Matt’s Top 10 Non-Metal Things of 2012
Posted by RiffRaff
In case any of you may be curious as to what we enjoy outside the realm of metal we decided to do a list of non-metal things that we highly enjoyed this year, like music other than metal/hard rock, movies, video games. Me and Reggie will both be doing one, so you can get 20 great suggestions of some really neat things. Last year I allowed myself to add things that I discovered that year, but this year I’m limiting myself to stuff released in 2012, with the exception of video games because a lot of 2011 games didn’t get time to get played by me until 2012. Enjoy! Peace Love and Metal!!!
#10 Maserati VII by Maserati
I’ve known about this band for a little while now and have enjoyed their unique brand of electronic infused groovy instrumental prog rock, but this year I found myself completely entranced with their latest album simply titled Maserati VII. Each song is just overflowing with great beats (made with real drums) and Chris Farley-sized grooves (played with real bass and guitars). Great music for just chilling out, popping in at a party, or cruising at high speeds in your, ummm, Maserati.
This movie got a lot of guff for a couple sloppy narrative and plot points and questionable characters, and while I can’t disagree with the arguments, none of them took away from my enjoyment of this Alien prequel. If there was one thing that completely engaged me in this movie it was the amazing atmosphere Ridley Scott and his cinematographers and special effects team created. Every scene was a thing of sci-fi beauty. The pacing was nice and I liked seeing a movie set in the world of Alien that included many open spaces instead of narrow corridor after narrow corridor. Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender really nailed their roles playing the new ‘Ripley type character’ and synthetic life form of questionable allegiance. Trailer Here.
In Rochard, you play as an overweight space miner who has been double crossed by his boss and uncovered ancient Native American secrets in outer space and he needs to use his mining tools such as a gun that can lift and toss heavy objects and control gravity as well as a rock busting gun to get to the bottom of the conspiracy. With a perfect blend of 2D shooter action and puzzle solving this humorous game was a blast from beginning to end. Trailer Here.
#7 Sine Mora
Bullet-Hell Shooters. You either love them or your controller as destroyed your tv/monitor after you launched it at it in frustration. Well how about a bullet-hell shooter that is actually possible to play and beat without being ridiculously frustrating. Sine Mora pulls a couple twists on the traditional mechanics of the genre and ends up delivering one hell of a great game. While projectiles dash at you from every direction, the time control twist of the games narrative plays into the gameplay allowing you to slow time when in need as well as the clever time/hit system. Instead of getting a game over from a single hit, you lose time on your timer. When your timer reaches zero, then it’s game over, but you can add to your time by defeating enemies. This nifty mechanic adds a nice level of strategy to the game opening up many different ways of playing. The story is also sci-fi genius as 2 factions are at war and the war can never end because time travel is possible and they keep going back in time changing each others outcomes. Seriously, someone needs to novelise this. Also, one character is a legless bison hell bend on avenging his son’s death so he blackmails a leukemia ridden rape victim to do his bidding. Man, I love sci-fi. Oh, and the graphic design is simply amazing. Trailer Here.
#6 Shadows of the Damned
How do I explain this mindfuck of a game. Think of a Robert Rodriguez movie, now change the setting to Hell. Add in more dick and fart joke than the boys bathroom in a suburban middle school and Resident Evil 4 style gameplay. You pretty much have Shadows of the Damned. You play as demon hunter Garcia Fucking Hotspur (yes his middle name is actually Fucking) and he got into a battle with the leader of Hell about who has the bigger ‘endowment’. His girlfriend is kidnapped and Garcia has to travel to Hell to save her with his reformed demon friend/shapeshifting weapon thing, Johnson, who transforms into guns like the standard ‘Boner’ and shotgun like ‘Skullcushioner’. For all the toilet humor this game has, it’s surprisingly well written and many of the jokes and puns are pretty clever. The game also has a lot of love for the Evil Dead films, so if you are a fan of those, be prepared for a deluge of in-joke references. If you liked Resident Evil 4 you should definitely check this game out. Tons of fun.
#5 Wrecking Ball by Bruce Springsteen
Even if my love of NJ makes me slightly bias towards The Boss, one cannot deny that his latest album contains some fine music. After a few lackluster releases, Bruce is back in full effect with one of the best albums of his historic career. Each song is emotionally charged and many are a damn good time. For this outing Bruce brings back his much-loved E Street Band, and I feel that they are the ones that really make this record something special. When Bruce has his band behind him, he’s unstoppable. Highly recommended and a must own for any new or old fan of The Boss. Review Here.
What looks like a cute little 2D platformer on the outside is really a vicious demon filled with the most mind melting puzzles ever created. Never has a game made me decipher a language and alphabets as well as search the internet researching Holy Geometry to help me understand and solve a puzzle. It’s this outside of the box ethos that really makes FEZ shine. Then there’s the surface elements like a simply gorgeous graphic aesthetic and excellent music. I also love how themes of existential philosophy work their way into the game without ever pointing out they are there. If you’re up for a challenge that will not make you feel stupid like many puzzle game do, but feel like a super-genius, you owe it to yourself to give FEZ a shot. Trailer Here.
#3 Hotline Miami
Insanely gratuitous violence in 8bit for doesn’t take anything away from the impact the insanely gratuitous violence this game has. Pretty much the everything that made the movie Drive so awesome boiled down and put into a video game. This game will make you feel sooo bad ass as you tear through rooms filled with people to kill as you crush, grind, slash, shoot, and dismember your way to your goal of killing everything in your path with no remorse. And did you once stop to think about why you’re doing all this killing? No, didn’t think so. And the game will put that question in your head, then you go and do more killing. Everything about this game is sublime from its high-octane tactical combat to the stellar soundtrack. I cannot recommend Hotline Miami enough, you really just have to play it, trailers and watching someone doesn’t give enough justice. You have to experience lodging a meat cleaver in someones head first hand. Review Here.
#2 The Cabin in the Woods
Seriously, hands down the best horror movie I have seen in years, probably since The Evil Dead even. If you are a horror fan, or simply a fan of good movies, and haven’t seen this yet, go right now and watch. To say anything of the plot would ruin the initial impact the movie has, but for as confused as you may be at the beginning of the movie, everything does come together in the end and what a mindfuck it is. All you need to know going into the movie is a group of college kids go to spend a weekend in a cabin in the woods and bad stuff is going to happen. There is also a good dose of humor mixed in the film and the horror scenes are quality and nerve-wracking. Are you still reading this, go, now, watch. Well, I guess after my #1 is ok, but then, go, and then tell me how much you loved it.
#1 Dark Souls
For oldschool gamers like myself, gaming doesn’t get much better than Dark Souls. With a soul crushing difficulty and a complete lack of hand holding, From Software has crafted a masterpiece of video game masochism. You venture a series of interconnecting areas working your way towards an end that isn’t totally clear. Your only motive is survival, and survive is something that isn’t going to happen very often. You will die, and die a lot, and each time you do you will dive right back in to give whatever demon it was the thrashing it deserves. You will scour your environments for new weapons and armor to make not dieing a little more possible and spend more than enough time pondering which of them to use your precious upgrades on. A wrong choice can be fatal, but the genius is, there is no wrong choice. No matter your playstyle there is a way to win, all you have to do is stay on your toes at all moments and try many different approaches to any given battle situation.
On top of the wonderful gameplay, the atmospheres, levels, and sound and music are awe-inspiring. And when you take the time to search for and delve into the lore of Dark Souls world, you will be greatly rewarded. I have played through the game multiple times with the excellent New Game + modes which add a greater difficulty to the game, but at the same time let you keep what’s in your inventory to slightly help aleiviate the punishing difficulty. Dark Souls isn’t for everyone and requires some time and dedication to get the most out of it. But if you find yourself saying modern games are too easy and straight forward, look no further than Dark Souls as it bucks the trend. By far the best game, and non-metal thing I have experienced this year. Review Here.