Happy? Index 1.30

My view of the second quarter of 2012.

A tough last few months that has seen my working life turn into an absolute grinding bore. Luckily I have been entertained elsewhere;

  • Sites in my reader: No real change. One site added to my feed reader – Arbitrary Genius – welcome back Bex!
  • Magazine subscriptions: No change. Plenty of catching up to do here.
  • Movies watched: 19. The Avengers and Prometheus both viewed at the cinema and both impressed but for different reasons. I’m using Letterboxd – now in open beta – to record all my movie watching and if anyone needs an invite then I still have a few spare.
  • Comic books: Finished volume 7 of The Walking Dead which seemed to spend the time building up to the confrontation at the end. Both volume 6 and 7 have been above average reads. The prison setting seems to have stifled the group and how they are becoming a little too comfortable is clear. The mantra should be that there’s no safe haven no mater where you look. I do have volume 8 waiting for me and the first volume of American Vampire in the post. I’m also planning a visit to GOSH! Comics very soon, as I haven’t seen the Soho store yet. From there I’ll be looking to sort out my subs but can imagine I’ll be going graphic novel only from here on in.
  • Books read: zilch.
  • Music: No further gigs to talk of but a couple of CD purchases worth mentioning. A new Smashing Pumpkins album – Oceania – and the Silversun Pickups with their best so far with Neck of the Woods. Compared with the last few years this must be the most CDs I’ve paid for and enjoyed. I hope the trend continues throughout 2012.
  • TV: The second season of The Walking Dead started slowly but picks up well towards the excellently devised 7th episode of the season, Pretty Much Dead Already. Although themes are similar between the TV show and comic book, I’m trying hard not to compare the two. One is based on the other but what will be interesting is if they begin to take queues from each other.
  • Gaming: Completed the second episode of The Walking Dead – Starved for Help. Excellent again from Telltale Games and although it doesn’t fulfil all my gaming desire, it’s the only game I’ve really been hooked into. Both Diablo 3 and Max Payne 3 remain unfinished and underplayed. I can’t see myself pre-ordering many big AAA titles this year. Firstly the factor of cost puts me off but also how disappointed I have been with a number of major titles of late. Max Payne 3 hasn’t helped dissuade me from this view either.
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Moral compass

My thoughts on the second episode of Telltale Games The Walking Dead – you can read my original thoughts of the first episode here.

Who’d have thought that a relatively small game – and not a major gaming franchise – would give me so much fun, emotion and moral dilemmas. What has been a surprise is how well the game makes you – as Lee – become protective of his ward, Clementine. It’s a fascinating development which I really hope carries on through the rest of the episodes. What is a clever element – keep an eye out for it as it’s highlighted right at the end of the second episode – is how Lee looks to Clementine for moral guidance. I like that a game story is allowing an ‘adult’ be guided by a ‘child’ – a nice flip to the usual stereotype.

Like anything I spend my time on be it film, book or game, it has to engage. There are many experiences that I could talk of that are well produced BUT ultimately haven’t engaged me. I’d rather a flawed experience that engages than a masterpiece that leaves me cold.

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