I blew the interview with Adam Sessler and Morgan Webb, hosts of X-Play, which celebrates its 1000th episode this coming Monday, February 1. I had plenty of questions prepared – how long an episode takes to make, how the duo has seen the industry change over the nearly seven years since the show’s inception, their thoughts on the current state of game journalism – but I never got around to asking them because we were too busy talking about Mega Man, Lara Croft, and whether or not Too Human sucked. I thought I was going to be interviewing Important TV People, but I ended up chatting with gamers instead. I’m pretty ok with that.
Sessler, for example, was just as blown away by Deus Ex (“I just didn’t think you could do that”) and Ico (“everyone knew it was artsy, but it was fun, too”) as you were. “Those were some of those revelatory moments [in gaming],” he says.
When Webb tells you that “Tomb Raider destroyed any authenticity it had,” you know she’s not talking as some kind of elitist critic, but rather as a fan who’s sick of the franchise making promises that it can’t keep. You know, just like you.
That genuine gamer passion is a big part of why X-Play has made it to four digits’ worth of episodes. When Sessler gushes about how much he enjoyed Uncharted 2, he doesn’t pick it apart like it’s a specimen to be analyzed, he talks about how it reminds him of seeing Raiders of the Lost Ark with his dad. It’s really hard not to feel Webb’s pain at getting stuck reviewing Mega Man X for the GameCube, and when they both make fun of people for still being upset that Aeris died…well, it’s not the sort of reaction you expect from supposedly objective journalists, but rather from gamers who are tired of hearing people whine.
G4 is planning a six-hour extravaganza to pat Sessler, Webb, and the rest of the X-Play family on the back for their milestone achievement. The shindig begins at 1pm ET/PT, with a “Best of X-Play” marathon, leading into the special one-hour X-Play 1000th special at 6pm ET/PT. Highlights from the special include X-Play’s most brutal reviews, Webb’s first appearance on Tech TV’s The Screen Savers, and Sessler’s first appearance on Extended Play. (Fun facts: Russ Pitts, our intrepid EIC, was once the producer of The Screen Savers, and Sessler’s stint on Extended Play is what inspired me to start writing about videogames in the first place.)
Tune in to G4 on Monday, February 1 to check out the festivities. And congratulations to Adam, Morgan, and everyone who makes X-Play happen!