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Noah Caldwell-Gervais is a YouTuber who runs an Analysis Channel that was formerly named Broadcast Static. The channel features in-depth critiques and retrospectives of popular and obscure video game franchises and individual video games, starting with an hour-long retrospective of the Fallout series.

After a successful Patreon campaign, he has also produced a trilogy of Travelogue videos collectively known as "the Triptych" (or "playtesting adventure", as he had dubbed it) which followed him, his wife, and his dog fulfilling Noah's lifelong dream of traveling across the western United States in a restored VW Bus.

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Noah's critiques are notoriously lengthy, with his retrospective of the Resident Evil series clocking in at just under 7.5 hours. A sorted list of his videos can be found on the Recap page.


Tropes found in Noah's videos:

  • Analysis Channel: The channel's backbone are Noah's extensive critiques of individual video games and entire franchises, primarily Action and Horror Video Games, as well as classic Western RPGs and Immersive Sims.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Noah often uses his video game critiques to reflect on Real Life, as well, and when he doesn't have a good answer, he instead puts it into a question that strips the issue down to its very core and lets the audience ponder it with him (see the Quotes tab for some examples).
  • Artifact Title: Noah formerly used "Broadcast Static" as his channel's until he began branding his videos with his own name instead.
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  • Author Filibuster: All of Noah's videos are lengthy, and more than once he dedicates a few minutes to relay either an opinion or personal story, although he attempts to make it pertinent to the video game in question. For instance, his review of Control includes his opinion about difficulty in games (and what it says about people who prefer either extreme), but he uses it to illustrate how accommodating and well-paced he felt the difficulty in that game was.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Noah's narration is generally very even and factual, so on the occasions where he allows himself to sneak in a snark (usually directed at video game developers, publishers, or political figures), it often takes a second or two to register with the viewers.
  • Hype Backlash:invoked Noah didn't find Resident Evil 4 as revolutionary and expertly designed as he believed to be after he played it with him feeling that the shooting was above-average and the story was stupid and non-sensical. However, he still believes that the game is one of the most important games ever made and it needed to happen to save the franchise after both Code Veronica and Resident Evil 0 show how dated the franchise's gameplay and formula was.
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer:
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    • In the Far Cry retrospective, during the Far Cry 3 segment he quotes the director of the game where he mentions that all the overt themes of the story were on purpose and meant to be allegorical and meta rather than literal with him going on a colorful rant about people not "understanding the game" and "taking the game seriously", Noah pauses two times to remind us that the man he's quoting works for a multi-million dollar company.
    • In the Crysis Identity retrospective, during the Crysis 2 segment he discusses the changes to the format made in the sequel (the change from small-sandbox levels to linear levels with arenas, and the removal of two of the Nano Suit abilities). He quotes the contradicting statements made by the game's director Cevat Yerli about "not streamlining, just refocusing" and the game being "a choreographed sandbox", while both saying that they made a lot of decisions based on their preconceived notions about console players, only to later state they didn't do it accommodate console players and did it because they believed that all players would love the changes. Even Noah is baffled at the Yerli's statements, and his attempts to hide the fact that the game was designed for more casual audiences and weaker hardware.
  • Old Guard Versus New Blood:invoked A major theme of his Western RPGs retrospectives and reviews is the comparison between how RPGs were made and expected to be played in the 90s and from 2000s onward (for more background on this gap, see UsefulNotes.Western RPG). He reviews them from the perspective of a player/fan of both the Dungeons & Dragons tabletop game and of its video games.
    • In his Baldur's Gate retrospective, he goes to great lenghts to explain that old RPGs games were meant to last 40 to 70 hours, how leveling was painfully slow, how most combat situations always put the player's party in a disadvantage, how party members can be killed permanently during combat and most damning of all, how needlessly complex the THAC0 system was (which was used in all licensed D&D games), and believes that this was one of the reasons the Genre was overshadowed and later taken over by 3D sandbox and Action RPGs.
    • He constantly compares Neverwinter Nights to future BioWare games such as Knights of the Old Republic (KotOR), Mass Effect and Dragon Age: Origins since Neverwinter Nights (and its expansions) serves as a weird bridge between the classic WRPGs and modern RPGs that's neither as complex as the Baldur's Gate series but not nearly as accessible as KotOR, Jade Empire and Mass Effect by comparing how the newer games make a conscious attempt to be accessible and are willing to take some liberties with gameplay rules and mechanics to make the game easier and faster to play while Neverwinter Nights insist on following the D&D rulebook to a teeth.
  • Precision F-Strike: Noah doesn't swear a lot in his videos, but when he does, it serves to either emphasize the point he wants to make or as Brutal Honesty.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: While calling out how Call of Juarez: The Cartel uses themes such as the drug war and police brutality in very poor taste and exaggerated manner, Noah points out that many of these things are based on actual problems that have been sensationalized by cable news, and The Cartel may very well be how other countries see the US.
    "The Cartel says some of the most unflattering things I can think of regarding the American character, but how many of those things are fully untrue, once you get past the insult of having it said so plainly?"
  • Serious Business: Noah usually argues against the classic notion that "true gamers are those that beat action games at the hardest difficulty", particularly since he, in his own words, is "a fool and a stoner, and must be allowed to make mistakes". He therefore impresses upon listeners that there is nothing wrong with playing on the easiest difficulty. He takes particular time discussing this in regards to Control's difficulty curve, where he discusses another gamer's quote on Twitter, and rebuts that for most people, mastering a game only means mastering that specific game, and that constantly losing in a game is more likely to simply make him find something else more productive to do, not stubbornly forge onwards.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Downplayed. Early on, Noah tried to lighten up his videos with jokes here and there, but these were very hit-and-miss. After realizing that "being funny" is not a requirement for a good critique, he dropped them in favor of a more Deadpan Snarker approach.
  • So Okay, It's Average:invoked
    • He believes Fallout 76 is this, mostly due to the game not pretending to be something it isn't (a Role-Playing game) and for its well-crafted open world. Keep in mind that he's a fan of the original Fallout, and he admits that 76 is the culmination of everything he dislikes about the Bethesda-made Fallout games.
    • The Outer Worlds is what he expected it to be, yet it ended up disappointing him for its limited open world(s), enemy variety, and its gameplay trying to copy Fallout 3/New Vegas's clutter-based loot. Most importantly, he feels it has weak story choicesnote  when choice "C" is the clear Golden Ending for the first two story arcs (Terra-2 and Monarch). While he does recommend the game for Fallout and RPG fans, he admits that he doesn't plan on completing another playthrough as he felt that he didn't miss much on his first and only playthrough.
  • Shown Their Work: During the Knights of the Old Republic retrospective, he explains to the audience the most notable aspects of the Monomyth and how it influenced George Lucas and the Star Wars franchise in ways most have never noticed.
  • So Bad, It's Good:invoked This is what Noah feels towards Resident Evil 6 with him believing that it fails catastrophically on almost everything it tries due to the developers trying it to be the "ultimate horror experience" by pandering to anybody it can, with him going as far as calling it a "transfixing supernova of failure" that always managed to surprise him for how stupid and self-serious everything was and thus kept him entertained most of the way through.
  • Stylistic Suck: Many of his videos open with a shot of some random items arranged to invoke the subject of the video and a sheet of paper with the title written on it, with some thematically appropriate music playing (in bad quality) in the background. This was originally owed to the fact that Noah had produced his videos on literally No Budget, but has since become a kind of a Signature Shot for him.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks!:invoked
    • His biggest complaint for Mass Effect: Andromeda was the developers' insistence in mirroring the first Mass Effect without expanding on its themes and tropes or creating something fully original for the new setting when they had a blank slate to work with. The fact that he spents an entire hour talking about it without going in-depth with the characters and sidestories shows how frustrated he was with the game.
    • His biggest issue with Torment: Tides of Numenera was that it tried too hard to copy Planescape: Torment. Tides of Numenera was its own unique setting with a wholly unique setup for the protagonists nature, and yet it did the same thing as Planescape by making the protagonist connected to the Big Bad as a clone of it, similar to how the protagonist of Planescape was connected to the Big Bad as one of the various incarnations of it. Due to the changes in story and approach, it copying Planescape resulted in the story losing its writing quality as it lacked the same meaning since unlike with Planescape where the protagonist was dealing with its past, the protagonist of Tides of Numenera is not as connected.
  • Too Bleak, Stopped Caring: invoked
    • Discussed in the Ghost Recon: Wildlands analysis, as he feels that playing as a squadron of ruthless American vigilantes killing genocidal Cartel hitmen across a poor South American nation without a hint of self-awareness or Lampshade Hanging is insensible at best and jingoistic and racist at worst, and makes it hard to get invested in the characters.
    • He feels that Aiden Pierce of Watch_Dogs is one of the reasons its story didn't work as the developers wanted as Pierce is an unlikeable, self-serious, manipulative and selfish vigilante that only cares about his own personal vendetta against the people that killed his niece. The fact that the game does its damnest to avoid portraying Aiden in a bad light by always pitting him against worse people made Noah believe that the developers thought that players would find Aiden "cool", which ended not being the case as it ended causing him difficulty into caring about the world and the characters.
    • In his review of Gun during the Home, Home on the Console review, he comments the game is overtly racist against Native Americans (wiping out multiple groups of them to help a railroad succeed or imitating Stagecoach, as well as Native American beliefs by killing Great White Buffalos for sport). He also states that the attempt to defuse racism by making the protagonist half-Apache just makes it worse. As such, it becomes impossible root for the ironically (?) named White as a protagonist.
  • Travelogue Show: Noah was able to briefly branch out into the genre after taking his show "on the road" in 2017, producing a trilogy of videos he has since referred to as the "Triptych". He is particularly inspired by William Least Heat-Moon's books, and draws intentional parallels between Least Heat-Moon's concept of quoz (basically, any unexpected interesting things one discovers off the beaten path while traveling) and the way Wide-Open Sandbox games like The Elder Scrolls structure their content. In "The Desert Bus", he brings up many quoz from his own travels that were functionally identical to encounters in Skyrim and concludes that the infamous joke game Desert Bus had been fundamentally wrong in its conception of Real Life travel as a boring chore and that realistic travel is much more akin to a densely-packed open world game instead.
  • True Art Is Angsty:
    • Invoked in his analysis of The Last of Us Part II, which he praised for not being a typical post-apocalyptic zombie story, for refusing to follow up the obvious story route set by its predecessor, and for being an author-focused story rather than one made to please fans. However, he also admits that this was the reason why the game caused such an aggressive backlash from many fans who wanted to see the continuation of Joel and Ellie's story and not the story of someone whom they wronged and who retaliated against them and... succeeded.
    • Also invoked in his analysis of Disco Elysium, as the game's bleak tone and feeling that no matter what you do, a single person cannot change a society for the better not matter how hard it tries, is a major reason why the game is a piece of art clearly based on the personal beliefs and experiences of an individual with a vision.
    • The Dark Souls trilogy and its central theme of death and somber atmosphere made a major impression on Noah for this reason. It's why Dark Souls II is his favorite of the trilogy because it focuses the most on those themes of death and decay, even if he admits that gameplay wise its the least of the trilogy. And conversely Dark Souls III is his least favorite because while not lacking in those themes, it's much more occupied with nostalgia most of the time.
  • Unintentional Period Pieceinvoked: He suggests Watch_Dogs 2 could become a Cult Classic because of this, noting the specific references to Martin Shkreli and the game's Anonymous-inspired vision of the hacker group DedSec.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: Since Noah's analyses are in-depth and several hours long, and he often quotes books and authors most people haven't even heard of (such as William Least Heat-Moon and his qouz), it usually takes at least one rewatch to catch all of the references.

Alternative Title(s): Noah Gervais, Broadcast Static

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