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The Room Tribute

Abraxas lays out 4 basic rules to live your life by, and then promptly breaks one of them. Kids, don’t try this at home. Go over to your neighbors house.


There are lessons you learn throughout life. Lessons that make things easier for yourself as you go along.  In my life I have distilled these life lessons down to four basic rules.  I have found that if I stick to these rules things work out for me. I’ll share those rules with you now.

1. Never trust someone in white pants.

2. Never get involved with a woman with a tattoo of an arachnid on her body.

3. Never play poker with someone that has a nickname involving the name of a city.

4. Never play a video game based on a movie.

I’ve broken one of these rules to write this review.  I’ll let you figure out which one.

Anyway.

I know what you’re asking.  You’re asking, “Abraxas, why don’t you play games based on movies?

And that’s because they suck.  The production time line for a movie is something like a year, to a year and a half at the most.  The production process for a game is well past that, and in some cases over a decade (Starcraft, I’m looking at you).  Hollywood doesn’t come knocking for the movie tie-in game until a few months before release, which is no time to develop a game.  Invariably the games are bug ridden piles of crap that do nothing to contribute to the movie and offer little more than a “play-the-movie” experience.

Now, you’re asking, “Abraxas, why are you so cool?

Well, I can’t answer that because I just am, but the question you should be asking is, “What movie could possibly convince you to play a game based on it?

Two words- “The Room”.

Once a decade or so a movie comes along that is so incredibly bad it becomes good.  Movies like “Rocky Horror Picture Show”, “Repo Man”, “Evil Dead II”, “Plan 9 from Outer Space”, and “The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension”.  Movies so impossibly horrible they assault the senses and bludgeon you into loving them because this time it’ll be different, baby.

And then there is “The Room”.

Some people will tell you this movie is great.  Some people will say things like, “”The Room” is an electrifying American black comedy about love, passion, betrayal and lies,” and “The Room is the greatest film ever produced. Writer/director/producer/actor Tommy Wiseau is a jack of all trades visionary genius who could very well be the offspring of Clint Eastwood and Steven Spielberg.”

Those people lie.

Other people will say things like, “filmic holocaust”, “This movie is no more a ‘quirky black comedy’ than the Hindenburg was an intentional landing,” and “It’s not just the dreadful acting or the sub-normal screenplay or the bewildering direction or the musical score so soaked in melodrama that you will throw up on yourself or the lunatic-making cinematography; no, there is something so magically wrong with this movie that it can only be the product of divine intervention.”

These people tell the truth.

The Room is a movie so impossibly bad it is life changing.  If you haven’t seen it, you’re missing a part of yourself you didn’t even know you didn’t have.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking, “Abraxas, what does this have to do with video games?

Tom Fulp, a co-founder of Newgrounds, has lovingly crafted a video game based on the movie. The game follows the plot of the movie and re-uses much of the dialog from it (Oh, hai, Chris.  You’re tearing me apart, Liiiiizzzzzaaaaa!!  How’s your sex life?  I definitely have breast cancer.).  Yeah, it’s all there.

The game is built on a Flash engine, so you can play it in any browser on your computer.  It’s available for free at Newgrounds. The game itself is like one of the old SNES JRPG games.  And that means the graphics are SNES level, blocky pixelated figures that I would normally ridicule until they hid from the shame.  But in terms of the game, Newgrounds, and the foundation of the movie the blocky graphics actually make sense.

I want to tell you that the game is terrible, but it isn’t.  It’s well thought out and follows its source material closely.  The controls are simple, and make an intuitive sense.  The RPG style of interaction is easy to follow and move through.  The game board is laid out nicely, and within the bounds of the movie, make sense in terms of placement and look.   The game does add some elements that were not present in the movie but are as equally inexplicable.  There are all the hidden spoons.  The Aliens.  The cheesecake.  It’s these little things that add to the massive elephant that is The Room.   The game also does turn some of the bigger emotional scenes into boss fights.  And it also uses the football scenes to create fun mini-games within the larger RPG.

The love scenes, shower scenes, and nudity are just as cringe inducing in the game as they are in the movie.   And before you ask, yes they are wearing tuxedos during the football toss scene.

Overall, The Room Tribute is a well-crafted game. It inevitably imparts a sense that somehow the world will end if you stop playing.  But, no, that impending sense of apocalyptic destruction you get doesn’t come from the game; it leaches through the game from the movie itself!

If you have seen the movie and play the game, you will be left in an epileptic fugue state as your favorite scenes play out again and again in your head.

If you haven’t seen the movie and play the game you will be left dumbstruck and have a new definition of inexplicable as you wander through life a soulless husk begging for a final release.

I recommend watching the movie first.

You can play it here:  The Room Tribute

If you’re strong enough, that is.


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