Tag Archives: Video Games

Audio

2017 Retrospective – Comparative Opinions S.2 E.2

Welcome to the Comparative Opinions podcast! This week hosts Holly and David reflect back on 2017, for their favorite movies, TV shows, books, board game, and video games. They didn’t all come out in 2017, but that’s when the hosts got to them! Then they look forward at their excitement for 2018. Let them know what they missed!

Comparative Opinions is a weekly half-hour-ish podcast hosted on ComparativeGeeks.com. Subscribe for new episodes every Sunday, or for our weekly news podcast, Week in Geek.

https://www.facebook.com/ComparativeGeeks/

https://twitter.com/comparativegeek

Music is by Scott Gratton: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Scott_Gratton/Intros_and_Outros

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5 Ways to Find New Music – Throwback Thursday

Continuing on with my “Listening to Music Without Understanding It” series, this time with a more practical post!


I’ve been recommending music so far here and it’s been a lot of fun to talk to people about music. And while some people have known some of my recommendations, not everyone knows all of them, which is good! I hope that keeps up in a good way. I know I have already made music purchases based on recommendations I’ve gotten from others!

So of course from the title you know, I’d like to suggest a few of the places where I’ve found new music over the years. All of this excludes the most obvious ones, I suppose, which are recommendations from friends or, say, bloggers!

I’d love to know some of your recommended places or ways to find new music as well, so make sure to add to the conversation in the comments below!

The Radio

Yes, yes, that’s what it’s for. Music radio is there to sell you music, at least in part. This is one of the most direct ways to find music, but not necessarily the best way to find the best music.

I say that because the radio tends to only play singles. And while many singles are great, 

often, other songs on albums are a lot musicnotebetter. And, many albums are best listened to whole – hearing one song just doesn’t give you a good sense of it. Also, focusing on singles might have you looking at singles only when you buy music – something iTunes lets you do, fair enough, but that doesn’t help you find very much music, or at least not very quickly!

However, I feel the need to mention this method, because it is on the radio that I heard “Two Against One” from the album Rome, sung by Jack White (which caught my interest) and produced by Danger Mouse – which, finding this out led me down a road which has led to many of my favorite music purchases – certainly my favorites of the last several years!

So some of the secret is finding a radio station you really like, or that does a good job of playing a lot of music. For instance, in Denver I listened to channel 93.3, and it’s great. Oh, and thanks to the Internet age, and services like iHeartRadio, you can listen to channels like this anywhere! Which I do.

Guitar Hero and Rock Band!

I don’t think they’re making these games as much as they were for a period of time, but there are others like them as well – dance ones or whatever. I found a lot of bands I didn’t know about, or had missed, through Guitar Hero. Rather than just focusing on singles, they were focused also on songs that had good music, good solos or skillful playing. 

That means it was great for finding what a band sounds like, what they are aiming for with their sound. It’s also a way to find a variety of music, by artists you may never have heard of. I think also that “playing” the songs is a good way to connect with them, guitarheroto enjoy them more. I have a soft spot for many songs from those games, and when I hear them play, it reminds me of good times, spent with friends.

One trap they laid with some of the later games was the ability to buy more songs, individually or in packages of, say, songs by an artist. Some of the problem with this is that if you’re spending more and extra money on the content, you’re likely only going to get music you know and know you’ll like – so it doesn’t help you learn new music! Just an observation!

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What to game, what to game?…

I’ve hit a bit of a slump after finishing listening to the two books in the Kingkiller Chronicles. That was filling my evenings and I was doing chores and playing a bit of Magic: Puzzle Quest while listening. The books are phenomenal, and the audio book was a great presentation as well.

However, kind of like the Amazon ads, I hit a “show hole,” or in this case a book hole, and I wasn’t sure what to read or listen to or do next. I had put 80 hours into listening to the Kingkiller Chronicles, with more and more towards the end.

I have a few books out from the library: Jo Walton’s The Just City out in print, and Station Eleven in audio book, but neither seemed quite right (although I have finally started listening to Station Eleven: liking it so far). But really, what I felt like doing was playing a video game.

I was immediately stopped because we have not yet setup the X-Box 360 in a new place at the new house. This limited my choices considerably, although it especially brought me up short as I was starting to think about replaying something like Final Fantasy XIII-2 (which is not yet backwards compatible) or Diablo III (which had a fancy X-Box One version come out so won’t be backwards compatible).

Given our recent discussion of replaying versus new material, I turned next to thinking about new games. There’s not really one I’m looking to play that we already owned, but now that we don’t have a data cap, the idea of buying a digital game and downloading it doesn’t seem like a terrible idea. Final Fantasy XV isn’t as cheap as I’d like it to be (might be an okay $20 game). I’ve heard such rave reviews of Witcher III that I strongly considered that one, but with the digital game I can’t tell if it’s equivalent to the “Game of the Year” edition which would have lots of the content as well. I did check for this at the store in town as well, but no luck… Hmmm, maybe an Amazon purchase…

My search for a new game to play leaving me unsatisfied, I turned to games I haven’t completed yet. I got started with Dishonored 2 and was liking it alright, but I also felt like I wanted to play in a different way than vaguely stealthy and want to start over – I’m giving myself a bit more time before doing that! On the other hand, I was well into Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, but it’s been long enough since then that diving back into the end feels daunting. Same with Kingdom Hearts 2 HD.

There was playing a classic, as well. I had started playing Final Fantasy VII on the PSP, but when it ran out of power it lost my progress during what is apparently a super long section without a save point – working your way up Shinra Tower! I could play it or VIII easily enough on the PSP or the PS3, but those didn’t feel right.

I also got to thinking about Baldur’s Gate 2 Enhanced Edition, which I had picked up on the computer but haven’t played because I haven’t really played anything on the computer in some time. I had this one recommended to me on Facebook recently by Jeremy, as well, so I may turn to it next…

But the game I ended up picking back up, however, is Mass Effect: Andromeda. The news that this game will probably not have DLC or sequels took some wind out of my sails in terms of finishing the game. However, it also felt like a game where I’ve played recently enough that jumping back in wasn’t a problem, I’m far enough that I feel the completionist desire to finish it, and knowing that I’ll probably just finish it and be good with it, I’ve decided to mainly just focus on the main story and companion quests. Hopefully I knock this one out soon!

Of course then, I might just be back into another bout of wondering what to play…

Audio

Rewatching, Rereading, Replaying – Comparative Opinions Episode 60

Welcome to the Comparative Opinions podcast! This week, Hosts Holly and David get a little meta and talk about the tension between seeking out something new and reading/watching/playing something that they’ve experienced before. How do you decide between these two things?

Comparative Opinions is a weekly half-hour-ish podcast hosted on ComparativeGeeks.com. Subscribe for new episodes every Sunday!

https://www.facebook.com/ComparativeGeeks/

https://twitter.com/comparativegeek

Music is by Scott Gratton: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Scott_Gratton/Intros_and_Outros

Currently Really Enjoying: Dishonored 2

After a break from video games due to life, and after having this game for quite a while without playing it… I have to say, I’m really enjoying this one. Even as I am utterly grossed out by the Bloodflies, and even though I’m not sure I like my first choice for unlocked ability (I picked one that works like Mirror Image, and illusions aren’t the easiest thing to work with…), and even as I’m still trying to decide whether I want to put the work in for a non-lethal playthrough… I’m having fun.

Dishonored is slowly coming back to me – it’s a stealth game, but also one where you might actually explore and go everywhere, collecting items and such. In a game like Deus Ex you might miss whole areas or regions of a map because you stealth or bypass past them; in Dishonored, there’s more of a thought that you go to these places. There are collectibles to get, and the Heart to track the most important of these down. You don’t collect standard Experience Points, either – you collect Runes towards unlocking additional abilities and upgrades. So the exploration and collection is key.

Anyway, I have some things to do, and I’ve been playing, so… I’ll leave you with this fun live action trailer for the game.