Movie Review By: SSJKamui (Reviewer Forum link)
Directed by: Yoshiro Nishimura
Written by: Kengo Kaji, Sayako Nakoshi and Yoshihiro Nishimura
Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: High
Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: Medium
Key Cast Members:
Ruka: Eihi Shiina
Keyman: Itsuji Itao
Tokyo Police Chief: Yukihide Benny
Barabara-Man: Jiji Bû
Bar Independent Diner: Ikuko Sawada
Dog Girl : Cay Izumi
Rating: out of 10
Looking for a good scare this Halloween? Tokyo Gore Police may have what you’re looking for. Be warned: The visuals may be more… “intense” than what most would go for. Let’s say this shit makes your “Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” and “Saw” franchises look like Disney productions.
Overview: Tokyo Gore Police is a “Japanese Cyberpunk” splatter movie created by the producers of “The Machine Girl”. The movie is a remake of the independent movie “Anatomia Extinction”. Currently, a prequel short for the movie is in production.
Plot: In the future, the privatized police, under control of the “Tokyo Police Corporation” has developed an extremely brutal, merciless law and order type way of action.
The whole society developed into a sadistic, pervert society with an obsession of violence.
Ruka is the daughter of a policeman who was assassinated in a very brutal way before the police was privatized. Because Ruka saw the assassination of her father, she was traumatized and developed self harming behavior. After the death of her father, she was adopted and raised by the chief officer of the Police Corporation.
Later, an outbreak of a virus causes the infected people to mutate into bizarre monsters. The virus was created by a mad scientist to take revenge on the death of his father by the police. Later, it’s revealed that the father of the mad scientist is actually the murderer of Ruka’s father and the reason for the assassination was actually a conspiracy within the police, where the chief officer of the new Police Corporation has got a key role.
After most mutants were killed by Ruka, the police start a Purge like action where also seemingly randomly civilians get hunted. Among the murdered civilians is also a close friend of Ruka. Because of this and the involvement of her foster father in the assassination of her biological father, Ruka gets mad and starts mutating, too. She fights the policemen and then encounters her foster father. Her father, who started mutating, too and using injections of the virus to get more powerfull starts fighting against his foster daughter.
The story of the film is full of sick moments and extremely brutal scenes. For example, a mutant is a prostitute who eats her customers. There is also a huge amount of psycho-sexual horror, like in the works of H.R.Giger and most other “Japanese Cyberpunk movies”, but some scenes are more funny than scary.
“Vagina dentata” much?
The movie has got a huge amount of black humorous moments. For example, like in the Robocop movies, in the movie, there are certain fake commercial scenes advertising very sick things or speaking funny warnings. For example, knifes for self cutting are advertised in an extremely sick way and there is a television warning that committing Hara-kiri will result in your death. The chief officer of the police also has got a kind of “Cyborg Dog” who looks like a BDSM Costume.
The depiction of the police in the movie is also the clichéd “ultra violent law and order” policemen type which often appear in Cyberpunk works. The most famous ones are Robocop and Judge Dredd.
I agree with the Review on DVD Times.com , the film definitely reminds on Blade Runner, but it mostly lacks the brilliant atmosphere of Blade Runner. Only the driving scene through the streets of Tokyo and the Bar Scene catch a similar, brilliant atmosphere.
The opening scene, where at first, all is peacefull, but suddenly, Rukas father is killed in a very brutal way was one of the best depictions of the concept of “the Real” by the psychologist Jacques Lacan, a kind of traumatic, unexplainable event suddenly appearing which is threatening the function of the mind, I have ever seen.
Speaking of unexplainable events suddenly appearing which is threatening the function of the mind…
On most parts, the movie is extremely entertaining, but I don’t understand these “police purge” scenes near the end of the movie and to me, these scenes doesn’t really make sense. The story of the movie isn’t very intellectual, but it’s a good satire on the actions of these populist law and order politicians. The story is also more complex than these Japanese Cyberpunk movies starring Dr.Joseph Mengele like Mad Scientists performing cruel experiments.
Conclusion: Tokyo Gore Police is a truly sick brutal movie like most Japanese cyberpunk films. The story is also not very original and is mostly extremely thin. Nevertheless, it’s still an entertaining satire which can’t be taken seriously. Like all “Japanese Cyberpunk movies”, if you have got problems with violence, you won’t like this movie. Most of the horror scenes aren’t as scary as the horror scenes of the movies Yu On and The Ring, although these movies are less brutal.
Review By: Mr. Roboto
Year: 1986, 2005
Developed by: Solid Image Ltd (Glyn Williams, Joey Headen)
Released by: Firebird, Ovine by Design
Platforms: Amstrad CPC, BBC Micro, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Windows
Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: High
Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: High
What do I consider a “good hack” to be? Well, you see that robot? A good hack would be if I can use that robot to get a beer, deliver some pizzas… and free humanity from this bunker.
Overview: Much like Paradroid from our last review, Cholo is another remake from indie game makers Ovine by Design. Originally made for 8-bit systems of the mid-80’s, the new Cholo improves upon the bare-wire-frame graphics for something more Tron-like.
The story carries over from the original, but the new version changes the interface for an FPS feel of looking out a robot’s eye(s) and adds more “rampaks” (upgrades and clues) to the gameplay. Think of it as Paradroid done first-person.
The Story: The city of Cholo was an important asset to allied forces for it’s robotics works. When a nuclear war broke out, Cholo was spared from a direct hit, but radiation made living on the surface impossible, not only for biological reasons but for causing the many robots to go berzerk (obligatory retro game reference) and attack any human they encounter. An underground bunker was built, the remaining people were move inside, and sealed from the robots and radiation. To keep the people occupied, a robot game called RAT was created. You have mastered RAT and have been selected by Cholo’s computer to use those skills to free humanity from the bunker.
To free humanity, you must use the rat-droid to hack into other robots and use their weapons and abilities to find a way to open the pyramid seal and free humanity.
Easy, right? If it really was meant to be easy, it probably wouldn’t be worth playing. Like most any puzzle, a bit of difficulty is expected to make solving all the more satisfying. For Cholo, that puzzle is made all the more difficult because of the buildings; They all look similar outside, making identifying individual dwellings harder. HINT: There’s a map of Cholo that you can print out so you can mark-off buildings you have been inside of. Ovine also gives you a quick-start on how to “capture” your first robot (Igor, the hacker droid). From there, you’re on your own.
A cast of characters. To succeed, you will need to know what robot has what abilities. Starting with the rat-bot you investigate inside buildings, and hijack other bots. Hacker-bot Igor can then access the computer systems inside buildings, but don’t let him get into any fights; Igor has no weapons. Police bots (not to be confused with RoboCop) patrol the streets and guard important areas, while Grundon tank-bots guard the pyramid entrance to the bunker. Leadcoats can access irradiated areas that can harm other bots, while a maintenance bot is available to repair the others. There are a couple of remote camera robots to keep an eye on things (no pun intended), and robotic vehicles to get around town.
Sounds like you everything you need to free humanity… except a solution…
Cool story, bro. One of the key features of Cholo, both versions, is the novella which gives a bit of background to your quest, and possibly some hints.
You are a computer maintenance engineer named Jared. You’ve noticed that there have been an increasing number of malfunctions and failures in the bunker’s systems. This is due to the organic computer that runs the bunker is slowly “dying,” as its protein source is running low. The RAT program that was created was actually a test to find someone able to use the droids to free humanity before the computer dies completely, taking the trapped humans with it as the bunker’s life support systems fail.
Ovine also has a news archive where pre-war news provide more background, and maybe a hint or two. I’d recommend reading everything before diving into the game so you have a better chance as freeing humanity.
Conclusion: While not the easiest puzzle to solve, Cholo is bound to give the adventurous a good reason for playing. Some might consider the visuals rather primitive even by 2005 standards (they must have never played the original version), but that doesn’t seem to deter from the atmosphere. Cholo is one city you should consider visiting, especially if you need a break from your standard FPS blast-a-thons.
This post has been filed under Cyberpunk Games
by Mr. Roboto.
Review By: SSJKamui (Forum Link)
Developed by: Andrew Braybrook
Released by: Hewson, Jester Interactive Publishing (Ovine by Design)
Platforms: Commodore 64, Amiga, Atari ST, Acorn Archimedes, C64 Direct-to-TV, Wii(Virtual Console), Windows
Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: Medium
Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: High
Rating: out of 10
SSJKamui gives you retro gamers something to consider from our forums. In 2006, indie developers Ovine by Design remade this classic for modern Windows systems. The screencaps you’ll see will be from the Ovine remake.
Overview: Paradroid is a videogame for the C64 computer, created by the English programmer Andrew Braybrook, where the players play a robot who has to fight other robots who have overtaken a spaceship. If the player wants to, he is also able to hack the robots to control them.
Story: The robots of an unknown spaceship (the Paradroid) rebelled against their masters and took the ship into their control, but one small Robot fights them.
Like all older computergames, the story is extremely thin and only contains a few cyberpunk elements. The elements present in the story are a focus on the underground (the game centers around the robot servants of humanity and the player is playing one of the weakest robots. This can be seen as the “Underground of the Underground”.). The Information Access theme is present through the hacking parts.
The negative impact of technology is also present, because the robots attacked the humans on the ship and possibly even killed them. Because, in the game, there are no humans, there is obviously no “Fusion of Man and Machine” element.
The Visuals: The Visuals of the game are abstract labyrinths, mixing metallic looking borders with a cyberspace like environment. (Because of this, the Visuals are very cyberpunk.)
The robots on the grid are represented as abstract circles with a registry number in the middle. During the hacking, you see the actual physical shape of the robots. The hacking interface is a circuit diagram like representation of the ports of the robot. (This is also very cyberpunk like.)
The abstract visuals are among the coolest aspects of the game, although they are extremely simple.
Gameplay: The player moves his robot through the ship and is able to attack hostile robots with his lasers or he can dock and try to hack them. The hacking is a more hardware hacking, where the player has to gain control over the ports of the enemy robot. (In fact, this is extremely complicated and requires a high amount of dexterity. Because of this, I never succeeded in it.) When the player fails, he is destroyed. Else, he controls the enemy robot and can use him in turn to hack other robots. The higher the registry number of the robot, the more complicated is hacking him. In some aspects, the game is a kind of “Hacking arcade game”. The gameplay is fun, but personally, I think it’s a little bit too hard.
If you’re familiar with hacking in Nercron, this should look familiar.
In the game, nearly nothing about the game mechanics is explained, so, a look in the manual is often needed.
Conclusion: Paradroid is a very interesting game, but not a very good game for long term play. It’s more a game for short sessions. The graphic is simple, but indeed interesting. Because of it’s high difficulty, I can’t recommend it for people who don’t play very often. For hardcore gamers, it can be indeed a very entertaining game.
Postscript from Mr. Roboto: If you want to play Paradroid, but don’t have your C64 anymore, head over to Ovine by Design and download their remake, Project: Paradroid. It’s Paradroid with updated graphics. See if it brings back any fond memories of your Commodore days.