Friday, September 19, 2014

Maximum Overload

So a week ago I decided I needed some new music, and found that Dragonforce came out with a new album:

Their second album since the sad departure of ZP Theart, It continues the tradition of being frickin' amazing!  I have to admit, their new guy, Marc Hudson, is pretty dang good.

The first three tracks: The Game, Tomorrow's Kings, and No More continue to be what I call "standard Dragonforce."  It's fast, it's loud, it sounds pretty much like all the rest.  This isn't necessarily a bad thing, and the songs are growing on me like they usually do, but with a new album, I expect something new.

Fortunately the next few songs of the album deliver the "new."  Three Hammers, while not nearly as awesome as Cry Thunder from their previous album, is still fantastic.   

Symphony of the Night (no, really) just made me all sorts of squee.  First of all, it's got harpsichord and organ (which won me over right there) and has a fairly Rhapsody of Fire feel to it, and a definite "Castlevania" feel, while still being very much Dragonforce.

The Sun is Dead gets the award for "If you hadn't told me this was a Dragonforce song I wouldn't have guessed it was." It's not bad at all, it just has more of a Progressive Rock feel than Heavy Metal.

Defenders, while having a similar feel to "Standard Dragonforce" gets a special mention for having a chord progression extremely similar to Heart of the Storm from the previous album.`

The other complaint you'll hear about Dragonforce other than "it all sounds the same" is that it's "video game music." Now this is usually said in reference to the fact that playing the songs is "impossible" outside of a studio.  Not only is this blatantly untrue (Twilight Dementia might have something to say about that) but it's insulting to dismiss it out of hand. 

Anyway, my point with all this is that Extraction Zone at one point during the bridge literally turns into video game-esque beeps and boops.  It's hilarious.

City of Gold is actually another song that sounds pretty much like any other Dragonforce song.  Not much else to really say about it.

Ring of Fire is pretty much everything you would expect from Dragonforce doing a cover on the Johnny Cash classic.  It's not like when Blind Guardian does Surfin USA or when Hammerfall does My Sharona, it doesn't even try to imitate the original.  It's very much the Dragonforce version of Ring of Fire.  It's also the first Cover Dragonforce has done on their non-"Special Edition" albums.

Speaking of: I did buy the Special Edition for this album.  I don't really have anything to say about any of the bonus tracks; nothing really that stands out, other than You're not alone being very much the "rock ballad" of the album. And the fact that Galactic Astro Domination may seem familiar:


So yeah, if you're a Dragonforce fan, pick up this album.  It's worth it.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Zoe Quinn

I suppose I'll make a blog post on this debacle, considering I'm blogging again and this is still somehow something that's being talked about after a month.  A month, that's like 30 years in internet time.

(I love how he's looking at the cat)

If you've managed to get this far and haven't heard about Zoe Quinn and #gamergate, I suggest this video as a primer:

So, Zoe Quinn, the unattractive troll who slept her way into recognition and lied her way onto Steam.  What is there to say that really hasn't been said already?  You can follow the video to its Youtube page where there are many, many videos about the issue.

 So the game industry and journalism is corrupt?

I've seen game after game get 9s and 10s for no conceivable reason.  Games that are terrible in a great many senses of the word.  I guess one thing to say, if you're going to take something away from this, is always, always, always look at the negative reviews.  And look at the user reviews, ignore the industry stooges.

Of course, hiring the stooges doesn't always work.

(oh, and FYI, don't pay any attention to metacritic. People haven't taken it seriously for like 6 years, and I never did.)

Gaming journalism is part of the marketing arm of the games industry.  This should be obvious.  There are a great many games being made that are outright terrible, but they have graphics, so they get sold.  They're like Michael Bay movies.  Yes, they look pretty, but I'm not wasting my money on them because they're not good  Sure, every now and then an average quality game comes out and people (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻, but that, unfortunately, is the exception, rather than the rule.

Anyway, back on topic:

I think the real reason for the madness of #gamergate  stems from gamers' reaction from feminism's intrusion into games.  People are extremely shocked to see the lies, cover-ups, and just plain corruption rampant in the world applied to something they are invested in.

And yes, I mean feminism, not non-whites, women, or other minorities. People with claims of "mysogyny" and other deflecting, like claiming that everyone who opposes the corruption is a virgin straight white male neckbeard troll spawned in 4chan are the exact reason that #notyourshield was born.

Anyway, I've talked enough about this, and I've hopefully given you enough resources for a starting point to gather your own facts and come to your own conclusions.  (please, don't take my word for anything, I'm just some random blogger on the internet.)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy

In case you haven't heard in the past Month and a half, this movie is flippin' fantastic.

I just got back from watching it, and wow, I say WOW!  I'm just completely blown away by this movie.

If you can't tell by the poster, trailers, or anything else you may have seen about the movie, This is a complete and utter 80's space opera science fiction popcorn movie blast.  In fact, the trailers and promotional material will probably tell you everything you need to know.  If anything about this sounds like something you don't want to see, then by all means skip this movie.  If you think the concept of a walking tree and a talking Raccoon is completely dumb, then by all means skip this movie.

If, on the other hand, this sounds awesome like it did to me, or even if you just find it mildly interesting, I'd suggest seeing this movie. Several times. With friends if possible.

It's not a perfect movie, but This is easily the best movie I've seen this year (granted, there's not a whole lot of competition in that regard) and easily the best Marvel movie I've seen yet. (Better than the Avengers. Yeah.)

Remember that: It's a Marvel movie.  It's not Inception, It's not The Dark Knight, and it's not Watchmen.  The story is predictable, (I don't think there's anything that happens that I didn't call ahead of time,) it's not (remotely) cerebral, and there's nothing really new about it, and it's not breaking into any new territory.

The thing is, the movie is good enough that I just don't care about any of that. 

Also, bear in mind that all of the criticisms of this movie can also be said of Star Wars: A new hope.  A movie which, unsurprisingly, this movie feels a lot like, and obviously lifts heavily from (the inside of the main character's ship, The (Alyssa) Milano seems awfully similar to the inside of The Millenium Falcon for example.

In short, (TL;DR) this is by no means a perfect movie, but if you think you might like this movie, go see it.  If you are merely interested, go see it.  Heck, even if you think you won't like it and you just want to see what all the fuss is about, go see it anyway so you can annoy everyone you know by nitpicking it to death.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a strange urge to watch Spaceballs again.

Hyrule Warriors

We interrupt this silence to give you this special report:

Hoe.  Lee.  CRAP!

This game looks like it will actually be good.  I mean, of course it does, because Nintendo's not making it.  The more I learn about this game, the more I think that it might actually be worth the $300-$500 to buy a Wii U.  Just for this ONE freakin' game.

I can only hope that this game outsells that other game coming out with the Zelda IP, because this is far, far closer to what people have been asking for.

I don't care if it is just a Dynasty Warrior game with a Zelda skin; Still a Better Zelda Game than Spirit Tracks.