Sunday, March 8, 2015

Old School Lane Presents: Top 10 Little Miss Gamer Episodes

Today is International Women's Day! A day to commemorate all females from around the world and celebrate their accomplishments. I already discussed about the 20 female role models of Nickelodeon a few years back, so click here and here to check them out. Today, I want to dedicate this article on another person whom I've really admired for years. She has been in my list of top 50 influences as well as being a special guest on Casual Chats. It's none other than former PBC Productions member and video game reviewer Lindsey "Little Miss Gamer" Briggs.

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In a time where video game reviewers were booming into popularity and many Angry Video Game Nerd ripoffs reviewed shitty games with an angry attitude, Little Miss Gamer came along around 2007 and brought in a sweet, humorous, positive, and personal persona discussing about video games that she grew up with on the Atart 2600, NES, and Adam as well as reading fan mail at the end of every episode. While it's been almost 5 years since she's reviewed anything due to her being a full time puppeteer, wife, and mother, I still go back and watch her videos from time to time. While there have been many, many wonderful and talented video game reviewers, it seems that no one could capture the charm that Lindsey brought in her video game discussions. So with that said, here's my list of my top 10 Little Miss Gamer episodes.

10. Food Fight

Before she began her review series on PBC Productions, she guest starred on an episode of Still Gaming discussing about one of her favorite video games of all time Food Fight for the Atari 7800. The game is about a kid avoiding 4 chefs throwing food at him so he can reach the goal of eating his ice cream cone. It's a really good episode because she not only discusses about the game, but also having fond memories being a young girl playing her Atari, the various foods that the chefs throw, and more. However, it's really low on this list because it's not really a Little Miss game episode. Plus, it's shot in the same style as Still Gaming in which the movements are very stilted. But it's one of the more important episodes because this is where it all started.

9. Missile Command

The very first episode of Little Miss Gamer has to be on this list. The game is about you protecting six cities from being attacked by missiles by moving a crosshair and position it to place a disk where the missiles can blow up there as oppose to the cities. She starts the episode with a skit where she's a young girl playing Missile Command nonstop and her mother continues to call her to come downstairs or stop playing the game. Then she discusses about the game saying that it terrified her due to not being able to beat the game and seeing the cities explode indicating the entire civilization has been wiped out. She also was playing the Jakks Pacific Plug & Play port where she felt it was waterdown and "nicer" compared to the original. She concludes the episode saying that while the original was scary to her, it felt more at stake to rescuing the cities as oppose to the Atari port making her appreciate the game even more.

8. A Boy and His Blob

In this episode, Little Miss Gamer discusses about the quirky NES game A Boy and His Blob about a boy and his blob going around collecting treasure to buy vitamins to stop an evil emperor blob who forces his citizens to eat marshmallows and chocolate. She discusses about the interesting concept of feeding the blob jelly beans to change into various items from a hole, does a skit about how the plot kinda was a bit confusing and ironic on the task that the boy and the blob are doing, and giving tips on beating the game. She concludes the episode discussing about the sequel for the Game Boy and a remake that were going to be released in 2001, but were canceled for some reason or another. Since then, there was a re-imagining of A Boy and his Blob on the Wii in 2009 which is super fun, charming, and less frustrating than the original. It's a shame that she didn't do a follow up review on it. It would have been so nice if she would have discussed about it and compared the Wii game to the NES game. 

7. Kirby's Adventure

In this episode, Little Miss Gamer discusses about one of the best games to be released on the NES, Kirby's Adventure. She discusses about the game, the commercial, the power ups, and more. It seems like a match made in heaven with a charming game discussed about a charming reviewer. Not much more to say.

6. High Compatibility

In this episode, Little Miss Gamer doesn't review any particular, but discusses about all the gamer boyfriends that she's had and the 5 different types of gamers there are: the casual gamers, the hardcore gamers, the retro gamers, the import gamers, and the professional gamer. She even gives a mention to the table gamer as well. Her discussion about each gamer is so accurate and very hilarious on how there are actual people like this in real life. Since this video's release, there have been more different types of gamers such as the Let's Player, the PC gamer, the indie gamer, and the completionist. She concludes the episode saying that people are very nitpicky and take apart games and analyze it without having fun, the main purpose on why you should play video games in the first place. That message still holds up today.

5. WiiFit on Elm Street

When I think of Wii Fit, I don't think of Nightmare on Elm Street. But this episode made this concept work so well. In this episode, the Wii Fit board is possessed and forces Little Miss Gamer to work out more. She then woke up realizing it was a bad dream. Next, she discusses about the games offered in Wii Fit with her friend performing the moves, performing the ski jump and hula hoop movements with a ninja joking about if the moves have any purpose at all, and being held hostage by the board telling people to buy the Wii Fit. While this episode is pretty fun, I'm not a Nightmare of Elm Street fan, so I can't bring this episode any higher.

4. Adam & Z

When I think of the Adam computer, well I don't really since I didn't grow up with it But I would never think of Back to the Future. In this episode, Little Miss Gamer plays a rom of a game she grew up with on the Adam computer, but she was stopped by a scary federal agent saying that if she doesn't bring in her original copies of the game in 1 hour, she would be jailed and fined. She decides to go back in time in 1985 and plays her old Adam computer with the 3 games that she grew up with: Cabbage Patch Kids: Adventures in the Park, Dragon's Lair, and Chop Lifter. She then returns to the present with the games to show to the agent discussing about how sometimes emulating can be a good thing for sales. The episode concludes with a future Little Miss Gamer saying that the future needs her to stop her 16 kids from doing evil...or something. I don't know. Click here to watch it.

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3. Gitaroo Man

In this episode, Little Miss Gamer discusses about one of the most overlooked rhythm games of all time Gitaroo Man for the PlayStation 2. It has, hands down, the best skit in all of her videos with having some paper animation with her having a bad day dealing with falling out of her bed, missing the subway, wanting to get ice cream but only having hot dog flavored, the rain falling down on her, running from a large group of cats, and not being able to play Rocket Race on Halo 3 with a demon troll yelling at her, and defeating him by showcasing Gitaroo Man. The game is about a young boy named U-1 defeating numerous enemies by the power of rock transforming into Gitaroo Man. I had never heard of this game until I saw this review. It looks like an awesome game that never got the same recognition as other rhythm games such as Parappa the Rapper, Space Channel 5, Guitar Hero, and Rock Band. Even still to this day, it remains a cult classic. With Rock Band 4 coming out this year, I wouldn't be surprised if rhythm games would make a huge comeback. If it does, let's bring Gitaroo Man to the PlayStation Store or even a new game for the PS4. But that's wishful thinking.

2. You Gonna Finish That?

In this episode, Little Miss Gamer begins to procrastinate in doing tasks such as reading, eating a donut, knitting a scarf, and playing Castlevania: Symphony of the Night for the PlayStation. When falling asleep, she gets inside the game and is confronted by Dracula to finish the game. While trying to come up with excuses on why she hasn't finished it, it doesn't seem to convince Dracula. She then discusses about the numerous reasons on why some people don't finish games whether they don't have the time, its difficulty, not wanting the experience to end, or life being in the way. However, she then learns that just because you finish something, it doesn't mean that it's over. Even if the game is over, there must be closure in your life, otherwise you'll feel incomplete. There are even numerous ways to continue a game such as new game plus. This episode has PBC Productions member Darrin DeMarco voicing Dracula and he does an amazing impression of the Count. Also, the remix music of the Castlevania songs are really well done.

1. Psychonauts

The last video game review of Little Miss Gamer was her best discussing about her favorite video game of all time Psychonauts for the PlayStation 2. Little Miss Gamer has lost her control of her powers causing squirrels to be lit on fire. Lee from Still Gaming guest stars in this episode training Little Miss Gamer to control her powers and helping her review the game. Little Miss Gamer hesitates since she's afraid of not doing a good job reviewing her favorite game of all time. Lee places a brain tumbler on Little Miss Gamer where she ended up becoming the character of Raz walking around in her own brain. Lee tells her on how she got introduced to the game. This was the game that brought her back into gaming after being out of it for a very long time. She discusses everything that she loves about it: the plot, the powers, the collecting, the story, and the characters. It concludes with Lee congratulating Little Miss Gamer on conquering her fear of reviewing her favorite game of all time. It's a really informative and personal episode that I felt that Lindsey told from the bottom of her heart on how much Psychonauts meant to her and I felt it was a good closure to her review series. Looking back on her shows, I don't think anyone could ever replace her. She brought in a heartfelt, genuine, kind, and sweet personality that was a great change of pace from all the anger and cynical reviews of bad games. Now that video game reviews have come so far since then, it's nice to look back on something as simple as Little Miss Gamer.

That's my top 10 list. What are your favorite Little Miss Gamer episodes? Post in the comments below and let us know. Also if you haven't had the chance, check out my interview with Lindsay that I did last year. 

That's all for now. Our next top 10 list will be the top 10 Nicktoons that deserve comic book adaptations collaborating with Kat "Comic Uno" West. Also, the next episode of Nick Jukebox will feature the songs from ChalkZone chosen by YOU! Let me know in the comments what song you want to hear. Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon. Thanks for reading.


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