Random Song of the Day – 7/17/15

Today, Mushroomhead:

Since I mentioned them yesterday, here we are today, with the song that eventually convinced me they were something worth paying attention to… for a couple years, anyway. It might not be the most technically amazing piece of work, but it’s interesting and different, for its time, and that was enough to convince me that maybe there was more to the band than just a carbon copy of Slipknot.

Looking Back on… Enter the Rant: Your Hot Cup of Rant Part 2 (Editorial)

Egads, more classic rant! (Depending on your definition of the word “classic.”) Well, this was the beginning of the end for the E-mail rants… (Yes, a whole SECOND EMAIL LATER I was already tired of doing them. I have no idea how I got through college and a decade of video game writing either.) I was so overly consumed with context over content that I dumped in a whole pissload of extra shit no one cared about, like reviews and such, into the E-mail. (I’m… pretty sure that explanation is backwards.) Ultimately, I stopped doing them altogether, because I became so bored with doing all of this that I just gave up. Sadly, having read over my work, you didn’t miss much… again, the flow is extremely random, and the only real entertainment is in how many creative profanities I could sling together in five sentences. (My record is twenty). (You may be surprised to learn this, but I did not, in point of fact, actually keep track of that.)

However, this is one of my favorites, because of both the Xerox Bands rant, and the Green Acres Rant. (I am going into this entirely blind and commenting as I go, but while I remember both rants topically, I’m totally blind as to their content. In other words, don’t expect that “favorite” descriptor to hold up, especially not in a world where I’ve since written about multiple topics three or more times each.)  Xerox bands was ultimately rather pointless, as my opinion of about half the bands mentioned changed six months later, but it was the concept that mattered at the time. (It’s also still relevant even now, even if the genre changed.) And Green Acres was one of my favorites because it was humorous, even without understanding the subject matter. (Well, I’ll let YOU be the judge of that, but… probably not.) I think both influenced the work I do today… at least, I hope so.

Also, my name has been changed to protect the guilty, namely, me. (I feel like it’s good to have an easily identifiable “brand” these days, if only because it’s memorable.)

And here we go!

Hello all, I’m Rantmaster Mark, and this is ‘Your Hot Cup of Rant’. (STOP FUCKING LAUGHING.)

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Random Song of the Day – 6/16/15

Today, Dio:

I know the popular choice is “Holy Diver,” but I like reminding people that Dio was always rocking, not just once in the 80’s.

Ronnie James Dio was one of those musicians you either loved or hated; he was an amazing vocalist, but his lyrics were often cheesy as hell, and I know plenty of people who thought he was just too corny. All the same, though, Dio was a force in heavy metal, and without him, we’d be missing a lot, not just from metal, but from music in general. If nothing else, Dio popularized the idea of “throwing horns” at metal concerts, was the first to keep Black Sabbath going for a while after they fired Ozzy (for the reasons you’d expect), and is basically one of those “rock gods” people keep talking about. I’m not really into metal of any sort these days, but Dio was always someone who made music I could enjoy, and five years after his passing, I can still say the world is poorer for the loss.

On the End of Tale of Tales, and What We Can Take Away From It

So, for those who have been out of the loop as it relates to indie gaming developments, artistic developer Tale of Tales has shuttered their production after about seven years, and there are many different discussions surrounding their demise, largely because of the vocal reaction to it. The developers themselves have been fairly vocal in the wake of their dissolution as a game development studio; aside from promising that they will continue to do something outside of gaming, most of their interactions have amounted to semi-farcical comments about being free from gaming, blocking trolls, ruminations on the state of internet fandom, and of course, retweeting messages praising them in their wake. The internet response has been about as fractured as you’d expect as well; many gamers feel like that the loss of Tale of Tales is a huge one on the industry, while others have been calling them every shitty name they can think of. I’ve honestly been ruminating on the announcement for a couple of weeks now, because I haven’t been entirely sure how to feel about it, and after a few weeks of consideration, I think I’d rather talk about the lessons that can be taken away from the closure more than anything else. There are a few reasons for this, but perhaps the single most important one is this: regardless of what Tale of Tales, its fans and its detractors might have to say, there are a couple of important contributors to the developer’s demise, and none of them are as cut and dry as any of them would like to think. Continue reading

Random Song of the Day – 6/15/15

Today, KMFDM:

I used to be a fairly big fan of KMFDM, though it took me a while to figure it out, oddly enough. The above song was in the Street Fighter II animated movie (during the Chun-Li/Vega fight, for reference) and I thought it was the most amazing song I’d ever heard, because I was fifteen. We didn’t really have the internet at that point, though, so I didn’t actually realize what the song was until about a year later, when ADV Films used it for a teaser for their upcoming films, because I used to really be into anime.

In retrospect, I’m not sure who came up with the idea of cross-breeding anime and industrial music, but that probably informed a lot of my musical taste as a teenager. Not that I’m complaining, it’s just weird.

Anyway, KMFDM these days is a band that I look back on with fondness, but can’t stand anymore; while I was a fan through the initial run and MDFMK, once they lost Tim Skold and Raymond Watts on the second go-round, Sascha Konietzko just… started repeating himself, musically, and it became too hard to enjoy anymore. I can still appreciate what the band used to sound like, at least, but now? Not so much.

Looking Back on: The Dark Tower 1: The Gunslinger (Book Review)

The Dark Tower 1: The Gunslinger
Written by Stephen King
Genre: Western/Horror/Science Fiction. (I reviewed this some time toward the end of routinely updating YHCOR for the second time, once again due to general apathy and an inability to focus on the site due to an inability to update it on my own power. These days it’s super easy to maintain a site because of services like WordPress, but at the time if you didn’t understand a lot of things I really didn’t, you’d end up with a shitty looking website that you couldn’t update, or else you’d hire a webmaster. I chose the latter option, and it didn’t work out as well as it could have for either of us. Oh well.)

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Random Song of the Day – 6/14/15

Today, Rick Astley (no, not that song):

Talk about weird musical progressions. Here’s a guy with a legitimately powerful voice and true talent who just couldn’t escape from the cheesiness of the 80’s and his quasi-Howdy Doody appearance (in the US), but somehow managed to gain consistent worldwide notoriety because the internet decided trolling people with his songs was a fun time.

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Looking Back on… Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects (Sony Playstation 2)

Review: Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects (PS2, XB, GC) (I played the PS2 version, for reference, but this was during a point where we didn’t specifically need to highlight the version we’d played; this would change in about a year, I think. Anyway, we’re done with non-IP game reviews, so let’s drop my first actual IP review and make fun of how bad I sucked.)
Tagline: “I don’t think imperfect even begins to cover it.” (Basically.)

Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects
Genre: Fighting/Beat-em-Up
Developer: Nihilistic
(Research says this developer changed their name to “nStigate,” for reasons I cannot even begin to understand, in 2012. Wikipedia notes that the company changed their focus to mobile gaming at the time as something passing for an explanation, but that’s not really a good one. The change makes sense, though, since they were incredibly bad at developing games; basically nothing they developed broke a 75% average, and the only game that got close was Vampire the Masquerade: Redemption, which was their first fucking game. That said, they released two handheld titles in 2012, Resistance: Burning Skies, which was mediocre, and Call of Duty: Black Ops – Declassified, which was such an amazing shitpile I’m astonished it didn’t drive them out of business outright. Anyway, that’s what happened to this development team, so, now you know.)
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: 9/20/05

What do you get when you take Powerstone and stick Marvel characters in it? Apparently, you get Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects from Electronic Arts. (Though if Capcom had actually MADE a Marvel Superheroes Powerstone I think it would’ve been rad as fuck. I mean the Infinity Gems are right there.) Marvel Nemesis puts the player in the position of being able to answer the question: who would win in a fight between Spider-Man and Wolverine? (Whoever the better player is.) Or how about Magneto and Iron-Man? (In retrospect that was a stupid question.) Or maybe Daredevil and… Hazmat!

Wait, what?

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Random Song of the Day – 6/13/15

Well, now that I’m not soul-crushingly busy, let’s listen to some Spandau Ballet:

For those who are too young to remember, this band was a small-scale success in the 80’s with “True,” the song above. That video is linked off of their Youtube channel, because they are somehow still around, and I found that so amazing that I wanted to celebrate their only song that I can even reasonably enjoy. It’s not that the band is bad, per say, as they have several songs in their back catalog that are quite acceptable. Rather, it’s more that this song is probably the best use of their talents, and if the rest of their back catalog sounded similar to this, they’d probably have done more in the US than they did. Instead, they’re known for this and… not a lot else (I think “Gold” might have gone somewhere), mostly because the rest of their work is far more upbeat, and oddly enough, that doesn’t really work as well for the band as you’d think.