Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Robot Unicorn Attack

You are a robotic unicorn, with incredible leaping aptitude, and the ability to turn into a rainbow composed of pure ramming energy. Your goal is to traverse a dangerous terrain for as long as possible, while listening to a sample from Always by Erasure.

Robot Unicorn Attack is a game that conjures a fantastic magical world, filled with graceful, mechanized, soaring equines, and whimsy. The gameplay is quite simple; there are two commands: jump, and dash. The Robot Unicorn has Jordan-like hang time, and has the ability to enact a second jump in mid-flight. The dash is a useful maneouver to implement when an obstacle blocks the horse's path. When dashing, your mare turns into a rainbow, and blasts through the blocking crystal star.

The game can be quite frustrating. As the unicorn accelerates into the ever more complicated environment, misadventure is more likely. A mis-step by your steed will result in a fatal robotic explosion. You are given three of these robots per round, and the goal of the game is to maximize the distance you can travel with those three.

The soundtrack is an integral part of the game; it sets the fantastic mood, and directs the experience to take on a magical quality.

All told, the game is a wonderful and joy-inducing experience. It should not be missed.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Musical Stylings of Olivier Messiaen

Olivier Messiaen's music has wit, style, grace, poignancy, and allure. In its depths swim melodies and themes as beautiful as any of the exotic fauna found in the colourful reefs of the tropics. Such wonderous aural delights are born through the mating of years of experience and hard work.

Messiaen could illicit deep, unambiguous horror, or nerve-cutting ecstasy. His work graces some of the most relatable scenes in modern cinema, and much of our cultural debt is owed to him.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Red Dwarf

Here in Canada, we receive the best that television has to offer from around the world, it just takes a little while for it to get here.

Quality shows will eventually be picked up on cable, or shown on public broadcasting stations. Inasmuch, this quality programming isn't heavily advertised, and doesn't receive the kind of attention that it really deserves.

One day, between 5 and 10 years ago, I was cruising the cable channels, looking to be entertained. I made a brief stop at The Comedy Network, hoping to let my time waft away on the gentle breeze supplied by a steady stream of comedic gaffs and gaffes. But on that day, it wasn't to be; what I saw was a very cheap set with a dirty man insulting a tightwad with a big shiny H on his forehead. The comedy was too dry for my liking, and I was not amused.

Thankfully, aging isn't all just homeostasis, and the subsequent gradual degradation of our body parts. We also become more mature and refined with age. And, as luck would have it, I was exposed to Red Dwarf again. This time I was not disappointed. What I saw was an introspection about introspection, and the story of a brave man calling out into the void against an indifferent universe filled with nothing but loneliness. It's a hilarious, heartbreaking, and genius thesis about life, and it's a story of rebellion against the infinity that awaits us all. Red Dwarf is surely one of the most poignant comedy series ever to be made. It's not to be missed.