My Top 10 Favorite Albums of 2013

It has been a good year for music, I think. Plenty of albums were released over the year and I listened to a very slight fraction of them. Here is my top 10 list of those albums I listened to and liked and my favorite song from each:

10. Kavinsky - Outrun

Spawned from the mind of French DJ, Vincent Belorgey, Kavinsky is actually a character itself. The story goes that a man died in a fiery car crash in his Testarossa in 1986. Now he is back from the dead to exact revenge by playing beautiful synths? Something like that. All I know for certain is that Outrun is an amazing throwback 80's synth album. I usually live or die by vocals in music, but this album is mostly devoid of any lyrics, and I still can't help but get lost in those bumpin' synths.

As for my favorite song, it's obviously Nightcall, which you'll recognize from the movie Drive.

9. Queens of the Stone Age - ...Like Clockwork

It actually took a few listens to liken up to this one. I have enjoyed QotSA stuff prior to this album, but I wasn't familiar with them until a few years ago, so this was the first album from them that I had to anticipate. It's also not the best work from QotSA, though. It does, however, still quite rock. QotSA is probably my favorite straight up rock band going these days.

My favorite from the album was obvious from the instant I heard it, The Vampyre of Time and Memory.

8. Lorde - Pure Heroine

Man, what a debut. And she's only 16?! Fuck, what am I doing with my life. Well, listening to a damn lot of Lorde, that's what. Lorde is the stage name for New Zealander (that's not what they call people from New Zealand, is it?) Ella Yelich-O'Conner. And she is probably the best thing to happen with mainstream female pop in a long time. The lyrics on Pure Heroine are dark and meaningful and satirical, but the songs still have poppy/catchy choruses. Couple this with the low, hard hitting bass drums and synth that backs each track and Lorde's beautiful voice, and you have an amazing pop album on your hands. Really excited to see what she comes up with next.

My favorite track from the album is one that actually grew on me over time, Glory and Gore.

7. Born Ruffians - Birthmarks

I wouldn't be surprised if you've never heard of this little pop/rock band, cause I hadn't even known of them until like a month ago. I wanna say Spotify recommended a song, and I gave them a shot. Then I listened to it again and again and decided to actually listen to their now third album, Birthmarks, which was released this year. Yeah, I like it. Not every track is amazing (some are pretty forgettable). But of the ones I like, I really, really like them. It's standard pop/rock formula, but the songs are so catchy and I really love the frontman's voice. One that came out of absolutely nowhere and now is one of the best albums of the year.

My favorite track is different from every other track on the album, and has this distinct 50's rock vibe in it's chorus (the ohh-ahhs in the background). I always see myself coming back to this little track called Cold Pop.

6. Kanye West - Yeezus

Now I know, fuck Kanye West. He is an asshole. But god damn does he know how to make a fantastic rap album. Now, this is a very controversial album among the public, however. When it comes to my friends, you either love it or absolutely hate it. Obviously, I love it. Kanye throws away the regular beats that you'll hear from every other rap song, and instead goes with hard hitting synths and drums. Every song hits hard. And yes Kanye still knows how to rap, and he raps well here, but it's the instrumentation and the samples that keep me coming back. My god the samples.

Sampling is used so effectively in this album, especially in the song Bound 2, which also happens to be my favorite song from the album (God, this music video is so bad but so good and James Franco and Seth Rogan is just... yeah. I love it)

5. Arcade Fire - Reflektor

Was not expecting this one in the slightest. I have tried listening to Arcade Fire's previous albums and could never get into them, but when I first heard the song Reflektor, I sorta already knew this one would be a different case. I actually felt hyped for the album and I fell in love with the album after just the first listen. It is a bit of a weird album genre-wise. Each song sounds different from the last. Some songs are punk-y, some hard rock, some are even disco. It's an odd album stylistically, but it works.

My favorite song from the album has one of the catchiest choruses of the year and I cannot get it out of my head after I listen to it, Joan of Arc.

(this is the only album version of the song I could find on youtube)

4. Daft Punk - Random Access Memories

Now, just like Reflektor above it, RAM actually mixes some genres throughout the length of the album and gets pretty out there genre-wise when compared to previous Daft Punk outings. The hit song from the album, Get Lucky (which was my song of summer 2013), is a straight up disco song featuring the vocal talent of Pharell and includes one of 70's disco's biggest players, Nile Rodgers. Some songs, though, still sound like regular ol' electronic-fueled Daft Punk songs like Motherboard or Contact. It's an odd album for Daft Punk, but I'm so glad they went ahead and took this direction with RAM. There's the two songs featuring Pharell's voice talents are so catchy and will make you want to get down with yo bad self. And then there's the chill, build-up electronic songs like Giorgio By Moroder that are so good you cannot help but get lost in it's sounds.

Giorgio By Moroder also happens to be my favorite song off of the album. Listen to that sweet, sweet voice of Giorgio Moroder narrating while you drift away to a land of electronics and beautiful, beautiful synths.

3. Portugal. The Man - Evil Friends

Just like Arcade Fire, I never got too much into Portugal. The Man before their 2013 album. I instantly fell in love with this album though. It has to be that it was produced by Danger Mouse. Evil Friends still retains that Portugal. The Man sound and lyricism, but I feel this album is far more catchier and just better produced than previous Portugal. The Man albums. It's a fun, catchy album from beginning to end.

My favorite song from the album is a little anthem called Modern Jesus

2. Phoenix - Bankrupt!

I'm not all that big a fan of Phoenix. I really like a few of their songs from previous albums, but never cared for their albums as a whole. That is why I was so surprised by Bankrupt!. I think it's a synth-pop album at it's finest. It's catchy, dance-y and every song is just fun. I find myself singing along to every note and bobbing my head and bouncing my feet along to the beat. It's just a feel-good album that I cannot get enough of, even after listening to it dozens of times over the span of 8 months.

The song Drakkar Noir is a prime example of what I'm talking about with this album. I just love it from top to bottom (and may I recommend this amazing remix of the song

Trying To Be Cool by R. Kelly

?).

1. Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City

I went most of the year thinking Phoenix's Bankrupt! would end up being my favorite album of the year. I actually thought that up until a few days ago. I had listened to Modern Vampires of the City plenty of times over the year and absolutely loved it, but it wasn't until I bought the vinyl of it and played it over and over again that I really felt it deserved to be number 1 on this list. Of course it's catchy and has all of the standard indie pop/rock stylings, but it's how the album flows and it's lyricism that makes it stand out. Now, I'm no religious man, but even I can appreciate the religious undertones and lyrics of the album. Ezra Koenig really poured his heart and soul into this album, and it shows. It's a masterpiece.

My favorite song from the album was actually a song I hated the first half-dozen times I heard it. Diane Young is now one of my favorite songs of the year and god dammit I can't get it out of my head and I can't stop listening to it!

Well, there you have it folks. I hope you enjoyed my list and maybe even found a new song or band you like because of it. Let me know what you think about my list and most importantly, happy holidays!

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My Top 10 Games of 2012 Made by Me!

So, you clicked on this blog for some reason. I'm not sure why you are so interested in my opinion, you creep. But it's cool. I like how you want to know my top games from the glorious year of twenty-twelve. I wouldn't have done this tonight, but moderator ThatFrood is forcing us to get these out by new years for the GB Community GOTY, and I thought "oh why not just do it now". So here goes!

(Also, I'm about done making this blog and I just noticed I'm putting these in order from 1-10 (1 being best, 10 being not as best) which is dumb of me. I don't feel like going back and switching it to descending order either. So it's just whatever. Deal with it.)

1. The Walking Dead

So this game has one hell of a story. I laughed, I cringed, I yelled, I even ultimately shed a tear. This is an experience to be had. The characters are seriously some of the best in any game ever. I actually cared about these people. It was like Clementine was my own daughter. I was going to keep her safe no matter what. Some episodes are better than others, but overall the game is fantastic. It's the best adventure game ever made, really. It's also my GOTY for 2012. I cannot wait for season 2.

2. Far Cry 3

Hail Far Cry 3

This game is just pure adrenaline fun. Non-stop shenanigans at every turn. Whether you're setting a turtle on fire with a flamethrower, or jumping down from rooftops onto bad guys with your newly equipped Japanese Tanto sword, this game is just FUN. I have yet to finish the story (3/4th way through) and from what I've heard it doesn't really deliver in the long run. I do believe the game has a great set of memorable characters, though, of course Vaas being one of the best characters of 2012. When sandwiched in between two games with great narratives, you may think I care highly for story in games (which I do, Bioshock is my favorite game ever) and that I would dock it a few spots for it's shoddy story. This I won't do, though, because this game is the most fun I've had playing a game all year. Also, the competitive multiplayer is a pretty good Call of Duty-esque multiplayer suite and the co-op is okay as well if you're into that.

3. Journey (Spoilers?)

Sand-surfing
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Is it just me or is this game stupidly hard? (Spoilers)

So, I went into UC3 thinking I should start it on the hard difficulty since I had already beaten UC2 on hard. Biggest fucking mistake.

There have been a multiple times where I've died over and over and over (I think my death count is almost at 200, and I haven't finished yet).

The worst part was the big room at the beginning of the ship level when you're supposed to sneak past, but I couldn't, so I activated the 20 waves of enemies. Then there is the part with the fire guys that teleport, the sandstorm part, and many horde-like areas in between. If I knew this game would be this unfair on hard, then I would've switched to normal a long time ago, but now I'm on chapter 22 and I've gone that far, so I've got to finish.

So, am I the only person who has a frustrating time with UC3 on hard difficulty, or do I just suck?

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My first review

I wrote a review for Catherine and would like someone to read it and tell me if it's good, bad, needs some work, etc.
Here is the review
Thanks for reading it if you do.
 
Edit:@Abyssfull
The other 7 reviews were horrible and nobody should ever see them.

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So many Betas, they're practically coming out of my....

Ok, maybe there isn't that many betas. Still, having two in the same week, that is a lot. The two I am talking about is, of course, the Uncharted 3 beta and the Journey public beta.  

Uncharted 3 Beta

I have been waiting so long to play this. Ever since I bought my PS3 in May of last year, I have loved the Uncharted series, and I still play Uncharted 2 to this day (Mostly with the GiantBomb Clan), and still have a lot of fun with the MP component of the game.  So when I had first heard the beta was up on the Store (thanks to this guy and his thread), I hurriedly got off of Netflix (I was watching Pawn Stars, a fantastic show) and tried to input some of these codes on IGN (Since they had an exclusive kickback with 'em), but they were all used up in a matter of 5 minutes. So I just ended up downloading it normally from my Playstation Plus subscription.
 
After the hour long download, I was finally able to boot it up. Too bad the first day of the beta was shit. Almost every time you tried getting past the main menu, you would get an error. After finally being able to get in to the MP menu after many tries, the first thing I did was customize my characters and mess with the emblem system. After choosing Sully as my hero character, and doing nothing to my villain character (Since I had no clothing unlocked, and still don't), I made an alright emblem with a bomb within a bomb, and a box background.
 
That is my first  and maybe my only complaint with the beta, the emblem system is kinda limited. All it is is four layers and all you can do with each layer is change its color, size, and rotate it. You can't move the layer, it is always in the middle of the space. The character customizing seems cool, and rushing to get the treasure to unlock the clothing items (I will talk about that later) is fun. 
 
Once I was done messing around with the customization, I thought it was time to start playing. I was wrong. See, the first day of the beta was ruined by all of the traffic it had gotten. Anyone who was anyone had downloaded the beta so the game was slow as hell for almost all of the first day. If you were lucky enough to get into a game, you probably were kicked out or your game froze. I had gotten into 5 games by 7:00 (Beta went up around 4:00 where I'm from) and each one, the game froze.  Luckily, the traffic on the beta must have fallen by the night it first went up since I was finally able to finish a few games by myself, and with some friends here on Giantbomb. 
 
Yesterday, I was finally able to really play the beta since Naughty Dog released the first patch (1.01).  After downloading it, I booted up the beta, and was able to get past the menu, first try. I was very happy, since I could tell I would finally be able to enjoy the beta, for all it's worth. I played many hours yesterday, and I can totally tell that all of my UC2 playing had payed off. I was seriously wrekin' some fools out there on the virtual Uncharted world. One game of Three Team Deathmatch (Which is three teams of two, battling it out) alongside WR311, I had went 10-1, and he had went 10-3. We won very easily and Three Team Deathmatch is definitely one of the best new things in the beta. 
 
The gameplay is very tight, and if you've ever played UC or UC2, then you know how to play. There isn't much difference in the controls, but now you can hold down down on the d-pad along with another teammate and you do a little high five like in Portal 2's multiplayer. The only thing about the gameplay that angers me, is the melee. It is downright bad. In UC2 you can melee guys from a few feet away, but in the UC3 beta, you can't be a few inches away. Also, in UC2, its either 2 melee's, or shoot a few bullets and 1 melee to kill an enemy. In the UC3 beta, its 2 melee's, or unload half a clip of any gun and 1 melee. One better thing in the melee, is that its way easier to do the execution melee's from behind the enemy, than it was in UC2.  
 
One new thing in the gameplay, is the treasure system. It's just like the treasure pickups off of enemies in UC2's Coop modes, but it happens randomly in the competitive multiplayer this time around. If you kill an enemy, you have a chance of the enemy dropping a treasure (Which doesn't effect the treasures they currently own), which you run over and press Triangle to pick up. You can also get treasures from treasure chests that are around the map, and randomly appear. The treasure chests rarely ever give you a treasure, but usually give you money (XP), and instantly gives you 3 medals, which unlock your kickback (Which are basically a Killstreak from Modern Warfare, but instead of getting an x amount of kills, you get it from earning in game medals).
 
You can get up to level 25 in the beta, and there is a lot to unlock on your way up to the level cap. Things like guns, boosters (Basically perks from Modern Warfare), kickbacks, and mods for your guns. I'm currently at level 21, and I've put in many hours already, and I still want to play a lot more.
 
Overall, the Uncharted 3 beta is awesome, and makes me even more excited for the full game, when it hits stores on 11-1-11.

Journey Public Beta

I don't even know how to describe this game, other than BEAUTIFUL. My god, this may be one of the best looking downloadable games, if not one of the overall best looking games EVER. It isn't technically very great, but it looks like a famous painter made this game's graphics. It looks like a moving painting. 
 
The gameplay is weird, but very calming and by the end of the beta, I was actually having a bit of fun. You move your character across the dessert, picking up some kind of power-up or something (The game doesn't really tell you anything), which allows you to jump and glide across the dessert. You can surf the dessert sand, which is absolutely AWESOME.  Near the end of the beta, a second character shows up, and I really have no idea if it was an NPC, or if it was a real person controlling the character (The game really never tells you ANYTHING).  
 
Anyway, that's really it. I will most likely pick this up when it hits the virtual shelves, mostly because of how beautiful it is, and because of SAND SURFING!!
 

THANKS FOR READING! (If you did)

15 Comments

Thinking of getting PS Move.....

So I've been thinking about getting move lately, and that is mostly because of this bundle for Socom 4. I was just wondering if it is really worth getting, though. I already have 3 games that include move support (LBP2, NBA2k11, and Killzone 3), and I think I would replay games I've already beaten that now support move (Heavy Rain, Resident Evil 5, and play through KZ3's campaign again). I'm still going to wait for the Socom 4 beta to really decide, but I just want to know if it would be worth buying in the future.

5 Comments

My 15 most anticipated games of 2011

Top 15 most anticipated games of 2011.

These are the top 10 games that I'll will most definitely be playing this year and then some.

1. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception

With Uncharted 2 being my favorite game of 2009 and one of my favorite games of all time, I can't help but be excited for the next chapter in Nathan Drake's story.

2. Batman: Arkham City

OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't wait for this, and I hope that this will be a great last Joker project for Mark Hamill.

3. Mass Effect 3

Mass Effect 2 was in my top 3 of 2010, and I can't wait to see Earth in the Mass Effect universe.

4. L.A. Noire

Red Dead was in my top 3 of last year, and GTA 4 was one of my favorites of 2008, so I love basically anything from R*, and though I know barely anything about this, I think it sounds amazing.

5. Dead Space 2

This will most likely be my first 2011 game purchase actually, and I can't wait. The demo is amazing, and the multiplayer looks kinda neat.

6. Killzone 3

I love Killzone 2 and it looks like Killzone 3 is just going to be even better. I can't wait.

7. Rage

This looks like a more dark Boderlands, and that is all I need to know.

8. LittleBigPlanet 2

This is the first big PS3 exclusive game that will be coming out this year, and I cannot wait. I've seen some of the early reviews and it sounds promising. I will be holding out on this for a while, though, because I want there to be many user created levels when I end up getting it.

9. Portal 2

I love Valve and Portal is one of my favorites from them, so this is a game I can't wait for.

10. Bulletstorm

This game is exactly what it sounds like. A storm of bullets... plus blood. Lots of blood.

11. Metal Gear Solid: Rising

I really hope this comes out this year. The E3 trailer looks amazing and I can't wait to chop up soldiers into 50 pieces, literally.

12. Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds

The lineup of characters for this game sounds great, maybe a little dissapointing (Where is Barry Burton!?!?!?), but I still can't wait to beat up my friends in this.

13. Mortal Kombat

I'm not a big fighter genre fan, but I have always loved the Mortal Kombat series, and it looks like they took the gore and made it more.... gory.

14. Resident Evil: Revelations

Though this may not come out this year, and I might not even get a 3DS this year, I really am interested in this because I love RE, and it looks like they are actually going back to making it scary and dark. Also, I'm pretty sure that the enemies are zombies and not crazy infected Africans or Spanish people, which is a plus.

15. Duke Nukem Forever

Everyone who is anyone knows that Duke Nukem is here to just kick ass and chew bubblegum, and he is all out of gum. I love Duke.

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My top ten games of 2010

Best gamea of 2010 List-o-rama!

2010 is over everybody, and there were many great games.
 
Here is my list.

1. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood

I love this game. I am yet to finish the campaign, but this is even a better game than the second, and there wasn't and Uncharted game in 2010, so this is my definite game of the year. Oh, and the multiplayer is great, too.

2. Red Dead Redemption

I went 7 months thinking this would be my game of the year, but Assassin's Creed came and took that thought and blew it's brains out, but that doesn't mean I don't love this game. I really love this game. The ending might be the best ending in any game I've ever played. The gameplay is some of R*'s finest, and Undead Nightmare is one of the best DLC's ever. It's what I've always wanted, and open world zombie game, and it's made by the best open world game studio that I know of. Great game.

3. Mass Effect 2

I hated the first Mass Effect, but this game is amazing. This game's storytelling, the mainstreamed gameplay, and the amazing set of characters make it one of the best of the year. I can't wait to see what happens in the third.

4. Fallout: New Vegas

Despite its many flaws and bugs, I still think it is better than Fallout 3, and that game is amazing.

5. Rock Band 3

The Power of Love.

6. Super Meat Boy

I fucking hate and fucking love this game at the same time. Mostly love, though.

7. Battlefield: Bad Company 2

One of my favorite FPS's in the last few years. The campaign is lengthy and funny, and the multiplayer has such a large scale, and has possibly the best sniping in any game I've played, and I love sniping.

8. Call of Duty: Black Ops

The multiplayer is great like always, and the singleplayer may be my favorite of the series. Oh, and zombies is back. Dead Ops is fantastic,too.

9. NHL 11

A sports game in my top ten. I didn't expect it, but I love this game, the gameplay is just so perfect and..... I want to play more right now.

10. Heavy Rain

The gameplay isn't perfect, and it can be a bit slow at times, but the story just grabbed me, tied me to a chair, didn't let me go until I finished it, and god, it has a really crazy twist.

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