get pretty close and only need to move four pieces into place… but they’re just not quick enough and time runs out. No golden joystick here and Let Loose are put in the cage as punishment.

As is the norm, it is time for GamesMaster to dish out some video game help. Benefactor (Amiga), Mortal Kombat 2 (SNES & Mega Drive) and Banshee (Amiga) all get assistance. There’s a feature that looks at the ImagiNation Network from Sierra On-Line. A very early online multiplayer, multi-game, social thingy. Then it is final challenge time and GamesMaster picks out Creature Shock (PC), an on-rails FPS. Taking on this one is Mark who has to kill two of the game’s bigger and nastier creatures. Mark takes out the first spider-like monster fairly easily, taking a few hit himself along the way. After being attacked by a bat (not the second main creature), Mark is left with 71% health to take out the second octopus/mantis hybrid. As big and as ugly as this second monster is, it’s no problem for Mark who wins himself a golden joystick.

Golden joysticks won – 2

Episode Eleven

The first challenge of this episode is on PGA Tour Golf III (Mega Drive) and GamesMaster gives the challenger 2 minutes and twelve shots to put the golf ball in the hole. Adil is the challenger stepping up to the tee for this one… After the news. There’s a preview of Ace Driver (Arcade). Early online game service, Sega Channel, is also given a look at, this was a very early subscription service much like Microsoft’s Game Pass of today. Then there’s a look at Girlfriend Terri (PC) a virtual girlfriend type-thing for your computer so you can be a really sad little bastard and ‘talk’ to a model on your PC and try to get her clothes off. Back to the gold course and Adil is not using a standard controller but a peripheral that detects the swing when it breaks a light beam when using a real gold club… So that twelve shot limit will come in handy as the golf club thing is utter shit. Anyway, Adil tees off and his first shot is very poor, low power and he slices it, landing him in the rough. His second shot gets him on the fairway, but still far away from the green. The third shot is better, nice and straight and lands Adil on the fairway once more, he seems to be getting the hang of it now and is just seventy-four yards from the hole. A decent shot here can land him on the green and very close to the hole. Adil follows up with a terrible shot that sends him way into the rough. After another bad shot, Adil is finally on the green, but far away from the hole itself. He’s on for a putt, but a very long one. He takes a few swings at the ball, but they’re all weak and the ball barely trickles toward the hole. Adil runs out of time before shots though and fails this challenge. Still, that gold club peripheral was fucking awful and barely responsive.

Star Wars Arcade (Sega 32X) is reviewed first and it scores a very understandable 85%. Virtua Fighter 2 (Saturn) gets given a way too high 96% … And Dominik still, calls it Virtua Fighters, plural. That’s it for reviews as the celebrity takes on the next challenge. GamesMaster picks out Chaos Control (CD-i) for some shooty-shooty action. Given just 45 seconds to score as many points as possible, every day, non-celeb Mark takes on long-forgotten reggae singer C.J. Lewis. Mark goes first and sets a very miserable 2,095 points. Seriously, this guy didn’t shoot anything until the last 5 seconds of the challenge, a very beatable score indeed. So C.J. Lewis takes up the controller next and all he has to do is shoot anything to win. Within the first 10 seconds, C.J. has more than half of Mark’s score, 5 seconds after that and he’s smashed Mark’s ‘high’ score. Despite hitting a few targets that reduce his score (more than once), C.J. Lewis finishes with 3,115 points and wins a golden joystick.

BOOGERMAN

GamesMaster dishes out more morsels of help as Super Stardust (Amiga), Psycho Pinball (Mega Drive) and finally, Earthworm Jim (SNES & Mega Drive) are all helped out. The original PlayStation console is given a preview ahead of its Japanese release and several games are looked at too. So the final challenge is on Boogerman: A Pick and Flick Adventure (Mega Drive) and the challengers are given 45 seconds to score as many points as possible. Taking this one on is Andrew and Ross, going first is Andrew but GamesMaster has thrown in a little twist, the challengers have to wear the Aura Interactor, a wearable force-feedback device so they get to ‘feel’ the game as well as play it. So Andrew kicks things off on this nasal mucus themed game and ends with a score of 2,700. Not bad, but not great and definitely beatable. Ross goes next and only last 15 seconds before dying cos he’s shit. Andrew wins the golden joystick.

Golden joysticks won – 2

Episode Twelve

GamesMaster gets things going with Super Bomberman 2 (SNES) in a simple last man standing thing. It is David, Matthew and Charles playing this one but they’re not playing each other, oh no, GamesMaster as the trio going up against Bomberman himself. Each of the three will play against the titular Bomberman in turn and whoever can beat him will win a golden joystick… If they can beat him that is. But first, the news. A look at some rather strange Japanese exclusive Super Bomberman 2 TV ads, this is followed by a sneaky peek at some up and coming Sega 32X games. Then Man Enough (PC), another virtual girlfriend-dating thing is also shown. Back to the challenge and David is the first to take on Bomberman at his own game. Getting off to a slow start, as Super Bomberman 2 always does, Bomberman nabs himself a few powerups and lobs a bomb over at David to take him out. Next up is Matthew and after that first win, Bomberman’s confidence is sky high and he goes on the attack pretty much from the off. This round is a bit close as both come close to taking each other out a few times, but Bomberman manages to trap Matthew on one of his own bombs and BOOM! No one can beat Bomberman at his own game and not there’s only Charles left to try and win a golden joystick and he fails as Bomberman traps him between a couple of bombs. No one wins. Just a quick question to finish this challenge. How is Bomberman even playing holding the controller like this?…

BOMBERMAN

It’s the game reviews once more and Animaniacs (SNES) gets itself a decent 80%. Sensible World of Soccer (Amiga) scores a very worthy 91%. Then Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (Mega Drive) get a still too high 33%. GamesMaster picks out the fighter Fatal Fury Special (SNES) for the celebrity challenge. Taking this one on are two pro wrestlers, Marcus Alexander Bagwell and Del Wilkes. Marcus plays as Big Bear and Del favours Wolfgang Krauser in this classic beat of three rounds. The first round is a bit close, but Del manages to take it. Marcus puts up a decent fight in round two and slams Del into the ground to win. It’s one round each but Marcus wins the final round and the golden joystick.

More desperate gamers seek out help from the GamesMaster. Micro Machines 2: Turbo Tournament (Mage Drive), Bubsy 2 (SNES) and Alone in the Dark (3DO) have their hidden secrets revealed. Yup you’ve guessed it, it’s final challenge time, but first, a feature. Various studios show off their tech demos at the London Graphics Expo. The (then) latest 3D graphics revolution was just emerging and there were plenty of prerendered videos showing off what games wouldn’t be able to realistically do for another two decades. Then a quick look at the fully CGI created TV show Insektors. So, the final challenge is introduced by Dominik… but there isn’t one. Instead, Dominik presents a feature on motion capture technology and Dominik is put into a fighting tech demo.

Golden joysticks won – 1

Episode Thirteen

Wasting no time, GamesMaster selects Twisted: The Game Show (3DO), as the title suggests, it’s a game show in video game form. Taking this on are David and Jason, but not before the news. There’s a look at the rise of PC gaming, a preview of the game based on the seaQuest DSV TV show. Then a PC app that predicts lottery numbers is given a viewing. So back to the first challenge and there are three times mini-challenges, whoever finished all three in the fastest time wins. David goes first and the opening game is one of those annoying sliding puzzle things, which David fails. Jason manages to do his sliding puzzle to win the first round. The next game is the classic Concentration, Memory, Matching Pairs thing, which David also fails. Jason goes next and if he wins, he does it, he wins the golden joystick…  He doesn’t, so it goes down to the final mini-game. This one is a sliding, match the faces kind of thing, which David finished in just 7 seconds. With one round each, Jason goes next and runs out of time, failing the last game. David wins the golden joystick because he won his game in the fastest time of 7 seconds while Jason won his game in 15 seconds.

Cutesy platformer Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel (SNES) gets 81%. Bloodshot (Mega Drive) is given an 80%. While Wolverine: Adamantium Rage (SNES & Mega Drive) is scored a 74% in the reviews. It is Scottish, very square-jawed F1 driver David Coulthard who is the celeb taking on GamesMaster’s next challenge. GamesMaster chooses SuperKarts (PC) and David has just 3 laps to finish in 1st place. Hitting a few of the barriers around the track, David still does well and gets up to 3rd place by the final lap. But after a few more bumps, he drops down to 6th place as the chequered flag waves and he fails the challenge.

DAVID COUTHARD

GamesMaster is back offering his much needed help. Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure (SNES & Mega Drive), Zeewolf (Amiga) and Power Drive (Mega Drive) are all helped by the big man’s knowledge. Feature time and there’s a look at the new games for the Sega Saturn in Japan. And Dominik still calls Virtual Fighter, Virtual Fighters. Dominik once more introduces the final challenge, and once more, GamesMaster presents a feature instead (who edited the show?). So this time, Dominik takes a look at some early websites. The official Pulp Fiction site, an underground music archive site, the Warner Bros. BBS, The Nightmare Before Christmas site, Star Trek Generations site and even the then new GamesMaster site all get looked at.

Golden joysticks won – 1

Episode Fourteen

It’s Christmas at GamesMaster, so Dominik introduces this very special beach themed episode. Seriously, DD is dressed in nothing more than a towel and sunglasses while enjoying the sun and sipping cocktails… in Hell (this series is set in Hell in case you forgot). So yeah, it’s a beach Christmas special. Anyway, the first challenge is on the Frisbee inspired, beach set Windjammers (Neo Geo) and playing are pop princess Kylie Minogue and former UK Prime Minister John Major. Okay, so they aren’t the real Kylie and John, just *cough* ‘lookalikes’ hired for the beach Christmas special. Still, it’s news time first and Dominik looks at the big Christmas purchases for 1994. Titles such as Donley Kong Country, Rise of the Robots and Street Racer on the SNES are given the spotlight. While Earthworm Jim and Mega Bomberman for the Mega Drive are next. Then DD asks if the Sega 32X is really worth buying (no it’s not). A gaming PC that cost £6000 is looked at… it’s probably worth about £5 today. Then Doom II and Star Wars: X-Wing Collector’s CD-ROM Collection are both given Dominik’s seal of approval. The Japanese imports of Sony’s PlayStation and Sega’s Saturn consoles are looked at too. So back to the first challenge and whoever has the most points when the timer runs out wins the round in this best of three rounds Frisbee battle. John scores the first 2 points, but Kylie hits back and scores 5 points and wins the first round. John comes back fighting in round 2 and scores first with 3 points and another 3 points, Kylie doesn’t stand for any of that and scores 5 points and only 9 seconds left on the clock… and then quickly secures another 3 points, winning the round 8 points to 6. Kylie wins two rounds and the golden joystick.

DOM AND KYLIE

Christmas review time and Cannon Fodder (Mega Drive) gets a very worthy 88%. Then Super Street Fighter II Turbo (3DO) is given a very nice 90%. Only the two reviews this time as there are many more ‘celebrities’ to get gaming now in this GamesMaster beach Christmas special. Taking on the next challenge are boy band Take That and GamesMaster has picked Smash Tennis (SNES) and more specifically, the beach themed court. And yes… the Take That boys are just more ‘lookalikes’ called actually Fake That. So they have to play a game of the old tennis in a doubles match. Simple enough stuff win the most points in this best of three games match. Fake Jason and Mark take the first game and the second one too. Fake Jason and Mark from Fake That win a golden joystick. Not one each though, just the one between them. You’d think they could get one each, it is the GamesMaster beach Christmas special after all… in Hell.

GamesMaster is back to hand out his very own Christmas presents in the form of much needed help. Checkered Flag (Jaguar), Donkey Kong Country (SNES) and Earthworm Jim (Mega Drive) are all handed some Christmas cheer. So it’s final challenge time… and there is an actual final challenge this time too (kind of). The game is Buggy Ball (VR), which was basically Rocket League a couple of decades before Rocket League existed and in virtual reality too. Anyway, going up against each other this time are special ‘friends’ Michael Jackson and Macaulay Culkin. Whoever scores the most points when the timer ends wins. There are two AI controlled opponents and both Michael and Macaulay have to score more points than those to win as well as beat each other. When one of the AI controlled cars scores 3 points, with neither Michael nor Macaulay managing to score anything, GamesMaster interrupts the challenge to end the pitiful display of gaming to show a feature instead. So bad that it’s bad, Street Fighter (the movie) is given a bit too much of the limelight. And that is it for this GamesMaster beach Christmas special.

Golden joysticks won – 2

Episode Fifteen

With the ‘celeb’ filled special from last time all done and dusted, things get back to ‘normal’. GamesMaster selects The Smurfs (SNES) as the first challenge and whoever can finish the level in the fastest time wins. David and Lee are the two contestants to take on this slice of very typical 16-bit platform action. News time first and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (Sega CD) and Killer Instinct Gold (N64) are given a sneak peek. Then there’s a butchers at the Timex Datalink watch, a precursor to the smartwatches we have today. So Davis is first to tackle The Smurfs and after messing up on some falling platforms, he fails the challenge, lasting just 29 seconds. All Lee has to do is finish the level, the time is irrelevant and he breezes to the end in 41 seconds. Lee wins himself a golden joystick.

Indeedy, it is review round up again and Ristar (Mega Drive) scores a 73%. The arcade perfect After Burner (Sega 32X) is awarded 66%. Then Biker Mice from Mars (SNES) gets itself a 72%. Feature time and the concept of interactive TV is explored. TVs that could possibly be used to browse the internet, download TV shows and films to watch at your own convivence, online shopping and more are thought to be possible. Yeah right, as if that would ever happen. British athletes Roger Black and Du’aine Ladejo are taking on Numan Athletics (Arcade). Competing in three different events, whoever wins two of the three wins the golden joystick. The first event is the 100m dash and Roger wins in 10.3 seconds. Next up is the train push and each of the celebs take it in turn to stop and then push back speeding train, furthest distance pushed wins. Going first is Du’aine who manages a distance of 45 meters 74. Roger only gets 44 meters 54, Du’aine wind round two. With one round apiece, it goes down to the final event, the block smash. Playing together, both Roger and Du’aine have to smash as many blocks as they can before the time runs out. Roger smashes himself 17 blocks, but Du’aine just pips ahead with 19. Du’aine Ladejo wins the golden joystick.

CHALLENGE

There are more gaming hints & tips handed out by GamesMaster. Street Racer (SNES), Death Mask (Amiga) and Ballz (Mega Drive) are shown a little love. Another feature as The 11th Hour (PC) is previewed and a little behind the scenes info is shown ahead of its release. No final challenge once more, that’s quite a few times in this series that there hasn’t been a final challenge. I’m beginning to think they were possibly running out of golden joysticks.

Golden joysticks won – 2

Episode Sixteen

Kicking things off is Whizz (Mega Drive). GamesMaster gives the challenger Jason just 2 minutes to finish a level. But first, news. Mortal Kombat II (Sega 32X) is looked at. While Sega’s (unreleased) Mega Drive and 32X hybrid, the Neptune is made fun of. Then there’s a little behind the scenes look at the upcoming Alien Trilogy game. To finish, the Sly Stallone Judge Dredd flick is given a brief looking at too. So Jason has 2 minutes to finish a level on Whizz and he gets off to a blistering start, a slight fumble regarding a jump, but overall he does really well. He does lose some valuable seconds towards the end and Dominik Diamond in the commentary box doubts that Jason can do it, with only 4 seconds on the clock, Jason just about squeezes past the finish line and wins a golden joystick.

Reviews this time sees movie tie-in True Lies (SNES) get a reasonable 78%. Beat ’em up Cosmic Carnage (Sega 32X) lands a 66%. Then RPG Soleil (Mega Drive) scores a decent-ish 77%. Feature time and infotainment CD ROMS are explored. Dog simulator P.A.W.S, the self-defence teaching Escape With Your Life and Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous Cookbook CD ROMS are laughed at. Boxing supremo Prince Naseem Hamed (what happened to him?) is the celebrity taking on the next challenge and GamesMaster has picked Super Punch-Out!! (SNES) as the game. Naseem has to knock out the beefy looking Bear Hugger to win. Prince Naseem takes a few blows and his health is low, he still manages to put Bear Hugger on his arse though… only for a 3 count. Then Bear knocks Naseem down, who gets back up to continue the fight. Bear is knocked down for a second time and he gets back up in 5 seconds. The health bars between the two are about even, but Prince Naseem knocks Bear Hugger down for the third time and wins by a TKO.

NASEEM

GamesMaster serves up more help to those poor gamers that just are pretty shit. Magic Carpet (PC), Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (SNES) and Dark Seed (CD32) all get helped. Feature time and Dominik Diamond is in LA on the set of the flick Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace to offer an exclusive behind the scenes look. No idea why, the film was fucking terrible. Guess what? No final challenge… again.

Golden joysticks won – 2

Episode Seventeen

Dominik Diamond welcomes you to the final episode of this series… but it’s not as there is the special episode to come next. But yeah, I guess that this is the final episode of the ‘normal’ GamesMaster. Anyway, the first challenge is on Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors (Arcade) and it is Gill and Steven who are going to punch each other in the face on this beat ’em up. News first! A digital jukebox is looked at where you could possibly download music from the interwebs, direct to your PC.  Religious ‘games’ like Captain Bible and Defender of the Faith (PC) are given a peek at. Then Stargate the CD ROM that explores the making of the film is given a shout out. Back to the challenge and Gill plays as Jon Talbain while Steven has Bishamon as his fighter. It’s a close first round, but it eventually goes to Gill. Round two is even closer, and Steven takes that one. So it’s down to the final round, which Gill wins and takes home the golden joystick.

So it’s time for the reviews again and Road Rash 3 (Mega Drive) is given an 80%. Star Wars: Dark Forces (PC) gets several comparisons to Doom as well as a 95% score. Finally, Uniracers (SNES) lands a 90%, before being sued by Pixar for using a unicycle, true story. Celeb challenge and it is Kid Klown in Crazy Chase (SNES) that is the game of choice here. Aussie songbird Natalie Imbruglia takes on non-celeb Scott. Each player takes it in turn to play and are given 1 minute to collect as many coins as possible. Going first is Scott and he does well… until he falls into a river and loses valuable time. Scott finishes with 8 coins. Natalie grabs the SNES pad next and she manages to hit pretty much every hazard in the game to grab just 6 coins. Despite his poor performance, Scott wins a golden joystick. As an aside, Dominik does one of his funniest jokes during this bit while talking to Natalie Imbruglia.

NATALIE

More unfortunate gamers seek out assistance from GamesMaster. Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel (Mega Drive), The King of Fighters ’94 (SNES) and Probotector (Mega Drive) have their deepest secrets revealed. So the big question is, will there be a final challenge this time? Nope, instead DD is on the set of the Mortal Kombat film. Dominik gets to chat to the stars and he gushes and flirts with actresses Bridgette Wilson and Talisa Soto. He doesn’t get quite so gushy when talking to Robin Shou though… strange. So that’s it. Dominik signs off this final episode and says goodbye as GamesMaster sings a few lines of the song We’ll Meet Again. Touching.

Golden joysticks won – 2

Episode Eighteen

So this is it, the very special episode that couldn’t be shown in its regular timeslot of 6:30pm. Because this was a gore special that looked at some of the most bloody, violent ad just more adult games on the market at the time… With a little bit of boobage thrown in too. Due to its content, this episode was shown after midnight. Now, there were actually two different versions of this one, a standard 20-odd minute long cut that aired on TV and a longer (slightly over) 40 minute one which was on VHS. For this retrospective, I’m using the longer 40 minute cut, which means there’s a lot more to cover. So with that out of the way, it is time for the GamesMaster gore special. But before the show starts proper, there are few ads for various Atari Jaguar games.

DOMINIK

Straight into the action with the first challenge and Kasumi Ninja (Jaguar) is the game of choice. Taking each other on in this bloody beat ’em up is Karl and Mark. But first, News. There’s a very detailed look at The National Library of Medicine’s Visible Human Project. Okay, so this needs some explaining. Convicted killer, Joseph Jernigan was executed by lethal injection in 1993. He gave permission for his body to be used for medical research. That research saw Joseph’s cadaver frozen and then cut up into one millimetre thin slices, photographed and digitized, then put into a computer so the human body could be explored in more detail. The entire process is shown in great detail, including the cutting up of the body and the many different ways the data is being used for research. Yup, I can see what this episode wasn’t shown at its usual 6:30 pm slot. If you want more details on the whole thing, click here. Back to the first challenge and Karl plays as Alaric, while Mark uses Habaki. Mark takes the first round and even finishes the fight with a gory head stomp. Karl wins the second round and also does a gruesome finisher… What are the chances in this gore special that both players know the finishing moves? One round apiece, so it’s on to the decider. Mark wins and yes, another finishing move. It’s almost as if there’s some editing going on just to emphasise the bloody violence for this gore special episode. Anyway, Mark wins a golden joystick.

KATSUMI NINJA

There’s a very lengthy feature looking at the goriest games around. Mortal Kombat II (SNES), Doom II (PC), Heretic (PC) and Night Trap (Sega CD) all get hyped up for their use of blood and violence. Then the previously played Kasumi Ninja (Jaguar) and BloodStorm (Arcade) have a few of their gory finishing moves looked at. Violent shoot ’em ups, Corpse Killer (Sega CD), Revolution X (Arcade) and Burn Cycle (CD-i) are shown what they can provide in terms of blood. Ecstatica (PC) also gets a mention, then Dominik points out the censorship in the RoboCop Versus The Terminator (Mega Drive) game as the retail version of the game is compared to the earlier and far more violent prototype version. Splatterhouse 2 (Mega Drive) is claimed to be the first Mega Drive game to be banned. Then The 11th Hour (PC), Snatcher (TurboGrafx-16), Police Quest: Open Season (PC), I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream (PC), Dark Seed II (PC) and Harvester (PC) are all given the spotlight for being bloody and downright disturbing. Then to finish, there’s a top ten countdown of goriest finishing moves in beat ’em ups.

With that long look at gory games, it’s onto the GamesMaster celebrity challenge. Alien vs Predator (Jaguar) is the game of choice and the player is given 1 minute to score as many points as they can. But who is the celeb that has to shoot as many xenomorphs as possible? Only Robocop… Only Dominik comments how he said this was a crap idea for a challenge and so they skip to GamesMaster handing out hints & tips instead. Ecstatica (PC), Isle of the Dead (PC), Banshee (Amiga) and BloodStorm (Arcade) have their gory secrets revealed. Feature time again and Dominik Diamond is in California, where he presents an exclusive behind the scenes look at bloody adventure game Phantasmagoria (PC). Dominik chats to the creators of the game and the actors, as well as getting to explore the blue screen filming before exploring the various gruesome props used for the game. Then there’s a look at several soft porn/titillation games such as Perfect 10 Bikini Contest (PC), the infamous Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties (3DO), National Lampoon’s Blind Date (PC), Voyeur (CD-i), Spy Club (PC), Cover Girl Strip Poker (PC), Winner Takes All (PC), Scissors ‘n’ Stones (PC) and Penthouse Interactive Virtual Photo Shoot (PC) all get to show off their tits, I mean wares… I mean tits. Then Dominik goes to Digital Dreams HQ. A (then) new gaming magazine that blended gaming news and reviews with porn in one handy magazine that featured an interactive CD ROM. with loads of nude lasses Yes I checked and yes it really existed. Dominik then gives his top tips of (his words) ‘how to pull birds’ in a comedic way, using several of the previously mentioned games as scenarios.

WINNER TAKES ALL

Then it’s back to GamesMaster as he picks the game for the final challenge. It’s an all-time classic too, Doom II (PC). GamesMaster gives the player 2 minutes to kill twenty-five enemies before they kill him. Dermot is the mortal taking up this one and he’s the greatest Doom II player in the world… according to Dominik Diamond.  After 30 seconds, Dermot has ten kills and is doing well. Then at 1 minute, the halfway point, he has sixteen kills. With 60 seconds and nine kills to get, Dermot only has 20% health left. Finding himself in a room full of bad guys and armed with a chainsaw, Dermot goes crazy massacring anything that moves. Soon finding himself on just 1% health too, Dermot completes the challenge with 1& health and 34 seconds left on the clock. Dermot wins a golden joystick… though I’m calling bullshit. See, I’ve played a fair bit of Doom myself over the years and many times in this challenge, Dermot is seeing getting hit multiple times, you see the screen flash red as it should, but his health doesn’t drop. He’s on 1% health for a while with about five enemies shooting and hitting him and it stays on 1%. I think this one was edited to make it a tad more exciting. Still, it’s all just a bit of harmless entertainment. Here’s some more boob action from the soft porn games…

STRIP POKER

Anyway, this gore special is a good watch. I’d love to see GamesMaster return with a more adult theme like this. Then just to finish, while I used the longer version of the special for this write up, I thought I’d watch the shorter version too, just to see what the differences were. So the feature looking at the whole Visible Human Project thing is massively cut back on to show far less of the cutting up of the body and so on. To make up for the missing time, a feature on the TV show Robot Wars is shown instead. The first feature is also padded out with an edited version looking at some violent games from the second feature in the uncut version before the first challenge starts. There is a second feature in the edited version of this special too, but it is cut back a great deal. The Robocop celebrity challenge is the same, but instead of cutting to GamesMaster handing out hints & tips, it cuts to an ad break. Then when it returns, that’s when we get GamesMaster’s help. The feature looking behind the scenes Phantasmagoria (PC) is here, but edited to remove most of the more disturbing parts. Yes, the soft porn games are looked at here too, but again, massively edited and cut back from the other version. Then it’s onto the final challenge and the show ends. If you want to watch the gore special, the full, uncut version is best.

Golden joysticks won – 2


Overall

I think pretty much any GamesMaster fan will happily admit that series four is the best of the entire show’s run. Things just seemed to work. Dominik Diamond was very much a welcome return after the (not as terrible as I remember) Dexter Fletcher fronted series three. That cheeky charm and near the knuckle, double entendre humour that Dominik did so well was sorely missed. Though I’m really not a fan of how they put the news and features mixed in with the challenges for this series. It broke up the flow and just felt out of place. It would’ve been fine if they had them at the end of the challenges, but to have the introduction to the game, then the people taking part in the challenge, to then cut to news and features, to then come back to the challenge. It just didn’t work for me at all.

There’s a genuine feeling of camaraderie running through series four, as everyone is getting on very well. There’s some fun banter and everything seems fine… seems. I can’t go into detail just yet, as there’s more to uncover in later series. But, things were not quite as rosy off camera as they were on. In fact, if you know what to look for, things were not exactly harmonious on camera for one certain person on the show.

Series four of GamesMaster really marked the beginning of the end for the show for me. As great as series four was, the quality of the show begins to drop from this point on. It’s not that the next few series were bad or anything, but let’s just say that Dominik Diamond began to get a bit egotistical and for me, the show began to suffer.

Total golden joysticks won – 16

Oh, and before I forget. Dominik Diamond has penned a GamesMaster book.

GamesMaster: The Oral History charts the highs and lows of Channel 4’s iconic and anarchic UK videogames entertainment show.

Guided by show host Dominik Diamond and featuring a foreword by one-time games playing champion Robbie WilliamsGamesMaster: The Oral History spans over 80,000 words and features over 40 contributors including production crew, celebrity guests and the games playing members of the public who became either playground heroes or defeated outcasts vying for the iconic Golden Joystick prize.

You can buy/back it on Kickstarter right now. It looks great.

One thought on “GamesMaster: A Retrospective – Series Four, Part Two

Leave a Reply to DDOCentral Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s