Saturday, September 15, 2018

Predicting Marilyn Manson's "Best Of Volume 2"

Hi everyone, it's me again with another Marilyn Manson post!

It's actually the 20 year anniversary of "Mechanical Animals", one of Manson's finest records. It doesn't get the same attention "Antichrist Superstar" does, but that takes nothing away about how truly incredible the album is. When people ask me what my favourite albums of all time are, I always say "The Downward Spiral" by Nine Inch Nails, "Antichrist Superstar" and "Mechanical Animals". It's truly a masterpiece. I did a review on the album when I was around 14 years old, it's a bit embarrassing looking at it now but if you do want to read it, it's archived on this website here.

On the topic of old posts, last year I listed my Top 15 Marilyn Manson cover versions if you want to read that, click here.



Anyway, digressing. So today I'm posting something I came up with nearly a year ago actually. When Manson was releasing "Heaven Upside Down", I had a thought. I wondered, will Marilyn Manson create a second "Greatest Hits" style album?

The reason behind this is pretty simple. Manson's last album was his tenth album. When he released his fifth album, he released "Lest We Forget: The Best Of", which is pretty much a "Greatest Hits" album of, what is now, half of his career, album-wise. So it does beg the question, will Manson consider making a "Best of Vol 2"?

There is a strong possibility that Manson may not make this album. Why? Because, as much as it might hurt some hardcore fans to admit, Manson's last five albums aren't even close to being on par with his first five. Even is Manson does consider doing a compilation album, he may not even do a "Best of Vol 2", he might actually do an actual "Greatest Hits" album, which may or may not be 2 CDs and may feature predominantly songs from the peak of his career. But, regardless of if it happens or not, if it's a "Vol 2" or an all-round "Greatest Hits" or not, it got me thinking, if "Vol 2" did come out, what would it look like?

I did a bit of thinking and a bit of number crunching. "Vol 1" was 20 songs, so I wanted "Vol 2" to also be 20 songs. It is harder than you'd think as well to predict a "Vol 2", because Manson hasn't even released 20 singles off 5 albums. He's released 9. So then I had to think, well what songs off each album that were not singles would feature? What songs were played live more than others? What songs had music videos despite not being singles? What albums are even "better" or "more popular"? Would he release a single to promote the album, like he did with "Personal Jesus" and "Vol 1"? He's recently released a cover version of "Cry Little Sister" and to my knowledge it's actually a music single. So believe it or not, it wasn't the easiest project.

But I gave it my best shot, and this is what I came up with:

  1. We Know Where You Fucking Live (Link)
  2. Deep Six (Link)
  3. No Reflection (Link)
  4. Arma-goddamn-motherfuckin-geddon (Link)
  5. Putting Holes In Happiness (Link)
  6. Third Day of a Seven Day Binge (Link)
  7. Revelation #12 (Link)
  8. Heart-Shaped Glasses (Link)
  9. Hey, Cruel World… (Link)
  10. Running to the Edge of the World (Link)
  11. The Mephistopheles of Los Angeles (Link)
  12. If I Was Your Vampire (Link)
  13. Slo-Mo-Tion (Link)
  14. Cupid Carries a Gun (Link)
  15. We're From America (Link)
  16. Say10 (Link)
  17. Pistol Whipped (Link)
  18. Killing Strangers (Link)
  19. Kill4Me (Link)
  20. Four Rusted Horses (Link)
Album colour codes:
Eat Me, Drink Me
The High End of Low
Born Villain
The Pale Emperor
Heaven Upside Down

I've played it from start to finish a few times in the last few months and it does play quite well. I do take pride in my track listing orders so I believe, again, in my prediction, that if he were to release "Vol 2", it may play similar to this.

I've actually made it into a Playlist on YouTube and Spotify, click below if you want to hear it on those platforms:

Spotify
YouTube

So what do you guys think? Comment below! Thanks for your time!


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Friday, July 13, 2018

My Top 50 Favourite Playstation 1 Games: #1 + more!

If you missed #2 click here.

We're finally here. What is my favourite PS1 game? Before I reveal that, let's have a recap from #50 to #2...
  • #50 Spiderman ***1/2
  • #49 Sled Storm ***1/2
  • #48 Brunswick Circuit Pro Bowling 2 ***1/2
  • #47 Kula World ***1/2
  • #46 Destruction Derby ***3/4
  • #45 Hogs of War ***3/4
  • #44 Tekken ***3/4
  • #43 Team Buddies ***3/4
  • #42 Psychic Force 2 ***3/4
  • #41 Crash Bash ***3/4
  • #40 Lego Racers ***3/4
  • #39 Bust a Move 2 ***3/4
  • #38 MediEvil ***3/4
  • #37 Tekken 2 ***3/4
  • #36 Tombi! ****
  • #35 Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver ****
  • #34 WWF War Zone ****
  • #33 Wu-Tang: Taste the Pain ****
  • #32 Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee ****
  • #31 Driver ****
  • #30 Soul Blade ****
  • #29 Parasite Eve II ****
  • #28 Ehrgeiz: God Bless the Ring ****
  • #27 Gex 3: Deep Cover Gecko ****
  • #26 Rage Racer ****
  • #25 Street Fighter EX2 Plus ****1/4
  • #24 Crash Bandicoot ****1/4
  • #23 FIFA: Road to World Cup 98 ****1/4
  • #22 Spyro 2: Gateway to Glimmer ****1/4
  • #21 WWF Smackdown! ****1/4
  • #20 Yu-Gi-Oh! Forbidden Memories ****1/4
  • #19 Jade Cocoon ****1/4
  • #18 FIFA 2000 ****1/4
  • #17 Spyro the Dragon ****1/4
  • #16 Resident Evil 3: Nemesis ****1/4
  • #15 Gran Turismo ****1/4
  • #14 The Legend of Dragoon ****1/2
  • #13 Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back ****1/2
  • #12 Silent Hill ****1/2
  • #11 Spyro 3: Year of the Dragon ****1/2
  • #10 Final Fantasy VIII ****1/2
  • #9 Resident Evil ****1/2
  • #8 Worms Armageddon ****1/2
  • #7 WWF Smackdown! 2: Know Your Role ****1/2
  • #6 Crash Team Racing ****1/2
  • #5 Tekken 3 ****3/4
  • #4 Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped! ****3/4
  • #3 Final Fantasy VII ****3/4
  • #2 Resident Evil 2 ****3/4

So my favourite Playstation 1 game is...

#1 - Final Fantasy IX
Released: 2000
Genre: RPG
Rating: ****3/4 stars
Best Moment: The ending. For me, this is possibly my favourite ending in video game history. It gets reduces me to tears. Every. Damn. Time.
Well, if you know me personally, you probably knew more than 50 days ago that my #1 game was going to be Final Fantasy IX. It would possibly top my favourite games of all time list, if I were to ever make one, which I may well do one day.

FF9 to me is everything. Sure, I didn't give it a perfect score of 5 stars, but I don't think a game has been released that I'd rate a perfect score. FF9 has some flaws, some frustrating moments even, but it has HEART. It has more heart than any game I've ever played, period. This game makes me emotional in so many different ways. The story is perfect, the characters are just a great bunch, the music is timeless, the graphics are beautiful in their flawed way. I just have so much love for this game it's unreal. I even named my daughter, Vivi, after the black mage in this game. That black mage is, one of the best characters in video game history by the way.



FF9 is not the first Final Fantasy game I played. It's not even the first Final Fantasy I'd suggest people play. It's for a very particular audience. It has an old school, nostalgic, poetic feel to it. It does play like the classic Final Fantasy games but it's also harder than other games, probably intentionally as a nod to the very classic FF games on the NES. But the way the story is told, the twists and turns, the excellent cast of varied characters, and, for me, the most perfect ending, is what makes this game truly special. I do struggle to put into words why I love this game so much, but this has been my best effort. I just love this game with all my heart, and for me, undisputedly, is my Favourite Playstation 1 Game.

So Final Fantasy IX, congratulations, you've earned this prestigious trophy!

Here's some nerdy stats if you're into that thing!

Video Game Series With Multiple Entries
Crash Bandicoot - 5 (Crash Bandicoot #24, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back #13, Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped! # 4, Crash Team Racing #6, Crash Bash #41)
Final Fantasy - 3 (Final Fantasy VII #3, Final Fantasy VIII #10, Final Fantasy IX #1)
Resident Evil - 3 (Resident Evil #9, Resident Evil 2 #2, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis #16)
Tekken - 3 (Tekken #44, Tekken 2 #37, Tekken 3 #5)
Spyro the Dragon - 3 (Spyro the Dragon #17, Spyro 2: Gateaway to Glimmer #22. Spyro 3: Year of the Dragon #11)
WWF Smackdown! - 2 (WWF Smackdown! #21, WWF Smackdown 2: Know Your Role #7)

Best PS1 Game Per Year
1995 - Tekken - ***3/4 #44
1996 - Resident Evil - ****1/2 #9
1997 - Final Fantasy VII - ****3/4 #3
1998 - Resident Evil 2 - ****3/4 #2
1999 - Crash Team Racing - ****1/2 #6
2000 - Final Fantasy IX - ****3/4 #1

Total Games Per Year
As you can see, the year 1999 dominated my list. It's one of my all time favourite years in video game history. Crash Team Racing, Worms Armageddon, FF8, Silent Hill, Legend of Dragoon, Resi 3, FIFA 2000 all are in my Top 20!

Best PS1 Game By Genre
Party - Crash Bash - ***3/4 #41
Puzzle - Bust a Move 2 - ***3/4 #39
Action - Driver - **** #31
Strategy - Worms Armageddon - ****1/2 #8
Sports - WWF Smackdown! 2: Know Your Role - ****1/2 #7
Racing - Crash Team Racing - ****1/2 #6
Fighting - Tekken 3 - ****3/4 #5
Platformer - Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped! - ****3/4 #4
Horror - Resident Evil 2 - ****3/4 #2
RPG - Final Fantasy IX - ****3/4 #1

Total Games By Genre
So Platformers, Fighting games and Sports games dominate the list. Despite RPGs being my favourite genre, there were only 5 in the list, compared to the 9 Platformers in the list.

So... that's pretty much it from me! Thanks for reading my Top 50 Favourite Playstation 1 Games list. To go back all the way to #50 click here!


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Thursday, July 12, 2018

My Top 50 Favourite Playstation 1 Games: #2

If you missed #3 click here.

#2 - Resident Evil 2
Released: 1998
Genre: Horror
Rating: ****3/4 stars
Best Moment: Again, choosing one moment is super tough. Mr X on the "B" campaigns has some amazing jump scare moments. But if I have to narrow it down to one, it has to be the first time you see a Licker - it's one of the best moments in video game history.
When I first saw Resident Evil 1 back in the nineties I was mindblown... and terrified. I'd never seen a horror video game before and what they did with Resident Evil 1 was really scary, even if it does look dated now.

But then Resident Evil 2 happened. Resi 2 for me is possibly the best in the entire series, or at least on par with Resi 4. But back in 1998, everything Resident Evil 1 did before it was enhanced so much in Resi 2. The horror was better, the graphics were sublime, the characters were more engaging and the acting was a huge improvement. The storyline was brilliant, and how they managed to get, in theory, 4 different stories in two different scenarios was impressive. The monsters were far more terrifying on the whole, and the two big bad guys, Mr X and William Birkin were tremendous and frightening in very different ways. Speaking of William Birkin - if you haven't read my tribute to his greatness, you can read it here. Let's put it this way, I cannot WAIT to see him in the fully fleshed out remake.

Resi 2 for me is simply one of the best games ever made. It's certainly one of the best horror games ever, if not THE best horror game of all time. I've completed this game more than any other Resi game and for good reason. It's just a classic in every way possible.

We're finally here. Click here to find out what came in at #1 in my countdown of my Top 50 Playstation 1 Games!


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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

My Top 50 Favourite Playstation 1 Games: #3

If you missed #4 click here.

#3 - Final Fantasy VII
Released: 1997
Genre: RPG
Rating: ****3/4 stars
Best Moment: The end of Disc 1 brings me to tears every time. I played through FF7 again earlier this year, and over 20 years later I still cried.
When it comes to listing the games that influenced me and my life the most, this game is very possibly top of the list. Sure, I like some (not many) games more than FF7, but this game is everything to me. It was my first RPG game. It was my first Final Fantasy game. It was the first video game to make me cry. It was the first many other things too. This game opened up the world of video games to me possibly more than any other game. Final Fantasy VII was probably the first time I experienced video games not just as games, but as genuine pieces of art.

FF7's story is insane. The characters are individually eclectic and memorable. The music is just beautiful. The graphics, sure, aren't the best, but the battle system was simple and innovative. The summons were just mesmerising at the time. Sephiroth is simply one of the best villains of all time, that's not even a dispute. The game meant so many things to so many people, and, of course, now we have a remake in the works. This game was... just amazing. I struggle to put into words what this game means to me and to many others like me, but I hope I've done it some justice. It's my third favourite Playstation 1 game, sure, it's not #1 but that takes nothing away from this game. It could have easily been #1, and is for many other people. But there's just two more games that just do ever-so slightly more for me than this. You'll find out what tomorrow and Thursday.

What was the runner up in my Top 50? Click here to find out!


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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

My Top 50 Favourite Playstation 1 Games: #4

If you missed #5 click here.

#4 - Crash Bandicoot Warped!
Released: 1998
Genre: Platformer
Rating: ****3/4 stars
Best Moment: So hard to choose, but I love the motorbike levels, the Pura the tiger levels, and I also love it when you perfect your relic time trial and get a platinum!
What a game. Simply, for me, this is one of the best, if not THE best, platformer of all time. It's certainly the best Crash Bandicoot game ever made. From start to finish, I just thoroughly enjoy this game, and nearly every single level is a smash hit. All the variations of the levels in the game are perfectly placed, and the inclusion to put Coco in the mix was a great move - some of her levels are some of the best levels ever designed, and of course, it helped get some of the female gamers into the game, something that was a little bit more difficult in the late nineties.

Adding the time trial mode was also a move of genius. It added another fantastic layer of longevity to the game, and getting the platinum relics on every level is a welcome challenge. Cortex is also on form in this game, and the addition of Uka Uka as a villain to combat Aku Aku was just perfect for the storyline. It's simply one of the best games ever made, regardless of genre, I absolutely adore this game.

Looking for #3 in my list? Click here!


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Monday, July 09, 2018

My Top 50 Favourite Playstation 1 Games: #5

If you missed #6 click here.

#5 - Tekken 3
Released: 1998
Genre: Fighting
Rating: ****3/4 stars
Best Moment: I loved unlocking all the characters, and unlocking the secret characters Gon and Dr. Bosconovitch! I also loved playing Tekken Force Mode and Tekken Ball Mode!
When it comes to fighting games, for me, Tekken 3 is king. We've never had a better fighting game before it, or since. I know that might be an opinion you don't agree with, but that's what I think, simple as that!

Regardless of if it's the best ever or not, you can't deny the improvement Tekken 3 was over Tekken 2 and Tekken 1. It was... INSANELY better. Everything came together with Tekken 3, the moves were more fluid, the combos were better, the character roster was simply exceptional, the graphics were just beautiful for back in 1998, the bonus features of Tekken Force Mode and Tekken Ball Mode were so much fun and the character endings were simply so much better, overall, than the ones given for Tekken 2. I just love Tekken 3, and sure, looking now it does look a bit dated, but at the time it was just a stunning masterpiece. No fighting game could compare, not Street Fighter, not Mortal Kombat, nothing, back in 1998 could compare. It was truly head above heels above everything that came out before it, and in my opinion, since as well.

Looking for #4? Click here!


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Sunday, July 08, 2018

My Top 50 Favourite Playstation 1 Games: #6

If you missed #7 click here.

#6 - Crash Team Racing
Released: 1999
Genre: Racing
Rating: ****1/2 stars
Best Moment: Oh man, choosing one moment... so tough! Probably nailing the power sliding turbo boosts the full maximum of three times, it's a difficult but fun art to master and it makes a huge difference to your racing.
I think I may have said this before, but again I'll say it, I do think this is better than any Mario Kart game. It's probably because I was a Sony Playstation kid growing up and not a Nintendo kid, but I clocked so many hours on this game it was unbelievable. The one negative thing about this game is simply, that there's not as much access to 4 player racing, unless you bought the multitap, something that was a lot easier on the Nintendo 64 and the Nintendo Wii with their setups. But when it comes to single player mode, I truly believe this game is the king of kart racers.

What I love about Crash Team Racing is the single player mode, where you drive to each destination and race for the trophy, CTR tokens and relics, and each area of the map has its own boss. I just think this layout is really cool and each individual track in Crash Team Racing is very different from the last. Sure, you could argue, that some the tracks in CTR are heavily influenced from Mario Kart, and I'd agree with that statement. But I just love the slickness of the racing, I love the differences in abilities within each character, and, of course, I love the Crash Bandicoot flavour of a kart racing game. Lots of people are asking for this game to be remastered, and I agree, I'd love nothing more than to see it re-done, but right now I hope that Activision concentrate on making a brand new Crash Bandicoot game, rather than rely on this which probably would make them a lot of money - just keep the fans waiting a little longer!

Want to find out what kicks off my Top 5? Click here!


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