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Posted by patrickklepek (4926 posts) -

If you tuned into the first episode of Spookin’ With Scoops last night, where I played some Penumbra: Black Plague in the dark of night, you realized why we have Vinny and Drew around. Getting a proper livestream up and running is, no surprise, a rather herculean task.

Besides taking in more horror flicks (scroll to the bottom for an update on Shocktober 2012), the weekend will be spent understanding XCOM. I’ve made it through most of the tutorial, and even losing someone in a scenario without consequences stressed me the hell out. Seeing how Ryan has been losing his mind over the last mission hasn’t helped matters, and it’s all strung together by my disdain for strategy games because I’m terrible at them.

The last one I really gave a shot was...Final Fantasy Tactics? Advance Wars? The latter actually hooked me for a little while, but I could never hang in multiplayer, so eventually the well ran dry. The promise of XCOM is being able to introduce a deeply complex strategy game in a deceptively simple manner, a promise the tutorial has so far made good on. Yeah, I’m stressed out, but at least it’s stress with an understanding of all my options.

I’ll still keep a vomit bucket nearby, though.

Hey, You Should Play This

The big winner at IndieCade this year was Paolo Pedercini’s Unmanned. You might remember Pedercini for his work on Phone Story, a commentary about the realities of manufacturing the world’s most popular smartphone that was quickly booted out of Apple’s App Store. He’s followed Phone Story up with an equally weighty piece, one that bears playing and considering, given it’s an election year. Unmanned follows the daily routine of our anonymous drone operators, men and women who are quickly becoming the front line of a newer, safer, ethically questionable form of warfare. As a companion piece, I’d recommend reading a recent New York Times’ feature on drone operators.

Guitar Hero and Rock Band resonated with me because it provided a window into a world that I’ll never know. I don’t have the time, patience or talent to go beyond a few chord strums, but games can provide an opportunity to have have a taste of what it’s like to truly understand the music you know and love. January, from Fez composer Rich Vreeland, abstracts this idea out, and plays with procedurally generated music represented by snowflakes. Everything you’re making sounds beautiful, even if you’re not doing anything more than simply moving left to right.

And You Should Read This, Too

Windows 8 drops in a few weeks, and I haven’t heard people saying many good things about it. I’ve dismissed criticism about Microsoft’s upcoming internal marketplace, figuring it’ll end up an option for some people that wouldn’t otherwise have bought those games anyway, and everyone wins. Steam still exists, Good Old Games still exists. That said, let’s entertain the argument that it proves incredibly popular, and most users start purchasing through Microsoft’s storefront. That’s where software engineer Casey Muratori’s scathing critique comes into play, especially when pointing out how the ratings come into play. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is PEGI-18 in Europe, but Windows 8 won't accept a game above PEGI-16. It's rated Mature by the ESRB here, however, which is accepted. This type of confusion could prove even more frustrating if Microsoft's approach catches on with consumers.

If You Click It, It Will Play

I Don’t Know About This Kickstarter Thing, But These Projects Seem Pretty Cool

  • Mindblown Life supposes we don't have separate education from entertainment, even in our mobile games.
  • Some people need a little extra help. This programming book for ADD students should be applauded.
  • iBeg seems to make some light of the serious problem that is homelessness, but awareness is important.

Valve Just Launched Greenlight, So Here’s Some Games That Don’t Look Terrible

  • Cloudbuilt seems to bring the joy of fast, rapid 2D movement into a big 3D space.
  • Modeling software GroBoto is probably one of many non-game pitches we're going to see.
  • If today's fancy graphics are too much for you, maybe consider Enter Thy Name.

Oh, And This Other Stuff

Here's Your Official Lineup for Shocktober 2012

Every year, my wife and I try to cram in roughly 31 movies throughout October. We usually only end up making it through 20 or so, but the goal is 30, and it's fun to aspire in celebration of The Greatest Holiday. I've seen everything, which is why some stuff on here is pretty obscure. I try to strike a balance between oldies that I've either forgotten (The Shining) or somehow missed out on (The Lady in White), while also exploring the best of what other countries have to offer. I've noticed that the UK and Spain have been churning out the best horror the past few years, including Them and [rec]. If you want, here's last year's list, complete with trailers. I'll do something similar for this list soon.

Also, as with most years, other new stuff came up, resulting in an audible some nights. Those are at the bottom.

This list is not in any viewing order. Enjoy as you see fit!

  1. The Children (2008) - Doesn't reinvent the wheel of kids slaughtering adults, but it's better than the endless series of Children of the Corn movies that keep coming out, and the kills are pretty brutal. In short, don't trust kids.
  2. Pontypool - I don't want to spoil the movie's narrative underpinning, but what if a disease could intelligently adapt? Pontypool doesn't budge far from the room it starts in, which works to its advantage. Movies that choose to hole characters up in a single location and exploit that are pretty interesting. In Pontypool, it's a radio studio.
  3. Kill List
  4. The Loved Ones
  5. Angel Heart
  6. Videodrome
  7. Quarantine 2 - There's no reason Quarantine 2 should be any good, especially since Quarantine was boring and uninspired remake of the remarkable [rec], but it has a better acting and more suspense than you'd expect.
  8. Behind the Mask: The Rise of Lesile Vernon
  9. The Monster Squad
  10. The Shining
  11. Event Horizon
  12. Cabin in the Woods
  13. The Squad
  14. Tokyo Gore Police
  15. Cemetery Man
  16. The Killer Condom
  17. Human Centipede 2
  18. Pet Sematary
  19. Woman
  20. The Lady in White
  21. Mother's Day
  22. Who Can Kill a Child?
  23. Father's Day
  24. Beyond the Black Rainbow
  25. Grave Encounters - If you don't care for found footage movies, Grave Encounters won't change your mind, but if you're bothered by how found footage never shows anything, Grave Encounters is the opposite. I dug it.
  26. Lake Placid
  27. Frontiers
  28. Dead Heat
  29. Pandorum - This one came on Vinny's recommendation. Yes, the trailer looks awful, but Pandorum takes a reliable premise of saving Earth by looking for a new planet to colonize, and has a series of really fun twists. The creatures are boring, the camera hits fast forward too often, but Pandorum is the definition of dumb fun.
  30. Paranormal Activity 4
  31. Sinister
  32. The Tall Man - I didn't know Pascal Laugier's latest movie had secretly come out on demand, and now I know why I hadn't heard anything: it's terrible. Martyrs is a masterful work of mindfucking. The Tall Man is boring.
  33. [rec] 3 - The first two [rec] movies are some of the scariest flicks to come out of Europe the past few years, but [rec] 3 ditches the found footage conceit and reveals what is seemingly an amateur filmmaker at best.
Staff
#1 Posted by patrickklepek (4926 posts) -

If you tuned into the first episode of Spookin’ With Scoops last night, where I played some Penumbra: Black Plague in the dark of night, you realized why we have Vinny and Drew around. Getting a proper livestream up and running is, no surprise, a rather herculean task.

Besides taking in more horror flicks (scroll to the bottom for an update on Shocktober 2012), the weekend will be spent understanding XCOM. I’ve made it through most of the tutorial, and even losing someone in a scenario without consequences stressed me the hell out. Seeing how Ryan has been losing his mind over the last mission hasn’t helped matters, and it’s all strung together by my disdain for strategy games because I’m terrible at them.

The last one I really gave a shot was...Final Fantasy Tactics? Advance Wars? The latter actually hooked me for a little while, but I could never hang in multiplayer, so eventually the well ran dry. The promise of XCOM is being able to introduce a deeply complex strategy game in a deceptively simple manner, a promise the tutorial has so far made good on. Yeah, I’m stressed out, but at least it’s stress with an understanding of all my options.

I’ll still keep a vomit bucket nearby, though.

Hey, You Should Play This

The big winner at IndieCade this year was Paolo Pedercini’s Unmanned. You might remember Pedercini for his work on Phone Story, a commentary about the realities of manufacturing the world’s most popular smartphone that was quickly booted out of Apple’s App Store. He’s followed Phone Story up with an equally weighty piece, one that bears playing and considering, given it’s an election year. Unmanned follows the daily routine of our anonymous drone operators, men and women who are quickly becoming the front line of a newer, safer, ethically questionable form of warfare. As a companion piece, I’d recommend reading a recent New York Times’ feature on drone operators.

Guitar Hero and Rock Band resonated with me because it provided a window into a world that I’ll never know. I don’t have the time, patience or talent to go beyond a few chord strums, but games can provide an opportunity to have have a taste of what it’s like to truly understand the music you know and love. January, from Fez composer Rich Vreeland, abstracts this idea out, and plays with procedurally generated music represented by snowflakes. Everything you’re making sounds beautiful, even if you’re not doing anything more than simply moving left to right.

And You Should Read This, Too

Windows 8 drops in a few weeks, and I haven’t heard people saying many good things about it. I’ve dismissed criticism about Microsoft’s upcoming internal marketplace, figuring it’ll end up an option for some people that wouldn’t otherwise have bought those games anyway, and everyone wins. Steam still exists, Good Old Games still exists. That said, let’s entertain the argument that it proves incredibly popular, and most users start purchasing through Microsoft’s storefront. That’s where software engineer Casey Muratori’s scathing critique comes into play, especially when pointing out how the ratings come into play. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is PEGI-18 in Europe, but Windows 8 won't accept a game above PEGI-16. It's rated Mature by the ESRB here, however, which is accepted. This type of confusion could prove even more frustrating if Microsoft's approach catches on with consumers.

If You Click It, It Will Play

I Don’t Know About This Kickstarter Thing, But These Projects Seem Pretty Cool

  • Mindblown Life supposes we don't have separate education from entertainment, even in our mobile games.
  • Some people need a little extra help. This programming book for ADD students should be applauded.
  • iBeg seems to make some light of the serious problem that is homelessness, but awareness is important.

Valve Just Launched Greenlight, So Here’s Some Games That Don’t Look Terrible

  • Cloudbuilt seems to bring the joy of fast, rapid 2D movement into a big 3D space.
  • Modeling software GroBoto is probably one of many non-game pitches we're going to see.
  • If today's fancy graphics are too much for you, maybe consider Enter Thy Name.

Oh, And This Other Stuff

Here's Your Official Lineup for Shocktober 2012

Every year, my wife and I try to cram in roughly 31 movies throughout October. We usually only end up making it through 20 or so, but the goal is 30, and it's fun to aspire in celebration of The Greatest Holiday. I've seen everything, which is why some stuff on here is pretty obscure. I try to strike a balance between oldies that I've either forgotten (The Shining) or somehow missed out on (The Lady in White), while also exploring the best of what other countries have to offer. I've noticed that the UK and Spain have been churning out the best horror the past few years, including Them and [rec]. If you want, here's last year's list, complete with trailers. I'll do something similar for this list soon.

Also, as with most years, other new stuff came up, resulting in an audible some nights. Those are at the bottom.

This list is not in any viewing order. Enjoy as you see fit!

  1. The Children (2008) - Doesn't reinvent the wheel of kids slaughtering adults, but it's better than the endless series of Children of the Corn movies that keep coming out, and the kills are pretty brutal. In short, don't trust kids.
  2. Pontypool - I don't want to spoil the movie's narrative underpinning, but what if a disease could intelligently adapt? Pontypool doesn't budge far from the room it starts in, which works to its advantage. Movies that choose to hole characters up in a single location and exploit that are pretty interesting. In Pontypool, it's a radio studio.
  3. Kill List
  4. The Loved Ones
  5. Angel Heart
  6. Videodrome
  7. Quarantine 2 - There's no reason Quarantine 2 should be any good, especially since Quarantine was boring and uninspired remake of the remarkable [rec], but it has a better acting and more suspense than you'd expect.
  8. Behind the Mask: The Rise of Lesile Vernon
  9. The Monster Squad
  10. The Shining
  11. Event Horizon
  12. Cabin in the Woods
  13. The Squad
  14. Tokyo Gore Police
  15. Cemetery Man
  16. The Killer Condom
  17. Human Centipede 2
  18. Pet Sematary
  19. Woman
  20. The Lady in White
  21. Mother's Day
  22. Who Can Kill a Child?
  23. Father's Day
  24. Beyond the Black Rainbow
  25. Grave Encounters - If you don't care for found footage movies, Grave Encounters won't change your mind, but if you're bothered by how found footage never shows anything, Grave Encounters is the opposite. I dug it.
  26. Lake Placid
  27. Frontiers
  28. Dead Heat
  29. Pandorum - This one came on Vinny's recommendation. Yes, the trailer looks awful, but Pandorum takes a reliable premise of saving Earth by looking for a new planet to colonize, and has a series of really fun twists. The creatures are boring, the camera hits fast forward too often, but Pandorum is the definition of dumb fun.
  30. Paranormal Activity 4
  31. Sinister
  32. The Tall Man - I didn't know Pascal Laugier's latest movie had secretly come out on demand, and now I know why I hadn't heard anything: it's terrible. Martyrs is a masterful work of mindfucking. The Tall Man is boring.
  33. [rec] 3 - The first two [rec] movies are some of the scariest flicks to come out of Europe the past few years, but [rec] 3 ditches the found footage conceit and reveals what is seemingly an amateur filmmaker at best.
Staff
#3 Posted by Frostily (42 posts) -

awesome

#4 Posted by NoobSauceG7 (1250 posts) -

I want to either play a really scary game, or watch a really scary movie this halloween since I am too old to trick or treat, and to young to be giving candy out to trick or treaters...

#5 Posted by evanbower (1213 posts) -

Hey Patrick, I think the game at colorcave.com is actually called "January." Could be wrong though?

#6 Posted by MarkWahlberg (4606 posts) -

Cosplay always manages to sit firmly on the line between being goofy fun and weirdly depressing.

#7 Posted by patrickklepek (4926 posts) -

@evanbower said:

Hey Patrick, I think the game at colorcave.com is actually called "January." Could be wrong though?

Brain fart.

Staff
#8 Edited by mrmortisland (20 posts) -

The wording on the Windows 8 thing I think refers to AO and above. It says "Apps with a rating over PEGI 16, ESRB MATURE, or that contain content that would warrant such a rating, are not allowed." which I read as "everything over M, but not including M" which would probably disqualify Skyrim if they consider user mods (hell of naked ladies) part of the content contained in the sale. But I don't know, it's really a really poorly phrased rule.

Edit: having just read the whole rule, I guess it probably would ban M stuff? But according to how they classify user mod programs as "Storefronts" it might be ok for users to make naked ladies and still get sold? Confusing.

#9 Posted by Phatmac (5726 posts) -

Good luck with XCOM

#10 Edited by xMEGADETHxSLY (446 posts) -

Gotta get me a Surface Tablet this month. Been using it on my desktop for a couple of months and pretty much seeing how outdated win7 is compared to this very simplified but still windows OS. The Side By Side App is the best thing ever created.

#11 Edited by G24S (281 posts) -

Angel Heart is a great movie. I truly recommend it.

#12 Posted by WJist (313 posts) -

I'm not sure I want to live in a future where the standard for games is that they are censored by their publishers/distributors. I got chills reading that Windows 8 article.

#13 Posted by evanbower (1213 posts) -

@patrickklepek said:

@evanbower said:

Hey Patrick, I think the game at colorcave.com is actually called "January." Could be wrong though?

Brain fart.

Haha. Thanks for recommending it though, and best of luck during this weekend's alien invasion.

#14 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4372 posts) -

I want to hear your thoughts on the killer condom

#15 Posted by Iodine (548 posts) -

Just played unmanned twice.... damn

#16 Posted by patrickklepek (4926 posts) -

@mrmortisland said:

The wording on the Windows 8 thing I think refers to AO and above. It says "Apps with a rating over PEGI 16, ESRB MATURE, or that contain content that would warrant such a rating, are not allowed." which I read as "everything over M, but not including M" which would probably disqualify Skyrim if they consider user mods (hell of naked ladies) part of the content contained in the sale. But I don't know, it's really a really poorly phrased rule.

Edit: having just read the whole rule, I guess it probably would ban M stuff? But according to how they classify user mod programs as "Storefronts" it might be ok for users to make naked ladies and still get sold? Confusing.

I figured it out, and clarified the language in my bit. Skyrim is PEGI-18 in Europe, but anything above PEGI-16 is not allowed on the Windows 8 store. Skyrim is Mature in North America, which is allowed.

Staff
#17 Posted by happymeowmeow (205 posts) -

After reading your list last week, I've been doing some Netflix/Redbox horror movie watching as well.

Cabin in the Woods lives up to the good word of mouth, quite cool. I Steal the Dead was pretty good, a comedy horror that took some unexpected turns. Shutter was decent as well, the ending paid off, kind of freaked me out. Been meaning to see C.H.U.D. for a while, and it's about what you'd expect, an 80's movie about radioactive cannibal sewer dwellers.

Apt 143, The Inkeepers, and The Tall Man were terrible. I think I fell asleep during The Tall Man.

#18 Posted by CornBREDX (5387 posts) -

Behind the mask: Leslie Vernon was brilliant. I think you'll like that  one. Since you didn't leave a comment on it I assume you haven't seen it yet. There is a complaint that's legit about it but I wont spoil anything, you'll see. 
 
I'm watching the first three season of Tales from the crypt this year. Putting a dash of some of my favorite horror films in between. The Grey is a newer one but it's really good. I don't know if it's horror but I think it counts.

#19 Edited by Peanut (954 posts) -

Someone help me. My friends and I watched a really old (I'm going to assume 70's, but I could be wrong) shitty space horror movie a couple years back and for some reason they REFUSE to believe it's true. None of them seem to remember it at all, but I know 100% for a fact that we watched it. It was on Netflix (maybe still is).

Anyways, it's about some space miners or scientists. I don't know. There's some kind of monster alien, that if I recall looks vaguely like an insect, out in their caves and one of the ladies gets raped by it (or something). She then goes crazy, has alien babies and starts killing people to protect them, or maybe just because she's upset. PLEASE TELL ME SOMEONE KNOWS WHAT THIS FUCKING MOVIE IS!

#21 Posted by WickedFather (1733 posts) -

@rebgav: Most random info ever but the guy being Master Chief in that video will be in the "Jedward Arranged This Couple's Wedding" line-up on the next Never Mind the Buzzcocks. He's the tall blonde with the short girl and he's a bit of a dick.

#22 Posted by Sin4profit (2938 posts) -

I got bored playing Unmanned at the point where they mentioned ADHD appropriately enough.

#24 Edited by Yummylee (21789 posts) -

Good Lord... I wish I could have put that much effort into writing up my thoughts about RE6. I've been talking about it a lot recently on our forums, though besides my user-review (which is an OK 'summation' of why I dislike RE6) a lot of my posts, that perhaps pertain to different aspects or have me going into a little more detail about stuff I brought up in my user-review, are scattered all over the place.

Also a big thank you for introducing me to January! This 'game' is just so enchanting.. Like I kinda just drift off and 'collect' the snowflakes without even thinking as the music plays. Plus it's nice to just leave it there with the relaxing sounds of the wind gushing through.

#25 Posted by brandonleedy (75 posts) -

January was a delight. I love games that play up the ambience and just let you take it in. So much of gaming is goal-oriented, that even small game-like experiences like January are a breath of fresh air.

I got the same, albeit a bit more primitive, feeling from January as I did when I first played Jenova Chen's Cloud , "way back in the day" (ha well, it feels like a while ago). Just moving through weather and letting it wash over you.

#26 Posted by TorMasturba (1094 posts) -

Sinister is a sack of crap, please don't waste your time in this world watching it.

#27 Posted by michaelfossbakk (236 posts) -

Confession time: I don't usually play the games that Patrick recommends here, but January was pretty spectacular in its own creative, simplistic, beautiful way.

#28 Posted by Foxillusion (150 posts) -

Why, why, why, why, why, why is human centipede 2 on this list. Why did you watch it. =/

#29 Posted by Lyfeforce (380 posts) -

Well, if nothing else this weeks' WR has made me look for Martyrs and read something out of the Times today. Thanks, Patrick. Still loving the features, looking forward to them in fact.

#30 Posted by SuperJoe (882 posts) -

Wow, Dead Heat is one of the lamest films I've ever seen. Patrick has no quality filter with these. He will watch any form of cinematic murder.

#31 Posted by SirOptimusPrime (2011 posts) -

Pontypool is, at least so far, pretty damn good. The guy who plays Mazzy has an incredible radio voice.

#32 Posted by sissylion (679 posts) -

Played Unmanned back when it was first making rounds. It is an interesting thing that people should check out.

#33 Posted by vonFlampanker (327 posts) -

I've been telling everyone who will listen: KILL LIST pretty f'n awesome.

Online
#34 Posted by EpicSteve (6487 posts) -

The Loved Ones turned out way better than I thought it would.

#35 Posted by SirOptimusPrime (2011 posts) -

I concur with Patrick about The Tall Man - it's awful. Doesn't help that Jessica Biel is terrible in it.

Oh, and after finishing Pontypool I have to reword my original statement: you have to understand it. Simply understand it. Just understand.

#36 Posted by UndeadPatPat (30 posts) -

You will not look fondly back on Tokyo gore police.

#37 Posted by Monkeyto (30 posts) -

I played Unmanned for the first time yesterday. Was quite an interesting experience. I sucked on the shaving section though. Face cut up to bits!

#38 Posted by SecondPersonShooter (618 posts) -

@vonFlampanker said:

I've been telling everyone who will listen: KILL LIST pretty f'n awesome.

It's one of the few movies I've seen in a long time that I IMMEDIATELY had the desire to watch a second time. It's one of my favorite movies I've seen this year.

Coincidentally, my favorite movie I've seen this year is actually on Patrick's list as well, "Cabin in the Woods'.

And good luck with Human Centipede 2... You couldn't pay me to watch that shit.

#39 Posted by buzz_clik (6976 posts) -

Cemetery Man is a great flick. And I'm worried that Patrick's put Dead Heat on this list based on mentioning it - I love that dumb movie, but I'm also fully aware it's a dodgy-as-all-fuck production (which is kinda why I love it).

Moderator
#40 Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw (6229 posts) -

I've really got to get around to watching the (rec) movies. I've heard great things, but as I get older, my ability to stomach horror in just about any form other than literature has evaporated. I'm a wuss.

Moderator Online
#41 Posted by Peanut (954 posts) -

@Intelligent_Space_Man: UGH! That's it! At least have proof that I'm not insane, though it's pretty clear to me now why they may have blocked out that experience.

#42 Edited by DeepSpace9MM (121 posts) -

Watch out for Beyond the Black Rainbow, Patrick. It's pretty but it's soooooooo fucking boring. You should also check out V/H/S if you haven't already.

#43 Posted by BitterAlmond (401 posts) -

You're a few months late on Unmanned, Tricky, but I'm glad it showed up at all. One of the few free art-games I actually played through multiple times. There are so many layers, some wonderfully self-referential.

#44 Posted by Deusx (1905 posts) -

Thanks a bunch for the movie list Patrick, can't wait to watch some of these with my girlfriend.

#45 Posted by dingraha (27 posts) -

haha jesus christ there is no doubt about drone warfare being 'ethically questionable.' its fucking abominable.

#46 Posted by rocketboot (138 posts) -

Pandorum is sweet and deserves a sequel. It was set up to be part of a trilogy, but bombed in the box office so there's not much hope for that. Major bummer.

#47 Posted by BlazeHedgehog (1093 posts) -

Speaking as somebody who recently saw The Monster Squad on DVD since the last time you posted that list, I am reminded that the Anniversary release has been edited somewhat - at least compared to the old worn VHS version I remember from my childhood. A couple of the "wackier" scenes have been cut. Probably nothing huge, but it's definitely not quite like I remember it.

#48 Posted by SadisticWOlf (85 posts) -

Unmanned was genuinely interesting. Thanks Patrick.

#49 Posted by rafoXxX (71 posts) -

I spy... an Anthony Carboni!

#50 Posted by cranstallion (5 posts) -

@patrickklepek said:

Grammar Girl resonated with me, because it provided a window into a world that I’ll never know. Fuck the hateringers.

Finally something I can agree with.