Misfits Videogame [WORK IN PROGRESS]
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It’ll be a puzzle adventure game, because the characters aren’t fighters. Much like Heavy Rain, it’ll be a mature adventure game (without the QTEs), so if you’ve seen the show, characters can die and you have to solve the situation like Curtis who’s always the dues ex machina of the show.

There aren’t many gameplay models for such a game, which is why it would involve lots of different gameplay.

You have to use everyone’s powers sometimes simultaneously, to solve the situation.

Each situation will be unpredictable, and there won’t be a goal set forth. You have to let the events pass, and figure out any suspicions with using the different character’s powers. Then when the situation starts occurring, you can prevent it.

There might be some predictable goals and missions, like stop a gang leader, than in normal shooting games would be easy, but with these characters it’s a whole other ballpark of gameplay opportunities.

You would not revisit any situations previously happened on the show, because you already know how to solve every situation. It’ll be in a unique time period of itself.

You’ll have parts where all the characters are in the situation, or just a couple, or just yourself. The single character situations will play just like Indigo Prophecy episodes, focused around their story.

You can play as all the characters. It could be pseudo-realtime/turn-based (KOTOR) when in the heat of action. You don’t order other characters to help you, you have to do it yourself. No one’s the leader yet. This avoids the game feeling devoid of challenge or excitement.

Each character’s gameplay is obviously unique, but has to be a challenge to the player so the game can be fun:


Curtis turns back time, but you have to stop at the exact right moment. It’ll be like a reverse slideshow of pictures, and you have to stop at the most opportune time. You don’t get many tries if you stop at the wrong time, like maybe about 3, because each try can drain your “mana”. He's also the only character who can be capable in a fist-fight, so he could be the front runner in a combat situation.


Alisha charms, so she has to charm the right person at a non-combat part of a situation. Basically, she plays as a distraction, to move the person away from the situation, not really to have to sex with them. Since she’s defenseless, maybe could use Simon as a combo to become invisible and whack the dude on the back of the head before she gets in danger. 


Kelly can hear minds, so like a detective game, she can pick up certain bits of dialogue from people’s minds, (Siren New Translation), and find out who might be the aggressor/attacker in the situation. 


Simon can turn invisible, so he’s probably the most useful because you can have stealth gameplay and also have everyday objects as weapons. 


Nathan is like a tank, he’s invincible, and you can use him as a shield if there’s a gangster with a gun. But when he dies, there’ll be a recharge time of 2 minutes for revival. That’s when you need the other characters to take over, and not let his death be in vain. 


Nikki, the newest character, can teleport. She is actually the most helpful in a combat situation, and can be used to transport other characters. She will be the most resistant in combat situations because of her teleporting, but you have to teleport before a gun’s fired because a) she doesn’t have bullet time, so she can’t dodge; b) she has no Spidey sense so she can’t teleport at the exact right moment. Before a gangster reaches for a gun in his pants, there will be a slow-mo, but it won’t be a QTE. You have to pick the location with an arrow (Brothers in Arms) to where you want to teleport. 

That's it for now, this was all just off the top of my head. It just came to me, when I was on the toilet, as you do...with all brainstorming sessions.

Just a fun little time waster.

SOCIAL NETWORK is 2010's AVATAR
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By concept alone, this movie did nothing for me. Then the reviews came in, and critics jizzed all over it. Even comparing to INCEPTION and saying best movie of the year. More like, overrated to the point of AVATAR (now people know better about AVATAR, but when it first came out, critics jizzed left, right, and center).

Normal people I know won't go see this movie, because it sounds stupid about a Facebook movie, and the trailer being all dramatic makes it look even funnier. So this is the only place to discuss it, even though I expect "tl;dr" comments.

Nothing is impressive about the film, on just any level, so I don't see how movie critics are praising the film on a level that a normal moviegoer might not care about. The cinematography is boring with some brown filter put over everything (rowing scene was jarring, looked like an expensive ad for Olympic events), otherwise I had no clue this was a David Fincher movie and it's his most mundane film to date. The pacing is off, going from flashforwarding breakneck editing 1st half to "let's chill" 2nd half of the movie. The character of Mark Zuckerberg was more predictable and asshole-ish, than interesting to see this nerd go from rags to riches. His monotone, socially awkward dialogue was boring to me, since I've seen that kind of character in many films. The whole movie felt forced in its drama and just had unconvincing actions like everyone RUNNING just to get to a computer (ever heard of a notebook)! Acting was nothing special, I don't know how this could be rumored to be getting Oscar buzz. Andrew Garfield, maybe, but definitely not monotone Jesse Eisenberg (who I loved in Squid&Whale).

Yes, in a critic's perspective who's forced to watch 200 movies a year, it might seem like a great film. But with the one-note characters, cringe-worthy dialogue coming from side characters ("Good luck with your...viodegame"), completely predictable plot like AVATAR, on-the-nose dialogue ("...who's the movie star?"), melodramatic view of even the littlest things, wholly unredeemable protagonist who has no development, overbearing disjointed music that was giving mixed messages (still love Trent Reznor, though), and lame duck of an ending, I'm completely baffled by the reception for this film. It's like this year's AVATAR where it seems like people are forcing themselves to love the film just because it's not TEEN CHIHUAHUA. How is this film culturally relevant or timeless or mindblowing? This film is not about Facebook, it's a typical story about a friendship gone sour over greed. It's a social awareness film, in that you'll go researching about what actually happened, but I wasn't astounded by the message of the actual film. The only memorable and funny scene for me was the hacker drinking competition to get a new Facebook intern.

The first hour really annoyed me, the pacing was too fast and with the constant flashes to the legal proceedings of 2 lawsuits, I couldn't follow the narrative or invest in any characters. When the movie stopped jizzing over how talented Zuckerberg was, and when Sean Parker came about, then I could finally get along without rolling my eyes at the unrealistic dialogue. The dialogue wasn't even that cleverly memorable in a JUNO/SCOTT PILGRIM way no matter how many times someone said "WIRED IN!". Finally, it took me a while to realise this was a courtcase drama film about a friendship gone awry, and that Zuckerberg is a villain, and that I should forget that 90% of the story is fictional (thankfully, no "based on a true story" disclaimer). What pissed me off was the resolution. There is none, and you're left with credit text, a staple of many lazy biographical films, where they might as well tag it as "HAPPY ENDING IN TEXT", which goes against how a film works.

The only great thing about the film is the fast-rate writing that can be grating on a GILMORE GIRLS level, and feels unconvincing that every character is this witty ("Have you heard so many different good things packed into one regular-sized sentence?"). But when it works, it makes the film speed along, and the banter is just fun on such a witty comeback layer. I can see this being great for a TV show (probably why I loved this style in SPORTS NIGHT and STUDIO 60), but films need to move past witty banter and actually develop characters or have interesting events to not give off the feeling that the writer is masturbating to his own dialogue.

Finally, what was up with the fake cold breathing CGI?

Kane and Lynch 2: The Doom Bigaloo
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I played it really recently for a 2nd time, to get through on Extreme difficulty. I've been thinking about the game more, and my interpretation of the game. I feel it's a very unique shooter, due to its overall mood, and also the gameplay. It's just so intense and unforgiving.

The story, what people forget is, it's not as adventurous as KANE AND LYNCH: DEAD MEN was with beautiful vistas and missions. There is no glimmer of hope for these "idiots" as Karsten Lund himself described the characters. I love the atmosphere of being in these neon-lighted photorealistic areas of Shanghai with plenty of civilians, and a couple of criminals going against everyone (gangsters, cops, SWAT, army). This is a descent into Hell, it's Apocalypse Now. It keeps on getting worse, enemies increase in firepower and armor. There being less exposition to me makes sense, the story to me was all about not knowing what the fuck is going on, improvising, and just surviving. I would have liked more development and more questions answered about the first game, but I did appreciate that Lynch's "NO MORE DEALS...", and we finally see what Kane is. He's a junkie and an opportunist, and I don't believe that he just wants the money so to live a quiet life with his daughter.

I love that the mood becomes more unsettling and less optimistic as you progress through the game. Kane and Lynch start fucking up all their deals, and everyone betrays them. Then you end up in this character arc of Lynch who loses it all, and can't take it anymore at the point of the naked Torture level. I'll admit I welled up when you see Lynch's lover naked and covered in feces in a toilet. One of the most shocking visuals for a death. Her face is barely distinguishable. Then it's pretty much get the fuck out of Shanghai anyway possible, and kill an army while you're at it.

Each of the levels are very replayable, much like the first game, but this time it's not because of the various locales. It's because of the shootouts. I loved nearly all the shootout scenarios and gunfights because of the intense gameplay. The levels just keep on getting better and more epic in scale, all the way down to when you go to Shang-si's building in a helicopter.

It's probably the most intense shooter I've ever played, at least on the harder difficulties. You feel vulnerable behind cover, which is the opposite you’d find from most other cover shooters. To me, it's a cover shooter that's the opposite of Gears of War philosophy. Of course, headshots are the call of the day, but you can't stay in cover forever because of sometimes flanking enemies, how you can be hurt even in cover because of angles, and how the game's all about getting up close and personal with inaccurate Uzis or meaty shotguns. It’s less about whack-a-mole, and more about flanking, especially on harder difficulties. The brilliant Heat-level gun sounds, shouting, and lack of any music, and real environments made for a chaotic experience that is hard to match. Love that the lack of music makes each shootout feel disturbingly quiet when the battle ends with your last shot, and you see all the carnage you've caused, especially with those censored headshots.

To me, really the big problems with the game come down to the design. It just doesn't have as much gameplay variety, or palette cleansers you'd expect from a well-rounded shooter these days. The Helicopter mission is perfect, killing dozens of cops and destroying the whole building from the outside, then you go into the building and see all your destruction in the environments. There should've been more of that type of palette cleanser that isn't just a break like some forced turret sequence in other games, but actually affects the rest of the level. The developers spent more time with fixing the gameplay and graphics, that they didn't add as much cinematic moments like the first game which is chock full of them. In DEAD MEN, nearly each level had some unique gameplay, like the rappelling in Retomoto, the back of the van shooting in LA, the chaos of shooting in a night-club full of civilians while carrying Yoko's body, and especially the Reunion level with a truck boss.

I'm perfectly happy playing a game that's just about shooting, just like Criterion's BLACK, but coming after DEAD MEN which was full of unique gameplay moments that added to the story, it felt disappointing. Lynch killing all the hostages in a bank, Kane beating up the Mute, shooting the mine when you're talking with the 7's leader. I was expecting those unique storytelling moments especially in a game all about the psychopathic Lynch, where you can have anger-fueled gameplay like in SPLINTER CELL CONVICTION where Sam becomes super marker at the end of Third Echelon. I love listening to Lynch in DOG DAYS as he's getting crazier, but why not through gameplay? He's been without meds for 2 days, there should have been a hallucinogenic moment. Why not have Lynch and Kane finally take missed potshots at each other, or just have a visceral fight that doesn't have to be like a fighting game; just something that's inspired from a MAX PAYNE/ALAN WAKE game.



That's my piece, and I'm very hopeful for a 3rd game where we can finally get a masterpiece of a game that'll impress everyone that this franchise isn't just about unique fucked-up protagonists or mood, but also about being a great gaming experience. Now's a perfect time for them to develop a sequel in their other franchises...

Pakistan Holiday 2010
messofanego
 So, my holidays to Summer 2010 are ending. 

Had an amazing time in Pakistan. Go there every other year, since my extended family is there. It's always heaps of fun to be with your great big family, to be away from the soulless Western world, and to be humble again. No time for Internet, more time to get to know people. I don't know how it could be so psychologically easy, but when I'm with Pakistani people (my people), I feel comfortable and effortless. I guess there's something deeper when you hear that people like to hang with others of the same race. I can talk to any stranger in Karachi with no problem, spouting off Urdu slang like the shopkeeper is my uncle or that bargaining is a totally mandatory practice. 

Of course, it's not hard to notice that this time Pakistan is in chaos thanks to the civil war that's erupted since Benazir Bhutto was assassinated. Two political parties are at each other's throats, areas are now clearly labelled as being either  ANP or MQM. Reminds me of Far Cry 2 (the videogame, African politics). They're not just parties, they have their own thugs and attacks. There's no difference between a politican and a gangster. It's Mussolini Italy all over again. 

But that didn't stop me from getting to meet both mom's and dad's sides of the family. In our own house, we got our bathroom all refurbished, so now it looks actually modern with the shower cubicle and having a WC. Most Pakistan bathrooms have the squatting variety. But the big change in Karachi and Pakistan this time is the huge floods. It's huge, everyone in the world knows about it. But it's not affecting us in Karachi, only the northern parts like Peshawar. This is what the water levels in Karachi are right now, so it's not that bad. 



Anyway, I went media crazy this time in Karachi. My cousins had a Playstation 2, so I got to play and finish Prince of Persia: Sands of Time and Black. Black is one of the best console shooters ever, if you're getting down to just the shooting experience. Headshots reward you with hilariously OTT death animations of enemies almost purposefully falling off balconies because they like the taste of dirt in their face. Awful checkpoint system, they're way too long between each other, which makes for a lot of frustration. However, it also made me hard as nails, so when I got good, I was showing off to my cousins. 

Sands of Time is just an excellent game, I wouldn't be saying anything new. Like all the best games, it's perfectly designed. I had played Two Thrones, and even though that has much more interesting combat, it doesn't have as memorable setpieces or character interaction like between Prince and Farah. The platforming is just sublime, and the platforming level design continuously surprises you, prefaced by those save-point Visions. What I came away with that was a lot more on the hilarious side was: 
  1. The Prince is a sexist. 
  2. The Prince likes to stab people in the BUTT.
  3. Farah likes to squeeze into EXTREMELY tight spaces. 
  4. Farah likes to sometimes shoot an arrow into your back, EVEN while you're down on the ground! 
  5. Whenever a bat attack occurs, it's always you're left with 3 bats who're cowards and escape each time. 
  6. Why were there sequels made to Sands of Time? It ends perfectly, not setting up for Warriors Within or Two Thrones. And notice, the later games aren't directed by Jordan Mechner, who also created the very first Prince of Persia (the first videogame I ever played on the PC). 
Onto movies, I had the most amount of fun watching a bad movie in the form of Avatar the Last Airbender. Or as we call it in bad Urdu, Avatar Akhree Hawaa Mornewala. There's nothing quite like watching a bad movie with friends or family and ripping the crap out of it. What's interesting is, all my cousins have seen the cartoon version, and they range from ages 8-18. It's fun calling out that the characters are completely topsy-turvy: Sokka is the most serious guy, the girl is a damsel-in-distress, Aang is not clumsy and doesn't earn his powers. The only redeeming quality of the film is the action scenes, however few of them, where the most effort clearly shows in the martial arts choreography that was a great part of the cartoon show. 

I also got to spend time at the Clifton Beach. Spending time on a beach where there aren't vain sun-bathing girls wearing nothing, there isn't trash everywhere, and you can find some actual peace and quiet?! I had so much fun pushing my cousins into the water, riding the waves, or making sand castles, that I didn't bother riding on a horse or camel. I'll leave with just this one image. 


Summer Purchases of 2010
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So incredibly stoked to see Life During Wartime

Summer Purchases of 2010

Toy Story 3
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It was interesting seeing Toy Story 3 after the hype. I liked it, but felt it was more comfort food than the epic blockbuster that Toy Story 2 was. Don’t jump down my throat, but it was a slight disappointment for me personally. The story and characters felt like more a Toy Story 2 redux than an epic journey across countries that the second movie was. It was still genuinely entertaining and creative for the great escape stuff, but slightly more forgettable in a direct-to-DVD way.


The new characters were nothing to write home about except for me laughing at every Ken moment not realizing he’s kind of gay. The creepy baby was OK, but they already did that in the previous installments. The villain had a cool backstory and motivation, though. I didn’t care much for Spanish Buzz, but Tortilla Mr. Potato Head had me laughing my ass off! I thought the Phone breaking down was pretty stupid, since he mentioned “I’ve been here, years. They’ll never break me”. It must’ve been just a plot device. Maybe it needed a pop culture reference, like the hilarious twist on Darth Vader that Emperor Zurg turned out to be in 2. I freakin’ loved the rare toy collector in 2, perfectly portrayed by that Seinfeld/Jurassic Park guy.



This movie just had me longing to watch Toy Story 2 again for how amazing that was. I guess Pixar has grown up and done a lot more interesting material since that movie and now, that Toy Story 3 feels more like a season finale to wrap the story up, which it does in a very bittersweet ending. What I left with from Toy Story 3 that was freakin’ awesome was the contrast of Caterpillar Room to Butterfly Room, like a Hell and Paradise juxtaposition. I didn’t love the film as much as other people, and don’t get how people say it’s the best of the series, seeing as how it’s not as epic as the 2nd. The opening was freakin’ awesome (Death by Monkeys!) and the ending was warranted, but I felt this was more “been there, done that” than an epic new chapter in a trilogy.



Batman Under the Red Hood
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Batman under the Red Hood - WOW, that ending gave me chills! Bringing the Red Hood, Jason Todd story, Death in the Family, Black Mask, and Nightwing stories together clearly deserves praise for Judd Winick's writing. Balancing a great and extremely clever story with badass action scenes was a major positive for this film. It addresses the notion in The Dark Knight of why he won't just kill Joker no matter how many chances he gets in a fantastic way. 

The reason the fighting and action scenes are fantastic is because Batman has a rival who can match him at every move and every gadget. I don't want to spoil it, but yeah the animation is fucking excellent and the action scenes are extremely satisfying since it's a battle of wits instead of things just blowing up. 

Batman fans need this, it's up there with Mask of the Phantasm and Return of the Joker. PG-13, and really brutal in spots. 

The Human Centipede
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What a huuuuuuge ass disappointment. 


The worst horror film ever made! It does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING with its awesome concept. There's nothing squeamish about this movie. This should be PG-rated, there was no gore and nothing gross. It must be because of the budget was sooooo low that they couldn't do any practical effects or gross body effects. This was in serious need of a much bigger budget, or at least give this to David Cronenberg. 


I'd bill this as a COMEDY. The acting is overdone, the editing is awful, the characters make the most retarded decisions in a horror movie, and the main Nazi German villain hams it up too much. There is not a single point where I could understand the suffering these 3 idiots were going through. 


It has a 48% on Rottentomatoes. What the fuck, those critics are way too nice. There are no redeeming qualities to this film, or to any horror fan. If this guy is making a sequel with 12 (!) people, he'd better have at least a $30 million budget and some effects. 


If you saw the trailer and were curious, your imagination is most definitely a million times more creative and satisfying than this pack of shit. 


2 Girls 1 Cup or Salo: 120 Days of Sodom is what you should rather watch if you want to be disturbed by people eating shit. 


EPIC FAIL! I'm so goddamn angry about this. DO NOT watch this unless if you're going for a hilarious film, because this is. 


Review a film in 3 sentences or less
messofanego

Inception - Christopher Nolan mindfucks you and you love every second of it.


The Crow - The purest super anti-hero film you could ever get (Spawn sucked). Plus, the actual son of Bruce Lee died during the filming of this by a real gunshot from a prop gun. 


Splice - The film boils down to: would you have sex with a genetically spliced creature who looks like an attractive human female? Yes, you would. 


Antichrist - An unnamed, grieving couple goes into their forest house. Sex and violence ensues. Superstition and gorgeous cinematography awaits you. 


Moon - Haven't I seen this in an episode of Simpsons Horror Show? Very nice to look at and great acting from Sam Rockwell, but the story left a lot to be desired for me. 


Greenberg - About an unsatisfied asshole in a mumblecore drama. If you're into that, great for you. Noah Baumbach as a writer/director hasn't been good since Squid and the Whale

My FAVOURITE Films of 2010 (so far)
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Dogtooth - this film has so much to say about parenting and the dangers of determinism, but still having some off-beat funny bits.  
 

 


 

 

 

 

Inception - Probably the only movie this year that made me think so hard. I appreciate all Nolan's films because they go against the grain of films being passive entertainment. His films require you to have active participation and you get rewarded for it.  
 

 


 

 

 

 

Valhalla Rising - Vikings and norse myth is an interest of mine (and so are the Crusades). I loved Bronson, and this is from the same director. Should win an Oscar at least for cinematography.  Mads Mikkelsen is perfect as the mute slave warrior. It's nice to see how a film can successfully tell a story without using much dialogue and just using pure cinema. It also has enough time in each of the shots to give "thinking space". There's a lot to take away from the film, other than it's "slow and boring" because we've been brought up on mainstream movies that coddle you. Plus, the ending is shocking in a Planet of the Apes way, at least for me. 
 

 


 

 

 

 

Kick-Ass - It's the only blockbuster (other than Inception) that I fully enjoyed this year (Predators got worse as it went along). It had a few issues like how Kick-Ass goes into the background and he doesn't really earn the ending with the deus ex machina, but that didn't stop me from coming out of the theatre very happy.  
 

 


 

 

 

Defendor - A more realistic vigilante movie with very nuanced performances from Woody Harrelson and Kat Dennings, with very welcome comedic relief by Elias Koteas as the corrupt cop. Probably has the best ending you can get for such a movie.  
 

 


 

 

 

How To Train Your Dragon - I only saw it because of the reviews it was getting and that Vikings interest me. The 3D was spectacular for the flying sequences, and the variety of dragons was very creative. I totally got sucked into this dragon-slaying world, and loved that it didn't pull punches to how Hiccup ends up.  
 




Films I haven't seen yet - A Prophet (I love prison films like Hunger and Bronson), Toy Story 3 (hasn't come out yet here in Czech Republic), Life During Wartime (love Todd Solonz's brand of nail-biting comedy), Mother (big fan of Host )Restrepo (I love war films, and this seems more like Battle for Haditha, but it's not out yet).     

 

 


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