It’s November 12, 2014, aka the day Christmas came early this year. How so? Well, because it’s also the day in which Classics Of Game finally posted an update after an 18+ month hiatus. Was getting kinda worried for a little while there!
Classics Of Game is yet another obsession that can be traced all the way back to my days at GameSetWatch; to recap, each video presents a few precious seconds of gameplay from something that’s either impossible to identify (which is no easy feat, given that virtually every artifact of gaming obscurity has been given the pat down by YouTube personalities at this point) or can be pinpointed, but is played in an equally odd fashion.
If anyone knows what the game above is, which looks to be an OutRun clone, but with some Scottish fellow on a bike, please let me know. Anyhow, here are a few other favorites of mine…
Two weeks ago today a legitimate turning point for both the medium of film and the future of virtual reality was released to the public at large: Zero Point by Condition One. Sadly, hardly anyone noticed. Though it’s also not surprising, given the only means in which one can absorb the movie, that being the Oculus Rift. Sure it’s the future of VR’s greatest hope, but at this stage of the game, it’s hardly a household staple.
Some may recall me discussing the film a short while ago, back when the trailer made its debut (which, alas, was met with a similarly lukewarm response as well). To recap: Zero Point is the brainchild of Danfung Dennis, who aside from being the its producer/director, as well as an Oscar nominated documentarian for his look at the war in Afghanistan, is also the Founder/CEO of Condition One. Simply put, Dennis and company first shot a number of scenes with a custom camera rig, one that can capture of a full 360 degrees’ worth of sound and visuals. Afterwards, again using custom editing tools, all the different angles are stitched together, to allow a true 360 experience via the Rift.
The film’s length is around 15 minutes, and is largely an extension of the aforementioned teaser. As I’ll explain in a bit, there’s not so much a story being told as it is a series of vignettes designed to flex Condition One’s muscles. Which is its ability to transport the viewer to another world… much like movies have done so already since its inception. But with a full 360 perspective, the effect is so much more. Again, it’s that “Holy sh*t, THIS is the future of everything” reaction you had when first trying the Rift with whatever demo, yet magnified tenfold. Because instead of computer generated people, places, and animals, it’s all real.
Granted, one can’t move around; you’re essentially stuck in a neutral position (aside from the one part in which the camera moves, and it’s out of your hands). But it’s closest thing we have to Star Trek’s holodeck, by far. One intriguing aspect is how everything old is new again, which again I’ll elaborate upon, but here’s a quick example: how many times have you watched a movie in which a character is addressing the camera, addressing you the viewer? No matter how alluring or titillating the person might be, no matter how up close and personal said individual is, there ultimately remains a level of detachment. Because you’re still looking through a viewfinder; you’re not really there.
Please excuse the spoiler, but at the end of the film, that’s exactly what happens: an attractive women walks up close, to share a friendly hello, and the sensation is absolutely unlike anything I’ve encountered before. It really did feel like she was talking to me. Yes, me. I had a genuine emotional response. Once more, it was the stuff of sci-fi novels and movies.
I got to chat with Dennis a second time, a week before Zero Point‘s release. In my first conversation. I mostly concentrated on the technical aspects, as well as what the reaction was among traditional filmmakers. As for round two…
Last night, while perusing the faves of those I follow on Instagram (which is where a good portion of my Game Culture Snapshots originates from; next installment’s coming up soon BTW), I encounterd something so awesome that it deserved investigating.
That being what you see above, which looks like a Sega Astro City (as previously noted, I think they’re pretty neat), but cut in half and shrunk down even further. It’s the brainchild of Robert S Dunn, the third Multi Game System he’s built thus far.
If you have a thing for Japanese game developers, especially those known for making shmups, along with tees that have an extremely low print run, then perhaps you know should maybe know about 1cc Shirts.
It works like this: at the beginning of every month a brand new design is unveiled and orders are accepted up until the 20th. Most thus far have been based upon gone yet not forgotten STG developers, like Toaplan, Raizing, Gazelle, Compile, and NMK.
13. Haunting Ground – PlayStation 2
12. Deathsmiles – Xbox 360 (or the arcade version, if available)
11. Mr. Bones – Sega Saturn
10. Mansion Of Hidden Souls – Sega CD (Saturn version is “better”, but far less charming)
09. Bloody Bride – PlayStation 1 (fan translation, obviously)
08. Demon’s Crest – Super Nintendo
07. Michigan: Report From Hell – PlayStation 2
06. Shoot The Bullet – PC (but only with an arcade stick)
05. The Zombie VS Ambulance – PlayStation 2
04. Enemy Zero – Sega Saturn
03. The Tairyou Jigoku – PlayStation 2
02. Typing of the Dead – Dreamcast (ideally with two players)
01. … is a three way tie:
Illbeed – Dreamcast
Paranoiascape – PlayStation 1
Harvester – PC (good luck trying to get it run properly in Windows 7!)
Honorable Mention (haven’t played it myself, might not actually be legit): Pokemon “Black Version” – Game Boy
Been waiting for the right opportunity to mention one of YouTube’s bet kept secrets. 1bit is either just another nickname for Johnny Rogers, who also goes by The New Jedi Order, and who also happens to be the CEO of JEDICOM, or is just some name he came up with at the top of his head when signing up for YouTube back in the day.
The above should hopefully appeal to those who enjoy a healthy dose of messed up NES sights and sounds, which I’m willing to wager is a significant portion of those who follow this blog. Though if you do a little digging, you may discover that Rogers is also way into the game Myst.
Here’s the theme to… not that game, but of a parody entitled Pyst. Which is sung by John Goodman, who actually makes an appearance. Not sure if the following is something that’s been cobbled together, or if Rogers is simply shining a spotlight on what was already there:
And here’s a play through of that game in its entirety for those morbidly curious. All that really needs to be said is that LOT of work went into such a thing, which is kinda amazing, among other things. BTW, Pyst isn’t the only parody of Myst out there that’s a full on game. Check Google if you don’t believe me.
Anyhow, Rogers also produces his own series of linking books, which is the primary object in Myst, out of old Disney storybooks…
He also has a Myst zine…
The world of video games continues to be ravaged by craziness, absurdity, and flat out ugliness these days. Which is why, alas, more than a few friends and colleagues are currently not in the best of spirits.
So maybe the above might help? At least those who can be aided by the soothing mystery that is autonomous sensory meridian response. It’s the latest and greatest by the doctor himself, Doc Future to be precise.