August 2015

Hello, my friends! Today I’ve been dwelling on whether or not the word “plazy” is a clever or really annoying way to describe a day spent lounging around and playing games. “Hey, Lindsey, what’d you do last night?” “Me, I just had a plazy evening in with a new game.”

Your thoughts? Yeah, you’re probably right, I should stick to curation… and with that, here’s the August edition of This Month in Let’s Plays!

Quick Crit

I’m pretty pleased with the growing popularity of micro-criticism, and as such, think it’s worth highlighting how well some LP critics manage to condense solid criticism into micro portions. Joining the Quick Crit crowd this month is Heather Alexandra with a new series appropriately called “Minicrits.” In this episode, Alexandra looks at QTEs in Shenmue to argue that, while much maligned elsewhere, QTEs in Shenume are not only well executed, but also important to the lessons of Wude learned in the game and through gameplay.

Continuing his Two Minute Game Crit series, Stephen Beirne has created an LP which acts as a  companion piece to his article “Man and Machine” in Five out of Ten Magazine (disclosure: I am an editor of that publication). In this LP, Beirne expands on his article with a discussion of artificial intelligence in Zone of the Enders 2.

But What About Long Form, You say?

Offering a more extensive analysis, Bob Whitaker at History Respawned plays through Dragon Age Inquisition and The Witcher 3 alongside to Matthew Gabriele to discuss our cultural fascination with Europe’s Middle Ages and how it’s manifested in the games.

Elsewhere, Innuendo Studios continues his series about the life cycle of Adventure Games to propose 5 adventure game mechanics that look promising for the genre.

This month at Player/Knowledge, our own Cameron Kunzelman analyzes the narrative structure, the skillshot system, and the attempted satire of Bulletstorm.

Let’s Play Cooperatively

This month also brings us some great examples of LPers playing collaboratively or collectively with friends. Though this first LP series started in July, Angelarts, Ris Grestar, and It’s Jace, were still working together to complete their blind playthrough of Trine throughout August. I suggest you start at the beginning with episode 1, in which the three delight more in the games mechanics, tutorial, and collaborative elements than in its trope-heavy story setup.

Next, Taking us way back, Stream Friends Kelsey, Art, and Keith gathered together this month to play through King’s Quest. Together the trio discuss such King’s-Quest-related issues as poorly drawn suits of armour, skeletons, Ren Faires, and more.

Elsewhere, Matt Lees and Quentin Smith play Helldivers. Together, they discuss how they “roll,” how they feel about orbital bombardments, the importance of not being sighted, and an assortment of other topics. As a bonus, watch for Matt Lees going for a joyride on someone’s motorbike. (Content Warning: mild abelist language.)

Time to Get Plazy

That does it for this month. I promise to stop trying to make plazy happen pending your agreement to keep sending in Let’s Play videos. Tag in LPs you’d like to see curated using the hashtag #LetsPlayCD on Twitter. Otherwise, email your suggestions to us!

If you haven’t yet, I highly suggest you check out the incredible Blogs of the Round Table contributions for August.

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