(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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Looking Back on… Eisbrecher – Antikorper (CD Review)

Eisbrecher – Antikorper Review (I’m all out of music columns, save for half of a column on Free Dominguez that I’m mostly certain I never completed and, since she’s back with Kidney Thieves, don’t feel the need to, so let’s just run through my old CD reviews for shits and giggles for a while. I’m pretty sure I picked this as my first review for Beyond the Threshold because Summer asked me to do it, since she liked Eisbrecher, and I’d bought it anyway, so she wanted to know how it was. Say what you will about writing for free, but it’s fun being told, “Hey, can you write a review on that? I want to know how it is.”)

Following their surprisingly infectious and fun self-titled release in 2004, Eisbrecher is back with Antikorper, an effort that shows some mild changing of the format, but not entirely in the right direction. (They would rectify that with Sunde two years later, and every record since has basically sounded, I think, pretty damn good overall. They’re one of the few consistent industrial acts I can rely on, alongside Oomph!, to churn out a solid record whenever they get into the studio. Which is funny, since I mostly only know about them because of Rammstein, and HOO BOY was that a band that went to hell in record time.)

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Looking Back on… Review: The Bible Game (Sony Playstation 2, Microsoft Xbox)

Review: The Bible Game (PS2, XBX)
Tagline: Bad Bible games make the baby Jesus cry. (Oh, for the days when truly terrible games came out every other month. These days you either get Ride to Hell once every year or you get nothing unless you peruse all of the replicated asset-fests on Steam, and any game made by one person using assets they bought elsewhere almost feels like it’s cheating to be bad.)

The Bible Game
Genre: Party game
Developer: Mass Media Inc/Crave Entertainment
(In keeping with the theme we established last game, Crave Entertainment was a low-budget developer/publisher who’d basically push out anything cheap they could find, but ended up being sold off to a company called Fillipoint LLC in 2009 to shore up their development plans… only for Fillipoint LLC to declare bankruptcy in 2012, with no further information on them past that, so it’s safe to say Crave is dead and gone. Mass Media Inc, on the other hand, is still alive and well, and seems to exist these days as a company that helps other companies create ports of games to other consoles. Oh, and the series of games dubbed The Midway, which I can honestly say I’m only barely aware of.)
Publisher: Crave Entertainment
Release Date: 10/25/05

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Talking About Stuff We Talked About Before, Volume One

While I mostly use this site to repost old work that’s been reevaluated some several years after the fact, because we are nothing if we cannot laugh at how much we sucked a decade ago, I’ve also spent some time posting topical pieces on current events, because sometimes current things make me laugh too. Lest you think that I’ve not paid attention to the stupidity of the world in the time since I last wrote a piece, rest assured, I’ve been following the things I’ve written about in the past, and I’ve had things to say about them… just not enough to fill an entire article. So, for fun, I wanted to take a second to, as the title suggests, talk about stuff we’ve talked about before, and turn a couple of minor updates into a full website article.

I hope you will enjoy it. Continue reading

Looking Back on… I think I hear a toilet flushing. (WWE, 2003)

(I only have about three of these left, for reference.)

Okay, so the WWE had their 3rd quarter conference call for stockholders a couple of weeks ago, and, as you might expect, shovels were mandatory for the meeting. (I actually kind of like that; subtle, but easy enough to figure out. What? These aren’t all going to be me shitting on my past self.) I found the report funny, so, having nothing noteworthy to write about, wrestling-wise, I thought I’d share the report itself (courtesy of 411wrestling.com), along with my take on it, because I’m that bored. (This would have been before Widro split off into Inside Pulse, I believe, because all the writers I actually wanted to read went with him, so I followed when that happened as a reader.)

The hyphenated parts are the actual news, and the non-hyphenated parts are my commentary.

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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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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