Games Meet Metal: December 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.