Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Big Picture: "Junk Drawer Revisited"

15 comments:

KingOfDoma said...

Wanna know who I blame for me getting excited for Duke Nukem?

ANTHONY BURCH.

Now, I like the guy, HAWP is consistently awesome... but so was Anthony Saves The World. I mean, it starred him, his BOSS at Gearbox, and LISA FREAKING FOILES. How could I not enjoy such an endeavour? And, of course, when I heard they were both at Gearbox, the guys making Duke Nukem, I thought, "Wow! These guys really know how to have fun! And I've been enjoying Burch's work for years! Duke Nukem's really going to be handled right!"

... and then the reviews came in. Sigh.

Oh well. Probably won't even bother renting it. I'll save that money for Serious Sam, or something...

counterpoint said...

as to the tanooki suit not turning you into a statue...... shouldn't it just be the raccoon suit, then? i agree with your point, but for me, a raccoon is random enough.

I mean, if a raccoon can fly, it stands to reason that a dog-that-resembles-a-raccoon should fly AND turn you into stone, right?

but now that you mention it, that randomness IS why early mario had awesome powerups. Fireballs from a... flower? Even once SMW hit, things changed - a cape that makes you fly is so much less original..

Aaron said...

You fucked up with the title. It should have been called Junk Drawer 2. What's the next one going to be called? Junk Drawer Resurrection?

Angry Man said...

Dood, you said "revelant"

About Dark Knight Rises -- so you're saying the solution to it living up to its predecessor is for Christian Bale to have an untimely death? Hmm...

Man, you really hate Image/Lefield. lol

Dave from canada said...

RE: Tanooki

So you readily admit that you are excited about the suit not for it's gameplay applications, but because it looks a certain way? Congrats bob, you are now philosophically indistinguishable form the type of gamers you claim to revile. The only difference is what aesthetic you like.

Gears may not have a koala suit BTW, but it does have a laugh track and big head mode and bunny hats and hot pink gun skins thrown in for humour's sake. It also has improved gameplay. Yes, its amazing how outside of the superhumanly narrow field on nintendo we manage to have our cake and eat it too.

Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike said...

Duke, yeah.. Steam is a dangerous and delightful service, because it was a tad cheaper and because my computer does not come equipped with a Breathalyzer I pre-ordered Duke Nukem. I think it was the morbid curiosity to see either how bad(meaning poorly made) or bad(debased) it was going to be. There was also sort of tiny voice inside that wanted to cheer Gearbox on for taking up the touch of an old, all-be-it overblown, title and taking a risk. It backfired, but at least they tried. They had to do something with the piles of cash they got from all the Borderlands DLC(ah-hem, make more Borderlands DLC Gearbox).

I found the game a reminder of a dark days from the past. And a grim look at a shell of a life. Perhaps an ironic commentary on the, hate to use the term.. hopes of the fanbase that wouldn't let this die no matter how many times it flatlined. I know irony, since my discounted purchase on a whim and libations will in no way help convice some number cruncher that another horrible development cycle might be worth greenlighting another poorly earned studio paycheck.

I also think they unintentionally taught us that some achievments are just not worth getting even if it would only take pressing "E". This may be a valuable general life lesson. All in all Duke Nukem made me have to do some soul searching. And at the very least putting this game out and it being recognized for the shallow(which it's core content is) booring machismo-fest, means that people will remember how un-anything it is, and for a few years, it will be forgotten.

Also, wouldn't it be great if all bad games had a 12 year mandatory gap? I won't mention any in particular. And inversely we would get a new Mario, Half-life, and Zelda game every 2 weeks.

Darren said...

I was saying that same shit about the dark knight's sequel when Heath Ledger passed away. I just hope people don't completely disregard The Rise of the Dark Knight because it is not as good as the Dark Knight :/

At the end of the day though The Watchmen was still better :D

Kyle said...

Yeah, Anthony Burch is the best. I love that guy. He and his sister are both cool.

I am surprised that Gearbox didn't deliver great dialog, but... I don't know. Not everyone can be PIXAR.

I liked green Lantern, but I'm easy to please. I'm thinking the worldwide box office for it will be decent.

Alphonso said...

@Dave from canada: While I'm sure the aesthetic and especially nostalgia play a big part in Moviebob's approval of the Tanooki Suit, he explained that the reason he likes it is because it's such a transparent break from reality: "a pudgy animal costume that invests him with powers having zero relation to the animal in question." One of the other examples he uses is a picture of an extra life from Megaman. The concept of extra lives itself is bizarre, but it's absolutely nonsensical for Megaman to earn them by picking up items that are 1) shaped like his head, and 2) found in his enemies' fortresses. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, which we all know Moviebob loves, took these same kinds of tropes that we're used to seeing in video games and put them in a movie--people explode into coins when they're killed, and the protagonist comes back to life using a 1-up.

However, I'd like to point out that the ability to turn into a statue IS related to being a tanooki; in Japanese mythology, they have shape-shifting powers. Tom Nook's leaves-that-transform-into-furniture from Animal Crossing are based on the same idea. I have no idea where the flight ability comes from, though.

I think the reason they went with the Tanooki Suit instead of regular Raccoon Mario is that recently, Mario's power-ups have been more visibly different than his normal form (e.g. Bee Mario, Penguin Mario). Raccoon Mario was always the form that looked the least different from Super Mario; Fire Mario gets a different color scheme, and Cape Mario has a bright yellow cape. Do we know for certain that Tanooki Mario won't be able to transform, or have they just not released any footage of him doing so?

Dave from canada said...

@ Alphonso

I think the reason they used the tanooki suit is that everyone who remembers how hard it was to get, and how easily it was lost.

Everyone had the Raccoon suit. Nintendo knows it is old hat. So they give us the really rare one as the normal suit.

And I get bob's reasons for liking it. I'm just pointing out that for a guy who spends a good deal of his time railing against people who like different games than him for only caring about how they look, he's incredibly easy to sway with graphics that appeal to him.

JMinor said...

I could not agree with you more about the whole Nathan Fillion thing. That was starting to get really annoying

As for the Dark Knight Rises, Heath Ledger's death and all the other surrounding stuff never really affected how much I enjoyed the Dark Knight so for me Rises has the potential to not be disappointing but I see how it might fail in the eyes of the general public. It's kind of sad.

Alphonso said...

@Dave from canada:
I think if it were a matter of replacing the normal power-up with the rare power-up, then we'd also be seeing Hammer Mario in lieu of Fire Mario, but you have a really good point. The Tanooki Suit was special because it was rare, and that ups the nostalgia appeal.

Regarding the aesthetics issue, I'm not sure you're accurately representing Bob's views. Of course I can't speak for him either, but my impression is that he isn't criticizing FPS fans for enjoying that aesthetic, he's criticizing FPS games for having that aesthetic. He does seem to lash out unwarrantedly at FPS fans, but I think the reasoning is more along the lines of "FPS fans contribute to the success of the FPS aesthetic" and less along the lines of "FPS fans are shallow because they only like FPS games for their aesthetic."

Chris Cesarano said...

This episode felt more like "MovieBob tells everyone why they're wrong about everything they want/love".

Not that I disagree with some of them.

@Darren:
At the end of the day though The Watchmen was still better :D

It's nice to know someone who agrees. I've had this debate frequently, and every time what it comes down to is The Dark Knight being amazing because of Heath Ledger. It makes me even more of an outcast as my first reaction when walking out of that film was "Man, Aaron Eckhart really stole that film".

Maybe it's because I've always had a soft spot for Two-Face, and his demise at the end of the film being one of the things that ruined it for me, but even though The Joker is an amusing villain, he's also a pretty two-dimensional one. What you see is what you get. Heath Ledger did an amazing job, and we really did lose him in his prime, but I just don't feel like his performance or character were enough to give that film the praise that it got, especially because everything else that was amazing has been ignored (such as Aaron Eckhart's excellent performance).

On the Tanooki Suit, it was already mentioned that the statue part was referenced as being part of Japanese legend/myth/folklore. Thankfully, Nintendo left out the massive friggin' testicles from the costume (even if they left them, they'd have to have been edited out from the American version).

The power of flight may come from a species of raccoon in Japan that can glide, though. Similar to the flying squirrel. That I'm not certain of, though. Still, there's basically cultural reasons for the abilities and powers.

I, for one, would prefer the Hammer Bros. suit more than anything. I don't know if it would really work in a 3D Mario game, at least not of their current design. I just loved being able to take the one enemy that drove me nuts the most and turn the tables on them with their own weapon.

And on Duke Nukem Forever, the only people I blame are 2K for not giving Gearbox another year to polish that shit up.

smile said...

Leisure Suit Larry wasn't 'pretending' to be a parody of a douche - the character actually was a parody of a co-worker that Al Lowe worked with at Sierra.

I don't know why he got thrown under the bus - wasn't Magna Cum Laude and Box Office Bust enough torture for that franchise?...

I agree with what you're saying though having been outcast from not finding Conker's Bad Fur Day all that funny many moons ago.