Video Game

Puppeteer_Pirate

If you care about video games, then you’re probably not even reading this right now. Most likely, you’re deep inside of Grand Theft Auto V, living a life of excess and loving it. And now that GTA V’s online mode has finally overcome most of the bumps and is actually turning out to be pretty fun, all the more reason to stay inside its warm embrace. We’ll be talking about Rockstar’s triumphant return to the seedy underbelly of crime soon, but we wanted to highlight the amazing storytelling and whimsical design of Sony’s Puppeteer for the PlayStation 3. With the PlayStation 4 being introduced next month, this might represent one of the last great PS3 games. Despite the childlike art adorning the cover and the name, this is actually dark game: you play as Kutaro, a young boy who has been turned into a puppet and had his head torn off. While you can find other puppet heads to utilize, and gain special abilities from them, and you spend most of the game armed with a magical pair of scissors, this isn’t a cheerful story with your princess waiting in another castle. Puppeteer is dark, disturbing, and completely amazing, thanks in no small part to game director Gavin Moore. We spoke to Moore in Japan about all things Puppeteer, so read on for the full interview, and be sure to pick up a copy and give it a whirl for yourself.

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FablesFSR1

Last year, Telltale Games did what many people thought would be impossible: they took the smash hit comic book The Walking Dead, and turned it into a point and click adventure game. It was a real triumph in video game storytelling, with much of the game contingent on conversation and player choices. But more than that, it channeled pure emotion into the hands of the gamer, and plenty of jaded, cynical naysayers were moved to tears while playing. On top of that, the game was released in an episodic format, although you can purchase the complete experience as one whole package now. Of course, the game came at a perfect time, with the white hot Walking Dead television show on AMC, which in turn spurred sales of the comic book and created an appetite for this game. But based on the show and many issues of the comic, you would expect that the game would be Sheriff Rick’s Zombie Shooting Gallery, not a tearjerking piece driven by the characters. In fact, the game focused on new characters, without a Rick, Daryl, or Shane in sight, as it is set while Rick is in a coma. You will see several familiar faces, but what Telltale drives home is that this is not Rick’s story. There are plenty of other survivors out there, along with their own stories to tell, and the game went against the odds and blew everyone away in the process. If you haven’t played it yet, I highly […]

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Papers Please

Video games don’t have to be complex to tell a story. Or, more importantly, have you fill in parts of the story in your head. Early games like Pong existed without any sort of narrative, unless you enjoyed pretending you were a rectangular block intent on sailing a square of pixels past your opponent for ultimate victory. It wasn’t until later that games were given narratives for the player, even though they were extremely simple: rescue the princess, flee the evil robots, destroy oncoming asteroids. These days, games have deeply complex storylines with multiple, branching plot points and are often denser than most Hollywood movies. They have to be because they often last upwards of ten hours. But the meteoric rise of indie games have propelled a much smaller type of game to the forefront, often with stories that are just as moving or emotional. This is the case in Papers, Please, from Lucas Pope. The game bills itself as A Dystopian Document Thriller, and here’s the description from the creator:

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SR1

Saints Row is the game that decided to out-ridiculous Grand Theft Auto, and since 2006 it has been providing players with an over-the-top gameplay experience that mimics the open world sandbox of GTA, while adding a ton of tongue-in-cheek humor and oddities. For instance, you can go streaking in the game and if you shock enough people, you’ll gain experience. Sadly, that just doesn’t work in real life, or I would have had some extra credit in college. But with each of the three successive games, the series has gotten stranger and stranger. You play as the leader of the Third Street Saints, a gang out the Chicago/Detroit inspired city of Stilwater. Despite the extremely high body count you have racked up in previous games, you’re now the President of the United States, and Keith David (yes, that Keith David) plays himself, and serves as your Vice President. Which is meta in itself, as David also voiced Julius Little in the first two Saints games, original founder of the Saints.

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FILM JOCKEYS HEADER

What happens when a legendary film critic brings is geriatric crankiness to an internet movie show? Film Jockeys follows the adventures of Carl Barker, his far-too-young production staff, the filmmakers and the movie characters that inhabit their world. Written and illustrated by Derek Bacon, it’s the perfect webcomic for passionate film fans who also desperately want to see a Portal movie. For your consideration, Episode #9:

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Is the chasm between active participation in video games and passive observation in movies too wide to cross? It’s undeniable that the major studios have stumbled a bit when it comes to adapting video games into movies, but are there lessons from the video game industry itself that producers can learn? To answer this question, we turn to movie reviewer, Wizard World managing editor, and producer of Planet of the Apps over at Machinima, Kevin Kelly. Download Episode #148

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The Best Short Films

Why Watch? One by one, this clever short film parades familiar video game faces as they march forever from left to right. It’s a celebration of scrolling (with music epic enough for the occasion) and a distillation of 8-bit nostalgia. But more than that, isn’t there a lesson about life here? Something trenchant and humane? Something these colorful specks of light can teach us about ourselves? Even if there isn’t, this video is really, really cool. What will it cost? Only 3 minutes. Skip Work. You’ve Got Time For More Short Films

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The Best Short Films

Why Watch? It’s no secret that video game cinematics are getting more and more amazing every month. Quantic Dream – the team behind “Heavy Rain” and some movie motion capture – just wanted to remind everyone. There’s no need to explain what Kara is; she’ll tell you herself while her legs and arms are being soldered to her torso. A killer display of CGI? Yes, but it’s also surprisingly powerful in the same way a certain moment in Rise of the Planet of the Apes was. This is an incredible, near flawless short. What will it cost? Only 7 minutes. Skip Work. You’ve Got Time For More Short Films. Thanks to Peter Hall for sharing this.

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In Wreck-It Ralph, a villain (voiced by John C. Reilly) whose job is to bust up 8-bit buildings finds himself longing for more. It’s just like that time Donkey Kong started writing poetry and listening to The Cure. What did you think that funky Kill Screen was all about? Exactly. It’s a cool concept from Disney trading on nostalgia that includes multiple worlds (theoretically for Ralph to adventure through). There’s the racing game “Sugar Rush” and the space fighting game “Hero’s Duty,” and Disney has delivered the first look with three pictures (via CineHeroes). They’re all beautiful, but that’s par for the course at Disney. Check them out for yourself:

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Why Watch? Here’s one for the video game lovers. A giant glob of pixels escapes from a television Samara-style and attacks the city in creative ways. From Space Invaders turning taxis into cubists piles of waste to Pac-Man chomping his way down the subway, the concept here is clever and the execution is peerless (although it’s got a Pes-feel about it). This may be the best end of the world scenario ever conceived. What Will It Cost? Just 2 minutes of your time. Does it get better any better than that? Check out Pixels for yourself:

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Pixel to Projector

Editor’s Note: Today we launch a brand new column called Pixel to Projector, by Dustin Hucks. It’s our way of staying at the center of where video games and film meet. For more, check out the Pixel to Projector homepage. The five hundred year old Meikyokan Dojo, teaching the disciplines of Master Narukagami Shinto, is hidden within a large modern city; a secret society of assassins knows as Kage reside within. Utsusemi, an honorable swordsman, loses his position as leader of the dojo to the skilled fighter Hanzaki, in a fierce battle. Hanzaki gained respect as the head of Kage, until his discovery of the cursed sword Yugiri. He began to change; disregarding the honor and traditions held by the assassins and the students of the ancient dojo. One day, a Kage escapes the confines of the dojo with its secrets. Several members of the society are sent to dispatch the defector…on penalty of death.

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It was eleven months ago that Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, the 28 Weeks Later director, took over helming duties for a Bioshock film with Gore Verbinski still bringing his larger than life producing to the project. That means that in one month, we’ll have gone a full year without any serious movement on bringing the video game adaptation to life on the big screen. That also means that it’s about that time for someone with big guns to be talking about it again – and Verbinski is still talking a vaguely strong game about delivering for the fans.

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Red Dead Redemption

Since Roger Ebert doesn’t consider video games art, he can go suck a rattlesnake. Meanwhile, at Film School Rejects, we celebrate the cinematic qualities, and the John Hillcoat short film, of Red Dead Redemption.

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Star Wars: Old Republic

There are two segments of fans that get the cinematic shaft more often than not: Star Wars fans and video game fans. Neither of these two groups have had a good run in the last few decades, between George Lucas’ prequels and Uwe Boll’s reign of terror. So the thought of taking a Star Wars video game and turning it into a CG-animated movie wouldn’t exactly be top of mind for any reasonable fan. Until now.

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Hollywood hasn’t quite been able to grasp the video game adaptation, which is a shame. Because, much like the power glove, most video game films are so bad.

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It seems like a no-brainer: putting the movie memorabilia in the same place as the movies.

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transformers2-gameheader

IGN has debuted the first teaser trailer for the upcoming video game companion to this summer’s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. And while it doesn’t show us anything incredibly new or revelatory, it does give fans another taste of what is to come.

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Officially Cool

Using the character creation feature on the smash hit video-game Soul Calibur 4, one YouTuber has created Presidential hopefuls Barack Obama, John McCain and Senator Hillary Clinton.

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Chun Li: Street Fighter

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li is entering it’s second week of production, and you can read all about it on their insidery blog that sounds a little bit too much like Ain’t It Cool News. Find out all about the production, see an exclusive photo, and oh lord I can’t keep typing this.

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Robert Fure

Hitman

Movie Reviews By Robert Fure on November 22, 2007 | Comments (1)

Blasting its way into theaters this Thanksgiving is the movie adaptation of the critically acclaimed game.

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