Riding a motorcycle through a wormhole in inner-space.

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My Thoughts on Final Fantasy XV

I just recently finished Final Fantasy XV and I must say while I take issue with the way the story paces, and takes interesting turns at very odd times (which I blame on the choice of the publisher choosing to make the holes in the story DLC), this is one of the most beautiful games I have ever played.

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The story is about a young prince named Noctis who is on his way with his best friends/bodyguards to meet his bride-to-be Lunafreya. Disaster strikes as his kingdom crumbles after he leaves, and his father dies protecting it. The only choice is to move forward and gain the strength of fallen king spirits who previously ruled the land, and also the support of celestial gods to help reclaim the throne Noctis is rightfully heir to.

The entire world is open to explore, save for a few roadblocks that open after story progressions, and each area is a seamless transition much like exploring any open world game. Except the world map here is much more epic to traverse with your party in a car, and it feels like a great road trip complete with pit stops, in-vehicle conversations, and beautiful vistas.

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Stopped at a resort and took in the sights. So beautiful.

This game is a love letter to fans of Final Fantasy, and the series itself. I couldn’t help but to think that the four main character’s haircuts were odes to characters of series past. The celestial gods (who are ‘summons’ from past games) are beautifully faithful to how they’ve looked previously, and most are massive! The ending of the story suggests The Knights Of The Round (found in FFVII) which I didn’t catch on until twelve, then a thirteenth strike is made on the antagonist.

 

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An eternal friend reveals herself as the goddess Shiva.


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Noctis demands the help from the god Leviathan, which was one of the most epic fight scenes I’ve ever witnessed in a video game.

The main selling point to this game for me was the brotherhood of the main characters, though a little too “bro”, there’s enough dynamic to the characters that it was believable, and I could relate to the ball-busting and teasing they would do to each other. Combine this with the car rides to new destinations, it made me yearn for epic road trips with friends.

The character Prompto, who is one of the four in the party you control, takes random pictures during each day, and you can save your favourites. There’s a certain part of the end of the main story that Noctis requests to take one photo with him to the final confrontation, and that photo is laying in the throne room, and the game uses it a certification of completion of the game. Something I thought was very touching.

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Despite some plot issues (which I blame on being turned into DLC), this is an epic tale, and great modern RPG that I’m sure people will be remembering down the line. Especially long-time Final Fantasy lovers like me.

-G

 


I love “Tearaway Unfolded” for PS4!

I haven’t been able to stop playing “Tearaway Unfolded” since I downloaded it from the PlayStation Network. It’s free this month for PS-Plus members.

At first glance, I thought this game was going to be a pretentious hipster-game, and with the term “crafting” put in a lot of big titles these days, I thought I would take a pass. Thankfully, it’s definitely not that and so much more!

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My “messenger” whose gone through many changes. You can customize virtually any feature they have using the presets, or draw your own!

 

It’s a platforming adventure game, where the entire world is made of construction paper folded and shaped into familiar things. The basis is that a hole has torn into the sky and ‘scraps’ have invaded infecting the world with dull newsprint. You play as ‘the messenger’ who is controlled by ‘YOU’, and you use your light to fix the world, make tribal people happy, and hypnotize and defeat scraps with the shine of your light.

Along the way you will meet characters what want things added to them, like a crown, moustache, or symbol to display.

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I thought making a simple “V” for a victory badge would suffice…

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…then I placed it on the Warrior Princess Squirrel’s helm.

 

You can take photos at anytime with your familiar selection of filters that you would see on any smartphone app. You can even do animated gifs.

 

Not to mention, you can use the PlayStation app on your phone as a second screen of sorts, take pictures from it, and it will upload to the game and texture the environment with that photo! This is great if you got a friend with you who will mess around with it as you play the game.

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This is just the creative stuff!!!

The game-play alone is really fun, with stages that are game mechanic focused the more skills you learn. Some combine these skills with some neat results, or even just leave it open to you to decide how to approach it.

Also the use of the touch-pad on the PS4 controller has been implemented so well, I think this is the only game that ACTUALLY USES IT outside of just pressing the touch-pad button (at least in any other game I’ve played so far). It’s the primary button where in this game you draw, swipe, press, and flick. So good. So fun.

I don’t see anything wrong in this game that no player would like. You have be a person with no imagination, and a real square to not enjoy this game at all. I haven’t finished the game yet, but I recommend it to any PS4 player.

Is this a review? It is now. 5 cowboy hats out of 5 cowboy hats. Now I’m gonna go and draw a cowboy hat and put it on my messenger…

-G

P.S. When you meet the Gopher who asks you to give him a new look, he’ll ask you to carry him along to his house for a prize at the end of each journey. So far I’ve been unsuccessful as each time I’ve met him he’s fallen to certain doom. I named him Horny Gopher (though his horns look like a moustache where I placed them).

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New WAIFU track: CHUN

WAIFU is well under underway, and I’ve finished a new track. An ode to Chun-Li from Street Fighter! You can download it here!


ROBOTS! (New Music)

Had fun with this.


Dear Iceman Video Games,

  
I’m terribly sorry to hear the bad news that you must close your Queen St. West location, here in Toronto.
I usually don’t care about stores, but your store tickled me the right way.

Way back in 2014 my old bass player and I were putting up posters along Queen for what would be our final show in Toronto, and he mentioned Iceman. The next week I checked it out and was delighted to see the amount of retro video games that were available for reasonable prices.

After a couple of friends bought a Retron 5, I too bought one, but wanted to get it at Iceman. This kick-started my collection of games from my youth that I rented but never owned. I even bought games I always wanted to try as a kid! I even saw my brother’s fav game for N64 called “Mystical Ninja” and I bought it, a used N64, and Starfox 64, so he could experience it again. My nephew even got to experience it as well.

Your trading policy pleased me, as you guys gave a fair trade value for store credit, and never made me feel I was an idiot for bringing them in.

Despite my pre-order of Mass Effect: Andromeda coming out after you close, I was told that you guys would mail my copy to me when it came in. This is great news!

Anyways, terrible to see you guys go, and I hope your employees find a new jobs promptly. It’s going to be hard to find another retro game store that I will bother to make the 45min-1hr trip for again.

Best of luck to everyone! 😀

-George

 

 


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Talking about my time in The Rabid Whole (Part 1 of 3)

My “Stuttering and Stammering” videos continue with me talking about my first few years in The Rabid Whole and its key moments of our progress as a band. The first of 3 videos. Enjoy some NES goodness from Power Blade, and there’s our first track we ever wrote called “Selfish Nature” at the end of the video.


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My “Rise Of The Tomb Raider” Screenshots

I just finished Rise Of The Tomb Raider, and it was phenomenal! It reminded me why I fell in love with action adventure games (i.e. the original Tomb Raider, sorry Uncharted!). Here’s a bunch of great moments in the game I had to capture on the PS4. This game never ran out of great vistas, and environments until the game was finished. I unlocked the retro Lara skins at the end, and I got a huge kick out of it. Love love love.

Rise of the Tomb RaiderRise of the Tomb RaiderRise of the Tomb RaiderRise of the Tomb RaiderRise of the Tomb RaiderRise of the Tomb RaiderRise of the Tomb RaiderRise of the Tomb RaiderRise of the Tomb RaiderRise of the Tomb RaiderRise of the Tomb RaiderRise of the Tomb RaiderRise of the Tomb Raider

With that, I’m excited to get my track “Lara” done for my record Waifu. I’ve posted the track “Jack” already and is on my YouTube channel, and Soundcloud.

-G


Next best thing to going to Mars…

A couple of years ago when it was announced The Mars One Project
was taking applications to go to Mars in 2023(?), I was considering getting into shape and applying.

I mentioned this to a close friend, my lady, and my mom, and all them responded with varying degrees of puzzlement. Reactions ranging from “Huh?” to “Do you want to leave me behind?”.

My thoughts were I could have a chance to be apart of something epic even if something could go wrong. I was born too late to explore the Earth, and too early to explore the Galaxy.

Anyways, I’m not going now.

Recently I’ve been watching Discovery News’ YouTube channel, and they did a piece on the whole traveling to Mars thing: “Basically you’re going there to die” (Something along those lines).

My lady hears this, leans into the living room and says, “And you wanted to go to Mars…”

A had a big grin on my face. Not because I was a fool to think it could happen, but because I’m one of the few people on this planet who had “And you wanted to go to Mars…” said to them.

*laugh track *
*roll credits*

-G


A very cool thing…

Some might call this a humble-brag, but whatever…
I posted the song “Jack” and tagged her character’s voice actor on Twitter. I did this because I appreciate her work and wanted to show her that. Social media is great for getting in contact with these performers no matter how casual it may be.
Anyways, she responded and it’s bloody f’n cool, man! 
  

I don’t know if she actually likes the track, but at least she appreciates it.
I’ll be doing the same with the other tracks once they’re finished, posting the complete album on bandcamp/soundcloud/YouTube.

I don’t expect acknowledgement but it sure is a hoot and a holler when it happens.

Yeah!!

-G


First track from “WAIFU”.

Here’s the first track, from the upcoming record, WAIFU. Inspired by the character Jack from the video game series Mass Effect.

Jack satisfied my messiah-complex in the game. Plus, she’s just beautiful with that shaved skull, and omega tattoo.


Dear Deadsy,

Once upon a time my brother was a huge fan of KoRn, and consumed everything they were associated with. This included your album Commencement after listening to the Family Values Tour cd. I heard every frequency of your album at the opposite end of the house that slowly got me hooked.

As I listened to Commencement I found myself using the adolescent years of the internet to get to know who Deadsy was (interviews, Deadsy Legion forum, etc.) and anticipating when the next album would be finished. I remember listening to clips leaked through Kazaa/Morpheus, and one stood out to me: “Dreamcrusher”. I still remember half of the lyrics to the clip despite not hearing it for many years:

“Oh, the misty highs we climb/A search through fear-the skies/These sudden facts can make you hollow.

When checked this life derived from barren scapes behind/where we supposedly hide/In a place to waste/A place to wallow…”

In 12th grade, I wrote a play for English class called “Dreamcrusher”, as a final assignment. It was crappy.

Eventually Phantasmagore was officially announced and I pre-ordered the album online with the promise I’d get a signed copy. I got my copy with an apology letter saying that additional signed album inserts would be mailed at a later date (and they were!).

Then I never heard anything from you guys again. I would catch “Razor Love” (I think) on some stupid MTV show at the end credits, which to me was an obscure find if someone was listening close enough.

ANYWAYS…

Years pass, and I slowly but surely shake my teenage obsessions. Now being interested in music from before my time, I’ve found familiarity of your music in artists like Tom Petty, and Gary Numan. I’m now 31, and after getting into a different (positive) mind set in my life (one of philosophy, some spirituality, and maybe some revelations of what life is), I was drawn to listen to Commencement whole again.

This album still holds up, and captures my imagination. Call me crazy but I can hear the colours you guys played on that album. “Mansion World”, and “Seagulls” are my top choices on that album, especially the latter.

Thanks for your music, and I hope that everyone has found happiness in their future years.

I am legion.

-G


Dear Tell Tale,

I just recently finished “Tales From The Borderlands”. I have to say it was phenomenal!

I’ve played through “Back To The Future”, both “Walking Dead” seasons, and “The Wolf Among Us”, and love all of them. But it was this title that cemented why I love good story in video games.

I’m 31, and have been gaming since I was 5. Except back then I thought shows like “Law And Order” we’re terribly boring. The script has been flipped now and I truly prefer a great story –and even better– a “choose-your-own-context” in video games.

I’ve played through the first “Borderlands” titles, and I love how you captured the humour, the lore, and the style of it. Even the flux between humour and drama was perfect! It had me guessing the whole time until the end! I thought Felix was the mysterious guy with the shotgun. Wrong!

Anyways, keep on doing a great job. Looking forward to picking up “Batman” on PS4 next month.

Love,
George.

P.S.
Fav parts:

• The “will they or won’t they” with Rhys and Sascha.

• Loader Bot and Gortys

• Sascha’s gift

• The Power Rangers reference

• Pretty much everything in Episode 4 and 5

• The music intros to each episode!!!


Dear Sex T-Rex,

I recently saw “Wasteland: A Post-Apocalyptic Romp” at Toronto’s Fringe Festival.

Other than “The Book Of Mormon” I haven’t seen a play probably since I was in elementary school. As a teenager I probably wouldn’t have cared to see it.

I fucking loved this play.

Coming in I was expecting more of a set, but it didn’t take me long to get used to seeing the actors use themselves and the same objects, and have my imagination amp it up! The music was a great touch, as I’m a fan of the modern Fallout games, and Guardians Of The Galaxy, where the upbeat music has stark contrast to the grim reality.

I laughed, I cried (tears of joy, especially when you get to “Under Pressure”), and I was overjoyed that I can love my favourite sci-fi genre in a different medium from movies, books, and video games. I just wish I could buy a recording of this!

Your play taught me that we’re all a little crazy in our own way, and our imaginations can make even the darkest realities more fun to play in.

Bravo!

-George

P.S.

Fav parts:

-Changing perspectives of the vehicle battle scene

-Kaitlin Morrow’s puppetry of the dog was adorable

-The great revelation of Conor Bradbury’s character

-The music!!!


Fallout 4 – 1st Play-through Highlights

Some highlights of my first play-through of Fallout 4. The inclusion of your companion’s input, and the drama of the main story was nothing short of spectacular. V.A.T.S. is always fun too.


Even more Fallout 4 Screenshots

Here’s the last of my screenshots of my first play-through of Fallout 4. I’m still playing this game. Love it…

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Dismally beautiful.

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Smile, Pipes…

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I always felt like I was on another planet (ala Mass Effect), while in The Glowing Sea.

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This Mirelurk Queen never saw it coming.

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Pretty inviting.

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Piper just had to pose for this one.

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A nice close-up of White, in conversation.

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We swam to the eastern most area of the water to have a chat.

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Gruesome.

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Piper decided she’d take up smoking.

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A nice contemplation after killing a mirelurk.


More Fallout 4 Screenshots

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This is was happenstance, as I hopped onto the pipe and looked up.


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There’s been more than a few instances where I walk into a place and instant symmetry on screen catches my attention.


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Piper I’m just in love with.


My Fallout 4 Screenshots

I’ve wrapped up the main story in Fallout 4 for the first time, so here are some of my favourite shots along my journey. Please excuse the HUD display. No spoilers.

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Eerie. Gloomy. Who’s that at the end of the tracks?

 

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“No…no…It’s not fair…There was time….”

 

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Diamond City, made inside Boston’s famous baseball diamond.

 

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Watching this fly over was something spectacular under the morning sky.

 

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My collection of Power Armour.

 

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Found this at the Atomic Cat’s Garage. One of my favourites.

 

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A perfectly composed scene with Nick Valentine asking my character about Shaun.

 

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A very artistic scene here. I tip my hat to the programmer who placed these here.

 

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 A gorgeous retro-futuristic poster. Nearly preserved in the Commonwealth.

 

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I just love The Minutemen symbol.

 

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I think I found this in an office somewhere.

 

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Lovely.

 

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Retro-future artwork.

 

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This kitty lived in Covenant. The only thing not keeping a secret.

 

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Piper wondering why this place stinks so much, and wondering when we’re gonna leave.

 

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This Mirelurk looks like he’s doing “Buddy Christ”.


My Christmas Tree

I didn’t want to buy a tree, but a friend of mine showed me that people have been making trees out of books.

I did my own take on that: comic books, DVDs, video games, with mostly Funko Pop figures as decorations.

   
    
 


Movember 30

  
Last day of my participation this year. Donate here: http://mobro.co/12179353


Movember 28

 

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Movember 27

  
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Movember 26

  
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Movember 25

  
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Movember 24

  
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