Posts Tagged ‘Pacific Rim’

Pacific Rim : the video game?

Posted: December 1, 2013 by Kane Blaireau in Kane, Video Games
Tags: , ,

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I am unabashedly a fan of Pacific Rim. Yes, it is basically a live action anime. Yes, its over the top action. The characters, however, fit in that setting and reveled in it without becoming just caricatures with zero humanity. Their was no romantic sub-plot shoehorned into the action. It was it is. Giant robots vs giant monsters with some fun character moments in between the action.

To say I’m surprised I heard nothing of the video game is putting it mildly. I was browsing the PS3 demo section and saw that and thought I read wrong. Pacific Rim. Video game. Downloadable only. Fighting game…? OK. That makes sense. So far so good. Lets download and install the demo. No harm in that right?

The first thing I notice is the launch screen. Yukes. That is a good start! They have made some decent WWE video games. Intro is all still screens with text. No voices to be heard anywhere. VERY low budget, obviously. No access to the campaign. Local multiplayer only for the demo. Par for the course.

Alright, lets fight! Oh, they include a tutorial? How nice. OK…not too difficult. Left attack, right attack, power attack. Hold any of those for a stronger version. Block, alternate attack…all the usual suspects. 2D fighter it would seem, but on a lateral plane. You can move any direction on the ground. No jumping, but that is accurate to the movie.

I played two matches. One as Gipsy Danger (vs. Knifehead) and one as Knifehead (vs. Gipsy Danger). The movement is slow and lumbering, but I expected that. These are MASSIVE beasties and they do have some weight to them. Combat is fairly simplistic, but also tactical due to the deliberate speed. I’ve DEFINITELY played worse fighting games.

For $10, its actually not bad if you are a fan of the movie. Problem is, I’m not sure how much content their is in the base pack. Their appears to have been several characters added on for about $3 each, but its not entirely clear which ones. Then their is the fact that you can buy weapon add-ons and power-ups. Doesn’t look like they can be used in local multiplayer…but what about online? Is it pay to win? That isn’t entirely clear anywhere I look which makes me think that it is. Still, if you are just looking for a simple, fun game and are a BIG fan of the movie, I’d say its worth the $10 for the base game. Even if you ignore the singe player campaign (which I’m seeing in most reviews is pretty boring), the multiplayer is fun enough for a few laughs. Could be a great party game.

That said, it looks like to unlock EVERYTHING, you are looking at nearly $50 and that I can NOT get behind. Caveat emptor.

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47 Ronin
Release Date December 25, 2013

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Plot: 47 Ronin, which are leaderless samurai, set out to find a man they once betrayed. Kai, a half breed who winds up as a slave, is needed in their mission. Seeking revenge for the death of their leader, they will band together with Kai to bring down supernatural forces transforming him into a legendary hero.

Thoughts: This movie is  high on my list of movies to see in December, alongside The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.  For one thing, it’s a crazy dream version of a real event. 47 Ronin is based on real events in Japan. Their leader offended the Shogun by attacking one of his officials in the Edo Palace. The attack was only after being constantly provoked and insulted according to historical accounts. He was ordered to commit ritual suicide. His men were no considered Ronin because his clan as ordered to disburse. Ronin is simply a term for leaderless men. They conspired together and killed the official that brought the disgrace of their leader. They cut off his head and after bathing and preparing it, laid the head and a letter explaining their actions at the grave of their leader. They were captured and imprisoned by the Shogun for their crimes. In an act of clemency, the Emperor upheld their right to vengeance according to Bushido and let them commit suicide.  This was honorable because otherwise they would have been publicly executed as common murderers.  They still celebrate this act as a festival every year on December 14 the at Sengakuji Temple. (Wiki) 

Keanu Reeves plays Kai, the half breed they find to help lead them. I don’t expect this to be a “woah-fest” type movie. Everything I’ve seen so far about this movie makes me think it will be incredible. It’s a fantastical retelling of a legendary story. From the trailers, it looks like he is channeling the same performance he gave in Constantine, which I approve. The movie is also full of Japanese actors you didn’t know you knew so well. Attached to the movie is Rinko Kikuchi. She was mostly recently in Pacific Rim as Mako Mori but she’s a seasoned actress in both the US and Japan. Her performance in Pacific Rim was amazing.  Hiroyuki Sanada is considered one of the most prominent actors in the movie. He’s big news on both sides of the world. He was in the Last Samurai; Lost; Speed Racer; The Ring and Ring 2. Tadanobu Asano plays Lord Kira. You may know him from playing Hogun in the Thor movies or from Ichi the Killer. I’m also looking forward to seeing him the Lupin the 3rd movie. The entire cast comprised of major actors. The only thing that makes me nervous is that the director has NOTHING to his name. Carl Rinsch is the director and I am sure he’s worked on plenty with no credit. That’s how Hollywood works these days but he’s never directed anything full length. Once upon a time, all directors were unknown though.

47 Ronin is still worth seeing.

Trailer – Official 

I, Frankenstein
Release Date January 24, 2014

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Plot: Adam, Dr. Frankenstein’s monster, finds himself the only defense the human race has against the armies of the dark. He is caught in the middle of a battle between fallen angels and gargoyles for domination of the earth.

Thoughts: What a crap fest! No matter how many trailers I’ve seen for this, I am constantly disappointed. The movie has a fantastic cast including Bill Nighy (Shawn of the Dead, Pirates of the Carribean); Miranda Otto (Lord of the Rings) and finally… Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight; Thank You for Smoking). The script was written by Kevin Grevioux based off his graphic novel. Oh yeah, and he acts in the movie. If you don’t know Kevin Grevioux, he is notable for co-writing the crap fest Underworld.

Not going to see this one… maybe when it hits Netflix so I can write a review. There is simply not enough alcohol to drink until it’s good. Their website is sad and poorly made so I am not linking to it.

Trailer – Official

Divergent
Release Date March 21, 2014

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Plot: Beatrice Prior has turned 16. This is the time where she will learn what her path in life will be. In a future Chicago, society is divided into five factions. After her test she finds out she’s divergent and the test didn’t work. They tell her not to let anyone know because they will have her killed.

Thoughts: This was another young adult science fiction novel optioned by Hollywood to feed off the Twilight/Hunger Games fans. I’m not saying I’m opposed to more movies based off well written fiction. The trailers look interesting but they really are feeding off the Hunger Games fans. The movie has the same aesthetic look and feel. The book is the first novel by Veronica Roth and it’s a trilogy. Potentially, if this does well we can get two to four movies out of this. Kate Winslet is in this movie… that means it’s going to be good right? The main character is played by Shailene Woodley. You know her mostly from TV like the O.C. and Crossing Jordan. I checked some fan reactions and the community is eagerly awaiting the movie on screen.

I’m planning to go see this movie. I am curious enough to want tickets after seeing the trailers. It reminds me of so many science fiction movies like Equilibrium.

Trailier – Official

“A beginning is a very delicate time.” Dune (film 1984), by Frank Herbert

Everyone has to start some where. Dune starts with Paul Atredies’ future wife telling the story of how her future husband became Moab’dib. Looking for Group is based out of Seattle. There are two authors, me, Noccie,  and my darling husband, Kane. Kane and I have toyed with the idea of starting a blog for a long time. PAX 2013 made us realize, this needed to become a reality. We do too many interesting things and love so many geeky things that it just makes sense. To start out we are going to discuss memorable beginnings.

Everyone has played a game, read a book or seen a movie that has a beginning that just sticks with you. As a writer, there is so much pressure to grab their audience from the start.

What are your favorite beginnings?

Video games: I will never forget the beginning for Final Fantasy VII. The scene was set on the train as you speed away with our heroes, Barrett, Tifa and Cloud. There is also Fallout. All three Fallout games have great starts. The first game where you find out about life in the vault. You are cast into the wastes in order to find a water chip. The second game where you have to fight your way through a temple to get your vault suit and find… a water chip. Wait… how does the third one start? Your child hood and then you have to leave the vault, exiled because you Father has abandoned your fellow vault dwellers. They all have a memorable story that frames games that are digital choose your own adventures.

Movies use action, imagery, or narration catches your imagination right away. They almost cheat because just getting you into the theater and showing you an image is easier. This summer introduced the American audience to GIANT ROBOT COMBAT. Pacific Rim is technically not the first movie to do this but it had a big budge and really affective advertising. The beginning sequence of the movie leaves you stunned and exhilarated at the same time. Every movie should start with robots fighting kaiju. Pacific Rim actually starts with Raliegh and his brother co-piloting a giant robot. The robot has a neural link between the two pilots. When they are locked in they share memories and thoughts. This was a design decision, if they didn’t have this link, the machine overloaded the pilots brain. I am not ruining anything but it is a little bit of a spoiler. Raliegh’s brother dies after an intense fight with a Kaiju named Knifehead. For those of you that don’t know, kaiju are monsters like Godzilla and Cloverfield. The whole set up was exciting and then emotionally shocking. You get involved in these brother’s lives in a short time and then one is ripped out of the control bay of the robot, whole still linked to the other. I won’t forget that opening for a long time. Not only was I engaged visually by the amazing CG but my brain was stimulated by empathizing with the main character right off the bat.

Books have even more pressure to grab your attention at the first word. “The Hobbit,”  “Twilight” (oddly enough) and “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy,” all have beginnings that stick with you. Some of them you wish didn’t stick with you, but they do. Damn you “Twilight!”

YES, I did read those books. YES, I did see two of the movies. I watched the movies with the RIFF TRAX. “Twilight” is memorable in some weird, twisted, mundane alternate reality. Really, just take a Jane Austin novel and make Mr. Darcy, or whoever, a vampire. There you go, “Twilight,” except Jane Austin was a better writer. I will go into that later. I prefer my vampires more like Armond and Lestate, or Gary Oldman as Dracula. Maybe we can talk about vampires verses whampires later.

Let’s talk about a book that’s not as reviled as it loved by prepubescent girls. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy is a wonderful start to a fantastical science fiction series. Anyone that knows Douglas Adams, is aware that his books are funny but artfully written. Picture yourself about to start your day with a cup of morning tea. Suddenly, your world is shaken because the city shows up to demolish your cottage to install a highway. Oddly enough, your very strange friend Ford Prefect appears with his towel because the Vogons are trying to do the same damn thing to your home world. Don’t panic and don’t forget your towel. I loved this series and read them all. I have a lovely, leather bound edition with all the books and a short story included. What always tickled me about this set up was the juxtoposition. The author was trying to show how while we are wrapped up in small things, in our small lives, the same things are happening on a bigger scale in the world around us.

In closing, the I hope our beginning is memorable. Please don’t remember that I read that horrible series with sparkly vampires. Remember that… I love My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic instead.

Noccie