Games Meet Metal: 2012

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Monday, December 24, 2012

8-Bit Metal Mondays: Happy Mass Consumerism Day!

Hey, my cynical side is showing through again! Gee, what are the odds?

Okay, so I may not be the biggest fan of the holidays (videos of riots at Walmart over cellphones ain't helping the cause), but my heart hasn't gone completely black yet. It's slowly inching there, but I might as well use the not-hardened part of it while I can. So here's wishing everyone a happy holiday, whether that be Christmas or Hanukkah or getting ridiculously drunk in your recliner while watching a Three's Company marathon. Everyone celebrates in their own way.

And now, the best Christmas song of all time:

Friday, December 21, 2012

Metallica Announces Next Year's Orion Festival.... IN DETROIT!!!!!!!

It's been four years since I've seen Metallica crush it live, and I've been chomping at the bit to see them again. For every St. Anger or Gigi these guys record, there's a ton of live material to help nearly erase the sting of those releases. And now we're getting them, and then some.

The Orion Festival was Metallica's answer to every other band having their own fest. A mix of contemporary rock acts and all-out metal, Orion had it's first year in New Jersey last year. There was doubt that the two-day show was even profitable, but I guess the millionaires in 'Tallica thought they made enough scratch to throw another. Good move putting it in Detroit, as we'll spend tons of dough on the guys, me included.

The show will be held on June 8th-9th, right before I have to fly out to E3. Hmmm, rough week.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Riff's Most Anticipated Crap of 2013!

So, I get all the time in the world, and I go and get sick. Life loves me.

In my time of pestilence, I decided to start and type up my Spike Gaming Awards Show recap, but I just wasn't digging how the article was coming out. Then I realized what I really wanted to do was what I was looking forward to next year, since the awards show had the usual super special reveal trailers revealing all the goodies gaming had coming in the near future. So that's what you're going to be reading instead.

On a side note, the Spike awards show was actually very watchable this year. Having Samuel Jackson dropping f-bombs definitely helps with the entertainment factor, and the awards presentations were actually half way classy. Too bad only a few awards were actually handed out. I guess Linkin Park needed all that  precious time. Plus, they dropped that lame "augmented reality" crap that they had going for a few years. A definite improvement, and let's hope they keep the momentum for next year's show.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Fires Suck Ass

  So, let's set the reverse time machine back to last Monday morning around 9am, which is usually about an hour before I wake up. I get a phone call from my mom, and she's screaming into the phone saying," One of your brother's friends just drove by your work, and he said there's smoke billowing out it!" I was still trying to figure out whether I was asleep or still of in lala land, but after some head shaking and a splash of cold water, I regain my senses and make a mad dash to my store.

This is what I find:

So, yeah, fire. Lots of fire happened here.

According to the investigation team, a faulty appliance decided to release the flames of Hell while the opening manager was in the bathroom dropping a deuce. He's okay, but he still had to take a quick trip to the hospital for minor smoke inhalation. The store, however, is a total loss. The flames themselves didn't go too far, but the smoke damage is what really messed everything up. You can't even see inside the store in the first pic thanks to all the suet that's built up.  The other businesses in our little strip also escaped without damage, but the dry cleaners had to wash everything again thanks to the smell the smoke left behind.

So, wonder why there hasn't been any posts on the site in a bit? Well, there ya go. I'd say "FIRE!" is a pretty good excuse to take some time to get your affairs in order. For me, that meant inquiring into the store's insurance as to if  I'm going to be compensated and also going through the process of unemployment just in case things don't turn out well with the insurance. On top of that, I was in the process of building a little mancave in the basement to surround myself in all my evil goodies.

As of today, I've gotten okayed for unemployment as well as receiving  my last paycheck from the workplace, so I'm officially not starving. I was also able to finish the mancave, but I had to cheap it up quite a bit. It still needs a drop ceiling, new carpeting, and a section of the wall still needs some work. Other than that though, It's good to go. Just needs some posters.

What does this mean for the site? Well, I just got a shitload of time to provide you beautiful people with tons of content until a new job hits, and who knows when that's gonna be in this economy? At least I have money coming in until that fateful day. I believe I should start with a lot of the stuff I missed out on. There was the Spike Video Game Awards, which I heard was an improvement over other year's attempts. This past weekend was also the anniversary of the death of Dimebag Darrell, so a post praising the creator of the Black Tooth Grin is in order. Plus, I went slightly concert crazy with the free time, so a massive post of live show reviews is coming up...... after I attend the Sonata Arctica/Arsis show tomorrow night.

So, keep it glued here, as I have a lot of stuff to type up.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

8-bit Metal Mondays on Tuesday!

Well, Thanksgiving was more of a trial this year than I had expected. Too much family, too much work, too much football, just too much of too much. So much so that I ended spending much of my day off on Monday just sleeping and trying to recover my strength. Fuck , the holidays can suck.

What isn't gonna suck is this Saturday night, as Lamb of God rolls into town for a much delayed return to metal glory. This is LOG's first tour since Randy was released form a Czech jail earlier this year, and for all intents and purposes, could be his last if legal proceedings don't go his way. So, if Lamb of God are coming to your town, GO!!! Who knows when the next time you see them could be.

Also on tour with LOG is In Flames and Hellyeah, two bands I have odd relationships with as far as being a fan is considered. In Flames were awesome earlier in their career, but have fallen upon writing the same stale material for the past several albums. It may make them more money than before, but their entire act has really suffered as a result. I really hope they do an oldies tour, and just play the classics Like Iron Maiden did earlier this year. On the other hand, Hellyeah is a band I should totally hate with every being in my body, and yet I can't help but like the redneck drinking bastards. Oh well, everyone has their guilty pleasures, I guess.

Lastly, there's Sylosis, a band I'm totally unfamiliar with, but a couple recent listens have perked my interest quite a bit. Hopefully they're a strong opener.

And now, as usual, let's do some bleepy videos of the above mentioned bands.

Monday, November 19, 2012

8-bit Metal Mondays: Playstation Plus is TEH WINZ!!

I've been a subscriber of Playstation Plus since it was first released unto the public, and I have really gotten my money's worth. Foe those still not in the know, you cough up $50 a year, and Sony let's you download an ever changing list of free games. These aren't skimpy titles either. Infamous 2, Resident Evil 5, Just Cause 2, Little Big Planet, and slew of others have been in the free game list. At it's heart it's just a glorified rental system, the ability to download and keep the games is an advantage that not even Gamefly can top.

Sony, about to sweeten the deal and start offering the service on the Vita tomorrow, November 20th. I had already heard about Plus making it's way to the handheld before I got my own version of the hardware, so I held off on getting any additional games, and my cheap ass just scored hardcore. Plus will be releasing six free games on the Vita, and I'll be snagging three of them. Uncharted: The Golden Abyss and Gravity Shift are probably the system's two best known games, and Sony's just giving them away. That's like $80 in software alone. Then there's also the Final Fantasy Tactics remake, a game I had to give up since the PSP discs wouldn't work in the Vita. Another download, for sure.

So, to celebrate my personal victory of cheapness, here's some metalized bleepiness.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Happy 60th Birthday to Shigeru Miyamoto

Shigsy. The Godfather of Games. Miyahon. The "Walt Disney" of Electronic Gaming. Papa Mario.

Sixty (that's 60!) years ago today the world was blessed with the greatest video game contributor of all time. His gaming accomplishments are endless and he's truly changed the way that generation after generation plays video games. He is considered among his peers and customers to be the greatest game developer of all time. Despite all of the acclaim and acheivments he shows no sign of slowing down being heavily involved with the development of the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U as well as watching over countless video games.

I remember reading an article a while back in an EGM saying how Miyamoto has a desire for perfection and he pushes designers and directors under his watch to do the same. His approach to games is to try to make it fun first before worrying about everything else. Some developers found this approach difficult and it is interesting to see what happens to former Nintendo developers after they move elsewhere (see my last article on Silicon Knights as an example).

I don't think I have to remind you why Miyamoto is so important to games, but I am going to do it anyway because it's fun. This guy invented Mario. M A R I O. Can you imagine where video games would be without Mario? Everyone has played Mario, regardless of their age. And if you haven't played a Mario game yet, then you're either lying or totally missing out. Mario may not have the best story or the best graphics, but you will never play anything like it. And when you do, Nintendo will turn around and totally change the game (see Super Mario Galaxy).

For me and countless others, this man was a real influence on the person I am today. When I was 5 years old I started playing Super Mario Bros. on the NES. My parents bought the console for my brother and I and that's when I really started to love video games. My brother and I would fight over who gets to play what game and when. We would also be best friends, trying to help one another get further in a game just to see what the next level looked like. 24 years later and I can't even imagine what my life would be like without video games.

If you need any more evidence why this man is so important, visit this link and see how many games he has been involved with. You may not have played all of them, and truthfully you may not be interested in playing some of them, but you can't deny the impact each game has had on the video game industry. Happy Birthday Shigeru Miyamoto and thank you very much!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

New Grand Theft Auto V Trailer = Joygasm!!!

I really enjoyed GTA IV's super gritty storyline and awesome city spread, but it's attempts at humor mainly fell flat. Remember your "cu-zeen" always calling you ingame and asking you to go out to the bar? Remember how that ended being remotely fun by the 100th time he begged you? Yeesh, no wonder the guy didn't have any friends outside his family. Needy little shit.

Well, it looks like the grittiness has taken a backside to a more jovial story about crime in GTA V. The newest trailer has a ton of funny lines between major and minor characters, as well as a ton of action movie-worth scenes. Would of liked to have seen some actual gameplay, but that'll come eventually. In the meantime, spy the trailer and await the goodness.

Monday, November 12, 2012

8-bit Metal Mondays: MOTHA-FUCKING DETHKLOK!!!

Hey! I saw Dethklok this past Saturday! Let's talk about it!

First up was the Black Dahlia Murder. Hometown show for the guys, but they were still relegated to the opening act slot. That meant six songs max, no exceptions. Tiny set, but still great. I'm just glad that I finally got to hear a few songs off of Ritual.

Next was Machine Head, and they were phenomenal! While still not up to their headlining show earlier this year, MH still did great. They mainly focused on material from their last three albums, so no Old or The Blood, The Sweat, The Tears this time around. They also closed with Halo, which is slightly out of character, but still pretty fitting.

Next was All That Remains, and boy oh boy, it's bitching time! ATR used to be one of my favorite metalcore bands. They released as album called The Fall of Ideals, and it was a great mash-up of the heaviness and melody. For them it was the perfect record. Well, something clicked in the band's head, and they kept making more melodic song and forgot about the heaviness. What you have lefty is a bland that just sounds bored. Long story short, ATR just killed the the audience dead. God, what a pathetic performance.

Finally it was the palette cleanser of the night, DETHKLOK!!!!!! I Ejaculate Fire, Duncan Hills Coffee, Warhorse, Arise, Hatredcoptor, the hits just kept coming and coming. Of course, there was a fun little cartoon plot through the whole show including the evil council using fat gas and Murderface becoming bullemic. Yep, about as gross and silly as it sounds.

So, to honor the goods acts on the show, here's some bleepiness from each band.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Hey, it's Riff's Picks!

So, in my humble quest in writing reviews of everything I play and listen to, I have been, for a long time, coming up with epic amounts of fail. Blame work, blame lack of time, blame whatever you want to. Satan knows I do. I just don't have the space in my life to write multiple amounts of stories, 6-8 paragraphs a pop, on how much I like or absolutely despise a certain product. I tried a shorten cd review column, but then I was neglecting the game reviews entirely.

So, in an attempt to cure all problems, I give you Riff's Picks. Each week, I will give praise to a cd and a game that I happen to be enjoying at that time. That's it, just one of each. That way, each gets equal representation and I don't feel like a schmo. So, let's start with the tunes.

Silicon Knights loses lawsuit: Ordered to destroy unsold games

A pretty weird day in gaming today as it has been announced that Silicon Knights (SK) have lost their court battle with Epic over the use of the Unreal 3 (U3) engine and has been ordered to destroy any software developed with U3. Before I get into the details of the lawsuit, you will probably want a bit of history.

SK is a Canadian developer behind some pretty significant PC and Console titles. Dark Legions in '94 (PC), Blood Omen: Lecacy of Kain (Playstation) in '96, Eternal Darkness (Gamecube) in '02 and Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes (Gamecube) in '04. Some of you may recall that SK's game Too Human was supposed to be a game changer, but it turned into a giant money pit. The game was supposed to be released on the Gamecube for starters, but delay after delay saw SK end their agreement with Nintendo and sign with Microsoft in 2005.

2007 marked the year that SK and Epic began their fued. Too Human was being developed with the U3 engine, but SK wasn't happy with it and wanted Epic to make some modifications for them. SK claimed that Epic was focusing more on Gears of War and withholding an improved version of U3 from all of their customers. SK decided to sue Epic in 2007 on the grounds that Epic failed to "provide a working game engine" causing SK considerable losses. The lawsuit was in place and SK completed Too Human (XBox 360) in '08, X-Men: Destiny (360, PS3, Wii) in '10 and started work on three new titles; all still using the U3 engine.

Federal court allowed SK to take Epic to court with its allegations of fraud, negligent misrepresentation, unfair competition, breach of contract, and breach of warranty against the Epic. The two met in court and SK thought the case was in the bag. But a judge saw it differently and Epic ended up winning the case.SK was ordered to pay Epic $4.45 million in July 2012, but the problems are not over for SK.

Already described as "hanging by a thread," it turns out that in addition to the fine, SK has to destroy any unsold copies of Too Human and X-Men: Destiny as well as destroy any software that is currently in development using the U3 Engine. This has to be done by December 10th, 2012. The three future titles that are to be destroy are The Box/Ritualyst, The Sandman, and Siren in the Maelstrom. It has not been said if SK will counter (or even if they can counter) but it seems pretty clear that a once reputable developer is going to shut its doors down for good which has this gamer wondering about the future of Eternal Darkness 2 for the WiiU.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Help Out Mitch Lucker's Kid By Buying a T-shirt

The story of Suicide Silence's frontman Mitch Lucker's sudden death is still shocking a lot of metal heads. Not only was it sudden and could of been prevented, but it leaves a little girl without her father.

This is where the metal community can show their awesome side and lend a hand in this trying time. The band has set up a donations page (link here) to help little Kenadee with her education. You can donate any amount, but anything over twenty dollars will net you the pictured memorial shirt.

So, c'mon people. Lend a few bucks to a good cause. I've already donated twenty for the shirt, hopefully you can do the same.

Monday, November 5, 2012

8-Bit Metal Mondays-Halo-a-gogo

One more time this month, I will be communing with my fellow nerds at the local Gamestop and commence the ritual for yet another midnight ritual. This time, the game in question is Halo 4, and that means a few hundred people are gonna be crammed into a tiny game store. Hopefully, the populace will remember to wear some deodorant. 

 So, yeah, Halo 4. Kind of a big deal whether you like the series or not. Halo is Microsoft's biggest money maker, and nuber four stands to make the most out of the bunch. And that's just on opening day. That requires some bleepy tunes.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Rest In Peace Mitch Lucker - UPDATED

The metal community has lost one of its brothers today. Mitch Lucker, lead singer of extreme metal band Suicide Silence was killed in a motorcycle accident. The accident occured earlier today in California. Full details have not been revealed at this point and I will update as they are offered. Luckner was 28.

More details after the break.

Monday, October 29, 2012

8-Bit Metal Mondays-And Assassinating We Will Go

First off, just want to share my concerns and best wishes to those caught in Hurricane Sandy's wake. This storm is shaping up to be the mother of them all, so for the love of Lemmy, stay inside. Hopefully your power stays on long enough to where you can get your fill of gaming and Black Sabbath before the circuits go bye bye.

Today and tomorrow have to be pretty nervous days for Ubisoft, as a whole ton of midnight releases got cancelled on the east coast for their mega whopper title, Assassin's Creed III. Not that they're quaking in their boots that the company's gonna go under or anything. The title is already the most pre-ordered game in the company's history, so they are at least making some moolah already. It's just that their post release sales may take a bit of a hit, as hurricanes tend to make people spend their dough on other things. Like, new homes and such.

So, to celebrate with those who can get some assassinating on tonight, here's some bleepy AC stuff.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Concert Round-Up

Sorry for no 8-bit Metal Monday, but some jerk made me spill soup on my laptop's keyboard, thus making me have a minor emergency. Now it works, except I can't use the Shift key. So expect a major lack of question and exclamation marks. Oh, and typing in caps while turning the Caps Lock key on and off again is just such a joy.

I haven't had that much luck with shows lately. There just always seems to be too many issues or problems happening at the venues.  The main reason would be that a lot of the older Detroit venues are really starting to show their age, and in turn, are continually having to deal with faulty equipment. In turn, this is starting to affect attendance at certain venues, namely Harpo's.  If you've been reading for a while, then you know my hatred for Harpo's. I really hate going there, but the bands that  I love continue to perform there, so thus I continue to go. However, the last couple of shows I've gone to ought to tell bands that an alternative choice may be a better solution.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Tour Annoncement: Gojira w/ Devin Townsend Project & The Atlas Moth

Christmas has come a little bit early for this Gojira and Devin Townsend fan, though I will have to wait until after Christmas to open this sweet, sweet gift. Announced this weekend on the Full Metal Jackie show, Gojira and the DTP will be heading out on a North American tour starting in mid January of 2013. The tour will run for just over a month but will see the two metal juggernauts play in 25 cities. A full list of dates and more info on the tour can be found after the jump.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

PAX Prime 2012 Photo Blog!

Finally, here it is! My first Pax Prime was a learning experience for sure (next time, get a hotel that you don't have to go UPHILL to get to!) and super fun. Especially Saturday. More on that later. First, some of the sights.

On the first day of the show, I visited Sony's booth to hit one of the most anticipated games there: the frst true public showing of gameplay from The Last Of Us. The inside of the booth was really decked out in a rotten apartment scene. Check the polyethylene corpses. 

And the nasty ass fake toilet. Sad truth: I've seen real apartments like this with real people calling it home. The corpses were optional.

A couple blocks down from the hall was a special Assassin's Creed III setup doubling as a restaurant. Food and drink were free, so it was great for a quick lunch.

My grub was a spicy pulled pork sammich with fancy cheese and some spicy  cole slaw. The sammy was great, but I should of gotten the sweet slaw.

Later that evening, I attended a special event put together by Square Enix. It was in honor of Final Fantasy's 25th anniversary, and they had rented out a hall to showcase the entire series on old and new consoles. The highlight was seeing some of the Japanese versions of FF running on an old ass Famicom system

The second day of the show might as well been called Konami day, as they were doing their own celebration with Metal Gear's 25th birthday. The day started off with a special presser that hosted a bunch of Konami titles off-site. Metal Gear Rising, Castlevania LoS for the 3DS, and the Zone of the Enders remake were there to sample at our pleasure. A few hours later, I went to the Paramount Theatre and watched the Metal Gear 25th Anniversary panel with Hideo Kojima himself. He talked about the original title as well as showed the very first video footage of the next Metal Gear game, Ground Zeroes.

Later that night, Konami rented out the entire top floor of the Hard Rock Seattle and threw a 25th birthday party for Metal Gear. Games and free booze were abundant.

Later in the evening, Hideo Kojima himself popped up, and I was within spitting distance of him and special guest Cliff Bleszinski.

Ah, my stomping grounds for several days. The Washington Convention and Trade Center. Good place, but getting around can be a bit confusing. It stretches over two buildings and you can lose your direction pretty damn quick. I hear a remodeling is coming soon. Good, because the show needs the space.

Now I leave you with a bunch of photos from the various exhibits throughout the show. Enjoy!