Extra Punctuation: Let's Talk About Let's Play

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Jordi:
I only recently watched my first LP and it was on YouTube. I was looking for advice on how to suck less in Mount and Blade when I ran across this. Unfortunately there wasn't really much advice, but the guy running it was pretty funny, so I continued to watch his videos. Link

Also, I watched some of Shamus Young's LPs which are very different in that it features four people who are often not even talking about the game, but also entertaining.

I just gotten done watching an LP for Mount and Blade: Warband titled "Bandit Edition" by calistman222 on youtube, and he's stated that his LP is inspired by jefmajor. This LP is also somewhat comedic. It's yet to be completed as he installed a mod for M&B:W before he could get enough troops to even begin to take on a lord (the Blood & Steel mod, in case you were wondering, which is an awesome mod imo as it adds a bit of realism to the game [makes the weapons better as well as the armor to counterbalance the tweaked weapon damage, which means that if you're wearing just simple clothing or less it's almost guaranteed that you'll go down in one blow] as well as sets the timeline to where gunpowder has just been discovered.) you can see a list of all of the M&B:W "Bandit Edition" here: http://www.youtube.com/user/calistman222

Like you, I had searched youtube for an LP of M&B:W, but only for advice on how to be a decent bandit (I usually play as a thief type character in a lot of games), and this was the only one that turned up any results. I am, however, glad to have watched it as it is (imo) pretty damn funny.

I've watched a few other LPs as well, mostly for The Elder Scrolls and Fallout Series (making a connection here yet?), but calistman222's LP for M&B:W have got to be my favorite thus far. ^_^

insanelich:
Ooo. Shame that one of the 50 Cent guys retired, so no more stuff from them.

... you do realize you're about to unleash a horde of fanboys like locusts upon the forum, right?

... okay, now I'm really glad the $10 gate is there.

EDIT: Also, a recommendation: Freelance Astronauts playing New Super Mario Bros Wii. Actually makes the game seem worthwhile.

No General ironicus is back for a MGS4 LP

Really good LPers can be great to listen to. I am, for example, a HUGE fan of X (davidr64yt on Youtube, probably best known for his X's Adventures in Minecraft series) because when you watch him play a game, it's not just a walkthrough. He's almost always playing it for the first time, so it's cool to see and hear him discover things (and lol at his mistakes if you've played it before). He's also incredibly funny and always has interesting things to say about everything. Also, his voice is very easy to listen to, something particularly important for an LPer.

His livestreams are also always fun, in particular because of the chat, in which everyone gives him advice that he usually doesn't notice until after the fact. And encourages him to kill everyone.

He has an extensive and awesome Minecraft series (although he rarely posts MC videos any more), and he rotates through several other games (currently Castlevania, Half-Life 2, Magicka... just started an Oblivion one... started Fallout New Vegas but had to abandon it when the bugs got overwhelming, etc.) and posts matches from some multiplayer games (League of Legends and Starcraft II mostly). Finished ones (or at least he hasn't posted videos for a while) include some WoW videos, Duke Nukem 3D, and some shorter games like Eversion. If you want to see what I think is one of his best series, X's Adventures in Minecraft, it all starts here!

Does Freeman's Mind count as an LP, btw? If so, that's definitely my favorite! :D

Therumancer:
If you play video games for a living, own (or partially own) your own business, then you really don't have much room to complain and talk about your need to cut corners (so to speak).

Playing videogames for a living I can agree with you there, despite all the writing, video editing and art you'd have to do for Zero Punctuation it's still a pretty cushy job that you'd have to be pretty ungrateful to moan about.

Owning your own business though? Even if it's doing well, you shit yourself about it every night. You wonder whether or not something is going to go horrendously wrong the next day. Unlike normal jobs, if your business goes tits up, you won't just lose a job. You'll more than likely go bankrupt.

On topic: Phoenix Wright LP's without commentary seem like piracy in a way. I got to see the stories without paying, I could pause the video to theorise my own solutions and what should be presented. The video always picking the right thing just saved me endlessly picking the wrong options in the trials, so i'm thankfully for that timesaver.

Best LP I read was a Simcity 3000 one from Something Awful, where the whole game was done as if the player (the mayor) was kidnapped and forced to build this city from the ground up, eventually residing to the fact that there was no escape, no way back home and would be forced to do it again once the city was done. Even the advisors were in on it. Added a nice. if depressing, story to a narrativeless game.#

Oh and add The Terrible Secret Of Animal Crossing to that list. Narrative added to a game via a Let's Play. And a really damn good one to boot.

I recently watched a Let's Play of System Shock 2. It had a pretty bad microphone for the first few episodes but it got better later on.

Tobuscus (or TobyGames) is the most hilarious "Lets Play" creator ever.

david64ryt is also really good. I love his Minecraft series.

And... well... Seananners? XD

there's no need to stop exposing oneself to video games just because you're more in the mood to sit passively and watch rather than play something.

Word.

I've not seen LP, but I do like the vids SeaNanners, Gunns and Spiderbite put out for COD, which is weird cause I can't play the game for shit.

Thanks for bring this stuff to my attention!

I love Lets Plays. I usually watch Helloween on Youtube (he does his lets plays for Penny Arcade forums). He does a lot of scary games, like Amnesia and Dead Space, although whenever he did the silent hill games none of them seemed frightening at all.

I'm gonna throw my 2 Euro cents in there and name drop one of my favourite let's players: OverTheGun
He is a British guy with a cockney accent and is just hilarious to listen too. Always swearing and always failing in some way (his let's plays are not called Let's successfully fail for no reason) he swears his way through the game. It's deeper then that, but he is just one of the funniest guys I have ever heard.
Here is one of my favourite let's plays of him playing the obscure game Xain'd Sleena from his youth.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOtv6XZQiHY&feature=related

You too can LP. All you need is a camcorder. Screw a tripod, just try to steady it on the pile of pizza boxes in the corner pointed vaguely in the direction of your 30 year old TV. Don't bother with a headset, either, as the mic in the $20 Canon you found at Goodwill should be enough to pick up the audio and your commentary.

Don't forget to crank the brightness up and turn on a nearby AC window unit as ambience.

And screw editing, just take whatever you've recorded and slap it up on YouTube.

From the post:

But I think the problem with YouTube LPs is that most of them seem to think LP should be about the person commentating rather than the game. They all seem to play the same titles (honestly, how many times can anyone watch Super Mario World being played), have little editing and effect desperate attempts at hilarious personas in order to attract more subscribers, the most valuable currency of YouTube. SA, I find, encourages its users to see LP more as a hobbyist's roundtable discussion about the games themselves.

Hrm, I don't know, I kinda like some of the LPs where the main attraction is the commentator's personality, like SirRonLionHeart. Of course maybe the reason I object is I've done a certain amount of that sort of thing myself...

My boyfriend and I watch either other play games all the time as a way of experiencing a game without actually having to play it ourselves. For instance, I can't do horror games, but damned if I don't find them fascinating in their own way. So while I'll never be able to sleep again if I played something like Amnesia, he can play it and tell me all about the story. I also don't like retardedly hard games, so I'm happy to just watch him play Super Meat Boy or Devil May Cry.

The games he gets to watch me play probably aren't as cool. Recently it's been a mix of Muramasa, Kirby's Epic Yarn, and Lego Batman. I've heard no complaints though.

There are two let's plays that are actually good fun. Here they are:

Two dudes with an infectious enthusiasm for explosives play a game with lots of explosions. Creative, edited and just generally well crafted: http://v.lp.prinny.co.uk/mercenaries-2

Just good writing, and a neat premise taken very very far: http://lparchive.org/Animal-Crossing/

Everything else I've seen can quite safely be ignored if you're just a lurker looking for quality :\

Very interesting, although I did wince at the comment about the Youtube LP community. I myself do LPs on there, but I treat it in a similar fashion to SA. I do it as a hobby, and because it's fun. If someone watches, hooray. If not, oh well.

I'm not a fan of LPs, but I absolutely love retsupuraes.

That's all I really wanted to say.

Very Cool indeed...I shall have to check out this new sub-genre of gaming enthusiasm. Thanks for the links and exposing this to me.

My favorite LP is by far the deadly premonition endurance run by vinny caravella and Jeff gerstmann on giantbomb.

Not sure if anyone posted it yet, but here is one of the most famous Lets Play series on the Internet. It gave us the 'Singing Nija Tank' song a few parts later. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bnaGXY0FIY

Yahtzee Croshaw:

[giant big snip]

As respected authorities on gaming as a culture (shut up, we are) we have to play all the games, I myself only being able to devote a week to each one, and even then only a few hours in the afternoon and evening, less if I want to follow the advice they keep giving in game manuals to take a fifteen minute break every hour (which nobody does.)

[emphasis is mine]

I've wondered about this for years.

For all the effort and attention that goes into games, there has to be some BIG detrimental impact to the makers of games because this isn't factored in.

- Repeated music becomes annoying faster
- Intricated woven story gets less attention...
- ...as do absurdly detailed environments
- Players simply reacting *less* biologically because they're "vegging" (a horror game doesn't make your heart races as fast, uncomfortable ass groove means you empathise less with the tragedy unfolding)

So maybe the Wiimote (& equivalents) get people up and stretching and some tiny amount of cardio and maybe thats a step forward. But for all the milestones that have been achieve and rulebooks ripped up, how is it that there has never been an attempt at pacing a game so that it follows the advice of medical professionals?

Or is that 15 minute break stuff straight from a lawyer or exec with no medical data basis and it is simply the company's way of covering their arses from lawsuits of square-eyed players. ("What do you mean you played for hours on end? Didn't you read the warnings in the manual before you playing your new game?")

In a time when horror games are laughably lacking in horror, isn't a mechanic that keeps you waiting FOR 15 MINUTES (C64 loading times! Rise from your grave!) a blunt way of building suspence? Crazier mechanisms have been done to gaming (LOSE/LOSE? Super Columbine Massacre RPG? Even Counterstrike respawn at end of the round gameplay).

I can see both sides of the game-centered/commentator-centered arguement, but it really depends on the person and the game. For example I enjoy a LPer who used to go to SA but now primarily is on youtube called Raocow even though he usualy only plays Super Mario World hacks, because he is hilarious. Then again, I am very active in the Super Mario World hacking community so that part doesn't turn me off too much either.

Also I have to say the thing I notice about LPs is, some games you see someone play and I think "dude, I just HAVE to play this!" and some games, even good ones, just watching is really all the experience I feel I will ever need. Mostly sandbox and more simulation-style style games, or ones with interesting gameplay are the former, and very story heavy games and RPGs are the later.

And I have to wonder, is it really a good idea to make a game primarily as a way of telling a story? Is there really a difference between watching and playing in most of these games? Even when the game play enforces the story in some way, does it matter if you play it or watch someone play it?

This has probably been mentioned a thousand times in this thread already, but Yahtzee did a Let's Play himself quite a while ago.

This has probably been mentioned a thousand times in this thread already, but Yahtzee did a Let's Play himself quite a while ago.

I personally quite like IskatuMesk's Youtube channel, he does Let's Plays and some other stuff as well, like vids of his modding work or Starcraft 2 commentaries.

He's quite shouty at times but can be genuinely funny whilst also giving the game an opinion from a play perspective and a quality perspective, so I found him quite entertaining to watch.

the most epic LPer is Necroscope86
he is now uploading great moded Fallout 3 LP
and his interactive X-Com streams are hillarious

EDIT: Dammit Ninjaed!

CamboCombo is my favourite LPer so far, with Chuggaconroy as a close second.

therealtj:
I'm surprised no one has mentioned DeceasedCrab yet. He's a fairly well known YouTube LPer, and among his more popular are the Chzo Mythos Let's Plays. Definitely worth checking out.

He is funny, though acting a bit conceited on his videos and being a massive jerk to his viewers.

Lightcycle:
One can't say enough about Deceased Crab (...)

also I know DC from college and he really is like that in real life too...

Care to elaborate? =/

Jamous:
Mangaminx's Channel for those who might wish to check it out: http://www.youtube.com/user/Mangaminx?blend=2&ob=1

I second that. =)

Ericb:
CamboCombo is my favourite LPer so far, with Chuggaconroy as a close second.

therealtj:
I'm surprised no one has mentioned DeceasedCrab yet. He's a fairly well known YouTube LPer, and among his more popular are the Chzo Mythos Let's Plays. Definitely worth checking out.

He is funny, though acting a bit conceited on his videos and being a massive jerk to his viewers.

Lightcycle:
One can't say enough about Deceased Crab (...)

also I know DC from college and he really is like that in real life too...

Care to elaborate? =/

Jamous:
Mangaminx's Channel for those who might wish to check it out: http://www.youtube.com/user/Mangaminx?blend=2&ob=1

I second that. =)

IT'S MR. FACE!!! D:

When LPs are done right, they are fun to watch. But a lot of the ones I end up seeing all have the same issues:

- They are heavily edited to try to make the viewer think they are God's gift to gaming and never make a mistake, even in a genre they admit they are horrible at. (some are so heavily edited they make TA runs look pristine. Worse still are the demo videos being played and the commenter making it sounds like he's playing)

- Half the dialogue is rambling about something that happened to them on [insert day] that has no relevance to the game at all. (I don't give a damn if your girlfriend dumped you last week. If I wanted to hear that, I'd look up "emo video blog #6532" for f sake)

- The commentary volume is anywhere from 3-5 times the volume of the game. (look, I know you want people to hear you instead of the game, but when I'm trying to listen to the game in a dead sound period when you have the volume at 1 decibels, I don't like getting the crap scared out of me when you talk at 60db)

- They never goddamn shut up! (It's not "listen to me talk about my life while a game video runs in the background, it's Let's Play! A commentary about the game while you play. So when you have a major plot point going on, SHUT THE HELL UP SO I CAN CATCH IT!!!)

I wonder if Yahtzee has ever seen a let's play of his own games cause theres a couple for them.

The best Lets Plays is MackAndMesh, they play scary games exclusively and Mesh is a real scardy cat. Probably the first time I've ever laughed so much seeing someone get so scared! not to mention they where the first ever to start doing Lets Plays, before youtube came along.

http://www.youtube.com/user/MackandMesh

One video of theirs in particular sort of says it all
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbAvsl405oI

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