Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What's the Deal With Album Ratings?

You probably wouldn't agree that The Wombats are worth a 7.8, Humbug is an 8.4, or the next album I'm going to review is worth a score of 4.9; yes, there is a bit of bias in my reviews, but its not that there is no rhyme or reason to it. Considering the hundreds of albums released every year (most of them being crap), to a typical listener and without any regard to their own tastes, a score of 8 is just "worth giving a chance". A 7 is also worth a chance, but it kind of depends on your taste. A 6 is alright, but it REALLY depends on your taste. Basically, I'm not saying that you have no musical taste if you don't agree.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Wombats: The Wombats Proudly Present: A Guide to Love, Loss & Desperation

The Wombats are a band from Liverpool that have been around since about 2007 and just now, their second album should be available in the U.S.; their single "Tokyo" getting a little airplay every now and then. In the beginning however, it was no keyboards, but air-guitar jams like "Moving to New York" and "Let's Dance to Joy Division"; that is, if you've heard of those songs. The music is simple but very well put-together, The Wombats have always been a band that deserves exposure but just never got it.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Dept Heaven

News on the new Sting RPG "Gungnir" has come right out of nowhere and will be released next month after about 3 years in development. It better be damn good, cause from what it looks like, I'm not sure if its truly worthy of the "Episode IX" moniker. Its the fourth game in Sting's RPG dynasty "Dept Heaven", but why is it called "episode 9"? That number is supposed to indicate its level of originality: on a scale from one, meaning "stands out from the crowd", to ten, meaning "well over twice as original as a turn-based-real-time strategy board-game-like shooter game", Gungnir is at a nine.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

2008 U.S. Presidential Election

Hey, its time for you guys to review my homework. Basically, I'm a political science major and for one of my projects, I examined the 2008 election. I'm not going into stuff like multi-variate regression or crazy graphs or any type of sciencey-technobabble, just going to tell you what I found out in my study. Now, in case you're still following this story, skip ahead, because I'm going to spoil it: Barack Obama won. Okay, now there are a ton of books out there explaining how Obama won and stuff like that, but for this study, I'm focusing not on why Obama won, but rather why McCain lost.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Virgins: The Virgins

In your face low-brow hipster white trash and proud of it, The Virgins can't help but put a smile on your face. When asked "Are you really going to call yourselves The Virgins?" they were like "yeah, that's who we are, we're The Virgins." That's kind of the attitude that this band brings to the table, nothing to prove, nothing to lose, they are just in it for the fun (and possibly the money). As it was released to great critical reception, I guess this attitude kind of works out.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Length of Games

I like to get more for my money, so I like longer games. If a game takes 10 hours to complete, very linear, and has no multiplayer, I really don't see why I should pay fifty dollars for it. In the past, this would be okay, after all, games were much simpler and the goal was just to rush through the 7-10 levels in one sitting. Nowadays, more is possible and so we expect more. There is a difference however, between "too little" and "too much".

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Everything Everything: Man Alive

Released in 2010, Everything Everything has been the focus of critical acclaim for years ever since the release of their first two singles "Suffragette Suffragette" and "Photoshop Handsome". Critically, the album did pretty well, especially among BBC and NME (both helped hype the band immensely); Pitchfork, however, gave the album a very low score. And I guess that really goes to show that this is a type of music that you either love or you hate. Between rapid key changes, shifting tempos, and rapid-fire lyrics that take a scientist to decipher, Everything Everything might be exactly the kind of "original music" that you are looking for. Or it could just be annoying as hell. There seems to be no middle ground on this album.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Ace Attorney

Hey, its been a while since I've updated (pretty busy), but I just finished the last game in the Ace Attorney series (or whatever we have so far) and I thought I should share my reaction to the series in a new weekly segment where I showcase a video game series that I like. If you've heard of it, but never played, give it shot. I've got another album to review tomorrow, but for now...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Support Japan However You Can

Yet another earthquake, this one very similar to the March 11 earthquake, struck Japan. The magnitude 7.4 earthquake struck near Sendai and Fukushima, shaking could be felt all the way out in Tokyo. Thankfully no damage was done to the Fukushima nuclear plant, and the tsunami warning has been lifted.
It seems that its just tragedy after tragedy all over the world, Haiti, Chile, and now Japan. I've taken part in fundraisers for Indonesia, New Orleans, Haiti, and Chile, and I've already donated quite a bit of my own money to Japan. I can say that any amount of money really goes a long way.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The O-Word

Something about it just bothers me and it appears that I am not alone. I have yet to meet a single person even use this word; something about it just seems weird. In case you didn't know, an "otaku" is a person that is obsessed with anime, manga, and Japanese stuff to the point where they would give up years of vaginal intercourse for just a peek at the box art to the next Naruto DVD. You might have met someone like this in High School, they were usually overweight, looked goth but probably not goth (it was hard to tell), and obnoxiously unfunny.

3DS Impression

I got to try out the Nintendo 3DS at an exhibition on campus. I just happened to be passing by and I had plenty of free time, so I thought "why not?" I didn't get to use it much, but here's my opinion: its over-hyped.
First of all, it is indeed 3D and no glasses are required, I found that to be pretty cool. You can adjust the level of 3D perspective with a switch and get your preferred setting, I think it looks best with the 3D at maximum level (though I hear this drains the crap out of the batteries). The graphics are also very nice, they seem to be on par with the Nintendo Wii. That being said, it does look 3D but the novelty wears off very quickly. Its kind of like watching a movie in 3D, yeah it looks cool, but after a while I stop caring about it.
I really see that happening with the 3DS. Of the three games I tried (Pilotwings, Street Fighter, and some driving game), the 3D effect really seemed little more than a gimmick. The novelty got old quickly, and really, it didn't even seem "all that 3D" as the commercials would lead you to believe.
That being said, I have a DS and I like it a lot. Honestly, I too was skeptical of the whole "two screens" idea, but in the end I did see that Nintendo stumbled upon genius and it really works for a lot of games. This 3D effect however, I don't get it.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Final Fantasy is a lot like U2

Its so easy to hate on U2 these days. Each album seems to be more overblown and more full of itself than the last. No Line on the Horizon wasn't by any means a bad album, but compared to what we would normally expect from U2, it was a huge letdown. That being said, each U2 album is hell of a lot better than half the crap that floods the market these days, and no matter how lame the latest album may be, I'll always give U2 one more chance. I grew up with U2, they were my first music obsession, so I really can never bring myself to hate them.

That being said, I can hate on Final Fantasy XIII and XIV all I want, but I'm still going to play just about any game with Final Fantasy slapped in the title. Thirteen seemed like it was dumbed down (gameplay and story) and spiced up with pretty graphics trying to reach a wider audience; an RPG crowd that didn't exist. I haven't played 14, but from what I gather, that was a clusterfuck in a dimension that we just don't live in. But I've played all of the Final Fantasies (minus 11) up to this point and I pretty much loved them. Final Fantasy was simply a series that shaped my childhood so you could say I would pre-emptively forgive any shortcomings the series would have (and guess where I learned the word "pre-emptive", yeah).

So to me, Final Fantasy is a lot like U2. I know all of the jokes and I understand the complaints against them. They were extremely influential in the past and that's pretty much the reason why reaction to them is so polarized nowadays.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Arctic Monkeys: Humbug

Released in 2009, Humbug had a lot of pressure on it. It was the follow-up to "Favourite Worst Nightmare", which was well-received by critics, but fans seemed to be split on it; and that's understandable. They were expecting something just as groundbreaking as "Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not". Traces of that particular type of punk-rock are still present in both albums, but you can see the gradual transition to a less punk-rock oriented and darker theme, and its no wonder that Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age helped out immensely in the album's production.

What's Up?

Hey everybody, my name is Entry Level Translator and welcome to "Hipster in Quotations", a blog all about music, obscure video games, Japanese stuff, and whatever I feel like whining about. I've always wanted to get into blogging and since I've got so much free time these days, I thought, why not now?
Here's what you can expect to find at my hangout:

A featured album every week.
At least once a week I'll showcase a particular album that I like, its rarely something very obscure, but something at least worth taking a look at.

Video Games
I'm a huge fan of Japanese role-playing games and I love to collect rare Playstation titles. I'll also keep you up to date with any news in the video game world.

Japanese Stuff
As you might have gathered from my screen name, I'm learning Japanese and I'll offer lessons every week, and I'm more than happy to answer any questions you might have.

Well, I'm not sure what else to say here, so on with the blog!