Mark Plays ‘The Room Tribute’

In The Room Tribute, I can’t believe there is a game version of this movie, but then I spend five seconds thinking about it and I STILL CAN’T BELIEVE THERE IS A VIDEO GAME VERSION OF THIS FILM. Intrigued? Then it’s time for the very first MARK PLAYS.

Look, when Maya suggested that I play through The Room Tribute on Newgrounds, the idea was so absurd and ridiculous that of course I had to do it. On top of that, I’ve been thinking about how I will write these posts. While there are definite similarities to what I’m doing on Mark Reads and Mark Watches, when it comes down to it, this site can’t really function like those two. I often won’t have “levels.” I will have far more aspects than usual to keep track of and pay attention to. There is more here besides characterization and story than there is in television or literature. Mostly, though, I wanted to give some structure to posts on Mark Plays so that y’all could have an idea of what you would expect each day. Even if the way in which I divide a game up is irregular, at least you know what sort of information I’m providing.

So, here’s what I’m thinking: for games that are leveled (NOT EXPERIENCE LEVELS), each defined level will get a post within reason. If I discover that a level takes 5 seconds to beat, I’ll probably combine that with another level just for the sake of a review. Otherwise, one level per review. For games without “levels,” such as Fallout: New Vegas or World of Warcraft, my progress throughout the game will be a DIARY. So the posts will be titled, “Mark Plays Some Game: Day One.” It’s really the only way that I can cover a game with respect to my journey through it. This is why I’m excited to get to more dense and complex games, because those that have multi-ending stories will be fun to write about. Plus, you’ll never actually know what it is I’m covering in each review or how far I’ve gotten.

As for the posts themselves, because there are so many different elements to a game that I want to be conscious of and keep track of as I make my way through it, every post will be split into the same six sections. I will address these six elements from whatever I played in that session.

Gameplay: How does it feel to play this game? What’s the point of the game? Does it feel more like an RPG? First-person? Strategy? How are the controls? Do they get easier? Are they frustrating? What about elements such as experience levels, leveling-up, upgrading weaponry? How do they factor into the game? Are they distracting, pedantic? Do they motivate me to keep playing more? This entire section will discuss/list the mechanics and logistics of the game from whatever segment of it I played.

Characters: From customization, naming, to development, what is characterization like in this game? Diverse? Offensive? Are the characters growing with the story? Or does the nature of the game allow me to have a more personal input into the story? WHICH ANIMATED CHARACTER DO I HAVE A CRUSH ON? Look, sorry, I WILL DO THIS.

Music: How does music factor into the game? Does it change? Is it distracting? Does it highlight or elevate the action?

Graphics: How does the game look? Is it realistic? Cartoonish? Repetitive? How smooth is it? Is it buggy or lagging?

Story: And my favorite part: what the hell kind of story or plot is unfolding as I play the game? I also plan to PURPOSELY POST EMBARRASSING PREDICTIONS in this section.

Highlights: There will always be things that don’t fit into this, screenshots or GIFS that I must share, or hilarious stories about how I am the worst video game player in the world. I’ll use this section to detail those.

Additionally, I’ve turned on descriptive captions so that I can provide image descriptions of ALL GIFs or screenshots that I put in posts for those who are vision impaired. BOOYAH.

Tomorrow, I’ll have a huge post about Portal, my playthrough of the original game, and my history with video games. For today, though, I’d like to jump straight into The Room Tribute.

(You can play the game on Newgrounds right here.)

Look, okay… I don’t know how to describe The Room to you in a way that fully hits on why so many people like to watch this movie. I’ll just say this: I used to live in Los Angeles, and for years, there were these giant billboards on La Brea and Fairfax in West Hollywood and Hollywood advertising this film, with Tommy Wiseau’s giant and horrifying face on it, and for some reason, they never changed. Ever. Ever. I’m pretty sure they’re STILL there. It seemed strange to me, so I never once bothered to go see it. It looked like a ridiculous vanity project. Just a month before I moved up to the Bay Area, I had a party in my loft in downtown L.A. Someone brought a DVD copy of The Room, and towards the end of the get-together, they put it on. I sat down to finally see what it was all about, and within ten minutes, all thirty people left at the party were gathered around the television, laughing and shouting at one of the most mind-boggling and terrible films to ever exist. Plots were announced with great fanfare and then never seen again. There was lots of horrible “love making.” The San Francisco “sets” were a joke. Nothing made sense, there was barely a plot thread to keep it all together, and it was one of the most entertaining times I’ve had just sitting and watching a movie.

So that’s what it is. It’s terrible, and the very essence of awfulness makes it entertaining. If twenty-nine drunk people are around you, it’s even better.

Now there’s a video game of it, and oh my god. It’s the film. SERIOUSLY.

Gameplay: Horrifically simple, repetitive, often hilarious, and basically a clicking sidescroller with a few childish games in between long bouts of dialogue. There’s a part where you have to fight Chris R. on the roof (NO, SERIOUSLY, HE’S IN THE GAME) by taunting him with naked buff Mark or Johnny calling him a chicken and doing his best Bluth chicken impression, and then the other character has to throw a football or a water bottle at him. Meanwhile, Chris R.’s weapon? A FUCKING HANDGUN. This game makes exactly the same amount of sense as the film. As in absolutely none.

And when I said the gameplay is repetitive, that’s an understatement. There’s a lot of *click* walking to the next screen. And Johnny has to shower a lot. And you see his dick? It’s really fucking weird.

Characters: Every character from the movie is in this, rendered hideously in… what, 64-bit? I don’t even know. They look incredible. Oh god, the screenshots alone that I took of this game are unbelievable.

Music: Classic video game music! Think Super Nintendo music. It’s that. I think there are only three tracks, so they do get grating after a while.

Graphics: I mean, there’s no lag, it’s actually quite colorful, and it looks like you’re on an SNES system. It’s pretty rad for such a lo-fi game.

Story: It’s the film. No, you don’t get it, it’s the plot of the film, complete with all the nonsensical tangents that are never, ever resolved. Even the BREAST CANCER LINE IS IN HERE. Don’t believe me???

Claudette saying, "Not to mention I just found out that I definitely have breast cancer."

Claudette saying, “Not to mention I just found out that I definitely have breast cancer.”

I would say that aside from the fact that you have to be a fan of the film to enjoy this game, the only real downside is that the story is so similar that it got boring after 20 minutes. I was only really playing for references to the film and to see what bits from the actual movie were used. It’s… kind of a boring game?


That being said, MY GOD THERE ARE SO MANY FUNNY MOMENTS IN THIS GAME. Here, let me share these with you:

An image of Johnny's grave with a ridiculous statue of him sitting atop it, and he has angel wings? And somehow, the Golden Gate Bridge is behind it and THIS IS NOT GEOGRAPHICALLY POSSIBLE.

An image of Johnny’s grave with a ridiculous statue of him sitting atop it, and he has angel wings? And somehow, the Golden Gate Bridge is behind it and THIS IS NOT GEOGRAPHICALLY POSSIBLE.


A horrifically pixelated Johnny.

A horrifically pixelated Johnny.

OH MY GOD, someone make this their IntenseDebate icon.

Lisa and Johnny’s bedroom! Check out the stone cherubs on either side of the bathroom, the sweet tub, the overhead view of the closet, and the see-through curtain atop the bed.

LOOK AT THIS. I told you he was BUTT NAKED when you made him shower. You have to do this every single day.

Johnny taking a shower. He’s entirely naked, and he showers with five red candles adorning the edges of the bathtub.

It’s a smug pug. Really, that’s what it is.

This pug was in the flower shop. Someone else better make this their IntenseDebate icon.

A bird’s eye view of Lisa and Johnny’s bed. The character Mark faces away from us on the bed with the couple. Johnny is naked. AGAIN.

I don’t even know why this is happening. Mark shows up during sexy times between Lisa and Johnny at one point, and he barges in and just WALKS ONTO THE BED.

A shot of Denny’s room. He sleeps in a narrow closet and his wall is adorned with photos of Lisa. Johnny’s back is to us, and he stares at the photos.

Okay, so, at one point, I go into Denny’s room and see this. At no moment during this does Johnny say, OH SHIT MY BEST FRIEND HAS A SHRINE TO MY GIRLFRIEND IN HIS CLOSET ROOM. Oh, right, his room is a closet. Literally.

Screenshot of the “Fight” menu for Mark. He can “throw football,” “glamour,” or “run.”

Spoiler alert: You can’t run. Ever.

Screenshot of the game where two characters throw a football back and forth, and on the left side of the screen, the game control is framed by a live shot from the actual movie.

This is literally the best part of the game.

Overall, this is one of the most absurd games I’ve ever played, it’ll probably be fun for ten of you, and it was really distracting playing this because I’m named Mark and my boyfriend’s name is Johnny. We are this game.

Onwards to the first Portal tomorrow!

Mark Links Stuff

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– Mark Reads is now on YouTube, and you can watch all my videos right here! 
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