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Trashploitation – Beep: A Documentary History of Game Sound (Review)

From sound chips to the symphony!

Director – Karen Collins
Starring – Becky Allen, Yoshink Aoki, and Simon Ashby
Release Date – 2016
Rating – 3/5

I enjoy gaming.  I wouldn’t call myself a gamer but I play a considerable amount of video games.  I grew up with the original Nintendo and Sega Genesis before moving on to Playstation, PS2, Xbox, Xbox 360, and now my Xbox One.  I went through a phase where Call of Duty and Haloruled my life but I have since broke away and spent a large portion of my life on Skyrim, Fallout 3 and 4, Friday the 13th: The Game, and now working my way through the DLC for Dying Light.

I enjoy gaming culture.  I often watch gaming channels on YouTube and streaming on Twitch.  I collect some gaming memorabilia and try to attend certain conventions when I’m able.  When MVD announced the release of Beep: A Documentary History of Gaming Sound I thought it looked cool.  I reached out to them and they hooked me up with a review copy.  Thanks guys!

**Spoiler Alert**This documentary takes the viewer through the history of game sounds beginning with the turn of the century coin machines.  We then make our way through video games starting with the earliest of the consoles and arcades and make our way through modern games with orchestral scores before ending on the 8-bit revolution and Chiptunes.**Spoiler Alert**

I enjoy documentaries.  When I’m in the middle of watching and reviewing movies you can usually find me on Netflix or Hulu binge watching random documentaries.  I rarely venture into documentaries that I have an interest in.  I’ve reviewed very few horror, comic, and gaming documentaries.  In fact, this is one of the first gaming documentaries that I have actually reviewed…at least that I remember.

The interviews we get for this one range from actual musicians and programmers that worked on the games released on Atari, Nintendo, Sega, and so on.   They were able to provide so much insight to that aspect that many gamers was unaware of.  We also get interviews from presumably historians as they explain how the old coin machines made sounds to entice others to play.  The interviews had a wide range and I truly enjoyed that.

The documentary is put together in a chronological order which is something I truly enjoy.  I hate when I’m watching a documentary and it bounces from subject to subject with disregard for dates.  It is very confusing and makes the documentary feel disheveled.  I like how this one was put together.  With that being said, it feels as if the documentaries priorities are a little off.  Some of the topics in the documentary were so interesting but was barely touched upon while others were important but way too much time was spent on them.  Personally, I would have edited this one together a little differently.

Finally, I liked the way the documentary looked but it could have used a little more imagery.  The interviews are very plain and basic.  I’m accustomed to documentaries involving graphics and digital images.  Overall, Beep: A Documentary History of Game Sound is a very interesting documentary and a must for self-proclaimed gamers and gaming advocates.  It gives a rich history of a gaming topic that is rather underrated.  It is very plain and generic but that doesn’t stop you from enjoying this one.  Check it out.

Written by Blacktooth

(Staff Writer) Lover of all things horror and metal. Also likes boobs and booze.