Assorted Reviews

[Originally created a week ago and just completed/posted today]
I haven’t blogged in a while, so I thought I would run down some of the excellent media experiences I’ve encountered recently.

  1. Jak II. Extremely entertaining. Mix the first J&D game with some Grand Theft Auto and you have a compelling gameplay experience. It was so engaging, in fact, that my wife refused to let me play unless she could look on and backseat drive. *grin*
  2. Soul Calibur II for the Gamecube. I spent a good amount of time playing this over the Christmas break with my brother-in-law and was given it for my birthday by the in-laws. I’ve really enjoyed it and the single player mode, while a bit frustrating at times, really is worth playing, if only for all of the bonuses that you can unlock (in the form of bonus characters, new weapons and costumes). I’d highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good, easily accesible fighter for any of the three major consoles. (I picked the GC version as my version of choice because it featured Link. I mean, how could I not?)
  3. Fountains of Wayne – Welcome Interstate Managers. Wow. I was absolutely floored by this album. I cannot recommend it highly enough. It’s upbeat, it’s witty, it’s catchy. I actually caught myself smiling involuntarily the first time I listened to the entire album. If you have any interest in “pop” music, I would rush out and grab this CD posthaste.
  4. Evanescence – Fallen. I received this one from my sister for Christmas. What a great disc! The fan reviews on Amazon apparently disagree with me. I’m not quite sure what they’re railing against, but it seems as if they don’t like it because it’s popular. Oh well.
  5. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy – Save My Soul. A good album, although nowhere near as good as their self-titled major label debut.
  6. Basement Jaxx – Kish Kash. This album is nowhere near as immediately accessible as the Jaxx’s past two albums, but give it a chance. It really has grown on me with repeated play. It has tracks reminiscent of Moby, there is a track that wouldn’t be out of place on a Portishead album, a track you could swear is a cover of a Prince hit, as well as tracks reminiscent of Deltron 3030. I recommend that you reserve your judgement on this disc until you’ve given it repeat listens.