Archive for September, 2010

Evilspeak (1981)

IMDb: “A military cadet who happens to be a social outcast taps into a way to summon demons and cast spells on his tormentors through his computer.”

Please tell me someone, anyone, has seen this movie.

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But can it find the nearest ATM

Look, the only reason I am posting this is, I am forever the woman holding an iPhone in front of her like a dousing rod, trying to figure out how to walk back to her car. (I also get lost in dungeons a lot, in games I mean, so.)

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Final Boss


Daily Linksplosion: Monday, September 20, 2010

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Hello, Homebrew: Halo 2600

With the release of Halo Reach, Bungie—the studio that created and developed the series—has officially washed its hands of the Halo franchise for the foreseeable future. Now the baton has been passed to other developers, which has resulted in real anxiety from some circles in terms of the game series’s fate.

Not that this worry is anything new: Halo Wars was, in fact, developed by an outsider—Ensemble Studios—and is generally considered to be a top-notch RTS game. I Love Bees, the ARG by 4orty2wo Entertainment, is so highly regarded that it is arguably better, and certainly more inventive, than the game it was meant to promote. At the 2010 Classic Gaming Expo, however, another non-Bungie Halo game made its debut: Halo 2600.

Halo 2600 was an unexpected product from the people at AtariAge, who had previously promised a surprise homebrew release at what would be the first CGE convention since 2007. Developed by Ed Fries, former vice president of Microsoft’s game publishing wing, the game was borne out of an interest he had taken in programming for the Atari 2600 after reading Nick Monfort and Ian Bogost’s book, Racing the Beam.

“I wasn’t sure what to write, so I created a little Master Chief from Halo and made him run around the screen. Then I created an Elite for him to shoot at,” Fries explains in a post on AtariAge. “At this point it wasn’t my intention to make a full game. I was just screwing around.”

After getting tacit approval from Bungie and Microsoft to go ahead, Fries put together a game quite similar to the seminal Atari title Adventure, and on the first day of CGE, the game was announced, sold, and the ROM, dumped. And perhaps most impressively, the game is also one of the best homebrews to come along for the system!

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Daily Linksplosion: Tuesday, September 14, 2010

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Daily Linksplosion: Wednesday, September 08, 2010

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The Room, the video game

I saw this posted to Twitter eight gajillion times yesterday, and I never even got to play it until only just now, because I was on my goddamn iPhone, far from a laptop computer with all its Flash capabilities. But! The story is this. The Behemoth’s Tom Fulp (Alien Hominid, Castle Crashers) has created a playable version of The Room for Newgrounds, and it is so amazing.

I watched Tommy Wiseau’s cinematic masterpiece The Room last month, and for weeks it was all I could think or talk about (and sorry for the protracted absence, but, The Room, people). The movie, though: it is incredible. My friend Robyn’s DVD player is all messed up, so we had to watch the movie with subtitles. Believe me, you should watch with subtitles. The disc even subtitles all the R&B songs that play during the lovemaking scenes! And there are myriad lovemaking scenes, so. Subtitles!

From its very introduction, the point-and-click adventure game establishes a number of familiar themes you’ll likely remember from the film: Johnny’s martyrdom; the implausible San Francisco vista; the music. As you play on, you’ll discover that the flower shoppe is meticulously recreated, as is Johnny’s apartment’s rooftop and spiral staircase and bowl-full-of-apples table centerpiece, and the dialogue. If you’ve never seen The Room, you might think the game dialogue’s utter lack of punctuation isn’t deliberate, but you’d be wrong. Perhaps the game reproduces the film almost to a fault—as a fairly straightforward adaptation, it does bill itself as a “tribute”—and yet there are other creative licenses taken. For instance, the interior of Denny’s apartment, heretofore unseen, rings sociopathically true. Other cinematic plotholes, like whatever happened to Chris the Thug, are kindly cemented in by Mr. Fulp (“Thanks Johnny, you’re our favorite citizen!”). And most impressively, within the adventure game’s limited narrative framework, the characters and their intentions make a lot more sense here than they do in the movie version. Which is weird.

The game is, by most standards, NSFW, as it includes cartoon nudity, as well as—true to its source material!—cartoon sex. In the end, The Room The Game is a labor of love by a guy who has seen the movie far too many times, and who absolutely gets it. The adaptation of The Room, absurdly, works better as a game than it ever did as a movie, if only for Mr. Fulp’s competence as a designer.


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