I recently started watching an anime on Netflix called Hi Score Girl. It is a coming of age romantic comedy about a guy growing up during the arcade boom in the '90s. There is plenty of video game facts, references, animations, and even game footage. I still haven’t finished watching the 2 seasons available to stream but before I even finish it, I was wondering if any of you have any similar recommendations. TIA!
If you have not seen this one and enjoy retro gaming, I highly recommend this even if Anime is not your kind of thing.
I watched the first season of Hi Score Girl, and thought it was pretty fun. Mainly I just liked seeing what old arcade games and consoles would get featured next. =P It’s mostly focused on fighting games though, which were never really my thing. (I appreciate them; I forever suck at them.)
If you’re a classic Sega fan like me, I recommend giving “Sega Hard Girls” a try. Or… I guess it’s called “Hi-sCoool! SeHa Girls” maybe. But it’s a goofy low-budget CG show with very short episodes about Megadrive, Saturn, and Dreamcast reimagined as girls trying to graduate a Sega gaming school. This concept is pretty similar to Hyperdimension Neptunia, so it’s only fitting that they had a crossover game made for them (on the Vita). Saturn, best girl!
A recent animated series released on Netflix is called Glitch Techs, which has strong Saturday morning cartoon vibes. It takes place in a video game city where the most elite gamer kids are trained to battle “glitches” (basically video game enemies). It’s very much a monster of the week formula, and the kids learn lessons like teamwork and being honest etc etc. It’s all pretty harmless fluff, but there are some fun times like the episode where they’re trapped in what is clearly a Castlevania: Symphony of the Night ripoff, complete with ham-fisted opening speech from the vampire lord.
There are definitely a lot of animated shows. In terms of live-action I would recommend Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet. It is a recent workplace sitcom set in the office of an MMORPG developer. It was created by the people who made It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, and Ubisoft was also involved. Even if the show isn’t for you I would wholeheartedly recommend watching episode 5. It is a standalone episode that follows the developers of an indie survival horror game in the 90s. It is only thematically related to the rest of the show, so is more like watching a nice short movie.
I also have to recommend the Digital Estate Planning episode of Community (late season 3), where they need to play a videogame for one of them to receive their father’s inheritance. It is a lot of fun, has a great retro aesthetic, but the emotional beats might not land if you are not a fan of the show.
Late 90s sci-fi show created by Chris Carter (X-Files) about a man who is sent into a military VR game to assassinate a rogue military General who has taken control of Harsh Realm. I remember it being silly and enjoyable. It was cancelled after 9 episodes. It does star Scott Bairstow, so be warned, because that guy was accused of some pretty fucked up stuff.
Another dumb 90s vr show. It has some great 90s tech and the main character realises what they do in vr has an effect in the real world. I think they solve vr crime, but I honestly don’t remember. Unsurprisingly, it was also cancelled very quickly.
Also, I like when non-videogame related shows have videogame episodes, but the games always look terrible. Here is a screenshot of Techpocalypse, a game that the It’s Always Sunny gang get addicted to in the episode ‘Charlie Rules The World’:
You are right, there is more animated series that are related to video games. Episodes that come to mind right now are the Warcraft episode in South Park and a Simpsons episode where bart plays E-Sports. Thanks for these suggestions
Two that I can think of quite clearly are: ReBoot and VR Troopers, and while they may not be associated with any franchises or properties we may know today, when I was a kid, way back in the early 90’s, these shows were just so fantastic, especially the CGI that came from Reboot and all of the challenges that they would play to continue saving the city of Mainframe. haha
VR troopers! I had forgotten about that show. I never really watched it but I think it’s because I associated it with Power Rangers for some reason. Reboot, on the other hand, is something I watched occasionally.