Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Collie - the Inept Reviewer

The emergence of the YouTube generation has given rise to a whole host of video blogs, known as vlogs. Perhaps the most prevalent of these, if not most popular, are ones offering their own critical commentary on their favourite (and least favourite) video games.

It seems everyone with an XBOX and a webcam has had a go at one point or another, and heck, even I have dipped my toes into the tepid ocean of repressed memories that is retro reviewing. The two mediums go hand in hand - those that played Space Invaders in the seventies or had a Nintendo in the early nineties are more likely to have moved on to internet gaming of late.

More popular, though, are retro game reviews. Search for 'Nintendo' on YouTube or Dailymotion and you will find reviews by James Rolfe, AKA The Angry Nintendo Nerd, who has become something of an Internet celebrity with his raging rants on how he wasted his childhood playing terrible games.

That's all well and good, and I do recommend James's channel if you have any sort of interest in retro gaming, but sometimes you just want something a bit more... British. On this side of the pond, we want half-hearted, dithering irrelevance with a touch of bonkers.

You will find no greater proponent of the above than Collie, who goes by the name of the Inept Reviewer on YouTube. His 'let's play' style reviews offer a brief insight to games for various formats, but usually return back to the ZX Spectrum. Now, I will confess that this is not really my generation - being slightly younger I am more of the Nintendo/Mega Drive era.

He does occasionally dabble with these consoles, but in many cases it really isn't about the game, it's the underlying soap opera that is Collie's personal life. Most of his videos are recorded at 3AM on a Saturday morning when he is considerably tired and emotional, worse for wear from the night before. Not a review goes by without being interrupted by an incoming text message from a friend or random person he encountered in the pub.

That's not to play down his knowledge of games, which at times borders on geekish, but that's okay. Each game, where warranted, is put into context very well by a series of stories about his acquisition of the game back in the late eighties. This is okay too, as I prefer my reviewers to have a bit of personality.

There is some (and, in many cases a lot of) beer-fuelled profanity, as is to be expected with this genre of videos - it has become something of the norm. Put up with this and you will surely enjoy this vastly underrated, 'juiced up', rather impatient method of game reviewing. Give Collie a go.