02 April 2007


Playstation Underground - Long, long ago, before video game consoles were online and beharddrived, games fans would have to seek out plastic discs with bits and bytes written on them in order to experience previews of games not yet released. Playstation Underground was one source of such things. Like a magazine, a gamer could subscribe and receive a pair of CD-ROMs in the mail every month filled with demos, behind-the-scenes videos and other goodies. Once upon time, they somehow convinced BBI that Mike and the bots should riffs on some of the previous year's content for the first CD-ROM of 1998. The result was instantly forgettable, except for some surprisingly nice shots of the sets and work areas at BBI's office.

The ten minute video is structured a bit like a mini-episode of the show. It begins with host segment featuring Mike and the bots on the bridge of the SOL. Each is playing their own Playstation console. Mike enjoys NHL FaceOff '98, Tom is messing around with PaRappa the Rapper and Crow is doing poorly in Crash Bandicoot. Not coincidentally, these are all games published by SCEA, better known as Sony.

When the movie sign siren goes off, the guys shout "Underground sign!" instead as they rush off screen. In the theater, they are presented with a couple of introductory CGI cut scenes from old PU discs and some bloopers from a Playstation TV spot. The bloopers take up the majority of the theater time. It's five long minutes of two old people continually screwing up their lines. It quickly wears out its welcome. It's also a weird thing for the guys to be riffing on. They're riffing bloopers? People making supposedly funny mistakes on their own need additional funny comments? It doesn't work.

As most will say, the only decent bit of this short is the final three minutes. As the PU credits roll, we're treated to tons of behind-the-scenes looks at different areas of BBI. We see the theater scenes being shot, the writers working on jokes, Mike playing a PS1 baseball game and there's even a glimpse of Castle Forrester (firmly placing this in the season nine era). Skip the riffing and watch the credits.

"I majored in Sitting on My Can and Not Getting a Damned Thing Done." (6/10)

mst d. ?? (Feb 1998)