Horacee Arnold Redux Kickstarter Campaign Week Four

This is our final week of this campaign and again, we would like to thank all those who have backed the project and help spread the word. In this video, Horacee explains his next project and who he will be working with on the reinterpretation of his 1974 album, “Tales of the Exonerated Flea.”

Please visit the Kickstarter project page

Horacee Arnold Redux Kickstarter Campaign Week Three

We are in our third week of four and are not as far as we would have hoped. We are optimistic that with the help of our fans and friends we can reach our goal. To help spread the word, this week we introduce a new video for the track ‘Serengeti Minstrel’ from All Times Are In It. Here is a short clip featuring part of the video. You can see the short and full versions using the links below. Thanks again and please help us get the word out by sharing on social media (from our Kickstarter project page. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/465408929/horacee-arnold-redux)

Serengeti Minstrel (Short Version) https://youtu.be/WozuCqborZI

Serengeti Minstrel (Full Version) https://youtu.be/EkHWaBSVErs

Horacee Arnold Redux Kickstarter Campaign Week Two

Horace Arnold Redux logoWe are in our second week of the Kickstarter campaign and would like to thank all of those who have offered their support. But we are a long way from our goal and are widening our reach and need your help. Please share this message with all of your friends and let’s make this happen!

Horacee Arnold Redux Kickstarter Campaign

Horacee’s Kickstarter Now Live

Horace Arnold Redux logo

Kickstarter Campaign Now Live

We have 30 days to reach our goal and need your help. If you wish to donate, please visit the site and equally important, please help us spread the word using social media. Now we present a short video for the track “Elegant Waters” off of Horacee’s new album.

Horacee Arnold Redux Kickstarter Campaign

Here is the second installment of “Horacee Arnold Redux”. Everything is in place and we are ready to launch. Look out for updates on the campaign starting soon.

Horace Arnold Redux logo

Kickstarter Campaign Launching Soon

Next week, we will be announcing the launch of the “Horacee Arnold Redux” Kickstarter campaign where we hope to raise the budget for promoting my new album, “All Times Are in It” and reintroducing myself to audiences worldwide.

horaceearnold.com

Horacee Arnold Redux

Horace Arnold Redux logoI am very pleased and excited to announce my latest project in which I get to work with jazz drummer Horacee Arnold. If you know Horacee and his work, you undoubtedly share in my excitement and if you do not know Horacee, here is your chance to learn about the musician, the composer and the man. This short video is the first in a series to help promote the Kickstarter campaign launching very soon.

 

Big Plans for the Future

It’s a new year and I want to share with you all my big plans for the future. I have a new album recorded and ready for release and that’s just the start. In the next few weeks, I will have many exciting things to announce, but for now please enjoy the first in a new series of short videos introducing “Horacee Arnold Redux” and stayed tuned for more updates.

horaceearnold.com

#cotalewis15

We are F1 fanatics. We love @LewisHamilton. It would be a dream come true to meet him at @circuitamericas #TeamLH #COTALEWIS15

My friend Paolo Bowyer and I have been watching and discussing Formula One racing for years. When he informed me that there was a contest to meet our favorite driver and current world champion, Lewis Hamilton, we started brainstorming right away. He provided the original music and I edited some footage of me driving karts, my own car at the New Jersey Motorsports Park and a NASCAR race car at Charlotte.

Here is our submission to the 2015 Circuit of the Americas “Win a trip to the United States Grand Prix and a meet and greet with Lewis Hamilton” Contest.

The Xbox One at One – Part Two

xbox one at one part two_1000As with the major releases of the last year mentioned in Part One, Xbox One gamers were presented with some new installments to some favorite series as well as one excellent new title. As I have stated in the past, different gamers like different games and the list of downloadable Xbox One games below aptly proves this point. Both my eldest son and I enjoy Trials Fusion. As is often the case, I make it further through the game’s progression while my son concentrates on the track builder. All of my sons play Minecraft, both on the Xbox 360 and the One. They do not play nearly as much as they used to, however, with Terraria usurping Minecraft’s status.

I have always had a huge problem with the Worms series. The controls never seem to work except to kill most of your own team. I find that I tire of it quickly, but my boys seem to enjoy it and as there are relatively few multiplayer split-screen games, having one they like playing together is always welcome.

In my opinion, and those of countless reviewers, a pinnacle of the smaller, downloadable game segment this last year was Valiant Hearts: The Great War. A rare quiet and beautiful moment in gaming. A poignant, well-written story expressed through a puzzle game with a unique graphic style that is at the same time cartoonish and sophisticated. Ubisoft achieved here what it does with the Assassin’s Creed games, sparking a desire in both me and my boys to learn more about the history of the subject of the game. In the case of Valiant Hearts, the developers include historical details and photos with each section. It seems no accident that I find my self playing games developed by Ubisoft more and more often. They often offer a deeper experience than other games on the market.

Date Title IGN Rating Gamespot Rating
April 2014 Trials Fusion  8.2 8
May 2014 Worms Battlegrounds  8  —
June 2014 Valiant Hearts: The Great War  9.3  8
September 2014 Minecraft  9.7  7

 

The Xbox One at One – Part One

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It has been a year since the release of the Xbox One and it seems time to review what the new platform has offered and how it fared. The list below are Xbox One titles that my family and friends purchased and played over the last twelve months as well as their respective review scores from IGN and Gamespot. There are a many things of interest to note.  Overall, Gamespot rates games lower than IGN but the ratings are consistent except for the freakishly low 6 for Destiny from Gamespot. I cannot explain why they alone seem to find that game lacking. Other than that anomaly however, the games all enjoyed high ratings and popular success. I cannot pick a loser in this bunch. Each delivered what it promised and looked great doing it.

Date Title IGN Rating Gamespot Rating
November 2013 Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag 8.5 9
Battlefield 4 8.5 8
Call of Duty: Ghosts 8.8 7
Dead Rising 3 8.3
Forza Motorsport 5 8.8
February 2014 Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 7.8 7.5
March 2014 Titanfall 8.9 8.6
May 2014 Watch Dogs 8.4 8
Wolfenstein: The New Order 7.8 8
September 2014 Destiny 7.8 6
Forza Horizon 2 8.3 8
November 2014 Assassin’s Creed Unity 7.8 7
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare 9.1 8
Far Cry 4 8.5 7

What were our favorites? It depends who you ask. My kids loved Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare and expressed fleeting admiration for Forza Horizon 2. For me, standouts included Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and Titanfall both of which are solid and beautiful examples of their genres. All of the adult gamers agreed that Call of Duty: Ghosts suffered from the same issue as many titles in that series, lag. In the case of Ghosts, the issue is so severe that we don’t bother playing it anymore. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare seems to be a bit better behaved but I haven’t played in a few weeks. For me the Forza games are always a big hit and Forza Motorsport 5 and Horizon 2 are both the best in their respective series.

But the true standout for us all and the biggest surprise for all us as well is Destiny. In terms of total playtime since its launch, nothing comes close to our focus on Destiny. With the “The Dark Below” DLC about a week away, the new content will keep us busy for a while.

Expectations

In my last post, I mentioned that “what you get out of the experience depends greatly on what you are expecting.” I have found this to be especially true in the case of the most recent three games I purchased.

Before I buy a game I read reviews and view trailers and gameplay samples. All three of these popular games are favorably reviewed, but much like any piece of art or entertainment, the mood of the audience greatly affects the way the piece is experienced. To illustrate, I will use the following three games: Forza Horizon 2, Borderlands The Pre-Sequel and Destiny and myself, my family and friends as the audience.

Forza_Horizon

Forza Horizon 2

To be completely honest, the first Horizon did not blow me away. While I am a huge fan of the main Forza series, I have always preferred driving games that focus on the realistic experience of driving as opposed to those that concentrate on the nightlife, street racing and party car culture. While I much preferred the original Horizon to any of the Need for Speed titles that I own, I still liked the on-track Forza 5 better. My sons, however, have always liked driving open world games, especially ones that allow the user to drive almost anywhere. That’s why they liked Test Drive Unlimited 2 and Driver San Francisco (though in truth its world is not entirely open). They all like Horizon 2, especially like the barn finds.

The new Horizon improves on the first in every way. The resolution and attention to detail both in the cars and the environments are impressive. The art direction, lighting and weather systems help elevate this game greatly in terms of its style and mood. In fact this game comes very close in depth of mood to my favorite of all – Colin McRae’s original Dirt. The gameplay is smooth, the handing is realistic and completely adjustable to match the user’s skill level. Horizon 2 takes all of Forza’s best features, the handling of the cars, the ability to make the game as easy or challenging as desired and allows you to drive some of the most exciting cars in beautifully crafted southern European settings. I mean who wouldn’t want to drive a vintage Ferrari through Tuscany?

borderlands-the-pre-sequel-4_1000

Borderlands The Pre-Sequel

Those of you who have read my posts before know that the Borderlands series is one of my personal favorites and I often mention its humor and its bravery in what the developers chose to include. So it is surprising that I have spent little time with the game thus far, something telling in itself.

How is it possible that the sequel to my favorite game is out and I am not playing it? Here it is: I am more interested in playing Destiny. Really? Destiny? A game made by the same studio that created the Halo series that I knock for not having a soul? Yes, things seem to have changed.

My sons also awaited the release of this latest version eagerly and have played more extensively than I. They defend the game and say that I need to give it another chance. I will do that, but I am not alone in feeling sluggish about this title. Some of the people I game with most often have echoed the sentiment.

Destiny-E3-Screenshots-23_1000

Destiny

So what is it about Destiny? The simple truth is that while it’s not a game that aspires to make you laugh, there are beautiful, quiet moments as well as intense firefights and overall, it is a great, solid game that keeps you coming back.

I have not played Titanfall since getting this game. I love Titanfall and have regenerated many times. In Destiny, I am on my third character, with a nearly level 28 hunter and a level 25 warlock and somehow even going through the story mode three times is not boring. I have assembled my own personal strike team and we play every chance we get. We are very much looking forward to the newly announced downloadable content pack, The Dark Below due to come out December 9th, regardless of the fact that as Xbox players we will not get access to all of the new material. Please see Destiny‘s New DLC Kinda Screws Over Xbox Players for details.

The Destiny season pass also includes the second scheduled DLC pack, House of Wolves, which should, along with special events like the Queen’s Wrath and Iron Banner, keep the game fresh and in active rotation while other new titles are released. Considering that the competition includes the well-reviewed Sunset Overdrive, not to mention Call of Duty Advanced Warfare, gamers everywhere will have their hands full and so will we.

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