Showing posts with label PAX. Show all posts
Showing posts with label PAX. Show all posts

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Links 09-09-2010

WWdN: In Exile - bumper stickers for proud gamermoms and gamerdads
"I wonder if the current generation of about-to-be-born geeklings will appreciate how awesome it is to have geekmoms and geekdads?"
> Anyone else remember those "trophy" statues you could get at the Nintendo Store at Toys R Us? Anyone remember the Nintendo Store at Toys R Us?
TIGSource - PAX 2010: Solace
"So, I just got back from my day at PAX. There was all sorts of delightful stuff on display, fun things to do, and some very impressive demos in the expo hall. The one game that I was utterly blown away by, however, was not LittleBigPlanet 2 or Duke Nukem Forever or Final Fantasy XIV, but a student game in the PAX 10 called Solace."
> I think I could win Indie Game Bingo with this one.
Kotaku - Bastion Was The Other Buzz Game Of Penny Arcade Expo, For Good Reasons
"'He gets up.' That's the line I can't forget from Penny Arcade Expo last week. Duke Nukem had some good one-liners, sure. But Bastion is the other game people couldn't stop buzzing about. To understand it, you needed to listen to it."
> Sometimes a single gimmick is all the hook you need.

Friday, September 3, 2010

PAX Links

I'm going to be grabbing links here and there for things that catch my eye from this year's PAX Prime coverage and throwing them in here throughout the weekend ... or however long the decent coverage lasts. My comments will be in red:

12:20pm - Kotaku: New Platformer Is Ikaruga Without The Spaceships
"Ubisoft, when you show a game that is essentially Ikaruga reimagined as a platformer, congratulations, you have our undivided attention."
I want to see this in motion.
12:20pm -  Kotaku: Duke Nukem Forever Spotted At PAX 2010
"As this year's PAX convention is just about to start, photos from the Penny Arcade Expo show floor confirm that Duke Nukem Forevernow with more Gearbox Software—will have a strong presence at the show."
1:26pm - Kotaku: Your First Look at Duke Nukem Forever in Action
"Yes, Gearbox Software really is turning the perpetual vaporware Duke Nukem Forever into a real live video game bound for the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360."
Do we really consider this to be DNF though? Is this the game that's been done and redone for the last decade or is this just the game that Gearbox made to satisfy Take Two's need to continue the franchise?
1:36pm - Joystiq: First Mega Man Universe gameplay footage revealed
"The Mega Man Universe teaser trailer hinted at all sorts of cross-game franchise madness when it debuted earlier this year, and the first gameplay trailers do little more than stoke our curiosity all the more. Three teasers (courtesy of 1UP, GameSpot and IGN) each begin with an introduction from creator Keiji Inafune, and then launch into gameplay footage of this prettied up side-scrolling Mega Man title."
Yeah ... still not sure what to expect from this. That initial trailer a couple weeks ago was AMAZING though.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Year of the Black Rainbow

First things first: there probably isn't going to be a PAX East post. I know I said there would, but the simple fact is that I tried to write it all at once and that turned out to be a bad idea. What I thought was one story about PAX East was probably more like 6 stories that I should have written over time and either posted together or as I finished them. Part of my reason for having this blog is to try to become a better writer - at least at non-fiction - and learning not to bite off more than I can chew is part of that.

I do however have a post about the new Coheed & Cambria album "Year of the Black Rainbow". Being the huge Coheed fan that I am, I've had the album pre-ordered online for over a month now and like "No World for Tomorrow" before it, the album arrived at my house a few days in advance of it's release.

Before I begin, there are a couple things you need to understand about myself in regards to Coheed & Cambria:

First off: yes, I was totally listening to this band before they were "cool". As a late comer to nearly every indie or punk band or brand of music I never have stories about being into small bands before they blew up. Coheed is the one exception. The first time I ever heard Coheed & Cambria was in 2001 on the University of New Haven radio station in southern Connecticut. The song was the Delirium Trigger EP version of "Everything Evil" and my reaction was "what the fuck is that chick singing about?" It was catchy though and I ended up hearing it again, which prompted some internet investigation where I found out that Claudio was not a chick and many other things about the band as well, including the concept behind it and their planned multi-album storyline. Their first album "The Second Stage Turbine Blade" had just been released and I stole some tracks online using Napster or Lime Wire or Kazaa or whatever was the program we were all using (and we ALL were) at the time. Soon after that I tracked down the album and bought it. I've been a huge fan ever since, having bought every variation of every album and having seen the band live a dozen times, including the 4 shows in New York in October of 2008 that would end up being recorded for the epic "Neverender" live CD/DVD compilation.

Second: I'm always afraid the band is going to let me down, usually by selling out and releasing an album of radio-friendly pop-punk or nu-metal or whatever the damn kids today are listening to. I have no basis for this fear other than the fact that after recording their second album "In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3" they signed with a major label. Other than this, they have never done anything to make me think they'll ever "sell out". This is a band that does what it wants and is constantly trying new things. Every Coheed album sounds like the same band, but has it's own identity and this keeps them fresh and interested in what they're playing and that's a damn sight better than most other major label acts.

Third: Coheed's last album "No World for Tomorrow" simply blew me away. I can't put my finger on it, but there's something about the sound on that album that grabs me. It's clean, powerful, and captivating. It's the epic conclusion not only to a 4 album story saga, but 4 albums worth of musical growth. It's easily the most obviously narrative of the 4 (now 5) albums of the Amory Wars series and every song has it's own unique identity. Whenever I've been away from that album for a while and I put it on I get blown away all over again. It is unlikely that they will ever make a record I like more than No World for Tomorrow, but I always hope that they do.

All that being the case, when I get a new Coheed album (especially after No World...) I'm critical of it. Even back when I first heard In Keeping Secrets, I wasn't sure what I thought of it. I thought "Blood Red Summer" was a total cop out song at first and now I love it. "From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness" was the same way and although it's my least favorite of their albums I still love it, especially the Willing Well suite of songs. So given all the above it's not surprising to find out that I'm not sure what I think about "Year of the Black Rainbow" right now. Once again, Coheed & Cambria are a band trying new things and while I'm sure I'll get used to it and I know it's the right thing to do, there is a part of me that is bummed that this album wasn't instantly a bigger and better version of No World. I'll get over that though.

Initially, Year of the Black Rainbow feels similar to From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness in that the songs sound fairly homogeneous. Even now after listening to the From Fear for years, "Crossing the Frame", "Once Upon Your Dead Body", and "The Lying Lies and Dirty Secrets of Miss Erica Court" all kind of blend together for me and only the fact that I've become attached to "Apollo I", "Wake Up", "The Suffering", and "Mother May I", allows me to find any auditory definition in that block of the album. Also with Year of the Black Rainbow as in From Fear, I have issues with the production. With From Fear my issue was the over-tracking of Cladio's vocals. It's something I know he does on his own with his demos and that he did with his solo project The Prize Fighter Inferno, but I'm not a fan of double tracked vocals to begin with and this was beyond double in some cases. The man's got a great voice and I'd rather hear it naturally. With Year of the Black Rainbow, my problem with the production is the heavy use of effects, sequencing, and post-processing. None of these things are bad on their own and they can be good choices musically, but I feel that here they are muddying up the tracks and making it more difficult to find that auditory bite in each song. I know it's there, but on my initial listen I wasn't hearing it so much.

All that being said, these are definitely good songs, but their identity is something new that I've yet to become familiar with. Such is the case with most great and challenging art though. In time I'm sure I'll grow to love it as much as I do the others, but I do think it will be lumped with From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness in my hierarchy. It's great to hear new Coheed though and to see that the band is still trying new things and playing their asses off. I'm looking forward to seeing them live for the 13th time later this month and seeing what they do next now that the story of the Amory Wars is complete.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Impending PAX East Update

I went to PAX East this past weekend and while I'd love to give a recap, there's simply too much material to write about at the moment and with a pretty full week ahead of me I may not get to the update until this weekend.

"Full" You say. "Full of what?"

Well tomorrow I've got Ted Leo and the Pharmacists at Emo's downtown. I've somehow managed to miss every chance I've had before to see Ted headline and only for stupid reasons like work or not thinking to buy tickets far enough in advance and while I did get to see him a couple years ago when he opened for Pearl Jam in DC, it's not the same. This time I've got it locked down though. With "The Brutalist Bricks" having turned out to be an excellent album (even if side two is a little weak) I'm very much looking forward to seeing Leo live.

Thursday is game night, when Charlie will most likely attempt to flatten us with another UFO in our GURPS game as we rush violently toward the senses-shattering climax of the campaign. It's honestly been a blast and while I've enjoyed the chance to play zombie-killing trucker/ex-soldier Burt Jackson, a man whose love for his truck knows no bounds, I'm really looking forward to rolling up a character for our next GURPS excursion with Charlie's Firefly-themed campaign.

And Friday ... well, I've got nothing specific going on Friday, but if there are any good movies, that's likely what I'll end up doing. In either case, my PAX East update will be up sometime this weekend in which I will regale you with tales of Boston, the Penny Arcade Expo, how much I hate the cold, and realizing that Wil Wheaton is slightly shorter than I expected.