Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

Heavy Rain: The Playthrough

Sorry, I couldn't resist slipping this one in...

Heavy Rain is one of those games that I’ve been this close to picking up for a long time now.

Essentially a long-form interactive cutscene/choose your adventure game, the game has always struck me as an intriguing, if not unique; gaming experience.

While I’ve heard many complain about Heavy Rain’s slow start, and distinctly hands-off approach to gameplay; based on the hour or so I’ve seen of the game, I feel that my personal opinion of the game remains mostly positive.

It’s taken me a long time, but recently I’ve come to realize that I tend to favor games that tell stories, even if said games can often be intensely linear or tedious.

I’m a completist, so open world games tend to intimidate me with the breadth of options they present to me.

At the same time, first-person shooters tend to bore me with their largely one-note gameplay mechanics and twitch oriented gameplay.

These days, story driven action-adventure games with a clear cut A-B-C progression seem to be my what appeals to me.

While it’s supposedly very far from a linear experience, the core concept and mechanics of Heavy Rain appeal to me for perhaps the simplest, and most base of reasons:

The objective of the game lies within unraveling it’s story, a story that I just happen to be somewhat interested in.

While I probably will in fact get around to playing Heavy Rain at some point, the real point of this post concerns a little blip I happened on Kotaku.com.

Apparently someone went out of their way to create a 12 hour playthrough of Heavy Rain, with the strictly gameplay oriented segments removed in favor of presenting the story in a straightforward cinematic fashion.

Think of it as viewing Heavy Rain as if it were a long-ass movie or TV series.

Here’s a link, and bear in mind this is a playthrough, so be ready for *EVERY HEAVY RAIN SPOILER IMAGINABLE*:

http://www.youtube.com/user/direx1974

Anyway, while I myself won’t be viewing this playthrough, for fear of spoiling the gameplay experience for myself; it does in fact sound like the kind of thing I would watch after I’ve played through the game once or twice.

In any case, consider this post a heads-up for those who might be interested in checking out something like this.

One thing that’s kind of neat about a project like this, is the fact that the game is known to contain so many branching paths, making for a video compilation that very well may differ drastically from the gameplay experience of those who’ve played through Heavy Rain following a different route.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for tonight, see yah’ tomorrow!

Filed under: Games, Movies, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thoughts On The Dead Island Trailer


For the past week or so, the gaming world has seemingly been up to it’s knees in news AKA dick-sucking festivals regarding the announcement trailer of a new videogame titled Dead Island.

Developed by the Polish studio, Techland; and incorporating first-person, open world play mechanics, married with some RPG elements, Dead Island is nothing if not an ambitious undertaking.

I suppose it’s also worth noting that the game has been in development for over 5 years at this point.

Curiously enough, a quick look at Techland’s portfolio of games reveals that the vast majority of their products were racing games, with notable exceptions being the first-person action/adventure games of the Chrome and Call of Juarez series.

While I haven’t played either of the Chrome games, from what I’ve read and been told, the Call of Juarez series has been consistently good, but unfortunately; not great.

That being said, I’m not here to speculate on how Dead Island will or won’t succeed, rather I’m just here to lend a few of my thoughts regarding it’s much hyped/publicized trailer.

In short, I found the trailer to be both clever, and technically impressive.

And this is coming from someone who regards zombie games/movies/TV shows/muffins as being overplayed these days.

Taking advantage of it’s brief running time, the trailer is effectively, and cleverly arranged in such a way as to reach out to it’s viewers on a visceral level in the form of showing us a dead kid, while playing out it’s content in ultra-smooth reverse motion.

While it might sound, um, “wrong” of me, I’ve always felt that kids should be fair game in movies.

Seriously man, nothing pisses me off more than watching a movie and getting that nagging feeling that some kid was spared getting his head torn off just because some producer or PR guy felt it would hurt ticket sales.

Thank you Feast, for killing a child. With considerable zeal, no less.

Tangents aside, my point is that the trailer does a good job of working from a short running, while managing to tell a very complete story despite itself.

Curiously enough, said story, that of a family going on an island vacation only to be killed by rampaging zombies; (or is that, be killed by rampaging zombies only to end up going on vacation?) feels largely familiar despite very likely being unique.

This most likely stems from visual and tonal similarities to other, pre-existing films.

Case in point, the theme of having an “innocent” child turn against her family as a result of becoming a zombie is something we’ve seen in many other zombie stories, most notably the original Night of the Living Dead, as well as the opening sequence of the Dawn of the Dead remake.

I know there are very likely a billion other zombie films that utilized this plot element, however I haven’t seen them, most likely won’t ever see them, and sure as hell don’t need you posting some fatty complaint about how I failed to represent them on this blog.

It’s not often I take opportunities to say “fuck you” to whoever might be reading this blog, however consider this my way of saying just that to all the zombie-whores/hipsters across the globe.

*Ahem!* All tangents aside, let’s get back to talking about stuff that reminds me of other stuff.

It’s a minor element, but the “found footage” segment at the end of the trailer seems to bears some resemblance to the closing moments of Cloverfield.

A quick Google search also reveals that some people believe the whole trailer bears some resemblance to a Coldplay music video as well, but at this point I’m done being an ass, so don’t expect me write about that, let alone even watch the fuckin’ Coldplay video to confirm the validity of said claim.

Coldplay and the Azn Badger…. Let’s just say they don’t mix…

Such resemblances to pre-existing shit throughout the trailer may in fact be intentional on the part of the production crew, however that doesn’t change the fact that I found the home video portion of the trailer to be more than a little extraneous.

I get it, they’re a family.

It’s sad that they’re dead.

You don’t have to spell it out for me.

On a side note, the minimalist piano score of the Dead Island trailer deserves just as much credit as it’s animators, as it manages to hit all the right notes, making for an experience that feels much more genuine than it likely should.

Make no mistake, the Azn Badger is not one to get emotional over a trailer for a fuckin’ zombie videogame, however I tip my hat to the production team, as despite the core concept of the game they were working from, they did a pretty swell job of balancing the fun and serious in this clip.

Did I really just use the word “swell” in a sentence?

Anyway, I think I’ve just about run out of steam on this one.

It’s a neat trailer, worth checking out if you’re into digital art, videogames, or *sigh,* zombies.

I don’t see why it’s success was deemed significant enough at this point to dictate a purchase of the Dead Island movie rights, long before the game has even debuted; however such is the arcane world of business and marketing.

Anyway, thanks for reading!

 

Filed under: Games, Movies, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tooting My Own Horn…

*In lieu of my family’s traditional New Year’s dinner of pork and sauerkraut (Apparently it’s a Pennsylvania Dutch thingDon’t ask…) being pushed back to this evening, I’ve decided to forego a legit posting tonight in favor of a neat little “year in review” that WordPress made for me.  Enjoy, I know I sure did!*

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

Madison Square Garden can seat 20,000 people for a concert. This blog was viewed about 64,000 times in 2010. If it were a concert at Madison Square Garden, it would have performed about 3 times.

In 2010, there were 250 new posts, not bad for the first year!

The busiest day of the year was October 29th with 3,439 views. The most popular post that day was Minecraft: Survival Multiplayer (Guest Post).

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were reddit.com, facebook.com, kotaku.com, kungfucinema.com, and minecraftforum.net.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for donnie yen, cecilia cissy wang, broly, moon knight, and guyver.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Minecraft: Survival Multiplayer (Guest Post) October 2010
2 comments

2

A Tribute to the Greatness that is Donnie Yen: Part VI – Old Man Yen May 2010

3

Movie Review: Undisputed 3: Redemption June 2010
3 comments

4

Vejita Has a Brother!!? September 2010
2 comments

5

Moon Knight, Thank You For Being So Freakin’ Crazy. May 2010

Filed under: Comics, Games, Kung Fu, Movies, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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