Archive for August, 2012

Metal Albums 2012: What’s Left?

Posted in Blog, Music on August 18, 2012 by slateman

With just four months left this year, I’ll admit it’s been just a so-so year for metal releases. Several have come out which have left me unimpressed (Lamb of God) and only a few have really surprised me and have colored me enthusiastic about listening again (Borknagar). However, with a few more months left, there should be plenty of time for bands to woo me. Here’s the list of my ‘waiting for’ albums. I don’t see any of them really blowing me away!

August
Katatonia: Dead End Kings (zero expectations)

September
Down: Down IV (Part I)
Anthrax: The ’70s EP
Enslaved: RIITIIR

I wasn’t too thrilled with Down III, so I can’t say I’m really excited about another. Anthrax? Ah, ’70s covers could be fun, but I don’t expect regular spins. Enslaved? I never know with them. I look forward to it!!!

October
My Dying Bride: A Map Of All Our Failures
Neurosis: Honor Found In Decay
Cradle Of Filth: The Manticore And Other Horrors

Now This is what I was looking for. Another MDB!? I tend to like every other release. The Dreadful Hours and A Line Of Deathless Kings = awesome! Songs of Darkness, Words of Light and For Lies I Sire = less so…now, I loved The Barghest O’Whitby so I have high expectations for this one. Neurosis…been waiting a long time for a new one. COF? More of the same, I expect.

When?

Soilwork: The Living Infinite
If they can keep up the quality after the last album, I’ll be thrilled.

October Tide
Oh I can’t wait…Doubtful for this year.

Skyfire
Oh I can’t wait…wait…did I say that already?

Summoning
I love this band. As usual, just wait and one day it’ll pop up.

Well, there you have it. If none of these come out/destroy, it’ll probably be Borknagar or Alcest for AotY. While I just got into Alcest, their newest isn’t nearly as good as their last. Borknagar is the best of the year? Hmmm…

Oh, and I’ll have to get around to mentioning/reviewing Vintersorg, Tenacious D and Citizen Cope. I really want to like the new Vintersorg…it’s good…but I’m not completely sold on it yet.

Mini-Review: Outland – I Love This Game…

Posted in Blog, Borderlands, Games, Resident Evil, Reviews with tags , on August 18, 2012 by slateman

I think it was last year when I picked up Outland on the Xbox360. It was probably when my PS3 was dead and I needed something new to play. Of course, I LOVE Ikaruga, in fact, I have a section of one of my sites devoted to it. This game is an action/adventure homage to the excellent title and I love it.

Now, my Xbox360 doesn’t receive as much love as it used to. I don’t know why we all have our favorites but I much prefer the PS3 and its interface than Microsoft’s offering. Most of my gaming hours are spent on Sony’s platform and now that Outland was free for PS+ subscribers, why not nab this game again?

So, with brilliant Ikaruga-style mechanics, awesome visuals and a cool soundtrack, this game is a lot of fun to play. It’s not overly difficult, but boss battles can be very tough. I would love to find a complete set of artwork for Outland as it’s just marvelous. The color schemes, the details in the background, animations, enemies and most of all, bosses, all look spectacular and are deserving of their own art book or online gallery.

The gameplay is equally fantastic. It brings the aforementioned polarity to match the progress-and-return 2D method of Castlevania/Metroid/Shadow Complex. I love these types of games. I’m always eager to go back and collect what I missed, aiming for 100% whenever I can (or 200% in the case of the brilliant Symphony Of The Night!)

So, I should really just play the 360 game rather than going back to repeat all this. But it’s just so fun, I don’t mind. Will I finish the whole thing? Perhaps…but it’s definitely entertaining while it lasts! (i.e. until Borderlands 2 and Resident Evil 6 come out to consume all my time!)

Mini-Review: The Walking Dead – I Really Liked!

Posted in Blog, Games, Reviews, The Walking Dead on August 15, 2012 by slateman

While away I saw the first two episodes of The Walking Dead were free for ps+ subscribers. Having heard good things, and being a big fan of TWD, I was excited. The first few free nights, I got a few hours with the first game and walked away impressed. Of course this is not standard zombie fare. This is a moving game with its share of intense moments. As some choices were presented to me, I struggled with finding an answer that suited Lee. You have limited time on some of these. Do I speak the truth and trust in human nature? Or, do I tell them what they want to hear? Can I keep up with what lies I told one person? Which character do I save or back up? And getting back to Lee, he isn’t just the main character, he’s Lee…My Lee! I absolutely love the protagonist. His eyes are bright and revealing. His mysterious background is curious and compelling. I look at him as if he truly were a reflection of me. He can’t be a killer…right?

I look forward to playing episode 2. If it continues on this path, I’ll be forced to pick up parts 3-5! This is some cool stuff!

Back From NY!!!

Posted in Blog, Personal, Photos, The Walking Dead on August 15, 2012 by slateman

I spent a week visiting my family back home in NY. I’ve got some new things to write about…I started playing The Walking Dead (PS+ free!!!), Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, and have decided that Alcest’s Les Voyages De Lâme may bethe best album of the year. Until I get there though, enjoy this pic I snapped late at night @ camp a few weeks back. A long-exposure of the moon yielded a pretty good shot!!!

Moonlight Exposure

DDP:DFK New High Score (Arrange A – 36b)

Posted in Blog, DoDon Pachi, Games, High Scores/Accomplishments on August 2, 2012 by slateman

My PS3 reinstall has been the focus of much of my time lately, but today I wanted to get a few rounds of the good ol’ DFK. Instead of focusing on 1.5, I went forward with arrange mode A (DOJ mode). As DOJ is my favorite ever, it’s a great remix. Today’s score was all due to a great first level. This mode is so fantastic, it’s a new game in its own right. Now that I know the mechanics (oh right, someone wrote a great FAQ on the game!) I can work on score. I had another run afterwards which was bound for greatness…however some distractions (my son jumping all over me didn’t help) made me crash and burn early. I hope to get much more time with the game. We’ll see if I get lucky!

PS3 Re-Everything Log: Day #6

Posted in Blog, Games on August 2, 2012 by slateman

Today is a light day…but only in terms of quantity. The Choplifter HD PS+ freebie weighed in at a mere 1.5Gb, but it was Infamous 2 which took the cake. The 15Gb download took most of the day. The installation is going to take quite a while, I expect. I’m generally done with my catching up. I’m opting to skip some games entirely. Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One is a 14Gb game that, since losing my save game, I have little interest in revisiting.

PS3 Re-Everything Log: Day #5

Posted in Blog, Games on August 1, 2012 by slateman

As I have some running around to do today, I didn’t plan on doing much updating. This morning though, I figured I’d grab some patches as I was up rather early. Overnight I got a few demos (not counting towards my re-install numbers) but those were about 3Gb in all. I also queued up the following:

PSN Game Downloads
Awesomenauts – 68Q3Mb
Blue Toad Murder Files – 420Mb
Castlevania Chronicles – 336Mb
Just Cause 27.5Gb
Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 – 199Mb (had to re-download)
Shank 2 – 1.2Gb
Zombie Apocalypse 2 – 1.2Gb

As for patches, I updated a bunch. Lots of smaller files, but a lengthy process indeed. Let’s see…

This Morning’s Patch Updates
Age Of Booty – 45Mb
Awesomenauts – 17Mb
Blast Factor – 134Mb
Blue Toad Murder Files – 346Mb
Burn Zombie Burn! – 62Mb
Costume Quest – 8Mb
Critter Crunch – 17Mb
Dead Nation – 375Mb
Fl0w – 16Mb
Flower – 10Mb
Journey – 41Mb
Lumines Supernova – 5Mb
Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 – 200Mb
Might & Magic: Clash Of Heroes – 27Mb
Pac-Man Championship Edition DX – 12Mb
PixelJunk Eden – 36Mb
PixelJunk Monsters – 63Mb
PixelJunk Racers – 3Mb
PixelJunk Shooter 2 – 35Mb
PixelJunk SideScroller – 25Mb
Piyotama – 64Mb
Rag Doll Kung Fu – 34Mb
The Simpsons – 2Mb
Söldner-X – 6Mb
Söldner-X2 – 2Mb
Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix – 55Mb
Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD – 303Mb
Swords And Soldiers – 61Mb
Toy Home – 818Mb
Trine – 51Mb
Zombie Apocalypse – 22Mb
Zombie Apocalypse: Never Die Alone – 14Mb

Now, only one of those is really somewhat large. But that’s not the point. I had to sit and boot up each of those games and allow it to update. There’s no background downloading on these. Once again, the purpose of this is so that I can play any of these games whenever I want. It’s such a nuisance to have to do all this right when you want to play, but my method this week is cumbersome and loooong.