Icons — Iconic of a Good Network?

I’ll admit that I don’t watch G4TechTV that much. Sure, if I stumble across an episode of X-Play I might stay and watch, but I can usually only stand about five minutes of Judegement Day, Filter, CinemaTech, or most of the network’s other video game shows before changing the channel in disgust.

Which is why I was pleasantly surprised today when I flipped to G4TechTV and found a three-year old episode of Icons, the channel’s video game documentary show. The episode took a look at Oddworld Inhabitants that was surprisingly thorough for a half-hour program. Through interviews, movie clips, and a sometimes-cheesy voice-over, the program summed up the company’s short history, touching on their artistic message, workplace environment, controversial move to the Xbox, and more with some decent depth and pacing. The show’s web page mentions recent episodes on topics as varied as the Apple II, Metal Gear Solid, Pitfall, Mark Cuban and Women in Gaming. Color me impressed.

I’m not sure how this program managed to fall under my radar for so long, but I’ll definitely be onthe lookout for episodes from now on. To those who might watch a bit more G4TechTV than I do — are there any other hidden gems that I’m missing? Send me a tip, or leave a comment below.

9 thoughts on “Icons — Iconic of a Good Network?

  1. I’ve had G4TechTV for a bit now, and X-Play and Icons are the only two shows I find acceptable… and Icons is the better show of the two. I saw that Apple II episode… it was a good overview of the computer’s history, but for a show about gaming icons, it really didn’t talk about the games much. (Maybe I just would have loved to see them talk about educational games.) I have only two problems with the show in general though – it’s too short, and they need more new episodes. (However, new episodes are created to coincide with the release of a new iteration of whatever they’re talking about.)

  2. X-Play and Icons are the only good shows on G4TechTv left. CinemaTech and Filter sometimes have entertaining shows, but overall I can’t recommend anything other than X-Play and Icons.

    One of the things I noticed about Icons is that they sometimes post-date a release date. I’m pretty sure for the Prince of Persia Icons episode, they said that PoP2 came out in the Winter of 2004, but I saw the episode before PoP2 was released. It makes sense because the show is designed to be viewed a couple years later and still make sense, but it seemed odd to me.

    Michael Fan

    P.S. How soon do you think G4TechTv will switch back to calling itself just G4?

  3. Sadly, Icons and the Xplay are the only shows worth watching. The Screen Savers was a good show (for the tech people) but G4 fired most of the staff, and made it a horrible show.

  4. Filter is worthless shite, and Tommy Tallarico is a tool and ruins his two shows (Judgement Day and the one preview show whose name totally escapes me), but what’s wrong with Cinematech? It’s mildly amusing to watch trailers and gameplay footage; maybe boring, but not deserving of disgust.

    -Jared Goodwin

  5. Icons was the only decent thing to come from G4. Even the TechTV programming went further downhill after the merger with G4. (X-Play was a pale imitation of Extended Play and Screensavers was already in decline before the merger.)

  6. I agree with your assessment of G4 for the most part. I’ve seen several episodes of Icons (back before they assimilated TechTV), and it is a worthwhile show. It could be even better with the right producer. Also, they don’t seem to producing very many new episodes, as a lot of the shows currently scheduled were showing when I last frequented G4 some two years ago.

    Cinematech is kind of nice sometimes. I don’t seek it out, but I’ll watch it if it’s on as I flip through. If nothing else, it provides unadulterated snippets of game play and cinematics, something no other show on the channel seems able to manage. I’ve never seen X-Play, so I’ll have to check it out.

  7. I got all excited about 6 months ago when my cable company got G4/TechTV. I spent a few days watching everything G4 had to offer, only to come away pretty jaded.

    Icons and X-Play are the only shows I watch. Icons is consistently great. Last night I saw an episode on the history of Bungie, and it was terrific. I don’t know where else you’ll see regular, in-depth interviews with the people behind the greatest games ever made.

    X-Play is a pretty good review show, provided you can put up with the obnoxious, sometimes unfunny tone. They actually do quality reviews, and they don’t pull any punches. Plus, Morgan Webb provides an appealing distraction from from Adam Sessler’s goofball antics.

    (blogging games at http://rendergaming.blogspot.com)

  8. WHile I agree that this show and XPlay are basically the only good shows left on G4TechTV, Icons has had some problems getting some facts correct. I can’t remember an exact example, but there was an episode on Tetris which I think had some figure wrong, and a couple others. Nothing too important, just a note.

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