AJ Styles, the WWE wrestler announced this week as the cover athlete for the game WWE 2K19, has an interesting game-related side project going on: He goes out hunting for classic games, filming the search and putting it on YouTube as a show called Retro Styles.
That Styles, currently the WWE champion, is into old games surely does not come as a surprise to the 1.5 million subscribers of UpUpDownDown, the popular gaming channel run by fellow wrestler Austin Creed. But the move from playing classics to actually hunting down collectibles on camera—now that’s interesting.
In the premiere episode, Styles visits his hometown game store, which recently had a big trade-in of a tub full of games that they saved for the WWE superstar’s arrival. They geek out going through the tub over obscurities like Mr. Nutz for the Super NES and The Jetsons for NES, which I guess Styles actually purchases for $135.
The whole thing plays out kind of like Pawn Stars, with the games’ cash values interspersed with little snippets of history. (I didn’t know that Splatterhouse 2 was the only Virtual Console game that got an M rating!)
Game-hunting videos in which you watch someone else go out shopping for video games are my guilty pleasure on YouTube. They range in quality and production value from highly-produced, tightly-edited shows like this all the way down to somebody wearing spy glasses to the flea market and dumping the raw footage onto YouTube. Both can be fascinating.
“One thing with me is that usually when I buy games, I don’t play ‘em,” Styles says at one point in the video. Ah—a true collector.