It has come to my attention that today was the 4th of July. Unfortunately for you, I am unapologetically not-American. Today didnít hold any special significance for me, and it didnít even register until Striderís recaps yesterday that it was Independence Day. Regardless, I hope you all had a good time doing whatever it is that you do on the 4th of July. I know fireworks are involved, and if Calendar Man is to be believed, so are barbecues. Those are usually good fun, so hopefully you all had a goodíun. Iíll leave it to bbain tomorrow to talk more about it, Iím sure heís better at it than I am. In the mean time, Iím going to do my utmost to marginalize this most sacred of holidays.
Either way, I guess I went on a bit of a rant last week. I wasnít feeling like myself, so I felt like venting. I already feel a lot better now. Met back up with a bunch of my friends, played video games and just in general had the entire week to myself. It seems I needed that even more than I realized. And there was another thing this week that helped cheer me up: I got my hands on the new Lordi album! Woo!
If you donít know, and itís likely that you donít, Lordi is a Finnish metal band which I was first introduced to years ago. They have a gimmick in that every band member is always dressed up as a monster of some sort, and everyone has their own character to play complete with creepy backstory. Lordi is rarely seen without the costumes, as they even do interviews in them. †The vocals are done by a guy called Mr. Lordi, who is some sort of demon thing and the bandís figurehead, thereís a minotaur, a mummy, an alien, those kinds of things. They continuously update their insanely intricate costumes as well, ensuring that the band never looks the same for long. They even made a movie! The band members star as the monsters and itís a stroke of genius. GENIUS I TELL YOU. Iíve heard it said that Lordi is pretty much like GWAR, but I couldnít tell you because I donít know them.
- Lordi as I was first introduced to them. The current lineup is a bit different.
Their songs are mostly hard rock and/or heavy metal, and invariably deal with some kind of monster theme. One song on the new album is about the Grim Reaper trying to outdo Satan in a rock-off (itís similar to Tenacious Dís ďTributeĒ in that sense), several songs are about cannibalism, grannies and doctors going on killing sprees, girls being possessed by demons, ghosts, zombies, and so on. You name it, Lordi has a song about it. Itís all in jest, though, obviously. Songs about eating people are kind of hard to take seriously when they include lyrics such as ďCalled up your folks and theyíll join us for brunch/Nice day for a picnic/Theyíll be delighted only they are the lunch!Ē and are being performed by a bunch of guys in monster suits rocking out.
Apart from game soundtracks, Lordi is pretty much the only thing I listen to nowadays. I donít know what to tell you, I think theyíre hella fun, and I love that they donít take themselves too seriously. Lordi is the only band I consistently like, and the only band I have a hard time with to come up with a bad song. I guess theyíre not the most sophisticated around, and Iím sure music buffs will tell me I have terrible taste. It doesnít matter to me. I like Ďem and thatís that.
The new album is called ďTo Beast or not to BeastĒ (Lordi kind of has this thing with puns), and Iím really liking it. The first time I listened to the new album I hated it, but it has grown on me much like the previous albums have. Because of the way Mr. Lordiís voice sounds itís difficult to make out the lyrics, but upon repeated listening you get a sense of what the songís about. That really helps, because otherwise it just sounds like a mess of guitar riffs and grunts, which is what turned me off at first. Now that Iíve listened to them enough, out of 10 new songs 4 have earned a place in my increasingly huge list of favorites, and the other 6 are either okay or good. My favorite is ďCandy for the CannibalĒ, but I also really love ďSchizo DollĒ, ďHappy New FearĒ (what did I tell you about the puns?) and ďThe RiffĒ. A great new album all around; it looks like that even after the many years since I first heard of them, I havenít gotten over Lordi yet. And I wouldnít have it any other way.
And on that note, letís get to the c-c-caps!
- I donít think this clip has anything to do with the song. Do you still care after dat ass?
No matter what the experience was or which game or genre left that strong first impression, such experiences have the potential to open our eyes to the rich history of a series or genre. With any luck, we might find even more to love or something better. A great first experience with RPGs could lead to an undying love affair.
Sometimes a first kiss can be so impactful that the game gets placed on a pedestal and enshrined as a gold standard, which has its own pros and cons. I mean, it is nice to have a basis for comparison, but some folks take it too far. There are people who loved Half-Life, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, or Final Fantasy VII so much that nothing after them really got a fair shake.
So first impressions matter -- they can shape and inform our gaming habits. I grew up on arcades, Nintendo, handhelds, and eventually into RPGs, so much of what I play will be influenced by how I acquired my tastes. I probably like Overwatch a ton because it has a passion for RPG roles, but contextualizes them closer to older shooters focused on objectives more than gear builds and grinding out perks for better killstreaks.
So for this month's Bloggers Wanted, we'd like you head over to the community blogs write about your first kiss, the games that positively influenced you or maybe biased you a little too much for a time. What turned you on to a series or genre? Was it love at first sight? Did it set any expectations in stone or possibly lead you to something better?
Whatever the case might be, remember to use the title "First kiss" and place "Bloggers Wanted" in the tags!
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