::REVIEW:: Once More ‘Round the Sun
ALBUM: Once More ‘Round the Sun
It’s been nearly three years since Mastodon’s last studio album The Hunter. Easily their weakest album at the time, one could only wonder if this was a sign that Mastodon was going to fall into a rut. Does Once More ‘Round the Sun, which continues the more accessible, radio-friendly sound of the last album, succeed where The Hunter didn’t?
I think I need to make a more concerted effort to update this thing. So that’s what I’m going to start trying to do. Perhaps I’ll start with a review of the new Mastodon album?
We told you it was coming, and now it’s here— the Transistor giveaway! We’ve got games n’ goodies and other neat shit to decorate your laptop case while you’re cruisin’ on the subway. Let’s lay down the goods and keep it easy.
- FIRST PRIZE: Your very own copy of Transistor. But not just a copy of the game— we’ll give you the fancy version, complete with the official soundtrack. While you’re at it, pick out two of those pin sets up there, shipped directly from Fangamer.net. Don’t see two you like? Drop us a line— there’s a ton of other options.
- SECOND PRIZE: Ever get a chance to play Supergiant’s first big game hit, Bastion? Well, now you can! Already own it? No problem— you can choose either Guacamelee or Antichamber instead, and a pin set of your very own.
- THIRD PRIZE: Your choice of either FEZ* or MONACO*, because the only thing better than 3D puzzles is whacking pixels in the face. (*Please note: these two games will be available via Steam through Humble Bundle gift links— read more about what those are here!)
- RUNNER-UP: You get a hella rad pin set. Look at them pins. So shiny. So beautiful.
That’s all the neat stuff. Now we get to the boring-as-hell stuff, but you gotta have dem rules.
- All games are only playable through Steam. If you’re worried about some games not being available for your PC (i.e. if you have Mac or Linux), look up the Steam store page beforehand and see what they’ve got for you.
- Button sets can only be shipped to the US— sorry, folks. You’re free to accept any and all games you win, though.
- Likes and reblogs both count— that’s a chance of two entries for everyone. As two entries are the max amount, people found reblogging to sideblogs and giveaway blogs to duck around this rule will be disqualified. We’re not looking to get notes, we’re just trying to give you fun shit.
- Ya gotta be a grown-up in order for us to mail you stuff. It’s the law. We don’t mess with the law.
The giveaway will officially close July 1st at 12 a.m. MT. Have fun. Stay classy.
I hope I win!
Most Anticipated Games of 2014… and a Few Highlights from the Year Thus Far…
Every year there are games I’m excited for. This year is no different.
Bungie’s first major game since Halo Reach. For the record - that game came out almost 4 years ago, so needless to say, it’s been awhile. Destiny looks incredibly interesting, and I’m excited to join in the beta this July.
Cosmic Star Heroine
I <3 Zeboyd Games’ RPGs. Considering Chrono Trigger is one of my all-time favorites, I have a feeling CSH will be no different.
Dragon Age: Inquisition
I wasn’t too keen on the first two, but something about Inquisition speaks to me. We’ll see how it pans out!
Batman: Arkham Knight
I loved the first two Arkham games, but didn’t find myself very interested in the third one (mostly due to developers changing hands, etc.). With Rocksteady back at the helm, I’m finding myself excited for a Batman game again.
I fucking loved the original Alien film. Isolation looks like its going to be true to the spirit of that movie, and hopefully not be a total crap-fest like Colonial Marines.
Fantasia: Music Evolved
I played this at PAX East. I sucked at it, but I was still finding myself really enjoying it. This may be the only reason to need a Kinect on the Xbox One.
I’m also excited for some other games like Kingdom Hearts 2.5 ReMix, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call, Secret Ponchos, Smash Bros., and more!
But I’ve already played many games this year. Here are some of my faves so far:
Updates... Or Lack Thereof
- Strider (PS4)
- Dark Souls II (PC)
- inFamous: Second Son (PS4)
- Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (PS4)
- Bravely Default (3DS)
Hello! I set up this Tumblr/Portfolio hybrid a while back but haven’t really done much with it. There’s still no images on the projects page, or really any content to speak of in general. I’m hoping to change that. So apologies for the lack of updates until now.
That should change with the new…
Favorite Games of 2013
It’s that time of year again. I have to reflect on what games I played this year and which ones are my favorite. It’s practically law that I do this, so without further ado, in no particular order, my favorite games of 2013.
Sadly, there shall be no HD remakes on the list so no Kingdom Hearts or WindWaker.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
I hated ACIII. But ACIV? It’s basically Assassin’s Creed combined with Wind Waker, which is something I can really get behind. Also there’s no Connor, and you don’t feel as bound to the nonsense of the overarching plot-line as you may have in previous games. And when playing on PS4 that water is particularly gorgeous.
Fire Emblem: Awakening
I hadn’t been interested in Fire Emblem in a long time when Awakening came out. But I watched a Quick Look on GiantBomb and was really impressed with what I saw. So I bought the game - the first digitally downloaded commercial game for my 3DS - and was instantly into what I played. There’s so much depth to the game, and it’s got a colorful cast of characters that really make you ache when they die.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
I… I think I have a new favorite Zelda game. Which, by proxy means I have a new favorite game of all time? This is subject to change, but basically my time with the sequel to a Link to the Past has been full of nostalgia. This, in addition with showing a potential avenue for the franchise’s future - in a much more positive way than that of Skyward Sword - makes this a must play title.
I have been living with depression (that is to say with the official diagnosis) for about a decade now. When I was in middle and high school I kept it hidden from everyone, and only came clean about it when I was a freshman in college (about four years ago). For years I’ve been wondering about how to turn my issues into a game, a deeply personal game that could show how I see the world, that wouldn’t be too heavy handed, or too steeped in metaphor for most players. Depression Quest, a game made with Twine, does just this. It puts you in the shoes of somebody slowly coming to grips with the fact that they have depression, and your choices really reflect those that myself, and other people I know who’ve gone through things similar to me, feel and do in the situations presented.
I fucking love Super Crate Box. And Ridiculous Fishing is another game I fucking love. I’m sure Nuclear Throne would also be on this list if I wasn’t so hell-bent on waiting for the PS4 version to come out before I play it. But anyways, back to Ridiculous Fishing. This game is simple, unadulterated fun coupled with catchy music and great art. With this game, Vlambeer have cemented themselves as world class game developers.
2013’s ~2012~ Game of the Year
I’ve had plenty of time to reflect upon the games I played last year, and new games I finally got to play from 2012 that I just never had an opportunity to ACTUALLY play that year. And well, it was clear which game has remained my favorite.
Rock Band Blitz
I’m still in mourning on the fact that the band has gone on hiatus, but Rock Band Blitz is a great game, and a fitting way to end the franchise for the time being. I’ve put way too many hours into this game, with it’s addictive score chasing mechanics. If that wasn’t proof enough, my game - Hyper Groove - is basically tweaking the formula presented by Rock Band Blitz. I fucking love this game.
2013 Games I Need to Give More Time / a 2nd Chance:
The Last of Us
I was extremely busy when I bought this game and just didn’t have the time to devote to it. I need to acquire another copy and give this gritty game another shot. It feels like one of the few big blockbusters of the year that has a story not necessarily at odds with the gameplay (aka no ludonarrative dissonance as seen in Bioshock Infinite).
Ni No Kuni
A JRPG. With monster training. With art by Studio Ghibli and music from Ghibli collaborator Joe Hisaishi. So why couldn’t I get more into this game? I think it was a matter of timing. I think I’m ready to go back to the world of Ni No Kuni and be whisked away by it’s whimsical quest of a young boy trying to bring his mother back to life.
This game is fucking awesome. Sadly, I have no one to play it with, which kinda detracts from the fun. Holidays are upon us though, so there may be hope yet!
I could go on with some list of games I need to play from this year but… I think that list would go on for quite a while, with games like Gone Home, The Stanley Parable, Bioshock Infinite, Super Mario 3D World, Rayman Legends, etc. on the list.
I could also list some games from next year I’m excited for, but just know there’s a lot of them including Transistor, Below, Titanfall, inFamous Second Son, Destiny, and a lot more.