This browser is supported only in Windows 10 and above.

DID YOU READ

A Level A Day – “Red Faction: Guerrilla,” Level 1

A Level A Day – “Red Faction: Guerrilla,” Level 1 (photo)

Posted by on

Truth in title, dear readers: A Level A Day will be my attempt to give my thumbs more exercise every 24 hours. ALAD will be part diary, part analysis and a smidgen of random observation on games that either slipped through the cracks or might deserve reconsideration. I won’t promise to finish every game but I’ll try to track what I think of as honestly as I can, so you’ll at least know why I’m stopping a particular game.

Tuesday, December 5, 2010: “Red Faction: Guerrilla,” Level 1

At the end of the tutorial level, Dan–the brother of lead character Alec Mason–dies and I get arrested by the Mars Gestapo. The cutscene that opens the level shows Dan’s house seized and a confrontation with the EDF. The thugs have Alec’s mining license revoked, which leads to a physical altercation. Alec gets knocked onto the ground and it looks like he’s going to get shot in cold blood. Suddenly, shots ring out and EDF soldiers start dropping. The girl, whose name is Samanya, and older man who visited Dan come out of cover and bring Dan to the Red Faction safehouse. Once there, the following exchange happens:

Alec: “But, I’m not Red Faction.”
Samanya: “Like it or not, Mason, you are now.”

Going through the Guerrilla Handbook I get handed by Samanya, it’s pretty clear that “RFG” is a proletariat simulator. It’s early yet, so I don’t know whether the game’s trope appropriation is inspired or appalling. This is where the game starts in earnest.

This is where you get your gun.

The upgrade systems, world navigation and mission organization all get explained at the safehouse. “Red Faction: Guerrilla” follows the same open-world template as games like “Grand Theft Auto,” meaning that I can wander around and pick which missions I want to do on my own. The ambient chatter from all the characters voices either ferocity or despair about the current situation with the EDF occupying Mars. Once I’ve soaked up enough ambiance, I decide to pick a mission and go destroy some buildings.

“Better Red than Dead”
The mission starts with a briefing from a commander tasking Mason to destroy the Red Faction’s old base so the EF can’t pick up any info to use against them. As I start to drive the location, he tells the grim tale of slaughter and exploitation that happen in the EDF’s land grabs. Of course, the EDF show up once I’m at the base and a shootout ensues. I don’t love the aiming and shooting at this point and the controls really feel like Voliton was trying to accommodate two different kinds of gameplay ideas: shooting and demolition.

I die a bunch trying to figure out a rhythm of engagement. Each action game has its own different style and getting acclimated to their mechanics is like learning to speak a new language. There’s no cover system in “Red Faction: Guerrilla” which means gunplay will involve lots of bobbing and weaving. I finally take out the squad sent to kill me and complete the destruction of the former RF base.

“Red Faction: Guerrilla” reminds me of “Angry Birds.” It’s a weird comparison, I know, with mega-lucrative casual game and modestly successful hardcore title at either end. And I’m playing them in reverse chronological order. But, both titles ask you to apply force to structures to topple them. The best part of each is when the toppling continues after you expect it to stop and debris continues to rain down. And each game tells you that you’re breaking stuff for the right reasons, to take down paramilitary oppression and/or rampant greed. “Better Red than Dead” ends with some banter and it already feels like the righteous impetus of Dan’s death is fading. It also feels like the game’s going to be huge at this stretch and I’ll have to try to gobble up missions as quickly as I can.

Watch More
IFC_NYTVF_EColi-High_blog

G.I. Jeez

Stomach Bugs and Prom Dates

E.Coli High is in your gut and on IFC's Comedy Crib.

Posted by on

Brothers-in-law Kevin Barker and Ben Miller have just made the mother of all Comedy Crib series, in the sense that their Comedy Crib series is a big deal and features a hot mom. Animated, funny, and full of horrible bacteria, the series juxtaposes timeless teen dilemmas and gut-busting GI infections to create a bite-sized narrative that’s both sketchy and captivating. The two sat down, possibly in the same house, to answer some questions for us about the series. Let’s dig in….

E.coli-class-

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

BEN: Hi ummm uhh hi ok well its like umm (gets really nervous and blows it)…

KB: It’s like the Super Bowl meets the Oscars.

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

BEN: Oh wow, she’s really cute isn’t she? I’d definitely blow that too.

KB: It’s a cartoon that is happening inside your stomach RIGHT NOW, that’s why you feel like you need to throw up.

IFC: What was the genesis of E.Coli High?

KB: I had the idea for years, and when Ben (my brother-in-law, who is a special needs teacher in Philly) began drawing hilarious comics, I recruited him to design characters, animate the series, and do some writing. I’m glad I did, because Ben rules!

BEN: Kevin told me about it in a park and I was like yeah that’s a pretty good idea, but I was just being nice. I thought it was dumb at the time.

ecoli-computer

IFC: What makes going to proms and dating moms such timeless and oddly-relatable subject matter?

BEN: Since the dawn of time everyone has had at least one friend with a hot mom. It is physically impossible to not at least make a comment about that hot mom.

KB: Who among us hasn’t dated their friend’s mom and levitated tables at a prom?

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

BEN: There’s a lot of content now. I don’t think anyone will even notice, but it’d be cool if they did.

KB: A show about talking food poisoning bacteria is basically the same as just watching the news these days TBH.

Watch E.Coli High below and discover more NYTVF selections from years past on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

Watch More
IFC_FOD_TV_long_haired_businessmen_table

Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

Posted by on

via GIPHY

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.

Watch More
SAE_102_tout_2

Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

Posted by on
GIFs via Giphy

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:

via GIPHY

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.

via GIPHY

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!

via GIPHY

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.

via GIPHY

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.

Watch More