Our Game Review of Assault Android Cactus

Assault Android Cactus 2I will have to say that Assault Android Cactus is a twin-stick shooter game. If you aren’t familiar with twin-sticks, there was a terrific stand-up arcade game known as Robotron 2084 that is a good example of this. They boil down to one joystick does the moving does the firing.

From what I remember, these twin-stick shooter games can be very confusing as one hand moves and another fires. I am right handed, and it is usually is the left-hand that moves. The right hand fires, and yeah, I get it messed up.

Before I talk about the gameplay, let’s talk about the set-up. The game is about a space fighter pilot that has to pull a rescue operation on a giant spaceship. The pilot’s name is Cactus, and this massive starship has some kind of robot uprising on it. That is the name of the game, and it has a weird look to it.

Assault Android CactusYou see the graphic there? All the characters have a “little person” view to it. I don’t know if that is offensive to a particular group of people, but this kind of reminds me of Metroid with a Zelda: Windwaker look to it. The problem with this look is that it makes most of the characters very indiscernible from the other.

Now, it is time to talk about the gameplay, and it is very adrenaline-flowing. You can shoot up all kinds of robots, and if you play as more than one player, you might get yourself mixed up. I played this game on the PS4, and my finger was always on the fire button, because there was always robots on the screen trying to kill you.

There is a lot of weapons upgrades to help you, and you keep your character alive by grabbing a battery before it runs out. When you die, you have to hit your fire button multiple times.

In short, your fingers will be hurting after playing this game, but I think it is worth it. Yes, there isn’t too much imagination put into it, as action his focal point here.

You can get it on Steam for $14.99, and it was a nominee for a PlayStation Plus free game for March until Broforce took it.

Speculative Fiction Saturday: So Bad, It’s Good Month Concludes with the Sharknado Trilogy

sharknado__130803093919-e1375522806978Okay, so there is a lot of “So Bad, it’s Good” films. Many of them are really accidental, such as films like The Room and Birdemic. The issue with them is that their creators really meant to do something serious, and it failed so hard that it is just so flippin’ hysterical.

The issue with Sharknado is that it was purposely made to be so bad that it is good, and I’m pretty certain that Kung Fury and Turbo Kid had some influence, but these had some really good eighties cheese mixed in.

Sharknado is the product by The Asylum, a studio that is known for producing films that are essentially rip-offs of other films. They call them mockbusters, with titles like Transmorphers, you know, like Transformers. Usually the direct-to-DVD boxes look like the posters of the films they are ripping off. They even made some faith-based films, and I don’t want to really go into detail on that.

The Asylum made the smartest move that they could ever make and just made a film no one could take seriously, and yet it is a film that takes itself way too seriously. After all, the premise is about a tornado that begins in the ocean, and picks up a school, or pack, or whatever the heck a group of sharks travel in. The tornado eventually hits land, and the sharks hit everything in their path.

Now, everyone else has said this, but sharks require water to live, so the only danger a sharknado would have is flying dead weight. But no, these sharks fall from the sky to bite the head off the poor spectators. That is essentially what happens in the first movie, and I believe that starts off in Santa Monica pier, and then moves its way through LA.

What is interesting the main character Fin (like a shark, get it) has a difficult time staying away from the sharknado and trying to warn his…you know what, I honestly forget who he is trying to warn. The issue is that it is drama during an end-of-the-world scenario. It has been done before, and this film has an Independence Day vibe, but somehow even more ridiculous.

I don’t want to reveal too much about these films with my review. I will tell you that Sharknado 2: The Second One (that is a terrible subtitle, I know) takes place in New York City because…plot. Seriously, why is there a second Sharknado here? Who cares. Apparently, this film was able to afford a lot of cameos, and I won’t go into detail on them. What is interesting is how this film has a real “New York is awesome” vibe that was in a lot of films after 9/11 like the original Spider-Man.

When it comes to Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No, it also has the cameos, and the film just goes crazy. Again, I don’t want to go into detail on this, but it ends with the possibility of another film.

Personally, I think that Sharknado has now become an icon, and they will probably have several of these before the eventual reboot. It has an influence of comedy that clearly brought this “So Bad it’s Good” month to begin, and so it will bring it to a close.

The Titan, Toughest Cable on Earth, from [FUSE]chicken

Titan CableWell, I thought I had seen the Titan product before, and I was right. Not only have I reviewed the Une Bobine not just once, but twice. It is made from [FUSE]chicken, a company with an odd name but a good product.

The Titan has essentially the same as the Une Bobine, and I am assuming that it is the toughest. It doesn’t look like you can stand the iPhone on it, like the Une Bobine.

It has a one-piece housing fused directly over the electronics and metal cabling, which makes it bendable as well as strong enough to resist dogs. Yeah, for some reason [FUSE]chicken really wants to say how dog-resistant it is.

Not only is it canine-proof, but it is also proof against the canine teeth of a chainsaw. Okay, that was a really stupid transition, so let’s just talk about how it won’t tie up in knots or fray.

So, it is available on the [FUSE]chicken site for $35.00.

Powis ViewR 2.0, Lampr VR, and the future of Virtual Reality

Powis ViewrI saw this product at CES 2016, and it took a while for them to get me a review unit, but now that I have it, I and everyone else is going to see more of these in the near and possibly far future.

If you haven’t figured out what this is yet, it is a virtual reality holder for your smartphone. Perhaps you have heard of Google Cardboard, as it is essentially a cheap way to view some virtual reality action on an ordinary smartphone.

This particular ViewR 2.0 from Powis is definitely not cardboard, and you can customize it with this very awesome logo. I’ve been thinking about re-branding, but I don’t know, I’m liking the light blue and the font.

But let’s talk about the product itself. How this works is that you put your smartphone on the viewer and then use the velcro strap to keep it in place. This might take a little bit of work to make certain that it fits right, and then you can run some VR programs. By the way, you might have an issue with the button, as it is made to touch the screen when needed, so yes, it might need adjustment again.

PowisSo what do VR programs look like? Well, they split the screen in two, then they you look through the viewer you see 3D like an old-school View Master. I used it to play Lampr VR. If you aren’t familiar with that game, just download it on iOS or Android. It is a game where you are moving through a maze of plants playing a bug that is collecting some shiny stuff, and you have to move around your head to navigate. It made my wife dizzy, and this is an image of me playing it.

Oh, and get yourself a ViewR from Powis and play it. A simple viewer can be purchased for $29.99, and one with alligator skin can be bought for $39.99. That, or you could purchase an Oculus for $599 this March or the HTC Vive for $799. I think you can see where this is going, as there will be a demand for cheap VR in the future.

Zink hAppy App Printer

zink-happy-smartphone-printerOkay, I have no idea why this particular product from Zink is spelled “hAppy”, but I just looked it up on my iPhone. Yeah, I guess that’s how we’re spelling things now. It’s such and oDd wOrld tHese dAys.

Anyway, this company from Zink has made a little printer that is made for the mobile world. I had a chance to try out this Zero Ink (hence the term “Zink”) printer, and it is quite easy to set up. All that is required is to plug it in, pop in the zRoll ribbon, and power it up.

From there, it is all about downloading the application on iPhone or Android and setting it up. The application is pretty amazing as it allows the user to make some really interesting art. You can put a photo, text, frame, and all other kinds of great stuff on it. I have included a picture here of the application so you can see what it can make.

Screenshot_20160222-230854[1]After you have it set up digitally, you can push a button and then print it out. I have a chance to try out the 1/4″, 1/2″, 3/8″ but it also comes in 1″ and 2″ models. This way, you can print out a picture and there is some stickum on the back so you can stick it somewhere.

So, if you want to see if you can get this for yourself, check out more information about it on the Zink site. It can be purchased on Amazon for $199.99.

Blue Headphones Lola

blue-lola-headphonesWell, it has been a long time since I reviewed a Blue Microphones product, and I never did get a chance to review the Mo-Fi headphones, but I did get to see the Lola headphones at CES 2016. They are a darn good pair of headphones, and they look very close to the Mo-Fi, if they aren’t the same thing.

I am told that the Lola is a “completely reimagined headphone” and the way these headphones have their headband is truly unique. It is like the headband has this weird clamping effect, that I am told is made of airplane parts.

I got a chance to try them out for a bit, and by a bit, I mean, I stopped by the CES 2016 booth. Yes, I know it has been a while, but man, I have had a bunch to review since CES 2016. This has 50 mm premium drivers, with a 100 percent sealed enclosure with that clampy headband that I told you about earlier.

You can see on the Blue Headphones website how it is good for musicians as well as gamers. It sounds good, and it is available on the Blue Headphones Headphones site for $249.99.

PURO Case Wallet, Running Band, Booklet Slim, and Case Leopard

PURO Case WalletWe had a great chance to review several new products from PURO, and these particular items are made for the iPhone 6/6S and the iPad. I’ll star with the Case WALLET for the iPhone 6/6S.

This is one of those cases that opens like a book, and then there is a place to hold a credit card. Perhaps this is meant to hold a driver’s license, and you don’t need cash or another credit card because you are using Apple Pay, right?

I have to admit that this looks pretty stylish, and it probably isn’t made of leather. It does have the cool Folio case job so it can be stood up and watch video from a landscape point-of-view.

It is available in gold, silver, black, and white color versions on the PURO site for $39.99.

PURO Running BandThe next item is one that I have been reviewing a lot lately with the Allsop ClickGo and the Tunebelt products. This is the Universal Armband for smartphone up to 5.1 inches. Though you can’t see it in the image, there is one of those transparent covers that allows you to access the touchscreen on your mobile device.

On the other side, this is place for a key, and this isn’t also not on the picture. The reflective stripes are, or at least the model that I have. Since this is a Universal phone holder, there is access to 4 headsets for compatibility with just about anything that you can stick in the pocket.

As I said before, I’m not certain if the one that I received is the one that is on the PURO site, but that is available in three colors for $29.99.

PURO Booklet Slim This next product is the Case BOOKLET SLIM made for the iPad Air 2. I am told that it is made of eco-leather, and I am pretty sure that isn’t real leather.

As you might have guessed, this is one of those Folio cases for the Apple tablet. There is an inner stand to hold up the iPad at an angle on an anti-slip mat. If it is closed, that is good for protection, and it has that wake/sleep capability as well.

It looks like this is only available in one color, and that is black. It is available on the PURO site for about $54.99.

PURO Case LeopardThe last thing that I have to review is the Just Cavalli the Leopard anti-shock cover for the iPhone 6/6S. I’m not certain what else I can really say about this.

I mean, it is a case, and I have to admit, it has a unique feel. It doesn’t feel furry like real leopard fur, but it has kind of a rubbery feel.

You should be able to find this case on the PURO site for iPhone 6/6S for $34.99.

Speculative Fiction Saturday, So Bad, It’s Good Month: The Faculty

FacultyI realize that this month I have been reporting on films that are deliberately so bad that they are good, and this is a deliberate attempt. The issue with The Faculty is that its premise is so far-fetched that it should have failed, but it just didn’t.

Part of the reason why this film works is that it is in the hands of Robert Rodriguez. If you aren’t familiar with this director, then you really should. He’s best known for films that have a more horror slant, and they are also very far-fetched. In From Dusk Til Dawn, it was about two bank robbers who suddenly run into vampires. Then there is the Spy Kids series, about two kids who have to save their spy parents in a James Bond goes mad type of world. Then there is the Sin City and Desperado series.

Those are all films with just ridiculous premises. The Faculty has one that is even dumber as some students at a high school find out that their teachers are aliens. To me, this sounds like a film that is targeted for kids, but it is R-Rated for older teens and adults to love.

The film starts out in a typical high school, and it feels just like any other John Hughes movie from the eighties. For some odd reason, the main characters’ names show up as titles written in what looks like blood. From there, you can see who the usual archetypes like the nerd, the jock, the stoner, etc. The film seems to know that we know that these are just stereotypes, but it does take its time to develop each of them pretty well.

From there, the gym teacher is introduced. This guy is a cliche. He is the mean teacher who just lives to make his students run laps because he is a jerk. As it turns out, he has a good reason for that, because an alien has taken over his mind. This coach is played Robert Patrick, and he is channeling the role he will always be known for with the T-1000.

Elijah Wood then finds this weird lifeform, and his biology teacher, played oddly enough by Jon Stewart (who has the name Edward Furlong, the kid who played John Conner in Terminator 2, weird). The biology teacher realizes that it is some parasitic form of life, and it has been in the process of taking over all the teachers at the high school.

In fact, the teachers are essentially breeding these asexual beings and putting them on the students as host. Suddenly, the plot becomes Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and it is really strange how the characters acknowledge this.

So, if this is the case, how does one avoid being taken over by these alien life forms? It is quite easy, just take drugs. Yeah, seriously, I can’t believe the nineties allow this movie to exist, as drugs was the way to see whether or not the alien took you over. This film is like an anti-PSA.

I have always liked films where the odds are very much stacked against the main character, and I would have accepted a tragic or heroic ending. I’m not going to bother telling you how this one ends, because honestly, it is worth being surprised over. I honestly can’t believe that this film worked, and maybe it is because it takes itself too seriously.

The Automatic App and Adapter

AutomaticIt really isn’t very common that you see some kind Automotive accessory tech that does so much, the the Automatic App plus Adapter is that. As you might have guessed from the image here, this Automatic adapter plugs right into that standard diagnostic port that is in most cars since after 1996. I don’t know the name of it, but I’ve had to access it before.

Then there is a mobile app that can do so much. You know that check engine light that shines? The last time that happened to me, I had someone at Auto-Zone do that. I can now do it myself with this.

The adapter has a built-in speaker to remind the driver to go smoother and more efficient. It will even warn of easing off the brake or gas pedals to avoid high speeds, and there are progress reports of driving each week. There is also some low-fuel warnings that will work for select cars.

By the way, if you should get into an accident, the Automatic can bring some human help if it detects a severe collision. This involves a professional agent to assist, alert local emergency services, as well as informing the loved ones.

Then there is another feature such as the ability to locate a parked car with walking directions on a map. It can even work on a smartwatch mobile app or even the Pebble.

Did I mention that there is an Automatic Web Dashboard? It is good for spotting trends, sorting trips, and then exporting the data, which is good for tax reporting and mileage.

All this, and there is a “Do Not Disturb” mode to set an Android phone to be disabled while behind the wheel.

Oh good gosh, there is a lot that can be done with this Automatic App and Adapter! It can be purchased on the Automatic website for about $99.95.

Matias iFold Portable Stand and Cooling Pad

Matias iFold 2I was pretty pleased to review another Matias product, and instead of another keyboard like the Ergo Pro Keyboard, this is a laptop accessory known as the iFold.

As you can see in the first illustration, the iFold is a way of putting your laptop so it is at eye level. After trying it out, it is handy to have, but you will need to use another keyboard like that aforementioned Matias one. Why not? They are terrific products.

Matias iFoldIn case you are wondering why it is called the iFold, I have included this second picture to the left so you can see how it folds up. It is actually quite cool and easy to figure out, and just these pictures alone with the product are all the accessory origami instructions that you will need. Since it folds up neatly, it makes it portable, and there is a bag that it comes with.

What is interesting is how you can put the laptop on the folded up iFold, and it will give an “open air” design to keep the laptop cool and quiet. This could extend the life of your computer, not to mention the battery.

You can get this on the Matias site for about $59.95.