In the last year or so, I’ve taken to watching replays of RTS games for fun (you know, like e-sports), rather than as a method of improving my own skills (in fact, in a lot of cases I don’t even own the game). As for why it’s entertaining, well, like any sport there’s fun in competition.
Each game has it’s own jargon with some, but not much, overlap, so it can be a little daunting. I was quite confused when I started watching Starcraft 2 Replays, but once you watch a few you begin to get the hang of it and enjoy it even more. In the hopes of getting you interested, here are some of my favorite shoutcasts from a variety of games:
First, let’s try some Zero Hour. Stanislav hilariously casts his own game as he plays. Pretty much all of “Stanislav School” is good, so watch it!
Next, how about some Company of Heroes? I actually watched these 2(+) years ago, but they still hold up really well. Company of Heroes replays are pretty long (usually around an hour), so grab a snack, sit down, and relax.
We’ll start with the excellent Tales of Heroes episode 58, Legend of the Crocodile*. This is one is actually pretty funny, which should make it even more enjoyable. The most important thing to know going in is the ability “Allied War Machine” that the (surprise) allies have – when active, any armor (tanks, etc) destroyed are given back to the player for free. You’ll see why it’s an important ability in the replay.
Next up is Tales of Heroes episode 69, King of the 88*. This one is all kinds of epic. I apologize about the quality, but it’s the best I’ve been able to find. I believe there was a torrent with all of the episodes out there at some point, but I don’t know if it’s still available. But still, low quality or not… Worth it.
While we’re talking about Relic, I think a few Dawn of War II Retribution replays are in order. Both Company of Heroes and Dawn of War share some similarities (besides developer), including the victory point system. Dawn of War II should be pretty easy to get into, as it doesn’t feature much base building – but it is quite action-packed.
In this cast, we’ve got a really exciting high level 2v2. It’s back and forth, and, well, fun to watch.
Another DoWII game, this time a free-for-all featuring all six of the game’s races. This isn’t as high level, and thus entertaining in an entirely different way.
And, finally, how about the biggest of them all? There are a lot of places to find Starcraft 2 replays, but I’m going to link to one that’s pretty fun to watch (though old).
A nice high level Protoss vs. Zerg match. There also some high end pro matches to be found that are between 8 and 12 minutes, so if you’ve got some down time, Starcraft is the place to get some nice short matches (as well as the 40 minute ones).
So, there are a few of my favorite replays! I hope you guys sit and watch some of them – they’re all quite entertaining.
(* 3/4/13 Edit: Now that Tales of Heroes is on YouTube, I’ve updated the links to better versions!)