Capcom is so weird… I love it.
Capcom is so weird… I love it.
It’s my 10 favorite albums of 2011!
Bozeman’s own Cure for the Common released their debut album this year, and it seriously rocks. This unique funk-jazz-rock-hip-hop blend packs some killer grooves and fresh flows.
A departure from their previous work, Audio, Video, Disco finds Justice mixing their signature dance sounds with cheesy 70s rock music. An odd move for sure, but the results are pretty interesting.
Insomnuim beats out releases from Amon Amarth and Turisas to be only metal album on my list this year. One for Sorrow lives up to it’s name with a powerful sound of strong melancholy and an underlying beauty that shines through in the melodic guitars and clean vocals.
Turtleneck? Check. With another on deck. Case I spill something on it. Like some light beer? Yes.
They Might Be Giants took a break from children’s music (which was also quite good) to put out their 15th studio album. The Johns’ may be getting old, but their unmistakable style is still as sharp as ever.
It’s my top five games of the year!
NetherRealm Studios finally returned to their roots with this fantastic reboot of the Mortal Kombat series. I loved seeing the original cast, the reworked story, and all the nods to the original trilogy. Oh, and it’s actually a solid fighting game this time as well!
Dark Souls is an absolutely brutal game, but that isn’t what makes it great. The real magic is how it forces you to explore it’s deadly and terrifying world with all the creeping precision of a survival horror game. The understated tone is genuinely creepy and the dark fantasy setting is well crafted. Overall, Dark Souls might be the most original game I played this year. VICTORY ACHIEVED.
This game delivers exactly what it promises. You’re THE GODDAMN BATMAN. I wasn’t a huge Arkham Asylum fan, but Arkham City’s open world and improved group fighting system make it one of the best superhero action games I’ve ever played.
I finally got a chance to play Mass Effect 2 on PS3 this year. Part shooter, part RPG, the gameplay mechanics are simple, but the story is where Mass Effect 2 really shines. The fiction is literally comparable to Star Wars in terms of the scope and the interesting races and characters found within. The focus on team building makes each mission feel important and keeps the momentum going right up until the end.
Skyrim is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I’ve sunk almost 70 hours into this game, and I’m not even close to finished with it. I love the setting, the quests are interesting, and the music is great. I’m currently on hiatus due to frame rate and freezing issues, but as soon as a patch drops, I’ll be back to slaying dragons, reading books, shouting at bears, collecting drums, stealing cabbages, etc, etc.
What were your favorites?
2011 was a very interesting year for the web. The App Internet continues to march on while web consumption continues to fragment into a myriad of devices with different browsers and form factors.
As Jeffrey Zeldman recently pointed out, the days of a single fixed width layout are over and web designers once again find themselves in uncharted territory with few standards to guide them. What is the new ‘best practice’ in web design? Responsive design? Adaptive? A return to fluid layouts?
It’s easy to complain about the lack of guidelines and the seemingly daunting task of crafting a great user experience across so many devices. It’s a lot more fun to start experimenting in search of a solution.
It was with that spirit I set out to redesign my personal site a few months ago. I wanted to create a proof of concept for a mobile-first, adaptive design where every page looked great no matter what device you happened to be using.
My first goal was to keep things as simple and lightweight as possible. Mobile-first design treats mobile and desktop as equals, so pages had to be small enough to load quickly, even at 3G speeds. Frills were cut, and a minimalist style was adopted.
I looked at many responsive and adaptive grid systems before settling on Joni Korpi’s excellent Frameless. The Frameless grid frees you of pixel-based thinking by using LESS to calculate em based columns that give you more control over which elements adapt and which do not.
FitVids, a jquery plugin for adaptive video players, works flawlessly for scaling videos.
I’m very happy with the results of this first step into full-scale adaptive design.
The site adapts well to every smartphone, tablet, and desktop display out there, while remaining very lightweight. Grab the corner of your browser and resize away. The content will scale to fit any size.
So, what’s next for the web?
Will standards start to emerge? Will the app internet make the web irrelevant?
Who can say. As always, the only consistence is change. I’ll just continue to have fun navigating it.
Update: The app has moved to mobilemov.es/mk9.
Mortal Kombat Mobile Moves List is the best MK9 moves list for your phone or tablet.
It’s a free web app, optimized for iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and Android.
• Fatalities, Stage Fatalities, and Babalities for all characters.
• Console specific buttons.
• ‘Add to Home Screen’ on iOS devices for a full screen view, and offline access.
The app was built using Mobile Boilerplate, jQuery, and HTML5.
Visit mobilemov.es/mk9 on any mobile device to check it out.
Hey! It’s my favorite music of the year!
Brooklyn rap group Das Racist introduced themselves with not one, but two excellent free mixtapes in 2010 (grab them here). Their unique brand of hip-hop bounces from political to irreverent to absurd and back again without warning, creating an odd, yet compelling and completely enjoyable sound.
Runners up: Sleigh Bells, Die Antwoord
Gogol’s weakest album (I blame Rick Rubin), but it still makes my top 10. Still some great tracks on here.
This album was a huge improvement over 09′s Horehound. Jack White is single handedly keeping rock music alive at this point.
Yeasayer stole the psychedelic pop crown from MGMT and ran with it. The multi-layered tracks on Odd Blood are fun and catchy without feeling hollow.
Celtic folk metalers Eluveitie couldn’t top their previous albums this year, but had a solid release with Everything Remains.
Like their first mixtape, it’s a bit long and lacks focus, but there are some absolute gems in here.
I love Daft Punk, and I can get into a good score. Combine them and you have something really, really cool.
Without a doubt the loudest and most catchy album of 2010. What it lacks in substance, it makes up for with raw energy.
Copy’s third and best album takes his familiar electro snap beats in a softer direction. The result is a relaxing, atmospheric album with no need for vocals.
Plastic Beach is simply the best Gorillaz album so far. It’s grand scope and multitude of styles somehow fit into a cohesive album where almost every track is a standout.
It’s true that LP4 doesn’t cover as much new ground as LP3 did in 08. But the way LP4 refines and perfects LP3′s sound is just brilliant.
So, there you have it. My top 10 albums of 2010.
Agree? Disagree? What were your favorites this year?
Hey! It’s my favorite video games of the year!
Drawing from the 8-bit sounds of classic arcade brawlers past, NYC chiptune band Anamanaguchi created the perfect soundtrack for this retro downloadable game based on the movie, based on the comic.
Runner up: Red Dead Redemption
Undead Nightmare flipped the world of Red Dead Redemption on it’s head, transforming the characters, environments, and gameplay into a horror game that is just as good, if not better, than the original.
Having never played a Persona game before, I was able to pick up Persona 3 Portable and get just what I was looking for in a PSP game. A deep, story-driven experience that can be enjoyed little bits at a time.
Runner up: Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess
Retro Studios did a surprisingly good job recreating the world of Donkey Kong Country for the long awaited sequel to one of my favorite SNES games of all time. It’s not perfect in every way, but they managed to capture the spirit of the originals and craft a modern platformer with a great balance of difficulty and fun.
Red Dead Redemption is a truly unique game. The massive, beautiful western landscapes. The atmospheric sound design and music. The bold ending. Red Dead Redemption is an ambitious game, and is able to pull it off. Game of the year.
Runners up: Heavy Rain, Rock Band 3
This music video is full of awesome.