Hollywood isn't done abusing videogames yet, it seems. The long dormant God of War film adaptation is getting renewed thanks to Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, writers of the four latest Saw films and a draft for Guillermo...
A bit of controversy between Fez creator Phil Fish's ex-business partner and indie documentary Indie Game: The Movie has been laid to rest today, one 3GB Steam update and subtle word change to an end-credits note later.
100 Yen: The Japanese Arcade Experience looks like it's going to be a great documentary. After a year in the making, this film on arcade culture and its history in Japan is nearing release. It was filmed on location&nbs...
Nov 13 //
What prompted you to start your documentary of the fighting game scene?
I was just starting to get further into the competitive scene back in late 2008. At that time, I was coming up on my final semester in college at SUNY Purchase (State University of New York). Each graduate of the arts program is required to complete a "senior project." I was also starting to become heavily enamored with motion design and animation, so I Got Next came from a mixture of two interests very close to my heart. At first, it was going to be a short documentary, more of a five- or ten-minute informative piece used as a platform for me to experiment with motion design. As I started filming more, though, I was encouraged by the community and inspired by the documentary's potential to create something much larger in scope than what I originally envisioned.
How long did the whole process last, from inception to completion? What took the most time?
Well... It was a pretty long process. Filming started at NEC 9, an annually held tournament in Philadelphia, in December 2008 and finished in late 2009 (with some pick ups in 2010). Post-production was most of 2010, which included the editing, music, mastering, and motion design. Coming out of 2010 and into 2011 was festival submissions then finally talks for distribution, which finally gets us to today, where it's out on Hulu.
By far, the longest process was getting it out the door. The most energy and work on my end went towards the shooting and editing (more towards the latter), but I never would have guessed it could take so long just to find a distributor for the film and then get it out there. I have to thank people like Jeremy and Andrew from Mattoid Entertainment for their help, 'cause I'm honestly in the dark when it comes to distribution. Without those guys, it might have been something more like I Got Next Fall 2014!
Why did you focus mainly on the Street Fighter world for your documentary?
That's an interesting question. At the time, Street Fighter IV was being released and it was the perfect catalyst for the scene. There are definitely other interesting people that I could have profiled from other communities with the fighing game scene, but SF4 was kind of the perfect storm. It brought people from all different games together and revitalized the tournament scene. The players I ended up filming with (Justin, Joe, Mike, and Ryan) all were deeply entrenched in the SF scene as well, so I had almost no choice once I stuck with them to center the film more around SF.
Ultimately, I never worried after a certain point about game representation, because the film is less about SF and more about the people that make up the community. And within the film, we have the four of them acting as a great representation of a cross section of that community. At least, that's how I perceive it.
What sort of reception of this documentary have you received from those involved in the fighting game community? What sort of reception have you received from those who aren't as knowledgeable about the community?
It's been almost all positive, which is fantastic. I think people are excited to see the community profiled like this, and I'm ecstatic that I not only got the chance to do it but was able to make something that people enjoyed. Well... it's been almost all positive except people outside the US who can't currently see the film on Hulu, but we're working on getting it up somewhere else!
I tried my best to bridge the gap between the mainstream and the hardcore when creating the movie. I wanted it to be enjoyed by people who are within the scene and can identify themselves in the background, and by people who have never picked up an arcade stick but can identify with some of the struggles Mike, Joe, Ryan, and Justin are dealing with. I'm not quite sure if I hit that mark. I'll have to see when more feedback comes in as it reaches a wider audience.
Finally, what would you say was the best part of filming this documentary?
The best part by far was forming relationships with people in the scene that I have to this day. I'm really happy that I got the chance to create the documentary, because it opened up a culture to me that I also didn't know much about at the time but that I'm now a part of and really enjoy. Some of my best friends now are within the community, and I never would have made those connections had I not started the project.
As someone who covered Evo this year, I became enchanted with the fighting game community. There is just something about the competitiveness, drama, and camaraderie of the fighting game scene that is infectious to those share...
G4 Films has been putting together a "Epictober Film Festival" event this month, which concluded today with the short, "The Birds of Anger." It's an obvious homage to the 1963 classic The Birds and some little mobile ga...
While checking out movies at Austin Film Festival for Flixist.com (Dtoid's film sister-site), I had the oppurtunity to attend the world premiere of Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters. Much like King of Kong and Chasin...
A wheeled platform fell on the set of "Resident Evil: Retribution," the fifth film based on the popular Capcom game franchise. On that platform were 16 actors dressed as zombies. While injuries are no joking matter, I'm ...
In a press release for the French version of the novel Halo: Cryptum, Halo.fr found a mention of a Halo movie currently in development with Steven Spielberg and Dreamworks. Oh, cool. Wait, what?!
Sep 22 //
Super Back to the Future II (Super Famicom)Developer: DaftReleased: July 23, 1993Current value: $30-50
Fan translation: NopeFor fans of: Average mid-'90s platformers
One quick glance at the game and it’s apparent that it was made with an audience in mind, and it’s not a Western one. Love it or hate it: Marty McFly, Doc, and Biff have been anime-ized. Marty and Doc are adorable, stocky caricatures of themselves, while Biff is a hulking beast fit to be the boss (again and again). Pair this unlikely character design with a catchy soundtrack, and game design reminiscent of Sonic the Hedgehog, and you get Super Back to the Future II -- a decent, if not good, movie-licensed game.
What's wrong, McFly? Chicken?
There are a lot of memorable scenes in Back to the Future II, but among the most iconic is when Marty escapes Griff’s wrath via a hoverboard. After watching him dodge between cars and float across a fountain, my eight-year-old self couldn’t wait until the year 2015 when I’d be able to ride one. Turns out I was waiting for nothing but at least I can do it virtually, now, within a game from ... 1993.
In SBttF2, Marty never gets off the hoverboard as long as you are controlling him. At the end of each stage, he has an animation where he gets off and spins it, but that’s it. Despite all the game’s flaws and odd level design, it’s hard to ever hate it due to the inarguable greatness of the hoverboard. Instead of Marty running around in his red baseball cap and down-filled jacket vest throwing yo-yos at goons like a chump, he pummels them with his hoverboard and bounces on their heads like a trampoline.
With a spin attack, the ability to jump, and a button for gaining speed, you must navigate the labyrinthine levels of increasing difficulty and defeat the stupid-easy bosses. Strangely, the game doesn’t always feel like it was designed with the hoverboard in mind. The hoveboard gives you speed -- maybe not hedgehog-speed, but still -- so it makes no sense that the camera is zoomed in so close.
You can’t see what is in front of you and will have to repeatedly stop as the screen scrolls. It feels almost like a Game Boy game dealing with the limitations of its resolution but this is Super Nintendo, dammit! You don’t need to be zoomed-in so close! You are making a game for screens much bigger than a Game Boy!
I would feel safe in going max speed on the hoverboard, only after dying so many times on a stage that I began to inadvertently memorize the enemy placement. Otherwise, I felt like I was playing Jetpack Joyride, where any second I can and will run into an instant-death trap.
Occasionally, the maps will take advantage of the hoverboard and give you some ramps to jump off but not often enough. There are also bonuses you can reach by aimlessly jumping off an edge at max speed, hoping there is an extra life on the other side instead of a wall of spikes. Pro-tip: it usually is a wall of spikes.
300 bucks? 300 bucks for a couple of dents?
Collecting coins/rings/whatever in games usually amounts to nothing more than a higher score and who plays platformers for hi-scores anyway?
By storing power-ups, health and 1UPs in vending machines of varying prices, SBttF2 cleverly solves this problem by giving the player an incentive to collect coins. Instead of ignoring alternative paths, you’ll find yourself searching every corner of a map if only to increase the likelihood of survival. There is nothing more gratifying then getting halfway through a stage on one heart and finding a vending machine to give you one more. And, there is nothing worse than not having the money for it.
Why don't you make like a tree and get out of here?
Perhaps, I haven’t sold you on Super Back to the Future II. Well, that’s okay because it honestly isn’t a lost gem worth seeking out. It’s an average platformer that is brief and nostalgic enough to check out, if you find it cheap. The main reason I chose to highlight the game for this week’s entry is for the collector and curious import gamer. The odd nature of the project is worth a discussion alone.
Sure we’ve seen Crash Bandicoot and other Western gaming mascots become “Japanimated” but it’s different to see it happen to a popular Western film. It’s kind of unsettling, like imagining a world where all my favorite American films growing up were average Japanese platformers. I don’t want to live in that world. Besides, those Jurassic Park games weren’t so bad, right?
Do Japanese takes on American properties freak you out?
Who would win in a fight Pepsiman or anime-eyes Marty McFly?
Would you give up your game collection for a hoverboard? Who am I kidding, of course you would!
[It Came from Japan! is a series where I seek out and review the weirdest, most original and enjoyable titles that never left the Land of the Rising Sun.]
Games based on films have a perceived stigma that indicates the...
Find Makarov was a fan-made film that surfaced earlier in the year and was a re-telling of events that happened in the Modern Warfare universe. Activision came away particularly impressed and decided to contact the creators ...
I didn't know I wanted a full length feature film based on Portal until last night. That's when I first watched Dan Trachtenberg's mind-blowing seven minute short, Portal: No Escape. Now I can't stop thinking about it.
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Dec 16 //
Max Scoville [embed]189714:34841[/embed]
If there are two things I could do differently in this interview, first, I would have started by saying "Excuse me, Mr. Boon? GETOVERHERRRRREE." Second, I would have concluded by uppercutting Ed Boon through the ceiling. At that point, Hamza would have jumped in front of the camera and shouted "TOASTY!"
Oh, and, here's that valentine I mentioned:
...How much you wanna bet Titan is basically gonna be World of Starcraft?
As you might have read in Chad Concelmo's previous post, several highly trained Dtoid operatives were down in LA this weekend for the Spike TV Video Game Awards. While there, I had the pleasure of wearing one of Hamza's neckt...
Aug 02 //
Jonathan Holmes [embed]180333:31908[/embed]
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is the story of Scott Pilgrim and his friends talking to each other, beating up people, and figuring things out. This group has achieved something that as a teenager, I thought I'd never see: they are cool and nerdy at the same time. Amazing.
They're all at least moderately good-looking, most of them are in bands, and some of them have magic powers, but they're all poor, videogame-loving slackers. When I say "poor," I mean it in the "cute starving artist" way, not in the "I'm so hungry and I've got rickets and no health insurance" way. Maybe that's because the movie takes place in Canada, where health care is free and fun for everyone. More likely it's because in the world of Scott Pilgrim, serious problems aren't ever that serious. Having no fear of death, poverty, and other life-threatening problems is all part of the Scott Pilgrim fantasy formula.
Make no mistake about it, there is definitely a formula at work here. I've heard it said that Scott Pilgrim is Twilight for teenage guys, with a few appropriate swaps put in place. Where the Twilight formula calls for a whiny teenage girl, two hot guys to swoon over her, a modified Gothic fantasy/horror mythology, and a constant barrage of teen angst and sexual repression, Scott Pilgrim plugs in a clueless guy, three (or more) cute girls who have feelings for him, videogame/anime/manga/Adult Swim happenings, and identity/adulthood/dating confusion.
Good news, ladies! Compared to Twilight, there's tons of room for both genders to get into Scott Pilgrim. Where most guys have a hard time identifying with either of Twilight's male leads, as their entire lives revolve around the blind adoration of an extremely boring person, Scott Pilgrim's female cast members have personalities of their own. Though much of the story focuses on Scott and his battles against his girlfriend's evil exes, Ramona's and Scott's exes get their fair share of focus as well. The issues that these characters are dealing with are pretty much gender-universal, and their respective levels of screen time reflects that.
I think you'll be hard-pressed to find someone under 25 who doesn't relate with at least one of these characters, and that really makes it stand out. I'm not sure if I've ever seen a movie for people born after 1985 that's about people born after 1985 doing what people in that age group do -- questioning their own worth, proving their worth by trying to one-up their peers and/or date them, and eventually establishing themselves as adults -- while infusing it all with the stuff that a lot of today's teens and young adults love: the previously mentioned videogames, anime, and Adult Swim. What 16-to-25-year-old can't relate with that? It's bound to be a hit, at least with a certain demographic.
Unfortunately, I'm not a teen or a young adult. I'm 33 years old -- emphasis on old. I don't really like Harry Potter or Serenity or non-Miyazaki modern anime. I don't like most of the work of J.J. Abrams or Joss Whedon. If you do like any of the above-mentioned creators or creations, you may very well love Scott Pilgrim, maybe even with all of your love. I think fans of the comic will be mostly pleased as well. I picked up all six volumes of the series after seeing the movie, and although there is a lot more story, subtlety, and detail in the comics, the movie still captures the essence of the source material. Much of the script comprises line-by-line transcriptions of the comic. The casting is also spot-on, especially Chris Evans and Brandon Routh as brutally intimidating, superstar, alpha-male exes.
But yeah, I'm old, and as such, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World didn't always click with me. Most of the movie's (and as I'm finding out now, the comic's) problems stem from its tendency to try too hard. The movie has a habit of occasionally covering up its soul with meaningless surface-level details, like a beautiful girl with too much makeup on. It doesn't accentuate her natural beauty; it just distracts from it.
If you're an interesting storyteller, then your characters will be easy to care about, and if they grow and change in an emotionally believable way throughout your story, then you're all set. You don't need to try to win me over by constantly sampling other shows, games, and movies that I already love. You don't have to shove loads of impossibly quick-witted banter down my throat. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is sometimes so thick with style, so quick to transform itself into something else to try to get me to relate with it, that at times I actually wanted to yell at the screen, "Just be yourself, God damn it!" Then, of course, I realized that the movie was being itself -- a brilliant-but-insecure nerd who's prone to overcompensation.
Like most people I know who fit that description, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World becomes more fun to be with as it becomes more comfortable with itself. I think it was around halfway through the movie that the videogame references stopped being calculatedly "random" jokes, and started having metaphorical significance. That's when I really started to fall in love with Scott Pilgrim.
I don't want to give it away because it's a major spoiler, but I will tell you that in the third act, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World utilizes multiple trappings of '80s/'90s videogame logic in a way that feels wholly necessary, and wholly amazing. The style and the substance of the film finally become one, and the language of videogames is used to evocatively expose the film's deepest concepts. Through life, death, and a third option, we see the characters we've grown to love finally reach their potential. It's visually and emotionally beautiful. All of the main characters' stories wrap up together at the same time, under an umbrella of events that can only be described as a "videogame come to life." I've never seen a movie utilize videogames as source material as honestly, intelligently, and effectively as Scott Pilgrim does.
The weird thing is, Scott Pilgrim isn't even based on a videogame (yet). I'm thinking that only someone who doesn't actively work in videogames could make a love letter to videogames (and videogamers) that's this sincere. The grass is greener on the other side? I'm not sure, but I am sure that I'd love to see Edgar Wright and/or Bryan Lee O'Malley take on game development someday.
To sum up, if you love pretty people bantering and videogame logic, then you will love Scott Pilgrim. If you like just one or the other, you will definitely enjoy it, but not all the way. If you don't like either (or if you fear the idea of seeing Michael Cera engaging in intentional self-parody for close to two hours), you might want to stay away from this one. As for me, I'm definitely buying it when it comes out on DVD, but mostly just so I can watch the ending over and over again, while dreaming that the potential success of this movie will lead to faithful film adaptations of No More Heroes, FLCL, and Ranma 1/2.
It may be snarky, but this is still the first true videogame movie. I certainly hope it's not the last.
Score: 8.0 -- Great (8s are impressive efforts with a few noticeable problems holding them back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash.)
Scott Pilgrim is a thing that most people haven't heard of, but the people who have heard of it are usually madly in love with it. It's a cult classic that's on the verge of becoming a big deal.
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Ok, so the above trailer is fake, but the title is real. Tron, the videogame based film from 1982, is to finally be blessed with a big-screen sequel, currently known as TR2N (pronounced Tra-two-N). The internet is now b...
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Resident Evil: Degeneration is an all CG film set for a straight-to-DVD release in Japan sometime in 2008. Details of the film's contents remain unknown beyond the scant bits of information derivable from these screens. For s...
IGN tells us that the gears may be getting rusty on the Gears of War movie project, and a recent clog might be grinding things to a halt. In recent news about Len Wiseman giving up directing duties for Escape from New York to...
Oct 04 //
Hamza CTZ Aziz The movie starts off in 8-bit and 16-bit style fashion. Since the three main heroes each loosely represent a character from classic games such as Zelda, Metroid and Shinobi, each game scene shows the hero's in their respected game styles as the intro credits roll buy. After the credits finish, we're given a quick synopsis of the story so far: In a world much like our own... except with magic and aliens and way more ninjas... war is beginning. The evil Count Nefarious Vile has seized power with his army of monsters, demons, and those flying things that always knock you into pits when you're trying to jump. Two brave rebels are sent on a desperate mission to defeat Vile, but first they must find a young hero who is said to be humanity's last hope... As soon as the first scene starts up, you'll notice that this looks like a home movie, and in a way it kind of is; it was made with virtually no money and a lot of the work was done pro bono. But as the movie soldiers ever onward you'll pay less attention to the amateur cinematography in favor of the writing and humor. For those not familiar with the film, here's a run-down: our hero Zack Nimbus lives with his Uncle Lou in a very videogame-esque reality. For example, if he wants to open up the bathroom door, he has to push a bookshelf in front of the door sensor on the other side of the room. Every time Zack kills an enemy, the Level Up deliveryman comes by to let Zack know what his latest skill level is at, complete with the accompanying level-up fanfare. Oh, and sex isn't called sex. It's called life. And so Zack's epic quest begins with him having to pay off the "life" lady on behalf of Uncle Lou. Before the life lady can successfully convince Zack that he could use some bonus life, a scream in the distance is heard and Zack races to save the owner of the voice: a classic damsel in distress. Nearly beaten at the hands of the perpetrators, two members of the Resistance, Sam and Lin-Ku jump in and save him. Naturally, Sam and Lin-Ku reveal to Zack that it is his destiny to defeat Count Vile and save their world from evil. The three venture forth on the quest to find the three ancient treasures vital to their victory. The road is perilous, populated with tree monsters, Nazi demons trained by zombies, and the final boss himself, Count Nefarious Vile. Press Start incorporates a number of nods to various gameplay genres in its action scenes. Those familiar with the trailer will recognize the 2D to 3D combat as well as some RPG gags, but the film has quite a few more tricks up its sleeve. Other references and sight-gags target the third-person adventure, FPS and survival horror genres -- there's even a training montage involving DDR, Duck Hunt, and Punch-Out. The POV swaps here and there giving the viewer some perspective of the goings-on behind the film's antagonist, Vile. If you bothered watching some of the online skits, then you'll know that the Count isn't the brightest guy around -- quite the contrary. Peter A. Davis as Vile (in his first role, like just about everyone else in the film) does a fantastic job portraying the bumbling scoundrel, and ends up being one of the best reasons to see the film. Despite its indie low-budget indie roots, the film comes packed with some great music with a legit pedigree. Jake Kaufman, who has previously scored games for Capcom, Vivendi and the upcoming Contra 4 lends his work to Press Start. Daniel and Carlos Pesina make a small cameo in the film as well -- you know them better as the guys who played as Johnny Cage, Raiden, Scorpion, Sub-Zero and Reptile in the original Mortal Kombat games. The roles are nothing major, but definitely the sort of nostalgic nod that the film is built upon. But what really holds Press Start together is the script, written by Kevin Follard. The various jokes, gags, and references lifted from the games that inspired the film make a smooth transition to the screen and demonstrate Follard's verifiable geekiness; from poking fun at the RPG battle system, to trying to explain why shopkeeper is always the same person in every shop you visit, you can definitely tell that Kevin knows his shit. It's a fantastic movie, one that I highly recommend picking it up. Throw enough cash at it, make it an indie sleeper hit and maybe Hollywood will understand that a little knowledge of gaming, its conventions and its history might add up to a better game-based film. Sure beats giving some jackass a ton of money to toss up a pile of shit, doesn't it?Score: 8/10Verdict: Buy it!
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ChrisHannard Glory to The Many. The Many sings to us. RadicalYoseph Daily VGM #22 (Witcher 2) - Pam Pa Ram (The Witcher 3)
Instant classic 10/10. It's a travesty it wasn't included in the soundtrack. Maybe CDPR is preparing for a special second disc release? I sure hopeVIRGO Oh, look at that, the rough draft I choose not to delete of this paper I need to do! I can keep adding to that instead of starting over and getting frustrated and quitting. What a novel concept!Jiraya Boys & Girls Whatcha doing ? Have you watched Shimoneta ? GO SEE IT
OverlordZetta And speaking of Yo-Kai Watch, it sounds like the demo's out!El Dango Hello, Thomas. I see you're looking at our fine selection of quickposts. Do they please you?OrochiLeona Overwatch Beta livestreaming Thursday. All aboard the AWESOME train. CHOO! CHOO!PSISomething EXTREMELY SPOOPY TRAILER
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-cIGX8kE_g[/youtube]OverlordZetta I'm coming to realize my time off from blogging has made the progress I made at being succinct fade away into nothingness, as the world will see in about an hour. I also made Valkyrie Drive's boobs even more boring at Japanator last night! Somehow.VIRGO Apparently, Kero Blaster got an update... Neat.Barry Kelly [url="http://store.steampowered.com/app/397550"]Deus Ex: Revision is now a thing that's on Steam for free
[img]http://cdn.akamai.steamstatic.com/steam/apps/397550/header.jpg[/img][/url]Mike Martin Wasteland 2 DC is out!Torchman Just a reminder: If you game doesn't have a dancing murderer, or a dancing little girl, your not a GOTY contender.Rudorlf Season 2 of Fargo is out, and of course Fargo isn't Fargo without dumbass criminals, tragedy and black comedy mixed into one package. BTW, the Organic Mechanic is in this season.PSISomething SUPER SPOOPY TRAILER
[url="http://www.dtoid.com"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DulmqIBNCe0[/url]VIRGO Nintendo of America released a YouTube video promo for Fatal Frame 5. They used the 'word' "spoopy." Pixie The Fairy Had the brilliant idea of watching the original Alien last night before bed. Totally didn't have crazy dreams afterward. Also, Bilbo Baggins was a total jerk in that movie. [img]https://johnkennethmuir.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/alien14.jpg[/img]gajknight Sure Niero's all powerful, but does he have lips? Woah...ShadeOfLight Finished playing the fan localization for Ace Investigations 2. These guys did a fantastic job, despite this game having the single most convoluted plot in the entire series. Here's hoping that somehow, someday, Great Ace Attorney will get this treatment.Jiraya Okay internet you done it... Playboy will not get nude girls anymore , too much competition.