Games Meet Metal: 2011

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Monday, December 26, 2011

A very METAL holiday greetings from Riff!

Hey gang, how's it going? Just chiming in here real quick to say happy Hellmas to all and that hopefully Satan Claus got everyone oodles of evil heavy metal music and gory video games to go along with the evil tunes. Myself, it was a weak year, as most of the family had to foreclose on their homes (yours truly included), and thus money just wasn't around. The only real gift I received was a $225 break on my auto repairs, which I will finally have paid off by the end of this week.

It's been a tough holiday season also because my mother is still in the hospital. Looks like she may be having some minor surgery to correct some other surgery she had a few years ago. Yeah, pretty damn redundant, but she has the insurance to pay for it all, so we're not too worried. Just horrible timing. Christmas ended up being split between home, the hospital, and my older sister's place. The best thing I learned at my sister's is not only is my teenage niece a budding metalhead, but she's now a full-on gamer, with a 360 and PS3 to occupy her time. Sounds like I can still give some advice to a younger generation.

Now, it's time to look towards the new year. While a ton of personal setbacks really impacted the site, I'm hoping I can make some ground up real soon. Both Machine Head and Trivium have headlining tours coming through the area next month, and it'll be great to hit them up. Not to mention the games! Final Fantasy XIII-2, a new Silent Hill, TWO Resident Evil games, Mass Effect 3, and that's just the first quarter of the year! Not to mention the confirmed trips out to PAX East and E3.

On that note, I'll let you all get back to your altars of Lucifer or your session of Skyrim, whichever you happen to be doing at the time. Thank you and happy holidays!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

8-bit Metal Mondays On Tuesday

Sorry peeps, mom's been in the hospital the past week. Priorities, ya know.

So, Skyrim. I really hadn't had much time to invest into it when I first got it. Now, though, I'm about 20 hours in and deep in to the Thieve's Guild missions. I am enjoying Skyrim so much more than Oblivion. While the previous Elder Scrolls was a great game, the numeral design flaws were just ruining the experience for me. Skyrim's not perfect either, but there's so much more good than bad that it's easy to overlook the flaws. Oh, and the decapitations are always a sweet reward for a hard fought battle.

Now, we go on to the Skyrim metal bleepiness! There's actually been no shortage of metal versions of Skyrim's awesome main theme, so here's a selection of them.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Games Meet Metal to hit the big gaming conventions once again!

Just got the confirmations today! Yes, yours truly will once again be plunking his hard earned money down for plane tickets and hotel rooms in Boston and Los Angeles for PAX East and E3, respectively. While  my paperwork has gone threw as far as being a regular attendee of both shows, there's still a wait for media passes. I predict it'll be similar to last year: okayed for PAX, getting the Gestapo treatment from the E3 people. In the end, we'll see what happens.

Now if I can just afford to go to PAX Prime in the summer, then I'll have finally "hit the cycle."

Monday, December 12, 2011

8-bit Metal Mondays: Almost Fucking Up

This past weekend, I nearly made the dumbest of mistakes. In my Facebook, there was an entry from Rammstein, Germany's favorite export. Outside of fetish poo porn, that is. It was a pretty bland post. Just their guitarist's name, Paul Linders, and a date. Pretty stark, but it seemed gloomy. Then it hit me: holy fucknuts, Paul's dead!

Before typing anything up, I did some quick research, just to make sure I wasn't losing it. Every news source I checked, however, wasn't saying a thing. Alive? Dead? Who knows? Either I just stumbled on a major music news story, or I looked at something very wrong. I went back to the original Facebook posting, and looked at it again. There's Paul's name, today's date, but just today's date. Um.... oh wait! Stupid ass me! It's the guy's BIRTHDAY!!! He didn't keel over, he's just another year closer to Death's door. Wow, THAT would of been embarrassing. Writing up an obituary for a guy who didn't need one yet. Thanks, Facebook!

So, since I got the nutty Germans on the mind, how about some bleepy music from them? Here's Senchust.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The 2011 Video Game Awards Live Blog!

.Oh God, the VGA's. I watched last year's edition and practically died of boredom. The only thing that saved the show were the world premiere trailers they ran in between their meaningless awards. Well, they're doing it again, and I just happen to have Saturday night off. My pain is now truly your gain

We're gonna start with the online pre-show special, which will have a few awards and a reveal or two.

Talking with the host of the show, the star of Chuck, Blah blah ass kiss ass kiss.

New trailer for Hitman: Absolution playing. All CGI, but pretty cool looking. No release date.

Mortal Kombat reboot gets Best Fighting Game award.

Cliffy B up for a chat. He's looking casual, and his date dressed for the Grammies.

Oh God, these pre-show hosts are horrible. Nothing but talking heads reading cue cards.

Going through the best shooter nominees. Rage got nominated? That thing was a disappointment!

Ellen McClain wins award for Bets Female Voice in a game for GlaDos for Portal 2. Hey, a good choice!

Bethesda's head schmo is up to plug his stuff.

Now the Arkham Asylum guys are showing the self love. Ugh, this is hard to sit through. Doesn't make me hopeful for the show.

Oh great, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater is coming back in HD. Hopefully it doesn't have it's own goofy skateboard controller. Oh, download only. No board!

Bastion gets Best Downloadable Game, Best Score, and Best Song From a Game.

Going over the Game of the Year nominees.

Geoff Keighley plugging the CES coverage.

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 announced. I thought Namco was working on Tekken X Street Fighter.

Show starts proper now.

For the record, Deadmau5 is doing the in-house music. Kind of a step down for him. On the flipside, I'd love to see his paycheck.

Okay, opening speech is running way too damn long.

A live tea bagging. Truly, the pinnacle of comedy.

Hyping Portal 2's GOTY nomination.

Why the hell is on this show? Oh, he's world premiering something.

The Last of Us world premiere. Kinda looks like I Am Legend in video game form.

Arkham City gets Best Action Adventure, Bets 360 Game, and Best Adapted. Zelda shoulda won the first one.

Joker gets Character of the Year treatment.

LL Cool J? He still gets work?

Mass Effect 3 gets Most Anticipated Game, and a SWANK new trailer!!!

Another premiere, with Bioware's Command and Conquer Generals 2.

A Jonas brother? Really?

Now Nathan Drake gets the Character of the Year push.

Now the Rainbow 6: Patriots premiere. Yeesh, these trailers are hella short.

NFL Blitz cover athlete selection. Why bother? It's a downloadable game!

Skyrim pimping for GOTY.

The Workaholics from Comedy Central debuting the Alan Wake sequel. Now it's called Alan Wake's American Nightmare.

Seth Green inducting Zelda into the Hall of Fame.

Hey, it's Shigeru Miyamoto!! SWEET!! He kept it short, since his English isn't the greatest.

Character of the Year treatment for Wheatley from Portal 2.

Uncharted 3 pimping for GOTY.

Tony Hawk throwing out the new Spiderman trailer. Hey, it actually looks good! Probably because it isn't based off a movie.

Oh, Hogan. Joy. Now they start rattling of a shit ton of awards. Uncharted 3 gets best graphics. Zelda got best motion controls. Minecraft got best independent. Portal 2 gets a bunch of awards. Too damn many to list, actually.

Character of the Year dealio for Marcus Fenix.

Black Keys performance. Not too shabby, actually. If Shigeru can bop along to them, then they're not all that bad.

Now they're showing some Youtuber and his rant on last year's show. Um, point? Oh, there was no point.

Hey, Stacy Kiebler. Nice to see the legs held up.

Transformers: Fall of Cybertron trailer premiere. Like to know what song they're using.

GOTY pimp time for Zelda: Skyward Sword.

Charlie Sheen! Damn, he's looking scrawnier every time I see him. Losing.

Call of Duty wins Best Shooter. Not exactly a shock.

Jerry Rice announces the Blitz cover. Yay.

Cliffy B's out to show their new IP. Called Fortnite. Looks like a Minecraft clone with cartoony graphics and an emphasis on reverse engineering.

Jason Biggs and Sean William Scott out to give the Game God award to Blizzard.

Intro cinema for Diablo 3. Pretty impressive.

Felicia Day and Bioshock time. Nice short trailer, but I'm noticing a trend here. Not a soul is announcing any release dates.

2 UFC guys who just beat the shit out of each other are out to give the Character of the Year award. That must be awkward. And the Joker wins.

Game of the Year time, and Skyrim gets the nod. Really was hoping Zelda would win.

Kojima time! Metal Gear Rising time as well! Trailer already leaked, but it is nice to hear the official word.

And... that's it! A mild improvement over last year's show. The awards still mean nothing, and it doesn't look like they will in the future either. As far as the trailers go, Mass Effect 3 and Metal Gear Rising were the best to me, mainly because they showed the most gameplay. Spiderman looked better I thought. I was really hoping more from the Bioshock Infinite trailer. Everything else was just small announcements to say, "Hey, this is coming out eventually!", and not giving any real release dates. It wasn't like last year, where Skyrim and Mass Effect 3 each got dates. Just more of a continuous tease.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Remembering a Great Musician

It's been seven years since that tragic night when "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott took the stage for the final time. He was senselessly gunned down by a so-called fan just before starting a set with Damageplan, his current band at the time. No one knows why it happened, all we know is that metal lost one of its most important figures that night. His distinctive screech is instantly recognizable and no one has dared try to replicate it.

Personally I've been a fan of Dime's since the mid 90s when I started to get into metal. Much Music used to play a show on Saturday nights dedicated solely to metal, and every show had at least one Pantera tune on it. Pantera and Damageplan are still bands that I listen to on a regular basis and now my kids are starting to show an interest in their music as well. Take today to remember this guitar god and crank the hell outta some metal!

Monday, December 5, 2011

New Lamb Of God!! Streaming Now!! Go Listen!! Exclamation points!!!!!

My pimping of Lamb of God knows no bounds. As long as they can keep bringing the awesome, I'll keep bringing the drooling fanboy appreciation. The slobbering fandom continues with the first track off of LOG's new album, Resolution, which is out on January 24th and it'll be ready for pre-order on iTunes tomorrow. The new track, Ghost Walking, is streaming now at the Metal Sucks site.

I just finished listening to the track myself, and it's pretty solid. It's pretty obviously a LOG track, so I'm guessing that they're not trying to reinvent themselves here. I'd say Ghost Walking has the fierceness of a Wrath track, but more of the melodies that Sacrament had.

Alright, enough of me drooling on the floor. The mop's wrecked as it is. Go listen to that good stuff!

Okay fatass where the hell ya been for a month?

Repairs. Lots of repairs. Here, let me explain.

After I had typed up the last 8-Bit Metal Monday column, I was in the process of doing an Uncharted 3 review. After I downloaded the pictures I wanted to use for said review, I commenced with my usual writing ritual: plug in a pair of headphones to listen to ear-splitting metal while I commence to typing. Helps the old noggin think, ya see. Well, a particular feline within the household decided I had listened to enough of the devil's music and had chewed through the cables. Eh, no accounting for taste.

Quick, to the blackened Suzuki Esteem of light gas consumption so I can go pick up a cheapie replacement! Turn key, no start. Turn key again, ditto. Ruh roh. My mechanic brother takes a look and says it just needs a jump. We hook up the cables, I turn the key, and CLANG CLONK THRIP TING TANG! All of that came within the engine. Removing the engine's top cover revealed that a piece of metal that served as a guide for the timing chain and broken off. This in turn snapped the chain and seized one of the main valves. Thus, neither the car or myself were to pick up new headphones that day. Oh no, poor Riffie had to get a whole new engine.

After getting the dollar amounts, it turned out getting an engine put into the car was less expensive than a new car, but that didn't mean it was cheap. This was going to evaporate all my available cash as well as whatever I had put away for a rainy day. That's when I finally just gave up. After having to move several times this year, losing my job (but I did get it back, it just didn't help with the stress), and now having all my savings depleted, I became mentally blank. I couldn't write a damn thing. Oh I tried, but nothing came of it at all.

So, I decided to pour all my mental well being into getting the vehicle fixed, no matter what the cost. Having family help out did lower the costs, but it still took awhile, as they have day jobs too. Finally, as of this past Thursday, the damn thing lives again. As expected, other things ended up needing to be purchased (all fluids, water pump, c v valve, new rear brake pads and rotors), and I'm in the red right now with owing money for a bunch of the stuff, but at least the damn thing can get me from place to place now.

Now that I have the weight of not having to find rides to work and back (but with a dollar total still hanging over my head), I can now put my mental powers back into being a nerd on this here blog. Me thinks I'll be writing a review of the new Zelda game by Friday, as well as taking a look at a few of the latest ep's to swarm the metal world as of late.

Devin Townsend Project - The Bearded and The Bald Tour; Another Another Disturbying Concert Review

Devin Townsend and his cohorts snuck silently into Winnipeg last night to play the third of eleven shows on the Devin Townsend Project's "The Bearded and the Bald Tour." Now, I know that Hevy Devy isn't the most popular musician around, but I don't think I heard an official announcement anywhere for this tour. Hell, even Dev's own site doesn't have anything listed. So when my buddy told me about it a week ago I had a hard time believing that the Devin Townsend Project was actually playing here. So, I consulted the internets some more and I was able to buy tickets for it so I guess that meant it was a sure thing! Without knowing anything about the show (other than the fact that DTP was playing) my friend and I braved the Winnipeg cold and headed over to The Pyramid.

Monday, November 7, 2011

8-bit Metal Mondays: So, there's a game coming out tomorrow...

....and it's one of the most highly anticipated games EVVVAARRR!!! Seriously, just read the ads, for they never lie! It's one of the biggest war/combat series of all time, with millions of fanboys screaming it's awesomeness, whether you want to hear it or not. An it's releasing at midnight tonight! Oh good golly geez, I can't wait! Of course I'm talking about....

The new MGS collection! High def, baby!

Huh? What's wrong? Why the forlorn look? You mad bro?

OH! You mean that OTHER game! Modern Warfare, I see! Well, screw that game! Part two was a major disappointment, and while Black Ops had a great single player mode, I knew that the money was truly sunk into multiplayer, and any hopes of additional single player content went bye bye. The same goes for that Battlefield series. Same thing, different company.

So, screw all these samey looking reality war simulators! I want my convoluted storylines, impossible-to-make mechs, and sneaky action!

Thus, to commemorate the re-release of some real gems of gaming, let's hear some not-too-bleepy metal renditions of some classic MGS tunes.

Friday, November 4, 2011

R.I.P Corey Smoot, aka Flattus Maximus of Gwar

Wow, what shitty news to come home to. I got to see Corey in all his putrid glory several times, and he truly was a great guitarist. Rest in peace, you awesome scumdog of the universe.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Grand Theft Auto V Trailer Debuted Today, and...

Not impressed. Yet, anyways. There's some promise. Looks like planes are back, and Rockstar appears to be tackling some bigger issues. The recession is clearly shown, and immigrant workers may also be addressed. However, the GTA series is starting to look  a bit dated. With part 4 being a disappointment, part 5 better swing for the fences.

One thing is for sure: if an in-game "kuzeen" of mine calls me just once to go out to play darts, I'm bashing the fucking disc with a mallet!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Lamb of God To Release New Awesomeness, Possible Suspects in Blowing Shit Up

Whenever Lamb of God release new music, I get all goosebumpy and stuff. An LOD record is a sure thing to be good, as they haven't let me down yet. The new album will be called Resolution, and will be out on January 24th. You can start your pre-order at their online store, but I'd honestly wait. The combos available now are pretty weak compared to what LOG have done in the past, so I'm betting some swankier ones are gonna pop up in a bit.

There's some cover art too, but it kinda bothers me.

Okay, deserty and everything, but the hell is burning in the background? We get closer and we see.....

AW SNAP! Lamb of God made Nathan Drake crash land in the desert! All for the sake of a cover photo. Damn Virginians.

Monday, October 31, 2011

8-bit Metal Mondays: My turn!

Finally, after a week delay because of a broken down truck, I'm finally all set and ready to go after my second move of the year. This time I made doubly sure that there isn't some mysterious 3rd party whose name is on the house and who will kick me out on a moment's notice. Honestly, twice in one year is good enough.

While we're at it, happy Halloween! So, for some return bleepiness, let's do some spooky stuff. Also, look out in the next couple of days as I try to get everyone caught up to speed on everything I've been playing and listening to these past few weeks. Until then, enjoy some bleepy Type O Negative.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Last Week In Video Games

The turkey has worn off and now it's time to recap the happenings of last week. In my own gaming news, I got a Sony Xperia Play on Friday and I've been loading it up with a ton of stuff. It comes pre-loaded with a few games, but I've only really tried out Crash Bandicoot. It plays just fine thanks to the built in controller and the graphics were given a slight facelift to remove all of those ugly pixels from the original. Really the only disappointment I have with the phone is that Sony had mentioned that there would be a lot of games available only a few months after launch, yet here we are and they still only have 7 titles which were available right from the start. So here's one gamer crossing his fingers for more releases. Castlevania Symphony of the Night anyone?
  • Looks like Street Fighter X Tekken will be out a little sooner than expected. How's March 6th, 2012 sound?
  • Resistance 3 failed to perform, selling only 180,000 copies.
  • Blizzard is auctioning off some original WoW servers for charity. In other news, Blizzard is padding it's online security to look for fake servers in WoW.
  • The iOS game Infinity Blade will been seen on 46" screens across North America. Look for them the next time you go to Dave & Buster's.
  • Rock Star planning to release GTA 3 on some iOS and Android devices in celebration of the game's 10th anniversary.
  • A new smaller Wii will be released in North America this month. Other than the size difference, this new model also loses its Gamecube backwards compatibility.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Time to re-emerge

Hi kiddies, miss me? Well, I missed you, and if I could, I'd give you all snuggles! And five bucks.

So, where's Riff been? Well, life threw me a bit if a curve ball a few weeks back when I was informed that I needed to find a new place to live. Now, this wasn't like last time, where I had something planned out. This was eventual homelessness! So, I had to take a hiatus from the site and get on the horn to potential room renters. Let me tell ya something: if you ever want to run the gamut of weirdos, call around about renting rooms. You'll never meet more potential homicidal maniacs or suicidally depressed people in your life. Or maybe that's just a Michigan thing, I don't know.

Eventually, I did find a place, but it's with family. At least the rent is cheap and I'll be living with people who are at least as equally coocoo as I am. I hope to be moved in and ready to go by next week, or the beginning of the following week at the latest. Then, GMM can get regularly updated by yours truly again.

Big ups to Sturby for keeping the site alive. Hopefully I can catch Opeth when they come around here in a couple weeks so I can view the awesome.

Until then, keeps those horns raised and those buttons jamming.


PS: Amongst all the all the hooplah, I was able to whip threw Rage for the 360. Not to give too much away, but you may want to make that a rental, not a purchase.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

8-Bit Metal Mondays: Giving Thanks For Opeth

It's been three days since I saw Opeth and I still feel like I missed something from the show. While talking amongst my friends it seems like I should have enjoyed it a lot more than I did. I can never really come up with a negative thing about the show, other than there were a few songs I would have rather heard than what was played. But the same could be said for any concert. So am I becoming on of "those people" that only like a band for a few of their songs and could care less about the rest of their catalog? I sure hope not.

Truth is, it's been a while now since I've listened to an Opeth album from start to finish (other than the new one which I've listened to twice now). Going back, I need to remember that Opeth has been known for mixing up their brutal music with melodic pieces and it's been happening more and more often since 2001's Blackwater Park. That's 10 years of melodic and brutal Opeth that I've loved every minute of. So why am I so surprised by Heritage and the acoustic set in their latest show? By all means I shouldn't be. Yet here I sit, still on the fence about Opeth's current musical direction. I don't know what it's going to take to win me over again, which is just rediculous with what I have planned for the 8-bit song this week. Here's what Opeth's Harvest would sound like if it was on your favourite 8-bit console:

Please help me.

Last Week in Video Games

I apologize that I am a day late, but I have a fairly good excuse. This weekend was Thanksgiving here in Canada, so it was filled with food, family and watching sports. Not a lot of time to get to my PC and do anything really. So here's a Thanksgiving edition of what happened last week in video games.

For a while now, pretty much everything coming out of the Nintendo camp is how awesome the 3DS is and why you should go out and buy one. You know, cause now you can hold a Red DS that will burn your eyes out. Anyway, I was delighted to see a little bit of gossip regarding the Wii U recently. Word has it that EA loves it and will be bringing some of their key franchises to the new console. Specifics weren't given of course, and really it shouldn't come as much of a surprise. EA is kind of known for porting games across multiple platforms, so it would be uncharacteristic for them to turn their back on Nintendo's latest console. Oh well, sometimes stating the obvious is all that's needed in the gaming industry. This just in: Mario will have a new power in his new 3DS game! WHY HAVEN'T YOU BOUGHT ONE YET?!

Other than nothing really new from Nintendo, the rest of the gaming world is still just counting down the days til they can start counting all of their Christmas money. Hopefully I'll have something awesome for you next week. But for now, check out these tidbits.
  • A lot of sources are reporting that the writer's behind Toy Story will be writing a Farmville script. Hopefully this is one of those scripts that never sees the light of day.
  • The Raving Rabbids from the Rayman universe will have their own TV series on Nick Toons soon. Not too sure how that's going to work out.
  • A sequal for Transformers: War For Cybertron (titled Fall of Cybertron) was announced. No dates hinted for its release though.
  • Screenshots? Check out Battlefield 3, Super Mario 3D Land, and Of Orcs and Men.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Opeth w/Katatonia: Another Disturbying Concert Review

Tonight Opeth rolled through town playing at the legendary Burton Cummings Theater. The BCT used to be called the Walker Theater and it was originally opened back in 1907. This building is gorgeous. Obviously its original design was not meant for metal shows, but since the demand for metal concerts has gotten bigger, bans have to look to other venues to sell more tickets. The BCT holds about 1700 people and the sound is excellent. It was designed during a time where there amplifiers of any kind did not exist. The only real problem with the venue is that there are so many seats so you can really start a mosh pit, or crowd surf. I've seen good number of concerts at the BCT and I always look forward to hearing a band play there. Plus, it's probably only venue where you can smell some dude's weed a couple rows ahead only to have it over powered by fresh popcorn being made at the bar. But enough history, let us talks abouts metals.

Monday, October 3, 2011

8-bit Metal Mondays: Be gentle, it's my first time.

Howdy. Riff's been MIA for a while so I'm gonna try my hand at 8-bit Metal Monday. Only I'm going to double the bits and play a song from Rock n' Roll Racing. That's right, I'm going 16-bit this week. What's that, you've never heard of Rock n' Roll Racing? Well, come here you young gamer you, and Sturby will tell you all about it.

In short: It's a racing game where your cars have weapons that allow you to edge out your opponents while you zip around tracks to classic rock songs. And not just a classic rock inspired soundtrack. Full blown MIDI covers of awesome rock tunes. Plus, the game art, tracks, cars and characters were all heavily inspired by hard rock and metal bands. This game was just 100% amazing. It was originally released in 1993 for the SNES and Genesis and then re-released on the GBA in 2003. It is a must play title and if you find it anywhere, you should just by it and your awesome points will go up by 9,000.

Hope that gives you a little incentive to pick up this classic. If not, here's Highway Star as done by Rock n' Roll Racing.

You can also race to Bad to the Bone, Born to Be Wild, Paranoid, Peter Gunn, and Radar Love and each one of them is as great as Highway Star.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Last Week In Video Games

Heeeeeeey. I remember these things. I apologize for the long break that these weekly posts took. I figure I would take a week off during E3 but then that turned into a few months. Well, summer's over and weekend events are coming to a close. Time to hole up in my house on the weekends and prepare for a brutally cold winter of listening to metal, playing video games and watching movies, TV shows, hockey and football. Which is kind of a good thing because we're just about to get into the video game industry's Christmas season. A ton of high profile games are about to be released and most likely a ton of deals on the horizons. So, lets take a look at what went down last week.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Toxic Holocaust, Holy Grail, and The Krum Bums: The Riff Live Review

Wednesday, August 24th @ The Magic Stick

Funny thing old, burnt out computers. They make you think you lost a bunch of stuff. In my case, I thought I had forever lost the photos to this show. That was something I was very bummed out about, as the show was a hell of a lot of fun. Well, luck be to thee, as I have finally recovered said photos from the old comp's hard drive and are now resting comfortably in my heavy duty external drive, begging to be used. So, even though it may be a month after the show was played, we can still take a look back, so shall we?

Monday, September 19, 2011

8-bit Metal Mondays: So how do they move around in those suits and all those steroids?

Today is a special day for me and my nerd brethren. It's the release of Gears of War 3, one of the big blockbuster games to come out before the holidays truly start. Gears is kind of an odd series fame wise, in that it sells gazillions of copies, and yet still hasn't got the same respect as the Halo or Call of Duty has gotten. Oh, it's gonna make the developers some loot, that's for sure. Just get back to me after the sales numbers come back for both Gears and the new Call of Duty, and we'll see which one made more bank.

One fact about the game that has been crammed down our collective throats is that Ice-T is voicing a character in the game. Now, I love Ice-t. He's one of the greatest rappers ever in my mind, and he had a pretty decent metal band with Body Count. Having said that, when the hell did he become such a nerd? The man used to be a pimp and a drug dealer! He rapped and screamed about being a copkiller! Now he brags about his gamerscore and the freebies he gets from game companies. Granted, getting a Lancer replica for free is pretty gangsta. You just don't expect to hear it from someone who's faced incarceration on multiple occasions. In the end, I guess you can just lay it upon the altar of having a successful life. Hey, people have done lamer things once they became financially wealthy.

Now, onto the bleepy stuff! Since there doesn't seem to be any 8-bit remixes of Body Count stuff, here's their promo song for Gears of War.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Looking Back With Bloodshot Eyes: A Series Retrospective!!!

This generation of video games might as well be called the re-hash period. Companies are going ga-ga over re-releasing many of their older catalog titles in glorious HD. For some, it's a chance for often forgotten classics to get a second chance. Beyond Good And Evil is a fine example, as it found new life on Xbox Live and PSN with beefed-up visuals for a budget price. The Ico/Colossus package also gives Ico a chance to stand equally with it's spiritual sequel instead of being overshadowed by it. Other times, it gives older titles in established franchises a chance to be rediscovered by fans that became involved later in the series. Metal Gear, Sly Cooper, Splinter Cell, Resident Evil, and eventually Devil May Cry are all guilty of double dipping. However, one series had to start the trend, and it just happens to be one of the best of all time. Since it's second collection of HD remakes just came out today, let's take a look back at the first collection and make our way to the end of the series.

Ladies and germs, I present the God of War Retrospective Part One!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

8-bit Metal Mondays: Finally, tranquility!

Hell just didn't seem to stop for me. After several weeks of crap upon crap dumped on me, I was given three days off in a row last week! Mini vacation, right? Well, my ass ended up being called in. Every. Single. Day. Let me tell ya, that'll just kill any motivation you have. But now the shit is over with for now, and I have some major catch-up work to do.

One of the things that has been holding me back is not having access to my music library. I'm a pro at setting up gaming consoles, but my skills with a new computer are generally pretty crappy. So, when I was forced to upgrade to a new laptop recently, I couldn't get the damn thing to access my external hard drive and give breath to the oodles of awesome metal that lay within. Turned out I just needed to rewire my usb hub. So, yeah, I'm an idiot.

Now that I've finally got access to my tunage, the first thing I did was listen to new stuff. For me, that was the new Trivium. Yeah, it's not new now, but I haven't listened to it, so it's new to me. Damn, that title track is a great slice of harmonious metal! I still have to give it a few more spins, but it's looking like a contender for album of the year.

So, in honor of Trivium being awesome, let's do some bleepy music from them. Here's In Waves.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

8-bit Metal Mondays: God, I'm doing this soooooo late

So, y'all have noticed that there's been a few less articles on the site lately. Well, there's three reasons:

1. The Woodward Cruise recently happened, and like I've said several times before, everyone works the cruise. NO. MATTER. WHAT. That means many a long ass day, and there's usually collateral damage that goes along with it.

2. Right when the cruise ended, one of our managers scheduled his marriage/honeymoon/Vegas bonanza the second he had the chance, and blew off for a week and a half. That means yours truly has to pull multiple open to close shifts. My second one starts tomorrow.:(

3. The old computer was sending out death rattles, including not wanting to power on. So that meant pulling the trigger and getting a new laptop. I really didn't want to until tax return season, but I had the money so what the hell. Plus, I can finally watch stuff in HD!

As such, my metal listening has been down, as I've been busy file transferring. I did hear that Behemoth and Cannibal Corpse are co-headlining a tour in Europe, which is good news. If Nergel is well enough to tour Europe, he'll be coming back to the states sometime in the near future!!!!

To celebrate the eventual U.S. tour cycle, here's some bleepy Behemoth!!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

8-bit Metal Mondays: God, Lucifer, and some rebel Angels

Apart from having to work the Woodward Dream Cruise for the 4th straight year (yearly gripe: I HATE the fucking cruise!), I've been spending most of my time playing El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron.While it's turning out to be a bit shorter than I had expected, it's still been an artsy blast. The one thing I just can't get over is that Lucifer is your guide and active save point through your adventure. The game's plot takes place well before the angel's revolt in the Bible, so the future leader of Hell is on the good guy's side. In jeans and chatting with God via cellphone, no less. And what a missed opportunity there for all the cell phone companies of the world to hop on some obvious branding and advertisement. Example: " Our new Motorolas may not get through to Heaven, but their reception is Godlike!"  Money Maker guaranteed.                  

So, for our weekly endorsement of anything bleepy, how about something a little bit more holy, eh? Here's Demon Hunter's Undying.

Monday, August 15, 2011

8-bit Metal Mondays-Derp, almost forgot!

Hey, I had grocery shopping to do, okay? You do NOT interrupt a metalhead when he's buying Hot Pockets and bratwurst!

So, there's this metal fest going down in New York in November that the uber-big metal blog Metalsucks is throwing. Now this wouldn't cause me much concern, but I missed out on the Detroit festival scene this year and I'm itching for some long days of metal. It's gonna be two days long, with Municipal Waste headlining the first day, and Cynic closing things on the 2nd. No additional acts yet, but those two alone are making me itch for a plane ticket. I always miss both acts when they swing by, so why not swing by them? Hey, if the hotel price is right, then why not?

For some bleepiness, how about we do dome Municipal Waste, as Cynic is pretty damn bleepy on their own, eh? Here's Sadistic Magician.

Blast Beats and Boss Battles with Battlecross's Lead Singer Kyle "Gumpy" Gunther!

Holy frito bandido, it's been ages since we've had a proper interview on this site, but here's a new one for everybody! Gumby from Battlecross (the man with thre epic beard in the above photo) sat down for a few minutes and answered our rather silly questions just for you!

Can you give us a quick history as to how the band was formed?

Tony and Hiran have been jammin since high school, the band started taking form when mike joined in 2007. Them heads really started swinging when Don joining in 2008, and I was the last piece when I joined in 2010.

On your main website bio, it said you clarify yourselves as a blue collar thrash metal band. I take it then that everyone is still holding down their day jobs?

We all have shitty joe-jobs thats for sure! We haven't let being signed to one of the most legendary metal labels of all time go to our heads. I am not a lazy piece of shit either. I enjoy working my ass off sometimes, unlike most people that couldn't swing a hammer to save their life.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Retro Review: Metallica (The Black Album)

Metallica released their self-titled, fifth studio album to the masses on August 13th, 1991, more popularly known as The Black Album. Twenty years and 22 million copies later the songs on this album still receive regular radio play and are included in the band's tours. And like it or not, this album helped metal become a musical force to be reckoned with, instead of just a "fad" (ahem, disco). The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and stayed there for 4 weeks. Since then, no other metal album has been able to pull off the same longevity as the Black Album. Yet despite all of its success, it is viewed by many as a giant misstep for the band. A change from balls-out thrash metal to radio friendly hard rock tunes. This is the day that "new Metallica fans" and "old Metallica fans" were born. So lets take a look back at the album to see what all the fuss was about.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Riff's Rants: The 3DS Debacle

Oh 3DS, what has befallen you? You had so much steam at the get go. A gazillion publishers making games! A Grand showing at E3 with a gala of women with huge, um, er, eyes! The effects of 3D, all at the control of a switch! Then launch day came. The lineup of games sucked, and a lot of the promised online activity had to be delayed by over six months. Downloadable games and video? The system's own Virtual Console with classic Game Boy games? Sorry, not yet, but people seemed to still want the system at that time.

Fast forward to the present day, and Nintendo's in some serious trouble.The 3Ds hasn't sold for shit since the holidays in either the U.S. or Japan, and the stockholders are mega pissed. Iwato, Nintendo's head honcho, has taken a 50% pay cut as punishment for the system's poor performance. Now,the guy ain't starving, as Japan execs usually do about $2M yearly, but if you have half your pay cut, you feel it no matter how much you're making. The 3DS is also getting a price cut, from $250 to $170 domestically. Early adopters who paid the full monty will be given 20 free downloadable games sometime later this year.

Now, a lot has gone into blaming what has kept the system down. A bad library of games, 3D is a tiring gimmick, the online features only recently popping up, or the system's original price tag. All good arguments, and all of which do have a lot of validity. However, there's one glaring factor that a lot people do miss out on: the 3DS looks just like a revamped DSi.

An Evening With Amon Amarth: Another Disturbying Concert Review

Last night I saw Amon Amarth at the Garrick Centre here in Winnipeg. This is my second concert of the year (first being A Perfect Circle) and one I've been looking forward to seeing since the announcement. For whatever reason, I've missed out on previous Amon Amarth shows, so for me this was a long time coming. Thankfully the first Amon Amarth show I see is An Evening of Amon Amarth (even if it was at the Garrick Slanty-Floor-of-Doom Centre). Unfortunately I wasn't able to grow out a suitable beard for the event despite having time to do it. Oh well, next time I will sport a beard that will put Johan Hegg's to shame. Enough talk of beard! Let us talk of metal!!

So for those that are unaware, most "Evening With" tours indicate that the headlining act will be the only act that you will see. No openers. Just Amon Amarth for 3 hours. They split the show into two sets with a break in between. The first set is their latest album, Surtur Rising played in full and the second set is a mix of crowd favourites from their previous albums. The doors to the show opened at 7pm and everyone piled in to wait for their favourite vikings to unleash a fury of metal upon them.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Thine Eardrums Erupting: Now With More Chimaira!

I've been waiting a long time for a proper sequel to Chimaira's The Impossibility of Reason, and I think it has finally arrived. Not that their previous several records haven't matched up. Their self titled was an unappreciated masterpiece, Resurrection began an awesome progressive trend, and The Infection was a full-blown metal concept album for the ages. However, I had kind of missed the youthful anger of Impossibility. Then, Chimaira were forced to replace half their line-up and SHAZAM!! Youthful anger has been restored thanks to a new injection of members and ideas. The core writing team and dual guitars of Rob Arnold, Mark Hunter, and Matt DeVries have kept the Chimaira sound, but have brought back the playfulness and experimentation of the early days that made Impossibility of Reason such a groundbreaker for the band. Personal high point is track 7, Born in Blood, as I'm pretty damn sure I just heard some guest vox from Whitechapel's Phil Bozeman.

8-bit Metal Mondays: I tend to squeal like a wounded baby marmoset

Say, does anybody out there have some get better quick plans for sleep apnea? I know it's just something I have to deal with while getting older, but this shit is getting old real quick. Getting up a bunch in the middle of the bullshit. Grumbe, grumble, grumble.

Anywho, while in one of my mid-night awakenings, I decided to give the supple sounds of the Deftones a try. Not that they put you to sleep, dear Satan no! Deftones has that Tool and A Perfect Circle effect, in that it can help you relax. Go ahead and listen to House of Flies again and try not to comment that your chair feels way more comfortable all of a sudden.

In honor of Deftones comfortable coolness, here's a bleepy version of one of my fave songs from them, Minerva.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

8-bit Metal Mondays On Wednesday!

Yeesh, what a week and a half. Mom's been in and out of the hospital this past time, and I've been playing taxi for her and staying at her place until she gets better. I swear that doctors these days are given their position just if they know the general vicinity of where the heart is, then they point at their kneecap.

This weeks bleepage is easy as all hell. Powerglove have done a video for their Batman tribute, and it is epic in so many damn ways. Hate to cut it short this week, but work awaits.

Monday, July 25, 2011

8-bit Metal Mondays-If You Didn't See It Coming, You're Blind

So, Amy Winehouse was found dead late last week. As someone else pointed out to me, that's gonna be the least surprising autopsy ever. Now, Amy wasn't anywhere near metal music, but she sure partied like one,  and she had the disposable income to quadruple the usual poor metal guy usage. Hell, she was probably one of the few people that would make Keith Richards say, "Slow down girl. That's a little much."

In other obvious news, I'm still seething over Exodus's five-song set at the Slayer/Zombie show this past Friday. TOO SHORT! TOO SHORT! Yeesh, what a bummer. At least the dual oldies of Toxic Waltz and Bonded by Blood were played, but it just wasn't enough. Now, I need more Exodus! Thankfully, Youtube can give some bleepy goodness. Here's Toxic Waltz.

Hell On Earth: The Riff Concert Review

Hey, haven't done one of these in awhile!

On the backing of a $10 lawn ticket, I ventured out into some major shitty weather to view two of my favorite live acts of all time. However, the show wasn't as bombastic as I was hoping.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Give Props To The Kacho!

If you've spent any amount of time looking up video games on Youtube, then you've run into the millions of Let's Play videos. The premise is simple: a person or two captures their game play while offering running commentary. While the system is all well and good, I have one gargantuan problem with it: all those videos are FUCKING BORING!!! It's the same reason why I just can't listen to a director's commentary on a dvd: it just sounds like self gloating. The guys in these Let's Play videos have, for the most part, played said game into infinity. Then, to watch him play it and extol to the world is rambling commentary just makes me sleepy. Or just turn it off and play a damn game myself.

Then there's Retro Game Master, a Japan-imported show that Kotaku began airing a few weeks back. The show follows the same premise as a Let's Play video, but with a few twists. First off, the show's main game player, Shinya Arino, doesn't even know what game he's gonna play until he gets to the set. Plus these games are old school HARD!!! Like, the ridiculous kinds of hard. Remember Ninja Gaiden on the NES? Yeah, that level of hard. Finally, Shinya (or you can call him "THE KACHO" for boss) offers his commentay, but it's usually him teasing himself about how bad he's playing.

Yes, THAT is the main draw of the show. With a typical Let's Play video, you know what the outcome is gonna be. With Retro Game Master, Shinya's success is always in question, thus adding to the drama and entertainment. Can he pass the next level with no lives? Will he have to ask one of the available AD's to offer assistance? Will he rage quit? No! The Kacho does not rage quit! He keeps fighting the fight until he succeeds, or until the show has run it's length for the day. Yes, The Kacho doesn't always win, but he's never a dick about it.

To catch up on the series just click this link and get started. I suggest the Ninja Gaiden and the just-aired Clock Tower episodes.

Monday, July 18, 2011

8-bit Metal Mondays: He? She? Zuh?

I was into Life of Agony way back in the day when they first released River Runs Red. That album was just a tour-de-force of teen angst and legit anger that most grunge bands of the day could only wish to obtain. As was my fate, I wasn't able to see the band live until they had broken up and reformed for a reunion tour. I was thrilled to see them, and they were awesome! One thing did kind of cross my attention. lead singer Keith Caputo came off as real, well...... feminine. Like Mick Jaggar and Steven Tyler were looking at him and saying that dude looks like a lady.

Fast forward to today, and Keith proved me right. The man is taking a plunge very few ever take and is going in for gender reassignment. Yep, the guy's getting his schmekie replaced with a hoo haa. He's already calling himself a pre-op transsexual and is performing on stage with Life of Agony as a woman. I'm so not surprised at this turn. His past performances so hinted at this, and I say good for him. It takes some balls (soon to be replaced by equally gutsy ovaries) to admit to the world that you're becoming a woman in every facet possible.

I'd show some bleepy love for the soon-to-be lady, but Youtube doesn't have and 8-bit remixes of Life of Agony songs. Denied! In the meantime, here's one of my fave songs from them The Underground.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Mortal Kombat: It's Good To Be Back

Having recently played the rather fantastic Mortal Kombat reboot on PS3 last month, I can safely say that my hitherto dormant MK fanboy has been revived at long last. It featured the most fluid and intuitive gameplay in an MK game to date. It also provided well needed and long overdue jolt of MK nostalgia that hit like an overdose of caffeine. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I immediately went online and ordered used copies of the first 3 games and Shaolin Monks from Amazon. I haven't been this enthusiastic about the franchise in what feels like an eternity, and it feels great.

If you were a kid in the early/mid 90's, you were probably a fan of Mortal Kombat. Or at the very least, you knew what it was and were even familiar with such iconic characters as Sub-Zero, Scorpion, Goro, and Johnny Cage. Don't even try to deny it. When I was in elementary, even my teachers and the girls in my class (who weren't exactly fond of video games in the first place) were either familiar with it or just as intoxicated by the series as the rest of us were. In its prime, Mortal Kombat was as controversial (culminating in the introduction of the ESRB ratings board) as it was rabidly adored by a great deal of Western gamers. It was the closest we Americans ever came to having our own Dragon Quest in terms of widespread popularity and mainstream appeal. It's influence on gaming can still be felt in modern game design and philosophy.

However, nothing lasts forever. The MK series eventually became a victim of its own success, and over-exposure (compounded with some truly dreadful spinoffs and movie adaptations) caused its popularity to dwindle significantly over time. By the end of the 90's, MK was all but irrelevant. Decent home console exclusive updates like Deadly Alliance helped bring some of the spark back, but it was too little, too late in the eyes of many of us who had already weaned themselves off the franchise. Fast and fluid Japanese fighters like Soul Calibur and Tekken had already eclipsed any latent fondness people still had for it.

I remember playing the first MK on the Sega Genesis, and not thinking much of it at first. Yet it gradually embedded itself in my mind and heart as one of the most memorable and unique experiences I had experienced in my 7 or so years on Earth. It wasn't even the gore factor that enticed me, but rather the outlandish and extremely grim twist on the typical Bruce Lee: Enter the Dragon kung-fu tropes. At the time and even today, there was literally nothing else out there like it.

Mortal Kombat 2 expanded and refined what the original had brought to the table. More characters, more finishing moves, and a tinge of black humor to compliment the dark and morbid overtones. The first time I played it was at an arcade when me and my family were vacationing in Cape Cod. Of course, I completely sucked at it, struggling to get past the fourth match. I would probably ascribe my lackluster gameplay skills to the sense of awe and wonder I felt when playing it in the arcades if I wasn't just as terrible at playing the game today. With every subsequent encounter I had with the machine, it was flooded with high school and college aged kids who were significantly older than I was. I wouldn't have another chance with it until my parents bought me the Sega Genesis version.

A couple years later, MK3 made its way to arcades and home consoles across America. It was a jarring, albeit enjoyable experience which I'll go into in a second. The first time I got my hands on this one was at my local Sports n Stuff arcade. I found it peculiar that nobody else was there playing on the machine, relative to the mobs of people crowding the MK 2 units a few years back. Although it was hard for me to blame them at the time, because it certainly wasn't the MK I was familiar with. For whatever reason, they decided to eschew the oriental motifs and replace them with some weird steampunk/X-Men ripoff. You couldn't even recognize half of the characters in the game. I remember asking myself why there were robots and cookie cutter riot squad cops in a game that was usually about ninjas and sorcerers and four armed monstrosities duking it out in forests of sentient trees and pools of acid. It was a good game and a lot of fun, but it felt somewhat "off" so to speak.

In 1998, MK4 hit arcades and was a rather lukewarm experience. It was the franchises first foray into 3D, and made some concessions to earlier titles by giving it more of an Asian aesthetic while retaining the modern feel of MK3. I was enamored with it for about a year or so, and then quickly got bored. Of course, it didn't help that the abysmal MK: Annihilation hit theaters around the same time and helped to eviscerate any interest I had left in MK. And with that, it was all over.

Of course, my inner MK fan was eventually revived. It sure is good to be back.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Thine Eardrums Erupting-The New Riff CD Review Format!

As things have changed in my own life greatly over the past year, so must things things change here at GMM. Reviews have always been a mainstay here, but we've all been having our personal lives affect what and when we can write. For some it's additions to the family, others it's forming and touring with bands, and for others it's an asston of moving (points to self). To help remedy this, I felt a bit of a format change was in order. While typing out a five-to-six paragraph on the epicness of Band X's new cd may be fulfilling, it is also time consuming when you also have blast through the latest video game. My 3ds copy of Zelda is feeling pretty unloved right now as a result. 

Thus, I offer this: out of all the promos I get here at GMM headquarters every week or so, I'll gank the best of the bunch and give my quickie opinions on each, in my own silly way. Quantity and quality in one place!
Enough yammering from me, let's showcase some awesome metal!

Monday, July 11, 2011

8-Bit Metal Mondays: Drugs Are Bad, M'kay?

Okay, so you're a habitual oxycodone user. You're feeming bad. real bad. So bad, that you decide to commit possible terrorism and fake a bomb at a pharmacy just to get your fix. 350cc's in this case. Then, you hijack a taxi, thus putting hostage taker on your rap sheet, and have him drive you to your destination. That destination happens to be an arena where Soundgarden is playing. You're not there to see the show, though. You're actually the bassist for the opening band, and that band is Coheed and Cambria!

Holy shit man! I know drugs make you do stupid things, but to threaten a bomb detonation and leave such an obvious trail to lead cops right to you is pretty insane to begin with. Cap that with being in a rather popular band in which drugs are probably pretty easy to come by, and the amount of crazy just goes into overdrive. If anything, THIS is the perfect reason to show kids that drugs really are bad. This dude now has multiple felony accounts, and is kissing his multi-platinum music career bye bye, all over pills.

On the plus side, Coheed is probably looking for a bassist right now, so get those demo tapes ready! You start your practicing by listening to some bleepy tunes. Here's Welcome Home.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Duke Nukem Forever: The Riff Review

Thirteen fucking years. I've known dogs and cats that have come and gone. I've known several presidents. I've seen an endless amount of evil metal shows, and 50% of those bands I've seen multiple times in that span. I've experienced intense grief, several console generations, and the joy of boobies. What I'm getting at is that a lot of shit can happen in thirteen years. For Duke Nukem, this meant getting passed from developer to developer in the hopes that someone can finish gaming's favorite one-off joke. In the end, it took the crash of Duke's parent company, 3D Realms, and the financial backing of Take Two Games and the programming skills of Gearbox Software to finally bring DNF to computers as well as consoles.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

8-bit Metal Mondays on Wednesday!

Whoa, what a torturous week. After doing some financial paperwork, it became pretty apparent that I spent a bit much on my E3 trip. Nothing to claim bankruptcy over, but my future video game investments were suddenly in some doubt. To make ends meet, I offered to fill in a bunch of shifts last week, thus the lack of articles on the site last week. Hey, when you need some moolah, you have to put some stuff aside. I also have to start planning for next year's trips to PAX and E3. Now that I have some traveling experience under my hat, I can probably plan cheaper trips!

On the music front, I've just started listening to Jamey Jasta's first ever solo album, and it's not too bad. I kept hearing that it was throw away B-sides from Hatebreed and Kingdom of Sorrow, but this has its own vibe going. I'm only on about the 4th track right now, but I'm really digging it. Thoughts on it hopefully by Friday. In the meantime, how about some bleepy Hatebreed to keep you occupied? Here's Live for This.

News from the Machine Head crew!

After what seems like decades, Machine Head will be releasing a new album called Unto the Locust on September 27th. They've been working on new material since November 2010 and they started recording the album in April. To whet our appetites, check out the first single "Locust"

And in true metal band fashion, these boys will be busy on tour this summer. You can see them perform at the Rockstar Mayhem Festival with Godsmack, Disturbed and Megadeth. Here are the dates:

  • July 9, 2011 San Bernardino, California
  • July 10, 2011 Mountain View, California
  • July 12, 2011 Auburn, Washington
  • July 13, 2011 Nampa, Idaho
  • July 15, 2011 Phoenix, Arizona
  • July 16, 2011 Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • July 17, 2011 Greenwood Village, Colorado
  • July 19, 2011 Maryland Heights, Missouri
  • July 20, 2011 Cincinnati, Ohio
  • July 22, 2011 Mansfield, Massachusetts
  • July 23, 2011 Montreal, Quebec
  • July 24, 2011 Hartford, Connecticut
  • July 26, 2011 Corfu, New York
  • July 27, 2011 Holmdel Township, New Jersey
  • July 29, 2011 Burgettstown, Pennsylvania
  • July 30, 2011 Bristow, Virginia
  • July 31, 2011 Camden, New Jersey
  • August 2, 2011 Virginia Beach, Virginia
  • August 3, 2011 Raleigh, North Carolina
  • August 5, 2011 Tinley Park, Illinois
  • August 6, 2011 Clarkston, Michigan
  • August 7, 2011 Noblesville, Indiana
  • August 9, 2011 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • August 10, 2011 Dallas, Texas
  • August 12, 2011 Atlanta, Georgia
  • August 13, 2011 Tampa, Florida
  • August 14, 2011 West Palm Beach, Florida

Monday, June 27, 2011

8-bit Metal Mondays: Victory to the Proletariat!

Whew, what a long day. Today was gonna be a day of several posts. Not only the 8-bit usual Monday feast, but I was also gonna churn out reviews for both Infamous 2 and Duke Nukem Forever. Alas, it turned out to be a day of running around and taking care of last-minute bullshit. Plus, I have to work a double tomorrow. So, yeah, Wednesday's the day for some review action.

However, there is big news today, as the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the gaming industry over California, thus not banning the sale of violent video games to minors. While stores are still asked to not sell unless okayed by a parent, it will not be a crime and no fines will be levied. This is pretty heavy stuff, as gaming now has full 1st amendment rights, and is now classed next to TV, movies, and books in the way they are judged. Plus, since this was a Supreme Court decision and not a lower court mandate, expect this one to stick for quite awhile.

Damn, that gets me in the mood to celebrate in a bleepy mood, and there's no better way to celebrate than with cheese hair metal! Here's the bleepy version of Motley Crue's Kickstart My Heart.

Operation Rainfall: Something Needs to Change at NoA

I'll provide a little background on myself. I've been a loyal Nintendo customer for well over 20 years now. That's roughly more than 80 percent of my entire life. But now for the very first time, I'm almost entirely apathetic towards Nintendo's next system, dubbed Wii U. Embarrassing name aside, attracting the more traditional segments of the gaming population who were less than pleased with its current Wii platform has been declared a cornerstone of Nintendo's policy going into the next generation. Yet it's difficult to take them seriously in light of their refusal to bring 3 highly reviewed games (Xenoblade, Last Story, and Pandora's Tower) designed to appeal to this very demographic to our shores, despite at least 2 of them already being prepared release in Europe (thus, already in English) later this year.

Fortunately, this rather conspicuous contradiction is far from lost on Nintendo's most loyal American followers. Nintendo fans everywhere are FURIOUS, and that's putting it mildly. NoA has pulled similar stunts a multitude of times throughout the past 5 years, but fans have finally had enough. Since word broke out that Nintendo of America denied their European counterpart the opportunity to show these 3 highly anticipated games off at this past E3 because "we don't plan to sell them", a campaign entitled Operation Rainfall has emerged.

This isn't the first time a movement of this nature has erupted, as fans of the Mother series are no doubt well aware. However, things are a little different this time. Xenoblade, which was briefly shown at E3 2009 under the name Monado: Beginning of the World is still apparently in Nintendo of America's database. As a result, Amazon also has it on their site (even if it's never coming out) and gamers everywhere pre-ordered the title, eventually pushing it to the number one spot. A very impressive feat to be sure.

This leaves Nintendo in a very vulnerable position. Will they take the perceived risk of printing releasing these titles and appeasing their fanbase? That remains to be seen. However, I feel the chances of this campaign changing things for the better is still rather slim. But if Nintendo doesn't act now, then they could very well end up alienating their bread and butter audience.

It's hard to blame the fans. I know that I, for one, am really fed up with their complacency.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Full E3 Round-up!

Long story short: It was an insidious orgy of well-placed neon lights and push-up bras.

And now, the long story.

Monday, June 20, 2011

8-bit Metal Mondays: ZELDA METAL!!!!!

Well, time to hop back on a steady schedule again. Still writing up the E3 overview, as I ended up having a lot to say about, both good and bad. I also now have a job again, so now I hope to return to the old Monday-Friday writing ways, and maybe even squeeze in an occasional Saturday as well. No Sundays though, as I'll be doing my old open to close shift. Helps free up some hours during the regular week that way.

On the music side, it's free Zelda music! Well, if you bought the Ocarina of Time remake for the 3DS and then registered it with Nintendo's Mario Club, and THEN wait to get it in the mail. Turns out it was a popular item, as requests for copies crashed Nintendo's servers. Hey, as long as people are playing some good games on the 3DS for a change, then it's all peachy with me.

Now, how about some bleepy Zelda metal, eh? 

Friday, June 17, 2011

The GMM E3 2011 Photo Dump!

Wow, what a week! After experiencing my first mega case of jetlag (who knew the flu didn't need a virus?) as well as experiencing leg pains unlike anything else, AND starting a new job (which is actually the old job, but that's a different story), I can finally get down to telling the story of E3...... but first, I have over a hundred photos to share! Tomorrow, I plan to write up my thoughts. For now, see the sights after the jump!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Nintendo E3 2011 Press Conference as it happens!

Starting up with an orchestrial tribute to zelda.

Miyamoto is on stage!

Hey, uncle lag! Looks like you switched to schnapps!

Miyamoto is reminiscing about Zelda and it's 25 years of existence in music.

Cool! Link's Awakening will be in the 3DS Gift Shop sometime today.

Talking about Ocarina of time remake.

Says it will have the Master Quest included.

4 Swords will be free later this year.

Skyward Sword out by the holidays.

Gold Wii remote available when Skyward Sword goes on sale.

Free soundtrack to those who register SS with Club Nintendo

A few of the head Nintendo devs pop up on stage.

All Zelda vets.

Head honcho Iwata takes the stage.

Looks like it's graphs and figures time.

New system news time!

Nope, just a tease, but a good one.

We'll hear more in just a bit.

Now we get clips of Mario Kart and Star Fox for 3DS.

Okay, it's just a nice promo clip.

Luigi's Mansion in 3D? Maybe.

Reggie's turn on stage.

5 new games to show for 3DS.

Mario Kart being displayed again.

Looks like you can hang glide with the karts now. Certainly makes the tracks more expansive.

Coming out this holiday.

Starfox 3D time.

Use the system itself to pilot the ship.

Out in September.

New Mario game time!

Official title is Super Mario 3D

Looking very Galaxy-like, but with SMB3 power-ups. The return of the Tanooki suit!

Out by the end of the year.

Kid Icarus time. Release date please.

You can have fights with other players. Sounds like a roman-themed Soul Calibur.

Use of Augmented Reality cards in game? Hmmmm......

Out later this year.

Luigi's Mansion 2!

That'll keep the fanboys happy.

More than one mansion this time around.

Another hype real.

3DS to start offering demos later this year.

Talking about Excitebike 3D, which is for free.

Now talking about Pokemon, and how it can benefit from 3DS.

New system's name is Wii U. Begin the internet meme's now.

New controller looks like a tablet. At least the touch screen rumors came true.

Interchange games between the system and the controller.

Lots of innovative stuff here, og which I'll end up using only 10% of.

One nice thing: Zelda tech demo, with the item screen on the controller. No more awkward pausing.

New system fully backwards compatible with Wii.

4 shoulder buttons? PS3 much?

Tons of stuff in the controller. Speakers, camera, gyro, probably a hamster too.

They're calling analog sticks "circle pads". Ooooooookay.

HD confirmed.

Video chat with the controller from your TV.

Miyamoto in a video.

He's boating positive 3rd party support.

Iwata says a new Smash Bros. will be made to take advantage of both the system and the controller.

No games for Wii U just yet, but there will be interactive demos on the show floor.

Now a graphics demo. Lag is fucking it up.

New Lego game, if that's your thing.

Now another video, with 3rd party producers pimping the Wii U.

Darksiders, Tekken, and Batman on the Wii U.

Damn, Assassins Creed as well.

An Aliens game? On a Nintendo console? With blood? Aww, look who grew up.

AND Ninja Gaiden 3? Holy hell!

Electronic Arts just took the stage??!!

Yapping about the HD graphics.

Connectivity...and proper use of DLC?

Reggie back on, boating about innovation from Nintendo's home and handheld consoles.

And that's the show! Damn, really impressive. Of course, we still have to wait for the new system to comeout, and that won't be until 2012.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sony's E3 2011 Press Conference as it happens!

Let's hope uncle lag goes away this time.

Looks like they're going straight to the new handheld system.

Or not. Damn promo video fooled me.

Good. Starting with the PSN outage.

Little self deprecating there. Good job.

Uncle lag's back, and he brought a fifth of Jack Daniels with him.

Uncharted 3, but just a still image. I'm about to give up here.

Video goes in and out, but what bits i can see look real nice.

Cross promo with Subway? Oooooookay.

Releases 11-1-11.

Moving on to Resistance 3. Never could get into the series.

Will support Move and 3D.

Will be released in a Sharpshooter bundle.

lag, lag, lag.......

Sounds like they're babbling about 3D again and maybe some PS3-specific 3D glasses.

Lag, and then sports. Well, at least I didn't miss much.

I'm giving up on all live feeds, and just scanning live blogs. I need a better net connection.

Kobe's on stage. Joy.

Now showing a game called Deadmund's Quest. sounds like an Assassin's Creed ripoff.

Now we're on to Infamous 2. Odd they're talking about a game that comes out tomorrow.

Pimping Infamous 2's level designer.

And moved right into new Little Big Planet 2 DLC.

Onto Starhawk, the sequel to Warhawk. tried the original, and it just never sat well with me.

Sly Cooper 4 announced. Always wanted to try the series, but I got lazy.

Out in 2012.

Dust 514, a shooter based off of EVE Online, just for PS3.

Move and NGP support. Pretty sure that's the first time the NGP has been mentioned in the show.

Bioshock Infinite, baby!

Hey, Move support. What a shock.

A Bioshock game coming to the NGP? Nice!

Saint's Row: The Third. Another series I've been lazy on. Bonus PS3 stuff, out in November.

New Star Trek game, with Move support.

Out in 2012. Just not excited for a Star Trek game, phaser peripheral or not.

SSX exclusive stuff for PS3. Sony sure does love their exclusive DLC.

Need For Speed: The Run also getting stuff. Sony must suck EA off on a regular basis.

At last, onto the NGP!

Talking about Playstation Suite, about bringing PS branded games to Android and tablets.

Going over some of the stats of the NGP. Stuff we already know.

Official. NGP's proper name is PS Vita.

Wi-fi and 3G versions available. 3G handled by AT&T. Not a lot of people liked that.

Vita will have it's own friend list program, called Near.

Showing off the next Uncharted game on Vita.

Vita has Sixaxis conrtrols, so you can lean into jumps by tilting the system.

New RPG called Ruin, to be compatible with both Vita and PS3.

New version of ModNation Racers, just for Vita.

Now a new Wipeout, with PS3 and Vita compatibility.

I'm really skeptical of all this Vita and PS3 compatibility talk. It just sounds like you're making people buy two copies of the same game.

Little Big Planet on the Vita. Not a shock.

Street Fighter X Tekken action!

Vita version official, and Cole Mcgrath will be a playable character.

Vita will be out this Christmas.

3G is $299, Wi-Fi only is $249.

3D hype real. Yay.

And that's it! Once again, lacking real shockers, but at least a few questions are out of the way.

Ubisoft E3 2011 Press Conference as it happens!

First off a little self ass-kissing for staying around for 25 years.

Now, Rayman Origins, one I've been interested in.


Missed the demo, but it'll be 4-player co-op.

New Driver game, I think. Damn lag is just horrible right now.

New game now, which I could tell you what it is.

Okay, it's Farcry 3. Nice Surprise.

Gearbox Studios on stage, talking about revisiting WWII shooters.

Looks kinda like Brothers-in-arms gone all Bad Company.

More fucking lag, and now we're into the Tin-Tin game.

Spielberg and Peter Jackson gushing about it.

More lovely lag, and now we have more Ghost Recon.

And another demo I missed. This is getting  repetitive.

Now we'll have Ghost Recon Online, and it's free to play.

Another new game called Trackmania 2. A racing game, but it's ahtd to tell quality with uncle lag hanging around.

Oh joy, Rabbits on Kinect. Joy.

It's a party game powered through Kinect, and it just makes you look like an idiot.

For more stupid looks, it"s Just Dance 3.

Now we're onto their new guitar teacher game. Hey, anything that can expose kids to Slayer, then I'm all for it.

It's called Rocksmith, and it'll be available for the holidays this year.

Yay, exercising games! Pass.

Finally, they're gonna yap about Assassin's Creed Revelations!

Fuck Ezio's looking old.

Istanbul's looking pretty sweet.

Bombs-a-plenty are being thrown, including a smoke bomb doubled with eagle vision.

Boats exploding like crazy, and Ezio being the man and running from deathtrap to deathtrap.

Available in November!

And that's it! God, what a laggy mess. At least the Creed demo came in pretty good.