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Monday, August 31, 2015

I'm in.

Snappy installation, reasonable 20 gig install, stable frame rate so far, completely intelligible story with a tinge of sci-fi horror... this must be a Kojima joint. Great stuff so far. Though your buddy in the hospital is too competent an actor to not also be Kiefer Sutherland*. Everyone else sounds like they're reading thier lines before thier second cup of coffee. Love the game, but I'm going to rag on Kojima's story telling and actor direction so hard. That's just going to happen.

*Or it's Troy Baker. Whatever.

One more Week.

I just wanna stick my hands hands in it!

One more week and my first, and only, Kickstarter shows up on my hard drive. A lot of people have that one game. The game that got them so young just thinking of the title screen make them feel a little better. The Neverhood is that game to me. The thing that finally comunicated to my dad and sisters that not all games were completely insipid. That was really important to me.

 The dev blogs were nice, but Armikrog wasn't real until I saw that screen shot. Just like that, I'm home again.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Is Konami gonna pull an Arkham Knight?

I mean, here we are again. A game has rave reviews on the ps4 but nobodies said a word about how the PC version is. Is this another case of a less than reputable company cashing out on pc pre order-

Whoops. My finger slipped. I own MGSV now. At least ground zeros is free...

Monday, August 24, 2015

Show me a Hero Mini-Review: Train Wreck in Slow Motion.

Let me be clear, the fact that this show is a train wreck is completely intentional. This is a small town civic tragedy that will suck you in and will not let go. In 1988 A judge demanded that Yonkers NY. build 8 affordable housing projects in order to integrate it's blizzard-condition white populous. In the hands of a lesser crew, the lines of good and evil would be clearly drawn: projects development good/small white town prejudice bad. Unfortunately, that is not something David Simon has ever done. Up to, and including, this miniseries.

You care about the families, young and old, that are forced to live in NY's decrepit projects. That's the easy part. The fact you end up rooting for the achingly naive mayor Frank Wasicsko's quixote-esque quest to stop a federal ruling is not. Oscar Isaac is so quietly endearing he could have been lobbying for the deportation of infants and I'd still hear him out.

There are no easy answers in the first 2 episodes, I dare say there's no answers at all. The entire situation sucks. Hard working middle class people will have their property values thrown into the sh**ter against their will. But their childish belly aching towards their impotent public figures burns away any sympathy they're owed. The town hall meeting in episode 2 pulses with an anger that's hard to define. It feels like you're there, when it ended I was completely worn down. But again, the most lovable character in this show ran on a platform to keep Yonkers white. If Game of Thrones didn't teach you a lesson about history not having any real villains, this will.

Like nearly all of Simon's work, this is more of an historical record than entertainment. The fact it's also rapturously compelling is a bonus, I guess.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Facing my "Steam"-ing pile of shame.

These days I'm working a lot and it seems I've had more money than sense. 22 year old me would be ashamed at how many damn good games I've left barely half finished. I vow I will not purchase another until I finish at least one of these suckers.

Transistor: combat was too tactically deep to bother to be much fun, but the soundtrack will probably get me through it.

Dying Light: I played Dead Island into pulp 4 years ago and DL wasn't the drastic step forward I apparently needed it to be. But that grappling hook is something else.

Pillars of Eternity/Divinity: Nobodies a bigger fan of Obsidian's writing than me, but there's just something about those isometric RPGs that just snuffs me out. I'm gonna try one again, I owe them that much.  

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Man from U.N.C.L.E soundtrack review: Badass Balalaika

The gist of the TMFU reviews are pretty meh. But that's just it, as a lifelong soundtrack addict (they help me write) I know I can never judge a soundtrack by it's movie. Great movies have terrible soundtracks and vice versa.

You can totally judge them separately, because composers are usually brought it in for the last couple months of production to crap something out. Except famously in Morricone's westerns, I'd say that paid off pretty well:

So while TMFU doesn't make much of an impression; it's soundtrack is a quirky, yet fiery, triumph.  It's just so shamelessly 60's. It takes everything that was huge in European pop at the time and makes it all work.

Come on, how 60's was that? But it isn't all harpsichords and bass guitars. It has time for Russian folk music, jazz flutes, and finger snaps. Daniel Pemberton has out done himself, each track is like an isolated essay. It plays more like an experimental instrumental album than cohesive theme based fare. Though it does have a heroic theme, and I love it to bits:

Pemberton couldn't have gone big, tried for a Bondian feel, but resisted. It's sad, subtle, and humble. It illustrates a work-a-day operative's life rather the glamour of Bond's gentleman spy bravado. You've also probably figured out I didn't just throw up Morricone's pocket watch theme for no good reason. Pemberton is obviously a humongous fan and mixing the spy thriller with the operatic western was a perfect choice. It's climax even uses vocals, Morricone vocals... you'll know what I mean when you hear it.

It's the best soundtrack I've heard in a good long while, so good I ended up writing about it. So good I'm recommending it to people who don't even listen to these things. Just trust me, if you avoided all those videos above, do me a favor. Hit this last one and try not to enjoy yourself.