TV Video games

G4 Retrospective – X-Play

A game review show that truly was brutally honest!

Opinions change about games from day-to-day and person to person, and the modern gamer is more likely to watch a Let’s Play or buy a games cause their friends say to (sometimes despite how not too great it might look).

Game opinion has been resigned to Youtubers and community fandom, which isn’t bad but that can lead to hype over merit picks.

Looking at you, The Order

But from 1998 -2013 gamers could turn to tv show X-Play (Originally starting off as Extended Play and before that GameSpot Tv).

A game review show in the truest sense, by the time it became X-Play it was known for the self-proclaimed brutally honest reviews by the hosts Adam Sessler and Morgan Webb.
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The two were cynical, sarcastic and their humor was dark for what they were talking about. Game franchises were analyzed beyond normal merits and the hosts were likable. Adam was a realist who constantly feigned enjoyment to a comedic effect when it came to the game franchises that seem to drag on that he tired of. Morgan was a gamer of knowledge and intellect, she was always quick to point out what a game lacked in terms of coming to perfection on a lot of stand points. From technical to plot, Morgan had the qualms and would say them.
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As the series went on they would begin to integrate sketches, industry interviews, previews, event coverage. As well as new hosts that quickly become channel faves like Blair Butler and Blair Herder.
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They adapted other parts of G4’s cancelled programing, Like Cheat! which was still hosted by its original tv personality, Kristian Holt Adams. For the mmo fans they could look forward to the MMO Report for their latest news.
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X-Play served as the one of the linchpins in the channels primary block and would be shown several times a day for those who might have missed an episode or wanted to catch one of the show’s hilarious sketches.

This review of Yu-Gi-Oh! is still one of my favorites.

X-Play lasted long into the channel’s life time, and after going through several changes the show was eventually cancelled shortly before G4 itself would meet its end.

The cancellation of X-Play was apparent when looked back on. building up to it was the departure of Adam Sessler and shortly after, Morgan Webb left alongside the final episode. Without their game review show, G4 made their video game reviews an online thing. The remnants of the show were just convention coverage and G4 attempting to introducing new stars to their line up and host team.
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Eventually X-Play would meet its end in 2014 and the went out with class. Best sketch replays, returning guest and hosts, most well received reviews played back to back, marathons of the entire X-play episode list (over 1000 episodes).

When the X-Play staff lined up you know you were witnessing the end of an era, there would never be anything like this every again…
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…And there wasn’t. Game media was changing. A lot of people are not sure of its for the better or worse but it was chaning. No one cared about review opinion anymore. The community powered game disection and report. That’s not a bad thing.

But it hasn’t been the more purest of ways to determine value.

Adam Sessler would later go on to work with revision 3 and Morgan Webb now works for World of Warcraft,  something she was a zealous fan for even during her time on G4.

I miss G4 immensely but to me the most important show was X-Play, I could show people episodes now of some old reviews and know they will enjoy it.
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I have been working in the game journalism field for roughly 5 years at this point and a lot of my inspiration and push came from X-Play. This show, it’s hosts, they all influenced me and my career choices. Adam and Morgan are two of my heroes and if you scour the internet and mostly YouTube you can find some of their awesome reviews.
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Adam and Morgan, thank you.

So that was X-Play, next time the hilarity of Code Monkeys.
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1 comment on “G4 Retrospective – X-Play

  1. Pingback: Lifeline: The Terrible Voice Controlled Horror Game… That is Kind of Perfect – NERDIER TIDES

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