Preview Episode - Kratos' Blades of Chaos

TabzTabz Member
edited May 2014 in Arcade Arms
Since God of War is my favorite video game I've been so excited about this first episode! We'd love to hear your thoughts. Your feedback helps make this show!
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  • TriencoTrienco Member, Moderator
    The first thing I noticed was the look. Like a very professional and high production value documentation.

    It was very different from what I expected after the announcement. I somehow expected it to be just a bunch of people crafting props based on video game weapons or maybe actually trying to forge them. This was definitely better than someone making wooden swords in a garage.

    Getting the background and a few words from the designers is a great idea, so is contrasting them with the real weapons they are based on (if that even applies). It drifted off a bit towards the end, where it was all about actual Spartan weapons and fighting style. I somewhat missed a part that was clearly comparing the actual weapons with the game weapons.

    The reasons I didn't mind is simple. There is just a ridiculously huge gap between them, making it almost pointless to even try and compare them.

    Also, swords on a chain might be really cool in a video game, but since the show has to be filmed in the real world... well, real physics are annoying and nobody invented chains that just instantly pop out of nowhere and magically extend over several meters. Also, the idea of someone swinging a sharpened piece of steel on a chain sounds pretty dangerous, not only to the people filming, but also the person itself.

    On the other hand, maybe for future episodes it might be more feasible to recreate weapons from video games and examine their issues when confronted with the real world in a few experiments. Experiments, that should not be conducted in a room with chipped ice on the floor by a person not even wearing a shirt let alone protective gear.

    Or maybe even just a more theoretical analysis of these weapons. For example, there must be a reason why nobody created swords with a foot wide blade or covered in hooks and pointy bits. Ranging from being impossible to wield to simply shattering on first impact. Or in this case, how highly impractical the chains are in combination with how likely you are to not cleanly hitting the target with the edge (and damaging the blade in the process).

    Though obviously confirming that with actual experiments is always more interesting to watch.
  • Well, I've watched the pilot and I didn't enjoy it so much.
    The first time I've read about the concept of the show I was really excited and I was expecting the same thing like Trienco.
    So I was surprised that it is more some kind documentation, which is not the reason why I didn't like it so much. It's because of the style of the show. It was a little bit ... well ... I would say it's too entertaining. The music, the fighting scene, when I read  a line like "the real Hephaistos". This whole stuff let me feel like I was watching something which is supposed to entertain me and not to teach something about this weapons from video games. So I can't take it seriously and wasn't able to enjoy it because I'm not a big fan of this kind of documentation style.

    Like Trienco said. I would really like to see much more facts about the video game weapons. Some statements about how much sense this kind of weapon would have in real life. You know, stuff like that would entertain me in a better way.
    That's my opinion about the show^^
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  • OakspoorOakspoor Member, Moderator
    I'm a minor fan of the swordsmith, Richard Furrer. Here he is in an episode of NOVA.
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  • TabzTabz Member
    The short blade is what inspired Kratos' blades, I'm not sure what the disconnect was.
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  • TriencoTrienco Member, Moderator
    It wasn't a disconnect as much as feeling like things got side tracked. Imagine a 10min show about Firefly suddenly spending 7min talking about The Killer Angels and the Civil War, because they were the inspiration for the setting.

    If there was a disconnect, then maybe simply because the Blades of Chaos and actual Spartan swords don't seem to have anything in common besides being short. The former being impossible monstrosities and the latter being sleek and elegant. Interestingly, the Blade of Olympus in the game is a LOT closer.

    It was still interesting, since I always love seeing sword smiths at work and the results in action, but based on expectations, the episode somehow changed from being about Kratos' blades to being about the real life weapons they are (very loosely) based on. Maybe they do have a lot in common that I'm simply missing, but that would make an actual comparison even more useful.

    On the other hand, some scenes tried to connect moves in the game to the actual techniques being demonstrated. That was definitely more of the direction I would have expected.

    Still, it's important to point out that "not what I expected" doesn't mean "bad" or "I didn't like it". After all, I expected prop making in someones garage, so not being what I expected is clearly a good thing ,-)
  • Okay, so yesterday there started to be tweets about some new show. I had no time to watch then. After a while it exploded with "wow this is awesome" tweets, so I got pretty interested.

    The first thing that hit me was the production quality. It looks so great. The second thought was "wow a documentary on G&S, nice!".
    It's great that the programming on G&S has variety but still keeps me interested.

    As for the contents itself. I know what @Trienco is talking about. We were shown the game and got some info about the weapons (great). Then we were shown what the inspiration and got the AWESOME segment with a blacksmith in Skyrim ;) Then an also nice segment with spartan fighting techniques.

    But then the show ended, what I would like to see are some steps between the spartan weapons and the final blades or at least a piece of interview covering the thought process.

    Hey, I loved the pilot and I'm really hoping to see more interesting stuff, so don't take the critique as me not liking the show ;)
  • Daniel_WallaceDaniel_Wallace Member, Moderator
    edited March 2013 PM
    Hm... I like video games, I like swords and fighting, I like documentaries. Why did this not really catch me? I'll try to explore that.

    I think part of it was the disconnect, and I would definitely call it that, that others described. They did mention that the character in the game was based on a spartan warrior but the swords shown didn't have anything to do with the spartan short sword in the end. So this connection felt pretty loose. If it all had been focused on the determination in the style of fighting and the mindset of a spartan warrior, it would have worked way better for me. I see a real connection there but in terms of the weapons... nope. ;-)

    The blacksmith was really cool but I would actually have liked to hear way more about the process, about the mysticism woven into the making of blades, about making them from meteors and all of that. Again: I would have been much more interested in the mindset involved when making a sword, about the warrior and the blade as a union and stuff like that.

    I liked the martial arts expert. His moves looked solid, even though a little to influenced by fighting styles from the far east. I am no expert in terms of spartan sword fighting, so I may be wrong there. What he said all in all made sense to me. Cool (pun intended) scene with the big chunk of ice, even though I am pretty sure the first jump he made towards it would have gotten him killed in real combat. It looked bad ass, though, and the rest was way more realistic, so that's fine with me. ;-)

    My biggest problem for sure was the "The Real Combat" segment at the end. Where to begin... there was basically so much wrong in that. None of the techniques previously demonstrated made it into it. The techniques that were shown were very Hollywood and the whole thing looked choreographed from the beginning to the end... big moves that make no sense and all of that in slow motion... come on! :-D I watched it a second time now and actually start to hate this sequence. Why did the dude even have a shield when he mainly used it to get in his own way?

    I am fine with "artsy" fighting but please don't call it "The REAL Combat" then. I guess this should have tied together the video game and the real thing but for me it did just the opposite. It almost made me forget what I had taken from the first part about the Spartans determination in combat, about a warrior's code that embraced death, about the sword being an almost mystical object and just made me think "oh yea, that's why I don't really enjoy sword fighting in video games"...

    I think there is a great concept behind the show but it all needs to come together much more for my taste. Maybe let the game designers tell the experts what they had in mind, show them some footage of the game and let them go from there. Focus way more on the real similarities that there are and maybe point out the differences and why those are there.

    Wow, we are all pretty picky with this show, are we?
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  • Jamc888Jamc888 Member, Moderator
    Wow, I watched this pilot yesterday and thought it was really cool/badass with the sword fighting moves and blacksmithing and such and then I read the in-depth discussions in this thread and I'm suddenly doubting the validity of all my previous feelings :P haha.

    In all seriousness though, I can understand that it did seem slightly sidetracked towards the end from what it originally started out as (a discussion on creating the in-game weapons in GoW) but I really enjoyed it nonetheless. It was interesting to learn how much thought and background went into the weapons and fighting styles used in the game, and the production quality amazed me - felt like I was watching a higher-budget TV documentary for sure.

    Plus - it had a real life blacksmith! Who makes weapons!! (As opposed to fire-pokers, I guess ;) )
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  • OakspoorOakspoor Member, Moderator
    I think the real problem was that they tried to put too many topics in a 10 minute video. I could see the potential for 5 (or so) 10 minute episodes.

    For those of us who would like to explore the history and crafting of a single weapon, please watch the NOVA episode "Secrets of a Viking Sword" I posted above.
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  • Daniel_WallaceDaniel_Wallace Member, Moderator
    @Jamc888: I'm sorry. I am really picky when it comes to things like warriors and fighting and weapons. So please don't let me drag you down on that one.

    @Oakspoor: "I think the real problem was that they tried to put too many topics in a 10 minute video."
    That's very true.

    I guess a lot of the things mentioned above could have been resolved by simply calling it "Kratos and his Blades" and focusing the advertising more on the character and fighting style then on the weapons. This would have changed the expectations a lot and expectation is everything, I guess.
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  • Daniel_Wallace: My biggest problem for sure was the "The Real Combat" segment at the end.

    Same here.  For me the whole video seemed much too theatrical.  But that's just my personal taste which often does not coincide with that of the average person.  I understand that they need to make the video pop to grab attention but they seemed to reach a bit far with that, in my opinion.
  • TriencoTrienco Member, Moderator
    I guess I was at an advantage. I didn't notice the "Real Combat" (might have to watch in a larger window), so I didn't really mind. Not that I didn't notice things like the (one handed) back flip and the almost cliche "jumping back on your feet... towards the enemy potentially already waiting to greet you with a sword to the face".

    But then, how many people would really be able to create a realistic choreography? Who really has experience with "life or death" sword fighting these days? For unarmed martial arts you can probably just film some full contact contest. Problem is: real combat always looks messy and the opposite of cool. In a movie, "fighting" means van Damme gets to show off his mid-air split, in a ring it means two sweaty guys hugging each other and repeatedly ramming their knees into each others sides.

    Also, I like to believe that actual sword fights would be over very quickly. Look at Kendo. They approach, their sticks twitch, you have no idea what just happened, but apparently someone got hit. The opposite of course was some LARP footage. Two kids banging sticks together is looking more exciting than two adults endlessly circling each other and making occasional careful stabs. Things are very different when you actually want to hit someone without getting hit yourself.

    So, personally I don't mind if it's "movie combat", as long as it isn't sold as "that's what real sword fighting looks like".
  • Daniel_WallaceDaniel_Wallace Member, Moderator
    @Trienco: There are a bunch of documentaries that have managed to include really great looking, pretty realistic fighting scenes that gave a good insight into what real fights could look like. So it can be done.
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  • TriencoTrienco Member, Moderator
    @Daniel_Wallace That sounds like something I wouldn't mind watching. You wouldn't happen to remember any of those by name?
  • Daniel_WallaceDaniel_Wallace Member, Moderator
    I've seen a bunch of them on tv and it will be pretty hard to find them again without really knowing the title and all, but I'll do some digging and get back to you. A friend of mine is an avid collector of these and he should be able to help me out.
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  • Daniel_WallaceDaniel_Wallace Member, Moderator
    @Trienco: Sry that it took me a while. Some series' that dealed with warriors and weapons and featured pretty good and authentic fighting scenes are:
    "Perfect Weapon" (National Geographic Channel)
    "Warriors" (History Channel)
    "Ancient Warriors" (Learning Channel)

    Most of them are available in German but I'd highly recommend to watch the originals. The syncs I watched were in part really, really bad...
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  • TriencoTrienco Member, Moderator
    I managed to find a few episodes of "Warriors".

    Also, there is now a really interesting behind the scenes for this episode, featuring many people's favorite blacksmith: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUy5DWZtdcE
  • Daniel_WallaceDaniel_Wallace Member, Moderator
    Yeah, I really liked the behind the scenes. If the whole thing would have been like this, I would have said nothing but "great, me want more". ;-)
    If you see any spam, @-mention me in the thread and I will come in to kill it with my hammer. The hammer is not my... you know.

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  • I *loved* the behind the scenes video, although I don't get why it's "behind the scenes" shouldn't that be about the filming?
    That blacksmith should get his own documentary show on G&S :)
  • TriencoTrienco Member, Moderator
    @Plague There is a documentary about Viking swords on YouTube. That might be a good example of what it would look like if he had his own show.
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