Ghostbusters videogame trailer

We feared it would never come to pass but finally after many troubles and tribulations the Ghostbusters videogame is a reality! Alleluyah!

We’ll probably never get another movie (At least not with the original cast, but this will just have to do, and nicely it does too by the looks of it!)

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WARNING FOREVER

WARNING FOREVER is a blazing fast freeware arcade game in which you go straight for the boss fights, with a sharp 180 second time limit. Bosses have multiple growth patterns and final shapes and adapt to your play style and tactics.

Play Warning Forever now!

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Overclocked On Caffeine v.1.1 2009-06-26 16:54:00


If there’s a single film out there that doesn’t deserve all of the hate it gets, it’s Alien 3. The film’s reputation precedes it to a highly unfair degree: ask anyone about it and there’s a It’s the poster child for executive meddling, with tales of lengthy reshoots, gaps in production (the entire film ground to a halt for over three months at one point) and more dogging it.

Following the events of the last film, Ripley awakes to find herself on a hellish all-male prison planet, the only survivor following the crash of her escape vessel. She believes at first that she’s lost everything, however it quickly becomes apparent that something else survived the crash.

Okay, lets get the obvious targets out the way: yes, it is complete bullshit that Hicks and Newt die in the first five minutes – off-camera, no less. This simple decision is what garners much of the hatred for the film, and rightly so. But, in the context of the film, it actually works. The idea is that the alien has taken everything from her in one way or another – her crewmates in the first, her daughter in the second, and in the third, her replacement family, Hicks, Newt and Bishop. She basically says as much in the film. This is supposed to be a tragedy, a complete 180 from battle-hardened Ripley, breaking in to alien-infested hives with a pulse rifle and flamethrower.

The cast all look the same? Yes, but that’s intentional. They’re on a prison planet. A highly religious one at that. That alone should clue you in to the themes of rebirth and sacrifice alone. But even beyond that, the idea is that the shaved heads are supposed to de-humanise the characters, further emphasising Ripley’s crusade against the xenomorphs. By the end, her single-minded extermination of the species isn’t too far removed from the Queen’s hatred for her in the last movie. Whether it’s intentional or not is up for debate, but it’s a nice counterpoint. As for the cast being utterly unlikeable, again, that’s kind of the point. Nice people don’t get sent to maximum security hellworlds (usually), and while they may not be as likeable, it’s perfectly arguable they were able to handle the Alien a whole lot better than the marines in the last film: nice bunch, but the Keystone Kops could’ve put up a better fight.

The film itself is a mess? Ah, now that’s a more difficult one. Practically from Day One, David Fincher seemed to be director in name only. He was inundated with executive orders, demands and missives. At one point, he was due to direct one of the key scenes of the film, only to be told he was not, under any circumstances, to film it in any way. Upon hearing this, he grabbed Weaver and a hand-held camera and shot it before anyone could stop him. That’s the kind of backstage fuckery he was encountering on a daily basis. By the end of shooting, he was so disgusted by the whole thing, he asked to have his name removed from the production, and has refused to comment on it ever since. All things considered, it’s a miracle the movie has any coherence at all.

The Assembly Print (as opposed to a Director’s Cut, due to the director basically telling Fox to fuck off) adds a lot back in to the finished product. Rather than the Alien being birthed from a dog, it comes, as originally intended, from an ox, making the creature’s comparative lack of intelligence far more understandable, oxen being possessed of considerably less animal cunning than a dog. Of the other added scenes, the two most important ones are right at the end: in the original cut, Ripley is told she could have the Queen implanted in herself removed, giving her back the life she always wanted. There’s a short pause before she continues on her course of action. In the AP, this pause is much, much longer. she actually seems like considering it, before continuing, making the moment much more ambiguous: the Last Temptation of Ripley. Pretty apt considering how she falls at the end. The other is at the very end, with Ripley’s closing report from the end of the original film being played over scenes of the prison being shut down. It adds a nice bookend to the trilogy, and adds a sense of finality and melancholy to the end. It’s a shame that the one change that didn’t need to be made was the removal of the moment of the Queen’s birth, as Ripley’s triumphant smile in the original was arguably one of the better moments of the film.

When you consider what the film could have been with the Assembly Print, and all that went wrong with it, it’s hard to be so critical of the original. If anything, it’s difficult to not be more sympathetic towards it. Alien 3 was, in part, trashed because it was a bastardised version of what it could’ve been, but also because it wasn’t a sequel to Aliens. People were expecting more gung-ho marines vs. xenomorphs, and when the film failed to deliver, they hated it. It was an attempt to return to the pacing and tension of the original, but events conspired against it. It’s not a bad film, and the Assembly Cut goes a long way to restoring much of what could, and most likely should have been. Even for all that went wrong with it, it’s still worth a revaluation. After all, it could easily have been worse.

Next Time: It Gets Worse

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Overclocked On Caffeine v.1.1 2009-06-26 07:12:00

New Megaten game on the DS (Devil Survivor – you see what they did there and you liked it, yes?) is good. A far cry from the other games released so far, unless you’re one of those freakish obsessives who have played every game in the series (hello!) and recall a largely forgotten/ignored sub-series called Majin Tensei. First things first, despite what you’ve probably heard, it is NOT like The World Ends With You: yes it’s set in and around Shinjuku, yes it features a ‘You must complete this task in X days or you die’ mechanic, but that’s about it. The battles are turn-based strategy RPG-style, there’s about 6 or 7 different paths/storylines/endings with different characters on each one and, sadly, the music really isn’t as good. I know, not much of a surprise considering the WEWY OST was phenominal (it could’ve been 30 remixes of Twister alone and I would’ve been happy) but even compared to the other games in the SMT series it’s not that interesting. I haven’t checked, but I’m pretty sure neither Shoji Meguro not Kazuma Kanneko were involved in this one. Well worth checking out though, especially since we’re in for another drought on the DS front. Unless you like Let’s Imagine Our Pet Baby Farm Boutique-type games, in which case… well, in which case you probably couldn’t care less anyway, since you’re too busy irritating everyone within earshot with the most irritating mutant baby noises imaginable. They’re called headphones, invest in a fucking pair!

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Overclocked On Caffeine v.1.1 2009-06-25 16:48:00

Lunar Legend Tsukihime

12 30-minute episodes

You think you’ve got problems? Try being Shiki Tonho for an afternoon. for one thing, he’s having to move back to the family estate after the death of his father, meeting his sister for the first time since they were kids. For another, there’s a series of strange murders going on after dark in the area. And for another, he’s just zoned out and awoken in a pile of a girl he doesn’t recall dismembering for some reason.

Yeah, I’d say he’s got you beat.

Y’see, Shiki is blessed with suck. He has what is known as the Mystic Eyes of Death Perception. Dumb name, I know, but hear me out. What this does is let him see lifelines as a physical presence. Everything has them – you, me, cats, dogs, chairs, running all over us like scribbles. By running his trusty knife along these lines, he can effectively ‘kill’ the object, no matter what it is. Still doesn’t sound too great? Try imagining what would happen if he tried doing it to a block of steel. Or a building. Or the Earth.

As the story opens, Shiki is trying to get accustomed to his new life with his almost needlessly strict sister and their two maids. While taking some time out at a nearby park, he spaces out as a young woman passes by. When next he wakes up, he discovers he’s sliced her to pieces and, unsurprisingly, freaks the fuck out. When there’s no news of any dismembered women on the TV, he heads back to make sure it wasn’t a dream. He’s a little surprised when he not only meets the woman again, but she then proceeds to tell him, in great detail no less, exactly how he carved her up into 17 neat pieces. It turns out the woman, Arcueid Brunestud – Arc for short – is a vampire, and was on the hunt for another before Shiki sidetracked her into little pieces. As penance, she asks him to help her, since there’s no way she’d be able to stand up to her quarry in her weakened state, and he is somewhat responsible for her current predicament. Feeling just a little guilty, Shiki agrees, and soon realises that absolutely no one around him is exactly what they seem.

Tsukihime is part of the larger Type-Moon universe. If the name sounds familiar, it’s probably because you’ve encountered it in the better-known Fate/Stay Night series, or the Melty Blood fighting games. Or at the very least, the phrase “A CAT IS FINE TOO‘ All of these take place in the same shared universe, though, Melty Blood aside, there’s very little crossover between them. Tsukihime was one of the first projects in this shared universe, and began life as a visual novel. The game, started as a simple piece of amateur work, quickly gained in popularity, becoming one of the most popular games of its kind, even compared to more professional commercial games. Japan being what it is, the game was swiftly snapped up and a manga and anime produced alongside it.

The original game is renown for two main reasons: first off, there’s the plot. Like all VNs, it features a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-style form of play, eventually branching off into one of two distinct storylines. The writing, however, is widely regarded as exceptional, with some of the best world-building and character-based moments seen in the genre. Unfortunately, it kinda goes a little downhill when you encounter the other thing the game is famous for: the sex scenes. Y’see, both Tsukihime and Fate/Stay Night feature several fully-illustrated and scripted sex scenes, and while, in fairness, they are integrated far better than in most other games (none of this ‘Oh, she’s unconscious, perhaps loosening her clothes will make her feel better’ nonsense here) the writing is, well, painful to read. There is an option to turn these scenes off, but the game will always have a sad reputation as a hentai game, turning a lot of people off.

Thankfully/unfortunately, none of this is in the show. I say thankfully, because the sex scenes are, as I said, hard to read. I say unfortunately because much of the character of the game is somewhat absent from the show. Don’t misunderstand, it’s still well worth your time, just that much of the sparkle from the original source material has been lost in the transition. For one thing, the designs aren’t as visually pleasing, somehow becoming a lot flatter. Sure, the original art was a little amateurish, but it had character. In ironing out the creases, they’ve ironed out the detail and it hurts just a little. As for the writing, that’s mainly the fault of it being an adaptation. You’re constantly shown tantalising glimpses of a bigger world with more depth just around the corner. Of course, being a linear show, they can’t even begin to cover any of it, and with only 12 episodes, even what they do cover is fairly glossed over, vitally important clues and details being given a vague allusion to before being ignored. The pace, on the other hand, I’ll cheerfully blame on the writers. After the first main story arc, the entire thing grinds to a halt. Compared to the game, which carried the momentum with its writing and dialogue, it’s horribly slow, and compared to the manga, which carries it by being more action-packed, it’s positively glacial.

What the series does do that’s interesting, is give the proceedings a strange dream-like atmosphere. The show floats along idly, and it made me wish they’d capitalised on some of the weirder moments from the game: the words ‘this chair is an eyesore’ spring rapidly to mind, as does Arc ‘rewarding’ Shiki with a visit from one of her minions.

Watching Tsukihime, if you’re at all familiar with the parent series is frustrating. Again, it’s not entirely the fault of the show itself, though the bland designs certainly don’t help. By itself, it’s a nice primer to the universe as a whole, and in tandem with the manga, a far less daunting excursion to the series than the game alone would be. As a show itself though, its disappointing. Nothing happens for long periods of time, and it doesn’t help that it keeps dropping hints at the bigger picture, making you wonder if you’ve just seen something significant or not. If you’re looking for a basic introduction to the Type-Moon universe – something I’d highly recommend, for what it’s worth – this is a decent place to start. If you’re looking to watch a solid show, on the other hand, check out Fate/Stay Night or Kara No Kyoukai.

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Overclocked On Caffeine v.1.1 2009-06-24 14:51:00

After having finally had the opportunity to play Clive Barker Presents: Clive Barker’s Jericho (By Clive Barker – obligatory link to the review I stole that joke from here) I have to say, it’s actually not all that bad. Granted, I’ve always had a soft spot for Clive Barker (Cabal, the book Nightbreed was based on was a favourite of mine as a kid, and the second Hellraiser movie is one of the finest horror films around, no ifs, buts or maybes) and I could devour any kind of horror-themed game the way Cthulhu devours player characters (1d4 per round if you don’t already know), so my opinion’s probably kinda biased. But I’m about a third of the way through and – shock horror – having fun! Okay, so some bits are needlessly obtuse, like the astral projection/making things explode parts you’re forced to do every so often. And the quicktime events happen in the middle of combat, with the markers being on the edge of the screen (rather than, say, blocking off easier paths – developers, use them to screw us out of goodies, not the last 20 minutes’ hard work!), but all in all, it’s really better than everyone else seems to think it is.

Kinda helps if you take the game a little less seriously than intended – not a problem when you bear some of the dreadful dialogue in mind (exactly how much input did Barker have beyond the basic storyline?). That, and one of the characters you can play as, Cole: a techy girl who can ‘hack’ reality? A fondness for explosive pyrotechnics? Sounds remarkably like Ty Lee? Have her boxed up and sent to my room, if you don’t mind.

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Overclocked On Caffeine v.1.1 2009-06-24 14:51:00

After having finally had the opportunity to play Clive Barker Presents: Clive Barker’s Jericho (By Clive Barker – obligatory link to the review I stole that joke from here) I have to say, it’s actually not all that bad. Granted, I’ve always had a soft spot for Clive Barker (Cabal, the book Nightbreed was based on was a favourite of mine as a kid, and the second Hellraiser movie is one of the finest horror films around, no ifs, buts or maybes) and I could devour any kind of horror-themed game the way Cthulhu devours player characters (1d4 per round if you don’t already know), so my opinion’s probably kinda biased. But I’m about a third of the way through and – shock horror – having fun! Okay, so some bits are needlessly obtuse, like the astral projection/making things explode parts you’re forced to do every so often. And the quicktime events happen in the middle of combat, with the markers being on the edge of the screen (rather than, say, blocking off easier paths – developers, use them to screw us out of goodies, not the last 20 minutes’ hard work!), but all in all, it’s really better than everyone else seems to think it is.

Kinda helps if you take the game a little less seriously than intended – not a problem when you bear some of the dreadful dialogue in mind (exactly how much input did Barker have beyond the basic storyline?). That, and one of the characters you can play as, Cole: a techy girl who can ‘hack’ reality? A fondness for explosive pyrotechnics? Sounds remarkably like Ty Lee? Have her boxed up and sent to my room, if you don’t mind.

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Overclocked On Caffeine v.1.1 2009-06-23 16:53:00



If the worth of a film can be measured in how much it’s managed to invade the public consciousness, Aliens would rank in the Top Three. If you’ve played virtually any game in the last 20 years, there’s a better then likely chance you’ve encountered at least one line or allusion to the film. It’s easily one of the most quotable films of all time. You all know it, you’ve all seen it, and if you hate it, it’s probably because you liked Alien better. So, in lieu of an actual review, since there’s no way I could write anything you don’t already know by heart about the film, 15 random facts about the first three movies that you (probably) never knew.

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  • The original head for the Alien in the first film utilised a real human skull in it’s creation
  • When Dan O’Bannon was asked why the crew don’t just shoot the alien on sight, he added the acidic blood, accidentally creating one of the most infamous features of the creature’s biology
  • The original script for Alien was… well… pretty bad. Also, kinda gay.
  • The lasers used in the egg chamber scene were actually on loan from The Who, who were testing them out next door
  • The original ending of Alien called for Ripley to die at the end, decapitated by the alien after sending her distress signal. It was vetoed as it would’ve been way too dark an ending
  • Aliens was one of the first films to be released in a Director’s Cut/extended edition. This was done partly to woo Weaver back to do a third film as she was unhappy with the original cut
  • There was, at one point, going to be a Saturday morning cartoon based on the second film known as Operation: Aliens. It didn’t get much further than toys, promotional material and an apparent opening title sequence, Why anyone thought this was a good idea is still, as yet, unknown. The toys, on the other hand, were suitably awesome
  • In a surprising turn of events, the 15-minute countdown at the end of Aliens does actually last a full 15 minutes
  • Both Lance Henriksen and Bill Paxton have the dubious honour of being killed by an Alien, a Predator and a Terminator
  • On a related note, Henriksen discussed the scene where he adds Hudson’s hand to the knife trick scene with everyone but Hudson’s actor, Bill Paxton. Much of his confusion and fear was actually real
  • The smooth motion of the power loaders was achieved by having a bodybuilder moving around inside the power loader shell in tandem with Weaver
  • The iconic pulse rifles are based around a Thomson machine gun – better known as a tommy gun – and a SPAS12 shotgun
  • Michael Biehn (Hicks) was so upset at the plot of the third movie, he refused to allow the producers to use his likeness for two scenes. Eventually, they paid him for the use of his image in one scene. He payout was allegedly more than he received for his stint in Aliens
  • Originally, when the ‘Bambi’ alien crawls out for the first time, they used a whippet covered in foam ‘alien bits’ to try and simulate a more organic alien/dog hybrid. It worked about as well as you can imagine
  • David Fincher was so angry with the interference he received during the filming of Alien 3, when Fox offered to let him recut the movie however he wished with absolutely no executive meddling for the Alien Quadrilogy DVD boxset, he outright refused. He was the only person asked to take part in the set who refused to do so

Next Time: The One Everyone Hates

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Overclocked On Caffeine v.1.1 2009-06-23 15:22:00

I call it Rule#72:





Anything set to Don’t Stop Me Now automatically becomes 346% awesomer. And, in certain cases, 72% funnier, and 112% wronger.

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Overclocked On Caffeine v.1.1 2009-06-22 16:48:00

A

It is the year 1979. Star Wars is already well on the way to becoming an unstoppable cultural juggernaut. Buck Rogers is having shiny spacesuited adventures in the discos of the 25th century. Star Trek is slowly but surely making a comeback, reminding us all that peace, tolerance and Orion Love Slaves are the keys to making the galaxy just that little bit better. Space and the future is, in every way, a bright and happy place to be.

Alien changed all that.

We all know the story by now. In an unspecified future, a crew of glorified space truckers on the return trip to earth are awoken from suspension by a signal coming from a nearby planet. Investigating, they encounter a colossal derelict spaceship of unknown origin that seems to have been there forever. As they enter the ship, one of the crew disturbs an egg pod and winds up with an alien parasite attached to his face.

Hilarity does not ensue.

It’s interesting to note that, before Alien, there weren’t many horror movies set in space. Sure there were plenty of films in the 50s that used aliens as their star monsters, but very few that were actually set out in the black, and even fewer that stand up today as solid films in their own right. But 30 years on, Alien is still as effective in its shocks as it ever was. The duct hunt is tense, the scene with Harry Dean Stanton searching for the cat is played wonderfully, set to the sound of falling water and chains, and the famous chestburster scene still retains its impact, even after a million billion parodies of the scene.

The future in this universe is a worn down one. While the Millennium Falcon had a warm, almost friendly decrepitude to it, there’s no way you could describe the Nostromo as ‘homely’. With its cold interiors and identical corridors, it’s almost a forerunner to the cyberpunk movement that would come in the following years. The Nostromo is a corporate vessel through and through, and it’s a nice touch that it almost subliminally reinforces the idea that no matter what, this is an unfriendly place to be.

And, of course, how could we forget the real star: over six feet of relentless death and merciless instinct. I am, of course, talking about Sigourney Weaver the Alien itself. Ascribe all the rape and Freudian metaphors you want, the alien is one of the most terrifying creatures ever to stalk the screen. The director, Ridley Scott, wisely chose not to show the full alien at any point, always hiding it in shadow or closeup, and it becomes all the more terrifying for it. Even with more recent films seemingly doing their damnedest to destroy the mystique of the beast, the original maintains an inhuman menace few other movie monsters have ever managed to achieve. H.R. Geiger has been repeatedly screwed over by Hollywood in the decades since, which is a shame, since the potential to see more monsters and landscapes based on his art would’ve been like mainlining pure nightmare fuel.

The Director’s Cut doesn’t add or alter as much, compared to the DCs of the other movies in the series. There’s a few extended scenes, a couple added, but more interesting is that some scenes have actually been trimmed or outright deleted. Granted, most of these are just people walking around, staring intently at things, that kind of nonsense. It’s a shame that the DC doesn’t add as much as I’d like, but maybe it’s a testament of sorts to the movie that it doesn’t really need it. Everything’s already there to begin with, padding it out any further is superfluous.

Alien is a classic, not just of the genre, but full stop. While the series would eventually take a slightly different turn into outright action over the years, the slow-burning tension is, without a doubt, the perfect introduction to the series, and as it stands alone, one of the best horror/thrillers ever made.

Next Time: That One Film Everyone Knows

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