The GamesMaster Connection
By Damien McFerran - 24 Jan, 2006
GamesMaster, eh? Remember that? Shit, wasn't it? But then it was the only videogames programme on TV worth watching, so you ended up tuning in anyway, didn't you? Of course you did. The only other option at the time was Bad Influence, and that featured Andy Crane! Forgone conclusion, really.
Admit it - you secretly wish they'd make another series, and save poor old Dom Diamond from producing crap like When Games Attack and appearing in tripe like Celebrity Detox. Such a legend really does deserve better.
GamesMaster is something of a guilty pleasure. The format was fatally flawed (who really wants to watch spotty teenagers playing videogames we already own?), the reviews bordered on pointless (FIFA97 scored something like 95%!) and the tips section was hopelessly out of date (GamesMaster let us in on the infamous Sonic the Hedgehog level select cheat at a time when there were tribesmen in deepest, darkest Africa untouched by civilisation that knew it off by heart). However, Mr Diamond was bloody funny. REALLY bloody funny. And of course there was the usual bunch of Mean Machines misfits to keep you entertained. And Tim Boone from C+VG. Erm...
Masquerading as 'experts' the lads gave their opinion on a range of games. This was the first time many Mean Machines fans had heard their heroes talk. It came as a terrible blow to me that Jazza didn't have the voice of Clint Eastwood.
In series one, Jaz could be seen giving commentary to several of the challenges. His comments ranged from the useful to the downright useless, and you get the impression that he wasn't quite sure if he should take the whole thing seriously or not, but at least he wasn't completely OTT like Dom Diamond was - even the slightest hint of on-screen action resulted in the young Scot erupting into a torrent of over-excited chit-chat. Thankfully this only lasted for the first two series, and by the time Diamond returned for series four (after Dexter Fletcher of Press Gang game had unsuccessfully tried to fill his boots in series three) he had transformed into the nasty, evil man we know and love today.