Great Music #31

Well hello there, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome back to Great Music, the series where I just talk about music I like. Last time we did this was back in April. I’m not good at keeping up a consistent release pace for these posts. Oh well. Here we go.

So what’s on the menu this time? Bit of old school rock? Something from a famous movie? Nah, neither. This is a bit more… revolutionary (you’ll know why in a bit). Let’s first get something god damn straight: I don’t like nazis, they’re the fucking worst, get them the hell out. But since those sons of bitches don’t seem to go away any time soon, at least I can imagine it and get some catharsis from it… thanks to “Wolfenstein”. First released in 1981, “Castle Wolfenstein” was a stealth game with some shooting elements. Then in 1992 it saw a reboot of sorts with “Wolfenstein 3D”, a revolutionary (no, that’s not the part I meant earlier) game that really brought the first person shooter to the mainstream. Cut to 22 years and god knows how many games later, and we get “Wolfenstein: The New Order”, another reboot of sorts that shared some stylistic and thematic elements with “The Man in the High Castle” and “Inglourious Basterds”. That game was a huge hit among fans and critics (yours truly included). Then three years later, in 2017 we get the sequel, “Wolfenstein: The New Colossus”, a not quite as good, but still fairly enjoyable action game with some standout moments and characters. Now, the music of “The New Order” was good, but you can still tell that it played it a little bit safe, with composer Mick Gordon testing the waters a bit. After then making the acclaimed music for the 2016 reboot of “Doom”, you could tell that he had found his style and wouldn’t shy away from exploiting it like a motherfucker. Cut to “New Colossus”, where he (along with co-composer Martin Stig Andersen) brought his fucking A-game and gave us some of the best video game music of all time. I could’ve talked about any track from the OST and been just as happy, but I felt like I needed to pick one of the more unique tracks from it to truly justify this post. And that’s why I chose “Horton Hears a Revolution” (THERE IT IS!).

In the game, you play as American resistance fighter William Joseph “B.J.” Blazkowicz (voiced by Brian Bloom) as he tries to fight back against the nazi regime which had taken over the world in 1946, and still rules with an iron cross 14 years later. But he can’t do this alone, he has to gather allies. And at a point in the game he travels to New Orleans to try to recruit a resistance group led by southern preacher Horton Boone (voiced by Christopher Heyerdahl). And as he comes to their base, they start discussing the situation they’re in, which is accompanied by a bit of nice clarinet jazz… and Mick Gordon’s heavier-than-metal guitars and drums. You see, Mick likes to approach his compositions a bit differently compared to your John Williams or Michael Giacchinos of the world. Instead of the typical orchestrations of brass and woodwind, this crazy son of a bitch uses instruments typically found in heavy metal bands (and the occasional synth for good measure). It creates a heavy sound that fits the often satirical but still brutal style of the story and writing. And the way it is used to coincide with the jazzy clarinet is absolutely frickin’ wonderful, creating a mesmerizing chaos that honestly just takes my breath away every time I hear it, while also making me want to start a revolution against some nazi assholes.

Have a good one and enjoy.

Watch Dogs Legion E3 2019 Trailer

I promise, some day soon, I’ll stop writing E3 posts. But for now… MORE E3 BULLSHIT, WEEEEEE!

So through E3, legendary video game developer Ubisoft has revealed “Watch Dogs Legion”, which is the third game in the action franchise. The first one was about a lonely hacker seeking revenge. The second one I never played, but looks to be about some hackerific street gang. And this one is apparently about a near-future London that is under a totalitarian rule, and you have to use your hacking skills in combination with a sense of resistance to unfuck Great Britain. Two things:
1. I’m excited to see a major open world title set in a British environment for once… no reason, just fun to get away from the states or wastelands a bit.
2. Did Guy Ritchie write this fucking trailer? Because I’m getting very “Snatch”-seque vibes from it.
Either way, this looks to be interesting. I enjoyed the first “Watch Dogs”, even though I recognize that it has a fair bit of flaws. And people tell me that the sequel is even better. So who know, maybe third time’s the charm? “Watch Dogs Legion” is set to be released March 6th 2020.

What are your thoughts? Are you excited for “Watch Dogs Legion”? And fuck it… what’s your favorite Guy Ritchie movie? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments.
Have a good one and enjoy.

Marvel’s Avengers E3 2019 Trailer

Hello there. Time for more E3 stuff. So let’s… Assemble.

So thanks to E3, we finally have our first look/reveal of “Marvel’s Avengers”, an upcoming story-driven single player action game about… The fucking Avengers, I don’t need to explain who they are, their box office takings speak for themselves. So what’s happening here then? Well, shit goes awry, and the team has to save the world. And while I can’t say much, since there’s no real gameplay here, I do find this reveal a bit… bland, like they’re playing it safe. They lean into the aesthetics of the movies, and it all in general looks… meh. “Spider-Man”, the excellent Playstation 4 game released last year, shows that you can take established stuff and do something unique with it. And unless Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics gives us something more enticing in the near future, I will file this one under… meh. “Marvel’s Avengers” is set to be released on all major consoles on May 15th, 2020.

What are your thoughts? Are you excited for “Marvel’s Avengers”? And what’s your favorite movie based on a Marvel comic? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments.
Have a good one and enjoy.

Great Music #30

Hello and welcome back to Great Music, the thing where I talk about music I like. And we’ve now reached the 30th one of these. And it only took us… three and a half years, hot damn. Not saying that number 30 in itself is an important milestone, just wanted to point out that I am slow when it comes to these things. Anyway, let’s get into it.

So what song do I wanna talk about today? And one rock track? Something from a movie? Nope. Today I wanna talk about something that was composed for a video game. Now, I am sure some of my followers here don’t really care about video games that much, and that is fine. But I just wanna take a second to talk about my favorite song that was made for one of my favorite games. Today we are talking about “Tears” from Max Payne 3.
In the third Max Payne game, our endearingly moody Max (voiced by James McCaffrey) is at the lowest point he’s ever been, but he get a new chance at life when he gets hired by a Brazilian businessman to be the bodyguard of his family. Max’s journey will lead him through hell and back, from the alleys of New Jersey to the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. Near the end of the game, Max has tracked down the person responsible for so much of the trouble he’s gone through, which has led him to a Brazilian airport. Max finds himself in the airport lobby, heavily armed bad guys all around. While giving up would be easy, Max knows he has to give it one more push if he wants to stop the big bad guy. Max sprints out of cover and the music starts blasting. The score for the game was composed by American noise rock band HEALTH (yes, the capitalization is part of the band’s name), who created a score that evokes the dark moodiness of the series while also adding their own flavor to it. And “Tears” is their masterpiece (for me at least) in that regard. A heavy track with a driving beat, perfectly suited for the “one more push” feel of the scene it plays in. But it also has lyrics that are a direct reference to the character himself. Many have interpreted it as Max’s long dead wife and daughter telling him to finally let them go and find his own path. And looking at the lyrics, that seems very likely. So long, Max has been stuck in the guilt of losing his family at the start of the first game, and finally it seems like he’s able to move on. It’s beautiful, poetic even. And when encased within the heavy and driving noise rock beat, it creates a unique musical feel and makes for one of the most memorable parts in any game I’ve ever played.  And even discounting the game for a second, I just love the song. It is very clearly not for everyone, but I absolutely adore it and wanted to talk about it today.

Have a good one and enjoy.

“Spider-Man” E3 Gameplay Demo

More E3 stuff, woo!

So thanks to E3, we have a good look at some gameplay for the upcoming “Spider-Man” game. This was announced at E3 in 2016, and now we finally have a good look at some pretty exciting gameplay. So what’s going on in this little demo? Well, we see out beloved webhead (Yuri Lowenthal) attempting to stop a prison break where he runs into several of his old foes (Sinister Six, anyone?). And this demo gives us a decent look at the combat (very reminiscent of the “Batman: Arkham” games, awesome), and at the web-swinging. Sure, a lot of this sequence seems scripted, but it’s still a good indication of how the core gameplay is. And from what I understand, this will be an open world game, so you will get to mess around with your spider powers in the big apple. And the more I see of this game, the more excited I get. Coming from Insomniac (the developer behind the excellent “Ratchet & Clank” series), I expect a lot of fun to be had, especially with a character as enjoyable as Spider-Man. So I’m pretty excited for this game. “Spider-Man” is set to be released on September 7th of this year.

What are your thoughts on this? Are you excited for “Spider-Man”? And what’s your favorite movie/show/comic/game about Marvel’s beloved webhead? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments!
Have a good one and enjoy the video.

“The Last of Us Part 2” E3 Gameplay Reveal

Another E3 post? Another E3 post. There’ll probably be even more coming, so buckle up.

We finally have a look at some gameplay for “The Last of Us Part 2”. The game was revealed around November of 2016, and a lot of fans have been waiting to see a bit of gameplay for it ever since. Well, we finally have some thanks to E3. While I can’t say how much is scripted and how much is just legit gameplay, I can say that this looks good. It’s basically the same type of gameplay as the first game only with smoother animation, more graphical detail, and with Ellie (Ashley Johnson) taking center stage instead of Joel (Troy Baker). And if it’s just more “Last of Us”, then I am 100% up for it. The first game is one of my favorites, one of the best games to be released in the last ten years. For those unaware, “The Last of Us” is about a guy named Joel who has to escort a young girl named Ellie to a place because she’s seemingly immune to the zombie-like infection that has spread across the United States. It’s a super serious and emotionally charged journey and it packs one hell of a punch. “Part 2” picks up 5 years later aaaaaand that’s all she wrote. I wouldn’t be surprised if Naughty Dog (the developer) kept the plot under wraps until it’s released. So yeah, I’m pretty god damn excited about this. While it has no official release date, “The Last of Us Part 2” will probably be released in 2019.

What are your thoughts? Are you excited for “The Last of Us Part 2”? And what do you think about the first game? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments.
Have a good one and enjoy the gameplay trailer.

“Kingdom Hearts 3” E3 trailer

More E3 talks comin’ your way. And if you don’t like it, then I don’t care… this is my blog, I can write about whatever I want.

So thanks to E3 we have a new trailer for “Kingdom Hearts 3”, the latest part in the strange franchise. So what does this new trailer feature? Well, we see series protagonist Sora (Haley Joel Osment, yes really) going to different Disney worlds and interacting with the characters, giving us both cutscenes and gameplay. And really, this looks like more “Kingdom Hearts”, and that’s always a good thing. It also gives us a little shocker at the end about one a character from some previous games in the series going to the dark side. So yeah… shit’s gettin’ real, yo. My only problem with this trailer is the lack of sound effects, but I suppose it will be fixed before the game actually comes out.  I am also really happy, because unlike previous trailers, this one has an actual fucking release date! After years of “In development”, we have a release date! Am I hyped? You bet your ass I’m hyped for this strange Japanese mish-mash of Disney and “Final Fantasy”. I love this franchise, and I am super excited to see it continue. “Kingdom Hearts 3” is set to be released on January 29th, 2019.

What are your thoughts? Are you excited for “Kingdom Hearts 3”? And are you a fan of this insane franchise like I am? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments.
Have a good one and enjoy the trailer.

“Devil May Cry 5” E3 Trailer

Hello there, ladies and gentlemen. Once again it is that time of year, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, more commonly known as E3, is in full force and trailers are coming out left and right. I know that there are those of you out there who aren’t into video games, but that won’t stop me from writing about them. I love video games, and E3 gives me plenty of trailers to talk about. So let’s get into it.

First trailer we’ll be talking about is for a franchise that I almost thought was dead. But after months of rumors and speculation, we finally have a trailer for “Devil May Cry 5”. The latest part in the Japanese hack n slash action series follows Nero (Johnny Yong Bosch), the protagonist from “Devil May Cry 4”, as he goes on a journey to kick some demon ass. We get CGI cutscenes and even small increments of actual gameplay. And it looks like it will be the fun, fast-paced, over-the-top style of the previous games with the same crunchy combat that fans love. And as a fan of “Devil May Cry”, I am excited for this new game. I love the world, I love the insanity of it all, and this just looks like it will be a lot of fun. “Devil May Cry 5” is set to be released in spring of 2019.

What are your thoughts (if you have any)? Are you excited for “Devil May Cry 5”? And do you like the other games in the series? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments.
Have a good one and enjoy the trailer!

New “Red Dead Redemption 2” trailer!

Hello there, ladies and gentlemen, time for some more trailer talk. So let’s just get into it.

In 2010, Rockstar Games released a game called “Red Dead Redemption”, which was more or less a follow-up to their older game, “Red Dead Revolver”. In “Redemption”, you played as John Marston (Rob Wiethoff), a former outlaw who’s being forced by government agents to hunt down his old crew. It was an absolutely incredible game, winning all kinds of awards as well as the hearts of gamers all over the world (yours truly included, though admittedly years later). Then skip forward to October 2016 when we got our first poster and our first trailer for “Red Dead Redemption 2”. The gaming world collectively lost their minds. Sure, it revealed fucking nothing, other than it’s existence. But the prospect of a new “Red Dead” game was enough to make everyone go apeshit, especially since people have wanted a new one since they beat “Redemption”. Well, now we have our first REAL trailer for “Red Dead Redemption 2”, and it is all kinds of western goodness. This time we follow Arthur Morgan (voice actor not yet confirmed), an ruthless outlaw. And we will seemingly follow his journey as a total dickhead. So this reveals a bit about the story, and even has a final reveal in the trailer which more than likely made fans gasp harder than humanly possible because it confirms several things that have been speculated for a while. Sure, it shows no gameplay, but I think I know what it will be like, based on previous Rockstar titles. But yeah… I am so excited! “Red Dead Redemption 2” will be released in Spring of 2018.

What are your thoughts? Are you excited for “Red Dead Redemption 2”? And what are your thoughts on the first one (if you played it)? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments.
Have a good one and enjoy the trailer!

“Tomb Raider” trailer

Hello there, ladies and gents. Another “interesting” trailer has arrived, so let’s talk about it.

So we have our first trailer for “Tomb Raider”, the adaptation of the reboot of the beloved video game. People are just saying it’s a reboot, which is wrong. It’s a re-adaptation. Anyhow, what’s this about then? Well, it’s about Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander) who is searching for her missing father (Dominic West) on a mysterious and very dangerous island. And there she faces danger, which seems to include a mysterious leader (Walton Goggins). So what do I think of this? Eh. It’s a generic trailer for what seems like an average adventure movie. Video game adaptations have had a bad streak in Hollywood by generally being… shit. Okay, “Warcraft” was okay. And “Mortal Kombat” was enjoyable despite it’s shortcomings. But for the most part, Hollywood’s attempts at making video game adaptations have failed badly. Will this suffer the same fate? I don’t know. We can only wait and see. But for now I’d say that it looks… meh. “Tomb Raider” is set to be released in March of 2018.

What are your thoughts? Are you excited for “Tomb Raider”? And what’s your favorite adventure movie? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments.
Have a good one and enjoy the trailer.