Bill Carlton

High Score movie review

In the same kind of movie category as The King of Kong, High Score shows us the struggle of a video game champion trying to topple the top score for Missile Command.

The full movie can be seen in hulu or just click play on the embedded video below:

Let’s talk about the film… (I’ll assume you watched the film or that you don’t care if I talk about a spoiler, in this review)

Overall Score: 8 out of 10

Although the movie is only about 50 minutes long, the movie is done with good taste and character and the gamer Bill Carlton is a good sport and has a great attitude when it comes to life and his gaming goals.

Bill Carlton

Bill Carlton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bill is a world champion at Asteroids as well as Missile Command. The movie is about his fight to try to beat the Missile Command machine as he stays up for many hours and days trying to reach and beat the top score of 80 million. The problem is that the machine that Bill bought kept crashing, resetting, or overheating and as soon as that happened, it was game over.

If you have seen The King of Kong or you know about Twin Galaxies you will understand how he videotapes every hour of gameplay to try to submit for an authentic world record. If you don’t know what Twin Galaxies is, they are the Guiness World Book of Records approved association for keeping track of all authentic records for high scores for all video games. Click here to visit the Twin Galaxies website. They are very serious about their job and in order for a score to be accepted, you must be either playing at a world tournament or you have to record yourself playing on a machine that has been authenticated as being an original, unmodified machine.

The movie brings up some good points, such as showing that in some places of the US other than drinking and drugs, video games are one of the few escapes from reality people can have. Other than that, we see a fellow gamer that does not play modern games, bringing up that his kid can wipe the floor with him on PS2 gaming, but his son is afraid to even dare challenge him in Missile Command.

Many old games, like Missile Command, take a very long amount of time in order for you get high up there as far as world class high score record breaking goes. Bill anticipated that it would take him a good 2-3 days to reach the 80 million mark. A problem though is that the machine could not take the strain of his challenge.

Bill Carlton is frustrated

Bill Carlton is frustrated

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like brought up in The King of Kong, some machines will simply have a kill screen where the game will simply crash and you will simply just keep dying, giving you a Game Over screen. Usually this is a problem of the game running out of RAM or having it’s design limit reached.

I wish the movie would have been longer and that they would have bought Bill another Missile Command machine so that he could take himself to the limit and see if he could really topple the number one score help by the now gaming-retired Victor Ali.

Bill is still in the number 10 position currently for the Twin Galaxies scoreboard, and it would be nice to see him rise in ranks. Keep it up Bill!

If you want to see what the current scoreboard looks for Missile Command, click here! Otherwise… keep on gaming!

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  • strangenautics

    I really enjoyed this one. It seemed more like a straight documentary without the hollywood drama and forced antagonism of king of kong. Not that I didnt like king of kong, there was just a different sort of charm where a man sets out to test his own stamina, and ends up consistently outlasting the machine. The ending was the most random ending ever. Also the music was amazing. I agree I wish it was longer and I hope Bill finds a machine that can keep up with him.

  • bizbot

    I’d pick Chasing Ghosts: Beyond the Arcade as the best retro gaming geek-umentary. It strikes the perfect balance between a straight factual documentary and an entertaining, compelling watch.

  • High Score came out a year before KOK. It won two audience awards at film festivals. This guy Carlton is a smooth character!!! I liked him and I liked the film, a lot. – 5 Star review.

  • @Bizbot, thanks for the recommendation. I will check it out now.

    @Doc Buff, thanks for the feedback. I will try to post more movie reviews about gaming and classic gaming as soon as time permits and I find good ones to watch.

  • Lizzy Eros

    I enjoyed this film. Not that many gamers are willing to go the distance anymore like that.