No one quite knew what to expect during Nintendo’s latest Indie World Showcase, but it was definitely not videogamedunkey. After years of reviewing games, the popular (and divisive) game reviewer YouTuber appeared out of nowhere to try to sell fans one, straight from a recently thawed forest river.
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After announcing his independent publishing label Bigmode last year, Jason “videogamedunkey” Gastrow appeared on Nintendo’s Wednesday live stream to promote its first game, the puzzle Metroidvania animal pit. Hi, I’m the funny video game man Dunkey from Bigmode Publishing and I’m joined today by the creator of animal pitBilly Basso,” he said, introducing the duo in the middle of the performance by throwing a frisbee.
As Basso described his five-year journey to make the atmospheric exploration game from scratch, donkey tiptoeed over rocks in the shallows with a river in the background. “I just try to give people the experience of finding something new in a place they’ve been before,” Basso said. It worked. YouTube chat was lost and viewers on Twitter were super confused:
Dunkey is best known for video reviews of the biggest new games that lean towards comedic riffs and sight gags. His negative reviews of blockbuster releases tend to get attention. A 2022 review of the difficult open-world game sonic frontiers was especially harsh, culminating in a Metacritic review blitz campaign where both fans and detractors they waged a meme war against each other on Dunkey’s behalf. But he’s also been just as enthusiastic about the games he loves, which tends to include a lot of Nintendo’s own games. Your 2017 review super mario odyssey He called it the “ultimate collect-athon that’s equal parts comic and wonderful.”
When he launched his publishing label with Leah Gastrow, his wife, last year, said he wanted to use his years of experience creating trends and explaining why some games were bad and others good to help locate hidden gems and bring them to the rest of the world. animal pit, which began its marketing campaign on the PlayStation Blog, will be the first but probably not the last game released by its studio. Nintendo Direct viewers should probably keep an eye out for him in the future.