Riding a motorcycle through a wormhole in inner-space.

Video Games

Mercy, me!


Nendoroid Mercy (Or Why I Want These “Toys”)

I’m a guy in his early 30’s who has collected his fair share of figures. I mean, just look at this…

This is is nothing compared to some people…

It had come to my attention that a certain toy company was making a line of Overwatch characters and one of them, Mercy, is among the line-up.

I am not a psychologist, but from what I’ve read (Carl Jung’s “Man And His Symbols”, and “Jung on the Active Imagination”) did I start realizing why I collect these things many people would regard as a waste of money.

The male characters have something I see in myself and utilize them in their own success. For example: Raphael is volatile, and Batman is grumpy and/or stoic. Star-Lord’s active ego/confidence is one that mine can aspire to.

Then there’s the females. These are anima who have characteristics I do not. Lara Croft is adventurous and conquers fear (especially of heights), and Mercy has a benevolence that’s literally painted angelic.

I could go on with all the figures I own, but you get the point.

I believe we collect these things because we’re scribes of these ideals that these characters represent. You can look at a person’s bookshelf or movie collection and get an idea of who they are.

The funny thing is I’ve almost stopped collecting these because I feel like I’ve “made my point” to myself. At first I thought it was because it didn’t make me happy anymore, but it never really did. Perhaps I was on a search of who I am. It’s easier to buy something that’s already made into something you like than it is to create something that represents you.

Now I’m using my strength to create things, and music will do for now, but I’m looking forward to other things that are already taking shape in my mind and on paper…

…but first I need-nay-WANT that Mercy figure.

-G


Thought: Vault-Boy and Real Life

I’m a big fan of the Fallout video-game franchise. I got a section of a shelf at home dedicated to bobble-heads, Pop Figures, collector editions, plushes and what not.

The main image of Fallout is the character Vault-Boy. The mascot of an insane corporation called Vault-Tec. His ominous smile plastered all over the post-nuclear wasteland of Fallout’s fictional universe.

Today I get an email from the Bethesda Store trying to sell me a t-shirt that says “War Never Changes” and with a graphic of an average man-looking Vault Boy seeing a nuclear bomb going off.

With potential war looming against North Korea and the U.S., I find this very fucking ironic.‬ I can’t buy this shit anymore.


Miitopia: One of my favourite RPGs EVER!

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I can’t get enough of Miitopia. It’s addicting as hell, adorable, and more in depth than it lets on. It’s probably the most fun RPG I have ever played, and I’ve played a good chunk of them.

A “Mii” is a Nintendo avatar originally made on the Wii, and 3DS systems as a fun mini-game character that you’d fashion as yourself or anyone else. Miitopia takes your Mii characters and casts them as characters of your choosing. The main character, their party members (6 so far that I’ve customized), The Dark Lord, mysterious wizard, a genie, and MORE all get the chance to be modeled to be played by whoever you want them to look like.

I also must mention the townsfolk in this game. It’s been surprise meets hilarity when I see some of these characters and wonder who in the development team chose them. The townsfolk, and other fifth business’ faces look and are blatantly named after such people as Bob Ross, Lamb Chop (from Lamb Chop’s Play-Along, a deep cut in my childhood tv-watching), Bob (the Minion), Batman, Kratos (God Of War), familiar Nintendo characters, and many others! I’m not sure if it’s random or what, but it’s been a delight to see who shows up next.

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One of my waifus, Lara (warrior class) on a break.

I cast my Mii as a “Pop Star”, which in traditional pen/paper RPGs is the “Bard” class. My lady, cast as a “Chef”. And my waifus Jack, Lara, Mercy, Piper, and Chun, cast as “Thief”, “Warrior”, “Sorcerer”, “Cat”, and “Imp” respectively. Each job class has a myriad of abilities appropriate to their name-sake, with a total of 12 jobs (and several personality types to choose) available as the story progresses.

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The world map is classic Super Mario Bros. 3/Mario World style, and you select a level that brings you to stretch of land your characters traverse on their own and certain fun and cute events happen, a treasure chest appears, or (of course) battles. Battles are sort of brain-dead in the sense that you’re merely just watching the battle happen of its own volition, with no intervention EXCEPT when its your main character’s turn. You can choose to attack or cast a spell/ability (depending on your chosen class). The rest of your party acts automatically. Thankfully your teammates aren’t stupid and know when to heal themselves and/or each other when its appropriate.

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The Inn is a mini-game of itself that brings your party’s struggle to life.

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Piper and Mercy bond by gossiping about my main character.

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My main character, and my Mii modeled after my lady make-up after a personal conflict.

Relationships are developed mildly during battle, but are really grown in The Inn after each stage. This is done by placing party members in rooms together, and these are often met with cute cut-scenes of them chatting or doing other things like cleaning, or exchanging gifts. The Inn also allows you to feed your party members with food you’ve collected from battles to boost stats, and each character will learn what their favourite or hated foods are. You can also purchase new weapons and armor if you see that a party member requests it. There’s also two mini-games that are played using game-tickets (found in treasure chests): Rock/Paper/Scissors, and a spin-the-wheel type. The former is a chance to win more gold, while the latter is a random chance at more XP, armor/weapon, MP candy, or tickets to take two party members to a carnival-type cruise that develops their relationship immensely.

Relationships grow on a level system as well. Each level unlocks an ability used during battle such as teaming up for an attack, damage boosting, and helping your character dodge.

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The only problem I’ve had with this game was the obsessive need to go back to each stage to get through each path I didn’t choose initially to complete and get every treasure box.

I have to say that this has been so much fun to play, and will remain in my small 3DS library forever (7 games right now). I highly recommend this to anyone who appreciates a fun Nintendo game, and can deviate from the serious lore-heavy RPG.

Score? Uhh…9/10? Yeah lets do it…

-G

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P.S. Want to add ol’ Radutron to your party? (WARNING: He’s uses swear words after defeating enemies. I made that happen by editing my characters settings. The developers did not code that in!) Here’s my QR code:

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Thought: Big Video Game Retail

I’ve seen quite a few of former employee videos about their testament to working in big video game retail. All crappy experiences. I can only imagine what its like to play video games (watch movies, read books, etc.) for a significant amount of time, learn what its like to do the right thing through those mediums, and have to put up with things that irk  moral fiber at your job surrounded by your favourite stories that teach you otherwise.


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Rockin’ to “Lara”

Wanna see me playing guitar? SURE YOU DO!

Rockin’ to my track “Lara” (inspired by Lara Croft from Tomb Raider), with my sweet Kassandra.

Listen to track on Soundcloud, and Bandcamp.


WAIFU OUT NOW!

My love letters in musical form to some of my favourite female characters in video games is now completed, and available to stream, or to purchase to download! I’m so very excited and I’m happy to share it with the world.


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WAIFU Promo Photo

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Soon.

Check out: http://www.radutron.com/music

Photo by: Melissa Jim


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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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.

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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


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 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!!!


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 Year-In Report of Gaming and Music

If you know me well enough, music and gaming are my top 2 favourite things ever. This past year has been a consumption of media as much as I see stupid memes on Facebook of that dumb angry cat. I think I’ve become a digital hoarder of sorts.

MUSIC
In a sea of randomness of music out there, there’s been literally a select few that have been worthy of a purchase. Now not all of these are 2012 releases, but they are new to my ears this year.

Lazerhawk – “Visitors” (80’s Sci-Fi inspired instrumental stuff. RAD!)
The Birthday Massacre – “Hide And Seek” (Catchy dark-rock/industrial-pop music.)
Hanzel Und Gretyl – “Born To Be Heiled” (Awesome German-parody-esc metal, that brings a smile to my face.)
Deus Ex: Human Revolution Soundtrack (by Michael McCann)

…and that’s about all that has tickled my fancy…

This year has also seen the release of my band The Rabid Whole’s album “REFUGE”, and my EP of covers. Both of which I’m particularly proud to have varying degrees of participation in. The Rabid Whole playing in Austin, Texas, was a spectacular experience. One I will never forget. Not to mention the other festivals we’ve had the pleasure to play this year.

Being in The Rabid Whole has been quite the journey this year as well. I developed the skill of bringing MIDI-controlled lights to The Rabid Whole’s live show, as well as other computer automated tasks for our keyboardist, Chalsey. It’s been a learning experience both technically, and socially as we learn more about each other and work as a team. This line-up of The Rabid Whole has achieved more things in this last year than any other year prior to it. The winds of change for the band will no doubt bring new experiences for us all in 2013.

GAMING
2012 has been crazy in re-living classics, living classics for the first time, and catching up with recent releases. Mind you, I still have to find the time to PLAY some of these games. Some have been a steal-of-a-deal (and I’m not talking about piracy).

Computer:
The Bard’s Tale
Bastion
Beneath The Steel Sky
Dungeon Keeper
Earthworm Jim 1&2
Fallout
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Megaman X Street Fighter
MDK
Redneck Rampage Collection
Theme Hospital
Tyrian 2000
Shadow Warrior Collection
Starcraft
Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic
Star Wars: Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast
Syndicate
The Witcher: Enhanced Edition

PS3:
Alice: Madness Returns
Darksiders 2
Fallout: New Vegas (Ultimate Edition)
Mass Effect Trilogy
Persona 3 MES
Street Fighter Alpha 3
Sonic Adventure 2

iPhone:
Angry Birds: Star Wars
Beatdown
Final Fight
Max Payne
Megaman X
Rayman Jungle Run
Sonic 4 ep.1&2
Sonic CD
Sonic Jump
Sonic All-Stars Racing
Street Fighter IV Volt

CONCLUSION
I always have time for music, but immersing myself in a good game is quite the challenge these days. But 2013 should prove to be quite the challenge yet as The Rabid Whole continue to grow, while I discover new music, and satiate my inner escapist. Maybe my writing skills will improve too. 😛

Boom.

-G


My “First” Impressions

This weekend I decided to do some impressions of some video game characters plus one Bane from a recent Batman film. 😛

Here it is.


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2012: The Year Of The Suck (…for games)


Apple Is Aperture