Grand Thrash Auto: Alan Grnja (Distant)

A new year means new Grand Thrash Auto pieces, and for the first instalment of 2022 we’re diving into the favourite games of Distant vocalist Alan Grnja. The band’s slam-infused deathcore is about as downtempo as extreme metal gets, with a constant cacophonic clamour of corrosive guitars and guttural growls. Their releases, compiled and fleshed out in the gargantuan Aeons Of Oblivion, chart the story of Tyrannotophia – “the realm of the doomed and the sound of the world’s damnation”, and there’s a good chance these video game influences played a role in the construction of their own gnarly fantasy world.

From action-adventure platformer classics to more cerebral sci-fi titles, Grnja’s picks take us on a journey of PlayStation highlights as he gushes over the games that have left the biggest impact on him. Enjoy!

Devil May Cry Series

This series probably had most impact on my taste, I remember when the PS2 released and it came with these demo discs, it had a short promo video for the first Devil May Cry. As a kid I was terrified of the game haha, but then couple years passed and somehow a copy Devil May Cry 3 made it my way. I remember holding the case gave me flashbacks on younger me being terrified from the first one, so I decided to overcome my fears and play this one, realising it’s not scary at all and it’s actually all fun. So this series went up ten notches in my favourite list, I had to get ‘em all and became a huge fan. I love every entry (not looking at you DMC 2) but the third one holds a special place with me having it on all platforms and completing it on all difficulties.

Nier: Automata

I got this game not so long ago. It didn’t stick to me when I played it first because I didn’t completely understand what was going on, but once I took the time I fully appreciated the way of Yoko Taro’s weird storytelling and game design, then the game sucked me in real good. The gloomy atmosphere and the game mechanics made it somewhat interesting to me as well, not being your regular hack and slash. The story development is stellar and mind-blowing, I really appreciate the games that have a vision and this one is definitely up there.

Death Stranding

As a big Metal Gear fan I was excited for Kojima’s new game because the man is a legend and I’m all about his weirdness. The controversy surrounding the game being a “walking simulator” of sorts didn’t stagger me and I got it anyway, and oh boy was I glad I did. Yes, walking and traversal is the main key of the game, but I never thought I would enjoy walking as much as here. The variety of options you have to travel through the land and overcome obstacles with a beautiful touch on detail was really good. It’s more of an experience than just a game. Also the art style, character design and very good choice of cast was something I really enjoyed.

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7

Being my first Final Fantasy title this needs a place on the list. I walked around all the FFs for ages before getting into it, because like everybody I thought I need to play all the other millions of sequels it had (you don’t have to). I picked this one up and the gameplay mechanics sit well with me as well as the pretty deep and long story. Thanks to that it opened the gates of the FF universe to me and I’ve played them ever since. FF7 lineage in general is probably one of the biggest game stories I know that is so deep and offers so much.

Jak & Daxter Trilogy

If you got as far as here, you’ve probably realised I’m a big PlayStation fan haha. This trilogy is probably on par with Ratchet & Clank entries, but I think Jak deserves more love (please give us Jak 4). I grew up with these games and put hundreds of hours into them and to this day I still find something new in the story. All the conspiracies and deep lore for such a game is really something big that you don’t understand as a ten-year old, so after playing it now it’s a whole different perspective. The growth of the game itself is amazing to watch, going from a nice cartoony beautiful platformer to really dystopian political conflicts and whatnot in a short span of the series’ life is really something, and that’s what I loved about the game the most.

Aeons Of Oblivion is available now on Unique Leader Records. Order here.

Intro: George Parr

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