This is a very long post about my film, my first ever podcast, my night out with a PlayStation 3, and my completely unfounded review of Bloc Party’s second album. Click on “more” below if you want more.
Oh wow, it’s me
I got interviewed in my very first podcast with Hackenslash, Inquirer’s gaming site. It also happened to be their very first podcast (EIC Joey says it’s historic!) so that officially makes me historic, and therefore very, very old. Anyway, if you want to hear me make a fool of myself, download the 20+ MB mp3 here.
I got to try out the PlayStation 3 last night at an IGDA* meeting. I’m a Sony girl (it was a thrill when someone from Sony told me he’s heard of me, as I was interviewed for PinoyPSX a while back), but I still don’t see what all the fuss is about with the PS3. Or maybe I’ve just been brainwashed by the beautiful Xbox 360 in the office.
The first thing I noticed about the PS3 was the controller – wireless, sure, that’s expected, but it is incredibly light. I mean, it doesn’t weigh a thing! The graphics were very shiny, too, and crystal-clear – not the typical soft-light cinematic lighting you see in some 360 games. And we weren’t even using an HDTV last night, so I’m sure the PS3 would look even more stunning in HD. But that’s not enough to get me to shell out money for it. It’s all about the gameplay, and I chose to play MotorStorm over Resistance: Fall of Man because I can’t shoot for shit. Unfortunately, I can’t race for shit either, and top that with steering the truck with the motion-sensitive SIXAXIS controller, and I ended up crashing into a wall. SIXAXIS is super sensitive – you have to nudge the controller slightly to steer, not treat it like a driving wheel, which is what I was doing.
I already knew that Bloc Party would have a damn near impossible time trying to beat their first album Silent Alarm. I listened to this album repeatedly for months. We even have a game going, my assistant and I – he’d ask out of the blue, “What track is ‘Pioneers’?” and I’d start rattling off, “Well, ‘This Modern Love’ is track 7, ‘So Here We Are’ is track 10, so it must be track 8…”
A Weekend In The City sounds completely different from the Bloc Party I’m used to. It’s darker, sharper (literally sharper – the guitars are sharp), and -gasp!- it’s pop-py. You know, like 80s pop? And I was never an 80s person (I’m a 90s girl, thank you very much) so it’s not my particular cup of tea.
My biggest complaint is the two-guitar dynamic, now gone. I adored how Silent Alarm’s two guitars complimented each other equally. It would get to a point that if you wanted to learn Bloc Party on guitars you couldn’t ever play it by yourself, no way at all. That’s why I loved covering ‘So Here We Are’ in my old band – each guitar is only half of the whole, and together the two sound great. A Weekend In The City uses all sorts of other shit to fill the space up, not guitars 😐 Oh well.
Not that the album is bad – it’s not. There are songs you’ll inevitably like. “The Prayer” is everyone’s favorite – it took a while to grow on me, but I like it now. The second favorite, “I Still Remember”, is a bit too pop-py for me. I really like “On”, “Hunting For Witches”, and “Kreuzberg”. But they don’t have classics here, the way Silent Alarm did – they don’t have a “This Modern Love” or “So Here We Are”, though they tried (putting a few sentimental songs but none as powerful), and though they have a lot of edgy tracks that sound like “Helicopter” or “Pioneers”, they’re still not “Helicopter” or “Pioneers”. Yeah, yeah, I shouldn’t compare, huh? Hard not to when you’ve got a kickass album to follow up.
If Silent Alarm is 5/5, I suppose A Weekend In The City can be a 4/5. Not bad at all. (Bloc Party, I still love you. Will you marry me?)
*International Game Developers Association – Manila chapter