Bare-Chested CG

Koei’s trailer for the latest in its Fist of the North Star beat em up franchise manages to feel nostalgic and current at the same time. Parts of it feel like those early CG cinematics that started to appear just about the time game consoles started spinning discs. That’s partly because of the game’s visual style as a classic fighter. Yet the animation is polished, and some clever direction with a few notably subtle if sometimes mystical segues make it entirely watchable. Plus it has that wonderful Asian video trailer characteristic of not exactly telling you the storyline, rather making you wonder what the heck is going on.


Watch it at GameTrailers.

To Boldly Run

Atari and developer Cryptic might be going for the general structure of most Star Trek films in this trailer for Star Trek Online. With 2009’s Star Trek excepted, there’s usually a lot of buildup, some drawn out scenes, and eventually, with 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture excepted, an explosive finale. But given that the pattern for this video is along the lines of roam, scan, roam, beam up, beam down before it gets to any action, that buildup needs punch. At minimum it could use some context. The beaming and the shooting are self-explanatory, but even a few choice bullet points at the front to explain, say, the running and the scanning. That would help.


Watch it at Joystiq.

Ad Age Viral Video Chart For Week Of Dec. 14

Ad Age lists the top 10 viral videos for the week of Dec. 14.

New entries this week are topped by the Michael Bay helmed spot for Victoria’s Secret, a long form ad with the extravaganza expected from the big budget film director.  It made number two with just under a million views.  A couple new spots noteworthy for their creativity are a nearly scandalous yet hilarious Australia TV spot for Toyota Yaris, with about 408,000 views, and a choose-your-own adventure video for Canada mobile carrier Koodoo that just made the chart with a little over 245,000 views.  Holiday-themed videos are surprisingly lacking on the mid-December chart.  A new video from Gap is the only one on the list, though it placed high at number three with about 586,000 views.  The final new entry is a public service announcement from NYC Health that goes the complete gross-out route to send the message that sugary drinks are fattening.  It s in the middle of the pack with just more than 436,000 views.

There s a trend worth noting as one that s been ongoing nearly every week since the[a]listdaily began posting Ad Age s chart.  It s Evian s rollerblading babies near the top (at number one this week), Microsoft’s Natal video somewhere in the middle, and Ken Burns drift racing spot for DC Shoes floating up and down the chart.  Whatever formula they re using to keep their videos in circulation and on this chart, it’s working.

Ad Age’s chart includes number of views for the week and percentage change in views for videos that stayed on the chart.  The list is compiled by Visible Measures.

Check out the full list and watch the videos at Ad Age {link no longer active}.

‘Unlikely Band Of Brothers’

The cinematic trailer for EA and developer BioWare’s Mass Effect 2 sticks with the formulaic in setting up the game s premise.  For the most part it wants to introduce the main characters, and for that its cookie-cutter roll-call approach delivers what an RPG audience wants to see: who are the playable characters, and what are their unique abilities.  It gets by on the bare essentials and for that it works.  What else works is thanks entirely to BioWare’s eye-watering CG and deftly directed animated action.  What doesn t is a borrowed opening sequence mired in stilted dialogue, not in a cinematic trailer for a rich IP like Mass Effect, and not when you go to the bother of casting a legend like Martin Sheen.

Watch it at GameTrailers {link no longer active}.

ESPN Gets Zany Again For X Games

ESPN is using off-the-wall comedy again to promote the upcoming extreme sports competition Winter X Games 14.  The sports network is no stranger to comedy in its promotions, although for X Games ads it seems to veer from its usual hip, frat-house prankster tone to the zanier variety.  In one sense it seems to be tapping into rival Fox-owned extreme sports network Fuel TV, which has a knack for the same.  For this spot, ESPN openly channels one of the zaniest comedies of all time, the Zucker brothers and Jim Abraham’s film Airplane!   Much like the film, the spot’s perfect pacing as it quickly slides into complete absurdity is the winning formula.

Watch it at Adweek {link no longer active}.

GameTrailers ‘GotY Awards 2009’

GameTrailers has their look back at the year that was with their Game of the Year Awards 2009.   The site picks their winners in more than 20 categories, with each getting a video featuring the nominees and listing off why they deserved distinction.  It s as much a best of list for the year as it is series of critical briefs of what set certain games apart in their genre, game play styles and production value.

See them all at {link no longer active}.

Environment Trailer With A Punch

Sega is showing that it s figured out the formula for its combo license Alien vs. Predator.   Put the audience through sequences of suffocating fear, then punctuate with mayhem and gory action.  Their latest video for the game uses that formula to good effect, taking what initially starts as an environment trailer it s even titled as one but ends up being so much more.  The nifty treatment of the tagline at end is noteworthy for its hint to what defines the game play.

Watch it at GameTrailers {link no longer active}.

Stylish Ballers For Adidas

Adidas posts up a couple of NBA heavyweights head to head in the latest ad from the It’s On Me campaign.  The spot is another visually rich ad from the campaign, this time highlighted by lingo turned into visual metaphors as Chicago’s Derrick Rose and Boston’s Kevin Garnett share their shoe style preferences past and present.  A shoe made of butter that has to show up in someone’s locker this season.

Watch it at YouTube {video link no longer active}.

Serious Sam’s ‘Carol Of The Shells’

Majesco has a festive trailer promoting its multiplayer shooter Serious Sam HD.   Skinny street Santa looking avatars locked in bloody battle while the rock version of Carol of the Bells jams in the background is good wholesome gamer holiday fare.  Plus it s now official, taking aim at Santa is no longer exclusive to Philadelphia.

Watch it at GameTrailers {link no longer active}.