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AICN Games: Quint from Comic-Con! INDIANA JONES and new STAR WARS games, LEGO STAR WARS 2 + some word on OT DVDs!!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint from Comic-Con. Sat in on the STAR WARS panel today. Not very happy with what was said, but they did show some cool stuff regarding upcoming Lucasarts games.

INDIANA JONES

They're doing an Indiana Jones game, which is known. At E3 they had an Indiana Jones statue there to announce it. What they did do at this panel was show off a new piece of software called Euphoria, a biomechanical AI that has every human react completely perfectly to his environment. The footage had Indy fighting some thugs in the street. He'd punch 'em and throw them against walls or railings their bodies would react specifically to whatever surface they hit, not matter what it was. If they hit a railing, they could flip over it, clang off of it... all depending on how they hit it, etc.

To demonstrate they had a live demo of Indy on a rope bridge. They manipulated the bridge and we watched Indy struggling to keep his feet. They said they weren't controlling Indy, but the AI was trying to keep the body from losing its balance. Then they showed it reacting to stones hitting him... then boulders. They beat the hell out of poor Indy.

There really has never been a great Indiana Jones game, which is a shame because the characters are perfect for that setting. I'm hoping this one comes close. I know it's set in 1931 and Indiana Jones is all over the world, including on the streets of San Francisco. As cool as this Euphoria thing is, the graphics weren't all that impressive. They were aiming for next gen consoles, but the graphics here were easily early PS 2 graphics.

STAR WARS

This game I don't think they gave a title to, but it will be the first next gen Star Wars game. They showed us the force powers test that got Lucas to sign off on its development. The graphics looked like a slight step above KNIGHT OF THE OLD REPUBLIC, but the force powers were really cool. We saw a few different Jedis fighting Stormtroopers (not clone troopers). A chick is standing in what looks like a landing platform on Kamino. She charges up her force powers and blows a box off the platform. Next one had a bunch of Trooper standing behind a series of boxes. She charges up longer, the air around her hands radiating. She lets loose, the rain being blown towards the Troopers who are swept away over the edge along with the boxes.

My favorite was a male Jedi who stumbles across a Stormtrooper in a trash pile, mumbling to himself about who would leave the place as trashed as this. He sees the Jedi, charges and with a flick of his hand the Trooper is lifted into the air and slammed against the ground (very much like the Clone Wars episode when the sith witch wipes out all the Clone Trooper around Anakin). He's lifted again, a lot of the debris from the ground lifts with him. He's slammed again and again, then slammed against the far right wall. There's a giant pipe there. He holds on for dear life, straining against the force as the Jedi pulls him away. He pulls the giant pipe free and crashes down to the earth. A TIE fighter's screech can be heard the view point moves to the left, seeing the TIE swooping in, firing. The Jedi lifts the debris and Trooper and throws it at the TIE, blowing it up.

Pretty neat. Hope the game play is easy to get a handle on. Sounds like a ton of fun.

STAR WARS FOR THE NINTENDO WII?

Steve Sansweet on the panel said that Lucasarts isn't doing anything for Wii right now, but that because of the design of the joystick that it is "a good assumption that there'll be a Lucasarts Nintendo Wii game."

LEGO STAR WARS 2

They showed a little bit from the game. Looks exactly like LEGO STAR WARS, except in the Original Trilogy worlds. You build up Chicken Walkers instead of Droid vehicles, etc. A new feature is the ability to mix and match characters, so you can have any combination of characters you want, be it Darth 3-PO (Darth Vader's head on 3-PO's body) or Chewy-Wan Kenobi (Chewy's head and arms on Obi-Wan's body), etc.

ORIGINAL TRILOGY DVDS

Sansweet also talked about the upcoming DVD release of the OT, going so far as to hand out buttons that say "Han Shoots First , September 12th 2006". I won't go on a geek rant, but he did confirm that the original theatrical editions won't be anamorphic, but from the best material they had (the 1993 laserdisc master videos). He went on to say that the movies are being released for the majority of people out there who don't care which edition they get, but don't want to buy the box set, which just pisses me off. The laserdisc masters are almost 15 years old. God knows the video technology looks the same, eh?

And as for them being made for the average fan, not us apparently small minority that prefers Lucas' "historical archive" versions, that doesn't wash. Every ad is about them releasing the original film without the special edition elements. Every standee in Suncoast video is taking preorders for the "original cut" releases, not the "Special Editions with a special feature edition." That's what they're selling, but they won't clean them up? It's like Lucas is too embarrassed to put out the originals, but not embarrassed to take the money for them.

They showed some examples straight from the DVD and the film looks exactly like those bootlegs out there of the laserdiscs. A little washed out, pixelated and strobey. Goddamnit, is it too much to ask for the originals restored properly? (And I'll say this again, since some people didn't seem to grasp it last time I made this point... restoration is different than the special editions. I'm not picking and choosing what I want. Look at the beautiful restorations on the WIZARD OF OZ discs. They didn't add anything, but they cleaned up the print and made it as vibrant and clear as it was in theaters in the late '30s. When we went to see the original 3 films they were vibrant, not washed out or pixelated.) These "workprints" made Lucas a billionaire. Why is it so hard to offer up the option of having a good, stable version for the fans to pick between?

Sorry, back from the rant. Won't slip again. Too busy. So much coolness up ahead. Watch for it, squirts!

-Quint
quint@aintitcool.com





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