DID YOU READ

Telltale Games Brings New Chapters Of “The Walking Dead” and “Jurassic Park” to Video Games

Telltale Games Brings New Chapters Of “The Walking Dead” and “Jurassic Park” to Video Games  (photo)

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Longtime gamers know Telltale Games for classic adventure titles like The Secret of Monkey Island and the Sam & Max gonzo detective series. Those games hit during the heyday of PC gaming but, as the dominance of consoles grew, players’ awareness of the development studio receded into the background. “Monkey Island” hero Guybrush Threepwood has charm and wit for days, but the adrenaline rush of action-centric games proved one dilemma he couldn’t talk his way out of.

But, Telltale’s enjoyed a bit of a renaissance of late. Part of it is the emergence of iOS as a gaming platform. The touch interface of Apple’s portables makes a nice fit for both their back catalog and new games, which often still work on the point-&-click model. And the episodic structure that they’ve always hewed to makes each piece of content a bite-sized morsel that feels less financially off-putting. Of course, it helps that the quality ratio has been consistently high for Telltale’s releases. The brain-teaser puzzle design gets married to genuinely funny dialogue and characterization. From there, an attention to detail makes their games–both licensed and original–ring true in deeply satisfying ways.

At E3 last week, Telltale showed off the next media properties to get their patented treatment. As they’ve successfully done with the Back to the Future games, Telltale’s revisiting the “Jurassic Park” mythos with a new game that takes place parallel to the first movie. A hidden cache of dinosaur embryos brings skullduggery to Isla Nublar, bringing a cast of characters into conflict with both themselves and the giant reptiles all over the tropical environs. Telltale says that it’s their most cinematic game to date and the trailers thus far seem to bear that out. It’ll also be controller compatible on PCs, meaning that gamers who go back and forth between that platform and consoles will feel more comfortable.

Lee_Concept.jpgWhere the “Jurassic Park” game pings off an extant movie, Telltale’s “Walking Dead” project lives a bit more distantly from the TV show of the same name. “The Walking Dead” game doesn’t retell any of lead character Rick Grimes’ story. Instead, they’re introducing a new character named Lee Everett, who wakes up after the prison transport carrying him crashes. Waking up to find the undead swarming all over the landscape, he encounters a seven-year-old girl named Clementine, who he takes it upon himself to safeguard. Lee will encounter other established characters from Robert Kirkman’s zombie masterpiece, with run-ins with supply messenger Glenn planned. In a twist, while Rick’s trying to get into Atlanta, Lee is trying to get out. The game’s rooted in the comics universe and will precede the events that happen on Hershey’s Farm in the series.

Telltale’s also working on a game based on DC Comics’ fairytale-meets-real-world series “Fables” but weren’t talking details on that title yet. Fans wanting to dive into the worlds of “Jurassic Park” and “The Walking Dead” should look for them this fall and winter respectively, with versions planned for PC, Mac, Xbox 360 and PS3.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.