Thursday, August 09, 2007

Folding a Crane Part II.

About a million years ago I watched True Romance. I probably watched that movie several hundred times more than I should have. Early on in the movie Alabama - Patricia Arquette - is watching some crazy action movie on tv. I guess I always just assumed that it was something awesome that was filmed for the movie to be something awesome to be shown on the tv.

Fast forward a couple of years and I meet Mike who proceeds to show me practically every worthwhile HK action movie. During the end of Better Tomorrow II well there's the sequence that was featured in True Romance.

Fast forward another million years and here I am pretty much jaded and rundown on HK movies. John Woo hasn't made a decent movie since the 90s. Chow-Yun Fat, well, I still love him but I haven't really seen him in anything I've liked. He was great in Curse of the Golden Flower but he's turned into the go-to-Asian Harrison Ford. I still throw in the classics now and then but more or less have shelved the genre.

Playing the demo for Stranglehold last night reminded me how much I used to love HK action movies. In between hollering, "Holy Shit! I'm Chow Yun-Fat!" and na-na-na'ing the theme from Better Tomorrow II and just having a grand old time I realized how much I genuinely miss those movies and the fun and excitment that went along with seeing them.

Nostaligia aside Stranglehold is - from first demo impressions - a blast. The interaction/slides/dives/stunts are controlled with the left trigger - shooting is controlled by the right trigger. What's kind of interesting is what they are calling "Massive D" - special actions triggered by pressing in a direction on the D-Pad. However there's a meter you have to build up in order to use each skill. You build up the meter by pulling off awesome & fancy shots i.e. shooting a sign that drops on the head of a slow motion. The first D skill is a health restore, the second is a zoom-in - the hit location animation is great and at times wince inducing, the third is a kind of beserker fire mode, the fourth is going to useful when swamped by enemies - it's the Chow Yun-Fat spin and shoot. Sure we've seen it a million times but it still rules.

It looks like it's going to be a really fun game though I don't understand why it's not in Cantonese with English subtitles. I also get the impression that Stranglehold is going to be a really short game than relys on multiplayer to beef it up. We shall see.

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