Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.
Console: Multiple, but for reference, PS2.
Genre: Adventure/Action/Puzzle solving.
Publisher: Ubisoft. (This is the first in the Sands of Time series, for reference.)
Alright, I am going to deviate from the norm and sum this review up on one simple statement, because everything after this will only be reinforcing that statement, so I might as well get it out of the way now.
I don’t care what console you own, you MUST take the opportunity to at least PLAY this game, if not own it outright. (I still feel at least partially that way, though the rest of the games that come after it are a bit hit-or-miss.)
Everything from this point onward is only validation of the above statement. Thank you.
A friend of mine pointed me in this direction after hearing “Ultranumb,” and I have to say, I wasn’t disappointed. It’s a shame that it looks like the band might be on their way out at this point, because this is an awesome song, and having gone through their back catalog, they have a lot of those on tap.
Today, Five Finger Death Punch:
I actually discovered Ivan Moody through a different band, Ghost Machine, and found that band to be interesting (if a bit basic, lyrically), and followed Ivan to 5FDP, where he’s more or less stayed ever since. I’m not a fan of everything the band does, to be fair; I don’t always really get into the “I can scream a whole lot,” style, and I’m not a huge fan of songs where a band says, “Fuck you for questioning our fame,” or “We love the troops,” because it comes off as cheesy at best and crass at worst. The band is at their best, though, when they’re writing from a place that seems like they believe it, because it helps you believe it too, and that’s when they can make their style shine, as above.
I don’t have a lot to say here; if you know who Deadmau5 is, you probably appreciate his work (or at least his mask), and if you don’t, you probably don’t like this sort of music to begin with. I tend to prefer music that has a heavy electronic backing if given the choice, so Deadmau5 is interesting to me from that perspective, and dude clearly knows what he’s doing as a music creator, so.
Today, Gary Jules:
Cover songs are generally not a great endeavor; at best, you often end up making the same fucking thing over again, and at worst, you end up shitting all over the message of the original song and making something terrible out of something awesome. That said, sometimes a musician will take a song that maybe needed (or offers) a different take, and they’ll make something magical, which is what Gary Jules does here. The reality is (and this happens a few times with New Wave songs), “Mad World” was an okay Tears for Fears song, but it’s way too happy for the concept it’s trying to convey (mostly due to the drum beat), and the song suffers for it. By stripping the song down to a piano and vocals, Gary Jules turned the song into something really painful, which a song that features a lyric that the best dreams you have are the ones where you die should be.
Today, Blue Stahli:
There’s blood like crazy in parts of this, for reference.
Blue Stahli is a guy Klayton Scott gave a contract to for one reason or another, who is, interestingly, almost inarguably better at this specific kind of music than Klayton himself is. Part of it is that he seems to legit be a talented musician; while Klayton has his moments, his forte is mostly programming, while dude here can at least sing well and play the guitar reasonably well. Part of it is his composition; Klayton mostly overproduces his work, while this uses programming as both a basis and a compliment, not as a hyper embellishing tool. Most of it, though, comes down to the fact that he seems to have a pretty good handle on who he is and what he wants to do with his work, such that he has a sense of humor about it, and can not only break out in the middle of his own over-the-top video to create a random sight gag, but can convince Klayton to do the same.
Plus he kind of looks like a young David Bowie, so there’s that.
“But perhaps the single biggest offender in all of this just came about recently, and that’s The Truth. The Truth has single-handedly turned a fairly simple anti-smoking campaign ugly, using blatant smear tactics, grotesque imagery, shock value, and insulting references to push their campaign against “Big Tobacco” using any means necessary. They are the single biggest example in the world today of “The ends justify the means” and frankly, I’m getting a little tired of it. Fine, smoking is bad, WE GET IT. But they keep shoving self-serving facts in our faces that are, at best, factual inaccuracies, and at worst, blatant lies, all while telling us the chemical composition of something we already KNEW was bad for us. They’re beating a dead horse with a spiky steel dildo while wearing backless leather chaps and nothing else, all the while telling us the horse raped our parents and would have raped us had we not killed it, and that’s just disturbing, folks. I’m sorry, it’s time someone told the truth about The Truth.” (I quoted this passage because it was about a month between posts, and I wanted to remind people in case the thirty or so readers I had forgot about this.)
For general reference, that was where we left off last week. The actual rant is in the archives, so if you blinked and missed it, there you go. (God forbid I tell you where it is exactly of course.) But to move this party right along…