Saving the world one post at a time since 2010.

My Opinions on Mortal Kombat X


Greetings, fellow homosapiens.

Now, ever since the eighth generation of gaming began with the big brawl between the PS4 and the Xbox One while the Wii U kind of just sat in the corner, there has been two words that have spread like wildfire.

“Next gen”. As in “next generation”, as in “the future of video games as we have already established them”.

Big triple-A titles like Titanfall and Watch Dogs being pampered with crazy amounts of hype at E3 only to be released to polarization and backlash from the audience have gotten me to think about what these games have in common.

I started to analyze their aesthetics, and I then realized one thing.

They are all trying to live up to the “next gen” title by means of visual appeal, in trailers or promos or just general footage that is being shown to the public.

And this perfectly describes the new Mortal Kombat X teaser that just dropped.

(Warning: Graphic content because, you know, it’s Mortal Kombat.)

With their 2011 reboot, Mortal Kombat pulled off an excellent recovery from the wholly disappointing Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe. (The game actually managed to get a T rating, and I’ll leave it at that.) Rumors about a tenth MK game had been surfacing from as early as last year’s SDCC, with one of the producers of the web series MK Legacy saying that there were plans to release this game alongside an MK movie. Back in February, Kiefer Sutherland of 24 fame claimed to be in on it. The game’s poster was leaked, and rumors continued about stuff like it having a completely original story. I’ll just assume it goes somewhere on the arc, whether it be in the original trilogy, the middle, or after the events of the reboot.

However, everything was just a possibility until the game finally received an official announcement, with a little two-minute teaser to accompany it (see above). The teaser does literally nothing more than tell you that the game exists. That is it. No character reveals, nothing about the story, not even a “coming soon” or anything.

It’s Sub-Zero and Scorpion fighting in a wintry forest to Wiz Khalifa. That is a sentence I never thought I would type. The trailer also frequently alters between “next gen” cinematics and what could possibly be actual gameplay, although it still has the cinematic tint to it, so I highly doubt that’ll be the final look. At the very least, it is shown that x-ray moves will be returning. Yay.

I thought trailers were supposed to entice people into watching the movie/playing the game that it sponsored. At the very least, it should help make some sort of decision. You can use actual game footage or use cinematics/live-action/CG to at least set the atmosphere and tone of the game. The Dead Island trailer (also pretty graphic) was hailed for the sheer amount of emotion that it portrayed and its subtle ways of explaining the game. (And it is absolutely crushing that when compared to the trailer, the game was so meh.)

If you enjoy fancy graphics and good old-fashioned violence, then you might like the MKX teaser. If you want to find anything out about the game, don’t bother. Hopefully, the game will get some more light shone on it when it debuts at E3 this year, and as of now it’s scheduled for a release sometime next year for the PC and all next-gen/past-gen Playstation and Xbox consoles.

Farewell, fellow homosapiens.

~S~

 

 

A palette of video game music.


Hey guys.

(insert unnecessarily long paragraph about the essence of game music)

  • Leaving Earth” from Mass Effect 3 - After having Jack Wall as composer for the first two Mass Effect games,  for the third game an entirely new composing team led by Clint Mansell (who’s done scoring work on Black Swan, among others) was introduced. The majority of people were polarized, thinking that Mansell’s work would be inferior to Wall’s legacy. Then came this. A brass-knuckled wallop of raw emotion right into the haters’ faces. Or their ears, I suppose.

  • Adventure” from Fez - This game was one of the biggest indie hits since Minecraft became an overnight cultural phenomenon. Never have I listened to a chiptune song that has made my heart feel so nostalgic and warm. Now I feel like snuggling up in bed with a teddy bear, a turkey sandwich, and a warm glass of milk, while watching the sun set.

  • Mice on Venus” from Minecraft - What a convenient transition. This song actually took me–heck, the prospect of Minecraft having an OST took me by surprise. There’s nothing playing for the majority of the game, so when my friend and I played the Xbox edition, I was taken aback by the sheer beauty of the tracks. This is probably one of my favorites. It (or something like it) would be playing while the sun rose and it was the most amazing feeling of my life.

  • Simian Segue” from Donkey Kong Country - As I’ve said before, this is my favorite game on the Super Nintendo and one of my favorite games of all time. It’s not just the gameplay and the visuals (even though they’re both stellar), but the soundtrack by Dave Wise is killer. And here we have the absolute most infectious menu music of all time. Sure, compared to the atmospheric qualities of “Jungle Groove” (the iconic de facto theme song for the series) it’s just decent, but this song is bound to get your head bobbing, or your toes tapping, or something.

  • Prince Fleaswallow” from Parappa the Rapper - A quirky rhythm and nonsensical lines like “I’ve been working here since my mama was a baby” add to the surreal charm that this game provided. Probably when I go to a flea market now, this song will be echoing in the back of my head. It also goes without mentioning that it really sounds like this guy’s on…something. What does he sell again?

  • The Concept of Love” from Jet Set Radio Future - All I can say about this song is that it just embodies the feeling of rebellion, and gets stuck in your head really quickly. The grit that you can just feel throughout the song is a perfect accompaniment to the high-speed action within the game.

  • Fiesta de los Muertos” from Rayman Legends - This is one of the greatest games I’ve played in months, considering my gaming schedule went from regular and finely stretched to compressed into little clumps. And I spent one of those little clumps playing this game. Much like Dave Wise as mentioned above, Christophe Heral (who composed this game) knows what he’s doing when it comes to setting the proper music for the proper times. While the music’s awesome on its own, playing the level that it corresponds with and listening to it makes the experience five times better. Still a great song, though.

  • Peril” from Halo 2 - This song’s been with me for a while, despite me having no memory of playing the actual game. When I uploaded this some time ago on my Tumblr, I described it as something along these lines. “This song is playing while I’m smoking a cigar, gunning someone down with one hand and slitting another’s throat with the other. In slow motion. In a burning building.”

  • Sign of the Colossus” from Shadow of the Colossus - Even to this day, this game is highly acclaimed and revered for its powers to bind gameplay and music to create groundbreaking aesthetics never seen before in any prior gaming experiences. From the instruments that jump in and fade out ominously to the excellently jarring piano, this song could probably epitomize the game. That is, if every track didn’t stand out on its own already.

  • Mine, Windbag, and Mine” from Bastion - A highlight off of a critically acclaimed OST. A very vast soundscape that starts out mellow and acoustic but then gets energetic, building up steadily and getting gradually more awesome as the song continues. The appropriate sound effects of metallic clangs in the background add to the atmosphere.

—-

So those were some tracks.

I hope you liked them.

Until next time.

(jumps into unknown abyss)

~S~

slim shady lp – percy review


I’m too lazy to blog, so there won’t be a post today. Sorry.

But here’s a post from my friend and partner Percy.

Enjoy.

sslp1 (1)

dat parental advisory label was hard earned

hallo my name is percy i will be giving you teh good review 4 today

i dont even know what aspect to approach dis album from

is messed up album

wrong and disturbing to point of non forgiving

ten again slim shaddy is messed up

i am to find it very interest when wikipedia defines genre of dis album as

“horrorcore”

if you live under a dwayne johnson,

core of horror is basically hop hip that is to bringing the nightmares

sums up album perfectly

contains promising track titles that i do not believe i having the ability to be mention

great images such as

“she beat me over the head with the remote control

opened a hole, and my whole brain fell out of my skull”

or

“and by the way, when you see my dad

tell him that I slit his throat in this dream I had”

fun for the whole family

you will feel like terrible person for laughing

despite very graphic imagery

if you are to look past

enimem has the good lyrics

very good timing of rhyming

sometimes he is to be making good flow

only to be interrupted by more violence

but without dis album

eminem would’ve just been underground famous

for da ep he made year before dis album

critics loved it and sold like hot cakes

made rolling stone top 500

but the hot cakes are just fancy saying of the pancakes

so apparently everyones is to loving the pancakes

parents and de moral peoples hated this album

for reasons i do not even have to be explaining

plus at the time it was terrible for kids to be listening

to songs that were the talking about drug overdose and suicide and bullying

in fact i do believing it still is bad

always to be thinking of the children

got in big trouble with the popos for badmouthing (in big fancy words they are to using the word “slander”)

but still everyone and they mom know chorus to “my name is”

and that is what it to be coming down to in the end

legacy dat it holds

and it holds up quite well for debut album

is not a college dropout

but at least is not a pablo honey

(Percy, Pablo Honey isn’t a rap albu–)

ALL LOOK SAME THANK YOU FOR TEH GOOD READING DRIVE SAFE

~~~P~~~

 

 

 

 

An update of what’s to come.


Hey guys, I’m back.

Now, last month Sammwak turned four years old.

This is by all means a milestone for me, considering I’ve never put so much effort and energy into a single thing ever.

Along the way we hit 100,000 hits, which was an even bigger achievement for me. Even now, I receive comments from people who sincerely enjoy my content. If my site statistics are right, I’m getting viewership from all around the world.

After my little hiatus last year leading into this year, I decided to dust off the old keyboard and whip up two posts that I put up back in April. But those two posts probably required the most work I’ve ever had to put into this blog, and I started to think about the future of the blog. Whether it would still be getting traffic, and how long it could be until it loses its sliver of limelight.

For a while, I thought about deleting the site as a whole and putting it behind me.

But that would put four years of hard work down the drain, never to be seen again.

I would blog more frequently, but school and personal obstacles are more often than not the reason behind my diminishing post frequency.

I remember back in 2010, when I was just surfing the Internet.

And I found an opportunity to make a blog right then and there.

And I took it and never let go.

I made an average of 5-10 posts a day with zero knowledge of blog etiquette, but still.

That is why I’m making this update.

I’m not saying Sammwak is over or anything.

I’m just sort of re-birthing it.

It’ll be an entirely new blog.

But not in the sense that I’m going to start talking about a brand new topic like fashion or nature.

It’ll still be the games and books and movies and videos that I started with.

Let’s try once a month, if I can keep up with that.

Maybe I’ll shave it down to once every other week.

Or I’ll just be usual and have a sporadic, unpredictable uploading schedule.

I could go back to the old days and do it every Monday.

Whatever I do,

just know that we’re in for a very crazy ride.

~S~

Is Spongebob Past Its Prime?


Image

The original Spongebob.

Image

The modern Spongebob.

“I really [missed] this show. I use past tense because it’s not even the same show anymore.”

lemonhead75

Remember when Spongebob Squarepants used to be the greatest cartoon of all time? During its golden age from seasons 1-3, it was acclaimed for its fresh humor and nostalgic elements, while also remembering that it was underwater and therefore having its own aquatic take on human society. It was–and kind of still is–one of the most iconic televised series of all time, and has received notable recognition within pop culture to this today. Everyone and their grandma remembers the “FUN Song”.

Now currently in season ten or eleven, SBSP has seen what people call one of the biggest quality declines of all time. The show seemed to start losing its flow in season four, and stuff started to get serious by seasons 5 and 6. It seemed to get more disturbing as it went on to the point where it wrings jokes out of nothing, and actually makes situations the complete opposite of laughable. Take the notorious toenail scene from “House Fancy” (a season six episode), for example. Even in the midst of this, the show tries to hit us with what we were already hit with so many years ago. The biggest connection between the two eras are nonessential callbacks to the show’s heyday. Long-time fans will say that the new SBSP lacks the charm that made the old SBSP such a hit.

And with declining quality comes declining ratings. Despite the show’s ongoing popularity, the show took a shocking dip in 2012, with a 29% drop in the number of kids aged 2-11 watching the show, according to Nielsen. Another popular theory is that the show collapsed due to show creator Stephen Hillenburg resigning and leaving the show in the hands of creative director Derek Drymon, which spawned a legion of new writers and crew members that tinkered with the show to unbelievable extents, doing something that TV Tropes calls “flanderization“.

Flanderization is defined as “the act of taking a single (often minor) action or trait of a character within a work and exaggerating it more and more over time until it completely consumes the character.” All the characters have gone through dramatic trait changes, such as Krabs, who is now portrayed as something of an antagonist to appeal to the placeholder storylines of his fetish for fortune. Spongebob’s former persona as a naive Pollyanna has turned him into an eccentric idiot. Patrick went from a slightly dim oddball to one of the dumbest characters on TV. Squidward went from being the butt of every joke to the voodoo ragdoll of Bikini Bottom. Sandy went from the peppy female companion to a ghost who rarely appears. And let’s not forget when Mrs. Puff ended up trying to murder Spongebob…

The world of Bikini Bottom got flanderized as well; it turned from a light-hearted place with a couple off-color jokes to a sadistic hellhole where surreal situations and bawdy gags ripped from Adult Swim are the norm.

However, the show didn’t just go down the drain magically…

Image

For many, it was the Spongebob movie that marked the beginning of the end.

The movie just so happened to premiere in the time interval between the end of season three and the start of season four. The movie was a lot heavier than most regular episodes, containing darker plot lines such as the “ice cream lady” and Dennis the bounty hunter. It was sort of a somewhat-prescient insight onto what the series was going to transform into. It makes even more sense when one realizes that this was supposed to be the showstopping finale for the series before a couple things got in the way

Try imagining that scene where Spongebob and Patrick get drunk off of ice cream, looped for years on end, episode after episode, forever (or until the show ends, whichever comes first).
In the end, despite how the writers are clearly starting to get dry on their ideas, SBSP might have a sliver of hope to redeem itself and bring back some good stuff. Maybe we’ll see Sandy again. Maybe an episode will go by without anything disturbing. Only time will tell.
What do you think? Is Spongebob truly past its prime? Leave a comment about it.
Also, make sure to follow my Tumblr at http://www.prince-of-limbs.tumblr.com. WARNING: Not for moralists.
——————-
Authorities:
https://sites.google.com/site/tria1andfai1ur3/over-analysis/oa-tv-shows/spongebob-decline-in-quality
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpongeBob_SquarePants
——————-
Stay classy,
~S~

a crappy review of ok computer


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In an interstellar burst,
I’m back to save the universe.”

- “Airbag

(I’m going to try to have as little bias in this review as possible, which is going to be a challenge as I LOVE RADIOHEAD.)

Up until 1997, Radiohead had just been an average British rock band. Just five guys: singer and frontman Thom Yorke, guitarist Jonny Greenwood, bassist Colin Greenwood, drummer Phil Selway, and extra guitarist Ed O’Brien. Their debut release Pablo Honey (1993) received mixed reception, and was classified as “Nirvana lite” due to its grungy sound. (Vindication over the years has now seen a lighter change of heart.) They quickly grew out of this with The Bends (1995), which got higher praise and focused on a more traditional rock sound and incorporated the cryptic lyrics that would be a staple for the band. They were getting their foot in the door–but with this album, the door was left hanging by its hinges. 

OK Computer (1997) isn’t just an album. It’s an experience. You could listen to it thousands of times and still unearth a new message in each song. The songs are saturated with universal themes like consumerism, politics, and social/emotional ostracism. It also sounded completely different from anything that preceded it; it was 53 minutes of musical experimentation, per se. It has gained a huge following, and is considered by critics and even other musicians to be one of the greatest albums of its time, and having a prophetic vision of the economic value of the century to come. I agree.

  • Airbag” – A triumphant start to the album; the story of a man’s great joy after surviving a car crash (“an airbag saved my life”), with four minutes of peppy riffs and effervescent falsettos, and another minute is just spent purely rocking.
  • Paranoid Android” – A six-minute tour de force in the likes of “Bohemian Rhapsody”, where we see Radiohead at its full power. The song gets split into four sections, the time signatures are on sugar highs, and the musical style and rhythm change so instantaneously that you’re constantly on your toes.
  • Subterranean Homesick Alien” – The sci-fi dreams of someone who wants to be abducted by aliens to see extraterrestrial lifestyles (“up above, aliens hover, making home movies for the folks back home”), but knows that no one will believe them when they get back to teach them about “the stars and the meaning of life”. If I daresay, it feels like an indie song, even though there’s still electric instruments. 
  • Exit Music (For a Film)” – Inspired by Romeo and Juliet (most specifically the 1968 adaptation; it was also used in the 1996 adaptation), “Exit Music” is sort of like a musical summary of the story, from the opening line (“wake from your sleep”) to the ending line (“now we are one in everlasting peace”) and the unsettling mantra (“we hope that you choke”). 
  • Let Down” – Another more laidback song, with a more acoustic feel and ample use of arpeggios. It is considered a dark horse among the non-single tracks and has the power to reduce even the most emotionally stable listeners to tears. 
  • Karma Police” – Probably my favorite on the album. The title and lyrics derive from an in-joke among the band members during the Bends tour. The first part of the track is a simple combination: piano riff, acoustic guitar, drum, Thom’s voice. The second part shows evolution into a more electronic sound with more synth and tinkering, consisting of nothing but the line “Phew, for a minute there I lost myself”. The song ends with heavy processed distortion that simulates police sirens. The structure of the track is offbeat (no pun intended) due to the song lacking a definitive chorus, but the song is still very enjoyable.
  • Fitter Happier” – A two-minute filler consisting of an unsettling monotone reading off a list of 1990s slogans. That’s it. 
  • Electioneering” – Easily the most rock-y song on the album–will probably remind one of their earlier sound. Instead of allowing people to interpret any political meaning, this track tackles it head on with a snide taste of cynicism. (“It’s just business, cattle prods, and the I.M.F. I trust I can rely on your vote.”) 
  • Climbing Up the Walls” – If there’s a song I greatly advise you to listen to with great discretion, it’s this one. This song isn’t just disturbing–it is plain terrifying. It is based heavily off of Yorke’s experience working at a mental hospital, and a perturbing sense of paranoia is more than preeminent. (“That either way he turns, I’ll be there. Open up your skull, I’ll be there.”) It doesn’t help that the song ends with Yorke producing the sound of one thousand dying demons. But at least the drumming was pretty awesome.
  • No Surprises” – After such a fearful track, Radiohead gives us a soulful breather with this next track. It should also be listened to with discretion not due to it being scary, but due to it being quite depressing. The somber rhythm and Yorke’s futile-sounding vocals contribute to the common interpretation that this song is a musical suicide note. I consider it to be more of a bittersweet prayer. (“Such a pretty house, such a pretty garden. No alarms and no surprises (let me out of here).”)
  • Lucky” – After having previously debuted on The Help Album (an album by many artists to help the War Child charity released in ’95), this track tells the story of a man who survived a crash–this time of a plane (“pull me out of the aircrash”). You can see the light at the end of the album’s bleak tunnel start to arrive. (“Pull me out of the wake. I’m your superhero, we are standing on the edge.”) Plus, the guitar sounds like Pink Floyd, which is doubly enjoyable for me. 
  • The Tourist” – Speaking of Pink Floyd, remember how they perfectly stitched the end and start of The Wall together? Well, it’s the same for this one–the ending and beginning tracks correspond with one another? This track takes on the car crash from the perspective of a bystander (“hey man, slow down, slow down”). The instruments seem to intertwine with the antithetic feelings of tranquility and adrenaline as the tempo quickens and slows. The album bows out on the sound of a small bell, and there’s something strangely mystifying about that bell. There’s so much it could represent. But hey, that’s for the fans to interpret.

I give OK Computer a 9.5/10. It’s a groundbreaking listen, and it will take you on a journey beyond your wildest beliefs. 

———————

DID YA MISS ME?

I bet your life was over for the three months I was gone.

But I’m back and I’m ready to get this party started again.

Currently we have over about 122,000 hits on Sammwak, which is crazy.

We have audiences from the US to apparently South America, Australia, East Asia, and most of Europe.

Sammwak is worldwide.

And I’d just be some kid wasting his time on the internet if it wasn’t for you.

So thanks.

I also have a Tumblr now.

Tumblr: www.prince-of-limbs.tumblr.com

kthnxbai

 

What 2014 Has In Store


Happy new year, merry late Christmas, happy really late Thanksgiving, and happy super late Halloween. Yeah, I’ve been kind of disappearing when it comes to blogging recently, but I just haven’t had the time to get on posting when I start having the craving to make comics and I have to get my creativity flowing and it just takes a while. Luckily, I’m back in time for the break of 2014, and let’s see what it has to offer.

……………………………..

godzilla

Let’s look at some movies.

  • Ride Along - What you’d get if you took Friday, turned it into another cheesy action comedy, and replaced Chris Tucker with Kevin Hart. (1/17/14)
  • I, Frankenstein - Rebooting the story of Frankenstein for a new generation, and now we have Harvey Dent as Frankenstein. (1/24/14)
  • The Lego Movie - You don’t need to check your monitor, this actually exists. And the trailer looks surprisingly epic. And the roster is pretty impressive–if you consider Channing Tatum, Will Ferrell, and Jonah Hill to collectively be “impressive”. (2/7/14)
  • Muppets Most Wanted - The Muppets go touring in Europe, and the most wanted criminal in the world happens to look just like Kermit. You can connect the dots. (3/21/14)
  • Divergent - The movie of the book. It’s the future, Chicago is split into five factions, Tris takes a test, she doesn’t fit into a faction cuz she’s Divergent, she discovers something sinister happening in her utopian society, blah blah blah. It has a budget bigger than that of The Hunger Games, so it better be worth its hype. (3/21/14)
  • Noah - Basically, when God was unsatisfied with the world and tried to bring apocalypse to it and Noah built that ark for all that animals: the movie. Just as it was told in the Bible. Oh, and Emma Watson shows up. (3/28/14)
  • Rio 2 - Apparently people liked that movie, and it looks like the same movie except it’s in the Amazon and we learn that Jewel has a dad and–incoming narrative hook–his habitat is in danger! “Le gasp” indeed. (4/11/14)
  • The Amazing Spider Man 2 - Electro and the Rhino. The only new things about this sequel. (5/2/14)
  • Legend of Oz: Dorothy’s Return - This movie tries to add something new to something that’s already perfect. Five new characters (a giant talking marshmallow, a china doll, a “tree-turned tugboat”, and an owl), and the biggest threat is that some Jester is going to turn iconic Ozzians (that’s what it’s called right?) into marionettes. Really? (5/9/14)
  • Godzilla - Finally, something that looks good. Godzilla ’98 was the Razzie-winning black sheep of the series (the only thing it got right was its visuals, and I think they screwed even that up), but luckily this cream looks big enough and strong enough to cover that nasty zit. Anyway, this movie is Godzilla vs. malevolent creatures “bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance”. Does this mean another Pacific Rim, or is this a metaphor saying that it’s Godzilla vs the real monsters–us? (5/16/14, which is two months earlier than Japan. Oh, the irony.)
  • Maleficent - A Sleeping Beauty prequel-reboot combo through the eyes of the bad guy. This is new. And what’s this, they cast Angelina Jolie as Maleficent? And what’s this…they made Sleeping Beauty a teenager? Uh… (5/30/14)
  • The Fault In Our Stars - The classic love story between a teen girl with thyroid cancer and an ex-basketball player who lost his right leg to osteosarcoma gets adapted to the big screen. It’s a freaking maple tree, it looks so sappy. (6/6/14)
  • How To Train Your Dragon 2 - I didn’t know you could Neville Longbottom so much in four years. (That’s right, it’s a verb now describing drastic changes in courage and heroism over time.) Anyway, Hiccup took a few levels in badbutt and new adventures with him and Toothless await. (6/13/14)
  • Transformers: Age of Extinction - It’s an entirely new arc and it stars an entirely new cast, so can you blame me for throwing it under the bus immediately? If it grosses over a billion, I will lose faith in the sci-fi action genre forever. (6/27/14)
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - Caesar and his boys vs. the survivors of the virus. The prize? Supremacy as the dominant species of the world. (7/11/14)
  • The Boxtrolls - From the guys who brought you those scary stop-motion movies (Paranorman and Coraline) comes another seemingly-not-scary stop-motion movie where underground trash collectors called Boxtrolls who raised an orphan who now has to save them from an exterminator. What. (9/26/14)
  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day - I don’t even have to explain this. If you said you didn’t read that book as a kid, I wouldn’t believe you for a second. (10/10/14)
  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 - Katniss leads the districts in a rebellion against the Capitol and has to make a lot of crucial decisions as the war of fate escalates quickly with horrific consequences. (11/21/14)
  • Home - I can’t believe what I’m about to type. They made a movie on The True Meaning of Smekday with Sheldon Cooper, Rihanna, Steve Martin, and they even got J.Lo! No, the real J.Lo! Words cannot express my elation. (11/26/14)
  • Exodus - Basically when all the Jews left Egypt and Moses led them: the movie. Just as recalled in the Bible (or The Prince of Egypt). In this case, all the Jews leave Egypt and Christian Bale leads them. Uh… (12/12/14)
  • The Hobbit: There and Back Again - Didn’t think the end of the Bilbo arc would be so near, would it? (12/17/14)

Most anticipatedHome (Mockingjay P1 was a close second)

………………………………..

original

Now, some video games.

  • Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition - Basically Tomb Raider for next-gen consoles. (1/28/14; PS4, XBO)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z - 2012’s DBZ for Kinect was an embarrassment to the game series, so Namco Bandai wants to try to redeem themselves. If you liked Zenkai Battle Royale, the game mechanics aren’t too different. With a redundant name like that, it could very much be digging its own grave.  (1/28/14; PS3, X360, Vita)
  • Lighting Returns: Final Fantasy XIII - This game picks up where XIII-2 left off and ties up the loose ends of XIII‘s story, part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis subseries later to feature the mobile Agito as well as FFXV. (2/11/14; PS3, X360)
  • Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare - This is the strangest art shift I’ve ever seen in anything. Looks to be an interesting shooter. (2/18/14; XBO, X360)
  • Thief - Master thief Garrett popularized the stealth genre just as well as Solid Snake could, and now he’s getting a reboot. However, it risks mimicking the already successful Dishonored, so let’s hope it has some fresh tricks up their sleeve. (2/25/14; PC, PS3, PS4, X360, XBO)
  • South Park: The Stick of Truth South Park has already made a huge mark on American animated television, helping codify the raunchy, off-color adult humor that we see in most animated sitcoms. Among many people, I first got a taste of the game via Game Informer, and it seems to be the RPG of the year…if it doesn’t get delayed again. (3/4/14; PC, PS3, X360)
  • Titanfall - Fast-paced action, cloud services, and robots. It’s not surprising that the game had a huge splash at E3 and won sixty awards at the show! People are already saying it’ll be the next big landmark in the FPS genre, and be the secret weapon for the One. Wait…it’s multiplayer-only? Uh… (3/11/14; PC, X360, XBO)
  • Dark Souls II - Dark Souls did pretty good a couple years ago, and this sequel appears to be just as hard. The game boasts a juicier graphics engine and better AI, and it might not even have an easy mode. So if you don’t like hard games, step away. But if you like challenges, be my guest.  (3/11/14; PC, PS3, X360)
  • Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes - To hold you off until Phantom Pain, Konami has the first half of the MGSV arc for you. This picks up where Peace Walker left off, chronologically one year later and nine years before Phantom Pain. (3/18/14; PS3, PS4, X360, XBO)
  • Infamous: Second Son - The One has Killer Instinct, and the PS4’s trying to combat that with the new Infamous, with a new character and new twists on old powers. (3/21/14; PS4)
  • Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - Apparently now Diablo‘s getting into the expansion pack game like Warcraft, and here’s the first of what could be a plentiful add-on series. (3/25/14; PC, Mac, PS4)
  • Destiny - Bungie’s first post-Halo game, and my most anticipated game of the year. (Plus it’s on 360, so there’s non need to upgrade!) A prosperous period of advancement has screeched to a halt with the Collapse, after which mankind could face extinction. You are one of the survivors, the Guardians of the City, and you must protect the little remains of humanity from demolition. (9/9/14; X360, XBO, PS3, PS4)
  • Sunset Overdrive - The game’s bouncy visuals and enthralling gameplay put it really high on my most-anticipated list–actually, it’s bested only by Destiny. It’s like Viewtiful Joe in 3D as a shooter. There’s gonna be ziplines and wall-running and even some acrobatics, so I expect some Mirror’s Edge thrown in the puree as well. It’s also gonna be using Microsoft’s cloud services a lot, but I’m not a cloud gamer. Still excited. (sometime; XBO)
  • The Sims 4 The Sims 3 and its umpteen expansion packs was one of the defining parts of my childhood, so I expect The Sims 4 to be way better. The PC sales of the past three games have been staggering, and I expect nothing less than true brilliance, whether it be better graphics or better mechanics. However, you do need an account on Origin (think EA’s take on Steam) and Internet access as the game initially installs. Kind of chips at my hopes, but it still looks awesome. (Q3/Q4; PC, Mac)
  • Watch Dogs - I’ve heard about this game for a while, and my thoughts of it have whittled down to “Dishonored with a hacker and none of the cool super powers.” There’s also some parkour promised to show up, and some cover-based TPS stuff too (Hitman much?). And for a game that has five collector’s editions (special, Vigilante, Uplay Exclusive, Limited, and Dedsec), it seems like it’ll match the hype pretty well. (Q2; PC, PS3, PS4, WiiU, X360, XBO)

Most anticipatedDestiny (Sunset Overdrive was a close second)

……………………………………..

hollow-city

Now, some upcoming books.

  • Hollow City by Ransom Riggs - In the sequel to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Jacob and his Welsh homies go to London where all those creepy children are at. Miss P’s bro Caul is able to steal the kids’ “abilities”. Cue another fight for survival. (1/14/14; 352 pgs)
  • Sorry You’re Lost by Matt Blackstone - Denny “Donuts” Murphy has just suffered the passing of his mom, and to cope with that he becomes a class clown. But in Donuts’ core is a happy place where his mother still lives and his dad doesn’t watch TV all day. Donut and his buddy try to score dates for the year-end dance, a mission in which Donuts learns some important morals that could change him for the better. (1/21/14, 320 pgs)
  • Almost Super by Marion Jensen - Each leap year at an exact time, each 12+-year old member of the Baileys gets a superpower. The two newest recipients, Rafter and Benny, get let down with suckish powers. The big bad of the story ends up sparking a war between her family and the Baileys. To be honest, I lost them at “superpower”. (1/21/14; 256 pgs)
  • Cress by Marissa Meyer - In the third entry of the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and her band of misfits are still plotting to overthrow Queen Levana. Their best hope is to go to Cress, an OP hacker who ironically is searching for them (eeeeviiillll). Stuff happens. (2/4/14; 560 pgs)
  • Timmy Failure: Now Look What You’ve Done by Stephan Pastis - In the sequel to Mistakes Were Made, there’s a school competition to find a globe for a cash prize, but someone’s trying to hijack. It’s up to Timmy and his polar-bear partner Total and his new eccentric ally Great-Aunt Colander to find an end to the madness. (2/25/14; 288 pgs)
  • Game Over, Pete Watson by Joe Schreiber and Andy Rash - A boy finds out his dad is a superspy that is trapped inside a game, so he has to use his gaming skills to enter the game and rescue him. To be honest, I lost them at “superspy”. (3/11/14, 224 pgs)
  • Sean Rosen Is Not For Sale by Jeff Baron - Y’know Sean, that guy who’s trying to pitch a movie idea to Hollywood? Alright, so now not only is he working on his script, but he has school, track, dog-walking, podcasts, and keeping his secret from his parents, all while a private detective has been sent to find out about Sean. To be honest, I lost them at “podcasts”. (3/18/14; 384 pgs)
  • The Ninja Librarians by Jennifer Swann Downey - It just sounds dumb, doesn’t it? Wait until you hear the plot. Alright, so a girl and her bro are chasing her mongoose through a library when they get into the janitor’s closet and fall into a secret pathway to the HQ of a society of…y’know. There’s a betrayal, she and her pals take the blame, and they need to clear their names. To be honest, I lost them at “mongoose”. (4/1/14; 384 pgs)
  • Poached by Stuart Gibbs - In the sequel to Belly Up, a horrible prank set up by a school bully leaves a koala missing. Teddy gets thrown under the bus since he’s the only one coming and going on camera, and he needs to find the real culprit and fast, because juvie is calling his name. (4/8/14; 336 pgs)
  • Renegade by Debra Driza - That android Mila I was talking about meets a boy who joins her to find some guy who knows about her past but people are looking for her. Basically, it’s the same book with some boy. (5/13/14; 448 pgs)
  • The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan - The fifth and final installment of Heroes of Olympus. Many are either fighting their emotions of seeing it go or complaining loudly about how they have to wait a year to see how it all ends. Mother Earth “Gaea” is still a strong foe and her giants must be stopped before the Feast of Spes where she plans to kill two demigods to receive (title) to awaken. To be honest, I lost them at “Gaea”. (10/7/14; 608 pgs)

Most anticipated: I don’t even know.

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Well, I think I did pretty good to sum up the year! Leave anything you think I missed in the comments. Here’s to a great new year that’s bound to be full of awesomeness courtesy of Sammwak!

Stay classy,

~S~ 8-)

Video of the Week: “Why I love my Honda VT750” by Nick Bertke aka Pogo, the guy whose mixes I’ve been uploading and gushing about to a fault. In this video, he drives around on his motorcycle, talks about it, admires the vista, and explains why the original Star Wars trilogy will always be superior to the new trilogy. All while we get to see some beautiful Australian scenery.

My favorite video from 2013.

The cutest thing I’ve ever seen.


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