Sunday, March 21, 2010

I'm in ur Hyrule, Raidin' ur Tombs

Doing: Thinking about a dollar store walk
Listening: White Wizzard
Feeling: Like rocking out! YEEAH!

Many apologies for my lack of review last week. Post midterms, kinda blah. To make up for it, I'm doing a double review today!

To start off, I told my good friend that I was writing these spectator reviews and he demanded that I watch him play through the first Tomb Raider game, declaring it to be one of his favorite games of all time. So I spent the week of my spring break watching him get through half of Tomb Raider.
A few notes before I begin this review: I only watched through half of the game, and my friend insists that I watch through the entirety before doing a complete review. The other thing is that when I watched, I was watching somebody who practically has the game memorized. Now on with the rankings!

Graphics: These graphics are part of the early CG era, so I can't complain about the quality. At its time, Tomb Raider was very cutting-edge. Now its low res graphics and huge polygons have a nostalgic look about them. 4/5

Storyline/Cutscenes: As you know, I have only gotten though half of the game, so I cannot make an analysis of the entire story just yet. Once again, though, the cutscenes have a nostalgic quality. I adore the way that the cutscenes slowly reveal the storyline as you go along and genuinely keep you hanging for the next part. I am unable to score these just yet.

Soundtrack: I love, love, LOVE the way the music is used in this game. Essentially the levels are quite quiet, but then a musical phrase will play at certain points. For example, I adore the ambush theme. It's very pulse-racing. This game does not just have good music, though, but the sound effects have a very rythmic quality that is fun to improvise tunes to. 5/5

Variety: This game is a wonderful example for a varied game. Every level has a new and unique layout, the enemies always change, and the trap-laden passages keep you guessing around every turn! It's never boring! 5/5

So far, the game ranks as a 14/15. It's up to the story to give the final scoring.

And now for review number two. In my college, there is a small room called the Game Room. Here, all the nerds come and hang out while playing Yu-Gi-Oh, Brawl, Flight Sims, and other sorts of games. I come here when I don't have classes and have some wonderful conversations. One such conversation was on Game-Based movies and which games would make good movies.

Of course, the April Fool's Day Zelda trailer came up during the discussion. Of course, that pissed everybody off. But then I found out that college age nerds weren't the only angry ones- BMB Finishes, a small independent film company, was also frustrated by the fake trailer. So frustrated that they started work on their own Zelda film- The Hero of Time.
Well, I managed to get myself a copy of this film that only had a five theater run, and I watched with my friend (the Tomb Raider friend) last night. Since this is game-related, I thought I would share my thoughts on it. It's the same format as the Spectator review, only I changed a few things accordingly.

Special Effects: This was an indie film, so it did not have any super-awesome big budget special effects. The ones that they did have were a mixed bag. Some of them were really nice-looking, Din's fire, Volvagia and the Poe for example. While others, like the big octo and one beheading scene, looked really cheesy. Because of the inconsistency, 3/5.

Storyline: As with all game-based movies, do not expect an exact retelling. There are no Zoras, and the Gorons are changed to a tribe of mountain men. The most glaring inconsistency, though, was the Gerudo. They were all MEN! There were no females! That was the only one I didn't find excusable. Though I sound angry, the things that they do get right they do with stunning accuracy! For example, remember the scene in the game where Zelda introduces you to Ganondorf? It was SPOT-ON! Even the expression on the Ganondorf actor's face was amazingly accurate! It's this attention to minor detail that makes the differences in the storyline not matter as much. 4/5

Soundtrack: The music that was written for this movie is spectacular. It is beautifully majestic and truly captures the spirit of Hyrule. The thing I liked the best about the music, though, was the addition of little melodies from the video game. My personal favorite was when Link was leaving the Kokiri forest, and you could hear a slow, sad variation of Saria's song playing in the background. If they ever decide to make the soundtrack available for purchase, I want it! 5/5

Acting: The three main characters were played amazingly well, especially Ganondorf. I can't get over how perfect Ganondorf was- from the appearance to his voice and even little things like the way he entered a room. It was amazing! I mean, just look at him:The Link in the movie was an amazing reluctant hero, and the Zelda/Shiek portrayed her characer wonderfully. The supporting cast was varied in quality. My personal favorites were Impa, who played the stern guardian really well, and Darunia, a fat Asian guy who was only in the movie for about five minutes, but he really did a good job. Some of the actors, especially Ganondorf's main minion and the shopkeeper Honest Ivan, were a little hammy, but not bad. 4/5

Altogether the movie got a 16/20, or a B-. It's a wonderful movie with beautiful scenery and an impeccable eye for detail, but do not go in expecting a perfect retelling.
UPDATE: I just recently found out that the Hero of Time is not available on DVD, thanks to Nintendo forcing BMB to stop showing the movie. You can, however, get it through torrenting. In fact, that's the only way to get it. So feel free to download the movie to your heart's content!

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