Jazz2Online talks with LazyGameReviews

7 Dec 2017 at 18:26

We have been following the YouTube star Clint “Lazy Game Reviews“ Basinger for quite a while now on YouTube. Plus with the recent GoG.com re-release of the Jazz Jackrabbit games. It was time for us to sit down and a bit with man behind LGR himself. This exclusively on Jazz2Online for you!

Hey Clint how are you doing?
I’m doing quite well, thanks for asking!

You have a pretty successful gaming & techchannel on YouTube. But how did this all start anyway?
Kind of by accident! I’ve been making videos since I was a kid with access to a VHS camcorder, but I didn’t start sharing them online until 2006 with YouTube. The first couple of years consisted of me uploading random video projects, like stop-motion animations with action figures and music video tributes to my favorite bands. But in 2008 I uploaded my first gaming-related video, a review of the Sega CD for my retro collector friends and I to take a look at. Just so happened that the Angry Video Game Nerd uploaded his to YouTube shortly after that, and my video showed up in the related results. I decided right then that I wanted to make more stuff for YouTube specifically.

You have a fascination about games such as DOOM, Duke Nukem and Jazz Jackrabbit, how much do these games impact you now?
They were all games I grew up with and were some of the first games I played, period. That resulted in a natural affinity for them, and even for games of the same time period that objectively are pretty awful, haha. But that nostalgic connection led to me making LGR, and that is now my full-time job, so the biggest impact of those classic PC games is that they’ve inadvertently helped build my career!

What’s up with all the big boxes man? Do you even have enough space for that?
Heh, I’m not sure what’s up with it except that I love collecting them. I was only able to buy so many of them when I was a young lad, and the few I did have were burned in a fire at one point, so part of the collecting stems from wanting to regain those childhood boxes. As for the space? Nope, I absolutely do not have enough space, haha. With PC game collecting, there is never enough space! However, I have a pretty substantial storage facility I keep things in these days, so that helps keep my house uncluttered.

What is your favorite weird tech in “LGR Oddware” you’ve ever seen/played with?
Pretty much anything on LGR Oddware could be chosen here, but if I had to pick one it’d be the MindDrive thought-controlled controller. It’s a little plastic doohickey that attaches to your finger and “reads your mind” so you can control MS-DOS games. It doesn’t work, not even a little bit, but the grandiose promises made by the creators and the media back when it launched are hilarious in retrospect. I had more luck playing the MindDrive by attaching the sensor to a tomato, no joke.

What are things you would like to see changed in the world of gaming in general?
Maybe it’s because I’ve been a game-focused YouTuber for so long, but I really am tired of the non-stop cynicism and nitpicking and in-fighting in regards to gaming and its culture. There’s a place for critique when it comes to the truly nonsensical practices that go on, absolutely. But then it goes overboard with the bandwagon hopping and sides being taken all the time. Especially when it comes to making reviews. No matter what I cover, if I’m “too soft” on the game then I’m accused of being being paid off to say nice things. And if I’m “too hard” on a game, then I’m just angry and bitter and unfair and biased towards whatever the competition is. Feels like there’s no winning sometimes.

You have made 2 long reviews about Jazz Jackrabbit 1 and 2. If we ever would get to see a new installment of the game, what would you like to see in the game?
I’d love to see something like Sonic Mania. The best of its 2D ancestors, mixed with a healthy dose of new ideas and improvements. I was never really on-board with Jazz 3D, since it felt like a needless change that was just copying what everyone else was doing with platformers. Guess that may be one reason is was canceled, heh.

If you would meet one of the developers of Jazz Jackrabbit, what would you say to him or her?
I’ve exchanged words with many of the developers over the years! Pretty much I just try to contain myself and keep my inner screaming fanboy at bay, haha. But yeah, whenever I meet them in person, that’ll be quite the experience. And I’ll be there with my original Jazz Jackrabbit floppy disk asking for a signature no doubt.

What is your favorite level and episode in JJ1 & JJ2? And why?
I was always the most fond of the Tubelectric levels, both in JJ1 and JJ2. As a kid, the music blew my freaking mind, and the fact that it was somewhat similar to Chemical Plant Zone from Sonic 2? That was my favorite level for that game but I didn’t have a Genesis so I rarely got to play it. But the Jazz games let me have all the speedy tubes I could hope for. I guess I just like putting fast animal mascots inside tubes?

What is your favorite Jazz Jackrabbit music track then?
No surprise, it’s Tubelectric. Close second would be Medievo! I just played the shareware episode so freaking much that those two tracks in particular stand out to me in a big way. Truthfully though, pretty much anything by Alexander Brandon is my favorite in terms of 90s PC game music. Tyrian is god-tier.

Do you visit/check the Jazz Jackrabbit community often? Ever downloaded some levels? (psst signup! We got an all new page there! ;-) )
Absolutely! I’m not as active as most since I tend to stick to the vanilla levels or just screw around with making my own in JJ2, but I’ve always been impressed with what the community has put together over the decades.

What was your first reaction when you heard that Jazz Jackrabbit would make a comeback as a digital download?
Haha, well I was actually told about it a little while before it was publicly announced, so my first reaction was “AHH I MUST RESIST THE URGE TO LEAK.” The Jazz games (and Epic Pinball) have been at the very top of my wishlist for digital re-releases for ages now, so I was more than psyched to finally see them come to GOG. And well, full disclosure I am partnered with them so one might expect me to say that, but for real I’d have been happy to see the games pop up on any digital distribution platform at all.

How come you got never really into console gaming?
I just never owned one! Growing up we always had a PC that could play games, and due to budget constraints and such there wasn’t much incentive to buy a dedicated console. That didn’t stop me from taking every chance I could to stay overnight at my friend’s house to play his though, hehe. So while I played everything from the Atari 2600 to the PS2 as the years went on, it was rarely in my home. The first console I bought for myself was the Xbox 360 in 2008, which was mainly because I couldn’t wait to play Grand Theft Auto IV.

How many (working) computers do you have? Isn’t your electric bill… like sky high?
Oh goodness, well over a hundred. Not really sure since I don’t have the room to keep more than half a dozen going at once. As for my electric bill, it’s not too bad since I don’t keep everything powered on all the time ;)

What makes you truly happy in gaming?
A well-crafted world with an engaging story. I feel like the older I get, the less I feel inclined to play games that are focused on mastering the mechanics. I would rather get lost in a narrative of some kind, possibly with a large world to explore at my leisure. As an example, Cuphead drove me crazy this year, even though I loved everything about it EXCEPT the gameplay. But something like Yakuza 0? I can get lost in a world like that for weeks. And I did.

How do you compare old games with new games?
To be honest, I don’t really compare them much! Games today are made in such a different environment than anyone could’ve ever imagined when I was a kid, with budgets larger than Hollywood movies and teams bigger than my entire high school. However, I think there’s a real similarity to many indie games today and the games I played on MS-DOS as a kid. Shareware-style releases like Jazz Jackrabbit all of a sudden make again with the current methods of distribution and audience expectations. Unfortunately it seems to be a lot harder to stand out from the crowd compared to back then.

Where do you want to go with your YouTube channel?
To infinity and beyond? Whatever that means. Basically, I just make it my goal to be consistent with my output in terms of quality and quantity, while also trying to improve at least one small thing with each new project. Where that ends, I can’t say, but infinity sounds about right at the moment!

How do you react on Net Neutrality and the recent YouTube policy changes?
It is genuinely concerning. I’ve done my part to write letters and contact my local reps, but it seems to be a losing battle up against the corporate nonsense going on. Ugh. As for YouTube, it’s been a major pain in the neck to deal with. Almost every single video of mine has been flagged as “inappropriate” for advertising since this past summer, with no explanation given. I’ve thankfully been able to get each of those rulings overturned, but it does create more headaches than I’d prefer to have.

Thank you for your time Clint, do you have any shoutouts to give?
And thanks for the questions! My shoutout goes to the fine folks at Jazz2Online for being awesome over the years. Not only have you been supportive of my videos, but you’ve also kept some of my favorite classic PC games alive and hoppin’ for longer than about anyone else. Props for that!

- ShadowGPW


Stijn on 7 Dec 2017 at 18:42

Thanks for doing this Shadow! I’ve enjoyed many of LGR’s reviews (even the one on of Jazz Jackrabbit’s Poker Broker) and it’s cool to hear him talk about his work a bit.

PT32 on 8 Dec 2017 at 06:07

It was his review of the Jazz Jackrabbit games that first introduced me to LGR. Thanks for interviewing him, and thanks LGR for being interviewed! I really enjoyed this. :-)

ShadowGPW on 8 Dec 2017 at 08:43

You are welcome, and indeed it’s a great guy! :-)

djazz on 9 Dec 2017 at 09:50

Great interview, nice to hear more from him about Jazz! I have been following LGR for years, and was very happy when he made the in-depth videos on JJ.

Primpy on 9 Dec 2017 at 19:25

That was a fine interview! I’m always glad to hear more about a person I admire :)

G@vie on 11 Dec 2017 at 16:33

Great review! Thanks for doing this!

DJVee on 13 Dec 2017 at 10:01

LGR is one of my favorite people to watch on YouTube, especially to chill out with after a long day of work. His videos on Jazz Jackrabbit are what led me to look into the series, since they looked fun! Now, I love Jazz (though I don’t play online as often as I’d love to be able to xD). Here’s hoping Epic notices the reaction to Jazz on GOG and does something new!

Slaz on 14 Dec 2017 at 14:07

Thanks again for doing this interview Shadow!

LGR’s YT is currently a rare breed of honest and non-clickbaited channels that’s actually worth subscribing to.

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