Video Game High School continues to be one of the greatest things on the Internet in last week's episode. I'm always a big fan of dream sequences, having been weaned on red rooms and the dancing dwarf in Twin Peaks, and the one that opens the episode is something else.
The stress of VGHS is starting to get to our hero Brian D (Josh Blaylock), and though his dream starts off in a good way, being offered a spot on the junior varsity first person shooter team by the ever more foxy Jenny Matrix (Johanna Braddy), it quickly morphs into nightmare mode when she transforms into the Law (Brian Firenzi), who Brian publicly humiliated on national television.
Law then barfs a cat that boops Brian's nose.
Other than that, the Law is sadly absent from this episode, and it focuses more on Brian being a marked man for his quick rise to fame. His Ron and Hermione, Ted Wong (Jimmy Wong) and Ki Swan (Ellary Porterfield), set out in their own hilariously inept way to elevate their notorious friend by throwing a party called Brianpalooza, which falls flat because it's scheduled for rock o'clock and no one knows when that is. Ki eventually works out that it's 3:32 p.m.
We finally get a look at the actual classes in VGHS when the trio attends First Person Shooter 101, helmed by Ace. Not Mr. Ace, that's his father. Zachary Levi plays his role to the total hilt. His dry, brash delivery in the worst Texas drawl I have ever heard turns every line into quotable gold.
"You've already the first of Ace's rules," he tells a tardy Brian.
"I know. Be punctual," he replies.
"No, the first rule of Ace's rules is know Ace's rules. You'd have known that if you were punctual."
Despite such an inauspicious start, Brian does get to prove himself once again as an inventive mind not to be taken lightly. Jenny, Ace's TA, walks the class through a single-player campaign with efficiency and no wasted motion, finishing just under the school record. Brian whispers to Ted and Ki that he could do better, which Ki helpfully tells Jenny.
Surprisingly, Brian actually does almost pull it off through an unorthodox use of multiple grenades that threatens to eradicate the school record until a mis-thrown battle axe comes hurling back into his head. Ace expresses disappointment, but Jenny is impressed enough to invite Brian to a party later in a hilarious scene involving the impossibility of being suave when covered in custard, even when wearing sunglasses.
The series remains a near-flawless bit of guilt gamer pleasure, with characters that you come to love within seconds and slick production that tops most professional TV series. I wish we'd see a little less FPS in the game world, but I wish that in real life, too, so it's not really fair to bash the series about it. Seriously, though, how about some fantasy adventure, guys?
Video Game High School runs every Thurday on RocketJump.com. Check out our previous review.