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.

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

Every hour wounds. The last one kills.

It’s actually a motto that used to be carved into sundials, but the first time I heard (I listen to audiobooks a lot) it was in Neil Gaiman’s American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition (A Full Cast Production). I’m gonna dare to be different here and start off with I’m looking forward to, which is the debut of American Gods this month on the 30th.

There are a lot of TV’s shows I’m interested in checking out, too many to be honest. For example, The Expanse, an extremely good scifi show based on, from my reddit lurking, some very good books. I’ve watched 5 episodes and I enjoyed every bit of it but to watch it all means I’m missing out on other shows I’m hearing, or reading, good things about. At the moment, I’m watching the very good season 2 of The Last Kingdom on netflix, I’m extremely glad I read the books because I’m enjoying seeing how effectively it’s being adapted.

There was a lackluster trailer for Game of Thrones season 7, that despite it being lackluster did enough to rekindle my interest, the show has massively overtaken GRRM and the Books, and I’m curious to how it’s gonna play out for the show. I will still most definitely read the books, if/when they are released because GRRM packs a lot of detail and layers into his stories, something the show lacks sometimes.

The trailer for IT was amazing, and it is the reason I used an audible credit to pick up the book. I get a lot of enjoyment in seeing how something is adapted, especially from books, into a movie. And I really wanted to check out this book since I started using audible 4 years ago, and that trailer was what got me to pick it up. Can’t wait to listen the book later this month and I’m hyped to watch the first part of the adaptation for the IT movie later this year.

Last month, I finished the Witcher series by listening to the Lady of the Lake. It is an extremely good book with a good story and great characters. Peter Kenny narrated the series very well and gave all the characters a unique voice, which some narrators have problems doing. After listening to the series, I can see why Sapkowski is kinda salty about his story and his characters being usurped by the CD Projekt RED and the Witcher trilogy of games, and by usurped, I mean that most people will see them as they are from the games and not the books. And for some, surpassing the books.

I think The Witcher series, the books, is one of the better finished series out there, with a great individual stories and an even better overall story. The characters are memorable and compelling, with interesting development throughout the series. The narration by Peter Kenny for the audiobooks is quite good and remains consistently good throughout the series. Lady of the Lake is easily my favorite of the series, with the Last Wish and Sword of Destiny being excellent character stories despite being classified as related short stories. I would definitely recommend to anyone wishing to get into the Witcher series, start off with the Last Wish and Sword of Destiny. I hope the english translation for Season of Storms is quick, as I definitely want to listen to more of the Witcher series.

I also finished the audiobook for The Aeronaut’s Windlass: The Cinder Spires, Book 1, it was a worthwhile purchase because I enjoyed the story and there is just something extremely cool about air ships and air ship battles. Personally, I felt like I was listening a Final Fantasy like story, which is good for me because Final Fantasy is something I spent an inordinate amount of time playing and enjoyed. I liked the characters, which is in my opinion, on of Jim Butcher’s strong suits. I found the story compelling and interesting, I found the Air Ship combat parts exceedingly enjoyable.

I am nearly finished the Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi, which is narrated by Wil Wheaton. Wheaton is an excellent narrator and is really adding a lot to an already good and exceptionally compelling story by Scalzi. I was not expecting Collapsing Empire to be this good, the story and characters are great, the world/universe building is also quite good, and I’m loving the dialogue. It’s refreshing, to me at least, that dialogue can be raw and rough in language, yet still be effectively compelling and entertaining. It recalled strong memories and comparisons to the excellent dialogue of Deadwood. In other words, this was an especially fucking good story, with great fucking dialogue, and compelling as fuck characters. If it offended your extremely delicate fucking sensibilities, I am sincerely fucking sorry and I can only hope you managed to survive and fucking grow as a person from this. Some might ask me. why do you casually swear so much and do you have to? I would probably reply with What the fuck are you talking about.

As soon as I’m finished with The Collapsing Empire, I will start on Stephen King’s It. Something that I’m looking forward to for obvious reasons. It was one of the books I wanted to listen to 4 years ago when I started up my subscription to audible but it continually got pushed back due to series like the Dark Tower, The First Law, The Dresden Files, A Song of Ice and Fire, Kingkiller Chronicles, Gentleman Bastards, Old Mans War, Takeshi Kovacs trilogy, The Witcher, The Owner trilogy, The Hunger Games, and Harry Potter. So now I can finally check it out, and when I do see the movie, I can get my weird and inexplicable enjoyment comparing and judging the adaptation from book to movie.

I still have to finish The Flame Bearer by Bernard Cornwell, which I will probably start after listening to Stephen King’s It. Unless something catches my capricious fancy between now and when my audible credits come in.

As you may have guessed from my last few posts, I have played a lot of Mass Effect Andromeda. 116 hours so far, and started my second playthrough with a new game plus, this time with Scott Ryder. I thought it was a remarkable feature to be able to start a new game plus as the other Ryder twin. Another feature done extremely well by Bioware Montreal. Definitely a good game with some flaws, well worth a purchase.

I’m also playing Diablo again, season 10 just started up and since I skipped out on season 9 due to playing WoW super hard-core I decided check it out. D3 is great for listening to audiobooks or podcasts and is fun to play, at least during seasonal play.

Rogue One is out on bluray on the 4th, and I’m definitely picking it up. It is easily my favorite star wars movie, I have written about it in a previous post, and even though this release is screaming a Double Dip, I want to buy it anyways. I’m hearing it’s light on the special features and has no commentary, which is disappointing but since I love the movie, it’s not a deal breaker for me.

I plan on checking out Assassin’s Creed despite the negative reviews and rants, as there are many movies I’ve enjoyed that were either panned by critics or the general public. Movies like Passengers, Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad, and the Last Witch Hunter, just to name a few. So I do plan on watching Assassin’s Creed and judging for myself it was worth it or not. I usually don’t have any expectations when watching or listening or playing something, and because of that very few things are disappointing to me or is something I don’t enjoy.