“Flavor” originally from Abnormally Addicted to Sin is now the latest single for “Gold Dust” the orchestral reworking album coming out 1st October. I like the rendition and I imagine the new album will be a very grande and sweeping one.
Harmonix have a rich history of Rhythm Action games and with their new download only version of Rock Band things have almost come full circle.
Rock Band Blitz brings things back to the controller. Instead of pressing lots of buttons to create riffs each instrument only requires two buttons. I used down and X for left and right buttons. As those buttons cross the path of your button line, you press the buttons to play each instrument. You swap between each instrument with the shoulder buttons. This is very similar to original Harmonix games Frequency and Amplitude. To help along the way you now also have power ups to help improve your score or blast blocks out the way during busy sections to help you. Things really have come full circle.
Where things are completely different is the scoring for each song. Hitting several notes for each instrument lets you increase the score multiplier on that instrument (drums, bass, guitar, vocals and keyboards). Each song is also divided into sections and you can raise each track a maximum of three multipliers per song section. If you do this, it’ll let you raise the multiplier a further three for the next section but if say you only get the drums up by a single multiplier, you’re then limited to only one additional multiplier for everything in the next section. Suddenly strategy in now involved because you must work out which is the easiest times to get the multipliers for each track. It’s a nifty little change in the mechanics of the game that really changes things up.
As such there’s no multiplayer but there’s online scoreboards and a song wats mode where you can send challenges to your rivals and they have just over 2 hours playtime to beat you and send the challenge back again.
~25 tracks and any DLC from before all count
~Very easy to pick up but hard to master the score modes
~Great overall production
~No difficulty adjustments but then you can’t technically fail a song either
A great entry point to the series but also a great game in its own right. I still think I prefer Frequency & Amplitude but this is still a fantastic controller based experience for Rock Band fans.
Samsara, the latest audio visual piece of cinema from Ron Fricke & Co is a delightful feast for the eyes and ears. Following in very similar footsteps to Baraka that came before it, Samsara feels much more about circles of life rather than being a world prayer.
The first thing that strikes you is the sheer clarity of the footage. Shot in 70mm its a love letter in some ways to film of old before digital recording pushes through completely. The secondary part is the music. I say secondary because in many ways its so passive and meditative that you almost don’t notice how it utterly sways the emotions for you. It work that kind of magic requires special talent.
Of the images themselves, a lot of the film is spent in religious places and showing off various places that look simply stunning. Some of them look almost otherworldly. I felt that a lot of the film deals with different ways of creating and building a life and also the ending of life too. Some of the most harrowing images I found were the ones of the aftermath of natural disasters. There’s a section involving robotics and sex dolls which is particularly interesting and slightly creepy and there’s also an artistic piece where a man in an office utterly goes nuts covering himself in face paint and throwing things around. The time lapse sections are always the wow moments for me personally and Samsara has two specific build ups for this. One is of a slaughter house and reminds me of Our Daily Bread, the other is the swirling worshippers in Jerusalem. Time-lapse is often used in the film but to me it takes more of a step back to let more sumptuous imagery take the foreground.
Samsara is like a light that shines on all the beauty and all the ugliness of the world as the wheel of life continues to turn around it. It’s fascinating, compelling, thought provoking and utterly unique compared to anything else released recently. I urge everyone to watch this cinematic stream of life and see what it brings out in you.
We’re back after our prolonged break with our multplayer special! Ben quite likes a bit of split screen, Simon just wants it to have a rhythm action mini game involved. We also discuss the console market and how we think there could be a rejuvenation coming in the forms of Steam & Ouja!
(Apologies for a couple of sound problems – this was due to a connection issue)