(Not So) Random Song of the Day – ERB Edition – Part Nineteen

For an idea as to what we’re doing here, refer back to the introduction for more details.

Another day, another two battle raps. These two are interesting, though, because in both cases, it’s less that the raps themselves did anything to damage the product and more that other elements damaged the experience for the viewer beyond what the battle raps themselves had to offer. These two, honestly, could’ve been much higher on the list with some changes, but here we are and there it is.

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(Not So) Random Song of the Day – ERB Edition – Part Eighteen

For an idea as to what we’re doing here, refer back to the introduction for more details.

After getting the worst of the worst out of the way, from this point onward the season… mostly just skates by on a whole lot of nothing, honestly. While the top four entries from this season manage to pull off just enough talented work that they partially redeem the entire season, the majority of the season is just a whole bunch of acceptable ideas that are only marginally better or worse than one another. Put another way, the bottom two rap battles are bad, the top four are great, and the middle six are basically only mildly varied from one another because they accomplish very little beyond sticking two people against one another and hoping for the best.

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(Not So) Random Song of the Day – ERB Edition – Part Seventeen

Well, it’s been a while, let’s start this out right.

For an idea as to what we’re doing here, refer back to the introduction for more details.

When we left off on these discussions, we had just completed an evaluation of the second season of ERB, and in that time period Peter and Lloyd have been busy, as we have another two whole seasons to talk about, which isn’t even counting the fifth (which is presently ongoing). While that’s great to a point, the third season kind of represents what I would call a “flattening” of the ERB product on the whole. While the first two seasons are full of all sorts of experimental moments, by the third season, the core concepts were more or less set in stone, and ERB had begun to expand in terms of the talent fielded for battle raps.That was great in theory, don’t get me wrong, but on the flipside, while Season Three has a couple of really solid releases, a whole lot of the season feels flat and uninspired, and the majority of the videos lack the punch of the first two seasons. Don’t get me wrong, there are some really strong winners in Season Three, at least, but Season Four basically beats the shit out of it pretty hard, thanks to several really strong tracks and only a couple flat entries, while the third season is a lot of “meh.” So let’s take a look at where Season Three went flat, starting with the worst videos and moving up the chain as we go.

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Looking Back On… the 2014 Year in Review Staff Commentaries

(Well, here we are, a year removed from the 2014 Year in Review, and aside from the fact that I’ve not had a lot of time or energy to update this site, and probably won’t until April or so, when I finally graduate, there are two things I can say definitively: first, that it turns out I went back to three of the games in my 2013 list in Terraria, Saints Row IV and XCOM, for personal fun, review of a rerelease and livestreaming respectively, and second, that holy shit was 2014 a wonderful year in gaming in comparison to 2015, at least for me personally. I can understand if you thought 2015 was a wonderful year in gaming, because indie gaming exploded for a lot of folks, but I was one of those people who was looking forward to a lot of sequels that didn’t deliver, so 2014 feels like a wistful remembrance in comparison. To each their own and whatnot.)

Mark B.’s Top Ten
Senior Editor

1.) Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth (3DS)
2.) Dangan Ronpa 1&2 (Vita)
3.) Akiba’s Trip: Undead and Undressed (PS3)
4.) Valiant Hearts: The Great War (PS4)
5.) South Park: The Stick of Truth (PC/360)
6.) Demon Gaze (Vita)
7.) Goat Simulator (PC)
8.) Dragon Age: Inquisition (XBO)
9.) Persona 4 Arena Ultimax (360/PS3)
10.) Five Nights at Freddy’s (PC)

(I might shuffle the first and second spots around, but otherwise the top five games in the list are honestly more or less fine as is. Goat Simulator would probably move up a slot, and I’d probably slot in something else in place of Demon Gaze in retrospect… maybe If My Heart Had Wings, as weird as that sounds. Otherwise, though, it’s a fine list, and I’m mostly still happy with the majority of the games on it.)

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Random Song of the Day – 7/27/15

Today, Bjork:

While I might well have posted something from her in the past, I wanted to post this because I’ve been listening to Debut, her first significant US release, and it’s still pretty interesting on its own merits, outside of time period and context. The video is really weird, as you can see, but I find it interesting that Debut as a record is probably one of her tamer efforts. It’s also her least popular one as well; despite the fact that Bjork basically needed Debut as a record to get traction in the US market, it was the lowest ranked, chart-wise, in the US of all her records. Considering how hard it can be for some acts to keep themselves in the public eye, the fact that Bjork has managed to chart consistently for over two decades in the US is kind of impressive, even if she’s never been the kind of artist who generates multi-platinum records with but a touch.

On the other hand, one of her records, Volta, features her dressed up in a multi-colored soda bottle with feet on the cover, so really, why wouldn’t you buy that, if only because of perverse curiosity?

Random Song of the Day – 7/23/15

Today, Feint:

Admittedly, this came up while I was searching for an Eisbrecher song, and damned if it isn’t a surprisingly solid piece of work. I like the composition here; the progression from verse to chorus is surprisingly lively for what is a fairly simple track (structurally anyway), and the beat’s lively. It’s a song that makes you feel pretty good, honestly, and I like it quite a bit.