Archive for the ‘Misc’ Category

Guest Week Volume III

It’s mid April once more, and that can only mean one thing! Vagrant Rant’s third annual

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WEEK!

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Normally this would be my chance to take a break from blogging, but I’ve just been so busy lately that this will be the most posting activity I’ve had on my blog all year. I am super grateful to the seven writers you are about to read over the next week. This is absolutely one of my favourite times of the year.

Please enjoy.
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The struggle.

 

The Home Stretch, 2014

I’m not going to lie – it’s been very difficult to get any sort of blogging done lately. With my new employment situation piling up on top of my other commitments, my personal posting goal for 2014 looks further and further away. I will still do my best to get there, and there’s a big series of end-of-year countdowns coming as per usual, but there are many obstacles in the way right now. Not to mention ALL THE GAMES that keep releasing, a significant percentage of which I feel compelled to purchase for some reason. At last count, I believe I’ve bought nine games since I finished up with Destiny in late September, some of which I haven’t even played, and none of which I’ve even been close to finishing. And I’m not even done. Leaving all semblance of common sense behind, I’m still excited to grab the following ten gaming items before the end of the year:

This is consumerist irresponsibility at its very best, folks.

A Thank You

Vagrant Rant‘s second guest week was a resounding success! I am deeply grateful to the seven people who agreed to write for my blog and I am once again amazed at what people are capable of producing. I am inspired.

Thank you to Soapman, CrAk3rs, Krispy, Blizz117, XVSting, Opinion_Invalid and BrotherMiles for your inputs. More of the good stuff coming up right here!

Guest Week! Again!

Ladies and gentlemen, here we go! Vagrant Rant’s second-ever (maybe annual)

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If you’re getting tired of the way I constantly prattle on about how you should spend your money, you’re in luck, because for the next seven days this site will be hosting some out-of-the-ordinary entertainment media content written by folks other than yours truly.

Please enjoy.

It’s someone else’s turn.

Kickstarted and Moving Up

There are many opinions floating around on and off the internet about the merits (or lack thereof) of Kickstarter, the crowdfunding website designed to help people get their creative ideas off the ground and into the hands of those who wish to benefit from said ideas, by relying on donations from fans. Plenty of projects have failed (some before they get funded, others afterwards – see the OUYA Android game console) while others, like the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset and the recently released Veronica Mars movie, have reached their desired funding goals and then some, really taking off in a big way.

As of now I have only ever donated to two Kickstarter campaigns. One is the multi-platform WayForward videogame Shantae: Half Genie Hero, which looks rad. The other is Zach Braff’s long-awaited (by some) Wish I Was Here, the spiritual successor to his directorial debut film Garden State from 2005. The first teaser trailer for the film just dropped, and it hasn’t yet been sent to any major news outlets, so here it is:

Garden State is one of my all-time favourite movies, as it did a great job of capturing the emotional highs and lows experienced by the average Western twenty-something. Braff promises that Wish I Was Here will do something similar with the thirties, and by the looks of things, he’ll be telling his story in a similarly quirky way this time around. The soundtrack of Garden State won a Grammy award, so I see no reason why Braff’s music choices won’t markedly enhance the onscreen action here as well. It appears, at least, that he still adores The Shins.

Man, I hope this movie is good.

Obligatory Post-April Fools’ Post

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Yes, that last review had an April Fools’ theme. I don’t really play Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster just for the Blitzball and yes, I do realise that reviewing the game without even bringing in the X-2 part is unfair. In truth I’m not very far into the FF X part of the game (not much further than the part when you can first play Blitzball freely, actually) but I am thoroughly enjoying just about every aspect of the experience. The sphere grid is clever, the hands-off weapon system is refreshing and most of the characters are pretty cool. Being able to take an RPG that still features so many unique design elements with me on the go on my PS Vita is a real treat. Based on what I’ve played so far there’s no way I’d give the game just 3.5 out of 5. It seems the game is highly regarded for a reason, and that reason goes beyond the fanboy and fangirl rants I used to hear way back in the day.

But yeah, Blitzball is still awesome.

999 Reasons to Visit the App Store Right Now

This isn’t a news blog – Vagrant Rant exists primarily as an outlet for my own opinions on entertainment media, as well as my compulsive need to order things into top ten lists. But today, I’m making an exception, because something pretty cool happened on the iOS App Store today and not nearly enough people will be aware of it.

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Former Nintendo DS game Zero Escape: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, known to its fans as simply 999, was released on the App Store today in “novel” form (a.k.a. with all the puzzles taken out), carrying the Australian price tag of $5.49. The critically acclaimed original version of the game was never released in Australia and only ever printed in limited numbers in the US, but has amassed a pretty vocal following worldwide since its 2010 release. It’s the prequel to Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward, a deviously clever 3DS/PS Vita game that I reviewed on this blog in the middle of last year (I’ve gone back and upgraded that review to reflect this new release).

Without any of its former puzzles the experience takes on a kind of choose-your own-adventure novel structure, with the added bonus of slightly animated visuals (now in HD!), comic book style dialogue and a brand new “flowchart” feature that allows you to rewind the story at a moment’s notice to retry any of the game’s major choices. Being a Japanese game that wasn’t expected to make a big splash in the West, things do get weird throughout the narrative, which can best be described as a thriller/sci-fi mash-up with some heavy themes and a few lashings of oddball comedy. I won’t say anything more about the story, but suffice to say it’s a twisty tale that sticks with you and I highly recommend it.

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Unfortunately, there is no Android version of the novel at the moment, which makes me sad. Hopefully there will be one soon.

So by all means, get out your iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad and happy reading!