Sunday, January 17, 2016

Grand Old LPs

When it comes to video uploads a lot of people play a lot of video games.  One could, hypothetically speaking, spend every hour of every day watching gameplay footage on websites like Twitch and Youtube, but barely scratch the surface of what's made available for viewing on a daily basis.  So, assuming you have an interest in LPs, how does one separate the wheat from the chaff?  Thumbs up rankings and view counts can help, but the fact of the matter is LPers have good runs and bad ones.  It's unavoidable, they are just people behind those mics.  Family troubles, illness, and deadliest of all - burnout, can negatively influence the quality of an LPer's videos.  Therefore, I've been growing more and more wary of recommendations when it comes to a particular individual or even specific channels.  Instead, I think it's a much better approach to go by series.  As sad as it makes me to say this, cream doesn't always rise to the top.  So to help spotlight some memorable stuff I've seen over the years here's a short list of five recommendations:

Nanosuit Ninja hasn't been very active on Youtube for awhile now, but he does have a tour-de-force series of the original Crysis.  Played from beginning to end on iron-man mode with the difficulty and graphics cranked up to the max, it's a beautiful thing to behold.  Elegant suit management, ammunition conservation, and combat skill are just some of the highlights of this LP.

Manga Minx is one of those uncommon female LPers.  The fact that she's generally pretty good makes her a rare gem indeed.  Her most popular LP is probably Amnesia: The Dark Decent, and while screaming into a mic is a bit overplayed as of late, I recommend giving the series a look-see all the same.  It's horror, which is what she does best, and unlike most shriek inducing Youtube fodder Amnesia: The Dark Decent is interesting in it's own right.  The commentary is just icing on the cake.

Giantbomb is mostly known for Quick Looks and the Bombcast, but not so many years ago they were also known for doing a thing called "Endurance Runs."  Basically, begin-to-end playthroughs of games wherein the best of the bunch is the JRPG classic Crono Trigger by the late, great Ryan Davis.  Simply put an awesome game played by an awesome person.

Marshall Dyer is definitely small time by Youtube standards, and while most of his stuff isn't especially remarkable, his Teleglitch run is a real diamond in the rough.  It serves as a quintessential example of someone who struggles, learns, and eventually overcomes what is a very unforgiving rogue-like.  The last boss battle is also a real nail-bitter that demonstrates the power of perseverance (not to mention a hefty chunk of luck).

Last up is the Accursed Farms series "Freeman's Mind."  Less of a proper LP and more of an extended joke, it took six years to complete and almost got cancelled at one point because the ownership rights got tangled up with Machinima Studios.  Production hardships aside, it's the definitive Half-Life LP in my opinion.  The post credits stinger is also one for the history books.

Anyway, those are just a few LPs that I think are worthy of remembrance.  Feel free to share any you might have in the comments section of this blog post.  I'm sure there's a lot of quality work out there that I've never seen or heard of solely because it's all far too much to be discovered by one person alone.  If we share though, then perhaps the best can seen by everyone who enjoys a good LP series.

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