Published on September 5th, 2006 | by Greg0
Labor Day Trio
In celebration of Labor Day (and the birthday of our editor), we bring you a trio of entertaining diversions.
OK, so our first look isn’t exactly play- it’s Only Revolutions by Mark Danielewski, and it makes your average calculus textbook seem like Tom Clancy. Alright, we admit a real weakness for the author, whose first book House of Leaves was insanely good. And he has taken the cleverness and post-modernism a few more steps- and a few too far- with his latest work, which seems purposely designed to distance any potential readers. If you can get by the gimmick (you flip the book around to read it, each page being written in at least two directions), then you find… a reasonable story. Unpacking it, like many great books, is much of the fun. But it isn’t a great read- it doesn’t make you want to turn the page (in any sense of the word) and so much of it is dialogue of sorts that the method serves to distract instead of enhance. The book is out in about a week, on the 12th ($26 MSRP).
Our second look fares a bit better: a nice way to scream your way through the last days of summer is listening to Ladyfinger (ne). OK, they suffer from some of the same flaws that other Saddle Creek bands fall to (Cursive, Bright Eyes, et al)- great build-ups that don’t always go anywhere, great lyrics that don’t always have the vocals to match. But Ladyfinger gets plenty right and the Omaha band has emotion to match the energy. It’s indie rock/punk, definitely harder than the average emo, closer to Cursive. They will be touring this fall, and their debut album is released on the 26th of this month- check their Myspace page out for a quick listen, and decide is screech-rock is right for you.
Finally, we had to review Ninety-Nine Nights, the new Dynasty Warriors-inspired Xbox 360 game. It’s beautiful, shiny, easy to pick up, and fun to play. It also gets quite boring, is frustrating in about 5 directions, and is unfortunately not as good as several of the iterations of the game that it is descended from. The mediocre voice acting and music aside, the game starts out with promises of several varied characters, plenty of powerups and future weapons, and some interesting boss battles. But the story gets lost in the massive battles, and the enemies all blur together in combo after combo. There is little strategy, making this essentially a beat-em-up. Some parts are insanely difficult (try keeping your bodyguards alive), while other parts are far too easy, and there is no reason to vary much from the same repetitive attack ad infinitum. Even with all that, it is great fun for a while, and there is plenty to do just in the main quest. Not a great deal at $60, but definitely worth a rental, and worth playing for almost any age group.