Welcome to Pages of Fun!

This is the personal Web site of Robert Wm. Gomez. I am an artist, musician and nerd living in Chicago, Illinois who has been maintaining this site (in one form or another) since 1996. Enjoy your visit!

Day of Anger (6/10)

A goofy but entertaining spaghetti western featuring Lee Van Cleef as a gunslinger who inspires the town garbage collector to take up his gun and show those snooty townspeople who's the boss. The music is pretty great, but the film is stylistically not too interesting.

Call of Juarez Gunslinger on PC (9/10)

Gunslinger Screenshot

I thought the original Call of Juarez was a better-than-average shooter that was bolstered by it being set in the Old West. I'm really surprised by the lack of western themed games given that for seventy-five odd years that was the go to "universe" for pulp stories and films.

Replicas by Tubeway Army (9/10)

Format: CD

After having owned and loved The Pleasure Principle for years, I finally expanded my Gary Numan collection with this CD. Numan hadn't quite fully embraced synthesizers at this point in his career (he was about 90% the way there), so the music still has a guitar-based punk rock feel on many of the songs. Some people will rejoice in this. Me? I kinda favor when things go full synth-tard.

Sniper Elite V2 on PC (7/10)

Sniper Elite V2

This was a free game on Steam on the day of the sequel's release. I grabbed it without knowing anything about the game. Apparently, the distinguishing feature of Sniper Elite V2 is its over the top x-ray view gore simulation. Make a head shot and watch as the bullet shatters bones and eyeballs. This adds absolutely nothing to the game other than a novelty cool factor and it starts to get in the way when you are trying to make successive shots quickly.

The Blackwell Deception on PC (9/10)

The Blackwell Deception

The fourth Blackwell game continues to make improvements over its predecessors in terms of technical polish. There is also a bit more depth to the puzzles and game play. This is still no where near the brutal difficulty of an old school point-and-click game, but it's nice to have more options in terms of combining inventory items, switching characters and querying your in-game search engine to advance the game.

Horsepower by Triple Whip (8/10)

Format: CD

What do you do when your guitarist/singer packs up and leaves town? You soldier on as an instrumental bass and drums duo! Obviously, this is a very different sounding band than before, but I do like this incarnation too. I like hearing a little more attention paid to the tricksy drumming now that the sound has been stripped down.

Snake Creeps Down by Triple Whip (8/10)

Format: CD

This Champaign-Urbana trio was the first band with which Nonagon ever played a show. The songs are very much in the tradition of the C-U sound of the 90s ala the Poster Children or even Hot Glue Gun. This disc is a "kung-fu concept EP" fit for any dojo.

Blackwell Unbound on PC (9/10)

Blackwell Unbound - Jambalaya Records

Another day, another Blackwell game completed. These are solid point-and-click adventure games. The puzzles aren't too hard and the stories are good. This one is a little less slick graphically than the first, but the soundtrack and mood are much more appropriate to the ghostly noir theme. On to the next...

The Blackwell Legacy on PC (8/10)

The Blackwell Legacy - Rosa's Room

The first four Blackwell games went on sale on Steam this week for around 50¢ each. These games have been on my radar ever since I saw this Mattchat interview with Wadjet Eye company founder Dave Gilbert. Basically, he was a hobbyist using the Adventure Game Studio to create Lucasarts style point-and-click adventures. He decided to make a go at transforming his hobby into a business and some dozen or so games later the company has survived.

Spec Ops: The Line on PC (9/10)

Spec Ops: The Line - Screenshot

Have you ever wanted to be the star of your very own nihilistic, anti-war fever dream? Well, look no further than Spec Ops: The Line. This game is, for the most part, a standard cover-based third-person shooter. The mechanics are solid, but nothing out of the ordinary. Where this game separates itself from others is in its dark story that owes a lot to Apocalypse Now and its progenitor, Heart of Darkness. Instead of taking a boat up the river, you are making your way through a sand storm engulfed Dubai on a quest to find Colonel Konrad (Conrad, get it?) and his rogue 33th brigade.

Warm Voices Rearranged by Brandon Kearney & Gregg Turkington (7/10)

The subtitle of the book is "Anagram Record Reviews" and that pretty much sums it up. Take a record artist and title, rearrange the letters and out pops a snarky and fairly relevant description of the album/artist. The reviews are at their best when describing a performer with a tawdry personal life: references to overdoses and sexual escapades abound. My favorite review in the book is the one for the Wallflowers that implies that Jacob Dylan is Hitler. If you want a taste of what's in store check out the blog.

Hotline Miami on PC (8/10)

Hotline Miami - Screenshot

Hotline Miami is an ultraviolent, fast-paced arcade-style game that owes a lot to Smash T.V. and Berzerk. Although it uses both analog sticks, I wouldn't quite call it a twin stick shooter since you are using the shoulder buttons to fire and swing weapons. These controls are not easy to get used to, but eventually I got a handle on them. Yet even near the end I was still dying because I would accidentally throw my weapon rather than target an enemy.

Brütal Legend on PC (4/10)

Brütal Legend - Screenshot

I really wanted to like Brütal Legend. but once again Doublefine has created a game that is a triumph of style over substance. The story concept is there: Jack Black as a concert roadie who saves heavy metal music from obsolescence through the power of rock. There are so many great ways that this tale could have been told. How about a parable about commercial, corporate entities are watering down great music? Or how with so many entertainment choices, kids just don't care about being in bands any more? Nope. Instead we are taken to what amounts to your standard D & D fantasy world with a sheen of Eighties metal album cover art direction laid on top.

Borderlands 2 on PC (8/10)

Borderlands 2

This sequel is an improvement over the original Borderlands. The basic shoot everything and look for loot game-play remains, but the level designs and weapons are far more interesting. There is a much greater emphasis on verticality, cover and movement. The first game seems flat and empty compared to this.

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