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Informative but Intimidating
Retsupurae videos are very hit-or-miss to me, and I think the basic concept is what keeps me from consistently enjoying them. The concept being 'Two people who are good at making Let's Play videos watch bad Let's Play videos and scathingly mock them.' There's no way this can be done without coming off as kind of a dick.

I'll admit there are positives; the biting sarcastic humour is second to none, and most of the videos they're ripping apart are just plain indefensible. The problems occur when either of these positive factors are missing - without the humour, the attacks on bad players just come off as mean-spirited, and when the quality of the video is up for debate, they can come across as arrogant and superior.

I'd be lying if I said I didn't think the Fan Dumb was part of the problem. From trying to get 'bad' Let's Players banned from YouTube, to flooding their channels with negative comments even when asked not to, to blindly repeating 'Slowbeef INVENTED the Let's Play' whenever the quality of a Retsupurae video comes up - the Fan Dumb of something on the internet that exists to criticize other things on the internet is always going to be very vocal and very irritating.

To be fair, I can't exactly say that Retsupurae fans are worse than the stars when Retsupurae videos have more than their fair share of Wall Bangers. Labelling the Nostalgia Critic's entire fanbase as stupid, retarded, and in need of psychological help was pretty bad, and General Ironicus' write-up of 'Why PewDiePie has fans' was the most pretentious and condescending thing I've read in a long time - and that's from someone who doesn't even like PDP - but given the concept of Retsupurae, most of all I'm surprised that I don't find them offensively bad as often as I thought I would.

Their videos can be helpful, even to those they're making fun of, but that's not the aim of Retsupurae, only a side effect. In short, watching Retsupurae might help a new Let's Player avoid some of the mistakes others have made, but it would just as likely persuade them not to make videos at all.
For what it's worth, my understanding is they dialed back their stances on the NC since their RP of it. That's not to say they like Doug Walker in any particular sense, but they do admit their comments on the fanbase were over the line, and at least respect how Doug had to admit Demo Reel didn't pan out and go back to NC videos - something that couldn't have been an easy decision to make.

Likewise, they admit the early videos were way too scathing. Plus, considering the Fan Dumb issue you bring up, they tend to shy away from videos like that these days, because they don't see themselves as the "Let's Play police" or anything, and don't want fans of theirs to go around harassing those they riff on. (That and they kinda feel like every possible way to make an LP bad has kind of been exhausted at this point, barring a few exceptions that pop up now and then, which limits the humor value that could be extracted from riffing it.)

So there's that, I suppose.
comment #21250 ShadowHog 25th Sep 13
If it wasn't for Retsutalk I would probably have ignored this channel. But because of it, I really love Retsupurae. Maybe, a bit too much.

Do I need tomatoes to the face?
comment #21321 Sandcrawl 3rd Oct 13
Let me try to play devil's advocate without sounding like a fanboy.

I believe destructive criticism has a place. I believe there are some people out there who make things that are so terrible that they probably have no potential of ever making a good work within that medium and that their efforts would best be spent elsewhere. Retsupurae gives this type of criticism, and more than a few of their targets most certainly needed it, although most of them didn't accept it. But more than that, I think they keep it classy by not attacking their targets personally, with a few exceptions, of course. And it's not like they think badly of all of their targets or even all the videos they riff over. billymc and electrical beast, yeah? It's just that they had a show they wanted to put on, so they went with the material they thought they could cover best, even if the quality of it was questionably bad.

And of course, there's the standard "any public content is subject to criticism" argument. I think its especially applicable here though, because of your remark about how retsupurae's whole concept inherently makes them look like dicks. I can't say I agree, because to me, it's essentially the same as mocking any other kind of media. It just feels more personal and direct because there's usually just one guy running a Let's Play. Imagine if the Nostalgia Critic put on each and every one of his shows in front of the entire production crew of whatever he's looking at for his current episode. Some of them would agree with him, but I assure you some would probably get angry. Is he any less of a dick than retsupurae for not doing so? Well, it certainly is more tasteful, but each of his videos invariably is going to offend more people than what retsupurae do with one of theirs no matter how well his criticism is constructed (he too has a show to put on), and the directness of retsupurae certainly makes them seem more... honest. Same goes for anyone else who makes a show out of criticizing something. But like I said, at least these people usually stick to mocking their subject and not the people who created it. For the most part. That's the important thing here.

comment #21326 DeviousRecital 3rd Oct 13
This channel isn't just about Let's Plays. Nowadays, they are focusing more and more on riffs on bad flash games and bad retail games partly due to running out of ideas for Retsupuraes and partly because of a portion of fans who are all too willing to try to get the L Pers they riff on off of Youtube. Even when the duo admits they don't mean harm and that, in their early vids, they were a lot harsher. You'll want to look at the channel as a whole instead of just the bad sides. You thought as though Retsupurae is just as bad as the rest of Youtube.
comment #21377 Slimbship4 5th Oct 13
Clearing a few things up in this review.

I wasn't really trying to review the entire channel because I haven't seen enough of Retsutalk or Retsufrash to judge either of them, I was only talking about the Retsupurae videos. Also, I was talking about my opinion in general on all of the Retsupurae videos I've seen on the channel, not just the recent ones - I have definitely noticed that their R Ps have improved over time.

RE: Devious Recital, you make a good point about how criticising a Let's Play can be compared to criticising a movie, but I don't really think they're similar enough - you said it yourself, 'There's usually just one guy running a Let's Play,' so it's almost impossible to mock the LP without mocking the L Per. You can make fun of a movie without specifically making fun of the writers, actors, producers, directors, assistants, camera crew and make-up artists, and even if you are making fun of them, it's because they had a job that you think they failed at. Making a Let's Play isn't a job, it's a hobby, and although I found the videos unexpectedly funny, it comes across to me as really elitist to judge someone else's hobby because you think they're doing it wrong.
comment #21400 Elmo3000 6th Oct 13
Well, there IS a way to do it wrong. L Ping may not be a job for everyone (some, like Nerd Cubed, do make a living from it), it's still a creative work that is put in front of an audience for critique. The moment they put their L Ps up for public view, they invited criticism. If they did a crappy job, nobody can or should stop others from pointing it out.
comment #22757 chitoryu12 9th Jan 14
And likewise, if the so-called critics do a crappy job criticizing something, whether it's inaccurate, or complete wrong and out of ignorance, or if they go too far and actually do attack the people directly or even their fans, nobody can of should stop others from calling the critics out on it.
comment #23095 Rahkshi500 3rd Feb 14
I that's there's where I'm torn on these guys as well. I legitimately enjoyed a couple of their videos where the person being MST's deserved it(such as the people that made racist and homophobic comments, or acted like dicks in general) but I'm really put off by their fan-hater streak and how dickish their fanbase can be. About the time I saw a fan of theirs defend them mocking a video from someone that committed suicide by saying is was Darwinism in action, I was really turned off.
comment #24565 shoboni 28th May 14
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