March 30, 2010 § Leave a comment
Back in 1997, when video games were super awesome and not totally lame, Road Avenger was released for the Mega CD, Sega’s ill-fated add-on for the fairly popular at the time Mega Drive (or Genesis, if you’re a yank). It was an FMV-based interactive movie video game, similar to Dragon’s Lair and Space Ace. The plot was simple: you play a dude whose wife gets murdered by a biker gang; said dude then takes revenge by driving his big red sports car on a homicidal rampage, directly into the faces of evil crooks, thugs and, very probably, innocent people. (Collateral damage, y’know? Such a bitch.)
The gameplay was, what we would describe now, a series of Quick Time Events. No, really, it was literally just that. This isn’t the ol’ “Oh, Heavy Rain is just a series of QTEs, wah-wah-wah” line – this was the real deal. Honestly, it has to be seen to be believed (along with the intro):
It was a terrible game. But, to a kid at that time, who probably didn’t know any better, it was brilliant.
And now – I say – now is the time for a full-blown sequel/HD remake of the genre-defying, literary magnum opus that was the original Road Avenger. I present to you, the reader, a fully and completely rational, absolutely non-sentimental, three-point argument as to why this is the case.
- We have the storage space in our hands to make it possible: Think: PS3! Blu-ray! 50 gigs of empty space just dying to be filled by cheap, low-budget Japanese animation and god-awful 80s-throwback American rock! It’s the murder-filled, completely illogical and utterly nonsensical road-trip that never ends!
- Interactive movie-games are the new Wii Fit: look at how surprisingly well Heavy Rain is doing in terms of sales numbers. And then there’s Final Fantasy XIII, a game which is basically a movie with moving-game-parts soldered on in-between major plot developments, which surpassed the one million sales mark in the U.S. within a matter of days. The gaming public has spoken, and it has very wisely come to its senses and is finally ready to take that next revolutionary step forward – towards badly acted, poorly dubbed movie-games.
- Potential motion controller support: you can make car revving noises as you physically lean your way around corners while looking like an idiot in the comfort of your own living-room – and, really, isn’t that what it’s all about?
So, I implore you, e-mail G-mode, who now own the rights, and petition them for a sequel. Then, once you’ve done that, please let me know what their e-mail actually is (since their website’s written in Kanji, and I only speak the Queen’s English).
October 6, 2009 § Leave a comment
TV, TV and more TV!
The last month has seen the release of new seasons for a lot of great American television shows, and I aim to give some of my thoughts as to what’s out there – what’s hot and what’s not [steady now, beginning to sound like the E! network – Ed.] – this weekend.
Hopefully I’ll also have watched Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008), so I’ll be able to share some thoughts on that, too. Once again, Woody Allen makes a film, casts some beautiful young women and, this time, writes in a scene where they indulge in some lesbian schexy-ness (or so I am informed). Woody Allen: pervert? Genius? Creepy genius? Creepy asshole genius? Probably all of the above and then some more. I can hardly say it matters all that much, though – just as long as he makes a good film and doesn’t waste my time with too much dribble-y, neurotic, ramble-y whining. (God knows, he’s made plenty of the films riding the coattails of that schtick.)
I’ve also decided to a new feature to the blog called Off the Cuff, which has already featured in a form some might better know as Impressions. The only difference here is that Off the Cuff is worded worse, probably contains more typos and grammatical errors, and is very, very probably likely to express views I will later renounce in a court of law, in front of a man wearing a paper mache mask with an eagle’s head painted on, while standing there semi-nude.
Goo goo ga-joob indeed, and I hope everyone has peaceful, playful week.
May 3, 2009 § Leave a comment
Personally, I prefer the Head Over Heels: Literal Version (embed below) but everybody’s got their favourites.
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.
February 4, 2009 § Leave a comment
Witness the countenance of undiluted despair and despondancy at 0:23 and 0:53. Probably a segment filmed for ‘The One Show‘ (the BBC’s thinly veiled attempt at rebooting ‘That’s Life‘); they seem to lap this shit up like there’s no tomorrow — Forgive the pun.
Quote of the Day: “Well, looking after Lucy [Miss Monroe’s dog] is equivilant of looking after a baby. It’s probably easier to look after a baby…” Yeah, probably.
I won’t be surprised if I see this on Screenwipe any time soon.