I just crossed a dark threshold...I'm not sure how I feel.

I did a thing tonight that I would never have expected I'd do. I think I just became a PC gamer.

Ok I play games on the PC but I've had a mac for a while now so it's mainly League of Legends and whatever Steam games I feel like fiddling with that work for my system. Aside from that it's been primarily 360 and even back when I had a PC I was primarily a console kid.

However, with the upcoming new generation of consoles I've been fully intending on getting an XBONE. Until tonight. I've been thinking about it recently and I'd kinda like to get into trying some streaming stuff, maybe throw up some stupidity on youtube and the Mac Mini I have right now isn't close to being able to handle that. The majority of what I play right now is League. There's a wealth of games on Steam, some of which I've bought cause they were cheap that I can't play. There's just too many reasons to not upgrade my PC. So I went and took the money I was setting aside for the Xbox and I went and spent it on a PC. I'll get the new system next year sometime, I can't not have a console, but it seems like for now, it's PC for me. I'm still coming to grips with what I've done.

14 Comments

The Wolverine (review)

-minor spoilers but nothing you wouldn’t see in the trailer

I think the fact that I had forgotten about this movie till it was out speaks to the quality of the last few X-Men films. Not so much X-Men: First Class, which was overall pretty great, more-so X-Men Origins: Wolverine and before that X-Men: The Last Stand. Those were not good movies. They weren’t TERRIBLE but…well, ok they kinda were, especially considering how great the first two movies in the franchise were. First Class had given me hope that an X-Men movie could be good again, but even still I went into The Wolverine a little apprehensive. I’m glad to report, however, it doesn’t suck! In fact it’s pretty great!

The Wolverine, smartly, ignores the entirety of the train wreck that was Origins and picks up some time after The Last Stand. Our hairy Canadian hero (still played by the absurdly ripped Hugh Jackman) is living up in the mountains in seclusion trying to deal with the fact that he was forced to kill Jean Grey, the woman he loved. She frequents his dreams (and nightmares) and as a means of penance he’s sworn to never hurt anybody again. Being that he is Wolverine, a character not known for restraint, it’s not long before he’s breaking that vow in a bar fight, but before he can go too far he’s interrupted by a mysterious and dangerous Japanese woman named Yukio (Rila Fukushima).

Yukio works for a powerful man named Yashida back in Japan who owes Logan for saving his life during the bombing of Nagasaki in WWII and, as he is on his deathbed, he wants to repay the debt he owes. Yashida claims to have a way to remove Logan’s ability to heal, in other words, make him mortal. Now, this probably sounds like a raw deal to you or me, but Logan is at this point around 120 years old (due to his healing ability) and as he’s seen many of his friends and loved ones die, some by his own hand, the thought of living forever with that guilt isn’t exactly appealing.

This is a large part of what The Wolverine focuses on, and it’s what makes the movie so interesting. It’s much more of a character study of who Logan is, how he deals with what he’s done and had to live with and even how he deals with being mortal. Previous films have definitely touched on it, he’s always been a central character, but The Wolverine shows a surprising amount of restraint, dialling back a lot of the action to deal with Logan’s struggle with his inner demons as well as his budding relationship with Mariko, Yashidas grand-daughter.

That’s not to say it’s any slouch when it comes to action, we’re still dealing with a dude what has foot long knives that pop out of his fists. When those are your main methods of negotiating with bad guys, things tend to get a little nuts. There’s a few great action set pieces, in particular one set on a bullet train that you really need to see on a big screen. That being said, I actually found the quieter moments to be the most interesting. Don’t get me wrong, Wolverine vs. Yakuza and ninjas is super entertaining, but the moments where the film has time to breath and focus on Logan are where it really stands out. In fact, 2/3 of this film I would put on par with the first two X-Men movies easily.

However…the ending…the ending is a bit of a mess. It’s not awful by any means but you can see the plot twists coming from miles away and the film suffers due to not having any really interesting villains. Mariko’s father, Shingen played by veteran Japanese actor Hiroyuki Sanada (you’d probably recognize him from the Tom Cruise film The Last Samurai) is actually pretty great, and is in one of the better fight scenes in the movie, but the main villain and his accomplice are not so hot. I wont say WHO the main villain is (although if you’ve spent any time looking into this movie at all pre-relase, you probably know already) but the way the character is handled is pretty disappointing, and his henchman is kinda dull. The way the climax is paced and presented and predictable twists unfortunately sour what would otherwise be a fantastic movie. It doesn’t ruin it by any means, but instead of The Wolverine being one of my favourite super-hero movies, it ended up just being a good one.

Overall, the ending aside, I really liked The Wolverine, it’s a great return to form for the character. Also I’m a sucker for anything related to Japan. So that helped. If you’re a fan of the character, or the series you absolutely should check it out. It, along with First Class, has restored my faith in the franchise and has me super excited for the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past.

4/5

Also, without giving anything away, stay for the mid-credits clip at the end. Seriously, even if The Wolverine had been a colossal stinker, it would have made it TOTALLY worth paying the money to see it. I got goosebumps.

reposted from my blog

5 Comments

RIP Ryan and some thoughts on being sad about someone I've never met.

I posted this originally on my blog so you duders can ignore the 'if you're not familiar with Giant Bomb' bit. Some of this stuff is probably pretty obvious to members of this community but I wanted to try to explain to people who aren't as involved and maybe wouldn't understand, why Ryan dying is such a bummer. Anyway...yeah.

------------------------------

I didn’t know Ryan Davis. At the same time, I kinda did.

It’s a weird thing to genuinely feel affected by the passing of someone you’ve never met. It’s only happened a few times, the most recent being May of last year when Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch of the Beastie Boys died. The Beastie Boys were a large part of the soundtrack of my youth, through high school up until today and as much time as I spent with that band, it still surprised me how sad it made me when he died.

That happened again today when I, along with most other people, found out that Ryan Davis of Giant Bomb had passed away last week. For the unfamiliar, Giantbomb.com is a website about video games. It’s kind of singular though, in that it’s very much about the personalities involved and getting those personalities in front of a camera. That’s a trend that’s becoming more popular these days with big sites (Polygon.com) but Giant Bomb really pushed that idea from the beginning, combining a lot of video (much of which is completely stupid in the best way) with their podcast the Giant Bombcast as well as a written component to round things off.

The reason that information is important is the reason Ryan dying is such a bummer. I come across the Bombcast in March of 2010 and have listened to every episode since in addition to going back and marathoning the episodes I’d missed before that which, to this point, totals 350 episodes. The Bombcast isn’t short, it regularly passes the 3 hour mark so even at an average 2.5 hours an episode, that brings us to a grand total of 525 hours. 525 hours hanging out with Ryan and Jeff Gerstmann, Brad Shoemaker, Vinny Caravella and for the last little while Patrick Klepek.

The Bombcast was routinely the best part of my week, it meant for 3 hours on a Wednesday, I could not think about my crappy job and instead listen to 5 chuckleheads (thanks Ryan for that one) talk about everything from ways spiders can kill you, to Jeffs experiences with cops raiding his house, to Vinny’s adventures as a new dad, to Ryan narcing on stoners and also occasionally video games. That’s a long time to spend listening to someone. Added to that, the hours of video content that site puts out in which stupidity is frequent and games are played and personalities are put on display. All that time with the same group of dudes, it’s hard to not get to know those people. The best part is, they’re not actors playing a roll or trying present some cringe-worthy show to appeal to the ‘gamer demographic’ like you saw on a channel like G4, they’re just dudes who love games and have been in the business for a long time.

Ryan was the ringleader, he was the host. You started and ended every Bombcast and most video content with him, he was the guy who kept the train(wreck) running but despite that he was just as willing to indulge in stupidity as everyone else. He was great at getting laughs, frequently at others expense, but it never felt mean spirited, and maybe that’s why he had a rep for being the jerk of the group, but a jerk you couldn’t help but love. That personality extended onto Twitter and his interactions with various personalities in the industry.

The fact that I’m discussing Twitter is still super weird to me and the me from a few years ago would be rolling his eyes right now but you can’t deny what an impact social media has had on how we interact with each other. Twitter is this weird place where you can hang aroundthe cool kids, maybe even occasionally interact with them, but you’re still on the outside. The side effect of that, however, is you get greater insight into those personalities, regardless of whether they’re fabricated or sincere. With a guy like Ryan, it adds to a situation in where you get to ‘know’ the guy without ever getting to know him. Part of me thinks that’s super strange, but another part of me thinks its super cool. It was great today to see the outpouring of support to friends and family of Ryan’s, not only expressing how sad they were, but also talking about their favourite memories. He seemed like the type of guy who would rather people talk about the good things then dwell on the bad. Hopefully all that support is helping his close friends and family, especially his wife whom he had just married a week ago.

Ultimately, yeah, I didn’t know the guy. Never met him, only briefly interacted with him a few times on Twitter, but at the same time, in a weird way I did kinda know him. He made me laugh (a lot) and has made terrible work days better going on 3 years now, and there’s thousands of other people he did the same for. Sure I might not have been friends with him, but that doesn’t mean I’m not gonna miss him.

Start the Conversation

Queens of the Stone Age - ...Like Clockwork (a review)

Six years is a long time to wait.

…Like Clockwork, the follow up to Queens of the Stone Age’s last album Era Vulgaris has been a while coming. Oh sure, frontman JoshHomme has kept himself busy, between releasing albums with his other bands Them Crooked Vultures and Eagles of Death Metal and producing the Arctic Monkeys albumHumbug (not to mention becoming a dad). Even still, it’s taken six years for a release from the band proper, and the big question is, was it worth the wait?

First off, we should clear something up immediately. This is not Songs for the Deaf II. It seems that there’s been a contingent of the fan base that’s been clamouring for another album in the same vein and if you fall into that category I’ve got some bad news, you’re going to be disappointed. I find it strange that this is still something that comes up three albums on, but to be perfectly honest I can’t say I totally blame those people. Songs for the Deaf was a monster of an album and pretty widely recognized as the bands pinnacle . It was a midnight, headlong rush through the desert where your only companion was your psychosis and an FM radio turned up to 10. If I were actually to make a Top Ten album list, Songs for the Deaf would be on there. With a bullet.

So I understand, you guys. I really do. But again, Like Clockwork (and henceforth I am dropping the ellipsis because I can’t NOT mentally pause every time I see it and this is my blog and I’ma do as I please) is not that album, just like Lullabies to Paralyze and Era Vulgaris was not that album. In fact, as different as those two were, Like Clockworkis by far the biggest departure for the band since they formed back in 1996. It is also, without a doubt, their best album since Songs for the Deaf.

Like Clockwork reunites the majority of the band that has been around since the early days of Era Vulgaris and before with the addition of a number of collaborators including long time pals DaveGrohl, Trent Reznor and Mark Lanegan as well as some new faces like Jon Theodore and Elton John. Yeah, that Elton John. It’s a somewhat schizophrenic list of talented musicians and it’s produced what, at first listen, feels like the most schizophrenic Queens album to date. The last few queens albums had what felt like a pretty clear theme running through each one. I wouldn’t go so far as to say they were ranging into concept album territory, but there was a through line you could grab on to. A trip through the desert. Nightmares and insanity. Our obsession with ourselves. Like Clockwork, however, takes some time to sink into as there’s so many left turns and detours, not only from track to track, but from what your expectations of what this band is ‘supposed’ to sound like.

It doesn’t hit you right away, the first track Keep Your Eyes Peeledsets a pretty familiar tone. Dark, distorted and brooding, it’s familiar territory for the band and sets expectations in a familiar direction. With it’s slow, almost ponderous pace, It’s an interesting choice for an opening track, it feels like something that would be more at home midway through the album. Maybe it’s because of that familiar tone that it was chosen to start things off.

The second track I Sat By The Ocean isn’t totally out of the range of previous Queens songs, albeit a complete left turn from the previous one. While Eyes Peeled is dark and plodding, Ocean is up-tempo, catchy, almost something you’d expect to hear on an Eagles of Death Metal album complete with hand claps.

Then The Vampyre of Time and Memory. A piano ballad, as Hommesings, ‘I want God to come, And take me home/ Cause I’m all alone, In this crowd’.

What?

Yes that’s what I said, a piano ballad, and it’s backing Homme singing about vulnerability and loneliness and the unsurety that comes with feeling incomplete.

What???

This is about the time where you start to realize we’re dealing with a very different Queens of the Stone Age.

This isn’t the first time a piano has shown up in a Queens album, listen to Go With The Flow off of Songs for the Deaf, you can hear one note frantically being hammered as that song barrels down the highway, speed limits be damned. It is, however, the first time it’s been used like this. Even more of a departure, however, is the vulnerability in Hommes lyrics, and if there’s a theme to Like Clockwork, I feel like this is where you’ll find it.

To this point in his career, you would be hard pressed to describeHomme as a ‘vulnerable’ frontman. No I’m not trying to paint him as some aggressive meathead, a meathead can’t croon like that, but more so than maybe any other singer out there, the guy just oozes swagger.

No, not ‘swag’. That’s not a thing. Swagger.

Whether he’s singing about the desert, girls, death, drugs, whatever, there’s an undeniable confidence to the lyrics and his vocals that to this point have been as big a hallmark of a Queens of the Stone Age track as the guitar tone. That’s not completely absent from Like Clockwork, Smooth Sailing is a groovy, sexy falsetto driven song that almost comes out of nowhere with lines like ‘I got bruises and hickies, stitches and scars / Got my own theme music, plays wherever I are’. It’s almost as if tracks like this and My God Is The Sun, a distorted, robotic, riff-heavy monster that’s catchy as hell and probably the loudest song on the album, are there as a reminder. Like Homme and co. are saying “Yeah, we didn’t forget how. Relax.”

But then there’s piano ballads. The title track, and the final song on the album is another one that’s even more achingly sincere thenVampyre. And it’s phenomenal. To be clear it’s not all just a piano and Josh (although I think that would be pretty great too) the song picks up a little once the rest of the band kicks in but that vulnerability remains. Lyrics like ‘Most of what you see my dear, is purely for show / Because, not everything that goes around, comes back around, you know’ continue to present a guy that’s maybe lost some of that swagger and confidence. Or perhaps it’s the exact opposite, it’s aHomme who’s confident enough in where he is, that he can show that side of himself for the first time. Maybe it’s somewhere in the middle.

It’s entirely possible that I’m reading too much into this but the fact remains that he’s no longer the same guy he was when Songs for the Deaf was recorded. He’s got two kids now with wife Brody Dalle (of The Distillers and now Spinnerette) and being a dad’s gotta pretty drastically change your outlook on life. Added to that, dealing with depression from being bedridden for 4 months after complications from a routine knee surgery almost killed him, and you can see where these changes might have stemmed from. Regardless of the reasons, the point is, it works. It never feel schmaltzy or insincere or calculated. It feels like a brand new facet of a frontman we’ve had over ten years to get to know, and while some fans might be put off, hey, whatever man, Peter Pan has to grow up sometime. And become Robin Williams. Who marries Wendy’s daughter and uh…wait…hold on…never mind, I’ve lost control of this metaphor, let’s just move on.

I haven’t said much regarding the numerous talented musicians joining the band on this album and there’s a reason for that. If youaren’t already aware of them before going into the album you’d actually be hard pressed to spot where they pop up. As far as collaborations go, the guest stars on this album mainly stay in the background filling in some vocals here, or instrumentation there. Rarely do they ever come to the forefront. The drums on the album are spread mainly between Joey Castillo (who was released from the band midway through recording) and Dave Grohl. Jon Theodore rounds out the trio of drummers as well as taking over for Castillo on tour. It’s somewhat of an embarrassment of riches drummer-wise with Castillo and Grohl bringing their own energy as well as Theodore who might technically be the best drummer to ever join the Queens (seriously check out his work with Mars Volta, it’s bananas).

The track Kalopsia features Trent Reznor who roars into the chorus briefly before fading into the background. The whole thing plays out like leisurely stroll through a coma patients dreams as they descend into nightmares, complete with a ventilator wheezing in the background. It’s another one the tracks that immediately makes you take notice and is easily one of my favourites. Plus Trent Reznor. Did I mention Trent Reznor?

Sir Elton shows up on Fairweather Friends playing the piano and backing up the vocals and again, it’s almost a case of blink and you’ll miss it. It’s not necessarily a bad thing that the majority of the collaborations blend so seamlessly with the rest of the band, this is still a Queens of the Stone Age album and, lets be honest, the Queens are pretty much the Josh Homme show, and I don’t mean that as a negative. There’s something to be said for a bunch of talented musicians coming together to produce music without this track having to be the Elton track and that having to be Jake Shears track (he’s in there too).

The only two instances where I would have liked to see the supporting players brought to the forefront a little more is with two older friends of the band, Mark Lanegan and Nick Oliveri. If you’re familiar with the band you know that Oliveri really was the other half of the Queens up until having to leave the band after Songs for the Deaf. This is the first time he’s been on an album since then and it would have been cool to highlight that a little more. Even more so is Mark Lanegan, who’s been a prominent voice on albums in the past, in particular lending his distinctive, gravelly ‘Tom Waits before all the booze and cigarettes’ vocals to some of the best songs the Queens have produced such as Hanging Tree and In The Fade (seriously if you haven’t heard In The Fade, go listen to it right now, one of the BEST Queens songs). You can hear him growling in the background of a few tracks like If I Had A Tail. It’s one of the hookier tracks, with a swinging bluesy groove and a simple but pretty killer bassline that immediately has you tapping you foot. It’s one of the best tracks on the album but as great as it is, I would have loved to hear Lanegan’s voice featured a little more prominently. That being said I do feel like a bit of a douche complaining about a song as good as this one.

I would be remiss to not mention the rest of the band who’s returned. Troy Van Leeuwen (A Perfect Circle, Sweethead) continues to hold down the other half of the guitar work on the album and remains one of the best dressed dudes in rock. Mikey Shoes (Wires on Fire, Mini Mansions) supplies the bass line and Dean Fertita (The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather) rounds out the group on the keys. There isn’t a poor musician in the bunch, they’ve all proven themselves in previous bands and have been with the Queens on the previous two albums including the tours, aside from Fertita who joined in 2007, replacing the late Natasha Shneider (who sadly lost her battle with cancer in 2008). The band meshes in a way that’s evident on the album and even more so live and despite my comment about it being the JoshHomme show, these guys are just as responsible for how great everything sounds. The band seems to almost have a revolving door of talent sometimes but I hope these guys continue to stick around for a while.

…Like Clockwork (there I put it back) is absolutely a departure from what has come before. It’s going to upset some fans, some might say the band’s gone soft, people will continue to look for that return to the Queens of Songs for the Deaf. The evolution of a band that’s been around for this long is a tricky thing. If you continue to release albums that play off of what’s come before, you run the risk of being called derivative and tired. If you change things, you run the risk of alienating your fan base. You’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t and I don’t envy bands in that situation (who am I kidding of course I do). Some artists try to change things up and fumble along the way (Muse) or crash and burn spectacularly (really Chris Cornell? Timbaland?). Queens of the Stone Age, however, manage to chart a course that takes them to some strange places but they come out the other side stronger for it. Older, wiser, a little more self aware, but still able to make you shake your butt and melt your face in equal measure. …Like Clockwork might seem a little harder to dive in to than previous efforts at first listen but give Homme and company a bit of time and you’ll find an album that earns its spot next to Songs for the Deaf. The future’s looking bright for the Queens, let’s hope we don’t have to wait another six years.

5/5

originally posted on my blog but wanted to share it with you guys

20 Comments

Queens of the Stone Age - ...Like Clockwork (a review)

Six years is a long time to wait.

…Like Clockwork, the follow up to Queens of the Stone Age’s last album Era Vulgaris has been a while coming. Oh sure, frontman JoshHomme has kept himself busy, between releasing albums with his other bands Them Crooked Vultures and Eagles of Death Metal and producing the Arctic Monkeys albumHumbug (not to mention becoming a dad). Even still, it’s taken six years for a release from the band proper, and the big question is, was it worth the wait?

First off, we should clear something up immediately. This is not Songs for the Deaf II. It seems that there’s been a contingent of the fan base that’s been clamouring for another album in the same vein and if you fall into that category I’ve got some bad news, you’re going to be disappointed. I find it strange that this is still something that comes up three albums on, but to be perfectly honest I can’t say I totally blame those people. Songs for the Deaf was a monster of an album and pretty widely recognized as the bands pinnacle . It was a midnight, headlong rush through the desert where your only companion was your psychosis and an FM radio turned up to 10. If I were actually to make a Top Ten album list, Songs for the Deaf would be on there. With a bullet.

So I understand, you guys. I really do. But again, Like Clockwork (and henceforth I am dropping the ellipsis because I can’t NOT mentally pause every time I see it and this is my blog and I’ma do as I please) is not that album, just like Lullabies to Paralyze and Era Vulgaris was not that album. In fact, as different as those two were, Like Clockworkis by far the biggest departure for the band since they formed back in 1996. It is also, without a doubt, their best album since Songs for the Deaf.

Like Clockwork reunites the majority of the band that has been around since the early days of Era Vulgaris and before with the addition of a number of collaborators including long time pals DaveGrohl, Trent Reznor and Mark Lanegan as well as some new faces like Jon Theodore and Elton John. Yeah, that Elton John. It’s a somewhat schizophrenic list of talented musicians and it’s produced what, at first listen, feels like the most schizophrenic Queens album to date. The last few queens albums had what felt like a pretty clear theme running through each one. I wouldn’t go so far as to say they were ranging into concept album territory, but there was a through line you could grab on to. A trip through the desert. Nightmares and insanity. Our obsession with ourselves. Like Clockwork, however, takes some time to sink into as there’s so many left turns and detours, not only from track to track, but from what your expectations of what this band is ‘supposed’ to sound like.

It doesn’t hit you right away, the first track Keep Your Eyes Peeledsets a pretty familiar tone. Dark, distorted and brooding, it’s familiar territory for the band and sets expectations in a familiar direction. With it’s slow, almost ponderous pace, It’s an interesting choice for an opening track, it feels like something that would be more at home midway through the album. Maybe it’s because of that familiar tone that it was chosen to start things off.

The second track I Sat By The Ocean isn’t totally out of the range of previous Queens songs, albeit a complete left turn from the previous one. While Eyes Peeled is dark and plodding, Ocean is up-tempo, catchy, almost something you’d expect to hear on an Eagles of Death Metal album complete with hand claps.

Then The Vampyre of Time and Memory. A piano ballad, as Hommesings, ‘I want God to come, And take me home/ Cause I’m all alone, In this crowd’.

What?

Yes that’s what I said, a piano ballad, and it’s backing Homme singing about vulnerability and loneliness and the unsurety that comes with feeling incomplete.

What???

This is about the time where you start to realize we’re dealing with a very different Queens of the Stone Age.

This isn’t the first time a piano has shown up in a Queens album, listen to Go With The Flow off of Songs for the Deaf, you can hear one note frantically being hammered as that song barrels down the highway, speed limits be damned. It is, however, the first time it’s been used like this. Even more of a departure, however, is the vulnerability in Hommes lyrics, and if there’s a theme to Like Clockwork, I feel like this is where you’ll find it.

To this point in his career, you would be hard pressed to describeHomme as a ‘vulnerable’ frontman. No I’m not trying to paint him as some aggressive meathead, a meathead can’t croon like that, but more so than maybe any other singer out there, the guy just oozes swagger.

No, not ‘swag’. That’s not a thing. Swagger.

Whether he’s singing about the desert, girls, death, drugs, whatever, there’s an undeniable confidence to the lyrics and his vocals that to this point have been as big a hallmark of a Queens of the Stone Age track as the guitar tone. That’s not completely absent from Like Clockwork, Smooth Sailing is a groovy, sexy falsetto driven song that almost comes out of nowhere with lines like ‘I got bruises and hickies, stitches and scars / Got my own theme music, plays wherever I are’. It’s almost as if tracks like this and My God Is The Sun, a distorted, robotic, riff-heavy monster that’s catchy as hell and probably the loudest song on the album, are there as a reminder. Like Homme and co. are saying “Yeah, we didn’t forget how. Relax.”

But then there’s piano ballads. The title track, and the final song on the album is another one that’s even more achingly sincere thenVampyre. And it’s phenomenal. To be clear it’s not all just a piano and Josh (although I think that would be pretty great too) the song picks up a little once the rest of the band kicks in but that vulnerability remains. Lyrics like ‘Most of what you see my dear, is purely for show / Because, not everything that goes around, comes back around, you know’ continue to present a guy that’s maybe lost some of that swagger and confidence. Or perhaps it’s the exact opposite, it’s aHomme who’s confident enough in where he is, that he can show that side of himself for the first time. Maybe it’s somewhere in the middle.

It’s entirely possible that I’m reading too much into this but the fact remains that he’s no longer the same guy he was when Songs for the Deaf was recorded. He’s got two kids now with wife Brody Dalle (of The Distillers and now Spinnerette) and being a dad’s gotta pretty drastically change your outlook on life. Added to that, dealing with depression from being bedridden for 4 months after complications from a routine knee surgery almost killed him, and you can see where these changes might have stemmed from. Regardless of the reasons, the point is, it works. It never feel schmaltzy or insincere or calculated. It feels like a brand new facet of a frontman we’ve had over ten years to get to know, and while some fans might be put off, hey, whatever man, Peter Pan has to grow up sometime. And become Robin Williams. Who marries Wendy’s daughter and uh…wait…hold on…never mind, I’ve lost control of this metaphor, let’s just move on.

I haven’t said much regarding the numerous talented musicians joining the band on this album and there’s a reason for that. If youaren’t already aware of them before going into the album you’d actually be hard pressed to spot where they pop up. As far as collaborations go, the guest stars on this album mainly stay in the background filling in some vocals here, or instrumentation there. Rarely do they ever come to the forefront. The drums on the album are spread mainly between Joey Castillo (who was released from the band midway through recording) and Dave Grohl. Jon Theodore rounds out the trio of drummers as well as taking over for Castillo on tour. It’s somewhat of an embarrassment of riches drummer-wise with Castillo and Grohl bringing their own energy as well as Theodore who might technically be the best drummer to ever join the Queens (seriously check out his work with Mars Volta, it’s bananas).

The track Kalopsia features Trent Reznor who roars into the chorus briefly before fading into the background. The whole thing plays out like leisurely stroll through a coma patients dreams as they descend into nightmares, complete with a ventilator wheezing in the background. It’s another one the tracks that immediately makes you take notice and is easily one of my favourites. Plus Trent Reznor. Did I mention Trent Reznor?

Sir Elton shows up on Fairweather Friends playing the piano and backing up the vocals and again, it’s almost a case of blink and you’ll miss it. It’s not necessarily a bad thing that the majority of the collaborations blend so seamlessly with the rest of the band, this is still a Queens of the Stone Age album and, lets be honest, the Queens are pretty much the Josh Homme show, and I don’t mean that as a negative. There’s something to be said for a bunch of talented musicians coming together to produce music without this track having to be the Elton track and that having to be Jake Shears track (he’s in there too).

The only two instances where I would have liked to see the supporting players brought to the forefront a little more is with two older friends of the band, Mark Lanegan and Nick Oliveri. If you’re familiar with the band you know that Oliveri really was the other half of the Queens up until having to leave the band after Songs for the Deaf. This is the first time he’s been on an album since then and it would have been cool to highlight that a little more. Even more so is Mark Lanegan, who’s been a prominent voice on albums in the past, in particular lending his distinctive, gravelly ‘Tom Waits before all the booze and cigarettes’ vocals to some of the best songs the Queens have produced such as Hanging Tree and In The Fade (seriously if you haven’t heard In The Fade, go listen to it right now, one of the BEST Queens songs). You can hear him growling in the background of a few tracks like If I Had A Tail. It’s one of the hookier tracks, with a swinging bluesy groove and a simple but pretty killer bassline that immediately has you tapping you foot. It’s one of the best tracks on the album but as great as it is, I would have loved to hear Lanegan’s voice featured a little more prominently. That being said I do feel like a bit of a douche complaining about a song as good as this one.

I would be remiss to not mention the rest of the band who’s returned. Troy Van Leeuwen (A Perfect Circle, Sweethead) continues to hold down the other half of the guitar work on the album and remains one of the best dressed dudes in rock. Mikey Shoes (Wires on Fire, Mini Mansions) supplies the bass line and Dean Fertita (The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather) rounds out the group on the keys. There isn’t a poor musician in the bunch, they’ve all proven themselves in previous bands and have been with the Queens on the previous two albums including the tours, aside from Fertita who joined in 2007, replacing the late Natasha Shneider (who sadly lost her battle with cancer in 2008). The band meshes in a way that’s evident on the album and even more so live and despite my comment about it being the JoshHomme show, these guys are just as responsible for how great everything sounds. The band seems to almost have a revolving door of talent sometimes but I hope these guys continue to stick around for a while.

…Like Clockwork (there I put it back) is absolutely a departure from what has come before. It’s going to upset some fans, some might say the band’s gone soft, people will continue to look for that return to the Queens of Songs for the Deaf. The evolution of a band that’s been around for this long is a tricky thing. If you continue to release albums that play off of what’s come before, you run the risk of being called derivative and tired. If you change things, you run the risk of alienating your fan base. You’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t and I don’t envy bands in that situation (who am I kidding of course I do). Some artists try to change things up and fumble along the way (Muse) or crash and burn spectacularly (really Chris Cornell? Timbaland?). Queens of the Stone Age, however, manage to chart a course that takes them to some strange places but they come out the other side stronger for it. Older, wiser, a little more self aware, but still able to make you shake your butt and melt your face in equal measure. …Like Clockwork might seem a little harder to dive in to than previous efforts at first listen but give Homme and company a bit of time and you’ll find an album that earns its spot next to Songs for the Deaf. The future’s looking bright for the Queens, let’s hope we don’t have to wait another six years.

5/5

originally posted on my blog but wanted to share it with you guys

Start the Conversation

The 10 Dandiest games of 2012 and then some.

First off a disclaimer. No, TWO disclaimers. First of all, I know this list is late. Like, really late. The reason is I had a few titles I wanted to finish up before I wrote anything about them and also I’m pretty lazy and it takes me forever to do anything, so if you’re past the point of caring about a top ten list, totally get that. Also spoilers.

Second, there’s a number of games I didn’t get to this year unfortunately like AC3, FC3, Dishonored, Hitman: Absolution, CoD: BO2, Hotline: Miami, Syndicate, Journey, a few others. So if they’re not on the list I might not have played them. Ok here goes.

EDIT: Also there were pictures to break up the wall of text but this goddamn editor decided to put them wherever it wanted for some reason once I posted this and I don't feel like dicking around with it further so they're gone. Sorry.

10. Punch Quest

Yeah an iOS game. Weird. Or is it? I feel like maybe we’ve gotten to the point where that’s no longer a crazy thing, but that’s another conversation. Punch Quest is yet another game in the ‘endless runner’ category that’s so popular on mobile devices (Jetpack Joyride, Canabalt), but with a twist. Punching. What isn’t better with punching? Great graphics, fantastic sound and it keeps itself from getting repetitive with 3 tiers of unlockable super movies, multiple pathways, unlockable customization and you get to ride a raptor that shoots lasers from its mouth. It’s as awesome as it sounds. I come back to this game time and time again when I have a few minutes just to complete an objective or two or get a few runs in to get some coins. Despite the game being a hit, it was a bit of a financial disaster due to it being a free game initially, so hey, why not throw a good developer some money? Totally worth it.

9. Hero Academy

The game is available on Steam but I played it on iOS and was obsessed with it for a solid month or two. Turn-based tactical games work great on the platform (being able to make your move then go about your business while you wait for your opponent to do the same) and Hero Academy is the best of the bunch. The game was developed by Robot Entertainment (former Ensemble guys) and it’s a blast. It may seem simple at first glance but there’s a ton of depth in the game for those that want to dig into it. Currently there’s six teams to choose from, including the Team Fortress 2 gang and every team plays differently, they all have their strengths, weakness and strategies and getting to know the nuances of each team makes for a great time. If this is the type of game you’re into you really have to give it a shot.

8. Spelunky

Ahh Spelunky. I would imagine everybody in this community is well aware of what this game’s about by now so I don’t know what else I can say about it other then this game can go to hell. And screw you Tunnel Man.

7. Trials Evolution

I’d say this is pretty solidly in the ‘go to hell’ category with Spelunky but man I love this game. I was a big fan of Trials HD but this game has a much gentler (if you can describe it that way) difficulty curve, so I didn’t feel completely boned as fast as I did in Trials HD. It takes what was great about the first game and just does more of it. The multiplayer mode is a hell of a lot of fun (stealing a win last second by bailing is almost as great as coming in last because you screwed up your bail and are flopping inches from the finish line) and the user created content is bananas. Seriously, spend a few minutes checking out some of that stuff, it’s mind blowing. Add to that a super well made interface for accessing that content (it takes seconds to download a new track) and you’ve got a game that solidly deserves its spot in this list.

6. Legend of Grimrock

This is not the type of game I would have expected to love as much as I do. I’ve never played any of the old school games it’s based on and when I saw Dave playing it I thought “meh”. It just sounded kinda dull. The reality is anything but. There’s something about Grimrock that scratches an itch I didn’t know I had. The level design and puzzles are great and complex enough to be interesting but not obscure to the point of driving you crazy, the combat is surprisingly fun for essentially boiling down to ‘click 4 boxes’ and the game looks and sounds pretty great. A turn based first person rpg isn’t really something I’ve ever been that into or even played in the past but Grimlock is a hell of a lot of fun and I’m glad I gave it a shot.

5. Slaves to Armok: God of Blood II: Dwarf Fortress

Oh Dwarf Fortress. This game. This goddamn game. Ok I know this isn’t a 2012 release, it’s still in beta and likely will never have an actual release but 2012 is when I found out about it and this is my list so Ima do what I want. This definitely falls into the same category as Grimrock in that I would never ever have thought a game like this would grab me like it did. First off, even getting the game to run took me a while (I’m on a mac and finding the correct version, the right graphics packs and whatnot took some research) and if you watched Dave playing it, you know just how incredibly steep the learning curve is. It’s not a curve, it’s a vertical cliff. I bought the goddamn book that dave had just so I could understand it a little better. The graphics are a joke, sound is almost non existent and the UI is so incredibly NOT user friendly it almost hurts. Getting into Dwarf Fortress is an exercise in frustration. But when you finally get it, when it finally starts to click, oh my god. Honestly, I’ve never played a game like it. I spent hours staring at the little blips that represented my stalwart dwarves shifting about the screen, reading obtuse text alerts and clicking 46 keys to initiate simple actions, but in my head an epic drama of survival, courage, loss and triumph was unfolding. Sure it pretty much always ended in death for my colony, whether it was invading undead, starvation, flooding or one of my miners going insane and slaughtering his kin, but it was the journey to that inevitable end, and watching an entire world being simulated and influenced by my actions that make this game as incredible as it is.

4. Halo 4

I missed you Master Chief. I’ve been a Halo fan since the beginning. It’s what got me onto Microsoft’s console, and it’s what’s kept me there despite getting increasingly sick of Xbox Live. Halo 4 showed that 343 is more than capable of picking up where Bungie left off. It’s not a flawless game by any means. The Prometheans are a drag to fight, the campaign could have been better (I still prefer Reach) and having the Covenant play such a big roll again, even though they’re still a blast to fight against, was a bit of a bummer. That being said, I loved this game. The story was for the most part pretty great and the emphasis on the relationship between John and Cortana was exactly the right move. Humanizing MC, while still keeping him a badass is something I’ve been wanting, I’ve always really liked him as a character to the point of even reading some of the books surrounding the games and when 343 started talking about getting into his character more in this trilogy, I got excited. Add to that the fact that the game is gorgeous. One of the best looking games on the 360 bar none and that includes the character models. Gone are the creepy plastic people of previous games, the new facial capture tech delivers some amazing performances, in particular Cortana performed by MacKenzie Mason and voiced as always by Jen Taylor. The range of emotions she displays is pretty amazing. Overall the game totally delivers. Firefight being removed is a bummer but the MP is as fun as it ever was and Spartan Ops is a good time. While I’m disappointed about a few things regarding this game, I think it’s a fantastic experience. Now that 343 has shown they can deliver a solid Halo game, hopefully they get a little crazy with the next one. I can’t wait to see it.

3. Mass Effect 3

In the lead up to this game coming out, I decided to play through the first two over again. Had a great time doing so, got to remember how great the first game is and how terrible the framerate/Mako was and overall it was time well spent. Then Mass Effect 3 comes out and, for reasons I can’t remember, I didn’t pick it up. I totally wanted to play it, but for some reason...I just didn’t. Then the internet exploded. Maybe it was due to that, that my enthusiasm waned a bit? Not that I believed all the rage was warranted, but I guess I just moved on to other games. In retrospect, I’m really glad I did because I played through the game for the first time last month with the DLC installed and, like Brad, I absolutely loved this game. Loved it. Yeah the ending, even with the Extended Cut content added wasn’t the greatest thing ever, but it was good enough, I liked it (I went with Synthesis). But it was the journey that made that game great, specific moments that stand out as high points in the series. Mordin sacrificing himself to end the Genophage. Grunt emerging from the Rachni cavern bloodied and beaten after I thought he was dead. Helping Legion unite the Geth and the Quarians. Watching the mother of all Thresher Maws take out a Reaper. Standing at Thane’s bedside with Kolyat as he died. Shooting bottles with Garrus. As reserved and laid back as that scene was, getting to spend a few minutes with nothing exploding, nobody trying to kill me, just hanging out with a good friend (and one of my favorite characters in any game to date) was such a great moment in that game. And the final sequence of the Leviathan mission...goddamn. The sum of the positives of ME3 so completely outweigh the negatives that it deserves its spot on my list. Even now listening to the soundtrack makes me remember how much I enjoyed playing it. I understand someone having a totally different view of this game from me, especially those that played it when it was released but for me, ME3 was a great end to an amazing series.

2. XCOM: Enemy Unknown

What a great game this is, and how good does it feel to have a game released in a genre that really, nobody would say is that relevant in 2012, and for it to be a hit. I didn’t play the original so my investment in the series was pretty low (hell I thought the FPS looked kinda rad) but I’m a big TBS fan (Final Fantasy Tactics is one of my all time favs) so XCOM is up my alley. The balance between base management and field missions, customizing your squad, the intense combat, every part of the game is fun. And it’s tough as nails. You constantly feel like you’re barely scraping by, you never have enough money/time and it doesn’t matter how careful you are, you’re always a few bad moves from coming home a man (or a squad) short. Despite the story being somewhat bare bones, I got attached to my squad and I’d be damned if I would leave a man behind, even if it meant reloading a save. I’ve given it a few tries on Ironman/Classic and it just keeps kicking my ass. And I love every second of it.

1. The Walking Dead

The end of this game was spoiled for me. Some asshole on this very website decided to in a thread unrelated to the game because...I don’t know why. Because he’s an asshole. Even with that being the case, the end of The Walking Dead was devastating. I’ve come close to tearing up in other games (Red Dead Redemption) but I’ll fully admit to tears when the credits rolled. Walking Dead does such an incredible job making you feel invested in the characters. You care about them, you want them to survive, you want them to be alright. The world has crumbled to pieces around them but as long as Lee and Clementine have each other, things will work out. I’ll agree with the Bomb crew that having to kill Duck was incredibly difficult, but for me, telling Clem she had to put me down...man...heartbreaking. And then the post credits sequence, Telltale gives you one last ‘screw you’ by leaving her fate totally up in the air. Is she alright? Is she not alright? Was that Omid and Christa? Were those bandits? Were they zombies? I was almost panicked at the thought of her being alone. I was overwhelmed with concern for a person who doesn’t exist. I’ll continue to worry about Clem until Telltale lets me know if she’s alright. That’s sure as hell worth a number one spot to me.

Honorable Mentions: Mark of the Ninja and Fez

For some reason both Fez and Mark of the Ninja didn’t grab me like they did everyone else. I don’t know why. It has nothing to do with the quality of the games. They’re both incredibly well made games and do really interesting innovative things, especially Fez. I think they deserve recognition, in fact I almost put them on the list ‘just because’ but ultimately it should be about what I enjoyed the most, not what I feel like I should have enjoyed the most, so they got an honorable mention. Great games worth playing.

2011 game of 2012: Batman: Arkham City

I loved Arkham Asylum so I have no idea why I didn’t pick up Arkham City last year but I finally got around to it in 2012 and it’s as awesome as everyone said it is. It’s more of what I loved of the first game in a bigger, flashier package. What's not to love?

2008 game of 2012: Bully: Scholarship Edition

Bully went on sale over the holidays and, as I’d never played it, I decided to pick it up. It took a few weeks for me to actually download it due to some issues with Live (seriously MS are you trying to get me to switch consoles next gen?) but after some dicking around, including using my iPhone as a wifi hotspot the game was on my hard drive. Hey I don’t know if you’re aware of this but Bully is really damn good! It’s everything Rockstar does great, but the PG-13 version. I can’t understand why this game was controversial when it came out, I didn’t even run into any GAY SEXUAL CONTENT I had too look up online to see what that was even about. Also of note, the score by Shawn Lee is incredible. Buy it. Totally worth it. If you haven’t played the game, buy it too. It’s under $10 on Xbox Live, you can’t go wrong.

So there you have it. That's my list. If you read it I hope you enjoyed it, if you didn't, thats ok too. I ain't mad at ya.

Start the Conversation

How Android turned me into a Pirate (not really)

Being an iphone owner and having come from owning a Blackberry (shudder) Android has always been something I've heard about, but have had no experience with. It's always seemed like a potentially great platform with very few devices actually taking full advantage of what it can do, or just doing it poorly. My opinion has changed lately, in large part due to the Nexus 7, the first Android tablet that actually seems really great. I finally decided over the weekend to pull the trigger on the 16 GB model and holy crap is it ever rad.

In addition to not being as stupid expensive as an ipad, the thing that's totally great about this device, and Android in general, is the availability of emulators. It's probably somewhat telling about what I've been using it for that the $25 credit that was included with the Nexus has been almost completely spent on emulators. Being able to play pretty much any game from the N64 and PSOne on back, on a nice looking decent sized screen AND with great controls ala Wiimote compatibility...awesome...just AWESOME.

Guess who missed out on Earthbound. This guy. Guess who's gonna play it now. Same guy.

The question is, however...am I a pirate? Have I done bad? I'm not gonna pretend I own every game I've downloaded a rom for, but the way I see it, if I can't walk into a store and buy a game, or purchase it online from Steam or GOG, if there's zero legal way to buy the game new...I don't feel that bad. I've never pirated a game outside of this, I rarely ever even buy used games, I like supporting developers. I've downloaded an album or an ebook here and there but again, I try not to, I wanna support the people who create the stuff I like.

BONK!

So what say you? Is downloading the roms for the Sega Master System version of Space Harrier and the Turbo Grafx16 version of Bonks Adventure bad in your opinion? Or not a big deal. Lets keep it civil if we can. Do it for the kids.

23 Comments

Microsoft, we need to talk.

First off, a disclaimer. I don't consider myself a fanboy. Over the years, I've jumped back and forth from PS to N64 and bought a PS2 on launch day and loved it, bought a Gamecube and thought it was great. I'm of the opinion that in this current generation, both the PS3 and 360 are totally valid and from a games standpoint, bring plenty to the table. That being said, I've been pretty firmly seated in the MS camp since the Xbox. Or to be precise, since Halo. That started my love affair with the black and green monster and its stupid huge controllers and it's continued to this generation.

I've wanted to pick up a PS3 for a while, feeling pretty left out of some amazing games (Uncharted series, Metal Gear 4, Resistance) but I've never gotten around to it and I've been happy with my chosen system. One of the big reasons for this, aside from games, has been Xbox Live. I'm not gonna go into the things it does right, we're all pretty familiar with the details here, but suffice to say, I've had zero problem paying for the service. Lately though...I've been starting to feel differently. And it's surprised me to be honest.

The service still offers everything it used to, solid MP, streaming video, lots of available awesome content to dl, none of that has changed. What has changed, however is what Sony is doing. When Playstation Plus launched, it was easy to look at it and go "yeah thats ok I guess but...meh" but lately, man. They've stepped up their game. I started taking serious notice in June when they announced PS+ members would be getting a bunch of games free including VF5, Infamous 2 and friggin Space Marine, a game I love. The fact that I own it already and would have even if I'd had a PS3 doesn't change the fact that those are some real good games, and they're not that old. Infamous 2 had just turned a year old and Space Marine not even a year. This month, the first two episodes of The Walking Dead. Those just came out! Yeah they're not full price games, but that's still a great deal.

The last free games I got for my Xbox Live Gold account? Two games sponsored by Doritos...granted, the Wipeout game made for a great Quick Look...but Space Marine, it wasn't. When you add to that the fact that the MP is apparently much more stable then it used to be (this im getting anecdotally, I haven't played online on a PS3 in a while) the things Sony is doing with their online service is looking more and more attractive, both their free service and PS+ while Xbox Live is...the same. Hell, they put Netflix behind the pay wall which, the more I think about it, the more absurd that is.

Now I'm not saying I'm ready to jump ship. I'm still ok with paying for Live. This holiday is gonna be bananas with Halo 4, CoD, Borderlands...there's a ton of awesome games coming out. I'm currently playing the hell out of Dust and loving it...I still love my 360. Also we're right around the corner of a new generation so MS making big Live changes right now doesn't make sense. Things could totally change next year with the new consoles and I'm sure it will. All I'm saying is...man...if this same trend continues into the next gen, if Sony keeps doing what they're doing and MS keeps charging what they're charging, I'm gonna have to think long and hard about which system I get behind. Don't make me do it Microsoft. Where else will I get my Halos?

tl:dr Playstation Plus is getting better and better. Free games = awesome. Live is feeling stagnant and overpriced.

19 Comments

Boo mods!

Not really. I like you guys. But do you have to hit the lock button so fast? There's been a few instances where pretty nonsense threads get locked but they're funny nonsense. Like the Avril marriage thread. Yeah it's stupid and pointless but so is a whole lot of what's great about Giant Bomb. Jeff even commented in that thread. How often does the staff do that? Not very often. That happened recently too, can't remember the purpose of the thread but Jeff was contributing and it got locked. That seems...wrong.

I know you have a job to do and you probably have to draw a line or else it turns into "is this acceptable stupidity or not" and that probably wouldn't work so I ain't mad at ya, not really expecting anyone to read this and there's no reason to put this in the forums. Just sayin...girls just wanna have fun.

Start the Conversation

Running the Relays-Part 2: A Shepard Is Born

In which a Duder with too much time on his hands decides to marathon the Mass Effects.

Click here for Part 1

This took a bit longer to get up, life got in the way. These will be a little more regular from now on.

Creating the Universal Soldier

It’s time to make some decisions, time to tweak some sliders, time to do everything I can to keep my Shepard from looking like a mutant. The easiest thing to do, would be to go with default Shep, but if a game gives me the option to customize, by god that’s what I’ll do.

When I first played through ME, I did my best to create a character that looked as close to myself as possible. I spent a loooong time nudging sliders, picking just the right nose, looking at myself in a mirror (no joke) and trying to get the eyes just right. After what was probably at least 45 minutes, I had managed to create a character that had the same skin color as me, almost the same hair as me, but looked mildly constipated and vaguely Asian. I’m not Asian, so clearly my quest to create a digital space me had failed, but I soldiered on just the same.

This time around there was none of that, I just did my best to create a Shep that looked human. Human and kept himself regular. I think I accomplished that goal, my Shep looks tough, capable and laughs in the face of any razor. Ok, he sorta looks like a meat-head but hey I’m playing a space soldier on a mission to save the universe, a meat-head is just what we need.

'tude, with a capital T
No, I don't stuff my cod piece. It's part of the armor ok??

I want with Infiltrator in my ME and ME2 playthroughs, I will pretty much always play the stealthy, sneaky, shoot you from a mile away or stab you in the back character in any game I can, and I really enjoyed it. This time I wanted to switch things up and go with a class I would normally never pick. I decided to roll a Sentinel, strong biotic, savvy technician, only somewhat aware of which end of the gun to point at the thing what needs to die. My Shep was a colonist who’s entire family had been wiped out when he was but a lad, and he was a war hero, taking out an entire army by himself when all his comrades had fallen. Apparently people had a tendency to die around me. Totally not my fault...right?

Moral Dilemma

Now the question is, what kind of Shepard will I be? An upstanding textbook soldier? I cold calculating ‘job done at any cost’ asshole? Well, normally I like to play somewhere in the middle. I’ll give you a bit of insight into how I live my life. Whenever a problem comes up that needs solving, I just think “What would Han Solo do?” Or at least I’d like to. I don’t have the balls to roll that way for reals, but digital me, well that’s a different story. Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a biotic warp blast at your side. There’s a problem with that style in the Mass Effect games, however, and it’s the source of one of my few big complaints.

When I was playing through ME2, I was rolling Han Solo style, save some innocents here, kicking a dude out a window there, totally comfortable in my role as like-able asshole rogue out to save the day, until I was forced to break up a Jack/Miranda cat fight. Ok, I can neither select the Paragon or the Renegade options that will resolve this situation...lets just go with something else. Oh no, I’ve lost Jacks loyalty!!! Now, I knew enough about the game to know if I didn’t have a characters loyalty, there’s a good chance they were gonna die in the final confrontation. This is unacceptable.

Now, there’s an argument to be made about playing the game the way you want and whoever lives or dies, THAT is your story, and I totally respect and admire that! But that’s not me. I can’t lose anyone. ANYONE! Losing Wrex in ME1 was too painful. As much as I hated it, I had to reload a save about 8 hours previous and mash the Paragon button as much as possible. This kinda broke the game for me, and I think is a fault of the series. Being forced to pick a path to get the best ending goes against letting you play as the character you want. That being the case, and considering I’ve never been able to play as a bad guy, my Shep shall be the most Paragon of Paragons. Bioware has left me no choice.

Ship Out!

So I had my class, I had my fiction, I knew what kind of man I was to be, it was time to throw myself into the fray. Hey it’s the Normandy! Hey its Captain Anderson! Hey its Nihlus! Hey there goes Nihlus! That Promethean beacon just shot some scary crap straight into my brain! Reapers, dog. Reapers.

My adventure had just begun.

...weapon overheating..what do you mean weapon overheating??

1 Comments
  • 13 results
  • 1
  • 2