Archive for March, 2013

New Bone Fire MP3: Thirteen II

Posted in Blog, Downloads, MP3s, Music on March 31, 2013 by slateman

Don’t even think of asking me how I managed to record two songs in one day, when I’ve only recorded two songs in the last two years. Once again, this is just an excuse to write/record but I don’t care. It’s fun. Here’s the newest addition…in all its glory. Enjoy!!!

New Bone Fire MP3: Thirteen I

Posted in Blog, Downloads, MP3s, Music on March 31, 2013 by slateman

It’s been yet another year since I’ve been able to record anything and so today I did! Part of this was just to make sure my audio hardware was all set up properly. So, as usual, it started with a very basic riff (on bass this time), a pair of stereo guitars, a mono solo-type doodle, drums/snare, hi-hats and finally cymbals. It’s quick, dirty, sloppy and just good enough to post. \m/

Vampire Resurrection DLC: You’re Kidding…Right?

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Games with tags , on March 22, 2013 by slateman

vr-dlcI’ve supported Capcom since day 1. When the jokes about Super Street Fighter Zero Alpha Turbo II X kept coming, I would correct everyone about the Zero series, the differences between incremental updates, etc. And when Super Street Fighter IV came out for a mere $40, I bought that shit quick. Even the on-disc DLC from SFxT was fine by me (I didn’t buy it). And while I will not be buying the new Vampire Resurrection DLC, its entire existence is just a joke. For a mere $1 you can buy one of two cabinets or $2 for game rooms. That’s $6 of useless crap. Again, you can’t complain…just don’t buy it. But the fact that this even exists is pathetic. Whatever.

New Average-Of-5 Record: 36.32!

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Cubing, Cubing Records on March 21, 2013 by slateman

3x3-average-of-5-record33.39, huh? That’s a pretty good time. What would’ve been an incredible record just a few months ago is merely a ‘pretty good time’ now. Well, I have a few minutes to spare, why not another run or two? 38, 37, 34, 37 seconds…WOW. That was five runs in a row of not only under 40, but well under 40! My average-of-five record stood at 39.31. It’s now three seconds better! Wow!

Pretty psyched. That was fun.

New Cubing Record: 3×3 – 31.50!

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Cubing, Cubing Records on March 19, 2013 by slateman

3x3-record-31.5

The scramble left me with a very fortuitous cross and so I had the bottom layer done in less than 10 seconds. The rest of the run was good enough to break my record but I have to admit that in my head, I was hoping for a sub-30. It didn’t happen, but a quarter of a second faster than my fastest ever is still reason to be psyched. I had done a run on my stickerless Zhanchi but returned to the good ol’ black cube for the victory. I love the stickerless, but maybe it needs some tensioning. Who cares! New Record!!!

New Cubing Record: 4×4 – 2:40.67

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Cubing, Cubing Records on March 19, 2013 by slateman

4x4-record-2.40.67I still time myself doing 3×3 solves here and there but I’ve mostly abandoned speed cubing other cubes. After breaking both my 2×2 and 3×3 records recently, in the same day, I took a peek at the larger cubes. Until I get a new 6×6 I’m not even going to try and my 5×5 attempts were far from my record (I solved in 6:11, record is just over 5:00). The 4×4 sat there, the spectacular ShengShou cube, and so I tried it. Centers were solved quickly, maybe 30 seconds. It’s that middle edge matching that kills me! Well, ultimately I finished the cube in 2:40.67, less than a second faster than my prior record. While that’s not really a huge deal, breaking my 2×2, 3×3 and 4×4 personal bests all within the same month is pretty cool.

Mini-Review: Darkstalkers: Resurrection – Missing Something

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Games, Reviews with tags , on March 19, 2013 by slateman

VAMPIRE RESURRECTION POSTCARDI spent an awful lot of time a few months back working on an exhaustive Vampire Savior FAQ and I now will have to update it with Darkstalkers/Vampire Resurrection information. After a little while of testing things out, I have to say…it’s OK. My main concern was the port of Darkstalkers 3 – a game that never truly existed. Sadly, they didn’t take the ‘best of’ idea and include Vampire Savior 2 and Vampire Hunter 2 tweaks. This game appears to play just like the arcade version of VS without the Dark Force changes or the additional three characters. Why this is eludes me. The gameplay is spot-on, of course and all the usual perks are included. You gain points for completing challenges. You use this currency for the Vault – artwork and movies. Fortunately there is some new artwork included here not present in every other version. Unfortunately there is no sound test; this is a pity considering how the soundtracks to these two games may very well be the best Capcom has ever produced. The Japanese game was released in disc format and the first copies came with a bonus soundtrack CD. Sure I already have the soundtrack for VS but it’s just that good! AND, the game definitely features at least one new track – again, a sound test would have rocked.

And then I start doing tutorials/challenges. Now, can someone tell me why back in 1997 Arika was able to do the trial thing right and why now, 16 years later, we’re left with this? First off, there are only five for each character for each game. That still is a lot of challenges, I suppose. Street Fighter EX+A had…was it 15? 20? 25? And, since I’m not a fantastic player, I can’t perform half of them. Morrigan has the same trial for both VH and VS (screw this American naming convention). The same trial? Well, I can’t manage to chain a c.Short->c.Fierce->Darkness Illusion…so that means there are 2 of Morrigan’s 10 challenges. Great.

Now, the entire presentation is amazing. The HD makeover looks phenomenal (the game still looks like it always did) and when you switch from VH to VS, you remain in the last menu. I.e. if you’re about to start a ranked match and you change games, the menu places you in the ranked match area again. Small things like that are great. There’s also an info box giving you details about all the fighters. Developers, if you’re going to do this, please have at least 100 different quotes. I played for 10 minutes and felt like it was repeating already.

VR Soundtrack

Online play was superb, zero problems and GGPO has treated me well with all recent fighters. I suck, so it’s no fun at all getting trounced by Gallon (Talbain) constantly. But, that’s my problem.

There’s a spot for the Playstation Store – so I don’t know what they’re planning on trying to sell us. $15 for this package is indeed good, but I’d be pissed if they asked me to shell out more for anything. Unless it’s the soundtrack – it’s just that good. Then again, I now have this game for the PS1, PS2, PS3, SS, PSP and arcade ROMS – just missing the DC game. I’m not paying anything more for Vampire/Darkstalkers until part four comes out. :)

Mini-Review: [Rec] – Outstanding

Posted in Blog, Movies, Reviews on March 19, 2013 by slateman

rec-movie-poster-2007-1020420587Dread. To put it simply…dread. The horror genre is one I grew up with and have never quite outgrown. As a father now, though, my fascination is mixed with dread as parents have a new priority in life. I’ve seen [Rec] twice. I never watched the American recreation…but the original film is the perfect thriller. This wasn’t the first found-footage film, and it may not be the best. However it instills dread in me every time I watch it. But when the bloody woman attacks in the apartment….when the fireman falls from upstairs…when things go to hell at the end…I’m filled with dread. It’s just a movie, of course, but it feels real. The first-person account of whatever is going on feels real. Like Cloverfield, you have no real idea as to what is going on, much like it would be in real life. All of the calm dialogue is utterly shattered when things start going wrong. The horrible sounds, the utter panic, the non-stop dread…And the entire time I am scared to death at what’s around the corner, where the people are and what is going to happen next. And don’t even get me started on the end. I know what’s going to happen and it still freaks me the fuck out. Oh, and then the lights go out.

[Rec 2] was good and had some very cool ideas but as usual, the original is the best. Outrageous fear. I hate this movie but I love it more.

Mini-Review: Tomb Raider – Oh Yes!

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Games, Reviews with tags on March 17, 2013 by slateman

tombraiderIt isn’t 1996 any longer. While there have been many Tomb Raider games since then, none have lived up to the standard set by the first two games. And with Uncharted coming to take the torch, how precisely can a reboot live up with the legacy of both UC and TR? By doing precisely what they’ve done in this game.

And Uncharted IS important because it took a formula and perfected it. Its second entry is probably my favorite game of this generation. Its third iteration, however, didn’t live up to the standard set by the first two games. Sound familiar? (Plus, we’ve talked about thistwice!) As Lara Croft scrambled to safety in the 2013 reboot, I was a character who was real. No more one-liners after murdering two dozen swarming enemies. It’s not that Nathan Drake is unlikeable; it’s quite the opposite. It’s just that by the third time, it was all expected. We knew we’d be dangling by one arm at least six times. Every action sequence felt familiar the intensity was thereby reduced. When Lara first killed a person, it was a big deal. The intense moments in Tomb Raider were intense! The entire journey was a remarkable one; even if it felt like UC a few times (which itself felt like TR a few times).

tombraider2

Lara was a mess. She was hurt. Her pain felt real. The visuals in the game were positively incredible, the sound outstanding. The gameplay was impeccable and FUN. The weapons were powerful. Their customizable evolution was perfectly executed. I felt a draw to the history, the lore. The locales were lush and vast. I listened to the audio logs. The collectibles fit within the world created. I went back to collect GPS caches, using my new-found abilities to unlock new paths. More than once during my adventure I stated, “This represents everything I love about videogames!”

This review is pretty simple. The game absolutely rules and is one of my favorites in a long time. In retrospect, I’m stuck trying to find a weakness. Perhaps more diverse enemies would be nice. I guess the biggest problem is how to deal with a sequel but who cares about that now? Tomb Raider has somehow returned to form, copying and trumping a game that copied and trumped it in the first place. This is just about perfect; it cannot be praised highly enough.

DDP:SDOJ – Crossing Fingers

Posted in Blog, DoDon Pachi, Games on March 17, 2013 by slateman

ddp-sdoj-releaseThe praying for localization (or region-free) for DoDonPachi: SaiDaiOuJou is now in full force as May 30th has been chosen as its release date. What is likely the swan song for Cave’s arcade production will be arriving with HD visuals, arrange modes and the whole lot. I’ll never afford the limited edition never mind the super-limited edition; I’ll be thrilled just to be able to play it at all. 10 years after DaiOuJou became the best shmup of all time, its successor has some big shoes to fill. To be honest, I’ll never be the fan I once was; the time simply doesn’t exist. I’m not entirely sure how bad that is. If one cannot devote the proper time to a game like DOJ/SDOJ (unlike DFK); is it worth it? I’m hoping for a yes. Ultimately I think it’s going to be localized. And I will get it. I’m still waiting on getting ESP Galuda II and MMP/Ibara 2. But this game is the holy grail and I’ll pass on everything to get it. The wait continues!!!