List-O-Mania, June 2017

Every month, Team Unwinnable puts together short lists of recommended music, books and games. These lists originally appeared in Unwinnable Monthly 92. If you enjoy what you read, please buy the issue or subscribe.

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Playlist

“Lucretia, My Reflection,” by Sisters of Mercy
“Star Roving,” Slowdive
“The Falling Veil,” by Elder
“Jolene,” by Dolly Partin
“Heart of the Desert,” by Ruby Rae
“Sea Dragon,” by Covet
“Shadow,” by Chromatics
“Take Me Out,” by Franz Ferdinand
“My Wave,” by Soundgarden
“Hate That You Know Me,” by Bleachers
“When We’re High,” by LP
“Why Didn’t You Save Me?” – Nicolas Jaar
“Dance Commander,” by Electric Six
“I Am the Highway,” by Audioslave

 

Listen now on Spotify

Selected by Stu Horvath, Michael Edwards, Jeremy Voss, Amanda Hudgins, Corey Milne, Khee Hoon Chan, Matt Marrone, Melissa King, Gavin Craig, Erik Weinbrecht, Sara Clemens, Austin Price, Ian Gonzales and David Shimomura

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Reading List

Guide to Glorantha, by Greg Stafford, Jeff Richard and Sandy Petersen

The Big Midweek: Life Inside the Fall, by Steve Hanley & Olivia Piekarski

The Last Policeman, by Ben Winters

The One That I Want, by Hannah Fisher

PSI-Judge Anderson: The Possessed, by Alan Grant, Brett Ewins, et al

Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898, by Edwin G. Burrows & Mike Wallace

Neuromancer, by William Gibson

Power Up: How Japanese Video Games Gave the World an Extra Life, by Chris Kohler

The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell, by W. Kamau Bell

The Twenty Days of Turin, by Giorgio de Maria

Rock Candy Mountain, by Kyle Starks

Thrawn, by Timothy Zahn

Wool, by Hugh Howey

Selected by Stu Horvath, Michael Edwards, Jeremy Voss, Amanda Hudgins, Corey Milne, Matt Marrone,  Gavin Craig, Sara Clemens, Austin Price, Ian Gonzales, David Shimomura and Sam Desatoff

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Now Playing

Rise of the Dragon – I first played Rise of the Dragon in 1990 on the computer my father had at the office of his trucking company (it had a color monitor!). A tech-noir (if you call it cyberpunk, I’m going to throw punches) point and click adventure, it took me years to beat. Revisiting it 27 years later, I have two takeaways. First, the story and look of the game hold up surprisingly well. Unlike most games of this sort, the logic of the game mirrors something resembling that of the real world. Which is nice. Second, I remember 95% of how to do everything in the game (a side-effect of years of trial and error, I guess) so it only took me an afternoon to play. Game of the year, 2017.

(Stu Horvath)

Gradius V – What can I say? I like impossible space shooters that guide you through bizarre celestial locales like spaceship junkyards, exploding stars and giant space creatures. All while dodging a thousand laser beams while armed only with a fireball cannon and a little rinky-dink missile launcher. This PSN game (originally a PS2 game) delivers all that and more. Mind off, reflexes on. Only one complaint: where are the Moai statue heads so prominent in the other games for this series?

(Michael Edwards)

Danger Zone – Crash Mode from Burnout 3, but now on the PS4, nothing more and nothing less. Good for some quick catharsis.

(Jeremy Voss)

Elite: Dangerous – There haven’t been too many games lately that I’ve wanted to turn my attention to. Elite: Dangerous, though has sucked me right in like a black hole. My late night sessions star hopping across the galaxy have become my go to source for some quality me time. It’s glorious!

(Corey Milne)

Event [0] – I’ve been hard at work trying to clear my backlog, and am currently rather intrigued by Event [0] and its use of natural language to converse with the AI. Trying to find out more about the ship I’m in and my situation takes quite a bit of investigation that is not unlike the FMV title, Her Story. The plot plods about occasionally but it has, for the most, captured my attention.

(Khee Hoon Chan)

Does watching Season 3 of Twin Peaks over and over count?

(Matt Marrone)

Overwatch – Played the free weekend expecting to play just that weekend for cost-free funsies. Bought the game. Now looking up strats for D.Va, Lucio and Tracer. Dammit.

                         (Melissa King)

Mass Effect: Andromeda – It’s really striking, with the main story finished, exactly how many of the original Mass Effect beats Andromeda seems to want to hit. It’s a largely forgivable impulse in a sequel, but it precludes a great deal of the possibility for Andromeda to stand out on its own. Is it greedy to wish that the opportunity for a fresh start in a swiftly-aging franchise would decide to go for something a bit more weird instead of rehashing the now-familiar forms? The body horror elements in the original Mass Effect were bracing and they still hold a certain power, but there are different mysteries and different horrors. I loved the Normandy, but that was six hundred years ago in a different galaxy, so it’s strange that everywhere that my Ryder goes she keeps running into the same things.

      (Gavin Craig)

Kirby: Planet Robot – Having not played a Kirby game since Dreamland on the SNES or NES (I honestly don’t recall) this one came highly recommended from a couple of friends after I told them I picked up Nintendo’s handheld. So far, the sickeningly sweet, bright and colorful game is a lot of fun. I’m hoping it gets a little more challenging as it goes on, but this is a fun reminder of what Nintendo’s DNA is made of – games that have great controls and interesting gameplay.

                                                                     (Erik Weinbrecht)

Miitomo – There’s a surreal voyeurism to reviewing the clever quips that are my friends’ responses to Nintendo’s endless questions, especially because nearly all of them are from over a year ago, and none from within the past few months. Like finding a cache of diaries in a ghost town.

   (Sara Clemens)

Avengers Academy – In terms of sheer dollars I think Avengers Academy is the game that has been the most expensive in my entire life. Something about its massive difficulty spikes demanding you pay to get even close to unlocking something like Baby Groot (or just straight up paying for Baby Groot) or everyone’s sweet, angsty costumes really make me shell out. It’s awful and beautiful and awful and I love it.

(David Shimomura)

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