It was so popular last year that we decided to do it again! Join us this holiday season as we introduce you to twelve of our favourite podcasts in the 12 Days of Podmas!
With the rise of YouTube and Twitch there has been the growing frequency of a new genre of video called the “Let’s Play”, in which a host plays a video game whilst making commentary in either audio or video form, and engaging with viewers. On the one hand there’s a niche market for people seeing a host they like playing a game and being entertaining whilst doing it, whilst others just seem to be quite shrill and overactive for the sake of it. They are very good, however, at allowing people to see what a game can be like before purchasing, or revisiting old retro games for that nostalgic itch.
How would these work in audio format? Jeff Eckman and Ryan Kasmiskie front No One Can Know About This: A Podcast Where We Play Every Final Fantasy, in which they… well, the title is self explanatory. To date they’ve played and recorded their play-through of the first, fourth, sixth and currently the seventh Final Fantasy games, reading through cut-scenes and chronicling their experiences against the bosses and side quests.
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It’s not as straightforward as you might think, as episodes are framed and interspersed with Jeff and Ryan also offering commentary on themselves playing the game as they go through the footage. So they then can give more analysis on the story and the events that are unfolding; giving insight to the plot and characters and the experience.
The duality of past-Jeff-and-Ryan and future-Jeff-and-Ryan allows for them to comment further on how they play and just what they’re doing in general. It also allows them to edit through a lot of grinding and dull stuff that would just fill out a live playthrough experience. But it generates the concept of four hosts rather than two, as Jeff and Ryan often comment on how transformative the experience of playing the games can be.
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This often appears in weird tangents that form a narrative around playing the game with the aid of acted out bits that tie into themes that they discuss. It feels like a lot of thought and effort has gone into making this mean something more than just two friends playing through the games.
Also – it’s very funny when the past-hosts start doing the voices for the characters. Sometimes they are so off the mark it’s funny – like Aeris’ gruff old New York resident voice. If anything – just listen to the podcast for that. Seriously. I hope the FFVII remake has that voice as a DLC.