Sunday, November 7, 2010


So much has happened in the past 2 weeks, and since I haven’t done any reviews yet, why not just do a blowout review session. I will do one for videogames, tv/comics, and music in that order. First up to face my wrath is the iPhone/iPod Touch game, GameDev Story. This game has in the past couple of weeks captivated the imagination and the focus of many gamers out in the world, including actual developers and reviewers. GameDev Story is basically a sim game in which you are the president of a game company and throughout a period of 20 years develop games or take contracts.
 Even the damn title font is cute!

In GameDev Story you start out as a fresh developer, ready to enter the harsh world of videogames. The first step is hiring your staff, and from helpful tips from a game magazine being your journey. Leveling your staff and training them is essential, because through doing those you can unlock new genres, such as RPG’s. You start off with the ability to develop on the PC, as well as some fairly early consoles. The PC is free to develop on, however its userbase is small therefore it’s only useful for the beginning of the game when you’re starting out. As the game progresses new companies and consoles come out that you can develop for, however you must pay a licensing fee to develop on them, which can be kind of hefty. The best part of the game for me was how the consoles closely mimicked that of their real life counterparts. The Game Kid developed by “Intendro” is pretty successful like its actual counterpart, the Gameboy, so it’s worth developing for. However when Intendro’s other console, the Virtual Kid, you know it’s going to fall flat on its face, because it was a miserable failure in real life. Small things like these add to the game’s charm and depth.
iPhone Screenshot 1

The thing about this game is that there’s a lot of numbers. You never actually control any of these characters, you’re going to be staring at a lot of numbers when you make decisions. Whether it’s to decide who makes the music or how much you’re going to be spending on advertising there’s lots of numbers involved. The game also sometimes ruins your hard work, such as with a blackout or someone releasing a game similar to you, which can really make you RAGE! The graphics in this game fit the style and serve its purpose. The whole twenty years took me about 5 hours to complete on and off, and it has the addictive just one more turn (in this case game) attitude to it, which is great for an iPhone game. After the twenty years is up you can keep on playing but it won’t keep track of your stats, or you can start New Game + which transfers some stats over, such as the level of your genres. Although it was fun and I played through it twice, after about 12 years in the first playthrough it lost a little steam. However for the price of 3.99 you’ll definitely get your money’s worth for sure (If you play lots of videogames).
iPhone Screenshot 2


                GameDev story survived my wrath because of its charm. Fine. Time to totally rip on the new original series by AMC, The Walking Dead. The Walking Dead is based off an ongoing comic series by Image Comics, The Walking Dead (duh). The basic premise of both is that main character Rick Grimes is a cop who get injured in a gunfight, and goes in a coma. When he wakes up in the hospital a few months later he finds the hospital empty and zombies everywhere. He then sets off for Atlanta to find his wife and son. Right off I want to say, that the comics are amazing and is one of my favorites out of everything I’ve read so far, so the show had a lot of expectations to live up to. To my surprise, it not only met them, but exceeded them. The show has a lot going for it. The cast is great, looks like their comic counterparts and they were amazing. It also has amazing producers, Gale Anne Herd (Terminator, Aliens) and Frank Darabont (THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION) directing it. The pilot episode closely follows that of the first few issues of the comics, with a little deviations here and there. The thing I love most about The Walking Dead is that instead of focusing on the zombies and surviving, it’s more about the characters and it shines a light on humanity, about how we would react and in the face of apocalypse, who can we trust. All the scenes were spot on, and the use of sounds and music was phenomenal, the music was there only when needed. For those looking for some good zombie killing, there’s lots of gore to go around in this episode. The only thing that dampens my excitement for the show is that there are only six episodes this season, so there better be another one coming. Darabont did a perfect job capturing the personalities of each character, as well as show the “aloneness” of Rick Grimes, as well as him slowly adapting to this new world. This was a great pilot episode, and all of you better be watching the new episode tonight, this is zombies done right. 5/5
                                            The Trailer to The Walking Dead
                To close this way too long blog I will end with a mini review of Sufjan Stefan’s “The Age of Adz”. I like to keep these shorts because I’m not very good at articulating what makes these albums good and I feel that music is a very subjective thing, probably the most subjective thing in media. Age of Adz is somewhat electronic focused, with lots of noise as well. Apparently Sufjan Stefan had been on a 5 year hiatus, and his previous albums were pretty awesome too, but this is before I started listening to music, so I think that I might pick up his older albums too. This album is very electronic, and seems very experimental. Sometimes it gets to be a little too much; I can’t hear Sufjan’s vocals over all the noise in the songs, such as in “Too Much”. On the whole this album is pretty darn good, although in the middle it falters a little, it loses focus and has a lot of those weird too much going on tracks. The beginning songs and the ending though are pretty strong, and make up for a lot of the other weaknesses in the album. My three favorite tracks in this album were, in no particular order, “Vesuvius”, “Age of Adz”, and “I Walked.” All of his songs are on youtube so go listen…… now! Overall I’d give this album a 4/5, lots of strengths but the middle falters a bit, but I really enjoyed the album. If you don’t like the three that I listed or the 20 something minute epic finale, then this album is not for you, otherwise pick it up.
                                               One of my favorite tracks

  That was a LOT of writing, thanks for reading some of it at least.
                Glak Out.

 Song that played in The Walking Dead Trailer, it's been stuck in my head


  1. Update: With the success of the first two episodes of The Walking Dead and it's record breaking views,AMC has renewed it for a second season with 10 episodes! Whoo!
    One of the Vice Presidents of AMC, Sharon Tal Yguado, gave this quote, probably jokingly in regards to the success of the series, “I wish all programming decisions were no brainers like this one… Walking Dead’ is a TV masterpiece on so many levels. We want at least 10 seasons, if not more. Kudos to AMC!”

  2. What a great post, Glak! I would like to give you feedback on all three sections of your detailed review, beginning with the video game, GameDev Story. I cannot tell you how much your review of this game makes me want to get this on my iTouch. I am a fan simulation games, and if there are numbers, it is all the more better in my opinion! I tend to not search for apps on my iTouch other than those listed under the top 25 section as I think that these must be the best apps on the market. However, you have shown me that there are many others that prove great interest to me and I'll have to be more determined in my looking for good apps. I would also like to say that this game seems very original and has much room for a high volume of buyers based on its storyline and low price.
    Moving on to Walking Dead. I have never read the comic strip series but I can tell you that both your description and that of the trailer included in your blog tell a very compelling storyline. Your great reviews of the new series on AMC encouraged me to watch the trailer. The trailer blew me away at how suspenseful and captivating the series is and can be in the future. I am glad to say that I am ordering the first season as soon as possible on Netflix because of your excellent blog post.
    Lastly, I am very impressed with your music review. I have not heard a song (the one posted on your blog) that is so unique, yet catchy in its own way! Sufjan Stefan’s “The Age of Adz” is that of a matchless genre, with songs that use many electronic instruments, as if it is partially techno-based. Thank you so much for sharing this album, as it opens up a new genre of interest to me.
    It has been a pleasure reading over all of your video game, tv series and album reviews. I look forward to more of these analyzing in the future!


  3. Thanks for the encouraging comment, Daniel, I really appreciate it. This is one of my first reviews so I was a little nervous that I didn't put enough support into them, or that it didn't flow. Walking Dead continues to be a success, although I'm not liking the new characters they are bringing in that weren't in the comics, they're all pretty much racist rednecks. I hope they die a gruesome zombie death.
    Also I'm glad you liked my recommendations, thanks for the support.