So Far this Week… April 9, 2014

If you saw this week’s episode of Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., you know that s*** just got real! Tying into the fallout of Captain America: The Winter Soldier (review here), S.H.I.E.L.D. has just gotten shaken up in a big way. Even better is news that Nick Fury and Maria Hill will be showing up in the television series. #HAILHYDRA

Bit by bit, we are getting a better look at Michael Bay’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This week begets character posters of each turtle holding their respective weapon(s). Story be damned, this movie is going to look awesome.

This rumor is too juicy not to tell: Captain Mal/Hammer himself, Nathan Fillion, might have a cameo in the upcoming space epic, Guardians of the Galaxy.

Wreck-it-Ralph fans can anticipate a return to the arcades, as Disney is currently in development for a sequel.

Hogwarts is coming to California! The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which is a mini-park inside Universal Studios Florida, will be joining the California park in 2016. A round of Butterbeer for all my friends, please.

Also in theme park news, Universal Studios will be getting a Fast and the Furious attraction. This franchise will never run out of ways to make money off of itself.

Professional wrestling Hall of Fame inductee (just three days into induction) Ultimate Warrior has passed away. Check out some of his in-ring highlights if you didn’t know who he was.

Looks like they found work for an old Wookie! Peter Mayhew is set to reprise his role as Chewbacca in Star Wars: Episode VII.

The next edition of Super Smash Bros. will also come out on the 3DS and feature an online mode; it will also feature Charizard. Between this and Scribblenauts: Unmasked, we’re one nudge away from owning a Nintendo system.

DC Comics will be relaunching two of their super teams in Suicide Squad and Teen Titans this summer. I’m pretty stoked to see Deathstroke and Black Manta on a team together, and it’s great to see Raven and Beast Boy finally back on the Teen Titans squad.

I would say “SPOILER Alert,” but this news is literally all over the internet – even CNN is talking about it. The death of Archie Andrews is coming. I’m not gonna touch this one…

The legendary Roots crew, known by many as Jimmy Fallon’s band, has released a single from their upcoming album, …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin, called “When the People Cheer.” The album is due out in a month, and you can find a streaming version of the single at okayplayer.com.

If you needed another reason to hate EA, the reigning worst company in America, look no further than the fact that they were sitting on a Darth Maul game, supposedly inspired by the Batman: Arkham series. Now that Disney has the rights to the franchise, that game is shelved permanently – just like 1313 before it. Seriously, f*** those guys.

On the other hand, EA’s next UFC installment will feature the Dragon, Bruce Lee, in all his glory as a playable character.

inFamous: Second Son Review

inFamous: Second Son Review

Genre: TPS (Third-Person Shooter), Open world exploration, super-powers

Released for/Reviewed on: Released & reviewed on PS4

Publisher/Developer: Sony Computer Entertainment (all the Playstation exclusives)/Sucker Punch Productions (inFamous 1 & 2Sly Cooper)

Notable Voice Actors or Writers: Troy Baker (Joel in The Last of Us, The Joker in Arkham Origins, Ocelot in MGS5, Batman in LEGO Batman 2)

Alluring Element: Super powers in an open world with the freedom to choose how to use them

Check it out if you liked: inFamous series, Prototype

Rated: 16+

 

SCORECARD (each category ranked on a 10-point scale):

Storyline – 7
Gameplay – 10
Animation – 9
Replay Value – 8
Entertainment Value – 9
Captivity – 9
Variety – 8
Originality/Creativity – 10
Soundtrack – 9
Overall awesomeness – 9

inFamous has been slated as the PS4’s first killer game of this generation, and it did not disappoint. The visuals on this game are so far only rivaled by other big name games like Metal Gear Solid and maybe Titanfall. What is truly impressive is that they were able to keep this level of detail and graphics so high despite the large and intricate world they have created. The game is set in Seattle – and it is spot on. The dreary weather, Puget Sound, the ridiculous amount of seagulls and hipsters carrying coffee cups – it’s all there and gorgeously textured.

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The premise of the game itself is pretty standard if you have played either of the previous inFamous games – or any type of open world game that involves free-roaming with powers (such as the old Spider-Man or Prince of Persia titles). The game picks up seven years after the events of inFamous 2 and with a majority of the conduits wiped out; the remaining conduits have been labeled as bio-terrorists. This is where are story begins – with leading man, Delsin Rowe. During a prison transport gone wrong Delsin finds out that he is a conduit with the ability to absorb powers from other conduits. The government agency in charge of controlling conduits (D.U.P.)shows up and wreaks havoc on the town while endangering the lives of the town. Without giving too much away, Delsin is forced to go after the head of this government agency in order to steal powers that will help him save his town.

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After some introductory story and gaining a few new powers, the player is given the ability to roam through the city freely while dispensing justice or chaos. There is plenty to do throughout the city and some of the side missions take full advantage of the new capabilities of the DualShock 4 controller. The tagging side missions utilize the features the most as you have to manipulate the controller in many different ways to complete the artwork. The touch screen in the middle is used for absorbing more energy as well as some QTE’s. It is actually a nice inclusion since the system has mainly released ports of games that haven’t made any attempt to include these features. Note: If you’re really into the graffiti missions, there was a PS2 game released in the early 2000’s called Marc Ecko’s Getting Up. where you build your way up to becoming a world famous tagger.

INFAMOUS GRAFFITI

Free-roaming and combat are pretty standard fare and as are the upgrade trees to both. Throughout the game, the player absorbs new powers that give new combat and travel abilities. I won’t ruin what any of them are, but suffice it to say it is just as much fun acquiring these powers as it is using them. This game does an amazing job of continuously making you feel more and more powerful. Each power has its own strengths and weaknesses and although each upgrade tree is pretty standard, they offers plenty of room for early customization to fit the gaming style of the player (ie – stealth, power-house, run and gun, etc). The melee system is a bit weak, but I think I spent 99% of my time aiming for headshots, anyway, so it didn’t bother me one bit.

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As far as complaints go, I don’t have too many negative things to say – but my biggest gripe would have to be with the way they implemented the switching of powers. You are only able to use one power at a time and have to absorb the energy for the type of power you would like to use at one of the power stations around the city. Finding these power stations is very simple because the whole city is littered with them and they are labeled on the map as well. I personally would have preferred individual power bars that we were able to switch to on-the-fly. This may have made the character more powerful but they could have easily compensated with increased difficulty. My only other gripe with the powers was that the final power you spent the entire time trying to acquire felt like it wasn’t given the same amount of attention compared to the other ones. It isn’t completely developed and you are only given the opportunity to use it on the final boss and end game content. It’s a minor complaint, but I still think that with the lack of multiplayer content, this should have been give more attention. There is the possibility that future DLC can correct both of these complaints as well as add new powers for people to play with.

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The last complaint that I have would be with the length of the story. While it was a solid (albeit simple) and engaging story, I did feel that by just going through the story it was a bit on the short side. It’s not nearly as short as the previously reviewed MGS: Ground Zeroes, but it will only clock you in at around five hours to complete the story and grab all the collectibles, roughly half of what it took for the first two games. Granted, the game is intended to be played twice for both the good and evil choices; once you have done that and completed all the side quests, there is very little left to do until possible future content is released. This is where the compensation comes in: Paper Trail! Paper Trail is one of the most innovative additions to a game I’ve seen. After all is said and done, there are special missions that you actually have to go online and do some detective work to complete. Once you solve the clues online, you unlock missions in the game. I’m not sure how it will work going forward – there are only a couple missions currently unlocked – but I thoroughly enjoyed the ones that were there.

infamous ppr trail 1

inFamous: Second Son is not a perfect game, but it is a noticeable improvement of last-gen games – especially the previous two inFamous games, which set the bar very high for PS3. The addition of versatile conduit powers really let you customize the game in terms of how you play it. The side-quests, even though they are short and repetitive, add a new dimension to the game that made the older ones monotonous; coupled with Paper Trail make for some great fun after the story is complete. Most importantly, Delsin Rowe is a hero (or villain) gamers can really relate to. He’s just a normal kid with powers, not the prodigy that Cole McGrath was. His personality also makes players invest more in his cause. I get Delsin in a way I could never understand Cole. Minor complaints aside, this is an amazing game that everyone who owns a PS4 should consider picking up. For anyone wondering what the future console generation was going to look like need look no further than this game. This is but a starting point for what the future of this gaming generation is capable of and the future looks amazing.

All media credited to Sony Entertainment and Sucker Punch Productions

Dark Souls 2 Review

Dark Souls 2 Review

Genre: Action RPG, Open world exploration

Released for/Reviewed on: Released on Playstation 3, X-Box 360 and soon-to-be PC (April 25th), reviewed on PS3

Publisher/Developer: Namco Bandai Games (Tekken, lots of Japanese ported games)/From Software (Souls saga, Tenchu series)

Notable Voice Actors or Writers: Nobody that stood out to us

Alluring Element: True Next-Gen visuals combined with genre leading stealth and action gameplay

Check it out if you liked: MGS series, Splinter Cell series, having two thumbs connected to a brain

Rated: M

 

SCORECARD (each category ranked on a 10-point scale):

Storyline – 8
Gameplay – 10
Animation – 7
Replay Value – 10
Entertainment Value – 10
Captivity – 9
Variety – 9
Originality/Creativity – 8
Soundtrack – 8
Overall awesomeness – 9

The Souls video-game series have been known to cause the destruction of many a-controller since their release a few years back, and Dark Souls 2 is no different. Dark Souls 2 is set in the same universe as the first one but isn’t supposed to be directly related to it in any way. If you don’t really take the time to search it out, however, you won’t be finding much of a story anyways. There are plenty of websites and wikis dedicated to the collection and retelling of the Souls series lore. All you really need to know is that you are an undead who is afflicted with a curse that – only by killing tons of undead enemies and bosses – can you hope to cure it. Fortunately, the game focuses entirely on the gameplay so searching out the story can only help to enhance your experience.

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The real meat of the game is in the ridiculously hard enemies and even more grueling bosses. Add to that the ability to customize you characters stats to play any way you want and the game has almost infinite replayability. The basic builds are still present but this time around the finishing stat-cap will be higher this time around which will open up all sorts of interesting combinations. You can be a massive hammer-wielding mage or a katana-slashing monk with any type of variation in-between. The gameplay itself hasn’t changed too much since the first Dark Souls but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The controls have been more refined and a few things like an actual jump button and a power stance have been added. Tack on more equipment from the previous list and you have a pretty full game to play around with as you please. Once you have found the build that you like, you are able to put it to the test in one of the many co-op or PvP type game modes. There is nothing more fun in this game than the thrill of pitting your character against someone else.

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My main complaint with the game isn’t so much in the game itself as it is the hardware that From Software chose to run it on. This is a very ambitious project and, unfortunately, it has only proven to show the age of the previous-gen consoles. Even the PS3 has some frame rate dips in some of the busier places and the graphics can take a major dip in certain places. There are rumors that it will be ported to next gen but there hasn’t been anything to substantiate those rumors yet. The other main gripe I have with this game is that the difficulty compared to other games feels off. While it is noticeably more difficult, it feels like some of the bosses are only arbitrarily harder because they will put three on the screen instead of one. It does make it more strategic for co-op play-through, but I don’t feel like it takes away from the enjoyment of the single player experience.

Dark Souls 2 Image 3

The good thing is there will always be someone to help you out due to the very dedicated community that plays this game – and while there are plenty of scumbags playing, I can attest to having met many friendly people that are more than willing to help people learn the game and enjoy it even more. While this game isn’t for everyone, I strongly urge that everyone at least give it a try once. If you don’t start with this one, the first Dark Souls and Demon Souls are both under $20 and give you a great idea of what to expect with Dark Souls 2.

 

All media credited to From Software and Namco Bandai Games

Weekend Wrap-Up…March 23, 2014

March Madness is in full effect right now! The Quicken Loans $1B challenge for the perfect got eliminated before the first round was even over. How busted are your brackets?

So, The Boondocks are coming back for Season 4 – starting on April 21st. There’s a catch though – the show will be without creator Aaron McGruder. This will be the final season, and likely the last time we’ll get to see Huey, Riley and Grand-dad in this medium. McGruder seems to have been supportive of the new season via social media, but will the magic be lost without him? We think not.

This is no penny stock scam; The Wolf of Wall Street is being released on Blu-Ray and DVD on Tuesday, March 25th. If you’re still having doubts, check out our review here.

Far Cry 4 sits at number three on my most wanted video-game list (right after Arkham Knight and Watch Dogs). More announcements have been made; the game will take place in the Himalayan Mountains, complete with rideable elephants and Yeti hunting! It will be released next year.

Set your DVRs to record, people! Bryan Cranston AKA Walter White AKA “Heisenberg. You’re god-damn right” is going to be on The Colbert Report on Monday night.

Community‘s Alison Brie will be producing a TV Land show Teachers, based off the web-series of the same name. Watch a couple of them and you will be sold, especially if you’ve worked in the education industry.

The man, the legend, Chris Claremont will return to X-Men writing duties with Nightcrawler #1. The book debuts April 9th.

Turtles in Time is back, this time, as a mini-series by IDW Comics. A common Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme has been sending them back in a certain time period to tackle new problems. The mini-series will be drawn by Ross Campbell, who drew the recent Northampton arc. So excited!

Keep an eye out for our The Walking Dead “Us” review later tonight. We’re all one step closer to Terminus.

Weekend Wrap-Up…March 16, 2014

This week is a little thin on big nerd news this weekend, so we’ll lay it out for ya:

DC Comics is releasing variants based on the pin-up style Bombshell line in June. I can’t guarantee Catwoman will get any more bearable in writing, but the cover will look awesome.

Rocksteady has released new screenshots of their next-gen finale to the Arkham series, Arkham Knight. Prepare to ogle.

Johnny Blaze has been replaced, as Robbie Reyes will be taking up the mantle of Ghost Rider in All-New Ghost Rider, debuting this Wednesday.

All you Moonies can jump for joy; in July, an all new adaptation of Sailor Moon will make its way to the Niconico, the online streaming service.

Action figure models of the Michael Bay Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have surfaced. What do you guys think? I think they have quite a Jim Lee vibe.

JK Simmons, also known as the Farmers Insurance guy and Jonah Jameson in the Spider-Man  flicks a decade ago, will be playing a “weary and alcoholic detective who has followed a bizarre case involving Sarah Connor and robots for more than three decades” in Terminator: Genesis.

Be sure to grab Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes (out Tuesday) and inFamous: Second Son (out Friday). It will be very hard to get anything done through the next couple weeks with these amazing games coming out.

Madness? No, THIS IS… SPARTA!!! Be sure to put in a March Madness bracket with Quicken Loans. It’s free, and if you fill yours out perfectly, you’ll be looking at $1 Billion in winnings.

So Far this Week… February 26, 2014

With the expansion of Hush Comics, we have decided to give bi-weekly news updates.  Anything we find news-worthy will be posted here bi-weekly.  Have anything to add?  Post it in the comments!

Arrow and Survivor come back tonight. About damn time! This week, we say hello to the Clock King.

Breaking Bad is finally completely available to stream on Netflix, in all it’s tragic glory. We laughed, we cried, we dressed up as meth cooks; it was the best. Open up our reviews or “Breaking Bad Week” articles while you enjoy the end of the decades’ best show.

Also in BrBa news, The Heisenberg himself, Bryan Cranston, is moving on to become a serial killer in the upcoming movie Holland, Michigan, acting along-side Naomi Watts. I’m instantly sold with anything this man does, so it will great seeing him back on the big screen.

The makers of Batman: Arkham Origins might not care about your glitchy game, but they do want you to enjoy the new “Cold, Cold Heart” DLC, released April 22nd and centered around a battle with Mr. Freeze.

Hideo Kojima has just collectively shoved everybody off the fence when it comes to buying Metal Gear SolidGround Zeroes. When the game is released on March 18th, next-gen gamers will be able to purchase Ground Zeroes for $10 less.

A gentleman and an entertainer, original Ghostbuster Harold Ramis has passed away, after complications from an auto-immune disease he had been with for years.

I’ve given it five episodes before I spread the good word, but FX’s Chozen is the real deal. Give it ten minutes, and I swear he will be your favorite white, gay rapper ever.

The upcoming Joseph Gordon-Levitt led Sandman movie has found a writer in Jack Thorne, who has written several British shows – including Skins and Shameless.

Adam Driver has been cast as a villain in Star Wars: Episode VII. Yup, the guy from HBO’s Girls. I hold judgment, though, and take it as a sign that we are one step closer to an Episode VII release.

Jason Momoa, who Thronies (men who love Game of Thrones) might know better as Khal Drogo, actually turned down the part given the role of Drax the Destroyer in Guardians of the Galaxy to avoid being type-casted as the big, brooding alien – similar to his role in Stargate: Atlantis. His loss.

The track listing for the soundtrack to the movie Divergent has been released. If you like Ellie Goulding, sprinkled in with some alternative and Hip-Hop, then you should love it. It’s still not on par with the Hunger Games movies’ soundtrack.

Written by Sherif Elkhatib and Adrian Puryear

Shut Up and Take My Money: Mass Effect M-6 Carnifex

The money in our bank account is limited, so how unfair is it that there are endless gadgets, collectibles and toys out there that demand to be purchased? Let us help you sift through the crap, so you don’t can save that hard-earned cash for the things that deserve it. In other words, we give you the power to go to the counter and say, “Shut Up and Take My Money!”

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Item: Mass Effect M-6 Carnifex Full Scale Replica

What it is: While I wait for inFamous: Second Son and Metal Gear Solid V to come out in March, I’ve been keeping myself busy by re-playing the Mass Effect trilogy. Mass Effect is one of the best games I’ve ever played. It created it’s own universe, with new species, planets and, of course, weapons. The M-6 Carnifex was officially named in the second game, and fully-detailed in the third. It is a Magnum-like pistol with heavy rounds and high accuracy. For a video demonstrating its badass-edness, check it out below:

The replica weighs in at seven pounds, which tells me that it’s sturdy and feels realistic – not some plastic knock-off. So you’d be paying for the real deal – minus, you know, the fact that it doesn’t shoot out lethal beams. It does, however, have functioning LED lights that turn on when the trigger is pulled… so there’s that.

How Much it Costs: The M-6 Carnifex is not for the faint of heart. When the replica was announced last year (along with the M-3 Predator and Geth Pulse Rifle), it retailed for $400 (the Pulse Rifle is still available for pre-order if you are willing to drop $750). The Carnifex is sold out everywhere, but with just a little bit of digging, you can find it on eBay or Amazon for around $250. This isn’t out of the ordinary, as a lot of Tri-Force’s collectibles are highly-coveted and, therefore, highly-priced.

Is It Worth It?: It’s a tough call. Fans that are interested in hard-core cosplaying for Mass Effect should jump at the opportunity to adorn themselves with such an incredibly detailed sidepiece. Collectors should also jump at the chance to own a Tri-Force collectible. Only 500 of these babies were made, so once they run out on their first cycle through eBay and Amazon, the price will skyrocket. Picking up one now would be a sound investment. Casual fans of the game and collectibles should probably just admire the pretty pictures and move on. Paying over $200 for any collectible is a serious investment, and you may end up sleeping on the couch with your new pistol if it’s not the investment you try to make it.

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Bottom Line: This is a premium replica at a premium price. If you love Mass Effect that much, or want to invest in a collectible that will undoubtedly give you a return, go ahead and pick one up. These things are selling out like divorce attorneys at a Kardashian family reunion, though, so act quickly if you aim to buy. Hopefully, the success of the Carnifex will lead Tri-Force to try out other video-game replicas.

Written by Sherif Elkhatib

So Far this Week… February 5, 2014

With the expansion of Hush Comics, we have decided to give bi-weekly news updates.  Anything we find news-worthy will be posted here bi-weekly.  Have anything to add?  Post it in the comments!

This week, we’re excited about several new books out, but none moreso than Ms. Marvel, which has been rebooted and features a young Muslim girl as the superhero. Read this article by The Washington Post to see why this is a BFD.

The Lex Luthor story line in the new Batman vs. Superman movie is going to be similar to something we’ve seen before.

The late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman still had a vital scene to film to complete the Mockingjay – Part II film. So what are they to do? Three words: C.G.I.

Kick-Ass news! John Romita Jr. will be coming to DC Comics to do Superman with Geoff Johns this summer. The team-up could give the Man of Steel a much-needed boost.

Voting for the 2014 Comic Alliance Readers’ Choice Awards ends soon! Go vote and feel validated!

Can anybody smell what The Rock is cooking? You can’t just Tweet out #JohnStewartCanStillWhupSupermansAss without people thinking that you will be playing the Green Lantern John Stewart in an upcoming movie.

The fairy-tale world is on fire right now – figuratively, of course. Zooey Deschanel will be producing an animated sitcom called Queen of Everything to FOX.

Long-running show Psych has been cancelled just a couple months into their eight season; the last episode airs March 26th.

Try to keep up here. The Flash’s new spin-off series, which begins filming in March, has found an actress to play Iris West, who is the love interest of Barry Allen, who is the Flash (shhhh!); her name is Candice Patton and she was in a show called The Game they also chose Broadway actor Carlos Valdez, who will play Vibe, a young and inexperienced hero who can emit powerful vibrations from his arms. He must be a hit with the ladies… Whoo, that was fast.

The next-gen release of Disney Infinity 2 will feature both Marvel and Star Wars characters. If you were looking for an excuse to buy the game, there it is!

Speaking of Star Wars, Disney has already announced that they will introduce the brand-new Star Wars Rebels series by way of original Disney Channel movie this Summer.

Sunny Day, Sweepin’ the clouds aw-Kahhhhn!!! Benedict Cumberbatch stopped by to join the cast of Sesame Street.

Bill Nye, who is like, the Guy, when it comes to science, had a debate with best-selling Christian author Ken Ham to discuss Evolutionism vs Creationism. It’s a lengthy and intelligent debate held by NPR, so get some sleep, get your grand-dad’s pipe out and watch the debate here.

It might be the news about how crappy Sochi is doing, I was just thinking the other day that there haven’t been any good movies about an Olympic tragedy in a while. Enter Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill,  who will both co-star in a film about the 1996 Atlanta bomber.

Assassin’s Creed: Freedom Cry will be its own $15 downloadable game, meaning you won’t have to buy AC4 to get in on the action. I hope they do this with every game’s DLC going forward. Arrrrrr.

FX’s Archer is about to dead a whole lot better, as The Walking Dead‘s Lauren Cohan (Maggie) will be joining the show for multiple episodes. She describes her character as “a wealthy corrupt President’s wife who is vaguely European.” SOLD.

If you’ve read our “Shut Up and Take My Money” article on RetroFit gaming systems, then you will geek out when the RetroFit TRIO comes out in the next couple months.

So… who is going to beat the living f*** out of George Zimmerman? There were apparently 15,000 people who applied to fight Zimmerman. What a scumbag… Details of the fight will be announced in a week.

Ubisoft had a little debacle with the trademark name of their high-profile game Watch Dogs when somebody had fraudulently filed to dissolve the trademark name of the upcoming game. Ubisoft is trying to correct the issue and it should not impede the game’s release.

They’re talking about another Duke Nukem game. Oh God, Why?? Just let it die!

Written by Sherif Elkhatib and Adrian Puryear

Shut Up and Take My Money: Gunnar Advanced Computer Eyewear

The money in our bank account is limited, so how unfair is it that there are endless gadgets, collectibles and toys out there that demand to be purchased? Let us help you sift through the crap, so you don’t can save that hard-earned cash for the things that deserve it. In other words, we give you the power to go to the counter and say, “Shut Up and Take My Money!”

shut-up-and-take-my-money

Item: Gunnar Advanced Computer Eyewear

What it is: Now that school is back in session, it’s that time again to spend hours in front of the computer studying and typing papers. If you are anything like me, not only will you be spending tons of time on the computer, the majority of your downtime will be spent in front of the television or computer screen playing video games. These glasses are a god-send for those of us that get eye-strain from those long hours in front of the screen. According to Gunnar’s website:

“GUNNAR computer eyewear is engineered to reduce digital eye strain while increasing contrast, comfort, and focus. All GUNNAR glasses include our patented lens technology with our proprietary shape to protect your eyes from drying air currents, enhanced focusing power to improve detail for clearer vision, and custom tints and coatings to filter out harsh artificial light and glare.”

How Much it Costs: With different styles coming and going along with accompanying sales going on at different websites the lowest that I have found a pair for is around $50 and they go all the way up to $150. If you have to get them with a prescription the website tops out at $350 for some of the higher end models, but lands pretty comfortably in the low $200 dollar range for most of the models. If you don’t have to get prescription, or can wear contacts like I do, I highly recommend looking for a sale on non-RXed models.

Is It Worth It?: If you sit in front of a computer for school or work or spend a considerable amount of time playing video games, then I would highly recommend buying a pair. I bought these on a whim and wasn’t sure they would be of any real value but after spending many late nights of writing code for classes I came to realize that my eyes felt much better on the nights when I wore these glasses. I also noticed that I could wear my contacts longer without getting a headache from dry eyes due to these glasses as well. These are something I would definitely recommend to have lying around the computer/gaming desk.

Robert doesn't just own GUNNARs, he swears by them.
Robert doesn’t just own GUNNARs, he swears by them.

Bottom Line: If you spend any time in front of a screen consider buying a pair. With such a low price point for entry, even if you aren’t crazy about them you still won’t have wasted a ton of money for something that can improve your overall eye health. Otherwise I see no reason to buy these, unless you are a D-bag or middle schooler that likes to wear colored lenses for absolutely no reason.

Written by Robert Michael

Shut Up and Take My Money: Retro Duo Portable System

The money in our bank account is limited, so how unfair is it that there are endless gadgets, collectibles and toys out there that demand to be purchased? Let us help you sift through the crap, so you don’t can save that hard-earned cash for the things that deserve it. In other words, we give you the power to go to the counter and say, “Shut Up and Take My Money!”

shut-up-and-take-my-money

Item: Retro Duo Portable NES/SNES/SEGA Genesis system.

What it is: Eighties babies can finally find a use for all those Nintendo and SEGA cartridges collecting dust in some random pocket of the basement that HDMI ports and Blu-Ray disc games have rendered obsolete. You know what they say; if you can’t come to the party, bring the party to you. You can do just that with this portable gaming system designed by RetroBit. With the included adapters, you can alter your Retro Duo system to play almost any old NES/SNES or Genesis game that you may have lying around. As opposed to current-gen games that net anywhere from $20-60, you can find a lot of these 16-bit classics for less than five bucks at the right place (locally-owned used game stores like Game Force in Aurora, Colorado, Amazon, eBay). There’s a definite cost benefit to buying the Retro Duo pro, and if you still consider Street Fighter II and Mega-Man X to be in your top games list, then there’s no reason not to invest in this system. Emulators have been around for years, but there’s just something weird about playing a retro game on a full keyboard (although you can buy Nintendo/SEGA-like controller USB adapters). Nothing that can replace the initial three-four button systems that SEGA and Nintendo released these games on. Retro Duo offers a controller with a built-in 3.5″ screen (comparable with most smartphones on the market now). 

How much it costs: $80 brand new (Amazon). Released in January of 2012, the Retro Duo system is still widely available in nostalgic gaming stores and online alike, so there’s no rush to buy one if you’re interested. Fortunately, if you’re not worried about the portable aspect of it, you can always opt for the more affordable Hyperkin Retron 3, a gaming system that connects via your television’s composite cables so you can watch all 16 bits of NBA Jam on the big-screen. The Hyperkin Retron 3 retails for less than $50.

If it’s worth it or not: With all the emulators out for 16-bit games being computer-based, this could be a great pick-up for somebody who is on the go. However, for just double the price, you could get a brand-new PS Vita, equipped with way more features and new games that will blow the socks off you. Personally, I do just fine with mindless games like Clumsy Ninja and Robot Unicorn Attacks II (don’t even bother with the first installment). Really though, if you would prefer retro games over modern ones, this would be a great investment for you. This could be a smart purchase for your kids, as well. 16-bit game greats like Super Mario Kart or Shaq Fu (hate all you want; Shaq had moves) can be played on the go so you don’t have to miss that episode of Community because your four year-old can’t get enough Flower in their life. Keep in mind, too, that this system is not compatible with EVERY retro game out there. You can find a list of games that won’t bring back the memories on the Retro Duo Wikipedia page.

photo courtesy of Amazon.com
photo courtesy of Amazon.com

The bottom line: Pretty much, this purchase should be reserved for 80’s babies and hipsters – those who would rather play Sonic the Hedgehog than Infinity Blade. There’s really no way for adults to get away with playing this at work, it could be a great time-kill for that road trip or family reunion you have coming up.

Anything you feel this article is missing? Are you wondering whether or not a certain product is worth grabbing? Let us know!

Written by Sherif Elkhatib