Back to back movie watching is an unusual activity for me, but last night I was drawn into it by Netflix. I’d been meaning watch ‘Indie Game: The Movie’ for some time, so that was easy for me. I hadn’t counted on Netflix then instantly rolling into another movie close to the top of my pile-of-shame, ‘The King of Kong’. It was a good night.
Indie Game: The Movie is a documentary that tracks the development of ‘Fez’ and it’s creator, Phil Fish and the Team Meat developed ‘Super Meat Boy’. A number of other indie developers weigh in (notably Jonathan Blow) with commentary and opinion, but it’s the plight of the developers that makes this. The emotional roller-coaster (and it really is), is there for all to see. If you’ve any interest in the video game industry, you really have to see this. For all you others out there, watch it anyway. It’s touching and inspirational.
The King of Kong – A Fistful of Quarters (to give it it’s full given name) is an entirely different affair. Following the out-of-work Steve Wiebe’s efforts to topple Billy Mitchell’s 20+ year old Donkey Kong world record, it lays bare the inner workings of Twin Galaxies (custodian’s of such records) and some of it’s members desire to retain Billy as the Golden Boy of retro gaming.
It’s understandable that you’d want to make this into a Good vs Evil contest, but you wonder whether or not the film was edited to make Billy look the bad guy, He really comes across as a dick, whilst Steve comes over as an honest, earnest, hard working chap. Still, it makes for a surprisingly tense 80 minutes. Go watch it.