Archive for the ‘survival horror’ Category

Phantasy Star III – Generations of Doom: Utter Disappointment

September 17, 2009

After completion of the monumental undertaking Phantasy Star II must have been, the development team was at the top of their game. They’d created a work of staggering importance to the medium of video game RPGs, so where to go from there? Apparently, to other things. One of the most important core members, Yuji Naka, left to create what would later become Sonic the Hedgehog, Sega’s 16-bit savior, leaving a large hole in the team. Ever the type to shoot themselves in the foot, Sega decided that they NEEDED another Phantasy Star, whether the original creators were available or not. So instead of patiently waiting for the band to get back together, they put together a team of questionably-qualified individuals and churned out Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom.  I think you might already know where this is headed…

you look cool bro

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(500) Days of Summer: (500) Reasons This Is Baloney

August 7, 2009

I knew it. Exactly what I was afraid would happen has happened.

America, we’re under attack by indie hipster romantic comedies.

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Resident Evil: Degeneration – It’s Small Time

January 23, 2009

The Resident Evil series of horror video games is a fascinating look at how not to do serial storytelling. It’s so over-convoluted a remake of the first game was made to include references to developments made in the sequels, tying all the characters, histories, various viruses, and conspiracies together. Then series creator Shinji Mikami, while revamping Resident Evil 4 for the second time during development, said “screw all this clumsy history” and restarted with a clean slate. The dozens of loose threads from previous games were abandoned for dozens more loose threads. Resident Evil 5, coming out in March, appears to answer a few questions RE4 didn’t bother with, like what Sherry Birkin and Jill Valentine are up to, but with this series it’s best not to expect anything substantial from the plot department anymore. If you want to look at exactly how ridiculous and bloated Resident Evil‘s plot got over the years take a look-see at Thomas Wilde’s outrageously detailed FAQ, which tackles tough questions like “Does Ada actually care about Leon?” (No.) and “Is Saddler retarded?” (Yes.)

Clearly, the fans care way more about the games’ plot than its writers. Absolute proof arrived late last year in the guise of Resident Evil: Degeneration, a direct-to-DVD CG-animated movie that takes place between Resident Evils 4 and 5. It stars Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield, the protagonists of Resident Evil 2, perhaps the most beloved entry in the series, long before it became the labyrinthine mess it is today. Early previews suggested Degeneration would be full of nods to RE2. Turns out it has exactly two, and one of them is a shot-for-shot reenactment of our heroes’ meeting. It was the only few seconds of the movie I guess I could say I enjoyed and that was only because I remember the intro sequence from a Playstation game released 11 years ago. If Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children proved to folks that Square should stick to video games, then Degeneration proves the guys at Capcom shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near pencils, pens, chalk or anything that could potentially aid them in writing a script. If they can’t keep their story straight in a long-running video game series, what makes them think they can pull it off in a hundred-minute movie?

Come with me if you want to be bored (more…)

Dead Rising: Where the dead envy the shopping

November 7, 2007

Continuing on our rampage of belated Halloween horror, I finally (finally!) managed to finish Xbox 360 survival horror (?) game Dead Rising. I have to say, I wasn’t sure about the game when I first heard of it. It seemed like a sort of cheap, derivative idea. Chase zombies around a shopping mall? Gee. Where have I heard that before? But when I finally got my Xbox 360, I had a distinct lack of games to play for it, besides Hexic and a bunch of demos like Tomb Raider (ehhh) and Kameo (blehhh). I decided to root around the Xbox Marketplace for more fresh meat when I came across the Dead Rising demo. Sure, why not? I asked myself. I left it to download and went to go see some fireworks. When I got back, it was done and I booted it up. Whoa. This was actually cool! I could just run around and fuck up zombies with a bunch of wacky stuff! It ended up on the short list of birthday presents I requested. And I got it! Did the full game live up to the demo experience?

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