Friday, April 8, 2011

Five Video Game Reviewers You Should Be Watching If You Aren't Already

Sure everyone knows about the Angry Video Game Nerd and how he has inspired others to do videos covering retro and modern games via the internet. In fact I spend a great amount of time watching these videos as they are often entertaining if not informative so I thought I should highlight the lesser known guys or as they are called the AVGN-clones (and no a certain irate person won't be showing up on this list) with a sample of my favorite video of theirs.

The Happy Video Game Nerd

Probably the most obvious clone, in fact he created his series for Screwattack's Out Nerd The Nerd contest several years back. While a parody of AVGN the HVGN has developed his own style that has really gone a different route from his early days. His gimmick as it is basically highlighting great and unappreciated classic games that we love to play as opposed to the total crap that the Nerd does. The HVGN has turned me on to several great games I missed such as Metal Storm for the NES or Rocket Knight Adventures for the Genesis.

Roo's 16-Bit Gems

Similar to the HVGN Roo is also looks back at overlooked classics but generally focuses on 16-bit era gems (hence the name). His reviews tend to be a bit more information driven and often gives a general history of the game and it's developers with a bit of humor thrown in for good measure. As of yet he really hasn't turned me onto any games (though I am interested in a few) his EarthBound overview and review ranks as one of my favorite videos anywhere.

The Spoony One

Definitely one of the angrier of the clones, Spoony (named after the insult Tellah threw at Edward in FF2) while not focusing strictly on games has gotten himself a firm niche of reviewing PC games and FMV games. His reviews tend to be very skit heavy and referential to other media which makes his reviews extremely enjoyable. My favorite review of his is his 11-part deconstruction of Final Fantasy VIII (a game that really had it coming) and his Let's Play of Phantasmagoria 2, an FMV game from 1996. Also some of his best recent work is his series of Ultima reviews starting from the beginning and still on-going.

Pat the NES Punk

A more manic sense of style than the others his reviews focus mostly on the NES both good and bad. Also a skit heavy show his reviews are a bit between HVGN and AVGN as far as tone goes. He does bring a fair dose of information to his reviews along with the humor which is expressed well in his idiosyncratic voice and motions. While not unearthing anything I didn't know about, he did get to that legendary piece of crap, Action 52 well before the Nerd did, so points there.

Far From Subtle TV: Awesome Video Games - Video Games Awesome

Yes two shows from this group: Awesome Video Games is a show based on the antics of two young boys Ace and Chet (work with them here people) and their strange, quick to rage father, Dad Esq. The main gimmick of the show is that Ace and Chet love games, but seem to barely understand how they work. Typically they completely fail to understand the goal of a game or misinterpret it in other ways. While not a review show in the traditional sense their shows do often highlight some aspects of a game; like how Friday the 13th is fairly boring or how R.O.B. isn't as fun as he looks. If you can stomach the quick camera movements and get the joke behind the show, you should love this.

Video Games Awesome is one part review and one part Let's Play. Typically the show features the 4 actors of the show (right now with show creator Fraser's girlfriend filling in for Ben (Ace)) as they play through newer games on a mystical floating screen. The show's typical highlight is the rather easy going nature of the cast as they play and react to games they show.

So yeah these are my favorites of the many game reviewers out there now. If you've got any you'd like to share be my guest as I love watching these kind of things.

1 comment:

  1. I usually watch 16-bit Gems and I've watched a bit of Far From Subtle TV's stuff before. Haven't really checked out the other ones though. Nice article!