What I am playing/listening to/watching/reading/looking forward to for December 2016.

Time seems to really pick up its pace in the later months of the year. December, already. Soon I’ll have to do an end of the year wrap up.

On the Audiobook front, I’m still one my re-listen to the Dark Tower Series, I’m on Salem’s Lot at the moment (the last half of it.) I’m going to be skipping Wind thru the Keyhole because Stephen King narrating it is pretty bad, that’s too strong a description for it but it’s bad in comparison to how well Frank Muller and George Guidall narrate the series. So I’m gonna jump right into The Wolves of the Calla after Salem’s Lot. I enjoy Callahan’s arc of redemption as well as Balazar and Andolini returning as big coffin hunters to battle Roland’s Ka-tet.

I have about 7 novels to finish off the Last Kingdom/Saxon Stories, I’ll be using 1 credit to pick up the last book in the series The Flame Bearer, the novels are fairly short (about 10 hours each) and I should be done by the end of the month. I’m extremely looking forward to finishing off the series because I already have the next series ready to go, it’s P.N. Elrod’s Vampire Files series. I’ve been wanting to find a good vampire or werewolf series (that isn’t Paranormal Romance or the more heavily erotic Urban Fantasy, and it’s pretty difficult to find) and the Vampire Files is the one I settled on. The series I would have prefered to get into is M.L. Brennan’s Generation V but that series does not have any audiobook version.

On the games front,  I picked up Battlefield 1, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Far cry Primal, and the Season Pass for Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate (also picked up the Dreadful Crimes DLC, which wasn’t included the season pass.) Only paid full price for BF1, I got the rest on pretty good sales from Steam and Uplay. I’ve had my eye on picking up the new Tomb Raider as well as Far cry Primal and to get them for less than 35$ CAD each. I picked up the DLC for AC:Syndicate because I’ve been enjoying playing through the AC series so far, I’m liking the look and feel of Unity and enjoyed the story for Rogue. My only dislikes so far are the story gated skills for AC: Unity, and the emphasis on doing Co-op missions to unlock all the skills and for AC:Rogue the short story length.

At the moment, I’m near the end of Unity, and I’m doing the collectibles, side missions. I’ve already completed the Dead Kings DLC, which I thought was okay, it definitely rewarded some good gear though.

This month I picked up a subscription for CraveTV, mostly for The Expanse but it also allows me access to Penny Dreadful, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Battlestar Galactica, Carnivale, and the Flight of the Conchords.

Also, how fucking good is Westworld? If this is HBO’s replacement for when Game of Thrones eventually ends, then they have a damn good show already and HBO won’t miss a beat when GoT does end.

I picked up a subscription for Google play Music, and I’m liking it so far except that they don’t have some songs I would like. I’m also displeased with the amount of “my interpretation” of whatever song that shows up when I do look for a song.

What I’m looking forward to is going on a trip to Vancouver next month to be able to watch the following movies: Star Wars Rogue One, Doctor Strange, Assassin’s Creed, Arrival, Fantastic Beasts and where to find them, and Live by Night.

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What I’m playing, listening to, watching, reading, looking forward to for December.

So, big news first, the internet where I live is finally being upgraded. Before this month, I was limited to 25 gigabytes of bandwidth/downloading for every month and at a slowish speed of 50 Kb/sec to 70 kb/sec. Now, I will have unlimited bandwidth and my download speed should be much better. I’m still on a wireless internet until the fiber optic service is rolled out here by the end of December but it should be much better and faster.

Okay, now that is out-of-the-way, I’m looking forward to the Legion expansion for World of Warcraft (so much so that I’m probably going to pre-order it soon and it will probably be the digital deluxe version for the cool things not WoW related, or more specifically the Illidan wings for Diablo 3.) The class changes have been interesting so far (except for Shamans, the most overlooked and underpowered class.) The Artifact weapons are a definite plus and I like that each spec of your class gets a specific weapon. And I’m interested to see how the Rogue changes work out as they have had the most interesting changes so far. Also, Demon Hunters are also a cool addition and I’m curious to see how they play. Death Knight’s were so OP at launch for Wrath of the Lich King but Monks were closer to meh. So I really want to see if Blizzard makes Demon Hunters fun and powerful.

I’m also looking forward to Overwatch next year, I’m interested in seeing how Blizzard will handle a FPS team based shooter. Will it be objective heavy? or Will it be more of a Team Death Match? I’m thinking it will be like Smite but with more emphasis on teamwork than individual play or score, like Heroes of the Storm is now.

With my internet situation on the up and up, I’m extremely looking forward to being able to watch on demand stuff from UFC Fight Pass (I want to watch all the old PRIDE events I missed watching) and getting Netflix to watch Jessica Jones and Daredevil. I’ve read and heard a lot of good things about both Netflix shows and I really want to be able to watch and enjoy them.

Also, the new internet situation here means I can finally update some of my games and get DLC I was holding off on. I’m referring to The Witcher 3 and its massive 10-15 gigabyte update a few months back and the Hearts of Stone DLC here mainly but I also want to be able to download (or update) and play: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Crysis 2, Starcraft 2, and Splinter Cell Blacklist.

I’m also wanting to check out Google play/Youtube RED, as getting one means having access to the other, and being able to watch or listen to what I ever I like.

Okay, back to more of specific thing, movies I’m looking forward to seeing on Blu ray or in the theatres (not as likely since I prefer watching movies at home now either on blu ray or on demand) are Captain America: Civil War, Sicario, Batman v Superman, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay part 2, Crimson Peak, and The Last Witch Hunter.

This month for Blu rays I’ll be watching The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (I was going to hold off on getting it, then decided to pick it up right at the end of November) and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (it’s out on December 15th.) I’m also going to re-watch Blade Runner this month because Fallout 4 has kindled an interest in it as it has numerous elements and story nods to the movie (you basically are a Blade Runner.)

This month, as stated in a previous post, I will be listening to the audiobook of Thirteen by Richard K Morgan, and Firestarter by Stephen King. I’m going to start with Thirteen as it will sync up well when I finally get to download and play Crysis 2, which Morgan wrote the story for. It also plays well with Blade Runner, a movie I will be re-watching this month (due to Fallout 4) and the numerous cool westerns that I did not get around to watching in November (because of Fallout 4.) I picked up Firestarter as I’ve been thinking about broadening my Stephen King collection and I thought this would be a good pick up. I have yet to be disappointed with any King book so far and I liked the movie, so why the fuck not. It might also be a good lead in back to another re-listen of the Dark Tower audiobooks, as Charlie is basically a Breaker.

As sort of side note to the audiobooks, I’m very tempted to spend the 35$ to get 3 extra audible credits and start listening to the Harry Potter series. Stephen King, one of my favorite authors, writes and says good things about the series and I don’t want to dismiss it out of hand as “kids stuff” as I have for a lot things in the past (I’m looking at you Disney and Pixar movies.) I was impressed with the Hunger Games (I thought it was going to blah teenage angst twilight-y romantic young adult shit, and I was pleasantly proved wrong) and want to give the Harry Potter series a chance at least. On a similar note, Joe Abercrombie has a young adult fantasy series that might hook me in called the Shattered Sea series that I might check out. Wow, look at me wanting to check out and looking forward to Young Adult books.

For December’s audible credits, I plan to pick up The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny, both from the Witcher series. I’ve also noticed that Audible has added listings (but nothing of note yet) for books 4 and 5, The Swallow’s Tower and Lady of the Lake. Definitely looking forward to being able to listen to the series again. Hopefully book The Swallow’s Tower and Lady of the Lake come out sooner rather than later but I’ll be happy to listen whenever they are released.

For Graphic Novels (and Books) this month, I’m still making my way slowly through a Knight in the Seven Kingdoms and a World of Ice and Fire as I want to keep my interest in the A Song of Ice and Fire series so I don’t feel the need to be looking up spoilers for the upcoming season of Game of Thrones. So far, this strategy is working out on multiple fronts.

I also have Batman: Killing Joke to read, something I want to take my time with and with no distractions. Extremely looking forward to reading it as I’ve heard that there might be an animated movie coming soon based on it that will have Mark Hamill voicing the Joker. Hopefully, they also get Kevin Conroy (who voiced Batman in the Animated series) as well.

I ordered and received the next 2 books in the Fables series, Arabian Nights and Wolves, and I’m going to start on them soon. The Fables series has been great so far and I can see why shows like Supernatural and Once Upon a Time have taken elements or concepts from the series. I haven’t watched or taken an interest in those shows (and probably won’t watch) but the Fables series is compelling and interesting to me. I look forward to my 2-3 Fables books per month pace until I get to the end of the series.

There is some good MMA on this month: The Ultimate Fighter Finale, UFC 194, and UFC on Fox Dos Anjos vs Cerrone. Solid cards for all from the main card down to the prelims.

On the Gaming front (saving the best for last here, I usually open up with gaming) I’m still going to be playing Fallout 4, this time more of a charismatic gunslinger type, a sort of cross between Malcolm Reynolds (I totally used that name for my character in Fallout 4 as it is one of the spoken names, my last character/playthrough was Zoe, Firefly fuck yeah!) and Roland of Gilead.

I will also pick up Legacy of the Void for Starcraft 2, I’ve enjoyed the story so far and would like to see how it plays out.

Crysis 2 is also on deck because I’ll finally be able to download and play it, I’ve heard that it’s mostly generic FPS fare but I want to play through the story as it was mainly written by one of my favorite authors, Richard K Morgan.

Spoilers ahead for the Witcher 3, you’ve had plenty of time to play it and see it. Still a warning for those that care about spoilers.

Also, I can finally update and play the DLC Hearts of Stone for the Witcher 3. I had a playthrough that I intended to try out the Yennefer romance (having read the first 3 books, I have a better appreciation for) and having Ciri become a Witcher (the last playthrough I did Ciri became the Empress, which is what the Lodge of Sorceresses wanted in the books, it worked well as a bittersweet ending.) Of all the games I plan to play this month, I’m looking forward to playing The Witcher 3 the most. I can say that Andrzej Sapkowski Witcher series is the reason for it.

I also have the Long Dark to scratch my itch for a survival game, something Fallout 4 sadly lacks though I’m sure there will be mod that adds basic survival needs soons.

I’m also still playing WoW occasionally, mostly PVPing but I still need a about 13 fragments to complete the legendary ring for my Rogue. I jump into when I have friends playing or as something when I need play something that isn’t Fallout 4. Diablo 3 hasn’t started a new season yet, so I haven’t played it at all this month, however I may load it up some time to see if my internet is truly better. I’ve had numerous problems with high latency and disconnects when playing Diablo 3 in the afternoon and I think it will be good indicator if my net is truly better.

Pretty long post here so lemme see if I got this spotify playlist linking thing right so you can get an idea of what I kinds of music I listen to, What I’m Listening to. You may need to sign up for an account to listen, but thems the breaks. It’s not an exhaustive list, but it’ll give you an idea of what I like in a general sense.

Music in Video Games.

So after checking out some music from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel I found that 1 band had a song in one of my favorite games of all time, Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines. Darling Violetta, they did the main theme for Angel and 2 songs appeared in BtVS season 3 episode “Faith, Hope, and Trick”, did a memorable track from the Santa Monica pier with the “thin bloods” on the beach called “Smaller God.”

After finding that out I started to think of some my favorite music from Video Games and came up with a nice list. In no particular order, here they are:

Will the circle be unbroken from Bioshock: Infinite

When the small cutscene happened when I was playing and part of this song was sung by Elizabeth with Booker playing the guitar, I was surprised and amazed that a game did this. I thought it added a nice little touch to part of the game where things started to get really hectic and was a nice contrast to what is going on at the time in game.

Darling Violetta – Smaller God in Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines

I liked the song and Bloodlines is one of my favorite games of all time.

Jose Gonzalez – Far Away from Red Dead Redemption

One of the best moments I’ve had in a single player game was riding into Mexico with this song playing. Red Dead Redemption, in my opinion, is the best game Rockstar has done. And this game definitely needs a PC release or a HD re-release.

Ashtar Command – Deadman’s Gun from Red Dead Redemption

This song coming up when you really finished the game and the credits started to roll, it was a great ending to a great game.

The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind theme

Something I will never forget is hearing this and starting up and playing Morrowind for the first time. I also appreciate that Skyrim used similar elements for it’s theme.

Mass Effect 3 – An End Once and For all

Despite the deserved criticism over the ending, this song was definitely used effectively and until the extended cut ending DLC this song was the only good thing about the ending.

Mass Effect 2 – Suicide Mission

So fucking epic, added so much to high stakes of the suicide mission in ME2.

The Witcher 3 – The Fields of Ard Skellig

Added a lot the atmosphere and is a great theme for Skellige.

The Witcher 3 – Farewell, Old Friend

This added a lot to atmosphere and feeling to the aftermath after the Battle at Kaer Morhen. Well done music and theme here.

World of Warcraft – Lament of the Highborne

This was very impressive the first time I heard it in game and one of the more iconic things that makes WoW unique.