Oh sweet Shatner, this game is brutal! The Nintendo DS Giana Sisters game was a cute, simplistic and moderately challenging throwback platformer. Twisted Dreams is a relentless, brain twisting modernized update.
Absolute Polysics is Polysics at their spazziest. It was pretty jarring a first but I have come to like this record quite a bit. In addition to the speed increase there are also more blatant allusions to Devo, especially their sound from Duty Now for the Future. The guitar parts take a back seat to synths and programming which may be why I prefer this over the previous record (which seemed a little tired).
Polysics were another band (along with Lolita #18, Spoozys, Mummy the Peepshow, and Number Girl) that I saw at the excellent Japan Nite 2000 show at the Fireside Bowl. Compared to some of their other records, We Ate the Machine is far from the band's best. Only "Rocket" in on par with their best songs.
This CD compiles Link's early sixties recordings on Epic records. Half the tracks are unreleased versions of songs including alternate takes of "Comanche" and "Ain't that Lovin' you Baby." I like that they include studio chatter before a few of the songs. Stuff like, "Don't let down for God's sakes. The drive is the thing with these kids today!" This is Link in his prime and I might even prefer this over the Rhino best-of disc I posted earlier.
Saints Row IV is an obvious rip-off of Grand Theft Auto all the way down from the open-world mechanics to the gangster themed plot. In realizing this, the makers of Saints Row opted to differentiate themselves by completely disregarding the gritty realism of GTA for an insane sci-fi fantasy plot twist in IV. Aliens have destroyed Earth and the last remaining humans are the Saints gang leaders, all of whom are trapped in a Matrix-style virtual world. The game never takes itself seriously and is filled with amusing quips and plot moments. As the game progresses you begin to overcome the simulation, causing it to glitch and pixelate and giving you unstoppable super powers.
Rhino knows how to create an excellent compilation and they have done it again her with this Link Wray sampler. It opens with his best known song, "Rumble," and continues on from there. At least three of the twenty tracks try to emulate the feeling of that first hit, but none of them can quite match its rawness. But that's okay because every one of these songs has plenty of Link's stripped down and fuzzed-out guitar riffing and a couple even feature his screeching single-lunged vocal talents. This CD is the obvious starting point for anyone new to Link.
This is a fantasy novel I picked up based strictly on the reviews and auto-recommendations online. I enjoyed it for the most part, but, unlike the Mistborn or Kingkiller books, I didn't feel the unique magic system upon which the story hinges was explained in a way that felt grounded and real. I am now on the second book and am starting to get comfortable with the world but it took a while. That aside, the plot keeps up an exciting pace and the main villain is sufficiently villainous while remaining quite sympathetic in his (its?) motives.
Unlike Volume 1, which focused on a more rockabilly and countrified Link, this compilation of rarities is full on chains and switchblades Link. Listening to this now, I'm surprised I didn't buy every volume in this series. I should fix that.
Tribute/cover albums are a hit or miss. My liking of a track can unfairly depend on two things: first, do like the band doing the cover and, second, did I like the original song? Well, I know all these songs but I only really knew about 3 or 4 of the bands featured. Sure there are quite a few recognizable 90's alternative names here, but by the time Nirvana broke through my tastes were drifting towards garage/surf rock. All that said, this compilation is a ho-hum affair. It's not bad, I just would rather listen to the originals than these somewhat liberal reworkings.
Man, this game was a bit of a mess. I guess I wanted it to be a Baldur's Gate style tactical role playing game with all the characters and story of Bioware's other big RPG, Mass Effect. Well, despite the zoomed-out tactical battle mode, this is not an Infinity-Engine style game. Most of the game is played in a stilted third-person view with super-wonky controls. You can zoom out, but you aren't allowed to pan around the battlefield much. Eventually I got the hang of it, but I had to put the game aside for a while out of sheer frustration.