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Cheryl Gress Editor-in-Chief

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

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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High Score S1E2 Comeback Kid

High Score S1E2 Comeback Kid

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

The main focus of the second episode is Nintendo. The company was founded in 1889 and their focus back then was playing cards. 1985’s launch of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) revitalized the video game market. Before sites like YouTube and GameFAQs, people relied on gameplay counselors to guide them through the thousands of NES games in the market. In this documentary, Shaun Bloom recalls his days as a gameplay counselor and what it took to become one. Getting paid to play videogames? Sounds like a dream job! With the growing video game library, it got harder to assist stuck gamers. Thankfully, the Nintendo Power magazine provided pointers and maps to ease the burden a little bit for the gameplay counselors and subscribers.

The 1984 lawsuit about Universal Studios suing Nintendo for the term “Kong” in Donkey Kong is discussed in detail by their lawyer, John Kirby. According to the credits, he passed away in 2019. After the case was won, Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto paid homage to the lawyer by naming a popular character after him. Much of Nintendo’s success can be attributed to Shigeru Miyamoto, who played major roles in designing their most popular characters and games. Hirokazu Tanaka, the composer from Donkey Kong, is featured in this episode, and it’s neat to see how he came up with the various sound effects with the equipment he used back then.

The title of this episode, "Comeback Kid", is referring to the 1990 Nintendo World Champion, Jeff Hansen. When he originally tried to qualify, he got third place. His parents took him to the last contest where he took first place and eventually became the top player in his age group. The three games used in the competition were Super Mario Bros, Tetris, and Rad Racer. I wonder if his parents let him drive the Geo Metro he won for them when he turned 16?

Overall, this was a very interesting episode and I look forward to checking out the rest in this series.

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High Score S1E1 Boom & Bust

High Score

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

High Score is a new video game documentary series offered exclusively on Netflix. The first episode titled Boom & Bust opens with Howard Scott Warshaw who created E.T. for Atari in five weeks. That game is known as one of the worst in history and 728,000 copies of it were dumped into a landfill in New Mexico. Before that disaster, this documentary begins with Space Invaders which launched in 1978. A couple of funny tidbits learned from this series is that the developer, Tomohiro Nishikado, cannot get past level 2 in his own game. Another fun fact is that this title was so popular in Japan’s arcades that it caused a shortage of 100 yen coins.

In the West, Space Invaders was quite popular and there were tournaments hosted in the United States. Rebecca Heineman is interviewed recalling her memories of winning the first championship in 1980. When she won the tournament, she was a guy and her dead name is William.

Other games featured include Missile Command and Pac-Man. It’s funny how Pac-Man was aimed at female gamers. According to the developer, Toru Iwantani, his design came from a pizza missing one slice. Ms. Pac-Man was enhanced by a bunch of college drop-outs who Atari sued (and later hired) for altering Missile Command to be more profitable for arcade owners.

The advent of cartridge-based home console systems like the Channel F and Atari 2600 are discussed as well. The rise and fall of Atari is also brought up as the classics it produced were overshadowed by shovelware that turned many gamers off.

So far, this series is well researched and entertaining to watch. There is some language (sh*tless) and sexual references to take note of before letting kids watch it. If you’re interested in learning about how video games grew from arcades to home consoles to eSports 7, tune in to High Score on Netflix!

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Pretending I’m A Superman – The Tony Hawk Video Game Story

Pretending I'm a Superman: The Tony Hawk Video Game Story

Thank you Wood Entertainment for sending us a screener to review!

Skateboarding has been around since the 1950s and its popularity has had its ups and downs. Skate parks would come and go and when they disappeared, underground and street skating took off. Pretending I’m A Superman – The Tony Hawk Video Game Story features many professional skaters like Steve Caballero, Rodney Mullen, Chad Muska, and Eric Koston who share their experiences with this sport and various milestones before it became mainstream.

The popular Thrasher magazine started circulating in 1981, and the following year Tony Hawk became a pro skater. In 1986 Atari released 720°, a skateboarding game followed by California Games and Skate or Die in 1987. In 1989 the movie Gleaming the Cube was released. In the mid 90s skateboarding started to become popular and was showcased in the X Games, which was founded in 1994.

In 1997, Sega released a popular arcade game with a moving skateboard called Top Skater. Once Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater dropped in 1999, the sport would never be the same. Each new release would get better and when the fourth one came out, the other three were still in the top ten sales charts. Not only did this game revitalize the sport, but the skaters in the game became household names and the bands like Primus and Bad Religion got a whole new fan base. The inclusivity of minority and female skaters appealed to many people as well.

All in all, this is a fascinating documentary about a beloved game series that’s about to be re-released very soon. I look forward to checking it out with improved visuals! There is some language including a couple of F-bombs so be warned if you plan on watching this documentary with youngins. It’s available on popular streaming platforms including Google Play, iTunes, and Amazon Prime Video.


(Amazon Affiliate Link)

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Citysports Massage Gun

Thank you Citysports for sending us this massage gun to review!

After looking at the Amazon store page for this deep tissue massage gun, I wasn’t sure if I would be qualified to use it. The people in the pictures have chiseled muscles and six-packs that I’ll never achieve in this lifetime. I’m happy to wait for my glorified non-photoshopped body. Though I don’t workout to the point of injuring my muscles, I do consider myself fairly active and spend time outside walking and riding my bike on a regular basis. Thankfully, I haven’t injured myself working out. It’s sleeping in weird positions (to accommodate the 2 cats and 1 dog that sneak into our bed) that makes me sore. As fate would have it, I woke up with my left shoulder reminding me that I’m not getting any younger.

I’m glad I had the Citysports Massage Gun handy! The question is which tip do I use? This massage gun comes with six interchangeable tips that range in hardness and materials. Swapping them out is easy to do and only takes a couple of seconds. Most of them are a rubberized plastic, but a couple of them have a “Nerf-like” texture to them. For my shoulder soreness, I used the shovel-shaped head which is good for the whole body. The mushroom head is intended to be used on the back on either side of the spine. The flat head is designed for the hips, legs, and hands. The U-shaped head is meant to be used in soft parts of the body. The bullet head is intended for local and small muscle groups. To be on the safe side, stick with the softer ball-shaped head which is good for all around use and less likely to hurt as it’s the softest option. Some of the harder tips may hurt bones or cause bruises if you’re not careful.

Once you have the head picked out, your next goal is to determine which speed is right for you. There are twenty to choose from and they all feel good! As you push the massager gun into the sore muscles, the speed and angle may change automatically for you. While I was able to use this massager on my own, enlisting someone to point it on my back head on, felt great. Of course, I had to give them a back massage in return, but fair is fair.

This device is rather big; it's not much smaller than my husband’s power drill. It’s 2lbs and comes with a nice carrying case. The velvety black bag for holding the attachments is a nice touch. The 2000mAH Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery should last around 7 hours according to the Amazon store page.

Citysports Massage Gun

Though the manual has a “Warrenty” section, it does not spell out how long it is. It just mentions what’s not covered. According to the Amazon page, there’s a 1-year warranty. There’s an insert in the packaging that says if you e-mail them your (presumably positive) Amazon review, you’ll get an extra three months added to your warranty.

This massager looks and feels high-quality so I expect to keep it around for a while. There are cheaper variants out there, but this one has been great so far and I highly recommend it.


(Amazon Affiliate Link)

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Muhoop Electronic Bug Zapper

Bug Zapper

Thank you Muhoop for sending us this bug zapper to review!

Though I can’t find any Biblical evidence, I believe that fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and other blood sucking creatures are part of mankind’s curse in Genesis 3. I have yet to find someone who appreciates mosquitoes and wishes for them to stay alive. The “Electronical Mosquito Killer HK-1107” claims to be the best and has “achieved patent” according to the box.

This $20 mosquito killer is quite affordable and measures at 10” tall and 4.5” wide. The power cord is only 3 feet long and that’s my biggest complaint. There is no instruction manual, so I’m not sure how to open it up to clean away the bug bodies with a “soft lrush” as the box instructs. The box also recommends using this mosquito killer “in bed-room, hall, hostal, office, chicken farm, animal huslardry, and any other places where needs killing mosquitoes.“ As you can see, there were multiple typographical errors within the packaging, and it would have been a better experience had some of the instructions gone through a bit of proofreading before release.

All of our outdoor power outlets are low to the ground and the first night I left the mosquito killer on the floor of our front porch. The next morning I did not see any dead bugs in the device or fall out when I shook it. To make sure it’s not just a blue light in a cage, I dropped a small cricket into the device, and it did indeed kill it. I then offered the cooked cricket to my bearded dragon, Yoshi, who enjoyed her home-cooked meal.

We like to enjoy meals on our deck, so I grabbed an extension cord and had the mosquito killer five feet high. At that height it definitely sent some mosquitoes to their maker. This device kills bugs quietly as you won’t hear the typical “zzzZZt” noise. I just wish I knew how to open it for cleaning. There are some Philips-head screws on the outer casing that I’ll try unscrewing as the device collects more insect bodies inside of it.


(Amazon Affiliate Link)

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Learning from Failure

Learning from Failure

We’ve been streaming games often but irregularly for a while. We’ve met the requirements for Twitch Affiliation and are blessed with over 1133 followers and 7 subscribers as I’m writing this. We really appreciate those who drop by and chat with us on our streams and support our ministry, Thank you!

For the past few months, I’ve been a member of a steaming site that promotes various streams and encourages their members to watch streams from their community. It’s a give and take system. By using this service our viewership and membership grew but the community wasn’t very active. Not many of the members of this site speak English so they couldn't understand what I was saying or read the game's dialogue.

Upon reaching the streaming hours and viewership numbers, I was given the opportunity to apply for Twitch partnership. While waiting for the approval process I was trying to stream when I could guarantee I could get the viewer count high enough to maintain the requirements.

Twitch did not approve our partnership application, and rightfully so. Our community is lacking and I want to focus on that moving forward instead of viewer count. Additionally, I would like to involve our Twitch followers in choosing what games we play and stream. If we get enough subscribers, I would like to be able to purchase and stream community selected AAA titles that are not sent to us to review.  Here's the link to out Twitch channel.

I would also like to get to know and support other streamers by participating in more raids and hosting of channels. Sticking with a regular streaming schedule will be another priority. I’ll lean towards evenings so I can still enjoy the nice weather and walk my dog several times a day before the bugs come out.

By not having to focus on channel viewers and requirements, a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I look forward to just playing and enjoying games while chatting with those who hop onto our channel. Again, we appreciate your support and company!

We have a couple of Jackbox titles to review and would love to host a family game night. Anyone care to join us and assist in the reviewing process? If this takes off, maybe we can schedule a regular family gaming night.

I hope these are steps in the right direction. Please share any and all feedback, we’re all ears!  

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Latest Offerings from Penny Arcade!

Thank you Penny Arcade for sending us some nice gaming gear!

Penny Arcade has been around for a while and I am most familiar with their comics. They also have a huge forum, games, shows, podcasts, and a cool shop! We were recently sent some swag that we did an unboxing for.

Their featured item is the Animal Crossing New Horizons pin set. This $30 set of four pins includes Tom Nook, his two pupils Timmy and Tommy, KK Slider, and Isabella. If you’re a fan of this popular series, these 1.5” tall pins are super cute and sure to brighten your day!

The canvas WASD tote bag is pretty spacious at 20” wide, 15” tall, and 5” deep. The fabric handles seem pretty sturdy, but I’ll have to do some grocery store testing when they allow us to use environmentally friendly bags again. There’s a zippered pouch or extra inventory slot on the inside of this tote bag.

We were also sent The Legend of Zelda Retro Lanyard which sells for $10. The rupees, swords, keys, shields, bows, hearts, potions, compasses, and flutes on it are sure to bring back many positive memories. It’s dual sided with red and blue variants. To go along with the Zelda themed lanyard, we were also sent Link and Zelda Triforce pins that measure at 1.75” and sell for $15 apiece.

The final item sent our way is the Grey Video Games Crewneck Sweatshirt. It’s so soft inside and I can’t wait to wear it, but it’s currently 90s this week so I’ll have to hold off until the fall. This $45 sweatshirt is an 8 oz. cotton polyester blend with raglan sleeves and extra-thick print. It sports a Penny Arcade tag on the bottom too.

If you’re in the market for Geeky goodies, be sure to check out Penny-Arcade.com. I noticed they also sell pride and pronoun pins if you’re interested in sharing your sexual orientation and/or preferred pronouns with random strangers.

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Negative Reviews Happen

At Christ Centered Gamer we get sent a lot of games to review and have an impressive backlog as a result. Some of them we ask for, but many games show up in our Inbox unexpectedly. We love working with indie developers to help them promote their otherwise overlooked labors of love. For the most part, we enjoy playing the games sent to us. According to our Steam Curator page the majority of our reviews are positive.

Every year, we release a Christmas Buying Guide, which highlights current games that are both fun and family-friendly. Quite frankly, this is not an easy task. It’s easy to find games that meet one criteria, but both takes some serious effort. Violence, language, sexual, and occult content are prevalent in many games. Those are usually the titles that get talked about the most at game shows. Other games can be played in front of children, your pastor, or grandparents without offending them. Sadly, those types of games are usually not very fun to begin with.

Before we implemented our dual score system, we used an average score which often propped up Christian and family-friendly games while overly chastising games that are Teen or Mature. While our current scoring system is not perfect, it does a pretty good job.

One of our recent reviews, Starclaw: Battle of StarSpace Nebula, scored well morally, but fell flat when it came down to the game/fun factor score. The developer did not take this review lightly and filed a copyright/slander case against us on Google. More on that later! As reviewers, we really do want to enjoy our time with games, but that’s not always the case. Even still, we try to find the positives and aim to offer constructive criticism for the developers to work with to improve their current and/or future games. If a game is patched, we’re willing to take another look at it to verify that the issues have been addressed and will add a blurb in the review. Per our Code of Ethics we will not remove negative reviews or alter them for financial gain.

Reviews are opinions, which everyone has their own. We have comments open on our reviews where people can share things they agree or disagree with us on as long as their language is kid-friendly. When we were threatened with a copyright infringement claim and ordered to remove our review and Twitter post, we pushed back and defended our First Amendment right of free speech.

I want to thank our Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter users who have supported us through this ordeal. It was never our intention to disgrace or ruin this developer, but we have the right to express our honest opinions on the games we review. Doing otherwise would be lying (Exodus 20:16) and betraying our readers. As of this post, there have been multiple articles and several YouTube videos covering this ordeal.

I hope and pray that the developer has learned not to abuse the DMCA and to take this experience to heart for his future projects. He did post a public apology. I hope that he finds forgiveness and redemption as the Internet can be a harsh place to learn life lessons. I also hope that his future projects are a success. We have enough anger and violence these days. I encourage everyone to read and apply Proverbs 10:12 which states “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.”

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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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