What I am playing/listening to/watching/reading/looking forward to for October 2017.

The Black Company books are probably the best series I’ve listened to this year. I was gonna just stick to my 2 audible credits platinum plan this month but I just couldn’t wait to finish the series, so I bought 3 extra credits and got the last 3 books in the series. I am currently on book 8, She is the Darkness, and it has extremely good narration and an excellent story. I have Water Sleeps (book 9) and Soldiers Live (book 10) to listen to this month, and that finish off the excellent Black Company Series.

There was an audible sale on the first books in a series and I was able to pick up Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey for about 6$ CAD, this was a series I have been planning on listening to for quite a while now so I decided to take advantage of the deal. I also used one of my 5 credits I had to pick up Mass Effect: Initiation by N. K. Jemisin, Mac Walters. I picked up Initiation based solely on 2 things, the first Mass Effect: Andromeda book by Jason M Hough and K.C. Alexander was very good and the Broken Earth Trilogy by Jemisin was superb.

Audible Canada is a thing now and I was extremely tempted to switch over but a couple of things made me stay with Audible.com instead.

  1. You cannot get a 2 credit per month plan.
  2. There is no way to buy extra credits.
  3. You only have access to Audible Canada Daily Deals, so there is no 2 for 1 credit sales, whispersync, or first book in the series sales.

However, Audible Canada only costs 14.95$ CAD per month and has excellent customer service, making it hard to pass on. Currently I pay 22.95$ USD (29$ CAD at the current exchange rate) for a platinum 2 credits per month plan and buying 3 extra credits for 34.41$ USD (43.40$ CAD, can get as high as 50+$ CAD depending on the exchange rate), so even at 1 credit per month the savings is pretty huge but I am not willing to give up 2 credits per month yet, or not having access to sales or 3 extra credits per month.

I am not sure which books or series to get next month after the Black Company. If Sandman Slim is decent, that will probably be the series I jump into next. However, I like to switch things up after reading a long fantasy series like the Black Company with something like Sci-fi or horror. That may mean I might pick the The Metro series or something else with supernatural elements.

I still have a backlog of audiobooks to finish off as well: Watership Down, Invisible Man, The Hobbit, The Last of the Mohicans.

I’ll get around to those when I’m able, usually when I’ve blown through a series and have nothing else to listen to in-between credits.

I’m still playing a fair amount of WoW but cut my time down to play other games in my backlog. I mentioned last month I picked up Superhot on a sale and it was extremely fun to play and well worth the 20$ I payed for it. I also have the Crysis trilogy to playthrough and I moved those games to my SSD to ensure I will play them. I only really got into the Crysis series because Richard K Morgan wrote the story for Crysis 2. I have the first season of The Long Dark to playthrough, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Farcry Primal, Farcry Blood Dragon, Splintercell Blacklist, and the Metro Redux games.

I also picked up Total War: Warhammer for 20$ and getting the hang of playing it. it is fun to play and I am getting the hang of playing it the way it’s supposed to be played. I was falling into the trap of playing it like other RTS games like Civilization and Starcraft, and I was just getting destroyed.

Last month I mentioned I picked up John Wick 2, Guardians of Galaxy vol 2, Ghost in the Shell, and Wonder Woman. My favorite out of the bunch is easily John Wick 2, it was a well put together movie with a great world and characters, the special features were also extremely good. I thought GotG and Wonder Woman to be overrated but still enjoyable decent movies. Ghost in the Shell is something that grew on me over time, I was too hung up on it not being an adaptation of the seminal anime but after watching the special features it grew on me because a lot of thought went into creating a new tale with borrowed elements from the manga, anime, and tv series.

I have been looking to pick up a general use soundbar for my PC and PS4 and currently deciding on the Sony HT-CT790 or the Sony HT-CT800. I will mainly be using to listen to movies, game on with the PS4, and streaming audio when I am not using Headphones. The difference between the to 2 is that the 800 has HDR. Both have 4k and hdmi passthru, 2 hdmi inputs, 1 toslink input, bluetooth streaming. The 790 is about 150$ cheaper and the one I’ll probably choose because there is not a lot of HDR content out there right now.

I am extremely looking forward to Red Dead Redemption 2 next year. I got a PS4 Pro for that because I know Rockstar will fuck over the PC market by either not bring the game to PC EVER or not do it for years.

Check out the great trailer.

 

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what I am playing/listening to/watching/reading/looking forward to for September 2017.

This was another month I let some stuff slide, I didn’t get to finish uncharted 2 or start on uncharted 3 and Rise of the Tomb Raider, but I did get to listen to some very good audiobooks.

The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin was released on August 15, and it is the final book in the Broken Earth Trilogy. Broken Earth was definitely a series that started off slow for me, it really wasn’t until Alabaster Tenring and Seyenite left the fulcrum before I really got into the story and characters. This is a very good trilogy of books that is predictable in some respects but tells a very compelling story with interesting characters. I found it only became predictable near the end of the 3rd book, when multiple plot points converge and loose story ends needed to be tied up. Despite it being predictable, it delivered on a satisfying ending to a very good trilogy of books. The Broken Earth Trilogy is definitely worth checking out, especially so if you liked the Mage/Templar dynamic/conflict in the Dragon Age series. I will definitely pre-order N.K. Jemisins Mass Effect novel, Mass Effect: Initiation, despite Bioware abandoning the single player story of Mass Effect Andromeda. I will have more a rant on Bioware later.

The Black Company series by Glen Cook is still excellent so far, with some very good narration by Marc Vietor. I just finished book 5, Shadow Games which was extremely good and left on really huge cliffhanger that left me wanting more. I start book 6 and 7, and if it continues as it is, I will probably buy 3 extra credits just because I don’t want to wait another 2 months to get to listen to the last 3 books in the series. I really didn’t expect to like military fantasy as much as I like military scifi but this series has some extremely good stories and characters with just the right amount of battle and intrigue. I am extremely looking forward to see how this is going to be adapted for a show in the next few years.

I’ve also been relistening to the Joe Abercrombies First Law trilogy and world books which is narrated fantastically by Steven Pacey.

I picked up some Superhot on a very good flash deal for around 14$ CAD, I’m looking forward to playing it eventually. I was also extremely tempted to pick up Dishonored 2, Prey, and Total War: Warhammer because of the good deal on sales over the last couple of weeks. I also want to pick up Horizon Zero Dawn on the PS4, as well as Uncharted 4 (as well as the Lost Legacy DLC.)

The Defenders captivated me but after a couple of days thinking on it, it wasn’t as good as I thought. There were some very good elements and some interesting storytelling that got ruined by a rushed ending, at least it seemed that way to me.

Game of Thrones is still a good series, not quite the best thing on TV anymore, but still enjoyable and compelling enough to want to see how it ends. I’d rather listen to/read the final books but who knows if we’ll ever get the chance. Remember when GRRM said he could have The Winds of Winter out before or near the start of Season 6? I wonder what the fuck happened there. I find that I am more excited about the second seasons of Westworld and American Gods, than the ending to Game of Thrones. However, the show has definitely rekindled my interest in wanting to read/listen to the books but who the fuck knows when we’ll get The Winds of Winter and if we’ll even get to A Dream of Spring.

I’m still playing a fair amount of World of Warcraft but my interest is waning again, as it usually does when blizzard is trying to fill out time for a raid tier. My toons when from being shit geared to very decently geared in couple weeks time. I’ve went back to playing my DK as my “main” which is surprising because I was very close to having my Rogue be my main. I have a better grip on how to DPS effectively has unholy and still can tank mythic plus if needed, which makes my DK more versatile than my rogue which can only DPS.

I was extremely disappointed that Bioware is abandoning the single player story of Mass Effect Andromeda, it could have easily been the start of a pretty good trilogy and it sucks that we will probably never know who the Benefactor is and why they had Jien Garson killed or find out what the fuck happened with the Quarian Arc. This decision by Bioware to essentially abandon Mass Effect Andromeda, has really made me reconsider buying any future Bioware games, they will be like ubisoft games for me now. Meaning that I will wait for a sale that drops the price to 30$-40$ a couple of months after release.

I picked up Kong Skull Island on blu ray and ordered:  John Wick 2, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, and Ghost in the Shell. I am looking forward to watching them later this month. Wonder Women is out on Blu ray later this month and I’ll definitely pick it up.

I am looking forward to summer 2018 because that is the release window for Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files short story anthology, Brief Cases. Fuck yeah. Nothing on Peace Talks yet, but anything Dresden is fine by me. I will pre-oder the very fucking second it’s available on audible.

What I am playing/listening to/watching/reading/looking forward to for August 2017.

3 episodes into season 7 of Game of Thrones, been pretty good so far and it only makes me want to read The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring even more, if GRRM manages to even write and release them that is. The show is good and is a fine adaptation, but it is also very hamfisted and unsubtle. What I mean by that is, a mainstream show like Game of Thrones  can only take the straight and direct path of Story Telling and Character Development, in GRRM’s A Song of Ice and Fire things are complexly intertwined and paced that are on the verge of being convoluted and drawn out. However, in the adaptation to a show, there has to be a clear path from a to b, and a lot of the internal struggles or inner rationalizations have to be explicit and either vocalized or characterized in such a way that there can be no doubts in a characters motivation.

August has a couple of shows on netflix that I want to watch: The Defenders, Glow, and the Mist season 1. I’ve already watched 2 episodes of Glow and liking it a lot already, the cast is pretty good with Marc Maron insanely funny so far.

In my on again/off again World of Warcraft playing, I am back to raiding semi casually. I still prefer mythic plus for gearing as it feels more rewarding and that I have more control of the outcomes. All isn’t great with my on again WoW playing, I pretty much stopped playing the Uncharted Collection and I was near the end of Uncharted 3. I’ll start again but I’m not sure if I’ll go back to the Uncharted Collection because during a steam stale I picked up Dark Souls 3 for a decent price, I’ve already mentioned last month picking up Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (which is released on August 8th), The Long Dark’s season one story mode called “Wintermute” is out on the 1st at 8am PST, and I also picked up another interesting crafting survival game called Light and Dark that is in early access. I picked up Light and Dark because it’s a survival RPG with crafting elements but in a fantasy setting.

I delayed picking up John Wick 2, Kong: Skull Island, and Ghost in the Shell until later in the month. I will also probably pick up Guardians of the Galaxy 2. I’m still on the fence about picking Passengers.

I’ve been listening to the Black Company series the last 2 months, I’m on book 4 at the moment and so far the series has exceeded expectations for me and I’m looking forward to the rest of the series. On August 15th, N.K. Jemisin’s 3rd book in the Broken Earth Trilogy called The Stone Sky is out and I’ve already pre-ordered it. If it’s as good as The Fifth Season and Obelisk Gate, I will most likely pre-order Jemisin’s Mass Effect Andromeda: Initiation audiobook as well.

There are a couple of movies that are out now or coming soon this month, The Dark Tower and Atomic Blonde, that I want to check out but I will most likely wait for it to come out on Blu ray.

What I am playing/listening to/watching/reading/looking forward to for July 2017.

How fucking good was that first season of American Gods? I can’t wait to see how they adapt the House on the Rocks and the Spook Show for season 2.

The adaptation of characters like Laura, Shadow, Anansi, and Mad Sweeney have been great, and I’ve enjoyed the additions and changes to the characters. I’ve particularly enjoyed the arc between the “Dead Wife”, the Leprechaun, and Salim. It was a nice refrain to the Mr. Wednesday and Shadow road trip. The changes to Anansi and Technical boy were also pretty good. Orlando Jones is great as Anansi. Ibis and Jacquel were also very good.

Game of Thrones starts up this month as well and I have dutifully avoided every trailer because I want to go into season 7 without having anything to guess at what is going to happen. It’s unfortunate that the show has over taken the books but the show has been decent so far, there were some definite misses but has had more hits than misses. I haven’t had to jump into any of the short stories or anything ASOIAF related to keep my interest going in the series, I’m genuinely excited to see how it plays out.

Game of Thrones isn’t the best thing on TV anymore, Westworld and American Gods are definite contenders now.

I started listening to the Black Company series by Glen Cook, it has every element I enjoy in a good fantasy series. The narration by Marc Vietor is pretty good. I just finished the first book and starting up the second book, Shadows Linger, this month. I would have bought the third book as well but I decided to pre-order N.K. Jemisin’s final book in the Broken Earth Trilogy, the Stone Sky. I will probably pre-order N.K. Jemisin’s Mass Effect Andromeda: Initiation as well.

I have also started a re-listen to the Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, which will also include The Wise Man’s Fear as well, I forgot how well written and well narrated, Nick Podehl is extremely good, the books are. The Name of the Wind is especially good, however, I found the Wise Man’s Fear has a hard time to get out of the shadow of the first book.

I’ve been working my way through the Uncharted Collection, still only on the first game so far. I’m looking forward the Amy Hennig games of Uncharted 2 and 3.

During Steam Summer sale, I picked up the season pass for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and Dark Souls 3. I am extremely tempted to pick up Dishonored 2 for 24.99$ CAD as well as Morrowind GOTY edition, and Oblivion GOTY too which are only 9.99$ CAD but I may just wait to pick those games during the new years sales.

I will probably pick up Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice next month, it looks extremely good and the price is good one at 32.99$ CAD.

I have a number of games I want to start during the summer, which is usually a deadzone for gaming. Metro 2033 Redux (which I’ve played about an hour so far), Metro: The Last Light Redux, Rise of the Tomb Raider (which I will probably start immediately after the Uncharted Collection),  Dishonored, and Firewatch. There are other games like Shadowrun: Dragonfall, Bioshock remastered, Bioshock 2 remastered, Bioshock Infinite, and Far cry Primal but those will probably be something I try out later in the year.

The first season of the Long Dark is out in August, and I’m extremely looking forward to playing it, it has been something I’ve been waiting for a couple of years now.

The Defenders series starts up in August, which is something I also want to watch as I’ve enjoyed both seasons of Daredevil and Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones which I thought was extremely good.

I also plan to pick up John Wick 2, Kong: Skull Island, and Ghost in the Shell on blu ray this month.

What I am playing/listening to/watching/reading/looking forward to for May 2017.

I’m gonna start with what I’m watching, as these posts usually start with what I’m playing or listening to/reading, and there are a couple of things I’m watching that I like and interested in.

First off, how fucking good was that first episode of American Gods? Definitely a great episode and what an excellent way to start off a series. The casting is very good and we haven’t even gotten to see Media, Sam Blackcrow, Mr. World, Mr. Nancy, or Czernobog yet. Ian McShane is fucking great as Wednesday and that first time you see him hustling the air port lady is such a good way to get a feel for his character. Pablo Schreiber as Mad Sweeney is also excellent, he really encompassed the character from the book and added his own great interpretation of the character. I thought the interplay between Mad Sweeney and Shadow was awesome and I liked that the coin tricks, the Iko Iko song by the Pixie Cups, and the fight was faithfully adapted, and even possibly better than it was in the books. I also thought the changes to Shadow, Rickey Whittle also is very good, were positive and well done. Shadow in the books is a more taciturn and introverted character, as well as a little bland, which doesn’t really translate that well when adapted for a show or movie, it’s easier in a book because we are able to hear the inner monologue and thoughts Shadow has while he experiences the first time the secret world of the Gods. For a TV show, the normally reserved and quiet Shadow would translate to being a moody-ish brooding thousand yard stare, which would be extremely uninteresting. Lowkey Lyesmith bits was also pretty good, the don’t piss off airport bitches story was great. Laura’s funeral scene was also extremely good, and I thought it was done better than it was in the books because it fleshes out the relationships Shadow/Laura/Audrey/Robbie. The scene with Shadow and Audrey was also extremely good, I loved the changes because it made it more believable and I loved the “I am trying to get my dignity back here” scene. The changes to Audrey also made her more sympathetic. The Technical boy confrontation was also pretty good, although I thought it was a little forced because in the book Shadow is supposed to deliver a message/threat to Wednesday. However, the lynching scene was extremely powerful and evocative, so the change from the book made it easier to understand the conflict between the Old gods and the new ones. The Midnight Special outro was great. I am extremely looking forward to watching the rest of the season. The Totem Pole intro was a nice touch, it is a good reminder that North America wasn’t an empty land and sets a good tone for the series. I can’t believe HBO passed on this show.

The Last Kingdom on Netflix is extremely good, each episode has been good and the build up has been great. I am hoping that after this last episode of this season, the wait for series 3 won’t be as long as the one for the 2nd series.

I’m gonna be checking out Hap and Leonard, after the Last Kingdom, because I’ve been thinking about starting the Hap and Leonard books by Joe R. Lansdale and I’ve heard extremely good things about the show from the various subreddits I lurk on.

This month I’ll be listening to the audiobooks for N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season and Jean Hegland’s Into the Forest.

I plan to pick up the second book in Jemisin’s Broken Earth series and then starting Glen Cook’s Black Company series. The reason for Black Company is that Eliza Dushku is producing and starring in an adaptation for a TV show. It’s also something I’ve been wanting to check out for at least 2 years now and I also like to check out something when it gets adapted into a show or movie.

I’ve also started a re-listen to the Harry Potter audiobooks, I’m currently on the Goblet of the Fire and I will continue with it after The Fifth Season and Into the Forest.

I picked a PS4 Pro recently and I finally got to play The Last of Us, the Remastered version. I was extremely impressed and immensely enjoyed playing through such a well crafted game with such a good story with very compelling characters. It has a New Game Plus mode that I plan to play through again with. I plan to pick up the Uncharted: Nathan Drake Collection next, and possibly Uncharted 4 as well. The Last of Us is every bit as good as I read about it and I was quite impressed with gameplay and story telling, it is a great example of linear story telling. Not all games need choice or a branching story, and I really like a well crafted story. I can’t wait for the extremely well hyped Last of Us 2. I have a list of games that I’m looking forward to checking out on the PS4 Pro, games that are available on the PC are excluded because I pick up those on steam/uplay/origin/GOG instead. So games like Deus Ex Mankind Divided, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Far Cry Primal, for Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain (or Dark Souls 3) I am not sure if I want to pick up on the PC or PS4.

Here is the list of PS4 games that I’m gonna pick up eventually:

  • Bloodborne
  • The Order 1886
  • Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection
  • Dark Souls 3
  • Metal Gear Solid 5
  • Heavy Rain and Beyond Two Souls collection
  • Final Fantasy 15
  • Uncharted 4
  • The Last Guardian
  • Horizon Zero Dawn

I will probably add to the list but this list a good place to start.

I downloaded the remastered version for Darksiders 1 and 2, I’ll play these eventually but I want to play Dishonored and Rise of the Tomb Raider this month. I’ve been putting off both for long time now and I want to get it through my backlog of games. However, I am also doing an off and on again 2nd playthrough of Mass Effect Andromeda, so it may cut into playing either Dishonored or Rise of the Tomb Raider. I’ll probably just commit to playing through Rise of the Tomb Raider this month though.

I’ve also got back into playing Overwatch, which is still pretty good game but definitely has some match making issues. As the wait time for group queuing, is pretty long with a lot of false starts on games.

Logan comes out on Blu ray this month is being released this month and I’m extremely looking forward to picking it up and watching it.