Robert Wm. Gomez's

Welcome to Pages of Fun!

This is the personal Web site of Robert Wm. Gomez. I am an artist, musician and nerd living in Chicago, Illinois who has been maintaining this site (in one form or another) since 1996. Enjoy your visit!

GNOG on PC (7/10)

Game Info
Platform: 
Rating: 
7

GNOG

GNOG is a cute little puzzle game in which you are left to click and poke around without any instructions and without knowing what your goal is. This is a little frustrating at first, but once you realize that you are trying to open up the big cartoon heads, things start to make sense. Or as much sense as opening up floating heads makes. There are some common tactics: right-click to flip the box, figure out how to pop the back open, then things get weird after that. The main draw here is the surreal art and soothing music. It's not that hard and it really just feels like a point and click adventure with no story. The game does get some negative marks for crashing on the end puzzle (with no way to get there without starting over) and for not working if you have Citrix receiver installed on your PC. Talk about weird.

One Cut of the Dead (9/10)

Excellent Japanese zombie movie that isn't quite what it seems. Avoid spoilers and just watch this. The title refers to the fact that the movie is built around one continuous take of a movie crew filming a zombie movie. Of course, eventually there are real zombies and we know the rest, right? Maybe not. The level of detail here is astounding.

Ruiner on PC (7/10)

Ruiner

Ruiner rages with a riot of red. So much red. It's like an entire game based on a Photoshop filter applied to the R channel. I went in to this thinking it was going to be your standard twin-stick shooter like Nex Mechina and I was excited. No, this is one of those aim with the mouse, steer with wasd games. That control scheme always seems a little bit off and, when you're in an isometric view, the aim never quite matches with your perspective. On top of this there are several special moves bound to other buttons. The most important of which is a chainable dash move. This is very awkward when you need to use you mouse both for aiming and positioning your dashes.

About two levels in to the game I was getting flashbacks to Until I Have You, which has similar cyberpunk aesthetics, but also has a game ruining control scheme. I gave that game a bad review on Steam describing it as being like controlling a game with a theremin. The developer then contacted me wanting me to elaborate. Awkward. That's just about as weird as when Sweetwater Music calls you in regards to your online purchase of strings and a few guitar picks. There's customer service and then there's just leave me alone so I can never leave my desk and buy things on the Internet and rant anonymously in the middle of the night.

Mister America (7/10)

If you haven't followed "On Cinema" on Adult Swim, I can't imagine appreciating this movie. If you're a fan, you will love this. It's ninety minutes of uncomfortable anti-humor in which Tim Heidecker presents himself as one of the most unlikable characters in cinema history. Cinema buffs like Gregg Turkington will immediately recognize that the mockumentary thing has been done many times before and much more effectively. There was a ton of potential here for satirizing the electoral process but it is mostly just a character study of an awful human being who never actually saw Sully.

Assassin's Creed III on PC (4/10)

An Assassin's Crud Acheivement. Oh boy.

This game has been sitting in my to-do list for quite some time. I got it as a freebie from Uplay, and to be quite frank, that may have been too expensive for this clunker. I suppose if you really love the parkour mechanics of the other games you'll be entertained by this, but I am long-since over jumping from towers into bales of hay. With a handful of naval missions, some of the seeds of the vastly superior AC IV are here, but, to mix my metaphors, the mechanics still a bit half-baked (wait you can bake seeds, so maybe that metaphor works... or is it a simile).

The Horrible Dr. Hichcock (5/10)

This was directed by Riccardo Freda but I wouldn't be surprised if Bava had some behind the scenes role. It's the story of a doctor whose wife dies then the second wife is haunted by the first. I was just a little bored and confused by the whole thing.

Transferring Patches to a Yamaha DX100 with Sysex and a PC

Yamaha DX100 Cassette Connector CableOn this site, I had previously posted a set of 24 Yamaha DX100 synth patches for download. The DX is a notoriously difficult synthesizer to program. That difficulty extends to its load/save workflow as well. Originally, the DX100 came with a special cord with a MIDI-style plug on one end and three headphone-sized jacks on the other. This is meant to be plugged into a data cassette recorder. The red cable is audio out, the white is audio in, and the black (I assume) controls the tape player. You hit a button combo on the DX100 and then a screeching modem sound is output to the tape. Modern users can record this sound on a computer as a .WAV file and it will work the same as and old-school tape deck. This works okay, but there is a better way to archive and reload sounds.

Meet Sysex

Sysex stands for system exclusive and it's a part of the MIDI standard that allows synth manufacturers to define their own specific message formats. In our case it is useful because the DX100 uses sysex to store and retrieve patches. With some free software and a cheap hardware interface, you can easily store and retrieve synth sounds on your PC as both individual patches and a complete 24 patch bank.

Solo (6/10)

Well, at least it wasn't embarrassing. The movie exists as yet another way to try to give backstory to throwaway comments from the original films. The plot itself kind of kills Han's story arc in Star Wars and establishes him as a guy who was always good. Despite this and the abundance of fake video-game action sequences, I was mindlessly entertained.

Dolemite Is My Name (6/10)

Entertaining but hollow biopic about the early days of Rudy Ray More as played by Eddie Murphy. It's hard to see Eddie as anyone but Eddie Murphy. Also suffers from the usual Hollywood over-simplification of creative endeavors where the artist gets an idea and minutes later they are performing the final product that we are all familiar with (remember that scene in The Doors where the keyboardist comes up with  the main riff "Light My Fire" after noodling for two seconds).

Millennium Actress (7/10)

The follow-up to Perfect Blue is downright whimsical compared to its predecessor. There are still more grown-up themes than your typical anime, but, instead of knife murders and nudity, it's all about aging and unrealized dreams of one's youth. The main character is an elderly actress who is recounting her life to a pair of goofy documentary filmmakers. The film plays fast and loose with reality as movie roles are blended with real life.

Bone Tomahawk (9/10)

Western with a twist that shows its hand in the first frame of the movie but you very quickly forget about it as the characters are introduced. Then that final act.... yeesh. Filled with interesting dialogue and heroes you actually want to root for.