The Future is Me : Return to Earth Again

Seeing bands grow, especially when you personally know the band, is great to witness. In the case with Raleigh, NC’s,  The Future is Me, I have known members of this band for several years. I have shared the stage with them in various projects and bands. Their debut self released EP, Return to Earth Again, is a great blend of modern alternative rock and (I hate this term) screamo.

Return to Earth starts with a great builder called The Calm. TFIM throws out the typical song structure and gets right to the meat that leaves you pumped into the next straight forward Heresy in the Age of Reason. I hear remnants of The Bled, Thursday, Minus the Bear, and Glassjaw. TFIM touches on them but quickly breaks loose into their own style and feel.

Paul Kelley throws the lyrical hooks out and always catches the ear. He is one of the best vocalists in the Southeast rock scene. He pushes emotion in every line and you feel where he stands. The muscianship of Kelley, Mike O’Donnell, John Tomasevich, and Matt Szalecki is top notch.  Nothing seems forced or out of place. Fluidity of songs keep you wanting more.

I have not seen TFIM live yet. I plan to. Playing live is the true testimony of how a band stands. They have never failed in past projects and I expect only the absolute best from them now. The Future is Me could quickly sail the flagship of North Carolina rock. Please listen to them at www.myspace.com/thefutureismemusic You can also find them on itunes.

Medal of Honor : DICE Multiplayer Beta = not Battlefield : Bad Company 2

I was able to pre-order Medal of Honor through Gamestop the other day. With a pre-order I was given a key code to try the multiplayer beta. The Beta is going on from June 21st-July 18th. I am also a part of the EA Gun Club so I got to get in before June 21st. Sometimes it pays to be part of every side group with a game.

Anyway . . .

DICE is trying some different things with MOH’s multiplayer. Some of it is concerning. They did such a wonderful job with Battlefield : Bad Company 2. I almost want to shake them and tell them to stop changing the wheel!

The first thing that is different is the controls. Now, I know this is a BETA and that nothing is final, but why have different controls for something that the bulk of your players are still on another game (BFBC2) and use to that scheme? If it offered something different, I would say sure. But not in this case.

I did not see any actual team play. Mainly just people running around and shooting. Very COD if you ask me. I like the team work aspect that they did in BFBC2. I hate to keep bringing up Bad Company, but it is a great multiplayer system!

The graphics are sharp. The ragdoll animations are a little stiff. The weapons , though few offered, looked great. There is some learning curve to the use of them. The strength of a light machine gun feels almost the same as a AK. That does not make sense and needs to be fixed. Grenades need more power. I also, want to say this about all FPS – IF YOU GET HIT BY A .50, IT SHOULD BE A ONE HIT DEAL. I am so tired of shooting guys with tank guns/heavy machine guns and them running away.

Bottom line is that DICE really needs to use these next few months to implement ideas from their successful Battlefield Bad Company and make this the game that would make any Call of Duty fan weep. They have a lot of work in front of them.

Also, if you are running a PS3, it crashes and freezes a lot. DICE knows that and are working on it.

Mini Ninjas : Its like Calgone and Japanese feudal warfare wrapped up in one.

Charming, relaxing, and simply fun. Mini Ninjas is a great game from start to finish. The game offers a surprisingly long gameplay adventure, I logged in around 12+ hours.

I was not thinking that this game was going to be too difficult or frustrating. Knowing by the cover that it would appeal toward younger ages, I figured that if I wanted it to be more difficult I would have to make it that way. The replay value is fairly low and for the perfectionist player it offers several trophies/awards to obtain with multiple runs at different difficulty levels or replays of different stages.

The story is wrapped around a little ninja named Hiro. His master has sent him, along with Futo, on a journey to destroy the Evil Samurai Warlord. Along the way they rescue other ninjas that had been captured. The rescued ninjas are playable characters and have certain strengths. Hiro, for the most part, is the most used and is the only one that can use the powerful Kuji magic.

The graphics are quite stylized and the music is very relaxing. Some of the levels are fairly large and offer a lot of exploring. Parents watching their kids play will want to join in because it is very inviting. My wife and I shared gameplay duties. It was just fun!

The game has been out since September 09. I would figure that you could find it for fairly cheap or easily available to rent.