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Original entry posted: Thu Jan 20 13:36:26 2011

That Fuzzy Bastard @ Mon Jan 24 15:14:48 2011 EST

Very interesting, the comparison between the grindhouse aesthetic and 8-bit games. And spot on---8-bit gaming, like the grindhouse, was an era of low-budgets and lack of respectability, which produced a lot of cheap thrills and left-field creativity. Did you play House of the Dead: Overkill, a much more successful attempt to bring the grindhouse approach to games? It worked better than Wet in part because it built on the light-gun genre, a genre already short on respectability and also very well adapted to cinematic experiences (as demonstrated by the absolute freakin' masterpiece that was Dead Space: Extraction).

Thomas @ Mon Jan 24 16:42:08 2011 EST

I'm not quite as enthusiastic about DS:E as you are, but I'm a huge fan of the House of the Dead games, and I think they're a good example of this done right, before it was fashionable. They also benefit from the way that light gun levels--like low-budget films--only need to build enough of the set for the camera to navigate. A lot of the same tricks for cheap sets apply. It's not hard to imagine that the backs of the castle walls in House of the Dead were bare plywood and staples.

That Fuzzy Bastard @ Wed Jan 26 10:26:23 2011 EST

Did I send you a link to the DS:E review I did for Slant? I spooged all over it there, but I meant it---the experience was so cinematic, in the sense of being narratively involving, that it left me a lot more interested in the light-gun genre. But yes, I love your image of the HotD games as being like the town of Rock Ridge in Blazing Saddles---that *is* kinda the feel I get from them! Did you play the gleefully silly HotD:Overkill?

Thomas @ Wed Jan 26 15:54:21 2011 EST

I think you did link it, as I remember some kind of raving. Myself, I thought it was okay, but the whole Dead Space universe leaves me cold for some reason.

I haven't played Overkill specifically. The Wikipedia page does make it sound like fun. Maybe I'll borrow it from someone.

That Fuzzy Bastard @ Fri Jan 28 23:12:29 2011 EST

Oh yes---if you're interested in grindhouse gaming, it's one to check out. Gleefully and deliberately stupid and silly, it really does play---perhaps a little too deliberately---like a Tarantino remake of House of the Dead. It's no great work of art, or even a hugely good work of art, but it's well worth a playthrough.

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