Archive for the Blog Category

What To Play: 2015 Edition

Posted in Blog, Games, Lists, Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil, Street Fighter, Tony Hawk Series, Uncharted on March 1, 2015 by slateman

Maybe I’ve hit a wall. Turning 40 next year and it’s starting to feel like a lot of the things in life I’m passionate about are all becoming…the same. I recall a few years back hearing about this TV show about zombies. A TV show about zombies?!?! Now…season five? Games, movies, TV – so many are feeling awfully predictable and ‘been there, done that’. Even the predictability of some things are predictable. I wonder. Is this normal? Is it my age showing rather than the stagnation of media?

Whatever the case, this wasn’t meant to be a gripe session. Although my expectations for games are still high, they are still realistic, knowing what I might (and might not) get. Here are some titles I’m looking forward to in 2015. Let’s see if they can live up to the hype, their predecessors or if perhaps they exceed them!

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
U4_E3_1920x1080I didn’t get the first Uncharted right away. Who knows why…but once I did grab it, I was sold. This game (well, #2) may be my favorite game of the last generation and for good reason. It is everything I love about gaming. Rock-solid gameplay is coupled with good storytelling and a fun plot. While I feel #3 was rushed, #2 is just stellar. So…where do we go? If it’s everything I expect, it’ll be great. But…will Naughty Dog surprise us with more than just the predictable? I feel they will. They’ll keep all that I love – the shooting, jumping, climbing…but after The Last Of Us, I have a feeling they won’t settle for just more of the same. This is a pre-order, day #1 purchase. I can think of no reason for it not to be.

Psyched Level: 11/10

The Legend Of Zelda

Zelda Wii UOK, here’s all I care about: Standard Controls. I really couldn’t care less about any other element of this game because it will be classic. I just simply cannot stand swinging my goddamn hands around NOT killing that stupid spider because I’m not swinging properly. A huge, seamless world allowing us to adventure wherever with our trusty Epona? Sign me up, take my cash and don’t get too gimmicky. The Wii U screen should be a map, my TV an open adventure of joy and delight.

Bonus Perks: I can play this with my kids. In fact, they’ll probably love it.

Street Fighter V
SFV: Nash!The ’80s

That’s when I started playing both Zelda and Street Fighter. I got caught sneaking across the highway to play arcade games when the pizza place (and the Chinese-food place and the deli…) had an arcade machine and this one was Street Fighter. Fast forward a few decades and I’ve never NOT played Street Fighter. And I’m old and I’m slow and I’m no damn good at the games (well, not very) but I don’t care. SFV will have a pre-order beta program, it’s coming out on the one next-gen system I do have (eff you Tomb Raider) and I wants. My cash is waiting. So is my website.

# of SF Games That Exist: Shut Up – Don’t Care – STREET FIGHTER FIVE!!!

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

MGSVI struggle with this one. I’ve already written about the glory and perfect end of MGS4. It truly wrapped everything up and was it. Done. Perfect. Much like The Last Of Us and God Of War 3, no sequel is necessary. But here we are and I’m a sucker for MGS so I don’t know what to say. I’m keeping my expectations low. Ground Zeroes was OK. It just bothers me that we’re opening this whole can of worms and I fear anything less than perfection will mar the entire MGS mythos. Fine, that’s pompous and absurd but damnit MGS4 finished it! Ah, whatever.

Buy Or Rent??? – Grrr…See, I’m the sucker they make these games for.

No Man’s Sky
No Man's SkyRandomly-generated worlds? Meh. I figured that’s how I’d feel when I played Rogue Legacy and I was wrong. And that’s just a simple dungeon crawler. You mean, entire worlds are unique and different and…wait for it…maybe unpredictable? Not only does that fly in the face of Uncharted #4, Zelda #200 and Street Fighter #&infin…Not only does that fly in the face of all that I complained about in my opening paragraph…No, it also looks to represent all the universe is founded on. I can’t even envision what other worlds might look like and…that’s the point! OK, way too deep there. This game has a good chance of being boring as shit. How will this run? How will it even play? Is it even really a game? *hrmph*

Chance Of Being Cool: Still Processing Mathematics

Just Cause 3

Just Cause 3This is another title I didn’t get into initially. When JC2 was free on PS+ I tested it out. An hour in, I was hooked (heh, pun). I’ll keep this brief. JC3 could be essentially the same as #2 and I’d love it. It’s one of those titles. Latching onto helicopters and flying around with parachutes just about ruined me for other action games for six months. This one will look better and I just hope they don’t try to do anything stupid to the fun and ludicrous gameplay. I’m on board!

The Only Problem: Too Many Games – May GameFly this

Rise Of The Tomb Raider
Rise Of The Tomb RaiderI’m a hypocrite, I know. Street Fighter V is OK, but Tomb Raider is not? Fortunately, I’m fairly certain this title will come out on the PS4 eventually. It’s gotta suck being an Xbox fan and knowing you’ll literally never get SFV. That sucks for everyone. In any event, I won’t be playing this game in 2015 but after it was my Game Of The Year in 2013, I can’t wait for the sequel.

Can It Be Better Than UC4? Good question!

Noteworthy Titles

Mighty No. 9 – A spiritual Megaman successor? OK!
Ratchet & Clank Reboot – Don’t need to say much, I’m game!
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds – Not a 2015 game but I never played it, so a New 3DS + this sounds great!
Resident Evil / RE: Revelations 2 – Both came out already and I’m enjoying them…they count!
Final Fantasy XV – Not sure if I will even try…The hype for this one will be huge!
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater Return? – We’ll see. It’ll be hard to genuinely entice me.

Well, there you have it. That’s a long article that no one will read but hey, we’ll see if my predictions were any good. Now that I’ve written this whole lot, I’m kinda excited about 2015 after all! Screw this predictability nonsense. I’m psyched!!!

Battle Chasers Is Back?

Posted in Artwork, Best / Worst, Blog on February 27, 2015 by slateman

bc-renewal

I got into comics in the mid-’90s reading X-Men and I recall the day I bought my first comic (of that era). It was in the autumn of 1995 now that I check and it was X-Men #45. Later that week I snatched up Uncanny X-Men #325 and I was exposed to the utterly-spectacular art of Joe Madureira. Comics had come a long way from the ones I’d read in the ’80s as a kid and the art was incredible. While I read several comics over the next few years, Joe Madureira style has always been my all-time favorite.

Joe Mad’s run on the X-Men didn’t last too much longer and I anxiously awaited his new creation, Battle Chasers in 1998. Issue #1 was all I had hoped for. It seemed that Madureira (who is just one year my senior) had the very same tastes as me. The fantasy sword & sorcery tone was mixed with a steampunk futuristic mech deal and his penciling was leagues beyond his peers (IMHO). Issues 2 and 3 came soon but the delay between them only grew. The publication history of my new favorite comic was chronicled everywhere. It’s great, but waiting 2-3 months or more kind of ruined any momentum.

Canceling issue #10 in 2001 meant merely nine issues over more than three years. Not a very good track record. I followed Mad through his cover work for other comics and whatever else he did but my interest in comics waned. I played both Darksiders games, never finishing the second. I even met him in 2003!

Me & Mad – 2003

So, now, 2015…the remnants of Vigil Games and we have not only a three-issue arc completing the original Battle Chasers storyline but also a potential Battle Chasers Game?!?! My excitement is evident but let’s just say one thing here…I’ll believe it when I see it. Two issues a year he was going at a decade+ ago.

However, I shouldn’t be so jaded! This is fantastic news and while I don’t know how many die-hard BC/Joe Madureira fans there are after all this time but I’m on board with the comics and the game! In fact, I don’t think I’ve purchased a comic since 2001 or so – but hell yeah I’m getting BC #10 or whatever they call it.

I’ve actually been thinking about the X-Men lately and picked up an issue and flipped through it. Not entirely sure if I care to start up that affair with comics again. If it’s a Madureira series though? You won’t be able to keep me away! Now…we wait. Hmm…feels awfully familiar! :)

Excessive?  Nah!

Excessive? Nah!

Wargolem

Wargolem

Classic Mad!

Classic Mad!

B.A.!

BA!

New Bone Fire MP3: 1504

Posted in Blog, Downloads, MP3s, Music on February 6, 2015 by slateman

It’s been a few weeks and I had this chuggy idea in my head. I don’t have enough time to really let these riffs get realized so I record them fast. Instead of letting them grow and mature, I just start layering shit on top of it and voila! the best 44 seconds of the day. *sigh*

Whatever. I like this one. I doubled all the guitars, including all the solos so everything is fully panned left/right. Bass was done in one take and drums in two, but you know to expect little from the latter. Whatever. METAL!

Bone Fire: 1504

My King Diamond Tribute

Posted in Blog, Downloads, MP3s, Music on January 6, 2015 by slateman

It is well known that King Diamond is the man. Andy LaRocque, well, he’s the man as well (so you can point that fucking finger up your ass!) Sorry…Tool lyrics there.

Anyways, that duo has created some of the best music ever. In fact, King with both bands may be the greatest musician in history, just judging by the number of top-notch albums…but I digress…again!

With a new guitar in tow, a buddy suggested I re-record some acoustic awesomeness from the ’80s. His suggestion was Drunken Wisdom but I’ve been out of the Overkill loop for some time. This morning, A Visit From The Dead came on random and that was it. Could I pull this off? I am in fact not the man and both Andy and Pete’s guitarwork on Conspiracy are perfect and glorious metal anthems. So, while I can’t possibly live up to that blinding excellence, here’s my poor-man’s ode to King and 1989’s slab of excellence Conspiracy. Busted out in an evening, replete with the normal imperfections that time and love could address…here goes nothing!

Bone Fire: 1503 – A Visit From The Dead (Intro)

New Guitar. New Music. YEAH!

Posted in Blog, Downloads, MP3s, Music on January 4, 2015 by slateman

A nice, routine outing with my wife turned into music store discovery which turned into new gear purchase! I finally offloaded my ever-despised Ovation Celebrity Electric-Acoustic and ended up getting a Guild D-150. This thing is awesome and sounds incredible!

So…of course I have to test it out in recording mode. Now, I had already started recording something new last night and both feature live (electronic) drums by myself! (Translation: They’re pretty poor!) (Follow-Up: I don’t care!) Anyways, the first, aptly titled 1501, is a metal/harmony little tune while the second is just acoustics with electric bass.

Bone Fire: 1501

Bone Fire: 1502

So, I might as well post a pic of my entire guitar collection – which is pretty sick if I might say so myself! \m/!!!

Guitar Collection 2015!

Guitar Collection 2015!

Cube Collection – Winter 2015

Posted in Blog, Cubing on January 2, 2015 by slateman

This past year was a good one with some substantial additions to the collection. Most were cheap fill-ins to voids, but some were stand-out puzzles (the 2x4x6 being one of the coolest ever!) Since I typically keep the collection page updated, I generally don’t need to post here about it. However, a new photo of that ever-growing amassment couldn’t hurt anyone! Overexposed, but whatever. Here’s just the twisty puzzles I have on my shelf!

Cube Collection - Winter 2015

Cube Collection – Winter 2015

New Bone Fire MP3: MMXIV-VIII

Posted in Blog, Downloads, MP3s, Music on November 23, 2014 by slateman

Ah, just because. For some reason I was in a rough mood this morning, a little agitated. Why not record? Just 30 seconds of metal here. The mix is crap, but I can’t be bothered to tinker any more. Ought to tend to matters, I suppose. So, another snippet. Enjoy!

Bone Fire: MMXIV-VII

New Bone Fire MP3: MMXIV-VII

Posted in Blog, Downloads, MP3s, Music on November 8, 2014 by slateman

This is shoddy but it’s my first recording with keyboards. I purchased a MIDI keyboard ages ago but could never get it to work properly. Here’s just a sample from that first session. Just guitars & keys. Enjoy!

Bone Fire: MMXIV-VI

Now Reading: Prince Lestat!

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Books on October 31, 2014 by slateman

lestatAfter voraciously tearing through the first three Vampire Chronicles books, I was very disappointed with numbers four and five. The next half-decade would provide me with plenty to digest as the New Vampires novels focused on the historical side of the preternatural world, my favorite! I stopped after Merrick and Blood And Gold and thoroughly enjoyed both. That was over 10 years ago.

When Rice merged the world of vampires and witches I lost some interest (though, again, Merrick was phenomenal!) and I never read the Blackwood Farm titles. However, now, after abandoning this world, another tale of our brat-prince appears and I couldn’t be more enthusiastic. Only 40 pages in and I’m bathing in the glory of Rice’s words. She paints such vivid pictures of landscapes, sights & smells, the human/inhuman condition. It’s evident a decade has passed though. The layout has changed to meet George RR Martin’s style. The need for a glossary (Blood Argot, as she calls it) appeases the newcomers who may have grown up on the nu-vampire trends. The topics of science and technology contrast her histories spanning the millennia. However, Rice is as colorful here as ever and the story so far has gripped me. Plenty of familiar names and ‘oh! I recall that!’ type moments. Truly psyched to have this (and another evidently in the pipeline! Now…to get back to it!!!

New Bone Fire MP3: MMXIV-VI

Posted in Blog, Downloads, MP3s, Music on October 28, 2014 by slateman

Why not more? A clean guitar this time. This is a short one…nothing special but worthy of a listen, perhaps!!!

Bone Fire: MMXIV-VI