Back in July, we wrote an article about underrated gaming channels on YouTube. Listing everyone from BlueJackG to Slopes Game Room and Boundary Break, the article showcased some of the best unknown video creators on the site in order to help them get a bit more attention and a few more views.
And oh damn did it succeed. Ever since that article, we’ve had:
- Slopes Game Room hit the bigtime and reach a massive 22,000 subscribers!
- Boundary Break… well, break out and bring its creator an even more insane 50,000+ subscribers!
- Arlo make it to more than 70,000 subscribers
Plus a whole lot more besides! Basically, everyone featured became a YouTube celebrity since their inclusion in the list, to the point many of them actually got their videos posted on big name gaming sites Nintendo Life and Kotaku!
And so we’ve decided to write another article, with ten more underrated gaming channels you should check out and subscribe to right now. Let’s see if these guys can become as popular as the folk on our first one, shall we?
Current Subscriber Count: 934
This interesting, yet depressingly obscure video game discussion channel. Named Game Sharks, this channel has some very interesting videos about game design in Nintendo titles. Like this recent one about Paper Mario Color Splash’s battle system:
Yeah, it’s a bit more low rent than say, Extra Credits. But the ideas are good, and the presentation is decent enough that I do consider it worthy of a bit more attention. So give Game Sharks a chance, because the creator has some great ideas that I think more people need to hear for themselves.
But it’s not only game design channels that need your support here. Oh no, quite a few Let’s Play creators need a bigger fanbase too.
Current Subscriber Count: 1,006
Like this guy, whose videos I first found while looking for a Super Mario 64: Last Impact walkthrough. Yeah, he’s another LPer making Let’s Players of video games, but there’s an awful lot to really like about his work. Such as the unique subject matter (he records lots of Mario 64 ROM hacks):
The good picture quality, which provides for a nice clear view of the game being played, as well as the decent commentary that keeps the whole thing interesting. It’s just a decent Let’s Play channel, and one I feel could become the next big thing if a few more people subscribe and share his work.
But you don’t even need to provide commentary to make some great YouTube videos…
Current Subscriber Count: 22,934
Just ask Skawo, aka one of the best LPers without a microphone that I’ve ever came across.
Sounds odd doesn’t it?
Yeah, I thought so. The assumption nowadays tends to be that a Let’s Play involves voice commentary. But they don’t have to, and in fact text LPs used to be a huge deal in the olden days of Something Awful. Like this one here.
And that’s what Skawo does. He plays games like Color Splash, while making amusing text commentary and jokes about it in the form of ORLY owls and counters.
Which is then made better by how ‘meta’ most of his commentary is. For example, is the game trapped in a time loop like the Dark Bloo Inn in Color Splash? Then his commentary will initially loop as well, before suddenly realising he’s already said this part and something funny is going on in the background. Did a hurricane suddenly chuck Mario into a giant hole while Huey says something obvious? Cue the owl appearing… before getting blown off the screen.
Heck, you even had a credits sequences with the owls in! Like the one at the end of this Paper Mario Color Splash video:
It’s an amusing gimmick, and provides an otherwise low key video format an edge that keeps it interesting in every episode.
But text Let’s Plays aren’t the only thing on this channel. Oh no, you’ve also got ROM hacking videos too. Because you see, Skawo is also a pretty well known ROM hacker. He’s working on Newer Super Mario Bros DS and Newer Super Mario Bros U on the DS and Wii U respectively, as well as projects involving games like Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon.
So his channel makes for an amusing mix of LP videos and hacking videos, and is hence definitely one to check out if you haven’t already.
However, let’s get back to some general game design/commentary stuff now…
Current Subscriber Count: 514
With Blasting Processing, a neat retro games channel that reviews and talks about a wide variety of great games. For example, they’ve got a video on Rare’s development process:
Talks about games ranging from portable Crash Bandicoot to Beetle Adventure Racing:
And yes, even more Let’s Plays mixed in too! They’re really well done videos too, with production values roughly on par with the best on the YouTube site.
Alas, this hasn’t translated to subscribers yet. So let’s help them out, shall we? Let’s help Blast Processing move on from their 500 subscribers to the many thousands their channel actually deserves!
Current Subscriber Count: Varies
Onto another Let’s Player now, and perhaps one of the most insanely prolific ones on the site. Why insanely prolific? Well, because the ‘Chilean Retrogamer’ (as he’s known on YouTube) doesn’t just maintain one interesting Let’s Play channel.
Oh no, he maintains NINE separate channels for his video game playthroughs! What’s more, all nine have unique content with interesting commentary to boot.
For example, do you like ROM hacks? Then here’s a channel where he did nothing but play ROM hacks:
Pokemon? Then hey, this one seems to spend a lot of time posting Pokemon hack videos and streams:
Other random games? Try this one:
What’s more, they’re all good in their own way. So if you’re a fan of Let’s Plays, it’s well worth checking out his channels. Just… don’t try and watch them all back to back, otherwise you’ll be there for months with the thousands of uploads the guy has…
Current Subscriber Count: 489
If you like Mario RPGs on the other hand, then boy the next channel is perfect for you. Because as you may or may not know, Bryan Hermus has gone out of his way to reorchestrate the first three Mario & Luigi soundtracks from scratch.
And boy do these sound impressive. You’ve got his great remixes of Cackletta’s themes and Bowser’s Castle from Superstar Saga…
His fantastic takes on the ruined town themes from Partners in Time…
The equally incredible redone versions of the Bowser’s Inside Story songs…
Heck, there’s even a few bonuses! Like his amazing redone version of the Final Antasma Battle from Dream Team, or his cover of the boss theme from Paper Jam!
It’s a great channel for any Mario RPG fan, and one that could keep you listening for hours if you missed out on any of these orchestrations the first time around.
However, what if you prefer more original music? Is there a channel that’s equally good, yet focuses on all new songs?
Current Subscriber Count: 1,914
Yes, yes there is. And Jonas Evant’s channel is just that!
Cause damn, his fan made Paper Mario songs are incredible. For example, here’s Mario’s Epiphany, a theme which could work beautifully in the final moments of any real game:
Kind of makes you wish it was actually in Sticker Star, doesn’t it?
And that’s not the only one of note here. Oh no, Mr Evant has composed a ton of songs for his ‘Paper Mario 3DS’ project, ranging from the carnival like Mephisto Festival:
To the spooky Sepulchral Polka:
Plus a whole lot more besides! So if you want to hear some great original takes on Paper Mario music, check out his channel right now. Cause 1,914 subscribers is way too little for a guy who’s posted great songs for more than 8 years!
However, do you want something a bit more… political?
Current Subscriber Count: 1,693
Because if so, Troy Leavitt’s channel is right up your alley. Why? Because it’s a professional game developer’s take on GamerGate, gaming politics and censorship in the industry!
And damn, the video production quality is incredible here. For example, are you still stuck when it comes to understanding what GamerGate is actually about?
Then check out his video on the subject. It’s perhaps the most unbiased, well stated take on the subject I have ever read:
It basically explains ‘this is why GamerGate is a legitimate consumer revolt’ in a format that even a 90 year old grandma could understand.
Yet that’s not only one of his great videos. There’s also…
His take on Feminist Frequency and why they’re wrong about video games:
Yeah, it’s a 3 part series where he utterly demolishes every one of Anita’s arguments in a way even the most clueless could follow.
Plus his own take on AI and the ‘Singularity’:
Add his videos on Donald Trump and the election, video game playthroughs and various other subjects, and you’ve got a channel that far more people should know about and subscribe to. A great counter to the ridiculous media narratives being put forward by the rest of the industry.
But what if you don’t want that? What if you just want… more video game music to listen to?
Current Subscriber Count: 16,865
Well, then check out Shady Cicada’s work. Since he makes some incredible metal covers of your favourite video game tunes.
Such as this amazing one of the Final Antasma Battle from Mario & Luigi Dream Team:
Seeing a theme yet? Yeah, I love that song. But for non Mario & Luigi fans, he’s also covered such songs as the Team Skull battle theme from Pokemon Sun and Moon:
Megalovania from Undertale:
King Dedede’s theme from Kirby’s Dreamland:
And even UN Owen Was Her from Touhou!
Plus dozens more over the 6 years he’s been on YouTube. So if you like rock or metal covers of video game songs, this is 100% the channel for you. Check it out right now!
Current Subscriber Count: 190
Which brings us to our last, but no means last channel. And perhaps one of the best game design channels I’ve ever came across.
Because unlike most game design analysts, the creator of First 30 of Game Design is actually an ex game designer at Nintendo! Named Stephen Mortimer, he previously worked as a designer at Nintendo Software Technology and helped with the design of the Mario vs Donkey Kong titles.
So you’re seeing game design from a professional’s perspective.
And why the first 30 minutes you may wonder?
Well to put it simply, the channel’s purpose is testing out whether a game catches the player’s interest in its first 30 minutes of gameplay. Cause as you all likely know, first impressions count in gaming. If someone likes what they see immediately, they’re much more likely to continue with the rest of the title.
Whereas if they don’t (like say, in Twilight Princess with its huge amount of tutorials and intro content), it’s possible they’ll simply give up on the game before anything interesting happens.
So it’s an interesting concept for a channel, and the professional experience of its creator makes it all the better.
For example, here’s his thoughts on Paper Mario Color Splash. Or more accurately, how the game/Huey/whoever never really lets you figure things out yourself or move off the rails to begin with:
Or his thoughts on Pokemon Sun and Moon:
Which explains how sequels can get away with things that first instalments or standalone games can’t. After all, an intro like in Pokemon Sun/Moon or Zelda Twilight Princess is boring, but it’s also in a game that a lot of fans will continue playing almost by obligation. So it can ‘work’ in those situations.
Do the same in your indie title? Then all you can do is kiss much of your audience goodbye. It’s a depressing lesson, but one a lot of designers will need to keep in mind.
Either way, First 30 of Game Design is a severely underrated channel, and one I’d recommend everyone interested in games checks out. They won’t regret it!
And that wraps up our list. But hey, what did you think? Did you find any of the channels here interesting? Are any worth of your subscription over on YouTube? Post your thoughts on the matter here or on social media today!