{Album Review} New Demons

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You might have a bit of trouble making out the text on this album cover, but it does say New Demons, which is the title of said album. The band responsible for the making of it and the songs found within is called I See Stars.

Two winters ago, I was going to see one of my favourite bands that was part of what was called The Outbreak Tour. Unfortunately, the singer died in a motorcycling accident nearly two months before. So a replacement for them was needed. I See Stars was chosen to fill up the newly unfortunate emptied spot. My first impression of them was anything but stellar. They played a lot of dubstep in between songs from a group I liked without even taking a few seconds to credit them and their songs sounded whiny and messy. Funny enough though, they had more energy and power over the crowd then the band headlining the tour.

I was actually only compelled to give I See Stars another go when at least two friends who have very similar tastes in music as mine told me that they were into them. I think that their popularity mostly rose well from their new album New Demons that came out this last October. So I checked out a few songs…and eventually got the whole list from that album.

ISeeStars-JUL13(Here’s a look at the band before I dwelve into their music and New Demons‘ content.)

I See Stars’s sound is a blend of hardcore and dubstep music. There music was very rusty at first, but even I have to admit that they knew how to get a crowd going early on. Even so, they were mostly judged on their music and probably still are by most of the dubstep hating metalheads. They managed to strive on and hone their skills despite all of that.

Their new album has many songs dedicated to those who thought they sucked and would never rise up the success ladder. Some of those haters even made sure the band was well aware of them. I can just imagine them looking smug at the non-believers they’ve met from the fact that they’re good enough now to be headlining in their own tour this summer.

The rest of the songs in New Demons are divided between life struggling, identify seeking, break up and love songs. There aren’t many slow songs. If they seem like it, it’s because you haven’t gotten through the whole song yet. Also, I suspect that the very titles of Ten Thousand Feet and When I Say Jump, You Say How High could be a dedication to the fans that never gave up on the band.  These guys have really come a long way and I’ve gained a lot of respect for them and their stubborn progress. It gives me hope that other bands I don’t quite like right now might get better.

So, if you’re on the lookout for a good blend of hardcore and dubstep, I suggest you try listening to New Demons. I’d give a 4 out of 5. But it’s up to you to figure out if you agree with me or not. I leave you now with a playlist of the album to make your life easier if you actually wanted to check their music out right after reading this article.

{Game Review} Dust: An Elysian Tail

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Dust: an Elysian Tail is a 2-D arcade game that also fits into the action role-play category. You can play it on the computer or on the Xbox live arcade. It had releases for the different platforms between 2012 and 2013. Dust was almost completely made by a one-man team! Humble Hearts, the creator of the game, is essentially the pen name of game designer Dean Dodrill. Beceause of this alone, the game was a success as well as popular among sites like Kotaku and Joystiq.

In Dust: AET you play as Dust, a name that was given to the main character by the magic talking sword that finds him unconscious at the very beginning of the game. The reason why he’s given a name is because he has amnesia. Ahrah the flying magical sword tells Dust that he has a great destiny ahead of him and that he must help him go through with it. Fidget, a flying furry creature (apparently her species has the name of nimbat) has no choice in following the both of them because she is Ahrah’s guardian. Her job was to watch over the sword and protect it until the chosen one meant to wield it to change the world arrive. Let’s just say, Fidget wasn’t convinced Dust was that very chosen one for awhile.

dust__an_elysian_tail_fanart_wallpaper_by_twokinds-d6g9wnw(Dust, Fidget and Ahrah)

I had a lot of fun playing this game. The story is pretty good, with a decent pacing. It reminds me a lot of Japanese cartoons (as in Animes) for that and its looks. It plays well and even the attacks you start with look over powered!

sweeeeeet(This attack might not look like much, but it’s actually an overkill!)

Another interesting part of this game that charmed me is all the references to what seems like plot holes or weird things about games that don’t really make sense. Like how the main character’s face is mostly masked or how ridiculous some character’s habits are. Even the title is a sort of pun. Instead of writing the last word as Tale like Humble Hearts should have, he spelled it as Tail (Get it? Because all the characters are humanoid animals. Which means they all have tails)

This is only a half spoiler, but as an example to what I just said, you find out  not too far in the game that many of the monsters you have to kill are sentient and live in another part of the world in peace with their own civilized culture. The universe Dust: AET is set in has warm blooded folk, like Dust and Fidget, and cold blooded ones. Most of the monsters and bosses are that second kind of people living in the world of this game. In other words, this game has a ton of references to the many problems on race that have existed  in the real world through time, some still existing in the present.

The game overall was alright. It’s impressive that one person worked on almost the whole thing, and the story and puns are very compelling. I found however that the monsters, including many bosses, were too easy to defeat. I think that the powers might have been just a little too overpowered from the start. And some of the skills you can put points in when you level up were easy to determine as not very important to upgrade.

Okay, maybe that last part isn’t exactly true, I did have trouble with my health when I stopped . But otherwise, I was overkilling many of the normal monsters.

In conclusion and revision, This game is pretty cool. You have to live with some problems, but it definitely doesn’t degrade it.

For a better look at Dust: An Elysian Tail, take a look at this epic trailer for it!

{DLC Review} Bioshock: Infinite Burial at Sea Ep.2

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I think at this point there’s no need to mention the fact that spoilers will be given in this review to make sense of things I’ll be mentioning. So now that you’ve been warned, let’s get right on this!

In this episode, we find out that Elizabeth wanted revenge all along and had set up a trap to kill him. It worked, but what she didn’t expect was her own death. Luckily, there was one version of herself left. But that means that she has no more chances if she dies one more time. The consequences of being the only version of herself is that there are no other version to be connected with. In Bioshock: Infinite, players found out that Elizabeth could feel what all her other selves could, knew what they knew. She could also see the past and the future. All of those went away with her second to last death.

download (1)(Closing your own eyes can’t be good for the soul and mind)

While playing as Elizabeth (finally!), albeit without her unique power, players have the choice of being stealthy with a crossbow, or loud and proud with the regular weapons strewn about. The players also discover along with her what seems to be a hallucination of Booker Dewitt. He doesn’t follow her around like Elizabeth did with Booker when he was still alive. Instead she sees him in a few instances and mostly hears him through her radio, guiding her as if she had fabricated him in her mind moments before her second to last self ceased to exist. This is my theory based on the fact that he seems to know what she needs to say when interacting with people she has to negotiate and work with. He also knows where she needs to go and what is to come, like Elizabeth could when she wanted to predict things.

Atlas(The first time we see Elizabeth’s hallucination of Booker)

Now, at this point I would be gushing to you about the ending of this DLC, but that’s not what a review is about. Let’s just say that by playing through this second episode of Burial at Sea, you will see that the overall story of the Bioshock seires depend on the existence of Columbia, Booker and Elizabeth as well the events that occur in Bioshock: Infinite AND the DLC.

Bioshock: Infinite Burial at Sea completed the series in ways I can’t describe. It also completed me. I’m tearing up again just thinking of the second episode’s ending. Not even movies these past few years have been able to cause such an impact on me. That’s how much more mind-blowing it is compared to the first game’s ending (which was still super amazing). Not only did Bioshock keep me at the edge of my seat, it gave me hope with its plot and game mechanics. Hope that series like this can help video games evolve. I see now why the first of the Bioshock series won game of the year after it was released. And I’m determined to make as many gamers I know fall in love with the series, as well as not only make sure that they play through the trilogy, but the DLC for the third game as well. Because they will never be as overly satisfied as when they go through Burial at Sea.

Check out the trailer if you’re interested in this DLC or not convinced enough about it.

{DLC Review} Bioshock: Infinite Burial at Sea Ep.1

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If you’ve read my Review of Bioshock: Infinite, you know that I highly recommended buying the DLC for it. I also said that the third game found a way to connect to the other two previous games of the Bioshock series. Well…SPOILER ALERT! The world where Columbia exists in is actually an alternate universe where instead of building a city underwater, it was made to float in the sky.

Now, from this point on, I will be making some references to Biochock: Infinite’s ending to be able to explain parts of its DLC. For those of you who don’t care for spoilers, or who don’t care either if I make references to other of the Bioshock games, by all means read on!

Following the instance where Booker Dewitts kills Elizabeth to stop the madness he had inadvertently created through and possibly makes more mistakes after to try and fix all that he had ruined, Booker asks the tear jumping duo that are the Luteces to help him lose his memories of Elizabeth and bring him in one of the alternate universes. He ends up in Rapture, the city that Biochock and Bioshock 2 are set in and continues the life of a private investigator he had before being launched in the events of Bioshock: Infinite. That is, until an unlikely stranger comes knocking at his door.

bioshock-infinite-burial-at-sea-ep-1-dlc-trailer-1024x576(Elizabeth be smoking hot and all grown up in this DLC!)

So it seems that not all the versions of Elizabeth had died in the end. She hires Booker to help find a girl he had sold off for the Little Sister project without thinking (I guess forgetting the past doesn’t prevent you from repeating it). Like in Bioshock: Infinite, Elizabeth follows Booker wherever he goes, giving him (and thus the player) aids if you run out of one or more.  You’ll also have to face the Big Daddy again. Oh, the nostalgia!

Burial at Sea ep. 1 is just the first part of Infinite’s DLC. It concludes many things and reminds you of when vigors were plasmids and the environment is full of crazies. Although I guarantee you that even if you feel satisfied with this episode’s ending, it will be nothing compared to the second episode!

If you’d like to watch the first episode of Burial at Sea’s trailer, here it is!

{Game Review} Bioshock: Infinite

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 Bioshock: Infinite is the third instalment to the Bioshock series. While the two other games were set in an underwater city, the city in this third game is up in the skies!

In Infinite, you play as an investigator named Booker Dewitt. You’re given a job in which you were told to retrieve a young woman, Elizabeth who was kidnapped when she was just a baby. Once your employers bring you to a lighthouse. From the top of the building, you get launched up in the sky, past the clouds, and into Columbia you arrive.

 Once you find the woman you are looking for, she follows you everywhere. The majority of the game is an escort mission, but for once gamers won’t have room to complain about this. Although Eizabeth doesn’t fight, never do you have to worry about her getting hurt by enemies. In addition, she’s always on the lookout for ammo and the substances that replenish your health and vigor (which is the equivalent of magic in this game). AND when you start up the instance where you catch whatever she wants to throw at you to help, you’re given a short breather where no attack can hurt you.

Elizabeth-Throwing-Money(Money is another thing she tosses/throws at you when she finds any.)

For those who are familiar with this series, you know that usually there are normal enemies and a bigger enemy, the Big Daddy. As for Infinite, in terms of harder monsters to beat, there are more of them with different characteristics. Something you also don’t have in the other Bioshock games is tracks in the air that you can attach yourself to. Near the very beginning of the game, you get a device that is meant to hook on to the tracks and bring in forward and backward. It’s also very good for melee kills, which you can do. Later in the game you also find out what makes Elizabeth special, she has a special power that she’s able to use at your command to hep distract enemies or summon aids.

Honestly, if you’re a big gamer and are a fan of the Bioshock series then this game is a must to play! The DLC that goes with it also helps complete the whole trilogy, but that’s something I’m saving for another article. Just trust me on this though when I saw that you will be mind-blown by Bioshock: Infinite and how it connects to its two predecessors.

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 Bioshock: Infinite is for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC. I highly recommend you purchase the DLC with it if you do end up buying it. To find out why, check out my reviews of the first and second one.

Dawson’s Medieval Day!

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Earlier this month, Dawson had its annual Medieval Day, hosted by the Comi-me and Sci-fi/Fantasy club. They are one of the oldest clubs around. I also think that this event might be almost as old. The day was great at the beginning, and when it started to rain a bit, our fun wasn’t even damped out!

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Like many years before, we had a a champion LARPer come to say hi to friends and show off their swordsmanship. I’m only half serious because the one who came this year is a good friend of mine and I know that he legitimately has fun and is ready to teach us tricks if anyone asks him, just as long as he’s not itching to join in on any group matches.

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The part of Medieval Day is most known for is their tournament that happens after lunch time. No one takes it too seriously, though the level gaps were still there. What I’m trying to say here is that there were no sore losers, basically. I was one of the participants for the tournament for the first time. I managed to get past the first round before getting my ass whooped. It was a lot of fun.

 The winner of the tournament is the guy on the right in the picture below this paragraph. The one in middle got second place and the one on the left possibly organized Medieval day. I’m proud that my friend who won did. Not only did he defeat someone with more experience, but he’s in the club that I help make (the metal club to be more exact). AND he has the same name as me with the difference being in the spelling (there’s no e at the end of his). Because Pascal fights barefoot, he cut open his toe a bit. That didn’t stop him from finishing the match! I don’t even think he noticed the cut until after he won against his opponent.

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 After the tournament, other activities for this day were different types of tug-a-war, team and free-for-all fights and a butchered log throwing competition!

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 Medieval Day gets hosted every year. If you think that maybe you’d like to check it out next year, I suggest you find me or the Com-ime and Sci-fi/Fantasy clubs next winter semester to know what date it will happen next time.

Medieval Fair 2014

Last weekend, from the 9th to the 10th of Mai, Montreal held its annual Medieval fair at the Pierre-Charbonneau center. I was able to attend last year, but sadly had no money to spend there. You see, the way I see it, this fair’s biggest reason for existence is for LARP artisans to sell as much of their products and give as many business cards as they can.

LARP stands for Live Action Role Play, which means that people with this hobby actually hone their skills in medieval fighting. Only they use foam weapons instead of real ones to avoid actually killing anyone.

wooh 050 One of the bigger known companies that sell a bit of everything is called Epic Armory. The image on the left is a stand with a range of different swords they sell. I’m okay with Epic Armory. They tend to be kind of overpriced and their weapons are flashy for nothing most of the time. However, I liked the one pricy arrow I was able to afford and the gloves I got from them to protect my hands while doing archery. In other words, if you have the money, go for the arrows or armor/outfit pieces if you ever want to invest in LARPing.

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Old school medieval products aren’t the only things you can buy at the Medieval Fair. On the right, you can see designs on gear that would be considered steampunk. The genre permits for more details for steampunk artisans to put on their sellables. You can even see an arm brace with the Umbrella logo which is  in case you end up in a post-apocalyptic LARP with zombies (Umbrella is a fictional company in the Survival Horror series Resident Evil)

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Other then armour/costumes and weapons, medieval instruments are also sold at the medieval fair! There were mostly lutes (some being even electrical) But I saw nice old school looking wind instruments and percussions too. Some LARPs permit magic users, so I also saw wands and staffs in some booths. I wasn’t able to get a picture of those though

Outside of the center, many demonstrations of medieval fighting were showed, some that anyone could join in on whether they had their own gear or not. I went for one day at this fair and was finally able to purchase things that I’d been needing for LARPing for a long time now. I recommend that if this interests you, to maybe go with a bit of money for small interesting accesories or with friends who will either spend money there or don’t mind not buying anything either.

Visit salonmedieval.com if ever you want to know more about the Medieval Fair!

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