RAB: Anita Sarkeesian’s Hitman Argument is Stupid

I’m bored on a Friday night and tired of doing nothing with me life.  So here I am, on my website, drinking pina colada and doing nothing with my life.  As I drank this wonderful concoction, a thought came to me – Anita Sarkeesian’s argument about Hitman is stupid.  Like, really stupid.  Her Damsels in Distress video has a scene from Hitman: Absolution where you can go into the room with the strippers and kill them and drag them around the floor.  Her argument was that the player sees the bodies as something to just use and throw away and how that’s a reflection on men in general.  Let’s not even get into the how the game penalizes you for attacking civilians.  Anita says that argument doesn’t work because the game should have a fail state if you do that.  Well, that is dumb.  After all, if the game failed you because you killed a target who isn’t the one you are after then it would never work.  There are plenty of times you’re going to have to whack the bad guys.  Besides, these arguments have been taken on by everyone.  I had a new thought.

Let’s ignore Hitman: Absolution.  That game was terrible.  It totally betrayed everything that made the series good.  Let’s instead look at the new game.  You know, the one that was such a financial disappointment to Square Enix that they are selling the company who made it.  Yeah, the second season is never happening.  In the new game, who is Agent 47?  He’s no one.  He’s a weapon, in every sense of the word.  He will not act unless he gets explicit permission.  From whom?  Well, that would be his handler – Diana.  At no point will he act unless she gives him permission to do so.  Everything he does is directly at her request.  In essence, in their dynamic she has all the power.  All of it.  47 has no agency is his own story.  When she tells him that there is a potential threat, he even says that it is her issue to deal with, he’s just waiting for a target.

For a game all about the “male power fantasy,” it sure is interesting that a woman has every single ounce of the power in the relationship, isn’t it?  I kind of like that.  It’s what made Absolution so frustrating.  47 isn’t meant to have any power over his own fate.  His entire life he was trained to be a weapon to be used by others.  It’s all he knows.  If feminists knew the first thing about nuance, they might think about things like that.

Honestly don’t have anywhere else I was going with that.  I just find it interesting that the character Anita believes is guilty of treating women like objects doesn’t acknowledge that aside from terrible games, he is just a tool to be used by an agency and a woman who has the deadliest assassin in the world at her tool for getting things done.

Until next time, a quote,

“Someone’s playing a game, 47.  The question is – against whom?” – Diana, Hitman

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s Review: Hitman: Season One

hitmanWhen I first heard about this game, I was annoyed.  Here we have a AAA title that is being sold in episodes.  What’s more, in order to play this game, you have to be online.  I was not going to stand for that.  I refused to participate.  Just like how I refuse to participate in releasing Final Fantasy VII remake in episodes.  However, when I decided on a whim to get the disc release of the game, and holy shit, I was impressed.  The wonders of what depression can do for a man.  Here we have one of the most fantastic stealth games ever made, with a few flaws.  All things considered, I am eager to see what comes next, even though I won’t be buying the episodes.

Have you ever wanted a game where you could actually feel like a secret agent?  If so, this is your game.  This game is at its best when you play it that way.  Agent 47 is back in action.  After the insane excess that was Hitman: Absolution, this is such a breath of fresh air.  However, much like that game, one of the biggest flaws of this one is the story.  To be honest, this game would have been so much better served if it nixed the story altogether.  Just have Agent 47 doing missions to kill people.  Play it like a Bond movie and have it be bad criminals doing bad things.  Hell, the game even frames one mission where it’s rich clients who are hiring the IDA to get justice that the legal system cannot give them.  They didn’t need another convoluted conspiracy involving some supranational entity who secretly controls the world.  This trope is so overused that I am genuinely sick of it.

The plot goes that Agent 47 is hired by the IDA as their newest operative.  They are a clandestine organization who works in assassinations.  Rich people, corporations, and even national governments hire them to do wet-work operations against very dangerous people, along with some people who slipped through the legal cracks but have some very violent retribution coming their way.  However, over time, 47 and his handler realize that they are being used by a dangerous individual to attack an organization who secretly controls the world.  To what end?  Wouldn’t you like to know?

As I said, this game is basically making you a secret agent.  Each mission has you infiltrating an open level so that you can take out a series of targets and occasionally take on an adjacent task.  The goal is to go through the level and be invisible.  The IDA values no collateral damage.  You are to be ghost, who kills with perfect silence, and never leaves a trace.  And the game gives you a plethora of ways to get the job done.  Each level has dozens of routes to get to the target.  You can take the direct approach, but shooting your way through a crowd looks bad.  The levels give you a good deal of freedom when it comes to dealing with individual targets.  Some of them have little side-missions associated with them.  Sometimes you can be a ghost and sneak around without ever having to change outfits.  There are tons of disguises and hidden goodies to help you get your mission done.  No one can say that this game is unfair.  The difficulty can be whatever you want it to be, but you are still being given as much opportunities to make the kill as you like.

The best thing I can say about this game is the levels.  Not only are the visuals fucking gorgeous, I mean holy shit, but the vast open spaces let you play around with how you want to get the mission done.  Since I love to make a kill in a way where I don’t even leave anyone aware that I was there, it feels so good when I am strolling out of a place and everyone still thinks that all is well in their world.  My personal favorite was in Morocco, where I got to walk out of the Swedish Consulate and have a massive protest outside, with me not having a care in the world.  I had just killed a guy from inside a TV booth, then dragged his body into a closet where he can rot in peace until some poor cleaning person gets to find him and the knocked-out security guard that I left him in there with.

Everything in the levels of these games plays a part.  If you get made, but are able to disappear, people will be talking about what happened.  If you kill one person in an area, other people will start to notice.  Take actions and you can see the results.  My favorite was in Paris, where I dropped a massive light display on a target and had the entire procession run screaming from the show.  That was cool.  A bit more flashy than I had intended, but sometimes flashy works.  How I dropped the guy’s lover was pretty epic.

The other flaw in this game, aside from the story, is how short it is.  With five missions and the training mission, there isn’t a lot of meat.  This is a game that is meant to be replayed.  To find all the ways that you can ice your target.  You can play each mission a dozen times and still be finding new ways to play.  Whether you go from disguise to disguise, slowly working your way to your intended target, or find a tall tower with a high-powered rifle to blow your target’s head off without anyone ever even seeing you, it cannot be said that this game doesn’t let you play your way.  Reminded me of that line in Leon The Professional, where he says that the best killer can get right up next to their target, while amateurs kill from a distance.

All in all, this was worth the wait.  It sucks that Square Enix has gone this route, but I can’t fault them for the final product.  This was one hell of a game, and I will impatiently wait to see what the next season brings us.

Final Verdict
8 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

SIONR: Final Fantasy X HD Remaster Soundtrack Changes

This post is going to be all about me complaining.  About what, you may ask?  Simple – the fact that they changed the soundtrack to one of my favorite games.  I’ve been playing the remastered version of Final Fantasy X.  While I won’t say that the game has aged incredibly well, it is still fun.  But there is one thing that really just irks me about it.  Something that was one of the reasons that I loved the original so much – they changed the soundtrack.  The original game had one of the best soundtracks of all time.  No joke, it was Nobuo Uematsu at his best.  I loved the music in that game so much that I have a decent amount of the soundtrack in iTunes library.  It was so damn good.

Which leads me to the question – why did they change it?!  There’s an old phrase – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  Like if they ever get around to making a movie based on Mass Effect, and they’re just going to CG Garrus in there anyway, why get someone else to do the voice-work?  Seems like an awful waste of time and money, to me.  But it seems that this is another year where I am griping about Square Enix and the stuff that they do.  First it was the endless delays and lack of a release date of Final Fantasy XV.  Then it was the fact that they turned the latest Hitman game episodic.  Oh, and before I forget – turning the remake to Final Fantasy VII episodic as well.  Effectively killing the hype for BOTH of those games, for me.  This company is making a lot of stupid mistakes.  I’m hoping that Marvel and Star Wars in the new Kingdom Hearts isn’t the next one.  Yeah, unpopular opinion – I don’t want either of those franchises in there.  The appeal of Kingdom Hearts was how it took old Disney and breathed new life into it.  Now that Pixar is nostalgic, here’s hoping that we can see some Toy Story or something in there.

Back to the soundtrack, these changes are so bad!  They are distractingly bad!  Every single track they changed was for the worst.  My personal biggest gripe was what they did to the theme for the final battle with Seymour.  Listen to this and tell me what you hear.

Do you hear that awesome buildup?  Do you hear that angelic up-swell of the music?  This feels like something where you are about to be fighting for your life!  That is one of my favorite boss themes in all of gaming.  But let’s listen to the remaster version.

How is it that the game made for the PS2 sounds more like it was orchestral than the Remaster?  Seriously, this is terrible!  They changed that angelic up-swell with some electronic bullshit!  That sounds so fucking bad!  How can anyone stomach that?!

I could go on and on for hours about this, but the truth is that it’s just disappointing.  I wish that they had an option for you to go back to the original soundtrack, because this just sucks.  Like, so much.  Square Enix has this bad habit lately of making things that are perfectly serviceable into things that aren’t.  How can they do that?!  They took a remake to their most popular and overhyped game of all time and turned into a mess.  They have taken a reboot that everyone was looking forward to and turned everyone off in seconds.  Oh, and the game that everyone has been hyped through the moon for?  Yeah, they still haven’t given a definitive release date.  It’s still up in the air.  This company is making lots of mistakes, and it is doing them no favors.

Until next time, a quote,

“Every story needs an ending.”  -Auron, Final Fantasy X

Peace out,

Maverick

SIONR: The New Hitman is Episodic?! What the F*CK, Square Enix?!

This company must want bankruptcy.  Clearly, it’s what they want.  How do I know this?  Well, let me tell you.  Some of you might have noticed yesterday that Square Enix has cancelled all digital orders of one of the games I was most-anticipating this year, the reboot of Hitman.  It looks awesome, but as is typical with modern gaming, and this company in-particular, they had to find a way to fuck it up.  According to a statement by the company, this game is going to be released in episodes.  That’s right, a game that was marketed as a AAA game that would be released in one go, is being released in episodes.  Here’s an article that details what’s happening, and as you can imagine, I’m more than a little pissed.

Square Enix, do you just not want money?  Is that it?  Are you hoping that people won’t play your game?  I guess that’s one way to go about it.  Because I’m not.  This is bullshit!  This is fucking bullshit!  When you market a game as being a complete game, then you release the complete fucking game?!  It’s so absolutely obvious that you don’t listen to fans, because what fans asked for this?  What fans asked for the remake of Final Fantasy VII to be episodic?  What imbecile who clearly should have been fired is telling you that this is what your fans want?  I want to know, because this fucking pisses me off.

You aren’t Telltale, Square Enix!  I can handle episodic games from companies like that.  My favorite game of last year was an episodic game.  But I accepted it because the developer is a tiny company and that was their biggest project to date.  This is IO Interactive!  Why the fuck can’t they just release the finished fucking game?!  Oh, what/s that?  It will be coming out at the end of the year?  Thanks, Square Enix!  Thanks for that.  Hey, will there ever be a disc version of Final Fantasy VII Remake too?  When will that be?  Two years from now?  Who knows?

How do these people believe that this is acceptable?  What people are telling them that?  Whoever they are, I want them drawn and quartered!  I’m not waiting for episodes of a game that was supposed to be released in February! (if memory serves on that) You are grifting gamers to be able to release unfinished products.  Now I get to wait till the end of the year for ANOTHER game that should have been coming out sooner.  This is Rise of the Tomb Raider all over again!  In case some of you haven’t been able to tell, this fucking pisses me off!

If this is what this generation of gaming is going to become, then I’m REALLY worried about the state of the industry.  I thought they learned their lesson.  I thought that maybe they had figured things out.  Last year and all the amazing releases that were at the top of their game.  But now this.  Two AAA games that are being turned into episodic ones for NO fucking reason.  Who are the people making decisions at Square Enix?  I’d like to know, because it’s abundantly clear that they either don’t know what gamers want, or simply don’t care. I mean, looking at this from a basic financial standpoint, there are a lot of opinions about episodic games.  There are people like me who are willing to give them a pass for good stories and good characters, but a lot of people hate them.  I don’t deny that I’m not a huge fan of them.  Either it is REALLY good, and grabs my attention, or I don’t get it.  But this isn’t Telltale.  These aren’t little Indie projects that aren’t expected to have AAA quality to them.  These are AAA games that are supposed to have high production quality to them.

Beyond a doubt, it is clear to me that Square Enix doesn’t listen to fan feedback.  Or if they do, it’s from focus groups or some other outdated shit.  I don’t proport to be some huge name on the Internet, but I know for a fact that I was not alone in my disgust for the episode announcement about the Final Fantasy VII remake.  Tons of people weren’t happy.  You’d think that would have been this magical thing.  What’s it called?  Oh, right – a clue.  A clue to Square Enix that maybe this new strategy isn’t going to work.  What’s more, it’s fucking bizarre.  I mean, why do this?  Their bullshit excuse with Final Fantasy VII is that the game would be too big otherwise.  That’s garbage, but whatever.  But what’s the reasoning here?  They’re saying that it will be released on disc anyway at the END of the year.  So why play it like this?  Do I smell microtransactions?  Maybe some Season Pass nonsense?

The thing that really gets me is – the episodes of this game are missions.  That’s right, each “episode” is just a mission.  At $10 a pop, and with the physical game being released for $60, that means that this game is going to have around 5 or 6 missions.  A current generation Hitman game, with only 6 missions.  That is BULLSHIT!  Gamers are being robbed!  And I am scared to death that they are going to play this out with Final Fantasy XV.  I’m scared because I likely won’t end up buying this game if they go that route!  I’ve been waiting for Final Fantasy XV for ten years!  I’m not buying it either if they go this route.  Why are you doing this, Square Enix?!  What is the motivation here?!

After the scorched-earth way that Konami left gaming last year, part of me is scared to death the Square Enix is looking to do the same.  All gamers have been wanting since the dawn of the microtransaction bullshit is for gaming companies to not sell us unfinished games.  Now that is EXACTLY what Square Enix is doing.  They are selling purposely-unfinished AAA games to us, and expecting us to accept that.  Well fuck that!  I am not supporting that kind of outright robbery!  You make a game, make it the whole fucking game!

We vote with our wallets, people.  And so long as gamers endorse this kind of behavior, they will keep doing it.  Keep that in mind when the first “episode” of this garbage comes out.

Until next time, a quote,

“If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be ‘meetings.”  – Dave Barry

Peace out,

Maverick

Top 10 Most Anticipated Games of 2016

2015 has been a wonderful year for me in the world of gaming.  The PS4 (the current console that I have.  Whatever to you PC master race people) has come into its own in a big way.  It had some truly amazing exclusives, like Until Dawn, and one of the best games that I have gotten to play in a long time – Bloodborne.  There was also an episodic game that has consumed my life in a big way.  Another game where, if it weren’t for crashing and burning right at the end, would be high on my list of favorite games.  This has been a fantastic year (save Arkham Knight.  Fuck that game) for gaming, and next year is looking to be even better.  So many great games, this was actually a hard list to pick out.  Kills me how little save space the PS4 has.  If it didn’t, then this would be a lot easier.  I wouldn’t have to wonder which game I’m going to have to uninstall to make room for new ones.  Frustrating.  But it’s always something, isn’t it?  The list was hard to make, but I think that we did it.  Here are my picks.  For those who have read this site for a long time, my top pick might already be known to you.  Let’s do this.

Kingdom Hearts 2.810. Kingdom Hearts 2.8: The Final Chapter Prologue
With Kingdom Hearts III in development and looking better and better with each new trailer, I am so stoked to finally get my hands on this.  Part of the problem with what will be the final game has been the fact that the plot of this series has grown so big that trying to summarize it would be a disaster.  With roughly six games between II and III, there’s a lot of plot to fill in.  The HD collections have been really great for that.  I’ve been able to catch up, and get some new stuff.  II.5 ReMIX is one of the best games I’ve ever played, packed to the brim with content.  Here, I get to finally see what happens in Dream Drop Distance, and there is some new material that shows us what happens after the events of Birth by Sleep, where Aqua is wandering in the realm of darkness.  III can’t come soon enough, but this will tide me over until then.

The Witness9. The Witness
A game that was nearly declared vaporware by people, the creator of Braid has been teasing this first-person puzzle game for years.  Now, we get to see what it was all leading to.  I, for one, am stoked.  This game looks absolutely fantastic.  The puzzle mechanics also look really cool.  Reminds me of an app game on my phone – Free Flow.  But the environments are the thing that sells me.  This is a quiet and contemplative game, that clearly is going to make a lot of use of just the environmental noise and peaceful imagery.  It’s not a bombastic game, but that is fine with me.  A puzzle game on a vibrant island will do me fine.  I don’t know much about the plot of this game yet, but I am itching to find out.

Mirror's Edge Catalyst8. Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst
It is so cool that a cult classic game is going to be getting a new entry into the series.  Though, it seems that this isn’t a sequel or a prequel.  It’s being marketed as a reboot.  This game would be a lot closer to the top, if it weren’t for the fact that it’s being made by EA and DICE.  Two companies that are known for their skull-duggary of gamers.  Look at what happened with Star Wars: Battlefield.  However, this game looks absolutely amazing, and while I will be waiting to see what the reviews say, if it does measure up, I am on it like stink on cheese!  The parkour awesomeness of this franchise has needed this for ages.  Maybe not a reboot, but at least some more entries into it.  Guess we’ll see what happens.

What Remains of Edith Finch7. What Remains of Edith Finch
Okay, how did I not hear about this game until recently?!  Made by the same people who made the fascinating and beautiful The Unfinished Swan, this game no longer has us throwing paint, but instead going through a series of short stories where we learn about the family, life, and emotional undoing of a girl named Edith Finch.  The visuals of this game looks AMAZING!  What’s more, there are clues that the gameplay will be all over the place.  Whether it be the girl, a baby, or even a cat climbing a tree.  A lot of this game is hidden, but you know what, I am stoked to see where it goes.  This game can only impress, because this studio has shown their chops.  Let’s see where things go next.  Another of the exclusive games that Sony is coming out with that is a cut above.

Yooka-Laylee6. Yooka-Laylee
You know what I miss – the cartoon-y and brilliant platforming of Banjo Kazooie.  Don’t tell me about Nuts and Bolts.  That never happened.  Fuck that game.  Several Rare developers left the studio and came together, wanting to go back to their roots.  After going to Kickstarter, showing off a game that was in form of Banjo Kazooie.  The visuals are cute and cuddly.  The gameplay looks familiar and fun.  The world looks like it will be really enjoyable to explore.  The gaming crowd spoke, and we are clearly getting what we paid for.  With so many ho-hum or outright-terrible Kickstarter games being made, it will be nice to see a success story.  Everything shown of this game makes it clear that these devs have put their heart and soul into this.  I can’t wait to finally get my hands on it.

Uncharted 45. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
After the ending of Uncharted 3, I was pretty cool with where they left things.  It was on a positive note, having gone through a story where we see Drake learn a lot about himself and what kind of man he is.  There didn’t seem to be a need for a sequel.  But after seeing the gameplay footage for this game, and learning more about the story, it’s clear that this final chapter in Nate’s story is gonna be up to the standards that Naughty Dog is known for.  Add to that the fun mechanics, and the branching areas like how you can choose where to go when you’re in the driving sections, and there is so much potential here.  This game looks to be nine kinds of fun, and I can’t wait to see how Nate will end his life as an insatiable thief and archaeological grave-robber.

Rise of the Tomb Raider4. Rise of the Tomb Raider
Why is it on this list?  Because fuck Microsoft, that’s why.  I have heard nothing but good things about this game, and you have no idea how frustrating it is that I have to wait until the holiday season of 2016 to get it.  Hopefully Sony will find some way to improve upon the game, just to stick it to Microsoft for their greed.  Kills me that the cruel reality is that even though this game has everything going for it, because of what has happened with Microsoft, it is likely never going to get a sequel.  That just pisses me off.  I want to see this franchise build upon the new life it was given.  When I do finally get my hands on this game, and review it, I’ll tell you all about it, and hopefully I can be one of a chorus of voices who tells Square Enix not to abandon this franchise just because of their stupid business decision.

Hitman3. Hitman
You know what’s awesome?  Hitman.  The last entry in the franchise was definitely more action over substance.  Not to mention a story that is pants-on-the-head retarded.  This game is going back to form.  The latest trailer shows off the game’s world, where we get to see how awesome it looks.  There are beautiful locales, a ton of ways to kill a target, and outfits that you can wear to sneak into a place.  Everything about this game looks better.  As reboots go, they want to go back to where this game was.  Hopefully they capture the difficulty that the old games have.  Where one mistake could end up costing you everything.  After how ho-hum the previous game was, Square Enix has learned their lesson, and they are showing that they want to make the most of this new game.  Can’t wait.

Horizon Zero Dawn2. Horizon: Zero Dawn
You know what else is awesome?  Robo-dinosaurs!  Oh, and a post-apocalyptic world where you hunt them, with action-RPG mechanics.  This game looks fucking amazing!  Since E3, this game has just been looking more and more amazing.  The more we see and the more we learn, the more I want this game to be out right now.  From the people who made the Killzone franchise, we are in a third-person perspective following a time period from what seems like centuries after humanity is dead.  The world is now ruled by robo-dinosaurs, and you have to survive in it.  The devs have talked about how there are mechanics of building relationships and interacting with the various societies in the game.  Everything about this has me on the edge of my seat.  Sony is bringing the house down with their exclusives, and this game would be at the top, were it not for the fact that something I have been longing for for so long will finally be here…

As I said, some of you might have seen this coming.  It’s been too fucking long…

Final Fantasy XV1. Final Fantasy XV
Finally!  About fucking time!  A release date has been set – sometime in 2016.  It will have been ten years, since this game was announced.  Ten years, and unlike the last game that had that reputation, this one appears to have made the most of its time.  It’s traded hands from one big developer at Square Enix, to another, but that appears to have worked in its favor.  Telling a bro-tastic story about bros on a road trip, with hints of Hamlet and political power games like in Game of Thrones, this game will set a place as the most ambitious of the games in the Final Fantasy series.  This IP has gotten more than a little stale in the last few years.  This game is either going to bring it back, or bury it.  No pressure or anything.  But everything I’ve seen tells me that it will be worth it.  The amazing visuals.  The awesome combat.  The epic boss fights.  The fun bro characters and their bromancing.  I haven’t seen an RPG like this game, and I cannot WAIT to finally get my hands on it.  I may be annoyed at Square for making us wait this long, but it will happen.  Most likely around the holidays, because of course.  It’s Square Enix, after all.  Gotta fuck with us.  Hopefully all of you are as excited as me.

So, what games are the ones that you are most looking forward to?  Let me know in the Comments.  Maybe we can have us some discussion.  If it’s something obscure, attach a trailer.  Maybe it will get my attention.

Until next time, a quote,

“Who can say?  We mustn’t rush to conclusions.”  – Ignis Scientia, Final Fantasy XV

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s First Take: Hitman: Agent 47 Trailer

I don’t know if you all knew this or not, but video game movies suck.  Without exception.  They all suck.  Some suck more than others, but there has never, ever, been a good video game film, to date.  For a time, Hollywood was trying left and right to make a game into a movie.  But they finally just gave up.  Right around the time that superhero movies became HUGE money.  Well, guess that worked out for them.  So yeah, these movies suck.  Now, there was a film already made based on the Hitman franchise.  It was a bad movie.  Why?  Well, it ignored all the aspects that made the game good and turned it into a story about a skinny Rambo.  Naturally, when I heard that they are making a new movie based on the game series, I thought I would see what all the fuss is about.  And it led me to this trailer.

Well, this trailer wasted no time annoying me.  For real, that was almost-instantaneous.  Am I the only person who hates the cuts of something where they speed it up?  As if that makes it more interesting.  Then there’s that opening shot.  Oh wow, look at that – he has a barcode on his neck!  Yeah, that’s subtle.  Then you have that fucking techno-beat!  That is so annoying!  I’m not even ten seconds into this film and it annoys me.  That’s got to be a record!

So, here’s the thing about the game series that this movie was based on.  Agent 47 is a master assassin, but his mastery is very specific.  He is able to disappear.  The key to doing well at the game is to be quick, deadly and quiet.  Typically, if you are made, then you are dead.  At least, in the older games.  In the newer one, not so much.  One of the reasons that I am not a huge fan of it.  The old games were punishingly-difficult, because it was all about stealth.

What do we see in this movie?  Well, it sure does look like the Agent 47 of the film is a skinny Rambo.  God-dammit!  Again?!  You’re doing this same plot again?!  For real, this dude couldn’t be more public if he tried.  They even have him shooting up a street in broad daylight!  Why are film companies incapable of making a video game film that is faithful to the source material?  For real, are they afraid that people wouldn’t watch the film if it didn’t have a ton of action all the time?  If we learned nothing from the original three Bourne films, it’s that people can be entertained by films about assassins who are quiet.  Bourne might have done some chase sequences, but he made sure to do the bulk of his work from the shadows, out of sight.

And what’s this – a hot chick with little to no personality!  Just like that other movie.  Then you have Zachary Quinto, an actor whose talent is wasted on a film of this piss-poor quality.  This is just annoying.  The action couldn’t be more over-the-top if it tried.  Also – am I the only one who is also tired of CG explosions?  Are we just averse to real explosions?  Not to mention – in the vehicle sequence, when the camera was moving, I noticed something – all the cars are the same.  You know what that means?  CG cars!  This is so lazy!  Are studio budgets so wasted that they can’t even take the time to have real vehicles somewhere?

Everything about this film is lazy.  The plot is recycled.  The action is over-the-top, to the point of incredulity in the extreme.  The characters are one-note.  Nothing about this film looks interesting, at all.  It is so generic that nobody will even remember it in three years time.  Just like that remake of Red Dawn.  What a waste of potential…

Initial Verdict
5 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

Top 10 Worst Video Game to Film Adaptations

I made a post not too long ago talking about why the movie that Sony recently announced based on the nigh-perfect game The Last of Us is going to suck (linked here), and it got me to thinking about something.  I genuinely believe that none of the great video games that I love could be made into good films.  Video games are a medium that, while it often aims for being cinematic, is so much more.  However, that doesn’t stop Hollywood from trying to make movies based on them.  And every single one of them, without a single exception, has sucked.  Badly.  They are pieces of shit.  And I have made a list of the worst offenders, as I see it.  If you have any more that didn’t make the list and you want to make sport of, please, let me know in the comments section.  That said, let’s get started.

Prince of Persia10. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
This game was a remake of a very old and very dated puzzle-platformer that had faded into obscurity but was brought back to life.  Arguably the best 3D puzzle-platformer ever made, it changed the face of games like it for all time.  It had a cool premise, cool characters and a very intense story that kept your attention.  This movie, on the other hand, was awful!  For one thing, TERRIBLE casting!  I mean, Jake Gyllenhaal as the Prince?  Seriously?!  Not only does he REALLY not look the part, but he lacked any of the wit and charm that the Prince had in the game.  Add to that a very boring, by-the-numbers action-adventure film, without a single puzzle or cool set-piece moment that showed off the Dagger of Time’s power, and this movie was an uninspired and unengaging bore that was clearly made to try and capitalize on what Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer Studios didn’t realize was a tattered popularity of the franchise.  Thankfully, it didn’t work and the film was a flop at the box office.  Though, ironically, it was the highest-grossing video game film made.  The fact that it was still a failure says something about how hated these kinds of movies are.  And dammit, why is Ben Kingsley in this movie?!

Mortal Kombat9. Mortal Kombat
Where do I get started?  The original Mortal Kombat games (which this film was based on) didn’t have the greatest controls or the neatest characters.  All things considered, they were a pretty average fighter, save for one saving grace – blood and guts.  The Mortal Kombat games were made so that friends could kick the shit out of each other and tear their enemy to pieces.  They were the fighting game of choice among my friends.  This movie, on the other hand, was a PG-13 martial arts film.  It had NONE of the blood and guts of the source material.  The special effects are just shy of gag-inducing.  The “acting” is so bad that it can be funny from time to time.  The sequel is even worse, with fights that are just shy of backyard wrestling.  If these movies had at least had some blood and guts, that would be something of a redemption.  But nope, they are just plain bad.

Hitman8. Hitman
The Hitman games were brutally-hard and unforgiving, focusing on stealth to the extreme.  You played as Agent 47, a master assassin who specializes in killing his foes quickly and efficiently, without being noticed.  Being noticed was often hazardous to your health.  The Agent 47 in the film, on the other hand, is nothing more than a skinny Rambo who goes out of his way to make a big production out of all his kills.  The action scenes are dull and the plot is beyond cliche.  It’s another one of those stories about the cold, unfeeling killer and the woman who gets him to come out of his shell.  This plot has been done to DEATH, sometimes very well and sometimes far worse than this.  Much like Prince of Persia, it is a film that takes no risks and is rather lifeless for it.  And, like Prince of Persia, it failed at the box office.

Doom7. Doom
Doom is an awesome game!  It’s low on plot and high on action.  The plot is that you are a badass Marine who is stationed on Mars.  A portal to Hell opens, demons burst forth, kill everyone but you and you decide to kill them back.  Simple, clean and awesome, with some cool weapons and some pretty imaginative foes.  Especially when you get to Hell.  This movie, on the other hand, does what the film adaptation of The Golden Compass did and eschews the religious aspect and removes the portal to Hell.  In the film, they decide to make some science mumbo-jumbo about a 26th chromosome and how it can either turn people into superheroes or monsters.  The action is boring, the enemy designs are lifeless, the characters are cliche.  The scene where they have a first-person perspective is hilariously awful.  Not to mention, and this may just be the biggest flaw – they have The Rock as the final boss of the film!  Of all the cool demon designs that they could have worked with, they have the fucking Rock as their final enemy?  That’s so dumb!  Oh, and to top it all off, terrible cinematography.  For real, the entire movie is show in a kind of blue filter and WAY too close.  It was like they didn’t want the audience to actually see what was going on.  After all, that would force us to endure some enjoyment.  Wouldn’t want that, would we?

Wing Commander6. Wing Commander
Oh do I hate this movie.  I fucking hate everything to do with this movie.  The Wing Commander series was made during a time when a lot of games were using live-action to integrate into their games.  With VERY few exceptions, this was a disaster.  Wing Commander was one of those exceptions.  With the talents of Malcolm McDowell, the guy who played Biff in Back to the Future and Mark fucking Hamill!  These games were back in the days where fighter simulators used a joystick.  The universe was fun and interesting, with neat enemies and a well-written cast that you came to care about.  This movie, on the other hand, stars Freddie Prince Jr. and Matthew Lillard!  Ugh!  Now, I think it’s worth pointing out that Freddie Prince Jr. found quite a place as the voice of James Vega in Mass Effect 3.  But that was with writing and an ADR director who cared.  That was NOT seen in this movie.  The special effects are beyond dated.  The characters are all boring throw-away cliches, with Matthew Lillard spouting some TERRIBLE lines and doing nothing but making an ass of himself.  The battle segments were a joke and the enemy effects were so bad that it was embarrassing.  I cannot tell you how much I hate this movie.  I feel the anger bubbling up inside as I’m sitting here talking about it.  Fuck this movie!

Street Fighter5. Street Fighter
What, were, they, thinking?!  This is a film that is astoundingly bad.  Part of me feels bad that the only good thing about this movie was the portrayal of M. Bison by the late Raul Julia.  He tried to make this work, bless his deceased heart.  Alas, didn’t.  While the game and the anime adaptations focused heavily on Ryu, this movie decided to make Guile the protagonist.  Xenophobia, anyone?  Every single character in this movie got fucked over from their cool source material.  Super Street Fighter II is arguably the greatest fighting game ever made.  This franchise has a lot of cool characters, each with a unique back-story and portrayal.  This movie is REALLY xenophobic, kind of racist and has fuck-all to do with its source material.  I just don’t get how the people who made it honestly believed that they were going to get a positive return on their investment.  Not to mention, the icing on the fucking cake – it has Jean-Claude Van Damme as the protagonist.  And I might have been willing to forgive all of this if the final product was at least a little entertaining.  But it’s not.  It’s painful the entire way through.  Some people have said that this movie is so bad it’s good, but they are wrong!  This movie is one of the worst I have ever seen.  Period!  Ugh…

Resident Evil4. Resident Evil (franchise)
I am hoping beyond hope that they are done making these movies.  While the franchise that this franchise is based on has had its own failings in the last few years, these movies are among the worst cash-grabs that have ever been made.  With the first film, it wasn’t as terrible as I thought it would be.  It wasn’t a great movie, or even a very good one, but it was pretty decent.  A lot of that came from the levels of cool that Michelle Rodriguez’s character brought to the screen.  But after this movie came shitty-sequel after shitty-sequel, each one worse than the last.  For real, these movies have been getting so terrible that it is almost funny.  Oh, wait, it’s not!  These movies suck!  Not only do they have jack-diddle to do with the games, but they are often plot-less and don’t seem to care about the stories they are telling.  Not to mention that not one of them has any kind of survival-horror feel the the older games and Resident Evil 4 had.  There is no tension or suspense.  Just action, more action and eventually zombies who can run and stuff.  Oh, and as an insult to the cool factor that Michelle Rodriguez brought, they brought her back in the latest film and totally fucker her character over.  I hate these movies.

Super Mario Bros.3. Super Mario Bros.
I literally don’t get what Hollywood asshole with a 6-figure salary and a 2-digit IQ thought that this movie would work.  Not only does it butt-rape the source material, but it doesn’t even seem to acknowledge that the source material existed.  I mean, the world of Mario is a happy place filled with little mushroom people, turtle shells, egg-throwing dinosaurs, magic stars and bright colors.  There is a tropical island that has cool locations to hang out in and you can even see other galaxies that are pretty cool!  Not one thing about the world of that game shouted a 1984 rip-off to you, did it?  Well, that’s what the movie thought it meant.  It decided to make the film a weird and totally pointless and eerily dark film starring Bob Hoskins as Mario.  I like Bob Hoskins, but when you see the charming and fun expression that Mario has, does that nasty-looking douche come to mind?  For real, Bob, I like ya, but you are a nasty-looking guy.  Just putting that out there.  This movie shits on one of the most beloved characters of all time, which is probably the biggest sin a movie can do.

Silent Hill Revelation 3D2. Silent Hill: Revelation 3D
Now, I’m going to start my discussion about this movie by saying that I actually don’t hate the original film.  The man who directed that movie was actually a fan of the games.  Well, the good ones, anyway (the first three and a half).  The use of lighting and set designs was actually pretty damn good.  Not to mention, the nigh-flawless use of the trademark music of the games that the fans (like me) fell in love with.  The creature designs were also pretty neat.  Pyramid Head was just as intimidating as I always imagined in the movie as I imagined him to be in the game.  The film lacked the symbolism and depth that the games had, but it was still a hell of a lot better than I expected.  Revelation 3D (I fucking hate when they put 3D in a title.  It’s a cheap gimmick!), on the other hand, was a cash-grab.  Pure and simple.  Not to mention, a lot like Super Mario Bros., it also shits on a beloved game.  Heather Mason is one of my favorite female protagonists.  She’s a kid, but in no way a doormat.  She is dealing with a lot of shit and doesn’t back down.  She faces her darkness in a pretty profound way, with a scene that actually is a very grimacing metaphor for her killing a fetus when the reborn god of the cult of Silent Hill is growing inside of her and she has to get rid of it.  This movie, however, turns her into a cowardly damsel who has a bad habit of being saved a lot.  There is an underdeveloped romance and a lot of REALLY bad 3D effects.  Nothing about this movie works.  Nothing.  What’s worse – it insults one of my favorite characters.  This movie was made to make money.  Thankfully, the return was nowhere near what they hoped.

And the worst video game adaptation to film is…

Bloodrayne1. Every single Uwe Boll film ever made!
Oh, I cannot tell you my hatred for this German dick-mule.  Uwe Boll is called the new Ed Wood, and I genuinely don’t buy that.  I am certain that this guy knows that he is making crap.  I know this because he exploits German tax loopholes when he makes movies so that, even when the film fails, he makes money.  Boll adapts good video games into shit movies, and the Internet’s hatred of him is well-known.  The thing I hate him most for is his adaptation of Bloodrayne.  A film that also stars Ben Kingsley (for real, what the fuck?!  I remember this guy being in Gandhi.  Was he just typecast after that, like Malcolm McDowell?) and shits on what could have been a trippy film with a badass redhead kicking some vampire ass with some sick fight choreography and gratuitous gore.  Boll doesn’t even try and make good movies.  There is something to be said for making a bad movie, but having actually tried to make it good.  The Transformers films are pieces of shit, but they are actually trying to be entertaining.  It’s just that Michael Bay is a racist and sexist dick who can only make movies about blowing shit up (if only he’d abandon plot.  That would make those movies better).  Boll, on the other hand, doesn’t give two shits if his movies are good or not, so when he adapts a video game I like to film like that, it just pisses me off more.  Fuck this man!  Fuck him up hard!

Until next time, a quote,

“I wish I could have played it!” -Ellie
“I never was a big fan of these things.”  -Joel, The Last of Us

Peace out,

Maverick