Robert Wm. Gomez's

Replicas by Tubeway Army (9/10)

Format: 
CD

After having owned and loved The Pleasure Principle for years, I finally expanded my Gary Numan collection with this CD. Numan hadn't quite fully embraced synthesizers at this point in his career (he was about 90% the way there), so the music still has a guitar-based punk rock feel on many of the songs. Some people will rejoice in this. Me? I kinda favor when things go full synth-tard.

Sniper Elite V2 on PC (7/10)

Sniper Elite V2

This was a free game on Steam on the day of the sequel's release. I grabbed it without knowing anything about the game. Apparently, the distinguishing feature of Sniper Elite V2 is its over the top x-ray view gore simulation. Make a head shot and watch as the bullet shatters bones and eyeballs. This adds absolutely nothing to the game other than a novelty cool factor and it starts to get in the way when you are trying to make successive shots quickly.

The Blackwell Deception on PC (9/10)

The Blackwell Deception

The fourth Blackwell game continues to make improvements over its predecessors in terms of technical polish. There is also a bit more depth to the puzzles and game play. This is still no where near the brutal difficulty of an old school point-and-click game, but it's nice to have more options in terms of combining inventory items, switching characters and querying your in-game search engine to advance the game.

Horsepower by Triple Whip (8/10)

Format: 
CD

What do you do when your guitarist/singer packs up and leaves town? You soldier on as an instrumental bass and drums duo! Obviously, this is a very different sounding band than before, but I do like this incarnation too. I like hearing a little more attention paid to the tricksy drumming now that the sound has been stripped down.

Snake Creeps Down by Triple Whip (8/10)

Format: 
CD

This Champaign-Urbana trio was the first band with which Nonagon ever played a show. The songs are very much in the tradition of the C-U sound of the 90s ala the Poster Children or even Hot Glue Gun. This disc is a "kung-fu concept EP" fit for any dojo.

The Blackwell Legacy on PC (8/10)

The Blackwell Legacy - Rosa's Room

The first four Blackwell games went on sale on Steam this week for around 50¢ each. These games have been on my radar ever since I saw this Mattchat interview with Wadjet Eye company founder Dave Gilbert. Basically, he was a hobbyist using the Adventure Game Studio to create Lucasarts style point-and-click adventures. He decided to make a go at transforming his hobby into a business and some dozen or so games later the company has survived.

Spec Ops: The Line on PC (9/10)

Spec Ops: The Line - Screenshot

Have you ever wanted to be the star of your very own nihilistic, anti-war fever dream? Well, look no further than Spec Ops: The Line. This game is, for the most part, a standard cover-based third-person shooter. The mechanics are solid, but nothing out of the ordinary. Where this game separates itself from others is in its dark story that owes a lot to Apocalypse Now and its progenitor, Heart of Darkness. Instead of taking a boat up the river, you are making your way through a sand storm engulfed Dubai on a quest to find Colonel Konrad (Conrad, get it?) and his rogue 33th brigade.

Warm Voices Rearranged by Brandon Kearney & Gregg Turkington (7/10)

The subtitle of the book is "Anagram Record Reviews" and that pretty much sums it up. Take a record artist and title, rearrange the letters and out pops a snarky and fairly relevant description of the album/artist. The reviews are at their best when describing a performer with a tawdry personal life: references to overdoses and sexual escapades abound. My favorite review in the book is the one for the Wallflowers that implies that Jacob Dylan is Hitler. If you want a taste of what's in store check out the blog.