When it comes to long-standing franchises, especially in the realm of blockbusters, it’s never much of a surprise when some fresh excitement is injected by a different franchise. The crossover is a process/marketing trick older than the medium of video games, time-honored and tried in every variety: in the history of cinema, you can’t take two steps without tripping over an Aliens v. Predators or even something more esoteric like Zatoichi Meets Yojimbo. Godzilla has endless fights with characters from other kaiju material. Even the modern zeitgeist of the Cinematic Universe is a dedicated extension of the crossover, fostering the Ultimate Crossover Experience by building up a series of one-offs to culminate in a climatic finale.
Browsing posts from: June 2019
The crunch of autumn leaves underfoot, a campfire, a lonely tent- it’s the makings of either a good time or a horrific experience depending on where one dares to make camp.
Created for the PS1 Haunted Halloween Game Jam of 2018 (known for the infamous Siren Head tribute piece by Modus Interactive, who we’ve covered before here and here) by Breogán Hackett, Perennial is a deep dive into an open world forest that holds many secrets close to its naturalistic bosom, beckoning you to cautiously explore and discover them.
Chile is known for many things, great wine, great food, being extremely and ridiculously long, and a thriving indie developer scene. After ACE Team put them on the map with Rock Of Ages, new-indie-on-the-block Octeto Studios comes up with a unique take on the squad management genre through a self-described tech-noir lens: CyberOps
Delightfully wearing it’s influences on it’s sleeves,
CyberOps takes heavy inspiration from Yoji Shinkawa’s work in the late 90s playstation era. Octeto has done great work in characterizing a near-future scenario, injecting it with plenty of virtual reality (as we knew it in the 90s) flavor, such as the gorgeous overworld map that evokes the design of beloved doomsday simulator Defcon and other influential PC titles.
To engage with art is one matter, but to make yourself the centerpiece is another one entirely. Exhibitionism is an experience by Dja that ruminates on how we often find ourselves, as opposed to the art that we create, at the center of attention of others.
Art galleries have a strange aura to them, as if they’re a sort of banquet or feast which begs the question, what exactly is on the menu? Exhibitionism tackles the strange masquerade of guarding your intentions while flagrantly expressing your desires; ruminating upon the cacophony of the unusual, unique lengths people go to in order to seek recognition, even at the cost of those around them.
EA girl sits alone in a room, her door locked. She glances toward her bed, but isn’t tired enough to sleep. Instead, her focus turns to the TV and her game console. As she boots it up, time dissolves and gives way to a series of vignettes exploring the continually deteriorating state of the village she lives in. Death begins to form an iron grip around the village’s throat, piling bodies higher and higher as the townspeople work tirelessly through the night to fill the graveyard with the corpses. An entity haunts the woods, creeping, stalking. Dust falls eternal and chokes the air. Unknowable horror lurks beneath the dark eaves of a thatched cottage.
Forward Instinct‘s Midnight Ultra is a wonderful concept piece, the kind of game that looks like it just jumped off a Xerox with a loving, fresh coat of toner. It’s the sort of stylings you’d expect to find buried in the pages of a zine stapled to a power pole next to a back alley, and it bleeds character.
DUSK was an exceptionally lovable game with some fancy footwork, the kind of game that sets the bar very high and makes it hard to welcome the next thing down the list with open arms. After grabbing a zappy trident and giving the game a fair shake, I have nothing to say about New Blood’s new publication, Amid Evil, other than how much I utterly, unapologetically love every minute of it.
The whoop-whoop-bing of running down a skewed line of powerups, the beloved ice-scepter… mace… thing that’s effectively the closest you’ll find to a spear shotgun… Amid Evil just asks that you lay waste to baddies as effectively as possible in some of the most vividly colorful environments I’ve seen in a long time. Is it a game? No, it’s absolutely a work of art that leverages every second of abstract geometry and offensively perplexing pathfinding while you plow through exceptionally creative enemy designs and some of the most satisfying tools of destruction this side of Maximum Action.
Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines is an interesting game with a lot of… quirks. Something overlooked is how the game’s style rapidly pivots between the weirdly cartoonish and the plausibly realistic. One can expect to see Dishonored-style facial composition one moment; nigh-photographic portrayals of characters the next. The environments, too, are no exception. From a design perspective, the levels give some real insight on how to capture the zeitgeist and feeling of a place, weaving a visual buffet where only a few things are tactically edible. So, let’s craft some hauntology, shall we?
As I continue my first playthrough (yes, shameful, having had the game for ages yet hardly taking the time to fully sit down with it at length past the beginning Santa Monica drudge) I will be doing a few short writeups on my thoughts and experiences throughout.
HELLO FRIENDS, PERHAPS YOU CAME HERE TO LEARN HOW TO TYPE. LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT THE HOME ROW, AS IT WERE, BECAUSE THIS GAME SURE DID HIT IT OUT OF THE PARK….. ! WELCOME TO DAVID LYNCH TEACHES TYPING! BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE FINE FOLKS AT RHINO STEW (@StewRhino).
AND BY HIT IT OUT OF THE PARK, I MEAN I CANNOT REMEMBER THE PAST TEN MINUTES, AND THE SIDE OF MY HEAD FEELS SORE. I AM FAIRLY CERTAIN THAT SOMEONE USED A WOODEN BASEBALL BAT TO GENTLY MASSAGE MY TYPOGRAPHY NICE AND DEEP. NO PROBLEM, HOWEVER! IT’S ALL REALLY BEAUTIFUL, JUST LIKE THIS GORGEOUS WEATHER IN SUNNY LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA.
“And when we tell ourselves we have reached the paroxysm of horror, blood and flouted laws, of poetry which consecrates revolt, we are obliged to advance still further into an endless vertigo.” – The Theater and its Double (Antonin Artaud, 1958).
I wish to swiftly dispose of the formalities, preferably via the edge of the knife, if not the tip of the pen, and thus we begin.
Much has been said of video games and art, are they art, aren’t they art, how can one deny they are so, when do we get our Citizen Kane, when will the medium finally be reified through this endless endeavor to replicate the extrapolative force of The Good Piece of Art that we have decided is all that lends credence to a medium’s creative practices? But let us present an alternative, to eschew the respectability of The Good Piece of Art and instead pursue The Art That Which is Art, to hear the cries for the Citizen Kane and rebuff them with a cry for The Holy Mountain and the Pink Flamingos.