While watching an assortment of gaming YouTubers a few nights ago I came to a sudden realisation, I’m now doing what I spent most of my childhood doing, watching other people play video games, for fun. Why is this a thing? Can it be matched up to those people who like to watch football on telly but will never been seen kicking a ball about in a park themselves? Probably not but I’m doing my best to justify my actions.

Anyway, I’ve thought back and decided on a few games that I have ONLY experienced vicariously through my friends rather than pick up a controller and crack on myself!

Shadow of the Colossus

Alexx will probably get a few mentions on this list, but this game is the peak. Shadow is one of those games that I’ve always thought looked cool but know I would never have a patience for myself! Travelling across a gorgeous but notably empty world, with only a horse and a glowing sword for company, it was something I found myself hooked on watching as Alexx would ascend the giant creatures and show them who was boss with a swift sword jab to the frontal lobe! This would also lead to some intense debates on whether killing the, arguably peaceful, monsters was actually okay. Really, they never hurt anyone and Wander (the mostly silent protagonist) was hunting them down for a fairly selfish reason! Alexx had played through the game a few times even before I watched him so it was cool to have someone who had a good knowledge of the world show me around too. Going into each fight and him telling me ahead of time how much each one was a prick, was a highlight! Though it was always the smaller ones who seemed to give him the most trouble? Oh well, I guess I’ll find out myself when I get cracking on my own run later tonight! Hope to see you there on Episode 1 on “Late to the Party”.

Actual photographic evidence of me squaring up to my brother (est. 1995)

Legend of Zelda: The Windwaker

I never owned a Gamecube, which is a shame since its catalogue of games seemed to be a good for me around that time. Luckily most of my friends did have the little purple cube sat on their shelves, so I got a good experience of what it could offer. The peak of this was watching my friend Tom blast about the cel-shaded ocean in Windwaker. A surprising art style turn for the Zelda series, I enjoyed viewing this more than I ever would playing it, dungeon crawlers don’t normally do it for me! Tom journeyed across the sea quickly and with purpose, ignoring most if not all distractions! He was a man on a mission so in all the times I watched, it was all killer and no filler. The only time his progress was slowed came with the INFAMOUS Triforce hunt, a map-based fetch quest that ate up time and was clearly only in the game to pad out the run time, this whole section bored the pants of both the player and the audience. Luckily, I know that the eventual HD remaster on the Wii U removed most of the tedium from this quest and sped things along quite a bit! Thanks for noticing and fixing your mistakes Nintendo.

The pervert boat thing was a major problem back in the day

Hogs of War

This one goes way back! Hogs of War was an adorable turn-based game where you play as anthropomorphic pigs engaging in a spoof of the first world war, and the whole thing is narrated by Rik Mayall. Not even kidding! My brother had a copy and through we might often play against each other in the Deathmatch mode, most of the fun came from watching the bigger brother play through the campaign with his batch of British bacon referred to as Tommy’s Trotters (This title was pun heavy). Strategy and planning have never been my strongest suit, luckily my brother excels at such things and it was magic watching him weave his wee piggies around to make sure maximum destruction of the opposing porkers! All of this was aided by me being the younger brother and finding pretty much everything my sibling said to me hilarious, so seeing him do silly voices of his own and piffy one liners to his foes kept me giggling for hours, getting all the better when we were joined by one of his friends and watching them bounce lines of one and other! I tried playing the campaign myself too, but most of the fun wasn’t there, I just wasn’t feeling it myself and missed the fun that could be had!

The dancing pig may be cute, but little does he know I’m prepping the apple sauce…
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