Gabriel apparently holds these... "films" to very high standards indeed. I imagine he's routinely disappointed by the genre.
Alright, let's just wade on in.
- Dipping back into Oblivion again, with a few community knick-knacks to spruce up the place: I saw a great article at PixelRage called "13 Oblivion Mods That Should Not Have Been," and I'm looking forward to installing the ones I wasn't already using. Conspicuously absent from that list was Book Jackets: Oblivion, a project I've mentioned previously that gives every in-game book a unique cover, an undertaking which I am prepared to call the apex of human endeavor.
- We cut out a section of yesterday's podcast - well, we cut out quite a few sections, many of them extended tirades regarding our daemonic nemesis Steve Kuntz. But one section in particular might have been of use to you: Gabriel had never heard of Pandora, Pandora for fuck's sake, and I couldn't bear the thought that you suffered from a similar condition. There are lots of social mechanisms people use to find music they might enjoy, and there are online processes that automate that discovery process. Pandora is essentially a music recommendation engine, but it goes about it in a way I find compelling: by analyzing the inherent characteristics of a song ("syncopated rhythms," "subtle use of harmony," "west coast rap roots") it can recommend new songs based on what they call music's genetic material. I just saw an article on (the excellent) Lifehacker entitled "15 Ways To Get More Out of Pandora," which struck me as rather a lot of ways.
- Guitar Hero II is nigh, and savory, family sized portions of the tracklist were revealed by mistake. Inordinately juicy offerings like "Message in a Bottle," "Monkey Wrench," Danzig's "Mother"... Shit, just go look at it. This isn't official info, so some of the bands are missing. The content this time around casts pretty far afield, and they've managed to be eclectic without being unctuous.
- EB's online store is calling Neverwinter 2 for the 31st of this month, which means I need to get some money down on it. I've seen its representation of D&D in a couple venues, and Obsidian's approach to system itself is so much more granular than Bioware's it's Goddamn ridiculous. The quickest example I can give would be to take a look at a few of the screenshots that accompany the latest Gamespot article, written by personal hero Chris Avellone. The Shadows of Undrentide expansion for the first Neverwinter was cooperative roleplaying whose execution truly startled me at times, and I'm already recruiting friends to take up arms in the sequel. IGN has an article up about the villains featured in the game, but I'd hold off if you're planning to play. I wish I'd avoided it, myself.
- Battlefield 2142 demo hits today, for those of us who didn't pre-order. By which I mean me. These guys have a habit of releasing an entirely new game instead of patching the old one. I am now officially exhausted by the practice.