Space enthusiast, astrophysicist, programmer, and retired club DJ, Scott Manley, a Scotsman living in San Francisco, is one of a great number of "Let's Play" youtube video creators. Among the players of Kerbal Space Program, however, he's somewhere between rockstar and deity. Now, he is on the cusp of a new level of achievement: Faster Than Light. [more inside]
For the past three days, the world of streaming gaming has been riveted by an unlikely phenomenon: Twitch Plays Pokemon. Consisting of a live Twitch.TV chatroom hooked up to a classic Game Boy emulation of Pokémon Red, the program is set to recognize a limited number of commands and execute them in real time, allowing an audience of tens of thousands to collectively control the action as they watch. An astonishing amount of progress has been made, including the dramatic last-second defeat of a third gym leader (GIF) and the solution of a notoriously tricky puzzle on the very first attempt. But all for naught, it seems, as Team Twitch finds itself hilariously stranded on the ledges of Route 19 where, as one viewer explained, "they basically have to walk a small path for about ten spaces without anyone pushing down and jumping Red off the ledge," a grim democratic reality the dedicated subreddit /r/twitchplayspokemon has had all kinds of fun with over the last dozen ludicrous hours.
I Wanna Be The Guy is a game so hard it
borders on is outright masochism – hilarious, frustrating, glitchy masochism. One brave man, known only as Cloud8745, recorded himself playing the entire game, and documented his descent from frustration into incoherent gibbering madness. To get a feel for IWBTG, you may wish to start at the notorious Ghosts & Goblins section, which is particularly difficult, or, if you'd like a taste of its depraved sense of humor, this is among the game's funniest rooms. (The punchline comes two minutes later, but you can only truly appreciate it by watching Cloud struggle through it over and over again – generally, IWBTG gets funnier the longer you watch it be played.) If you'd like to watch the whole thing, there's [more inside]
Immercenary is a forgotten hybrid first-person shooter/RPG that was exclusive to the 3DO console. The game combined the aesthetics of Snow Crash, Lawnmower Man and LSD Dream Emulator into a massive open-world game. Gamasutra article. [more inside]
Trespasser, a hugely ambitious 1998 first-person shooter based on the Jurassic Park franchise, is widely regarded as a disappointing failure, remembered mainly for its pioneering physics system and innovative boob-tattoo-based health bar. With his bourbon-smooth voice and an encyclopedic knowledge of the game's history, bugs, and quirks, "Research Indicates" leads us on a fascinating tour through one of the buggiest games ever commercially released. [more inside]
Joe Hills is a Minecraft player from Nashville, Tennessee, who's probably best known for his Let's Play videos of adventure map designer Vechs's Super Hostile maps such as Nightmare Realm and Spellbound Caves (he was also the inspiration for Vechs's "Super Docile" map, Hills of Moo, where nothing evil happens and everything is peaceful). But lately he's embarked on a new Minecraft adventure, Minecraft Morning Musings, where he sails perpetually eastward while talking about the Dao de Jing. In each episode, he reads and discusses several translations of a chapter of the Dao. Sometimes, though, things get radical.
Let's Break Final Fantasy 6 is a delightful Let's Play of a familiar and beloved game in which an enlivened youth sets off on a long and arduous journey of playing a long and (well, somewhat) arduous game without...saving in order to... Wait. What? Where'd that airship come from and what is that moogle doing to that train? [more inside]
??? WHAT IS KUSOGE ??? From the Japanese for "shit", kuso, and "game." They're relentlessly terrible video games that in some cases have attracted a following because of their awfulness. Here are some of the most commonly recognized examples: [more inside]
Twenty years ago today, the gaming world saw the launch of a truly landmark title: Sonic the Hedgehog. Developed as a vehicle for a new Sega mascot, the fluid, vibrant, cheery-tuned wonderland swiftly became the company's flagship product, inspiring over the ensuing decades an increasingly convoluted universe of TV shows, comic books, and dozens of games on a variety of systems (all documented in this frighteningly comprehensive TVTropes portal). And while in recent years the series has turned out more and more mediocre 3D and RPG efforts, the original games remain crown jewels of the 16-bit era. So why not kick off this anniversary by replaying the titles that started it all for free in your browser: Sonic the Hedgehog (1991), Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (1992), Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (1994), Sonic & Knuckles (1994). Or click inside for music, remakes, and other fun stuff! [more inside]
A "Let's Play" is a narrated walk-through of a game. A master of the genre is Super Great Friend, and as he wraps up his rendition of the cult classic Deadly Premonition, he has announced a new website that collects his work in a single location. [more inside]
"In 2010, Deadly Premonition was a surprise hit among players searching for a deep narrative single player game, and went on to win over a dozen end of the year awards from a variety of media outlets (including Gamasutra). At GDC 2011, Deadly Premonition director Hidetaka “Swery” Suehiro, revealed his seven tactics for creating a memorable story that will inspire a strong fan reaction." Link contains spoilers, excerpt inside the thread. [more inside]
In the early to mid 90s there was a trend in video games to use newfound CD processing capabilities to make interactive movies. These were called Full Motion Video Games (wiki), and they are cataloged by the site FMV World. In addition to a blog, it also has writings about FMV games, systems that play the games, some recorded play-throughs, and a list of games from 1991 to present. [more inside]
Halfway through the third book of the Hitchhiker's Guide series, there is a throwaway reference to a doomed starship, one whose incredible splendor was matched only by the cosmic absurdity of its maiden-day annihilation. But the story didn't end there. Unbeknownst to many fans, this small piece of Adamsian lore was the inspiration for an ambitious and richly-detailed side-story: a 1998 computer adventure game called Starship Titanic. Designed by Douglas Adams himself, the game set players loose in the infamous vessel, challenging them with a maddening mystery laced with the devilish wit of the novels. The game was laden with extra content, including an in-depth strategy guide, a (mediocre) tie-in novel by Terry Jones, a whimsical First Class In-Flight Magazine, and even a pair of 3D glasses for one of the more inventive puzzles. Key to solving these puzzles was the game's groundbreaking communications system -- players interacted with the ship's robotic crew through a natural language parsing engine called SpookiTalk, whose 10,000+ lines of conversational dialogue spawned 16 hours of audio recorded by professional voice actors, including John Cleese, Terry Jones, and even Douglas Adams himself in several cameos (spoiler cameo). Want to experience the voyage for yourself? Then watch this narrated video playthrough (intro (ads) - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9? 10 11 12 13) ...or click inside for a information on how to run the game for free on Windows, Mac, and Linux (along with a bunch of other goodies!). [more inside]
Ice Pick Lodge is a game design studio renowned for its experimental narratives and its championing of loftier ideals in gaming. Its second game, The Void (link goes to Steam), was released in 2009 to critical acclaim. Quintin Smith writes about it in two articles at RockPaperShotgun, first with a review of the game, and then with a piece defending Ice Pick's use of nudity as artistic. (It's worth mentioning that Smith introduced Ice Pick Lodge to a larger audience with his brilliant three part article defending Pathologic.) Don't have the time or patience for The Void? CannibalK9 of SomethingAwful has you covered with a thorough Let's Play that covers the entire game in twenty-two lengthy videos (not counting the hour-and-forty-minutes two-video finale), expertly narrated, thoroughly examining every aspect of the game, including Easter eggs. [more inside]
The Lone Wolf 'choose your own adventure' series [previously] is considered by many to have been the best of its kind. Author Joe Dever licensed the books in 1999 to be distributed for free online. Project Aon, the organization which distributes the books has now released a dedicated client for playing Lone Wolf, automating all record keeping and randomization. Kieron Gillen, comic book writer and games journalist, writes an appreciation of the series and review of the new client. If you don't want take the time to go through it on your own, rpg.net had a 'let's play' series starting here (index here). But go play it yourself, epic fantasy adventure awaits!
Sonic the Hedgehog, mmmmm yeah baby. A walk through for Sonic 1 with one smooth mutha