15 years too late for me.

I stumbled across the greatest team up in documented history. Pb and J are blown out of the water by This completely awesome pairing.

Of course I am talking about Hasbro and Marvel.

Anyone born in the 80’s was raised on a steady diet of ghost busters, transformers and GI Joe. Of the three, GI Joe by far had the most action pose potential. Marvel toys were never the most agile of figures. They moved like they had all four limbs in a cast. And then over starched their undies.
For years kids just used the Joes and pretended they were comic heroes.

Hasbro had the GI Joe license and the Marvel line was handled by Toy Biz. Hasbro had the superior play quality and Toy biz had the detail…  but it was like playing with a detailed block of wood.

Action figure collector’s prayers have been answered. Hasbro unveiled it’s Marvel Universe line of figures.

spidey2
Go web go!

Look at that maneuverability!

The first wave includes:
*Black Panther
* Bullseye
* Daredevil
* Human Torch
* Translucent Burning Human Torch
* Extremsis Iron Man
* Stealth Iron-Man
* The Punisher V1
* Silver Surfer
* Classic Spider-Man
* Wolverine (X-Force)

Iron-man and snake eyes? Cobra might as well pack it in.
Iron-man and snake eyes? Cobra might as well pack it in.

That is a very nice first wave to start your collection. Finally Iron-Man can take down cobra!

Manos: The Hands of Fate

I mentioned it in the AMC B-Movie posting but this really is something that needs it’s own mention.

Manos: The Hands of Fate is probably one of the most terrifying movies that I’ve watched, the dubbing, the cuts and the general story is just mind blowing and because of that I’m now posting it for anyone that feels up to it. This isn’t the MST3K version that most watch, there’s no comic relief, just a thought in your mind of “Make it stop already!!!”

Cheers everyone 😀

B-Movie Bonanza!

Streaming movies isn’t that new these days, but it’s often hard to find the latest hot spots worth checking out. Usually when I want a great B-Movie I often hit up Google Videos, a lot of titles manage to find their way over there and some are just awful. Today though I hit up AMC for my usual dose of TV catchup and found a series of B-Movies listed

AMC / BMC Movies

The current lineup so far is this

Dragstrip Girls
The Hellfire Club
Hercules Unchained
Motorcycle Gang
Saga of the Viking Women
Dark Star
Shake, Rattle & Rock
A Swingin’ Summer
Assassination in Rome
Carnival of Souls
College Girl Murders
Reform School Girl
Rock All Night
Asylum
Corridors of Blood
The Horror of Party Beach
How to Make a Monster
War of the Colossal Beast
What a Carve Up
Creation of the Humanoids
Invasion of the Neptune Men
Planet on the Prowl
Teenage Caveman
Terror Beneath the Sea
Dynamite Joe
The Ruthless Four

Here’s to hoping they get some true winners like Manos: Hands of Fate in there, although honestly I think I couldn’t take that movie all the way through once again.

Also many apologies if these are beyond your regular B-Movie radar, some of these really kind of look like they’re gonna be grade A stink.

darkstar

MadWorld – Chainsaw days

It’s been a while since the game came out, but it’s a bit of a cornerstone to Wii gaming, for older audiences the game is slapstick madness in the sense that it’s completely violent and it makes no apologies about it, the game is designed as a mature 3rd person fighting title that grabs it’s rating of M and rides the wheels off of it.

When the title came out it was surrounded with TV questions of “would you buy this for your child?” “do you condone your child playing this?” and so fourth, the issue was that the game wasn’t designed for children and better yet it only proved that parents should be doing their job and researching what their kids beg them for. It was like a sense of whiplash to the parents finally that games are designed for audiences. For those actually wondering, it’s probably not the best game for your child to grow up on if you haven’t been involved in showing them that shoving a sign post through someones head isn’t nice.

On from that, the game deserves the praise it has gotten in the media so far for being such a great looking and excellent controlling game, the game was actually a joy to play through, motions were simple and illustrated on screen without interuption and it wasn’t actually all that absurd. Players get exposed to MadWorld as Jack, a mystery combatant with what seems to be a bit of a side agenda, as the game pans out players rank up by meeting score quotas and taking down bosses, the story of the city and of your investors slowly emerge from that point as you infiltrate the game further hoping to reach the crown.

The game features multiple attack methods such as basic melee combinations but it strives on creative kills, stuffing tires on enemies, shoving poles through them, slamming trash barrels on them and then repeatedly impaling them on spikes for maximum point rewards. Really the game is quite magical in the sense that it goes completely over the top to seperate itself from anything remotely serious.

The other reward for me was the soundtrack, it seems that every now and again Sega really cranks out a superb soundtrack, Jet Set Radio was quite a good bit of fun but MadWorld was the modern violent take on how they can go about a great mix. Unfortunately it was a limited release and goodness if it isn’t hard to track down in any form let alone find it for less than about $50

Overall the game is great, the graphics are great in their high contrast form, the combat is superb and easy to execute, the music is a welcome change and the flexibility of the game shows through constantly without feeling heavily repetitious or like a complete gimmick. For anyone up for a good violent bash MadWorld is a must have for your collection. Personally I’ll be giving it another play through to try and really raise the stakes on my existing scores.

DIY: Repairing a Rock Band Kick Pedal

Rock Band is quite an entertaining game it brings everyone together to click and clack their way to high scores and have a good group moment. Unfortunately people also get a bit carried away and often the casualty to the outing is the kick pedal on the drum kit. For some reason Harmonix didn’t exactly gauge how much people would really play the kit, as a result kicks started breaking like crazy and people started wandering to find replacements or decent fixes.

While there are many popular methods out there to fashion your own MDF plate or even metal plate and screw it in, not everyone is that savy and sometimes a splint and some tape might be the best option available.

driverail

Enter the handy fix, steel hard drive rails, they’re about $2 on the internet (Directron.com) and they’ll do well for this fix, I already had a pair in my parts box so I went ahead from here.

The Rock Band kick pedal generally breaks just before the spring, the plastic is unsupported and just floats for the most part while there’s a huge amount of tension that comes out of the toe portion. Using a rail on each side one is able to form a strong support that absorbs the flex and distributes it through both sides. If your RB1 kick hasn’t broken yet then this is even more ideal so that you can save it before it does.

The first thing to do though is pull off the steel tabs at the top of the rail, these will just get in the way of things later on, once the tabs are off we’ll go forward.

The rails we used were just over 1/2 an inch wide, as a result they dont go far enough over to actually interfere with the spring. place the rail with the edge just supporting the outside of the pedal, basically hooking it as a guide if you’re not sure if it looks right check out the attached pictures, the goal of the rail is to have about 50% of it on each side of the break in the plastic, if the bottom is hitting just slide it until it closes properly, keep in mind that if the pedal can’t make a complete press then it wont register. At this point I used packing tape to secure the single rail just slightly so it wouldn’t flop off, duct tape or electrical tape should work just as well, make sure that it’s secured first before proceeding to do the same to the other side of the pedal, one rail isn’t enough to support it and things will only get strange from there.

If the pedal is being a pain to cooperate you can bunch up some socks or grab a shoe and shove it at the end of the pedal, this should bring it back to alignment with the base section of the broken pedal. If need be ask someone to help hold things still as you strap it down with tape.

Once both sides are secured, start applying longer strips of tape on the top and bottom of the pedal, wrap it about 3-4 times tightly and things should be good to go. Push down on the pedal with your hand and the pressure should be absorbed with no more flex from the breaking point.

This is a bit of a quick and dirty guide but for $2 and some tape I don’t think we can polish that much. This current fix has been steady in heavy use for about 3 months now. I have to thank Franks for the initial info on how to get things working again.

DIY Quad Core PC for under $500

Lately it seems I’ve been building a lot of systems, many being systems on a budget to get the most power for their money right now. While some may leap on me and note that I should just start pimping out Intel and saying the i7 is the only way to go, I’m not gonna do that simply because for under the price of an i7 920 and X58 motherboard you can build an entire system minus OS and we’re about to prove that right now.

It’s not the prettiest of choices but it gets the job done.

  • Case: HEC 6C28BBX585 Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Case
  • Power: HEC 585W Power supply
  • Motherboard: ASRock A780GMH/128M AM2+ / AM3 MATX
  • CPU: AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz AM3 Tri-Core
  • GPU: Powercolor AX4850 512MB PCIe
  • Memory: Crucial 4GB DDR2 800 (PC6400)
  • Storage: Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000.B 250GB SATA 3.0Gb/s
  • Optical: LG 20X DVD -/+ RW Burner SATA

Our Newegg wish list for this system: Link

The ASRock board is a shortcut here, many reports confirm that the model is able to use ACC to unlock the 4th core on the 720BE as such the user is able to score a 2.8GHz Quad core on the cheap and the whole build on Newegg runs $481.93 in comparison the i7 920 with zotac motherboard runs $483.98 not including video / ram / hdd / etc.

I would say that for the college gamer this is a decent rig to have around, it’ll be reliable and it’ll be able to play the newest games for the next few years with maybe a new video upgrade as that 4th year rolls around. Really for anyone on a budget this system should deliver quite a punch.

It would be cool if we could actually produce and test this machine first-hand but unfortunately budget isn’t allowing for that right now.

Fast and Furious Impressions

Movies are always an odd thing, things are so subjective for taste that it really is impossible to call something a decent flick or a horrible wash. When I come into a film it’s with a certain mindset of what I’m getting into, as such with Fast and Furious I didn’t come into things expecting an epic literary work, I didn’t come in expecting the greatest story ever to touch film. Instead I wanted cheap thrills, fast cars and overly done action sequences.

Fast and Furious delivers directly to that expectation, the movie comes about with a much more refined story and aim, by that I mean the movie actually has a direct target following through instead of multiple situations that eventually lead to a final boss of sorts. For the timeline it seems as if the fourth installment falls just after the original movie allowing for existing problems in 2 and 3 to continue to be valid. The only odd gap they had to fill was the fact that they’re featuring cars from 2008 when they didn’t exist at the time of the other movies. No real big deal though if you’re just in it for the action.

The acting is pretty basic, with much of the focus on how intense one can come off when jumping through windows to tackle suspects, dangling people off buildings and more. The car sequences are of course always life and death moments with struggles continuing to the last possible moment. It’s not a bad thing, in many cases it can drag the audience to the edge of their seat to know what the result will be.

When I headed out Friday night for a movie, I was hoping for a pick-up to the weekend so I could have a fun night and not have to think about underlying plot and symbolic meanings throughout the film to establish all the considerations made during the film. I got that and then some with the movie and honestly I liked it better than the first because it was true to what it was, the movie wasn’t trying to redefine a genre or make us all reconsider our lives in the universe, it was a wham bam action film designed to take you out of life for a good few hours.

If you’re interested in cheap action and fast cars then give the movie a bit of your time I would say, just don’t come in expecting something more than it is, if you do then you’ll be sorely disappointed for having such high hopes of a film that isn’t aspiring to those expected levels.

Personally I might just see it again because it was a good entertainment piece, at least until the psycho compilation known as Crank High Voltage comes out. After a Fall of serious movies and hard topics it really is a relief to be able to let it all go with some movies that don’t demand much out of the audience.

Edmunds Fast and Furious Car Roundup

The Wheelman (PC) Review

Vin Diesel is a man of many interests, the guy steps into any field and invests himself in it quite a bit, with The Wheelman Vin brings this around again as moves straight out of box office hits are included right into his latest joint title with Midway (and Ubisoft).

The Wheelman as a result comes off as a bit of a fun title, there’s blind action that dominates the game, things like air-jacking and the focus attacks are entirely show driven and pay off well for the gamer since they’re often relied upon only when things get heavy, in the midst of a police chase or faction dispute these items are remarkably helpful and great to watch.

The game works to keep the player in some form of transportation the whole time though, without a proper ride the game is dull and a bit slow to say the least, things really were made to be passed at 100mph simply because the game world is so expansive and detailed.

Players wondering about the story need not look very far, the game pits players as an undercover mole playing wheelman to multiple crime cartels in Barcelona trying to uncover details of a greater heist rumored to be able to change the entire landscape of the city once it goes down. The fortunate part is that while this is a rather important event, it’s not all there is to things, players are also catered to with a list of other things to do in the city such as cab rides laying waste to the city to break records, escort missions and so on. In the end there is a main storyline waiting at home impatiently while you stumble in wreaking of burned cars and gun powder but it doesn’t urge you to indulge it, the game simply pokes the user to continue their path of pitting rival cartels against each other to establish a uniform breakdown.

In the PC version of the game players are treated to some impressive visuals, unfortunately they need the hardware to back it up, players that have gotten by on older Intel systems and AMD systems will note that the game might chug just a bit, this is more or less a porting issue, Ubi / Midway made no attempt to include a remotely helpful options menu to tune down the visual aspects of the game, given that it is a UE3 based engine the game should be able to scale quite well actually. The problem is that it seems they rushed it out of the door and hoped that the enthusiast market might carry it through. I would recommend a Core 2 / Phenom based system for CPU power, install the game on at least a SATA drive with 3.0Gbps capability and have a fairly recent video card to power it all since the video stream simply eats up system resources and goes into a slide show if players aren’t packing enough power.

Overall is this a game to get? If you have a fairly strong PC that you built recently it should work fine, if not skip the PC version and get the console edition instead, chances are the streaming issue isn’t really existent on the platform which would make it a lot easier to enjoy.

Wheelman (PC) 8.0 / 10