I'll begin by sharing my first run-in with NextGenWalkthroughs.
I remember several holidays ago, it was the week after the release of the PlayStation 3 in November 2006. Being the poor high school student I was, I could only afford the Wii that Christmas season, but a part of me still longed to see the crisp HD graphics of the PS3's biggest launch title, Resistance: Fall of Man. I began browsing the Internet a little pessimistic because all the gameplay shown up to that point had been snippets from various magazine publications. Using Google to search for a video walkthrough, I stumbled upon the first search result, a site aptly named NextGenWalkthroughs.com. Little did I know that I would get hooked on the site forever.
I began watching the video avidly as Beer_Baron (John) completed the first level of Resistance's campaign on the hardest difficulty. Hell, if I couldn't play the game myself, I might as well enjoy watching someone else play it, right? It was a breath of fresh air to see good quality gameplay where someone actually knew what the right analog stick was for, and as more content was eventually uploaded, I found myself visiting the site more and more frequently just to watch videos for games I didn't even own.
Although commentary has become a standard for John's and Dan's guides, and recently Drink Alongs, the lack of commentary or text-only walkthroughs weren't uncommon five years ago. I was surprised the first time I heard John's voice on his God of War II guide and Dan's voice during his playthrough of Twilight Princess (which proved very helpful during my own speedrun of the game), but the concept was even more foreign to me when they first provided dual commentary for The Darkness. However, I was most pleased to learn that their voices did not drive me batshit crazy.
Even when recording a game I had no intention of trying myself, I would still listen to the voice overs if only for the humorous banter. Due to the chemistry between the two, the jokes seemed genuine, and neither were afraid to express their opinions for fear of hurting someone's feelings. With the addition of a podcast in the past couple years, viewers have been able to gain more insight into Jon's and Dan's lives and their varying video game histories. Over these interesting past 4+ years, I've watched every one of their guides and listened to most of the podcasts, and I believe I'm better off for it. (I'm not a stalker. It's the Internet, don't judge me. ;D).
Even though WikiGameGuides is 10x the site that NextGenWalkthroughs could never be with its host of innovative community features, we should never forget the site where it all began. So thank you John and Dan. I can honestly say, I'm looking forward to WGG's future.
R.I.P. NGW, R.I.P.
Below is the first video I ever watched at NGW: