Why “Let’s RePlay” is not a thing?


#1

I watched first and, as of now, only episode of Johnny and Aoife from Eurogamer of re­playing “Life is Strange”. They don’t lean really heavily into a fact that they both played that game and “Before the Storm” (well, two episodes of) before, but they do that pretty often. And I like it! I like the idea of going in, knowing that something would mean something else later. I like how you can analyse evolution of a game mechanic, without saying “gonna be apparent later”. Etc., etc.

I kinda tired of (pretend to be) blind LPs, streams, etc., to be honest. Yeah, sure, hour or so of a “fresh” look at a game can be helpful to decide if you want to buy it, but after that it’s mostly boring. Sorry, there is a significant chance, that your “personality” not gonna carry me – there are that do, but it is a small number. (Waypointer always have something to say that barely anyone else is saying, so they are good.)

Most LPs assume that it is your first try, but why? I’m mean, why not get into an empty niche of a oversaturated market? I’m not the only one, who thinks that what Robert Yang does with his “Level With Me”, but not just for levels, but for the whole game, would be cool, right? Or what Chris Franklin and Noah Caldwell-Gervais, among others, are doing analyzing games, but, well, in real time, would be interesting? And, what’s annoying, that most LPers playing games that they played many times before anyway – just lean into that, c’mon!

It seems that “Permadeath” is more about challenge of playing a game in a specific way, rather than analyzing that game through lens of playing it before, but it can be both, right? “Side Quest” started kinda like that, but then James left and it became (mostly) blind LP. So, yeah, there are examples, but I’m surprised it’s not a thing.


#2

That would totally be cool to see more of! One LP that comes to mind is Void Burger’s double LP of Silent Hill 2, in spoiler-free and spoiler-filled versions. The former is a subtitle-commentary playthrough for people who haven’t seen or played SH2 before, and the latter is a couple Silent Hill nerds digging into the story.

I think the trend is towards blind or pseudo-blind LPs partly because a lot of the audience watches as an alternative to playing, with the LPer as an audience surrogate, and partly because analysis is actually really hard.


We Talk ‘Xenoblade,’ Our Last Minute 2017 Games And More on Waypoint Radio
#3

The majority of LP forum-style Let’s Plays are already “replay” format, as in it’s a well-played and planned run through a game the LPer is familiar with. The blind LP is mostly a Youtube thing in that when people start out trying to LP games they usually gravitate to just transferring their regular game habits to video format, which mutated into the dominant form of Lets Plays. If you look at Chip & Ironicus or Supergreatfriend for example they mix the informative aspect of explaining mechanics etc. in with having an in-depth knowledge and often showcasing smaller details or weird behaviours of the game are part of the replaying factor. One thing that comes to mind is the Spy Fiction LP where SGF plays the game normally with one character and ocassionally interrupts with footage of the other character making a complete farce of the mission.

Also don’t count out speedruns. While they’re not commentated in terms of traditionally understanding a game but more on a metafictional level of the ways in which a game can be manipulated it is still the same format of playing a game start-to-finish.


#4

I also really enjoy replays and would like to see more people brand them with a specific name. Two Best Friends’ Silent Hill LPs are some of my favorite game videos for all the insight they have into the creation and lore of the series. If the player is a good speaker, watching runs of a game with their added insight can be a fantastic way to get a full, rich experience from the game with just watching a video.

Though, usually a good content creator will announce right away in the first episode of a series whether they have played the game before or not.


#5

Analyzing is hard, sure, but most LPers I follow/followed before have enough to say about a game, they just cram it all at the end.

@Lilly Well, but C&I, and people like them, still care about spoiling something. And Ironicus is blind part of a LP. So, while, yes, they are informative, they are not what I’m talking about. I want LP that, for example, gonna go in knowing that this particular character would betray you, say it plainly, and would show how game hints at that. Or doesn’t hints at all, and it is a bad storytelling. Or whatever LPer thinks about it.

Speedrun is a different beast. Breaking a mechanic can be part of a constrictive criticism, for sure, but very rarely is. Maybe I never encountered a good speedrunner, but most of them just “look how this game is poorly made” jerks. No offense, just not my thing :­) Or very matter-of-factly about it.


#6

Amusing that you mention Chris Franklin, because he’s been a regular cast member of the Spoiler Warning LP channel for about five years, alongside other writers and critics. It’s focused on critical and absurd replays of games (usually that they liked), and is very good.

Hamish Black (Writing on Games) has recently started an LP of Mafia II on his second channel, although you probably have to be familiar with him and have played Mafia II to enjoy it: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1xxfS_HILi09yaELQdmV1A/videos


#7

Well, I said there are examples, not that I gonna list all of them :­)

I think I bounced from them for some reason tho, but I’m don’t remember why… But that’s the thing, if you don’t like some aspect of a traditional LP, then you can go and find another one, and another one, and… But in-depth full-on spoiler-y ones are rare.


#8

In my circles the people I know who do LP’s mainly do Replays through since they want to show off games. I’m the same, I don’t do blind LP’s I like to be able to talk a lot about the game, its community, development, mechanics, story, etc. I especially like to play games that are historical or historical adjacent and talk about the real history that inspired the game. I’m going through Nioh right now and practicing it so i can do an LP of it as well. Though I dunno if its cool for me to sorta plug here and post my LP’s. But if you wanna check out a place that does mostly Replays The LP Zone is a good place to check out.


#9

Of course it is! That’s you, right?


#10

Yep that’s me!

Though honestly I’m still learning there are a lot of much better LP’ers there.Every now and then there is a blind LP, the Evil Within 2 one is actually pretty fun, but otherwise yeah you’ll find Replays. Another excellent one to check out are ChipCheezum’s stuff. ChiCheezum’s Youtube he has a lot of really good LP’s of games he loves like the MGS series, Platinum Games games, and a really good LP showing off the good and bad of Watch_Dogs.


#11

Ok, let me clarify couple of things.

First, what I mean by “blind…” – maybe I should stop using that word, huh; let’s call them “fresh” – “fresh LP” is LP that presents a game how you would experience it for the first time, even if LPer themselves played it before. They would not explain rookie mistakes (why you should pick weapon A, but not weapon B, for example), but would avoid them with no more than a vague remark. But I want more in-depth, don’t fret about spoilers, LPs. Show me something interesting as it happens, while remarking about past and future implications of that. That sort of thing.

And by “not a thing” that it’s not enough of a thing. All examples, that you nice people provided, are good, but still is such a small number. Especially if you any kind of picky about it, like me. (This thread is totally selfish, of course :­) Like, no offence to C&I, but they are more about details, mechanics and spectacle of “Uncharted” games, but, say, white male entitlement of Nathan, iirc, never brought up. Basically, I want Austin, Danielle and Rob doing full in-depth LRPs.

I don’t know, maybe people tried it and it wasn’t that popular as genuine (or “genuine”, as in not at all) first reaction. Or maybe it’s just more expensive (even if you doing it for free – time is still a resource). But, there was a panel with, actually, Chip, Ironicus, VoidBurger and Geop, where, iirc, Void said, that you should present a geme in LP as you would do that for your friend, and with my friends we go very deep into spoilers all the time, minus some rare things that are just so cool to experience for the first time.


#12

Much as I like Franklin’s videos and as enjoyable as Spoiler Warning can be, for me SP’s analysis and insight, at least based on what I watched of their Mass Effect, Alan Wake, and Fallout NV LPs, too often coincide with the opinions that all gamers are “supposed” to collectively agree to have, e.g. Fallout 3 is irredeemable trash, BioWare’s writing has been bad since KOTOR, and Alan Wake is a mess. They take the piss out of the games they play quite well. And I’m not saying those opinions are incorrect. But too often LPers and streamers just regurgitate the popular stances within gaming culture. Or they mistake nitpicking for insight, a la Cinema Sins, which eh… For commentary that combines being analytical and informative in a live play, I prefer Extra Credits’ Twitch streams, whose intent is to teach and understand design. Or LoadingReadyRun’s Talking Simulator.

Now that you clarify your meaning—because, like others, I see replays of games, complete with meta commentary, by streamers and LPers all the time—I think I get you? But most people who want to do a video essay on a game’s themes or politics will just make a video essay. Trying to impose it over a live play or a playthrough could be interesting, but very difficult.

EDIT: the closest example I can think of is Brendan Keogh’s Modern Warfare Critical Let’s Play. Keogh also wrote a book on Spec Ops: The Line, which is worth reading.


#13

Maybe. Talking about themes or politics is important for me, personally, and it is part of my argument that there are not enough LRPs. But it’s not an essential part of LRP. Essential part of LRP is that it leans into replay nature of it. Simply put, it doesn’t shy away from spoilers, both mechanical and story ones. Like a director’s commentary of a movie. C&I videos are not that.

A lot of LPers would say “I know what next encounter gonna be about, so I should do this and that”, but I never watched LP what was (partially) about, for example, tracing evolution of actual main villain that was initially presented as an ally to the player. I remember one particular LP from Matt and Matt (I’m right about their names, right?), where at the end of LP one of the Matts said that (I’m trying not to spoil anything here) “twist at the end of a game” changed the whole story. Well, I want that LP, where we have that knowledge from the start, now!

In the Eurogamer video I linked they talk how their perception of characters changed because they have knowledge of a whole game and its sequel. They not going deep, as having a script would afford, of course. But it is still a refreshing way to do LPs. And not that “expensive”, actually.

Oh, right, that’s why I bounced!


#14

Finding people exactly like Austin and them is pretty tricky. I don’t know really of any that do analysis quite like them. I’d like to in my own vids but I’m just not as smart as them lol.