Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Flavours of the Month: November 2011...


The Walking Dead (Season 2, Part 1) - the best thing to happen to zombies since Romero's Day of the Dead in 1985, AMC's superb zombie drama (adapted from Robert Kirkman's deliciously dark comics series) continues apace despite the odd spell of behind-the-scenes trouble. The first half of the season has come to an end (the remaining six episodes will begin airing in February 2012), and it's been an excellent run of episodes. One thing though - bloody spoilers - some out there in the world of the interwebs have been annoyingly loose-lipped at times, and for us Brits that's been quite frustrating (we see the episodes five days after they air in America). Indeed one of the biggest shocks of the season was completely spoiled for me. Despite the minefield of spoilers though, many twists and turns were left un-spoiled, and it has been a very satisfying series of episodes. Now the desperate fanboy wait for February begins...


David Lynch - he recently released an album titled Crazy Clown Time, and while a number of the tracks weren't to my liking, several were: "Pinky's Dream", "So Glad", "Noah's Ark", "Football Game", "The Night Bell With Lightning", and "These Are My Friends".

Julee Cruise "Nightingale"

God Is An Astronaut "Forever Lost"

Alice Cooper - I've respected his music and dabbled in it for quite a while now, but after seeing his 2011 Halloween concert on Sky Arts, I've been seeking out some of his albums at long, long last.

Blink182 "Neighborhoods" - their new album takes me back to my formative years when "Take Off Your Pants And Jacket" was practically on an endless loop at the Sixth Form.

Daft Punk "Tron Legacy Reconfigured" - a number of the tracks are utter tosh (a lazy, generic, ill-fitting dance beat that occasionally halts to drop a bit of the original track to quality for the compilation), but others are terrific remixes: "Derezzed" by The Glitch Mob, "Fall" by M83 & Big Black Delta, "The Son Of Flynn" by Moby, "Encom Part 2" by Com Truise, "End Of Line" by Photek, and "End Of Line" by Tame Impala are the stand-outs for me.


The Walking Dead Vol. 7 & 8 - I'm forever trying to catch up with the comics, and this is as far as I've got so far. No spoilers for those who haven't got to this point, but bloody nora is volume 8 a memorable one!

Illness - this autumn/winter season I've had this bizarre muscular/nervous flu which roams around various parts of the body. Aches, pains, headaches, exhaustion, stiff joints, sharp pains - and all on a constant rotation around my body for at least a couple of weeks. Fortunately it seems to have all gone, but what a weird one.

Homefront - it's not the most polished example of an FPS out there, and the ludicrously short single player campaign (3.5 hours from start-to-ruddy-finish!) has a few stumbles and design faults, but the central conceit of a Unified Korea occupying America in a bleak near-future is still quite interesting. Hopefully Crytek will fully crack it for the apparent sequel that they're working on.

Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky - so far I'm half way through this very dense piece of horror fiction set in the unforgiving Russian subway system in a post-apocalyptic world. At times it's a little too slow paced, and the author's style isn't particularly fond of paragraph breaks, but the world of the Metro is vividly depicted with a complete overview of the socio-political situation down there in the dark, danger-infested tunnels.

Saints Row The Third - while Crib customisation has all-but been removed in favour of new features, this third entry in the once sub-GTA franchise is easily the best of the three. The sloppy coding, gameplay, and balancing of Saints Row 2 are gone (mercifully), and in their place is a very solid and very enjoyable game. I've only encountered a couple of small glitches along the way such as the odd texture issue, no max-speed sound effect for any of the vehicles, or the odd roadblock on the occasional mission - but the latter have easily been remedied by starting again from the most recent checkpoint. I'm about 3/4 of the way through at the moment and it's pretty much a vast improvement across the board - the plot is tighter and actually interesting this time (if not particularly meaningful - but that wouldn't fit in anyway), the gameplay is tight and enjoyable, the in-game cell phone is perfectly formed for handling all your upgrade, mission, map, contact, and monetary needs, and the high level of utter daftness is most welcome. Professor Ghenki's Super Ethical Reality Climax (one of the many activities you can take part in) is a particularly good example of the sort of barmy fun you can have with this game. Well worth your time and money!

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