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Live Blogs Let's Watch: Select Episodes of Cinematech (The Original Series)
BearyScary2014-10-07 22:00:34

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Cinematech Episode 269: “The One Where That Thing Happens”

What is “that thing”? Let us see if we can find out.

The ep starts off with a CG cutscene from Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, known in Japan as Fire Emblem: Path of the Blue Flame (arguably an even cooler title, YMMV), the only installment of the Fire Emblem series on the Nintendo GameCube. The scene shows blue-haired hero Ike training with practice swords with an older man, Greil, the leader of the Greil Mercenaries, of whom Ike is also a member. Try as he might, the strapping Ike is unable to best the even more strapping Greil, who lays him out. Ike's little sister, Mist, sees Ike on the ground and runs to his side. Then, they transition into showing some clips of the series' signature turn-based gameplay.

The CG cutscenes are cel-shaded and actually feature (gasp, shock) voice acting, a rarity for Nintendo even today.

As I've said before, me and Fire Emblem: Awakening are totes besties, but I didn't get interested in the series until Awakening came out with its strong marketing campaign and incredibly positive reviews from the likes of ProJared. So now, I have to confess that, until Awakening came out, I did not understand what the series was about. I did not understand that it had elements like Final Deaths for your characters, support systems between characters, the weapon triangle (basically, swords → axes → lances → and so on), Optional Party Members, and the ability to promote characters into new classes once their level got high enough, so the series did not appeal to me. Unable to see the differences between it and other tactical RPGs, I thought it looked dull, and so, I missed out on the FE games that Nintendo released in the wake of featuring the legendary Hero-King Marth in Super Smash Bros. Melee, and I regret it a lot, because now, I have an interest in the earlier games in the series. But those older games, including Path of Radiance and its Wii sequel, Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, have shot up in price considerably. Not to the insane levels of, say, Xenoblade Chronicles on the Wii (which I also missed out on, due to not bothering to look into it), but you will probably pay more than their original $50 price for them through an online retailer like Amazon. I'm disappointed in my younger self, is what I'm saying.

On a happier note, Awakening was so successful that it single-handedly brought the series back from the brink of oblivion. More FE characters are in Super Smash Bros. 4 than ever before: Marth, Ike, and from Awakening, Lucina, Robin/The Avatar (male or female), and Chrom in a Chrom-eo cameo in Luci and Robin's Final Smashes and in Robin's victory pose. I look forward to seeing future FE games, and this time, I won't let them slip through my grasp so easily, and I would love to have the opportunity to add the older games to my collection someday. Safe to say, however, that whichever way the next FE turns out, there will be a character with blue hair in it.

Maybe it would be neat if there was an FE fighting game, sort of like Persona 4: Arena, but it is difficult to imagine the developers making the characters distinct enough from each other.

Timecode: 1:54: An old Jaws game on the NES by infamous developer LJN. These clips feature a suspiciously similar version of the iconic score from the film. This game is probably not as crazy as the later Jaws Unleashed, which, unlike this one, lets you play as the giant killer shark from the films in a strange game where you complete goals as Jaws, like getting key cards. In an example of cosmic irony, Appaloosa, the company that developed JU also made Ecco the Dolphin games.

Perhaps a decent Jaws game could be done, if it was more of a free-roaming game where you had to complete goals on a large, open ocean or beach. But I can't see that game staying fresh and interesting for very long. Maybe if it was a cheapo downloadable game.

Talking about Jaws gives me an excuse to quote a review from Arnold Furious of Jaws: The Revenge, which can be found on our Film subpage:

The plot is that the shark (yanno, the one that Chief Brody killed in Jaws) now has a hatred of the Brody family and wants to kill them all as revenge for Brody's actions in Jaws. Yanno, the shark that's dead. That shark. That shark that's dead, wants revenge.

2:25: A clip from Twisted Metal: Black on the PS2, developed by Incognito Entertainment. It is a CG clip that serves as the introduction to serial killer Sweet Tooth's backstory and motivations in the game. In TM: B, all of the characters were patients at Blackfield Asylum, until a guy with a mutilated face named Calypso came to offer them a spot in his Twisted Metal tournament. Whoever won the tournament would get their greatest wish granted. For Sweet Tooth, that was the removal of a curse from a priest that kept his head ablaze.

It may sound ridiculous, but the game was very disturbing with its portrayal of evil, destructive, and/or mentally ill characters. It also had some pretty good and gritty voice acting. The characters'... putting it gently... issues were palpable. The game had the Rolling Stones' “Paint It Black” as an ending theme, and it earned it. The game brought the series back after the series started a downhill slide with Twisted Metal III and 4. Yes, it was another one of those series that switched between Arabic and Roman numerals. Why do series do that?

11:25: A short clip from Dragon Ball Z Budokai (PS2) that shows one of Nappa's victory animations, where he says, “Don't underestimate Nappa!” Try telling your partner, Vegeta, that. Betrayal is fun!

In one of the DBZ games, Budokai Tenkaichi 3, there is a little Easter Egg which has Nappa speculating on what his theoretical Super Saiyin form would be like. He wonders if his goatee would grow. Some of the other DBZ games had characters in the menus spout some amusing dialog, such as Vegeta in the two-player mode menu. If you highlighted the AI versus AI option, he would snark, "Wow, sounds like fun."

Linkies: The Revenge

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