Sunday, August 29, 2010

Linkin Park's "The Catalyst" Video: Kiss The Past Goodbye

Linkin Park  are probably one of the 10 biggest rock acts on the planet. I mention this mostly because: A) It's true, and B) It makes everything they've done post-Hybrid Theory (their big breakout album) all the more admirable.

They have never been afraid to push the envelope and try new things. This is easy to do if you are a band that has nothing to lose, but in LP's case, it borders on insanity. Their albums are the kinds of things labels schedule their financial quarters around. They're tent poles (or life preservers) meant to keep things from sagging too low or sinking too deep. The danger of alienating their fanbase is very real, and the results could be catastrophic.

Still, with each successive album, Linkin Park push even further into the void, and, in the process, they leave their nĂ¼-metal roots in the dust. At this point, they're barely the same band they were back in 2000, and any similarities they still share with their Hybrid past will almost certainly be erased with their upcoming A Thousand Suns, an album they've gone to great lengths to christen as a bold new direction for the group, public opinion be damned.

We finally got to see the first fruits of that reinvention with the murky, mercurial video for "The Catalyst." Directed once again by band DJ Joseph Hahn, it's an ominous, elemental thing, full of smoke and unseen flames, charred earth and rising tides. It may very well be a chilling, post-apocalyptic preview of mankind's future, or it might just be a really cool, really art-y video, the kind that big, important rock bands tend to make (and at this point, LP are most certainly both of those things). It's really up to you to decide. Though, really, it works either way.

But mostly, "The Catalyst" serves as a preview of what fans can expect on A Thousand Suns, which is basically what bassist Dave "Phoenix" Farrell told MTV News earlier this month. "There are certainly dark, trying times ahead," the band seems to be saying. "Get ready."

And to that point, it's telling that Linkin Park are barely even in the video — or, more specifically, when they are, they're shrouded in smoke or submerged in water. You can infer from that what you'd like, but I see it as the band letting fans know that they practically died to make this album, that they went through hell and high water to bring it to fruition. It may be subliminal, but it's definitely there. And it's why I admire Linkin Park as much as I do.

So if you loved Linkin Park for their rapping or their angry outbursts or even their Gundam obsession, you're probably going to be a bit disappointed with "The Catalyst," not to mention A Thousand Suns. But that's really the point, isn't it? Great bands push themselves, great bands are unafraid to fail. And, dare I say it, with both their new video and their new album, Linkin Park may very well have become a great band.

What did you think of "The Catalyst" video? Share your reviews in the comments!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sony at GamesCom 2010

Sony unveiled a few unannounced games this year at GamesCom in Cologne, Germany, and showcased some of their upcoming titles like Killzone 3 and Motorstorm: Apocalypse in full stererscopic 3D.

Cramped into the eWerk theatre in the Mullheim district of Cologne, a massive crowd of games journalists eagerly waited to see what Sony would show off at this year's GamesCom. Here are some of the highlights of their press conference.

  • A LittleBigPlanet 2 trailer highlighted some of the ways players will be able to not only create their own levels in the upcoming sequel, but design their own fully-fledged games. This includes utilizing connectible stages, so player-designed games can go beyond the “Go from A to B” formula of the previous title.
  • The company announced new bundles for their PS3 system, including Move packages. You can read more about that here.
  • Each person attending the conference was given (err, rented) a pair of 3D glasses for one presentation, which highlighted many of the upcoming and currently supported 3D games Sony has to offer. By far the most impressive was Motorstorm: Apocalypse, due to the speed and visceral nature of the racing series. Especially awesome was the amount of destruction going on in each track; like Split/Second, the world is literally coming apart at the seams while players race through it--very cool.
  • Greg Goodrich of EA once again took the stage to show off more Medal of Honor, only this time he called upon the skills of Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park, who wrote a song for the game. The stage the pair showed off was called Gunfighters, and took place inside a helicopter equipped with enough firepower to take out a small middle eastern village, which is exactly what Shinoda did. Many enemies equipped with RPGs didn't make the mission a cakewalk, but they eventually made it through. It seems the devs have put a bit more polish on the game since the last time we saw it, as the framerate was much less choppy this time around.
  • In what was easily the shortest gameplay segment of the press conference, the crowd was shown an extremely brief Killzone 3 MP segment, though aside from watching players score points by getting kills, it was hard to take away much from the video, other than making us want to get our hands on the game even more.
  • Insomniac Games' Ted Price took the stage to reveal what one of the newer branches of the studio was been up to, which turned out to be Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One. The four-player co-op game relies on teamwork between players just as New Super Mario Bros. Wii did, though the teamwork aspect becomes more complex in the three-dimensional arena. A boss fight towards the end of the demo showed how teamwork is integral in All 4 One, as players needed to launch their buddies into the air to activate switches which would cause huge structures to collapse onto the towering boss creature.
  • Ted Price didn't leave the stage without one last bit of news: Resistance 3 is under development. He debuted a live-action trailer which showed survivors making their way towards New York on a train. The grim scenery on the way included countless massacred corpses and homes ransacked by the Chimera forces. Upon entering a tunnel, the survivors came under attack by a ferocious group of Chimera, and the trailer faded to black under a “Resistance 3” logo. Exciting stuff, but show us some gameplay!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

24Xero's Blog 1 year anniversary

My blog turns one years old today, August 17, 2010! I can't believe it's been a year, since I started this blog. I think it has been a fun experience, even though I don't have many followers, I hope that some people have read my blog posts. However, I do this mostly for myself, it's like a journal or a diary, it's the same thing with Twitter. I also think that this helps me get better in English and to write as well. This blog is also a part of my interests, I like playing video games and when I've finished them, I'll write a review. I post news of what's happening with Linkin Park or whatever I feel like writing about.

Sometimes it's difficult to know what to write about, or I just don't feel like posting anything. When I don't post on my blog, I feel that it's easier to post things on Twitter. I do that more often than post stuff on my blog, and I just write what's on my mind at the time. However, sometimes I want to write more than 140 letters, like now. I've tired to write at least one post per month on "24Xero's Blog". I sometime "cheat" with the posts, I change the post date, but I don't remember which posts I've changed when I think back. For example, this post is written July 2nd, 2010.

Hopefully, I will stop pushing everything into the future, I've planned to upload my "What I've Done" remix to YouTube again, I've hopefully done it by now! A lot of covers and some remixes are on my computer as unfinished projects, all those things are one of many interests that I love to do and devote myself to. I have to get a grip of myself!

I've also tried to make money on the Internet, I've bought a course I believe in. I have to see where it leads, hopefully it will work. Filling out paid survey is one of the things I've tired, but the money you get from that is very little. Other things that have crossed my mind are gambling on roulette or even Poker, I have to learn to play first. However, you can lose more than you make most of the times, and you can get a gambling problem, I have enough problems as it is.

A year has passed since I started blogging, and I will keep writing and post here on my blog for another year, see you next year when I celebrate the 2 year anniversary of 24Xero's Blog.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

RAGE out September 15, 2011

id Software took the stage with RAGE at QuakeCon this afternoon in Texas, and we had planned to liveblog the presentation for you, but id requested the presentation not be live streamed.
The game’s out on September 13 and 15, 2011 in the US and Europe, respectively, per creative director Tim Willits.
I pulled some highlights from Kotaku’s liveblog. Get all the best stuff below.
  • id had three platforms and screens on stage for RAGE to represent and show the game on each of the three platforms – PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.
  • The game looks very Mad Max before Mel Gibson went insane.
  • The town of Wellspring was shown for the first time.
  • John Goodman is a voice actor in the game – he who did Roseanne, etc.
  • Matt Hooper, one of the game’s designers, showed some vehicles.
  • Four-wheelers and buggies were shown, as well as vehicle combat some with rocket launchers.
  • There will be mini-games. One is called Tombstones, which showed characters holograms on a board and whichever character gets to teh middle first is the winner. The characters have guns.
  • There are racing competitions where you can earn money to spruce up or improve your vehicle.
  • There are no large cutscenes in the game, as id feels it should come from within the game itself via the action, locations, scenery, and dialogue.
  • You can electrocute enemies; a water level was shown where this combat took place.
  • The game has three tactical options: you can use turrets, RC bomb cars, or go in like Rambo by peppering bullets everywhere if you prefer. Screens will turn red when you are wounded.
  • An area with a dam was shown, where you need to go get vehicle parts and your first buggy. It is inhabited by the Wasted Clan who are not too friendly, apparently, as one fella is in a vehicle firing a machine gun at you.
  • You can also fight in melee style – fist-a-cuffs if you will.
  • Creative director Tim Willits showed his favorite area, the Dead City, which is a modern day ruined metropolis. In it, enemies have rocket launchers and some are as big in size as anything Team Ico could dream up.
  • Some loading issues were noted on the consoles, and the Xbox 360 version even crashed – but all those issues will be fixed before release.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Batman: Arkham City revealed!

The sequel to Batman: Arkham Asylum now has an official title -- Batman: Arkham City  -- and will launch on PlayStation 3, PC and Xbox 360 in Fall 2011. There go your fears of deleterious franchise annualization! Of course, we might just go mad waiting so long for the follow-up to one of 2009's best games.

As you may have guessed from a handful of internet
domain registrations, the sequel will take place in Arkham City, a "heavily fortified" mini-city deep inside Gotham City. Warner Bros. Interactive hasn't offered further details on the game's plot or new features, but a pair of gorgeous Game Informer covers (September issue) hint at a more brutal tone and reveal some of the villains Batman may encounter. You'll spot a very patriotic Two-Face, and a possible romantic interest in Catwoman.

The official
Batman: Arkham City website is up now, though it only displays the initial teaser trailer from the VGA's at the moment.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Linkin Park: "The Catalyst" review

I got an e-mail today with a code and a link where I could download Linkin Park's new single "The Catalyst". This is because I pre-ordered A Thousand Suns, I will also get the album the same way when it's released September 14.

Many weeks of waiting are finally over, "The Catalyst" is here! After all the remixes that have been floating around on the Internet, I'm thrilled to have finally heard the original song. And I must say that I really love this song, it's amazing! Even if it's a little different, you can clearly hear it's a Linkin Park song, because they make different and unique song, that's what they are all about. I liked "The Catalyst" immediately, I hope the other song from A Thousand Suns are as good as this one.

I think the song has a great intro, I love the synth playing in the beginning. Mike does a very good job singing and of course Chester, their voices sound really great together. I like how "The Catalyst" builds up and then explodes. I think the best part in the song is when the piano starts playing, and Mike starts to sing "Lift me up, let me go", and then Chester starts to sing, it's very powerful. It gave me goosebumps all over my body, and it actually brought me to tears. I felt that because it really moved me, and because I finally got to hear the song after all those months of waiting. I have finally heard "The Catalyst", I can't wait to hear the rest of the songs on A Thousand Suns!

I would love to give "The Catalyst" a five out of five. However, I haven't heard the other songs from A Thousand Suns, that's why I'm giving it four out of five, that's a very good grade. I mean right now I would give anything new from Linkin Park the best rating!

Overall: "The Catalyst" is an amazing Linkin Park song that is different from what you've heard from them before, it's unique and very good, you can totally hear it's a Linkin Park song. This song represents all the things that make Linkin Park an awesome and unique band. "The Catalyst" is a great song to promote A Thousand Suns with, it's so great that it brought me to tears!

Review: "The Catalyst" XXXX [4/5].

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Medal of Honor / Linkin Park - "The Catalyst" trailer

The new gameplay/live action trailer for the video game Medal of Honor directed by Linkin Park's Mr. Hahn was released today. I haven't seen the trailer, I've only seen the preview, I want to wait until tomorrow, August 2nd, when "The Catalyst" is released. I want to hear the original version of the song first, I've heard too much of it in the remixes on YouTube and other places. It's time to build my opinion of the entire song, from beginning to end.

And I must say that Medal of Honor looks awesome, I think I'm going to buy it to PlayStation 3 when it releases October 15, 2010. I think it's cool that Linkin Park is involved in more video game projects, maybe they will make a video game to PlayStation 3, and the other video game consoles?

Even though I haven't seen the trailer, I know that Joe has done a great job, like he always does with Linkin Park's music videos. Watch the trailer of Medal of Honor directed by Joe Hahn, below! "The Catalyst" is coming!