If you’re a regular Tired Old Hack reader (well, as regular as you can be given how sporadic my posts are), you’ll have noticed I’ve started making video content.
This is a relatively new medium for me and I’m still trying to figure out various bits and pieces but so far the response has been pretty positive, for which I’m hugely grateful.
With that in mind I thought I’d put together a wee article detailing my future plans for video content on Tired Old Hack, so you know what sort of ideas I have bubbling away and what to expect in the relatively near future.
Back in the CVG days, the highlight of my week was always the Retro Vault section I wrote up for every weekend.
I’ve been gaming for nearly three decades now, and there’s nothing I love more than talking about retro games.
It’s a win-win, because people old enough to remember them first time around will get all nostalgic, while those who weren’t around at the time can learn more about gaming history (and maybe even track some old games down).
I’m resurrecting Retro Vault at Tired Old Hack, this time focusing on individual games. These will be presented in both video and written form with the YouTube video at the top of the written article. For an example of this, check out my first Retro Vault article on Rescue: The Embassy Mission on the NES.
I want retro games to make up a large chunk of my video content going forward. One of the main reasons for this is my age: it’s fair to say that at 32 I’m a little older than most of the hip and happening YouTubers these days: for example, none of them say “hip and happening”.
Being older helps me in this situation though because I have decades of gaming experience and knowledge that I learned first-hand.
Any young buck can get an emulator and play through a zip file of Master System ROMs, but I actually lived that era and as a result I’d like to think I can make games like Psycho Fox and Golvellius sound more exciting and provide more context and background information than the usual “hey, look at this weird shit I discovered” theme that seems to make up the majority of retro YouTube videos.
Expect a lot of retro videos, then. I won’t necessarily be focusing on the classics – I’ll cover a few dear to me but we really don’t need yet another Super Mario Bros 3 retrospective unless the demand is there – but will instead lean towards quirky, memorable games and personal favourites of mine that have perhaps fallen by the wayside over the years.
Obviously, I still play new stuff when it’s released. As I write this an Amazon parcel containing FIFA 16 is nestled in my lap, and I have the likes of Lego Dimensions and WWE 2K16 pre-ordered.
It would be remiss of me to play these games and not tell you what I think: after all, I’ve been in the ‘review mode’ mindset for the past decade and it’s pretty much second nature by now so it’d feel weird if I stopped doing it. So you’re getting reviews whether you like it or not.
To date I’ve done a grand total of one of these, covering Forza Motorsport 6. In case you haven’t seen it, enjoy:
In general, expect less up-to-date, modern reviews than retro ones. There are many reasons for this.
For starters, I’ve got a bloody massive backlog as it is, so I don’t often play games right when they’re released. I’m more likely to buy Metal Gear Solid V and its ilk many months from now when it’s £20.
On top of this, there are often countless other sites covering these big games at release, so it’s not like you’ll be craving a 73rd opinion of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes.
Finally, and most importantly, I’m still doing regular freelance reviews for various publications. Ethically, I can’t justify using the games they send me to first write a review for them and then write another review for my own site.
There will always be a conflict of interest there, and a feeling that I’m holding back on ‘the good stuff’ for my own review. In short then, if I’m commissioned a game to review, then I’ll automatically rule it out for review on Tired Old Hack: my review will remain exclusive to that pubication.
Naturally, I’ll still link to any of these reviews when they go live online, either through Twitter or on here. For example, here’s my Super Mario Maker review for GamesTM.
Sometimes these reviews are commissioned right before a game’s release: for this reason, I don’t really want to say in advance which games I’m planning to review on Tired Old Hack in case I need to cancel those plans. Essentially, reviews of newer games will be posted if and when they’re posted.
Because most big games websites are focused on traffic (and rightly so, or they’d go under), a lot of games are ignored.
There are plenty of console games – especially digital-only ones – which aren’t reviewed by the major sites because their staff are best allocated to the bigger titles that more of its readership cares about.
I’ve always been a fan of B-movies and, for lack of a better term, B-games. My former CVG editor didn’t call me ‘6/10 Scullion’ for nothing. So, if I see a cheap game on an Xbox, PlayStation or Nintendo digital store, I’ll give it a go.
With this in mind I’m going to start a series called ICYMI, which I’m reliably informed by ‘da yoof’ is In Case You Missed It.
These will be roughly five-minute video reviews of games that weren’t deemed important enough to show up on the big sites’ radars.
In the coming weeks look out for my first three ICYMI videos, covering a trio of new-gen racers: Beach Buggy Racing, Jet Car Stunts and Riptide GP 2.
Licensed To Thrill?
When it comes to gaming history, one of my incredibly nerdy specialised subjects is licensed tie-ins. Not just movies, but TV and random celebrity-based games too (ah, Michael Jordan In Chaos In The Windy City, how I loved you).
Licensed To Thrill? will be a new series dedicated to licensed games. Each episode will look at the licence in question, followed by the game(s) based on it, and ultimately a conclusion on how faithful the gaming rendition was.
Naturally, expect the result to often be ‘not very’, but I may surprise you every now and then.
As with my Retro Vault videos, I’m going to try to stay away from the usual suspects here. That means no GoldenEye, no Mad Max and so on. Think more Charlie’s Angels or Allo Allo.
The Complete History Of…
Another series I started off as CVG was nearing its end was A Complete History Of, which did what it said on the tin and covered every game in a series.
I want to do loads more of these, because I love list features like these that are definitive (at least at the time of publication), rather than the more arbitrary “17 random examples of something I fished out of my arse” ones you tend to get these days.
Because these videos will tend to be much longer than the others, don’t expect to see them so often. But they will be cooking away in the backburner, slowly taking shape. In the coming weeks I’ll be posting my first, so look out for that.
No spoilers, but let’s just say it involves a certain man. A certain PAC man. A cert…
Other random shite
Naturally, not every idea will fit perfectly into one of these categories so every now and then you’ll see something random, like the Late To The Party: Assassin’s Creed IV video I posted the other week.
In short, I’ve sort of caught the video bug and am hoping to ramp up more YouTube content as I continue to learn the ins and outs of editing. Don’t expect me to be posting a mass of Let’s Plays or anything like that though: I’ve tried those before and I just don’t get along with the format. What can I say, I just can’t find it in me to be an annoying prick.
You may be wondering how this will affect my written content on Tired Old Hack. Granted, you may not be – I’ll never know. But I’ll tell you anyway: it won’t affect it.
The vast majority of the videos I post will have written articles supporting them. The three videos I’ve already posted on YouTube have been followed by written articles on here, repurposing their scripts for those who prefer reading to watching.
Rest assured that I’m a writer first and foremost and that will always be what I do best. I’m just hoping that, in time, I can become known for making entertaining videos too.
Let me know what you think about my plans and feel free to make any suggestions, or requests for games you’d like to see me covering.