Unskippable is a weekly web series hosted on The Escapist. Graham and Paul snark over the opening cutscenes of various video games, in a styleinspired byMystery Science Theater 3000.The show was born as part of the Escapist Film Festival, where its pilot episode garnered enough votes to become a regular feature. It proved successful with the site's audience (who liked a bit of game humor), and has continued ever since.Cutscenes are chosen based on several factors (and yes, they can be skippable). Terrible writing, poor pacing, and Cliche Storms are a plus, but even great cinematics can get the Unskippable treatment if the duo can think of enough silly things to say about them.In 2009, Unskippable finally took on Hideo Kojima, the king of overwrought cutscenes, with Metal Gear August, a satirical look at Guns of the Patriots. As expected, the game was so cutscene-heavy that it took them 5 episodes to get through an amount equivalent to most of the other games they review.The episodes can be found here.The snarkers in question, Graham Stark and Paul Sanders, are also the creators of LoadingReadyRun. They have also experimented with a live Let's Play, found here. This morphed into a new series called Graham & Paul Let's Play, found here.
A reference to the "Bernie" cutscene character from Lost Planet, which goes all the way back to the pilot episode (which some viewers might not have seen, because the pilot wasn't available among the regular episodes initially).
When they did Jak II: Renegade, they equate the Dark Jak transformation with a Werehog. When they actually doSonic Unleashed, One of the lines used for Sonic's transformation scene is "I'm gonna kill Praxis!"
Their riff of Grandia III' involved them mistaking a particularly hot mom for the main character's older sister. The very next video had them purposely going out of their way to avoid referring to the characters' relationships to avoid a repeat mistake.
Defcon Five: Averted in their review of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2:
(screen lists Defcon 4)
Paul:(sarcastically) Oooh, Defcon 4. Just so you know, Defcon 4 is not that scary. The US is currently at Defcon 3.
Graham: Defcon 3 is worse, by the way.
Designated Villain: Invoked often, usually when a game opens with a battle between two sides the player knows nothing about and has no stake in, but the game clearly expects the player to take sides anyway.
In the episode for Genji, the expository narration lays out that the villainous Heishi have already been defeated, and the opening cutscene is basically an extended conspiracy by the Genji clan, who are supposed to be the heroes, to carry out an ethnic cleansing campaign against the no-longer-a-threat Heishi. This leads the guys to a sudden realization:
Paul: You know, the more I hear about these guys wanting to exterminate the Heishi, the more I realize we only have these guys' word to go on that the Heishi are the bad guys.
Ensemble Darkhorse: Okay, not really an ensemble, but the guys declared the chicken in the opening of Fable III to be the "most compelling" character of any cut scene they watched.invoked
Fake Nationality: invokedIn the episode for Unearthed: Trail of Ibn Battuta, as the credits list off American-sounding names of voice actors playing Middle Eastern characters, like "Jeff Rosick as Faris Jawad."
Graham: Also starring really white sounding people as really not-white sounding people!
Graham: It's refreshing to see non-white protagonists. It is kind of funny to me that they sound whiter than we are, and we're Canadian.
Graham: Yeah, I mean, I know it's canon and all, but I feel really vulnerable over here.
Hey, It's That Voice!: Their reaction when they realized that the same voice actress did the opening monologues for both Eternal Sonata and Ace Combat 6, and again, though with a different emotional response, when they realize "Commander 'Lightspeed' Kenny" is also in Red Faction: Guerilla.
And in the end credits of Assassins Creed II, it becomes "Hey its that guy", with "Nolan North isn't just doing the same voice in every game, he's doing the same character."
The Halo ODST credits read "Nathan Fillion plays the same character in everything and, frankly, I'm okay with that."
Lame Pun Reaction: In the Arc Rise Fantasia video, the hero and a dragon are falling from the sky, and Paul says the game should be called "Arc FallFantasia". Graham imitated a shout, saying "Get off the stage!".
Laughably Evil: A variant. They think Vaas would be fun to hang out with 75% of the time, and "ungodly terrifying" the remaining 25%.
Loads and Loads of Loading: In a different sense than the usual one. Early in The Darkness, the protagonist receives an unloaded shotgun. Which he then spends several minutes slowly, carefully loading in the middle of a heated car chase. This is thoroughly mocked.
Made of Iron: That chicken at the start of Fable 3. Hoo boy. However...
Memetic Badass: They think the dog in Dead to Rights is way more badass than his owner and suggest that to underscore this there should have been a scene of the dog lapping up whiskey out of a bowl.invoked
In the episode for Lollipop Chainsaw, where they comment that all the girls in the photo of the San Romero cheer squad look the same, but with different hair. The stinger claims they were created by the "Sexy Archetypes Cloning Program."
The line "And that was the [number]th time I died," every time a cutscene ends with the main character's apparent death. Lampshaded in the stinger for The Darkness where they mention they considered retiring the gag but it just comes up too often.
When seeing a duster-and-fedora-clad man pull out pistols in the trailer/opening cutscene of Star Wars: The Old Republic, they remark that Star Wars was always a Space Western, but they'd never seen it have a space cowboy before.
Also mocked in the episode for Starhawk. The guys joke that the cowboy-themed outfits are the result of a villain stealing everyone's clothes while they were at a cowboy-themed costume party, thus forcing them all to wear their cowboy costumes full time.
SpaceX: If a spaceship was full of slaves, they should be rowing with space oars.
In the Quantum of Solace video, Graham suddenly realizes that there's a Press A To Skip prompt in the corner and seemed embarrassed.
Likewise, in their review for Left 4 Dead, both are taken by surprise at the ability to skip the cutscene that they scramble looking for the controller, only to find it has run down its batteries, forcing them to continue to watch.
For their Let's Play of Legaia 2 Graham noted that he was pressing every button he could to try and skip the opening.
In the episode for Dead Island a "Press O to Skip" prompt appears in the corner, but the guys refuse to press it for fear that it's a trap.
Unstoppable Rage: Wolverine Uncaged - "Good lord man, do you have a stabbing quota?"
Weird Moon: A Running Gag is that the moon in (especially JRPG) cutscenes is "so big that if real, the Earth would long ago have been torn apart by tidal forces". Seeing a big moon in a non-JRPG game sometimes causes them to quip "Is this set in Japan?"