The Top 10 Best Video Game Videos of 2013
It’s that time of the year again! Here are ten videos that I liked. In some kind of order. As usual, if any of the videos have been taken down, let me know and I’ll re-upload them to YouTube.
10. Dishonored – Epic Sokolov Abduction 360 No-scope
I do love a good skill demonstration video. Here’s one from the game everyone forgot about as soon as BioShock Infinite got a release date. Dishonored is the closest to a new Thief game we’ve got in recent years, and the potential for crazy tricks within it is as high as the precipices from which you’ll dangle. In this video, the player, on top of a building, has an unconscious man he’s supposed to deliver (alive) to a ferryman down below. Eschewing the normal methods, he flings the sack of flesh off the building, uses his time-freezing power, jumps off himself, quickly gets to the bottom without dying, and safely grabs the still-living body out of the air before his meter runs out so he can complete the mission.
It’s not half as fascinating as the alternative stuff you can do in Deus Ex, but it’s quite a bit better than most of today’s AAA games with their typical railroading and lack of imagination allowed. Games should have more options for breaking them wide open like this and quit trying to be four-hour movies.
9. Guns, Killing & Secrets; A Serious Sam Retrospective
I do so enjoy video game reviews that discuss the parts of the game where you actually control the game as opposed to waffling about phonemic posttextural paradigms and syncretic postnihilistic predialectic narratives and always, always feminism.
The Serious Sam series is made by some rad dudes in Croatia who wanted to form a tribute to Doom: An ultra fast paced first-person shooter with gobs of enemies, a varied arsenal where every weapon is useful, and a player character who can run faster than the bowels of an Iowa county fairgoer. True, the character of Sam himself is a take on Duke Nukem who was already a ridiculous pop culture-spewing self-parody, but if you play first-person shooters for the writing, there’s this thing for you called visual novels. Leave the rest of us alone.
The Serious Sam games were great, and this video tells you exactly why. Except that the newest one unfortunately takes too many cues from modern day cover-based shooters and makes for a too slow, too simple experience. Running around in big open spaces during fights was one of the highlights of the first couple of games, but this review gives all of them a fair examination. We need more practical reviews like this and less pseudo-intellectual drivel.
8. Computer program that learns to play classic NES games
The average gamer sees a piece of new technology and considers only what new graphics can be wrung out of it. This guy did something more creative the tools at his disposal. He starts with technical details but demonstrates his findings in a fashion that is easily understandable to any viewer. It’s quite a remarkable achievement and a clear step towards the sci-fi artificial intelligence everyone says they’re afraid of but actually want.
He can be proud when his video game playing program is controlling robots to blow up civilians in the Middle East in fifteen years.
7. A Day in the Life of DarkSydePhil
At some point the majority of Let’s Players became meme-spouting, arrogant, entitled screaming infants who ask you to like and subscribe. The creators of the Let’s Play have every right to mock the no-talent DarkSydePhil and his absolute inability to even attempt to understand the games he plays. I thought people who showed others how good they are at video games for a living were supposed to be good at video games? And not stupid assholes?
DarkSydePhil should be flipping burgers for a paycheck, not trying to be an entertainer. Then again, quantity is much more important than quality in the game world, as it is with most industries. Next up: Watch me update this site twenty times a day with stupid memes and pictures of Mario-themed wedding cakes.
6. HAUNTED INSTIGATORS [HD]
The Best Gamers USA are such a great satire of the insipid nature of video games journalism. Their efforts are intelligent and creative even as they give the appearance of being the crude and pathetic videos that they mock. This one in particular is a stab at an ineffectual plagiarist who also doubles as a ghost investigator, meaning that he has two jobs that are literally worthless.
But you don’t need to know that; click that link above and laugh at the top five skeletons in gaming, which is an idea so stupid that I’m surprised Screw Attack hasn’t covered it yet.
Heh. What kind of moron would ever have a countdown list of video game stuff?
5. ComboVid.com style exhibition v.two (TFC2k13)
Most combo videos save their best for last but this one has it right at the start. I didn’t know you could do that kind of stuff in the bonus stages of Street Fighter 2, and I got titanium implanted into my thighs so I could more closely resemble Chun Li, in order to complement the tattoos of her I have underneath my eyelids. And the Street Fighter Alpha 3 combos don’t all use V-ism!
Whoever compiles these, thank you for all your hard work. This way people looking for rad combos don’t have to fast-forward to 22:14 in Part IV of the semifinals loser’s bracket of a tournament in Morocco. Which was better than when you had to share video game videos on VHS, but still. I suck at fighting games but it’s a pleasure to see people break them open and discover their gooey secrets.
Also, please don’t have the new character in Ultra Street Fighter IV be one of the Bison dolls like you’re hinting, Capcom you idiots. That’s almost as knuckleheaded as making a new live-action Street Fighter adaptation.
4. VGCW 2013-11-05 – 07 – Iron Man Match
Watching Video Game Championship Wrestling can be like the Rocky Horror Picture Show, except with slightly fewer transvestites. Something happens on the screen and suddenly everyone in the stream chat is shouting “TROUT” or “GARBAGE DAY” in all caps like some AOL kiddie from 1996, and you the non-acolyte have no idea what the meaning of this nonsense is. But this match here (probably the best the “sport” will ever know) has everything you need to understand the appeal of this internet show: beatings, rad music, comebacks, and an incredible showstopper finish, all wrapped in a long-running storyline that is interesting but nonetheless not necessary to enjoy the video. Even if I hadn’t been watching VGCW since nearly the start, this would have had me as entranced and immovable as people responding to an IMDB troll thread.
VGCW is one of the best WWE-based AI-controlled unscripted video game character copyright-defying wrestling regularly-scheduled internet shows in existence. Perhaps… even… THE best!?!?!?
GOTY, GOTD, GOTC liek this if u cry evertime. wow just wow just wow.
2. Gabe Newell: Reflections of a Video Game Maker
It’s so refreshing to see a game developer who actually has interesting things to talk about. Someone who makes and publishes great games, runs a hugely successful business that isn’t completely evil, and is able to articulate the details of everything he does. With a speech from someone like Jonathan Blow or Ken Levine you’d get a lot of industry buzzwords, bloviating about progressiveness, and self-congratulation about the alleged new heights of video game greatness that they have achieved. Meanwhile a billionaire who can’t count to three unless it’s his third glass of butter proves that he is both vastly smarter and more humble than all of the arthouse game makers in the world.
It’s a stark and gigantic difference between the moronic artistes and the corporate shills on one side and the real people who really love playing and making games on the other. Newell talks about starting and continuing his own company to great success yet he never comes across as a braggart. Instead he takes the Bill Watterson route: He treats his employees and customers right and the end result is a better product. A shocking concept.
Now if only he’d remove all the DRM from Steam, Newell would be every bit as great as the internet says he is and more.
1. Quick Rant – Things that sucked about E3: The wrap-up.
Back in June, venerable internet tough guy Maddox was just about the only person on the internet with the sense to point out that we shouldn’t adore Sony just because Microsoft is evil. Have people forgotten Lik-Sang, PSN getting hacked, Bleem, proprietary formats, hard-to-program-for consoles, bad customer service, astroturfing, more astroturfing, PlayStations 1-3 having serious overheating problems, the hilariously awful 2006 E3 conference, share buttons, boomerang controllers, and “Crazy” Ken Kutaragi and his barrel of lies? Was “being slightly less worse than the creators of Windows ME” really a good reason to lavish praise upon Sony?
No, I will not join the endless line to anoint Sony’s feet solely because they whispered sweet nothings in the consumer’s ear before raping them and making them say they like it. They are still as corrupt and slimy as any politician. If Microsoft’s E3 performance was “Just the tip, it won’t hurt” then Sony’s was a repulsive pickup artist who says “I’m not like that, baby” as he’s fondling your genitals in public. If it takes an internet superstar that most people consider a has-been to reveal this obvious fact, then we gamers are even dumber than I thought.
Skyrim Mod: Thomas The Train!
You will never equal the Macho Man Skyrim Mod. Just drink the nearest vial of ebola, please.