GrayGhost81

Posted on Jun 21st 2020 at 08:00:00 AM by (GrayGhost81)
Posted under movies


It's June 2020, and with another month of being primarily homebound due to COVID-19, I was able to catch up on a few more films.  Here some reviews for a handful of them:

Reptillian - As I settled in for this viewing, I did not realize I was about to see one of the most infamous kaiju films of all time. Reptillian is an English language Korean reboot of the Yongary series created in response to the 1998 American Godzilla film. The acting is so bad it falls into that uncanny valley territory that feels like a bad dream. The CGI is terrible. This movie unfortunately is not even so bad it's good. Avoid at all costs.


Continue reading Quarantine Cinema 2



Posted on May 22nd 2020 at 08:00:00 AM by (GrayGhost81)
Posted under movies


I'm fortunate enough to still be at work, but my movie viewing has still had a major uptick since quarantine started. Here are few of the films I've seen with my wife in the past two months or so.

Westworld and Futureworld - I haven't read the novel or seen the recent tv show, but I quite enjoyed this duology from the 1970s, which centers on amusement parks for rich adults where robots play npcs in real life. Both of these films hold up quite well and to this day are recommended by many as sci-fi classics.

Pacific Rim - Yes, I'm a massive Kaiju fan, but I couldn't care less for American Kaiju productions in general. It was my wife who convinced me to watch this movie and I thought it was pretty darned good. Pacific Rim succeeds where the American Godzilla film from 2014 failed: it leans into the action and doesn't hide its main attraction, the monsters and mechs. I wish I had watched this movie sooner. It's the best western interpretation of a giant monster movie that I have ever seen.


Continue reading Quarantine Cinema



Posted on Apr 20th 2020 at 08:00:00 AM by (GrayGhost81)
Posted under book, review


Have you ever wished you could relive moments from your past with the knowledge and wisdom you have now? I think everyone has fantasized about this to a certain extent. It could be as minor as wishing you'd made a better comeback in a argument to making different decisions at major forks in the road of your life. I think about this a lot, to be quite honest. I'm very happy with where my life is now, but I can't help but be tempted by the thought of going back in time to take different courses of action, be they simple or major. In the 1987 novel Replay, author Ken Grimwood explores what would happen to a person who was forced to relive a large chunk of his life, in his younger body and with all of his memories and consciousness intact. I'd seen the novel mentioned in a handful of 'best sci-fi novels' lists on YouTube and was so intigued by the premise that Replay jumped right to the top of my 'to be read' queue. I'm not a fast reader, but I cruised through this one in just a few days. So is this time-jumping tale worth your valuable time? Continue reading to find out.


Continue reading REPLAY



Posted on Mar 20th 2020 at 08:00:00 AM by (GrayGhost81)
Posted under tv, review


When we played South Park: The Stick of Truth for the podcast, I could not tell you the last time I watched a full episode of the show. It's pretty impressive that the show has been on the air for so long with basically the same two dudes at the helm the entire time. I've seen many episodes over the years, but never watched through an entire season. I'm not sure if I still have them, but at one point I owned a few seasons on DVD but I don't think I ever watched them. South Park was pretty much a show that I had seen a few episodes of, thought was pretty funny, and no strong opinion of. I do remember the movie being hilarious, though.


Continue reading This is now a South Park fansite!



Posted on Feb 21st 2020 at 08:00:00 AM by (GrayGhost81)
Posted under anime


I'm currently re-watching my favorite show of all time, Studio Trigger's bombastic masterpiece Kill La Kill. I recently scored a copy of the Kill La Kill video game on the Nintendo Switch and I wanted to refresh my memory on the finer details of the story of the anime before I dove into the game. I'm thoroughly enjoying the revenge quest of the heroine Ryuko Matoi, who I commonly cosplay as, and I'm still amazed how much color and action are packed into every episode. The seventh episode of the show, titled "A Loser I Can't Hate," is one of my favorite episodes of any serialized series I have ever seen. Allow me to explain why I love this episode so much and why you should check it out even if you have never seen the show! 


Continue reading A Loser I Can't Hate



Posted on Jan 20th 2020 at 08:00:00 AM by (GrayGhost81)
Posted under music, albums


I've been nerding out on music for as long as I can remember. I was raised on classic rock and grew into alternative music in my teenage years. In my twenties, I dropped the elitist indie blinders I had developed in high school and grew a sincere love for pop music. When I was in my early thirties, I worked at a company with a couple of other music nerds who where older than me and for years we bonded over music and shared our discoveries with each other. During that time, for the first time, I began keeping current with the best and worst albums released in a given year (and sharing my picks with those old coworkers is a tradition that we maintain to this day). Now, I have the #concertcast, which is the music segment of the RFG Playcast, which you hopefully know as the podcast I do with the singlebanana. What you are about to read is my first public albums of the year list.


Continue reading Albums of the Year 2019



Posted on Dec 27th 2019 at 08:00:00 AM by (GrayGhost81)
Posted under gaming, final fantasy


The first Final Fantasy game I completed was the Playstation version of the first game in 2012. I hated it. I've written about the insanely high encounter rate in that version of the game before, but it bears repeating because I never see anyone else mentioning it. Last year I played the PSP version of Final Fantasy IV on one of my Vitas and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I knew the series deserved a second chance and I'm glad I gave it one. With those two completed, I've been thinking for a long time about which game in the series would be next for me. All of the games seem interesting to me, and each title (except for IV and VI maybe) has its fans as well as its major haters. Although I thought I might skip to the Playstation era of the franchise, I decided to go to the Playstation 2. I remember the time I was a guest on the Collectorcast, Chris spoke highly of Final Fantasy XII but Bil was very persuasive making his case for the tenth game in the series. So a few weeks ago I decided once again to play through a Final Fantasy title, once again on the Playstation Vita. This is not a review, as I am not finished with the game, and I don't think I'd want to review this game even if I was. Rather, I feel a desire to share some thoughts on this very strange game.


Continue reading Currently Playing: Final Fantasy X HD



Posted on Nov 25th 2019 at 08:00:00 AM by (GrayGhost81)
Posted under gaming, review


I recently played all the way through a game that was really outside of my comfort zone. My regular listeners and readers will know that I tend to see gaming as a relaxing, leisurely activity. I am not a fan of difficult games. Life has enough difficulties and although I don't mind a challenge here or there, I'm usually not looking to get my ass kicked. I recently signed myself up for a swift ass kicking, but I did not realize it when I first started River City Girls. I thought I was starting a run of the mill beat 'em up in the vein of Turtles in Time, and although I quickly realized this isn't that kind of game, I stuck with it through the end and I'm glad I did.


Continue reading River City Girls



Posted on Oct 20th 2019 at 08:00:00 AM by (GrayGhost81)
Posted under gaming, review


For many gamers, October is the time to pull out ghoulish and spooky horror titles to drum up scares appropriate for the Halloween season. As a cohost of the community playthroughs on this site, I tend to get my annual fill of October creepiness with our traditionally horror-themed games during this month every year since our inception. This year however, I decided to try to pack in a few more horror themed titles in my free time to get into the spirit. Of the handful of horror games I played this month, one was a huge disappointment and another was a complete revelation.


Continue reading Dead or Alive



Posted on Sep 22nd 2019 at 08:00:00 AM by (GrayGhost81)
Posted under gaming, music


When it comes to sandbox games, licensed music is typically part of the package. It adds to the feeling of being immersed in whatever game world you have chosen. Get in a vehicle and tune to your favorite radio station. It's just like real life. Because I love music, this is one of my favorite elements of open world games. Even in games to which the "sandbox" moniker doesn't apply, like Fallout 3, I am always grateful for some kind of customizable radio function to choose my own audio backdrop for my adventures. Of course, some consoles allow you to add your own soundtrack from music on the hard drive or a streaming service (depending on the game), but here I'm talking about curated licensed tracks chosen by the developers specifically for their game.


Continue reading The Amazing Music of Saints Row: The Third



Posted on Aug 25th 2019 at 08:00:00 AM by (GrayGhost81)
Posted under psplus, sony


Sony's PlayStation Plus service was launched in 2010 as a paid online service mainly for the PlayStation 3. As a further incentive to sign up for the service to play games online, Sony began offering a series of games each month for the PlayStation 3 and PSP, eventually adding the Vita and PS4. PSP games were eventually dropped and to me the heyday of PS+ were the few years where we were getting PS3, PS4, and Vita games every month. Any games claimed while subscribing to this service can be re-downloaded on any console that is signed into that account as long as the account is current. In the current world of the "all digital future," it is important to note that your PlayStation Plus games are being "rented" in a sense that you will only have access to them while your account is active.


Continue reading Playstation Plus What?



Posted on Jul 20th 2019 at 08:00:00 AM by (GrayGhost81)
Posted under tv, netflix, ai, pop


I'm not really a big fan of Miley Cyrus. I think "Party in the USA" is a great song, but I find her more recent material to be too hedonistic and oversexualised for my tastes. However, as a fan of pop music in general I was excited to hear about Miley being involved with one of the few live action television shows which I find interesting, Black Mirror. The most recent season launched on Netflix in my region recently, and I've watched "Rachel, Jack, and Ashley Too" a few times now. I have found the general consensus to be that this new season in general and that episode in particular are rather weak. I actually agree with this assessment, but I still love the Miley episode. Let's see why.


Continue reading Ambition and Verve



Posted on Jun 24th 2019 at 08:00:00 AM by (GrayGhost81)
Posted under bro, fest


As Rich and I discuss on our last episode of the Playcast, technology can be pretty amazing. It has allowed people from all around the world to connect and communicate in real time, for better and for worse. As someone who works for a massive company with global reach, it never ceases to amaze me that my coworkers and I are in daily communication with people around the world. Similarly, it is astonishing to think that one could form a friendship with another person who lives about a thousand miles away simply by working together on a podcast for the better part of six years.


Continue reading BRO-FEST 2019!



Posted on May 16th 2019 at 08:00:00 AM by (GrayGhost81)
Posted under gaming, review


If you have ever been playing a Call of Duty game and thought "I wish I could just whip out a katana and slash through these fools up close!" then boy do I have a game for you! Devil's Third is an obscure title only available on the ill-fated Wii U, but fans of schlocky action games should take note.


Continue reading Devil's Third



Posted on Apr 22nd 2019 at 08:00:00 AM by (GrayGhost81)
Posted under gaming


I am a huge fan of "to do" lists. I use them at work and in my personal life. There is nothing quite as satisfying as lining up chores and knocking them down until your entire list is obliterated. Why then, have I never used a backlog for video games until this year? Throughout my life as a gamer, as a child, teenager, or adult, I have never so much as jotted down what games I wanted to play or even prioritized what I wanted to play in any way. I play whatever I feel like. I've noticed in the last few years that I fall prey to the FIFO principle, where I end up playing the most recent incoming titles to my collection rather than enjoying a game I have owned for years.

In past years I have made gaming resolutions of all kinds of different types. Whether it was my life-changing resolution of 2012 to finish every game I started, or my 2017 resolution to not spend any of my income on video games, I always find it fun and sometimes challenging to think outside the box and adjust my habits with some kind of goal in mind. This year, I decided to create my first backlog. I'd like to share it here and give an initial status report, as well as give a little insight into how I chose the titles or categories that I did.


Continue reading My First Backlog


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
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