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Yes.Mustache is music inspired by Video Games

YesMustache logo for Twitter 300x100 Yes.Mustache is music inspired by Video Games

We love music and video games.  Yes.Mustache is a new music project from folks who seem to feel the same way.  Yes.Mustache is a self confessed “music inspired by Video Games”.

Yes.Mustache has launched an official YouTube channel to go along with all of their new video game inspired music, as well as an official channel for all that music inspired by video games.

We wish you the best of luck, Yes.Mustache.  In a world with so much music inspired by video games, you have your a long road ahead of you.

KickBeat for Xbox One–Impressions

KickBeat logo SE thumb KickBeat for Xbox One–Impressions

Kickbeat is a unique entry into the rhythm/music genre.  Developed by Zen Studios, it fuses elements of Guitar Hero/Rock Band, Dance Dance Revolution, and every fighting game ever made.  The result is a rhythm game where you press buttons in time with the music, and each successful button press lands an attack on a swarm of enemies.  These enemies just love to get punched and kicked to the music, because they all get into position just in time to get whacked.  I’ll try to explain how it works…

Gameplay

The gameplay area is a circle with your character standing in the middle, ready to kick people to the beat of the music.  The music starts and the enemies start to circle you.  As they circle towards one of the cardinal directions, they land on one of the face buttons. (in the case of the Xbox One version, XYBA)  You press the associated button in time with the beat and the enemy on that button gets a vicious attack knocking him out of the fight. 

Faster songs have more enemies to defeat and with higher frequencies.  There are a couple variations to the formula, including; blue enemies who attack in off-beat patterns like up beats, red enemies who attack in pairs (meaning you’ll press two buttons like X and Y), and enemies who are tied together with a yellow streak whom you defeat by pressing and holding on the first enemy and releasing on the second.

Some enemies will have a floating icon over their head with a range of powerups.  Double tapping their corresponding button will give you the knockout and the powerup.  Powerups vary between score multipliers, extra points, health, chi and more.  Then you have the option to fire off your collected chi or shield move to either double points or save yourself from a difficult section.

Difficulty

There is an old saying, “Do not think more highly of yourself than you ought.”  The saying is in reference to being prideful and treating others as if they are less than ourselves.  But I am going to use it in the context of, “just because you can beat every Guitar Hero game on Expert and love rhythm games, don’t think that you should start KickBeat on anything above Normal.”

I have a confession to make.  When I first fired up KickBeat and completed the training, I figured I was prepared for the higher difficulties.  I was sorely mistaken.  KickBeat was, at this moment, “get your face Kicked in to the beat”.  Normal is challenging enough, you should start there.

Graphics and Sounds

Graphics are hardly the focus of a rhythm game so I won’t spend much time on them, but I will say I had trouble at times identifying the colors of the enemies.  Some times it was too late before I realized that the two enemies were red and would be attacking simultaneously.  Another issue I had, though also mild and infrequent, was the enemies occasionally becoming obscured by the player character due to the odd camera angle.

Sound is a completely different story here.  Sound is key to KickBeat’s gameplay.  The sound effects are few and unimportant beyond the sound of fist meeting face.  The music however, is the reason behind the (thin) story and what engages the player.  As you get better at KickBeat, similar to Rock Band, it will begin to feel like you are playing these songs.  But instead of playing the songs with instruments, you play with your punches and kicks.  Each blow delivered to your enemies is in perfect sync with the beat, guitar riffs, vocal lines or other musical accents.

The soundtrack that you will beat enemies up to is energetic but varied.  Rap songs, metal tracks, and electronic dance tunes are available.  And the set list seems to get better as you work through the story mode.

Better late than never

KickBeat has been out on other platforms for a while, but I came late to the party.  Xbox One owners who are fans of rhythm games should rejoice at this fun fusion of fighting and music.  It’s got its quirks, but the soundtrack is hard-hitting and the game shows off it’s excellent design at the higher difficulties.

Sunset Overdrive gets an UNofficial theme song

 

Sunset Overdrive, the open world action game set to release this October exclusively for Xbox One, oozes style and energy.  So far, in the trailers and gameplay footage we’ve seen from the game, there hasn’t been a song that represents the style and energy we would expect from such a game.

Yes.Mustache is a musical act that observed the previously mentioned “style and energy” and has released an “Unofficial Theme Song” for Sunset Overdrive.  It’s a pop-punk styled tune that drops quite a few references to the game.

It’s a fun song.  Check it out if you like your songs on the upbeat side with a helping of wall-running and exploding mutants.

http://yesmustache.toolofgod.com/sunset-overdrive-unofficial-theme-song-released/

Zombie Driver: Ultimate Edition Review

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Note: This is an updated review of Zombie Driver HD for Xbox 360, but based on the newly released Zombie Driver: Ultimate Edition for Xbox One.  Review is based on a copy of the game given to us by Exor Studios.

There may be some time in the future (whether near or far, no one knows for sure) where it will be boring to face wave after wave of various types of zombies, smashing them into pieces with your car and watching their mangled torsos roll off of the hood of your car.  Now is not that time.

While many people may be bothered by use of zombies in…everything, driving your car into innocents isn’t as accepted as it may have been when video games were less mainstream.  Most folks are ok with killing zombies, so we won’t likely see the end of the zombie killing simulator soon.  And that’s ok, because it means we get fun, if flawed, diversions like EXOR Studios’ Zombie Driver HD.

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Xbox One Stereo Headset Review

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Today I received my Microsoft Xbox One Stereo Headset.
Xbox One Stereo Headset Adapter

In the box

First off, very cool packaging.  The box opens up to reveal the headphones in a foam wrapping, but well presented.  Underneath the headphones are the Micro USB cable and the headphone adapter.

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Baby Ultrasound Looks Like Tori Spelling

Tori Spelling Baby Ultrasound Baby Ultrasound Looks Like Tori Spelling

Filmmaker Scott Parejo was on facebook perusing his news feed, when a picture caught his eye.  It was a picture of an ultrasound, shared by a pregnant friend.  What should have brought to mind precious things like baby clothes and play things, instead conjured up something entirely different in his mind.

When Scott looked at the ultrasound he saw,…Tori Spelling.  He illustrated his point and now I see it too.  And so do you.  As they say, #CannotBeUnseen.

Photo credit: Scott Parejo/ultrasound tech

Five Saturdays – Review

AlbumArt 300x300 Five Saturdays   Review

On the surface the concept seems kind of odd. A successful cover band sets out to write and record five original songs over the course of five successive Saturdays. What business does a cover band have writing and recording original work? I mean, if they are any good, why are they a cover band?

(Disclosure: I was given a pre-release copy of Five Saturdays by A Band of Ninjas in exchange for my review. Also, the guy who plays guitar may have bought my frozen yogurt once.)

A Band of Ninjas has been delighting audiences around California’s Monterey Bay for years now. The band is made up of Brian Coehlo (Qway-Low) on vocals and Orion Williams on guitar and background vocals. Their renditions of popular hits from the last couple of decades are worth your time to seek out on YouTube. Or better yet, if you find yourself in the Monterey, CA area, hit up a show.

Their original project, aptly named Five Saturdays, is now available on all the major services. The project was born out of a commitment to their followers to write one original tune a week for five weeks. What came of that is found on Five Saturdays. Of course, a cover band writing and recording original songs is bound to break the rules wherever possible. Therefore, six songs emerged.

Five Saturdays kicks off with the playful but thought provoking Superhuman. That’s followed up with Little Things. Coehlo’s vocals really shine in Little Things. The pace of the lyrics speeds up in spots and Coehlo’s pitch and delivery is spot on. At the midpoint of the album, Don’t Count Me Out demands your ear. Its one of those songs that halfway through, you’ll want to restart and give your full attention. The snappy Disappointed, Kid really showcases A Band of Ninjas. Coehlo and Williams harmonize perfectly and Williams’ guitar can’t be ignored. When you stop and realize that all that sound is coming from one acoustic guitar, you can begin to grasp the level of talent the Ninjas bring to their music.

Speaking of ninjas, their secretive yet deadly nature sparks intrigue and fascination amongst people of all ages. How convenient then that we are privileged to get acquainted with A Band of Ninjas. In the track titled What’s It Like (To be a Ninja), we are treated to an inside look of the life of a Ninja. The sixth and final track is the real gem of the entire project. A Dying Light opens with a haunting bass line that makes you forget there is only an acoustic guitar at work. Coehlo sings with a passion that can only come from someone who is singing a song they’ve lived.

Five Saturdays will leave you wondering why this duo of assassins bothers with cover songs. Pick up the project from the music service of your choice and then catch them at a show. They are known to take requests. Demand these tracks. You won’t be disappointed.

Five Saturdays on iTunes

Tomb Raider: The Definitive Edition – Review

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Last year, Crystal Dynamics created one of my favorite games of the year, Tomb Raider.  A reboot of a franchise that I am very familiar with, since it’s initial release.  The new Tomb Raider looked great, even on the aging hardware of the last console generation.  And though console gamers didn’t get the fancy TressFX and high resolutions that the PC release saw, the gameplay and story showed up in a major way and Lara became fresh again, if naïve and vulnerable.

Having thoroughly enjoyed Tomb Raider last year, I wasn’t thrilled about the announcement of a new and improved “Definitive Edition” on new gen consoles.  Was this just a gussied up rereleased cash-in?  Was there enough here to warrant the infamous “double dip”?

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What is Cuphead?!?

Studio MDHR taks the style of 30’s cartoons and with grand love and great difficulty applies it to video games with the running and gunning, ‘Cuphead’. While we have come a long way with the artistry and technology used to create our modern games, we can still find innovation and be impressed by looking to our past. Cuphead may look simple but it is by no means being phoned in. With hand drawn and animated characters, classic static, water color backgrounds and original music inspired by the toons of the era, Cuphead is looking to make worlds collide.

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Amazon Deal: $10 off ‘3 Month Xbox Live Gold Card’

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For a limited time Microsoft and Amazon are offering up their 3 Monh Xbox Live Gold Cards at a $10 discount. What is normally $24.99 can be yours for $14.99. It is not known how long this deal will go for but one can assume it will not be for too much longer. With the recent launch of the Xbox One this is a great time to get on and try out Gold if you have not before or maybe add a few more months to your current Gold. Click the link below and switch to the 3 month option to order yours today. You can get a physical card or a digital copy of your code and there does not appear to be a limit on the amount you can order.

415TMngowzL. SL160  Amazon Deal: $10 off 3 Month Xbox Live Gold Card

Edit:  It looks it’s just the physical cards now.