Nintendo TV: Video Power (1990)
Video Power

  • Produced by Saban Entertainment & Acclaim
  • Type: Live Action/Animated
  • Channel: Syndicated
  • Length: 30min
  • Premiere: October 1, 1990
  • Program run: 1990-1991 (1st series)
  • Episode Guide: N/A

    "Get the Power!!"

    With the NES at an all-time high in 1990, it was natural that there would be some programs to take advange of it. One such example is Video Power, a syndaicated show dedicated to showing off the latest video games, while also entertaining the younger viewers. The show had two vastly different seasons in 1990 and 1991, so I've decided to cever both year seperately. This article covers the first season, which began in October of 1990 and ran five days a week.

    Our host for this show is video-game junkie Johnnny Arcade (played by Stivi Paskoski). Every day he would skatebopard into his extremely large basement and show off some video games. There were reviews, previews, and even game tips courtesy of the Video Power Edge. Naturally NES games received most of the attention, though games for the GameBoy, Genesis, and TurboGrafx-16 were also featured. Some episodes had Johnny reporting from the Consumer Electronics Show with some big upcoming titles. The thing is whever he revewed a game, Johnny would often take on a weird persona and throw himself into each title.

    Johnny Arcade, our host with the most. Here we see Johnny previewing a wrestling game.

    The main feature of the show was a 15-minute cartoon called the Power Team. It many ways is was similar to Captain N: a group of video game heroes banding together to battle the forces of evil. The heroes (and villians) were brought from game titles by Acclaim and Williams. There's Max Force, the narcotics officer from NARC; Kuros, the sword-swinging barbarian from Wizards and Warriors; Kwirk, the tough-talking tomato from Kwirk, and Tyrone, a basketball player from Arch Rivals. Finally there's Bigfoot, the famous monster truck from Bigfoot that actually talks. Johnny Arcade, in his anmianted form, served as their leader and often helped them out via his game system. Their main nemesis was the crime boss Mr. Big and his cronies, Spike Rush and Joe Rockhead, which also hail from NARC.

    A shot of the Power Team: Kuros, Tyrone, Max Force, Kwirk... And we certainly can't forget Bigfoot.

    One of the differences is the cartoon took place in the real world, in the fictional town of Millburg. All the characters were fully aware they're video game heroes and villians, even using a lot of video game terminology, though no explanation on why they were outside the games. In most of the episodes Mr. Big came up with a villanous plan, and the Power Team managed to stop him. Mr. Big also had the Team's game paks, which serve as the gateways to the heroes' game worlds, and often tried to use them to send them back. The heroes know they can't return home until they send Mr. Big back for good. Other Acclaim villans often poped in, such as Kuros' archenemy, Malkil, and Kwirk's rival Roddy Radish.

    Mr. Big giving some orders to his cronies. The aniamted Johnny Arcade gets in on the video action.

    Despite having video games as the main focus, the show wasn't very successful. So in in the fall of 1991, the program underwent a major change for the second. It was converted into the Video Power game show we probably remember better. As for the Power Team segments, they were repackaged into a separate program and was shown during the summer of 1992. However the cartoons were heavily edited, with pieces cut out and episode parts stuck together. That didn't last long either and disappeared without a trace.
    (Click here to read about Video Power's second season.)

    Even Johnny doesn't understand all his equipment. Two Johnnys? That's too much.