Sunday, October 27, 2013

Hotline Miami and Dinosaur Jr

So I finally got Hotline Miami. Despite months of urging from friends and everyone I know proclaiming it one of the best indie games in years, I kind of resisted. Despite the fact that the game has my name written on the box - twitchy retro styled arcadey twin stick shooter/melee stealth action game with some sort of post-modern story and a truly epic soundtrack of electronic music, I didnt buy it. I probably played the demo 4-5 times. Finally, the game became free on PS Plus this month so with nothing to lose but time, I downloaded it, and oh man has it clicked. And yes, I agree with you Ubercrunch, the soundtrack is indeed 5 stars.

I recall the time I first heard Dinosaur Jr. It was at a friends house in high school and we had been drinking a lot. "What is this shit? It sounds fucking horrible..." Yet my friend Alex kept playing it, and after a great deal of struggling and resistance, I finally came around to Dino and eventually they became one of my favorite bands of all time. Sometimes, repetition is necessary, even if its against your own will. Sometimes, even despite all the evidence telling you that you should like something, some part of you resists it with all of your being. Sometimes, you are just wrong - it just takes time to figure these things out.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Starring Chuck Norris...


As a couple of you may have noticed, I rarely get on Xbox Live anymore. I miss the hell out of spending time online with you guys, but, unfortunately, this is how it's going to be from here on out.

I love gaming and that's not going to change. Last week I played the Battefield 4 beta on PC, Ni No Kuni on PS3, and even broke out some retro PS1 games on an emulator (Jumping Flash!). But one of my problems is that my time for gaming is usually very sporadic and happens in very short intervals because of work, family (kid #3 on the way - holy crap!), friends, other hobbies, etc. Another is that by the time most of you are online, I'm usually exhausted and ready to get horizontal. Even if I have the juice to stay up, I know that my kids will be up at 7am ready to conquer the universe. I used to push myself to stay up and deal with the repercussions, but it makes for a terrible next day and isn't fair to my kids to have to deal with grumpy zombie-dad.

The last year of my life has also seen a dramatic change to a different lifestyle altogether that has made significant improvements to my outlook on absolutely everything, which in turn has made me a better father/husband/friend/human and it's not something I want to lose. Instead of feeling like crap on Saturday morning, I'm usually up at 6:30am negotiating rough trails through a forest preserve on my Kona, running a few miles through downtown Chicago, or pushing through dead-lifts and power-cleans at the gym. In many ways, this new lifestyle is my new obsession; it's my new videogames. I know this sounds cheesy and I promise I'm not turning into a meat-headed douche-bag, but it's something that keeps me interested, motivated, and excited about life.

I may jump on LIVE occasionally and be lucky enough to see you guys online for a game or two, but more often than not you will not hear from me for weeks or months at a time. To most of you this probably doesn't matter considering that this is already the case, but I just wanted the few of you to know that it mattered to ME to acknowledge it and tell you that although I may be missing in action, I still love games, miss all of you, and haven't forgotten our golden years of Xbox Live glory.

Mike / MDSFX / MD Galaxy

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Two Great Writers Reflect on GTA V

Ubercrunch (aka Chris Byrd) has been working on a piece about GTA V and Thomas Pynchon for Al Jazeera for a while and today it was published on their website. If you dont know who Thomas Pynchon is, he is one of the most important American writers of the last 50 years and he just released his new book, Bleeding Edge, on the same day that GTA V came out. Uber found this coincidence fascinating and decided to write a piece about the two works. Highly recommended, you can read it right here:

Should Thomas Pynchon Play GTA V? - Al

Another friend and fellow New Yorker, who you might remember from his days as an IGN writer, Michael Thomsen, also recently wrote a piece about GTA V and our modern Surveillance State for the New Republic, which is very insightful and also highly recommended:

Videogames Are Making Us Too Comfortable With The Modern Surveillance State - New