Cinemassacre Videos for iPad review: Beware what you wish for
I'm a huge retro console and arcade video gaming fan. There are a plethora of sites that cover that material, but one of my favorites is Cinemassacre, and the Angry Video Game Nerd (AVGN) in particular. AVGN is a saucy, foul mouthed, brilliant reviewer, whose material is always well researched and presented. However, going to the Cinemassacre website would often result in errors for me on my iPad. The videos just wouldn't play right or would disappear completely after the page finished loading. I don't know if I should blame Cinemassacre, Apple, or Adobe for this, or if there's enough blamecake to go around,
Imagine my surprise and delight when I saw Cinemassacre had a videos app available on the App Store, and that it provided universal binary support for the iPad. It was a paid app, which was also a surprise, but I figured there must be some premium content or special features in there commensurate with the $1.99 price tag.
Long story short, there wasn't.
Watch the video above for the fuller, more frustrated version, but suffice it to say I wasn't impressed. The Cinemassacre Videos app was as basic as they come. I wouldn't be surprised if it was a template generated app that just pulls a video feed and populates a table view. That's bad but not terrible on a small iPhone screen, but is terrible on the big iPad screen. It looks like the stretched out smartphone apps found on early Android tablets that Apple made fun of. Seriously. There's a reason Apple didn't just make bigger list views on iPad but made YouTube and Videos look totally different. Cinemassacre Videos is the opposite of that.
Even the table views are filled with repetitive thumbnails, making it hard to get any glance-able information. It just comes off as sloppy, which is a real shame given how great the Cinemassacre website and the actual videos are. (I only noticed later that, unlike the iPhone interface, there are no actual screenshots shown for the iPad version in the App Store -- only one, lonely splash screen.)
There's also no premium content that I could find, or extra features (besides the videos not disappearing) to recommend the app and it's $1.99 price tag over the free website. In fact, presentation wise, the free Cinemassacre website spanks the Cinemassacre Videos. Maybe the lack of ads in the app compared to the website will appeal to some, but not for me, not in this case.
Once again, the video content of Cinemassacre and of AVGN's reviews remain stellar. Somewhere, there's a great Cinemassacre app, one worthy of the site, waiting to be made. This isn't it.
I'd recommend Cinemassacre.com to any retro gaming nerd. But skip this app and stick to the website. Rather than adding to Cinemassacre and AVGN experience, it only detracts from it.