Friday, September 12, 2008

The King of Kong:A Fistful of Quarters - A Review

The King of Kong is a documentary that brings us back to the old video game playing days. I remember in the early 80's going to arcades and playing Defender, PacMan, Centipede and all the classic video games. I din't think that they still existed these days with the home systems like Xbox 360 and PlayStation III.

The think I found most interesting about this documentary was that the defending champion and record holder of Donkey Kong, Billy Mitchell, is still lost in the 80's with that cheezy hair and beard.

So the story goes, Steve Wiebe, a laid off Boeing employee, decided that he wanted to try to beat the record score on Donkey Kong. So he set up his video camera and went to town. He broke the record and then these guys from Twin Galaxies ended up coming out to his house and tried to debunk this because of the fact that he was using a circuit board sent to him by someone they didn't think highly of.

So they asked Steve to come to New Hampshire to prove that he is truely as good as he claims to be. Weibe travels to Funspot in Laconia, NH and actually sets the record when he gets to the "Kill Screen" being the first to do this at Funspot. So as the movie portrays good old Billy Mitchell, once again does something to shoot this down. He sends in a video of him going over 1 million points, but to me the video looked suspect and since he is a Twin Galaxies dude, they accepted it and took Steve's record away that day.

The story made Billy Mitchell out to be this dude who was avoiding Steve and didn't want anything to do with this. Making him look like a big pussy to everyone watching. I guess that really wasn't the truth and that even though Billy didn't compete against Steve, he actually was friendly with him and was in contact with him.

So after many frustrating times trying to beat that record, Steve finally was able to do it in his home posting a score of 1,047,200 points. This was recognized as the world record and he finally got what he deserved. He now held the best live score and the best score video taped.

I thought it was pretty interesting to see this documentary. I hadn't though of these games in years and it was funny to still see people playing them and some nut in a referee outfit thinking he was the god of scores. Too funny! It really shows you that people can be so obsessed with some of the craziest things like old video games. It makes me want to go out and get a new Defender machine. I loved that game.

So there is always controversy when it comes to these things. The editing of the film did make it look like Billy was a tool and even though he looks lost in the 80's, I bet that he wasn't as bad as they made him out to be in editing.

The documentary was fun and worth checking out for sure. I guess that since the making of the film, Billy Mitchell has reclaimed his title scoring 1,050,200 points. Sorry Steve! Hope you get him back.

Rating 3 out of 5

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