New Final Fantasy XV Trailer Looks Pretty Sick

There’s a new Final Fantasy game coming out, and for the first time since, well, FF XIII, I have very high hopes.

I used to love Final Fantasy, considered it my absolute favorite game series, and I’d think highly of it unconditionally. When a new one was announced, i’d get excited and look forward to the day that I could play for hours on end.

Thirteen took all that and threw it out the window!

Thirteen made the game horribly boring. I struggled to deal with the melodrama, and I didn’t care for the characters, and the paradigm system just seemed silly. I think I returned the game after a few weeks.

But this trailer looks pretty sweet, like they took the cyberpunk feel of FFVII, and put the team into a car for a cross country road trip à la On The Road. In fact, it’s probably the car that’s so appealing. Just a bunch of bros, and a girl, driving on the highway, while a giant monster rears it’s head and screams, and the characters are just as stunned as the viewer!

It just worked for me. I certainly hope they bring the FF series back from a state of crap.

Short Animation Reminiscent of Wall-E With a Touch of Nihilism

In L3.0, a lonely robot just wants a friend, someone to play chess with and to make origami with and… Wait, what the hell?

Right off the bat, it feels like a Pixar film back in their heyday, and you’re taking in the world that it exists in, and goodness, what a gorgeous world, considering it’s in a state of decay. This sets a certain mood and then knocks you on your face, all within four minutes. It’s one of my favorite kinds of films. I’ll probably end up watching this many times before the end of the day.

FILM FX_L3.0 (2014) from ISART DIGITAL on Vimeo.

Miley Cyrus covers Led Zeppelin’s cover of a Really Boring Song

There’s something about Miley Cyrus that draws up a deep-seeded, biblical rage in some people. The mere thought of Cyrus brings to mind terrible, torturous noise-as-music, as well as the confirmation of societal descent into madness, where society has ceased to decline and finally tipped over the edge into irrecoverable decadence and horror, and we are all horrible people, and may God have mercy on our souls.

Incidentally, people used to say the same thing about The Beatles.

And if you think that connection is unfair, here’s another example: Justin Timberlake.

Justin.       Fucking.     Timberlake.

Now… Where was I… RIGHT! So,

Miley Cyrus recorded a cover to Led Zepplin’s “Baby, I’m Gonna Leave You,” and as AV Club pointed out, the response varied. Some people liked it, some hated it, and a lots of others wondered what a lead zeppelin is. Myself, I don’t hate it. It has a low-fi quality, which i’m a sucker for, and she really goes all out with the vocals. If she’s not breathing fire, then she’s earnestly trying to.

It’s probably a safe to bet that any ire she’s provoking comes from the simple fact that she’s covering Led Zeppelin. It’s easy to write her off as a pretentious, self-absorbed fool to think she could even pretend to rise to the level of Led Zepplin. They are rock gods! Timeless! Who’s Miley Cyrus? Some annoying girl who practically mooned the entire world on TV and humped a foam glove, and who completely shattered any and all preconceived notions of who she is and what she stands for. Did you know she’s in the Guinness Book of World Records?

So I thought i’d do something fun. Zepplin’s version is actually a cover of Joan Baez’s version. I’m going to post all three versions right here, so if there’s any weirdos like me out there, you’ll want to hear all three, just because. So enjoy.

New Music: Blind The Thief – Scientists Have Feelings Too

I’ll be be honest, it took me a little bit to warm up to this band. I worked with the guitarist for awhile, so I feel bad when I say, the first couple tracks slightly underwhelmed me. At the same time, however, i’d hardly given their album a chance, so I couldn’t quite form an honest opinion, so I persevered. I started over, and I must say, it blew me away.

The turning point came when I arrived at the track, “In The Sandbox,” which does everything that I love in songs: It’s improvisational, it contains urgency, it has a psychedelic sound that would make Deerhunter proud, and it contains a brilliant use of samples that caused me to pause the track a number of times just to make sure I didn’t have anything else playing at the same time, and I mean that in a good way. After that track, I was hooked. I feel I need to see these guys live, ASAP. I feel bad; I was invited to one show, but I didn’t go, because i’m a c***.

Bonus: If you can tell me, within a day of this post, what the name of the band is in reference to, I will send you a bottle of whatever beer you want. Serious.

I Predict Silent Hills is Going to be a Wild Success

Photo from Digitalspy.com

I’ve been watching Let’s Play videos for P.T., the new spooky, scary game that was released a week or so ago. The game is actually a playable teaser (get it? [P]layable [T]easer) for the upcoming coming “Silent Hills.” And I love it.

Or rather, I love watching it. As Arin Hanson explained in his show Game Grumps, “Hideo Kojima said he wanted to make a game that would make you SHIT YOUR PANTS!” The game seems like it will accomplish that in spades. Often during the video, I’d get up to stand away from the screen because it was so unnerving, even lowering the screen so I could only watch at an awkward angle with a slight glare. The video ended with a jump scare, causing my heart rate to increase significantly. Not as much as one of the guys in the vieo; he literally left the room, the video promptly ended afterwards. It was good fun.

There are three main reasons why I love this game. First, I love is that it’s so scary. Don’t take my word for it, go watch any of the Let’s Play videos and watch it yourself. There’s bound to be a group of men, all grown up, sporting manly, burley voices, and frequently freaking out and panicking like a small group of children playing Bloody Mary at midnight and someone pounds on the door halfway through, administering havoc. You can’t help but laugh at these people, as well as laugh with.

The second thing I love is that the project is collaboration between Hideo Kojima and Guillermo Del Toro, two men who are practically legends in their respective specialties, and is bound to be as insane a partnership as between Robin Williams and Terry Gilliam. (Oh wait, that happenedTwice.)

The third thing I love about it is that it’s a demo that’s making extremely effective use of Let’s Play videos, almost as if it’s tailor made for them.

Let’s Plays are among the most viewed videos on YouTube; any gamer knows that PewDiePie is the most subscribed channel on YouTube, and all he does is play games – almost – and they’re often very entertaining to watch. But it doesn’t end there, what with seemingly endless Let’s Plays out there. A recent favorite of mine is Game Grumps, which I mentioned earlier. If your taste buds lead towards the corporate, Gamespot has Random Encounter. IGN has one, even internet favorite Yahtzee Croshaw has one. I think, I haven’t really been following.

P.T. is a demo, and there’s so much fun watching these people play the game again and again. Gamespot’s Danny O’Dwyer published a video on his show The Point discussing the magic of the demo, the short, 20 minute games that used to come on discs in magazine games during the early 90s. He said, “A good demo had the power to turn apathy into a sale, to start a groundswell of hype that could make or break a game.”

I think that’s whats happening with P.T., or Silent Hills. The demo popped up out of the blue, and scared the crap out of gamers, and their videos of them playing are extremely entertaining. After watching, I want to bring friends over and make them watch me play it and watch them cry, my own Let’s Play.

I think it’s a brilliant move on the part of Kojima and Del Toro. It shows they understand their audience, and they understand their product. The demo isn’t simply a gimmick; it’s playable, and it’s already created an audience. I feel it’s going to develop it’s own following, and when the full game comes out, it’s going to be a wild success.

Hell, I know I’m going to buy it.

I am Dreading the Day I Become a 32 Year Old Intern.

I feel it’s inevitable, and I’m not happy about it, but I’ve accepted it. Very soon, if I want to pursue the career I want, then I will have to take on an(other) internship at 30. Or 31, or even 32. 

It does feel a bit weird. A 30-year-old in an intern? How does that make sense? Shouldn’t I be well into my career, with a house, and a wife, and a car, and all the confidence and money in the world? Do I really mean to suggest that I’m still working on my career like an uncertain sophomore in college who’s obligated to pick a major by the end of the month?

Well, yes, I do mean to say that.

I have absolutely no qualms with finding another internship. I’m also very familiar with the concept of having a career in the first place. I turned away from my first career to get a college degree and to pursue the career that I saw for myself. To this day I think about the kind of life I want for myself, and I experience overwhelming euphoria, a butterfly riding a rocket to the moon in my chest, and every day feels like Christmas. I know I’m perfectly capable of this career. I’m constantly engaged that industry, and I have been for years. I may not have acknowledged it ten years ago, or twenty years ago, but the dream was there, and I’ve never lost it, no matter how doubtful I’ve become as of late. Though, I remember, I quit my first job. And speaking in strictly technical terms, it was a good job.

US Army, hello.

I did already take on an internship at a magazine. It didn’t feel weird then, probably because I was still thinking like a new college student. I still felt young, like I still had time to figure things out. It didn’t occur to me how it might seem a bit strange. The author of this Slate article, a 29-year-old intern, (let’s be friends!) seems to share my own thoughts at the moment: I need to figure out my life! There’s a sentence in there where the author is certain that being an intern at that age, “…raises a few eyebrows.”

Of course, that’s just the authors own thoughts controlling how she feels about her situation. I feel the meaning of the article is expressed in the very last sentence: “Let’s face it, aging and vanity are synonymous.” I am dying to meet the person who wrote that sentence.

An article published by Forbes speaks very highly about older interns. The author found that it reflected very highly of her character that she was willing to take on unpaid work that normally seems to be reserved for recent graduates, or current college students. But at a certain age, it shows determination.

In my case, I’ve accepted that I am absolutely screwed no matter what I do. I am begrudgingly pushing myself towards a career that intimidates me, and frightens me. I have friends who are five or six years younger than me and they’re earning almost 100,000 a year. What a shot that does to the ego!

“Hey, I just bought a new house. What are you up to?”

“I’m fact checking this linguistic book written by five MIT 

“How do you pay your bills?”

“A combination of day labor and catering.”

“When are you going to get a real job?”

“When are you going to shut the hell up?”

And then we never speak again.

I often get angry with myself for not knowing what I know now. “Why the hell didn’t you do this ten years ago?” To which I respond, “Because I didn’t know then.”

So, I’m not excited about it, but I understand it’s necessary. I’ll be taking internships well into my 30s. They say 30 is the new 20, right?

If All the Recent iPhone Leaks are Simply Ploys to Get me Excited for the New iPhone, Then it is a Wild Success.

A couple months ago, it occurred to me that I’ve had my old iPhone 4 for almost two years. Realizing the end of summer is near, and the iPhone 5S was released at about this time last year, I figured there might be a new iPhone coming out. And then I thought, “Hey I could use an upgrade!”

So I sent a text to my neighbor, who works at Apple, and asked him if there’s a new iPhone coming out.

Between the time I sent the text, and his response a couple weeks later (his answer was “I have no idea”), Apple had announced the date for the announcement of something new and special. “Perfect timing!” I thought. “I’ll wait patiently for a couple months, and before I know it, I have the latest iPhone upgrade, no big deal.”

Then, almost immediately, I realized that I had forgotten what kind of world I live in. Tech media outlets, predictably, went wild with speculation. Are they announcing the iPhone 6? The iWatch? Something else obscure that has nothing to do with me so I just ignored?

I saw videos of people playing with individual parts of the phone – the sapphire screen, or a single screw inside the phone, and a Russian video of a phone that looks like the final product. There’s even a Chinese poster that looks like the “supposed” iPhone 6 models, like they’re the actual thing.

iPhone_6_News_Leaked_Weibo Dun dun dunnnnnn……..

Scouring all these photos and videos of what may or may not be accurate, I just found myself getting more and more excited for whatevers coming out. Bring it on! I would announce with my fist in the air, like some kind of courageous 

But then, when I think about it, i’ve already decided what kind of phone i’m going to buy. The iPhones aren’t the only phones coming out this year, but I have no interest in them at all. I feel that i’m engaging myself in some kind of confirmation bias.

In this world of tech, there seems to be camps of loyal followers who will defend their respective product to the death. I knew a guy in college who loved in Android, and I was a moron for owning an iPhone. Recently I met a guy who was absolutely certain that the Android is the best phone, or at least, iPhone is not the best phone. Preposterous! I thought loudly, pumped my fist in the air, which apparently is a characteristic of mine, ready to defend my product silently, in my head. The words that actually came out of my mouth were, “Oh really?” In a dull voice and passivity to match the words, listening contently as these colleagues of mine school me on the superiority of devices.

I let them talk. Like I said, I already made my decision. Nothing they can say will sway me, and likewise, nothing will sway them. They believe their gadget is the superior gadget, and they’ll get it no matter what, just like how I think my choice of gadget is the superior gadget. 

I can imagine there’s a certain underdog appeal to choosing non-Apple smartphones over Apple smartphones. The Steve Job documentary has a scene that involves Bill Gates sharing the stage with Jobs after an investment Gates made for Apple. The audience, the “acolytes” as one speaker described them, acted in hostility towards Gates. They treated “…him as the anti-Christ… they had learned to hate him.” That sentiment clearly works vica versa. My aforementioned friend from college hated, what he called, “Apple fan-boys.” But it made me wonder – wasn’t he, himself, a kind of a fan-boy? One would think so by watching the fanaticism that he displayed as he used his Android to plug in directions to whatever bar we’re going to that night. “No!” He’d shout, as if his life was literally at risk, his entire humanity depending on how accurately his phone guided us to our location. When the other passenger in the car gave me directions off the top of his head, and I followed those directions, which worked out better, our previous navigator stopped talking and remained silent for most of the trip. It was a strange experience. 

Whichever way people want to look at iPhones, they’re still highly regarded over most other phones. Just look at this NY Times blog post which flat out says the iPhone is the best.

There is something else, something that I look at when making any kind of purchase, and I feel it applies here. The thing I have with all the other smart phones out there is that they all seem like poseurs – shallow, cheap imitations of what was once the finest, most revolutionary product on the market. I think of it like The Beatles; they were revolutionary during their time, and today the world is oversaturated with shitty Beatles rip-off bands (the same goes for Nirvana, Bob Dylan, and for a very brief, extremely depressing while, Limp Bizkit). All the new smart phones just want to be iPhone, albeit their own unique twist and price. Ultimately, every smart phone is just an iPhone imitator. To me, that’s a major selling point. A personal point, but still a point.

Besides, even if I do sign for a new phone contract, which I probably will, I’ll get the phone for dirt cheap. And assuming I’ll be making a respectable (enough for college grad) income, the expenses won’t kill me.

My iPhone 4 currently, despite it being almost obsolete, it still runs fast and fluidly, and is easy to use,  considering the software updates. And I like small phones – I really hope companies stop making big, gaudy devices, like the Samsung Galaxy Note (whatever). It feels like it’s only a time before they make the dinner plate phone – eat your dinner while speaking into the built-in speaker with your boss about the Belgium accounts.

A Working TItle Until A Better TItle Works Out

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