Saturday, 2 April 2016

Top 20 JonTron Videos

Outside of the Angry Video Game Nerd, I’d have to say that JonTron and his Normal Boots cohorts are among the most influential Youtube game reviewers. I’d mark JonTron up as being a tad more destructive though, since so many creators have just taken to copying his jiggly video editing style and loud, incoherent ramblings. Seriously, the guy sounds like Christopher Walken on all the whiskey. And yet, both with his main series and his older work on Game Grumps, he seems to have mastered the art of saying and doing things that probably shouldn’t be funny, and yet for some reason are hilarious. He is one of the few that can nail “Random = comedy”. As such, here I am with my list of the Top 20 JonTron videos.

#20: Titenic

Apart from creating fodder for a surprisingly catchy video remix song, this probably ends up making my list purely for the reveal of the title game and the accompanying musical moment. Jon’s professional training is apparently in musical theatre and, in moments like this, it definitely shows. Also, Call Of Duty: Boats.

#19: Bubsy Collection
With how frenzied the action in-game gets (and frequently is), it’s honestly a great match for Jon’s approach to reviewing. It probably helps for material that the Bubsy games well and truly only get worse and worse as they went, culminating in Jon completely tearing Bubsy 3D to pieces… and yet, he also has a moment of empathy for the apparent effort that put into it. In the rage-fuelled industry that is online video game criticism, that kind of sentiment is rare, regardless of how it concludes.

#18: Foodfight!
The first in what would be a long, long, long line-up of reviewers looking at this absolute catastrophe of a marketing ploy. Hell, the number of people who have looked at is pretty much the main reason why I will probably never review it myself. As for Jon’s take on it, his reactions to the frankly horrifying animation are spot-on (“Am I dead yet?”) and the skits that make it out to be this Eldritch horror of a DVD, bringing in guys like Paul Ritchey from Continue? and even Brentalfloss to co-sign.

#17: Dinocity BRO!

Starting out with what looks like a slightly more coherent attempts at HowToBasic Game Reviews (Dishwasher? No. Dishwasher? No.), this is probably one of his more positive reviews. Not that that changes up his usual routine though, like his confusion at the life counter or his reaction to a certain demonic drop. We even get a bit of backstory on the family of Jacque, JonTron’s robotic pet parrot… yeah, it’s weird, but it’ll only get worse the further down this list we get. Also, bit shaky but still decent song rendition at the end.

#16: Space Ace
Jon has gone on record saying that this is the worst game that he’s reviewed (or at least one of the worst), and you definitely get that impression with how he seems even more mentally fractured than in the majority of his other videos. The difficulty rate, the confusing sound choices, the well-intentioned but ultimately fruitless attempts at replicating the arcade version’s level design; all ending on a sudden “fuck this noise” moment, complete with meme tombstone. What more could you ask for?

#15: The Zoo Race
Honestly, a lot of this video is just point-blank reaction comedy, not that much breaking down game mechanics and such. Still, when dealing with a game this… I don’t even know what, it’s probably the only method that can be used. He ends up reaching some weird bad game Nirvana after one of the most brain-crapping train crashes ever seen in any medium. A Christmas present that only JonTron would ever see fit to give his fans.

#14: Home Alone Games

The ghost of Macaulay Culkin tasks Jon with finding a good game based on the Home Alone movies… is it weird that that statement is somehow the sanest to be involved with Culkin in the last several years? Jon goes through the gauntlet with the games here, from NES to PS2 with one of the more confounding cash-in titles ever highlighted, showing how the games kind of brush over the real implications if Kevin did get captured in any of his movies. Also, for a guy who does admittedly have a real problem with how to end most of his videos, this might have his best sign-off with something of a perfect dead-end of a conclusion.

#13: Gaming In Public Episode 2: 3DS

One of Jon’s “lost” videos (read: one he deleted off his own channel at some point), he pulls a man on the scene routine with him exploiting how much people don’t bother reading when they sign something. Have to admit I have a bit of soft-spot for videos of people making fun of other people’s idiocy but there’s always gonna be something to appreciate about a guy who can trick others into signing up to support Hitler. Since I’m assuming that you have all made the exact same U.S. Presidential joke in your heads, I’ll refrain from writing it out and we’ll move on.

#12: Japanese Shoot ‘Em Ups
Early on while developing these lists for Meta Month, I wanted to make it a point that I wouldn’t just pick videos that highlighted weird shit. I mean, if I’m more engaged by the subject matter and not the reviewer, chances are I’ll just play the game myself and ignore the review entirely. This is going to have to be an exception, as these are some weird freaking games that he picked out for this. Yeah, he also chooses one of Spoony’s earliest subjects with Samurai Zombie Nation but, even with the time since then, he manages to put his own stamp on the material. And then he goes full Kubrick at the end.

#11: Plug And Play Consoles
Who would’ve thought just commenting on phallic joysticks could be so funny? Okay, the whole video is Jon’s already-doomed journey to find a PnP console that features some original content. Fittingly, he gets funnier the further he gets from the straight-up ports that some consoles offered and right into the poorly-hidden rip-offs. And then, even for JonTron, we get one of his bigger mindfucks for an ending. Hi, Michael Jackson!

#10: Monster Party
Whether intentionally or by design, this game sure did manage to get some frights out of JonTron. Speaking of design, it’d be pretty easy if he just showed the onion rings and plate-throwing wells and let those images make the funny for ‘em, but he actually brings some decent riffs to the table like where he points the weirdly sexual imagery that shows up on the first screen of the game. Fish Face On Legs!


I’m just gonna be completely honest on this one: This is largely on here because it might well be one of the most engaging bits of promotion I’ve seen from one of these reviewers. Seriously, the grandeur he builds up for his creations (and Minecraft’s early glitches) was what ultimately got me to finally buy a copy of the game for myself… some several years after the craze first hit, but nevertheless. Wait, this is another lost video? Eh, still counting it.

#8: Aquaman: Battle For Atlantis
If not one of his more iconic reviews, then it at the very least spawned one of his best non-sequiturs with “What’s this blue pants?”. Honestly, if he’s able to make me ignore how badly he represents the character of Aquaman (nitpicking opinions is one of those drawbacks of geekdom) with just how funny he is, he must be doing something right. It’s kind of astounding just how shite this game is to begin with, and it is put to great use thanks to JonTron’s mile-a-minute comedic stylings.

#7: Monster Bash Starrin’ Johnny Dash
You know, considering he spends less than half the video actually playing the game in question, I would question how this video got so high up on the list. Then again, this is the video that forever ingrained the sounds of laughing skulls and dancing old guys in my head, so I’d say that it still checks out. This also serves as JonTron’s tribute to the days of MS-DOS and especially the repertoire of Apogee Studios which, when you pair his admiration for the design aesthetics of the day with his struggles to get the game even working on DOS-Box, honestly kind of fills one with the urge to hunt down old abandonware.

#6: Conan The Barbarian
Opening on what is both the best and worst Arnold Schwarzenegger impression I’ve heard yet, as part of a nice tribute to the opening of the titular film, this is definitely one of JonTron’s more consistent videos in terms of comedy. Alongside his cool parodies of scenes from the film, some of his lines enter into some wrong-headed form of genius like when one guy asks if he is dying of lasers or Jon’s reaction to Conan deciding not to attack the merchant. I’m still not entirely sure why that last one tickles me as much as it does, but given how I repeatedly went back to that one clip while preparing this list, it must warrant a place higher up on this list.

#5: Takeshi’s Challenge
One of the most mindfraggingly confusing attempts at what I think is an interactive movie game, this is honestly another one of those where the comedy comes from just how Moon Logic the steps of the game can get, including taking music lessons, singing into the Famicom controller and (possibly) murdering your wife and children. I freely admit to being inexplicably fascinated by the game itself as a piece of conceptual art, but Jon’s writing that seems to be trying to match Takeshi in places in terms of Moon Logic still deserves its moment to shine.

#4: Clock Tower
If I ever get asked to explain what exactly a brick joke is, chances are I’ll most likely point that person towards this video. Aside from a remarkably good bookending joke involving skeletons, his reactions to the Scissorman and way he ends up defeating him at the end get major laughs as does a moment where he inexplicably throws up candy corn. Honestly, this just highlights some of Jon’s better comedic sensibilities combined with some Sierra-style game mechanics.

#3: Malkovich’s Gaming Game Show
Ever watch one of those Adult Swim late-night infomercials? That’s pretty much what this is. Sure, it doesn’t have any of the weird cultural commentary of the actual Adult Swim product, but it does carry that same concept of a frankly weird premise that only snowballs into something completely insane as it goes on. What starts as a surreal verging-on-funny take on game shows, complete with Jon’s GameGrumps partner-in-crime Egoraptor in tow, ends up turning into one of Jon’s bigger moments of wat. Bear in mind the stuff that has already been highlighted on this list, and I’m saying this is where he gets weird.

#2: Goosebumps Parts 1-2
The videos that first got me into JonTron in the first place that, incidentally, shows Jon looking at material that he rarely if ever touches on. That said, the way he shows some level of respect for the Goosebumps series, even when looking at how silly and badly-acted the TV show could get, does tap into that feeling of nostalgia that a lot of us have for the series. He may get a bit close-up crazy across this review, but he at least pairs them up with good quick-paced reaction humour.

#1: Hercules Games
I’ll rarely if ever call any piece of media “perfect” but I have to tip my hat to this one. Released after a longer-than-we'd-like hiatus, this has JonTron firing off on all cylinders. Every joke works, including his much-memed “(Actual noise it made)” gag and pointing out a game character who appears to be masturbating for reasons that I don’t even think I want to know, all tied together by a modern Youtube-tinged take on the Labours of Hercules, which suitably enough ends on a complete anti-climax that doesn’t even feel like time was wasted. When a video is able to make even the “click here to see more videos” bit at the end funny, I have to give props where they’re due. If you have to watch only one video from this list for some unexplained reason, dear God, make it this one.

Well, that’s the first one out of the way; with any luck, I’ll have convinced someone out there to check out this guy’s work. Next time, we’ll be taking a look at a reviewer of shlock whose cat describe them as a real eeshole.

No comments:

Post a Comment