Edward's June 2012 Mix
I got a few things finished this month. I finished Syberia, the last time I finished a "point & click" adventure was back in 1992, LucasArt's wonderful gem of a game called The Secret of Monkey Island. And even to finish this one I had to have a walkthrough minimized on my task bar, still, no complaints--even as a guided tour the game was spectacular to behold. I also knocked out Clive Barker's Undying. Kinda creepy, (not as much as System Shock 2), but spooky nonetheless. I felt the game got repetitive, but definitely an eerie spookhouse ride. Summer is here, yay! I've been logging some serious miles on the bike. And though I forgot to include its inclusion in the photo, a good buddy of mine gave me an old CD he wasn't listening to anymore. It just happened to be one of my favorite bands. The Birthday Massacre. Goth? Not really. Industrial? hmmm. . . maybe not. But chances are if you like Goth or Industrial music you will love The Birthday Massacre.
1. An American Werewolf in London on Blu-Ray
John Landis originally wrote the screenplay for this cult film in 1969 while working as a "gopher" on the set of the Clint Eastwood movie, Kelly's Heroes. It took him that long to get a studio fired up about his plan to make a movie that was too comedic to be considered a horror film and too horrific to be considered a comedy. This movie is black comedy at its best. The movie was also the first time an Academy Award was given for Best Makeup Effects. The transformation is worth ownership alone. And the movie looks splendid in the Blu-Ray format.
2. Alfred Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt on DVD
Alfred considered this his favorite film of all time. He did so all because of the setting: a mass murderer living amongst us in a quiet neighborhood adorned with maple trees and porch swings. Joseph Cotton gives a sinister performance as the murderer hiding out with his sister and her family, and lionized by his niece. There is nothing more disappointing than someone you're close to who ultimately reveals him or herself to be not what you expected. This suspenseful film explores that concept brilliantly.
3. World War Z by Max Brooks
I'm a fourth of the way through this book, and I can already say it's one of the best books I've read this year. It's entirely coincidental that I began reading this (I promise) as all of the crazy Internet posts concerning drug fueled sickos attacking people or indulging in self mutilation are being compared to zombies straight out of the walking dead lore. This book is told in an interview format about a not too distant future in which a plague slowly engulfs the world and produces dead people intent on eating the living. Carmack McCarthy's epic The Road was uncannily quiet. This book is insanely loud. A must read.
4. The Road to Oz by L. Frank Baum on Kindle
This is book number 5 in Baum's magical children's series. Once again Dorothy returns to Oz to see all of her old friends (and to make some new ones.) This time she "accidently" gets to Oz by becoming lost in a cornfield. These books undoubtedly have a repetitive tone, but I still find something captivating in them. And Amazon's Kindle is a wonderful way to become acquainted with them.
5. Star Trek: The Next Generation -- Season 3 on DVD
The first two series laid the groundwork, the stage is set in concrete, and the characters in the series are showing depth in deep gulf levels. More than a few of the episodes revolve around Data exploring venues to "becoming human," and these are done so remarkeably well that my fondness for this series is surpassing my love for the classic episodes. I've had a catch in my throat a few times while watching this season, and the episode "The Defector" concerning a defecting Romulan (or is it a Romulan trick) could easily have stood alone as a movie. "Booby Trap" and "The Offspring" in which Data creates an android who becomes his "daughter" are two episodes I simply did not want to end.
6. Tiger Woods' PGA Tour '08 on PC
Yes, I know. You're getting tired of seeing this one turn up month after month. Well, it's been a long run, no doubt. I have over 120 hours in this game now. But I am in the Q tournament now, and doing fairly well--about halfway through the season. I'm sponsored by Oakley now, and I'm only three guys away from Tiger himself. By this time next month, I should be about finished with the game.
7. Oblivion on PC
Still a long ways away from the ending in this game. I'm over 50 hours in and I've not even started the first quest in the storyline. I'm still struggling to find a damn cure for vampirism. I just need to find some bloodgrass, and then I need to sneak into somebody's humble cottage, steal away to their basement and take a few bulbs of garlic. Easier said than done, in this game, for sure.
8. Neverwinter Nights Gold Edition on PC
Since I finished Syberia I needed a good game to load on my laptop. I had never finished Neverwinter Nights when it came out. I thought I'd give it another spin. I'm glad I did. I forgot how fun this game is! My paladin, "Edward Doogooder" is level 5 now, blatantly destroying all forms of evil in his path, and he's about to step out of the prelude into Chapter One. MMORPGs are an eternal grind, and a constant struggle of one-upping. This game is so the opposite. This is pc gaming at its purest and a testament to the simple fact that I love flying solo.
9. PC Gamer Magazine 2004
It's been a blissful memory overload reading my favorite computer gaming magazine, the entire 2004 year run. With so many PC games now being platform jumpers or Indie games cheaply purchased via Steam, 2004 was pure heydays of PC computer gaming. Doom 3, Half Life 2 and Far Cry (my favorite FPS of all time) ruled the day. Truly, it never got any better than this.
10. Manny's Search by Edward C. Burton
The awful monster of procrastination sunk its gleaming fangs into my buttocks thereby preventing me from working on getting my manuscript to market. Amazon's file scan found six discrepancies with the manuscript. I finally converted it to a workable .pdf file and reran the scan. I've narrowed it down to two issues. Amost there.