Gaming at the Movies #8

‘Gaming at the movies’ is a weekly movie review feature which brings you the latest, the greatest and other combinations of gaming movies to stream or download every Wednesday. Gather up some sugary snacks, a nice big drink and make room in your schedule for a night in with some movies.

This week’s box office presents an assortment of eight movies in total for your perusal. Ranging from a slew of new releases (Twisted Syndicate – Delpan & pita 2010, Lost control 2 and oskar the troublemaker) to one of the first effects-laden dinosaurs (3D Morgan) and finishing up with another epic installment in the history of gaming movies.

Name: Twisted Syndicate – Delpan & pita 2010
Editor: SP3CTRE
Runtime: 5:41
Released: 2010
Game: CS


A compilation of kills from former MYM and new fnatic players Delpan and pita. Made by the editor responsible for “Xizt”.


This movie was underwhelming for me. Given the stars of the movie I was hoping for something spectacular but instead I ended with something above average but not significantly enjoyable. There are good kills but there are also many which don’t give me any kind of noteworthy feeling. I’m referring to those 3 or 4 kill rounds which look ok but aren’t necessarily exciting or impressive. It also hurts matters that some of the good Delpan rounds fell victim to quick cuts which pretty much cripple those sequences. There were also quite a few eco round scenes.

The editing in general left me a little cold, in particular the added moments such as the eeg readout and the bodyparts all just seemed rather awkwardly jammed in between sequences of kills. Those moments were so pointless and jarring that they took away from the energy of the movie. The soundtrack was crap, the first song in particular had sections which bordered upon being unlistenable.

With all of that said it’s not that I dislike this movie or even was annoyed by it. The sped up cuts did irritate me for a moment or two, in that I couldn’t properly enjoy those scenes, but this movie more felt like one which could have been a bit better but for some mistakes and bad decisions on the moviemakers part. Definitely worth watching if you like both of these players, both have a number of good sequences and Delpan specifically has quite a lot of the good frags. Above average and bordering on being good but ultimately pulled down a bit by its flaws.

Thorin Rating: 6.5/10

Name: Lost control 2
Editor: Muff
Runtime: 6:30
Released: 2010
Game: QL


A compilation movie of frags by Japanese QuakeLive players, for the most part.


What a wonderful sleeper hit this movie is. Coming completely out of nowhere for me this movie pops up with the promise of frags from Japanese QuakeLive players, hardly the most tantalising offer you’d think, only to leave me somewhat stunned after viewing. A dynamite package where everything in it comes together to become much more than the sum of its parts.

The first thing which stands out is the striking design work which runs throughout the whole movie and looks very cool and modern. Layer onto that an interesting soundtrack which looks to have had a lot of thought put into it as each section of the movie mirrors and intertwines with each track in a way which makes sense. Throw in some editing which synchs up the right moments to give you a satisfying flow. Marvel at a wealth of kills which despite the rare average ones are on the whole good to really good and at times surprisingly impressive. Add a pinch of effects done just right to make the visuals exciting enough that they pop. The final result is a delicious dish you’ll like more than you thought you would.

It’s new, it’s fresh, it’s surprising, it’s exciting, it’s fun and it’s cool. So much for the complaints about the lack of good QuakeLive movies from some quarters.

Thorin Rating: 8/10

Name: 3D Morgan
Editor: maul
Runtime: 2:13
Released: 2003
Game: CS


A short minimovie featuring former X3 and 3D player Bullseye.


A lot of people got excited over this movie when it came out and maul became one of the first North American frag movie editors to reach celebrity status within the scene. Unfortunately it was quite a flawed movie back then and the years have not changed my feelings in that respect. Still it was a significant point in gaming movie history so it seems worth digging up again for the new generation to see.

Firstly this movie is way too short as I seem to remember maul quit the project and movie-making part way through and just released what he had done with a couple of tweaks. This was one of the first movies to really heavily use effects in every single scene. The big problem being that these effects are in no way subtle and so it feels as though the viewer is being flashbanged after each kill and between each sequence.

These are really obnoxious effects where I find myself struggling to make out who was killed, since I can’t see the obituary, or at times to even properly see the kills. There are flashes and lens flares and zoom-ins and even overlays of kills. At the times these effects on their own were quite stunning but that didn’t and doesn’t change the fact that they ruin a lot of the scenes and make the viewing experience frustrating. The 3D bullet time scene was the first of its kind and is a theme which was been repeated many times in other movies. It’s also a flaw that it was repeated here. The first time is fair enough but in the 1v3 against four kings we see three of these 3D bullet scenes which is total overkill.

There are some good kills in the movie and Bullseye was a player who released a lot of POV demos for his time. Sadly the effects really make it difficult to take much enjoyment in the kills or even remember many of them. An area where the movie is fairly successful is in creating good energy throughout the movie and also displaying some rudimentary synching based on the mood of a section of the song, rather than a specific moment. Even despite its problems this isn’t a terrible movie, but it is very flawed and shot itself in the foot too many times to be considered anything more than a novelty.

[Thorin Rating: 3.5/10

Name: Cypher Frag Movie
Editor: resoLVer1.0
Runtime: 4:29
Released: 2008
Game: Q3


A compilation of kills from 2008’s Quake 3 player of the year: Cypher.


This is not a good frag movie but there have been far too few Cypher movies and this one didn’t seem to get any exposure outside of Russia at all. On one hand it’s worth watching see Cypher’s kills from 2008 and on the other the config and settings are annoying enough that they kind of reduce the impact of the kills. 90 FOV, a terrible fast and difficult to see rail beam and an annoying bendy shaft detract something from the kills there’s not doubt.

All of the kills are single affairs and some aren’t that impressive except that they’re done by Cypher. Considering Cypher is known for his incredible streaks in games where he shreds an opponent for an extended period of time hitting godlike shot after godlike shot it’s fairly annoying that there is no movie built around that theme, this one included. The editing really isn’t worth speaking about, it’s amateurish throughout. The soundtrack isn’t great either. There are a few nice kills by Cypher here and there but the baggage of everything else that is this movie is too much to bear.

Thorin Rating: 4/10

Name: Megatech body id 501
Editor: FrooP and KILLME
Runtime: 5:51
Released: 2010
Game: WSW


A Warsow minimovie created for a contest.


Warsow is not a game I follow at all but this is a cool little minimovie that popped up and I enjoyed it more than I expected. It’s very stylised and the intro sets a theme in place well which gives the movie a cool feeling. The soundtrack for both the intro and the frag action is very good and suits the video footage in each well. Warsow itself is a beautiful game which is very aesthetically appealling thanks to its luscious cell shading.

The frags in the movie are good, on a couple of occasion perhaps not incredible but there are plenty which can be appreciated as good even without having played the game. A cool movie which creates a nice feeling and executes it well with frags and music which synch together with the editing. A complete package and a fun little watch.

Thorin Rating: 6/10

Name: The Pink Panther
Editor: RavenTL
Runtime: 2:33
Released: 2009
Game: CS


A short minimovie of online players built around the theme of The Pink Panther cartoon.


This is a minimovie which oozes style. The theme of The Pink Panther really holds it together and connects scenes well, as well as allowing for some creative transitions. The soundtrack is excellent and there is plenty of synching, done in a tasteful way. There are a whole bunch of really good kills despite being from nobodies or people only famous for uploading movies of themselves to SK Gaming. A good example of editing enhancing a movie instead of encumbering it.

There is nothing negative to mention about this movie, it even has a nice sense of humour. A really good little minimovie which hits the spot and leaves you wanting more. I enjoyed this a lot but I can’t go overboard with the rating since there’s really about 2 minutes of actual action.

Thorin Rating: 7/10

Name: oskar the troublemaker
Editor: wareaN
Runtime: 5:32
Released: 2010
Game: CS


The newest movie starring eSuba player oskar.


What a disappointment this movie proved to be. After “oskar! High Voltage” I was really looking forwards to seeing more from oskar as it’s clear the guy has skills and the ability to produce some top draw frag sequences. This movie is a prime example of editing and effects detracting from the viewing experience though.

Despite only being 5:32 in length the viewer doesn’t see a first person POV kill until over 2 minutes into the movie. That intro time is mostly out of game footage, which we see repeated, and a fairly obnoxious sequence which seems to act as some kind of bizarre bragging advert for the very movie the viewer is already watching. Unnecessary and irritating to say the least. Once the actual movie gets going there is still more frustration in store.

Oskar did his part and there are once again some very good kill sequences in this movie, some which are excellent and even a few against well known opponents. The ones we get to see unmolested by the editing and effects I enjoyed as much as I would have expected. The problem is that a whole bunch of sequences get spoiled by annoying editing and effects.

Firstly we get the dreaded fast cuts rearing their ugly head once more as some kills I feel like I’ve watched a magic trick where a tablecloth is pulled out from under fine china and suddenly it’s off the table despite the pieces still standing in place. I don’t want that kind of feeling when I am trying to watch a kill, suddenly finding that it’s over and yet I don’t remember actually getting to see the meat of it.

Secondly there are some quite annoying effects overlaid on the screen which irritate the eye and distract from certain scenes to create a similar effect to the cuts in terms of making a kill suddenly appear and then be over without the viewer being able to properly take it in and enjoy it. The only negative of the actual frags to mention is the two eco round sequences one after another, with the first one on train being especially crap and drawn out so it seems to take forever.

This is not an outright bad movie, it’s a spoiled movie. Good frags by oskar, bad editing and effects by wareaN. From a purely technical standpoint, having nothing to do with actual entertainment or enjoyment, the movie is actually well synched. It’s a shame that to synch it in such a matter involved ripping apart a bunch of good frag sequences and tearing out of the meat so in the end we’re left to wonder what could have been.

Thorin Rating: 5/10

Classic movie magic

Name: Dag Def Extreme 2 (DDE2)
Editors: dag
Runtime: 15:03
Released: 2002
Game: QW


Second movie in the movie series featuring Swedish legend and former Flaming Fist player dag, considered by many to be the greatest QW player of all time, and Canadian star player and American Gangsters member def.


After the FDE (Frags Done Extreme) crew had lead the way and shown that QuakeWorld could produce spectacular frags as good as or better than any other game title out there two of QuakeWorld’s elite stars picked up the baton and ran with the concept. Using their incredible skills to show off great frags and creative trickjumps these two stars helped create in my opinion the best QuakeWorld movie of all time and one of the best gaming movies to ever grace a screen.

This movie is sheer class from start to finish. The intro is slow and brooding as the atmosphere builds but that’s no problem since this movie runs long and packs every minute with entertainment. The frag section is really good and thanks to the use of slow motion and different camera angles the viewer gets to understand and appreciate every kill. There are single kills which even to this day are great and from interesting positions as well as some really good TDM sequences. The editing is completely spot on in this movie and it is a rare example of a movie where there are multiple camera angle shots of frags which otherwise wouldn’t be fully appreciated and yet no unnecessary or additional ones on actions which wouldn’t merit them.

When the trickjumping part comes around it’s understandable for a brief moment to feel like you wanted more frags but immediately upon tasting the speed and thrill factor of this section you settle in and enjoy fully. Even after 8 years these tricks are still really good and entertaining. Nothing quite compares to QuakeWorld’s air movement when an elite player hits the highest speeds and can manoeuvre the well known maps in ways mere mortals can only dream of.

The soundtrack fits the movie so well that even to this day when I hear “Liberate” I think of this movie. This was the first gaming movie to use tracks from this Disturbed album, coming out only a month after the album’s release, and the choice of which tracks to use on which section is very well done. A movie with really good frags, impressive trickjumping, a fun soundtrack and excellent editing. This one has it all: adrenaline, excitement, entertainment, surprises and mad skills.

Thorin Rating: 9/10

What rating would you give each movie? Leave your answers in the comments section.

‘Gaming at the movies’ will return next Wednesday with another batch of movies to excite, infuriate and entertain you.