Fish and Cherries Productions

Creative content from a mad mind.


Reel Snippets of 12-26-16

Happy Boxing Day!!!!!

Well, okay, it’s not much of a holiday in the States, but here’s hoping that some international readers will feel appreciated. Anyway, here are two more Snippets. Apologies for the size of one of the images. The website is being weird and not letting me resize it.

The Angry Birds Movie

Posted under Reel Snippets

Five Nights at Freddy’s: The Truth Behind the Terror

Five Nights at Freddy’s. This game series has been sweeping the internet for the past year and earning a reputation as both a nightmare factory and a perfect laxative to those who play it. If you’re not into gaming, avoided the craze, or have been living under some kind of rock, let me explain the premise. The Five Nights at Freddy’s series casts you as a security guard working the night shift at a low quality children’s restaurant called Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza (the internet refers to this type of establishment as Suck E. Cheese’s). Unfortunately, for some reason or another, the extremely creepy sideshow animatronics are out to kill you, so your goal is to monitor them on your security camera display to keep track of their locations, make sure that they don’t get into your decidedly unsecure security room, and survive until 6 AM… then do it for four more nights to increasing difficulty. The really amazing thing about these games is how different they are from other games. There’s no moving about the pizzeria or weapons to defend yourself with, just you inside the security room. What this does is deliver a great sense of claustrophobia and helplessness, making you raw to the scares of the stalking animatronics. The fact that it was able to deliver such an experience with a limited budget and crew, just like the first Paranormal Activity, makes it all the more impressive. So suffice to say, it’s a fun fright fest for those brave enough to try and survive the nights.

But is that all it is? A lot of YouTube personalities have certainly shown us the scares and even profited off of them, but several eagle-eyed players have noticed that there is a narrative in the background. Those who piece it together reveal a tale of sorrow, murder, and restless haunting, yet there are quite a few details that are left ambiguous enough to have devoted fans guessing and piecing together theories about the truth behind the terror. After watching Markiplier play through all three games (which you should all totally do because Markiplier is one sexy human being as well as an amusing one) and looking around the internet, I’ve come up with my own theory which I think holds up really well. Sit back, grab a slice of pizza, and let me tell you a terrifying tale.

The full story lies this way.

Posted under Musings

Reel Snippet – Batman: Assault on Arkham

The following film was viewed at an official screening at San Diego Comic Con 2014 and was in no way involved with any illicit obtainment of the product.

Batman: Assault on Arkham takes place in the universe of the Batman Arkham games and has a fun premise: a group of supervillains on the government’s leash called the Suicide Squad is ordered to break into Arkham Asylum while Batman is in the peripheral focus in an Ocean’s Eleven-style heist story. Unfortunately, the movie drops the ball quite heavily, particularly when the plot gets essentially hijacked by Batman and the Joker in the second half and the characters we’ve been following have to fight for relevance. Also, the “fun” in the premise is quickly lost with all of the pointless shock deaths that occur, some of which include a rather endearing character or two, for the sake of being “serious” and “mature.” In fact, I’m not even sure whether or not one of the characters died or not. It was rather confusing. Also, I hate to beat the DC Comic and women horse even further, but dear GOD, I don’t think either of women in this movie were treated as anything other than sexual desires or counterbalances to a guy in the movie. Badass and combat capable sexual desires, but that bonus can only take you so far. There’s one scene where Killer Frost has to pass as a corpse to get into Arkham and one of the guards straight up leers at her naked body. I’m not making this up. The guy straight up leers at a CORPSE. This is not a human reaction unless the guard is a necrophiliac and if that’s the case, why would anyone, even an incompetently guarded place like Arkham, employ them in the morgue. Furthermore, the opportunity to have the numerous personalities on the squad play off each other is wasted by having the movie mostly go through action scenes constantly and having almost zero character development. There’s one entertaining quiet scene between Deadshot and Captain Boomerang near the beginning, but that chemistry doesn’t hold throughout the movie. The logic’s a bit dodgy in places too. The animation and action scenes are beautiful to look at, but that’s the standard for the DC Animated movies. There’s also no point talking about Kevin Conroy as Batman and C. C. H. Pounder as Amanda Waller, since they are rarely anything other than excellent and this was no exception, but I will say that this is where Troy Baker really shaved off the rough edges and came into his own as the Joker. Overall, though, I wouldn’t give this a glowing recommendation. The genius of Bruce Timm is well missed in these latest animated movies and the dynamic characters are all but lost amidst poor handiwork and a muddled and far too grim script. If you were looking for a fun action heist, I think this will leave you dry. But if you’re looking for a grim and serious Batman animated movie, then I would recommend putting in Batman: Under The Red Hood instead.

Posted under Reel Snippets

One Game More

I think everyone can agree that Les Miserables by Victor Hugo has become a smash hit. The story has gone through many adaptations, most notably the sensational Broadway musical and several films, the latest of which I still maintain was like having your teeth pulled with no Novocain. But did you know that it was also adapted into a fighting game a la Street Fighter? If you watch the Nostalgia Critic regularly, your response would be something akin to, “well, duh.” But if you are currently finding yourself with a slack-jawed and confused expression, sit yourself down and drink with me as I recount a very strange tale.

In January of 1998, a single Japanese developer named Takase coded from scratch a game based on the Bible-length novel. The game was ported into the United States under the name Arm Joe, which is a bastardized localization of the Japanese title for Les Mis, Aa Mujou, which literally translates to, “Ah, Cruelty.” Yes, as some of you may have noticed in the nineties, American localization was about as graceful as a runaway cart slamming you into a building. The really astounding thing is that he did all of this as a one-man team over the course of five years. When asked why he devoted this much time to the project, he simply answered, “I have no friends.” I am honestly not sure whether to give this man a hug or applaud awkwardly.

This is normally where a reviewer would talk about his experiences playing the game, but this is the thing: I haven’t. A ROM is downloadable from various sites, but it only runs on Windows 7 and the only working Windows 7 computer even remotely near me runs poorer than, well, les miserables that rose up and built the barricades. That said, I will do my best to describe what the game is like. There are about nine playable characters, most of them ripped straight from Hugo’s novel. There is the sinner-turned-saint Jean Valjean; his daughter Cosette with a heart full of love; her pretty-boy boyfriend Marius; the revolutionary Enjolras; Eponine who embodies the term “forever alone”; the ruthless Javert; the amoral (and surprisingly fat in this version) Thenardier; a random policeman, and (I swear by the stars this is real), Cosette’s doll Ponpon; RoboJean; and the spirit of Judgement (spelled exactly like that).

Again, I can only speculate on how the game handles, however, having seen some YouTube videos the gameplay is pretty standard fighting game fair. Each character deals out punches, kicks, combos, and even special moves. While there are no epic finishing moves, each character has a special move that they can use when their health is low, like Marius summoning a legion of dead revolutionaries, Enjolras dropping the barricade on his opponent, or Ponpon hitting them with a car. Seriously, I’m not joking. In theory, it works, but in practice, the game looks heavily unbalanced. From what I can tell, anyone who knows how to use Marius well will never lose, as a few of his attacks can reduce the opponent’s health bar by half and I have not seen any other character in the game come close to doing that. On top of that, Judgement as the final boss of the single player has been described as impossible by some and not that hard by others. That said, the game looks like it was not properly tested or balanced, so it is no surprise that this game was condemned to spend eternity in the first vault of the two hundred and forty-sixth sub-basement level of obscurity (take a minute to think about that one).

So why am I bringing up such an un-noteworthy game in the first place? Honestly, I think this game should be remade for the novelty alone. It is true that I do not hear the people singing for a Les Mis fighting game, but I truly believe that this has a niche cut out for it. If someone were to revamp the controls and play, this could have a lot of potential. In fact, why stop with the game play? Why not make new characters too, even unlockable ones? Add some of the other soldiers like Grantaire, Combeferre, or Courfeyrac or perhaps some of Thenardier’s gang of thieves. You could even add in Fantine and her super move would be giving her opponent tuberculosis! And if you really wanted to draw from the book, you could have Napoleon be an unlockable, given the punishingly long attention to detail paid to the Battle of Waterloo in the book’s unabridged version. Or if you really wanted to provide a huge gem for fans of the book, make a final unlockable in the form of Victor Hugo himself, whose special move involves setting an angry hunchback against his foes. There could even be a stylized story mode that changed with each character. Maybe the more sins the character has committed, the harder Judgement as a final boss is. I honestly think that if this were given the proper work over, it could be a great cult classic among gamers. Just keep Russell Crowe as far away from it as possible.

Posted under Musings

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