Jackass Reunion: 15 Years Later

Post by Mark

Bam’s parents are the coolest. Check out the rest of their reunion clips on [YouTube]


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Abuse of public animal

Post by Mark


I couldn’t stop laughing after reading that.

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Is the New iPhone 6s Waterproof?

Post by Mark

Looks like it is. [YouTube]


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The Jungle Book

Post by Mark

Looks stunning. [YouTube]


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Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Review

Post by Patrick


Trying to write about Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is tricky because it’s such a massive game. I love a lot of things about the game, but there are also a lot of things that bother me about it. It’s a love/hate relationship.

For those unfamiliar with the series, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is an open world, stealth action game. It’s possible to play this game without having played the previous Metal Gear games, but you’ll obviously find some parts of the story confusing. Luckily there are a lot of Youtube videos that do a decent job explaining everything someone new to the franchise would need to know.

I’ll be avoiding specific story spoilers


I’m going to get right to it. Every Metal Gear Solid game has had their share of special moments. The Metal Gear Solid franchise is known for its cast of memorable villains and variety of interesting boss fights. MGSV isn’t very memorable in that regard. In the 65+ hours I’ve played, it had less than a handful of those moments. Gone are the cutscenes and in are the cassette tapes. Cutscenes in previous games were lengthy (especially in MGS4) but I believe cassette tapes are a step back. The game development had budget issues, so maybe this was a way to cut back and save some money? Either way, listening to cassette tapes can be annoying. One of Kojima’s inspirations for MGSV were tv shows, so credits appear before every mission revealing the cast of characters that will show up in that particular mission. So there isn’t an element of surprise when the games villain suddenly appears because you already knew he was going to be there. So story twists and narratives are kept to a minimum. A big aspect of the game is Mother Base. You can visit your base in-between missions but the problem is Mother Base is pretty horribly integrated into the game. There is no reason to go back to Mother Base except for a bunch of dumb target-practice related side-quests and to activate some cutscenes. It’s a dull place. On top of that the menus for Mother Base (where you can micromanage your troops and equipment crafting) are confusing and convoluted. Lastly (and if you follow me on Twitter this comes as no surprise) I find Quiet (a deadly sniper with paranormal powers) to be a dumb character. It’s a shame because she had the potential to be memorable. Instead Kojima designed a character purely for the sex appeal, to be eye candy. This wouldn’t necessarily be wrong, but Kojima stressed that there would be a good reason to why she was barely dressed. The reason turned out to be stupid. It doesn’t help that while you’re in the helicopter in-between missions, Quiet is in the background “stretching” and sticking her butt in your face (not joking). While in cutscenes camera angles tend to focus on her chest, so it’s hard to ignore her.


But even with all those negatives, MGSV has a lot of positives. Previous games in the franchise were strictly stealth games, MGSV has opened that formula up a bit and you can go into a base guns blazing. Depending on your objectives some missions will punish a non-stealthy approach, you won’t automatically fail the mission, but it will make it much harder. Kojima created a great sandbox experience that features a ton of flexibility. Everyone will have a different experience based on how they play the game and on how the game reacts to their actions. For example in one mission my objective was to find a specific target and catch him before he left the mission area on helicopter. As I was doing it the first time around, I barely caught up with him before he was able to escape. When I tried the mission again, I got to the base before him and saw the helicopter crash while trying to land in-between some trees. This caused the target to hide in a tent while his guards investigated the surrounding area for enemies. Making it easy for me to sneak in behind the general and capturing him. The fact that the game has AI that can make mistakes like that and adapt to a situation like that is amazing.


Afghanistan and Africa feature huge maps and even though they’re quite empty, they’re pretty to look at. Technically this game is a marvel. It’s locked at 60fps and runs smoothly with no framerate issues. MGSV also features the best dog side-kick I’ve ever come across in a video game. Dogs in games tend to be dumb or just unnecessary. D-Dog on the other hand is incredible. The only downside is he makes the game kind of easy. If you bring him along on missions he’ll be able to pin-point every enemy and every hostage in your surrounding area, even if they’re in a building. Quiet can make the game really easy too. She can scout a base be able to pin-point enemies as well, the difference being that she can only pinpoint the ones that are visible to her. The advantage Quiet has over D-Dog is the ability to snipe enemies. The problem is enemies start to adapt to your play-style so you can’t milk one tactic over and over again. If you snipe or use Quiet to snipe, enemies will eventually start wearing helmets and body armor. They’ll have scouts patrol areas around bases and have their own snipers looking out for you. If you do most of your missions at night, guards will start wearing night-vision goggles. You use a lot of sleeping gas and smoke grenades? They’ll start wearing gas masks. The game features a crafting system that unlocks more equipment as you recruit better soldiers for Mother Base.


There are aspects of this game that could have been polished more and (like the story) that feel unfinished. The world, the freedom you have as a player and the amount of content in the game are aspects of this game that are just amazing. Is it the best game in the series? In terms of story, not at all, but in terms of gameplay? Definitely.


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Playstation Plus Games for September

Post by Patrick

Grow Home


Grow Home is an interesting game that looks like an HD version of a Playstation 1 game. You control a robot (named B.U.D.) exploring an open world and your goal is to grow and harvest something called a Star Plant, which looks like a giant beanstalk. To grow the Star Plant you have to find crystals that are scattered across the environment by climbing mountains and exploring your surroundings. The controls feel clunky and strange at first because you have to use L1 to grab with B.U.D.’s left hand and R1 to grab with his right hand, to climb you alternate pressing the triggers. The game features a great sense of scale and verticality that most big budget games fail to achieve. If you can get used to the controls, there’s a fun, relaxing game in Grow Home. It has little replay value, but it’s good while it lasts.

Super Time Force Ultra


Super Time Force Ultra is a fun, fast paced 2D shooter action game. Think of it as a mix between Mega Man and Metal Slug, but more colorful and featuring some pretty wacky characters. The Super Time Force squad feature a bunch of different characters and each using a specific weapon. Each gun has its pros and cons. For instance the sniper rifle can shoot through walls, but has a slow rate of fire. The games gimmick is that every level has a time-limit and your squad is able to control time. So if you die in a level, you can rewind time and redo the part. The stage select screen looks a lot like Mega Mans, but instead of choosing what boss you’ll be fighting, you get to choose what time period to go too. The game also features a big cast of characters you can unlock, each with their own unique weapon. Super Time Force has become one of my favorite indie games, I think the ability to control time is an interesting gimmick and creates some tense moments, I really enjoy the silly sense of humor and I like the time travel aspect.



So I’ve saved the best for last. I’ve known about Teslagrad since it was announced and released for the Wii U last year but I never got around to purchasing it because there were just too many other games to play. Teslagrad is a puzzle/platformer with a mix of metroidvania elements. You control an orphan who escapes the kings guard into an abandoned castle. The game mechanics revolve around magnetism and electricity. One of the biggest issues I have with the game is the difficulty curve. You could solve a puzzle easily in one room and when you move into the next, the difficulty will spike up and get incredibly challenging. There isn’t that gradual buildup in difficulty, it goes from easy to hard and back to easy. Luckily, the checkpoint system is very forgiving in the game. Whenever you enter a new room, the game saves. So when you fail, the game doesn’t pull you back too far and there aren’t any loading screens so it takes a second to load back up. The narrative is there but it’s kept at a minimum, so the focus is exploring, finding secrets and solving puzzles. If I were to compare this game to anything I suppose it would be Ori and the Blind Forest. So if you enjoyed that game, you should definitely check out Teslagrad.

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Kuwaiti Short film: A Matter of Choice

Post by Mark

Kuwaiti Short film 'A Matter of Choice' from Farouq Abdul-Aziz on Vimeo.

Farouq Abdul-Aziz who used to present the Cinema Club on KTV back in the 80s uploaded a video of a Kuwaiti short film called ‘Matter of Choice’. I’m about to watch it now but I just finished watching Farouqs intro to the film and I have to say they had the worst translaters at KTV back in the 80s. It’s as if google translated existed back then, check out this translation of his sign off “Thus we end up at night with over passing, present and yet to come childhood.”


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Kanye Seinfeld Mashup

Post by Mark

So well made.


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EVO 2015 Moments

Post by Patrick

I’m not really into fighting games, mostly Smash and some Killer Instinct but I do enjoy watching EVO. This video was uploaded yesterday, not to show the gaming and skill side of things, but it shows the participants and the emotions they go through.

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iOS Games to Play

Post by Patrick


Every once in a while I’ll make a small list of iOS games to recommend to people. These games aren’t always new, but are games that I generally really enjoy playing. I don’t like playing adventure or action games on my phone because the controls generally suck for the majority of them. All these games are skill based, so you get better the more you play them and all these games also have fantastic music. Because these games have no “endings” they can be played for a long period of time and the goal of all of them is to try and get a high score.

Super Hexagon

In Super Hexagon you control a little triangle rotating around the center of the screen avoiding walls that are collapsing inwards towards you. How well you do in the game is all based on how fast your reaction time is. The music is composed by well-known chip tune artist, Chipzel. This game is known for its difficulty and the longest I’ve stayed alive is for about 70 seconds in the easiest difficulty, but its fast pace, music and generally intensity of the game keeps me playing.


The premise of Helix is simple (like all the other games on this list), fly around the enemies to wipe them out. Some enemies are easy to wipe out as they just float around, but you’ll come across enemies that will fly right at you, which makes things a lot more enjoyable. Getting high scores in Helix isn’t incredibly hard, but requires a ton of patience.


Canabalt is one of the first games I ever played on an iPhone way back when, and it’s one of those games that hasn’t lost its charm over time. If you don’t know what it is, Canabalt is an infinite runner. Meaning it doesn’t end until you fall off a platform and die. Canabalt 2.0, a surprise update released last year added new game modes, new characters, new music and widescreen support. The game is simple enough to play, just tap on the screen to jump, the longer you touch the screen the longer your jump.

Eliss Infinity

Eliss is another game that was a huge hit when the iPhone was still a new thing. Eliss Infinity takes the same formula and adds more to it. The main chunk of this game is spent in the new Infinity mode, but if you want to play the older version of the game which was split up into levels, you can still do that. The game features (slightly) updated visuals and some great music. The learning curve for this game is pretty high, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a ton of fun.

Desert Golfing

Desert Golfing is probably the most ridiculous game on this list. It’s a never-ending game of golf in the desert. It sounds silly, it is silly, but it’s fun and addictive.

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