what I am playing/listening to/watching/reading/looking forward to for February 2018.

Altered Carbon in a day from now. Fuck yeah.

Movies recap for me, I watched IT and Blade Runner 2049 finally, both are extremely good. IT is easily one of the best adaptations of a movie so far, and it’s mostly because they are doing 2 movies with the Loser’s Club being younger and older. Blade Runner 2049 was extremely compelling and told a story that you thought would be predictable which flips your expectation of where it’s all gonna go on its head. Well worth picking up both on blu ray.

I also have Dawn and War of the planet of the Apes movies to check out, as well as the special features, and it looks to be entertaining at least.

I listened to the audiobooks for Metro 2035, Mass Effect Andromeda: Initiation, and I am Legend. Metro 2035 by Dmitry Glukhovsky was very good with extremely good narration by Rupert Degas. Mass Effect: Initiation by N. K. Jemisin and Mac Walters was decent and had good narration by Fryda Wolff. I am Legend by Richard Matheson was extremely good, it still one of my favorite short story/novellas, and is narrated pretty well by Robertson Dean.

Metro 2035 was really a good story and a good ending to the Metro Trilogy, and it told a compelling story with numerous interesting characters. I thought I had an idea where the story was gonna go but switched it up on me in a good way that ended the trilogy and the story itself in a satisfying way.

Mass Effect: Initiation gave a pretty good back story on Cora, and did a lot to smooth over and explain her hero-worship of the Asari, and also told a decent story that managed to explain my A.I. is so feared in the mass effect universe rather than the all the hamfisted and handwaving attempts/explanations in the original trilogy. It’s pretty shitty we will never get a good explanation of the Benefactor and Jien Garson situation in Andromeda as DLC, however it may be addressed in The Lost Ark novel later this year. I liked both Andromeda novels, and after listening to Initiation, I pre-ordered the Lost Ark, which has a release date of Oct 1, 2018.

I’ve started Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, the narration sounds like it was recorded by an old tape deck and an old cheap microphone but so far I’m interested in it. The narration itself isn’t bad, it’s the recording quality that seems pretty old, like some one telling you a story over a the phone.

After Snow Crash, I have another Neal Stephenson story to check out, Anathem. It’s over 30hours long according to my audible app, and I prefer longer stories like that. I’m looking forward to checking it out.

I’ve read a lot of fantasy last year and it’s refreshing to switch it up to a bunch of good sci-fi stories. In my backlog, that I expect to get at least one more listened to this month, is Alien: Out of the Shadows, The X-Files: Cold Cases, and Sandman Slim.

I finished Metro: The Last Light and thought it was pretty good, I managed to get the redemption ending which was pretty satisfying to get. I had to switch up how I play games usually, which was stealthily killing everyone and every thing that dares to cross or impede my path to trying to get through area’s mostly undetected using mostly non lethal means.

So Blizzard announces Battle for Azeroth pre-orders are available, announce a tentative release date, and unlock a few of the Allied Races for leveling, all on the same day.

That basically sums it up for me.

Now I’m leveling a Void Elf Rogue, despite already having a rogue, and a Light forged Draenei Warrior. That was on the only thing that would have brought me to playing WoW again. I’m leveling for the Heritage armor. I probably won’t play those characters, I will most likely race change my current Rogue to Void Elf though.

It basically means my plans to finish Rise of the Tomb Raider, Uncharted 3 (about 75% through now), Far Cry Primal, Splinter Cell Black list, Dishonored, and numerous other games I had my sights on finishing are on hold until I level those allied races to 110 for that sweet sweet Heritage Armor. It also means I will hold off on picking up Wolfenstein 2, Prey, Dishonored 2 and its DLC, Assassin’s Creed: Origins, Uncharted 4, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Bloodborne.


Take what is offered and that must sometimes be enough.

— Richard K. Morgan, Altered Carbon.

The Netflix adaptation of Altered Carbon is out tomorrow, or if you are like me you are probably gonna watch a couple of episodes at midnight, and I cannot wait to fucking watch it. Before I jump into anything, let me elaborate on somethings I go through before watching, reading, listening, or playing anything with the slightest amount of hype or even the tiniest bit of excitement and interest: Manage Expectation, adaptations means it won’t always be page for page to screen, Adaptations means something will be expanded or cut or merged, Leave your Bullshit out of it, and Things don’t have to be DA BES EVAR and anything else is failure or means it sucks. I just wanna see how it’s adapted if it has the feeling of the book and the spirit of the characters. Altered Carbon, and the Takeshi Kovacs Trilogy, is easily in my top 5 favorite books.

I’m hoping it will be received good and it will mean more scifi shows and movies because people didn’t seem to like the excellent Blade Runner 2049.

Things I’m Looking forward too: Red Dead Redemption 2, it’s been delayed but has a definite release date which is October 26 2018. Monster Hunter World, waiting for dat PC release. Black Panther, it looks awesome but I’m gonna wait for it on blu ray because I prefer watching movies at home now.


What I am playing/listening to/watching/reading/looking forward to for January 2018, Also a recap of 2017 for me.

So, another year gone by. Rather than do a year in a review or the top 10 whatevers of the year, I want to just do a short write-up on what I liked in the year and some of the things I didn’t like.

I’ll start with audiobooks as that has over taken gaming for me in 2017 and is trending to do the same in 2018.

  • My best and favorite series I listened to in 2017: The Black Company Series by Glen Cook. The entire series was very good, with top-notch narration, excellent characters, and a great over arching epic story. Honorable Mentions: The Broken Earth Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin, The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer, The Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowski, The Metro Trilogy by Dmitry Glukhovsky. Technically, I haven’t completed the Metro Trilogy yet, I have just started the final book in the trilogy but I am enjoying it very much so far.
  • My favorite audiobook of the year is easily Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. Excellent narration, great story telling, and compelling characters. The BBC adaptation is also extremely good, listen to it here (it should be up for another couple weeks at the time of this post.) Honorable Mentions: It by Stephen King, Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky, The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi, Strange Weather by Joe Hill, and the The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher.
  • My favorite audiobook released in 2017 is another Neil Gaiman novel, Norse Mythology. Honorable Mentions: The Lady of the Lake by Andrzej Sapkowski, The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin, The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi, and Strange Weather by Joe Hill.
  • My favorite audio drama of the year is easily Anansi Boys from the BBC. Honorable Mention: World of Warcraft – A Thousand Years War.

My to be listened to list is much less than it was at the start of 2017, which was something like close to 10 books, I have only Metro 2035 by Dmitry Glukhovsky, Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey, Mass Effect: Initiation by N. K. Jemisin and Mac Walters, Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, I am Legend by Richard Matheson and Alien: Out of the Shadows. All of which I expect to start and finish this month.

I kept my 2 audiobooks per month, some times more but never less, for a couple of years now. I’ve listened to 43 audiobooks this year (30ish or so that are new or new to me, and about 13 “re-listens” of older favorites.) I will keep this going for as long as I can.

In 2018, the audiobooks I’m looking forward to are: Brief Cases by Jim Butcher, and hopefully Peace Talks by Jim Butcher or the second book in the series for the Cinder Spires by Jim Butcher, Mass Effect Andromeda: The Lost Ark by Catherynne M. Valente, World of Warcraft: Before the Storm by Christie Golden

Gaming wise, World of Warcraft still dominates my playtime. However, I did play a lot of Mass Effect Andromeda (120 hours), which leads me to my first thing I didn’t like about 2017. EA killing the Mass Effect Series, and then shutting down Visceral Games. Andromeda was not a bad game, it was actually a good game with some flaws. It sucks that Andromeda could have been a good starting point for a new trilogy or series for Mass Effect but it had to check all the boxes that EA likes to push out in their games, which is tacked on multiplayer, lootboxes, and DLC for fucking multiplayer. I’m certain that if the game was focused on a decent single-player experience it would have been a bit more polished at release. The Mass Effect Andromeda novels are decent as well, it’s too bad that they killed it early with no single-player DLC for some glaring unresolved story plot points like the benefactor and Jien Garson thing as well as Quarian Arc.

I still have quite a few games to get through in my backlog, which I will get around to as the time spent playing WoW dies down because it is near the end of the expansion. I have Rise of the Tomb Raider, Dishonored, Far cry 3 (which I am like 90% done and I should just finish it), Far cry Blood Dragon, Far cry Primal, the Crysis Trilogy, Splinter Cell: Black list, Firewatch, Furi, Icey, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, Doom 2016, Wolfenstien: The New Order. I bought a couple of more games during the christmas/new years sales: Mass Effect 1, Mass Effect 2, Dead Cells, Nex Machina. I also plan to pick up Horizon Zero Dawn, Uncharted 4, and Uncharted: Lost Legacy for the ps4 in 2018. For the PC, I plan to pick up Dishonored 2 and its DLC, Prey, Wolfenstien: The New Colossus, Battlechasers. Also in 2018, the game I am most looking forward to, as well as picking up, Red Dead Redemption 2. Other games in that may be released in 2018 that I am looking forward to picking up are: Metro: Exodus, Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition, and Darksiders III.

I am also about halfway through Metro 2033 and looking forward to finishing it and immediately moving onto Metro: The Last Light.

A lot of good TV shows debuted in 2017. My favorites being: American Gods, Westworld, and The Last Kingdom season 2. If I had to pick only one favorite, it would be American Gods because it is an extremely good adaptation so far of the books with some very good things added in or changed to be more compelling.

Things I’m looking forward to watching in 2018: Altered Carbon on Netflix, Jessica Jones season 2 on Netflix, Westworld Season 2. I am not to sure there will be a second season of American Gods because the driving force behind the excellent adaptation to the small screen left the show, although Neil Gaiman is staying on despite the departure of Bryan Fuller.

There are a couple of things on netflix I will probably check out this year: Peaky Blinders, Hap and Leonard, and Stranger Things season 2.

Some excellent movies came out in 2017 and some that came on in 2016 that I was late watching because I prefer to watch movies at home on blu ray now.

  • My favorite movie of 2017 is easily Logan, it was such a good movie and a great finale for Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart. Honorable Mentions: Wind River, John Wick 2, Arrival, Atomic Blonde, Rogue One, Kong: Skull Island, Split, Dunkirk. I will be late to the part for IT and Blade Runner 2049 because I will not get to see either until they come out on blu ray later this month. Up until I watched Logan, Arrival was my favorite movie and to me it is a very close second.
  • My favorite original movie in 2017 is Wind River, it is extremely good with a very compelling story with a lot of emotion. If you haven’t seen it, fucking check it out. Honorable Mention: Dunkirk, Bright.
  • Movies I’m looking forward to in 2018: IT,  Blade Runner 2049, Sicario 2: Soldado, Deadpool 2, The Shape of Water, Black Panther, Annihilation, The Big Sick, Get Out.

This month I will be watching Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, War for the Planet of the Apes, IT, Blade Runner 2049, and Hell or High Water.

I hope you had a good 2017, and that you have an even better 2018.

Happy new years.

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

Another year gone by. Reminds me of a quote from American Gods “Every hour wounds. The last one kills.”

Anyways, lots of stuff this month and some updates.

Audiobooks first, I just finished Area X – The Southern Reach Trilogy – Annihilation, Authority, Acceptance by Jeff VaderMeer narrated by Carolyn McCormick, Bronson Pinchot, and Xe Sands. I enjoyed the story, narration, characters, and the writing of this trilogy. The story and writing were very good and I enjoyed that some things were left unresolved or unexplained, the only real comparison (and a poor one at that) is the Reapers from Mass Effect that once their purpose and origin were explained and detailed they became way less interesting and compelling. Area X and it’s purpose are way more compelling as a story element being mysterious and having some parts of it unexplained. I admire the decision to not reveal everything as it made for a much more compelling story. The characters are also well done and I enjoyed that they were only referred to as titles, code names, or nick names such as The Director, The Biologist, Control, and Ghost Bird. The narration was also good, with 3 narrators it some times is kinda jumbled and jarring but it served the story and tone of the characters to have separate narration. I can’t wait to see the adaptation, it looks promising.

I have a pretty big backlog of audiobooks to get through, roughly equal to last year, 11 or so: The Metro Trilogy by Dmitry Glukhovsky, Strange Weather by Joe Hill, I Am Legend by Richard Matheson, Alien: Out of the Shadows, Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey, Watership Down by Richard Adams, Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien, The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper.

Two more books will be added to that list around christmas, it will most likely be Mass Effect: Initiation, and either Tigana or The Lions of Al-Rassan, or it could be something on a whim suggested/recommended from r/fantasy or my audible wishlist.

I will probably start the ball rolling with Strange Weather followed by the Metro Trilogy then Sandman Slim or I am Legend.

I picked up a pretty nice DAC/AMP combo, SMSL SD793-II, to drive my DT990 premium 250 ohm headphones , which the DAC/AMP is now connected to my PS4 and PC. I mainly use it for gaming, movies, and music (in that order), for that purpose it is an extremely good set up but I am going to add a few things to it. I decided against a sound bar set up and went with a 2.1 set up instead. I will be connecting the line outs from my SMSL SD793-II to a Micca Origain (simple, not the one with built-in DAC) and a set of speakers that I have handy. I will also add a subwoofer in the next few months to make a 2.1 set up, which I will probably use for music, movies, and the PS4 (in that order.)

I did not go with a USB DAC/AMP because I wanted something that did not need drivers installed and a TOSLink and a coaxial digital would allow me to connect my PC using a toslink to coaxial digital converter and the PS4 using the TOSlink. It is working extremely well for me and was well worth the money.

I picked up some blu rays this week, Atomic Blonde, Valerian, The Dark Tower and Wind River. I have not yet watched every one so far but I did rip and convert them so I can watch them any time on my PC. I’m using MakeMKV and Handbrake, which is very easy to set up. I’m using MakeMKV enough to consider just buying it even though it is currently free while in Beta. It’s easy to use and extremely useful, well worth the money if I do end up buying it.

Gaming this month is basically WoW, the last half of Uncharted 3, and probably (finally really) Rise of the Tomb Raider, as well as Total War: Warhammer. I have about 15 days left in my sub to WoW and I’m at that point where I am thinking of taking a break from it soon, within this month or the next.

WoW is still fun and accessible, especially with the Mythic Plus dungeons. You can be extremely competitive once you get your 4 piece tier set (which can be as low as raid finder gear, or normal) and everything else from Mythic plus.

This is a super late Edit here:

Looking forward to It, Dunkirk, and Blade Runner 2049 releases on blu ray this month and next month.

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

Only 2 more months left in the year, it’s gone by pretty fast and I already know what the best series I listened to this year is Glen Cook’s Black Company series. The narration, which changes a few times, is very good. The overall story is great. The characters are excellent, and for it me it was my favorite part of the series. Croaker, One-eye, Goblin, Murgen, Raven, Lady, Sleepy and really most of the company are all enjoyable and well written characters. So far, it’s the Black Company best thing I’ve listened to this year, easily surpassing N.K. Jemisin’s well written and very good Broken Earth Trilogy and more enjoyable than Bernard Cornwell’s extremely entertaining and compelling Saxon Stories/Last Kingdom series.

This month I’ll be listening to Jeff VanderMeer’s Area X: Southern Reach Trilogy, The Metro Trilogy by Dmitry Glukhovsky, and Mass Effect: Initiation by N. K. Jemisin and Mac Walters. I am also looking forward to reading the recently announced Mass Effect Book called the Last Ark as it is supposed  to resolve the very loose ends of the Quarian ark and I am hoping to at least address, and possibly resolve the Benefactor and the Jien Garson murder story line.

I am also looking forward to picking up and listening to Strange Weather by Joe Hill, Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay, and I also have Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey to listen to as well which I will probably listen to after the Metro Trilogy by Dmitry Glukhovsky.

I picked up a cool game called Castle Story on Steam for about 20$ CAD, it’s like a lite RTS with minecraft like elements. I like games like this because I can just put on an audiobook or a podcast and play it while it scratches my lite rts/crafting itch.

I am also currently playing Total War: Warhammer and learning to play it, instead of playing it like Civ or SC2. I will probably pick up the sequel when it’s on sale.

On the topic of gaming, I was extremely tempted to pick up Castlevania Lords of Shadow Ultimate Edition, Castlevania Lords of Shadow 2 , and Castlevania Mirror of Fate as they were all on sale during the halloween steam sale for near historic lows. However, I did not pick any of them up as I already have an enormous backlog of games that I am still slowly making my way through. I will possibly pick them up during the new years/christmas sales. At the moment though, I am extremely tempted to pick up Wolfenstein: The New Order and Wolfenstein: The New Colossus, you should also add Prey and Dishonored 2 to that as well.

I started playing Doom and I was extremely impressed with how well it runs while looking extremely good because of that I was why I was tempted to pick up the new Wolfenstien game. The game runs extremely well, looks great, the gameplay is very fun, and the soundtrack actually fits the game and environment perfectly. It’s well worth the money and definitely worth picking up when on sale.

I have also, finally, started working my way though the Crysis Trilogy. I’m looking forward to playing Crysis 2 as it is written by Richard K Morgan, author of one of my favorite all time series, The Takeshi Kovacs trilogy.

I think I’ll pick up a couple of PS4 games this christmas, probably Horizon Zero Dawn and Uncharted 4.

For blurays I am looking to pick up this month are: Atomic Blonde (November 14, 2017), Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets ( November 21, 2017), The Dark Tower, and Wind River (November 14, 2017.) Dunkirk which is scheduled for release on December 19, 2017 is something I am also looking forward to picking up. It and Bladerunner 2049 do not have release dates but I am definitely looking forward to watching those on Bluray.

I am looking forward to a couple of things in 2018: Altered Carbon on netflix, Red Dead Redemption 2, and The Last of Us 2.


MASS EFFECT: ANDROMEDA Update from the Studio


This is pretty disappointing, I bought the deluxe version for 90$ CAD and enjoyed the story, gameplay and exploration but with the thought there would be some kind of single player dlc especially with the the way the benefactor and Jien Garson thing was left unresolved as well as Quarian Arc.

Any future Mass Effect, and Dragon Age, games will be strictly wait for a sale now for me. Which is a real shame because I enjoyed Andromeda a lot and I also liked the novel Nexus Uprising by Jason M Hough and K.C. Alexander, I was really hoping that Andromeda would be the starting point of a new series of games. I’ll probably end up picking up the next novel, Mass Effect: Initiation by N.K. Jemisin, mostly because I’ve liked her writing and storytelling in her Broken Earth Trilogy.

So scratch another developer off my list of buying games at launch. Blizzard, CD Projekt Red, and Bethesda is all that’s left for me now.