Old School Vs. New School: Battle Of Gaming’s Elite

By John Walker on September 5th, 2012 at 9:00 am.

One day this WILL happen.

Remember the days when amateur YouTubers couldn’t make cinema-quality special effects in their spare rooms? Yes, me too. It was last week. And now suddenly it seems to be within the grasp of a wonderful number of talented people to craft the sorts of short films that would previously have cost literally millions to produce. And today’s best one (well, it’s actually six days old) is Old School Vs. New School by Rocket Jump and Freddie Wong, an extraordinary video pitching modern day videogame characters against arcade classics of the 70s and 80s.

The likes of Lara and the Master Chief are played by cosplayers flown in, apparently at Internet Explorer’s expense. (My impression of Internet Explorer: “Like us! Please like us! Look who we’re hanging out with! Do you like us now?” My impression of everyone in the whole world: “Who are you? Go back to your retirement home with Netscape.”) The likes of Asteroids and Space Invaders are played by utterly magnificent CGI. They fight. Who will win?

Definitely check out the rest of Freddie Wong’s videos.

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64 Comments »

  1. 2Ben says:

    FreddieW has been making astonishing videos since years now… This guy is a genius !

    • Drake Sigar says:

      Flower Warfare and Jedi A-Holes are my favourites.

    • Ginga121 says:

      Did you guys see the VGHS (video game high school) Mini series thing he did. Was about 9 15-20 min videos! it was awesome!

      • stupid_mcgee says:

        Yeah, VGHS was damn good. The acting and dialog was a bit cheesy at times… well, most of the time, but it was a very well shot series and I was thoroughly entertained. Way better than 99% of the reality TV stuff out there.

    • Nameless1 says:

      My favourites (at least those that I remember) are the aimbot one and the splinter cell one. Go see them if you haven’t already :)

    • Contrafibularity says:

      Nicely done, but for an amazing bedroom CGI short, I still think What’s In The Box? is unmatched because it’s more evocative than just ‘wow nice CGI’ (if there was any substance to this I missed it).

      Anyone who’s ever played Half-Life ought to have watched this though:

  2. AmateurScience says:

    I was momentarily worried that the Master Chief &c were included in the ‘oldschool’ camp and felt old.

  3. Davie says:

    Got to love Freddie Wong. His channel and Corridor Digital are half the reason I spend any time on Youtube.

  4. notengo says:

    Watched like, two thirds of that before I was pretty well convinced that it was aimed at everybody except PC gamers.

    • John Walker says:

      I must have imagined the releases of Halo, Tomb Raider, Team Fortress and Assassin’s Creed games on PC!

      • notengo says:

        Oh yes, who could forget the release of Halo 2? I mean, it was a scant six years ago that Microsoft deigned to put an eight-year-old, half-assed port out on PC! I remember it like it was yesterday. Seriously, Microsoft – I remember it.

        What else have we got?
        Centipede – Sorta? Part of some retro collections and Flash games.
        Space Invaders – Same.
        Uncharted – Nope
        Assassins’ (at least a month late) Creed
        Tomb Raider – An old girlfriend who left us for the guy with more money.
        TF2 – OK, there’s a PC game.

        • The Godzilla Hunter says:

          I, too, remember how we are not allowed to enjoy just-for-fun crossovers if they feature characters not released on my preferred device.

          • notengo says:

            Ah yes, the Not Allowed To Enjoy Things Act of ’97.

          • Mehall says:

            The joke is still on those who introduced the Act after Douglas vs. Carter ’99 proved they enjoyed telling us to get off their lawn as much as we enjoyed playing on it.

        • MaXimillion says:

          Tomb Raider left us? Every single game in the series apart for the few handheld ones has been released on the PC.

    • Viper50BMG says:

      Yeah, as a longtime RPS reader, and the chap who wrote (and occasionally stole/recreated) the music for Old School vs. New School, I had the same thought.
      Technically, everyone except for Drake has, in some form or another, ended up on PC, but it really did feel console-centric. I thought about tipping RPS off about the video when we released, but I didn’t know how they’d take a fan video as “news”, and, combined with it’s consoletoy-esque-ness, it didn’t seem like it would be appreciated. (Though, judging from the comments below, that initial assumption wasn’t entirely unfounded.) Still, I hope you got some enjoyment out of it (despite it’s cheesiness).

  5. Snargelfargen says:

    Apparently Altair is a fan of the Epic Sax Guy.

  6. Tridae says:

    This is shameless pandering to the gaming community, Freddie’s older stuff was decent but the recent sponsored stuff has lost their flavour. Maybe I’ve just seen too many of the clips but a lot of these just don’t feel right IMHO.

    • Snargelfargen says:

      The guy is incredibly prolific if nothing else. He could easily have a more normal job in the industry, but maybe youtube advertising pays better?

      • Tridae says:

        The thing that’s bothered me about his stuff is that through all the crazy amount of experience they’ve built up the quality of their work is not increasing. Little effects improvements here and there but nothing noteworthy. It seems like they’ll forever be stuck in the “film student” look. Sure they are brilliant conceptually but are starting to show their lack of polish in execution.

        VGHS was a nice attempt at something more substantial and I found it entertaining when I managed to look past the atrocious acting. Hope they do more of that kind of thing in the future.

    • Grim_22 says:

      While I don’t agree that this is shameless pandering, I do agree that his older videos used to be a lot more funny. I did like this one, though.

    • StranaMente says:

      The recent one about Army of two was really uninspired. This is what happens when big corporate try to go viral. The one about BF3 was a bit better, but yet under the standard.
      I know that this collaboration gives them money, but I hope they go back and do some personal stuff too.

      • Grim_22 says:

        Exactly, that was the one I had in mind when writing my comment. After I watched that one I was close to ending my subscription to make space for other things.

        • Jackablade says:

          The Army of 2 one is an actual advertisement for Army of 2 though, isn’t it, rather than these guys just making things for shits and giggles?

  7. The Least Fun Human Being On Earth says:

    Just reminds me of a less visually impressive version of Pixels.

    http://vimeo.com/10829255

    • SiHy_ says:

      Wow, that was much more interesting, both technically and from a narrative point of view. The games actually interacted with the world in an interesting way.

    • MD says:

      Thanks for the link, that was pretty great.

    • Plopsworth says:

      Yes, I thought so too. It seems like an obvious influence. Pixels has some very creative scenes of the characters interacting with the environment and New York landmarks. Also, the voxel/cube singularity bomb at the end is simply ingenious and beautifully realized.

    • sberg says:

      It is not by any means less visually impressive. Actually I am very much visually impressed.

    • SominiTheCommenter says:

      And Pixels is much older. Outstanding video, that one.

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      That vid is very good looking, but, to be fair, they didn’t have to deal with blocking off sections of the city to film. They didn’t have to worry about live-action stunt work. They didn’t have to worry about casting and costumes. It was a lot shorter and consisted almost solely of quick cuts that comprised almost entirely of CGI elements and had nearly zero narrative. Not that FW’s vid was a masterpiece of script writing, but it did try to insert more of a narrative than the Pixels vid.

      The Pixels vid is great, no doubt, but let’s not kid ourselves. From a production standpoint, FW’s vid had a lot more to contend with and comparing the production techniques of the two, IMO, is kind of apples and oranges.

      I think FW’s vids just have this kind of PG-13/12A kind of vibe to them, despite the bloodshed, that sometimes irks people. It’s not super-serious and hardcore, and he often heavily borrows shooting techniques from Asian films, such as the excessive facial closeups and running montages.

      • The Least Fun Human Being On Earth says:

        No narrative? Did we watch the same video? Pixels absolutely does have a narrative, and a very strong one at that.

        There’s a lot to be said to working within your strengths. If you can’t afford decent actors and good costumes, do you really want to use subpar ones? I’m sure FW could do something great if he had the budget for it, but he doesn’t, and the work comes across as amateurish as a result.

  8. cHeal says:

    Could have been a hell of a lot more worse tbh. I didn’t particularly like it but from a technical standpoint it is impressive.

    Was it just me, or was this article in the RPS feed yesterday? before being taken down?

  9. Pindie says:

    Freddie has always been hit and miss to be honest. Some stuff was brilliant, some was subtle commentary (modern shooter video where despite great graphics the gameplay is still pedestrian borefest) and some just missed, like the multi-part episodes that overstayed their welcome or some action sequences that were there just for their own sake.

    This video seems to be either naive pandering or a smart troll, here is why:
    I was fully expecting Chief and Lara to be in oldschool category (not that they belong there, maybe Lara does) then i saw drake and was confused and I think I got trolled.
    Past that the writing could use work.

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      By “oldschool” I think they mean the old Atari and 80′s arcade era games. Definitely games before 3D. So, no Laura wouldn’t be considered oldschool.

  10. Post-Internet Syndrome says:

    The assassin definitely deserved that end. What the hell was he playing at doing flips and spins and faffing about like that?

  11. televizor says:

    I recently read something on reddit I guess, about how the people of Machinima rape the people contracted to make videos for them and you pretty much have no rights over the stuff you make for them.
    I think Husky (Starcraft) was supposed to sign a contract with them until he showed it to a law dude or something and he was advised against.
    Sorry if I’m hard to follow, I haven’t had my coffee yet.

    • westyfield says:

      The guy who makes the ‘Youtube reacts to…’ videos was yelling on Twitter a few months ago about Machinima’s contract. Pretty sure he didn’t sign it in the end, but they were scarily insistent and the contract sounded awful.

    • Milky1985 says:

      There was a big thing a while back about a kid who has a machinima contract that turned out to be a perpetual contract. Weather its due to machinima fucking up with communication or something he was told there was no way out of it so he just stopped making videos except the last one to explain the situation.

      The bahviour of machima was bad but some of the other directors behaviour jumping to the companies defence was worse, all shouting “you can can cancel if you just ask them ” (i would hazard a guess the kid DID ask themhence his no cancel video and was told otherwise. If that is the way you cancel then there is still a communication problem) throwing insults around and shouting “should have read the contract”. Casued me to avoid as much stuff I can that is related to that company, reguardless of how good the directors content might be.

      From the kids age its possible he signed the contract before he was 18 anyway, being the UK you can’t sign a contract before 18 without guardian consent so unless he had that the contract was null and void anyway :P

      That and the incident where a week after they got a a cash injection from youtube one of their competitors curse had their account blocked. Again the machima directors had been shouting at curse because they were apparently being preditory, offering much higher ad percentages to machinma directors if they switched and this is bad apparently (some say bad, some say basic market forces, pay your content producers better you idiots) made me lose a bit more faith in em.

      Basically there have been a few bits of drama out there, not sure how much of it is true or not but i ahve seen the behaviour of some of the more popular directors being awful.

    • The Random One says:

      Thanks for sharing, now I’ll add yet another bastard company providing free content to the ignore list.

      Seriously, one day there’ll be only RPS left. And then it’ll turn out Adam Smith is Bob Kotick’s pen name. (Think about that one. Makes sense, doesn’t it?)

  12. ukpanik says:

    Using actors as the “new school” made it shite.

  13. The Hairy Bear says:

    I thought it was pretty good for an amateur myself

  14. DoucheMullet says:

    Well that was…underwhelming to say the least. The pacing was really terrible and none of the action made any sense or had any real context.

  15. Quatlo says:

    This reminds me, what happened to Nuka Break?

  16. Jakkar says:

    That was horrible ._. Did they forget to try to make it entertaining while busily assembling a cast including ‘breasts’ and ‘desperate somersaulting attention whore’? Long sequences of staring at each other and running down streets. Where was the fun?

    Make it die!

  17. skinlo says:

    This isn’t one of Freddies best ones. I personally prefer Corridor Digital, the special effects seems to be consistently better, and the general videos are better.

  18. Jabberslops says:

    *Presses play and takes a sips of coffee.*

    “OH?…”

    “Really?”

    “Hmmmmmmmmmm.”

    *Googles the chick playing Lara Croft.*

    “I’ll be in my bunk!”

    Sorry, but I had to say something, but my brain shut off. This is all I could think of.

  19. tungstenHead says:

    I see these things and I wonder where something like Wing Commander would fit in. I mean, it was the first big cinematic game, but it came out in 1990! Would it be like the mentor figure to the “new games”? Would Blue Hair take these young whippersnappers aside and explain to them what it’s all about with his years of experience?

  20. Jackablade says:

    You lot are terribly grumpy today.

    Good film or not, the traceur guy was quite impressive.

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      Yeah, really. I mean, it’s not perfect by any means, but it’s entertaining and I enjoyed it. People need to remember that FW is still an amateur filmmaker. You may not like his stuff, and that’s okay, but bitching that he sucks and his films are terrible is a bit much. If you have something constructive to say about why you didn’t like it, that’s fine, but just bitching and throwing around negativity is not at all needed.

      To me, that’s really the crux. So many people nowadays don’t bother to actually constructively discuss what they dislike, instead just saying that things sucks or they’re lame or whatever. If all you’re going to do is throw a hissy-fit and whine like a child, then go outside. Let the adults reasonably discuss the pro’s and con’s of works in a manner than actually addresses real issues and can help the artists to expand or improve their work, not merely infuriate and/or deject them.

  21. tomeoftom says:

    Please less of this tangential Kotaku-esque stuff. I love you guys, but in general the “hey! Look at the vaguely gaming-related video” stuff is drivel.

  22. FriendlyFire says:

    While I liked this, I think Corridor Digital’s gaming stuff is superior. I liked Minecraft: Diamonds Are Forever and loved Art of the Instakill.

  23. BestFriends4Ever says:

    So the CGI is a lot cheaper now, especially if MS is financing you. From artistic point of view this was living hell.

  24. harmlos says:

    Freddie Wong an amateur ? He’s a professional who has produced at least one B movie. Somebody mentioned Corridor Digital – they’re not amateurs either, they are a professional VFX company. Now, that is not to say there are not actual amateurs (i.e. people who don’t make their living in the film industry) doing incredible stuff that rivals professional productions on YouTube, because there are, but Freddie Wong is definitely not an example of one (talking about amateur status here, not video quality, because Freddie’s videos are awesome).

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