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Narita Boy: much more than retro in the current video game catalog

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Under the banner of the retro and the low-budget independent, as if it were a blanket, a large number of titles are hidden that do not always contribute to the video game catalog what they should contribute. Titles that are a simple exercise in control of development tools, shameless clones of the latest fashion game and works obsessed with returning us to the 80s with a wink and a forced tribute, sometimes overshadow the good work of some studios that continue to play bass budget the indie is worth it.

The importance of retro

About to turn 60 years after the launch of Spacewar! And with more than half a century of development behind it, the video game industry has reached that age in which it cares about its beginnings, venerates its ancestors and seeks that something else that gives meaning to its existence. At the height of photorealism, HDR, 4K, and ray tracing, retro hits harder than ever. We are no longer talking about small communities of former video store clerks with their members confronted by who has lived the longest in front of the CRT, but about a real concern for the past. An intention to preserve the legacy and keep it alive through new titles that do not leave behind tools and codes that today are far from being obsolete despite their age.

While one development sector continues to program for the platforms and computers of the 70-80s, others are working to bring its essence to the machines and computers of 2021, keeping the spirit of an entire generation of gamers and creatives alive. Retro is still more alive today than ever, and with a good marketing campaign, you can go head-to-head with titles with a higher budget, graphic power and brilliance. This makes the publication of low-budget video games tempting for large companies, which have been supporting, creating and distributing these types of titles for some years now or even helping them to be born with projects such as PS Talents or ID @ Xbox.

Retro beyond the game of fashion, nostalgia and Ready Player One

Sadly, this revival of the classic video game isn’t always as positive as it sounds. Where there was a field of pure creativity willing to inspire the great developers by changing the rules of the game, now clones swarm, titles that drink from the fashion game and sets of winks and tributes to the 80s that try to drink from nostalgia, ignoring At a stroke the almost 60 years that have passed since Spacewar!

As a bald gamer over 40 I enjoy nostalgia like any other old man, but retro works, and makes it luxurious, when your previous experience is not needed to know how to convey its message. It’s relatively easy to get any gamer in their thirties excited. Remember the loading times, the feeling of loading a cassette for the first time, the flashes on the screen, visiting the video store on Fridays for a VHS movie and a pack of popcorn … or the afternoons cutting codes copied from a foreign magazine. that made you feel like the protagonist of War Games before the word hacker existed.

The difficult thing is to achieve all this in someone who has not lived that long. Being able to tell your story and transmit feelings of a whole generation to a younger user, get them to share your experience and understand what motivates you when designing your game. That’s what Narita Boy magically does from a made-up world that could very well be signed by William Gibson. Create a digital universe with a retro mechanical look and give it all the traits of a generation without falling into the easy trap of the Ready Player One tribute wink for the audience to applaud and wipe a tear of emotion with the corner of the handkerchief.

What Narita Boy does so well

Any veteran gamer who ever lived glued to a CRT with a Nocilla sandwich before Nutella ate the market can speak of Narita Boy in terms of the past. I could write rivers of digital ink mentioning that combat that brings me back to the fierceness and cruelty of Nemesis: The Warlock, the hands that emerge from the game like Bruce Lee’s bushes from Data Soft, the elevator scene and the joke behind the music. , or in a way of exploration that reminds me of Clive Townsend’s Saboteur. And don’t make me talk about that scenario that sometimes reminds me of Dennis Caswell’s Impossible Mission, and other times it makes me feel at the keyboard in front of the diabolical Camelot Warrior of Víctor Ruiz and Florentino Pertejo, with whom it resembles that. it shares not only pose and epicity, but also that double reality that makes it so appealing.

However, what makes Narita Boy so good is not that he drinks from the past, but that he manages to convey that feeling of the past without having to have played any of the titles I have mentioned and that they do not have to be those. which inspired Studio Koba to create their game. Narita Boy traces a story full of melancholy and beauty that reaches the heart regardless of the age of the player. An odyssey that draws on a whole shared symbology of a work of his own creation that makes it self-explanatory and manages to pull off that nostalgic smile even from the newcomer player.

The golden age of Spanish development

As a veteran, Narita Boy knows me to the golden age of Spanish development, to Opera Soft and Dinamic, to a VHS movie and white sneakers. But behind this there is a very well designed game with a very fine approach capable of conquering any user on its own merits. Its level design, its progression system measured to the millimeter and its way of facing the player give it a quality that goes far beyond what I am used to perceiving in a game of these characteristics. Narita Boy is not the umpteenth attempt at low budget Dark Souls nor does he want to be rogue, he flees from the metroidvania and does not invite you to create a deck to fight. It does not invent absurd mechanics on which to bear the full weight of the game until you are fed up, nor does it create ingenious puzzles or try to show you that videogames are art.

Far from it, Narita Boy is a title that feels unique because it avoids falling into the typical traps of low-budget retro indie. The work of Studio Koba is a tremendously personal title, beautiful, nostalgic and with its own gameplay that does not dislike the evolution of these almost 60 years that have passed since the birth of Spacewar. The story and how it is told through all the tools of the developer at hand come together with impressive art direction work and a very successful soundtrack to result in something that you should play yes or yes. Once again we are faced with a game that could inspire the development of large companies. And it had been a long time since I felt this way.

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How “Psycho” (and the fear of spoilers) changed the way movie theaters forever

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Much has been written about the impact of Psychosis, one of the most forceful works of the teacher Alfred Hitchcock and it is impossible to deny the actuality of the film in modern cinema. It has influenced filmmakers of all generations and has generated sequels, imitations and, of course, the fear of the shower and motels of those who experienced this mass phenomenon in 1960. But with his work, Hichcock not only impacted with what appeared on the screen. , but how did you decide change audience habits at the time. Or rather, how he ended the mania of being late to the movies when the movie had already started.

To understand the phenomenon, you have to know that at that time people entered the screenings when they wanted, it did not matter if the film was started. The patterns of this ritual were summed up in a once common motto that is now unknown to moviegoers of a certain age: “This is where we come in.” Throughout the classic Hollywood era, viewers flocked to a movie screening whenever they felt like it, paying no attention to the progress of the narrative. What they were doing was basically going to the middle of the movie and watching it through to the end, watching the previous newscast, the animated / comedy short that aired at the beginning, and starting the movie where they came from.

At that moment, the spectator whispered to his partner: “This is where we come in”, and then they left the room. It’s hard to believe, but it did. Until Hitchcock came along.

Some moviegoers were spellbound and immersed in the movie more than once. Although fans were already counting on the ticket price being an open access pass, many exhibitors (who wanted crowd control) and filmmakers (who wanted a captive audience from opening credits to finish) disapproved. . The directors hated that viewers barged in and they will break, or never experience, the spell and magic of the movie. Cecil B. DeMille was especially bothered by the fact that viewers, and not himself, were deciding how to experience his films.

In 1950, Twentieth Century-Fox producer Darryl F. Zanuck and director Joseph L. Mankiewicz realized how difficult it was to turn the clock on American viewers. Knowing that they had something special in their hands, they asked the exhibitors of the big cinemas that they wanted to reserve Naked eva to sign a contract that “no customer should be seated after the movie starts” and “at the end of each performance, the theater must be clear.” Since the beginning of this movie is the end, it would spoil any audience’s enjoyment not to see it from the beginning, it was clear.

But after just four days, Fox dropped the proposal. Why? Many cinemas generally attracted large numbers of pedestrians wowed by the lobby displays. Impulsive moviegoers simply they refused to wait for the next pass and they went to the nearby cinemas, which kindly let them in.

And then Hitchcock came along

It was the terrifying event of the year. 1960. Families, couples, friends, all filled the rooms, screaming and throwing themselves into each other’s arms. But this time it was going to be different. Hitchcock and the production team of Psychosis made a marketing effort (trailer and posters included) so that exhibitors they close their doors to late-arriving spectators. “No one … BUT NO ONE … will be admitted to the theater after the start of each performance of PSYCHOSIS“He read the posters, which showed Hitchcock himself pointing to his watch as if warning students not to be late for class. Of the many “firsts” films attributed to Psychosis, the change in habits was surprising.

The idea was actually from Jerry Pickman, Paramount’s vice president of advertising, who I wanted to “protect the twist and end of the story” and create the best atmosphere for Hitchcock to scare people. “The enjoyment of the movie would be diminished unless the customers saw it from the beginning,” Pickman said. Hitchcock, who was always his best publicity accomplice, followed his colleague’s plan. “I realize this is a revolutionary concept, but we have found that Psychosis it’s different from most movies. It does not improve when it is seen in another way ”, explained the director.

If you know the movie, then you know the whole plot revolves around the twist where Marion Crane is murdered at the end of the first act, and the entire movie leads to her sister and her partner looking for her at the Bates Motel. This twist leads to the even more shocking revelation that Norman Bates dresses as his mother and is the one who is killing. And of course, if you went to the movies in the middle or at the end, you would have spoiled everything.

On June 16, 1960, after an exhaustive campaign, the DeMille and Baronet theaters in New York premiered Psychosis with the edict to see her from the beginning. Exhibitors pushed audiences in and out with military efficiency (staggered schedules, every two hours for the 109-minute film). Once Alfred Hitchcock lined them up, audiences knew that the middle of the movie was no longer the place to go. Sixty years after Psycho, the guards no longer had to block the movie theaters. And today, no one in their right mind would walk into a movie theater in the middle of a screening.

A pioneer against spoilers

But that’s not all, Hitchcock was also a pioneer in spoiler prevention. A few years ago, with the premiere of Avengers Endgame, the directors of the film, the Russo brothers released an official statement: “When you see Endgame In the next few weeks, don’t spoil it for others, in the same way that you wouldn’t want them spoil it for you. Remember, Thanos still demands your silence. Marvel even went ahead and bought an emoji for the hashtag #DontSpoilTheEndgame.

But this has happened long before, at the hands of the same man who demanded to get to the movies soon. Alfred Hitchcock went out of his way to make sure everyone who saw him Psychosis they were aware that spoiling the movie for the rest was foolish. And what did you do about it? It introduced an anti-spoiler message directly into the marketing. “If you can’t keep a secret, stay away from people after seeing Psychosis“It was one of the mottos of the movie. Here you can see one of the advertising posters:

The director revolutionized film marketing with that horror play, and his efforts, of course, paid off, as the film was a huge success for Paramount. The stunts turned the thriller into an event theater, but more importantly, a director could be seen working overtime to protect the sanctity of the cinematic experience. And 61 years later, with movie spoilers rampant on the internet, Hitchcock’s pioneering efforts in 1960 can be seen today. Nobody wants to ruin the movie.

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“There is no kink like Luke, I am your father.” ‘Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ director claims Tony Leung plays an original villain

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‘Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ opens in a few months and, to this day, we had seen practically nothing. Wonderful He has taken advantage of the birthday of the main actor, Simu Liu, to surprise us all with the release of the long-awaited trailer. A cash advance that promises plenty of action, humor, excitement … and a great claim to a wacky Asian cinema as a server: the entry of Tony Leung in the Marvel Universe.

The real Mandarin?

A regular contributor to filmmaker Wong Kar-wai, Leung is portrayed as the hero’s father and also as a new wonder villain, leaving a first clue about the biggest conflict that Shang Chi will have ahead. Leung brings to life a character named Wenwu, a powerful warrior who has adopted many names over time, being also known as “The Mandarin”.

Recall that the Mandarin already jumped from cartoons to the big screen in ‘Iron Man 3’ (2013), causing a strong controversy among comic fans for the freedoms taken by those responsible for the film. Thanks to Ben kingsley Y Guy pearceMarvel and Shane Black created a huge surprise that divided the public. Now it seems that another version of Mandarin is coming to us, perhaps more faithful to the comics but it is still not so clear …

Or at least, they still don’t want to present it that way. Which is fine because the movie opens in September 3 And there’s no point in gutting it all now Destin Daniel Cretton, director of “Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”, Wenwu is an original character created for the film although, effectively, it is linked to the mysterious terrorist organization of the Ten Rings, already presented in the first ‘Iron Man’ (2008).

“Wenwu could easily have been a heartless one-dimensional villain. Tony opened up this character to be an antagonist who has a profound ability to love.Cretton declares. Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige adds that they haven’t looked for a “twist like” Luke, I’m your father “. Shang-Chi knows who his father is and is determined to leave that world behind before he is dragged back. “

It is funny how Marvel returns to quote ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ although this time to discard the reference; the Russo brothers acknowledged seeing the classic “Star Wars” to orchestrate the devastating ending of “Avengers: Infinity War.” Whether or not he is the true Mandarin, it is unquestionable that Marvel has succeeded in signing Tony Leung, I am looking forward to seeing what he does with the character.

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‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’: Impressive trailer for the debut of an Asian Marvel superhero

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Wonderful It has been asked at the beginning of the promotional campaign of ‘Shang-Chi and the legend of the ten rings’, the first film of the study starring an Asian superhero -Chinese to be more exact-, but now we can finally take a look in the trailer and poster of this film directed by Destin Cretton, responsible for titles such as “The Crystal Castle” or “A Question of Justice”.

A long-term project

Created by Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin In 1973, to try to take advantage of the popularity of kung fu, Stan Lee himself tried to make his leap to the big screen in the 80s with Brandon Lee as the protagonist, but it did not take off until recently with Simon Liu in the lead role.

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The story of ‘Shang-Chi and the legend of the ten rings’ will begin in San Francisco following a seemingly normal person but without a fixed course in life. Of course, his past is much less ordinary, as he was trained by his father to succeed him in his criminal affairs, but upon discovering it, his son decides to follow a different path.

His father’s character has been created specifically for the film and will be played by Tony leung. Of course, be very careful with him, because from Marvel they already warn that he has received different names over the years and you may know that of The Mandarin, one of the most mythical villains of the company and whose name had already appeared previously. in the MCU….

Along with Liu and Leung we will also see in ‘Shang-Chi and the legend of the ten rings’ Awkwafina, Michelle Yeoh, Fala Chen, Florian Munteanu and Ronny Chieng. The September 3 We can check the result, since that is the date chosen by Marvel to release one of the most anticipated films of 2021.

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