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Review: Hot Fuzz and Vindictus

March 25, 2011

Y’know, for all the things that Telltale Games can do capably, where they really fall short is actually TELLING PEOPLE WHEN THEIR SHIT IS COMING OUT. I am willing to lay my reputation on the line by saying that Episode III has been finished for a month or more, and Telltale is just incredibly shitty about publicizing release dates. Anyway, enough bitching about this. Let’s get to the actual reason you’re here. Here’s Hot Fuzz and Vindictus.

Completely honest, when I heard that Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright, and Nick Frost were coming together for a send-up/homage of police actions, my response was lukewarm at best. Sure, I loved Shaun of the Dead, but that’s a genre that I like. I am a big fan of most zombie movies, and even that got too far into drama territory for my liking. Plus, I wasn’t really a fan of the sort of cop movies that this was supposed to be like (until fairly recently), so I really didn’t see anything in this movie for me. And then, one weekend when there was absolutely nothing else on, I watched it on Comedy Central. Holy fucking shit. I was completely wrong about this film. When you can take two lines of dialogue about an escaped goose, change one word to apply it to murder, and make it relevant to the plot, you’re doing it fucking right.

I’m going to keep the plot synopsis kind of short, because there is just so much more that I want to say about this movie. Simon Pegg plays PC Nicholas Angel, the best PC in London. So much so that his superiors (Martin Freeman, Bill Nighy) decide to promote him to Sergeant and send him to a small town in the country because he makes them look bad. On his first night, he arrests his partner-to-be Danny Butterman, played by Nick Frost.

Like I said above, completely wrong about this movie. The action sequences are brilliant gorefests, and everything in the movie is played for laughs, from Angel’s choice of home decor to the head-splattering death of a reporter. Every last moment in the movie is overdone and blown out of proportion to the point where they cross the line two or three times in a scene and you can’t help but laugh at the massive balls it must have taken to do that. People, find this DVD. Buy it. Watch it. Love it.

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I really have Spoony to thank for introducing me to this game (Visit the man. It is the very least you can do, and I guarantee you’ll be a devoted follower). He just got back from PAX East and got a chance to see the game there. Now, normally, I’m not too much into the whole Middle Ages type MMO scene, because for the longest time, the only real choice that I knew of was World of Warcraft, which I view as the Heaven’s Gate of video games, or Runescape, which has which has a somewhat limited gamespace and graphics that you’d expect to find from a Java-based game.

And then I found out that Vindictus existed. Technically, it’s a “freemium” game, but of a different type. The entire game can be played, start to finish, without paying for any of the extras. Or at least it could in theory, because I have serious doubts that an end exists. Because that’s just not how these games work.

And the other big advantage is that it uses Valve’s Source engine. And let me tell you, as a Half-Life 2 veteran, I can tell. Every fire looks ripped from City 17, some of the more basic textures, like grass, are similar, and they even use some of the base Source sound effects, and I am totally okay with all of that. I’m dead serious, I’ve long been an advocate of the Source engine, and I’m thrilled that there’s an MMO out that uses it.

Now, as for the features, they’re fairly typical of most MMORPGs. You know, fighting, meditation, things like that. The skill upgrade system is a lot like Eve Online, only without having to actually wait to learn the skills. You instead assign AP that you earn either through completing battles or from meditation. And then there’s the fishing system which, really, just entered maturity. It’s essentially you and about nine other people on a boat out in the middle of the ocean, and every so often a school of fish swims by.

I’ve read that some of the people don’t really like the system as it stands, that it’s not fast paced enough against the rest of the game, but I think that’s part of its charm. I recently had a tough battle that I lost on time, and I found the whole fishing minigame to be a nice break. You’re not really competing with anyone else for experience or to kill any monsters, and sometimes it’s kind of nice to sit back and just look out over the water and relax. Even if it is just on your computer screen.

So, if you haven’t been able to work it out by now, I highly recommend this game. Yes, Nexon is better known for Maple Story, but this sure isn’t Maple Story. It’s very different, and in this case, different means good.

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