Not content with just having a film, a cartoon and even action figures, Jay and Silent Bob are now standing outside the crowdfunding store hoping for a handout for their video game Jay and Silent Bob: Chronic Blunt Punch. Developer Interabang Entertainment are no strangers to game making and crowdfunding as they funded their last game Super Comboman through Kickstarter in 2012. Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes will be reprising their titular roles for the game and working with Interabang to be ‘on hand to consult with the creative side of development’…
…With a name like Jay and Silent Bob: Chronic Blunt Punch, it’s not surprising that the devs are using crowdfunding to get around the censorship of big publishers. Drugs, violence and sexual themes will be aplenty as Jay and Silent Bob find themselves in a city sized mega-mall looking for new customers to sell marijuana to. The game’s exaggerated art style fits in nicely with this vulgar world; stomachs spill out of obese scooter drivers and perky man-nipples are exposed through a juvenile use of S&M gear.
Our three hosts for the evening joked back and forth with their over-the-top German characters and accents and held the show together between performances. Ginger Darling and Bologna Wry, the usual hosts from BoylesqueTO, were joined by Skin Tight’s Sexy Mark Brown. Throughout the night they proved that three is definitely not a crowd.
Mark Brown played de Deutsche-Mark, a naïve country boy who eventually gets corrupted by the Nazi-like, efficiency-obsessed Ginger and the oversexed artiste Bologna. Poor Deutsche-Mark is made to spank Bologna with a paddle with a frame of a heart to leave a love shaped mark on her rear.
The acts themselves were quite enjoyable. My personal favourite was a pair of numbers that happened within a soul-crushing office. Mark Brown, Foxy Finale and Mahogany Storm played the workers looking for something more while evil boss Honey B. Hind kept them in line. After being naughty once, the three are banished to the mailroom and tied to chairs. They start to process invisible envelopes and make a rhythmic song from stuffing, licking and stamping the letters. Soon, the workers’ mimed actions became sexualized and they once again were overpowered by lust.
Kelvin looked turned and watched the rising, distant inferno. There was something magical in the way the light reflected off all the windows around him. He could even see the shimmer off the oasis spring to the South. The overwhelming beauty of Nature was on full display and it would’ve made any grown man tear up.
But Kelvin was not your typical man. Kelvin wasn’t a man at all.
Kelvin was a refrigerator.
Since the day was breaking like the preparation of an over easy breakfast (ovo-cide) Kelvin knew that Leadfoot would be bugging him soon. Ever since he had travelled to the future the old refrigerator had been taking copious notes of his cases. The prophecy in the ancient manual he had decoded was vague, like most prophecies are, and he wanted to be sure that no clue was overlooked. Sometimes he would spend hours reviewing cases he had solved in the last six months.
Crime started to spike only a few weeks after Kelvin had arrived in Survival City. Fifty years prior, in his own time, the detective had broken up a ring of sacrificial cultists who called themselves the Aid of the Kool. The Kool was some sort of messenger with the mark of the Manufacturer who was supposed to save the worthy with a baptism of a red liquid. The rest of the world would plunge into chaos with the crimes of the unworthy (robberies, kidnappings, arson, murder) growing exponentially until all were corrupted.
Murder dialled up to 5… No wait, maybe 4. You don’t want it too burnt, do you? Don’t ask me… I’m just the title, Sep 1/15, Drive in Tales: Issue 2, Pg 64
In Firewatch you play as Henry, a man looking to escape life. So, for the summer of 1989, he works as a fire lookout at Yellowstone National Park. This exciting career path has Henry hanging out in his lookout tower and watching out for fires. If he sees any smoke or anything suspicious, he has to radio it over to his boss, Delilah, who has a tower in the next region of the park. Over the three months of Henry’s tenure, a strong friendship develops between the two, and it’s their back and forth over the radio that really drives the game forward…
I can only give vague hints about the story since the mysteries of Yellowstone National Park are such an important part of the experience. I can say that it has a lot to do with isolation (given the unique setting, it’s not that surprising) and the idea that you can be incredibly close to someone yet they can be miles away, both figuratively and literally. And while that’s obvious for Henry and Delilah’s friendship, there are other, subtler examples of this found throughout Firewatch.
With loneliness comes paranoia which is another strong theme in the game. The player also starts to see patterns and creating their own conspiracy theories. Is there some kind of supernatural force at work? What’s the deal with that strange medicine circle southwest of my cabin? Where are these fires coming from? Why am I finding missing persons posters in different areas? Answering these questions is part of the fun of Firewatch…
The graphics team, especially Jane Ng, deserves special praise for the way they brought the lush environments to life. You’d think that, in a game with trees everywhere, the scenery would get repetitive after a while. There’s a lot of variety among the leaves with abandoned campsites, scorched forests, broken down outhouses and serene waterfalls. Traversing through the same areas can feel completely different due to small touches like day/night cycles (the sun setting through the trees is gorgeous) or leaves slowly dropping to the ground or the threat of a storm overhead.