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Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions

Hey folks, just an FYI here. The new ESH Podcast episode will drop tomorrow and is a "very special" episode of our podcast.

In late December of 2010, when I played part one of Back to the Future: The Game, I had a lot of fun with it as a huge fan of the film series.  Seeing the second episode begin to download was like finding a twenty in my pocket.  Wondering of the possibilities of what to come in this second episode I started it up and was immediately floored.  The episode starts with a bang and has enough twists, turns and throwbacks to keep it going until suddenly you realize you’ve beaten it.

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The subject of transgenderism does not come up too often in the anime realm. For the most part when it comes to male characters wanting to dress like women (or vice versa) it tends to stay in a safe bubble where that is just as far as they'll go with their transformation. Not only does Wandering Son (or Hourou Musuko, as it's known in Japan) step away from this bubble, but also takes the issue and brings it to light via a middle school setting. As shocking as that might be, there is a tad bit of realism in putting a GLBT-based plot in an environment like this.

Since its release, I’ve been waiting for an awesome reason to sign up for PSN’s Playstation Plus rewards program.  Thanks to Double Fine, I finally got my reason.  Stacking, the newest game from the creators of Psychonauts and Costume Quest, is currently being offered for free to Playstation Plus subscribers.  I partook of said subscription and got my hands on Stacking and I’m glad to say that Double Fine has another wonderful game.

There is not another living playwright out there that can twist the elements of tragedy and comedy together, and create a piece of theatrical work that plays on all of your senses quite like Martin McDonagh. The man responsible for both The Leenane Trilogy and The Pillowman, as well as the dark and demented 2008 film In Bruges, knows how to jumble the saddest, happiest and sometimes disturbing elements of life and slice it all together into one fluid production. Yesterday I was able to check out his Tony-award winning play The Cripple of Inishmaan at the Paramount Theatre, presented by Ireland's Druid Theatre Company.

After several movies, books, comics and prequel games, Dead Space 2 has finally arrived.  Personally, I have been waiting for this game for quite a while.  As a huge fan of the original game and an owner of far too much other Dead Space media, this game release could not have come soon enough.  The hype leading up to it has been pretty substantial, but after playing it myself I truly think we may already have one of the best games of this year.

The last ten years of the pillows' career have been like a game of "Chutes & Ladders," filled with many ups (Thank you my twilight, MY FOOT, PIED PIPER) and some downs (PENALTY LIFE, Good Dreams, Ooparts). Here we are within the 21st year of their lengthy and legendary careers, and a new album from Sawao Yamanaka, Yoshiaki Manabe and Shinichiro Sato has landed in our hands for our eager ears. This LP is Horn Again, an album that proves once again why the pillows are the best rock band from Japan.

Not very often do gamers bear witness to a game quite like ilomilo. On the surface it looks like a game aimed primarily at children, but once you get deep down into the aesthetics of it you realize that this SouthEnd Interactive title was made to bring the inner child out of all of us.

Many highs and lows in the music world, but a great amount of artists this year had their shiniest moments thanks to their risks and successful undertakings. Let's take a look at this year's best and brightest albums, starting from number twenty and ending in this section at eleven.

When it comes to The50Kaitenz their mixture of punk rock and comedy is no match for any band, so when it first heard that the Osaka trio was teaming up with cult favorite director Noboru Iguchi (The Machine Girl, Robogeisha) the pairing sounded like a match made in Heaven. Like a blend of The Three Stooges, Help! and Detroit Metal City both the director and its stars manage to create one heck of a funny blend of comedy and punk rock with Rock 'N' Roll Magic.