FarPlanet

FarPlanet

Word wizard slinging knowledge as he surfs the cosmos in search of answers. Also a father, husband, and a creative writing student, but mostly that first thing I said.

Contributor I

  • Lurker
  • Sharp-Eyed Citizen
  • ?
  • Articles
    2
  • Featured
    1
  • Comments
    24
  • Ext. Comments
    6
  • Processed
    3
  • Revisions
    2
  • Topics
    6
  • Topics Taken
    1
  • Notes
    5
  • Topics Proc.
    5
  • Topics Rev.
    3
  • Points
    513
  • Rank
    X
  • Score
    244

Latest Articles

Latest Topics

1

Devs: The Ghost in the Machine

Alex Garland has been making his name in the film industry for sometime now. Primarily with his contributions to the high concept, hard science-fiction genre. Writer of such films as 28 Days Later, Sunshine, and Dredd, as well as directing the films Ex Machina and Annihilation, Alex Garland has an ability to meld incredible storytelling about space travel, artificial intelligence, and futuristic tech with touching human emotion and true to life character flaws. His most recent endeavor has seen him take a step back from the big to the silver screen in his television debut, Devs: an eight-part stand alone series involving quantum computing, determinism, and humanity (in every sense of the word).

The article would highlight several aspects; Alex Garland himself, the technology of the show, the allegorical elements between technology and religion, and the philosophical and ethical issues such as determinism, multiverse theory, morality, and the illusion of free will. This article will be discussing the show in rather in depth details so a Spoiler Warning should probably be addressed rather early in the article.

  • Looking for some genuine feedback regarding people's thoughts about this one. Anything else that should be included or highlighted? Is there anything that should be omitted due to not being as relevant to the subject matter? Thanks, everyone. – FarPlanet 4 months ago
    1
5

Grappling Hooks are the Best Feature of any Video Game

Video games have been around for nearly fifty years now. Over the past few decades, trends have come and trends have gone within video game culture. When games started utilizing open worlds, many other games followed suit. When games decided that climbing mechanics were the next big hit, many games began to replicate this feature in their own way. But there is one game mechanic that no matter how much time passes or what stage in the video game zeitgeist we are in that remains, bar none, the best feature a video game can have. That’s right, we’re talking about grappling hooks.

There is just something so wholesome, so endlessly fun, and so rewarding about being able to traverse a wild terrain by slinging a grappling hook and getting the job done; perhaps there’s only one way to cross a wide ravine surrounded by waterfalls, maybe you need to gain the high ground on an enemy and lunge your katana into their torso from above, maybe you’re being chased by a horde of undead and a quick grappling hook to the rooftops if your best escape, or maybe you just want to see what happens when you grappling hook an enemy soldier and tether them onto a moving helicopter.

Explore the top games of the last fifteen to twenty years that featured grappling hooks and discuss the value of such a useful mechanic while also discussing other games, their mechanics, and how and why those mechanics are inferior (I.e. yellow markers to indicate climbable structures, active building mechanics, stealth mechanics, dual-wielding, etc.).

  • OkaNaimo0819, I see your point, but I can assure you that there is definitively enough material and that an article can be written highlighting the grappling hook above all other mechanics. I've gone ahead and added an edit to include your suggestion but perhaps reserve judgment for the final pending article before shooting it down because what you're suggesting is a different article all together. Which you can feel free to write because I'm not going to. – FarPlanet 4 months ago
    0
  • Uncharted 4 and The Tomb Raider remake both use grappling item. Also, would you count the hookshot from The Legend of Zelda series as a grappling item (Wind Waker also had a great grappling hook). – Sean Gadus 4 months ago
    1
  • A whole article about grappling hooks? That's why I love this magazine. :) – Stephanie M. 3 months ago
    1
4

Enter the Gungeon Slaps so Hard

Enter the Gungeon is a rogue-like video game (procedurally-generated dungeon crawl levels featuring unique gameplay and permanent death of the player) released more than four years ago. The game features four playable characters, with three additional characters that may be unlocked through completing in game objectives, each featuring their own unique weaponry and bonus items to help the player on their journey into the Gungeon: a bullet-hell dungeon where at the bottoms lies the gun that can kill the past.

The title alone must sound silly. The explanation, perhaps even more so, but let me tell you: Enter the Gungeon slaps so hard. It’s unique gameplay, storyline, unlimited pop-culture references, and rewards for each Gungeon run(geon) that encourage players to come back again and again make this game endlessly replayable.

In this article, delve deep into the gameplay, why the game is so relevant, highlight its pop-culture references, why the gameplay is so much fun, why its structure makes it the perfect game for long-form gamers or those that only have an hour at a time to enjoy, and all around why it deserves as much attention today as it did upon its release.

  • This sounds really interesting, but I think the article would need to be cautious that it is not too subjective. Rather than looking at why it is so fun, this could translate to a discussion of what elements of the game play are most enjoyed by those playing it. Then, WHY are those aspects of game play so popular? (I'm not familiar with the game so forgive my generalisations, but is it suspense, or mystery, or action, that players enjoy?) I think this would need some form of evidence to avoid coming across as just opinions, whether it be reviews or statistics to demonstrate popularity, etc. – leersens 4 months ago
    5
  • Leersens, Thanks for the advice. As this would be an article a bit close to my heart due to my (obvious) admiration for this particular game, I would be weary to make this a subjective glorying article about the game. The highlight of the article should be about what it is about the game that makes it so enjoyable and how it's in depth pop-culture connections keep it relevant to anyone playing it as well as people of any age. (No need to forgive as no offense was given. Perhaps the article would give inspiration to want to try the game out?) I would want this to be a review piece but also touch upon why after four years it's still (pardon the repeated terminology) slaps so hard. – FarPlanet 4 months ago
    3
  • I'm with leersens (and am glad to see leersens' comment was so well received). Evidence is super important. I've written a couple of essays on specific aspects of video games (such as avatar and gear design in Age of Conan) and used a lot of material from game discussion boards. It's definitely work to comb through discussion boards, for example, but it's also definitely worth it. I also used evidence within the game (what does the game show and not show, allow and not allow, etc.). Both types of evidence are useful. – JamesBKelley 1 month ago
    0
2

Stephen King's Best Work Is Not Horror

Stephen King has built his career being the foremost prolific and successful horror storyteller of our generation. Or has he?

In his almost fifty years of publishing stories, he has a tendency to repeat the tales and tropes he finds interesting again and again because if there’s one thing King is not afraid of, it’s putting out his first draft while he hones in the story. "Here’s my story about a murderous car. No, wait. Here is my story about a murderous car. Okay, hang on. This is my story about a murderous car."

Controversially, King’s best work is when he branches away from the supernatural, the ghostly, and the otherworldly and steps into the realm of ordinary people in real situations. An author who after a car accident is taken in by a crazed fan only to be brutalized, a man wrongfully imprisoned for the murder of his wife succumbing to life behind bars but secretly plotting his escape, or an author is murdered and his killer stashes his unpublished works before being sent to prison but after his release goes in search of his hidden treasure only to find a child has stumbled upon his prize and the lengths he is prepared to go to get back what is his. All of these scenarios are horrifying, but in a wholly different way than utilizing some fantastical element like telekinesis or inter-dimensional monsters.

It is at the core of stories like these that we find real characters that we can relate and connect to and it is there that we find the heart and capability of Stephen King’s true storytelling abilities.

    4

    New Old Horror: An Introspective Look Into How Old Horror Tropes Are Revitalizing The Current Horror Genre

    Since the introduction of the horror genre, our love for being terrified has only grown. What is it about being frightened to death that makes us feel alive? Is the rush of being able to view others in horrifying situations from the safety of our homes a voyeuristic thrill? Oh, you better believe it.

    The trouble is, what happens when the familiar tropes stop scaring us and the over saturation of horror films reaches critical mass and we can no longer reach the same euphoric terror we once had? Unfortunately, the same ideas from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s have been rehashed and repackaged so many times over to the point where the things that should scare us couldn’t even frighten a small child.

    Hollywood’s peddling of mediocre films has flooded the genre into a frail, shambling corpse of its former glory. The lumbering serial killer pursuing its victims at a pace never exceeding that of a brisk walk, the family wronged by a group of depraved lunatics to the point where the only justice is bloody vengeance, a small group surviving the never-ending onslaught against an insurmountable force, and the supernatural/demonic force that wants to inhabit our heroes has been driven into the ground so deep that you’d think Jason Vorhees had his undead boot pressing on the back of its skull.

    However, there are some directors that exist today that are able to take the old, outdated tropes from these bygone eras and bring them up to date in refreshingly gruesome ways. Directors like Robert Eggers, Leigh Whannel, Jennifer Kent, David Robert Mitchell, Panos Cosmatos, and Jeremy Saulnier have all contributed to the revitalization of modern horror by taking what made the previous generation’s horror movies that we loved great and updated them to fit into our current world.

    Taking an introspective look into new films, what they’ve adapted from earlier cinema, and how they’ve redefined tropes to make them stand among the best of what modern horror has to offer.

      2

      How long was Phil Connors Trapped in the Time Loop? (Groundhog's Day)

      In the 1993 film Groundhog’s Day, Bill Murray’s character Phil Connors became trapped in an ever-repeating time loop, reliving the same events of a single day in a small Pennsylvanian town. But how long was Phil actually trapped? How many days, months, and years transpired as he became a villain, suicidal, and ultimately the (problematic) hero and broke free?

      Does waking up next to Rita the next morning completely void their relationship because of his intimate knowledge of her due to his repetitive cycle of cheating his way into her heart? Oh, yeah, and let’s talk about why.

      • I feel that the writer should focus on the psychological aspects and the camus-ian aspects of this film. The spiritual undertones of this film would also be interesting to explore. – Lukasalive 5 months ago
        1
      • This seems to be one of those movies that reappears often with someone looking at from a new angle. Perhaps focusing on how the movie is seen differently, years after it was first released can be the point of an essay. – Joseph Cernik 3 months ago
        0

      Sorry, no tides are available. Please update the filter.

      Latest Comments

      FarPlanet

      Apt observations, gitte. I’m glad you enjoyed the article. To answer your question: yes and no. I do think that it takes a bit of rewriting the old tropes as well as altering the medium of film to keep things fresh and relevant, but that’s not to say that great horror/films can’t be created using the methods of old and still be consider good films. I do, however, completely buy into the camp that while new isn’t always better, it is preferable as it keeps us moving forward rather than constantly looking back. Learn from the past but keep reinventing what it means to be horror, or any other genre for that fact of the matter. I can say with all honesty that your insights are going to have me keeping my eyes out for any articles you publish here.
      Side note: in hindsight, Peele’s “Us” or “Get Out” would’ve been great inclusions on this list.

      How Modern Horror Tropes are Revitalizing the Current Horror Genre
      FarPlanet

      Valid criticism, Max. My first read through after it was published was pretty cringe-inducing because I caught several of the errors myself. I’ll have to be more diligent checking my own work so the editorial staff can just clean it up rather than catching any errors. So, thank you for the kind words as well as the critiques because I will learn from this and do better in the future.

      How Modern Horror Tropes are Revitalizing the Current Horror Genre
      FarPlanet

      Valid criticism of both films. I’m a huge advocate of Danny Boyle’s Sunshine, too, even though I admit the film takes a huge tone shift in the third act. (I may just be an apologist for creators I really enjoy.) Speaking of Sunshine, and this is a little off topic, Alex Garland penned the story and I’ve been taking a pretty deep dive into his stuff lately. Although he’s certainly more science fiction than horror, boy can the guy create some truly terrifying scenes and characters: I’m talking the the mutant bear from Annihilation and Kenton from Devs. Anyone else a fan of Garland’s work?

      How Modern Horror Tropes are Revitalizing the Current Horror Genre
      FarPlanet

      Samantha, I’m not sure if you’re a podcast fan but How Did This Get Made is a fantastic one where comedians June Diane Raphael, Paul Sheer, and Jason Mantzoukas watch terrible movies and crack jokes about them. They release a new episode every two weeks so it’s been my bimonthly ritual for years now to watch the movie and listen to the podcast. They’ve even covered not only Jaws 3 and Jaws 4, but they’ve also covered Anaconda. Not to mention about 200 other films. Highly recommend if “so bad it’s good” is your thing.

      The Journey of Cult Films
      FarPlanet

      SPOILER ALERT for anyone who hasn’t already seen The Witch or learned too much about it from this article.

      I personally kind of dug the ending. The majority of the movie lives in this ambiguity where we don’t actually know if there’s a supernatural element until the final few scenes. A woman (the witch) takes the baby and what she does to it is truly awful, but nothing about that is outright beyond what a person is capable of doing. The son later finds the witch’s lair and comes back altered in some way but, again, this is not explicitly supernatural.

      However, once the movie reaches the scene where Black Peter speaks, as well as the final scene of the witches dancing around the fire where Thomasin literally begins to float, we are left with the that fact that we were actually witnessing the forces of witchcraft and black magic from the very beginning of the film. Almost makes a viewer want to watch the film again to see what sort of clues were left along the way or what events would be more satisfying by understanding the nature of what was happening. Food for thought.

      How Modern Horror Tropes are Revitalizing the Current Horror Genre
      FarPlanet

      Controversial opinion: I don’t really care for Train to Busan. I know, I know. I think maybe it got so much hype that I went into it with too high of expectations. Don’t get me wrong, it is a fun movie but it just didn’t do it for me. I will now willingly accept any and all criticisms that must be hurled upon me.

      How Modern Horror Tropes are Revitalizing the Current Horror Genre
      FarPlanet

      Thanks for the recommendation! I will definitely check out some of her books.

      How Modern Horror Tropes are Revitalizing the Current Horror Genre
      FarPlanet

      I agree that I Saw the Devil falls into more of the thriller/suspense sort of genre but the torment and killings are in line with what would be considered horror. Kind of a strange middle ground in my opinion, but nonetheless would be an interesting film to break down.

      How Modern Horror Tropes are Revitalizing the Current Horror Genre