Dystopian Video Game Party: Let’s Play Final Fantasy XV (Part 9)

Our crappy, amateurish streaming series gets even crappier and more amateurish this episode when the stream craps out a half hour in. But don’t get too relieved, because I play for an additional 90 minutes after that. This time, me and the host boys beat up a bunch of giant wasps in the woods, go tomb raiding with the sassy Dragoon from last week, and drink a lot of potions. I mean a lot of potions. Highly recommended if you want to hear me swear a lot (and yes, unlike the last stream, you can actually hear me this time).

I’ll be back next Wednesday–whether you want me to be or not–with what I imagine will be a full playthrough of the new-ish “Episode Gladiolus” DLC. If you wanna watch, follow us on YouTube.

Dystopian Book Club Podcast: Paul Stanley’s Face the Music

The last installment of our Dystopian Book Club miniseries on the memoirs of KISS is finally here, and we’re going out in a big way. Paul Stanley’s Face the Music: A Life Exposed isn’t the best KISS biography we’ve read (or the second best…or even the third), but it’s certainly fertile ground for discussion. Join us for almost two hours on the man, the myth, and the chest hair; and remember, while Dystopian Book Club is done with KISS (for now), WE! ARE JUST! GETTING! STAAAAAAAAHHHTEEED! We’ll be back in June with a special Jheri Curl June episode on the memoir(s) of Rick James. And don’t forget, next month is our annual Memorial Day podcast, when we commemorate the many musical icons we lost in the last 12 months. Show notes, as always, are below.

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Wrecka Stow: Reykjavík Record Shop, Iceland

As you may or may not know, last October my girlfriend Kia and I took a short trip to Iceland, and one of the main things we did while we were there was buy a shitload of vinyl. This April, just in time for Record Store Day, I’m finally getting off my ass and editing together the footage. First up: Reykjavík Record Shop, a lovely little place on Klapparstígur where we spent entirely too much money. Check out the video for discussion of records by Queen, Peter Gabriel, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, the Fat Boys, Parliament, and Colonel Abrams. Camera by me and Kia Matthews (who also makes a special appearance!), music by Iceland’s own Icecross.

Dystopian Video Game Party: Let’s Play Final Fantasy XV (Part 8)

Last night, I pried myself away from Zelda for long enough to play a little more Final Fantasy XV. Join me as I get my ass handed to me repeatedly by Aranea Highwind while trying to remember what the fuck is going on in the game and where the “confirm” button is on a PS4 controller. Entertainment!

For the rest of April and May (unless I finish the game first–which, as you can see, is unlikely), I’ll be streaming every Wednesday night and posting the following Thursday morning. If you want to see the streams as they happen, just follow Dystopian Dance Party on YouTube.

Remembering The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess in a Post-Breath of the Wild World

Pretty much from the moment I lucked into a Nintendo Switch early last month (shoutout to the Fort Totten Walmart for releasing their unclaimed launch-weekend preorders!), I have been utterly and completely in the thrall of the latest entry in the Legend of Zelda series, Breath of the Wild. I honestly can’t think of another game that has gotten under my skin like this: The Witcher 3 made an honest effort, as did The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, but neither can hold a candle to Zelda for sheer absorption. When I’m not playing it, I’m thinking about it; and when I am playing it, I’m as rapt at 60-plus hours in as I was at 60 minutes.

But I’m not here to talk about Breath of the Wild–at least, not at first. I’m here to talk about the Zelda game I finally beat the day before I got my Switch: 2006’s Twilight Princess. Long disdained as the exemplar of the series’ fourth-generation bloat (until 2011’s Skyward Sword came along to claim the throne, anyway), Twilight Princess increasingly feels like the definitive pre-Breath of the Wild Zelda game–for better or worse. 1991’s A Link to the Past solidified the formula; 1998’s Ocarina of Time translated it to 3D; 2013’s A Link Between Worlds was the back-to-basics move that opened the door for Breath of the Wild’s more radical reinvention. But Twilight Princess was the one that took the old Link/Ocarina design to its limit: it was the series’ baroque moment, filling in the familiar contours with elaborate filigrees and aiming for sheer, meticulously-crafted hugeness.

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