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This is paradise! (and it’s very nice!)

Watched Mad Max 2. Man, am I glad I did.

So, remember the first Mad Max, where there was some degree of civilisation and Max had some kind of goal in life? Well, whoops, civilisation has only thinned out even more and Max is even more of a sullen, wandering soul. After stumbling across a bumbling gyro captain, he’s led to an outpost where a small civilisation of people are trying to live a decent life by harvesting fuel for their appliances, but are eternally hounded by bikers with questionable fashion sense. He helps them out only to further his own means, but after his car gets blown the fuck up, he has nothing left to live for, so, hey, he’ll help them for free.

The first Mad Max flick wasn’t bad, but just never made use of its unique elements as well as it could’ve done, I felt. It was post-infrastructure, but there was still enough civilisation that the story could’ve dropped that element and there wouldn’t have been much of a difference. It didn’t really help that the story was little more than a very long lead-up to Max’s revenge story… which lasts all of ten minutes when he unceremoniously just runs his wife’s killers over and blows one of them up. This one really takes advantage of the more developed setting and gives it so much more character. The totally barren wasteland is such an alien environment, they could have just dropped a “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away” caption at the start and you wouldn’t even have known it was meant to be post-apocalyptic Earth. Okay, maybe the Mack trucks and whatnot would tip you off, but still, it’s just a really intriguing and inspiring setting for the story to take place. While I’m making Star Wars references, who knew Brian May was capable of such a grandiose fantasy-adventure style score?

It helps that the supporting cast are a lot more intriguing. The first one only really had Max, his wife, his police buddies and a couple of recurring baddies, and that was it. Outside of the big boss guy who waters his flowers shirtless (and had a terrific dub voice), none of them were very memorable. I’ll probably end up forgetting the characters in this movie mere hours afterwards, but the Gyro Captain was a cute and quirky character (who I felt almost channelled elements of Hugh Laurie at times), the bad guys were full of total oddballs, and the people living in the outpost, as little screen time as they got, there was enough interesting people there for one to wonder what their regular everyday life is like. Max himself is admittedly a bit of a nobody, especially with his lack of dialogue, but in a sense having less to say makes him more intriguing. He’s a lone wolf prowlin’ the wastelands of tomorrow!

The whole time I couldn’t help but be amused at making all kinds of Fist of the North Star parallels; I’ve no idea if the author of the series ever admitted the inspiration, but come on, there’s loads o comparisons. Kenshiro’s totally kitting out Max’s attire, and the evil Lord Humungus dude is probably what Jagi wears when he’s in the bath. You got a feral kid (Bat!) who’s mute (Linn!) who has a bladed boomerang (Mamiya’s bladed yo-yos count, right?). You could be there all day if you wanted to. Admittedly Mad Max is much more interested in the aspect of what’s left of yesteryear’s technology, whereas Fist of the North Star doesn’t really give a crap about that – who cares about guns or bikes or trucks when all the important people are totally immune to them? Ken probably just needs to bulge his bicep and all bikes within a five mile radius just fall over and explode.

It’s one of those films that pretty much defines an entire genre, so I’m glad I got around to seeing it eventually. I’d probably say if you’re big into visual design and whatnot, it’s definitely worth checking out just for the costumes, vehicles and art design alone. Not sure if I’ll be in a rush to check out the third one, but of all things, I’m tempted to check out Outlander now. At the very worst it can only be just as bad as the Hokuto no Ken SEGA game, right?


So, RQ87 got himself a new router earlier in the week. And you know what that meant? We could actually directly connect to each other on Xbox Live for the first time ever! No, I’m serious, for about a year and a half (or more!), if we wanted to play an Xbox Live game together, we couldn’t just host a game and let the other join – for whatever reason our connections were incompatible, and the moment we directly connected, we’d just drop. Never found an explantion for how or why; I’ve had a similar problem with trying to play friends on Wii games. Instead we’d need to find a server hosted by someone else, hope that by the time we alert each other there’s still enough room for both of us… and if we make it in, we may find out that we’re playing with total losers or on a dumb map or something. Or the connection would drop and we’d have to repeat the process.

It was a very depressing experience.

But now, we can just… connect directly! If one of us hosts a game, the other can just hop in! Simple as that! Honest to god, it makes me wonder how the hell we ever settled for such a roundabout method of playing online games together for a year and a half. Not that we were playing together every day, or even every week, but still. We began with some OutRun Online Arcade, a game I’ve been dying to play online for ages (the multi-player userbase seems to have been rather inactive since the day I got it), and it’s kinda different shifting from single-player to multi-player. Alone, you can just avoid whatever courses you don’t like, and your main focus is just staying on the track, avoiding the cars and keeping up your speed. Online, the path is predetermined before the race starts, which can be a real nuisance for folks like me who just grind the same tracks over and over to try and get the best record; and now you’ve got to keep the enemy racer from using your slipstream. I think my attempts to ward RQ87 off just me crash into a wall and fall into last place. Not smart.

We also started Resident Evil 5… a game I bought in November last year, and haven’t even touched until now. I’m totally inexperienced with the Resident Evil series – I tried RE4 once and got chainsaw’d very quickly, and I much preferred watching the others, so it was a bit of a shock to just leap straight in with someone to lead the way for me. I, uh, died a lot. I can’t have been too incompetent since we completed the first chapter without suffering too badly, but yeah, since it was the first time I’d even played the game I was stumbling around and getting axes in the back a lot. Still, playing the game was pretty fun, and it’s got me tempted to give the other games in the series another shot.

We only got playing an hour or two of stuff on Tuesday, but I’m itching for more. It has made us realise how few online games we share, though. There’s the two aforementioned, the two Left 4 Dead titles and a couple others, but that’s it. Then again, we got plenty of mileage just from those two zombie-fests, so it’s not like we need much variety. I mean, we got plenty of entertainment from just the PC version of Halo without much need for diversity. Not proper playing-the-game entertainment, mind you, but just being an asshole in an incredibly broken game is fun enough.


  1. Video of Ragey getting MOLLYWHOPPED in OutRun 2 coming soon

    Thursday, June 9, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Permalink
  2. Ragey wrote:

    Lookin’ forward to it! Also hey I beat you at least once, that must mean something >:V

    Thursday, June 9, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Permalink
  3. MightyKombat wrote:

    I wanna hear how badly RQ87 smashed your arse in a fighting game somemore.

    Friday, June 10, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Permalink
  4. Fighting games are for babies dude. Real men play OutRun 2.

    And I just realised that I have never seen a Mad Max movie in my entire life. Not even clips of any of them. I suppose I should because I’ve heard FotNS took influence from it and what you’ve mentioned sounds like a good deal of stuff came from these movies.

    Are you going to be watching Beyond Thunderdome?

    Friday, June 10, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Permalink
  5. Ragey wrote:

    I’d definitely recommend Mad Max 2 – lack of martial arts and head exploding aside, to me it really felt like a FotNS story brought to life. The first one’s okay, but pretty forgettable, and you don’t need to watch it to enjoy the sequel. Since I’ve got the boxset it’d make sense to watch Beyond Thunderdome eventually, but I probably won’t be in a rush.

    Friday, June 10, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    The video next to no-one asked for! Ragey Vs. RQ87! Who will win this epic non-battle?

    Saturday, June 11, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Permalink