What the Pacific Rim game should be

Two electronic games were made as product tie-ins for Pacific Rim. The one for consoles and computers is pretty obvious – it’s a fighting game, like Street Fighter but with jaegers and kaijus.  I don’t have a problem with the concept, but I do have a problem with the business model.  You have to buy multiple downloads to get the full game.  When I’m King of the World, games targeted at kids won’t use the micropayment model.

Anyway, the kids like it OK, but what they really want are to be Drift-paired jaeger pilots.  This kicks it up a notch…and I have no idea why Legendary et al didn’t do this.  Here’s the pitch:


You take Just Dance or Dance Central or DDR, some Kinect game where two people dance side-by-side.  Then you make the scoring based on how much of the “dance” they do in sync.  On screen is a kaiju, like you’re seeing it through the jaeger’s interface.  The fighting moves scroll down the side.  If you and your Drift partner are doing really well, you can launch a power move.  When you do something really cool, you get to see your jaeger from the outside.
This could also work like Rock Band – some of the moves could be highlighted, and if you do them perfectly you build up power, which you can use to save your Drift partner if he is failing (“chasing the rabbit”).

You could pick and customize your jaeger, and your power moves would be based on which jaeger you were playing.  You would also start off by the intro move of your team (Cherno Alpha’s double fist bang, or Gipsy Danger Raleigh/Yancy or Raleigh/Mako), or make your own after a certain rank.  Of course you would get promoted through ranks, take missions, get weapon and defense upgrades, and have the option to add kill stickers or nose art.

It would be extra cool if you could do tandem missions with another jaeger team via the net.

At the end of each battle you get your stats, like Rock Back – percent of success, special things each pilot did, etc.  Lots of opportunities for achievements and PacRim art.

So what do you say, Legendary?

You’re welcome.

Pacific Rim

pacific-rim_02So, like Prometheus, Pacific Rim is a science fiction movie by a director known for his visual style and attention to visual details, and like Prometheus it suffers from a script not overly burden by internal story logic.  So why have I gone to see Pacific Rim twice in the theater, and yet can’t bring myself to watch Prometheus again?

Because Pacific Rim is FUN.

Prometheus told a lot of its story visually, and if you weren’t watching and just trying to follow the spoken words, it made even less sense.  Pacific Rim has that in spades, and it works a little better because there’s less story to follow.  In Prometheus, there are metric fucktons of levels of “The Engineers came before us and they might be trying to undo us, so should we fight them?  Can we?”  In Pacific Rim it’s an intro voiceover and a single line later: “The kaiju were here before us, now they are back, and we are going to kick their asses.”

Both had the wrong protagonist, though.  Prometheus really should have focused on David and Pacific Rim should have focused on Mako.

Ultimately, Prometheus was an auteur’s dialog with another auteur, and an existential philosophy piece, and an attempt to create a creation myth for another story cycle.  Pacific Rim is a fanboy’s tribute to awful rubber-suit genre movies.  It’s not emo, it’s not trying to deal with an important theme.  It’s Dance Dance Revolution meets Real Steel.  With a sprinkling of the Cthulhu Mythos.

And I am a SUCKER for Cthulhu Mythos nods.  I mean, Chuck Hanson even mispronounces Raleigh’s name “R’yleh” several times!  The breech is deep in the center of the Pacific, where R’yleh is, and the End Boss, the Category 5 kaiju, is exactly an Elder Thing except with muscular arms.  Del Toro updated Lovecraft, or riffed on him in a modern genre; as my friend Fran pointed out, it’s pretty much Charles Stross’ take on the Mythos, although the kaiju aren’t interested in any stinkin’ Benthic Treaty. (Her blog on the movie is about what cheesy stereotypes the scientists are; not at all Lovecraft’s dread-ridden antiquarians.)

There were other fun easter eggs as well – the Russian jaeger being made from (and named for I assume) the A cooling tower of Chernobyl.  A jaeger pilot named Chuck (Chuck Jaeger).  A few Top Gun references that I hope were on purpose.  A flyover in lieu of kissing (THANK GOD FOR NO KISSING).  And a nod to Del Toro’s brief stint on The Hobbit as Gandalf Quest-Giver Pentecost gets the Reluctant Hero Becket on his way, staged at a moss-and-corrosion section of a pipe fitting that recalls Bilbo’s front porch perfectly.