Idiot Fanboy Dismayed Over Mortal Kombat X Roster

April 6, 2015

I was looking forward to the new Mortal Kombat game, despite the fact I haven’t played much of the series since MK 4 on the N64. ahead of the game’s April 14 release, they unveiled the full roster. what can I say, it’s mildly disappointing. no Baraka, no Kabal, no Cyrax, not even the guy who looks like a young Gary Busey (aka Stryker) Goro is a pre-order bonus, and they’ve already assured us he will be available for a price, at a later date via DLC. there are 29 fighters total, including four fighters who are DLC at launch, for an extra $30. Jason Voorhees and Predator are among those in the “Kombat Pack” hopefully it works out better than Freddy Krueger.

series regulars like Scorpion, Sub Zero, Liu Kang, and Johnny Cage are there, and with the timeline advancing 25 years in the future from MK 9, it’s become somewhat of a family affair. Jax daughter, Jacqueline, joins the cast. perhaps they’ll reveal who the mother is. Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade got busy, and their daughter Cassie, is now involved. Kung Lao’s younger cousin (twice removed on his mother’s side) Kung Jin, makes his debut. Scorpion became a Big Brother during the interim, and his new charge, Takahashi Taneda, joins the cast.

other first-time Kombatants include, Ferra/Torr, which looks like something out of the Master Blaster movie. D’Vorah, who is some kind of insect woman. Erron Black, who looks like a gunslinger out of a Western, and Kotal Khan, who was getting butt from Mileena, before unceremoniously usurping her from the Outworld throne. 29 is still an impressive number, and it’s probably more like 87, considering each character has three unique fighting styles.

I always have a hard time justifying a $60 price tag for a fighting game. this would be an ideal time to have gamefly, b/c I’d def like to try this out. maybe I’ll pick it up in six months, when they release the definitive addition, with all the bonus content included. I’ll predict this game ends up with a metacritic rating of 85, give or take three points.

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WrestleMania (Isn’t Wrestling) Part, the 31st

March 29, 2015

this has truly been one of the more lackluster build-ups to the grandaddy of them all, WrestleMania! the biggest news heading into this year’s event is that Brock Lesnar re-signed with the “E” for another three years. I like Brock, he’s one of the few reasons I still follow wrasslin’ having Paul Heyman as his mouthpiece more than compensates for what Brock lacks in mic skills. it seems as tho Vinman has finally cooled to the idea of Roman Reigns being the next big thing. Reigns was a slam dunk to win the title on Sunday, prior to Brock re-signing. I like Reigns potential, but he is clearly not ready to headline WrestleMania. will the Rock show up to lay the groundwork for a match with Brock at next year’s WrestleMania? it certainly should help deflect some of the “X-Pac heat” Reigns is sure to generate when he hits the ring. here are my predictions for the show:

Brock Lesnar d. Roman Reigns – Brock enters this match as the unlikeliest of mega babyfaces and will win clean, but the Rock shows up and lays out the champ. Seth Rollins (fresh off his win over Orton) sees the opportunity to try and cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase. an overconfident Rollins hits Brock with multiple curb stomps, but Brock kicks out at 2, and then goes on a rampage, no-selling all of Seth’s subsequent offense. Brock F5s Rollins and J&J Security all in one move, and covers them to retain.

Bray Wyatt d. Undertaker – with Taker’s streak over, there’s no reason Bray should not go over. Bray has done an exemplary job of carrying this feud by himself for the past coupla months, and this win would help solidify his status as a main-eventer. plus, it would be a measure of revenge for Bray’s daddy losing to Taker at the Royal Rumble in 1995.

John Cena d. Rusev – this match has all the trappings of a Hulk Hogan vs. Nikolai Volkoff feud from 30 years ago. John Cena defending America’s honour by taking back the US title from the evil empire. does this feud continue after Mania, or will Rusev and Lana be re-packaged as FOB Lithuanian breakdancing enthusiasts?

Sting d. Triple H – a feud that’s been simmering since Survivor Series. the final WCW guy to wrassle in a WWE ring. this storyline has kinda devolved the last few weeks, so it’s no surprise that rumours abound of Trips going over. it’s 50/50 at best that Sting even wrestles another match after this. if Sting loses, it just proves the theory that Vinman never wanted WCW guys to look strong in WWE, and esp. not on the biggest show of the year!

Seth Rollins d. Randy Orton – this match has the potential to steal the show, and I could see either one of these guys winning. Rollins proved he was ready for the main event after his showing at the Royal Rumble. along with help from the Authority, he put Orton out of action for several months. if Rollins loses, I have a feeling he will cash in his MITB briefcase at the end of the show. either way, I think he will be involved in the main event to some extent.

Daniel Bryan wins the IC ladder match – Sheamus could be a surprise entrant in this match. I could see him and Bryan being the last two standing, and after Bryan claims the belt. Sheamus goes to congratulate Daniel after the match, but then goes full blown heel by attacking him instead. Sheamus is much better as a heel.

AJ Lee & Paige d. the Bella Twins – rumours of divorce began swirling this week when AJ unfollowed CM Punk on Twitter. in other news, Nikki Bella is a pretty good heel. maybe this will be when Brie turns on Nikki.

Ryback wins the Andre the Giant memorial battle royal – on a very short list that includes Curtis Axel and Mizdow. this match was bumped to the pre-show, so perhaps the battle royal will lead to a match on the main card. hopefully, we will finally get that Miz vs. Mizdow match!

Cesaro and Kidd retain the tag titles – what a shame that the tag team division has fallen into obscurity. they can’t even find 10 minutes in a 4 hour show to showcase what talent they do have.

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The 100 Greatest GWAR Songs Ever Written

March 23, 2015

it was one year ago today, that the music industry lost an icon, and Canaduh lost a national treasure. Oderus Urungus (real name Dave Brockie) died of a heroin overdose. this is #2 on my list of musician deaths (behind Peter Steele) that hit me the hardest. not afraid to admit, I shed a few tears. as an homage to the grand scumdog of the universe, I present my list of the 100 greatest songs GWAR ever wrote. this is by no means a scientific list, as I could have very easily included every song from some albums. that being said, Scumdogs of the Universe has 10 songs on this list (I feel it’s their best work) as does Ragnarok, and a few others have 8 or 9. I included the entire GWAR universe for consideration, so there are songs from various side projects including The Dave Brockie Experience, Koszonom, MC Rhythmless, and X-Cops.

001 5-0

002 (Re)Flux

003 America Must Be Destroyed

004 Americanized

005 Anti-Anti-Christ

006 Apes of Wrath

007 Barbells

008 Beat You to Death

009 Beauteous Rot

010 Biledriver

011 Black and Huge

012 Bloodbath

013 Blood Mary

014 Bonesnapper

015 Bring Back The Bomb

016 Captain Crunch

017 Cavity Search

018 Cool Place to Park

019 Crack in the Egg

020 Damnation Under God

021 Death Pod

022 Eighth Lock

023 Fire In The Loins

024 Fist Full of Teeth

025 Flying Houses

026 Go to Hell

027 Gor Gor

028 Ham On The Bone

029 Hard For A ‘Tard

030 Have You Seen Me

031 I, Bonesnapper

032 I Love the Pigs

033 I’m In Love (With A Dead Dog)

034 Interloper

035 Iranian Masturbator

036 Jack the World

037 King Queen

038 Knife in Your Guts

039 Krak Down

040 Krosstika

041 KZ Necromancer

042 Lords and Masters

043 Lost God

044 Maggots

045 Martyr Dumb

046 Meat Sandwich

047 Metal Metal Land

048 Mr. Perfect

049 Murderer’s Muse

050 None But the Brave

051 Nothing Left Alive

052 Ollie North

053 Paddy Wagon Rape

054 Pepperoni

055 Poor Ole Tom

056 Preskool Prostitute

057 Pussy Planet

058 Ragnarok

059 Raped at Birth

060 Rock n’ Roll Never Felt So Good

061 Rock n’ Roll Party Town

062 Saddam A Gogo

063 Sexecutioner

064 Should the Ugly Girl Blow Me

065 Sick of You

066 Slap U Around

067 Slaughterama

068 Slutman City

069 Sonderkommando

070 Stalin’s Organs

071 Stuck Us With A Sucker

072 The Issue of Tissue

073 The Morality Squad

074 The New Plague

075 The Obliteration of Flab Quarv 7

076 The One That Will Not Be Named

077 The Party’s Over

078 The Reaganator

079 The Salaminizer

080 The Uberklaw

081 The Ultimate Bohab

082 The Years Without Light

083 They Swallowed The Sun

084 Think You Outta Know This

085 Time For Death

086 Too Much Stuff

087 Tormentor

088 Torture

089 Triumph of the Pig Children

090 U Ain’t Shit

091 War Is All We Know

092 War Party

093 War Toy

094 Welcome to New Jersey

095 Whargoul

096 White Boy Can’t Dance

097 Womb With A View

098 You Are My Meat

099 You Can’t Kill Terror

100 Your Mother

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Let’s Rank The Type O Negative Discography

March 2, 2015

hard to believe it’s already been almost 5 years since the pride and joy of Bensonhoist, Peter Steele, passed away at the age of 48. in the pantheon of dead musicians, none has hit me harder. I was fortunate enough to see Type O Negative three times, and there was nothing like it. Pete was a towering individual (standing approx. 6.5 feet tall) with a commanding stage presence, and deep baritone vocals that captivated the entire audience. but behind that, was a man who at one time struggled with his own demons including drug abuse, and was also known to be a bit of a recluse. at one show I was at, he coped with his social anxiety by nursing a bottle of wine in between songs. his self-deprecating sense of humour was the stuff of legend. so without further ado, here’s my retrospective of the TON discography:

07 – SLOW, DEEP, and HARD (1991)

a concept album based on Peter’s real-life experience with a cheating girlfriend, and his revenge fantasy of carrying out a murder/suicide. an incredibly raw album that sounds more like his previous band, Carnivore.

06 – LIFE IS KILLING ME (2003)

this is the poppiest-sounding album in the TON discography. I Don’t Wanna Be Me was a minor commercial hit, and We Were Electrocute was featured on the Freddy vs. Jason soundtrack. overall, it’s a pretty decent album, just not one of their better ones.

05 – ORIGIN of the FECES (1992)

the backlash was so strong following “Slow, Deep, and Hard” that the band decided to showcase their softer, comedic side, by releasing a “live” album featuring reworked versions of songs off SD&H. this is a studio album whereby the band used only one mic for the recording, and piped in street noise to simulate a live audience. the banter Peter comes up with is creative genius. from chastizing the crowd for spending money to see them play, to an audience member bleeding on-stage, and there’s even a bomb scare thrown in for good measure. to this day, I still love quoting this album.

04 – DEAD AGAIN (2007)

Dead Again was their seventh and final studio album. it was maybe the most introspective album Peter ever wrote, with songs focusing on his spiritual side, and dealing with topics such as religion, abortion, and remorse. perhaps, he knew his time was running short and he wanted to say his proper good byes to the fans.

03 – BLOODY KISSES (1993)

the album that became an instant classic in the goth genre. Black No. 1, and Christian Woman were staples in their setlists right thru to their final shows in 2009. deeper cuts like the title track and Too Late: Frozen are my personal favourites, and they do a great, much slower version of Summer Breeze by Seals & Crofts.

02 – WORLD COMING DOWN (1999)

World Coming Down is TON’s heaviest and most depressing album. the interludes chronicle Peter’s interpretation of the ways the band members would die (Liver = alcohol abuse; Lung = cancer; Sinus = OD) there’s also a medley of Beatles covers thrown in for good measure. White Slavery and Who Will Save the Sane are my personal favourites.

01 – OCTOBER RUST (1996)

I didn’t really like October Rust at first, but the more I listened to it, the more I grew to love it. the band is also in a pretty jovial mood, as witnessed by their joke at the beginning of the album. it represents the band at their artistic peak. production-wise, songwriting, all the elements are there. badass Neil Young cover (Cinnamon Girl), check! radio-friendly hit (My Girlfriend’s Girlfriend), check! in spite of every other song clocking in at 5+ minutes, there’s not a single one that feels like it drags at any point. the whole album is phenomenal, but I’d say Red Water and Wolf Moon are the cream of the crop.

October Rust

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Local Man Begrudgingly Agrees To Watch Mike Tyson Mysteries

February 23, 2015

due to inclement weather last weekend, I was unable to attend my friend’s birthday party. they had a smaller gathering on Friday nite, which consisted exclusively of watching shows.

Venture Bros. – I’ve only seen a handful of eps, so I’m not familiar with characters or storylines. this particular episode dealt with the commandeering of a space station.

Mr. Pickles – after a night of heavy drinking (facilitated by Mr. Pickles), Grandpa wakes up to find himself hitched to Crazy Linda, and goes about trying to annul the marriage. Tommy enlists the help of the local mutants, as he tries to become a wrestler.

we watched two eps. of Adventure Time. in the first one, Finn enlists in the ant army in exchange for some dental work. the dentist sounded like Lucy Lawless, but she didn’t appear in the credits. further research on imdb confirmed it was her tho. maybe she was omitted from the show credits due to some SAG Union technicality. the other episode was Finn and Jake-free, as the plot centered around the Flame Princess enlisting the help of Princess Bubblegum, to figure out why her kingdom is cooling down. there’s a thinly-veiled commentary about the US involvement in the Middle East, if you read between the lines.

we watched three eps. of the Eric Andre Show. this is the best thing on television, hands down!

Hannibal checks Jimmy Kimmel for lice; Tyler, the Creator, rocks out to 3-11. Tyler’s father also makes a surprise appearance. Health performs while cooking health food. 3-11 was a callback from earlier in the episode, when someone hijacked Eric’s monologue claiming 9-11 was an inside job. this made me think of the old Neil Hamburger joke “what’s worse than 9-11? 3-11!”

everyone gets their own understudy, including guest, Pauly D. Andy Samberg plays Eric’s. Eric and Hannibal take turns beating up Rick Springfield. Paul Wall reads excerpts from James and the Giant Peach

Bird Up! is shown to a focus group. Chris Rock makes a cameo appearance. Hannibal promotes Snail Down. as has been the custom with previous season finales, this episode was a bit more chaotic than usual.

there were some hilarious “man on the street” bits which delicately blurred the line between scripted and organic including a woman tripping down the stairs while Eric is arguing with a woman he has stuffed inside a suitcase. a woman is so freaked out by Bird Up! that she leaves her toddler daughter behind. Eric is confronted by a scorned ex-lover in a diner, and after hurling several obscenities at him, she dumps a bag of her own feces on him. there’s also a segment where Eric impersonates a postal worker on the subway, and one where Eric and Hannibal (dressed as a cop) destroy a police car. I’m sure they’ve got a shitload of footage from these shoots that will never make the air, but I’d love to see what they had to leave out.

I had to leave during an episode of Mike Tyson Mysteries. I saw a billboard for this show on the subway a few weeks ago. it’s got that 70s animation style to it with a Scooby-Doo vibe. plus, it’s got Norm McDonald as the voice of an alcoholic pigeon. definitely worth checking out!

Hot Tub Time Machine 2 has gotten some abysmal reviews. the lack of John Cusack sounds like a dealbreaker. I liked the first one, so maybe I’ll give it a go when it hits netflix. a coupla friends of mine saw it, and didn’t seem to care for it, but their seats were recliners, so at least they were comfortable.

I like Jon Benjamin! I like Archer, I liked his turn as Master Shake on the live action Aqua Teen. hell, I even liked Jon Benjamin Has A Van. but, I draw the line at Bob’s Burgers. I realize part of his schtick is his dry monotone delivery, but it just doesn’t work on this show. the kids are annoying (I also like Kristen Schaal and Eugene Mirman) and the wife’s voice is grating after a few minutes. on top of that, I don’t find any of the storylines particularly interesting, either. other than FOX’s proclivity toward animated shows, I don’t know why this show is still on the air. I’m done with my rant. until next time, inferwebz…

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Sunday Night Raw

February 22, 2015

five weeks out from WrestleMania, WWE makes a pit stop in the King’s hometown of Memphis, for Fastlane. after months of buildup, Triple H and Sting will finally have their first ever face-to-face meeting inside a WWE ring, to set up their Mania match, and possibly also exchange good housekeeping tips. could it be, that the best part of the “pay per view” occurs on the pre-show when Paul Heyman makes an appearance on Miz TV? any time Paul has a mic, it’s always best for business! here’s a look at the rest of the card:

Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan – it appears as tho for the second year in a row, the IWC has hijacked the main event at Mania, and Vinman will insert DB into another triple threat match for the title. I doubt Brock will make an appearance during the match, but this will probably end in a double countout.

Rusev d. John Cena – there were those backstage that were concerned with the labeling of John Cena as “the old veteran” but technically it’s true. he’ll be 38 in a coupla months, he’s been on the main roster since 2002, and the face of the company for almost a decade. this is sure to be a rematch at Mania, where the golden shovel will triumph over “the Evil Empire”

Usos d. Cesaro & Kidd – tag teams are clearly an afterthought as witnessed by Reigns and Bryan running roughshod thru the entire division a coupla weeks ago on Smackdown. sadly, The Ascension are being groomed as the next tag champs, so I see the Usos retaining.

Stardust d. Goldust – too bad they didn’t save this match for Mania, but if this is indeed the blowoff to the feud, hopefully it means Stardust will go back to being Cody Rhodes.

Dolph Ziggler, Ryback, and Erick Rowan d. Seth Rollins, Big Show, and Kane – Seth Rollins has the world by the balls! he’s Mr. Money in the Bank, his fiance posted pics of his junk online, and he’s involved in a “twittah war” with Jon Stewart. how did he get involved in this throwaway six-man tag match?!? will there be a Randy Orton sighting here? Dolph pins Kane

Bad New Barrett d. Dean Ambrose – after weeks of politicking, harassing, etc. Dean gets his IC title shot against Barrett. BNB hasn’t exactly looked that strong since winning the belt from Dolph Ziggler on the first Raw of 2015. the Mania rematch quotient is high in this one.

Nikki Bella d. Paige – it’s been a while, but WWE finally has another halfway decent divas feud on their hands. Nikki has become the division’s best heel, and should pick up the win here. Paige continues to give chase, heading into Mania.

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FACK THE JOHN CENA!!!

Kleenex, Hand Lotion, In Short Supply Following Release of DOA 5: Last Round

February 19, 2015

do you like arcade fighters? do you like women with tits the size of Ethiopia? are you looking for an alternative to Viagra? well, then you my friend, are ready to get balls deep in Dead or Alive 5: Last Round. yes, in this current transitional era of gaming, where gamers are slowly migrating from PS3/XBOX 360 to PS4/XBOX ONE, game companies are quick to milk every last dime out of their most profitable franchises. for Tecmo, it’s pretty much Ninja Gaiden, Dynasty Warriors, and Dead or Alive. they also gave us the cult classic, Deception series.

Dead or Alive 5 originally debuted on the PS3/XBOX 360 in September 2012, followed by Ultimate one year later for those same consoles. Last Round is the first in the trilogy to land on next-gen consoles. it boasts a roster of 34 characters (including 2 new ones)

Honoka – an 18 year-old Japanese schoolgirl who borrows other fighters moves, and likes to assume the doggystyle position after she is defeated.

Raidou – Ayane’s biological father, who was killed by Kasumi in the first DOA tournament. he returns as a cyborg, with no knowledge of the past.

this is just like Ultimate, with the DLC already included. there are 200 costumes available at the start, and you can unlock others via gameplay. for the most hardcore of fanboys, there are even more costumes you can buy, including a bundle worth the price of a 1-year subscription to ZZ (approx. $92) there are also movies you can purchase of the ladies of DOA frolicking in skimpy swimsuits.

the story mode is approx. 3 hours long (including cut scenes) this is like an interactive Skinemax flick. you play through as various characters with interlocking storylines. one part of the story involves fighters competing in the DOA tournament. the other part centers around the series main protagonist, Kasumi, searching for her clone. it’s fairly ridiculous, and I’ll probably never play story mode again, but there were a few genuinely funny moments. the cool thing is you can go back and watch the cut scenes you’ve unlocked.

I was never really a fan of the series, as I was already playing Mortal Kombat, Tekken, and Street Fighter, when this series got started. this is the first DOA game to appear on a Sony console since DOA 2 in 2000. full disclosure: I bought this game b/c I have a fetish for Asian women, even if they are in digital form. another factor is I was gonna buy The Order: 1886 instead, but it looks like it didn’t live up to the hype (ie not worth $60)

if nothing else, story mode got me acclimated to some of the characters movesets. I’ve spent a decent amount of time in training mode, trying to master a handful of characters. I’ve been playing arcade mode (in both solo and tag modes) and I’ve barely scratched the surface in terms of learning their moves. make no mistake about it, online play is the meat-and-potatoes of this game, but I can’t use it, b/c I’m not a PS Plus member…yet. other game modes include spectator, where aspiring porn directors can watch their favourite fighters duke it out, and capture photos of them in various suggestive positions.

on a side note, while trolling the message boards, I came across the term “gainaxing” which refers to animated breasts that jiggle independently of one another. DOA is the first series I know of that had these sort of physics, and I’m sure the developers were frothing at the mouth to try them out on the new hardware. Xavier only knows what they have planned for DOA 6, which is rumoured to be out sometime next year.

in spite of the hyper-sexualization of the female characters, this is a solid fighting game with excellent gameplay mechanics. there’s a lot of stuff to unlock thru the various modes, that you don’t hafta pay for. if you’ve already got either DOA 5 or Ultimate, then there’s really no need to pick this one up, unless you just wanna ogle the women and the new “soft skin” dynamic on the next-gen consoles.

netflix: 4/5

imdb: 8/10

Ultimate Surrender PC mod coming soon!

Ultimate Surrender PC mod coming soon!

PSN Flash Sale Yields Rayman Legends For $10

February 15, 2015

I was perusing the PS4 boards over on ye olde IGN, when I read Playstation Store is holding a flash sale this weekend. I was really hoping either GTA V or Dragon Age: Inquisition would be 50% off, but to no avail. I did however pick up Rayman Legends for $10 (75% off the regular price of $40) platformers aren’t my cup of tea, and I hadn’t played a Rayman game since Hoodlum Havoc for the GameCube in 2003. everything I read about the game was nothing but praise. I’ve put in approx. 6 hours so far, and I already feel like I’ve gotten more than my money’s worth.

Rayman is awoken from his 100-year slumber to find that his universe has been taken over by the Bubble Master’s nightmares. it’s up to Rayman and a bevy of friends to rescue all 700 Teensies, who are being held hostage, across 5 different worlds. there are approx. 1 million Lums to collect, which will unlock characters at certain milestones. depending on how many you collect from each stage, you are awarded with Bronze, Silver, or Gold Cups. stages can be unlocked once you’ve saved a specific amount of Teensies. there are also 10 princesses to save, which can then be used as playable characters. you can also earn lottery tickets which can bring bonus items such as creatures, extra Lums, and stages from Rayman Origins.

the levels are complex and very well thought out, and for someone like me, who isn’t great at these types of games, can lead you to drop the occasional “F-bomb” it’s a game that’s easy to pick up, but incredibly difficult to master. one hit, and you’re done, tho I hear they’ve placed more checkpoints in the game, than previous iterations. it seems like they only give you extra health right before you reach a particularly difficult portion of the stage. you hafta complete each stage to get full credit, and sometimes there are 3 or 4 parts. aborting a run will negate any progress made up to that point. there were several stages I spent nearly 10 minutes trying to complete, but the satisfaction you get from finishing it is right on par with blowing a huge load in Dani Daniels ass. there are a few stages that are geared toward 2 player co-op, but aren’t required. but yeah, it’s definitely the preferred way to play. plenty of times I would be focused on what Rayman was doing, that I forgot about Murfy (my assistant) causing me to drop the aforementioned “F-bomb”

this is a game you could easily get lost for hours playing, with an insane amount of depth, and so much to explore and unlock. fans of the series have no doubt already put countless hours into this title, and the consensus is that this is the best Rayman game to date. this is the best platformer I’ve played since Super Mario World on the SNES. if you’re a fan of the genre, and own a PS4, this game is a must buy! (esp. at the current sale price)

netflix: 5/5

imdb: 10/10

P.S.- yes, I am aware of all the shit gamers have given Ubisoft following the debacles that were Watch Dogs and Assassin’s Creed: Unity

RUN LIKE HELL!

State O’ Da PS4: One Moron’s Journey, Part, The 1st

February 8, 2015

it was December 14, 2013 when my PS3 kicked the bucket. I clearly remember watching a Brazzers scene (ZZ Got Back) when it abruptly cut off, and the power button turned from green to an ominous yellow. up until that point, I had been quite enjoying my PS3, and in particular, playing NHL 14.

after many months of hemming and hawing, I took the plunge, and upgraded to a PS4 in September 2014. you could call me a Sony fanboy, I’ve owned every one of their consoles (some even multiple times) since buying my first PSX in October 1998. I’ve never been a fan of XBOX mostly b/c everyone else I know already owns one, and I jumped off the Nintendo bandwagon, after the fiasco that was the GameCube.

the first three games I bought were Diablo III, The Last of Us, and Madden 15:

Diablo III – first time I had played a Diablo game since the second one for PC, in 2000. this was one I was hesitant about buying, but the clerk assured me that “even the worst Diablo player eventually reaches Level 80.” SOLD! I heard they a lot of PC gamers complain that they dumbed down the controls for consoles in order to sell more copies, and I see their point. I  put in about 50-60 hours, and ended up essentially playing thru twice, b/c I was nowhere near ready for the final boss fight, having skipped over the vast majority of side quests. when it was all said and done, I retired my Demon Hunter at Level 80, Paragon 20. Paragons are simply an extension of your character’s ability to upgrade, once they’ve reached the cap.

Madden 15 – I really had no intention of buying this game, but EA did such an unforgivably shitty job with NHL 15, that I went wth Madden, having not bought an installment in 4 years. yep, it’s football, not much you can do to change the core mechanics. the AI is better, but still not much of a challenge. I played MUT for the first time ever, and that was addictive. I won my fair share of games online, forced a rage quit here and there, and even rage quit myself a handful of times. as someone who used to collect baseball cards many moons ago, I caved and spent a coupla bucks on some of their promotional packs. when XBOX Live Marketplace and Playstation Network went down for a few days on the Christmas week, that effectively killed my interest in the game. I think my team finished with an overall 89, and the best card I was able to pull was the “Most Feared” Polamalu, who is a 90.

The Last of Us – a cross-country journey across post-apocalyptic America, filled with a requisite amount of zombies, and other mutated enemies. originally released for PS3 in June 2013, winner of multiple game of the year awards. Sony deftly followed it up with a remastered version for PS4 in July 2014, which included the PS3 DLC “Left Behind” a single-player campaign centering around Elle and her friend, Riley. it also contains commentary from the developers and cast. this game reminded me of another PS3 game I loved “Heavy Rain” in that you are essentially playing thru a movie. played mostly on rails, dialogue, puzzle-solving, and extended periods with little or no combat. I reckon I put in somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 hours (I haven’t played Left Behind) best game I’ve played so far on the system.

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in my next PS4 update, I’ll share my thoughts on the apps and functions (or lack thereof)

Let’s Rank Ministry’s Catalogue

February 1, 2015

Chicago Blackhawks fan, one of the forefathers of the Industrial scene, and a staunch Republican, Al Jourgensen has closed the books on Ministry. the announcement came shortly after the passing of longtime guitarist, Mike Scaccia, in December 2012. altho there will be no more new material released, Al will take the band out on tour again, beginning in Australia at the Soundwave Festival in February. what better time than the present to rank, rate, and review all of their studio albums, while pondering whether it’s worth the $60 asking price for tickets to the show.

1 STAR

13. RELAPSE (2012) – if there’s one thing Eminem has taught us, it’s that albums titled RELAPSE are usually terrible. Ministry’s effort in this category is no different. the lead track “Ghouldiggers” has promise, but gets weighed down midsong by audio of Al getting the run-around from a record company executive. even the obligatory cover song (SOD’s “United Forces”), which has usually been pretty good on previous albums, is lacking. the closer, “Bloodlust”, is the best track, if only b/c I like the CSNY harmonies in the chorus.

2 STARS

12. TWITCH (1986) – this was the transitional album that showcased a darker side of the band and served as a prelude of what was to come, while still maintaining the “pop sensibilities” of it’s predecessor. choice track: We Believe

11. DARK SIDE OF THE SPOON (1999) – the cover alone is enough to make you hesitant about giving this a listen. “Bad Blood” is the most Ministry-sounding track of the lot, and was featured on THE MATRIX soundtrack. other than the lead track, “Supermanic Soul” it’s pretty much hit or (mostly) miss.

10. FROM BEER TO ETERNITY (2013) – did Al really say that this was the best Ministry album? it’s ok, but with no Bush in office, Al resorts to singing about Fox News and whatever else happened to be pissing him off at the moment, like folks not voting.

09. THE LAST SUCKER (2007) – there’s only so many songs you can write about how much George W. Bush sucks, before it becomes old hat. the trilogy closer is a chore to get thru. yes, we get it, Bush is descended from reptilian shape-shifters, Cheney is the anti-Christ, and Alex Jones still has this album in his heavy rotation.

3 STARS

08. WITH SYMPATHY (1983) – perhaps if this had been released by Pet Shop Boys or Depeche Mode, it might’ve received better praise, but we all know of Al’s legendary hatred for this album. I found a brand spanking new copy at Amoeba Records back when I lived in LA. it’s remastered with bonus tracks, and sounds FAN-FUCKING-TASTIC!!! I may be the only person on the planet with a “Work For Love” ringtone.

07. THE LAND OF RAPE AND HONEY (1988) – remember when I boldly proclaimed this was one of the best Ministry albums? yeah, this hasn’t really held up all that well over the years. the lead track, “Stigmata” and the title track are great, but everything else is fairly simple and somewhat repetitive.

06. RIO GRANDE BLOOD (2006) – act II of the anti-Bush trilogy. the first half of the album is better than the latter. you get guest appearances by Sgt. Major (Gangreen), Jello Biafra (Ass Clown), and Liz Constantine (Khyber Pass) the best song on the album is the Dethklok-esque “Fear (Is Big Business)”

4 STARS

05. FILTH PIG (1996) – my favourite Ministry album cover, as the orange hue around the guy’s head, reminds me of Conan O’Brien (is that strange?) their Bob Dylan cover (Lay Lady Lay) is top notch, as is the title track. sometimes I just like to crank “Useless” up to 11, and let the bassline crash over me.

04. ANIMOSITISOMINA (2003) – this might be the most underrated Ministry album. there wasn’t too much in the way of filler. “The Light Pours Out of Me” is my favourite Ministry cover song. “Broken” is my favourite track on the album, as you can hear the Al Jourgensen vocals of the WITH SYMPATHY era, we all know and love.

5 STARS

03. PSALM 69 (1992) – the height of Ministry’s popularity, which lead to a string of videos on MTV, their only platinum album to date, and a headlining gig on Lollapallooza. “NWO” and “Just One Fix” were the calling cards, but it’s deeper cuts like “Jesus Built My Hotrod” (featuring Gibby Haynes of the Butthole Surfers) and “Scarecrow” that are the real standouts.

02. HOUSES OF THE MOLE (2004) – the most metal album in the discography, it was the first (and best) in the anti-Bush trilogy. successfully blending elements of thrash (Warp City) and black metal (WTV) with Ministry’s trademark industrial sound. my personal favourite is “World” which sounds like a modern day update to Genesis “Land of Confusion”

01. THE MIND IS A TERRIBLE THING TO TASTE (1989) – from beginning to end, a thoroughly enjoyable listen. MIND runs the gamut from industrial (Thieves) to ambient (Dream Song) to rap/rock (Test) the one complaint I hear is that the album is diluted due to Al working with so many guest collaborators (Ogre and Chris Connelly, among others) but I find this to be a strength. the spooky ambiance of the droning horns, the crow calls, the menacing bassline, and Connelly’s wailing vocals, “The Cannibal Song” will make you feel as tho you’ve stumbled into the original TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE.


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