Hey all! Real life is all busy and such so all my down-time has gone to relaxing with games or movies or shows or whatnot rather than blogging. There’s also been a lot of traveling around lately and that tires me out. I figured I should check in and maybe update with some of the things I’ve been spending my time with lately. Maybe if you spend your time on them, you won’t need me to update.
But sorry for the lack of updates.
Brave – Pixar’s latest. It’s good (see, I said it was Pixar, there. And the title is not “Bug’s Life”). However, it was a bit less adventurous than I would have liked, and I felt the movie was a little bit scattered in its plotting. The “point” of the movie doesn’t start moving until nearly halfway in, and some events just seem thrown in at random without properly connecting to the story as a whole. I’ve had a lot of people disagree with me so your mileage may vary. It also succumbs to Video Game Logic in a spot or two, and that’s pretty sloppy for Pixar. Obviously beautiful, though.
Jeff, Who Lives at Home – I’m beginning to like Jason Segel, so I thought I’d check out this movie. It’s a bit weird, and if you hate those indie-type films about regular unremarkable people you probably won’t like it much. Without spoiling much I’d say it’s Signs, but without aliens and grounded in the rules of reality. I enjoyed.
Indie Game: The Movie – Ever wonder what it’s like to make a game? Or what type of person attempts such a thing? Well, then you should enjoy this movie. The people featured are kind of extreme examples, but I could definitely relate despite never having considering suicide if a game failed (I will admit to a small bit of satisfaction when Phil Fish encountered negative fans on the internet). Nevermind the trailer making it seem all pretentious and stuff. You don’t have to like these people (you don’t like me!), but you will be interested in them and their successes.
The Amazing Spiderman – You already know if you’re going to see this movie or not. Anyway, I thought it was a bit better than the previous series in a lot of ways. I won’t get into detail, but the Spiderman bits were truer to the comics (more cracking wise) and a lot more impressive (constant webslinging). However, Garfield’s Peter Parker was a bit odd. Rather than shy/nerdy he comes off socially retarded. Maybe that’s just the modern version of nerdy, but it was hard for me to watch in some scenes.
The Secret World of Arrietty – It’s a Ghibli film, so watch it.
Super Meat Boy – Indie Game The Movie got me interested in trying this out, and I wasn’t disappointed. Don’t be deterred by the fabled difficulty, as it’s really not that terrible. Stages are incredibly short and you respawn immediately after dying. Tons of retro references, too.
Walking Dead – Forget about waiting for the upcoming game from Activision, Telltale’s adventure version captures the feel of the series perfectly. It’s tense, dark, and forces you to make split second decisions you don’t want to make. It’s episodic (2 Chapters so far), though there is a bug where the game doesn’t quite remember every choice you made, but hopefully that gets resolved. I will admit it’s fun to play a game so clearly built off Shattered Memories.
Frogger: Hyper Arcade Edition – Did you enjoy Pac-Man CE? Do you like Frogger? I don’t care, buy this fun game. Didn’t you ever wonder why I wrote that Daft Punk / Frogger parody?
Fallen London – Do you like Social games, but wish they were more compelling and less colorful? Check this one out, it’s pretty good.
Realm of the Mad God – Do you hate Social games because they’re nothing like actual games? This one is! Check it out.
Walking Dead – Being a fan of the show, I decided to use Comixology on my iPad to get caught up on the comic that inspired it all. Holy crap is it depressing. If you hate life or are interested in hating life, make sure you read this (but in a good way). I will say, if you are squeamish or events in fiction can really bother you, you might want to think twice. Walking Dead is GRIM with a capital bleak.
Dr. Who – Here’s the big one. Dr. Who is brilliant. This would be the 2005+ show, rather than the old version from the 60′s (which my wife used to watch with her dad–so she can fill me in). We’re just finishing the fourth series now, and I’m consistently floored by the thought of how much this show would blow me away were I a 12-year-old. Which isn’t to say it isn’t great now–I just mean I’m a bit jealous of the kids who get to experience Who before being jaded by media overload. I guess I could be older than 12… my Sophomore year of high school I was blown away by Disney’s Gargoyles and Chrono Trigger, and this is like those combined times five. Check it out if you haven’t already, nevermind the fart jokes early on.
Extra Credits – A lot of people ask us game professionals “how can I make games?” or “How can I get your job so Silent Hill doesn’t suck anymore?” well, these people clearly are not watching Extra Credits. This is a series of videos on Penny Arcade (I guess they started on Escapist) that address a variety of topics throughout gaming that you might not think of if you’re a more general “fan” of gaming–but you should. The person who writes them is apparently a big time design consultant who also lectures at DigiPen. I wholly recommend them, even though they criticize my Silent Hills while clearly having never actually played them. (At least from what I can tell) Love you anyway, EC.