ACSC10 - The Last Samurai - Blood Memories
(Updated on 01/28/11
Follow a Samurai, Tetsuo, through his memories, through his nightmares, to his apparant death.
Follow his diary as he writes about the last few moments of his life.
You will follow Tetsuo's journey, from his first battle where he lost most of his Samurai brothers.
Follow his nightmares, where the death of his wife Sayuri, still haunts him to this day.
Follow him to the return of his home and then when he returns to battle.
Follow him to his final stand as a Samurai.
A sad tale, a haunting tale, a lonely tale.
Note: Tom Cruise sold seperately.
No screenshot or picture yet, the uploader is driving me mad with its constant, its over 125kb over 50kb. ITS 43KB!
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'The Last Samurai: Blood Memories' is a fictional cinematic-scenario, based loosely on the Meiji restoration in a still feudal Japan at the decline of the Edo period during the 19th Century. The file utilises a few elements from the 'EEE Mod', personalised by the author, as well as a few other things besides. It is the author's first submission into the 'Age of Kings Heaven Cinematic Scenario Contest' of 2010 (ACSC10), and received second place after a closely-fought conclusion.
Not to be confused with Ed Zwick's beautifully-directed blockbuster, 'Blood Memories' depicts a lone samurai called Tetsuo still haunted by his family's murder, as he struggles to maintain his dignity and honour in the face of overwhelming trial.
PLAYABILITY: The on-screen timer starts ticking by, and already 'Blood Memories' opens up into a world that is cold, dark and unsympathetic. Guilt and loss are the purveyors of a lone samurai's desperate words, struggling to hold onto the memory of his loved ones, and pursuing a righteous path of honour and vengeance as he strives to maintain his master's will. The author holds a monopoly for this kind of story-telling, with its moving theme and lone hero recounting a death-rattled past, and the exemplary use of music and sound effects more than account for any short-falls one might encounter therein. The subtle devices and mechanics employed each go hand-in-hand to creating a realistic and moving viewing experience, and the atmosphere compliments a landscape addled by the rain or snow. The cinematic is unfortunately hampered by a lack of evolution or resolve in the story, and one might be left wondering whether he or she missed out on a part or two in the act. Still, this is one file worth watching more than once, and should reach out to the majority of people. 5.0 -
BALANCE: The cinematic is competently put together, and each scene is technically well made with stunning attention to detail. However, much of the flow of the story seems disturbed by missing scenes and a lack of overall development, despite being a touching tale. This hampers the overall flow of the cinematic unfortunately and one's experience as a whole. 4.0
CREATIVITY: Utilising modified data files, the author incorporates many cinematic devices, resulting in a deeply atmospheric experience. You feel like you're right there with Tetsuo, panting heavily with the burden he carries as he trundles hopelessly forward through the white mass, and the falling snow in the sky is a new experience for me. The mechanics used to give the impression of a funeral or the rising chaos in the midst of battle heighten one's awareness into such things, but also going a long way into enhancing the viewer's enjoyment. That said there are many other creative implements, things I will leave the downloader to discover for him or herself. 5.0
MAP DESIGN: With its believable setting and realistic portrayal of a declining feudal Japan, there is little here to complain about. The design breathes life into the story, and there is enough here that we never get the feeling that more is being told rather than shown. War ravaged lands are consumed by an equally chaotic climate, with monsoonal rains in one scene and blizzards in another, and ransacked villages really look the part. 5.0
STORY/INSTRUCTIONS: The story is very promising, and disturbingly captures the last tragic days and perhaps weeks of a samurai's life, as the way of life he has for so long held together begins to fall apart around him. The beautifully-composed words are touching, but with the flow of the story at times broken by scenes that seem not to connect, all manner of those words quickly lose their heart-felt touch and a rhythm isn't allowed any time to further develop. This is rather spoiling, as the cinematic is reasonably short and I'm keen to know more. Nevertheless, the instructions are adequately displayed at the start of the cinematic, and players will need to restart the game if their settings do not match the recommendations. This however does not hinder the cinematic at all as the player will then be given the option to continue the game. 4.0
CONCLUSION: 'The Last Samurai: Blood Memories' is a more-than-worthy submission to the Blacksmith and a good cinematic-scenario to start the year off. Despite maintaining a few hiccups, the cinematic still comes off as being an enjoyable experience, and remains one that I will be keeping an eye out for any updates that may arrive in the near future.
In a sentence - Touching and evocative, this cinematic is worth some attention.
In closing - A highly-recommended download.
[Edited on 10/03/12 @ 07:42 PM]
After having tried to get this cinematic to work multiple times, on two different computers even, I finally managed to watch it today! No idea why it worked this time, but that's besides the point.
There was a lot to enjoy in this cinematic scenario: the music and sound effects that match what's happening on screen perfectly, the numerous never-seen-before data and design tricks, and the promise of a captivating, emotional tale about the Last Samurai, Tetsuo.
Some things did hamper the fun, however. The fact that the story is told as a kind of diary is creative, but it also creates big gaps in the story which can be hard to follow as the cinematic switches between scenes rapidly.
As I typed in 'rock on' and won the scenario, I was left feeling that, despite its many great qualities, this was only a small teaser of what was to come. Now, that means that the full campaign, when it comes, is likely to be amazing, but it also means that this teaser leaves a lot to be desired. The story of Tetsuo is only vaguely skimmed over, and taken out of the larger context of a full campaign, it seems unfinished.
Despite this, it is still definitely worth downloading, and it certainly makes you look forward to the full campaign!
This is one of the scenario's weaker points. While most scenes are well-paced in and of themselves, the cutting between scenes is rapid, and would've been, I believe, a lot better if it was done a lot slower at the startout, leading up to a tightly cut finale. As it is, many scenes seem to hop out of nowhere, and the story doesn't flow very neatly. It's chaotic. You can still get sort of a grip around the story, but slowing down the pace would've improved the flow of the scenario a lot.
This is the best part of the scenario. In almost every scene there is something either brand new that I have never seen before, or just very clever. There is falling snow, fire and brimstone raining from the sky, and burning ships with dead bodies floating down the river. The idea to tell the story in diary form is quite unique, although it has its negatives which I already covered. The sounds and the music is great and timed perfectly with what happens on screen, and the design style of the author is wonderful, and a bit reminicient of Oliver and newIdea, albeit a bit more cluttered! Definitely the strong point of the scenario.
MAP DESIGN: 5
As I just mentioned, the style of the scenario reminds me of other great designers such as Oliver and newIdea, even though you still can see a uniqueness in Sebastien's style. The narrow paths, the gory battlefields, and the open, snowy landscapes, combined into one. This scenario is a fantastic display of the authoor's design, and even though some scenes, like the dream sequence, were too cluttered with stuff for my taste, the scenario overall looks amazing. You can feel the cold, the dirt and the blood. Nothing short of a five here!
STORY & INSTRUCTIONS: 4
The instructions are flawless, which isn't surprising as there isn't a lot to instruct the player on when he's only supposed to sit back and enjoy!
The story, as I have mentioned before, holds a lot of promise and is told in a creative way. It is, however, far from complete, and you don't get a grip around the scope of the story, only aspects of it. There is promise of an engaging story of war, honour and disaster, but it never really becomes more than a movie trailer-like story. It definitely makes me want to see the final product, but it's flaws in and of itself.
IN CONCLUSION: This is absolutely worth dowloading and watching, despite its shortcomings. The sound and music are terrific, the data and design tricks are awesome, and its a great teaser for the full-fledged campaign that is yet to come!