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Watching Video Games

While I enjoy playing games across many different genres, I also enjoy watching other people make content related to video games. It’s an odd thing when you break it down; enjoying people playing video games, a medium that itself is interactive. Yet, I do enjoy taking a break every now and again and just enjoying different content. I enjoy a mix of different styles, from the more serious reviews, to the light-hearted ones, and even a bit of streaming. I’m not massive into Twitch (I don’t have it on my phone) and I prefer to watch pre-recorded content. Even though I watch speed-run. I never watch them live. I’ll often watch them after they’ve finished. I like to have these videos on in the background when I’m working or doing housework but I also like to sit down and watch a video every now and again on my television or phone. It’s nice to get someone else’s perspective on a game, uncover secrets I never knew about, or find hidden gems in a consoles library that I may enjoy. As a result, I’ve found some classics such as The Guardian Legend, Holy Diver, Wild Arms and Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon. Below are some of my favourite gaming channels to watch. Some are large channels that are well known, others are smaller ones with great content. Hopefully you’ll find something for you.

Cinemassacre – Angry Video Game Nerd

Let’s get the juggernaut out of the way. Perhaps one of my favourite content creators is James Rolfe. His Angry Video Game Nerd series is well known but he also has great content in the form of Board James and You Know What’s BS?! Personally, the AVGN series is my favourite of these. It takes a satirical look at some of the worst games across several retro consoles. Originally the Angry Nintendo Nerd, it focused heavily on NES games but has branched out to include Mega Drive, PlayStation and even Xbox 360 games. James takes a juvenile yet hilarious approach to reviewing games, full of all sorts of swear words (even one he created himself). The series has been going for over 15 years, with over 190 videos. While taking a funny approach, the series is well produced, with plenty of guest stars over the years. It also is well written, with many clever critiques that never really feel like petty jives. The reviews come in several different types, from the incredibly complex ones like R.O.B. the Robot to the wonderfully simple ones like Castlevania. All are equally creative and funny. I’d recommend watching the Nerd if you haven’t already.

SteadySphere – Pixel Empire Reviews

SteadySphere is one of the smaller channels on this list, which is a shame because Shane’s content is wonderful. Shane takes a much straighter tone with his reviews, analysing all aspects of a game. Through his reviews, you’ll get a much more rounded picture of a game, from the graphics to the controls and any issues that you may encounter. I’ve always felt that Shane’s reviews were fair, never being nit-picky and always looking for positives in negative reviews and any flaws in positive reviews. To date, Shane has reviewed 173 games across a multitude of systems. He’ll release a new review every week, often showing a roadmap for the month. Shane even has special themed months such as Batman Month, Sega Month or Sony September. These reviews are well produced, even containing small facts about the game or the developer. One thing that helps SteadySphere stand out is his level of interactivity with his viewers. His review of Croc: Legend of the Gobbos was selected by his followers on Twitter but he also poses questions to his followers on several aspects affecting gaming such as “What has improved about gaming in the past 25 years?” SteadySphere’s is well worth a subscription and if you like that, you’ll love thepixelempire.net

RetroRGB & My Life in Gaming

I figured I would put these two together for this one. When I was looking for information about upgrading my retro gaming setup, I stumbled across RetroRGB and My Life in Gaming. My Life in Gaming produces a range of content, from game room setups to reviews of new Retro consoles. I fell in love with their RGB Master Class series. This helped me to understand the differences in video output styles and how to upgrade my systems to get the best video quality. It also directed me toward RetroRGB. RetroRGB is much more technical of the two, going into more detail but is still accessible. When I wanted to find out the differences in upscalers or RGB cables, I would watch these videos to give me the technical information I needed. As a result, I purchased some shielded SCART leads and an Open Source Scan Converter (OSSC). RetroRGB was also great in helping me get the OSSC set up with custom profiles for each machine to get then full benefit. I would recommend the RGB Master Class series to get you started before diving into RetroRGB if you ever want to connect your retro consoles to a modern TV.

Sean Seanson

Sean Seanson is another channel on the smaller side. Again, this is a shame. Sean focuses more on obscure PlayStation games with his Obscure & Forgotten series but also explores games that were never released outside Japan (Japan Only) as well as one off videos, such as reviewing every DC game on the system or playing Pax Corpus (yeah, I don’t know why either). His videos are on the longer side but are split up into sections, meaning you can enjoy them in junks. Often, he’ll review three or four games in a single video unless it’s a special. Both the Obscure & Forgotten and Japan Only videos make use of a Wheel to decide the games (cough, cough, Winning Streak ripoff, cough) but he has also added in a new section where viewers can add their own suggestions to the list. Despite taking a more light-hearted approach to these reviews, they are still full of information. Sean will explore every aspect of the game, from the controls to the graphics and even a heavy focus on the music (he loves Euro-Techno). Sean Seanson is well worth a view. He’s witty, informative and can’t pronounce his th’s. What more could you want?

Game Sack

Remember when I said I liked to watch videos while doing housework? Well Game Sack has been my go to for years while ironing. Their videos are about 40 minutes each, which is perfect for me (I have a lot to iron). The show used to be hosted by Dave and Joe but Dave has since left to focus on other things. Joe has carried the show well, keeping the same runtime. The videos will explore a number of different things, from the technical aspects of a console and its games, to reviewing individual games. They’ll explore things such as Stuck in Japan, Arcade Ports and even specials focusing on specific consoles and new retro accessories. The videos contain plenty of humour (especially the post credit stuff) but like the others above, have plenty of good information to go with it. One thing I do like is the production aspect of the videos. Joe has done a great job in delivering clear gameplay, quick introductions to consoles by dismantling them and managed to keep the theme and setting constant throughout. Game Sack may not be for everyone but I do enjoy having it on in the background.

Games Done Quick & RPG Limit Break

Another two-for-one entry and there’s a reason for this. Both Games Done Quick and RPG Limit Break are one of the few speedrunning channels I’ll watch. Both channels will have events where they’ll invite different speedrunners to showcase their skills while raising funds for charity. Games Done Quick has a wide array of games available, with the Awful Games Block being a personal favourite. RPG Limit Break focuses on RPGs and marathons, with the Final Fantasy relay being a fun if long watch. Both of these are channels I’ll stick on in the background as I work. It allows me to dip in and out of them every now and again. I do enjoy how each speedrunner will explain their tricks and due to it being a much more relaxed environment, will crack a few jokes (good and bad). The videos range in length, based on what game is being played, what category is being run and how broken the game is. It’s always fun to watch a speedrunner absolutely break a game and reach the end in no time at all.

Larry Bundy Jr – Fact Hunt

Like humour, quick-wit, gaming nonsense and Peter Molyneux jokes? Then Larry Bundy Jr is the YouTube channel for you. Fact Hunt, Larry’s premier series on the channel, is a weird creature to describe. Larry will explore some of the weirdest events in gaming history, such as 5 Times You Were Sold The Wrong Version of a Game or 5 Cheat Codes That TOTALLY Screwed You Over. There’s a strange mix here but its all presented incredibly well. Larry will explore that story behind these odd occurrences, often cracking a few jokes at the developer’s (or Moyneux’s) expense. Think of it as a sort of “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not” channel because some of these stories really are ludicrous.

MAZ Gaming UK

Some of you may know MAZ as the guy with the Dreamcast 2. Others as the guy I torment on Twitter. Either way, he’s a good lad. MAZ is a massive Sega fan and his channel reflects that. You’ll be greeted by a wonderful painting of Sonic and Knuckles on his wall as he loses to Jo. The channel is varied, with videos on recent pickups to being smashed by Jo in whatever game they’re playing to my favourite; The 10 Days of Mazmas! MAZ isn’t as active as the others but I’m always excited for when a new video arrives. I’d recommend giving some of his videos a view. He’s a sound lad who I wish was a little bit more active.

Heaaaps O Gamez

There’s odd and there’s Heaaaps O Gamez. From somewhere in Ireland, you’ll be treated to a live stream with its own “Booze Cam”. Heaaaps plays a variety of games, some well and some like he’s Steven Seagal (this is mostly when he needs to conserve his ammo). This is one of the few Live Streams I’ll watch as it’s a good laugh with great interaction with the viewers. It’s also full of Heaaaps getting a roasting. Don’t feel bad though, he deserves it! Heaaaps also has a range of prerecorded videos. Recently he’s shown off his new pick-ups, a set up video for the PlayStation 5 and a rant about 7/10 games. The last one made me really want to play The Godfather. Overall, Heaaaps is all about the “craic”, booze and fun interaction with his buddies. Well worth popping along to one of his Friday live streams just to hurl abuse at him.

I hope you give some of these channels a try. They might not be for everyone but I’m sure you’ll find something you’ll like. There are a lot more channels I’m subscribed to that I really like but I just wanted to talk about these ones as I really am enjoying them at the moment. What other channels would you recommend? I’m always on the lookout for new gaming channels.

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