Saturday, March 6, 2010

German Pull Toy [chat]

Friday, March 5, 2010

Community: Renewed for 2nd Season

Community Renewed for 2nd Season

Love and Marriage

CA Republican caught drunk, leaving a gay bar in SF with another man

And of course he is opposed to gay rights.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Dante's Inferno

Turning Dante's Inferno into an action game is not a shitty idea.

This is the central premise of the game, Dante's Inferno, and if you don't grant it, you may experience difficulty in reaching its shitty-premise-based conclusion. But perhaps I move too quickly.

The commercial that aired during the Superbowl and then once an hour every day afterward was actually pretty classy, all things considered. One might innocently assume the game to be not an entire waste of time based on these thirty seconds which are hardly representative of anything that actually happens within.

The real game is mainly about three things.

1) Ew, gross

Giant gangrenous breasts barfing up babies with curved swords for arms from their mouth-like nipples? Sloppy diarrhea attack from the ass of a monstrous humanoid whose gender is lost in obesity? Sewing a cross-shaped tapestry onto a dude's chest? Ew, gross. You'll have to excuse me if I don't take your grave tale of redemption and lost love seriously given that a big fat guy blasted shit on me for massive damage.

2) You may have been a match for my demon, but what about two of them?!

There is a pretty lengthy stretch of game that essentially can be summarized by the above. A demon shows up, you have to kill it to proceed, and its death is followed immediately by the appearance of two more of the same demon. And maybe some hell wasps and a zombie or something. Over and over again this happens.

It wasn't such a bad thing at first when the game was bringing up new enemies fairly regularly and designing them to match the theme of whatever circle of hell they inhabited. Gyrating hooker zombies in Lust, mouth worms in Gluttony, that kind of thing. By about the time we get past Greed, it's pretty clear that the inspiration ran out as the same old enemies show up time and again, and the new guys are just variations on the demon mold.

I'm not sure how it makes sense to have enemies from previous circles appear in others. I guess that hooker was also violent? Did that unbaptized baby from Limbo bear false witness or something?

3) Climbin' and Swingin' and Crankin'

The non-combat parts of the game will be pretty familiar to anyone who has experience climbing walls, swinging on ropes, and turning cranks of questionable purpose. There is a surprising amount of climbing and swinging, especially in the transitions between circles. Ask the developers why they didn't find a less boring and repetitive way to travel through hell and they'll probably tell you that's why it's hell. Ask the m why there is a crank in hell that makes a minotaur statue swing an axe at the wall and he'll tell you to get back on the wall and climb it, asshole, that's why.

At first I was a bit shocked that EA has been making such a big deal about this game, what with the aggressive promotion and novelization and original video animation. Granted, it's a clone of a popular game in the magical time before the release of a legitimate sequel when everybody rushes to release their "Popular Game Killer" but I wouldn't guess it would have the mass appeal necessary to really cash in. Then I remembered that there are a thousand Saw movies, so there you go.

Regardless, there is almost no reason whatsoever for this game to exist, save for a couple things (Lovecraftian reimagining of Cerberus as a mouth monster with mouths for eyes and mouths where its mouth should be, for example. Sure, it's gross but taking an overdone enemy type and making something fairly new out of it is noteworthy enough for me). Otherwise it's a pretty derivative action game based on source material that doesn't exactly justify a hero who kills Charon with Death's scythe for no reason.

And that leads me to what I think the game is really missing: a reason for anything that happens. Dante tears through hell, slaughtering its inhabitants and rulers to get Beatrice back from Lucifer. I never quite understood why anyone in hell would bother to even try to stop him from doing this. Imagine you're in eternal torment, drinking molten gold every day, and some guy comes in looking to beat your tormentor's ass and get his girl. This isn't Double Dragon or Super Mario Brothers, you aren't a member of the big boss' gang of goons. You're just some guy who sold his grandmother to pay a bookie in life. The only possible reason I would possibly try to stop Dante in this context is so that I could find out what would happen to my soul after he killed it. An eternity in sub-hell?

I give Dante's Inferno 0ne I didn't even recognize the final boss at first out of a possible because he looks completly different than how they've shown him throughout the entire fucking game.