1. Tonight is a Good Evening rehearsal, the first of (at least) three between now and Monday, as we're playing TUESDAY NIGHT at KNITTING FACTORY. I've seen many a show at the Knit, but never played there - I would anticipate that because it's late on a Tuesday, we won't get that large a turnout and therefore will probably not play there again. That said, less people = less pressure, and being that this will end up being our first gig since last summer, less pressure = good times (and probably awesome show). You are all invited to attend; and if you can't attend, for whatever reason, we'll be playing Sin-E on Saturday, February 18.
2. The Good Evening EP got another positive review, which can be found here.
3. Finished "The Areas of My Expertise", which is easily worth the price even if only for the 700 hobo names. Now I must choose between the new DFW essay collection, the His Dark Materials trilogy that jongre implored me to read, and also I must finish "Pale Fire" and "Blind Assassin".
4. Pitchers and catchers in 6 weeks!?!
5. The Xbox360 is a remarkable machine, no doubt, but it should come as no surprise that I'm ready for some new games. Here are some mini-reviews of the 6 games I currently own, as well as some impressions of the Xbox Live Arcade.
- Amped 3: I sorta liked Amped 1 and 2 on the Xbox, and I'd heard that this one was better than those. Which is true. The graphics are definitely NOT next-gen, but the control scheme is finally sensible and pulling off sweet tricks is much easier and intuitive. I'd ordinarily never play a game for its cutscenes, but the ones here need to be seen to be believed, as they are completely insane. I'm about 50% done with the story, although I've got a loooooooooong way to go before I'm anywhere near completing the game.
- Call Of Duty 2: Finished the Russian campaign and started the British one over the weekend; I tend to forget that I own this game and then I'll pop it in and be completely absorbed. Incredibly polished and totally immersive. Probably one of the most frenetic FPSs I've ever played, and it makes me very glad to know that I was not alive when WW2 was happening.
- Dead Or Alive 4: The reviews I've read have called this the best-looking game on the Xbox360; I think it's pretty good, but maybe I need an HDTV to fully appreciate it. Team Ninja has fucked with the balance and controls, so it's a bit different than DOA2 and 3 and takes a bit of getting used to - also, I'm not that great at fighting games and the default difficulty level is HARD. There is an absurd amount of unlockable content and achievements in this game, and I highly doubt I'll ever unlock more than 20% of it.
- Kameo: This is a game I was looking forward to with great anticipation, and aside from a few frustrating parts it's been one of my favorites. Breathtakingly beautiful, and some very cool gameplay notions. Also please note that this is the only game of the 6 I've purchased that is not a sequel.
- Perfect Dark Zero: One of the most heavily hyped games since Halo 2, this is a very pretty shooter which is by turns fun and frustrating as all fuck. It has more things in common with Splinter Cell than Halo - both feature ridiculously amazing graphics, both require some element of stealth, and both have lots of gadgets. Also, there's a certain degree of frustration that can be incredibly maddening. In the first Splinter Cell game, if a guard came across a body he would sound an alarm and then go looking for you, which could be frustrating but at least it made you aware that you had to hide bodies and remain stealthy at all times. In PDZ, though, if a guard finds a body, which you are unable to move, he will somehow magically know where you are (even though you've run far far away), summon 5 or 6 of his friends and kill you. Also, you can't jump.
- Project Gotham Racing 3: Gorgeous, immersive, addictive. I've managed to complete every race on Silver Medal difficulty, which is more than I can say for PGR1 or 2; totally awesome.
- XBOX LIVE ARCADE: I've downloaded Bejeweled 2, Hexic (which came preloaded), Zuma, Wik and Outpost something or other - these are all fun, mindless puzzle-y games which are very easy to download and get running. All games come with a free trial, which is a great incentive to try out as many of them as possible.