28 September 2005

a video game movie not involving Uwe Boll!!!

Hi from Billy! Been a while since I've posted.

I just want to post a quick review/preview of something I watched last night. Upon the advice of an old roommate, I pirated me a copy of Final Fantasy: Advent Children (Don't worry, Square Enix, I'll still buy it later). For those of you who have never heard of it, it is the long-anticipated sequel to the IMMENSELY popular Playstation game Final Fantasy VII (1997). Before I get into the movie, I just want to say a little about the game. When I say IMMENSELY popular, I'm not kiddin around. This is the game that brought RPGs into the mainstream (at least, that's how I see it, and any and all reviews I've read seem to agree with me). With a story line that just sucks you right in, visuals that were truly remarkable for the time, memorable characters, and great gameplay, it was a mega-mega-hit. Gamespy places it as the #10 playstation game of all time. It's spawning a host of sequels, a practice which, up until recently, was totally unheard of from Square Enix (It was Squaresoft back in 1997). They come in various forms, from cell phone material to games on various systems, and, of greatest interest, this movie.

I don't want to give anything away, and, honestly, I'm not sure I totally understand this movie yet. I'll say this, though: the story needs some work. As an avid fan of FF7 (it's my second-favorite FF), I got what was happening, but things seemed a bit rushed/underdeveloped. But that perception might be skewed for a couple of reasons, such as the fact that the game's storyline is so thorough and fleshed out. Also, my copy was a rip of the Japanese release of Advent Children with not-so-great English subtitles (U.S. version on January 10th).

Despite plot troubles, however, I REALLY enjoyed this. The visuals are spectacular. SPECTACULAR .. as in, watch out, Pixar. The file I downloaded was a 700 mb .avi, which, granted, is huge. But that's not DVD quality by any means. Even so, this movie is gorgeous. If I were to casually walk into a room and just see it in passing, I would have thought they were real people shot on DV (the images are so clean). A big part of that comes from the physics models they are using .. they really nailed it. Hair moves naturally. Muscles tug. Walking is smooth. Water is perfect. Depth, texture, and shadow are great.
Ok, that's really all I want to say. Even if you don't care for Final Fantasy, see this, for the eye candy if nothing else. You'll be amazed at the tech.

Click it here to pine for CGI Donald Sutherland...


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