Sunday, August 22, 2010

Scott Pilgrim (And some Echoes news)

Quick update on Echoes of Erebus before I go on about Scott- The trade paperback edition has finally been released here, although it will be a few days before Amazon links of to my Amazon page. Well, Amazon sells it, (For some reason listing it as "Volume 1") but hasn't included it in my author page quite yet. By the time you read this, it may very well be up to speed.

Point is, it's out. All 3 formats now. Now I just have to go into the world and push it! On that note, GO BUY MY BOOKS. See? Superliminal advertising. And people say I don't sell my stuff hard enough. I even increased the font size for that. A little. I wouldn't want to seem rude.

So, Scott Pilgrim, eh? I recently got yo read the 6th book, I bought the game, and yesterday, I saw the movie. Sheep? Me? Naaaaaaahhh. OK, here we go:

The books. (Comic) Classic, to be sure. OK, not that old, but classic anyway. 6th (and final) book is very recent. Cute art, if not A-shelf, still makes the characters endearing for all their faults. Predictably enough, the books have the elbow room to explore the characters a lot more than any other form of Scottiness. Scott himself is a bit of a knob, and his childish ignorance comes at a cost to him at every turn. And he doesn't get it. His plight is just pathetic enough to trigger empathy, moments before he says or does something that reminds you that he is an idiot.

The old indie and video game references seem aimed squarely at generation X. There's websites devoted to digging out every little reference to a game or band, but many of them are right in your face. "Are we an item?" Remona asks.. Scott ponders several Mario items, cluelessly. The name of his band is the Sex Bob-ombs. Rival bands include the "Clash at demonhead" and "Crash and the boyz". If none of these ring any bells... well, you just can't appreciate SP on the levels intended... but it's still good otherwise. You might even get educated about the 80s. Come to think of it...Be afraid.

The game. Did I say 'the 80s'? Yes, I'm pretty sure I did. Strongly STRONGLY inspired by old games from the NES especially, this 2D side scrolling beat-em-up has been compared most directly to "River City Ransom", complete with shops to buy powerups and using enemies as weapons. Your easy-to-preform list of combat moves grows as you level up. I was also reminded of Double Dragon 2. As with the comic, there's a pile of different game references, down to the faux 'glitching' in some areas, and beating up giant blocks for coins. While the game isn't too bogged down in story, (about as much as those old NES games), there's tons of background appearances by other characters from the books. (For the record, the only thing the game has in common with the movie is that they're both based on the comic.)

The game also happens to just PLAY REALLY WELL. It's fun. It plays like you remember those old games playing. Here's a secret.. those old games don't actually play as well as you remember. That's the effect of nostalgia smoothing out the edges. Scott's game smooths out those edges for you. It plays as well as your faulty memory of the past. Bend your brain around that.

The movie-First, the bad. And it's not that bad. The casting of Michael Cera as Scott... well... It's really not what I pictured from the comic. He does a good job, sure. It's just not what I pictured. Same with Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Ramona. It just wasn't what I pictured. Ramona got played much... crabbier than I saw her as in the comics. But by the end of the movie, I just sucked it up and had fun with it.

Of course anyone who's seen the TV ads for the movie know they plunk in some video game/comic special effects. They're there a lot more than the TV ad implies. The comic itself has so many 'commentary' boxes (many of which are pointless) that you really needed 2 scoops of them in the movie. The movie did a TON of things right. Things I missed were simply because... time!

Knives Chau, on the other hand, had more proportional face-time that she did in the comics, and she was painted a bit more heroically. A bit. No one's a full saint in Scott's world, but Knives takes a step closer. Close enough that you wanted to grant all her wishes by the end. But that wouldn't work, now would it?
Oh yeah, the movie, and Knives, DO have their moments of awesome.

For some reason, in every incarnation of Scott Pilgrim- everyone can fight. (Bloodlessly) And they can fight well. Why? How? Who cares. When you get thrown a couple hundred yards against the upper reaches of a castle tower, then fall 5 or so stories, needing only to walk it off, you realize quickly that reality was not invited to this party. And that's okay.

The endings of each of the 3 incarnation are a bit different. One will give you generalized spoilers for all of them, but they all play out differently. The 'set' of the final fight in the game is entirely different that the movie, which fights much differently that in the comic, etc etc. If you liked one, you'll like the other 2 incarnations. (Unless of course, you just hate great games.)

Wow. It's almost as if they planned it that way. ;_;

I'm a sheep. I got em all. I get like this now and then. Last year around this time, I seem to remember getting obsessive over Rammstein. I get into something, and I want to absorb. I guess that's good marketing. Or I'm naturally a sheep

Bryan Lee O'Malley makes it huge with his lil indie comic, Danny LuVisi makes it HUGE with his gorgeous art, with POOF, movie and game deal.... Alright then! MY TURN!

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