Seven YouTube Channels Worth Checking Out

Nowadays I spend probably as much time watching gaming content on YouTube than I actually do playing games myself, whether I am tidying up around the apartment or writing an essay, I always have something playing in the background. These are seven YouTube channels that have personally brought me joy and that I think you may be interested in. I am always looking for more unique content to dive into so if you have any suggestions on gaming-centric YouTube channels that I should check out feel free to drop links in the comment section below.

Brian Gilbert (Polygon)

Polygon’s content is not something that I have personally clicked with on the whole, but Brian Gilbert is a wonderful exception, as his Unravelled series is simply some of the best gaming content I have came across. Self-referenced as “absurdly comprehensive game lore”, if you want to have a complete breakdown of the Zelda timeline in fifteen minutes, figure out who is the best cuddler in the Mortal Kombat series, or even discover which monster in Castlevania is the hottest, Brian has you covered. If you have a spare thirty minutes, stop reading this and watch his live performance from PAX East in which he tries to create the perfect PokeRap, because it is one of the best things I have ever watched.

The Completionist

As per the name-sake, Jirard Khalil – The Completionist – takes a game and completes every possible task in it before writing a lengthy review on it from the perspective of a completionist, which leads to an incredibly comprehensive breakdown of the pros, the cons and the hidden surprises that a game has in store for you. His main episodes feature the same, concise formula discussing several different aspects of the game – the story, the presentation, the gameplay and the overall difficulty involved in reaching 100% completion – wrapping up with a rating ranging from “Complete It” to “Donate It”. Whilst he does not play every new release, often diving into retro titles, it is great delve into titles of present and past days and well worth a watch if there is a title you are interested in or want a lengthy discussion on a title you love.

BeatEmUps

BeatEmUps surprisingly features very little content about, y’know, BeatEmUps. Actually now that I think about it I cannot recall a single video that is about the genre. However, Wood does have a lot of content centred around Nintendo, bringing you all types of Switch related goodness, which makes subscribing to him a very good idea if you own one. It is hard to pinpoint his content to a singular style as he bounces effortlessly from reviews, gameplay and discussion videos on top of a number of regular series he has on the go. If you want something to check out first then my personal favourites are his series on the top ten recent indie games released or the videos of his girlfriend, Kim, and him buying one another weird Switch accessories.

People Make Games

Whilst Chris Bratt was mostly preoccupied with watching VR porn and giving awards to sandwich stands when he worked at Eurogamer, he also began working on Here’s a Thing, a semi-regular series which became a passion project of his. The content was fantastic, bringing you short mini-documentaries showcasing some of the more unique stories within the games industry, such as the Fallout sex formula, why Dwarf Fortress started randomly killing cats, or how a Kinect may have been used to stage an art heist. Creating content like this proved to be rather time-intensive, not to mention challenging whilst working full-time at Eurogamer, so he made the bold decision to start up his own channel. People Make Games is the result and if you would like to know how Neopets was sold to Scientologists… well, we have you covered.

Girlfriend Reviews

Before I met my girlfriend it is fair to say that she was not all that enthusiastic about video games, but as time has gone on she has began to really enjoy watching me play through games like Resident Evil 7 or Celeste, and we do so regularly. Whilst there is an abundance of reviews that tackle what it is like to play a game, very few look at what it is like to be a passive participant in a game, and that is precisely what Girlfriend Reviews is tapping into. Most videos from Shelby and Matt are from Shelby’s perspective on what it is like to watch her boyfriend play through a game, occasionally with her jumping in and playing co-op, and with a very comedic, tongue-in-cheek approach to describing what she liked, disliked, and thought was interesting from the viewpoint of someone who is watching. If you are looking for reviews with a twist this is a channel to check out.

JackFrags

An outlier in this list, JackFrags is one of only a few channels I watch regularly that is primarily gameplay focused, and for good reason. Whilst he is definitely a very competitive gamer – his content revolving mostly around online first-person shooters – he has a very approachable, relaxed and friendly personality that really stands out among the crowd making him great to watch. He has a dedicated fanbase that is very much Battlefield focused but Jack has done regular content on a number of different games from Fortnite to Sea of Thieves to PUBG, alongside a couple of one-off videos on titles that are a little bit off the beat for his channel. Last year I had the pleasure of playing with Jack during the Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 beta and as a big fan of his and the battle royale genre it was a pleasure to take on Blackout alongside him.

Oddheader

Oddheader is best described as peak late night YouTube. If I want to cuddle up under the covers, turn off all the lights, and veg out on YouTube this is definitely one of my channels to go to as list video after list video showcasing the creepiest secrets, most surprising glitches, or the best easter eggs found in video games. With a 90’s, retro skate-punk vibe coming from the visual style and voiceover, Oddheader’s videos feel somewhat unique among the backdrop of the highly curated content that we are used to watching nowadays.

If you enjoyed the article and would like to join the conversation, meet like-minded gamers or find people to play with then consider joining us in the Jolly Gamers Discord server by following the link: https://discord.gg/Ss5mK3p

Project Resistance and the future of Resident Evil

On the 9th of September we will finally get our first glimpse of where the Resident Evil franchise is going next, with gameplay footage then being shown at the Tokyo Game Show on the 12th – 15th of September, and I am incredibly excited. Rumblings of the next game in the franchise initially surfaced when select RE Ambassadors were invited to play test an upcoming Resident Evil title and many, including myself, were expecting this to be the next numbered title. Some very keen fans have noted that the page for Resident Evil: Outbreak has been wiped – which was precisely what happened to the Resident Evil 2 page in the lead up to the announcement for the remake – so there is a potential that we might be seeing a modern day take on co-op. Alongside a number of leaked screenshots showing four characters standing side by side in a Left 4 Dead-esque pose it would certainly seem like a reboot of the Outbreak games is likely. Those who jumped into Capcom’s most recent spin-off in the Resident Evil universe, Umbrella Corps, may be somewhat fearful of a co-op spinoff but I would argue that Resident Evil 7 and Resident Evil 2 demonstrates that Capcom is finally tapping into what makes the Resident Evil games truly fantastic.

When I was a child, Lickers and Nemesis stood alongside Mario and Crash Bandicoot as characters that I held dear to my heart. Whilst visiting one another, my friends and I would play Resident Evil – no, not one of the many games but actually set ourselves characters and roles and act out scenes outside – and RE3 and Code Veronica X are considered as some of my top games of all time. Upon the release of Resident Evil: Code Veronica X, a determined pair of seven year olds would – in spite of the age restriction – convince their mothers to buy them a copy each, and would rush home to take on the prison and all its horrors. Not long into our first session we were both faced with zombie dogs crawling out from under buildings and burst into tears. Our mothers were suitably unimpressed, stormed up the stairs with dogged determination, and snapped – wait, snapped?! – our discs. It was a heartbreaking moment but I would one day return to the island. I have a lot of fond memories of my time running away from Nemesis or not understanding the somewhat disturbing relationship between the two twins in Code Veronica, but to say that the Resident Evil franchise has been in a strong place over the last ten years would be an outright lie. With the overwhelming success of Resident Evil 4 inspiring Capcom to take a more action orientated approach from that moment onwards, every game afterwards took one step further away from what I personally believed made Resident Evil so incredible, with Redfield knuckle-bumping a boulder into a volcano being the moment where the franchise was truly lost. And then came Resident Evil 7.

Resident Evil 5

Resident Evil 7 is my favourite game in the series. It is definitely a controversial take among fans – the adoption of a first-person perspective and stepping away entirely from zombies being the main reasons – but it brought back one of the most important aspects of survival horror. The vulnerability you initially feel when you are being chased by Jack in the Baker house brings me straight back to the same vulnerability that tank controls and fixed camera angles imposed upon me. The first person perspective and tight corridors make the brute force of Jack and the imposing features of the Moulded feel all that more terrifying. Your first initial encounter with Mia, Marguerite reaching for her lantern, or taking on multiple Moulded whilst counting each bullet are all moments that struck me as hard as my first encounter with the Nemesis or facing my first zombie dog back in my early days of Resident Evil and I truly love the game for that reason. The last third of the game, whilst offering some fantastic character development and some very spooky moments, definitely drags on for far too long and falls short of the highs that the start of the game achieves but the Baker family, their home and the surrounding land all harken back to the beginnings of the Resident Evil franchise and brings it right back firmly into the survival horror genre.

Resident Evil 7

Resident Evil 7 may weigh up as my favourite in the series but Resident Evil 2 is definitely in the running for my game of the year. Zombies are incredibly tough and multiple well-placed shots does not guarantee that they will stay down. Ammunition and supplies are sparse. Lickers are absolutely terrifying. This all leads to those quiet moments in a save room contemplating your options, or lack thereof, that the Resident Evil franchise was known for all those years ago. The constant and never-ending barrage of the Tyrant initially creates an incredible amount of tension and fear but after a while becomes tiresome and detaches you from the location. I desperately wanted to explore the police station and uncover every secret and story I possibly could but this became difficult to do when constantly being harassed by a big boy in a top hat. When compared to how wonderfully implemented Jack was into Resident Evil 7 and the moments of peace you could find in the Baker house to explore it does leave me wishing a similar approach was taken. I also wish that they had taken more the opportunity to introduce more variety between the A and B scenarios but that is more of a question of approach – faithful recreation or taking creative liberty – and has no real bearing on how incredible this game is.

Resident Evil 2

Whilst a co-op take on the Resident Evil franchise might not be what I had initially hoped for in the next instalment in the series, I personally believe Capcom has shown through their approach to Resident Evil 7 and Resident Evil 2 that they truly have a grasp on what makes Resident Evil unique, and I cannot wait to see what they have in store for us next month.

If you enjoyed the article and would like to join the conversation, meet like-minded gamers or find people to play with then consider joining us in the Jolly Gamers Discord server by following the link: https://discord.gg/Ss5mK3p