2012-08-07, 10:02 pm
Categories: Music, TV
Embedding disabled; clicky the linky: Ruth Underwood interview. It's a chunk of a BBC piece on Zappa from 1993; it's from a program called The Late Show which, presumably, is entirely unrelated to the American Late Show.
(Although speaking of the American Late Show, I did watch a bit of a Zappa appearance on Letterman the other night. I may post it later but honestly I thought it was pretty boring.)
2012-08-07, 9:49 pm
Categories: Games, Stream of Consciousness
Welp, couldn't think of an entry to write this evening, and I got to thinking -- my brother just got an Xbox (rather like I did), and I was meaning to recommend some games to him. So hey, howzabout a blog post about my favorite Xbox games.
(Actually, I've mostly played the PC versions of these. Because, again -- just got the Xbox.)
Mass Effect -- I haven't played 3 yet, but the first two games are, straight up, my favorite games of the current hardware generation. It's the guys who made Knights of the Old Republic, but it's a new science fiction setting they've cooked up. Humans have begun exploring space and are treated as second-class citizens by the Galactic Council; your character is the first human to be selected for an elite special-ops position. Of course, as these things go, you uncover a threat to all of galactic civilization.
The first game's a not-quite-perfect hybrid of third-person shooter and RPG; it's got a wonky inventory system but is pretty great aside from that. The second game streamlines out all the crap and is more of a pure shooter; on the whole I'd say it's a better game but the first has the better story. I haven't played the third yet; from what I've read it's pretty good but the ending is so bad the company actually released a new ending at fans' insistence.
Batman: Arkham Asylum -- When this game came out it got the Guinness Record for the best-reviewed game of all time. It's easy to see why. It's got a script by Paul Dini and stars Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill. The gameplay is just perfect, and the enemy AI is a great touch; a lot of the fighting is focused on the idea of sneaking around and slowly picking off thugs one-by-one. (You can even hang upside-down from a gargoyle, wait until a guy walks underneath you, and drop down and tie him up.) As you take thugs out the remaining ones get more and more agitated and have different reactions; some start firing randomly into the air, others start traveling in pairs -- the AI's not exactly brilliant but it's a really nice touch. And that's before the game even starts messing with your expectations, playing with what you expect out of the world of Batman and even the mechanics of the game itself.
The sequel, Arkham City, is supposed to be pretty fantastic too, but I haven't gotten around to that one yet.
Guess that'll do for a start. Other stuff for later: Dragon Age, The Witcher 2, Sonic Generations, Sonic CD. And, hell, Ghostbusters. Because it may be mediocre as a game, but as a Ghostbusters sequel, it's pretty great.