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GamesMaster Host Robert Florence On Succeeding Dominik Diamond And Why Switch Is “The Greatest Console”


Listen, Rob's not messing around here. He knows his games
Pay attention, Rob’s not messing round right here. He is aware of his video games (Picture: Robert Florence)

Over the vacations we’re republishing a few of our greatest options, interviews, opinion items and speaking factors from the earlier 12 months from workers and contributors alike — articles that we really feel signify our greatest of 2021. In them you may discover our typical mixture of thoughtfulness, frivolity, retro experience, gaming nostalgia, and — after all — enthusiasm for all issues Nintendo. Take pleasure in!

As we reported only a few days in the past, Scottish comic, author, poet and self-professed “God of Video games” Robert Florence has been introduced as host of the upcoming reboot of Channel 4’s iconic GamesMaster. Alongside co-hosts Frankie Ward and Ty Logan, Robert shall be bringing us a recent new tackle the challenge-based hijinks of the ’90s basic as he steps into the footwear of fellow Scot, Dominik Diamond.

We had been fortunate sufficient to have an opportunity to take a seat down with Robert in a comfy little nook of a bar in Glasgow to talk him concerning the new present, the outdated present, what we are able to hope to count on when GamesMaster hits E4 later this yr, and some different bits and items moreover.

Nintendo Life: Hello, Robert, thanks for sitting down to talk with us. Let’s begin with the outdated GamesMaster from again within the day; had been you an enormous fan, did you catch a lot of it when it was on TV the primary time round?

Robert Florence: I used to be positively an admirer of the present. I wouldn’t say that I used to be a brilliant fan or something like that, as a result of I used to be a wee bit older I believe than the principle viewers was on the time, however I positively admired it loads. I admired what Dominik Diamond did with the format and I’ve by no means made any secret of the truth that I believe the distinctive format is just a small a part of the GamesMaster story. I actually assume that the present was constructed on what Dominik dropped at it via his character and his worldview; his talent at dealing with folks and visitors.

Now you’re presenting this newly rebooted model. How did that come about?

Principally, I received requested, I received invited to come back right down to London and I’ve by no means auditioned for something in my life. So, that was positively an enormous determination for me to determine whether or not or to not go down and audition, however then I believe it was that factor, I imply, it is GamesMaster. I simply really feel like I might have all the time regretted it if I did not go and at the very least attempt to get in there and be concerned. So I went down and met the folks and everyone appeared very nice and I had plenty of enjoyable on the day, and fortunately I received the job.

Do you assume that it is a coincidence that one other Scot is taking the reins, or do you assume you guys simply genuinely have the very best banter and video games information? Haha!

No, I do not assume it is a complete coincidence. I positively assume there’s an understanding inside the manufacturing workforce that the Scottish worldview possibly helps on a present like GamesMaster. I do assume being Scottish possibly helps… though it positively gained’t assist the viewers who’re making an attempt to know the phrases that I’m saying once I’m on the present. I believe if folks stick on the subtitles, they’ll in all probability handle to get via it.

Clearly, if it was as much as me… look, it is a good factor that the present isn’t gonna be filled with my concepts as a result of if it was, it could be a catastrophe – it could be pulled off air in a single day, in all probability

What sort of power are you hoping to convey to the present? Are we trying on the similar type of vibe because the ’90s, or have you ever received different concepts?

For me, it is an fascinating state of affairs, as a result of the whole lot I’ve ever completed on TV, I’ve both written it or had a considerable amount of management with it, and with one thing like this, I am ‘simply’ the presenter; I’m simply turning up and being put into the state of affairs. So I am trying ahead to only making an attempt to get away with stuff; I am trying ahead to moving into that place and seeing what I am allowed to do and what I can get away with, having enjoyable with the folks which might be there and simply making an attempt to make issues that wee bit chaotic. I simply need to be there and have enjoyable with this factor.

That is the factor because the presenter of the present; I believe the secret is, simply be there and make it enjoyable. And, you already know, my co-presenters on the present, Frankie Ward and Ty Logan, each of them are simply actually humorous, nice folks. We have solely simply met for the primary time just a few weeks in the past and we’re already getting on very well, laughing with one another and messing about, so I believe we’re simply going to have a extremely good time.

Additionally, it is a very high-pressure state of affairs, an enormous studio present like this; there are plenty of shifting components, there’s plenty of rights points, plenty of issues, plenty of needles that it’s worthwhile to thread to make one thing like this work. So, our job is simply to attempt to step into that house that they’ve constructed for us and attempt to have as a lot enjoyable as we probably can.

We all know you have completed slightly little bit of filming already with some extra imminent. Are you able to inform us something concerning the course of to this point, what’s been concerned, how a lot of your individual concepts you are bringing to the desk?

Clearly, if it was as much as me… look, it is a good factor that the present isn’t gonna be filled with my concepts as a result of if it was, it could be a catastrophe – it could be pulled off air in a single day, in all probability. So it is a good factor that we now have good folks concerned who perceive the way to make correctly entertaining reveals for TV. I am completely satisfied to only flip up and attempt to inject a wee little bit of my character into the deal and likewise attempt to do a great job of creating everyone really feel comfy, and stuff like that. I believe with a present like GamesMaster, the explanation why all of us play video games on the finish of the day is to have enjoyable and I believe it ought to be a enjoyable present. I believe we have actually had enjoyable making it to this point, and I am positive after we get within the studio subsequent week we’ll have much more enjoyable.

Are you able to give us any little nuggets of something that we’ll see over the three episodes that you just guys are filming simply now?

GamesMaster continues to be a challenge-based factor; it’s all the time been concerning the challenges, so we have got some fascinating stuff occurring and yeah, I’m undecided what I’m allowed to say. Haha. We’re gonna see; we’ve positively received some actually fascinating folks approaching, some very fascinating visitors, and they will be taking part in plenty of video games that individuals are very aware of.

And you already know, as a result of it is GamesMaster and it’s again for the primary time in a very long time it could actually’t be me demanding that Radiant Silvergun will get performed or have everybody taking part in some very obscure Japanese RPG like that; we have got to come back in softly and gently and attempt to win audiences again, so we’ll be taking part in plenty of well-known stuff. Mario will make an look indisputably, we’ll be easing folks in gently that approach.

Florence's latest sitcom, The Scotts, is available on BBC iPlayer now
Florence’s newest sitcom, The Scotts, is accessible on BBC iPlayer now (Picture: Robert Florence)

The main focus of GamesMaster, I believe, ought to all the time be on the challenges. I believe there’s already this notion on the market that this new present goes to be all about specializing in celebrities. That’s not what this present goes to be, I’m undecided why that has come about; that is going to be about individuals who love video games and love taking part in video games. The celeb ingredient shouldn’t be one thing that anyone ought to fear about, this isn’t going to be a factor the place celebs come on and promote themselves. There’s going to be people who find themselves into video games and love video games, simply regular punters off the road approaching, taking part in a sport of FIFA in entrance of me with me shouting some abuse at them and the GamesMaster’s huge head hovering excessive of the whole lot.

And your co-presenters, you’ve talked about them slightly already, however inform us a bit extra about them…

The co-presenters that I’ve received right here, I am so fortunate to have any person like Frankie beside me on this as a result of she’s massively revered, she is aware of a lot about video games, she is aware of a lot about eSports specifically, which is an space of gaming I’ve actually no information of, and Frankie can speak at nice size and in intricate element about these items. She will be able to describe Counter-Strike maps from reminiscence and she or he’s only a good presenter, she’s going to be stealing the present indisputably.

Ty is new to TV, he hasn’t completed that a lot stuff, however what a character he’s – individuals are going to fall in love with him the minute they see him. He’s filled with power, he loves video games… he is not like me the place he is like, you already know, decades-old, nearly at dying’s door, an historic man who’s performed one million video games and is jaded and has seen all of it earlier than. Ty’s wide-eyed and harmless, and he loves video games – and individuals are gonna love him.

I believe that individuals might need been involved that it was going to be this individual from Love Island and that individual from this or that present, but it surely’s not going to be like that

Can you inform us about any visitors which might be going to be on the present?

When it comes to visitors, as I stated, I believe that individuals might need been involved that it was going to be this individual from Love Island and that individual from this or that present, but it surely’s not going to be like that. I do not even actually know till I step into the studio on Monday who the visitors are going to be. I’ve received a wee little bit of an concept who we would have requested, however I need to preserve plenty of these items as a shock for myself; I need to be moving into that studio to shoot the present and discover out simply beforehand who’s approaching, what’s their story, what are they gonna be taking part in.

I would like that ingredient of shock, even for myself, so I believe when folks tune in they’re not gonna see some polished, overwritten undertaking that is had one million fingers touching it; I believe what they’re gonna see is a pleasant live-feeling and chaotic present the place lots of people are simply doing issues for the primary time throughout the challenges… we can’t be faking the challenges, these folks will solely get one shot at making an attempt to do it and if they do not do it they will not win the joystick. There will be no retakes, no rematches, none of that, not on this model of GamesMaster.

Do you assume the unique GamesMaster influenced something you have completed in video games over time? Is there some sort of possibly even unconscious hyperlink between it and the stuff you’ve completed like Consolevania and videoGaiden?

I believe GamesMaster is a really explicit factor; the whole lot I’ve completed in video games over time has in all probability been extra influenced by sketch present stuff, and I simply by no means imagined I might ever be concerned with something like this which is an enormous studio present, an insane huge studio format. And so no, I would not say it is influenced something we have completed. I imply, actually, it is in all probability some sort of affect within the sense that it was the very best video video games TV present of all time, and it was that approach due to Dominik Diamond – he was a comic, he was a humorous man speaking about video games and I believe that is in all probability had its personal affect. I sense the truth that folks affiliate a humorous man with a Scottish accent with one of these video video games protection now. That is in all probability one thing that is seeped into the tradition to an extent.

Let’s transfer on from GamesMaster a wee bit. How do you are feeling about gaming and video games media, basically, today? Are we in a great place proper now?

Look. I believe we’re in an ideal place, I believe there’s a lot stuff now, there are such a lot of folks on the market who’re coming from utterly totally different locations, and that’s nice. I really feel just like the gaming group is simply changing into a lot extra welcoming to folks. Again within the day, when GamesMaster was initially on TV, video video games had been nonetheless perceived as a factor that was predominantly for wee white guys, whereas now you possibly can see that gaming has turn into a really broad church with all kinds of individuals welcomed and taking their place inside it. So, I am strolling into this with my eyes broad open and I additionally assume and know I’m very lucky to be presenting this as a straight white male.

You’ve received so many alternative opinions and worldviews and totally different lived experiences from folks these days. And even inside video video games themselves, you possibly can see so many alternative tales being informed. There was a interval not too way back the place it felt like each sport was some first-person shooter with some white man, and now you see a broad spectrum of actually fascinating stuff from a broad spectrum of individuals. I believe that is the identical with issues like Twitch and YouTube, you get so many individuals having the ability to put their very own spin on what it means to be an individual that performs video video games.

So, GamesMaster as a present that is all the time been related to guys actually, with males, I believe that is one of many actual optimistic modifications we get to make… I believe what we’ll make right here is one thing that tries to higher mirror the truth that gaming is a broad church today with a large and various viewers. I believe if Frankie and Ty have any sense, they will even be making an attempt to guarantee that this straight white male who’s presenting GamesMaster this time spherical does not survive previous these first three episodes.

What video games are you taking part in on the minute, what stuff are you presently having fun with?

On the minute on the Change I am taking part in The Home in Fata Morgana, which is nice. I’m additionally taking part in Cruis‘n Blast, which I completely love. And I’m additionally taking part in Shadowverse!

And the Change basically, how do you charge it alongside different trendy consoles and when it comes to Nintendo’s earlier consoles?

This Change is the best console presently in the marketplace, and I am not simply saying that as a result of it is a Nintendo web site – I actually assume it’s

This Change is the best console presently in the marketplace, and I am not simply saying that as a result of it is a Nintendo web site – I actually assume it’s. It is the one which I exploit essentially the most, it is the one with the very best catalogue of video games. It looks like there’s nice stuff popping out on change each week, it is simply such a wealth of content material and various experiences and I simply like it. I like the very fact I can play on the go and I believe when it comes to different Nintendo consoles, I am an enormous Nintendo fan, an enormous fan of the N64, and the Change is essentially the most I’ve loved a Nintendo console for the reason that N64 I might say. I additionally love the GameCube… and the Wii. The Change is wonderful for indie stuff – it’s an indie machine.

I prefer to have bodily copies of video games – that is how outdated I’m – I must have the bodily copies of stuff, so presently I’ve a large Nintendo Change assortment; I believe I’ve received one thing developing on round 300 bodily Change video games on the minute, so yeah, a huge fan.

Favorite Change sport?

Oooft. A really tough query to reply that, what’s your favorite Change sport… as a result of there’s a lot good outdated stuff on the system as properly… possibly that is an unattainable query. Let me assume. I need to say one thing. Give me a sec. Give me a sec. It is unattainable to reply that query as a result of there’s simply a lot that I like on the Change however I do need to give a shout out to one thing that was possibly rather less well-known, a sport known as Sakuna: Of Rice and Wreck, which is only a utterly lovely sport that I believe has handed lots of people by. It was well-received when it got here out, however I believe it handed lots of people by. River Metropolis Women too, it’s top-of-the-line video games on Change. There’s simply a lot great things, it is an actual wrestle to think about something I might name my absolute favorite.

Ultimate query. In the event you can, in no explicit order, give us your three favorite Nintendo video games of all time. Good and straightforward.

Oh God. Let’s see… my favorite Nintendo video games of all time are… oh man. I must say, if we’re not counting Resident Evil 4 as a Nintendo sport, as a result of I take into account it a Nintendo sport – it launched on the GameCube, it was a GameCube unique for a wee whereas. Nevertheless, if we’re simply speaking Nintendo revealed video games, Nintendo-developed video games then okay, here is my three in no explicit order. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, F-Zero X and… Tremendous Mario Galaxy. I imply, in my head, Mario Galaxy and Mario Galaxy 2 are mixed – they’re the identical sport – Mario Galaxy 2 might be the higher sport.

A giant because of Robert Florence for taking the time to talk to us and we won’t wait to take a look at the brand new GamesMaster when it hits E4’s YouTube channel slightly later this yr! If you cannot wait till then, you possibly can see Rob in Consolevania each month.

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