Tomb Raider: Curse of the Sword

Tomb Raider- Curse of the Sword

Format- Gameboy Color

Genre- 2D platforming adventure

I recall the two Tomb Raider games on GBC getting a good reception by most game critics – I think the original even got 100% from one magazine, incredulously.

I never picked one up though, until now. And I can kind of see the appeal, even if age has tarnished its best feature.

Tomb Raider- Curse of the Sword

This is the second entry in the GBC Tomb Raider series, and it starts off in a fairly low budget fashion.

The opening cutscenes are all blurry still images, with some dodgy music in the background. After a few though, it’s straight into the game.

Tomb Raider- Curse of the Sword

You play as Lara Croft (i’m sure you knew that) and have been attacked in a friend’s museum and seen a rare artefact (I think it was a sword – the title would suggest so anyway), and have to get it back.

Irritatingly, you start off with no weapons, meaning you can be blocked off by bad guys who just stand in your way ominously, and hit you if you get too close. Those guys are real lazy – you can be jumping around, collecting keys, and they just don’t even move.

Tomb Raider- Curse of the Sword

So to start with, you’re merely climbing around, trying to find a way through the museum.

Instantly, you can tell a lot of effort has gone into the animation of Lara. For a GBC game the running, climbing and jumping is very fluid and quite impressive.

Tomb Raider- Curse of the Sword

It’s a game that has a similar style to Flashback and Prince of Persia though, in that your control of your character is very rigid. You can only move in set distances, and have to line up vertical jumps perfectly in order to get anywhere.

I personally find this style of game restrictive and not much fun, but I suppose it works for more considered platformers such as this.

Tomb Raider- Curse of the Sword

Eventually, after jumping and climbing your way through a few rooms you’ll get a gun. It won’t surprise you to find that using it is incredibly clunky, and firefights usually involve both sides taking unhealthy chunks of damage.

Fortunately health packs are everywhere, even though you do have to lean down to pick them up for some reason. You don’t even use them when you pick them up either – they’re stored on an inventory screen – so why you have to use a button to pick them up is rather odd.

Tomb Raider- Curse of the Sword

Save points, which are indicated by little diamonds, are also fairly frequent, meaning the game doesn’t get too frustrating.

Generally then, Curse of the Sword is a solid game, but hardly an incredible one. Many of its deficiencies are masked by the rather top notch graphics, but with age that advantage has faded. Worth a low priced punt, but not much else.

Gamer Profile: Cambria Edwards

[youtube id=”6j87tqcQ” width=”633″ height=”356″]

I didn’t have gaming consoles growing up, but my cousins did and I was over there all the time. Donkey Kong was one of the first games I ever played and I fell in love. Whenever a new console came out, of course my cousins had it and monopolized it. So I would go in the other room and play my Donkey Kong on the Nintendo. Even in the early 2000’s I would always ask to play until they finally got rid of their system. I was a bit heartbroken and it still remains one of my favorite games to this day. ~Cambria Edwards

Cambria Edwards

Favorite Classic Video Game: So I don’t know if this counts, but my favorite is Nintendo’s, Donkey Kong.

 The Tomb Raider Project:

Tell us about working on the Tomb Raider Project: It was brilliant! Being able to play the most iconic female video game character, having all of her gear and rolling around in the mud (there was a LOT of dirt involved, half of which doesn’t even register on camera). I got to wield my pickax, hang from trees, and I even build a fire for one of the shots. I do archery, so luckily that came in handy as well. In July I went to Comic Con as Lara and it was fantastic.  A lot of people recognized me from the videos and even more were astounded with the costume. It meant a lot to see so many people as passionate about the character and game as I am.

See more of her Tomb Raider work here.

Be sure to check out our other celebrity gamer profiles.

Top 5 Movies Based on Video Games

Top 5 Movies Based on Video Games

The film industry is always looking for the next big thing.  Film execs gain the rights to make movies based on novels, children’s stories, and comic books.  One source that on the surface seems to have incredible synergy with Hollywood is the video game industry.  Games have already benefited from using Hollywood-style production values, including professional actors and actresses for both voice and live parts.  You’d think that both being visual mediums would lead to incredible movies being made based upon video game properties.

But you’d be wrong.

Thus far the Hollywood video game movie selection has been mediocre at best, and laughingly dismal at worst.  Just for fun, let’s look at the best movies of the genre (all my personal opinion, of course).

Mortal Kombat movie poster

1.  Mortal Kombat. This incredibly popular fighting franchise made its way to the silver screen in 1995, bringing the Elder Gods’ martial arts tournament to life.   The film received “mixed reviews” which is a fancy way of saying some critics enjoyed the fight fest and others thought it gave a whole new definition to “suck.”  It managed to take in over $122 million worldwide, as well as spawning a sequel, so more than a few people thought it was a good movie.

Resident evil movie poster

2.  Resident Evil. A flawed but fun zombie movie based on Capcom’s horror games and starring the incredibly hot Milla Jovovich wiping out the infected workers from the top secret Hive installation controlled by the Red Queen.  Critics generally panned the film, but it grossed over $100 million worldwide and spawned two sequels (with one more to be released in September, 2010).

Silent Hill movie poster

3.  Silent Hill. This film was based on Konami’s horror game franchise, and incorporated elements from the first three games.  A few pretty decent scares and a couple of weird scenes gave this film a good vibe.  It did not receive great reviews from the critics, but scored where it counted with $97 million grossed worldwide.

Tomb Raider movie poster

4.  Tomb Raider. Angelina Jolie in tight spandex. How could this film possibly be bad?  That’s what I told myself before watching it, and afterward marveled at the film’s creators’ ability to do the impossible: make a live-action Lara Croft dud.  It still managed over $300 million worldwide, so a LOT of people must have gone into the theater with the same expectations I did.

TRON movie poster

5.  TRON.  The list is so meager that I decided to take a movie whose premise is about the video game industry and put it on this list.  And it’s a good excuse to includeTRON to the mix; it was a fun movie, and pulled in over $33 million worldwide, which wasn’t bad in 1982. End of line.

Every other video game movie was awful.  Putrid awful.  Perhaps it’s time that the industry stopped trying to translate the video game experience to the big screen, and keep going on as many comic book properties they can lay their greedy little hands on.  After all, given the choice, I’d rather watch Batman: Dark KnightSpider-Man or Iron Man than the very best the video game movie genre has to offer.

Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider - Playstation - Box

I can’t imagine there’s a human being out there reading this that hasn’t played this game, or at least knows everything about it. Before all the sequels (good and bad), all the comics (good and bad), and all the movies (good and bad), there was the original game that set everything up.

Soon after I purchased my PSOne, my cousin stopped by my apartment. I didn’t realize he was a big video game guy until I talked to him that day. He didn’t live too far from me and we talked about getting together. My brother was already over and I told him we were playing the Playstation. He told me he had one as well, and was going to bring over some games. I don’t remember any of the others he brought, because I don’t think we ever got past Tomb Raider.
“It’s an Indiana Jones chick who jumps around and shoots stuff.”

Tomb Raider is a 3rd-person action-adventure game which really plays like a classic platformer in 3D. Your hero, Lara Croft, is a rich girl who grew up in archeology, but her parents died when she was younger, leaving her with money and boredom. You’ll learn a lot more of her backstory in future games.

Tomb Raider - Playstation - Gameplay Screenshot

In this particular game, she’s hired to search the world for objects which have ties to the Lost City of Atlantis. She will battle animals, creatures, and humans, as well as the occasional mythical figure. Always armed with two guns and unlimited ammo, this will be her signature.

Tomb Raider is more about puzzle-solving than shooting, although there is enough of that. Throughout the levels, which will take her around the world, she will collect items and treasures, pull levers, push blocks, climb walls, jump to ledges, all while avoiding breaking her neck or falling into a death-pit. All in a normal day for an adventurer. Not only can she walk, but run, flip, and swim in water.

A true magical adventure, this game had me hooked. Looking back at it now, the graphics are pretty blocky, but the game play was/is something special.

Tomb Raider - Playstation - Gameplay Screenshot

I can’t finish this review without mentioning one of my favorite moments in video game history……the first time Lara’s walking around and the gigantic T-Rex comes seemingly out of nowhere, and I had nothing but the dual-pistols. Literally a crap-your-pants moment.

Obviously, this marked a special moment in gaming. I can’t stress enough how this was literally a game-changer. Combining great graphics and level design, wonderful music, engaging gameplay…..it almost seemed like you were in a movie, and a must-own for any gamer.

Only two negatives about the game, and they’re not minor; First, you can’t save where/whenever you’d like (they would change that in the sequels), but you have to find the save points. Secondly, the camera angles can be brutal, and sometimes get stuck. Can be very difficult to make a crazy jump when the camera is not cooperating. This will be a problem throughout the series.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uL1cwhNDWkw[/youtube]

The great Tommy Shaw once said, “Don’t go messing with a girl with guns.” The man was right-on, she’s totally badass.

The PFI Tripe Awards: The Data Memorial Award

PFI Tribe Awards 4

This is the Reverend Doctor Paul. We gather here today to pay our respects to our honored dead, The Data Memorial award, presented to films with the absolute worst endings ever. Let us start with a prayer.

Oh Lord, hear our prayers, these movies know not what they do. They were good movies, faithful movies, yet sins kept them from maintianing sanctity, in this weary world. Tonight we first pay tribute to the finale of a fine trilogy, a pure trilogy, the first Data Memorial award goes to…..

Matrix Revolutions - Movie Poster

The poster says it. Everything that has a beginning, has an end. Well, at least most do, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS ::CLUBS SEAL::. Isn’t false advertising illegal??? After all the hype involved within The Matrix Trilogy, all the anticipation, the pledge by the Wachowski brothers that there will be no more Matrix movies after Revolutions, we get an ending that leaves more LOOSE ENDS than a stay in prison. To prove this fact, I didn’t know the ending to the movie until a few days AFTER I saw it. Yes, AFTER. Something with Neo and the “head machine”, and he fights Smith, then he gets dragged away by sentinels, either unconscious or dead. So Neo’s dead, I think. Yeah. As you see the sentinels drag Neo away, you can see the entire trilogy dragged with it. NO CONFIRMATION OF NEO’S DEATH. NO CONFIRMATION OF WHAT THEY DO WITH HIM.

It almost seems like the Wachowski brothers realized they fucked up with the RIDICULOUS “cycle” storyline initiated in Reloaded, and wnated to RUSH the ending so people won’t notice how VAIN it all was. All the fights, all the philosophy, all the purpose, gone. It doesn’t end, I think. After the Machines withdraw from Zion, we get a minute or two of closure. The fact that the whole thing was a cycle isn’t closure, and the fact that this war happens over and over again also isnt closure. This ending makes the whole struggle seen in these 3 movies USELESS, as if it doesn’t matter because the war will happen again. THIS IS NOT AN ENDING, IT’S HORSEBALLS. The brothers have claimed to continue the story in VIDEO GAMES. See the previous volume of the tripe awards please. Rest in peace Neo, I think. And Rest in peace Matrix, we hardly knew you.

Hail Mary, mother of God, thy Kill Bill 1, thy movie be fun, on screen as it is in cinema. Domini madre, domini padre, amen. ::floor rumbles:: Oh shit, what the fuck is this??? ::building rocks back and forth:: OMG IT’s A DISASTER. Oh nevermind, it’s the winner of the next Data Memorial award….

KILL BILL: VOLUME 2!!!!!

A special thanks goes out to Marilu, who got us into a special screening of Kill Bill: Volume 2 for FREE. If I had to pay for the biggest disappointment since Bush winning the 2000 election, SEALS would be on the endangered species list.
I’d like to supress things that i KNOW I will hear, because I’ve heard them. I REALIZE THAT KILL BILL IS SUPPOSED TO BE ONE MOVIE, I know it was split into two for time constraints. But SINCE people had to pay TWICE to see “one movie”, the movies ARE NOT ONE, but TWO. The first volume of Kill Bill is simply one of the greatest movies of all time. The perfect blend of emotion, violence, action, and comedy. The first half of Volume 2 is fantastic as well. For those who haven’t seen it yet, here’s a piece of advice. In Volume 2, when Beatrix goes to visit the spanish pimp, walk out of the theater, have a drink, and create your own conclusion to the Kill Bill legacy, because Tarantino’s conclusion is quite possibly the SHITTIEST COP OUT IN FILM HISTORY. At the end of Volume 1, we perceive Bill to be a maniacal madman. WE CANT WAIT TO SEE HER…….

KILL BILL.

Turns out though that Bill is a SOFTIE. EVIL BILL, HELLFIRE BILL, GEORGE W. BILL. He destroyed her wedding because she left him, they were in love, aww isn’t that sweet??? NOT BECAUSE SHE WALKED OUT ON AN EVIL CRIME SYNDICATE. This makes the entire first volume, and the ENTIRE REVENGE ANGLE USELESS. The last 20 minutes are mind numbing, as Bill goes into a diatribe about goldfish and superman. I know this is a Tarantino movie, but give me a fucking break ok? The vague conversations worked in Pulp Fiction, but this is KILL BILL. FIGHTING, KUNG FU, GORE, PESTILENCE, DRHDRJDRJHEUYE$YWE$Y. After this conversation, we expect the most anticipated fight scene in movie history: Beatrix vs. Bill. HERE WE GO!!!! FINALLY!!!

Bill pulls a sword on her. 10 SECOND FIGHT SCENE IN WHICH THEY ARE BOTH SEATED. ::CLUBS GOLDFISH:: She does this five finger move on him that he explains to her in a flashback scene. If he walks 5 steps after this move, he dies. She holds his hand. Holds his hand, tears well up in her eyes. Awww isn’t that sweet?? ::spits:: He gets up, takes 5 steps, and collapses. No blood, nothing. Bill, tyrant in part 1, collapses and dies, along with the movie in general. To quote Miami Herald movie critic, “imagine if Luke and Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi sit down and talk about Superman and goldfish.” I couldnt have made a better analogy myself. So it became almost a romance. I was led to rename the movie: Kill Bill’s Best Friend’s Wedding Massacre. Other alternate names include :Kill Thrill, Kill Bill 1.5. Killjoy, Kill Bill in
under 10 seconds. Or best yet, KILL SEAL.

And God said let there be Trek, and he saw that it was good. And God said let there be Nemesis, and he saw that it was good. And Rick Berman said let there be Nemesis ending, and he saw that it WAS A PIECE OF SHIT. The 3rd Data Memorial Award goes to….

A few interesting facts first. Data has been a mainstay on Star Trek The Next Generation since 1987. The Romulans have been mortal villains since 1966. Understand these two simple facts. So at the end of Nemesis, Data dies heroically, sacrificing himself to save the Enterprise, and more importantly, PLANET EARTH. Sounds good huh? IT IS!!! 2 minutes later the movie is over. A one minute scene is featured showing the crew toasting wine for Data. 16 years of BELOVED Data, the HELL WE WENT THOUGH WITH HIM, and all we get is wine, and Riker wondering what song Data was whistling when he first met him, that’s it. I wanted to mourn Data, I wanted to cry for Data, but all I cried for was this RUSHED HALF ASSED ending.

Actually, half assed is giving it too much credit. 1/4th assed!!! FURTHERMORE. We SAVE THE ROMULANS ASS FROM CERTAIN DOOM, and we get a message from them “You have a friend in the Romulan Empire”. Over 30 years of war, and all we get is that. Movie over. The time it took you to read this review was 5 times longer than the mourning for Data and making peace with the Romulans, events that spanned DECADES. As any Star Trek fan should know, Data got LESS mourning than the GUYS WITH THE RED SHIRTS THAT DIE IN EVERY EPISODE ::CLUBS SEAL::This funeral for Data IS THE REAL ENDING FOR NEMESIS. Captain Hernandez out.

And God so loved the world, he gave his only begotten son to pay it forward, and killed him. The final Data Memorial Award goes to, the single worst ending in film history……

A young boy discovers how to make the world a better place through generous gestures of kindness, passed on person to person, how do you conclude this story? Do you: A) Show how his idea has affected the world, B) Show him not wanting anything in return, or C) Stab him and watch him bleed to
death. If you chose C, you deserve a Data memorial
award.

It was a dark and stormy night, no for real, it was. I was flipping channels and happened onto the beginning of Pay it Forward. Halfway into this FANTASTIC MOVIE, THE CABLE GOES OUT. The movie was so INTERESTING that I went out in the storm to Blockbuster, rented it on DVD, and watched it that night. I should’ve stood outside with a lightning rod after seeing how the movie ended. The Haley Joel Osment character revolutionizes kindness by creating a theory called Pay It Forward. He does a kind thing for someone, that person must then do something kind for 3 people, and so on and so forth. His kindness is rewarded at the end of the movie when some IDIOT LOOKING KID STABS HIM AT SCHOOL AND HE DIES. HE DIES. DIES. THAT’S D.I.E., DIE!!!! WHAT DOES THAT SHOW? WHAT KIND OF MORALS DO YOU HAVE. According to how Pay it Forward ended, if we do nice things for people we GET STABBED????

This opinion of the movie’s ending is the most UNANIMOUS AGREEMENT ever. NOBODY LIKED THE ENDING. THE KID DID NOT NEED TO BE A MARTYR. THIS IS NOT THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST. Having Osment die in Pay it Forward is the equivalency of having the astronauts in Apollo 13 plummet to the moon in a fireball. In fact, I may be wrong about the unanimous agreement, because CRIMINALS AND MURDERERS LOVE THE ENDING. It gives them HOPE AND FAITH for a SHITTY WORLD WHERE GOOD DEEDS GO PUNISHED. ::CLUBS SEAL:: We see NOTHING of how the pay it forward spread through the world. We see DEATH and MISERY. Pay It BACKWARD, directed by Mimi DEADER, produced by O.J. SIMPSON, Screenplay by JEFFREY DAHMER. Rated S.E for STUPID ENDING.

Funny how all these endings involve death.

One dies, we think.
One dies, romantically, in under 10 seconds.
One dies, with so little mourning he might as well have an unmarked grave.
One dies, leaving the rest of the movie, hell, the rest of CINEMA ITSELF, in VAIN.

May these endings burn in the firy pits of hell. Amen.

The PFI Tripe: Video Game Movie Awards


Pac-Man

Good evening ladies and gents!!! I”m happy to announce that the last edition of the Tripe awards BEAT AMERICAN IDOL in the ratings!!! We”re on our way to the final episode of Friends, to beat that in the ratings, I”m unleashing the most ANTICIPATED award of this series: THE DATA MEMORIAL AWARDS!! Honoring the absolute WORST endings in known film history. Look for that the night of the last episode of Friends, together we can beat their asses!!!! As for now, on with the show!!!! Tonight”s presenter of the prestigious CINEMA KILLED THE VIDEO GAME STAR award, hardly needs an introduction, he is the one…the only……

Pac-man

Pac Man: Thank you Paul! Thankfully a movie has NOT been made based on my escapades, however, if that were to happen, it”s still be better than tonight”s recipients! Tonight”s awards feature movies that have been inspired by video games, however there”s one thing the PFI wishes to get across. These awards are given based on the movies, not how much they resemble the video games that inspired them. There have been some video game movies that had little to do with the game, and still ended up great (Super Mario Bros. is a good example, imagine if they made a movie JUST like the game, it”d get a Tripe award). Just wanted to mention that in passing. And now the winner of tonight”s first award…..

Tomb Raider

LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER!!

Paul: Thanks Pac Man!! Angelina Jolie is over-rated. Much like American Idol and Friends, I can”t understand mainstream America”s obsession with her. JANE Voight, I like to call her, as the poor thing looks like her father in drag. Ah well to each his/her own. Based on this love for Jolie, droves of people flocked to see Tomb Raider. I went to see it not because of Jane Voight, but because I was a mild fan of the highly popular game series, and, I was bored. The movie ended up being so horrific, I cring at the words “Lara Croft”, and I haven”t played any of the games since. Yes, it”s that bad. Imagine a movie where EVERY SINGLE action scene leads to NOTHING. Example: A 10 minute action scene where the alleged “bad guys” are invading Lara”s mansion, during this whole fight, one guy sneaks off, and steals some relic that Lara is protecting. As this man is escaping she just smiles, and walks away.

Yes.

Smiles.

And Walks away.

You know, as a matter of fact, all she does in the movie is smile and walk away. Someone will tell her something, she”s smile and walk away. This happens 435325432q523653427624624y457hdjnfysmsym53 times in the movie, don”t believe me?, see it. If I weren”t being a cineamtic masochist that day, I WOULD”VE SMILED AND WALKED AWAY from the theater, but then there”d be no Tripe Awards, would that be a good thing?! Anyways, there”s a gratutious shower scene that was put there for whack off material (for guys that either a) don”t have the internet, or b) have the internet but are in denial that FREE PORN exists on the net.)

In this scene,because of the measly PG-13 rating, you don”t see ANYTHING except for maybe Jane Voight”s bare ass. GOOD! That eliminates a good chunk of the audience”s wishes! hahahhahahahaha!!! The bad guys in the movie are people called the illuminati, and they”re bad, because, ummmmmmmm……ummmmmmm….they are old guys. They want some relic that Lara has, it”s a very important relic because ummmmmmm….ummmmmmmmm.

Don”t know, movie didn”t explain, and if they did, I didn”t care. At the end of the movie, in an ice cave, Lara and one of the bad guys grab hold of this relic at the same time, all of a sudden they are transported to another realm, there is this huge black triangle they must climb up to reach some shit that I don”t remember. Does that make any sense to you guys?? It makes even LESS SENSE if you actually see it, trust me. It looked like a Tony Robbins infomercial showing people climbing to the top of the proverbial pyramid of life, it was that ridiculous.

Tony Robbins

NOTHING however can top the ending. She reaches the top of Tony Robbins” pyramid first, grabs hold of Tinkerbell. All of a sudden, the ice cave stars to collapse. She finds SNOW DOGS, and she sleighs her way out of the collapsing ice cave, SMILING and laughing the entire time. At this point I too was smiling and laughing, that the movie was OVER and that I can go home and do something more constructive with my time, like watch the chia pet grow. I hear the sequel is actually worse, I might just see it only to put it in these awards. Hey Pac Man, you saw Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, what did you think?

Pac Man: Click!

Paul: My thoughts exactly! Take it away Pac!!!!!

Pac Man: Our next movie is an inexcusable, I repeat, INEXCUSABLE piece of zombie dog shit. The second award of the night goes to….

Resident Evil

RESIDENT EVIL!!!!!

Paul: I have to admit, sometimes I”ll go into a movie ASSURED that it will suck, and sometimes I”m WRONG and I eat my foot. To swing the pendulum the other way though, there will be movies that I am ASSURRED will suck, and they actually turn out to be WORSE than I expected, ladies and gentlemen, Resident Evil. Where to begin….I CHALLENGE anyone who can give me a name for the main character of the movie, plus the guy she was with. I challenge anyone who can tell me why they were in bed with each other, and what they were doing in that mansion. There, that”s for starters. They descend with a bunch of marines and they encounter Survival Horror Movie Cliche” #1: Strange Creepy Little Girl with english accent, this time in digitized form, wtf-ever. Next we encounter THE ONLY SCENE OF VISIBLE VIOLENCE AND GORE IN THE MOVIE.

The laser scene, one of the first to die is, Survival Horror Movie Cliche #2: THE BLACK GUY. The scene was amusing enough, little did I know that in this zombie movie (yes, it”s a zombie movie, more on that later) that”s the last violence I”d see. We encounter zombies that resemble the zombies in Thriller by Michael Jackson. That”s just ignorant. Instead of it being scary, it looked laffable. They start firing weapons at the zombies. Want gore, blood violence? It is a zombie movie right? Well, too fucking bad, let me storyboard Resident Evil for you. Camera shows someone firing gun, next zombie comes, some fires shotgun, next zombie comes, somebody swipes an axe, they go down the elevator to the next level. Now, in that mini storyboard, was there ANY shots of the zombie”s being sliced or blown away??? Nope. This BULLSHIT is most prevalent in the DOG scene, which in the video game is most memorable, yet forgettable in the movie. The dogs JUMP towards “Jane Doe” and she fires a sawed off shotgun repeatedly, not one camera shot of the hellhounds being destroyed.

Oh, don”t give me the whole “PETA wouldve gone nuts and bla bla bla”. Watch Cujo and Man”s Best Friend, hell even OLD YELLER, then proceed to kiss my ass. All this time we have Survival Horror Movie Cliche #3: The Battle Hardened Female Military Grunt. Michelle Rodriguez, a good actress, turns in one of the worst on screen performances ever. A complete RIP OFF of Vasquez from Aliens, all she does in this movie is pout. Even through the incessant pouting though, it”s still better than SMILING AND WALKING AWAY RTHTDHAHBARG ::CLUBS SEAL::. There are some scenes of the movie that would”ve been intense and scary, like roaming the halls of the lab, but since MARILYN FUCKING DIPSHIT MANSON is playing loudly in the background, we can”t pay attention the the ambience of the lab. After battling more of Michael Jackson”s minions and not seeing a drop of blood, they go on this train thing, and while Michelle Rodriguez Vasquez De Santa Anna continues to pout, a huge monster comes out of nowhere and starts eating the train.

I think I blanked out based on the stupidity factor alone, all I remember is her waking up, and everything is destroyed in the city, setting it up for possibly an equally horrific sequel. Oh I also remember me not caring. Paul Anderson is a great director (Mortal Kombat, Soldier, Event Horizon, HOPEFULLY Alien vs. Predator), but after seeing this crapfest, I have my doubts. I was NOT entertained by Resident Evil. If the movie did one thing though, it made me appreciate the game even more, even with it”s equally horrific acting, I get a satisfying storyline that makes sense, plus I see violence and gore, something that should be PREVALENT in a zombie movie, like the fantastic DAWN OF THE DEAD. Game over. Pac Man your thoughts?

Pac Man: Click!

Paul: You”re the best Pac Man!!!

Pac Man:Click!

Last and certainly not least, we have here the single worst movie ever made. Yes, the absolute WORST, this movie can almost fall into ANY of the Tripe Award categories, but it best fit in this one for obvious reasons…..the worst of the worst, ladies and gentlemen…..here it is:


Motal Kombat

Paul: NEVER before has a movie”s tagline SUITED the movie more. DESTROY ALL EXPECTATIONS. Literally. After the GLORY and GENIUS that was the first Mortal Kombat movie, one would hope that second one would equal or BEST it. I was almost in tears leaving the theater that night. How, how could it happen??? This is how. Imagine fitting almost every character from the MK series into one 1.5 hour movie. Chracters like Sheeva and the Barakas would come and go like nothing. If you went up to get popcorn and came back, you just missed 5 MK characters thet you”d DIE to see on screen. Nightwolf does NOTHING. Sub Zero comes then DISAPPEARS. MONSTERS COME OUT OF WALLS TO EAT PEOPLE. ESHETAJATJMNATJMNATJN IT MAKES NO SENSE ERAHEARHJNRAHJNRAHNJEA. WHY GOD WHY??? I saw the movie with Fernando, he made two of the best comments ever uttered in a theater, because they”re so TRUE.

1) This is a porno, but instead of fucking, there”s fighting.
2) Part 1 is WWF, part 2 is WCW.

LMFAO I can”t think of better words to describe MK Annihilation. Thinking about this movie gives me a headache. Remember at the end of the first MK movie, the EVIL AND WRETCHED SHAO KAHN?????? For some UNGODLY reason, in part 2 he”s played by some 20something year old actor who can”t act his way out of a barrel. Same with Motaro. You just look at him and laugh your ass off. The pinnacle of stupidity are the animalities at the end of the movie. They make the old godzilla flicks look like special effects extravaganzas. Oh then Shao Kahn”s father turns into a black box and disappears. The movie is so bad it”s WORTH seeing. It”s no wonder that only 2 actors from part 1 signed for the second movie, the others were actually smart and read the script b4 signing on. Even James Remar, usually a GOOD actor, sucked as Raiden. MST3K needs to come back and destroy this movie. Badly. Resident Evil And Tomb Raider are masterpieces in comparison. And after tonight, thats saying a WHOLLLLLLLE LOT! PAC MAN???!!!!

Pac Man:Click!

Paul: I think the Tripe killed him!! Stay tuned next week as we unveil the “JOHNNY DEPP SHAME AWARDS!!!!!” Until then, Godspeed

 

PlayPlay

Remake and Reboot

Video Game Remakes

Hollywood is going through a phase at the moment. The “reboot” of films such as Batman Begins, or the remake of titles including “The Taking of Pelham 123”, demonstrates a lack of original ideas and voices. And the games industry seems to be following suit, relying on summer blockbusters and sequels as much as the cinema.

Prince of Persia is a good example. Jordan Mechner’s classic had already undergone an ill-advised leap into 3D before Ubi Soft’s Sands of Time rebooted the story and added the amazing time rewinding feature. The two sequels added little, even with a Wii remake of the Two Thrones giving motion control. And so it was rebooted again, adding a controversial new game mechanic and dividing opinion.

Tomb Raider has also had its share of remaking and rebooting, with Legend and the 10th Anniversary editions. By handing the series over to Crystal Dynamics, Legend got closer to a true 3D world and Anniversary revisited the old locations with new polish.

The Wii is also seeing several of these new “interpretations”, as evidenced by Klonoa. The original game of the series appeared nearly ten years ago on the original Playstation, and was a 2.5D platformer with the player’s movement controlled along set paths. Fast forward and the graphical makeover is very good (the dreadful Americanised character voices less so), but the movement restrictions remain. The old-school game mechanics may feel uncomfortable to the new audience drawn to Wii, but there is a real challenge in there.

Other titles such as Resident Evil Files have had little done to improve them for the new hardware. The Play Control range has featured some gems brought up to date with Wii controls – Pikmin, for example – but Nintendo would be advised to cherry-pick the best titles to update.

Perhaps the most successful reboot has to be Call of Duty. Arriving first on PC, the console-specific versions (Big Red One) were followed by the unusual idea of two developers alternating work on the franchise. But the biggest surprise was waiting for Call of Duty 4. The subtitle Modern Warfare gave it all away – the franchise moved from its World War II setting (and its competitors Medal of Honour and Brothers In Arms) to the present day. However, despite plans to call the 2009 sequel Modern Warfare 2, Activision has gone back and put the Call of Duty tag in front to avoid losing sales.

So rebooting is not all bad news. In the end it would be nice to be swamped with new and original ideas every time we looked at the shelves in our local game store, but the companies cannot be blamed for the fact that the familiar titles (and gameplay styles) will sell more.

Video Game Movies: The ones that got it right

Video Game Industry the movie
Video Game Industry the movie

We already discussed the video games that got it wrong, but what about the movies that were at least good enough to not walk out of? Now, we are not saying these movies are perfect or even that they were completely true to the game, but that they were good enough to have a positive consensus across many gamers.

First we will start with my top pick and then look at a few others. Later we will ask our panel of industry insiders which video game movie was their favorite.

Silent Hill

Some people will disagree with me, but I felt they did the Silent Hill movie pretty well and this is coming from someone who beat all the original games and then watched his sister do the same. It is true there was a lot of tweaking not only to bring in new fans, but to mold the story to be more emotional. Many were upset that the movie mirrors Silent Hill 2 more than part 1 and making the main character a woman people though was just because having a woman in a horror film adds more than a male character would.

Believe me, I understand the critic’s objections, but this was a case where I believe the changes did not kill the Silent Hill story too much. The visuals and especially the music was excellently done. At first I was afraid the transition between worlds would not have been shown and only displayed by the entire screen going dark. I was presently surprised to see the entire transition shown and it looked awesome.

As said the music was taken out of the games with a few tracks added that fit in perfectly with the game and the movie. The story itself was modified and many felt the cult aspect of the story was not there the way it should be and I could understand that. You did understand how messed up the people were, but you weren’t drawn into their world until the very end.

The studio worked closely with Konami and that is the reason the visuals from the broken city to Pyramid head to the killer nurses were spot on. On the flip side audiences not familiar with the Silent Hill game or game story telling in general thought the long explanation of what was going on at the end of the movie seemed out of place and killed the pacing.

The ending can be a tossup. Many felt it left to many questions. Some did not understand it and more felt it was a bad way to try to lead into a follow-up movie. The movie itself did well considering and there was talk of a sequel. If/when Silent Hill 2 is made we will see what direction it goes in.

Resident Evil

You’ll have to forgive me on this one I enjoyed this movie. Sure, it was not very true to the game, but honestly having a loan character walk around for 80% of the film would not work. What I liked was they did try to incorporate the original mansion from the game with the Umbrella Corporation. The action sequences were well done and adding in the evil little girl Red Queen gave you at least another reason why the team sent in became trapped.

There was a lot they could have done with this film making it a better story, but honestly after watching the follow-up movies I am surprised this one came out as well as it did. What was really sad was the ending really made me want to see part 2 which turned out to be a horrible disappointment for me.

Intermission

There are a number of well-done video game movies, but let’s hear from our panel to see what were their choices.

Danielle Davis from Zombie Studios wrote:

Wing Commander

Give your brain the night off…

Most games are made with very iconographic heroes and villains. You don’t have to worry about plot or story as much, and can focus on the core gameplay. Nearly everything is black and white. The Heroes are universally good, and the Villains are the purest of evil.  As we get older, we learn life is really just shades of grey (or from “a certain point of view”).

Wing Commander can be viewed the same way.  As a whole, Wing Commander (Movie) can be cheesy and flashy, but in reality that is pretty much how it is in the game franchise. Wing Commander (Game) followed the general curriculum of building characters plot like any other Action\Army movie (just like Aliens or Predator). You’ve got your classic “Girl trying to compete with the big boys”, or “Leader struggling under the burden of leadership”, or “Overly Aggressive Hot Shot “, and of course “Cool as Ice and plays everything by the book”. Is it cliché? Yes. But do stereotypes help identify personality and move the plot forward quicker? Sadly yes.  Since it was established in the Games, so must the continuity be maintained for the Movie. The amount of Cheese and Awesomeness in the movie, is equal to the Cheese and Awesomeness in the game.

Back to the shades of grey. A two hour movie of continuous dog-fighting, would be pretty hard to accomplish (Memphis Belle is the only one I can think of). By introducing personal flaws, strategic mishaps, personal failures, and over-ambition, you can subtly add secondary antagonist. For example: Maniac. He’s reckless and going to get his teammates killed. Does that make Maniac a bad guy? Depending on your point of view, you could say Yes. So, you have your primary Villians (the Kilrathi), and you have the secondary villains (ambition, fear, self-doubt).

By now, you’re asking yourself “You’re INSANE! How do you enjoy such a crappy movie? I mean, seriously, are you high?”. And the answer is, well kinda “Yes”. You can’t enjoy a movie like this by comparing it to other movies that have freedom of script and design. You have to simply take your brain out, and give it a two hour break. Relive what it’s like to be 12 years old again, and just enjoy the Good Guys, Bad Guys, and big explosions. Enjoy the simplicity of “this guy’s a douche bag”, “wish this dude would chill out”, and “this chick is awesome” without thinking about the deeper context and military discipline (let alone plot). Enjoy two carriers slugging it out point blank range. Just relax and enjoy it. Why? Because that’s exactly what you did when you’re played it as a game. You gave your brain the night off…

David Warhol from Realtime Associates wrote:

Tomb Raider

The shower scene was HILARIOUS!  (And if you don’t remember or know what I’m talking about, watch or re-watch it…. it’s for real.)

J.A. As a bonus here is the funny shower scene.

J.A. As a super bonus here is Angelina Jolie in the shower.

Corey Dangel from Detonator Games wrote:

King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters

It is, without a doubt, my favorite video game related movie. The story follows Steve Wiebe on his quest to achieve the “official” high score for Donkey Kong. Along the way he must defeat several different adversaries, the least of which is the actual score needed to reach the top. It’s a classic underdog tale, only the heroes and villains are real and contemporary, and a great documentary…exploring themes like obsession, vanity, dedication, and legacy all wrapped in a cloak of classic coin-op arcade games. Besides, who doesn’t love Donkey Kong!?

Juan Gril from JoJu Games wrote:

Tron and Wargames!


 

Robert Muresan: Exosyphen studios

Exosyphen Studios logo
Exosyphen Studios logo

Name: Robert Muresan

 

Company: Exosyphen studios

 

Profession: Owner / Programmer / Game designer

 

Favorite Classic Game: Tomb Raider

 

Quote: “I don’t try to make better games than the ones that exists. I come up with new game types that have never been created and played. Then I try to make them better than the first time”

 

Bio: “I made my first game when I was in the 3rd year of college. It was the first commercial PC game developed in the history of my country (Romania).

It went well and I eventually ended up dropping out of college and starting my own studio (exosyphen studios). It is currently the largest independent studio in Romania”

 

Hacker Evolution 2010 for iphone
Hacker Evolution 2010 for iphone

Project: Hacker Evolution Duality

 

Project Info: HED is our upcoming hacking simulation game. You will play the role of a computer hacker, in a network populated by AI controlled hacker opponents. The twist will be that we are profiling the behavior of actual gamers to create a unique, diverse and challenging AI. The game play and everything the game will pack, is completely fresh and new.


Jessica Harper: Fallen Earth

Fallen Earth logo

Name: Jessica Harper

Company: Fallen Earth, LLC

Profession: Quality Assurance Lead for Fallen Earth

Favorite Classic Game: Tomb Raider

Quote: I have been playing games since I was really young, but I got hooked on the Tomb Raider series when I was around 11 or 12. I found that I could get into the mechanics of games and found them all interesting as I played through. I became quite good at controlling the camera on the PS2 and that added to the experience for me as I played through the game. The Tomb Raider series of games on the PS2 has to be my favorite game to date since it made me concentrate on the puzzles and the dexterity challenges while providing a lot of fun and entertainment. I loved finding new strategies to move up in the game. I love a good challenge.


Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light logo
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light logo

We all knew sooner or later Lara would settle down and find herself a nice man, in Guardian of the Light she found the man, but doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. Taking a different direction this time around Lara teams up with the Mayan warrior, Totec as they shoot, jump and swing their way to relic treasure.

In GOL we switch to an isometric camera angle giving you a top down perspective. Here teamwork is key in fact this game was made for co-op be in via two players in your home or online. You will need to work together to solve puzzles and fight against spiders, natives and even a T-rex.

The Trailer Theater – Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light

The game is set for a summer release on Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network and PC for $15.

Classic Gaming Beauty Pageant

Ever hear the saying; “Don’t be fooled by a pretty face”? In this case that “pretty face” can put you in intensive care quicker than a Dragon Punch. ~J.A. Laraque

Classic Gaming Beauty Pageant

We asked our fans on the official Obsolete Gamer Facebook Page which classic gaming heroine was the sexiest. We received a number of responses and now we will showcase some of them here. Let’s take a look at some of the lovely ladies of classic gaming to see if we can find a clear winner.

Beauty Pageant

Princess Toadstool

Princess Peach from Mario

With golden blond hair, big sky-blue eyes and rosy-red cheeks it’s no wonder Mario is willing to go anywhere in the galaxy to save her. As princess of Mushroom Kingdom, Peach takes her job very seriously and is even willing to battle to save her land. Her beauty and grace are unmistakable, she clearly owns the evening gown competition, but she is much more than just another pretty face. Peach is also an avid go-cart racer and excels in golf, tennis, soccer and even brawling. She is clear royalty that brings a lot to the throne.

Ms. Pac-Man

Ms Pacman arcade side

Nothing beats a full figured woman and Ms. Pac-Man carries the perfectly round look better than anyone else in history. While it is true the lovely lady spends most of her time eating she is constantly on the run which balances it out. Her strong suit is the swimsuit competition because she refuses to wear much else besides a pink  pumps, silk gloves and a lovely bow. Don’t get any ideas guys, Ms. Pac-Man is married and has a child. Honestly would you want to date someone who is constantly being pursued by ghosts?

Samus Aran

Samus Metroid

Sometimes a man wants a strong woman, someone who can handle herself in battle; someone who can kick your ass, that woman is Samus Aran. This battle beauty spends most of her time in her battle suit blasting away the badies in Metroid, but there is a softer side to ol’ Sam. When not blowing away anything in her path, Miss Aran loves to read war strategies and weapon tech manuals. She lost a few points for refusing to compete in the evening gown or swimsuit competition but her answer to what would she do if she won the pageant was clear and to the point, she said: “I’d keep doing what I’ve been doing all my life, saving the world.”

Tyris

Tyris Flare Golden Axe

Originally Tyris was not part of the pageant, but when a sword-wielding, red-haired amazon asks to be included you better not say “no”. Brawn and beauty are in perfect harmony with this video vixen. In Golden Axe, Tyris battled against the horde to seek revenge on Death Adder for the murder of her parents. Now Tyris is a swimsuit model and military consultant. That’s an A+ resume.

Princess Zelda

Princess Zelda

This noble beauty believes in the more traditional role of fantasy princesses. Zelda spends most of her time either in a magically induced sleep or trapped in some dungeon waiting for a hero to save her. Being a lady of stature and prestige she refuses to show herself in anything beyond her royal gown, but we still like what we see. Zelda understands the key to being saved is looking good and patience, lots and lots of patience.

Chun Li

Chun Li Street Fighter anime

Ever hear the saying; “Don’t be fooled by a pretty face”? In this case that “pretty face” can put you in intensive care quicker than a Dragon Punch. Chun Li is a competitor be it in Street Fighting or beach volleyball, she doesn’t like to lose. Being the first lady of fighting games has put a target on her head and Ms. Li wouldn’t have it any other way. She loves to show off her silky smooth legs and powerful thighs, but that is just a trap. If you are not careful you will quickly become a victim to her lighting fast kicks. Chun has no problem using her brute force to get what she wants, she rather kick you than kiss you which is why many of the judges are voting 10.

Jill Valentine

Jill Valentine Resident Evil fan art

If you were to date this woman and Valentine’s Day came around it would be in your best interest to give her the world. I mean not only is Valentine her last name, but she kills zombies for a living. You have to love a woman with a gun who knows how to use it and with her lock picking skills you will never run out of ammo. Now some have called her the weaker link in team Resident Evil, but that is far from the truth. Her strengths lie in her versatility. Jill is proficient in many different weapons and her puzzle solving skills are top shelf. Ms. Valentine dazzled us with her numerous wardrobe changes. We asked her, “Why do you love to show off all your different types of clothing?” Her response was, “Do you have any idea what I had to do to get these clothes?”

Lara Croft

Lara Croft - Tomb Raider

When out raiding tombs and treasure hunting it is important to have the total package. Lara Croft is the total package. She has the brains to solve the most mind numbing puzzles and the athletic ability to run, jump and swing her away across the most dangerous environments. She is an expert marksman and a Rhodes Scholar and she has a pair of assets that are second to none. Ms. Croft defines pageantry competing and excelling in all categories she is the epitome of classic gaming excellence and beauty. Clearly if there is a winner amongst this fine field of females it is Lara, she would have won even if she did not give us all a share in her latest treasure find.