Archive for January, 2013

Ratchet & Clank Logo Collection

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Game Art, Games with tags , on January 29, 2013 by slateman

logo-collectionFortunately, I don’t really care what people think. Because…well…this appears to be a complete waste of time. However, upon final inspection, I quite like it, and that’s all that friggin’ matters…got it? Well, since I started going through Ratchet & Clank HD this past week, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the game. Getting all the gold bolts, skill points, weapons, etc. has been a cool challenge and a nice memory (unlike that THPSHD DLC) Anyhoo, it’s been a lot of fun and so I had that stupid inspiration to collect every R&C logo from every game. I was surprised to find so many!!! I compiled all the Japanese releases, one French and another Spanish and tossed in all the alternate European titles. It’s absurd…and that’s why I love it. Head over to my main site for the complete collection of R&C logos. Just be prepared for it to be a waste of your time. A good waste.

Mini-Review: Ratchet & Clank HD

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Games, Reviews with tags , , on January 25, 2013 by slateman

logo-r&cI played through the first three Ratchet & Clank games back in 2002-2004 and loved every minute of them. I am fairly certain I went back to the second and beat it again at a later date. I own the two R&C Future titles as well, though a friend has lost A Crack In Time. :( Anyhow, I love the series and this week’s PSN update was just too good to be true. The first R&C HD remake was 75% off for PS+ subscribers? $3.75 for the game? Couldn’t turn that down and I’ve been enjoying my purchase the past few days.

I’m still recovering from this surgery and I haven’t done much of anything so it’s been nice to get some game time in. (I’ve also been playing Darksiders as it’s free for PS+ subs, how awesome is this service?!) Anyways, it’s been great fun going back to the series’ roots. You can see how certain things were tweaked later, and for the better. Not having more slots for quick select makes things slightly annoying but man, this game is still pretty solid a decade later! The gameplay is still superb and so many little details were innovative and fresh for 2002 (getting rid of the standard ‘lives’ is one of my favorite changes to gaming around that time.) I’m at the very end now and looking through the trophies, I doubt I’m going to rush forth and try to get the platinum. However, it’s spectacular and if by any chance Going Commando or Up Your Arsenal are on sale too, I’m going to have to plunk down a few more bucks. TOTALLY loving PS+ right now.

Massive SFG Update Is A Go!!!

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Game Art, Games, Street Fighter, Web Design on January 24, 2013 by slateman

I couldn’t contain myself the other day and spilled the beans but today the huge update is live. Having tweaked more than two dozen different sections by adding posters, new galleries, fixing old ones and revamping a few pages, it’s easily the biggest update since the site launched 11 years ago. And, congrats to me for another long-running site. Crumbling Flesh turns 18 this year, the empty shell that is Planet Tony Hawk would be 14 and this one 11. Rock on! I was psyched to make this big update, giving me 106 galleries in this humble site. Here are the samples I listed over there. Excellent!!!


Street Fighter Galleries: Enormous Update

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Game Art, Games, Street Fighter, Web Design on January 22, 2013 by slateman

I’ll be posting a huge update over at Street Fighter Galleries soon, in honor of the site’s 11th anniversary. What turned out as a few gallery updates has become an enormous undertaking. By my latest count, I’ve updated or added no fewer than 23 galleries and added at least a half dozen posters. So…while I want to wait to post the big update, I’m also psyched to fix a lot of things that were slightly broken (10 year old code) and also fill some gaps that were missing. This last update of the day was to Marvel Super Heroes Vs. Street Fighter. Never one of my favorite games, its art is impressing me lately! Check out the new updates!

Average Of 5: 41.60!

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Cubing, Cubing Records on January 22, 2013 by slateman

dayan-zhanchiI’ve done a few average of 5 runs in the past few months but I’ve never posted the results. Today is nice and quiet, as all the kids are in school and I haven’t had time to speedcube in a while. So, I tossed the awesome SpeedCube Timer on my phone and went to it. The results were satisfying, particularly because I haven’t gone for speed in weeks. The numbers don’t lie…let’s see how they were!

41.05 / 44.46 / 39.21 / 39.84 / 43.44

Back-to-back sub 40s! That’s pretty solid if I might say so! And after five runs, I averaged 41.6 seconds. I’m unsure what my old record was but I’m fairly certain I never had such a low average of 5. Not bad! Guess it’s worthy of my Cube Records Page!

THPSHD Revert Pack

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Games, Personal, Reflection, Tony Hawk Series on January 19, 2013 by slateman


I’m a month and a half late to the game but I’m going to come right out and say it doesn’t matter.

Playing through the THPS3HD Revert Pack was bittersweet around every corner. Every element of my game time had that tinge of sad nostalgia. See, THPS3 came out in the autumn of 2001 and it remains my least favorite of the main Tony Hawk titles. That’s saying a lot, considering there were so many. Then add the fact that my beloved Hawk site Planet Tony Hawk is now dead. Finally, as I tried to get online and couldn’t find an available game, it all hit me hard. That ‘news’ that was evident to the world years ago…Hawk Games, gaming, my entire life – they’re not quite what they used to be.

Ah, there he goes being overly-dramatic again! No, screw that. THPS 3 is the worst Hawk title and I knew it, even back when I started making money off the whole deal. I had a good ride but something changed when Hawk 3 came and every one of us who played it back in ’99-’00 knew it. See, THPS 3 was when things really started getting rushed. In order to make the PS2’s launch, in order to have THPS 4 on shelves in the autumn of 2002, in order to keep the train moving. Let’s not forget the third game appeared on nine different platforms. They money train was going and nothing was going to stop it. Now, the masses ate this shit up which kept things going, which effectively diminished the quality. So…when I boot up a game and play the Airport as a level…it doesn’t bring happy nostalgia.

thpshd_hetfieldAnyways, what do we get with the revert pack? Reverts! L.A., Canada & the Airport! Two new pro skaters & two novelty skaters! Well, for $5, that’s actually pretty good – and contrary to early reports, you can use reverts in the original THPSHD levels. As for skaters, Steve Caballero & Geoff Rowley appear and both are welcome. Rowley was in the first five Hawk games and I loved having Cab in the game. As for the other two skaters? James Hetfield! It must be great skating as him! I mean, he was a skater during the mid-80s and he busted his arm twice while doing so. Robert Trujillo is less interesting, but hey, it’s Metallica. The problem is that I’ve already beaten career mode and have zero interest in doing it again.

As for the levels, I positively hate them. All three were revisited back in THUG2 and they’re no different here. I don’t know – I think they look terrible. OK, that’s strong, but with this HD facelift, I expected things to look…better!

Finally, the revert. It was the redefining element of THPS 3 and I think that’s where problems started. While THPS 4’s spine transfers were a smaller, yet more realistic upgrade, the revert was just madness. What started with ingenuity in THPS and THPS 2 now became utter absurdity. Combos went on forever and pre-planned lines effectively reduced my creativity to a button mash-fest with balance. As I skated through the airport today, it was the same. It was 2001 all over again and for me, it wasn’t a good thing.

As an overall package it feels like it lacks the shine we all grew accustomed to in those heyday years. I may groan over THPS 3 vs other titles but it was packed with hidden areas, cheats, skaters, etc. This DLC doesn’t have any new trophies/achievements and it does a poor job of telling you precisely what you’re getting.

But listen…the DLC costs $5 and while I don’t know stats, I’m sure it’s sold a decent amount. I can’t really complain about the DLC as much as the source content. What once was a huge part of my life is now relegated to disappointment. While I went back to THPSHD a fair number of times this summer, I don’t feel much of a beckon now. I think it’d be cool to see a THPS 4 DLC with spine transfers, Kona, London? Moscow? Hmm…maybe not. THPS 4 also came with vehicles, more skitching…Hmmm. I don’t know what I want – maybe that’s the problem. Maybe it’s time for me to retire from Hawk gaming for a little while. A long while, sad as that might be.

Einherjer: Dragons Over Vinland

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Music on January 18, 2013 by slateman

einherjer2013tourSo…Einherjer is coming to North America?!?! Oh man, the band that broke up after 2003’s brilliant Blot came back 8 years later with Norrøn. Now, I never expected them to come anywhere near me…and, well, they’re not. But they’re coming! Most dates are in Canada, but man I wish I could see them. They’re one of those ‘Never saw ’em, really wish I had’ bands. *Sigh* Ah well.

Is Varjoina Kuljemme Kuolleiden Maassa The Best Album In A Decade?

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Music, Reviews on January 16, 2013 by slateman

Moonsorrow-2011-333x500That’s not a dramatic header there. I’m serious. The more I listen; the better it gets. Moonsorrow’s masterpiece is a perfect album. OK, the three 90-second interludes are useless, but they bridge the awesomeness in a
necessary way. The four remaining 13-minute-average epics are possible the best four songs in years. The
complete tale from beginning to end is a vast journey, perfectly completing a cycle of metallic excellence.

It’s funny. Barring the hypnotic acoustic intro of Huuto, I can’t hum to you any one specific riff, memorable interlude or catchy progression. The songs go one for so long; what makes them so good?

Moonsorrow’s powerful blend of keyboards, sheer heaviness and crushing vocals lead from one tune to the next, not faltering, not offering a throwaway segment. As a musical fanatic, I memorize band member names, song titles, years, everything but lyrics. On Varjoina Kuljemme Kuolleiden Maassa I know none of it. Even as a linguist who revels in etymology, language change and meaning – I don’t care. I just want to turn this up and play it again.

This album is just about everything I love about metal. I almost have nothing to write about it – but yet it’s the greatest shit in the world. It very well could be the best album of this millennium.

Still In Hospital: This Sucks

Posted in Blog, Personal on January 13, 2013 by slateman

h3Still in the hospital. Surgery last Monday, home Tuesday & Wednesday, back to hospital Thursday and here I sit, Sunday morning, with at least a day or two left. They’re taking care of me though; I’ll make a full recovery. All my articles will have to wait though. I wanted to finish my Best of 2012 one. I guess in the big picture, that’s not so very important, is it?

The Walking Dead: Season 3.5 Poster

Posted in Blog, The Walking Dead with tags on January 9, 2013 by slateman

WalkingDead3.5PosterNot as impressive as the Season 3 Poster, this teaser hints at the inevitable Governor/Rick showdown. Season 3 has been spectacular and I look forward to being impressed as the first of eight more episodes arrives on my birthday. If they’re as good as the first half of the season, I’ll be thrilled. Just another month to go!!!