Watching Wednesday #22 – Wittle Wails
This House is Not a Home
The short of it: It’s a nice showcase of the beauty of embracing tropes. And screaming Canadians.
With Spooktober in the air, I’ve been in dire need for some creeps and crawlies. So I revisited some old Shitstorm videos from Two Best Friends Play. Spooky’s House of Jumpscares is arguably one of the top three videos in the six year old series (I may be saving the number one for a later WW).
Now rebranded as Spooky’s Jumpscare Mansion, Spooky’s House of Jumpscares is an adorable little romp in a mansion full of jumpscares. And a few escaped monsters. And did I mention the scares?
I adore the Two Best Friends for their ability to make me appreciate or notice all of the little intricacies and details I miss in video games, from trope subversion to design flaws.
Spooky’s is a delight, due in part to Spooky herself and her adorably funny speeches. Pat’s little babby screams, on the other hand, make this into a masterpiece.
Watching Wednesday #9 – Friends Forever
Two Best Friends Play Silent Hill 2: 2 spooky, 2 gud
The short of it: Although a bit less silly and a lot more informed, this playthrough demonstrates the other side of TBFP. While failing playthroughs of horrendous David Cage games are hilarious, the Best Friends have their brainy moments too.
What’s that, imaginary inner critic that’s never satisfied? Upset there’s another Best Friends playthrough on PCP? Well suck it, this one’s also fantastic.
Silent Hill 2 can almost indisputably claim the crown of Greatest Survival Horror Game of All Time. This playthrough can do the same for the Best Mostly Serious TBFP Playthrough title.
Pat’s the star here, taking point on both the controls and the discussion. Years of admiration and research are evident as he manages to both informative and hype about the brilliant designs in the game.
The Best Friends have genuinely made me appreciate games a lot more. Whereas other channels kinda make me annoyed that I wasn’t recording for a funny moment, these guys make me like the little things I didn’t used to notice. Subtle gameplay nudges to direct the player, cool character designs, the concept of hype in general. It makes the medium so much more enjoyable.
The game alone is immersive, and the commentary’s almost hushed tone make this playthrough atmospheric. The deep fog and creepy environments add to this level of tense fascination. The guys’ resolution to keep quiet during the cutscenes amplifies the utter bizarreness of it all- the stilted performances and weird pacing of the conversations make it unsettling in a hard to nail down way. Of course, having Pat explain why certain actors sound they way they do or what certain things mean in the Silent Hill mythos answer the dozens of questions that are inevitable in a playthrough of this game.
It’s like watching a puzzle being put together with narration. Every step is another, “Ah!” as the picture gets clearer and clearer. Sure, occasionally they’ll force a wrong piece in it, but the explanation works well enough that it’s either interesting or funny enough to pass.
Fun Fridayz #8 – First Fun, Finished Fun-ner
Lethal League‘s Prototype: Dodge Baller
The short of it: It says something about a game when its prototype version is good enough to stand on its own. Tight controls and a fun aesthetic make this lil’ demo a brilliant argument for buying the full version.
Demos are usually great ways to give possible players a taste of what the full package involves. Sometimes it stumbles, like Prey’s Opening Hour, and sometimes it over succeeds, like Lethal League‘s in-browser prototype.
The game’s simple– don’t get hit. It’s dodgeball with a dose of dynamite, with ball speeds maxing out at a million miles an hour and special moves allowing players to add spin to the ball or teleport it to behind opponents.
It’s bonkers in all the right ways. I owe Best Friends Play for introducing it to me in one of their old Friday Night Fisticuffs.
But here I am, with my stomach in a semi-permanent Gordian knot from losing a paycheck or two in less than 24 hours due to a brutally timed rent/deposit/car replacement parts/car breaking and needing more replacement parts cataclysm.
I’m fine, everything’s paid, but my bank account’s sore from being squeezed. So I’m squeezing blood from this turnip of a demo. Turnip meaning a highly nutritious and valuable product.
So I’ve restricted myself to the prototype version of the game until I’m back to breathing room financially. Fortunately, it’s more than a demo. It’s a fully challenging slice of Lethal League‘s full package. Out of the fifty or some games I’ve played against the AI, I’ve won exactly one. And that was with a fair amount of cheesing on half of the points.
Point is, this is such a fun little tide-me-over. It demonstrates mechanics first and foremost; rather than trying to entice the player with a plot twist or an extreme display of graphics, it lets the player feel how the core game works before the polish.
Plus, you get this hype track as you try to stop the unflinching robot AI.