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Video & Arcade Top 10 (Game Show)


MegaMan52

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Introduction

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In the '80s and '90s, it was actually quite common to find video game related shows. There was Pac-Man, Saturday Supercade, Super Mario Bros. Super Show, Legend of Zelda, and Captain N in the '80s, and Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Mega Man in the '90s. This continued in the late '90s/early 2000s with shows like Donkey Kong Country, Kirby: Right Back at Ya!, Sonic X, and MegaMan NT Warrior. 

Then there were the game shows. Americans were treated to video game shows such as Video Power, Nick Arcade, and GamePro (a TV show version of the magazine). Canadians, however, got their own video game show: Video & Arcade Top 10. The show ran from 1991 all the way to 2006 and was shown on YTV, and usually featured Nintendo systems from the NES to the GameCube (Game Boy games were also shown). Occasionally, PlayStation games were also featured. I watched the show a fair bit during the N64 and GameCube eras. 

The show was divided into multiple sections and wasn't strictly about video games. The main part of the show was the competition, where a few gamer's could play different games (usually two different games per episode). There was the tips and tricks section for both new and classic games. Then there was the top 10 prize wall section near the end of the show, where the winning contestants got a chance to win one of various prizes. I remember in 2004, one of the prizes was Mega Man Anniversary Collection for GameCube. There were usually/always video game prizes, but also other prizes that weren't video game related that kids could enjoy. Music and movies were also featured.

Even though I watched the show a lot, I apparently didn't record very many episodes. I found one VHS tape containing a single episode from the N64 era, and appears to be from 2000 or so. Since I'm Canadian, I guess I might as well talk about it. So that'll be the focus of this blog.

Memories of the Show 

Game Action

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The main part of the show. Nicholas Picholas was the star of the show for almost its entire run. In each episode, a few kids would play a couple different games. 

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The particular episode on the tape I have features San Francisco Rush: Extreme Racing and Ready 2 Rumble Boxing, both for N64. Other sections of the show would be shown during the action, then it would return to the competition. There were two rounds, each featuring a different game. After a round, the winning contestant would be taken to the prizes. After the first round, different contestants would play. I remember an episode that featured Mario Party on N64. Original Game Boy games would be played with the SNES's Super Game Boy, Game Boy Color games would be played with the N64's Wide Boy, and Game Boy Advance games would be played with the GameCube's Game Boy Player.

Music

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Featuring music instead of gaming, this was the only part of the show I didn't care much about. It's not that I didn't care about any music, it's just that I was watching a video game show and wanted to see video games not music videos. That's what channels like Much Music and MTV were for. They also had quiz questions.

While were on the subject of music, though, I'll mention that the shows theme song sounded like the music from Crashman's stage in Mega Man 2.

Tips and Tricks

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Not to be confused with the magazine of the same name, some tips and tricks for both new and classic games were mentioned, and footage of the game being talked about was shown. I remember Sonic Adventure 2: Battle being shown in this section. The episode on the VHS tape I have has tips and tricks for NBA Courtside 2 and Star Craft 64.

Letters

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Gamer's sent letters asking a question about how to do something in whatever game they were playing, and Nicholas would read them to the audience and viewers. Also notice the fan art.

Movies

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Movies for teens and younger kids were also shown and talked about.

Top 10 Prize Wall 

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After a round, the winning contestants would be taken to the prizes. The kids who won that day would be blindfolded and then put his or her hand into a container that had balls with numbers on them. Whichever number was shown on the ball indicated what prize they got. Most of the balls were white, but one of them was a red ball. The red ball, if pulled out, allowed the winning contestant to choose any prize he or she wanted. Every contestant was a winner, because even the losing players still got a prize. The prizes included a copy of the games being played, as well as other things like game accessories, Timex Watches, and puzzles.

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Who could forget the Pokémon craze in the late '90s/early 2000s? Even if you didn't care much about it, you couldn't escape it. 2000 was the year Pokémon The Movie 2000 was released, which I remember watching in the Theater (and got on VHS last year). And YTV, the channel that played this show, also played the Pokémon cartoon. Stores were full of Pokémon merch and apparel. Everyone was talking about Pokémon at the time.

Other Stuff

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Even Nintendo got in on the fun with these shirts.

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Ah yes KFC. It's finger lickin' good.

Conclusion

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Video & Arcade Top 10 was fun to watch. It was just one of many video game related things that Canadian gamer's liked. When Canadian kids weren't busy with school, playing video games, watching movies, browsing the Internet, or reading an issue of Nintendo Power, perhaps they were watching cartoons or maybe an episode of Video & Arcade Top 10. I know I watched the show a lot.

-MegaMan52

Edited by MegaMan52
Fixed typos and added pictures and videos

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I remember watching this on YTV when I was a kid.  It actually started in the late NES/early SNES era, and also featured Sega consoles.  Think I even saw a Jaguar on once, but don't quote me on that.  For some reason I distinctly remember seeing an episode featuring Universal Soldier.  Thanks for the nostalgia trip man!

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