As everyone knows, 2017 has been a terrible year for YouTube. Channels are being wrecked by demonetisation schemes and ruined by content violation claims. Copyright and content ID bots have gone berserk, with even more channels being struck for content that clears fall under fair use laws. And well, as far as clicks and subscriptions go, it’s not good news there either. Basically, it’s a turbulent time for everyone on the platform, especially as the year draws to a close and bills need to be paid.
And this is even more true of the underdogs. The unknowns, the channels that need traffic to survive, yet find their work overshadowed by a dodgy algorithm and the push to celebrity culture and gossip.
So, to celebrate the new year (and bring more attention to them), we’ve created another list. Hence here it is. Here is our latest list of underrated gaming channels to check out in 2018!
Topic: Unusual Video Game Music Covers
Starting with the interesting music channel New Game Plus. Why interesting? Because they don’t just make any old video game cover. They’re not yet another channel doing rock or metal versions of familiar songs, or remixing said songs with standard instruments/
They’re the type of channel that tries to truly change how the songs feel, or see what interesting setups they can create based on them. For example, they turned Delfino Plaza’s upbeat main tune into something out of a horror movie:
As well as the Luigi’s Mansion theme into a peppy pop song you might hear on the radio:
It’s a really neat effect, and reminds me a lot of those parody ads that reframe the Shining as a happy go lucky family film (or Mary Poppins as a horror flick).
And while their back catalogue is hardly extensive, the other covers they’ve made are pretty neat none the less. So, if you’re after something a bit more quirky and experimental than the well-known remixers, check ‘em out.
Topic: Off Camera Exploration
Either way, onto the next one now. Namely, Slippy Slides, a channel which goes outside of the boundaries of various game worlds and shows you what’s going on there…
Wait, that sounds familiar doesn’t it?
Yep, Slippy Slides is basically in the same genre as Boundary Break. They do the exact same ‘explore outside of the world and see what’s happening beyond the camera view’ gimmick, to the point they’ve actually covered many of the same games.
But Slippy Slides isn’t a mere knock off here. Nope, while it’s covered some similar games to Boundary Break, it’s covered very different aspects of them. For example, note how their Resident Evil 4 episode focuses on objects like chests found outside of the world.
Whereas Shesez’s version focuses more on things like where the road goes or what details can be seen on the castle when it’s far into the distance. They’re different takes really, and give you a lot more insight into the game than any one channel could on its own.
Add to this how different their choices of games usually are (Shesez is more Nintendo focused, these guys are more PC game focused), or how clones generally become a genre after some point (see Doom Clones -> First Person Shooters for instance), and it feels like these two channels work really well together, and offer tons of value for anyone who wants to see what goes on behind the scenes in their favourite games.
Check them out!
Topic: Game Mods (and interviews)
Next up on our list, we have an interesting gaming channel that focuses on game mods and emulation. Named REGNR8 (and run by a guy called Jeremy King), it talks quite a bit about Zelda Breath of the Wild and the various mods made for it.
Like say, this one that makes all weapons unbreakable:
And this code to spawn anything in game anywhere you like:
But those are only the tip of the iceberg here. Why? Because REGNR8 also does something else that’s quite interesting too.
Namely, the nearest thing to actual journalism the modding scene seems to have nowadays. For instance, do you remember that Breath of the Wild online multiplayer mod? The one that turned out to be a hoax cause the ‘creator’ had merely mocked up the screens in Photoshop?
Yeah, we do too. We covered it on Gaming Reinvented. Either way though, REGNR8 was the channel that basically brought that hoax to light, since they went and did a full interview with the game’s ‘creator’ and asked point blank whether the mod was actually in development yet. It’s not much, but hey… it’s a going further than most did when the story broke out, and shows a ‘blogger’ doing some actual research rather than just copying information over from their competitors without questioning it.
So check ’em out. They’re great modders and journalists, and they definitely deserve more than the 1,973 subscribers they have at the moment.
Topic: Terrible Old Game Mockups
And that’s also very much true of the next channel on our list too. One which is actually one of the most intriguing channels we’ve ever covered here on Gaming Reinvented.
Because it’s completely different from anything we’ve ever seen on YouTube before. Namely, it’s a channel devoted to…
Mocking up non-existent 80s NES games based on the popular films of today.
Like say, this fictional platformer loosely based on the recent IT movie:
Or this resort simulator inspired by Rogue One:
In other words, it’s like imagining what LJN may have made in an alternative universe. A world where the films of the 2010s were adapted for the NES and SNES, with all the questionable design decisions that implies. It’s a fantastic concept, and definitely one to check out if you’re into retro gaming.
Topic: Retro Game Reviews
Which is also true of our next channel too. As indicated by his channel name, SNES Drunk reviews classic video games.
Lots and lots of classic video games. Seriously, the guy has hundreds of great reviews, of games from the NES to the N64 and beyond. These include his fantastic review of Wario Land 4 I posted on Wario Forums:
His 221 detailed SNES game reviews found here.
And much, much more besides. It’s like, the guy’s basically covered whole console libraries at this point, and doesn’t look to be stopping anytime soon.
But hey, you may say. Isn’t this guy a bit too popular to list? After all, he has a fanbase on Racketboy, Hardcore Gaming 101 and various other sites of that kind. And those 40,000+ subscribers seem pretty good too…
Yeah, I guess you could say that. But believe me, 40,000 subscribers isn’t enough for what this guy does. Especially when you consider that unlike too many YouTubers nowadays, SNES Drunk knows exactly who his audience is and why they watch his videos.
To get information about classic games. Not to see a gimmicky story or actors running about in costumes. Not for whiz bang special effects or some guy shouting at 160 decibels into his microphone about a jump scare he received 30 seconds ago.
For information, in a clear and concise way. It’s too flashy, but it works, and the sheer number of games he covers means he’s well worth subscribing too if you’re after traditional game reviews without any of the bullshit associated with modern YouTube culture.
Topic: Amazing Video Game Music Remixes
Still, back to a bit of video game music now. Yeah, like many other channels listed in these articles before, Revampt Orchestra hosts remixes of various video game tunes from throughout gaming history.
But before you get bored and skip to the next entry, hear me out here. There is a damn good reason they’re on the list. Why?
The insane quality of their remixes of course. Most notably, their almost tear inducing piano esque covers of the New Super Mario Bros castle themes:
Indeed, as someone who’s listened to the NSMB Wii remix about ten times, I’d even go as far as to say it’s my favourite remix of that song ever. It’s not your usual rock cover or electric guitar heavy piece like most you’ll listen to online, and doesn’t aim to be ‘uber dramatic’ like it was straight out of Galaxy 2…
But it’s a touching remix, and one that almost makes you feel for Bowser as Mario brutally mows down his minions and storms his castle. It’s like Bowser’s put his all into it, yet after all that, Mario is simply too good for him. He’s at the verge of a breakdown and the song reflects it just perfectly.
Other tunes he’s covered here include Oath to Order from Majora’s Mask:
Spear of Justice from Undertale:
And perhaps most interestingly… Your Contract Has Expired from A Hat in Time. That’s because unlike the others, this one was actually a commission from Gears for Breakfast. That’s pretty cool if you ask me. Never expected to see a game development actually approach a YouTube remixer to make a remix of their own song!
So, check out his channel if you want some neat remixes. There aren’t many of them, but the ones that are there are well worth listening to!
Topic: Retro Gaming
Back to retro gaming for now though, with another underrated channel that’s well worth checking out. And Hard4Games has quite the interesting selection where that’s concerned. For instance, they interviewed the makers of the ill-fated Ura Zelda Restoration Project about its development after it was cancelled:
Covered interesting game leaks and prototypes, like that early version of Mega Man 64 here:
And even took a few looks at unreleased titles, sort of Liam Robertson and Unseen64:
It’s certainly a treat for retro gamers, or people interested in the development processes behind games and ROM hacks. Go check ‘em out if you’re into that sort of thing!
Topic: Game Design
Though first, you may want to look at GameHut too. Why? Because GameHut provides a dev’s eye view of the game development process.
Yup, as seen in the following videos, the channel is run by Traveller’s Tales director Jon Burton, and goes through some of the development tricks used for titles like Mickey Mania, Sonic R and Toy Story. For instance, here’s a look into how they did the 3D tower effect in one of the former’s later levels:
Whereas this shows how they carefully used multiple layers and transparency setups to render ‘impossible’ cutscene graphics in Toy Story for the Mega Drive:
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg too. From impossible cutscenes to Sonic 3D Blast’s level select ‘code’ and even let’s plays of their own games, GameHut is filled with interesting videos showing off games by Traveller’s Tales from a developer’s perspective.
Definitely one to look at and subscribe too, especially if you have even the slightest bit of interest in how games are made!
Topic: Game AI Analysis
Still, enough with the dev videos now, it’s time for some game design. And well, what better way to learn more about it than with our next channel on the list.
Yep, AI and Games is a fascinating channel about the way games are designed, with a heavy focus on the AI side of things as befitting the name. There’s a look at how Dark Souls expertly handles difficulty to make the player feel like they’re always just about to succeed:
A whole series of lectures about similar things in regards to Batman, FEAR and Left 4 Dead:
Plus, various introductory courses for things like how AI works in games or how to develop games using the Unity engine.
It’s a very professional setup for a channel with hundreds of fascinating videos to watch, and one we heavily recommend to anyone who’s a fan of Mark Brown or Extra Credits.
Topic: Game Design Analysis
And the same goes for PostMesmeric too. Another game design channel with a similar format to Game Maker’s Toolkit or what not, there are dozens of videos about every type of game you can imagine. You’ve got a look at how the fans managed to build an amazing 2D Sonic game in Sonic Mania:
Looks at various games by Rare, such as Conker’s Bad Fur Day and Banjo-Kazooie Nuts and Bolts:
Hell, you’ve even got analysis videos about WarioWare and Parappa the Rapper! It’s like PostMesmeric realised how overplayed some genres are in video game critique, and went out of their way to find new and more interesting topics to study and discuss.
Which is something I’m really happy to see to be honest. I mean, look at the focus of every other game design article or video. It’s usually either a 2D platformer, a fighting game, or (if they want to copy Mark Brown), a Zelda type action adventure.
That’s it. It feels like the game design world has stopped trying anything new and decided to beat the same horses to death for all of eternity.
PostMesmeric is not like this. It’s a breath of fresh air in a world where every single channel seems to be trying to analysise Super Mario Bros 1 or Super Mario 64.
So, if you’re a game designer in training (or just want more videos to kill time), check it out. It’s well worth doing so, and with less than 3000 subscribers, I’m sure PostMesmeric would really appreciate it too.
And that ends our list. If you liked it, check out our previous three articles here and here. Like this one, they also contain numerous great gaming channels that desperately need more views and subscribers.
Either way though, tell us what you think of the channels featured, and subscribe to any that take your interest. They’ll definitely appreciate it!