In this Post, I shall Talk about PS3 Games and Movies.

The title summarises my post. I’m on a week-long semester break, and surprisingly, I haven’t had much work to do and so have been firing up the good old PS3. This blog’s been a bit dead these days because ever since I got back from Japan, I’ve not watched any anime besides Gintama, Cross Game and Inazuma 11, solely because the backlog was way too large and daunting.

So instead, I’ve been playing Pro Evo 2008, going through the Master League, and now I have a decent team playing 4-3-3, spearheaded by Torres, Ribery and soon-to-be-replaced Martin Petrov. I’ve 3 Japanese players in the team, simply because they’re so cheap, can play in 5 different positions and are great utility men. Since it got too easy, I’ve been switching to adding promising youngsters to the team, like Ben Sahar and Walcott, but for some reason, there isn’t a good young left winger to replace Petrov. All the youngsters are right-footed! On a related note, after playing PES the whole day, when watching a real football match, one tends to get really frustrated at the poor awareness and ballcontrol of the real life players. I’ll be like "Ooooh he could’ve just passed it to the other guy for a tap-in!" when in real life, nobody sees the field from the angle of the overhead TV cam.

I tried Resident Evil 5, and it’s really like a bad version of Metal Gear Solid 4 isn’t it? The controls are horrible, and I got cleaved in half by a giant axeman. It’s also a bit scary and I hate scary games, so I switched over to play a game my brother downloaded – Fat Princess. Turns out it’s essentially a cartoony platform style Team Fortress 2 where there are 5 job classes, two bases and two fat princesses and a bunch of outposts which act as command points.Each of the job classes have their uses and are pretty balanced. They can also be upgraded with wood and ore, harvested by the worker. There’s Warrior, which is like Soldier, except he has only melee attacks, namely a sword and a shield. He has the highest HP of all and has a upgradable Halberd option where he can do Dragon Punch dash or something. He’s almost always paired with a priest, who is essentially a medic. The priest has a direct heal stream, much like medigun, and also a chargeable AoE heal. His upgrade is the dark priest, whose medigun drains HP and AoE spell is Curse, which makes all enemies’ controls go wonky for a while. The 3rd class is Wizard, who specialises in fire and ice attacks, either single hit or AoE. There’s Ranger/Sniper, who fires arrows and upgrades to musketeer shotgunner. And then there’s the worker, who’s the foundation of every team. He’s basically both the peon and the engineer, and harvests resources, builds stuff and upgrades buildings. His weapons are the axe and the grenade bomb. Before choosing a class, you start off as a villager, who’s much like a scout, and runs the fastest but has half the hp of the next weakest class. Most online play starts with villager rush to kidnap the enemy princess.

It gets old after a while but Fat Princess is quite a fun and cute game that is easy to learn and get girls to play.

There are two movies I’ll like to mention, that I’ve seen recently. Inglourious Basterds and Gamer. Obviously the former is a hell lot better than the latter, but  both have their merits. Inglourious Basterds is honestly one of my favourite films ever, because I like a) WW2, b) Killing and gore, c) Evil men doing evil things, d) Closed room intensely psychological mind games and e) Distinct narratives that converge into a grand climax a la Baccano. It’s certainly a great Tarantino film, one that erases the rubbishness of Kill Bill from my mind. I really like Col Landa and his pure evil ways. It strikes me that most of the movie characters, or even anime ones, that I’ve liked in an admiring way fall into two extremes – the really evil and the totally hardworking sort. The former would be guys like Ripley from the Talented Mr Riply, Catch me if you can’s Frank Abagnale Jr, Col Landa and many others. You have to admire the way they manipulate, con and trap others with just words alone. The latter are hardworkers like Endo from Inazuma 11, Azuma from Yakitate Japan etc. It appears that I like characters that I do not have the attributes of and can learn from, and thus I would like to be utterly hardworking at becoming an evil manipulative genius.

Watch IB if you haven’t, I assure you it’s awesome. The show’s long and not for girls because girls aren’t really very clever and don’t understand the dialogue and don’t like the violence, not to mention know nothing about WW2. I assure you, ask any girl on the street if Germany conquered France, they’ll be like, "Aren’t they really far away from each other?" Of course, this doesn’t apply to Europeans.
The best scenes in the movie are the opening scene, and the bar scene. It’s so full of clever lines that generate heavy death-inducing tension.

The other movie, Gamer, is pretty mediocre. But when I was playing CS a lot in my middle school days, I used to think about the possibilities of getting these crazy pro CS dudes to remotely control soldier robots on the battlefield. Turns out this concept is pretty old, as it was done in lots of scifi novels, most notably Forever Peace, by the same author of Forever War, Joe Halderman. Nevertheless, Gamer takes this idea, combines it entirely with the story of Death Race, and shows a cyberpunk-for-the-dumbed-down-masses utopia, where people have access to this 2nd-Life-styled game that allows them to take control of a person and make him/her do whatever they want. The avatar gets paid for lending out his/her body and it’s fun for some of them. So a fat guy gets to pretend to be a sexy hot babe and have sex with strangers. Strangely enough, the whole system wasn’t really delved into, and instead just used as a platform to showoff "Slayers", which is a ripoff of Deathrace in that deathrow inmates, controlled remotely by teenage gamers, have to run through a series of courses filled with death-causing events, such as you know, gunfire and explosions. After 30 successful runs, the guy walks out free. But of course it never happens, so Gerard Butler breaks out of jail and confronts the evil master mind and kills him. The End. I don’t get why the teenage gamer needed to exist. It’s not like he increases the entertainment value of the Slayers game does it?

Let’s just say the idea was good but the execution was full of fail. I assure you this movie would’ve been a lot better had it not been for the fact that when lots of money is involved, Hollywood executives want wide target audiences. And the only way they think this can be done is to dumb stuff down to idiot level. This works at times, for movies like Transformers, but you know, actually making a good movie also works. See, when shows like Blade Runner and Dark City, not to mention GUNfuckingDAM were first released, people didn’t really flock to see them as they did for rubbish like Titanic. But these built up first a cult following and then mainstream acceptance. The current Hollywood model of making franchises which go on forever, is quite stupid.

That said, I would love an Inglourious Basterds spinoff. Oooh the hypocrisy is so crispy.
 

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