Archive for July, 2012

Album Review: Overexposed – Maroon 5

The remnants of a truly fantastic June keep trickling through. This time I’m dealing with the latest studio album release from glamour band Maroon 5. I reviewed the Deluxe Edition, which features three extra tracks.

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Released:
June 2012
Label:
A&M/Octone
Genre: Pop Rock
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With white bars

Now looks terrible on 3rd gen iPad!

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TRACK LISTING

1. One More Night
2. Payphone
3. Daylight
4. Lucky Strike
5. The Man Who Never Lied
6. Love Somebody
7. Ladykiller
8. Fortune Teller
9. Sad
10. Tickets
11. Doin’ Dirt
12. Beautiful Goodbye
13. Wipe Your Eyes (Deluxe edition only)
14. Wasted Years (Deluxe edition only)
15. Kiss (Deluxe edition only)

The measure of a band’s quality does not, and should never, stop at the lead singer. It sounds obvious, but a band isn’t a band without a gaggle of musicians behind the person with the best-tuned vocal chords. They deserve to be heard just as much as their frontman/woman. Maroon 5 seem to have forgotten this basic fact for their latest effort, the aptly title Overexposed. For all the varied beats contained within its run time, it could quite easily have been released as an Adam Levine solo album. I mean, for crying out loud, the group is called Maroon 5.

This isn’t to say the album is complete rubbish, or anything else of the sort. It features some catchy tunes quite ably holding up the “pop” half of the band’s chosen genre, but there just isn’t enough flying the “rock” flag. Continue reading

Movie Review: The Dark Knight Rises

It’s here. What almost certainly amounts to the most anticipated film of the year has finally hit screens worldwide. I’ve seen it twice and I will admit that the second viewing made me change the score I was going to give it.

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Starring:
Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway
Director:
Christopher Nolan (Memento, Inception)
Rating: M
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TDKR_Poster

It is finished. The most critically lauded superhero trilogy of all time is done and dusted, wrapped up with considerable skill by visionary director Christopher Nolan, who rebooted the Batman film license back in 2005 with Batman Begins. The Dark Knight Rises is a visual, audio and psychological tour de force that demands to be seen by any self-respecting film fan. While it doesn’t quite reach the heights of the second film in said trilogy, 2008’s The Dark Knight, it comes incredibly close and won’t hurt Nolan‘s already very impressive resume. Continue reading

Too fast!

Things have been fairly hectic lately.

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Coffee helps.

After a crazily productive two week period in which I finished four games, more than I finish in most years, the combination of the flu and saving money for a weekend road trip conspired to rob me of opportunities to watch three of my most anticipated movies of 2012, Brave, Snow White and the Huntsman and The Amazing Spider-Man. Not seeing those films of course meant not reviewing them, which kinda sucks.

Nevertheless, I saw The Dark Knight Rises last night and I plan to give it a couple of days to stew in my head before I put words to a review.

I will also be starting a new series of articles soon called Rant Chasers, which will deal with any new things I may discover about a game/movie/album after I am done reviewing it. This might include downloadable content for games, extra perspective on movies and/or the discovery that I like a certain album track a lot better after some time has passed.

The second half of the year is packed with awesome entertainment releases and I’m looking forward to covering them on Vagrant Rant!

Game Review: Theatrhythm Final Fantasy

Taking on a 3DS review now. This charming musical title came out on July 2nd and I’ve been tapping along to it ever since.

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Platform:
3DS
Developer:
Square Enix
Rating: G
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Chibi!

Complete with slick pre-order bonus stylus. Aww yeah.

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Twenty-five years.
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That’s how long it has been since the first Final Fantasy graced the Famicom System in Japan, launching a franchise that would become a beloved worldwide phenomenon. Developer Square Enix has decided to honour the quarter-century landmark by releasing a quirky rhythm game celebrating the series’ incredible musical pedigree. This is Theatrhythm Final Fantasy.

Continue reading

Game Review: Pokemon Conquest

Here’s the other game I was talking about in that June article. I’ve been playing this since it launched down under on the 21st, alongside Gravity Rush.

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Platform:
DS
Developer:
Tecmo Koei
Rating: G
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Just… I mean, where did this come from?

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Uh, what?
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That just might be your response to seeing Pokemon Conquest on store shelves, just as it was mine to finding out that it was getting a western release. The portable curiosity combines the money-printing worldwide popularity of the Pokemon series with the previously Japan-exclusive turn-based strategy franchise Nobunaga’s Ambition. The result of this unlikely marriage isn’t for everyone, but it represents a pretty bright future for crossover games of this kind.

Continue reading