Shadow of the Colossus, 10 Years Later

During the PlayStation 2’s era, I wasn’t quite as committed to gaming as I grew to be during the PS3 era.  I was easily distracted from whatever game I was playing by whatever the next game I wanted to play was.  If I could get my hands on that “more interesting” game, I did and left behind what I was currently playing, for good.

That’s why I barely started what is now considered one of the greatest games ever made, Shadow of the Colossus.  I got the game via trade probably 6 months after its October 2005 release.  Once I started it, I got to the part where you ride Argo (the game’s horse and sole companion) and that was it.  I maybe made it 15 minutes into the game and then something else stole my attention.

I can’t remember what it was that distracted me, but something did and I just never got back to SotC.  Thankfully, HD Remasters become rather popular and SotC made it to the PS3 with some uprez’d textures and a widescreen format.  I picked the game up off the PSN store for $5 and was determined to play it… but I never did.  I’m not sure what my excuse was this time around.

Fast forward to 2015 and I had the idea that it was time to finally play this game so I could sell off my PS3 and move on to my life with the PS4.  Not only did I finally play and beat SotC, it sparked a bit of a PS3 renaissance for me.  Now I’m backtracking and replaying some of my PS3 favorites as well as a few I’ve missed, but that’s not the point. Continue reading


Lifeline Is the Best Mobile Game I’ve Played and All I Did Was Read

T81yZ3ICI’ve been a gamer for 90% of my 33 years on this earth.  I kind of hate to say it, but I am a “hardcore” gamer.  I hate to say it, because I don’t really think gamers need to be split into groups.  That said, my gaming history has left me not all that interested in the mobile phone/tablet space other than for some mindless games to pass a few minutes here and there.  Self-identifying as a hardcore gamer has not left me a snob, however.  I understand and appreciate the casual space that mobile has monopolized and I think it’s great that there are games for everyone, but I just never saw myself truly loving a game or a game’s story on mobile.  When I’ve been able to play things like The Last of Us, Journey and Enslaved on my various PlayStation consoles, I never felt like a mobile game would rope me in and make me want to finish it.

Then I had a few days with Lifeline. Continue reading

2015-07-14 16_22_42-Idol 3 Smartphone _ Alcatel ONETOUCH

Alcatel ended my long, stupid smartphone search with the Idol Onetouch 3

My recent relationship with my smartphones the past year have been interesting, to say the least.  Between ruining my Android installation to the point I couldn’t update my HTC One M7, to the Nexus 6 which liked to shut off randomly, on to a phone too slow for me to use, to the Alcatel One Touch Idol 3… all the way back to my HTC One M7 (not for lack of want on the Alcatel, there’s more of an explanation below).

I’m going to briefly go over my history leading up to the Idol below, but you can skip that section if you just want to read about my experience with the Idol Onetouch 3 (from here on out, Idol). Continue reading

Digging Through the Crates, Bandcamp Style – June 2015

This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while. Not only for my own personal running list of things I’ve found via Bandcamp (or Soundcloud) that I like, but for a chance that anyone who accidentally stumbles across this blog might find something they like, as well.

Since this is the first time I’ve ever done this, and it’s something I plan to do randomly as the mood hits me, I’m not putting a timeframe on when anything was released.  All I care about is when I find it.

Made In Heights – Without My Enemy What Would I Do

This is, pretty easily, my favorite release that I’ve listened to in the first half of 2015.  It’s hit me in a similar way that FKA Twigs did last year, because it feels both familiar and wildly different, all at the same time.

If I were forced to boil this down to a single genre descriptor, I’d have to say this is pop, but I’d be really sad that I’d have to boil it down to that and only that.  Made In Heights are a duo that bring beautiful female vocals melted over some very varied (alliteration!) production.  That variance in the production can fall under the wide umbrella that is electronic music (whatever that is anymore), melded with some hip-hop/R&B influence along with a pop sensibility that I alluded to earlier.

Cry is probably the track that most says “THIS IS MADE IN HEIGHTS!” to me.  It starts with a squealing pig that probably fits better into a horror movie than it does a song as beautiful as this, followed by a chopped-up sample of said pig that somehow turns from that horrid sound at the beginning into something that works as a piece of music.  Wrap that up with a water-in-the-bucket drip-drop sound and you have the description of a song that just shouldn’t be as good as it is.  Once the vocals drop in, everything comes together to make for what I can only describe via an oxymoron; melancholic bliss.

This is the mix that is Kelsey Bulkin (vocals) and Alexei Saba (a/k/a Sabzi; producer), a duo that can only be described in pairings of words which shouldn’t go next to each other.  They are a match… made in heights.

(I NAILED that cheesy ending… nailed it!)

Buy for $12

Recommended if you like – FKA Twigs, London Grammar, ASTR, Basecamp
Continue reading

Fight to the Death: Jif battles Skippy for Salted Caramel Supremacy

The first time I moved away from home, I raged against the machine.

That machine was my mom and her being the choosy mom who chose Jif peanut butter.  For the better part of 20 years, I had Jif and that was all I had.  I didn’t even know what Skippy or Peter Pan tasted like.  I still don’t know what Peter Pan tastes like, because who eats that stuff, seriously?  My rage, in combination with moving out, took me to Skippy and that has been my peanut butter of choice the past 11 or 12 years.

For the most part, peanut butter is peanut butter.  Crunchy or creamy, maybe you get the option for honey as well.  Then there is natural vs…. unnatural?  I don’t know what to call the standard stuff, but it’s the stuff that doesn’t have “natural” on the label.  I’m not even going to get into the weird stuff with the oil on top of it.

The past few years there have been fancier flavors introduced (peanut butter/chocolate mixes, whipped peanut butter, etc.) but I’ve stuck to my natural creamy Skippy Peanut butter and haven’t stepped away from it for as long as I can remember.  I’m not even sure that I like Skippy better, but once I changed, I became my own machine and never gave any other peanut butter much of a thought.

Continue reading