Friday, June 15, 2012

Prometheus (Ridley Scott)

I have no great love for the Alien franchise.  I had hoped going into this film that the "it is it isn't a prequel" debate was just hype surrounding the movie.  Nope it is totally a prequel.  The last scene proudly announces "Here's the first xenomorph.  I'm placing it right here."

I went to see it because I'd hope I'd see more cool alien architecture like in the trailer.  You instead see just the cool alien architecture from the trailer.  I'd hope I'd hear more of that nightmare bass screaming from the trailer.  Instead I got a lot of scenes with life affirming baritone while people said, "This could be answer to everything" over and over again.  Or a scene of great beauty with all that baritone.  Well the scene isn't that beautiful, but the android certainly ?appears? to find it enthralling. 

Also yo, David is an android and the movie takes every chance to remind you of this.  He's really the only character in the film.  The rest is really poorly-defined.  It seems to be a really polarizing film, but I'm on the camp of nothing on screen was interesting.  I frequently had to stop and look around the theater because, "Holy shit I can't be watching a film that came out in 2012 can I?"  The movie was constantly neverendly ripe for MST3000 riffing.  It's not that it's bad in a PsyFy original movie way.  It's just boring and a pile of scenes that don't seem really related to each other.  There's no strong narrative pull to it.  You're just watching this collection of images flash and wish that there was a cut of this movie that was great.  There probably is.  There's probably 30 minutes of deleted footage that they could put in and take other scenes out and rearrange the whole damn thing and it would be good.

The theory that Old Dude wants X so he gets random chuckleheads as fake pretense?  Awesome.  Perfect.  Totally works.  Doesn't make the film any more entertaining for me.

The whole film is pretty stupid and didn't show me enough pretty things.  I think a lot of the questions by people that hated the film are stupid.  Mostly the ones dealing with "the world".  That's stuff I can throw away in the favor of SPACE SHIPS AND ALIENS.  David (who is an android) totally knows everything that's going on and is just acting in parallel with everyone else.  They could have made that everything else more interesting.  Apparently it's not obvious what android David was to most people, so they get to concentrate on useless questions like "What was the different goo" not "Holy shit why did they have the 'father' line?"

It was a dumb dumb film.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Game Gear

I occasionally make really dumb decisions, like decide to play through an entire romset.  The notion struck me again a few months ago, to play through the entire Game Gear romset.  Back in college I had played through an entire Master System romset.  Now I have even more years of useless game knowledge and history to approach it with.

Note: I don't recall ever actually playing a Game Gear or an actual Master System.

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Wii Quick Hits

I've had a Wii for about a month now.  I've managed to play and try everything I wanted from the physical catalog.  I'll try and write posts about some of the more detailed games, but this is here for the lesser titles. 

On the Wii itself, I've grown to hate it.  I hate how half-assed the motion sensor is.  I hate browsing the online store.  It thankfully didn't give any trouble connecting to my wireless.  I love being able to pause any game at any time though. I don't like that it won't completely turn it self off.

I don't like how the lightgun games make me twist my wrist to point at the TV.  That starts to hurt after a while and isn't really comfortable.  Waggling never feels good as pressing a button.  I also dislike modern Nintendo buttons.  I didn't like them on the DS Lite; I don't like them on the Classic Controller Pro.  Plugging in my Gamecube controller and playing some of FZero GX and Resident Evil Zero caused me to really notice the contrast in how the buttons feel.  Not a lot feels as good as the Gamecube clicky triggers though.

Ultimate Shooting Collection is.  is. borrrrinnnggggg. When I played Karous for the first time in Hey Arcade I fell asleep.  I fell asleep HERE.  I also fell asleep playing it on the Wii.  It wins for being the most boring game I've ever played.  The other 2 games on the collection aren't much better.  Milestone have a gift in making really really boring games.  They've got a lot of mileage out of the many many re-releases of them though.  I don't know how exactly the stay in business.

I got it for 3 dollars and there is a boring story where I held the 3 dollars in my hand in Gamestop while the employee tried to sell me on a bunch of stuff.  They called Last Story a Final Fantasy game.  Eventually they took my money.

Resident Evil Umbrella Chronicles is something.  I really don't have any strong opinions about it outside I played it for about 15 minutes and that is supposedly more than the friend I borrowed it from played it.  on Resident Evil 4 I might be the only one that was almost immediately screaming for normal control pad controls.  I hated the wii controls almost instinctively.    I haven't given it more of a chance because I could just go play any of the available normal control options and be pretty happy.

Super Mario Galaxy 2 really wanted to convince me I was having fun. I almost was, but it also felt limp wristed.  I felt like I was going through motions and not really playing a game.  It was pushing it's feelings so hard on me I felt like I had to put on airs that I was having fun with it.  This seemed really prevalent in Wii games, the illusion that I was having fun.

Epic Yarn also had this problem, but less so.  It was kind of nice, but when there are games that are sharp responsive and a bunch of other silly words why should I settle for kind of nice?  Look is neat, the story telling was respectful of small children.

I skipped on a lot of Wii games because I'm an unmarried adult without children.  I'd much rather aim for something from the 8-bit or 16-bit days than try a game that feels aimed at 10 years but fun for all ages(R).

Trauma Team just stressed me out.  I hate how whenever you point with the Wii you see the cursor shaking.  That I was simulating delicate surgery just made me freak out.  I still love the DS Trauma Center games because of the stress and precision.

Give me 2 analog sticks PLEASE Mad World.  Platinum Games always feel like they are trying to appeal to me but were given a list of stuff I might like.  They worked really hard and in the end I feel like I am again, being polite by playing them but not really enjoying myself.

Rhythm Heaven Fever and Kororinpa were my picks for all the many party style Wii games.  They just made me depressed to be playing them alone.  I also definitely felt like there was lag with RHF.  Nice games.  I'm sure Let's Tap is also a nice game, and the most intellectually honest Wii game.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles: Crystal Bearers (Wii)

Final Fantasy:Crystal Chronicles:Crystal Bearers is great.  It's probably my favorite game for the Wii.  I haven't played a lot for the system, only having borrowed one for about a month now, but FFCCCB is just terrific.  Shame about the clumsy clumsy title.

The first 30 minutes are the high-water mark.  You're introduced too new and fantastic things one after another.  You're skydiving, your driving the airship Titantic, you've got a chase on Chocobo-back.  The characters all speak in this weird non-sense like the dialog was translated literally successively into 6 languages so that any wit or theatrics has been sucked out.

I don't care because the world is constantly giving you all this flavor text that scrolls along the bottom of the screen.  It's not buried in menus and it's not intrusive.  The world feels alive with tons of people walking around.  Then you ride a train, and the train actually travels from point A to point B. 

Every new area is another stunning visual marvel.  You have a crashed pirate ship bathed in a blood red sunset.  Stunning autumn leaves falling upon a Japanese hot spring.  Farmland that stretches to the horizon.  Then you're platforming through a strange netherworld riding Zhu.

The game is about picking up things and throwing them.  Unlike Solatorobo, it's fun if clumsy.  The monsters that populate the world are there, and you could get through the game without killing any of them (probably.)  You want to fight them because destroying a whole field of monsters gives you another health bar.  This doesn't matter in the short term, but you are going to wish you had more health when it comes to the final boss.

The system is deeper than that.  You can throw wine at enemies to get them drunk.  You throw enemy skeletons at enemy wolves and they run up to wag their tail at you.  None of it is necessary, but all of it is welcomed loving detail.  The game keeps track of this with an astoundingly long list of possible achievements.  Discovering an achievement gives you a hint for 4 other achievements.  I didn't dig into that list because it felt like a rabbit of hole of time consumption, but I did welcome how much the game encouraged you to experiment.

And this game is an experiment because it's a game by Akitoshi Kawazu.  I think it is anyways.  There aren't closing credits.  A splash screen thanks you for playing, signed by Kawazu. 

The main character never forgets he has super powers which is pretty awesome.  You also turn into Silver Surfer for the final boss. 

This game constantly  wowed me with amazing environments.  It makes up for Fragile Dreams: Farwell Ruins of the Moon having a few stunning locations, and then asking me to spend 5 hours in sewers. Don't play Fragile Dreams.  Watch this trailer.  Then play Crystal Bearers.  It's a day at Disney Land the video game!