The Return of Talking Time

Go Back   The Return of Talking Time > Talking about media > Let's Play Already

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-03-2009, 09:04 PM
MCBanjoMike's Avatar
MCBanjoMike MCBanjoMike is offline
Sudden chomper
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Montreal
Posts: 15,940
Default Everybody loves rotoscoping: Let's Play Out of this World!

Out of this World



Let me tell you one thing: the late 80s and early 90s sure were a great time to be into computer games. Back when videogames had yet to be sorted into the 5 or 6 distinct genres that we see today, a lot of interesting hybrids and crossovers saw the light of VGA. Of the niche genres that rose and fell during this period, one of my favorites consists of those 2D action-adventure games that featured athletic characters using realistic physics to traverse a world. The selling point for me, then as now, was that these games generally had exceptional animation for their main characters. The best-known of these, the original Prince of Persia, actually stars Jordan Mechner's younger brother David as the titular prince - he was filmed running around in a white suit, and then rotoscoped into the game wholesale. The end result was a character who actually moved like a human being, and a game that proceeded at a somewhat more thoughtful pace than most action games of the day.

The other entertaining thing about this style of game was that they generally used the "humanness" of the main character to gain the player's sympathy by subjecting them to the most horrible deaths imaginable. For this reason, while there may be an official designation for this style of game somewhere out there, I've always thought of them as Rotoscopey Action Games in Which You Die Horribly. Some highpoints in the genre include the aforementioned Prince of Persia:


One of my personal favorites, Flashback:


And that venerable classic, Karateka.

Today, however, I won't be (let's) playing any of those. No folks, today is devoted to another game, a game that is the work of a single person. Eric Chahi, a French programmer and artist, is singlehandedly responsible for all the graphics, artwork, design and programming of the 1991 game Out of this World, the only outside contribution being the music. As we shall see, it is a vector-based 2D action game set in an eerie alternate universe that features a little bit of rotoscoping and a lot of gruesome deaths. But rather than tell you all about it, why not see for yourselves?

Let us begin.


You might think that this LP is off to a somewhat inauspicious start, since I've already managed to get the title of the game wrong at least three times. Thing is, this game was initially released in Europe under the name Another World. Unsurprisingly, North American audiences weren't too interested in taking soap opera characters on an interdimensional romp, so the game was rechristened Out of this World for its North American release. The version of the game that I am playing, however, is a GBA port that was authorized for free distrubtion by the author himself, so it bears the original name. That's right, it's free. Remember when you all bought GBA flash cards so you could play Mother 3? Now you can use them to play a game that's actually fun instead!


The scene: a decrepit looking building in a decrepit looking place, presumably somewhere in the American southwest. The perfect place to do some top secret research! A squeal of tires announces the arrival of a fancy black sports car:




A pale, redheaded figure wearing snappy tennis shoes emerges and enters the building. Since he's supposed to be a physicist and is, judging from his deathly pallor, probably scottish, we shall call him Angus MacLeod. Since his real name is Lester Knight Chaykin, I think this could be considered us doing him a pretty big favor.


Angus emerges from the elevator and creepily glides along the floor of the sub-basement. We haven't made it to the rotoscoping just yet.

Last edited by MCBanjoMike; 07-27-2017 at 07:32 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-03-2009, 09:05 PM
MCBanjoMike's Avatar
MCBanjoMike MCBanjoMike is offline
Sudden chomper
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Montreal
Posts: 15,940
Default


A complicated set of security tests prevents the casual junior physicist from wandering into the Big Boys' Lab.


This image tells me that, whatever else he is, Eric Chahi clearly is not a high-energy physicist. I'm not sure where he got the idea that they all drive Ferraris, but a reasearch stipend is more likely to pay for a '94 Volvo than this Testarossa.


Angus hunkers down at his ultra-futuristic monochrome computer terminal, situated directly in front of what appears to be the business end of a giant particle accelerator. I don't know who he got to design this place, but I hope he didn't pay him very much.


Here we can get some idea of what kind of experiments are being run here. As physicists are wont to do, Angus is accelerating charged particles to relativistic speeds and then smashing them into things, attempting to create new forms of matter in the process. It is theorized that experiments such as this could potentially discover a new form of matter that is more stable than what we currently live with, and that the transition to this newer form of matter could cause the end of the universe as we know it. Rest assured that this is very, very unlikely to happen, however. For the sake of reference, here's what a real synchrotron looks like!


While running another cycle of experiments, Angus pops open a tasty beverage - check out the sweet rotoscoping action on this one:


Am I the only one with Take on Me stuck in their head?


Ah, refreshing!





<Meanwhile...>



Above ground, things are getting a bit dicey. A nasty wind is picking up, lightning sparks between the clouds and...


Uh-oh, that can't be good.


A pulse of electricty goes charging down the path of the accelerator, following the packet of mysterious red things (note pictured) that Angus had previously sent down the tube. Wait a sec, what was at the end of that tunnel, again?


...oh right, Angus.

Last edited by MCBanjoMike; 07-27-2017 at 07:33 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-03-2009, 09:12 PM
MCBanjoMike's Avatar
MCBanjoMike MCBanjoMike is offline
Sudden chomper
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Montreal
Posts: 15,940
Default


Y'all right there buddy? Angus? Angus??







<Elsewhere>


Oh look, it's a tranquil lake.


Tranquil, at least, until the sudden and violent materialization of a futuristic, monochrome workstation and its scrawny, Coke-snorting inhabitant. As Angus bids goodbye to several hundred thousand dollars of cutting edge computer equipment, curious tentacles rise up from the bottom of the lake to investigate the new arrivals. It looks like they want to play!


Oh. Well, that didn't work out so well. So, guys, what should Angus do from here? Put on your thinking caps and get us out of this lake!

Last edited by MCBanjoMike; 07-27-2017 at 07:34 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-03-2009, 09:16 PM
nunix nunix is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 8,600
Default

He should.. he should swim? Let's try:

> swim up

Also: I've never finished this game, always got stuck when I rented it. Flashback is pretty great, though. I wish someone would do another of these games with some modern code, though, because I remember the cutscenes in particular being kinda sluggish.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-03-2009, 09:38 PM
mr_bungle700 mr_bungle700 is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 8,756
Default

Those cutscenes were mind blowing on the SNES though.

Also, swim, you polygonal fool! Swim like the wind!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-03-2009, 09:44 PM
Rai's Avatar
Rai Rai is online now
Bluh Bluh
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,013
Default

Why does everyone assume tentacles are a bad thing? Clearly they just wish to discover and say hi to whoever fell into their pond. What's the worst that could happen by staying down there?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-03-2009, 09:46 PM
Violentvixen's Avatar
Violentvixen Violentvixen is offline
Shill for Big Cow DNA
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Bend, OR
Posts: 9,863
Default

I could never get anywhere in this game so I'm excited for this, and swim up! Kick! Desperately!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-04-2009, 02:12 AM
Octopus Prime's Avatar
Octopus Prime Octopus Prime is online now
Mystery Contraption
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: The Great White North
Posts: 44,103
Default

Kick those scrawny chicken-legs, you physicist hero!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-04-2009, 12:10 PM
Falselogic's Avatar
Falselogic Falselogic is offline
Threadcromantosaurus Rex
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: California
Posts: 31,187
Default

You have to go up...
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-04-2009, 07:53 PM
MCBanjoMike's Avatar
MCBanjoMike MCBanjoMike is offline
Sudden chomper
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Montreal
Posts: 15,940
Default Episode 2.1: A Whole New World

Quote:
Originally Posted by Everyone
Swim up
That's so crazy, it just might work! Let's give it a try. Swim, Angus!


Swim with all your might!


Angus' tentacle friends are sad to see him go, but he's a busy guy with no time for tentacle parties.


Hauling himself up onto the safety of land, our hero slowly realizes that he isn't in New Mexico anymore. A bluish landscape of surreal rock formations and alien architecture surrounds him on all sides. Tired and confused, he decides to catch his breath by the side of the water.

This does not turn out to be a very good idea.


Oh dear.

It looks like it's time to start exploring Another World! I won't be leaving all of the decisions up to you folks, since that would probably make this take forever, but I'll be happy to field any requests that people make. Particularly those that end with our hero dying a horrible death. Together, we'll get our plucky young physicist out of this mess or die trying. Or, most probably, both!

Last edited by MCBanjoMike; 07-27-2017 at 07:28 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 08-04-2009, 10:03 PM
Torgo's Avatar
Torgo Torgo is offline
We Hardly Knew Ye
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: The Valley Isle
Posts: 9,718
Default

I can still remember when I first saw Out of this World running on a pc in the electronics section of Fred Meyer. I was completely blown away. I never got to play it, but I love Flashback dearly.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 08-04-2009, 10:23 PM
spineshark's Avatar
spineshark spineshark is online now
vivid energy
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: cube hell
Posts: 11,759
Default

Quote:
Remember when you all bought GBA flash cards so you could play Mother 3? Now you can use them to play a game that's actually fun instead!
Oooh, it's hot!

I'm not sure whether I actually like this game or not, but...it's very interesting, which is certainly better than being not interesting. And I mean, it inspires both Suda 51 and Ueda so there's certainly something there.

For some reason I found the upcoming get stabbed by the slug death especially unsettling.
Quote:
Action Button Dot Net's best game of all time! I still need to really sit down and play this.
Tim says he decided to write the entire manifesto so he could call this the best game of all time when he was playing it drunk one night with one of the other ABDN guys. I probably believe him.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 07-27-2017, 09:56 AM
MCBanjoMike's Avatar
MCBanjoMike MCBanjoMike is offline
Sudden chomper
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Montreal
Posts: 15,940
Default

Now that my images have been liberated from Photobucket's evil clutches, I've updated all the links (more or less) and brought this LP back from the beyond. And since it was a bunch of boring work to make that happen, I'm treating myself to a thread necro! So welcome to my new-and-improved Out of this World LP. Read it again, for the first time.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 07-27-2017, 11:00 AM
Mogri's Avatar
Mogri Mogri is offline
Yes, let's feast!
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 14,922
Default

I read it for the actual first time! It was good!
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 07-27-2017, 11:05 AM
MCBanjoMike's Avatar
MCBanjoMike MCBanjoMike is offline
Sudden chomper
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Montreal
Posts: 15,940
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mogri View Post
I read it for the actual first time! It was good!
Oh wow, you weren't even a member when this first came out. Dang. And thanks! It's hard to go back and read your old work, but there is stuff in there that I'm proud of. "It's like poetic justice, only with violence!" is definitely one of the best things I've ever written.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 07-31-2017, 10:51 AM
WildcatJF's Avatar
WildcatJF WildcatJF is offline
I can fly!
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Somewhere Out There
Posts: 7,372
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mogri View Post
I read it for the actual first time! It was good!
I played through this for the first time last year via the PS3 revamp. And it's a really good game! And it was fun revisiting it reading this.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:18 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Your posts İyou, 2007