Sunday, March 13, 2011

Heavy Rain

I've never reviewed video game before, but I thought it was worth a shot.If you haven't played Heavy Rain before, be aware that I'm going to be pretty liberal with spoilers here.

The Controls

Now, I actually played the demo before buying this game - officially the only demo that ever sold me on a game. I couldn't believe the sheer trivialness of some of the tasks presented to the player and the ridiculous button mashing games to achieve such tasks as "walk around the dumpster" or "walk up the ridge," but my god when it came to the fight scene it all paid off. The fight scenes are fast-paced and in real time, so if you fuck up you seriously fuck up and will either spend the rest of the game with horrible scars - or fucking *die*. Unfortunately the fight/action scenes and few and far in between and most of the time I'm doing button mashing to "draw a picture," "make an omelette," "juggle" or my personal favourite: "use the toilet."

In conclusion, I hated what I had to use the controls for a lot more than I hate the controls - although that fucking electric wire scene should DIE.

The Plot-Holes

This is pretty much the reason I wanted to write this. I couldn't believe how inconsistent this game was, or how much they just never bothered to explain. After spending about five minutes on the Internet I read a lot of these problems stemmed from the fact that many scenes were cut, as well as any connection to supernatural - but this means huge plot points in this game go unexplained. Where was the editor on this?

For example: why the fuck would Ethan black out and wake up with origami figurines in his hands? The first time it happened I thought he'd been drugged - but no, apparently not. Apparently he was just having a mental breakdown and would dream about children drowning because... well... uh... ??????????????

Or how about: Shaun's mom tells the police about Ethan's blackouts, directly connects it to the origami killer and then thinks they're not related. Well if you thought that then why the fuck are you telling the police you essentially think your husband is a serial killer???

Ugh, I could go on, but there's more to bitch about.


Is this kid retarded? No, really, I'm sorry I'm not being PC, but does this child have an underdeveloped brain? Or possibly have some sort of brain damage? Is there a history of schizophrenia in the Mars family (actually, that would explain Ethan a little better)? Why the fuck does this kid wander off like that in the mall? Then look all confused that he's wandered across a street and then get all giddy at the sight of his father and RUN INTO ONCOMING TRAFFIC!!!!!!!!!!!! I was kind of happy this kid got taken out. Darwin at his best!

Also, not to hark on the plot holes, but ETHAN GOT HIT NOT JASON!!! How does the person who took the full impact of the blow walk away without so much as a spine injury while his son kicks the bucket?


Meet, quite possibly, the most useless and superfluous character in the history of video games - which is unfortunate, because she wasn't a bad character. She was strong, smart (well...), cool and could kick ass pretty nicely, but what is her point? Madison suffered the most from the cuts made to this game. Her entire back story was red-conned, making her character more of a question mark than anything. Why does she dream of people attacking her? Why is she an insomniac? Why does she instantly go gaga over a guy who, frankly, looks like a bit of a drug addict? Why can't her hips stop swaying? Why does she have the be nude when you introduce her? Why does she keep helping Ethan escape from the police? *Plot-hole* How does she get her motorcycle back after doing this? Wouldn't the police have confiscated it, maybe looked up the license and registration? When she knows the police are after Ethan, why doesn't she suggest he move to a room that isn't under his own name? How come all her chapters involve date-rape, dancing or trying to get it on with Ethan? WHY ARE YOU IN THIS GAME!?!!?!?!?!?!


Apparently there's an entire smorgasbord of ways to fuck up and kill characters, which is something I was not aware of until I let poor Agent Jayden get... well, sliced and diced. It was a strange moment of realization and horror that there were consequences to failing the button mashing. I had been operating under the assumption that the game had a logical conclusion to reach and therefor you could not fail. I did not realize how much time and effort was put into multiple endings. So when I got to the end, and for about a minute couldn't revive Shaun, I was almost on the brink of a meltdown that I had gone through that only to fail at the ending (he came around, go happy endings!). The point is, the twists and turns this game has to offer not only allows you multiple play-throughs, but it gives the game a tension I've never actually felt in a video game before. I was invested in all these characters - yes, even Madison - and I didn't want bad things to happen to them.

That being said, I cannot believe I only let one character get killed. This is unheard of success for me and video games.

Heavy Rain, the Movie Game: The Movie!

As I started playing this game I almost instantly started thinking about what a movie adaptation would be like, and almost as quickly decided there should never be a movie adaptation, so of course when I saw it listed on IMDB.Com a part of me died. Here's the thing, this video game is a movie - only it's about ten times better than a movie because it's interactive and your actions decide the outcome. Talk about defeating the purpose, if this movie is ever made it will flop horrendously at the box office. No matter how good they make this movie, it would still only be a movie, all the outcomes predetermined and completely cut off from audience interaction. Besides, this story isn't all that great, and the director would have a hell of a time trying to gloss over all the plot holes that might bypass some players who pick this game up at random.

My point is, film adaptations of popular video games are inevitable. But to all you who would rather wait for the movie than spend the 10 odd hours it takes to play: play the game, you'll get way more out of it that way... that and you can kind of play your own serial killer game... "I have decided Scott Shelby shall drown. I will not try to save him."

Monday, March 7, 2011

In Defense of Dragonball Evolution

(Originally posted in my LiveJournal on 2010-01-28)

Uh... that's not a sentence I ever wanted to say. It sort of turns my stomach and makes me feel sick. I just can't help it, when people bitch and moan about a movie and then get the facts wrong it drives me nuts.

First things first. This:

Is a terrible movie. It's not even in the category of being so good it's bad, it's just bad. It's illogical, annoying and just poorly executed... Anyway.

Reasons not to hate this movie over:

Bulma's hair isn't blue/green/turquoise/purple:
Yeah, okay, let me stop you right there. Just the very fact that I just listed four colours should be some indication that the anime never had much reverence for her hair colour. Akira Toriyama always gave her purple hair. So yeah, who gives a shit what colour her hair is, it's hardly important.

Goku should be Asian!: Why? While the planet Dragon Ball takes place on is Earth (I don't wanna be a total geek and start naming chapter and episodes, but Bulma and Popo do visit Jupiter at one point, and of course the moon is present), but Goku doesn't come from Earth. He's from another race on another planet and the only genetic trait Saiyans seem to share with Asians is black hair.

That stupid pot: I don't think they did a very good job explaining it... well they didn't do a very good job explaining ANY of this movie, but the 'plot-pot' does come straight out of Dragon Ball. The big difference is in Dragon Ball it's a huge plot-point that actually makes sense and is also... a rice cooker. Yum.

How can Goku become Oozaru without a tail?: I'm pretty sure I've heard it from the horses mouth that they decided against giving Goku a tail (which is so retarded because the tail echoes the entire basis for this manga exist - ie. Journey to the West).

But I want to give the movie the benefit of the doubt. We never see Goku naked (thank Kami!) and for all we know it's his deep and dark shame he just doesn't talk about.

There are no high school dramas in Dragon Ball: Yeah, putting Goku into any form of formal education - or just plain education for that matter - is ridiculous, but doesn't anyone else remember Gohan's high-school adventures?

Reasons to hate this movie:

No Vegeta:

Okay, that might just be me. Obviously Vegeta had nothing to do with the King Piccolo Saga, but if they're gonna just skip through volumes and volumes of graphic novels (about 14 to be exact - 36 if you wanna count the alien/high school stuff) and take whatever story bits they want, why not just skip to Dragon Ball Z? You're hardly gonna leave anyone in the dark here, most people who like Dragon Ball are only familiar with Dragon Ball Z, so just do the Saiyan Saga and be done with it!

No Krillin:

You wanna know why the King Piccolo Saga was so tense in Dragon Ball? Because Krillin got murdered! He was the first main character to die (heh, and come back) in the series, and they completely erased him from the canon.

Plot Rape: There's just too much... far too much... to go over...

[Edit: I also included my psychotic ranting from the comments!]

They might not have thought they were filming Inglourious Basterds, but they thought they were doing something good. All the actors were signed up for three movies, for crying out loud, and James Masters... my god that man must be on drugs. I can't even count the number of times I heard him go on about how Shakespearean the role was and blah, blah, blah... there's no way he ever read the manga.

I'm pretty sure that the first draft of this movie incorporated a lot more from the manga, you can sort of see these things gleaming through, but either the director or one of the producers (I'm gonna say Rick Thorne, because he was behind Elektra and several other comic-based movies I hated) changed as much as they physically could in order to make this appeal to a wider audience... despite the fact that I think Dragon Ball is the most universally loved anime spanning over every possible category of 'audience'...

The whole thing felt like a hack job. It's barely over an hour long. How many scenes do you think they had to cut out for that to happen? What would the movie have been like if it had been released as written? Worse? Better? I have no idea, this whole things frustrates me.

Ugh, and what's even more frustrating is that Stephen Chow was offered the directors seat... STEPHEN FUCKING CHOW!!! He could have saved that fucking movie. I guess he had better shit to do, like going to the horse's mouth and making 'The Journey to the West'.

Ugh, I don't even know what point I'm trying to make, you've got me ranting. All I know is that everyone involved with this showed up thinking they were gonna make a great TRILOGY of movies, realized they were all being ass-raped, and stuck around to collect their pay-checks.