Grand Finale - The Final Episode of Nintendo Week and The Tester - Part Two

< Part One - The Tester

The last-ever episode of Nintendo Week opens with our hosts, Gary and Dark Gary, introducing themselves. Here's an exact transcript:

          Gary: "Hey, everybody. Welcome to Nintendo Week. I'm Gary."

          Dark Gary: "And I'm Dark Gary."

Do you know what they do in the line after that? In the very next sentence? They talk about video games!

After the hosting duo introduces the show's topics - Kid Icarus: Uprising, Xenoblade: Chronicles, and CRUSH3D - there's a quick break for the theme song. We see a montage of clips from previous episodes, where the Garys (Garies?) excitedly play several Mario, Starfox, Zelda, and Kirby games. The whole sequence is over in fifteen seconds.

There's no need to recap what they say about each game. Nintendo Week's coverage follows a pretty basic formula:
  • Gameplay
  • Controls
  • Enemies and Characters
  • Story and Setting
  • Strategies and Tips

In other words, the hosts talk about video games. If you don't know anything about the games in advance, you will by the end of the show. The surface-level elements (story) are explained, but there's also detail about what you, as a player, will be doing in the game. If you've already played, you just might learn some ProTips. It's broad coverage, given quickly and efficiently.

Nintendo Week isn't just a quick, efficient blast of information about Nintendo's upcoming releases, though. It has personality, and loads of it. It's all so silly and good-natured, and I laughed out loud while watching this episode.

It's that Dark Gary. He got to me. D.G. first appeared on an early episode of Nintendo Week about Metroid Prime 3: Echoes. Just like Metroid heroine Samus must confront a manifestation of her dark side, Gary suddenly found himself facing his soul-patched double. Unlike the malevolent, homicidal Dark Samus, however, Dark Gary is just a dork with an overinflated ego who calls everyone "bro."

So when Dark Gary introduces the sprawling, dramatic world of Xenoblade, and says, "Please allow me to paint you a word-picture with my mouth-brush," I pretty much lose it. Then, when I think I couldn't love him any more, he refers to "robots" as "bro-bots."

Gary tells us about one last game, then surprises Dark Gary with unexpected news - he's leaving Nintendo Week! Gary thanks us all, says he'll miss us, and then Poochies his way back to his home planet. Seriously. This seriously happens. Because Nintendo Week is awesome. And it's about to get better, because now it's going to be all Dark Gary, all the time.

Wait! Dark Gary! Not you, too!

Nintendo Week is a shameless advertisement, but it's entertaining, and it's endearingly sincere. No one is going to watch it and not get that it's all a big commercial.

The thing is, I love Nintendo. I want to know about Nintendo games. I want to see videos, and have someone tell me why I should care about upcoming releases. Sometimes I want brutally critical reviews, but sometimes I just want to get excited about a video game, and every episode of Nintendo Week is dopey and cheerful enough to put me in a good mood, guaranteed.

Conversely, The Tester is stupid, mean-spirited, and sneaky. It promises a glimpse at the path to game development, but delivers idiotic nonsense like dunking tanks and torture-by-cockroach. It's bad, even by reality TV standards. "This is not fun, by the way," RealityPalez says during Level 3 of the final challenge. He's right.

I expect a Sony-produced show about PlayStation to be a commercial for PlayStation, but why is the commercial interrupted by other commercials? Not even the gratuitous product placement - actual commercial breaks. Am I supposed to think this is an actual show?

I admit, I've watched every episode of The Tester; all three seasons. I haven't kept up with Nintendo Week nearly as well, but I feel good when I watch Nintendo Week, and I get psyched about the new Nintendo games. When I watch The Tester, I can't believe that what I'm seeing was truly intended as an advertisement or entertainment. Or both! It's embarrassing.

Nintendo Week, I'll miss you, too.

The Tester: I may not respect you, but... yeah, I'd watch a fourth season.