Monday, August 20, 2012

Of Action Heroes and Paintings.

Well, in this entry, I'm gonna share with you two stuff that I've taken interest in today.

The first one is about the movie Expendables 2: Back from War.

Me and my bf got a chance to see it on the movies a few days ago. And did you know why we wanted to see it (aside from the fact that we both saw the first movie)? It's because of this guy:

Chuck Norris from a scene in Expendables 2: Back from War.
Chuck Norris, as we all know, is a "superhuman" in the internet, when it comes to memes and all of that stuff, he is compared to an all-invincible, indestructible Nokia mobile phone from the early 2000's. And what I believe, is that they've used this "Chuck Norris Phenomenon" to be a marketing strategy and added spice to the movie. And boy, did it work! The whole thing was not just action, but also comedy! We both laughed so hard that day. So...let's prepare for some Expendables 2 CN memes after a few days!

Also one thing worth noting is the storyline. The first movie's story was not as heavy as this one. This sequel includes the death of a member (obviously not Norris 'coz he's immortal) and they have to get revenge towards the villain, (to my mom's surprise), Jean Claude Van Damme. You know, the French action hero guy.

Normally, I also don't watch action movies all the time, since most stories of this genre are usually about violence, women, syndicates, and all those boring boys stuff. But lately, I've been getting into the genre, because sometimes, it actually saves you from being sad and all. A break from all of those deep storyline movies where you have to cry at least once (and for real).

Although I did have a favorite (somewhat emotional) moment there: when Stallone told the Chinese woman that he usually keeps distance with new people, because many who had been close to him died, and it hurt him really bad. I hate to say this but...I can relate well.

But overall, I give this movie 5 stars due to the balance of happy and sad moments, not to mention some badass explosions and unexpected...well...punch lines.

Now for the second part, the free indie horror game called "Ib".

Ib and Garry fanart from

After watching YouTube gamer PewDiePie play it, I actually want to play it myself, but what really struck me the most is the story, and the gameplay (which can be a bit similar to Ao Oni, with a touch of Ar Tonelico). You play as Ib, a 9-year-old girl who gets lost in an art gallery of works of a certain artist named "Guertena Weiss" (Guertena is a guy BTW), full of monsters, moving statues and paintings, and creepy dolls (that look like Cho of Bongcheon-Dong Ghost LOL). But anyways, I'll give some of my comments on everything.

First off is the graphics. It makes use not only of normal pixels (like all those Pokemon games), but also some neat graphics like the "sketchbook" world, drawn in crayons. There are also tons of artworks by Guertena in the game, and all of them seem to have significance, if not, added color to the creepiness and the uniqueness of the story. Personally, I also like looking at galleries too, not just as an artist, but also out of curiosity, though they seem to scare me (the paintings) at times, especially medieval or macabre ones.

Second is the gameplay. It's not something that is copied from another RPG, I presume, because I think it's a combination of a VN (visual novel), where you make decisions and it inflicts the ending of the game, and a normal survival horror game, like Ao Oni and Amnesia, where you need to search everywhere for clues, solve puzzles, and all that stuff. Although, I'm not really that good at games, but I think it's worth a try.

Third is the sound. Akiko Shikata much? Well there are a lot of neo-classical and music box arrangements for the BGM, and that's another reason why I loved it. There was a song there ("puppet") that was purely MIDI (with the Celesta instrument), the instrument which I used to use (and Shikata used in her indie orgel stuff), and I think it's one of the characters' theme song (Mary's). I like Ib's theme "Ib: Memory", which, when played in really sad moments, really make me cry. Lastly, I also like Garry's theme ("Blind Alley"), because it's very relaxing and calm, much like Garry's personality. It soothes my heart, much as how Shikata-sama does me with her songs.

Fourth, the characters. Ib is a very cute and calm character, much like Lain Iwakura from Serial Experiments Lain. She may look frail but she knows how things should go and is sensitive towards both Garry and Mary. Garry, in my opinion, is my ideal big brother. I never really had one and he would be pretty much what I expected mine to be, if I had one. He's gentle like the wind, and watches over Ib, like the sky above, even after the bad ending (not gonna spoil you guys anyway) and especially in the good ending. Mary, though you will most probably hate her in most of the endings, she still has a good storyline and you will probably understand her too, because I can pretty much relate to her situation (again, no spoilers...). But then again, she does remind me of Maria Ushiromiya from Umineko no Naku Koro ni.

Fifth, and lastly, the wonderful story. I think I like this story better than Ar Tonelico, because not only does it have depth with the tragic endings, the good (and best) ending is just too awesome. When I saw the fan-made animation and voice over on YouTube, I cried at three important parts of the story. I LITERALLY CRIED. Probably the same amount as how I cried in the cinema when I watched Sucker Punch with my bf a year ago or so. Also for your knowledge, the game has a lot of endings, depending on whom you bond with more (Garry or Mary, or no bonding at all), much like in Ar Tonelico's dive system. After all, that's how Japanese make games - they let players decide the fate of the characters.

Overall, I really want to play this game, and I'll give it tons of stars and roses, because the whole thing itself (though it can be creepy at some points, and I'd rather play the game when the sun is up) might actually be a story made by Guertena himself. It's a piece of valuable art.

Maybe kouri (the developer) is Guertena...? Or related to him/her perhaps? That we don't know, but that's what makes indie games (and indie music) so interesting; you are always left with blank points to make up your own speculations and theories. And thus, strengthening your imagination.

But to tell you the truth, I can really relate to Ib's story very well (as well as Mary's). Again, I have found another game/story that is related to my life (which I've already experienced a lot of times). 

And this time, I didn't just cry. I didn't just smile. 

I might also remember too.

Remember what?

That I do not know either, since I haven't remembered anything yet.

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