Game Crit Work Recommendations

Figured this would be worth its own thread. I’m looking for more long series or long works doing critical looks at video games, from a variety of perspectives. Historical, design, political, ect. This is a big way of how I expand my understanding of the medium, and I figured it would be a good idea to get this community to share our findings and try and expanding our views on the medium together. Can be written, video, in podcast form, or whatever else, I’ll even accept particularly good books.

I’ll toss out a few:

ThorHighHeels’ Metal Gear retrospective is still going, despite covering the vast majority of the series now, because he’s switching gears to looking at the works of other KojiPro team members or games made with their technology. Very interesting overall crit series covering the games and the history of their development in a really entertaining, anti-humor sort of way. He has a very strange editing and comedy style and tends to structure his videos to have a sort of old tacky technology theme. It’s hard to explain, but there’s some really cool bits in there, like transitioning to the NeverDead chapter by switching voices to discuss it for a different tone and establishing that tone by editing the video so it seems like the “channel” was changed to a more traditional gaming documentary, before changing back to him ending an off-screen rant about how Konami may or may not be yakuza.

Just a heads up for the MGS5 video, TW for sexual assault, as due to the subject matter of the two games covered requires bringing this up.

Triple Eye is a small channel right now that mainly covers indie games, along with some odd videos on interesting bits of history or exploratory videos on what happened to small indie projects. The channel runner is a former game journalist and does talk about his old faulty methods for understanding data and subjects and how he does so now, which is both interesting and informative.

His History in Games series, collected in a playlist on his channel, is also extremely well researched and covers real world history touched upon in games. Sadly, it’s so taxing to do he’s recently put them on hold to focus on channel growth.

B-Mask is an entertaining youtuber with a background in musicals, so he often comments on sound and music used in media, along with general thematic exploration. His Sly Retrospective series is the most significant thing to bring up for this thread, a three part look at the original trilogy that goes over how the games function in their storytelling rather than their mechanics, plus some gathered history on Sucker Punch and how they developed the series. Couldn’t possibly recommend this series more.

Would also recommend his video on how Better Call Saul uses music in its editing but that’s a whole other thing.

If you got anything, feel free to share, any medium welcome.

1 Like

ThorHighHeels is the youtuber I was going to bring up and then it was your first suggestion. I’d also recommend their video on Snatcher that kicks off his evolving series on Kojima; a) because it’s really well put-together and b) because it cements Thor as one of the best writers on Kojima’s body of work out there.

I’d also like to shout out Noah Gervais. Noah’s video editing is fairly rudimentary but anything more would detract from the thoughtful, impressionistic journey these essays take you on. I can (and have!) listened to Noah for hours on hours, and the videos keep getting looser and funnier and more personal. Here’s Noah’s recent treatise on Doom Eternal that touches on the entire mythos of the Doom series and how it has shaped the marketing identity of Doom Eternal in 2020.

https://youtu.be/EpEbbVfp2U4

2 Likes

A publication that has quickly become one of my favorites is Bullet Points Monthly. It forms as a zine, every monthly issue containing four articles covering a topic from different angles and perspectives. It’s a fantastic format, with a bunch of great writers behind it.

It’s the one journal I know of where you can get four separate views on the successes and failures of a game like Vampyr.

Minor gripe: its OSX font stack looks great with Menlo as a base, but on Windows it’ll default to Arial for most users. It’s a terrible font for reading and I wish they’d revise it.

1 Like

critical distance exists for those previously unfamiliar with it:

2 Likes