Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Twitter Clipper - Wednesday (7/23/14)

In an effort to deliver fun, informative, and more frequent posts, I've decided to birth a new idea onto Android Aaron today...drum introducing Twitter Clipper!

Now I know that doesn't rhyme or alliterate, but it's the catchiest name I could come up with for this while I was waiting for my Crucible match to populate on we're going to roll with it. Oh, and "it" is going to be regular screencaps from my personal twitter feed (@muddobber107) that thought were interesting or cool. You know, the sort of tweets that make you stop scrolling through all the daily quotes, news headlines, "what I'm eating for lunch today" updates, etc. Standard convention would dictate I re-tweet these, but I thought it would be cool to showcase some things here. Let me know if you like it!

Monday, July 21, 2014

DESTINY: From Alpha to Beta

I'm a casual gamer, but definitely pride myself on keeping up with the newest gaming news. While I might not always enjoy the newest and most highly rated games that IGN blesses, I love to keep on with the excitement so if I do dig what the developers are throwing down I don't waste anytime in picking up that controller. Naturally this makes me a big fan of E3 and Sony's Conference in particular. This year, this lead me to signing up for Bungie's alpha test for their new title DESTINY...which blew. me. away!

I don't need to write another review here that echos the consensus of so many fans, but in a nutshell I would describe DESTINY as a cleaner, smoother, prettier, Halo that compliments this next gen console culture. Specifically, the DESTINY Alpha as compared to the Beta was pretty similar. The biggest difference seems to be an expansion of the in-game storytelling in this latest release, including a couple new game modes. Also, the voice of your companion Ghost has been slightly altered in the wake of some criticism in the Alpha over this line. Now in the Beta, the wonderful Peter Dinklage is slightly more digitized sounding...which I got used to very quickly.

Knowing that the Alpha and Beta were fairly similar, including the annoying Level 8 character cap, the biggest difference in experience between the two involved my involvement in The Crucible (which is DESTINY's PVP multiplayer). I've never been a huge fan of CoD and PVP focused gameplay, but something about the connection I felt with my Guardian and immersiveness of the gameplay made me want to take my Warlock into the Crucible to prove something. Now I sound like a rep from Bungie...but it's true!

So enough of that. I plan to followup with a more comprehensive review after release in September, but until then if you haven't been fortunate enough to experience DESTINY firsthand (and you have a PS4 in North America) please grab one of the codes below and redeem here to be ready to jump in for the final leg of the beta test July 23 - 27







If you successfully redeem a code, please be courteous and post below letting everyone know it's taken. People tend to forget that PSN has a cap on the number of codes you can attempt to redeem in a day...they'll lock your account for a 24hr me!

Also, I should have 2 Xbox 360 codes to give out once they're released later this week. Let me know below if you're interested in one.

UPDATE: Bungie just sent out access codes to the remaining systems re-opened the Beta early for everyone. Here's my last Xbox 360:


Now, please watch the latest trailer for the Beta and get excited!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

APP REVIEW: Dehumanize Your Friends

This is the first of hopefully many Android app reviews, but it certainly deserves to be the first because this is a really cool idea and descent game. If you were to just see the logo or name you probably wouldn't be able to figure out what it is. That's probably because the creators have had to change the name and logo for the app a couple times due to copyright issues.

It would have a lot more downloads and be all over the place if it was called Cards Against Humanity for your Chromecast...because ladies and gentlemen that what it is!

For those of you who've been living under a rock or passing on all social get-togethers for the last few years, Cards Against Humanity is a card game similar to the children's game Apples to Apples but for adults...yes! In the traditional playing style, each player has 7 cards with various nouns or verbs on them. Each round, every player selects a single card that best answers a question or fill in a blank on a separate single card selected at random for all players to see. The player who drew the random single card that all other players are replying to then selects the card he/she thinks is the best fit. You really just need to play the game once to understand how it's ridiculously fun!

Anyway, now that you're all caught up! Dehumanize Your Friends works with the Google Chromecast (another product that if you don't know what it is you're beyond saving at this point) and essentially makes Cards Against Humanity completely digital. Everyone playing must have the game app (link to DL below) as well as the Chromecast extension app installed...all totally free! You then open Dehumanize Your Friends, click the "cast to Chromcast" icon in the top right of the screen, create a user name (hopefully a funny one), and then select you're "ready." Once everyone's connected, the first user who started this process can select to start the game! Everyone is automatically dealt their cards, the prompt card is displayed on the TV, and users just select their cards by tapping them and they are randomly displayed on the TV next to the prompt once all are selected. The "card czar" (name for the user picking the winning card that round) then selects on his/her screen the winner, and it rotates on.

Amazingly simple and makes the game a lot smoother and more fun in my opinion! A group of 5 of us played it the other night and it worked 90% of the time. The app is a little buggy at times, booting someone out of the game or freezing; however, I found these issues to be rather infrequent and resolved by closing and killing the app anytime there was an incident.

The original game, according to their site, is distributed under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 2.0 license, meaning it can be used and remixed for free, but can't be sold without the creator's permission. With that I should hope support for this to continue to improve and maybe even some more creative competitor apps to pop up. In the meantime, have your Android friends over for some fun!



MOVIE REVIEW: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

-----NO SPOILERS-----

As a very casual comic book fan and very large superhero movie fan, I sometimes have to make sure I don't walk out of movies like this one with the "pizza review." That is to say, not just loving it because it's a superhero comic book movie and so even a bad one (like bad pizza) is still a superhero comic book movie...get it?

While that might be the case for a lot of early generation comic book adaptations, that certainly isn't the case for Marvel's latest here! Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the sequel to the 2011 Captain America: The First Avenger we all were hoping for...and have come to expect in Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). In that vein, it's just as much a sequel to the first Cap movie as it is to The Avengers, but still very much in the context of Steve Rogers.


So without rambling on and on about the details of the film I'm going to try and keep it brief with these two statements: Winter Soldier has non-stop action and awesome plot. Done! That's the gist of why this movie is so awesome! You have a major character from the Avengers universe die, a huge secret concerning the inner-workings of S.H.I.E.L.D. revealed, characters you thought were dead are still very much alive...sort of, and we get to meet some new heroes that are definitely here to stay for future films! If you're a die hard fan of the comics, there's plenty to get your nerd heard thumping, but if you're just a casual watcher of the films there's still plenty of badassery to be had also! 

With all that said, I feel one of the best parts of Winter Soldier was that it solidified Cap as probably the most badass Avenger we have. Yeah sure we knew he was awesome from the first movie and he kicked tons of Chitauri butt in The Avengers, but I never really saw him as more than a patriotic soldier who believed in his duty and doing good until this film. Stark is a rich, funny, genius; Thor is a god; Banner is a hard hitting genius; Black Widow is sexy, sexy, and kicks tons of butt; and Hawkeye is Hawkeye, but now I view the Cap as really the embodiment of all those things now...just think about it and comment below!


STINGER: Well, it's a Marvel film so I shouldn't have to tell you that YES there's a stinger...two in fact! The post-credits (second) stinger directly relates to the ending of the movie and is definitely worth sticking around for but really doesn't require any explanation. The in-credits (first) stinger is the one that will make your nerd heart flutter, even if you don't understand it all. It relates to the MCU as a whole and ties more directly to the story going into Avengers: Age of Ultron (due out 2015). As I said before, I am only a casual comic book fan so I didn't entirely understand all that was shown...especially the very last scene. However, luckily our friends over at IGN have some nerds that have done their homework and can enlighten us! I will warn you though, it has some minor potential spoilers for the plot directions of the MCU and even for X-Men: Days of Future I have your attention yet?! Good! Now enjoy:

One last thing (because I feel it's so relevant to this franchise and so impressive at this same time) is how the movie performed, according to it set a new record for the month of April by grossing $96.2 million through it's opening weekend. That breaks the previous record held my Fast Five and makes it the fifth highest opening for a Marvel film. Needless to say, I think Marvel is going to have enough money in the coffers to continue with Phase Two and beyond!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Disney Magic Bands

Finally got my official Magic Band as a Disney Passholder! Of course, the wife and I have been using the generic bands we got from staying in a resort a few months back, but it's nice to legitimately be part of the FastPass+ revolution.

On that note, the FastPass+ system is actually pretty fantastic so far. My only complaint is that I wish you could split your three reservations up over multiple parks. I'm sure that feature will come with time, but in the meantime they're doing a great job with the current setup. Case in point, a couple months ago when we were at the park we had reservations for Space Mountain in the evening. Naturally, the ride went down for maintenance (as it often does) and to make amends Disney threw a blank FastPass onto our Magic Bands that we were able to redeem at any ride in that park at any time that day until close! SCORE!

Google April Fools': Pokemon Challenge

So I'm sure at this point you've all seen this year's Google April Fools Prank

That being said, if you're like me after reading the announcement you immediately took to Google Maps and started scouring the world for Pokemon, only to find that they're not as plentiful as one would hope. At this point I've caught 48/150 Pokemon and still counting. My strategy has been focusing on coasting areas and major cities (i.e. capitals and such). Below are a couple Google Maps links that should help you along your journey (assuming the Pokemon locations are static across all users' experiences). Note: Remember to open these links on your mobile device in order to view them through the mobile Google Maps app.

Galapagos National Park (Pokemon Lab): Make sure you really scan the whole island coast as this area is rich

Googleplex (Mountainview, CA): This is the main Google headquarters and quite a few Pokemon are hiding in the greater city if you look

A few cities of note to search are New York, London, Dublin, San Francisco, and the big island of Hawaii. Post below if you found any good sources.

Gotta catch 'em all! 


I would give credit to an individual, but it appears to be a group effort! The following is an open Google Doc with what appears to be locations of sightings of almost all the 150 Pokemon: