3 Great Albums for The Polynomial


If you haven't heard,The Polynomial, a bizarre seizure inducing acid trip of a first person combat flight simulator that just came out for 10 bucks on Steam.  Levels are essentially surreal explorable visualizers of songs you can import from your music library. Buy it.   
 
But you might find that the included music is bland and The Polynomial just doesn't feel right accompanied by Linkin Park.
 
In that case, check out these beautiful, spacey ambient albums, 100% cnlmullen guaranteed™ to improve your Polynomial experience*

Agaetis Byrjun

 

Sigur Rós was an ultra popular Icelandic "post-rock" band. The falsetto voice of the vocalist will lead you on strange journey across emotion and musical texture.   

If you play The Polynomial with Sigur Rós in a pitch black room, a good sound system and a big monitor you may swallow your tongue in ecstasy. 
 
The album in two words: Strange, beautiful

The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place

    

 
One of the definitive post-rock albums, by one of the definitive post-rock bands, Explosion's in the Sky. Expect expansive, immersive, melody heavy pieces that last over 10 minutes. Think shifting, mostly mellow, but some euphoric moods and a lot of electric guitar.
 
The album in two words: Sweeping melodies

 Noble Beast / Useless Creatures (Deluxe Edition)

 

The second disc included in Noble Beast, called Useless Creatures, is a collection of Andrew Bird's sonic experiments.  These pieces are rich, moody and expansive, not unlike the other albums listed above, but are less structured and less electronic.
 
Only the "Deluxe" version of Noble Beast includes Useless Creatures. 
 
In two words: Whirling strings
 
 * Side effects may include: violent convulsions, drooling, brief loss of consciousness, muscle spasms and/or short or long term memory loss.
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Bully: 4 Years Later - Charm never ages


    
Bully was originally released for the PS2 October 17th, 2006. About 2 years ago it was released for PC and is now 15 dollars to download on Steam. I don't remember buying Bully (probably came in a collection I bought on sale), but it's been in my games list for a while, so I started playing it last week. I'm about 12 hours into the game, and so far I'm loving it. 
   
What really stands out about Bully is its wit and charm. Ridiculously dumb jocks, a disgusting lunch lady, catty gossiping girls and a group of abused geeks come together to paint a gruesome picture of high school life that's both disarmingly hilarious and,  in a weird way, accurate.  These aren't strictly jokes for laughs: Take a step back and you'll find some social commentary on high school and beyond -- much more so than any of the Grand Theft Auto games -- and that's a big part of what makes this game such a delight to play. 
 
Right before I started Bully, I finished Batman: Arkham Asylum (2009), which is an impressive game. Beautiful graphics, big world, complex fighting/stealth systems and rewarding set of secrets to uncover. The developers seemed to everything right with Arkham Asylum, it was polished to shine, but in spite all it was doing right, I was getting bored of it as I approached the end. Bully and Arkham Asylum have a lot in common: They are both beat 'em up style open world games with RPG elements and some basic stealth. 
 
Honestly, I find Arkham Asylum somewhat bland compared to Bully -- and I think the reason has nothing to do with gameplay and everything to do with atmosphere and charm. Batman universe is predictable from the very beginning. We have all grown up with Bruce Wayne and the Joker and we know exactly what they are about. 
 
The thing is: There's no real philosophy, satire or wit in the Batman universe. Arkham Asylum will immerse you in a world of brown and grey but it won't make you laugh or smile, it won't make you think very hard, and it certainly won't surprise you.  In any media, I think that's what's most important.
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