Directed by: Rob McCallum
Starring: Jay Bartlett
Watch it here
One man. 30 days, 678 games. No online purchases. It’s the premise that launched a film over 10,000 miles in the making and showcases the adventure of video game rock star, Jay Bartlett, a fanatic collector in pursuit of his dream to own a complete official North American NES library. Along the way, filmmaker Rob McCallum examines the enduring legacy of the NES and Nintendo while talking to the enthusiastic community of retro gamers and game collectors.
Jay Bartlett is a man who loves few things; top of these things is Star Wars, Rock N’ Roll and video games. And he has set himself an almost impossible task… to acquire all of Nintendo’s 678 games in 30 days. Yes, really.
Now, he has a number of the games already… but he has to start from zero. And he can’t use ebay or any online sources; this is a back to basics, old skool, feet on the ground task. Find shops and collectors, track down the games and do the impossible. It touchs upon the plight of the collector, walking from shop to shop, in search of that one hard to find item and the joy of acquiring it at last. With me it was action figures, but I recognise the fire in the heart.
And it’s quite a watch.
As the task starts, things are very promising as Jay finds the first few stores have a good lot of the games, but after he acquires about half his quarry things soon become more interesting and a list of ‘hard to find’ games quickly raises its head. And that’s where things truly get interesting.
Along the way, Jay finds an arch-nemisis in a rival collector (hardly a moustache twirling villain, the guy seems pretty nice and is out to make things a little more complicated, but he’s not exactly the Joker) and pretty soon the task become more than just a challenge.
It becomes a quest.
Jay delves much deeper into his soul than was expected as the movie gets closer to the end and his final few games become the be all and end all. He finds himself opening up about his family history and why he is the person he has become; far from being about video games, it quickly becomes a journey of self-discovery and it’s riveting in places.
Now, obviously I don’t want to spoilt the outcome as Jay reaches highs and lows, successes and failures, money hungry collectors and decent folks, but it is a delight to watch. We feel Jay’s pains and celebrate his victory… we WANT this guy to succeed. But alas, we never quite feel he will.
Emotional, inspiring, touching and downright silly in places, Nintendo Quest touchs many of us in a place we rarely see explored on screen. It’s the passion of the collector… I’m sure there’s many of us on here reading this (I’m certainly one) and it’s nice to see the mirror held up because, you know what, it’s really not so bad.
Well done Jay, we salute you sir.
4 out of 5 Nerds