ADR1FT Preview

Last week at the 505Games event I covered, I had the chance to try out for the first time the Oculus Rift. What that is you may ask? well it is an upcoming virtual reality head-mounted display, being developed by Oculus VR. The game I have tried out which was shown for the first time to the press was ADR1FT.

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Adrift (stylized as ADR1FT) is a first-person video game developed by Three One Zero and published by 505 Games. It is scheduled to be released in Q2/Q3 2015 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The story follows an astronaut, who floats through the wreckage of a destroyed space station with no memory of the incident. Over the course of the game, players find clues that piece together the events of the incident, and attempt to repair the escape vehicle to return home.

When I first put on the Oculus Rift, for a few seconds it felt like I was putting on an football helmet but then I seen the amazing visuals as one person would if they are in outer space. you can also move and tilt your head in any direction and the rift will pick up your movements. But back to the game. From what I have played at the event, you begin in an destroyed space station in zero gravity, maintaining sufficient oxygen levels by collecting oxygen tanks. During this, you have to go different rooms and find other audio logs that expand the situation of what happened over there and solve puzzles. I have ran out of oxygen twice so I could not get far but it did left me anticipated to find out what is next for me to explore. From what it is also known, the objectives are to survive and to return home safely.

I will sure purchase this game and I will have my full review posted here but check out these cool screenshots.

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The Wrestling Court Episode 53- listener questiomns and “i just wat to win lol”

Join me, Rob and Jaydee as we do a show dedicated to listener questions including rob putting the haters of connor in their place, indy wrestlers,who will get released this year, cm punk and brock lesnar and more

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link to episode is right here

(http://thewrestlingcourt.podomatic.com/entry/2015-03-14T18_04_07-07_00)

THE WRESTLING COURT EPISODE 52- NXT Trainer Bill Demott is a bully

 

the wrestling court. (this is the link to the episode)

join me and Rob Base as we talk about the full story of Bill Demott’s bullying and training tactics and sexual harassment allegations and more that lead to his resignation.

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Video Game Reviews: The Legend Of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D

Ever since Ocarina of Time 3D was announced, Zelda fans have been clamoring for a similar treatment to cult favorite Majora’s Mask. So, after 15 years since its initial release, Majora’s Mask 3D is now in the hands of the public. Does it live up to the astounding amount of hype?

Well, yes and no. I am Julian Cannon and this will be my review of the game. 



Don’t lose your head– as a remake, the game is as good as can be asked. The graphical updates are wonderful and add an incredible amount of depth to the world of Termina as well as those living in it. For example, one of my favorite details is that in the Clock Town Bomb Shop, there is a small note on the wall theorizing about creating a rocket to the moon using bomb-powered flight. This note was in the original game, but now added to the wall are a series of sketches labeling their plan to get the rocket to the moon and back. It’s a small detail but the amount of charm it adds to the game is immeasurable. These details are especially important for a game like Majora’s Mask– the depth of Majora’s Mask comes from the minutiae of each NPC and the settings they’re in, so adding these small details only serve to improve the game.

Alongside the graphical updates, there have also been a lot of touch-ups to Majora’s Maskgameplay structure. The changes overall are minor, but they serve to help pace the game a lot better and make it much more manageable for those new to Majora’s Mask. In particular, the Bomber’s Notebook has been changed drastically from what it was in the N64 version. Rather than just showing the schedules of 30 different NPCs, the Bomber’s Notebook now keeps track of every side-quest in the game. There is still a schedule for the time-sensitive side-quests, and more NPCs have been added to the schedule for completion’s sake, but otherwise you just get a list of side-quests that are either finished, ongoing, or something you’ve heard about from another source such as the Bombers.

While it may seem like a lot to juggle, it’s very well thought-out and makes it clear what side-quests you’re in the middle of, how far you’ve progressed in them, and what more you need to do to complete the side-quests. This new organization doesn’t really do anything different to the side-quests themselves, but it makes completing them much more manageable and more entertaining because no matter what you’re doing it feels like you’re getting something accomplished.

Other than that any changes to Majora’s Mask gameplay are even more minor than that. Some side-quests will have new requirements to advance, such as needing the Goron’s Mask to start Anju and Kafei’s side-quest; other side-quests and locations have been moved around to make them more useful, such as the Stone Mask now being located in Pirate’s Fortress and the Great Fairy in Woodfall giving you a larger magic bar rather than the advanced spin attack. The best change is to the Song of Double Time; instead of fast-forwarding you to the next 12-hour block, you can now choose which hour to specifically fast forward to in the day that you are on currently. This eliminates a lot of the waiting for events that was present in the N64 version and makes the game a lot smoother and more palatable both to those who found the N64 game repetitive and newcomers who have never played Majora’s Mask before. However, all of these changes do not mean that Majora’s Mask is now a perfect package.



As was the case in the N64 version, the Great Bay area remains completely un-fun, but a few changes to its structure actually serve to make it worse. The main change is that swimming with the Zora Mask on is completely different. Whereas Zora Link would always swim at the same speed in the N64 version, there is now a great difference in speed between swimming normally and using the Magic Power attack. Great Bay is by no means a small zone, and that was the reasoning behind  swimming as a Zora being so quick on the N64. The speed was put into place so that you would be more inclined to use the Zora Mask to get through the zone quickly.

In the remake to get through the zone at the same speed you need to use a great amount of Magic Power, and using that much Magic just to get from point A to point B is a complete waste. The worst part about this now is that no matter how you swim as a Zora, it is no longer as satisfying as it was in the original Majora’s Mask. This defeats the purpose entirely of being a Zora, and many will question why the change was added in the first place.



Every other aspect of Great Bay remains more or less the same. The Zora egg fetch quest is still un-fun because it still feels like padding to make the game longer. You need to make two trips between Pirate’s Fortress and Pinnacle Rock at the very least, and that’s assuming that you got four bottles before beginning the quest in the first place. If you didn’t get four bottles, you’ll need to make at least two trips to Pirate’s Fortress as well as a trip to Pinnacle Rock…and so on. No matter how many bottles you go into the quest with, the quest still feels like a slog; the mandatory stealthiness required through Pirate’s Fortress is finicky and uninteresting. It becomes far too easy if you use the Stone Mask to make yourself invisible, which the game encourages you to do by placing the person who hands it out in Pirate’s Fortress itself. It’s a pain no matter how you approach it, and the fact that this was left almost completely unchanged is completely baffling.

Even more baffling than that is the fact that Great Bay Temple also has remained almost completely unchanged compared to the N64 version. In the Ocarina of Time remake, the Water Temple had a very clear pathway lit up to show you where the next water changing switch was. It was a minor change, just like any change in Majora’s Mask, but it helped make the dungeon much more navigable. An attempt was made to do something similar with Great Bay Temple; pipes that had water flowing through them now light up. In theory, this would mean that following unlit pipes would lead you to where you need to go next…but in practice this did not work. Great Bay Temple still looks largely the same until you’re too far in to prevent having to backtrack through several rooms, and there are lots of unseen hookshot points that make the dungeon much less sensible than it needed to be. It’s really disappointing, because of all the things many expected them to change in Majora’s Mask, Great Bay Temple’s structure was at the top of the list.



Remakes and remasters are a chance to listen to fans and make requested changes (as long as they’re within reason). Leaving the Great Bay Temple largely as is, when it was a known trouble area, displays a rather large missed opportunity. Considering the amount of polish that went into other areas of the game it’s almost as if they were unwilling to deal with this large, and almost universally disliked section of the game. Not just that, but actively making the zone worse by radically changing how Zora Link functioned seems like a huge step back in comparison with the rest of the small positive changes that the game made.

All of that having been said, issues with Great Bay are relatively small frustrations in the face of the rest of the product. There is so much that Majora’s Mask has to offer, and almost all of it outshines any of the game’s shortcomings. The unchanged Great Bay serves as a reminder that Majora’s Mask was not a perfect game when it was released, and it is still not a perfect game now. What Majora’s Mask is, however, is a game that has stood well against the test of time, and will continue to stand out as the most interesting Legend of Zelda title to date. Majora’s Mask is not to be missed, for veteran or newcomer alike, and deserves a spot in your 3DS.

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The Order 1886 Review

Third-Person shooter games have come a very long way and The Order 1886 is now part of my collection. Do I think this game is a hit, or do I think this game is a miss? Will this be another game that was just hype for the last 3 years? I am Julian Cannon and I am reviewing The Order 1886 for the Playstation 4.

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For starters, the atmosphere of this game is by far one of the best I’ve seen in an third-person shooter game. The environments and areas in the alternate history of London puts me in the mood to see what else there will be to discover. I give the developers credit for the 4 years spent on making this game from ground up.

The main conflict is between an old order of knights who are keeping the world safe from half humans and half beast like monsters. Hundreds of years later, King Arthur and the Knights of the Roundtable have their battle and struggle with the half breeds during the industrial revolution. During this time, many factories and engineers worked on technology far above their time.

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The voice acting exceeded my expectations as if I felt like I was watching an British empire like film that took place in that decade from my prospective. Sir Galahad, the main character, reminded me of actors who rare always in the bad mood in action shows such as 24, CSI Miami and Law and Order. Sir Perceval, the mentor of Galahad, had a great role along with Lady Igraine, who sometimes annoyed me but her role served its purpose.

However, the gameplay I had mixed feelings with but I will start with saying that the weapons for this game at that time period are very accurate. You cannot play this third-person shooter and expect every single weapon in the game to be used the same way in other games of this type. It took me a while to get used to the mechanics and it was worth learning. The game’s length is between 6-7 hours but I do not speed run video games at all. I love to take my time with them and that is what I did with this game since I have a normal schedule like every hardworking man and woman. The QuickTime events I feel should have not been implemented too often as I felt that it was not needed for most of the events. Is the game too linear? Yes but how many games are linear these days? Quality is what matters in my book.

After all is said, I really did enjoy the game besides a few gameplay features that needed to be balanced. The ending left me wondering if a sequel will be made in the future and I hope there will be a sequel. My rating for this game is 8.2/10

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Pros-awesome graphics, atmosphere, cutscenes and characters, historical references, puzzle solving, cover-gunplay

Cons-some gameplay features needed to be fixed, if you are not into long cutscenes, then this is not for you.

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Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain-What do we know so far about the story?

It has been over one year since the release of Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes and fans including myself are anxious for the release of MGS5: The Phantom Pain. This game has been in development for about 4 years now and the release is coming sometime this year for the PS4, PS3, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC. For this entry, I will explain what we know about the story and characters so far based on trailers and interviews from the Metal Gear creator himself, Hideo Kojima.

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SETTING.

The theme for this game is “Race and Revenge” as with the story touching upon the misunderstanding, prejudice, hatred, and conflict caused by the difference of language, race, custom, culture, and preference.

Kojima set out to depict the damage present in all returning soldiers in The Phantom Pain. Physical injuries such as the loss of limbs, and emotional wounds created through the loss of comrades and loved ones will all be part of this theme of pain. Kojima said that having his characters lose limbs is one way to depict the pain they carry.

This game follows up from the ending of Ground Zeroes where MSF (Militaires Sans Frontières. Big Boss’ private military company) has been under attack by XOF due to an Trojan Horse Operation carried out by SkullFace. Once Big Boss saved Kaz Miller and escaped from their base which was under destruction, Paz (who was rescued hours before) revealed that there was a second bomb inside of her. She then jumped out of the chopper but unfortunately, she jumped out too late before the bomb exploded, sending it careening into a pursuing XOF chopper. Since after that scene faded to black, we are not sure what happens next but we do know that in the hospital near by when Big Boss, Kaz and a third patient are treated in a nearby hospital and Big Boss fell into a coma.

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9 years later (keep in mind that this game takes place in 1984. This is the sequel to Ground Zeroes and that took place in 1975 and the prequel to the very first Metal Gear which took place in 1995), Big Boss Awakens from his coma and the doctor informed him about how long he has been there. Also, Big Boss’ left arm is missing and replaced with a prosthetic hook and he has a shrapnel debris on the right side of his head. Later that night, The hospital is attacked by XOF where they also killed many patients. A patient going by the name of Ishmael aids Big Boss with his escape since he is way too weak and his muscles atrophied. During the escape, we see a young Psycho Mantis, a ghostly flaming figure of Volgin from MGS3, a flaming whale and more. After some time, Ocelot appears and rescued Big Boss as they escaped the area.

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A number of days later with recovery included, it s time for Big Boss to go on his first mission and it is at Afghanistan. Kaz Millier has been held hostage for 10 days Prior to Big Boss awakening up from his coma. his mission is to rescue him within 3 days and leave the area. While all of this is going on, a new unit formed between a Big Boss, Kaz and Ocelot and it is named Dianond Dogs. It’s purpose is to take back revenge to Cipher/The Patriots to what happened 9 years ago and for soldiers to have a home without any control of Cipher or any government. This is all we know about the story for now so I am glad that Hideo Kojima is not spoiling too much.

LOCATIONS

Since this will be a first for the Metal Gear series to be an open world stealth action game, the maps in the game will be much larger than any other Metal Gear game to date. Troy Baker who is doing the voice acting for Ocelot, recently stated in an interview that the game’s very larger scale and map size is much bigger than the highly popular open world RPG game Skyrim. The comfirmed locations where the story and missions will take place at will be in Cyprus, Afghanistan and Africa.

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In the Metal Gear series, Hideo Kojima has always used real life events in his fictional universe. For example, the hospital escape sequence and attack is a reference to the Princess Mary hospital attack/suicide bombing that happened in Cyprus in 1983. Between 1979-1989, the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan took place and in this game, most of the areas on the Afghanistan location are under Soviet control. The location of Africa, we know a few things that happened in that time period such as the Mozambique Civil War. There are also child soldiers in this game being shown that they are participating in the war.

And finally, Outer Heaven, Big Boss’ military nation in which we first found out in the very first Metal Gear, is located in South Africa so this game may possibly introduce us to the creation of Outer Heaven.

CHARACTERS

Big Boss/Venom Snake (Voiced by Kiefer Sutherland)

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Once a legend and an enemy to others, Big Boss is back and is ready too take back revenge against Cipher for what they did to him 9 years ago. He is no longer the same person he once was anymore as he is deprived with nothing but hate and pain. He leads the new unit Diamond Dogs as his quest for revenge begins. Nobody is sure about how he lost his left arm and how that debris got on his head but we will sure find out once we play the game for ourselves. He will stop at nothing whether if his actions are for good or for bad. Pretty much, he is turning into the main antagonist against America in the first Metal Gear.

OCELOT (Voiced by Troy Baker)

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A triple spy, agent for Cipher/The Patriots and someone who idolized Big Boss since the 1960’s, Ocelot returns in this game. Ocelot is also on Big Boss’ side for the quest for revenge but we don’t know why. We however, do know that in the beginning of the Soviet Invasion,  It was during this time that he became feared amongst the mujahideen as a sadist, for which they named him “Shalashaska.” At some point, he also ended up working in the Soviet Union’s concentration camps as a special torture advisor. Ocelot also joined the Diamond Dogs unit as he became the interrogation specialist and the weapons trainer for the soldiers.

KAZ MILLER (Voiced by Robin Atkin Downes)

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Kaz is more hell bent on revenge more than both Big Boss and Ocelot. I would be too if I’ve lost my unit, been captured by the Soviets, tortured and lose my arm and leg. He is also the sub-commander for Diamond Dogs but unlike when he was the sub-commander for MSF, he shows no mercy and does not hold back on his anger. The Developers of the game stated that Kaz this time around will be unpredictable so I am looking forward to seeing how darker they will take the character’s direction.

QUIET ( Voiced and motion capture by Stefanie Joosten)

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There is only a few things we know about this mute sniper.

  • She cannot talk but can make sounds.
  • She has special abilities.
  • Ocelot tortured her for reasons unknown as of right now.
  • As stated by the developers, there is a reason she does not have on a lot of clothes but we will have to find out once the game releases.

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SKULLFACE (Voiced by James Horan)

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The man and leader of XOF who caused the destruction (under Cipher’s orders) of MSF 9 years ago, is here again. There is a lot we know about SkullFace we know since Ground Zeroes but there is a lot more we need to know in this game. One of the most important things that we need to find out is when and where did him and Big Boss meet before since he said in one of the recording files to Chico that “me and your Boss go way back”. what will be his motives in this game and at the near end of the E3 2014 trailer for this game, we see him and Big Boss in the same location where a Metal Gear is. Will he side with Big Boss in this game or will he not? I consider him the Joker of the Metal Gear series as his torture audio files in Ground Zeroes makes him one of the most convincing villains in the series for a long time.

ELI (Voiced by Piers Stubbs)

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Another character we do not know too much about besides the few scenes we have seen him in the recent trailers. Many fans including myself may think this kid is the Young Liquid Snake (Big Boss was cloned by a project which caused him to have 3 sons in 1972. Solid, Liquid and Solidus Snake). He looks very similar to him, he was in Afghanistan in the 1980’s, and the bible reference where David ( Solid Snake’s real name) was the superior son while Eli was the inferior. There are many more theories to back this up that Eli is liquid Snake since his real name went classified for so many years until maybe now.

HUEY EMMERICH (Voiced by Christopher Randolph)

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The father of Hal “Otacon” Emmerich. Huey is suspected that he was the sole person that lead to the destruction of MSF but there are also other theories to why Ocelot and Kaz tortured him. We also do know that he is not in a wheelchair no more as he now uses bipedal legs to help him walk.

There are many more characters that we do not know yet and I have not explained such as Ishmael, Psycho Mantis, Code Talker and more but their bios has not been fully explained yet but again, I am glad that Hideo Kojima is not spoiling way too much. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain should be released sometime in 2015. Next month, I will cover the gameplay and multiplayer aspect of the game.

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Movie Reviews: 50 Shades Of Grey

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Let’s get this out of the way—those going into Fifty Shades Of Grey expecting an erotic experience are going to be disappointed. The sex scenes are all tastefully shot and, save for the much-ballyhooed BDSM trappings, not especially provocative. (The French were right on this one.) But even if the film were NC-17-level explicit, it wouldn’t make that much of a difference. Leads Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson, both of whom spend the majority of the film supposedly desperately longing for each other, have so little chemistry that it gives the sexy goings-on a rather clinical feel.

Hardcore fans of the book may also be disappointed. Director Sam Taylor-Johnson, who reportedly clashed with author E.L. James over nearly every aspect of the film, brings an arch, irreverent take to the story that makes Fifty Shades Of Grey occasionally resemble the American Psycho of mommy porn. The film benefits greatly from discarding the authorial voice of the book (Anastasia Steele’s inner goddess remains silent, thank God), and where James’ frankly embarrassing dialogue does come through, it’s played for laughs. (There are no “holy crap”s, but there is one “holy cow.”) Ostensibly erotic moments, like a stolen kiss in an elevator, come with a punchline, reinforcing the notion that Taylor-Johnson doesn’t want us to take all this swooning romantic nonsense at face value. It’s got a Danny Elfman score, for god’s sake.

However, somewhere around the first sex scene the winking self-awareness begins to recede, and to its detriment, Fifty Shades Of Grey starts taking itself seriously. By the time we actually get to the light BDSM—images of women bound with rope that Ana finds horrifying are more Helmut Newton than Kink.com—the 125-minute running time begins itself to feel like a punishment. That’s also when Taylor-Johnson begins trying to shoehorn a feminist message about sexual agency into what is essentially a fairy tale with MacBook Pros (suave billionaire prince comes to sweep ordinary girl off her feet and tell her she’s special). The results are mixed—it’s more empowering than the book, though that’s not saying much—but you can’t fault her for trying.

Another aspect of the film that might be subversive, provided it was intentional, is Dornan’s performance as 27-year-old billionaire and kinky Prince Charming Christian Grey. Dornan appears to have mistaken lack of affect for mystery, and despite his assertion that he’s “50 shades of f***** up,” he has about three shades, four at best. The character’s creepier, more abusive tendencies, while impossible to remove entirely (can we just mention that he tracks Ana’s location by tracing her phone?), are downplayed, and Christian functions as a sort of well-dressed Wikipedia article about BDSM onto which Ana can project her inner conflict. The Fetlife crowd is right to object to the book’s (and film’s) continued insistence that Christian is kinky because he was abused as a child—somehow his protestations of “It’s just the way I am!” never quite stick—but the cinematic Christian Grey is too toothless to really be threatening.

Dakota Johnson, on the other hand, is the unexpected highlight of the film. She gives Ana a strength of personality that’s lacking in the book, subtly transforming the character from a breathy house-mouse who never makes eye contact into a glamorous, intelligent woman who knows what she wants and has no problem articulating it. The story begins when Ana visits Christian’s office to interview him for her college newspaper, a meeting that wouldn’t have happened if Ana’s roommate were not sick that day. Charmed by her shyness, Christian begins aggressively pursuing Ana, showing up unannounced at her workplace and at the bar where she drunk dials him one sodden night after her final exams. In the book, he maintains dominance throughout, pressuring her to sign an (unrealistic) D/s contract that will make her “his.” One telling change between the book and the film is in the negotiation of the contract between Christian and Ana; a dinner scene where Ana struggles to maintain composure is replaced by a playful “business meeting” proposed and controlled by Ana. She’s stringing him along, not the other way around.

These aspects of the film—making the hot guy (the ostensible draw) the most boring part of the movie while imbuing the female lead with personality, presenting the submissive as the partner truly in control of the situation—could be seen as subversive. They might even be empowering, as much as a story about a woman’s desire to fix a damaged man with the power of love can be. And we’ll see if Fifty Shades Of Grey is the subject of revisionist think pieces in the decades to come. It certainly won’t be remembered for its technical merits, as Taylor-Johnson has crafted a bland, slickly unexceptional-looking film with a soundtrack of cover songs as empty as the echoing expanse of Christian Grey’s high-rise.

The answers to these questions might lie in the ending of the film, which Taylor-Johnson wanted to change from James’ version. (Plot revelations ahead, obviously.) In the film, Ana runs out of Christian’s apartment after he finally, at Ana’s request, shows her the true extent of his sadism. He runs after her, and as the doors of the elevator close, she turns and yells “Stop!”, which turns into an exchange of pleasantries echoing their initial meeting. Taylor-Johnson wanted to change Ana’s assertion to “Red!”, their agreed-upon safe word. It might seem like a small change, but think about that for a minute. In Taylor-Johnson’s version, Ana knows this is all a game, and she can end it at any time. In James’ version, Ana is still in thrall to Christian, a more romantic and, not insignificantly, sequel-friendly version of events. In the end, James won the argument, and the movie stayed true to her vision. Maybe that’s why it fails.

I give this film a 1.5/10. Watching this was like watching The Undertaker lose at WrestleMania to AJ Styles. I would rather take a bad episode of WWE Monday Night Raw than this.

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Top 10 most rare and collectable video games

Video game collecting has been a hobby for many within the last few years and I am a video game player, but not a collector. Today I will count down the top 10 most rare and collectable video games ever. For this list, the only games that will be In this countdown are so rare that limited copies has ever been made and the sale values has exceeded expectations. Time to start the countdown .

10. Batman Forever Woolworths Box Set (SNES): $900 – $1300

This PAL Limited Edition box set was only available from Woolworths and is very hard to find. The set includes The game, Making Of Game VHS, Batman Diary, Batman Sticker, Competition Entry Form & the outer Slipcase. As many of you know, they game wasn’t especially popular and in the days of people not really collecting video games, most people who purchased it would not have kept all the items and packaging together, let along in good condition. It has surfaced on eBay a few times in recent years, but hasn’t always reached its asking price.

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9. Gauntlet (Atari 2600): $3000-$5000

This title has nothing to do with the later action RPG series Atari would release. Instead, the plot follows Sir Robert Whittenbottom as he runs the gauntlet of an ancient tribe in an attempt to prove his manhood and join the tribe. The player could run around or leap over various obstacles, and could survive multiple hits before finally succumbing to wounds. The game was mail-order only from Answer Software and was not contained in a box, instead coming in a foam case.We haven’t really seen much activity on this release in recent years. Copies back in the early 2000s went for about $3,000. I think it would be safe to say that it could reach $5,000 or more if went up for sale in good condition.

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8. Tetris (Sega Genesis/Megadrive) : $3,000 – $16,000

So you think the unlicensed Tetris game for the NES is hard to find? Just try to get your hands on the Japanese Megadrive Tetris. It was developed alongside Sega’s System-16 arcade version, but never reached shelves after legal wranglings gave Nintendo exclusive console rights. However, that little issue doesn’t stop some people from obtaining it. Apparently, there are about 10 copies known to be floating around.

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7. Stadium Events (NES): $1,800 – $8,800

What makes this otherwise standard game so rare, is that just after its release, it was recalled. As an official third party title, Stadium Events made use of an accessory called the Family Fun Fitness Pad. It required the player(s) to run or step rapidly in order to complete each event. Upon its release, Nintendo decided to grant the game a first party production, recalling the scant initial cartridges that had been sent out.The game would later become “World Class Track Meet” and would be played with Nintendo’s own controller the “Power Pad”. Both became very common and were boxed-in with many NES consoles. But Stadium Events, the original anomaly, had snuck out in ever so limited numbers. 2000 copies is believed to have been the total distribution tally, but doesn’t consider how many of those were sold prior to Nintendo’s recall. Some have suggested that no more than 200 actually made it into NES owners’ homes. It should be noted that PAL versions were not recalled and are not worth as much (even though many eBay sellers try to pass them off as rarities)

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6. Elemental Gearbolt: Assassin’s Case (Playstation): $1,400 – $1750

This treasure chest of sorts was given away as a tournament prize at the 1998 E3 convention in addition to a few people who worked on Elemental Gearbolt at Working Designs. When all was said and done, only 40 of these sets were produced and given out. The set includes a briefcase, gold GunCon, and gold memory card. The last one to be sold was in August 2009. It got bids up to $1700, which was surprising since it was a new seller (that eventually backed out). Had it been a established seller, it may have gone for more.

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5. Atlantis II (Atari 2600) : $5,000-$18.000

This was a special tournament version of the Atari 2600 game Atlantis. The gameplay is much faster, the scoring system has been slightly altered from the original, and enemy ships are worth far less than the original version, where the city of Atlantis must be protected from the evil Gorgon spaceships. Copies of the cartridge were sent to the top players in the Defend Atlantis competition, primarily because there were far more than four people capable of maxing out the score in the original Atlantis. Of those receiving the cartridge, four were chosen and sent to Bermuda for the final round of the competition, where the winner won $10,000. The game looks identical to Atlantis, though a sticker with “Atlantis II” typed on it was stuck to the front of the box. It is unknown who won the competition.

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4. Air Raid (Atari 2600) : $3,400 – $33,400

This game was apparently the only released by MenAvision with possibly only twelve official copies ever seeing the light of day. The cartridge is blue, with a t-shaped handle on the end.Gameplay centers around the player attempting to protect a city by shooting down flying saucers, airplanes, and other kinds of enemies which are trying to bomb said city. To do this, the player must fly around in their own aircraft, launching missiles at enemy ships. Waves are continuous, though scores are tabulated so players can compete against themselves.For many years, only cartidge-only versions of the game had surfaced. In 2004, the cartridge sold $3,305 and another one was listed in 2009 for $5,000 and passed without a bid. However, in 2012, we have now see two boxed copies sell on eBay and GameGavel — for $14,000 and $33,400 respectively.

These recent sales made it one of the highest priced video game transations of all time (a bit behind the $41,300 that was paid for a copy of Stadium Events for the NES). For the record, it would be very interested in seeing one of the other two games change hands just so we can see the values

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3. 1990 Nintendo World Championships: Gold Edition (NES): $15,000 – $21,000

In 1990, Nintendo famously held a gaming tournament in Los Angeles, California, not unlike the one in the finale of the cult classic film, The Wizard. While admittedly a mainstream competition (most of us could have won with no problem), the event was a high point in Nintendo’s glamorous reign at the top of the gaming market, and is remembered by many with great enthusiasm. After its promotion in the popular Nintendo Power and through the Powerfest tour, kids everywhere practiced feverishly in hopes of heading to this event, seeing the wonder of light and sound, playing some Rad Racer, and winning it all.The actual game is a timed compilation of three titles (Super Mario Bros, Rad Racer, and Tetris), each adjusted for the tournament, and containing a unique scoring system. The 1990 Nintendo World Championships: Gold Edition was the contest prize in one of Nintendo Power’s monthly promotions. One grand prize winner and twenty-five equally as fortunate runners-up were each sent a single copy (which makes 26 copies in the wild). What gives these competition cartridges an incredible dynamic is that, while so few copies exist, they were distributed to winners throughout all of North America. Many rare/prototype games and systems with this low of a production, had their entire allotment sent to or found in a single localized area.

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2. Birthday Mania (Atari 2600): $15,000 – $35,000

Distributed by Personal Games, Birthday Mania cartridges were specially ordered cartridges with personalized title screens and spaces on the front where names could be written in. The game focused on the player blowing out birthday candles, and the game was billed as a perfect birthday gift. It didn’t really catch on, so there are very few of these out on the market.So how rare is it? Well, there’s only a couple claimed to exist. One is supposedly in the hands of Jerry Greiner, known Atari collector and enthusiast, while another belongs to a user at AtariAge (I won’t list his name since he appears to value his privacy). Since Greiner has never actively proven his ownership, it means the one from AtariAge is the only known in existence. (Yes, that could very well make it more rare than the NES Nintendo World Chamption Cartidges) Back in 2009, the highest known offer for a copy of Birthday Mania was $6500, but it was turned down by the owner. With recent sales of Air Raid and the rise of collecting over the last 5 years, Birthday Mania could easily fetch 2 to 5 times the amount of that offer. The second image is the only known image of gameplay that was ever shown. There is also no clips on YouTube of this game that exists

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1. Gamma Attack (Atari 2600): $20,000 – $50,000

The only game released by company Gammation, programmed by Robert L. Esken, Jr., and seeing only a handful of cartridges produced, Gamma-Attack remains one of the rarest video games ever made. How rare you ask? There is one copy known to exist, in the hands of collector Anthony DeNardo.The eBay auction in February 2008 for Gamma-Attack was Mr. DeNardo’s copy, put up to showcase his amazing find. The auction had a $500,000 Buy-It-Now price. Back when originally published this guide in 2009, we had this game valued between $5,000 and $10,000. This is what Mr. DeNardo estimated the worth at in 2008, but he confessed that he had received even larger offers for the title.Nearly five years later, the video game collecting market has taken off quite a bit, so it is easy to value Gamma Attack between $20,000 and $50,000 making it arguably the most valuable video game of all time.

It is worth noting that the ROM of Gamma Attach has been released, and in 2008 Gammation unveiled GammAttack4, a re-release of the game for PC emulators. Gammation’s website is www.gammation.com. You can also occasionally find reproductions of the game on eBay

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Honorable mentions

Pepsi Invaders (Atari 2600).
Castlevania: Rondo of Blood (Japanese PC version).
Final Fantasy VII (factory sealed, black label, Playstation)
Metroid Prime Trilogy (Wii)
Metal Gear Solid 3 Snake Eater Premium Package (Playstation 2)
The Music Machine (Atari 2600)

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My thoughts: Daniel Bryan should NOT win the 2015 Royal Rumble

I’ve got a slightly different take on Daniel Bryan’s return and just how WWE might view him in the plans moving forward. I say “might” simply because I believe WWE will make the best business call based on the data they have, which they don’t share with us. I just don’t put any stock in the reactions of the TV arena crowds because if they were truly indicative of WWE’s larger business there’s no way Cena is the runaway money generator he’s been the last decade and surely others with better responses from these crowds would have long since surpassed him if the Raw/PPV crowd translated to money.

That being said I do think they were a factor in the road to Mania last year, just not for the same reasons as many express. I don’t think WWE was worried about their booing, I think WWE was counting on them to be the subscriber base of the WWE network and wanted to make sure to grab them up in hopes they’d be a big enough number all on their own to take the network into the black. Call it the “low hanging fruit” strategy. When you pick apples from a tree, you grab everything on the low branches (hardcore fans) before you start climbing higher to get the more difficult to reach apples (casual fans). Just look how reliant WWE was on their library during the roll out, rather than original programming, tailor-made for the older hardcore fan who longs for the “good old” days and still sticks around hoping for a return. WWE network going hard with the library, then the Monday Night Wars series in the fall was designed for them to sigh up so they could go back and watch again…not the casuals who live in the now and aren’t watching out of nostalgia.

Which brings us to Batista. I imagine WWE thought they had found a perfect scenario. The old star Batista triumphantly returns to WWE, bringing with him the memories and nostalgia a network subscriber could now revisit. But possibly even bigger than that, Batista had the big summer blockbuster on deck, which meant he would be taking the WWE title everywhere and likely garnering enough free advertising/product placement that he could justify his money on that alone, while reaching even more lapsed fans, all of which would build to the SummerSlam blockbuster versus the other WWE “mainstream” star Brock Lesnar.

I’m sure WWE was also cognizant that their hardcore fanbase might also be concerned with what Batista’s return would mean for their favorites, which is why I think they booked so much heat for that audience’s current darling, Daniel Bryan. I imagine they hoped that Bryan getting revenge would be a big enough story to satiate the audience demand. So you put Sheamus in the spot Rollins would get later and pair him with Bryan, Punk would come to Bryan’s aid and pair off with HHH. After Mania you could add Batista/Orton for 6-man, then transition The Authority to The Shield, which is where WWE sees future money. But then the hardcore fans revolted and depending on your viewpoint if you’re in WWE’s inner circle, Vince either smartly changed plans on the fly…or he panicked and blew a potentially big deal on a plan with a much lower probability for huge success…all with the goal of getting every hardcore fan signed up for the network by the day after Mania.

So let’s play devil’s advocate and say I was one of the anti-Bryan/pro-Batista voices who said hardcore fans had already decided whether they would subscribe and those who planned to were just like the audience at the average Raw. They might not like much of what they see or the wrestlers we push, but they’re going to show up as long as WWE is on the marquee. Let’s say I argued that I wasn’t even confident that the PAYING hardcore audience was big enough to get the network to a million subscribers, but either way WWE already had the low hanging fruit, and they needed to be focused on the success of the larger task, growing the casual audience. I was firm the network would be carried by WWE’s success in getting new/lapsed customers. Now here we are at the start of 2015, Bryan is back, and the pro-Bryan voices are arguing that Bryan should win the Rumble and headline Mania. Here’s what I would argue:

1) We capitulated completely to the demand of our devoted fans…and the result was the network limping out of the gate, which means that audience is not enough to make the network profitable…so we’ve given them NXT along with the still growing library, while we focus on casuals…and we can’t go back to that well again because it failed last year.

2) The free media and attention WWE and the network would have received from Batista as champ this summer would have more than paid his salary…and who knows how much bigger a Guardians Batista versus Brock for the title would have been for the network. Had we gone with Batista, WWE still would have gotten every single one of our current subscribers because they’re WWE fans first and foremost…and maybe even more subscribers from the lapsed fan made aware of WWE again and all the kids who find out Drax was a wrestler and they can see him and all his old stuff on the network, not too mention the shirts and toys we lost out on.

3) Bryan as underdog was popular…and when we had him beat 3 top stars at the same time, we killed that underdog and as proof I’d cite the tepid response Bryan received afterward because if he was still hot, he should have been able to carry anything we gave him or at least have the insight to demand a change that he wanted, but he’s too laid back and not a business partner we can trust.

4) We built Bryan up starting in the summer of 2013 (if not sooner) as a top guy, then fed him 3 top stars along with the title…a massive investment…and then he got hurt and was out for the rest of the year with an injury we have no reason to think won’t recur with more pounding in the ring. How on earth can we be thinking about giving him Brock- who we’ve invested HUGE in for the last year- the title, and the focal point of Mania, when it’s just as likely we get to May and the nerve compression is back, but this time he needs the fusion surgery that will end his WWE career.

If I’m Vince these are some very compelling arguments and unless the data overwhelmingly supports Bryan’s popularity is widespread and translates to big money, significantly bigger than any other candidate to beat Brock, there’s absolutely no way I can invest in him with a Rumble win/Mania headliner/WWE champ. I’d still want to use in in a high profile spot, but he’s not sniffing the top spot until he shows me at least a year of great health.

Now as a fan, WWE can book anybody they want in any role and if it’s good I’m entertained. I don’t fantasy book who should be champ or pretend to know which stars are box office or pretend to know best because I have ZERO hard facts, so whether WWE puts Bryan or Reigns or Cena or anybody versus Brock, I really don’t care…but as somebody in business who tries to appreciate and understand WWE’s business, I would be stunned if Bryan win the Rumble if for no other reason than that I can’t imagine WWE looks at 2014’s business and hopes for a repeat in 2015 and going all in on Bryan would increase the likelihood of that by at least 50%…in other words, a very bad bet.

What do you think?

Follow me @julianexcalibur

Why the casual fans stopped watching wrestling

I think it’s safe to say that when you look at the history of professional wrestling, there are two periods that stand-out when it comes to mass success within the industry–the early WrestleMania Era (I-III) and, of course, The Attitude Era. Although The New Generation Era (1992-1997) and the Ruthless Aggression Era (2002-2008) were my favorite periods of watching, Those are the only quite defined moments in history when the entire world was watching the WWE. Yes, you can argue that there were some other spikes over that period of time, but none nearly as significant as those two occasions when EVERYBODY was talking about wrestling around the water cooler.

When the wrestling business is down, it’s clearly attributed to the mass audience, or casual viewers of professional wrestling, no longer watching the product. For a number of reasons they have tuned into something else. The audience that you see watching RAW today, is the “core” wrestling audience, or the “wrestling fan base”. They are die-hard fans who eat, sleep and breathe professional wrestling, and will watch it for three hours every Monday night regardless of how good . . . or, bad it is. I always say this when it comes to the “hardcore” wrestling fans—if the word WRESTLING is somewhere in the title of the show—they’re watching it—PERIOD.

In my case, I am NO DOUBT a casual wrestling fan. Throughout my lifetime I have watched wrestling when I am throughly entertained by it—and shut it off when I’m not. If not for my responsibilities to this website . . . I WOULD NOT be watching wrestling today (12/8/2014) but I will this Friday.

So, as a casual wrestling fan, the type of fan that the industry NEEDS in order to one day thrive again, what exactly is it that turns us off to the product? Well, the truth is . . . there are a number of things and I will explain the main issue.

So here’s the first disconnect:

WRESTLERS NEED TO LOOK LIKE WRESTLERS

When a casual wrestling fan turns on a wrestling show, they expect to see actual WRESTLERS. And, to the masses, the definition of a WRESTLER is much different from that of the “die-hard” fan, or “core” wrestling audience. You see, to a casual fan, the draw of a wrestler has little to actually do with the way he “wrestles”. To us, a wrestling match is a wrestling match. Yes, some are better than others, and some are worse, but—we’re not tuning in for the “match” per say. If that were the case then we’d be tuning in every week because we would indeed be “wrestling” fans.

When it comes to casual wrestling fans, we like the wrestlers who are “larger than life”. The guys with the big frames, or impressive physiques that we all wish we had, but don’t, so we live vicariously through them. Now there are exceptions to that rule, for instance take a Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart, but those guys have very distinctive characters which made up for their “lack of” physical presence. Casual wrestling fans are drawn to the wrestlers that we grew up watching, maybe the business was a bit more selective back then who knows, but whatever the case—all those guys just LOOKED like wrestlers. They didn’t look like you and me, regular guys, they looked “different”, “special”, they just stood out in the crowd. There was no one like a “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, or a King Kong Bundy, Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan, Mick Foley, the “Rock” or, of course “Stone Cold”. No one looked like someone you would run into on the street. And, if they did, then they would be road kill much like your Barry Horowitz’s. In the mind of a casual fan, when you tune into a wrestling show—WRESTLERS need to look like WRESTLERS.

For whatever reason, I know of a few, that has changed over the years. For starters, the majority of the wrestlers of today are not as “jacked-up” as years passed, largely due to the decrease in steroids over the years. You read how in the past even though a wrestler was never “directly” told to go on the juice, it was implied that if they did . . . they would find themselves higher up on the card. And, let’s face it, many did it on their own accord because it was a “business decision” as they thought it would help their stock in the long run–regardless of what the consequences may be later on in life.

Today, with drug testing in place, the importance of being a physical specimen, has been replaced with the idea of being a “great worker”. One that can actually “wrestle”. Now, where that is a must to the “core” wrestling fan, it’s not as important to the “casual” fan. Again, remember, we don’t watch every week because we’re NOT necessarily fans of the wrestling. I’ve always said this when it comes to casual wrestling fans, when there is a guy on a wrestling show on TV that —regardles of his acrobatic performance in the ring—you actually BELIEVE YOU CAN TAKE—then you have a problem on your hands.

Look at current history. The guys that the “core” wrestling fans see as over are guys like; CM Punk, Daniel Bryan , Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. Now again, even though the audiences who pay to see them are reacting to them, that doesn’t mean that the world is, or even the “casual” wrestling fan. All great wrestlers, and tremendous talents in their own right, but to casual wrestling fans these guys just look like “regular guys” when you stand them up next to a Brock Lesnar, or a John Cena, or a Roman Reigns even. Now granted, the WWE brain trust haven’t exactly stepped up to the plate in supplying these guys with defined characters that could help make up for some of their lack off physical prowess, but still, at the end of the day if I ran into any one of them on the street—they wouldn’t scare me. There is nothing “different”, or “unique” about them—they just look like ordinary guys (with the exception of Daniel Bryan, of course). That’s why the WWE never really pushed CM Punk, and were hesitant to push Bryan Daniel, not because of their wrestling ability, but because these guys may not necessarily appeal to the MASSES. And, that’s just fact, not opinion. Go back and look at your numbers when these guys were on top. No question that both Rollins and Ambrose are the two best “workers” on the WWE roster right now, NO DOUBT, but, when it comes to business . . . where are they getting the WWE? Look at the numbers . . . the casual fans are not watching.

The majority of the people reading this post are going to kill me with their comments, and you know why? The Internet Wrestling Community is made up of DIE-HARD wrestling fans! Casual wrestling fans don’t go to sites to find out about the insiders of the business. they don’t even know that they exist. To them, its real simple—WRESTLERS NEED TO LOOK LIKE WRESTLERS! They need to look different, stand-out, be unique and posses a LARGER THEN LIFE presence. That’s what we grew up on, that’s what we want! It’s just part of the wrestling business, and always has been. Without even knowing the card, go look at the WrestleMania I roster. Just look at what those guys looked like PHYSICALLY! Hogan, Piper, Bundy, Orndorf, JYD, Big John Studd, Andre the Giant (OK, an exception to the rule), Jimmy Snuka, Iron Shiek, Nikolai Volkoff, ALL THESE GUYS LOOKED LIKE WRESTLERS!!! Can you say the same about today’s crop? Now, face it, much of that also has to do with lack of character development, and I’ll get into that tomorrow, but out of all those guys listed—do you think you could actually take one of them? They all just had a “presence”, and the physical aspect played a huge part. Casual fans want super heroes—we always have . . . we always will.

But, at some point, the wrestling business actually started listening to the internet fans. Somewhere along the line “work rate” became more important than “physical presence”. And, again, when the vast majority of the casual fans could give two HURRICANRANAS about how good a wrestling match is, or a wrestling match at all—you’ve lost them. And, the WWE continues to go down that road. Just watching NXT last week I saw first hand how they are getting further and further away from what the MASSES want. Yeah, I saw some UNBELIVABLE wrestlers on that show, BUT—are they going to appeal to the masses—or, do they just look like regular guys?

I guess all that is a part of STAR POWER, and unfortunately, physical appearance has something to do with that in the majority of the cases.

Hey man, don’t hate the player . . . hate the game.

Follow me @julianexcalibur