In the last two weeks of this past summer, I spent the time during which most of my friends were back at school going to my high school friend’s house every night and playing through the first two God of War games with him. This happened literally every night for two weeks, and we ended up getting kind of sick of them by the time we left for school. We did manage to finish both in two weeks though. I can’t really decide if the God of War games are good or not. I mean they’re fun to play, and generally epic beyond comprehension, but the story and voice acting are just dumb. I’m sorry, but it’s true. Still, I don’t really think those alone make a bad game. They’re fun, so I’m ok with it. I like the huge enemy battles, despite the fact that the coolest parts of those fights are often just quicktime events. I do agree, though, that it does take a decent amount of thought to come up with a non-quicktime system that would allow for the kind of ridiculous moves that you can pull off in some of those big God of War battles. See what I mean? I’m so undecided about whether they’re actually “good” or not.
The point is that I was able to continue the journey last night for the first time in several months when I got together with Eric again last night and we started his God of War III that he got for christmas. What an awesome opening sequence. Seriously, that water-horse-crab thing is just too much. The third installment is just so much better looking than the first two; I was really hoping there would be a significant jump in graphics with the switch to the new hardware of the PS3, and as of last night, I’m not disappointed. Apart from the game itself, it’s always good to have some nondiluted bro-time when I come home (even though we all forgot our SNES consoles! Most non-triumphant.)
My true Christmas break started today, as I slept in until 10 (what!?) and have spent my morning so far shoveling the driveway and watching Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. I had forgotten how bad that movie actually is – not that I expect any of it to make sense or anything, but some of the time travel stuff they do is just so ridiculous. The whole thing where they decide to leave the keys somewhere where they’ll find them and they’re just there waiting for them? I mean it’s awesome and hilarious, but the part of me that’s into theoretical physics has a problem with that. I know it’s just an 80′s teen movie. I really just watched it for the two lead characters and their vernacular. I think I’m going to start slipping “most excellent” into my conversation and see if anyone calls me out on it. I bet they don’t.
I’m watching Yessongs on DVD right now, and I have to say that it’s likely my favorite concert video that I’ve seen. It’s just the perfect era of Yes where everybody was in the band and they were really good live. I actually like the Yessongs version of “And You And I” way better than the studio one – because it rocks way more, obviously. I remember an old keyboard teacher of mine was watching Yessongs with me once and made the comment that Steve Howe is the reason to watch the show. Now I realize what he was talking about, because Steve Howe is inhuman in that video, but at the time, being the keyboard-playing prog-rock nerd that I was in middle school, I was so offended that my own keyboard teacher would disrespect Rick Wakeman so blatantly. Watching it now, though, I realize that Rick Wakeman, while also playing ridiculously well in the Yessongs performance, was really ugly in the seventies. Not that this detracts from his performance, but it’s just a hilarious realization to me.
EDIT: This just reminded me that there’s a picture of me floating around the internet from way back in the days of Rock School when we did a tour with Jon Anderson, the lead singer from Yes. I had my mom make me this sweet Rick Wakeman cape, and I wore it every night on that tour. It was awesome. Here it is, you can still see it if you google “Emmett Butler”. Sorry about the tiny resolution, it’s the only one I can find. And yes, I actually was this cool at one point in my life.
There’s the beginning of my winter break from school. I can’t tell if it’s going to go by fast or slow, or which of those I prefer. I plan to start not worrying about that (or anything) riiiight…….now.