Posts Tagged ‘sony’

Assassin’s Creed goes silver screen

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Please be good. Please be good.

Video game adaptations into film have always been shaky in terms of what is hoped for, and what eventually comes out.

I mentioned this story a while back, but I was in northern France when Prince of Persia came out. Wanting to impress my friends, I suggested seeing the movie, not really knowing what any of the characters were saying. I knew the Prince of Persia games back to front, so chances are I could scrape away a few plot points and go for a ride.

And it worked! Jake Gyllenhaal ran around with his abdominals flexing this way and that, swinging a sword and being all…well he was French in this instance, but the main point was nothing was lost.

Squint hard to see Jake's abs.

Unfortunately I set the bar too high in terms of what I was expecting, which at this point I can’t really pinpoint as it was in French, but I could tell from the snickering going on in the audience the dialogue wasn’t that well-written (or dubbed, I gathered).

The medium of video games is such that to keep you entertained for 20-40 hours (not at a time, I hope) with jumping from tree to tree, or swinging your weapon at swarms of enemies. Imagining that for hours on end as a movie without interacting on a controller seems…well, dull.

Game developer and publishing house Ubisoft (who funny enough is French) has just secured a deal with Sony Pictures to make a film surrounding the world of the hugely popular game series Assassin’s Creed. While this is cause for celebration and fear, this particular deal’s caused a stir in the ‘biz.

Because Ubisoft’s roped in a whole heap of cash with the series, they’ve dared to ask for more control (‘Fighting the Man’-style). This apparently includes approval over the budget, cast, script and when it’ll be released.
Considering there are two major companies trying to suss out where each can benefit from such a film, it’s a shock to see the video game companies come out chest-thumping with alpha-male glee.

For those who have seen it, Ubisoft has already toyed with the idea of an Assassin’s Creed film. In the leadup to the second game, they filmed a live-action mini-series as a prequel of sorts to the upcoming game (ignore the cheesy voice in the beginning):

While better-looking then most other live-action videos, given a bigger budget and more control, it could be really cool. On the other hand, it could be another Super Mario Bros.

It was rumoured with Prince of Persia that both Disney and Ubisoft had issues with who had more control, both stating it was the other’s fault for the movie’s bad rating, though it still earned more than $300 million (made on $200 million).

If any of the videos made for the game can be taken into consideration, it could turn into something great. Click here for a look at the upcoming Assassin’s Creed: Revelations trailer, coming out next week (pre-order your copy here).


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Doogs’ games of 2010 to play for 2011

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

My thumbs haven’t quite healed properly still after having a massive gaming session with Dead Rising 2. Zombie-killing is always fun, but finishing up those games you just haven’t yet becomes a hassle when sequels appear.

And wouldn’t you know it, 2010 was the year of gaming sequels. I had to step up my nerd-self and complete every game I had that was maybe one or two hours away from completion. New Years resolution: ‘TV goes outside’.

That way I can get my vitamin D, and well as my dose of pixelated fun.

With that said, I will now list the five games that I believe made 2010 the best in a while.

Best Games of 2010 – Doogs’ Edition

Mass Effect 2

Mass Effect 2

If you never played the first, you don’t need to in order to enjoy the second. But if you were lucky enough to keep your save game…WOO! Right back in the action, with all the choices you made carrying through. Been mean to someone in the first? Yeah, like an elephant’s memory.

The space-age action RPG shooter starts off with a pretty amazing bang, and it’s fair to say that they did so in order to make newcomers appreciate the massive universe within Mass Effect.

Characters of old and new are as engaging and interesting as the first, and the gameplay was definitely fine-tuned.Big name actors were now on the bill to carry on the story, and players could even get smoochy and freaky with aliens. Not their biggest selling point from the first, considering the “outrageousness” it caused on the news. And they think that was bad…try watching some of the reality TV shows nowadays. Bleh.

Red Dead Redemption

Red Dead Redemption

Fans of Grand Theft Auto got given a tasty alternative from city life by going back in time. An open world Western video game sounds crazy, and I’m sure was almost impossible to pitch.

But John Marston, a former pew-pew outlaw cowboy and also protagonist, manages to keep the good and bad sides of life in the West as lively and entertaining as ever.

Gunfights were a lot of fun to play, and one could only wish a Dirty Harry add-on could just put a pipe on those wanting to relive it (….what? It’s an awesome idea!).

And to be able to play this game multiplayer and have a posse of donkeys put sweet, sweet icing on this spaghetti cake. Mmm…spaghetti cake.

Heavy Rain

Heavy Rain

I’m not lying when I say how amazed I was at this game. The designers of Heavy Rain, Quantic Dream, are known for their previous masterpiece of a storytelling game Fahrenheit (AKA Indigo Prophecy).

With the cinematic power behind the PS3, they delivered something that was pretty dang unique to gaming. Controls weren’t button-mashing, but controller-moving. Shaking, twisting, even doing nothing meant something.

The realism and grit of the story of a serial killer, as well as controlling the four main characters of the story, made Heavy Rain a big thumbs up from me. N

ever was I so glued to the screen, wanting to know what would happen next. The last time I had that reaction to game cinematics was during Metal Gear Solid 4, which felt like watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy twice.

Professor Layton and the Lost Future

Professor Layton and the Lost Future

The Nintendo DS isn’t a video gaming masterpiece of a machine. Innovative for sure in its infancy, it still hadn’t been given enough attention by developers (other than rushed movie titles). But the first Professor Layton game used this to its advantage, creating a puzzle game that was mind-testing, but not frustrating.

Puzzle-solving Professor Layton and his apprentice Luke are on an investigation which seems to have thrown them in the future, and as strange characters ask you a multitude of questions for stranger tasks like opening doors or not killing you, you get your first real glimpse inside Layton’s past. I loved the anime cinematics, and was sad to run out of puzzles in the end.

Bless you Professor…you made me feel smart once again. And, strangely, make me want to pick up banana peels.

Splinter Cell - Conviction

Splinter Cell – Conviction

This game wasn’t given as much hype as I thought. But given this series seems to have gone long enough, it had the shoulder-shrugging reaction I’ve had with say Lara Croft.

But Sam Fisher’s character has since become even more in-depth, and more aggressive than ever. For a light-treading, sneaking NSA agent, he’s gotten pretty ticked off. Who wouldn’t be after your daughter’s assassination?

Gameplay is really action-packed, and the whole ‘Mark and Execute’ option gives it that feeling that you are indeed an incredibly talented agent who can take down ‘issues’ in a matter of seconds.

Assassin’s Creed II almost took this spot, but then again, I haven’t finished that one either yet so I can’t give fair judgement. I couldn’t listen to half an album and announce it was the best CD ever made, could I? One hit wonders’d love that kind of assessment.

What games have I forgotten, or *shudder* need to finish before the newer one comes out? Oh, I have won Diablo II, so I’m safe for the third.


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End of Side B for the Walkman

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

He couldn't handle it.

It seems more of a personal attack on childhood memories than a business decision, but after three decades of representing portable music, Sony’s cutting the cord of Walkman units.

The pinnacle of portable listening devices has seen the toughest of competitors, and at the old (technological) age of 31, it is time to take out those ‘AA’ batteries and stick them into your TV remote.

How woeful it is to see such a device being taken off the shelves. It’s one of those “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone” moments more or less, but considering I have a different branded music player, I can’t be too protective of a brand that I myself don’t still endorse.

I always loved using our stereo to dub tracks from the radio, and years later from other CDs, to those cassettes that could be sped up double-time by holding the ‘Play’ button halfway.

Do you remember ‘Mega Bass’, or the other brand’s ‘Bass Boost’? It did practically nothing to the sound, but it proved to people that you weren’t one to mess around with your music. Those Beastie Boys would’ve been all intergalactic up in your grill if your Mega Bass wasn’t turned on.

I laugh now thinking about the ‘Shuffle’ function we have. When I had my portable CD player, I remember pressing the ‘Random’ button, only to keep pressing ‘Skip’ ten times until that one track I wanted to listen to came on. We’ve gone from twelve tracks on a disc to 12 weeks of music no bigger than the palm of your hand.

Sure, the Walkman has come and gone, but I will never yield my childhood memories for an apple with a bite in it.

Have you ever had this moment of numbness for something you remember?


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Ahh! I’ve caught the viral!

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

This is how I help my parents with their computer.

When TV shows like I.T. Crowd have a certain reputation to uphold, it’s the little things like this flash game that the BBC brought out that put a smile to my face.

Riddled with I.T. jokes, pop-ups and addictive online casual gaming that we’ve come to expect from the interwebs, the game managed to do two important things: Waste an abundance of work time, and give me the hankering for season 4.

These online games that come with TV shows are a hit or a miss sometimes. If a game is fun enough to share around, it’s considered a hit for advertising.

“Viral” marketing (which could also known as websploitation) for entertainment products was a huge buzz the moment the unhip n00b promoters discovered this new way to get the word out other than a movie poster. Nowadays it works as a digital word-of-mouth these days, whether the old-fashioned way was by actually talking to people.

Who would’ve thought the ‘copy’ and ‘paste’ commands could increase time management and keep conversations to a minimum?

For this style of marketing to succeed, there’s one key factor that most seem to miss: It has to be good.

Humour is one of the best ways to pass videos of the Numa Numa guy or Dramatic Chipmunk around in the contagious “You have to see this video!” fashion. Do you remember the gorilla playing drums to Phil Collins? Of course you do.

Displays of technical brilliance are also another, such as the massive beer bottle Dominos scene. Put these two together, and you have the Star Wars Kid right inside The Matrix attacking a plethora of Agent Smiths.

To insult the very people you’re applying your ad for is a big no no. Sony Playstation has had the worst amount of viral fails, mainly because people can pick them out a mile away and ridicule them before it even has a chance to catch on effectively.

Ahh well, maybe next time we’ll fall for ‘alliwantforxmasisapsp.com’.


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