Editorial, Feature, Gaming, Video Games

Alessio & The Beastly Backlog: Home

Alessio & The Beastly Backlog is an excuse for me to be held accountable for completing my massive video game backlog. These articles are a hybrid of experiential reflection, informal critical reaction to the content, and a springboard for discussion on all of our social channels. Plus, I like talking about games and what better way to kill two birds with one stone?

This series is fair game for spoiler territory, and so with that being said, if you haven’t completed the game in question and want to have a completely unhindered experience, please refrain from reading any further.

This week: Home, available and played on Steam.

Editorial, Feature, Gaming, Video Games

Alessio & The Beastly Backlog: Shovel Knight

Welcome to another entry in my on-going series: Alessio & The Beastly Backlog. Last week we talked about The Astronaut’s The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, which was a first-person exploration / crime-solving simulator game with a whole lot of story to drive the player forward. This week we have the opposite type of experience in a myriad of ways: Shovel Knight, a fun side-scrolling adventure game more akin to Zelda II and Megaman that has very little narrative other than just enough to get you motivated to get through its beautifully designed stages and boss encounters.

Feature, Video Games

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Review | Metal Gear Tuesdays

The day that all of the haters, skeptical fans, and Bayonetta fans have been waiting for is here, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is here! But is Revengeance the sharpest tool in the drawer? Come on, I’ll feed you, baby birds!

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360)
Plays Like: Devil May Cry and this cutscene from Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots had a baby.
Difficulty: Mid, with a well paced learning curve.  

Since the original announcement of Rising‘s existence as a spin-off series, I’ve been eagerly anticipating more Metal Gear, knowing well that the spin-off would be a twist on the traditional MG gameplay made me all the more excited. I’ve never been a huge fan of Cyborg Raiden Mk. II of MGS4 fame (preferring his weak and “normal” version from MGS2 personally), but I love me some Japanese hack-n-slash action games, especially from the boys over at Platinum Games.

For those of you that saw my gameplay time with the demo, you probably remember my fears about the combat system getting tiresome over time, or the lack of other weapons hampering the main title, well, all those fears were for naught! Rising is kick-ass, fast-paced, and a hell of a lot of fun! Crank up some cheese metal and let’s get to dissecting this game!

Revengeance starts off with a brief cutscene and then that’s it, the game starts and never really slows down. One second you’re fighting a gigantic Metal Gear RAY, much larger than any other RAY in a Metal Gear game, then you’re on a train fighting Jetstream Sam, Raiden’s rival and Antonio Bandaras impersonator. The game feels like Zone of the Enders, in the way that you swim around the game world drifting in and out of battles, except with loads more gore and a much more over-the-top mentality. It’s like every idea that was thrown out by the writing and conceptual team just stuck, regardless of how ridiculous it was, and it just works so well.

Honestly, I wasn’t sure if the game just was less ridiculous than I expected or if the game just presents the player with its view of “normal” so quickly that it just all feels right, but the game never really felt as corny as it really should have. I mean, the characters are all ridiculous and super stereotypes, and the plot seems to bend reality and the possible at every step of the way to make room for Raiden’s quest to be the best bad-ass to ever fight for justice and peace, but it’s never to such an absurd level that it makes you feel weird about it as a player. The world sets expectations and follows them, but not in a mundane way. It’s odd… like Adam West’s depiction of Batman, it all just feels… right. Really right.

And the gameplay fits just the same. It’s all just super fluid, fleshed out, simple yet complex, and so addicting, even if it doesn’t seem like it would be at first. Revengeance is the first game this year that I’ve stopped playing and craved playing it more while I was away. It just all makes sense. Platinum Games really pulled a number with this title, from the gameplay and performance to the pacing of the boss fights and reward system, all in a little over two years. Which brings me to my next point: this game is tough as nails as you progress into New Game+/higher difficulty territory. The tutorial level, in a sense, acts as a gut-check for all players, even in New Game+ modes, striping you of your power-ups and add-ons and forcing you to rely on your instincts and fighting mechanic expertise every time you start a new game. The game hits you with uneven odds sometimes, but every fight, besides the final boss fight, is fair. Nothing beats the feeling that you get after you’ve overcome a giant group of enemies, ranging from bigger bads to smaller foot soldiers, by parrying tons of attacks and chaining together blade-mode kills. Oh… sweet, sweet blade mode. Mmmmmmmmmmmm.

Overall, if you’re not into purely action based titles, or don’t like gore and massive amounts of violence in your video games, this one isn’t for you. However, if you miss a simpler time in video games, when the mechanics of a title were fairly easy to learn, but the mastering of the mechanics took hours and hours of practice and culminated in a triumphant endorphin release of glory as you destroyed the game’s big bads, then strap yourself in. This game is a blast! It’s a combination of the giant number of unlockables, VR missions, extra difficulty settings, enjoyable pacing, fast and addictive gameplay, and promise for actually interesting sounding DLC (involving playing as Jetstream Sam, some missions as Bladewolf, Raiden’s canine robo companion, and having a talking Solid Snake wooden sword) that make this game such a treat. Some folks may shy away from the $60 price-tag, but I definitely think that where the six hour or so campaign leaves you hanging as far as time x dollar spent, the number of extras and replay value more than make up for it.


– A new Metal Gear game, and hopefully the start to a nice spin-off series or series of spin-offs.

– Goofy, over-the-top, storyline and music actually make this whole experience coalesce in a way that I didn’t think was possible.

– Super fluid, thought requiring, minimalist combat that is also extremely addicting

– Unlockables in a modern video game?! YES!


– It ends.

– PS3 exclusive DLC

– Gray Fox Skin and Fox Blade only available through Gamestop pre-order


Controller Freaks 11: Sam’s Bad Day

Sam, Jordan, Aaron, and Alessio are back once more for some random tomfoolery…and probably one of our most racist segments yet! Boy howdy. In this episode, we discuss:

  • What’s eating Sam?
  • Seg-yous? Seg-wheys?
  • SuperGNES: Android’s premier every game emulator
  • Dead Space 3
  • Racist WiiU news
  • Sony’s console follies (and Alessio’s Vita dilemma)
  • Call of Reparations: Black Suffrage
  • Next-gen used game locks
  • Final Fantasy XIV is poop
  • SportsTi.me
  • SimCity
  • Porn in your fridge (oh no…)
  • B-List superheroes that aren’t actually B-List superheroes
  • The GeekTi.me complaints department
  • Giving Gordon Freeman a voice
  • Aaron thinks Gabe Newell is gaming’s George Lucas
  • We come the closest we’ve ever come to murdering each other

You still with us? Good. Congratulations on an 11th job well done. Hope to see you for the next episode (though probably not next week. We’re skipping next week).

Controller Freaks (Episode 11)


(Credit for the Atari controller goes here.)


Controller Freaks 5: Math Effect

We’ve survived the end of the world, we’ve survived Christmas, and we survived over a month of this show. Now, Sam, Jordan, and Alessio (but not Aaron, because *pfbbbt*) are back for round 5. We think we might actually be getting the hang of this podcast thing. Too bad no one listens. Today, we discuss:

  • FTL: Faster Than Light
  • Secret pedestals
  • How we buy each other games we don’t play
  • The Metal Gear series
  • The Kingdom Hearts series (as if 3.5 wasn’t enough)
  • .hack and Jordan’s dumb people math
  • Cluefinders and JumpStart (yes, seriously)
  • Adventure Time’s game is actually excellent
  • How to spend Amazon gift money
  • The future of digital games
  • The “Eighth Generation” of games
  • The World Ends With You
  • Mysogeny (but only a little bit)
  • How GTAV and Mass Effect 3 cause shootings, apparently
  • The “Mother” Demographic
And for the record, our headquarters was relocated to a cave. An actual honest to goodness cave. We’re currently exploring new location options.


Controller Freaks (Episode 5)


(Credit for the Atari controller goes here.)


Controller Freaks 4: Obligatory Christmas Show

I’d make a “T’was the night before Christmas” joke here, but there are two too many in the actual show. This is GeekTi.me’s Christmas Special, wherein we try too hard to inject Christmas into something that really doesn’t need Christmas in it! HOW FUN! Points of discussion include:

  • Our favorite Final Fantasy summons
  • Arkham Horror
  • An unfortunate discussion about ESRB’s K-A rating
  • Rage! Game of the Year!
  • A special Quality Christmas poem (by Sam and Jordan)
  • Our Christmas Gaming memories
  • Potential Half-Life announcements
  • Our worst ever gaming related Christmas presents
  • Spandex
Be sure to stay tuned after the outro for something…special.

Controller Freaks (Episode 4)


(Credit for the Atari controller goes here.)


Controller Freaks 3.5: Kingdom Heart Attack

Have you ever wanted to hear a Kingdom Hearts fan awkwardly attempt to explain the convoluted story of Kingdom Hearts? If so, you’re in luck. If not…I am so sorry. Since the crew got all scrambled because of The Hobbit, we weren’t able to record on our regular night. So with Jordan sick and Aaron and Alessio off being Italian somewhere…the burden of time wasting fell to me. Now you have a whole hours worth of Kingdom Hearts plot to listen to before Kingdom Hearts III comes out.

Who am I kidding? Kingdom Hearts III is never coming out.

There are a few “ums,” a lot of “uhs,” and quite a few “what am I doings,” but I hope you like it. And if not…I am so sorry. You will receive a full refund. We’ll be back next week with Episode 4, but until then…good luck.

And yes SPOILERS for every game in the Kingdom Hearts series, if that wasn’t immediately apparent.

Controller Freaks (Episode 3.5)


(Credit for the Atari controller goes here.)


Controller Freaks 3: Persona 4 Golden Shower

This week, Jordan, Sam, Aaron, and Alessio discuss cool beans awesome things. The guys discuss:

  • How we totally write things
  • Persona 4 Golden
  • LittleBigPlanet Karting
  • How no one will let us forget about Jimmie Johnson
  • Skyrim with Guns (FarCry 3)
  • SkyBlackopsHalo 2 The Sequel
  • Nintendogs and also Cats
  • Our Top 3 Games of the Year
  • PetaMon
  • Our most anticipated games of 2013
  • HD Remakes
  • Game Character Ball Punching
  • Reviews from the Future


Controller Freaks (Episode 3)


(Credit for the Atari controller goes here.)


Controller Freaks 2: Halo is a Cool Guy

This week, Jordan, Sam, and Aaron discuss a plethora of things, none of them being Mass Effect. Discussion includes: Need For Speed: Most Wanted, More Halo 4, Lego Games and Epic Mickey 2, the Wii U, how to make Fallout New Vegas more challenging, how to make a successful video game movie, and how to break the internet with Jordan Carroll.

Controller Freaks (Episode 2)

And for those who care, pertinent episodes of GeekTi.me Players are here:

Alone in the Dark and Jimmie Johnson.

(Credit for the Atari controller goes here.)


Controller Freaks 1: It Begins

Join Jordan (Ploogle), Sam (DeadpoolSkye), and [REDACTED] (Yoshifett) for a discussion about games you won’t find anywhere else! This episode: Mass Effect, Hitman, Halo 4, and more.

Note: Jordan’s audio was recorded improperly and could definitely sound better. Those responsible have been sacked.

Controller Freaks (Episode 1)

(Credit for the Atari controller goes here.)