Z2 from DTP was excellent, Inferi's new album was awesome. Allegaeon - Elements of the Infinite was my all around favorite of the year for death metal. Haken's "Restoration" EP was excellent for a prog metal album, along with Animals As Leaders of course. Mastodon, At The Gates, Behemoth, Black Crown Initiate, and Ne Obliviscaris seem to round out most year end lists on metal sites. They are all pretty awesome, I found Black Crown initiate and Ne Obliviscaris to be the most enjoyable of the critical favorites so far. I also thought Wovenwar's debut was good for some straight pop-metal. Also, Babymetal - the japenese girl metal band, seems to get a ton of buzz on year end lists this year.
I'll put in a shameless plug for my own album released this year, Son of Aurelius - Under A Western Sun, might be worth a listen if you're into more progressive metal.
I came to this thread expecting some quick, tabloid-like entertainment from some unfounded grievances about this site. It seems that I'm many pages deep now and completely invested in some of the insights and honest thoughts. I wasn't expecting that at all.
I've never regretted renewing my yearly membership. Once I got it, I couldn't believe how I lived without it. Giant Bomb has been one of my main sources of entertainment, period, over the last 3 years. That said, This site seems to always run hot and cold over time based on your personal interests. Spelunky with Patrick and Volgar with Brad? I'm hooked. Dark Souls and Pathfinder? Not so much. But that's just me. For some people it's probably the opposite.
These guys also have to contend with what games are coming out (or lack thereof), and in the midst of preparing for E3, it's amazing that they get as much content out as they do.
As far as the premium stuff, it's just the reality of their business model. As a lot of people put it, it's basically a tip jar. If you care so deeply about the site that you have such in-depth critiques, it's a little strange that you've never even tried the subscription.
All really good points here. I've found that I actually have to schedule gaming into my day in order to have time for it. Right before bed is a good time. Of course most of the time I have a nagging guilty feeling, if I have any extra time I feel like should be doing something productive. So I maybe play a couple hours a week on average, and they are usually older games I already know how to play well.
It's a shame because I still regularly buy games on steam. 16 year old me would be blown away with what I have sitting uninstalled on my library. Is it weird that I generally get more entertainment value from watching the fellas here play games more than playing the game myself?
I'm a crotchety old man about these new movies. Spiderman 3 was a trainwreck and all that, but they really didn't wait long enough to reboot. I like my Spiderman with a heavy dusting of Tobey and Raimi. Peter Parker shouldn't be a cool, skateboarding, fohawked, skinny jeans wearing "nerd". He should be a normal nerdy dude.