Archive for Video Game

Deals & Steals: More Cowbell Edition

Posted in Deals & Steals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 7, 2013 by Lightning Slim

jesu_lifeline  Lots of awesome junk in the pipeline these days..this order came from Second Spin, and the prices are in $US.

First off, it’s a bit of a before/after shot featuring Justin Broadrick:

Fall of Because – Life Is Easy $5.97. Ugly, messy and extremely vibrant pre-Godflesh (even earlier than Head of David) recordings from many of the guilty parties. This was a re-release, not that it matters because the recordings are so raw.

Jesu – Lifeline $4.49. Now in the post-Godflesh stage of life, Broadrick creates dream-pop, light ambient soundscapes. This EP features Jarboe on vocals.

Metalocalypse – Season 4 $15.99. Hard to find up in the Great White North, it’s always good to spend a little time with Dethklok.

Portal 2 – Songs to Test By $6.50. This four disc (!) set contains every piece of instrumental music in both Portal video games. I mainly bought it for the GLADOS-voiced theme songs, and I still wish they had made some room for a bit of in-game dialogue.

Psyclon Nine – We the Fallen $2.98 and INRI $3.48. Blasphemous electro-industrial with a hint of dark ambient.

Cubanate – Cyberia $4.47 and Antimatter $2.00. Coming at you from the soundtrack to every driving game from the 90’s. Guilty pleasure.

Finally, we have a massive back catalogue slab from stoner rock legends:

 

Fu-Manchu-California-Crossing-300x300  Fu Manchu – California Crossing $2.99, King of the Road $7.99, In Search Of… $5.49. Start the Machine $9.99. So much cowbell it’s like I’m building a dude ranch.

 

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Deals & Steals: Something Old, Something Older, Something Jurassic

Posted in Deals & Steals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2012 by Lightning Slim

  Weird selection from Second Spin  (and my local places) this time around, but oh so fun. We’ve got games, remixes, compilations and collaborations. The S-S prices are in $US, and the Second Spin folks took another $10 off the top, which basically covered shipping. Onward!

Original Soundtrack: Mass Effect $8.99. The Mass Effect universe has been as much fun for me to hang around in as Hogwarts or even Middle Earth. I gave a damn about these games (we can talk about sticking the landing later) and it was due in no small part to the music. Very well executed stuff by Jack Wall and Sam Hulick, and a brilliant end credits song by Faunts that truly makes you believe you have saved the galaxy. In the eighties!

Fear Factory: Soul of a New Machine (Expanded Edition) $8.99. This fills a long-overlooked gap in my collection, and does it in style by including some great retrospective liner notes and the Fear is the Mindkiller EP as well.

Negativland: These Guys Are From England And Who Gives A Shit $5.77. This “Official Bootleg” brings a bit of closure to one of the world’s longest-beaten dead horses, acting as a final word on Negativland’s feud/collaboration/fascination/lawsuit with the world’s biggest band and America’s best known radio DJ.

Jello Biafra with Nomeansno: The Sky is Falling, and I Want My Mommy $7.99. Don’t know why I held out so long before getting this. It’s a bit like I knew I liked peanut butter and I knew I liked chocolate, but I didn’t trust this candy hybrid. Fixed now!

  Rush: Chronicles $21.99. Big deal, you say. Anyone with half a brain knows Chronicles is the non plus ultra of best-of compilations, representing perfect track choices and sequencing.  Ah, but what if you had to replace your worn-out copy? What if you had a chance to do it with a version containing an extra DVD full of the band’s videos? What then, smart guy?

Super big deal: Last weekend I was in Toronto and saw this, still wrapped,  in a used record shop:

 

Yup, that’s the full series of The Shield encased in a coffee-table picture book. I was going to pay the $99 sticker price when the clerk told me it was 20% off. Madness. I love you, place I don’t remember the name of. It’s across the side street from The Rex, if that helps.

It gets better; I found this at my local Value Village for twelve dollars:

 

It was a good week for scrounging!

Game Review – “Brütal Legend” 2009

Posted in Album Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 4, 2010 by Lightning Slim

I wish to begin by stating that I am in no way qualified to review video games, which actually ties into what I’m saying about Brütal Legend. There’s been a lot of to-and-fro about this game on the interwebs, and  most of the criticism has been based on a perception that the ideas of the game are bigger than the mechanics of gameplay can contain. I happen to agree, but also don’t care. I friggin’ love this thing. If you’re looking for serious commentary on the way the game works by knowledgeable people who both love and hate it, head over to the forums at CHUD.

Here’s me:

-Casual gamer. I don’t buy anything the day it comes out, and usually wait for things to go on sale. For instance, Brütal Legend cost me $39 CDN of Xmas gift card on Boxing Day.

-Not a huge collector of achievements, don’t care about online stats, not going to stay up all night for the chance to change my characters’ clothes (I’d rather change my own – zing!) The last time I really strained myself was to get the Fourth Survivor mini game in Resident Evil II, and I succeeded at that by having my vacation plans go belly up, resulting in a week with nothing better to do.

-Lifelong, well-educated, dedicated fan of heavy metal music and culture.

In other words, I’m the perfect storm. If the gaming market consisted of just me and people like me, this game would sell like Avatar. I’m perfectly willing to overlook the flaws of design (schizophrenic disconnect between hack n’ slash vs. real-time strategy, repetitive escort missions, short main campaign) to bask in the glory of its metal culture perfection. The look and feel of the game is as if someone reached into my brain and pulled out every fun, stirring, and hilarious cliché from my youth, mixed with savvy topical knowledge of the way the tropes of metal actually work. Tim Schafer has left no stone (rock!)  unturned, whether it be the chrome-plated visuals, world-class character performances by real metal heavy-hitters, or the simply astonishing soundtrack.

The soundtrack, that’s where I really come in. There are over 100 metal songs played in their entirety in the game, organized into four loose categories corresponding to the heroes and villains. If you like glam, classic, black or industrial metal, there’s something good for you here. Schafer really understands his history here – the goth/black sections let Dimmu Borgir rub shoulders with King Diamond, and the main, player-aligned portions are a love letter to the NWOBHM brimming with Angel Witch, Diamond Head and other obscure treasures.

Look at it this way: buying this game is the equivalent of having a 12-disc box set of expertly selected music that happens to have a minor, but fun and well acted video game attached to it. Good deal!

-Slim

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