Here’s a weird thing you maybe didn’t know about me. During my childhood, probably between the ages of 4-9, my friends and I used to record everything we ever did on cassette tapes. What we usually did was play video games, which means I have literally dozens of cassette tapes of my friends and I playing video games from 20 years ago. When we were I think 13/14, we decided it would be fun to do a throwback and record one final tape. That tape contained my first time playing Silent Hill. It’s pretty incredible to listen to now as wow did that game ever put the fear is us.
My obsession with Silent Hill was triggered almost immediately that day. I didn’t own a Playstation, my friend had rented one and we rented the game along with it. When I got home, I quickly tried to sort out a way to buy one purely so I could play and finish this game (that first play session only took us through to the end of the school). Alas being young and broke made it tricky so I eventually ended up renting the system and powering through the whole game over the course of two evenings. That was the first of at least 6 or 7 full playthroughs I’ve done over the years.
It has lost some of its initial impact now, but Silent Hill remains a thoroughly creepy adventure with an interesting though often befuddling story. The monster designs remain spectacular and its emphasis on atmosphere over jump scares was unique and terrifically executed. For me it still ranks amongst the best offerings survival horror has provided. And what IS going on with that radio?
I owned a PS2 copy of Persona 4 for years without even opening the package. The game intimidated me. I had played Persona 3. I had played Persona 3 for 100 hours or more. I lost sleep due to Persona 3. I’m reasonably confident I missed some school due to Persona 3. I couldn’t make that kind of commitment to another one even though I really wanted to fire it up. So there it sat. Until Persona 4 Golden came out for Vita. It felt strange buying a second copy of a game I had never even played, but I figured if it was portable it would be something I could keep with me and play quick sessions of here and there. Often those quick sessions turned into 6-8 hour marathons. This 100 hour game ended up taking me mere weeks to finish. Oh and once it was done? I was legitimately sad and ready for more.
With some of the most memorable characters ever to grace any video game, I have since devoured any Persona 4 content that has been released just so that I can spend more time with them. The writing is incredible, the story is amongst my favourites in any RPG to date, and the gameplay is frighteningly addictive. I’ve considered a second playthrough every day since finishing it like two years ago. Writing this just might be the trigger I need.
You know what? I don’t think I’m going to pull off doing these one a day…
We’re getting some controversy into the mix pretty early with this one! Believe me I’m surprised to see this one make the cut as well. I can’t help it, my affinity for this game is strong! I remember buying it the day of release because I was at the store to purchase something else and saw this game was only 20 bucks. It also had a screaming person with barbed wire wrapped around their head on the cover. So I knew this was 20 bucks that needed to be spent.
It’s weird to think about when Bioshock first released. I was living alone for the first time ever and was not following video games at all really. I was buying maybe 2 games a year and not keeping up to date with new releases. I knew literally nothing about Bioshock when it was first released, but saw the amazing reviews and that I would get a free copy of The Darkness if I bought it so I figured why not. I then went on to play The Darkness from start to finish without even touching Bioshock. My priorities then were very odd.
Finally I cracked open Bioshock as I figured I spent the money on it so I should probably actually play the damn thing. This began a series of nights where I stayed up far later than I should have playing extended marathon sessions of the game. I distinctly remember planning to stop right around when a key plot twist happens, only to then go on for hours more because there was no way I wasn’t going to find out what happened next. There’s a chance I actively chose to not do a class assignment in order to play this game more, which is right up there with taking a sick day to play The Sims as one of my more shameful life decisions. Eh, I still graduated so it was probably worth it! Bioshock is amazing! Bioshock 2 less so. But Bioshock Infinite is also amazing!
Man, it has been awfully quiet around these parts huh? I think that calls for an overzealous feature I have nowhere near enough time to actually do!
A couple years back I put together a list of my top 30 films of all time. It was largely done to see if I could even pull off such a list and I’m still not convinced what’s in there is completely accurate, but it’s close enough that I can walk away satisfied. Ever since doing that list, I’ve been wanting to try and apply the same idea to video games as I knew that would be a lot harder, and I was genuinely curious to figure out what I do consider to be my all time favourites. I feel I’ve spent years attaching “Oh that’s one of my favourite games” to about a billion titles, so the time felt right to finally sit down and give it a shot. I will try and post one entry each day for the rest of April, but I am already confident enough in my laziness to state with some authority that will never ever actually happen. Let us begin!
The Oscars are barely 24 hours away so what better way to celebrate than to record a podcast that ceases to be relevant the moment they are done?! Perhaps we didn't think this through entirely but I suppose after they are over you could always go back and check how wrong all of our predictions were. You see we didn't bother ourselves with things such as knowing what a bunch of the movies are, or knowing what certain categories mean. No we charge forward because that's how shit gets done! ....Oscar picks episode!
Download: MP3 Format (47 MB, Right Click and Save that Shit)
And that’s that! We sped through the entire run of Friends on Netflix in a time frame short enough to make me feel a wee bit upset with myself. It was weird to enter a world where throwing on an episode of this show wasn’t the immediate go to activity when we had some down time. With that, I have some closing thoughts on the remaining seasons, as well as a couple of thoughts from previous seasons that I forgot to include in the last couple iterations of this. Onward!
Ok it took me way too long to finish the first round of observations. When I started writing it, we were right at the end of the third season. When I posted it and then moved on to this next one, we were just starting the eighth season. So either I’m writing way too slow or we are watching way too much of this show. It’s possibly a little bit of both. Either way that now means I have a looooot more episodes to talk about than I did in the first one so I best get going on this now before we hit the end of the whole damn thing.
Re-watching the entirety of Friends has been an idea floating around in my head for quite some time. I watched the show when it first aired and enjoyed it well enough. I’ve also caught a good number of reruns and gone back to a few of the seasons on DVD. However, in recent years I’ve found myself bizarrely inclined to dip my toe back into that world. When Netflix announced the entire series would be hitting the service on New Year’s Day 2015, I knew this was my chance to dive in. I would honestly love to know the numbers for how many hungover people just fired up this show and didn’t stop Netflix until it was time to go to bed.
Just in time for the Golden Globes we have an episode about our favourite movies from 2014, that I think is being uploaded after the Golden Globes have already started. They may actually be half over by now. I don't know, I don't watch them. Friends is on Netflix now, I don't have time for anything else!
This is the episode where we discover that, for a podcast largely focused on describing why we like movies, we (especially me) sure are bad at describing why we like movies. I think in the end we do a decent job of making our point but we could sure benefit from some quality time with a thesaurus. Also we keep getting distracting by a charity marathon on a TV we for some reason did not turn off before recording. ...I am not selling this well. Please don't click away! I promise it's still entertaining! Come back!
Download: MP3 Format (53 MB, Right Click and Save that Shit)