Multilingual Previews, Reviews, Interviews & Point of Views...of/for/with/about various products, movies, books, people, things & events...

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Unique Product vs. Copied Product

As per few of my friends "Everything created these days is copied...everyone copies." Such statements are insult to those people who work their hearts out in creative fields. Now please consider few examples.

*) - If everyone copies then by that logic Music Directors like Pritam or Anu Malik or Bappi Lahiri should be as great as AR Rahman.....NO!! because he and his team work hard to find unique permutations and combinations instead of lifting music from around the world.

*) - *Hypothetical* You want to make a Political Thriller movie. Now, mainstream Bollywood chooses copied themes, story plots. Political movies similar to USA or big European nations scene are done to death all over the word a lot of stats on the Box Office Response, Critics, Budget etc are already there...for me adapting all that in your country's backdrop is no big deal. Now, many Hollywood as well as independent movie makers take risk and cover Historical Fiction stories on roads less (or not at all) Political scenes of not so mainstream countries like Fiji, Moldova..(this is new, this is trying unique permutations-combinations)...if these risks are commercially successful then shameless Bollywood camps, big production houses copy the theme or even scene-by-scene copy the movie (this is copy, no excuse). Artist-Author Mr. Sumit Kumar while reviewing a story in Freelance Talents Championship wrote - "World is a complex place, there are so many stories which have never been told. Holocaust has been done to death - something similar could be the mass killings in Mizoram in 60's. You could write about that."

*) - I agree that volume of creative work, art created over thousands of years is humongous but still there are countless unused permutations-combinations...I guess the commercial barriers restrict people to try something new, unique and they chose 'tried and tested' safe paths over an over again...maybe thats why often a 2 minute trailer can remind 4-5 movies or books to even a casual fan....So, please respect the brainstorming, several experiments few people do to bring those unseen probabilities to life.

P.S. Jab itna paisa aur mehnat casting, shooting mey kharch kar rahe ho to thoda sa story mey bhi kar lo...

Image Source - Koleksi Stiker Atau Logo (

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Modern Classics in Video Gaming

This is not an exhaustive list, and I will only cover games that I truly love. Rest assured there are many great games out there, but I am not here to write a essay. I am here to let you know what I love, and if you're a gamer, you can look into these games for entertainment. Enjoy. - Ajay Dhillon


In this game, you take the role of a royal body guard who's job is to protect the empress. However, the empress is assassinated and you are accused for her murder. You are thrown into the prison, but soon rescued. Now it's time for revenge. To start off, you have lot of freedom to choose your own path in order to complete your objectives. For example, in one mission, you can choose to enter a mansion through the sewers or climb the wall to enter through the garden--these are just few possibilities. You can replay these levels again and again and still find something new. Whether you choose to play as good/evil (killing everyone or killing no one)--your actions will influence the outcome. It's pretty clear when choosing upgrades, you want to be able to sneak more efficiently or be built up for combat. However, I feel the best option is stealth. In stealth mode, you can avoid killing enemies by putting them in sleeper hold, and there's always an option to neutralize your main assassination target as opposed to killing them.

The game is absolutely gorgeous. The developers really managed to create an amazing dystopia and I became truly immersed in it--a 1900s European style city ravaged by rat plague, which has killed over half of the population. I also really found myself getting into the story as the game advanced. I'm a sucker for stealth games, and unique settings, so this game was right up my alley. Upon beating the game, I immediately wanted to start again, and till date, I have beaten this game not once, not twice, but four times. I highly recommend it.

BIOSHOCK 2 (2009) 

Having a bit of hype surrounding it before it's release, BioShock does not disappoint. In fact, as far as first person shooters go, games rarely get any better than this. BioShock takes the FPS genre to new levels thanks to it's brilliantly realized atmosphere and setting, and a story that is so engaging and emotional that you'll think you were playing an RPG. The opening shows your character flying on the plane, which crashes soon afterwards. Being a lone survivor, you see a lighthouse in the middle of the ocean and swim towards it. This lighthouse is a secret entrance to an underwater city of Rapture. As you arrive, you see that rapture is in ruins and dead bodies are everywhere. There are psychos running around with guns. Now it's up to you to solve the mystery of this exotic place.

Using a barrage of traditional weapons, and some new found abilities as well. What makes BioShock so great besides the atmosphere and story line are the memorable characters and character customization options which really allow the gamer to get into the game and tinker around to your advantage. The overall presentation, from the sound design to the wonderful voice acting to the grimy atmosphere, make BioShock one of the best games released yet, and definitely one of the best FPS' to come out in quite some time. If there's any downsides to BioShock, it's that the enemy variety is slim and that it is a little too forgiving to the gamer. Moreover, unlike the other games mentioned in this list, Bioshock is pretty linear in terms of progression. Despite the minor flaws, BioShock is a masterpiece of modern gaming, and every gamer should consider this an essential pick up. Bioshock 2 is a direct sequel to Bioshock, and expands on Bioshock lore. It also improves on the game's play mechanics of the first game. You play as a different character this time around and the story is yet again very memorable. It's a worthy pick up if you loved the first.


The 3rd game in the series has nothing to do with the previous games, and contrary to the claustrophobic and dark setting of Rapture, Bioshock Infinite takes you above the clouds, where everything bathes in bright sunlight. You play as Booker Dewitt, an ex-Pinkerton sent to a city in the clouds to rescue a girl. It is set in the early 1900's. Although the plot seems pretty basic at first, it evolves into something much deeper. Without giving much away, the story focuses on racial tensions (the norm in early 1900s America), and touches on the subject of forgiveness and redemption. In terms of game play, Bioshock infinite is touch weaker than BS 2 but better than BS1; however, you have wide variety of guns to choose from this time around (around 13). You have plasmids like magic potions from Bioshock, but they are called Vigors here. The story is well written and well told, the voice-acting is some of the best I've ever heard in a video game, and game offers plenty of action.

You are treated to an amazing game world--one of the best settings I've seen in a video game along with games like Dishonored and the original BioShock. It was amazing how much detail and thought went into even the smallest details, details you would miss unless you were looking carefully. The game ended, and I found myself searching the internet to see if others shared my interpretation of it. The overall story is quite thought provoking - something I expect from a book or good movie, not a game. As with any game, there are some flaws. In a true Bioshock manner, the game is fairly linear in design, so there's not a lot of additional ground to cover, as each location is build to progress the main story. Also, there is only one ending! Aside from these nit pickings this is a modern day masterpiece - an overused phrase but one that applies here.

FAR CRY 2 (2008)

Caught between two rival factions in war-torn Africa, you are sent to take out "The Jackal", a mysterious character who has rekindled the conflict between the warlords, jeopardizing thousands of lives. In order to fulfill your mission you will have to play the factions against each other, identify and exploit their weaknesses, and neutralize their superior numbers and firepower with surprise, subversion, cunning and, of course, brute force.

From the amazing opening scene, it's clear that Far Cry 2 offers an amazing setting that will immerse you all the way through. Far Cry 2 is made for patient gamers who love exploring an interesting environment. It offers insane amount of freedom as well, as you can explore this fictional African country and complete any objective in any order. There are no linear preset missions to be found here and the game can last you from anywhere between 20-50 hours depending on how much you want to do. The action is very intense, with smart AI opponents flanking you, sneaking up on you from behind, and surprising you. The free-roaming aspect allows you to pick and choose from a large variety of activities to suit whatever whim you have at the moment (or, you can explore the huge map). The exotic locations are a refreshing change and nothing like this has been seen in games since. And the map editor for online multiplayer is incredible and the most detailed I have ever seen in a game. You could spend hours just having fun building your own map. This game is an absolute must for any gamer with even a remote interest in shooters.

FAR CRY 3 (2013)

You, Jason Brody, are on a vacation with your friends on a desolate island. However, you soon realize that the island is ruled by pirates (or smugglers) as you and your friends are captured and put up for slavery. You manage to escape; however, your brother was not so lucky. Now you must join the local tribe and get your hands bloody in order to survive this overly hostile environment and get your friends back. Far Cry 3 is the surprise hit of 2012 for me, right behind Dishonored. Ubisoft really hit gold with this open world adventure game. Players are introduced to a hellish and beautiful island right from the beginning where savages rule and guns speak. The graphics are fantastic for such a big game (nothing beats blowing a vehicle and watching the fire spread, it's pretty incredible) and the player has so much to do, from hunting and crafting items, to playing poker and throwing knives, to reclaiming enemy outposts and hunting for relics. The list goes on and on. Like Far cry 2, the game is totally unscripted as you can do whatever the game offers.

Unfortunately, unlike Far Cry 2, Far Cry 3 lacks immersion, as the game world (or the island) is not as unique as the somber African country featured in its predecessor. However, FC 3 is far more accessible to casual gamers, and fixes some of the standout flaws of FC2. For starters, there are more quick travel points so no more driving long distances, and stealth seems more natural and easier to perform. Accumulating XP points by finding relics, climbing radio towers, completing missions, and killing enemies will allow the player to upgrade and learn knew skills, and unlike some games, the player can unlock every skill. Moreover, you can find letters of the lost throughout the island, that tell you bit of island's history and about the war that took place decades ago. My only serious problem with the game are the mystical elements introduced later in the game, which seem awfully out of place for a game so grounded in reality. Quite frankly, Far Cry 3 would have benefited greatly if the developers had just stuck to the core psychological drama established at the outset by a crazy villain named Vaas. Speaking of Vaas, Michael Mando delivered one the best performances I've ever seen in a game. The storyline veers off course about 3/4 of the way through and the endings are underwhelming but despite the flaws, Far Cry 3 is a must buy. It is one of the best open world games on the market.