Systematic Chaos by Dream Theater (2007)

Systematic Chaos is Dream Theater’s ninth album and their first under Roadrunner Records. The album marked a slight departure from their previous form after keyboardist Jordan Rudess joined the band on 1999’s Metropolis Part 2, as the four albums that precede Systematic Chaos had been concept albums in some sense. Though guitarist John Petrucci and drummer Mike Portnoy had produced every album from Metropolis onward to Portnoy’s departure, I feel that Systematic Chaos marks the beginning of Dream Theater’s weaker catalog in the latter part of their career, as they had possibly gotten a little too comfortable in their own style. Where Train of Thought and Octavarium had artistic restrictions that promoted creative songwriting – Train of Thought being one of their heaviest albums and Octavarium‘s songs proceeding in ascending key order – the seven tracks on Systematic Chaos lack a consistent vision or unifying theme, which some had come to expect from Dream Theater. Individually I feel that most songs off of this album are about average quality for Dream Theater, excluding the 26 minute epic “In the Presence of Enemies.” Continue reading “Systematic Chaos by Dream Theater (2007)”

Legend of the Five Rings End of Game Impressions and Follow-up

part of an ongoing series of articles highlighting the player side of the FFG Legend of the Five Rings Fifth edition beta. For a GM perspective check out Meatyogre’s articles.

My group finished the starter campaign for the beta a few weeks ago. The verdict? I love this system. It delivered on everything I had wanted from it; the drama, the action, the politics, and the role playing. When Fantasy Flight Games release a physical book I am going to buy it for sure. I like this system much more than the Fantasy Flight Star Wars system. Continue reading “Legend of the Five Rings End of Game Impressions and Follow-up”

Clear Choices L5R beta Impressions

Clear Choices

Legend of the Five Rings Role Playing Game Open beta First Impressions

an ongoing series of articles highlighting the GM side of the FFG Legend of the Five Rings Fifth edition beta. For a player perspective check out Feldia’s articles.

After a few weeks of anxious anticipation and checking to make sure that my email had indeed been submitted I have finally been able to rip into the hefty beta document. I have participated in a few RPG betas before (Modiphius Star Trek, D&D Next) this one really surprised me by the scope of the content we were getting access to. Overall I like Fantasy Flight and their RPGs, played a few years of the Star Wars proprietary dice system and have come to really admire the things that system does well. I’m  using several other games as touchstones here among them L5R 4e, the earlier version of the game by Alderac Entertainment before Fantasy Flight purchased the L5R property. Fourth Edition L5R is an astounding game to me, it stands head and shoulders above many of its contemporaries by encouraging character drama and interpersonal conflict without derailing its own intentions. It is the delicate interplay of the fatalistic world and the particular type of  tangible samurai drama that creates a really fun play space for all involved. After many rumours about this game using the FFG Genesys/Star Wars dice system I was cautiously optimistic, below in a kind of slapdash order are my thoughts on the beta.

Continue reading “Clear Choices L5R beta Impressions”

Legend of the Five Rings First Impressions

This is a couple months late. It has been sitting on my laptop as I was super busy with school. I will be posting a followup to this soon.

Carry on

-Feldia

Around two weeks ago the first edition of the Legend of the Five Rings 5th edition beta was released. Legend of the Five Rings is a super Asian inspired setting that is basically Japanese and Chinese history and mythology on steroids.
This beta is my first experience with LoTFR and so far as a group we have made our characters and given the pdf a full read. My first impressions have been very positive. The system uses a modified Fantasy Flight Star Wars rpg system with the special dice which I love the idea of but I hate how expensive they are. To explain instead of using a d20 system they use dice with different symbols, you roll based on your stats and each affects the roll in ways that are different from just success or fail. I want to see it in action before making a firmer judgment. Continue reading “Legend of the Five Rings First Impressions”

North American League of Legends Championship Series Power Rankings

or

NA LCS Power Rankings

As a fun exercise, I’m going to try to predict the placings for the newly franchised teams for the spring split of the NA LCS. The ratings will only be for the regular season, since we won’t see any games until January 20th it’s too hard to predict how teams will perform in playoffs. Especially with the change from Best of Three to Best of One, this season could be a lot more volatile in the standings before playoffs, so the rankings will mostly be based off of how strong I feel the roster looks. Continue reading “North American League of Legends Championship Series Power Rankings”

Best Albums of 2017

This year instead of a top 10 I’m going to break down my favourite picks from a few different genres. I’ll give a short review for why I have an album in each spot, and why it’s rated higher or lower than others on the list. Keep in mind this is my opinion, so it’s based more on how much I enjoyed the album rather than critically assessing the artistic merit of the music.

Continue reading “Best Albums of 2017”

Nier: Automata Brief Thoughts

About a month and a half ago I bought Nier Automata when it was on sale. I had heard goods, I loved the look of the characters, the visuals, and with Platinum involved I knew the gameplay would be good. It got across the board glowing reviews. So I pulled the trigger and got it. One of the best decisions I have made, as of right now I have put 41 hours into the game and am on track to 100% it. Continue reading “Nier: Automata Brief Thoughts”

11 Lesser Known Songs from Video Games

I love listening to video game music and in the interest of sharing some of these lesser known songs I have put together a list of eleven songs in no particular order that I love. All these songs are from games that are not known for their soundtracks, are a different version of the song, were a bonus release, or have been overshadowed by other songs on the soundtrack. I have no musical training so all of this is based off of what sounds pleasing to my ear. Continue reading “11 Lesser Known Songs from Video Games”

Fire Emblem Fates Thoughts and Impressions

About three weeks ago I finished my play through of Fire Emblem Birthright on the 3ds. I am going to be writing my thoughts not just about Birthright but about Fates as a whole using what I know about Conquest and Revelations from reading plot synopsis and forums. Going into Fates I had knowledge of the several controversies that hovered around the game at the time of release such as the accusations of gay conversion in regards to one character, the problems with the localization, and the removal of head patting mini game. The overall consensus online being that FE Fates was trash. So with that context out of the way I will continue.

Heavy spoilers ahead Continue reading “Fire Emblem Fates Thoughts and Impressions”