The Top 10 Best Video Game Videos of 2012
I know that I spoke previously of the pointlessness of Top Whatever lists, but they bring in the traffic, so I’m gonna be a total hypocrite and present the best video game videos of 2012. That I know of. That I saw personally. I’m not omniscient, you know.
Most of these contain gratuitous swearing and misanthropy because us video gamers are incapable of understanding or relating to anything without it being presented as low-brow comedy. So consider this a trigger warning. Fart.
P.S.: Dad, if you’re reading this, you can stop right now because you’re not going to comprehend a single instant of any of these. You don’t have to humor me or my ridiculous hobby. Happy New Year.
P.S. to everyone else: If any of these links become broken due to removed videos, let me know in the comments so I can try to re-upload them to YouTube to spite the copyright gestapo. Fight the power.
10. Rhythm Heaven – Nigel Thornberry Interview
If you’re as baffled as you should be after watching that, here’s the original that it’s parodying, which should cause it to make about as much sense as the United States tax code as opposed to making as much sense as Japanese television.
I showed this video to my IRC friends and they responded with stuff like “Sir. You’re too deep in the Internet. Get out.” and “Excuse me, I think I need to go watch The Incredible Bulk now.” You know how some humor is based on the juxtaposition of something mundane with something absurd? Why not just throw two types of weird crap in a blender and see what happens? Rhythm Heaven interview parodies are one video game meme I can get behind. Nothing fancy, but entertaining and sometimes even clever. Also available in Gaben, Snoop… Lion, and Terry Crews flavors. Here’s hoping for many more.
9. Stupid Shitty Kickstarter Documentaries
I’m sorry that imbeciles on 4chan said horrible disgusting things about Anita Sarkeesian, but being insulted in exactly the sexist manner that that crusade is against still does not mean that she makes good videos. I already know that women in video games are lifeless interchangeable sex dolls designed to provide blood transfusions to the genitalia of pubescent boys and immature adults, so I fear that her comments add nothing. I too enjoy documentaries and the occasional TED Talk but that doesn’t mean that anyone who fulfills the cause du jour deserves to be showered with praise.
Giving Sarkeesian hundreds of thousands of dollars because some internet cretins made a game about beating her up is your prerogative, but it’s not going to result in better videos. A new wing to her house, maybe. You’d be better off giving your money to struggling video game developers, or even the few cobweb-ridden Kickstarters that are about giving food and clothing to poor people. Maybe the good people of Botswana should incorporate more feminist steampunk zombies into their national zeitgeist if they want to avoid starvation.
8. Retsupurae – Adults React To PewDiePie
Retsupurae is the comedy duo that invented the Let’s Play. PewDiePie is some screeching child who Let’s Plays that one Slenderman game that people can’t shut up about while overreacting to the game’s jump scares in an implausible fashion. It’s not only lazy and unfunny, but insulting to people who actually get good at playing games and commenting in order to make their video enjoyable.
This is a person who thinks “rape” is the funniest word in the English language. I don’t mean he simply makes off-color jokes about rape; PewDiePie thinks the word is inherently hilarious and wants to say it as often as possible. It’s like he looked at the guy from Detroit Metal City and actually thought he was someone worth emulating.
So Retsupurae, seeing what they have spawned, and noting that this disgraceful idiot has 3,551,525 subscribers, created a montage of his worst moments with Retsupurae fans reacting in over-the-top fashions. No one is actually killing themselves in response to PewDiePie’s horribleness, but the thought is an attractive one when presented with PewDiePie’s wacky random antics, or when considering the fact that he is making a good living off of yelling “RAPE!” while there are YouTube comedians and musicians who would love to lick at his table scraps.
PewDiePie is not only untalented and unbelievably overpaid but his success spits in the face of the silent majority of decent people on the internet. Not that I’m including myself; I’m about as friendly to people on the internet as King Henry VIII was to wives. But someone has to stand up against these creative tumors of YouTubers, even if it’s just token resistance while they rake in more money from the most absolute worthless of videos. Rock on, Retsupurae, and never stop making fun of the terrible things of the internet.
7. The Best Gamers – Fez Review
I wanted to include their Minecraft review, but it was made last year, so you’ll have to settle for this merely excellent review. Fez is a 2D platformer that was in development for five years and won all sorts of indie game awards despite not existing yet. When it was finally released, Fez ended up being very similar to a free flash game called Sky Island and far too easy besides, with infinite lives combined with instant restoration to the point of death. Since Fez earned universal critical acclaim, the now-defunct video game satirists The Best Gamers decided to ridicule the whole debacle by ridiculing it in this video, which is something I can respect even during the few times when the critical acclaim is actually warranted.
The Best Gamers are a great source of entertainment because (aside from making fun of games and gamers in general) they will give deliberately and obviously false information in order to irritate nerds who have to correct every little thing they see. So a lot of their videos present the video game equivalent of “I like the part in Babylon 5 where Captain Kirk and Starbuck blow up the Death Star.” They are experts at trolling the “people with autism” as they so tastefully call them. If you leave comments to correct their apparent mistakes, the joke is on you. You don’t have to accept the fact that Fez and Minecraft are overrated, but at least examine yourself once in awhile.
6. Zero Punctuation: Spec Ops: The Line
This video finds Yahtzee pleasantly surprised at the depth in writing of what he assumed was going to be yet another brainless military-worshiping and blatantly xenophobic first/third-person shooter. He does a good job explaining the sense of loss and distaste that Spec Ops: The Line instils in the player after they willingly go along with hundreds of murders and betrayals (normally considered par for the course in video gaming) and the harsh contrast with other games of its genre that typically reward such disgusting behavior.
This is similar to Bioshock‘s big ending twist but has the added benefit of manipulating the player into appreciating the horrors of war, which is something that actually has significance in the real world and has since apes started beating each other with bones in front of black monoliths. I’m going to be ridiculed for saying this, but that’s a great thing for art to accomplish. I haven’t even played this game and I like it. Not content to merely rant about artgames, this Spec Ops: The Line review does not neglect to talk about the actual gameplay. Since it’s a game, you know, and not a movie or other form of passive media.
I know I’m supposed to hate Yahtzee because he’s popular and mainstream but I give zero damns about that. He has plenty of flaws and the internet has pointed them out often: he admits to hating many games because of insignificant details, indulges in scatological humor far too frequently, gives tortured metaphors over the course of his rambling diatribes, and his videos have a dumb nu-metal intro because the copyright gestapo won’t let him play other music clips anymore. But Yahtzee is also one of the few reviewers who actually writes about the games he plays rather than giving 3,000 words about irrelevant personal experiences combined with bits of trivia about other games before even mentioning the game they’re supposed to be reviewing. I’m looking right at you, Action Button.
5. The Best Gamers – Mass Effect 3 Review
So nice they’re on here twice. Yes, they immediately spoil the end of the game within the first few seconds of the video, but if you’ve been paying attention to the internet, you know that gamers are angry about the crappy ending to Mass Effect 3 anyway.
The Best Gamers went on hiatus and recently reformed as Loudhouse, but they seemingly no longer do parody/troll videos. What they have isn’t bad, but their glory days are clearly past them.
4. You’re Not such a Nerd: Commodification of Nerd and Gamer Sub-culture
There has been much written about “fake nerds” (usually in the context of “fake nerd girls” because the possible presence of misogyny trumps all other discussions on internet forums) in recent months, and rightly so. Anyone who calls themselves a nerd because they watch Star Wars and play Angry Birds is definitely too young to remember the time when you could get beaten up at school for admitting to playing Dungeons & Dragons.
It’s stupid to be prideful of anything, least of all the fact that you used to belong to an oppressed minority. But it is also ridiculous that actual nerds are shamed and censored when they gripe about the trappings of their minority being adopted by the same people who used to oppress them. On a significantly smaller scale, white nerds now understand how Indians and black Americans feel. Far from living in a nerd utopia, hatred of science and anti-intellectualism are still as strong as ever, war is profitable, and fantasy and sci-fi media can only sell well if they have a stupid teen love triangle tacked on. The nerds have not taken over; the greedy scum in charge of most forms of entertainment have merely discovered that using the trappings of nerddom to increase the size of their money piles is a very good move indeed.
3. Ken Ashcorp – Touch Fluffy Tail
This song is about some obscure H-game I haven’t played because I have some semblance of dignity left. But what matters is that it’s unbelievably catchy and entertaining every second of its length. “Don’t give a damn, not an iota/Motherfucker I’m the straightest shota” is the funniest line/punchline I’ve heard in a song since “Mr. President, I don’t like you/You don’t know how to rock“.
It’s also hilarious (and damning to the infinitesimal integrity of the music industry) that some anime nerd with Pro Tools can make a song that’s significantly better than anything on the radio. It’s not quite true that the internet offers creative democracy or that it always rewards creativity (see #8), but it’s easy to imagine an alternate universe where Ken Ashcorp makes more money than whatever no-talent flavor of the month pop diva the corrupt music industry is propping up at the moment. Ken may be a furry, but he’s one of the good ones. Godspeed.
2. Gamer Entitlement
If you ask for good games or improvements to the bad parts of games, there will be a horde of people queueing up to tell you that you’re stupid, arrogant, and demanding. And if you’re complaining on Tumblr, you can also expect some social justice Nazi to tell you to check your privilege. According to many on the internet, if you don’t like Mass Effect 3‘s ending, you are selfish and undeserving of anything you get. Like the unprofitable servant in Christ’s Parable of the Talents, you should have everything taken from you as punishment for your whining.
Don’t let these jerks make you feel for one second like you’re ungrateful or childish. You do not have to accept badness or mediocrity, especially when you’ve paid for it. This video nails it: anyone who tries to squelch your justified complaints about the low quality of any particular item is more than just wrong but is an enemy of free speech who actively contributes to the dumbing down of media. Fight for better art and better entertainment. Yes, that includes the stupid site you’re reading right now; if you see me writing badly or making unsupportable arguments, you should call me out on it so I can attempt to improve. You are not lazy or unreasonable for expecting the best.
1. Skyrim Macho Man Mod
When this first appeared in January, I knew it would be the best video of the year. Its genius and superiority in all respects is so immediately apparent that I shouldn’t have to enumerate it.
Wait… you say that “this is good because it is obviously good” is not a supportable argument? Check your privilege, you ableist. You are too entitled to recognize that this video is the best of 2012. If I can’t laugh at a video of a video game dragon dressed as Macho Man Randy Savage attacking a town, the terrists have already won. Now give me PayPal donations, I’m creating a documentary about your privilege.