5.1.13

The Year is Dead, Long Live the Year!

Happy New Year!

Yes, we didn't die this year. Rejoice.
My goodness, it's another year. From multiple reports of the end of the world being nigh, to the controversial presidential election, to me being unable to do anything with online video games except for World of Tanks and Dota 2, I'll go ahead and say it was a good year, albeit rough. A new year brings a new set of resolutions that will most likely be broken before January is over. In an attempt to abide by my "do more blagspot blagging and not that tumboor/faecbook trash", as well as attempt to do a better job than last year, here is  "Best of 2012" blagpost. Enjoy.

Best of 2012 - Gaming

[haha noep]

As I said earlier, this year was rather rough for me regarding video gaming. Hell, I couldn't even sit through this year's Call of Duty, and I always find time to play that piece of garbage. I'll most definitely try to finish it, so I can ramble about it in a future blagpost. World of Tanks continues to enthrall me, and while I've been tempted to throw down cash for some gold/premium tanks, I still have yet to do some. Yay for FTP games, I guess.

As far as Traditional Games go, Magic The Gathering's Return to Ravnica block was a return to the "fun" in what I felt was becoming a very stale Standard environment. Now, all we need is Thragtusk to go away, and I might start playing Standard again. Maybe. On the board game front, I bought Munchkin, which is awesome, as well as some other board games. Talisman caught my eye, and is an amazing addition to anyone's collection of board games.

Best of 2012 - Music

A selection from my notes.txt file that I do all this in.
A challenge that I personally undertook this year was to actually list albums that I listened to that were released this year. This (I hoped) was to assist in my "Best of Year X" posts that I now do. Without further ado, here is my top 5 for music for 2012. All of these albums are 5/5 stars for me, and are honestly ranked by my personal preference. I would recommend any and all of them to anyone willing to try them out. The link in the header is a link to the entire album in YouTube, while the links at the end of each section are selections from the album, also in YouTube.

5. Paradise Lost - Tragic Idol

Badass album art? Check.
Paradise Lost's thirteenth release, released in April, showed that after thirteen albums, the British doom group still has the ability to make an album that is enjoyable. Excellent solos, great lyrics and vocals. An all around great album. Highlights: Crucify, In This We Dwell, Tragic Idol, Worth Fighting For

 4. Antimatter - Fear of A Unique Identity

Embracing a lie/Got stuck on rewind/Requiem in constant replay
We continue our tour of the UK with Antimatter's fifth debut album, released in November. Singer/songwriter Mick Moss describes the album as "a concept album that explores the mimics in society that would rather blend in with the masses rather than stand as a unique entity for fear of being singled out. This becomes a problem if the masses themselves are actually on the wrong path spiritually and ideologically." Personally, I haven't enjoyed an Antimatter album since Planetary Confinement, and this had the same ambiance about it, just.... darker. And that's why this makes my top five. Highlights: Fear of A Unique Identity, Here Come the Men, Uniformed & Black

3.  Syven - Corpus Christi

36:26. In one track. Wish it was longer.
My love for the kantele brings me to the newest release by the Finnish duo Syven. Inspired by an old English carol, Syven creates a symphony of sorts, blending their unique shamanistic music with what they felt was a proper interpretation of Medieval-era choral music. Personally, I think it's genius. The piece is loosely broken up into four movements, one of them being the actual Corpus Christi carol. The song also comes with a sweet video which is meant to be viewed as you listen to the track (this is included in the YouTube link listed above). Highlight: Movement II - Corpus Christi (6:50 -13:20)

2. Sabaton - Carolus Rex (SWE)

To the skiiiies, see Carolus rise!
As is customary when dealing with unadulterated manliness like the 2012 Sabaton album, you need to understand something that made this release different from the others: they did the entire album in their native Swedish as well. And it's better than the English version. It's an excellent telling of the story of King Karl XII, better known as Carolus Rex. As such, I put both complete versions of selections above and below for you to listen/compare. Highlights: The Lion From the North (Lejonet från Norden), A Lifetime of War (En Livstid I Krig), Carolus Rex (Carolus Rex), Poltava (Poltava

Album of the Year 2012: Woods of Ypres - Woods V: Grey Skies & Electric Light

One of the best swansongs I've ever heard.
To be perfectly honest, I had a very difficult time choosing my Album of the Year. Even now, I'm still thinking about whether or not I made the correct decision in declaring Woods of Ypres' final album to be my AotY 2012. This album was -as most WoY albums are- full of emotions. Walls of emotions even. The band died when David Gold was killed in a tragic car accident in November of 2011, and the album was released in Feburary of 2012. As I would go through other albums, and even when Carolus Rex was released, I would find myself coming back to this album. Strange, yes. I guess this ability to draw one back to it is the tipping point that would put Woods V over Carolus Rex for Album of the Year. Highlights: Lighting & Snow, Keeper of the Ledger, Travelling Alone, Silver, Career Suicide (Is Not Real Suicide)

Honorable Mentions:

Comus - Out of the Coma
Kamelot - Silverthorn
Arjen Anthony Lucassen - Lost in the New Real

What Next?

Next post will feature another Top Five list from 2012. A medium that I haven't really covered at all on this blag before, but I figure why not? So I will have a Top Five list covering what I feel to be the Top 5 Anime from 2012. Yes, I'm expanding my topic coverage because I'm awesome.

20.9.12

The International 2012 - Three Weeks Later

Valve's Premier Tournament: The International
The hype has finally died down. My heart has finally stopped beating after the splendor that was an event fully sponsored by Valve. Some three weeks ago, The International Dota 2 Championships were held in Seattle, Washington under the control of the fine folks over at Valve. The top sixteen Dota 2 teams in the esports community competed over a prize pool of over $1.6 million USD, as well as a chance to have their names engraved on the Aegis of Champions that served as the tournament's trophy. I won't say much, as whatever would have been said has already been said by people more knowledgeable than myself at this particular artform. I will do this, though:


This video posted above is probably some of the best Dota seen in years. I haven't seen plays this big since the first International, a year ago. It truly shows the level of skill needed to play at the very height of the scene. Without further ado: The Play. Seen over a hundred thousand times by loyal fans, this just proves that this game (not even out of beta, mind you) has the potential to become huge. Just huge. Even now, as I finish this blog post, I'm thinking about what hero I'm going to play as I enter the matchmaking queue.

27.6.12

Meet the Troll

It's finally here.
Meet the Pyro is released. Go watch it.

Day three of the Pyromania update will be featured later today. Day two was a bunch of weapons, which doesn't really matter.

An interesting thing that went along with MTP's release was the announcement of the Source Filmmaker beta, which can be signed up for starting today. The Source Filmmaker is what VALVe uses to create all their "Meet The" shorts.

25.6.12

The Pyromania Update: Day 1

IT BEGINS

This morning, the TF2 team put out a blog post and a new sub site for what they call "the long-awaited final Meet the Team short, Meet the Pyro". Dropping in on Wednesday (which would coincide with that whole Adult Swim business that was announced a few days ago).

The sub site has day one of the Pyromania update, detailing the story of Poopy Joe, the simian astronaut. Players were given an idea of the new game mode, "Doomsday", in which the teams are tasked with taking enough fuel to Poopy Joe's rocket to send him to space. "Both teams will attempt to get the necessary fuel up a preposterously slow-moving elevator and into Poopy Joe’s Australium-powered rocket to the stars," notes the description of the new game mode.

More posts will be made as the update pages progress. For now, enjoy this promotional image of the Doomsday launch, straight from the Doomsday page linked above:


22.6.12

Adult Swim and VALVe partnership?

Screenshot from the AS/Valve Promo Website.

So I'm looking at my Faecbook wall this morning when I see some of my other friends' blogs posting something like this. Intrigued, I checked out the promo site here, and then signed up for the newsletter.

I suspect it might be something either involving stupid amounts of hats, or (gasp!) a certain Meet The Team video might be released very, very soon.

~~~~~

In other news, I've been playing a ton of Dota 2 and Crusader Kings 2, and I fucking love both of those games.

So yeah, that's my life story as of now. I'll try to put more posts in later.

Also, Vinderptus is on Steam now. Go check that shit out.

14.5.12

It's been a while, I know.

Yeah, it's been awhile. So what?

Summer is here, which means I have more time to discuss important issues that pertain to the content of this blog. Namely, the new music I've listened to from this year, as well as video game/card game experiences I've had over the past few months.

Stay tuned to Traditionally Virtual as I whine about things that annoy me! Or, as I talk on and on about things I enjoy!

For now, enjoy this new lyric video from Nuclear Blast featuring a song from Sabaton's new album: Carolus Rex, due some time this month.

29.1.12

The "teh_chris Best of 2011" Post

Happy New Year

2012, here we come.
About a month late, I'd like to wish my readers (whoever they are) a Happy New Year. Hopefully, 2012 will be an excellent year for Traditionally Virtual, what with different things happening on the virtual and non-virtual gaming fronts, as well as in the music industry. For now, I'd like to briefly give my picks for Album of the Year 2011.

Album of the Year 2011

2011 was not bad, as far as new music releases. Here is my personal top 5 for 2011:
 
AOTY 2011: Syven - Aikaintaite

This five-track, dark ambient work was my Album of the Year for 2011. Released late in the year, Syven's Aikaintaite is an exploration into dark, heavy, and even primordial music, featuring the Finnish kantele, one of my favorite instruments of all time. An excellent album to throw in if you just want to relax and contemplate life's mysteries.

Puscifer - Conditions of My Parole
The new Puscifer album, Conditions of My Parole, was what I thought would be my AOTY, instead dropped to the number 2 slot for the year. You can read my thoughts about this album here.

Nightwish - Imaginaerum
Nightwish's Imaginaerum is supposed to be a supplement to their similarly titled film that tells the story of a conductor who's on his deathbed, remembering the good old days. The movie itself is supposed to premiere this year. We'll see how good it is when it does get released. As for the album, it's excellent. I'm starting to get used to Anette Olzon's voice since Dark Passion Play, and I hope the band continues with this as time goes on.
Iced Earth - Dystopia

After what I felt was an abject failure in "The Crucible of Man", Iced Earth managed to redeem themselves in their new album, Dystopia. Featuring Stu Block on vocals, this album has the fire that made Iced Earth great back during the "Dark Saga" days. I highly recommend "Anthem", it's an excellent track.
Opeth - Heritage
Rounding out this top five is Opeth's newest release, entitled Heritage. Featuring all clean vocals by Mikael Åkerfeldt, I enjoyed this album greatly. Go and listen to it to really understand what I mean.

Anyways, time to look forward, and see what 2012 has to offer us.