Archive for July, 2011


My Favorite Films

It may be rather obvious what #1 will be by taking a quick gander around the site, but anyways, here’s my favorite films of all time.  Hope you all enjoy, and if you have never seen some of these check them out, there all great for their own reasons.  What are some you your favorite movies? Continue reading

If one wants a gimmick to work there are really only two ways to go about making it succeed. The first is to take the Amon Amarth approach and be completely serious about it, the other, and more difficult way is to do the complete opposite of that and not take the gimmick entirely serious and just have fun with it. Scottish Pirate Metal outfit Alestorm‘s latest album there is a song about pirates traveling back into time to battle vikings and steal their gold and a song called “Midget Saw”. I think it’s pretty obvious where these metal buccaneers hoisted their anchor. Continue reading

I’m sure by now you’re familiar with the formula for a Rockstar game. Open world, a plethora of cars to drive around in, plenty pedestrians to run over and torture, shooting stuff with shoddy gun and cover mechanics, a large variety of mission based gameplay and narrative advancement, a decent narrative and story wrapped around a pretty one dimensional protagonist with a lot of cool friends, America, political commentary, and the words Grand Theft Auto in the title, but for the most part, with as many flaws their games might have, they made up for it with witty humor and giving the player freedom to reek havoc in almost anyway that they may choose. Recently Rockstar have noticed that their company can’t survive on Grand Theft Auto alone, so they released the stunning Grand Theft Horse, err, Red Dead Redemption. They kept the basic gameplay elements of the Grand Theft Auto series such as the open world, mission base, ect. But they went and made some major tweaks to their style such as improving the gunplay mechanics, pulling the style out of modern America into the wild west, creating one of the more interesting video characters out there, and also crafting one of the best game narratives available today. While from a technical stand point the game was filled with flaws, it completely won over gamers as they got sucked into John Marston’s wild west and his quest to hunt down his ex-gang members. Along with the great narrative, the game its self was just damn fun to play and in its own right, Red Dead Redemption was a very ambitious game. Now Rockstar pushes its self further and brings players into Los Angeles during the 1940’s right after the end of WWII and the ambition scale is through the roof. Continue reading

So, for those that may not be familiar with the band Suidakra, they are a German trio(quartet for live shows) that play music reminiscent of Scandinavian Melodic-Death Metal and Black Metal and have an affinity for Celtic lore along with the music of the Celts and they do an excellent job of bringing all those elements together. Since their first album they have been constantly pushing their sound forward and refining themselves with just a couple bumps in the road. Their tenth album, Book of Dowth, is where they stand today and it is a culmination of all the hard work and progress they have shown in their musical career. Continue reading

For years I’ve longed for the modern revival of some of the old school style games I played in the past. I love the gameplay of those old games and wondered what it it would look and play like on modern machines. There have been a few new IP’s that harken back to the styles of yore, but nothing in quite large quantities. Luckily with the arrival of the current HD console line-up there came Xbox Marketplace(PSN for PS3 users) where you could download games being made by smaller, lesser known developers. Since the cost to develop these games was rather inexpensive, publishers were happy to take more chances on some new ideas and let developers make homages to the old school style of gameplay. Now we have a plethora of games that revive the cool gaming styles of old and also games that experiment and push to try radically different things in gaming. Some games are able to do both. Outland, developed by Finnish studio Housemarque and published by Ubisoft, does both. Continue reading

I’ll admit, I’ve never really gotten to deep into the world of Devin Townsend. I do have a couple Strapping Young Lad albums in my collection(City and The New Black ripped from a friends CD) and I’ve listened to them and enjoyed them, but for some reason they never really struck me and sit collecting dust in my music collection. I’ve caught a few videos from Devin’s other projects and enjoyed them also, but for whatever reason I never followed up on my enjoyment of a single or video. Then when I caught wind of Devin’s new project, aptly titled The Devin Townsend Project, he raised my interest in it with the concept of the project. He was going to release four albums with different moods, styles, and personalities all fueled by his new found sobriety. It wasn’t so much the concept that really grabbed me, but it was more his enthusiasm and passion for the project. So, what do I do? Well, instead of purchasing the first two albums in the project(Ki and Addicted), which were quite positively received, I passed up, don’t know why. Then within the weeks of me writing this, the next two albums were released, unfortunately on the same day as the new Symphony X and Rhapsody of Fire. So, I opted to pick up the latter two albums on that day. While surfing around the internet I came across a review of the new pair of albums and something caught me about it and it went onto the “I really need to suck it up and check out these albums list”. What caught me was on the third part(Deconstruction) of the album series was that there is a number of guest vocal spots by some vocalists that I am very familiar with and highly enjoy their respective bands. The other thing, the thing that sold me was that the album is about all the answers of life in a cheeseburger. Yes, a cheeseburger, a double. So, while I was about town this weekend I came across the double pack of Deconstruction and Ghost and finally purchased my first real foray into the world of Devin Townsend. And now I’m really excited to delve deeper into his musical world and look forward to what I find. Continue reading

Limbo

Have you ever seen the movie Night of the Living Dead? What that movie did is present a bleak outlook, created deepened horror, and created a contrasting effect on the subject matter by deciding to use black and white in lieu of color. It works extremely well and adds another layer of depth to the film. When used properly(like the aforementioned film) this trick can add more artistic merit to the film and in the end what you get is more of an experience more so than entertainment.

So, why am I talking about movies when I should be reviewing a video game. Well video games have as many things in common with movies as they do differences. One of the things they have in common is how an artistic choice can have a major impact on the whole of a game giving it a whole different meaning. This artistic choice in question is the use of black and white. In the 2D side scrolling platform/puzzle game Limbo by Playdead Studios you traverse a world completely devoid of color as you push forward to discover the purpose of your journey. The lack of color in this game creates a harrowing experience that, unlike a movie, can only be experienced in video game form. Continue reading

Repost from “What a Horrible Night to Have a Curse” Join the conversation on the original post.

Disclaimer: OPINION

Recently at this years E3 a rather unknown game company, 505 Games, released information about a new game that they have under development. It is about a group of mercenaries going to Africa to take out warlords and drug dealers and it will utilize your entire body by allowing you to play using Microsoft’s new toy, Kinect. Sounds all fine and dandy, right. Many games in the past have used this set-up for a game countless numbers of times(sans Kinect of course) and none of us have questioned the morality of the game once. So why is this game getting such a large amount of attention? It’s just going to be another FPS where you go and kill the bad guy, right? Well, the thing is, all those other mercenary games were based on fantasy, this game however is going to be based on and titled after PMC(Private Military Company) Blackwater. For those who don’t know about the PMC Blackwater, they were indicted on charges of war crimes in the Middle East as well as other charges(a quick Google search will get you up to speed). Continue reading

Repost from “What a Horrible Night to Have a Curse” Join the conversation on the original post.

After much time in the supreme court, the case discerning the sale of violent video games to minors in California has come to a close. The verdict, “Court ruled 7-2 that the California law criminalizing the sale of ultra-violent games to minors was un-Constitutional.” Do I agree with this ruling, well, yup, I sure do.

A main argument made during the case was the comparison between violent video games and literature of a violent nature. During grade school children read books that depict extremely violent acts, and if they are allowed to read about these violent acts then they should be allowed to play out those violent acts in video game form. If it’s unconstitutional to ban the sale of violent books to children, then why should it be deemed constitutional to ban the sale of other violent forms of media to a minor. Well, I feel there is a bit of a difference between ripping the head of your nemesis off and spiking it to the ground in Mortal Kombat than reading about the boys of Lord of the Flies dropping a boulder on the Piggy knocking him off a cliff to his death. In Mortal Kombat the violence is fun and without remorse, in Lord of the Flies the violence is horrific and we learn about the characters regret for the murder as well as their motives for doing so. Also, being a person who does read quite a lot of books, I tend to find them to be much more immersive than video games. Continue reading

For those of you who may not meander onto the other blogs(A Metal State of Mind and What a Horrible Night to Have a Curse) that I write for here’s some links to some other stuff I wrote.  Check it out.

Theme Thursday Posts

On Folk Metal

Blind Guardian Retrospective

The Softer Side of Metal

Amorphis Song Meaning

Unlikely Cover Songs

Awesomely Awful Metal Videos

 

Me rambling on about the world of heavy metal

Not in Defense of Morbid Angel

The Way of the Physical Format

Pain of Censorship

Positively Metal

 

There is a good handful of metal news posts over there too, but by now they are a bit outdated, anyways, go on over and check em out.  For my posts on my other new video game themed blog “What a Horrible Night to Have a Curse”, I’ll just repost them here since there isn’t to many yet, enjoy.