Wednesday, December 28, 2016

MIDI Week Singles: "Will The Circle Be Unbroken - Full Version" - BioShock Infinite (PC)

"Will The Circle Be Unbroken - Full Version" from BioShock Infinite on PC, Playstation 3, XBox 360, Linux, OSX, Playstation 4, XBox One (2013)
Words By: Ada R. Habershon
Performed By: Courtnee Draper and Troy Baker
Label: 2K Games
Developer: Irrational Games

I felt that the final MIDI Week Single for 2016 needed to have at least some kind of meaning behind it, rather than just a subjectively awesome high energy track from either Super Meat Boy or Tiny Barbarian DX: The Serpent Lord,  So, I went on a search for an appropriate song that I felt would be a good bookend to our MIDI Week Singles of 2016 and the second song iTunes pulled up (on random) was the full version of "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" sung by Courtnee Draper (Elizabeth) and Troy Baker (Booker Dewitt) from BioShock Infinite and I knew that this would be the song.  I forget exactly how this song cropped up in the game, or why Booker and Elizabeth felt that a brief bit of song down-time would be appropriate between areas, but I know that once that little scene happened in-game, that this song would become a favorite.

I used a slightly longer informational titles before the song because the song sung beautifully by Courtnee Draper was originally a spiritual hymn from 1907 and I felt that crediting not only the two actors who voiced Booker Dewitt and Elizabeth, but also the original composer of the music and writer of the words to the song.  And while writing today's article, I actually sat down and paid attention to the lyrics as well as the history of the song.  

I get that this was originally written as an uplifting hymn, and that the 1935 version by A.P. Carter was arranged to be more of a funeral hymn, but the lyrics used for the BioShock version were pulled from the original song, omitting the frequently sung "Lord" from the '35 Carter version.  Since there are so many arrangements and re-imaginings of this song, it is a little hard for me to pin point where the inspiration for this particular arrangement originated. There is the 1961 John Lee Hooker version which is a much more bluesy version which sounds more like it took the melody and parts of the chorus and just reworked the lyrics a bit.  The 1966 version by The Staple Singers, which uses a number of the verses from the '35 Carter arrangement, still sounds too upbeat in order to encapsulate the dirge-ness I feel is required for a funeral hymn, but maybe that's the part of my Catholic childhood coming out.

What I love about this specific arrangement is how simple it is.  There is just Troy Baker on guitar and Courtnee Draper singing; I know it can be weird for me to like simple versions of songs over larger and more dramatic arrangements, but sometimes the feeling of the song comes across more when there is less.  And for me, this song is full of feels.  When Courtnee Draper's voice starts to break around 3:03, with the lines "You can picture happy gath'rings/ Round the fireside long ago" it really hits me in the "my closest friends" center, just like Dances with Wolves and Bruce Springsteen's song "No Surrender."  And then from the last verse at (3:49) through the end of the song, it sounds like Courtnee is struggling a bit to get the words out and remained composed, and honestly, it is a little hard for me to listen and not do the same.


Monday, December 26, 2016

First Impressions: Resident Evil 7 Teaser: Beginning Hour (PC)

While playing Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil: Revelations, I was eagerly waiting to see what Reseident Evil 7 (or Resident Evil VII if Roman numerals are more your thing) had in store for this franchise.  I have actually been lacking a lot of information about this game, which is fine by me.  So when the demo was released on Steam during this last week (the week of December 19th, 2016), I was very happy to give it a try, if anything to see if my computer would even be able to handle something as potentially graphically heavy as the games in this series have become since Resident Evil 4.

So 3.2 GB later, I dove in.

Once I got over the initial shock of this game being in first person (although I am not 100% sure if the actual game will also be in first person, but it makes sense that it might), I was very impressed with how damn good this game looks.  Then I was happily surprised at how well my computer was able to handle the game overall.  I had the graphical settings at "Medium" across the board since I felt that anything more would run the risk of melting my computer, and even then I was frequently hovering between 20 and 24 FPS.  For me personally, I considered this to be good, but most other PC players will tell you that the game would be unplayable.  I would very much disagree with them.

What this demo very much reminded me of was a point-and-click game, think Shadowgate or The Uninvited but in a 3D setting with various items that you are able to interact with.  Being in a first person view, it very much reminded me of Amnesia: The Dark Descent and A Machine for Pigs, although here, there was a lot less of the environment that you are able to do.  You cannot move chairs or the blinds around, which kind of makes sense since there were "events" that happened that would not have made sense had I been able to open all of the doors or flip the kitchen table over.  If you think of what Capcom has created here as a Resident Evil game with a first person perspective then that is how the game operates.

And since we are talking about Resident Evil as a game and an experience, I will say that what the demo has to offer, reminds me so much more of the first game from 1996 rather than what the series became with RE4 through RE6.  The demo seemed a lot more about setting the atmosphere for the world, being one about tension, uneasiness, and full of questions.  It is unclear how this particular Resident Evil game will fit into the already established world (which only creates more questions for me not having played RE6 or RE:Revelations 2 yet.  What I have concluded, at least after only about 44 minutes of this demo, is that RE7 is going to be a great game because of the emphasis on establishing an atmosphere of fear and confusion.

Before I leave, I want to briefly mention a mechanic that never came into play for me during my first playthrough.

Apparently, you have the "ability" to raise your hands in front of your face either as a blocking maneuver or possibly to hide whatever horror is racing towards you.  I never came across a time to use this but I am very eager to see how this mechanic is used in the main game.  And, if anything in this demo promises to be a massive departure from the last three numbered games in the series, having your hands raised to block out a significant portion of the screen, this will be it.  This alone, at least to me, is making a promise that I am hoping the game will be able to fulfill.


Holy damn!  As anticipated after my first 44 minutes, this demo has some pretty good replay value, even more so considering the fact that it is free.  I have reached two different endings and I know that there is plenty that I know should be accessible, but have yet to figure out how to get to particular areas or use items that were in my inventory.  On its own, this demo has more content than some some of the cheaper to play games on Steam.  Capcom has definitely made me a future customer for Resident Evil 7.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Final Review: Pokemon Picross (3DS)

About two weeks ago (I believe it was two weeks. . .okay, so it was three), I finally reached the end of the main campaign/story mode in Pokémon Picross on the Nintendo 3DS.  This is an amazing and fun introduction into picross puzzles, but only if you have the patience for a free experience.

Pokémon Picross is a free to start game available only through Nintendo's eShop and only for the 3DS, although I already talked quite a bit about the game shortly after I started playing back on January 16th of this year.  If you are looking for a general run down of the game, I would recommend reading that article as this time around, I am just going to briefly cover my overall joy that I experienced over the last 11 months.

In total, I spent 97 hours 12 minutes playing this free game.  30 stages, 304 Pokémon caught, 312 puzzles solved, not including two mural puzzles each made up of 64 10x10 puzzles.  Granted some of that time was probably spent with my 3DS open and not doing anything, but most of those 97 was spent actually playing any one of a massive amount of puzzles in a free game from Nintendo.

Probably the biggest reason why it took me so long, was because I played this as a free game.  You have the option to pay for either energy refills rather than waiting for the timer, which translates to one unit of energy for each minute in real-world-time, or by purchasing Picrites, the currency used to purchase access to additional stages and for increasing the number of Pokémon you are allowed to bring into each puzzle.  I decided that I would take my pretty time by not making any currency exchanges and as it turned out, 97 hours is what it took me.  You, the master picross puzzler and accurate puzzle marker on the somewhat small 20x15 puzzles where the squares are fairly small, might take significantly less time since you may not have wasted energy filling in the wrong square over and over again.

Plus, there is the "Alt-World" that I have yet to open that has the same 312 puzzles, but with a slightly different method of marking the blocks, so there is probably another 50+ hours.  Again, this is a lot of content for a game that can be completed for free and was released by Nintendo.

So in closing, here is a breakdown of my playtime:

Started: January 16, 2016
Completed Zones 00 - 30 and two mural puzzles: November 29, 2016
Time: 97h 12m
Average Time: 20m each time I logged on to play.


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

MIDI Week Singles: "Battle With Magus" - Chrono Trigger (SNES)

"Battle With Magus" from Chrono Trigger on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (1995)
Composer: Yasunori Mitsuda
Developer: SquareSoft 

When I was thinking about which song to pull up for the second to last MIDI Week Single of the year, I was a little unsure.  I put on my "Video Game Soundtrack" playlist on iTunes to get some ideas, but nothing was popping up, so I went back to playing Chrono Trigger on my 3DS (the 2008 DS port) and I entered the next area storywise: Magus' Castle.  Long story ever-so-slightly shorter, when the battle with Magus started, I quickly realized that the dialogue was playing like a quicktime event because the music lined up with Magus unfurling his cloak and starting the battle.  That moment gave me chills.

Ever since I played Chrono Trigger back in 1996 (or thereabouts), this was one of my favorite songs from the game (next to Frog's Theme, Chrono's Theme, Schala's Theme, Lavos' Theme, The Last Battle. . .guess I should do a Game Score's article now).  Back in high school, one of my friends arranged this for two trumpets, penny whistle, french horn and timpani and while we did have a few practices, we never performed the piece.  The point is, this works both as a great battle theme as well as Magus' (un?)official theme (the soundtrack does not have a "Magus' Theme" track, hence the 'unofficial-ness').

As with all/most of the songs that we post here, I love this song and felt like sharing it with the rest of the world who may have not heard it during its first debut 21 years ago (damn).


Sunday, December 18, 2016

PS3 so far (ramble)

I'm just stopping in to talk about my progression with my new (used) PS3.   So far, no operating issues.  Jane and I sometimes run the thing for up to three hours in a day.  Our two games are Katamari Damacy and Final Fantasy IX, neither of which are Playstation 3 games, but that's okay.  As you can see above, I'm mashed the two together in a not-particularly smooth way.  

Katamari has been a big hit.  Jane and I take turns and have played through nearly every level.  Like any other good puzzle game, it is relaxing but also tense.  It's mesmerizing to just roll things up, endlessly.  I think sometimes the best puzzle games have you do just 1 thing.  Line up colors, fit pieces into spaces.  Roll things up.  Just do this one thing over and over and enjoy the pretty colors along the way.  

Final Fantasy Nine has really scratched the JRPG itch that I was feeling.  I will say it's a little slow, though.  I've gotten to the end of disc 1, but I dont' find myself overly invested in the plot or characters.  This doesn't have to be a bad thing.  If I'm feeling the same way by the end of disc 2, then I'll probably stop playing.  At this point, my favorite character is Freya, she's great!  I love her character design, and what I've seen of her personality, and I really love Dragoons, from previous FF games.  

I also had a lot of fun prepping for this purchase.  It's funny, after owning like... idunno, 200 Steam games, but dropping off in my playing habits, it seems Consoles are just where it's at for me.  I want so many games!  I guess it's just the acquisition game.  That being said, a new, budget gaming computer is my next project.  When I have an extra $500, I'm going to get one, hook it up to our living room TV, and pretend it's a console.  At which point, emulating PS1, PS2, Gamecube and Wii should all be easy enough.  

Now, a wise man might say 'don't buy any games for your systems, save that money and buy the computer.'  And I'm sure said wise man would be right.  But... I'm not gonna do that.  I'll probably buy a game a month or so.  After all, I feel a little more morally right when buying games.  PS1 games are 5$, PS3 games are $20 as are Wii/Wii U games.  After we've played Katamari into the ground, I think Wario Ware Smooth Moves, might be next.  A colorful goofy game that Jane can enjoy.  Then, after FFIX, I probably will want to pick up an HD copy of windwaker, or, go a different direction and get Dino Crisis, to enjoy Resident Evil, with Dinosaurs. 

Okay, to ramble off the end of this ramble, I'll publish my current 'want list' for Wii/Playstation games: 

Wii-U $20
Metroid Prime Trilogy
Wari Ware, Smooth Moves
Zelda, Windwaker HD
Xenoblade Chronicles

PS1 $5
Vagrant Story
Dino Crisis
Parasite Eve
Bushido Blade *
Parappa the Rapper *
*=not available digitally, or for $5

PS2 $??
Dragon Quest 8*
Silent Hill 2*

Journey, $15
Bioshock $10
Ni no Kuni $20
Okami HD $15
Majin and the forsaken kingdom*
Unfinished Swan,  $15

oh man, looking at this list again, Journey, Unfinished swan, Ni No Kuni... man, these games seem sweet.  Okami HD is also really cool looking game, but I hear basically a Zelda game.  I gotta choose these based on gameplay, on what i want to play and what I think Jane will play.  So many games.  so so many games.  


Friday, December 16, 2016

Movie Review: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

So Conklederp and I braved the 31 F degree temperatures last night and walked to our local neighborhood theater to see the "midnight" showing of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (which actually aired at 7pm, but who's complaining); we walked because the roads were covered with snow and ice and there was no way either of us wanted to drive in that (again).

And since this article is coming out on the official opening day, I am going to be as general and as spoiler free as I can be when talking about a fairly widely anticipated movie.  So, you know, just be cautious.

Let's start off with some of the few complaints I had about the movie.

First off, because this is a film set in the Star Wars universe, names are going to be weird.  First, you have some names that are just slightly different or have different spellings to our common names; Rey - Ray or Jyn - Jen (although it's pronounced like Gin), (Also, THERE IS NO CONNECTION!).  Then you have names like Chirrut Îmwe and Weeteef Cyubee which unless you see the movie multiple times, read a novelization of the film, or peruse the IMDb page (which contains spoilers as far as which characters and actors are in the movie if you don't know already) you are probably going to be having a hard time remembering names.  Conklederp had a bit of the same issue with the names in the movie, so I know it's not just me.  The problem here could lie in the fact that names were either not said as often or as obviously as is done in other movies.  What I like to think, is that in "real life," we don't go around saying names all the time, usually only when we want to get someones attention.  I will have a better idea after watching the movie for a second time, which will undoubtedly happen.

The other thing that Conklederp even pointed out, that while the main character was a woman, there seemed to be a severe lack of named female actors.  Yes, there's Jyn, Lyra, Mon Mothma, and that one ambassador/senator/lady-person in the yellow hood, but I don't recall ever hearing her name.  You'd think though that in a scene full of rebels, there's be at least one woman looking back towards (but not into) the camera.

Lastly, there were a few times during the movie where I felt that what I was watching did not feel like a Star Wars movie.  I can't really explain it, just that it could have been a sci-fi film or some steam punk film with not so much steam punkiness going on, but then some quintessential sound effect only found in a Star Wars production would happen and I would immediately be pulled right back in. 

Not so much a complaint as it is something that surprised me.  If you have seen any one of the numerous trailers, you may notice that a handful of scenes didn't make it into the theatrical cut. It is not that some of these scenes were cut, so much as what was shown in the trailer would not work in the film that was released.  This could have been because of the reshoots to make the film "less dark" which then altered the storyline.  Who knows, the point being, there were shots from the trailer that didn't make it into the movie, hypothesize away.  Oh, and I would have liked there to have been more Forest Whitiker (Saw Gerrera, who was also a character in The Clone Wars animated series) as I was rather surprised by his performance and I just wanted more after the movie was over.

Now briefly onto the things I did like.

Wow, this is actually much more difficult to put into words than I had thought before I started writing.  Don't get me wrong, there is plenty that I loved about what Gareth Edwards did telling this story, especially considering that this is his third .  Maybe a bullet list?
  • Even though some primary characters had less screen time than others, they all felt fleshed out and not one dimensional.
  • This has probably got to be the more ethnically diverse main cast in any Star Wars movie, let alone almost any movie that I've seen.  The principal actors are British, Mexican, American, Chinese, Australian, and Danish.
  • Michael Giacchino did a great job with his first Star Wars score and it fits in very well with what John Williams has spent the last 39 writing.  In some ways the soundtrack is slightly more melodic than The Force Awakens, but maybe Giacchino was able to use more elements from the original trilogy as it dealt with familiar events and a few familiar settings.
  • This movie did some fantastic universe building, more so than The Force Awakens, but this is a different movie, so there is that.
  • The overall tone was fitting for the story.  It actually reminded me a bit of The Clone Wars, in some of the clone heavy episodes, which is to say that it is a good thing.
  • Dat cape tho!
  • The CG, in its many forms was quite good.  I would want to talk about the many instances when it was included for story purposes that I thought was pretty awesome, even if at times it was semi-obvious that I was looking at a computer generated image.
You know what, I think this is good for now.  I thought Rogue One was a really great movie that fits in exceedingly well into the existing Star Wars universe and franchise, and that both Conklederp and I will definitely be seeing this movie again.  I probably could have just used that last sentence for the entirety of the article to a somewhat similar effect.


P.S.  Can we just point out the fact that Michael Giacchino has now scored music to movies in the Star Trek, Mission Impossible, Star Wars, and Jurassic Park franchises as well as multiple Disney/Pixar animated movies and now with Dr. Strange has entered into the Marvel universe.  I could go all hipster and say that I've been loving his music since his days on ALIAS, but there are plenty of people out there who had been listening to him for six years before I was introduced to him.  Odin bless this man and his musical abilities!  AND, I just found out that he wrote the music to the Sega Genesis game Gargoyles, which I never played because SEGA, but was one of my favorite 90s animated cartoon series.  Bloody damn!!

P.P.S.  And kudos to Warkwick Davis for making his way into another Star Wars film as a character whose name I had to look up because it was (as is almost always the case) never spoken in the film.  Made me want to go and watch Willow again.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

MIDI Week Singles: "Mute City" - F-Zero (SNES)

"Mute City" from F-Zero on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (1990)
Composer: Yumiko Kanki
Developer: Nintendo EAD

"Mute City" is one of those songs,  similar to last weeks MIDI Week Single of "Brinstar (Rock Stage)" from Metroid, that I feel is synonymous with with the entire F-Zero franchise.  Maybe "Big Blue" coming in a very (very) close second for my favorite track from this 1990 SNES game that I never owned (why bother since Dr. Potts owned it and I could play it nearly any time).

While I do find it true that "Mute City" does often convey the sense of speed that other songs from this game might such as the aforementioned "Big Blue," or "Death Wind." But what "Mute City" lacks in crazy speed related musicalness (sp?), it more than makes up for in the melody department.  It definitely fits the criteria of being able to hum the song yourself, thereby making it more accessible regardless of the amount of energy the song actually has in-game. 

We're Home Again, We're Home

P.S.  This was supposed to be put up yesterday after I got home from work, but the Snowpocalypse Part III (for the year) happened yesterday while I was at work and it took me 5 3/4 hours to drive the 18 miles  home, which typically takes 45 minutes to an hour.  So after I got home at 9:42pm last night, all I had the energy to do was eat dinner, watch a couple episodes of NewsRadio to decompress then go to bed.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

I'm thinking of picking up a Playstation 3 (ramble)

I've been hearing a lot of buzz about Final Fantasy XV, and it makes me want to play an older final fantasy.  I'm thinking FFIX or FFXII.   

And I found out that PS3s are available for 80 bucks, used at my local game stop.  That's low enough for an impulsive purchase!  maybe even tomorrow.

While not strictly backwards compatible, there are many classic games available for download on the PSN. 

I've been composing a list of Playstation games I want to play.  Here is it so far: 

Final Fantasy IX
Vagrant Story
Bushido Blade
Dino Crisis

Dragon Quest 8
Katamari Damacy
Final Fantasy XII
Silent Hill 2

Ni No Kuni
Okami HD
Majin and the forsaken kingdom
Unfinished Swan

That's a pertty big list.  If I get just two of those games, I should stay occupied for a while.  

And yes, I should probably just play steam games.  My crappy laptop can still run a lot of them, but I've been finding I miss my consoles, and I think I'm more likely to play on them.  $80 is much cheaper than a new laptop as well.    

Of course, upon further research I find that PS3s are notoriously unreliable, so buying a used for $80 may not be a good idea.  New ones are about $150, and have warranty from Sony.  May want to look into that... 

Anyway, I'll weigh my options and make the right choice.  Some of the fun has been found in indulging myself by looking up the best games on the last three systems.  There have been some good ones.  


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

MIDI Week Singles: "Brinstar (Rock Stage)" - Metroid (NES)

"Brinstar (Rock Stage)" from Metroid on the Nintendo Entertainment System (1986)

Well, today's musical choice has us landing on one of the standards in early video game music, the theme from "Brinstar" in Metroid.

One of the interesting things, for me at least, is that the official title on the soundtrack has it listed as "Rock Stage," which really isn't a surprise considering that most, if not all of Brinstar is made up of what appears to be 8-bit rocks.  This is opposed to Norfair which is the fire stage. . .and bubbles too apparently.

As far as the soundtrack goes, I was actually surprised to find out that in 2004, an official soundtrack for the 16 minutes and 23 seconds of music Hirokazu Tanaka composed for Metroid, although there were orchestral soundtracks released in Japan back in '87.  One would think that the Brinstar theme would have had a much larger impact on the world of video game music than it apparently has, or maybe I am just not looking hard enough?  Although I do recall reading (somewhere? maybe?) that the Metroid series never saw the popularity in Japan that is has here in the States.

Well, for now, let us revel in Hirokazu Tanaka's wonderful composition that, while not Samus' theme (which is another song altogether from composers Minako Himano and Kenji Yamamoto), is a song that I have come to strongly identify with the Metroid series.


Monday, December 5, 2016

My Reaction to The Game Awards 2016

Yesterday (being December 1st as of this writing, but whatever), there was a streamed award ceremony for video games, aptly titled "The Game Awards 2016" which I wasn't planning on watching until Castlevania: The Lords of Shadow crashed and I had to log out in order to get back to trying to play.  That was when Steam reminded me that this award ceremony was currently on, so I figured I would give it a go.

I happened to log in during the "Best Action Game" award nominations, which went to DOOM, which doesn't really surprise me, although it was going up against Overwatch and I have heard that this is a somewhat popular title.  Then there was the award for "Games for Impact" award, which is described as "For a thought provoking game with a profound pro-social meaning or message" with That Dragon, Cancer taking the award.  I was immediately drawn in, partly for the fact that this game that I had heard quite a lot about over the last year, but also because of the fact that this award didn't go to a game like Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare for it's gripping portrayal of "snipping the gayest n00b" while "bending your mom over a deep fat fryer."  Then there was the award for "Best Trending Gamer" and "Best ESports Player" and I knew that I was out.  

There were also a few cringe worthy moments that seem to have been scripted by studio executives who felt they knew how to communicate the cool games and technologies to kids.  And then there were the people typing out swastikas and "whitepower" in the absurdly small chat window through Steam's streaming of the event.

Nolan North says, "Hey Fireheart, knock that shit off!!"

This was during voice actor Nolan North's acceptance speech for his work as Nathan Drake from Uncharted 4: A Thief's End.

Both of these were during the same speech (as noted by the fact that Nolan North is still talking), but as you can see, more swastikas and different user names.  So let it be known, that both NEU GAEM and Fireheart both may not be all nice people, even if they are trolls who think that throwing up an appropriated symbol is either cool or that no one would notice as hundreds of people frantically vomited in their comments to a video game award show.

Then right after (I do not have any screen caps of the chat window at this time as it was going by too quickly for my hand to hit the Prt Scr button although you will have to believe me that I did in fact read/see the following comments) Nolan's acceptance speech, Raphaël Colantonio from Arcane Studios came on to talk about both Dishonored 2 and their upcoming title Prey, a very large number of people started commenting on the size of Mr. Colantonio's nose along with other antisemitic remarks.

Throughout the majority of the stream that I watched, there were a number of people (or it just might have been the same person over and over, but I know that I saw more than one user name popping up) were using racial slurs of the N variety and numerous messages with three and four lines full of "WhitePower."  I really wish there was a recording of sorts for the chat window if only to call out the dozens of people hurling religious and ethnic hate throughout the event.  Now, I was only present from about 1:13:24 through 1:55:20 and missed the last hour for good or ill, but from what I saw still looked like the fledglings of an award show for video games that was on the right path to be taken semi seriously by people who play video games, people who don't play video games, and people who actually give a damn about award shows.

Now I am probably over reacting to my reacting about all of the antisemitic and hate speech, but considering the political climate that we find ourselves now living in and the fallout from the results of November's results (the fallout being the droves of people who feel emboldened to retch their foulness upon the rest of us, regardless of who/what/where we were birthed), and things like people posting nothing but swastikas, and whitepower, and n*gg*r, need to be taken seriously.  And while people like NEUGAEM and Fireheart may not be attached to real people on Steam (or they might be; no doxing here, but if you post something in a public space, it's open to being made public), if Steam or anyone else is going to have a public chat window open for people to communicate for all to see, at the very least police that and ban people who insist on using hate speech because that appears to be the new hep thing people are doing nowadays.


And Thought It Really Isn't Like Me To Complain

P.S.  And for all I know, this is something that happens every year at The Game Awards and I'm just blowing things out of proportion.  And I wonder how much of this is known by the organizers of The Game Awards?  Just some post scriptal thoughts.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Monthly Update: December 2016

Thinking about what I wanted to discuss about what happened last month (the US Presidential Election aside), there is either a lot that I want to cover over a large number of sentences, or a lot that will be covered in the one sentence it's brought up in.  So let's work in semi-reverse order to how stuff happened during November 2016.

I was initially going to talk about The Game Awards 2016 that aired/streamed last night, but what was supposed to be a brief mention, maybe a paragraph at most has mushroomed into a full semi-fledged article, so know that, probably sometime next week there will be an article covering that bit of somewhat cringe worthy bit of Internetal awardsness.

In the video gaming front, I have restarted (or more accurately, gotten back into) Castlevania: Lords of Shadow because I was getting frustrated with Guacamelee! and didn't feel like jumping back into Resident Evil 5 right at that moment.  I finally managed to defeat the first Lord of Shadow, Cornell after realizing that I wasn't dodging like I should have been the umpteen dozen times I had previously spent trying to kill the Lycan bastard.  Oh, and after I finished Resident Evil: Revelations last week (or whenever it was), I started up Resident Evil 5 since it follows RE:R chronologically although the games were released three years apart, and I have started the preliminary process of a First Impressions article that will come up either next week, the following week, or sometime after those vague dates.  Then earlier in the month, a few days before Thanksgorgefestgiving, I booted up Castle Crashers for the first time and played a few hours with Chreekat.  That my friends, is a fun beat-em-up arcade style game, but you probably already knew that since it came out eight years ago on the 360.  Then, I also started up Chrono Trigger (the 2008 DS port; sensing an unintentional theme here?) although there will probably be no article about that seeing as how it's a 19 year old SNES game that doesn't need anything more said about it than, "It's a classic RPG that should be played by damn near everyone."

Oh yeah, the US Presidential Election happened, but moving on.

And what the hell was and is up with no one having a Nintendo Classic for sale besides scalpers who feel the need to buy up every one they find and charging $212 for one!?  And where did $211.99 come from?  Who came up with that number!?  353% of the MSRP?  Target, Bestbuy and Gamestop don't even have it available to order from 3rd party sellers (good on them for that though), but SchmallSchmart only has 3rd party sellers and theirs is going for $264.95.  The same thing happened with the special Black Friday edition of the New 3DS systems through Amazon that were going for the low-low price of $99.99, were quickly sold out (I read some articles that said it was within minutes) and are now being hawked for ~$164.50 (depending on the color).  This makes me genuinely afraid to see how the Nintendo Switch release is going to go.  I realized that it's a supply and demand issue here, but when people specifically buy out a product in order to create a black market so that they can make money (assuming that people are willing to pay their asking price).  But if eBay is any indicator, there are people who desperately want it enough to "bid" upwards of $177.50.  I have also seen a number of posts on various subreddits [citation needed] where people either buy consoles or games for the sole purpose of collecting said items without the intention of ever playing them.  I know this is a thing that has been around since collecting things became a thing, but for the rest of the public. . . okay, I'm'a stop whining now.

Board games this month have consisted of two sessions of Mansions of Madness, and one of Betrayal of House on the Hill, but sadly no Dungeons & Dragons for about two months, but that's what happens when you have seven people in a group and run into three months of holidays; no judgements though as neither Conklederp or I are really available on weekends from ThanksNoPoliticalTalksgiving through the beginning of the New Year.  Things are in the works for a more frequent meeting of the group, but things need to be hashed out first.

I am pretty sure that there is at least one thing that I had wanted to cover that I have since forgotten about, but sometimes you just need to cut things loose and let them wander the wilds of the Internet on their own.  Anyway, I'm going to go watch a movie now, because it's almost 10pm and I really should get this article posted before the end of the day.

A Freight Train Running Through The Middle Of My Head

P.S.  I did finish KHOLAT too, which is something that I just remembered, but there will be an article because that was a really fun game and deserves to be talked more about.