Friday, February 11

Unbelievable Dutch

I just finished watching the 1984 ‘classic’ The Karate Kid and it turns out I have a profound issue with it.

I find it too hard to believe that some kid can train for a karate tournament in two months by painting a fence and waxing a car, then enter said tournament (as a black belt no less) only to win by beating the reigning champ.

Not only were the competitors bigger than Danny, they had also trained for years and were accredited black belts.

If that scenario had happened in real life, Danny would have had his arse handed to him before any of the Cobra Kai had a chance to pummel him in the ring. I like to think that once Danny had awoken from the first round knockout coma he received, the clan would have snuck into his hospital room and beaten him with soap in socks Full Metal Jacket style.

At least Rocky had a boxing history. That real 80’s classic had an ending that made sense - he had a dream, he trained hard, he put on a good fight. Sure I’m probably not meant to giggle when he’s crying out “Adrienne!” after the fight but I do anyway because I’m insensitive.

What has this got to do with video games? Nothing really I'm just annoyed at the ending to a film. However it did make me think about the expectations of the hero and the plot of games.

For example, have you really thought about Super Mario Bros? Essentially it’s about a plumber who eats too many mushrooms, plays with fire and is expected to save a Princess from a giant turtle. Ignoring said mutant turtle, why would you leave your life in the hands of a drugged up arsonist? Personally I’d take my chances with turtle.

Clearly Mario and his world is a work of fiction; he was created solely for entertainment and not to inspire like dodgy films of the 80’s. I’ve got nothing against Mario; I just want to know what his creator was doing when conjuring this amazing mix of crazy elements.

For something a little more real, how about Doom? Yes it too is a work of fiction and it’s sci-fi and there’s absolutely nothing real about it, but you’re one man taking on hordes of insane aliens, running around Mars and its moons with a chainsaw and other Earth developed weapons. Why do humans have the technology to teleport and live on Mars, but we only have two futuristic weapons? How is one man meant to save the world with knuckle dusters and chainsaw? Who does he think he is? Chuck Norris? Have you seen the final boss? It’s fricken huge! I can’t even walkout to the bin of a night time just in case I come across a cane toad.

The same can be said for most first person shooters with a single protagonist – the fate of the world comes down to just one person facing an unknown enemy against the odds. Unless you’re in a Tom Clancy game or Call of Duty World At War, in which case the fate of the world comes down to your unit of allegedly crack soldiers who spend more time taking friendly fire than shooting the enemy.

Although some games may not make sense when analysed out of context, I am grateful they don’t often contain a dodgy montage sequence. Can you imagine Street Fighter if it had a Kickboxer style montage just before the fight with Bison, complete with a motivating tune with an electronic drum breakdown? I think my head would explode.

Have you questioned the plot of any games recently?

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