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DID YOU READ

“Lost in Shadow” Plays Tricks with the Light

“Lost in Shadow” Plays Tricks with the Light (photo)

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Video game characters didn’t always cast shadows. Back when 8-bit graphics and 2D side-scrollers were the norm, anything approaching real-world lighting and perspective was technologically impossible. The advent of games set in virtual 3D worlds-like the watershed “Super Mario World”-started the realistic implementation of lightsources and shadows.

“Lost in Shadow” takes some cues from the 2D era of video games and wraps them up in an intriguing premise. The Wii-exclusive title by Hudson Entertainment chronicles the adventures of a boy whose shadow has been separated from his physical body. In a twist, players control the shadow–and not the real body–as it tries to find out the cause of the separation.

Boy #1, as he’s called, must venture through a medieval fantasy landscape to reach the Tower of Shadows, where the mysterious power The gameplay is typical platformer stuff-running, jumping and sword-fighting-but it all happens in the background as if projected from a distance. It’s quite a beautiful effect and makes things seem more fragile.

Certain levels will require you to find collectibles called Monitor Eyes to proceed. Along the way, you’ll find fragments of Boy #1’s memories. Picking them up increases his weight, which is how his health is measured. It’s a nice metaphor for becoming more substantial. You can see the real versions of the spikes and platforms in the foreground and in some cases you can manipulate them. Boy #1 will be accompanied by Spangle, a sort of shadow fairy with whom lets you scan the environment by pressing the B button and scrubbing the screen. You can then point the Wii remote at hotspots to pull and turn parts of the architecture. As a result, new shadows get cast that let Boy #1 move around freely. Once you get to the Tower of Shadows, you’ll ascend upwards through a s eris of floors. Some will have Shadow Corridors, which are hidden areas with platform puzzle challenges. You’ll also be able to become solid again, too, through a feature called materialization. Passing through glowing gates on certain floors will imbue your body with light and let you move to the foreground, where you can move things around. But materialization is on a timer so you need to be quick about your lightform’s business. Other floors will have lightbulbs on tracks that you can move, to grow, move or shrink shadows as needed.

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Overall, “Lost in Shadow” creates an ethereal storybook vibe that’s kind of like a negative image of Peter Pan. It also calls back to the look and feel of the PS2 classic Ico, with its “lost boy in a giant castle” framework and shadow motif. The lead designer supposedly got the idea from watching kids in a playground jump on each other shadows and it’s got a nice combo of unique charm, clever ideas and moody tone that separate it from a lot of other games. “Lost in Shadow” hits the Wii in January 2011.

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.