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Christ Centered Gamer Blog

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Pixar Animated Shorts: Volume 3

Thank you Disney for sending us this Blu-ray to review!

Pixar movies are great and they always have the added bonus of a wonderfully made short to precede them. Sometimes they’re funny and other times they’re insightful. Volume 3 contains eleven shorts, two mini-movies, and some bonus features that are exceptionally made. While I have seen some of them, many of these shorts were new and thoroughly enjoyed by my family.

Here’s a breakdown of each one:

Bao – An eye-opening tale about a mother’s love for a rebellious son.

Lou – Lost toys come together to teach a bully a lesson and the benefits of forgiveness.

Piper – Teaching a baby seagull to feed himself, and overcoming the fear of the ocean waves.

Sanjay’s Super Team – Mostly based on a true story. Sanjay is trying to watch his superhero TV show and his dad is trying to meditate by their family shrine. After Sanjay loses the battle over the television volume, he joins his father in worship physically while mentally he daydreams fighting bad guys alongside some of his gods.

Riley’s First Date? – Inside Out characters in the minds of the boy, parents, and Riley. The mother tries to pry information from Riley with “hip talk” while the father attempts to intimidate Jordan.

Lava – A Hawaiian-themed musical short about a lonely volcano looking for love. Will he meet the “lava” of his life?

The Radiator Springs 500 ½ - Stanley Days is interrupted by some young punks looking to challenge Lightning McQueen to a race. Unfortunately, they’re given some bad directions and have quite the adventure.

Party Central – Mike and Sullivan save a lackluster frat party at Monsters University by stealing food and students from another one.

The Blue Umbrella – In a city full of black umbrellas, a bright blue one stands out from the crowd and takes a liking to a vibrant red one. Eventually, they go their separate ways, but will they meet again?

The Legend of Mor’du – A witch shares the tale about a king and his four sons with different skills. When the king passed, the eldest son wanted to rule the kingdom by himself and not share it as his father had decreed. War ensued and resulted in a stalemate. The oldest son enlisted the help of a witch who gave him a spell of choice: great strength or to restore his bond with his brothers.

Partysaurus Rex – The characters of Toy Story gang up against Rex who ruins their fun. They call him Party Pooper Rex. Rex meets some new bath toy friends and introduces himself as Partysaurus Rex. Since he has arms he can draw the bath water to keep the party going after bath time.

There are also two mini-movies:

Marine Life Interviews – A bunch of fish and a couple of seals recall their time with Dory. This one is shorter than most of the shorts.

Miss Fritter’s Racing Skoool – The bus from Cars 3 has an infomercial that is pretty intense. Lightning McQueen and Cruz Ramirez are her most recent graduates.

Lastly, there are two bonus features:

Making Bao - Bao means steamed bun or precious. It’s neat that the whole crew learned how to make dumplings from the director’s mother. I didn’t realize it until this behind the scenes that the short takes place in Toronto.

Caricature: A Horrible Way of Saying 'I Love You' – A look into mean caricature night at Pixar. I’m glad I don’t work there…

Despite that a couple of the shorts don’t align with Biblical teachings, but they’re all family friendly. I do like the theme of forgiveness and making things right in Lou. This seventy-six minute collection can be yours for less than $25 on Amazon.

 


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She-Ra and the Princesses of Power

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power

Thank you DreamWorks for sending us a cape, tiara, pins, and glitter to decorate it all with!

She-Ra has been around since the mid-eighties. He-Man was geared for boys and got a motion picture. Over thirty years later She-Ra and the Princesses of Power gets its own animated Netflix series courtesy of DreamWorks.

The series begins with Adora, a hard-working Senior Cadet who quickly advances in rank because of her efforts. She’s an orphan and has some close friends including the troublemaking Catra. In order to cheer up Catra who is jealous over Adora’s new rank, they take a “borrowed” ship for a spin and crash it into a forest. In the forest, Adora sees a sword that’s calling for her to fulfill her destiny and fight for the honor of Grayskull.

Adora doesn’t hold a high regard for princesses; little does she know that she is one herself! When Adora uses the sword that has been calling for her, she transforms into She-Ra, a very powerful princess and a force to be reckoned with. It’s nice to see a princess that can hold her own in battle without needing the help of some wandering prince or plumber brothers.

The episodes are twenty-four minutes in length and are action packed. The characters are likeable and often have funny lines. Their voice acting is well done too. The animation is simple but nice.

My kids, including my son, enjoyed watching this show. If you have Netflix and younger kids, you should definitely look into this series. I didn’t pay much attention to She-Ra growing up so I can’t say how true to her story this series is. My brother grew up playing with He-Man so I’m familiar with some of the characters and I look forward to getting reacquainted with them.

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Why World of Mazes Is The Best VR Adventure Around

Why World of Mazes Is The Best VR Adventure Around

World of Mazes is one of the best games you can download if you are a fan of VR gaming. It is currently available for Oculus Go, Rift as well as the Gear VR and it is one of the best examples of how to mix puzzles, mazes, and a compelling story.

One of the things that other VR puzzle and maze games have struggled with is giving you a reason to care about the puzzles you are solving or the mazes you are competing. World of Mazes is very different in that regard. You see, World of Mazes has one of the most interesting and engaging stories you will ever see in a puzzle game. The story is not just tacked on to move you from one section to the next. A lot of work has gone into this and it is so well written and the characters so compelling that you really get caught up in it all.

The idea of the story is that you are trapped in a maze when a person called Gelayon has been thrown in there with you. Turns out that Gelayon is actually a servant to Princess Maya who has been kidnapped. You agree to help Gelayon escape so that he can save the Princess. The story has some twists and turns along the way and even involves an ancient prophecy. What is really neat about it though is the way that the game makes you actually care about the characters. You want to help them survive and this makes getting through the mazes that extra bit tense.

Speaking of the mazes, the mazes in World of Mazes are very challenging. There are many different kinds of mazes. Each one will have its own set of rules, characters, and challenges that you must overcome. What makes this very interesting is that there is no map of where you need to go as the mazes will actually change on a weekly basis. This kicks the tension up about ten notches and when you make it to the exit portal of the current maze you are in, you are never really sure when you will end up next.

To give you an idea of how different the mazes are. The first one that you will be in is the Aztyle Maze. This is a rather small maze considering the size of the others and this is where you first meet Gelayon and find out about Princess Maya. There is a lot of green here and while you can see the sky, it has a kind of dungeon feel to it. Compare this to another maze like the Grezorth Maze which is much larger, scarier and has been blasted by meteorites and you can see quite the difference. The differences between the style of the mazes as well as the inhabitants and challenges really do keep you guessing.

World of Mazes really is one of the most fun puzzle games that you can play in VR. They have managed to walk the fine line between offering challenging and rewarding puzzles all the while giving you a story you actually care about. 

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Does Anyone Else Miss Bad Translations in Video Games?

Do you remember the days when the average video game translation was enough to make English teachers despair en masse? Bad video game translations have left a lasting legacy, with phrases such as “Winner Is You” and the classic “All your base are belong to us” worming their way into popular culture. The latter remains popular on memes all over the internet and can even be found on road signs around the world in countries where signage officials have a sense of humor and a fondness for retro video games.

However, as funny as bad video game translations are, they can ruin the immersion of the gaming experience. Nothing takes you out of an in-game world faster than trying to figure out what that garbled sentence is supposed to mean. Thankfully, video game translation services have become far more sophisticated and competent over the years.

For old time’s sake, let’s take a wander down memory lane and look as some of those truly amusing games that were produced before translation and localization skills became such an integral part of video game production.

Bad Video Game Translations: A History

Before we get into some of the funniest video game translations, let’s consider what led to such amazing mishaps in the first place.

Today, gaming is a such a juggernaut entertainment industry, it’s hard to imagine terrible translation and localization being so commonplace. However, in the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s, bad video game localization was so common that it was simply accepted as a charming part of the industry. The problems came from translating these games out of their original Japanese, in most cases. Japanese to English translation is an art. The Japanese characters often don’t translate into English perfectly, so some creativity in finding the right terminology and grammar is required. 

Plus, before the gaming industry become as mainstream as it is today, many of those early companies were seriously underfunded, producing their wares on shoe-string budgets. Localization services often got the short end of the stick. That meant translations done by developers with a phrase book and a looming deadline. Specialty video game translation services didn’t become mainstream until gaming did.   

This led to some truly charming errors, which have given gamers plenty of amusement over the years. So without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the best video game translation errors of all time.

Remembering the Best of the Worst Video Game Translations

Before the modern era of dedicated localization services, the gaming industry ended up with some really botched translations: 

“All your base are belong to us. You have no chance to survive make your time”

The list wouldn’t be complete without the iconic, worst video game translation of all time. It came from the arcade top-down shooter “Zero Wing” in 1989 and makes gamers smile to this day.

“A Winner Is You”  

This congratulatory scene was from Nintendo’s “Pro Wrestling” in 1987. The real reward was this hilarious proclamation of victory.

“You are the very prevailer that protect right and justice” 

This was the closing message at the end of Nintendo’s difficult “Ikari Warriors” from 1987.

“You Spoony Bard”

Not sure how an eating utensil became an adjective? Nor are we, but rumors abound. This iconic line is from “Final Fantasy IV.” It was released on the SNES in 1991 for North American audiences under the title of “Final Fantasy II.”  

“X-Men… Welcome to die!” 

This hilarious line really took the edge off the popular villain Magneto is the 1992 arcade version of “X-Men.” 

“I am Error”

This text, introducing a character in the NES game “Zelda II: The Adventure of Link” in 1988, had gamers scratching their heads. Was this character’s name Error? Really? Rumor has it that the character’s name was actually Error, which makes sense, given some wordplay around the terms “error” and “bug” in the original Japanese.

“Remember to flash the toilet”

This unfortunate reminder was given by a professor-type character in a 1997 Game Boy “Tamagotchi” video game. Consider yourself reminded!

“Fry to the rain forest and save the nature”

Huh? Those poor trees… should we save them or fry them? This line came from the “Aero Fighters 2” arcade game in 1994.

Bad Video Game Localization Today

Today, despite the rise of professional, specialist translation services, video game localization still isn’t immune to bad translations. The most infamous bad translation of the modern gaming era is “Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment.” It was released on the PlayStation Vita in 2014.

Some of the game’s bizarre lines include:

“Klein became to one who did the fight without everyone noticing it.”

“Would not doing other thing else and focus on attacking be better?”

“(She’s very serious at training and absorbs very fast)” 

Speculation seems to state that the game was text-only in English, so the company didn’t focus on the translation and localization as much.

The modern industry also has a few other examples of poor gaming translation. For instance, Frank West in “Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite” became Flank West in 2017, as a result of the Japanese confusion over the letters R and L. 

Video game translations have come a long way over the years. Luckily “Hollow Fragment” and its ilk are now the exception to the rule, in an industry that has become well served by skilled video game translation and localization efforts.

Author Bio

Louise Taylor was gaming almost before she could walk. Nowadays, when she’s not playing video games, she can be found managing content for Tomedes, a translation agency that provides video game translation and localization services to clients around the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Incredibles 2

Thank you Disney for sending us this Blu-Ray to review!

It’s been fourteen years since the original Incredibles move was released. Incredibles 2 takes place shortly after the first film where performing heroics is still illegal and has been for fifteen years. It was just a regular day for the Parr family when a villain rose up and robbed a bank in broad daylight. The Incredibles took it upon themselves to stop this criminal and to save the city from his out-of-control drilling vehicle heading towards City Hall. Even though that crisis was averted, much damage was done to other buildings and all superheroes were further chastised and told to stay out of the crime fighting business. In fact, the agency that has been helping the Incredibles is shutting down due to this incident.

Though most of the public are against superheroes, not everyone is. A very rich entrepreneur wishes to reverse this law and uses Elastigirl as his ideal example. She was chosen for her performance and lack of damage caused to personal property. Her husband’s ego is shattered, but he wants his wife to succeed as it will benefit all superheroes in the future.

While Helen is fighting crime and making televised appearances, Bob is taking care of the kids at home. He has to learn “new” math, cope with his daughter’s dating drama, and discover Jack-Jack's multiple new powers. I won’t spoil any of the story, but I will say that the whole family must work together to untarnish the reputation of superheroes.

For a film geared towards families, I was surprised at the language in it. Hell, d*mn, and the Lord’s name taken in vain can be heard in this two hour and five minute film. Cartoon violence is a given. If you don’t mind that you’ll probably enjoy this film despite its predictable ending.



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Music Box Classics: Final Fantasy VII

Thank you Materia Collective for sending us this digital album to review!

Final Fantasy games are known for their extraordinary music and my husband and I have had the pleasure of seeing multiple live symphonic performances of Nobuo Uematsu’s masterpieces. As a result, we own several compilations of Final Fantasy music and managed to get one of our daughters sick of it. Our other two kids love the music so they turned out alright.

Music Box Classics: Final Fantasy VII focuses on a title with many great songs and the music box treatment works well with these melodies. J-E-N-O-V-A is a little too fast paced to be included, but there are plenty of other great songs in this collection. There are lots of theme songs including the Aerith’s, Tifa’s, and the Chocobo song. Of course, the game’s title song is on this album as well.

I love the battle music in Final Fantasy VII and the Fighting song and One Winged Angel are both included. Another welcome addition is Cosmo Canyon though I have to say that I still prefer the version from the game’s soundtrack.

There are fourteen songs in total and they range from a minute and forty-seven seconds to six minutes and forty-one seconds. All of the tracks are great and I highly recommend this $7 digital album to all Final Fantasy VII fans. The songs are available in MP3 and lossless FLAC formats.

As for my daughter who is sick of Final Fantasy music, I have a plan. After she gets married and has a child, I will give it a stuffed animal or a music box with Aerith’s theme. It’s easier to ask for forgiveness rather than permission, but I’m sure the kid(s) will love it.


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The SNES Omnibus: The Super Nintendo and Its Games, Volume 1 (A-M)

snes omnibus

Author: Brett Weiss
Publisher: Schiffer Publishing
Hardcover book
416 full-color pages
Over 350 games covered
MSRP: $42.99

Thank you Schiffer Publishing for sending us this book to review!

I was fortunate enough to grow up with video games and technology as it did. Being born in 1978 (and recently turning forty), I was fortunate enough to play the Atari 2600 long before I went to kindergarten, played tons of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) through elementary school, and got my Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) in late jr. high or early high school (I don’t remember exactly when; it was early in the system’s launch, but I doubt it was year one).

I had gotten a PlayStation maybe a year after that released, and enjoyed it, but I always felt like the SNES was a perfect storm of available technology and maximum creativity that led to some of the best games of all time, and many remain timeless and revered to this day. (It also helped that I had more time to play games in high school rather than the busier early adulthood that occupied my time shortly after I got my PlayStation.) This book celebrates that generation of gaming by devoting one or two pages to each and every game in the SNES library. This volume covers every game in alphabetical order, starting with ‘3 Ninjas Kick Back’ and ending with ‘Musya: The Classic Japanese Tale of Horror’. Volume 2, when it is released in 2019, will cover game titles starting with N-Z.

The first few pages include a foreword, where the technical specifications of the SNES are discussed, as well as a brief summary of historical context about the system’s release. There is also a preface, where the author talks a bit about his history with gaming, and what led to him writing this book. All of the action starts on page ten.

Each page is in full color, with the title, publisher, developer, game type, and release year all notated at the top. Under that is the box art, a picture of the cartridge, and a general description and summary of the game. If it’s particularly good or bad, you might find some commentary there, too. Sometimes they will compare the game with its Sega Genesis counterpart, if there was one. There are also screenshots, and some titles may have promotional art or a picture of an ad as well.

Other than the general overview, each page also includes a ‘Notable Quotable’, which is typically an excerpt from a review, sometimes modern and sometimes classic, or a comment from a famous YouTuber, game developer, or industry veteran. Some games also feature one or more ‘Insider Insight’, which is a story of how that game impacted one of the many contributors. There are ninety people listed as contributors on pages 404-410. There are also brief articles about the console wars from the era, the historical and preservation value of emulation, and a bibliography.

Reading through this lovingly crafted archive, I was reminded both of the many great games that shaped my adolescence, but also the many that I remember looking at fondly but never having the chance to purchase for myself. I had a job in high school, so I worked for my games – but no kid can afford everything, so something always had to give. Thankfully, I often had great success scouring the used games at my old Blockbuster Video, which no doubt saved me a pretty penny in these early days before GameStop (and FuncoLand was the only used game store around).

A few notable games that I either owned or borrowed from friends which are covered here include:

ActRaiser
Breath of Fire
Chrono Trigger
Clay Fighter: Tournament Edition
Contra III: The Alien Wars (my cartridge is gone, but the SNES Classic delivers)
Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf (borrowed from a friend)
Donkey Kong Country
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy Kong’s Quest (spelled wrong in the book: it's supposed to be Diddy's Kong Quest!)
Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble!
Earthworm Jim (I have this and Earthworm Jim 2 on PC also!)
Final Fantasy II
Final Fantasy III
Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest
F-Zero (SNES Classic only)
Gradius III
Inindo: The Way of the Ninja (my cartridge is gone, and makes me very sad!)
Jurassic Park (actually haven’t played it, but apparently it’s quite excellent! Garage sale find)
King of the Monsters 2 (another garage sale find, haven’t played it yet)
Kirby Super Star
Kirby’s Dream Course (SNES Classic only)
Lagoon
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals (I thought I had a copy of Lufia 1, but my memory must be hazy)
Mario Paint
Mega Man 7 (I played it on the GameCube collection)
Mega Man X (I played it on the SNES version, but ended up beating it on the rare PC version!)
Mortal Kombat (I think I played a friend’s copy)
Mortal Kombat III (I played the arcade version much more)

This book is an excellent retrospective, and reminded me of several games that I wanted to pick up when I was younger, but never had the chance, as well as some new ones I hadn’t heard of. Who knew that one of the better RPGs on the SNES had a name as wacky as Brain Lord? I had no idea the Michael Jordan video game was actually decent. Apparently the Disney games were all fantastic. Did you know that Blizzard Entertainment met the team that eventually became Blizzard North who created Diablo though their early work on SNES games? All of this, and much more, is lovingly detailed in The SNES Omnibus: The Super Nintendo and Its Games, Volume 1. If you are a collector, or simply love the SNES, then I highly recommend that you pick up this book ASAP. It may be pricey, but it’s worth every penny.

 


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The Ultimate RPG Backstory Guide

Thank you Simon and Schuster for sending us this book to review!

The Ultimate RPG Backstory Guide was written by James D’Amato and features 100 prompts to shape a Dungeons & Dragons player’s character as well as that character’s world. The prompts go deep into areas that most would never explore when creating a character or its world. The book has three parts: the first part is exploring the origins of the character, the second part is describing their experiences when they have been adventuring for years, and the third part is probing what they are like and what happens to them when they are powerful and famous.

When I was reading this book and filling out (the majority of) the prompts, I noticed that this book is clearly aimed for adults that don’t hold Christian values, as it explored deities that could possibly be in this world, and made several sexual references. I also noticed quite a few references to drunkenness, as a decent amount of the narratives involve alcohol in some way. For example, there is a propmt asking you to figure out your current predicament after waking up from a drinking session. Of course, being designed for creating a fantasy D&D world, there are also countless references to magic in some form or another. This was something I expected, just seeing the title.

As I worked through it, the RPG Guide provoked thought upon aspects of the character in the making that I never would have thought of. There is a section where the guide addresses things that your character brought but shouldn't have, and even a prompt to help you figure out details about their formal wear. There are also some prompts to determine some details of the world, which are clearly directed towards the game’s Game Master (or GM). The GM controls the game’s monsters and helps create and advance the story. These prompts explored many different things, like a wizard’s college. This prompt explored almost everything that could be explored, and it was really in-depth, as all of the other prompts were.

This book, all in all, is great for those who would like to create a D&D character and the world they live in. I enjoyed working through it, and I now have a really in-depth character who I would like to use in a D&D game that starts from scratch. If you enjoy Dungeons & Dragons and are looking for a guide to create a really in-depth character, then this book is for you!

-Kittycathead

 


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How Do Tottenham Stack Up Against Liverpool in FIFA 19?

How Do Tottenham Stack Up Against Liverpool in FIFA 19?

It was only the other week that unbeknown to Tottenham, defeat away at Watford was the first loss in a run of three straight games.

Up next to put Tottenham to the sword was high-flying Liverpool who still remain unbeaten in the Premier League this season.

A promise of goals galore was painted prior to the game and although that did not quite materialise, Liverpool did end up winning the game 2-1  

Both Spurs and Liverpool have a number of likenesses, for example, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp and Lilywhites manager Mauricio Pochettino enjoy playing attacking football, neither manager has won a trophy with their club and neither side has ever won the Premier League title despite being contenders.

As both sides are struggling to break their trophy drought, perhaps a title on FIFA 19 is a more realistic goal?

But which side are you better off selecting in order to give yourself the best chance of becoming FIFA 19 champion?

We compare some of the key battles on the pitch and assess who is better.

Harry Kane 89 Mohammed Salah 88

Despite winning the golden boot in the Premier League last season with 32 league goals, Liverpool’s Egyptian superstar finds himself slightly behind Tottenham’s Harry Kane.

Kane himself netted 30 times in the league and for the fourth straight season comfortably netted over 20 league goals in a campaign.

Perhaps due to Salah’s positioning as more of a wide striker is the reason why Kane edges this one, however, there is almost nothing in it.

Hugo Lloris 88 Alisson 85

Your goalkeeper can make a major difference in FIFA as well as real life football and Tottenham edge this one as well.

Lloris has been a Spurs stalwart for a number of years and is the Lilywhites whilst Alisson despite a strong season for Roma last year, is still fresh in at Anfield.

A little less experienced as his counterpart works against Alisson in the FIFA rankings this year.

Dele Alli 84 Sadio Mane 85

Two attacking players of undeniable quality but it is Liverpool who edge one back here largely thanks to Mane’s attacking prowess and additional power.

Mane netted ten times in the Premier League last season which is a vital reason why the 26-year-old just edges this battle.

The rest

Aside from those key battles, it is quite an even affair across the rest of the park, however with Firmino and now Naby Kieta in the Liverpool ranks, it is the Reds who have the better forward line.

Tottenham make up for this somewhat with a stronger defence as Dejan Lovren and Trent Alexander Arnold come in at 81 and 79 points respectively whilst Davison Sanchez and Kieran Tripper come in at 84 and 82 respectively.

The contest is close between the two, but the numbers are clear, for defence go for Spurs, for goals, go for Liverpool.

Now its over to you.

 

 

 

 

 

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Solo: A Star Wars Story

Thank you Lucasfilm for sending us this Blu-ray to review!

Solo takes place before Star Wars IV: A New Hope. As the title suggests, it’s about the reluctant hero, Han Solo, and even shows how he gets his surname when he enlists in the Empire. Han and his girlfriend Qi’ra grew up on the streets in Corellia. Like many street kids, they are forced to steal and bring their loot to Lady Proxima in exchange for food, shelter, and their lives. In attempt to escape Corellia, Han makes it out and promises to come back for Qi’ra.

In order to fulfill his dream of becoming a pilot and reuniting with Qi’ra, Han enlists with the Empire. Instead of flying, he’s put on the front lines where he meets some thieves who have infiltrated the Empire's army. Han has a nose for sniffing out trouble and likes to hang around fellow troublemakers. He also meets Chewbacca and the two become inseparable.

The Millennium Falcon's original owner, Lando Calrissian, is also introduced. Lando’s co-pilot is an independent and sassy droid named L3-37. She’s hilarious. Both Han and Lando are fond of gambling and one of them is a cheater. Like other Star Wars films, you can expect to find spaceship violence, blood, and death. There is some language (d*mn) and it’s implied that Han and Qi’ra have been intimate. Kissing is shown, but nothing else.

The Rebellion is in its infancy as the Empire is getting stronger and more hostile by the day. Something needs to be done about them and Han must choose his alliances carefully. I enjoyed this 135-minute film and recommend it for any Star Wars fan. It’s rated PG-13 and I agree with that rating.



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Secrets: Jonah and the Whale

Thank you Smithsonian Channel for sending us a screener to watch!

The Secrets TV series is in its fifth season and since we don’t watch much television around here, this is the first time I’ve watched an episode from it. This season premiere caught my attention, as I love watching archaeology reinstate what the Bible has written. Sadly, the title is a bit misleading as there isn’t much evidence or talk about the whale in this episode other than the possibility of it being merely “symbolic.”

The rest of the episode is pretty informative and interesting. On July 24th, 2014 in an attempt to cover up history, ISIS bombed what is believed by many to be Jonah’s tomb. Instead of erasing history, they exposed more of it! Under the tomb are many tunnels which are dangerous to explore due to possible bombs and collapsing. The tunnels are also prone to flooding so the chance to recover the many relics buried within is fleeting.

Inside of the tunnels are various inscriptions and ancient Assyrian Lamassu sculptures. The tomb is located in Mosul which was Nineveh 2,500 years ago. The archaeologists are convinced that Nineveh’s leader was Esarhaddon who claimed his throne by conspiring with his mother to kill his father. He definitely fits the bill of being an evil king and with Nineveh being Assyria’s capital, it would make sense that it was a sinful city. Though references to Esarhaddon are found within Jonah’s tomb, not everything adds up.

In II Kings 14, Jonah gives counsel to Jeroboam II who died in 742 BC. Esarhaddon died in 669 BC. While other sites claim to be Jonah’s resting place, this show assumes that the Bible is errant by the verbal transcription process that took over 250 years to complete instead of summarizing that this tomb may not actually be Jonah’s. Given Jonah’s disdain towards the Ninevites, I doubt he would want to be buried among them. There are many possibilities and explanations. I’ll leave the rest up to you if you wish to watch this episode and TV series.

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Music Box Classics: Castlevania

Thank you Materia Collective for sending us this digital album to review!

The iconic Castlevania series made its debut in 1986 and I enjoyed playing the first three on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). While I didn’t own the first two games, I have played them at friends’ houses on several occasions. The game I’m the most familiar with is Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse of which there is one track, Beginning, on this album.

Six songs including the 11-second prologue are from the first game. Simon’s Quest has four songs devoted to it. Symphony of the Night has four songs and while they’re good, I didn’t recognize them since I haven’t played any Castlevania games since the NES era.

As the album title suggests, all fifteen tracks are in a lullaby music box style. Each of the songs are exceptionally done despite being a little slower paced than the originals. The longest song is nearly four minutes and most of the tracks are a couple of minutes in length. Many of them bring back good memories of playing this classic series. The soothing music is very relaxing, but I would recommend exercising some caution as they may be too relaxing to listen to when doing long driving stretches late at night! Having this album shuffled in with the rest of your music library is highly recommended though.

This album is ideal for any Castlevania fan who is familiar with the first few games. The asking price on Bandcamp is a reasonable $7. These songs would be great for conditioning a baby to appreciate awesome game music at a tender age. Additionally, these songs would go great in a crib mobile or perhaps a Build-A-Bear. I wish these albums were around when my kids were babies. I guess I can indoctrinate my future grandkids in the not-so-distant future.

 


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Detroit: Become Human (PS4)

 

Detroit: Become Human

I can’t lie. I’ve always loved the games that the Quantum Dream team has made. Their games are masterfully designed, both visually and aurally. The stories, even more so. This team has definitely made a name for themselves in the saturated industry of gaming and it’s a name that is often associated with some of the best choose-your-own-adventure games to have ever been released.

And I think you know where this review is already headed, but still, hear me out, read on and learn what I’ve got to say about this game. Despite what you’ve heard, it’s a fun game to play. Also, it forces us humans to take a good long look at how ugly we, and the things that we’re capable of, can get.

And well, gaming has definitely evolved.

On that note, let me start this review off with a question.

Have you ever killed an ant?

I can’t lie and neither can you. We all have. And well, most of the time we think nothing of it because we simply assume that ants (and insects in general) have no feelings.

Imagine calling an exterminator to deal with an ant infestation. We feel no remorse over being able to snuff out the lives of an entire colony, queen, soldier, and worker alike. The game shows a lot of social injustices towards the androids simply for the fact that they’re deemed machines and like the ants, emotionless.

What makes the imagery striking is that the androids look like real human beings and to witness bad things happen to humans is a horrible experience.

Detroit: Become Human forces players to take a long hard look at that. (Don’t worry, no spoilers from me). It’s set in the future where we, humans, have been able to create androids who are smarter and stronger than us humans, and they’ve been created to serve us.

The game lets you take control of three characters. Connor, the deviant hunter, Marcus, the deviant leader, and Kara, a deviant who can be symbolically interpreted as a machine searching for meaning in life.

And that’s exactly what the game wants you to think about. How we value life (even those of beings we feel have no emotion), how we find meaning in it, and how we act upon it.

The quick time events are fun, and this time, failure is more of a threat than previous games. That means that quick reaction times actually do matter now. This is an important change for the series because, in previous games, it felt more like a chore than a test of skill.

The fact that it’s very possible to kill off all three lead characters makes the game more thrilling and believable.

So, my verdict? Play the game. Cry some tears while you’re at it, because the game really knows how to cut deep at your heart and scoop it with a spoon. It makes you question so many things about morality, how we’re so dependent on technology, and life in general. This is an ambitious, yet properly executed video game. PLAY IT.

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Accell USB-C to 3 DisplayPort Multi-monitor Hub

Specifications (from Amazon listing):
|Supports DisplayPort MST (Multi-Stream Transport)
Supports source devices with Windows OS and have DisplayPort Alt Mode, such as HP EliteBook x360, HP ZBook, Dell XPS, MS Surface Book 2
Supports 4K on up to two displays; The third displays up to 1080p
Connects three independent displays to a single USB Type-C port
macOS does not support MST technology for expanded monitors; It will allow for mirroring
Compatible w/ Thunderbolt 3
Data bandwidth up to 5.4 Gbps per lane, 21.6 Gbps total
Can simultaneously display 2 Ultra HD resolution
Compliant to DisplayPort versions 1.2 and 1.1a, VESA DDM, HDCP 1.3
Advanced WideEye SerDes Technology capable of receiving data over a long range


Thank you Accell for sending us this device to review!

As I often live near the cutting edge as technology improves, I’ve had my eye on the USB Type-C interface for quite some time, long before you could buy devices with the ports. I was excited about it then – the promise of a truly universal port, that always plugs in properly, and can work with everything – has finally become reality. With that said, the ‘one port to rule them all’ is great, but it comes with tons of caveats that are important to be aware of, as I found out first hand.

I have four devices with USB-C ports, and two PCs with the interface. USB-C has several possible data lanes, and they vary from USB 2.0 and 3.0/3.1, to DisplayPort, to Thunderbolt, in that order of speed. Almost all support at least USB data transfer, so that part is easy. However, not all ports support DisplayPort, and especially not all ports support Thunderbolt.

DisplayPort is the protocol, along with HDMI (which is just a variation on the DVI standard) that all modern displays use now. This interface is very fast (faster than HDMI in most cases), and extremely flexible. The standard, in version 1.2, supports up to 17.28Gb/s of bandwidth, which supports 4K displays at 60Hz. It also supports the MST (Multi-Stream Transport) protocol, which allows cool devices like this one to exist, which you can use to connect multiple monitors to one DisplayPort connector, or even daisy-chain monitors, if your devices support that.

Thunderbolt is an extension beyond just DisplayPort; it has direct PCI-Express lanes in the connector, along with the more typical USB 3.1 and DisplayPort lanes. It’s a very powerful standard that enables use cases like external graphics cards and full-speed SSD drives. It used to use a DisplayPort connector when Apple was the only one using the standard, but now everyone has migrated to USB-C ports.

accell

Confused yet? If not, I’m impressed. There are even more USB-C alt modes that I haven’t even mentioned – power delivery modes, audio channels, the new VR connector standard, OTG modes, and more. I went through all of that, to say this: in order to use this adapter, your computer must have a port (not all are created equal) that supports DisplayPort alt mode or Thunderbolt. (The VR port might work, too.) No other ports will offer you the DisplayPort lanes needed to use this adapter.

I tried plugging it into several of my devices, with both expected and unexpected failures. The Nintendo Switch uses some variation of DisplayPort alt mode for the video out, but apparently it’s proprietary enough that this device does not work for it. My LG phone has a USB-C port, and when I plugged it in, it said "DisplayPort is not supported for display mirroring; please use MiraCast instead." Now my two other machines, my MSI GT62VR laptop, and my GPD Win 2, I had higher hopes for.

The MSI laptop has the PC’s only USB-C port right next to the DisplayPort and HDMI ports on this laptop. I thought for sure it would work, right? Wrong. That port is only wired for USB 3.1; it has no Thunderbolt or DisplayPort alt mode available. So that only leaves my GPD Win 2, which thankfully passes with flying colors.

The GPD Win 2, a super-tiny computer, has a single USB-C port for charging and other things, in this case DisplayPort as well. I have two 27” 1440p screens, and using the USB-C port and this adapter, they work perfectly. I wrote a review using that adapter and it never gave me any trouble at all. It has the same SoC (System on Chip) that the supported Microsoft Surface has, and it works just as well. The gotcha? You can’t charge the system while using it. Of course that makes sense; it’s not the adapter’s fault that the Win 2 uses the USB-C port for both charging and DisplayPort, but it is what it is. If only someone would make an adapter that injects charging into an existing USB-C device…

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the Accell USB-C to 3 DisplayPort Multi-monitor Hub. It does exactly what it says it’s supposed to do – and it works perfectly in my estimation. It’s not the fault of Accell that system support is so hit or miss. If you have a supported configuration, then I highly recommend you look at Accell’s products if you are looking for a similar multi-monitor adapter.


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We Are Alright

alright

Thank you Borys Nieśpielak for sending us this digital film to review!

Making a video game that’s fun and stands out from the crowd takes a lot of time and effort. Many indie games remain obscure and don’t get insanely popular like Mojang’s Minecraft. In fact, many game developers get discouraged and quit once their game releases and fizzles shortly afterward.

We Are Alright is a sixty-four minute documentary about Lichthund’s founders Bartek and Rafel and the preparations/launch of their first title, Lichtspeer. The audio is in Polish, but thankfully, it’s subtitled. The film begins five months from release day and continues on though the game’s launch on Steam and PS4.

Until the launch, there are several bugs and issues that need to get sorted in order to get Sony’s approval. Time and money are tight, as the composer is seen asking for his money and in order to break even the developers are hoping to sell 10,000 copies or 300 a month to make ends meet.

Lichtspeer has a lot going for it with some great looking merchandise and highly praised gameplay feedback at the PGA conference. Both of the developers quit their jobs to finish working on Lichtspeer, which has been in development for two-and-a-half years.

After many trials and tribulations, the launch date drew near and it was time to get influencers to check it out and spread the word. Sadly, many of them did not respond. Our site was too niche to be contacted but I can see the importance of launch day coverage after watching this film.

I won’t spoil the ending or divulge the sales numbers as I recommend checking out this film if you have any interest in developing games. It will give you some valuable insight into the struggles of game development and getting coverage for your title. If you don’t mind drinking and strong language, you can rent this film for $2.99 or own it digitally for $9.99 on Steam.

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How to Use Far Cry: Primal Trainer

Far Cry Primal

So, you want to be a cool guy in Far Cry: Primal, but don’t have enough time to make a rapid progress in the game? And you decided to use a game trainer to achieve so coveted success? Good choice! Now you need to download and install the magic program properly to start enjoying your favorite game.

Downloading the Trainer

Go to a reliable website and launch the download of Far Cry: Primal: Trainer +12 v1.3.3 {MrAntiFun}. Once the download is complete, you will need to unpack the new file that comes in a .zip format. To do it, use an unarchiver of your choice. We recommend using such reliable programs as WinZip or 7-Win.

  • You may be required to enter a password to start extracting the content of the downloaded file. Don’t worry, the website will provide you with the one.

Make sure to save the trainer to the same directory you uploaded your game to. Launch your trainer and start your game by pressing the “Run Game” button.

Keys to Control the Game via the Trainer

Congratulations! Now you can become invincible and super powerful in Far Cry: Primal. To do it, use the following keys:

Let’s start with H. By means of this magical key you will get unlimited lives in Far Cry: Primal.

Need more weapon? Not a problem. Hit 8 or F3 to get a super durable armor, unlimited quantities of firearms and ammunition.

Press 9 and bingo! I have unlimited endurance (stamina).

Need binoculars? F4 is at your service.

Too dark? Can’t see a thing? Press F5 to get a flashlight.

Tired of smart enemies that don’t let you feel a superhero? Turn on “stupid opponents” mode      by hitting N

Miss the “clever” guys. Bring them back by pressing the “M” key.

If you want to deprive your enemies of strength, press F10. Thus, you will turn on the “weak opponents” mode. One shot – and you will be able to kill 99 % of your foes. As for that 1 % wearing the durable armor, they can be rendered harmless by shooting in the limbs. 

If you find yourself surrounded by malicious enemies outnumbering you, don’t hesitate to press F6. The program will take you high up so that the soldiers cannot get you.

By F7 you can disable the previous option.

If your speed doesn’t satisfy you, you can always enable “Afterburner.” Hit F8 and will become as fast as the wind.

Want to get back to normal? Press F9 and the “Afterburner” option will be disabled.

If you want to experiment with different types of weapons available in Far Cry, you should choose the “With” option. To change weapons do the following:

  1. Press Z to activate the “Change Weapon” regime.
  2. Choose the desired weapon by means of your numeric keypad or simply by rolling your mouse.
  3. If you want to get back to the first slot of the selected weapon, press 1.

Want to soar up into the sky? Not a problem. You can enable a flying mode by hitting F1.

By F2 you can turn off this mode when you find it necessary.

Afterword

  • Please, keep in mind that your game trainer may be incompatible with your version of Far Cry, which means that you won’t be able to avail yourself of the described tricks. Still, there is no need to get upset. You can always continue searching for the appropriate game version and try using the trainer with it.

We sincerely hope that out tutorial helped you download and install a cool trainer for Far Cry: Primal. Now, when you have limitless opportunities at your disposal, we will be able to enjoy your gameplay even more!

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Garfield’s Halloween Adventure

Thank you PBS for sending us this DVD to review!

Garfield’s Halloween Adventure contains two twenty-five minute cartoon episodes with only the first one being Halloween related. The first episode begins with Garfield being rudely awakened by Binky the Clown’s TV show. Surprisingly, Garfield joins him in doing a few jumping jacks before getting annoyed with him. As he shuts off the television he realizes that it’s Halloween and looks forward to collecting a lot of candy with Odie as his sidekick. The duo dress as pirates and even sail across town in hopes of getting more candy, but they find themselves in a haunted house on a deserted island instead.

The second episode isn’t Halloween themed but it does involve everyone dressing up for a pet talent show competition. Jon, Garfield, and Odie won a local talent contest that gave them $1000 and a chance to compete in Hollywood. The local competition was a pushover compared to what was waiting for them in Hollywood. In order to increase their chances of winning, Garfield devised a plan that would remove Jon from their group. Unfortunately, this plan involved destroying some of his personal property.

The luxurious Hollywood lifestyle made an impression on Jon, Garfield, and Odie. While Garfield embraced it, Jon didn’t want them to be overtaken by it. Jon’s advice to Garfield was very wise and he said, “No matter the outcome, they will still have each other.” I won’t spoil the results of the contest.

This DVD sells for $6.99 on Amazon and it’s worth picking up for Garfield fans. If you don’t like ghosts and celebrating Halloween, you may want to skip this DVD. The sound and visual quality isn’t the greatest, but my kids enjoyed these classic episodes regardless. The songs in the episodes are catchy and Garfield’s antics are funny as always.


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Reflections of God's Grace

Thank you WestBow Press for sending us this book to review!

Reflections of God’s Grace is written by Michelle Hanna, and features 72 different devotions focusing on different topics of life. These devotions offer unique illustrations to make their point, and at the end of each one, there are assorted Scriptures to back up the message of the devotion. Each devotion is only a few pages long, but they provide deep, inspiring messages to bring God’s wisdom into your life and help Him influence your decisions each and every day.

The book as a whole is 179 pages long. While it generally focuses on making your relationship with God better, the devotions help to focus on various areas where your personal friendship with God can be improved upon. All of the sections are influenced by something that happened in the author’s personal life that struck her heart. For example, a section could be influenced by a song the author heard, an event that happened, or simply just a passage from the Bible.

Each devotion ends with a blessing and a wish that the author wants you to pray for in your daily life as you grow with your relationship with the Lord. After this blessing, the aforementioned Scripture is there to back up the passage. Usually there are four to nine pieces of Scripture after the original message of the devotion.

If you’re looking for something to help you expand your friendship with God, this is the book for you. Containing Scripture to back up each of its messages, it is biblically based and contains unique illustrations of Scriptural concepts that will help you grasp what each devotion is trying to tell you. Again, if you’re looking for something to help you get closer to the Lord, then this book would be a good one to add to your collection.

-Kittycathead

 


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Playing with Elsa is fun

Frozen

Elsa

In 2013, Walt Disney Animation produced a computer-animated film named frozen, the main character of the film is a runaway princess famous for her icy powers who lives far away and no one knows but due to her powers frozen winters prevail in the kingdom forever, her younger sister Elsa sets off on an adventure to find her sister and bring back her sisters and summers in her kingdom. In 2013, Walt Disney Animation produced a computer-animated film named frozen, the main character of the film is a runaway princess famous for her icy powers who lives far away and no one knows but due to her powers frozen winters prevail in the kingdom forever, her younger sister Elsa sets off on an adventure to find her sister and bring back her sisters and summers in her kingdom. Most famous character, Elsa, mostly called frozen is popular among young kids especially girls all around the globe. They want Elsa on every possession of theirs. Elsa on book covers jewelery, toys, accessories, furniture, walls, bags and literally everywhere. Elsa on book covers jewelery, toys, accessories, furniture, walls, bags and literally everywhere.

Games of Elsa

Elsa games is the anchor where you will find the games of frozen featuring Elsa, Anna, the funny snowman and some characters from various other movies like the popular Jack Frost from The Guardians, Rapunzel, and Picacho from Pokémon and many others. These games are literally so many and offer a huge variety of options. Subjects include makeup, dress up, cooking, spa, fashion, romance, wedding, parties, competitions, puzzles, adventure and much more. You can plan marriages, be a beauty artist, decorate, cook, compete, prep, give a manicure and a Pedicure, plan weddings, parties and balls, make hairstyles, do makeup , decorate cakes, cook delicious foods , solve puzzles and mysteries , go on adventures, enjoy spas and all those fun things a girl can dream of.

All these games come along a short description of the plot of the game and directions on how to play it. It provides an easy and user-friendly interface which is very helpful for gamers especially young children.

Features of these games
most prominent features of these games are:

1. Colorful

All these games come along a short description of the plot of the game and directions on how to play it.

All the games found here are developed using bright and sharp colors which are eye-catching and pretty to look at especially bright pink is used to attract young children.

2. Musical
another prominent feature us the music used in games. It is fast and fun to listen with many appealing sound effects.

3. Joyful 
Colors and music make it a joyful experience, animation, and creative graphics take the experience to a new level.

4. Easy and Fun to play
these games are so designed that they are fairly easy to play which makes them so much fun.

5. For all ages
Though Elsa is a cartoon character for kids but its games related to romance and event planning can be played by young adults and the elderly as well, obviously for fun and be young again.

6. Varying characters
Variety of characters makes it even more interesting to spend time on.

7. Interesting stories
there is a spellbinding story in each game which makes it even more enthralling to play. For instance, in one story Elsa has to get ready for a ball but meets an accident; gamers have to help her get ready in time and overcome the mishap.

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Star Wars Rebels: The Complete Fourth Season

Thank you Click Communications for sending us this Blu-ray to review!

Star Wars Rebels takes place fourteen years after Revenge of the Sith and tells the story of the origin of the Rebellion as the Empire slowly takes control of the galaxy. This series is in its fourth season and it has already been announced that it will be its last. This Blu-ray set contains two discs and 353 minutes of entertainment. In total, there are fifteen episodes and some exclusive extras.

The fourth season begins with Sabine Wren, a Mandelorean trying to rescue her father who is a captive of the Empire. She has the help of Ezra Bridger, a Jedi, and his Jedi Master Kanan Jarrus. The Mandeloreans wear Boba Fett style armor which has significant sentimental value as well as defensive properties. The armor is passed down for generations and is being targeted by a prototype weapon being used by the Empire. Despite the risk of being incinerated, the Mandeloreans continue to wear the armor regardless.

While the Rebels have a common enemy, they are not unified by much else other than bravery. The main characters tend to go above and beyond what’s required of them. For example, instead of stealing just the flight recorder from the latest Tie Fighter Prototype, Sabrine steals the whole ship! Different Rebel parties have different tactics and they often conflict with one another and usually complicate the missions further.

There is plenty of humor and a little bit of romance. Kanan has difficulty trying to kiss his alien girlfriend, Hera Syndulla, without getting interrupted. Other than kissing, you can expect to find epic lightsaber and spaceship battles. No blood is shown, only destruction.

The characters are likeable and each of the twenty-five minute episodes kept the interest of my son, daughter, and me. If you’ve enjoyed the previous seasons, then you should definitely check out this finale.


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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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