YouTube Hop-Watch: 'I Wanna Be the Guy' and 'Monty on the Run'
March 10, 2009 § Leave a comment
First off, we have I Wanna Be the Guy (IWBTG for short), which is regarded as one of the hardest games ever created. IWBTG itself was made as an homage to 8-bit platformers/shooters, some of which were well-known for their notorious difficulty settings and unfair level design. Often, the key to beating these games was in memorising the levels and enemy movement patterns, rather than skill. I’ve watched a couple of run-throughs of the game on YouTube and it’s actually pretty well designed for an ‘unfair’ game. The creator – Mike ‘Kayin’ O’Reilly – must really have been walking a tough tight-rope between controller-smashing frustrating and just impossible. Luckily, he seems to have kept to the former – if that makes any sense at all. The thing is, I could go on about how well the game is designed, but the fact I’d never want to actually play the game – I’m not sure what that actually says about it. Maybe I’m just a giant wuss (probably true).
It was from one of the LPs (long-plays) that I heard a particular piece of music in the background in one of the levels. The music in question was from an obscure Commodore C64 game called Monty on the Run. It’s a basic platforming game where you have to run around collecting things and such. That’s not that important; what I found remarkable was the music which I just loved. It taps right into my nostalgia nerve-centre as although I never owned a C64, I did own an Atari ST computer, which was very similar in how it reproduced sound in video games. I started watching some other videos recommended by YouTube and there’s one with some guy playing the theme on a midi keyboard – very well, I might add – and another with a whole orchestra. The best thing I saw though, was this brilliant video from some Russian guys. Well, you pretty much just have to watch it; it’s just awesome. The fact that some of the text overlay – like the credits – is in Russian just adds to the video’s quirky charm.
The final thing that I actually saw a while ago, but thought it was good enough to mention, is this video in which kinetic typography is being used to portray a scene from Requiem for a Dream. I’m not particularly big on the movie, but by just hearing some of the dialogue in this clip you are reminded of how good the acting in the movie was. Sure, it released Lux Aeterna upon the world – which was used continuously on every single, fucking YouTube video or movie trailer for a good period of time afterwards (I really thought that fad would never end) – but on the bright side, I learnt how to spell ‘requiem’ by heart without any reference to a dictionary. I’m joking, of course; it’s not that bad a piece of music; it’s just the way it is perpetually used that makes it sound even more ridiculous the next time you hear it. It was even overused in the goddamn film and – I think – that was my major problem with it, now that I think about it. The way that film tried to hammer home the message ‘drugs are bad and addiction is hell’, was like Darren Aronofsky putting a power drill to my skull (yes, that was a Pi reference. See! I don’t hate Aronofsky) – to the sound of epic orchesteral music. I don’t think I need to say this, but the film lacked subtelty. Big time.
Anyway – /rant over – there’s also a pretty good typographic portrayal of I Will Be Blood‘s climatic final scene. Obviously, don’t watch if you haven’t seen the film – which I recommend by the way, because it is brilliant (or, as Dr Kermode would put it, because “it redefined the grammar of modern cinema“) – but for everyone else: “DRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIINAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGE”
Also, on a side note, Dead Space review is forthcoming – that is, if I ever get around to finishing it. Not because I’m scared mind you; I’m just a very busy person. Lotsa lotsa meetings…yeeeeeeaah.
Enjoy; good night, and good luck.