In the documentary “The New 8 Bit Heroes”, we see the epic tale of a childhood dream crafted into reality. Joe Granato IV the creative director, and star of the film goes through the rigorous trials of creating a new game for the original Nintendo Entertainment System based on illustrations he found from ideas he had as a child.
As I watched this movie with a group of friends it brought up nostalgic memories of playing the NES, with the group debating and discussing specific games and release dates from throughout the era. Overall the film almost had a punk rock vibe as Granato met up with old friends, new team members, and ultimate nerds to discuss his project over a beer. It didn’t matter where he was, one moment it would be in a garage, and the next at a skate park. The team learned and grew through resolving internal conflicts coinciding with the game going through its different stages of developmental hurdles. It was inspiring. It almost had me in tears during some of the more moving and even heartbreaking moments.
As far as production goes, the film did have some issues with audio levels and I did notice a few of the more scripted dramatizations. But, this is expected with any documentary. Overall, nothing took away from me enjoying a compelling story that I would recommend to anyone, including non-gamers. As a matter of fact, I’m excited to share the experience with my friends and family. Now you can enjoy it too! The New 8 Bit Heroes released on Amazon, January 1st, 2018. Sit down, grab a frosty libation, and enjoy.
The film is $2.99 to rent and $9.99 to buy on Amazon.
The Blu-ray is also available through thenew8bitheroes.com and has well over two hours of bonus material including many extended interviews, cut sequences, concept art for the game, and an entire featurette of an abandoned project.
The New 8 Bit Heroes at Pax South
This year at Pax South, Joe Granato IV will bring along The New 8 Bit Heroes documentary, but will also be putting out tools, inspired by his adventures in the film. The tools are to help develop new cartridge based NES games with zero programming required. Hardware that I myself am anxiously waiting to get my hands on at the convention.