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Mojo Updater
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Everything posted by Udvarnoky

  1. A few relics: https://web.archive.org/web/20041210231155/https://www.bad-brain.com/ https://web.archive.org/web/20050405211655/http://www.people-net.com/index.jsp
  2. Amazing. Keep them coming. Let the record show that the Hit the Road piece is also a Paco Vink original, while the Grim artwork is by Colin Panetta. This is a reminder that we need to go back and clearly credit the artists behind these headers. They definitely got attribution at the time, but I think it was done inconsistently (in some cases they may be mentioned only in the original news post, long orphaned from the feature), and some of the features' finer details may not have survived the transition from Gabez's highly bespoke HTML to the BBCode era.
  3. As you may know, the header art for our “Secret History” feature on The Curse of Monkey Island was done by the great @Paco (V), known intergalactically for his unfinished comic adaptation of the first game: Paco’s work was so on-point that it sometimes gets confused for official promotional imagery for Curse, and it has therefore turned up, without attribution, in all sorts of low-effort articles, such as: Monkey Island Creator Debunks Myth About Guybrush's Name (TheGamer, 04/28/22) *Curse of Monkey Island designer reveals reasons for series' art style switch (Eurogamer, 05/05/22) **Steven Spielberg Almost Made This Video Game Movie Adaptation (Collider, 08/19/23) Where will Paco’s work turn up uncredited next? Let us know so we can grow the wall of shame. Sure, this is the definition of throwing stones from a glass house, but you gotta pass the time somehow. *credit added after some shaming from @Kroms **“Image via Lucasfilm Limited,” apparently
  4. When environment artist Karen Purdy updated her online portfolio, it was the hitherto unseen Freelance Police stuff that got stirred up that made the front page. But she did work on early Telltale titles as well, and what she shares from those are pretty interesting/rare in their own right. Was that teddy bear on the Myra! talk show set even in the final game? https://karenspurdy.artstation.com/projects/XBDR9D
  5. Valuable stuff. Stemmle is candid and the questions are good. It’s always interesting how Dan Connors seems to be about the only person on the team who doesn’t characterize the cancellation as a total surprise. Mike must be right when he guesses that as the producer he had a little more exposure to the upper management’s perspective than the rest of the team. Your interview with Dan was also the first I’ve heard anyone suggest that Jim Ward may have had a say on the fate of the game before he was formally sworn in as studio president in April 2004.
  6. The crime scene hadn't been picked quite clean: https://mixnmojo.com/news/Sam-and-Max-2s-grave-disturbed-again-stray-bone-fragments-collected
  7. Am I the only one who thinks Larry is referencing Randy Breen in all but name when he talks about the manager who disapproved of his version of Full Throttle 2? He's too professional to call him out, but it's gotta be.
  8. In an old article I tried to argue that CMI, EMI and TMI do a pretty conscientious job of keeping the theme park innuendos of the first two games perpetuated.
  9. I don't believe Ron's intention at the time ran much deeper than the impishness of doing a Monty Python and the Holy Grail ending. I hardly doubt he had "thoughts" for where he might have gone from there, and it is intriguing how that rug pull encourages you to re-examine the games' fourth wall humor as if it was conscious foreshadowing, but I think by and large he just liked the idea of a wild swerve to be answered for only when/if the time came to do so.
  10. Keep up the good work, Daniel. That you're "banking" all these developer memories is something posterity is going to be grateful for.
  11. I'm always struck by how superior the CGM cover is to the actual box art while still conforming to the art direction of the game. The design they went with is fine, but feels a little too Disney.
  12. Concept artist Adam Brockbank shared some illustrations he did for Spielberg's unproduced version of Indy 5.
  13. Keep watching your cholesterol, as the game has achieved a status of "midway".
  14. I spent a lot more of the review on Skull than I set out to because, having made the decision not to use spoilers, it became the most useful way to articulate my general response to Dial by contrast. Skull and Dial are kindred sequels, because they’re both up against the same challenge: How do you tell a story about an aged Indy that necessarily puts the character outside of the era he was designed to operate in? How the two movies deal with this problem is highly revealing. The decisive difference is that Dial comes off as a movie that knows what it wants to be about. We can attack the screenplay, but it at least feels like it has one. Skull feels like they shot a story outline that happens to have dialog in it. I find it highly objectionable because it is in essence incomplete material. The truth is I can talk all day about individual things in Skull I admire, and individual things in Dial I consider defective, but that’s all just exercise. There’s an aggregate effect with a movie, where it either works for you or it does not. I walked out of Dial satisfied, while I walked out of Skull deflated, and that’s going to color my whole perspective, as it ought to. I also decided that I needed to divulge where I was coming from walking into Dial to explain why I might have been prepared to forgive a lot, because where I was coming from is inescapably informed by the last installment. Though I’m negative on Skull, there’s a narrative around that movie based primarily on internet talking points (aliens, Shia LaBeouf, whatever) that I don’t want anything to do with. In short, the reasons you’re “supposed” to dislike Skull are largely unrecognizable to me. I personally dislike Skull because I find it to be an inert, unshaped bore filmed by somebody who didn’t want to leave the country and desperately wanted you to know how addicted they are to Classic Softs and mist machines. Already we’re hearing how it’s “illogical” to tolerate Dial’s zanier choices as some sort of hypocrisy due to common complaints against Skull. (Oh, if only outlandishness was Skull’s problem!) The CGI “fakery” I see in a similar light – I’ll commiserate with anybody who thinks Dial is too VFX heavy. But the fact is that Skull looked fake even when it was real – that’s how gratuitous the issue was. I just can’t overstate how lethal the aesthetic of that movie was for me, and how much of a rebound Dial managed to be on this score, even shot digitally and despite the fact that it features a goddamned machine-learned Indy (and obviously so at that) for twenty-five minutes. So in the end I gave a lot of ink to my actual problems with Skull (as opposed to what the received wisdom says) to try to orient the reader to the areas where I was going to be particularly susceptible to some redemption. Already it’s looking like my perspective is one of the more generous ones, and hopefully all the knocking on Skull served the purpose of contextualizing that rather just reading as gratuitous.
  15. Anthony Ingruber makes a blink-and-you'll-miss-it-cameo in the movie as "Dutch Bidder" at the Hotel L’Atlantique auction. He was recruited as a double for Ford in the 1944 sequence, and I guess they couldn't resist working him in somehow. There he is on the far left, in a shot that was in the first trailer:
  16. Mojo's review: https://mixnmojo.com/news/Mojo-reviews-Indiana-Jones-and-the-Dial-of-Destiny
  17. It's been nicely de-chlorinated, but there's no dialing out the Classic Softs and lighting scheme which bake in its aesthetic of a feature-length dream sequence.
  18. Yeah, SKULL was released on DVD at a time when studios spending real money on supplemental features was still a thing. All those original Laurent Bouzereau featurettes amount to a near three-hour documentary if you were to roll them all together. And look, somebody has:
  19. I can confirm that the current box set is excellent, at least where the transfers are concerned (and those are, of course, the cardinal point). Though the latest masters are now I think the source used for most streaming offerings, you shouldn't settle for internet-optimized bitrate and compression if you've got the hardware to play the 4K discs. All four movies are in pretty much reference quality on that format. On the extras front, they just ported the same features from previous releases, and not even every last one of them. Admittedly that's still a ton of stuff, but it's a bummer if you were hoping the deleted scenes were finally coming out the catacombs.
  20. Now that Disney and Paramount are playing footsie with the Disney+ arrangement, I'm doubting you were wrong to hold off. ¬
  21. Dang, but I'm grateful to know The Truth now. I can't help but think my longstanding claim that Gabez invented the cotton gin needs to be held up under scrutiny, too. Thanks! It was fun to write. I think it passed largely unnoticed when we first put it online (as to be expected given that it’s the fringiest article in the history of mankind), but we sort of hoped it would be quietly found by the right people over the long-term. Every time that Bill Eaken art gets discovered, a Cocytus-ian being gets routed home from Spacetime Six. (Or whatever the hell. What a weird game.)
  22. There are so many exceptionally stupid stories to pull from the life and times of Mixnmojo that it’s hard to know which ones to single out. I always felt like I came in well after the heyday and thus like I know the best tales only as hand-me-downs, but a highlight from my tenure was certainly the great MojoX Easter 2010 heist where Gabez, queztone and Zaarin (with elTee as a complicit bystander, I think) conspired to take down and relaunch the site with a new design without looping any of the other staffers in. It was some classic passive-aggressive old lady drama for a bit there on the admin forum. As the strangest possible form of commentary, I slapped together a truly bizarre PowerPoint "game" fictionalizing Gabez’s impetuous ways (exaggerating them by as much as fifteen percent), honoring a pastime some friends and I had developed in grade school. There were some fitful attempts to bring back contests. There was one I instigated because I stumbled upon some dirt-cheap copies of A Vampyre Story at Target – like five bucks a piece or something. They were budget printings but nevertheless in actual boxes, so I scooped up a handful and donated them as prizes for whatever the contest premise was that we subsequently wrapped around them. I handled mailing out the games to the three-ish winners, and I vaguely recall printing out some kind of “humorous,” individualized missive of congratulations to each on Mojo letterhead. I’m sure I’d be mortified to find out what I wrote now, but I remember making a lark out of that whole thing, and paying for international postage in good humor. It came to my attention recently that Mixnmojo’s affectionate nickname of “Ronzo” was once the subject of some adventurous discussion on the Thimbleweed Park forums. As far as I know, styling Ron’s name this way was a non-sequitur that Gabez (?) meaninglessly started doing out of the blue one day, and it was applied to others as well -- I seem remember Gabez routinely calling Benny “Benzo” and Benny labeling him “Gazbo” in return. Or maybe the truth really is something more sinister and intentioned? I’m prepared to humble myself to the possibility that LowLevel has better sources. As the webmaster of The Grim Fandango Network, Thrik (excuse me, our CEO) was the natural talent to make the original and per-eminent Psychonauts fan-site. Razputin.net (aka Razputin’s Domain) certainly lived up to that potential (and know that if you disagree, you’re disagreeing with Tim, who shouts out the site at 14:00 of this video), and I’ll forever lament Thrik’s abandonment of it. (The legacy of The Church of Tim is a little more complicated – we failed all of you by being unable to dig up @Yufster and @Kingzjester for the article.) The site ran a brief Q&A with Tim on the eve of the game’s launch, and in response to the innocent question of how he felt about shipping the title at last, Tim went on one of his greatest riffs that nobody remembers, and so I’ll reprint: What else… I can recall being disproportionately enthusiastic about receiving a review copy of Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings in the mail. This was already well past the time (2009) Mojo would have been reviewing current LucasArts titles outside of novelty, and even when Mojo scored early copies of anything (pretty much limited to Remi getting Telltale episodes, I think – thanks Emily!) we were pretty much in the digital code era by then. I don’t think my copy of Staff of Kings arrived much before the release date (if it even did?), but for about five seconds I thought I knew what Formally Being A Game Critic felt like. Looking back on my radically generous review, I can’t help but wonder if I got subconsciously corrupted by this notion, although I do maintain I enjoyed that game.
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