It seems this week I have to suffer for the art, as I take a deep dive into INXS: Make My Video. I know who to blame.
In Retro Game Of The Week I pull a game from my collection and write about why it’s important or interesting. Or in some cases, badly dated and rubbish.
I honestly don’t know what became of my childhood Mega-CD stuff. You’re doing the Lord’s work. Good luck getting that one teen to wear a whipped cream bikini, which I seem to remember being the promised prize even though I never figured out the goal.
— Tim Biggs (@TimBiggs) April 21, 2023
I mean, I sort of had to, didn’t I?
INXS: Make My Video is a Mega-CD (or SegaCD if you’re American, I guess) title from 1992. 1992 was a long time ago, and it’s one of those titles that has both simultaneously aged horrifically and also, I’d argue, serves as a fine example of what developers were trying to do with the emerging CD gaming format back in the very early 90s.
There were more than just the one of these titles, too. Alongside the only one to grace my collection there’s also titles dedicated to C+C Music Factory, Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch (kids, if you don’t know, look up who Marky Mark was and prepare to have your minds blown) and, of course, Kriss Kross.
If you’re of the age I am, you just started having this play in your head, didn’t you?
Sometimes I use my powers for good. Today is not one of those days.
I want to be clear here. This isn’t a good game. It barely counts as a game as it is, because, like the other Make My Video titles, the core concept here is remixing the video clip for a selection of band songs with a variety of poorly chosen effects over grainy and terrible video.
It’s like the song title is telling me not to play it, right?
A small selection; in the case of INXS: Make My Video you’ve got Heaven Sent, Not Enough Time and Baby Don’t Cry.
And that’s all. Hope you liked just those songs off the current-if-it’s-still-1992 INXS album, because it’s all you’re going to hear, period. And indeed, endlessly.
I would upload and embed something, but, well… copyright. I might just sail by on video quality and the fact that much of what you can remix into the official clips is almost certainly public domain, but I wouldn’t be able to do so with the music.
Or, vainly search for button D: Question your life choices.
Also, I might kill someone. If you have an aversion to flashing lights, or outright epilepsy, DO NOT EVEN TRY TO PLAY THIS. It’s a flashing lights bonanza from start to finish. Or a headache inducer, although that’s for more reasons than just flashy effects patterns.
INXS: Make My Video wasn’t “fun” back when it was new, and it’s not as though I couldn’t whip up a much better video concept on my smartphone right now with considerably more ease.
To give credit where it’s due, this looks stupidly complicated.
It’s not — bear in mind it had to work with a three button Megadrive pad.
So, rubbish “game”, moving right along, not even worth writing about, right?
INXS: Make My Video is, I think, important for two reasons.
For a start, it’s a bizarre time capsule of early 90s fashion and attitudes. I can’t speak to the other Make My Music titles, but in the case of INXS, it’s set in a seedy pool bar where you’re trying to desperately impress some young ladies who seem more interested in playing pool… unless you decide you don’t want to keep on playing, at which point they encourage you to keep playing with a bizarre backflip into what’s meant to be.. I think… seductive.
If, and ONLY if, this counts as “seductive”.
It’s hard to tell, because the format limitations mean that the video quality is never particularly good. That’s what you got out of the Mega-CD back in the day, for better or worse.
Also, having lived through this exact period as a teenager who went to parties, the following description of the main game mode is absolutely, definitely, without a shadow of a doubt exactly what every party in the early 90s was like:
Or… maybe not.
There’s also absolute garbage stereotypical males in 90s fashions at play here, and a lot of terribly awkward acting. I got curious about the cast of the game, and randomly decided to look up just one of them.
OK, not totally randomly, because the manual lists the character Flo as being played by “Dorit Saver”, and that’s one hell of a name right there.
Dorit (usually credited as Dorit Sauer, fact fans) has as her last listed acting credit on IMDB as being in a Robert DeNiro movie… which sounds impressive, but she played “Escort Service Woman #3“, which doesn’t sound like it’s much of a heavy duty role.
Which is a little unfair; I suspect she was, like so many other actors just trying to pay the rent back in 1992.
You want impressive post INXS: Make My Video credits?
If IMDB is to be believed (not always reliable, of course) that’d have to go to a split tie between Michelle Clunie (Queer as Folk, lots of other roles too) and Scott Menville (The voice of Robin from Teen Titans Go, and many, many others).
But enough acting trivia.
This still shot feels like it’s begging for a caption competition.
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The other reason why I think INXS: Make My Video deserves a look is because it also shows what was being experimented with in terms of what was still a new media back in 1992. Look, it didn’t work and it’s horribly limited and all of that, but the reality in 1992 is that we were closer to Atari 2600 graphics than we wanted to admit, and the whole idea of incorporating cut scenes into video games was a pretty radical concept.
What IS that red thing? It’s probably best I don’t ask.
There were also a lot of these music-centric CD projects back then. Floating around somewhere in my collection I’ve got Sting’s “All This Time” interactive CD-ROM, and, me being me, I of course have Prince’s “Interactive”. That’s a much better use of CD media, to be clear, though it also benefitted from having actual unique music recorded by the artist (as he was then) for it.
Fun fact: For quite some time, if you wanted to hear this song, the Interactive CD-ROM was the only official way to do so. This video dates from Crystal Ball, a later album… but I digress, rather badly this time.
Development — games or otherwise — needs radical concepts from time to time, because they’re what you build from to get something better. If you’ve ever watched a mashup video of, well… anything… then there’s a line between that concept and this one. I’m a big fan of preserving video game history so that it can be both observed and played with (which is why I loathe “sealed” or “slabbed” games), but also so that we have a full picture of technology developments.
That being said, INXS: Make My Video can go right back onto my collection shelf for a good long while. I don’t really want to endlessly hear those same three songs again for quite some time.
How to play INXS: Make My Video now
Mmm… PAL version with the original Sega Ozisoft sticker. Must be worth a fortune, no?
So… here’s a mystery. I know when I bought a Mega-CD, because it was in the very late 1990s for $20 from my local K-Mart.
I’m pretty sure it must have fallen behind a warehouse shelf for a good few years only to be unearthed, but one day it was there, and so I grabbed it because it was cheap. Over time, I grabbed a few of the Mega-CD’s better titles — Final Fight, Sonic CD and so on — relatively cheap too, because at that time, who wanted Mega-CD games at all?
I have no recollection of buying INXS: Make My Video. Maybe my mind is protecting me from myself there. Somebody paid $20 for it from a K-Mart, but I’m quite sure that wasn’t me. I suspect it turned up in a Cash Converters or similar, because that’s where I got a lot of my Mega-CD games at one time.
I expected INXS: Make My Video to be on the cheap side, because these games were rubbish as “games” from day one.
But no. Completed eBay listings suggest around $80 for a full copy (including postage), though you can find them cheaper if you wanted disc only.
Is that just INXS fans deciding they want this particular bit of fan merch decades after the fact?