NakeyJakey is one of my favourite YouTuber’s. He always makes interesting videos about something to do with video games. He has done videos with titles like “Moms in Video Games”, “Crappy Voice Acting”, “Flash Games Mattered”, “The Art of Video Game Commercials”, and a ton of other cool stuff. NakeyJakey has a unique presentation as he often sits on a yoga ball and makes some pretty weird but good jokes as he discusses different video game things in-depth.
I knew that NakeyJakey was a HUGE fan of Rockstar Games. They are one of his favourite developers. So I was surprised to see that his new video was titled “Rockstar’s Game Design is Outdated” and that the video was almost 40 minutes long! Most of his videos are just under 10 minutes so my curiosity was more than piqued. I only meant to click the video and watch a couple of minutes before shutting it off. I didn’t get the chance to play RDR 2 since I don’t own a console. But NakeyJakey pulled me straight in and I ended up watching the entire video.
Throughout the video, NakeyJakey breaks down the world systems and mechanics of Red Dead Redemption 2. He gives an incredibly in-depth analysis about how the game works and offers plenty of critiques. Without having ever played the game, NakeyJakey explains things in a way that makes me feel like I understand how the game works on a fundamental level. I feel like I understand how the game functions and how I would be expected to play if I were to play it. He then uses these understandings to explain how things could be better.
His arguments are well-thought out, put-together, and cohesive. He consistently offers new insights and perspectives into Rockstar’s open-world game design in a way that they are actually constructive. He never resorts to shit-talking or over-praising for the sake of it and always relies on how he FELT during his time playing RDR 2. He then backs up these FEELINGS with logical explanations about why the game made him feel that way and how he thinks the game should make him feel.
He justifies these feelings through detailed arguments that use a multitude of in-game examples to prove his point. And not just examples in RDR 2. He references other games by Rockstar and games from other developer’s to draw comparison’s between the approach to game design and explains how and why it was more effective in the other titles. For example, he references the new Zelda and Mario games and uses them as an example of player choice and freedom. He then uses examples to show the stark contrast in player choice between RDR 2 and the aforementioned Nintendo games (he mostly uses Zelda).
The presentation in this is spectacular and the video moves smoothly between topics. Editing is used as a means of transition but also as a way to deliver jokes (Eiffel 65 makes a few audible appearances). The video is consistently engaging in both its visual and audio design which are always complimentary to what NakeyJakey is saying at any given moment. Which brings me to the most impressive part of the entire video: the script. In the pinned comment, NakeyJakey explains that he kept re-writing it and editing it down until he could stand by every word. And it really, REALLY shows. The script is concise and you can easily follow the logic of every single argument. Furthermore, NakeyJakey uses the perfect in-game footage to exemplify each of his arguments. This video must have taken a ton of time to make.
These types of videos are my favourite thing on YouTube by a long shot and there are so many great content creators: obviously NakeyJakey, as well as channels like Snoman Gaming, Game Maker’s Toolkit, Hugbox, Matthewmatosis, Nickolai Boulton, Turbo Button, Codex Entry, and so many more. You can always learn something and evolve your taste in games. With each video I watch, I feel like I can better understand and appreciate how much work goes into a video game. I have learned of some pretty amazing games by watching videos like this and have also learned to appreciate games that I had already liked or disliked before. Video games are constantly evolving and so should our understanding of them.
NakeyJakey has crafted a brilliant critique of one of the year’s biggest and most loved video games. Between the perfectly written script and an expertly crafted video that utilizes a ton of in-game footage, NakeyJakey makes several compelling arguments about Red Dead Redemption 2’s game design. With each principle of game design that he critiques, NakeyJakey offers a constructive solution that would make the game more consistent in design as well as more rewarding for the player. I hope that NakeyJakey puts out a lot more videos like this because he is so good at what he does and he has such an interesting perspective.
8/10 – Great