G4
tv 4 gamers

General Information

G4, owned by Comcast, was first released in June of 2002 after being announced by Comcast a few months earlier. It created a stir, as it would be the first video game television channel in America. A week before it's release, they played Pong, in dedication of what "started the industry". The Pong games played were actually people playing the game via the website. G4 is centered in Los Angeles, CA. Only people with Comcast and AT&T digital cable get it.

Shows

Since there are a wide array of video game genres, the shows on G4 also cover a variety of topics. Most shows get a new episode each week.

  • Arena - Focusing on multiplayer games, specifically online multiplayer games, Arena was supposed to detail the competition of games such as Counter-strike or Unreal Tournament, but did not pull it off well. Arena was hosted by the man himself, Wil Wheaton, but unfortunately he and his co-host Travis Oates left G4 recently after a disagreement with the producer. Arena is now hosted by an ex-American Gladiator and some shrimpy British guy.

  • Blister - Action video games are some of the hottest titles on any console. Can you expect the same thing from the show giving you reviews and previews of action games? Not really. The host is annoying, and Blister often fails to mention the downfalls of the games they review.

  • Cheat! - Cheats, found in most games be they hidden Easter Eggs or the famous Konami Code, can help players get through a hard level or just increase their enjoyment. Cheat! also provides strategies for some games. Unfortunately, Cheat suffers from the same problem as Blister and many of the other shows. Annoying hosts. A show based on cheats is a bad idea to begin with, anyway.

  • Cinematech - Video games are sometimes pretty. This is a show displaying those pretty games. Cinematech is alright, it gets a little reduntant, but it's still worth watching the intro to FFX hundreds of times. Also, there's no host! Woohoo!

  • Filter - With so many games out there, some people get a needy feeling to group them into lists. By accessing the website, people can vote on polls such as Best Games of 2002, and the outcome of those polls are aired. The host is an Asian girl who is obviously forced to dress provocatively to attract sex-appeal, but luckily she is not annoying as some of the other hosts. Unluckily for the rest of the show, it seems to be strung together poorly with short clips for the #1 game, but a few minutes of action for the games at the end of the list.

  • G4tv.com - A would-be normal Talk Show, except the hosts interact with the chatroom as they are taping. At the end of each episode, the hosts play a game and whoever wins is subject to different things, such as getting a banana smashed into your face or getting ice put down your back. G4tv.com happens to be one of the better shows, as the hosts are more personal, and it's funny to see them making out with pike.

  • Game On - Two men journey across America competing in video game related contests. The loser of the episode has to do something embarrasing, such as dressing up as Elvis and walking down a busy street. Game On is perhaps the worst show on G4. The hosts are pigs, the games and events they do stink, and the guests on the show are too embarrased and nervous to do anything.

  • Icons - Some developers are better than others. Icons profiles some of those people, such as Richard "Lord British" Garriot or Shigeru Miyamoto. It's better than most of the G4 shows since many of the episodes are interesting to watch.

  • Judgement Day - Reviews of the latest games and hardware, also featuring the hosts from Electronic Playground. Hands-down, this is my favorite G4 show. The hosts are great; you know that they play the games and do the reviews. One of the guys, Tommy Tallarico, is a big action game fan, and often puts down many Nintendo games. It's quite hilarious, as the co-host Victor Lucas often disagrees.

  • Players - Some celebrities like to play games, so G4 sits down and interviews them. At least, they did. Players doesn't often get new episodes, and the show has gone through two hosts already, and has now decided to have none at all. Many of the celebrities are just casual gamers, and pretty much everyone of them loves the Madden football franchise or Grand Theft Auto 3.

  • Portal - MMORPGs are growing fast with titles like Everquest, which boasts 200,000 subscribers, so why not create a show about them? Portal doesn't do any of that! They instead decided to create a comedy show that takes place in the different game worlds. However, much of the comedy is a little stale and dumb. Anyone who doesn't play MMORPGs can get into this show because they're hardly related at all. The host is quite hilarious though, along with the voice acting that he and others supply.

  • Pulse - News, sneak peeks, and in-depth looks at the video game industry. Well, not really in-depth... The only good thing about Pulse is that I can watch the news on my TV, instead of reading it on a website. Then again, there is only one episode a week, so the news can be nearly a whole week old.

  • Starcade - Originally a show from 1983, this flashback features arcade games like Burger Time or the original Mario. Contestants try to gain the most points and usually end up winning an arcade machine of their own. I dunno why you'd want to watch this show, as many of the contestants play like they've never touched a video game in their life.

  • Sweat - Sports games. I don't like sports, so any opinion I have on this is nullified.

  • Other - G4 has recently started airing some shows from gamer.tv, but they seem out-of-place being Australian. I haven't really watched enough of these shows to judge, but they also seem to have bad hosts and poor ideas. There are also a list of new shows on the website that will be coming soon.

My Personal Opinion

As you can probably tell, I do not like most of the shows on G4. I wouldn't recommend upgrading to digital cable just to get this show, but if you do have it already, it's worth watching just for Judgement Day alone.


Sources:
My own memory, my own opinions, and the website www.g4tv.com

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