Back in 2003 the BBC broadcast FightBox, a video game fighting show designed to be a replacement for Robot Wars. Contestants design their fighters and submit them to the BBC. Out of hundreds of submissions, only sixty were chosen to appear on the programme.
Yours Truly was one of those sixty… Here is my terrible tale…
So I get wind of this new TV show where you get a free game (FightBox) just for signing up. I download the game, install it and boot it up. I wasn’t thinking of the TV show at the time, just the fact I could get a free game.
The character creation section looked promising and I set about creating Idoleyez (my handle at the time), a bull headed heavyweight with horns and bad skin. I started the game and it was awful. The graphics were poor, the animation was juddery and my PC at the time had trouble running it. I subsequently deleted it and forgot it existed.
Fast forward 3 months and I get a call from Richochet, the producers of the show asking me to participate in a week. I had nothing on so I promptly agreed with the intention that I could practice all week and kick some ass. However, upon visiting the download page I found it was now a dead link and they had taken the game offline as they added the ‘contestants’ characters to the game. I chased around for a copy of the game but to no avail.
Plan B was to arrive at the studio really early and get as much practice in before the show as possible. Sadly, London traffic had other ideas and I got to the studio about an hour before the show and after paperwork and introductions I actually had around 25 minutes on the game.
Massively underprepared I entered the arena… and it was an arena. The over-enthusiastic crowd cheered and jeered behind large metal fences, a large open area took centre stage and various pods that looked like roll cages on dune buggies surrounded it.
I thought to myself that even though I couldn’t play the game I would at least play the part. The presenter Trevor Nelson introduced me and I hammed it right up. I said I was going to crush the competition and that they stood no chance… I thought I was Billy Big Balls…
It turns out that I wasn’t… Instead a girl, two years my younger Superbeast or Tactics kicked my ass and I was out of the show… I hammed up my losing speech to Lisa Snowden and slunk out of the arena to the chanting crowd yelling ‘Loser, Loser, Loser!’
Superbeast went on to win the show but I can still hear the chanting crowd… I was given a copy of the game on disc for participating but I never booted it up. Nowadays, it seems to be the hardest thing to find on Google but it will always stick with me.
I had a similar experience with the cooking show ‘Britains Best Dish’, but that is a whole other story.