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For years now people have been playing games, recording their efforts and posting the resulting videos online (often with a hilarious voice-over) for the entertainment of others. To many, and for the sake of this week’s Stuff to Watch, they’re known as Let’s Play videos (LPs) and share the title with the Something Awful forum of the same name.

Those who contribute videos to the ever-growing collection provide a personal touch with their choice of content and commentary, such as mocking a truly awful game or completing the hardest levels with minimal equipment.

Here I’ll be highlighting a couple of users who have produced some epic LPs over the years, as well as some hand-picked videos Crime, Corruption & Dastardly Deeds: 6 Film Noir Classics That Have It All [Stuff To Watch] Crime, Corruption & Dastardly Deeds: 6 Film Noir Classics That Have It All [Stuff To Watch] Welcome one and all to a new regular feature here at MakeUseOf, crudely titled “Stuff to Watch”. Each week I’ll be delivering a visual-dose of moving images, internet-related film-making and little known gems that are... Read More to start you off if you’re in unfamiliar territory.

The Yogscast

Lewis and Simon have been producing light-hearted audio and video podcasts The 10 Best HighDef Video Podcasts For Geeks The 10 Best HighDef Video Podcasts For Geeks Read More for a while now and have enjoyed success on both YouTube and iTunes. As well as taking quick looks at new games (much of the time those that appear in Steam sales) they also produce regular features which focus on current trends and the latest big releases.

The video above demonstrates the humor and style employed in a typical Yogscast video, and the uploads come thick and fast. The game in question here is fantasy horse simulator Secret of the Magic Crystals, and is definitely worth a watch for comedy value alone.

Minecraft 9 Online Communities To Enhance Your Minecraft Game Experience 9 Online Communities To Enhance Your Minecraft Game Experience For a long time, I was quite skeptical about purchasing the game Minecraft. Supposedly, it is a game that serves as an portal to an endless world, one in which anyone can create anything, and... Read More fans will also be right at home here as various elements of the game are covered in depth on a weekly basis.

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Link: The Yogiverse

The Freelance Astronauts

Have you ever heard of an experimental Japanese game called Seaman? It was released in 1999 for the Sega Dreamcast 8 Great Emulators to Play Modern Home Consoles on Your PC (1994-2001) 8 Great Emulators to Play Modern Home Consoles on Your PC (1994-2001) Read More and remains to this day one of the only games to use the console’s microphone attachment. Oh yeah, and the English version was voiced by Leonard Nimoy. Intrigued? Good, because now you can watch the whole spectacle unfold in front of you thanks to The Freelance Astronauts.

Other games covered in depth include classics like the original Sim City, Space Quest IV and modern marvels like Just Cause 2. Unfortunately some videos on the main site don’t work, though a quick visit to YouTube rectifies this!

YouTube Channel: SAMaxwellAdams

Chip and Ironicus

There are so many good games covered here that it’s hard to choose between them. Of the collection a couple stick out – especially 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand. In this third-person action adventure, our protagonist, 50, has had his diamond-encrusted human skull stolen and he must retrieve it – at any cost. A combination of a dodgy game and hilarious commentary that takes place over 10 separate episodes makes this one extra special!

For those of you who don’t own a PS3 but fancy gawping at a full playthrough of Metal Gear Solid 4, well they’ve covered that too. Also worth a watch is a playthrough of Sega’s terrifying frightfest Condemned (if only for the shopping mall level), especially if you’re too jumpy to usually see a scary game through to the end.

Gigarast Plays: Project I.G.I & Chaser

These two stand out for their depth and presentation, not to mention the author’s ability to take two old first person shooters and dissect them in such a way. Project I.G.I. was a fairly well-received FPS released in 2000 (I.G.I standing for… I’m going in).

This LP analyses different approaches to situations and how the game handles them, as well as some hilarious video editing that makes the original cut scenes far more entertaining than they were ever meant to be.

The other, Chaser – a fairly average FPS from 2003 – is handled similarly, and also makes for great viewing if you enjoy Gigarast’s cheeky Irish-accented approach.

Links: Project IGI, Chaser

LPArchive.org

The Let’s Play Archive is home to years of effort from Something Awful forum members and you’ll be sure to find a game you like amongst the backlog. In particular the Jurassic Park game Trespasser makes for an entertaining watch as forum member Research Indicates walks you through the game’s quirks (such as the ability to use objects in the environment as weapons) and problems (tons of bugs).

For comedy value the co-operative playthrough of Daikatana (one of the biggest flops of all time) by Proteus4994 and Suspicious is also heavily recommended.

For the very latest and currently ongoing Let’s Play videos don’t forget to check out the appropriate board on the Something Awful forums.

Links: Trespasser, Daikatana, Something Awful Forums: Let’s Play, Let’s Play at Archive.org

Conclusion

You are not alone if you enjoy watching other people play games and talking about it. There are thousands of videos available at the LP Archive just waiting to be discovered. If you have any favorites then don’t forget to share them in the comments and let us know why they’re so good.

Do you like Let’s Play videos? Any favourite authors? Leave a comment below.

  1. Dave LeClair
    September 20, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    I love watching the quick looks on GiantBomb.com. Those guys are funny as hell, and they bring like 1 billion years of experience and knowledge with them.

    • Tim Brookes
      September 20, 2011 at 5:55 pm

      Giant Bomb is indeed a great site, cheers Dave.

  2. Doorknob60
    September 20, 2011 at 1:07 am

    No mention of people like Chuggaaconroy or NintendoCapriSun? Hmmm...but yeah LPs are great :D

    • Tim Brookes
      September 20, 2011 at 11:19 am

      I've got to fit it into some sort of respectable length, but I could have kept going with this one, trust me!

  3. Jeffery Fabish
    September 19, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    I'd rather watch flies fuck. For years I've watched as society around me has gotten increasingly more boring, now we're down to the level of watching someone else have fun. The most boring culture, indeed. The end of creativity. 

    It's the same thing with sports, why would you be interested in watching someone else do something that you could be doing? "YAY! Look at him having fun!". I say, LETS NOT AND SAY WE DID. 

    • KingOGreen2 0
      September 19, 2011 at 10:52 pm

      Personally I find them informative, and funny, plus sometimes I might not be able to track down, or afford a game. Also, I'll use this as an example, Paper Mario for the N64' easily my favorite game ever, next to Ocarina of Time. I've played a played and beaten it five time, but i still enjoy watching Let's Plays of it because either funny commentary, or to see how others play.

    • Tim Brookes
      September 20, 2011 at 11:18 am

      Oh well, never mind - perhaps these types of videos are not for you. I can't help but point out your sports analogy doesn't really work by the way. I'm sure you're aware of the popularity of say, the World Cup. Sure we could all kick a ball around the park, but isn't it more fun watching someone else do it sometimes?

      The first video in this post is an example of a LP that I presumed a lot of people would find entertaining. It's a game that the target audience are unlikely to buy, and at a short 20 minutes provides a brief and funny glimpse at a indie title. 

      Full-on LPs (such as the IGI/Chaser ones above) probably have less appeal, I admit, though as KingOGreen2 0 has mentioned a lot of fans of both the games and LP videos in general find them insightful and at times hilarious.

  4. KingOGreen2 0
    September 19, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    Chuggaaconroy, HCBailly, NintendoCapriSun, Skorch82, DaveTheUsher, Batman9502

  5. HerpyDerp
    September 19, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    a good lets player is a channel called ABleedingRose on youtube

    • Aibek
      September 25, 2011 at 12:14 pm

      link?

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