Tumblr user mrchrismad submitted the following:
So I’ve been researching ways to play a Pokemon in a different fun way for our personal LP channel, and I stumbled upon this duo, whom play the game cooperatively and periodically battle eachother and trade as they play.
Firstly: this video’s creator spends about five minutes fighting a door.
Secondly: the Thief games, if you’re not familiar with them, are some of the greatest stealth games ever made.
A few of the game’s biggest fans came up with an unusual playstyle known as “Ghosting.” There are three variants of ghosting (Ghost, Strict Ghost, and Supreme Ghost), but they are all basically summarized as follows:
No one should ever know you were there.
Don’t knock anyone out or kill anyone unless the mission absolutely requires it. Close all doors behind you and lock all chests you open. Don’t use any tools that leave an obvious trace. When the hypothetical police check out the crime scene after you’ve left, they should be utterly baffled at the complete lack of evidence. Also, you can’t even get spotted by spiders because evidently all spiders are fucking snitches.
What’s really interesting about Ghosting is that, where many other unusual playstyles push the player to explore mechanics or systems they might not otherwise rely on (in Living in Oblivion we see Chris Livingston rely more on alchemy and speechcraft than the average Oblivion player; the Super Mario 64 Mushroom Challenge forces its players to use Mario’s platforming abilities in highly improvisational ways), Ghosting cuts away roughly 90% of Thief’s interesting mechanics and the way they intersect with each other.
You can’t shoot a noisemaker arrow into the distance to distract a guard. You can’t toss flash bombs. You can’t use water arrows to douse torches, or even switch off lights unless you later switch them back on. So much of Thief’s genius comes from the interplay between its many systems, yet the Ghost playstyle intentionally locks off most of those systems in exchange for higher difficulty and a cooler narrative fantasy. After all, stealing stuff is cool, but having the cops think that you’re an actual, I-float-through-walls-and-grab-key-items-but-otherwise-leave-no-trace ghost? That’s way cooler.
Richard Cobbett randomly installed 200 Skyrim mods without looking at them and then tried to play through the game.
What resulted is, in a weird way, almost more full of discovery and wonder than the already discovery-and-wonder-filled base game; as Cobbett heads from village to village, he has honestly no idea what he’s going to see next. Will he be ambushed by a dinosaur? Will he meet Triss Merigold from The Witcher 2? Will that bandit over the horizon wield a lightsaber rather than a short sword?
The whole adventure reads like the sort of crazy fan fiction that an eight-year-old would write, with characters and items from other fictional universes dropping in and out with no rhyme or reason.
It’s pretty great.
Chris Livingston’s sequel to his famous Living in Oblivion series. This time, Nondrick’s descendant, Nordrick, comes to the land of Skyrim and must abide by the same rules as his grandfather: he must eat and sleep every day, whilst avoiding adventure at all costs.
Where Living in Oblivion mainly centered around Nondrick’s attempts to run a profitable alchemy operation, his grandson Nordrick has to deal with matters…of the heart.
Yes, look. It’s Tom Francis, again putting together a spectacularly funny story of his attempts to play a videogame in some quirky way. How lovely. How droll.
Oh, what’s that? This one is actually book length, and tells the story of how one’s attempts to bring peace can go suddenly, horrifyingly, and hilariously awry?
Crap. Guess you’ll have to read this one, as well.
Super Smash Bros Melee was intended to be a party game. Nothing more, nothing less. A fun, frenetic, but ultimately (and intentionally) shallow way to pass the time and hang out with friends.
A group of hardcore fans changed this forever.
This nine part documentary — which has atrocious narration and a lot of triggering language, just as a warning — chronicles the rise of Melee as a competitive fighting game.
Thanks to Zach Gage for posting this documentary on his Playing Out Loud tumblr.
Thanks to sparkylurkdragon, who suggested this and says:
There are a lot of weird ways to play Pokemon, like Nuzlockes, single type runs, and so on, but I think my favourite is stuffing one of them into this randomizer and going in blind. It really recaptures the adventure and excitement of playing a Pokemon game for the first time and not knowing quite what to expect, especially on more severe randomizations like shuffling moves, types, and Abilities.
Best of all, randomized games are very easily combined with other unusual ways of playing Pokemon. Randomized Nuzlockes seem to be pretty popular.
Pokemon played by tens of thousands of people at once.
Twitch Plays Pokemon is an experiment in democracy, stream delays, and the elasticity of Pokemon’s systems.
Kotaku did a really good writeup of the entire thing here. To summarize: anyone in the stream chat can input a button press. After the requisite 30 second stream delay, that button press will be fed into the game.
The entire experience is a fight against trolls and democracy as much as it is a fight against Pokemon itself.
Before Minecraft had an endgame or a proper hardcore mode, Tom Francis played through the game with a single, simple rule: upon death, he has to delete the entire world.
This may sound kind of passe given that Minecraft ultimately got a proper hardcore mode, but the chronicles of Tom’s experiments are still very much worth reading if only because I can accurately describe them with the following sentence: at one point, Tom fails to eat a cake.