I’m fairly confident that if there was a cartoon from 1989 – 1996 in the United States, I saw at least one episode, if not most of them. It seems like from ’89 – ’91, television producers were hell bent on creating shows based on video game properties. The only problem was, they had no idea what they were doing. It could be argued that they still don’t considering such a show hasn’t been attempted since. Finishing my SMC series of video game TV shows after Captain N, Super Mario Bros., and The Legend of Zelda, I give you Video Power.
Trust me, I’m digging real deep on this one. The show ran for two seasons with a total of 65 episodes. The first season was more of a review show with episodes of a cartoon mixed in. Hosted by video game master Johnny Arcade (actor Stivi Paskoski), he would start the show with a review of an upcoming Genesis, Gameboy, Game Gear, or NES game. I use the word review lightly, more like advertise. Games like Battletoads, Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse, Mega Man, Sonic, and Ducktales were represented. From there the show went into it’s animated segment, the Power Team.
Now we’re getting to the good stuff. The Power was comprised of Acclaim characters (remember that company?). Johnny Arcade ran the team via his game console from the safety of his bed room. From NARC we had Max Force, who never used a gun; Tyrone was from basketball game Arch Rivals, never without his basketball or afro; Kuros, the knight from Wizards and Warriors, though he looked exactly like Schwarzenegger’s Conan; Kwirk, a sneaker and sunglass wearing green mohawked flying tomato from the Game Boy game, Kwirk; and finally the monster truck Bigfoot from the game of the same name, and the truck talked. Stereotypes abound!
These ‘heroes’ combatted either Mr. Big, Joe, and Spike from NARC, or Malkil from Wizards and Warriors. The team stopped these dastardly evildoers from doing… stuff, or something. Wasn’t really clear on that. Like the other three video game shows of the time, they employed sound effects from the various games in the cartoon.
The show finished up with another review. I wish had to the words to depict these reviews. Johnny would adopt a persona to describe the game. For example, when discussing Heavy Shreddin, a snowboarding game, he dressed like a snowboarder and talked like a California airhead. I wanted to punch him. Rounding off the show was “Video Power Edge”, where Johnny would give you tips and tricks for a game. It’s easy to laugh about a segment like that today, but back then, it was the life blood of gamers.
The second season of Video Power completely overhauled the show, turning it into a game show, still hosted by Johnny. Gone was the adventures of the Power Team. Instead, 4 pre selected kids asked Johnny a question in the 1st round. For the 2nd, they played a game (typically on the NES) for 2:02, or randomly for 1:41. Whoever got the highest score, or farthest would proceed to round 3. The 3rd round between the two surviving contestants was video game trivia where they used pizzas to track points. Round 4 had them play a game for 1:01 to see who would get the higher score, with a question as a tie breaker. The winner wore a velcro vest and helment, running for 41 seconds sticking games to themselves. I can’t tell you how badly I wanted to go on that show.
Video Power… and I thought Super Mario Bros. Super Show was bad.
Though I think I’m the only one, does anyone else remember Video Power? Anyone? Comment below, on Facebook, or Twitter! If you enjoyed this post, please share!
“My show is kickin’, with maximum hype!”