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Cheryl Gress Editor-in-Chief

Married to IBJamon since 1999. Spawned two girls and a boy.

Lizard Skins Controller Grips

Lizard Skins Controller Grips

Thank you Lizard Skins for sending us review samples!

Lizard Skins was founded in 1993 and their initial focus was making handlebar grips and long finger gloves for use in mountain biking. Since then, they have branched off into baseball, hockey, lacrosse and most recently, video game accessory grips. We were recently blessed with the opportunity to review PS4, Switch, and Xbox One controller grips. We were also sent a 4” x 6” cut to fit sheet which can be used to add grips to your mouse or anything else you want a better grip on.

The controller grips are pre-cut and are relatively easy to install. Each package includes an alcohol wipe packet and illustrated instructions. The cut to fit sheet includes a grid transfer sheet so you can trace and cut the grip as needed.

When applying the grips you’ll have to pay close attention to making sure that air bubbles are not being formed in the process. The product is pretty forgiving and lets you re-align it a few times without losing its stickiness. During my unboxing video I realized that I placed a grip on the wrong side of the controller and was able to remove and re-apply it without any issues. Naturally, I edited that mistake out of the video.

Each grip style is offered in multiple camo and color options. The camo options include black (and white), phantom (grayish), and wild fire (black, red, and white). Solid colors include black, blue, red, green, orange, yellow, and teal. The PS4 and Xbox One controller grips are similarly priced at $16.99 for solid colors and $17.99 for camo. The Joy-Con grips are $11.99 for solid colors and $12.99 for camo.

Though I found the Switch Joy-Con grips nice, the Xbox/PS4 grips are pretty much essential. I was recently playing on a non-gripped controller and longed for the increased grip and sweat absorption of our Lizard Skins equipped one. I look forward to installing more grips and equipping our next-generation controllers with them as soon as they’re available.


(Amazon Affiliate Link)

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AUKEY Car Cup Holder Phone Mount

AUKEY Car Cup Holder Phone Mount
Manufactured by: Aukey
Release date: July 22, 2020
Price: $14.99
(Amazon Affiliate Link)

Thank you Aukey for sending us this product to review!

My current and previous cell phones have been LG (G7 ThinQ and V60 ThinQ). The G7 was smaller and lighter and worked well with a magnet mounting system. One magnet went on the phone’s case while the car’s mount used the other magnet. When trying the magnet system with the V60 the magnets would fall off of the case (while driving which is always fun!) and the dual screen mode was a bit cumbersome with this method.

Since my minivan has several cup holders to spare, I thought I’d give the AUKEY Car Cup Holder Phone Mount a try. When I got it, there was a $3 off coupon. As of this review, that coupon is no longer available. The normal price is $18.99. There are cheaper options available, but I haven’t been let down by an Aukey product yet.

The design is solid and well-engineered. The back of the cellphone holder has a rubber-like texture that won’t scratch your phone. The side clasps can extend and retract with the push of a button on the left-hand side. The bottom is extendable in a similar fashion with its button being on the backside. Rotating the phone is possible with the socket connector on top.

The gooseneck is sturdy and flexible. I was worried my phone would gradually sag, but that has not been an issue thankfully. The cup holder portion can have its width adjusted by twisting the knob below the gooseneck.

All in all this product works as advertised and I have had better luck with it using my dual screen phone compared to the magnet system I was using previously. If you have a larger phone and an extra cup holder, give it a try!

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The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run

 

Thank you Paramount for sending us a screener to review!

SpongeBob Squarepants has been around since 1999 and is still going strong. Now that my kids are getting older, I haven’t watched it on TV in a while. The main characters are still there and the 3D rendered versions of them look great.

There are some impressive cameos in this film including Keanu Reeves and Snoop Dogg. Another new character is King Poseidon who is super paranoid about his appearance and is desperately seeking out a snail to use its slime to remove facial wrinkles. Poseidon posts a bounty for someone who can give him a snail amidst the shortage of them.

SpongeBob’s pet snail is exactly what Poseidon is looking for and Sheldon J. Plankton seizes this opportunity to get SpongeBob out of the way so he can finally get the secret recipe for Krabby Patties. Plankton’s wife, Karen, humorously reminds him that SpongeBob has thwarted all of his previous attempts.

With SpongeBob and Patrick on a road trip, The Krusty Krab is unable to operate. Mr. Krabs is losing money that he covets more than anything. Even Squidward comes to realize how much of a valued employee and friend that SpongeBob is.

Although there are some good lessons about selflessness and friendship, there are some moral concerns in this film. On their road trip, SpongeBob and Patrick will encounter cowboy zombies and learn how addicting gambling can be. There is some minor name calling (boob).

Many of the characters have known each other since childhood. They met at a summer camp called Camp Coral and it sets up the upcoming series Kamp Koral: SpongeBob's Under Years nicely. I’m not sure why the spelling is inconsistent between the movie and television series.

If you’re a fan of SpongeBob Squarepants you’ll definitely want to check out this 91-minute film. It’ll be available to view on demand in March of 2021.

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Conspiravision: Deus Ex Remixed

Conspiravision: Deus Ex Remixed

Thank you Materia Collective for sending us this digital album to review!

Deus Ex was originally released in 2000 and this album was released to coincide with its 20th anniversary. While Deus Ex doesn’t look great by today’s standards, it was a revolutionary first-person shooter (FPS) for its time. The story is engaging and the ability to upgrade your augmented body adds strategy to the gameplay. While violence is always an option, you can opt to simply knock out most of the foes if desired.

The electronica background music for this title is phenomenal. I remember extracting the Unreal music files and burning it to multiple CDs since I really enjoyed the music from this game. Not all of my favorite tunes made it onto Conspiravision: Deus Ex Remixed, but most of them are there.

This album consists of seventeen tracks ranging from three to four minutes apiece and will keep your ears happy for over an hour. Alexander Brandon did a fine job staying true to the original songs while giving them all a nice tune-up.

If you play this album in order, you’ll be treated to the iconic menu music followed by training tunes. From there you may recognize theme and battle music from Liberty Island, UNATCO, Battery Park, New York Streets, Lebedev’s Airfield, Paris Club, Duclare Chateau, The Synapse, Majestic 12, Oceanlab, and Area 51. The ending theme and credits music is also provided for your listening pleasure.

You can own this tribute to video gaming history in MP3 format for $9 on Amazon. If you prefer lossless formats like FLAC you can get the digital album on Bandcamp for $10. Physical CDs are also available on Bandcamp for $15. Fans of this series should definitely give this album a listen and consider adding it to their music library!


(Amazon Affiliate Link)

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ViraShield

ViraShield

Thank you Moving Life LTD for sending us a review sample!

Things have certainly changed since the arrival of COVID-19. Masks are required to enter public places, restaurants are either closed or running at reduced capacity, sporting events can only be viewed on television screens, and the list goes on. Public transportation in close proximity with others is a risky endeavor that is unavoidable for some professions. If you’re concerned about traveling in these uncertain times, ViraShield by Moving Life LTD is worth looking into.

ViraShield is a portable plastic enclosure that works well in cramped seated environments. While I didn’t try it on a plane or a train, it did work well at my church which has connected padded seats. While I was inside of my plastic bubble I was able to hear the preacher/sermon clearly. Despite the wrinkles in the plastic, I was able to read the song lyrics on the LCD TV panels adequately. Standing while singing was a little awkward as this device is intended for seated environments. If you do have to stand while it’s deployed, it can balance on your head just fine.

One of my biggest concerns was reception. How would people react to me using it? I sat in the back row at church to not draw too much attention, but I was still greeted with a wave and a smile. My co-workers on the other hand found religion by saying things like “Oh G-d” or “Oh my G-d” while seeing me use it.

Unfortunately, the ViraShield did not help at my work environment. This is a major bummer since I’m one of the few people required to wear a mask at all times since I don’t have a private office. Those with an office can take off their masks when their doors are closed. I got permission to do so while using the ViraShield but upon deploying it, I quickly realized that I couldn’t read my computer screen very well through the wrinkled plastic. In order to see clearly, I had to press my face against the plastic which is more suffocating than being muzzled with a mask. While using the ViraShield you don’t feel any shortness of breath, but once you’re out the feeling is just as exhilarating as removing a mask.

Another benefit of the ViraShield is a dust-free environment. I thought I would attempt to do something difficult like applying a screen protector on my 15.6” gaming laptop with it. I have previously attempted installing three screen protectors with multiple bubbles (from plastic versions) and a bent corner from a tempered glass one. Because of the limited amount of space, I wound up using the Virashield as more of a canopy throughout the process. While this current screen protector is the best application yet, there are still a couple of immortalized dust specs trapped underneath it.

dust speck

In the end, my feelings on the ViraShield are mixed. I wasn’t expecting a warm reception by others, but your mileage may vary on that. With it I did the best screen protector application, but it wasn’t perfect and I’d probably recommend a bigger dome/environment for that particular use case. However, if you want protection while traveling or sitting in close quarters, the ViraShield has you covered (pun intended). Electronics viewed inside of the device will be clear as day, but reading through the wrinkled plastic is challenging for things with small fonts outside of it. If you're still interested, the ViraShield is available on Amazon for $89.99.


(Amazon Affiliate Link)

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Loot Gaming December 2020 "Best Of" Crate

Loot Gaming December 2020

Thank you Loot Crate (Affiliate Link) for sending us a review sample!

Loot Crate is an interesting service that surprises you with random stuff delivered to your door for a monthly fee. There are many different themes available including gaming, anime, film/TV, and Pop Culture. Each of those themes are further broken down into sub categories for die-hard fans of particular games, movies, anime, etc. They also have apparel only crates available. Those are broken down into subcategories including hats, tees, socks, underwear, wearables, and more. The Loot Gaming Boxes we have been getting have usually included some clothing, art prints, pins, and other nifty trinkets from popular game franchises.

We recently received and unboxed the “Best of” December Crate and here’s what we found inside:

  • An art print from DOOM Eternal
  • Destiny Crucible Socks
  • Elder Scrolls USB LED Soul Gem Lamp
  • Pac-Man Blinky Drawstring Bag
  • Trophy Pin

I can usually find information about the crates on LootCrate’s website, but the December crate doesn’t have an entry. I didn't recognize the inspiration behind this month's art print, but thanks to a YouTube comment it has been identified as coming from DOOM Eternal. The trophy pin is vague, but fitting for the “Best of” theme. Like the other pins, I don’t plan on wearing this one either. The Soul Gem lamp is awesome and makes my computer desk look nicer. I also adore the Blinky drawstring bag and have to figure what to put inside of it. I look forward to wearing the Destiny socks.

Each crate is said to have at least $50 or more worth of items inside. I wouldn’t pay that much for the stuff I got, but the monthly cost of $28.95 is reasonable and I can definitely see the contents being worth that much. If you subscribe for three or six months, the cost is reduced by 9% and 11% respectively.

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Loot Gaming November 2020 Beast Crate

Loot Gaming November 2020 Beast Crate


Thank you Loot Crate (Affiliate Link) for sending us a review sample!

Loot Crate is an interesting service that surprises you with random stuff delivered to your door for a monthly fee. There are many different themes available including gaming, anime, film/TV, and Pop Culture. Each of those themes are further broken down into sub categories for die-hard fans of particular games, movies, anime etc. They also have apparel only crates available. Those are broken down into subcategories including hats, tees, socks, underwear, wearables, etc.

We recently received and unboxed the November Crate and here’s what we found inside:

• Beast Pin
• DOOM Eternal Cacodemon Stress Ball
• Fallout Art Print
• Fallout Silicone Oven Mitts
• The Elder Scrolls Art Print
• The Elder Scrolls T-Shirt



I can definitely see myself wearing the shirt and using the oven mitts. While the mitts are functional, they’re thinner than my current neon green set. I still think they’ll handle the task of removing freshly made hard boiled eggs from my Instant Pot just fine though! The Doom stress ball is nifty and thankfully, I’m not super stressed so I don’t know how much use it will get. Given that it's made out of foam, it wouldn't survive my puppy's jaws for more than five minutes. To avoid that from happening, it looks nice on our shelf in the office along with the art prints.

Each crate is said to have at least $50 or more worth of items inside. I wouldn’t pay that much for the stuff I got, but the monthly cost of $28.95 is reasonable and I can definitely see the contents being worth that much. If you subscribe for three or six months, the cost is reduced by 9% and 11% respectively.

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'Till Kingdom Come

'Till Kingdom Come

Thank you Abramorama for providing us with a screener to watch!

‘Til Kingdom Come is a documentary about the strange political and religious partnership between the United States and Israel. In the 1980s Evangelicals were often viewed as KKK/white supremacists by Israelites. In 1983, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein founded the Holyland Fellowship of Christians and Jews which is now known as International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. Their goal is to build bridges of understanding and cooperation between Christians and Jews. Not long after its founding, some popular televangelists like Pat Robertson and John Hagee supported this ministry with over four million in donations through telethons and other financial gifts. Through these gifts, poor people in Israel overlooked by the government are given food items and care that they could not afford on their own.

Binghamtown Baptist Church in Kentucky is located in a poor county with nearly half of the children living below the poverty line. This church, in their own words, "indoctrinates" the youth about the importance of the Jewish people and Israel's role in the end times. They fully believe in the promise of Genesis 12:3 in receiving blessings from God by blessing Abraham’s people. They have raised thousands in supporting Israel and continue to do so faithfully because of this promise. Interestingly enough, they are doing well financially even with the economy in a downturn. Their associate pastor, W. Boyd Bingham has miraculously survived cancer and dedicated his life to serving the Lord faithfully. He’s also depicted cleaning his guns and shooting targets in a forest.

Meanwhile in Palestine, a Christian church is experiencing a decline in membership due to the political unrest and loss of territory. Through Trump’s presidential run, he relocated the US Embassy to Jerusalem and granted Israel settlement rights to the West Bank. Although Christians and Jews have different views on religion, when partnered together politically they are an unstoppable force.

If you want to see how this all plays out, check out the 76-minute documentary when it becomes available!

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The War With Grandpa

The War With Grandpa

Thank you Universal Pictures for sending us this Blu-ray to review!

The War With Grandpa is a star studded comedy featuring Robert De Niro, Uma Therman, Rob Riggle, Cheech Marin, and Christopher Walken. The grandpa (Robert De Niro) is a widower who is struggling to get by since his wife passed away. Most technology eludes him like self-checkout registers at stores and smart phones. After a legal scuffle, he agrees to live with his daughter’s (Uma Therman) family though the transition won’t be easy for either of them. The grandson, Peter, is forced to give up his room and relocate to the attic where he shares living space with mice and bats. It goes without saying that Peter is not happy with his new accommodations.

After sharing his struggles with his friends, he follows their advice and declares war on his grandpa to get his room back. At first, his grandfather brushes off the declaration of war and first couple of pranks. Upon realizing that Peter won’t be giving up, he decides to fight back as long as they agree to no collateral damage and no tattling on each other. Let the games begin!

Prepare for some funny pranks though a couple of them involve obscured nudity. Grandpa has a tendency of dropping his pants unintentionally. Thankfully, any naughty bits are obscured by conveniently located plants. There is also some language including hell and *ss.

Though the themes of bullying and revenge carry through the movie, the ending is heartwarming and shows the value of familial love. The lesson of war being brutal and having many casualties is also true. Another takeaway is the importance of keeping your word.

Overall, my family enjoyed watching this ninety-five minute movie together. If you have a house full of pranksters, they’ll be sure to enjoy this film. The asking price of $23 on Amazon is reasonable for the Blue-ray edition.


(Amazon Affiliate Link)

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Hydragun

Hydragun

Thank you Hydragun for sending us a review sample!

In August we agreed to review the Citysports Massage Gun. At the time the massage gun was $160 (it’s now $99.99) and since we didn’t get reimbursed as promised we returned it and got our money back. Because we found the massage gun useful, we bought a $79.99 Chirogun out of pocket (It now sells for $117). Not only is the Chirogun half the price, it has thirty speeds instead of twenty and fifteen replacement heads compared to Hydragun's six. 

Hydragun reached out to us to do a comparison between their $299 product and the Amazon offerings. To be honest, many of the massage guns available on Amazon look similar and it makes you wonder how many of them are manufactured at the same factory and have different stickers and LEDs added to make them slightly different.

Though Hydragun is a relatively new startup from Singapore, they back their products with a thirty-day return policy and a 1.5 year warranty. The Chrirogun only offers a 1 year warranty.

Hydragun claims to be quiet and its noise level ranges from 30 to 50dB. It’s on par with our other massage gun so I can’t really say it’s any different in that respect. The Aerospace grade aluminum shell gives the Hydragun a nice feel, but it also makes it a few ounces heavier than the competition. The nanoscale silicon wrapped handle gives it a nice non-slip grip which comes in handy if you use this massage gun after working up a sweat.

The battery life can last between three and six hours depending on which of the six speeds you run it on. The bottom three LEDs on the back of the gun let you know the battery level. I’m happy to report that the AC adapter has outlet configurations for United States and European electrical sockets. There are six speeds that range from 1300 to 3200 RPM. The Chirogun maxes out at 3200 RPM divided between thirty speed levels.

Hydragun

The Chirogun offers a mix of fifteen plastic and foam attachments. The Hydragun offers six with a couple of them having a (thin) stainless steel coating. The foam ball head is ideal for larger muscle groups including glutes, quads, lats, and traps. There’s a plastic and a steel flat head and these are good for wide areas including pecs and back muscles. The bullet head is designed for inner joints, feet, and deeper penetration. The fork head can be used on the back and medium muscle groups like forearms and calves. The last head is a steel round head for larger muscle groups that need a harder massage.

There’s no doubt about it, the Hydragun is nice and definitely helps relieve sore muscles. However, it does have a hefty price tag. I have seen promotions on their website for $49-$70 discounts so be sure to look into the promotions before completing your purchase. If you’re still unsure about the quality, check out the reviews page for endorsements from various world champions as well as reviews and testimonials of satisfied customers.

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Taking a Breather

Twitch break

Believe it or not, but running a game review site isn’t all fun and games.  Surprising right?  Streaming first impressions is mutually beneficial for our reviewers and visitors.  Our reviewers can refer back to the video for the game’s story and their first impressions.  Our viewers can see if the game is interesting enough to consider buying.  Since I don’t like showing too much of a game without spoiling it, I try to only stream the first hour or so to avoid going into spoiler territory.  While this approach is thoughtful, it’s counter-productive. 

By providing several streams a week we’re trying out several new games and not getting enough time to go back to finish their reviews.  Currently, I have thirty-five games assigned to myself (Yikes!).  I like to compare these streamed games to boxes of cereal.  I keep opening up new boxes of cereal and need to finish them up before they go stale.

To help me catch up on these backlogged games, I’ll be taking a break from regular streaming until next year.  There’s a lot on our plates and many of us are working full or part time jobs while still maintaining this site.  If you are blessed by the work we do, please consider supporting us on Twitch (we currently have 0 subscribers and Amazon Prime members can subscribe for free!), Patreon, Subscribe Star (Nobody has used this yet!), Ko-fi, Paypal, or Giving Grid.

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Insert Coin: Inside Midway's '90s Revolution

Insert Coin

Thank you UberStrategist for sending us a screener to review!

Insert Coin is a documentary about the rise and fall of the popular arcade game making company, Midway. Though Midway has been around since 1958, this film covers the 80s through their bankruptcy in 2009. The 1981 acquisition of Bally is also discussed with their rivalry with Williams. These companies combined are well known for their pinball and early video games like Defender, Joust, Robotron 2084, and Rush. In the mid-80s people were getting tired of the copycat and low-quality games and as a result, the industry was losing its audience.

In 1988, the recently re-branded Midway released Narc which was an arcade hit and stirred up some controversy with its bloodiness and dismembering of body parts. Smash TV did well in the theaters but Midway had to learn from a mistake of teasing the gamers about a nonexistent hidden area (Pleasure Dome) and shipped out ROM chips to actually add it to the game. Countless quarters were spent trying to find that mystical area.

It’s interesting to know that a successful arcade game was one that generated $700/week. NBA Jam was such a success that the arcade machines were deemed defective because their quarter holders were filled to capacity! Their most popular franchise, Mortal Kombat is covered in detail with its over-the-top violence and backlash for it. The film adaptation is also covered. Mortal Kombat was so edgy that Nintendo removed the blood from their SNES release. SEGA left the game intact to attract an older audience.

As the console systems took off, arcades became less popular. In 2001 Midway phased out their coin operated machines and closed their doors for good in 2009. They have made some great games and seeing their inspiration and backstories in this documentary is truly fascinating. Some of the executives and game developers have unbridled tongues so you may want to think twice before letting young kids watch this movie. There's also a lot of violence and blood/dismemberment shown in the game footage too. If you’ve enjoyed Midway games, you should check out this film on demand or at virtual cinemas!

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2020 Christmas Buying Guide

2020 Christmas Buying Guide

Here’s our 2020 Christmas buying guide! Below are our favorite gadgets and family appropriate titles we have played throughout the year. More reviews can be found on ChristCenteredGamer.com! Each game is given a gameplay score for the overall gaming experience and a moral score for how suitable it is for younger gamers. The Amazon and Humble Store links will benefit Christ Centered Gamer by giving us a small % of the sale.

Platform Title Game Score Moral Score Buy it!
PC, Xbox One Drake Hollow 86% 86% Microsoft Store
PC DriftForce 86% 98% Steam
PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One Evan’s Remains 92% 89% Steam
PC, PS4, Switch, Vita, Xbox One Ganbare! Super Strikers 85% 95% Nintendo eShop
Switch Kirby Fighters 2 86% 94% Nintendo eShop
PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One Monster Truck Championship 88% 94% Humble Store
PC Nova Drift 86% 93% Humble Store
Switch Sega Ages: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 86% 96% Nintendo eShop
PC Them's Fightin' Herds 88% 85% Humble Store
PC The Pedestrian 88% 97% Steam
PC, PS4, Switch Trials of Mana 86% 87% Humble Store
PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One TT Isle of Man - Ride On the Edge 2 90% 98% Humble Store
PC, PS4, Xbox One WRC 9 FIA World Rally Championship 94% 100% Humble Store
VR PowerBeatsVR 86% 92% Humble Store
Gaming Chair EWin Champion Series Ergonomic Computer Gaming Office Chair with Pillows N/A N/A EwinRacing.com
Game Controller JYSW Wireless Pro Switch Controller N/A N/A Amazon
Headset PDP LVL40 Wired Stereo Headset N/A N/A Amazon
Headset Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 Wireless Gaming Headset N/A N/A Amazon
Switch Carrying Case PDP Deluxe Travel Case for Switch N/A N/A Amazon
Wireless Earbuds T16 Wireless Waterproof Earbuds N/A N/A Amazon
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Loot Gaming October 2020 Boo! Crate

Loot Gaming October 2020 Boo! Crate

Thank you Loot Crate (affiliate link) for sending us a review sample!

Loot Crate is an interesting service that surprises you with random stuff delivered to your door for a monthly fee. There are many different themes available including gaming, anime, film/TV, and Pop Culture. Each of those themes are further broken down into sub categories for die-hard fans of particular games, movies, anime etc. They also have apparel only crates available. Those are broken down into subcategories including hats, tees, socks, underwear, wearables, etc.

We recently received and unboxed the October Boo! Crate and here’s what we found inside:

  • 2 Nuka Cherry Cola Air Fresheners
  • Wolfenstein Panzerhund Figure
  • Prey Mousepad
  • Nuka Quantum Socks
  • Boo! Pin
  • Dark Souls Valet Tray

All in all, it’s an interesting collection of items. I’m definitely going to wear the socks and they seem pretty high quality. They probably won’t match with much since I don’t have many clothes in teal or purple. I love the cherry cola smelling air fresheners, but they’ll probably annoy my husband so I’ll have to wait until we get into an argument before I deploy one of those. The Wolfenstein Panzerhund looks pretty nifty and I’ve added it to our shelf to collect dust with our other gaming knickknacks. The Prey Mousepad is pretty nice and great to go in a laptop bag while traveling. Since I haven’t played the game, I’m not familiar with the “Not a mimic” slogan on it. The Boo! Pin looks cool, but I doubt I’ll be wearing it anytime soon. The Dark Souls valet tray is pretty high quality leather. Until now I’ve never heard of a valet tray and found out that it’s just a “catch all” container.

Each crate is said to have at least $50 or more worth of items inside. I wouldn’t pay that much for the stuff I got, but the monthly cost of $28.95 is reasonable and I can definitely see the contents being worth that much. If you subscribe for three or six months, the cost is reduced by 9% and 11% respectively.

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BlendJet 2

BlendJet 2

Thank you BlendJet for sending us a review unit!

BlendJet was originally founded in 2017 and invented “The Original Portable Blender” which was a popular holiday gift in 2019 with one being sold every five seconds! Since 2018, over one million units were sold in 195 countries. The BlendJet 2 has 33% more capacity that can hold 16 oz of liquid. The BPA free plastic canister has helpful oz and ml markings on it for precise measurements. Another improvement over the original BlendJet is that the battery size has been doubled to 4000mAh which should give you fifteen or more blends before needing a recharge. Charging is done via the included USB-C cable. One feature lacking on this version that the original had is a built in strainer.

Cleaning the BlendJet 2 is pretty easy by just adding some dish soap and water after use and pushing the blend button. The device is waterproof so it can handle being submerged if need be. The instructions state that it is not dishwasher safe. The booklet also advises against putting your hand in the blender (Duh!), running it while empty, adding 120 degree or hotter liquids, charging it while wet, letting kids use it unsupervised, or leaving food sitting in it for prolonged periods of time. The restriction that bummed me out the most was not blending carbonated liquids. That’s a shame since I like adding lemon-lime soda to my fruit smoothies. The website has a bunch of recipes if you’re looking to try something new.

BlendJet2

The portable design is quite convenient and this will make my protein shakes less clumpy than in my sealable thermos. Though the BlendJet 2 has a twist lid, it does not fully seal. I learned that the hard way after blending some blackberries. When I added some water to shake up and pour out the remnants, some droplets landed on and stained my white socks. Gentle shaking is not an issue and may assist in the process at times. The six-point stainless steel blade can chop through ice and other food items in twenty seconds or less.

The asking price is $49.95 and there are sixteen colors to choose from. This blender is great for commuters and is easy to clean and use in the office. It’s small enough to fit in your car’s cup holder and the adjustable strap on the lid makes it easy to carry while riding a bike. If you’re looking for a personal blender, check out the BlendJet 2!

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Lucksgy Genuine Leather Bucket Tote Bag for Women

Thank you Lucksgy for sending us this purse to review!

I’ve been through many purses and most of them have been thirty dollars or less. Over time, the straps typically wear out or break. The material often tatters on the bottom too. My current purse is denim and has lasted a good while and it fits my essentials (wallet, checkbook, pens, medicine, floss, car keys, etc.). However, with a conceal and carry license in my near future, I need a purse that’s slightly bigger.

The Lucksgy Genuine Leather Bucket Tote Bag for Women comes in five colors. I chose the kaqi color, but there’s also black, brown, red, and gray. There are two straps available, one for over the shoulder and the other is adjustable and goes across the body. The tote bag has two open side pockets that would be ideal for holding a phone or small umbrella. The front and back pouches have magnetic snaps on them to keep them closed. There’s also a magnetic snap to close the main opening.

The inside of the tote bag is spacious, but there are no pockets. However, there is a removable zippered pouch that has two pockets on the sides with one of them being zippered. The main area of the pouch is spacious enough for the item I wish to conceal. The floor of the pouch is removable and you’ll want to have it in place if you wish for it to retain its shape.

The pouch could also work for holding your valuables that you can grab in a hurry without toting around a big purse. If you don’t plan on packing heat, you can use the pouch for your wallet, checkbook, car keys, and more.

Overall, this is a nice looking and sturdy purse that’s sixty dollars delivered.

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High Score S1E6 Level Up

High Score Level Up

Thank you Netflix for supplying us with complimentary access to review this series!

Level Up is the season finale that clocks in at thirty-seven minutes long. The main focus on this episode is DOOM and the impact it had with PC and online gaming. John Romero is interviewed and explains how he worked with John Carmack at Gamer’s Edge back in 1989. They soon joined forces and formed id Software in 1991. During that time, Nintendo was dominating the gaming market and the PC couldn’t match the graphical performance.

That is until John Carmack figured out how to master side scrolling and used John’s Romero’s Dangerous Dave character and inserted him into a Super Mario 3 like world and called the game “Dangerous Dave in Copyright Infringement”. They further revolutionized PC gaming with their 1992 first-person shooter hit, Wolfenstein 3D. This game was revolutionary in terms of graphics and gameplay. Their next goal was to implement online networking which they promised to deliver in their 1993 game, Doom. When this game launched on December 9th, the servers hosting the shareware (remember that?) file were crashing from being overloaded.

The PC gaming market wasn’t the only one getting a 3D overhaul. Dylan Cuthbert is featured in this episode and he figured out how to implement 3D graphics on a Gameboy. Instead of suing him, Nintendo flew him and his partner, Giles Goddard, to Japan to learn more. Together, they worked on the Super FX chips used in SNES cartridges to implement 3D graphics. Innovations like this made Star Fox a successful reality.

Although this episode is fascinating, it has some moral issues worth noting. There is some language (kick *ss) and blaspheming. An extended middle finger is shown along with a pentagram. If you don’t mind those rough spots, there’s a lot of nostalgia and information here.

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High Score S1E5 Fight!

Thank you Netflix for supplying us with complimentary access to review this series!

Street Fighter was originally released in 1987 and the game was revolutionary in allowing two players to battle each other in real time. Other than that aspect, the game was pretty bare bones with only two playable characters. The sequel, which was released in 1991, upped the ante quite a bit by offering eight characters with one of them being female. It’s nice that they took female gamers into consideration by giving them a formidable fighting character.

Akira Yasuda, the artist behind most of the characters in Street Fighter II is interviewed along with Akira Nishitani, the game’s developer. It’s neat seeing the game’s inspiration being taken from various sights around the world and even from Japanese bathhouses.

Street Fighter did quite well in the arcades and it was only a matter a time before other companies like Midway offered some competition. John Tobias is also featured in this documentary and explains how he was heavily influenced by classic Kung-Fu movies like Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon. The fighters and their moves in Mortal Kombat definitely show their roots. This game also shows a lot of blood and gore, especially in the finishing moves. Games like Mortal Kombat Night Trap caused an uproar in the US government and brought about the formation of the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), which is responsible for rating many popular console games today.

I was surprised that this documentary didn’t mention the SNES’s censoring of Mortal Kombat with green blood in Japan and sweat in the Western release. However, it does delve into the 1993 Street Fighter 2 world champion competition and interviews the winner, Takaharu Nakone. All in all, this is a fascinating episode and I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys fighting games.

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High Score S1E4: This Is War

High Score S1E4: This Is War

Thank you Netflix for supplying us with complimentary access to review this series!

In 2015 I read, enjoyed, and reviewed the book Console Wars by Blake J. Harris. This book talks about how Sega recruited Tom Kalinske to become the CEO of Sega of America. At the time, Sega had superior hardware, but Nintendo had the majority of the market share. This episode recaps this book quite nicely and goes over Tom’s five pronged attack in an attempt to de-throne Nintendo.

The first step was to lower the price to $149 to make the Sega Genesis more competitive, and the next step was to defeat Mario. Sega needed a loveable mascot and it’s neat how this episode introduces Sonic’s designer Hirokazu Yasuhara. The Sonic series took off and attracted gamers around the world for a competition in 1994. Chris Tang, the world champion in Sega’s Rock the Rock contest is featured in this episode.

The third part of Tom Kalinske’s plan was to add more sports. Sega and EA worked together to bring John Madden’s football game to the console and it did really well. Because of the system’s limitations all of the players had the same (light) skin color. Gordan Bellamy, who is openly gay, is featured and takes credit for making the default skin color darker in the 1995 edition of Madden Football.

Nintendo was viewed as a system suitable for younger kids. Under Tom’s direction, Sega aimed for a slightly older audience with edgier and more violent video games. If an older sibling was playing cooler games, Sega knew that the younger children would want to play them too. The final part of Tom Kalinske’s plan was to make fun of Nintendo in their ads. Sega has some memorable marketing with the way the word Sega was shouted in their commercials and the Sega sound the console made when the console loaded is etched into the minds of many gamers. Sega’s commercials took some playful jabs at Nintendo’s console with their “Nintendon’t” ads.

Overall, this episode is an interesting look at the epic war between Sega and Nintendo as described in the Console Wars book. It even includes a bit of racial diversity with Madden Football. Unfortunately, it does hit on the LGBTQ themes a little too hard just like the previous episodes did.

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High Score S1E3 Role Players

High Score S1E3 Role Players

Thank you Netflix for supplying us with complimentary access to review this series!

Computer gaming began in the 70s with text-based role-playing games. There were no visuals and the user had to type in simple responses to play those games. Roberta Williams is interviewed in this episode and she was hooked on a text-based game called Colossal Cave Adventures that came out in 1976. The first computer game with graphics was her first foray into game design, Mystery House, which released in 1980. Roberta and her husband, Ken, founded Sierra Entertainment which produced many classic game series including Kings Quest, Police Quest, and Leisure Suit Larry. Sierra also published the first Half-Life game in 1998.

Richard Garriott is also featured in this episode and he’s known for creating the popular Ultima games that are heavily inspired by Dungeons and Dragons. Until watching this series, I had no idea that he became an astronaut in 2008. Because of the success of the Ultima games, computer gaming took off and Richard Garriott was able to self-fund his flight to the international space station.

As role-playing games increased in popularity, a company called SquareSoft started their Final Fantasy series in 1987. Yoshitaka Amano is interviewed and it’s fascinating to see how his intricate art was pixelated and simplified for the hardware limitations of that time period. His artwork is unaltered on the game boxes and in the manuals.

This episode ends with an interview of Ryan Best, a gay Aids activist who made a parody RPG called GayBlade in 1992. The final boss of the game is Pat Buchanan who is known for being a conservative commentator and politician. Sadly, during a move his original code and all the copies of his game were lost. With the help of the Internet several years later, someone who owned a copy of the game reached out to him. Though I’m not a fan of the theme, I’m glad Ryan was able to get a copy of his game back. Becky (formerly William) Heineman also appears in this episode as she’s done a lot of game development.

Up until the LGBTQ stuff, I enjoyed this episode. I look forward to the next one which will be talking about Sega and their mascot, Sonic. Hopefully it will be focused more on gaming than LGTBQ agendas.

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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