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The third spinoff from RedLetterMedia, Previously Recorded (or Pre-Rec) is hosted by Rich Evans and Jack Packard, two RLM regulars. Unlike all other spinoffs, Pre-Rec is hosted on its own dedicated YouTube channel, never appearing on the main RLM channel. Instead of focusing on film, the show turns its attention to video games; regular livestreams of various games are also featured on YouTube and Twitch. Unlike RLM's previous shows, Pre-Rec does not feature guest contributors.

The core show is a sit-down discussion between Jack and Rich, in which they analyze a game or game-related subject. The pair also stream a number of games that they either have and have not reviewed, during which they will answer questions from viewers. Other members of RLM, particularly Jay, will occasionally stop by to watch a stream.

On July 22, 2018, the duo announced that no new videos or streams would be made and that they would end the channel. Their last stream was on July 25, 2018. Jack, although he has continued to appear in Best of the Worst, would join The Escapist in 2019 and begin a spiritual sequel to Pre-Rec called Underdeveloped.

    Games featured on Pre-Rec 

    Games Jack and Rich have streamed 

Previously Recorded provides examples of:

  • Alan Smithee: Invoked in their video on Panty Party, which ends with Rich Evans saying he wants to be credited as Alan Smithee for this episode. Smash Cut to the credits, which lists him as Alan Smithee. Even the video description says "Jack and Alan".
  • All-Loving Hero: Rich Evans refuses to even kill flies in real life.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation In-Universe:
  • Artifact Title: The name of the show was chosen, at least in part, to avert this; if the hosts later decided to focus the show on things not related to video games, they didn't want to be saddled with a video-game-specific title.
  • Atomic F-Bomb:
    • Rich drops quite a few of these during streams when something goes wrong in the game he's playing, particularly if that game is FTL or XCOM.
    • The largest and most genuinely angry ones so far occur at the end of their stream of The Order: 1886.
  • Author Appeal: Over the course of the show, the hosts make it very clear what they want and don't want from games, which heavily color how they review games and which games they livestream.
    • Rich generally doesn't like multiplayer games or real-time strategy games. He loves very challenging action role-playing games and turn-based strategy games. Jack is much more open to multiplayer games and shares Rich's fondness for action RPGs. They both hate games that prioritize prescripted story over gameplay and use Press X to Not Die. Jack in particular can't stand cutscenes.
    • When streaming, Rich and Jack will generally prefer to play games they enjoy rather than take requests. Rich finds many opportunities to play FTL: Faster Than Light, XCOM 2 and Friday the 13th: The Game. These games also make good streaming because the hosts can talk about their strategies and create interesting scenarios of gameplay that are fun to watch. Jack will often favor shooters like Player Unknowns Battlegrounds.
  • Bait-and-Switch: In their Doom (2016) review.
    Jack: So for this episode Rich, we need to have a nuanced discussion about gameplay mechanics, story integration, and Worldbuilding. But first... I'M GONNA PUNCH A DEMON IN THE FUCKING FACE!
  • Bias Steamroller: Both Rich and Jay are uninterested in the story of games and particularly dislike it when story moments cut into gameplay. Jack hates all cutscenes, especially those done in-game that are unskippable, while Rich's tolerance is a bit higher. Any "cinematic" game, particularly those using Press X to Not Die, will get harsh reviews.
  • Big "NO!": Rich again, letting off several when Thief: The Dark Project crashes.
  • California Doubling: Inverted in their introduction of E3 2014, where the hosts claim they're in "sunny L.A." but are still clearly in a fog-covered Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
  • CallBack: The duo laughs hysterically and sadly when they finally get to the end of The Order 1886 and realize it's a gunshot-fade-to-black ending, which they commented was one of the worst ways to end a film in a previous Half in the Bag episode.
  • Captain Obvious Reveal: [invoked] Just as Rich starts to play SOMA, Jack reads the game synopsis describing it as a examination of identity and human consciousness, to which Rich responds, "So, you're a robot," calling the twist immediately.
  • Card Battle Game: Discussed in their review of Hand of Fate. More accurately, the game uses elements of Deckbuilding Games (ala Dominion) in which the deck is built during the game, using points to buy better cards and trying to get rid of weaker cards. Rich, unfamiliar with the tabletop concept, has Jack explain it to him.
  • Censored for Comedy: Done in the *REDACTED* Nintendo Game video, where the name of the Nintendo game is bleeped out, the footage of the game is "replaced" with a black screen noting the it was *REDACTED*, and even the pictures of Nintendo characters they have in the background are pixelated. Of course, this is invoked to mock Nintendo's new policy that forces reviewers to partner up with them, and practically pay Nintendo just to review their games.
  • Church of Happyology: In one livestream of FTL, Jack tells a story of how he and his film crew were accosted by members of the church while filming in L.A.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Jack shows signs of being one, particularly if he's tired or drunk.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Landers Minder: Rich during streams; Lisa, Jack's wife, presumably fills this role in day-to-day-life.
  • Cluster F-Bomb:
    • Used by Jack to describe the various bad guys Rich must fight during a The Banner Saga battle.
    • Their (failed) attempts at playing Sonic the Hedgehog, 2, and 3 results in a Failure Montage filled with profanity strewn moments.
    • Many of these were dropped by viewers during a stream after Pre-Rec's chat profanity filter was turned off.
    Jay: The chat just went a little bit crazy.
  • The Commandments: A half-joking version (exact wording may vary):
    1. Do what you want all the time.
    2. Be prepared to accept the consequences of doing what you want all the time.
  • Continuity Reboot: For Rich, Doom (2016) inverts this - the games reverts from the Survival Horror of Doom³ back to the run-and-gun action of the original Doom.
    Rich: This may be history's first deboot.
  • Crossover: Inverted in the regular episodes - only Jack and Rich appear. The closest to a crossover is when they show up in an Half in the Bag episode as two video game repairmen of the "Previously Played" game store.
  • Damned by Faint Praise:
    • When the streaming Rich says that he's started really enjoying God of War, Jack says that the game is perfectly "adequate." Rich counters that the game is better than that, but Jack refuses to give ground.
    • Played for comedy when discussing a minigame in Alien: Isolation. Jack concludes, "Technically, that's a game." This statement is then displayed as a pull-quote on game box.
  • Dialogue Tree: Jack dislikes these.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The first episode has Jack and Rich standing up and facing the camera to provide a proper introduction to the game. Contrast this to the later episodes, where they are pretty random in their opening scenes. In addition, the first episode looks like it was done at someone's house instead at Red Letter Media's office, and the lack of pixel art video game backgrounds that would appear later on.
  • Epic Fail: Jack manages to blow himself up in one of the tutorial levels in COD:AW by holding a live grenade too long.
  • Fade to Black: The ending of The Order: 1886, which does not make Rich and Jack happy.
    Jack: Gunshot fade to black? Gunshot cut to black?! Gunshot cut to black!
    (Jack begins laughing hysterically)
    Jack: Fuckin' art house brilliant!
    Rich: Oooooh myyyyy Goooood.
    Jack: Fuck yeah! Fuck yeah!
    Rich: Oh my God. What, what, what... the fuck?! What... what kind of 9th grade bullshit tripe is this?!
  • Fat and Skinny: Rich and Jack, respectively.
  • Fetish Retardant In-Universe: The hosts found Quiet of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain to be this for a number of reasons namely that the explanation for her not wearing any clothing was utter garbage.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode:
    • The show takes time to do different things, such as asking "Is Sonic the Most Overrated Game Ever?" and discussing E3 2014.
    • The livestreams have done this with the "Board Game" stream and the "Rich Assembles His New PC" stream.
    • Their review of XCOM 2 was streamed live. Apparently, Jack was sick and they lacked much time to do a regular review.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Jack's male cat was briefly named Princess Doctor Meatball before getting renamed to Biscuit.
  • Genre Savvy: Rich calls out a twist immediately upon starting up SOMA.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Jack speaks Spanish in the intro for their discussion of Guacamelee! His accent is pretty broken, but his grammar is on point and it's very easy to understand every thing he says. Rich eats El Mexicano Coco Bombolín Cookies and has a lit candle with a picture of Jesus.
  • Griefer: The pair note that the biggest weakness of Friday the 13th: The Game is getting a good group of players. It's very easy for one person to attack their teammates, spy for the Jason player, or exploit a bug and force everyone to sit around doing nothing for 20 minutes. This is exacerbated by the fact that games are single elimination, meaning most players who are eliminated early will simply find a new game, making it hard to keep a good group of players together.
  • Groin Attack:
  • Grumpy Old Man: Rich jokingly claims to be one often.
  • Hard-Work Montage: To demonstrate what Alien: Isolation really was like, the review features a DOOR MONTAGE. It consists mostly of the character opening doors, with dubstep being played.
  • His Name Really Is "Barkeep": Jack thinks that the Father character's name in Hard West is literally "Father". Apparently, the game doesn't give much characterization for Jack or Rich to care.
  • Hollywood Atheist: Exaggerated in Rich's case during streams for humor; he's made sure to clarify that he doesn't really have a problem with religious people as long as they aren't fundamentalists.
  • Hypocritical Humor: During one stream, Jay criticizes the thought of putting a misleading name on a Youtube video. Jay's personal Youtube channel is a single Overly Long Gag where he uploaded dozens of videos purporting to be daily vlog entries about pop culture but were instead short still-lifes set to ominous ambient sound.
  • Indie Game: A fair number of their reviews.
  • In Name Only: Discussed when the hosts were discussing a preview of Doom (2016), thinking the game would bear no resemblance to the original DOOM. Ultimately defied when they review the game, finding that much of the original game can still be found in this version.
  • Insult Backfire: During a livestream of FTL: Faster Than Light, a comment was made calling Rich and Jack "Crocodile Brain" and "don't not talk of games you don't like." Crocodile brain became a livestream Running Gag.
  • Interrupted by the End: Every episode concludes with a Smash Cut to the word "END" that fills the screen. Due to its abruptness, this interruption is often literal.
  • It's Short, So It Sucks! In-Universe: Discussed in their review of Alien: Isolation. The hosts thought the game would work if it where done in 3-4 hours. But most likely because of this reaction to short games, Isolation is far longer than it needs to be.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: In-Universe, the problem the hosts had with some of Microsoft's E3 2014 announcements. Namely that Microsoft was trying to be "safe and predictable" to the point of re-releasing the Halo games with the original engines.
  • Kill It with Fire: Taking a page from Best of the Worst, the hosts of Pre-Rec were so disgusted with The Order: 1886 that they employed this to destroy the disc.
  • Manipulative Editing: In their Alien: Isolation review, they deride the door-opening minigames as "Spooky Wario-Ware" and show a Dubstep-backed montage of lengthy door opening animations to insinuate it's arbitrary busywork. In the actual game, the hacking minigames are progress gates for the stealth sections and often involve the player either finding an alternative route or desperately praying they can finish a hack before an android tears their spine out.
  • Mood Whiplash: Much to Jack and Rich's chagrin, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain goes from "the horrors of war" to "fire demons and unicorns" and vice versa repeatedly and very suddenly.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Done sarcastically during the review of Alien: Isolation when the guys state that the game is almost entirely "opening doors." They then cut to a "Door Opening Montage," played to a kickin' dubstep beat.
  • Mundane Utility: Nikola Tesla is the weapons maker for the protagonists in The Order: 1886. Much to the chagrin of the hosts of Pre-Rec, the first weapon that the "real life mad scientist" provides... is a rifle scope.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The E3 Trailer for The Order: 1886. To Jack, it looked like a game focusing on monster hunting. The hosts were greatly disappointed that the vast majority of enemies are humans.
    Rich: "Everyone is a boring dude with a machine gun."
  • No-Dialogue Episode: Aside from the first two minutes, the Mass Effect: Andromeda episode primarily consists of Rich quietly destroying copies of the game as well as Mass Effect 3 while Jack sits in awkward silence.
  • Non-Ironic Clown: Jack has been a birthday clown in the past, and appears in full clown makeup one stream to reward a $150 donation. Eerily, he is also not allowed to speak the entire stream thanks to another $200 donation incentive.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Invoked by Rich when he points out why Alien: Isolation fails as a horror game - the titular Alien is so well known, it's not scary anymore.
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: Jack gives one after Rich describes the plot of The Order: 1886, specifically the part about Lord Hastings' pact with the lycans so he can be Jack the Ripper.
  • Oddball in the Series: A whole episode is dedicated to analyzing why Zelda II: The Adventure of Link was so different from the other games in the franchise.
  • The Oner: The "Rich Builds a PC" stream. For over two hours.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • Rich has never, in all of RLM's output, been as angry as he was at the end of The Order: 1886; the same goes for Jack, but to a lesser degree. Seeing these two friendly, funny guys so royally pissed off is fairly disturbing.
    • During one stream, while Rich and Jack are complimenting Superman's portrayal on Supergirl, a viewer comments that "the CW Superman is completely one-dimensional and boring." The normally-chill Jack loses his shit:
    Jack: WELCOME TO FUCKING SUPERMAN! THAT'S WHAT HE IS! I'm sorry I had to yell into my microphone, but you assholes don't get it! That's Superman's whole schtick! "I'm a good guy, I'm a boring Boy Scout!" GOD-FUCKING-DAMMIT!
  • Overly Long Gag: In their "review" of Mass Effect: Andromeda, Jack spends a few minutes trying to engage Rich in a discussion, but Rich relentlessly shoots him down, saying he hasn't played the game and doesn't care about Mass Effect anymore. Then follows about 20 straight minutes of awkward silence.
  • Porting Disaster: Not only did they play the infamous PC port of Batman: Arkham Knight, but Rich's Windows 10 copy of Quantum Break, despite his PC having the recommended technical specs, still stutters and lags throughout.
  • Prematurely Bald: Jack shaves his head, and Rich's hair is thinning. They both agree that keeping your hair properly maintained while balding is very important, since long and wispy hair looks terrible.
  • Press X to Not Die: Rich and Jay are both extremely critical of this trope, considering it to be an illusion of interactivity when it's actually just be a cutscene that requires you to press a button to continue to the next sequence of the cutscene.
    • Discussed in the episode "Why Mario Is More Immersive Than Call of Duty," where the hosts point out that current Quicktime events in games don't really add any interactivity in the game.
    • In their The Order: 1886 review, when the player character is struggling with a guard, Jack and Rich decide not to press the button prompt to see what happens. Instead of dying, the player character and the guard just struggle in the same cutscene loop repeatedly; in the episode, this goes on for almost a full minute.
    • In their review of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, the pair lose their minds during a sequence in which the player is taken to a funeral and is unable to continue until you "press X to pay respects." Jack refuses and spends several minutes just wandering around the level.
  • Pun:
    • While streaming from a working SNES, the chat demands proof that Jack and Rich aren't using an emulator. After photo evidence fails to convince them, they demand a dick pic (with the SNES in the background) as proof. Jack obliges.
    • The stream titles (both on Twitch and the segments uploaded to YouTube) regularly fall into this.
  • Punny Name: Many of their Twitch subscribers have these for their usernames; some will even subscribe with such a name in hopes of getting either host to laugh. Some of these names include Burrito_Mussolini, Heineken_Skywalker, and Darth_Marenghis_Garkplace.
  • Quote Mine: If either Jack or Rich says something suggestive or banal in regards to the quality of whatever game they're discussing, expect the phrase to appear onscreen in the form of a review-style pull quote.
  • Raised by Grandparents: Rich, apparently, and specifically by his grandmother. He says this is why he sometimes uses old-fashioned terms like "hunky-dory".
  • Real Is Brown: Their issue with Titanfall. The game looks so desaturated for the sake of realism, it actually becomes a problem. Namely, the hosts couldn't tell which side the other players were on.
  • Redshirt Army: One of the reasons Rich doesn't like Real Time Strategy games: the units are nameless and lacking any reason for him to care about them.
  • Retraux:
    • Both hosts enjoy the pixel art style of Risk of Rain, as well as retro games in general.
    • Discussed in their review of Shovel Knight, wither or not that the game's retro-NES style is clouding their judgement on the game. Jack tests this by having younger kids who never heard of an NES before play the game. The results: They love it.
  • Roguelike: A fair number of games reviewed are hybrid roguelikes. Rich also comments that some games (such as FTL: Faster Than Light) are being termed "Rogue-lites" by some, because they don't play much like Rogue.
  • Running Gag:
    • Videos abruptly and awkwardly ending with the word "END" in large print.
    • Once a stream a viewer would request Rich and Jack play DC Universe Online. During the last stream, they finally agree to do so only for the stream to abruptly cut to their signature END screen the moment the game begins.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Rich eventually leaves the set during the Firewatch video, where he hated it but Jack loved it.
  • Shout-Out:
    • During one period of the show, Rich and Jack sit in front of paper collages of Super Mario Bros.
    • The last title screen used by the show is based on the loading screens of XCOM 2, which Rich enjoyed so much that he played hundreds of hours of it.
  • Smurfing: Jack is prone to referring to various things as "jams," "jimmies," and "jimmy-jams." This can be anything from music to power-ups.
  • Stripperific: Jack notes that Quiet of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has "no clothes" to describe her bra and torn pants. This is apparently because "the developer is a 12-year old."
  • Take a Third Option: During the livestream play of Dishonored 2, Rich is given by the tutorial the option to either kill all the guards or stealth his way carefully across the level. He decides he's not patient enough and just runs through the whole level without fighting anyone. He gets detected 26 times but succeeds anyway without a single stab or shot fired.
  • The Teetotaler: Rich says the thought of any substance altering his mental faculties makes him "squeamish," so be never imbibes, though it makes less of an impression in this series than in other RLM shows, which feature beer heavily.
  • Themed Stock Board Game: The November 26, 2014 livestream featured board games instead of video games; one of these was Star Trek Catan.
  • 'Tis Only a Bullet in the Brain: An Imperial mook survives a near-point-blank shot to the head in Jedi Knight II, much to Rich's astonishment.
    Rich: I hit him right in the fuckin' face! He's not wearing armor, he's wearing skin!
  • Tropes Are Tools: Discussed during the The Order: 1886. They consider the game's characters to be "cliche", but they do point out that's not a problem - plenty of works use archetypical characters. The problem for the hosts is if the setting, plot, and everything else just is just another pile of uninspired and rehashed tropes.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Rich utters "Fartbar" once while playing the Sonic games. Jack is utterly confused upon hearing the word.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Jack is usually on the receiving end, though.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: In one segment of The Order: 1886, the protagonist tells another character "We will not harm innocent men" before he receives proof that he should be fighting these people. He then launches into an extended gunfight with mooks, killing all of them before he receives any justification. The show counts the dozens of mooks the character kills in a lengthy montage.
  • You Monster!: Said by Jack when Rich has an air dropped crate fall onto a horse during a game.
  • Your Head Asplode: Happens to Jack while discussing Crypt of the NecroDancer, due to it being a new idea and not another first-person shooter and/or sequel. Oddly, his skull remains intact.
  • Zany Scheme: While both hosts agree that the writers of The Order: 1886 should be hit in the dick, Jack prefers this method of dispensing punishment to Rich's more direct method:
    Jack: See if you can distract them while they're walking toward something that's dick-height so they accidentally run into it. Therefore you're not assaulting someone, but they still get hit in the dick.