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Sunday, November 13, 2011

L.A. Noire Review

So back when L.A. Noire came out, I was a little reluctant on purchasing it for reasons I don't exactly know, all I know is that I really wanted to play it and I had just finished Grand Theft Auto IV, so it was a great time to make the transition from GTA to L.A. Noire. So heading down to GameStop the day it was released, I let the store manager talk me into buying it with the incentives of the free DLC since it was a pre-ordered game that wasn't going to be picked up.

Taking the game home, I put it in and really enjoyed what I was seeing; the game was very familiar yet very fresh and it was a nice followup to the Grand Theft Auto series. The game had my attention for a little while, but I had stopped playing rather quickly due to the fact that I was getting annoyed with getting the interrogations incorrect, so I put the game down and moved on to other projects.

Much like I do with all of the games that I buy and ignore for a while, I eventually get back to them and learn to appreciate them the way I should have the first way through.

L.A. Noire is a Crime Fiction video game that is set in Los Angeles in 1947, the game is based upon being a detective in the Los Angeles Police Department and the player is assumed to solve a range of cases throughout the game, each of which will promote his recognition throughout the city and the department which will permit him to receive a higher promotion each time. Players are expected to investigate crime scenes in which many clues are present and to use them to follow up on leads given to the player at certain times during the case. Interrogation of suspects is also required and the players success rate in these certain activities will impact how the cases and stories are revealed through the game and at the end of it.

The game starts you off as generic grunt cop, Cole Phelps, in downtown Los Angeles getting called in to investigate a crime scene of a recent shooting, using your character's natural intuition it is up to the player to find the clues necessary to make an arrest, and once done so the game truly gets under way. The game follows the player to increase in rank as certain cases are completed, allowing for the main story of Phelps' career to unfold.

The interrogation scenes are great for two reasons, it makes the user go back to the gaming roots of a mystery game and it allows Team Bundi to show off their fantastic facial animations with characters. Never before have I seen facial animations that were so much in depth, that delivered such a believable sense of realness that revolved around body language.

The controls seemed to flow pretty well, what annoyed me at first was the fact that I couldn't run without holding the R2 button, but this adds to the realism of the game due to the fact that players shouldn't exactly be running everywhere, but it can drag on a little walking that slow on occasions. Gunfights seem just as awkward as they did in Grand Theft Auto, and guns in general seem fairly limited, but since I am just a police officer not Niko Belic.

Los Angeles looks absolutely beautiful, it is a fantastic copy of the city in the 1950s and gives that real life charm that the city still contains. Driving through the streets of Los Angeles is extremely reminiscent of the real Los Angeles and makes me miss the city and has me wanting to make a weekend trip. Team Bundi really went out of their way to bring about the accuracy of the 1950's LA, even so much to give the Los Angeles Archives credit in the game during the credit scroll. Without the fantastic city for the player to wander in, the game definitely would have lost a lot of its character.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mercenaries 2 "Review"

So attempting to follow up on the game Mercenaries 2: World In Flames, I load up the game and decide to give it another go since it had frozen up on me last time I attempted to play it, and what would you know.... it froze up again on me. So sitting here staring at the “Installing Game Data” screen I wonder if it's even worth trying to give this game another go.

After waiting a long ass time for this game to install, I finally make my way back to the Mercenaries 2 Title Screen and it is asking me to press Start.... so here we go.

While attempting to click Options, the “connecting to EA servers” text has stopped scrolling and has frozen once again, making this game unplayable to the extent of my knowledge. This really irritates me due to the fact that the game has never been opened prior to me purchasing it, and has only been taken out of the case twice to be placed into the Playstation 3 Console. I will attempt to contact EA and see what can be done about this, but we all ready know that nothing will.

Although Mercenaries 2 wouldn't work, this leaves me with a hole in my plans on video game reviews. I would really like to get a Playstation 3 review in since I have yet to do one, so this leaves me with the other PS3 games that I have at hand. Assuming that no one will care to hear about baseball since the game was released in February, I believe that I will give LA Noire another go starting from the beginning so that I can kill two birds with one stone.

One again I appologise that Mercenaries 2 won't work, but there isn't much I can exactly do about this without cheating GameStop out of a “used” copy, and even then who knows if it will work since it could have been an installation error from my first attempted play.

Mercenaries 2: World In Flames
F[uck this game]

Monday, November 7, 2011

Metroid Prime

Now is the time for some epic Nintendo GameCube caming, Metroid Prime.

Metroid Prime came out in November of 2002 and I just had to have this game, it was so intriguing to me since the Metroid franchise had skipped a generation and came back full force on the GameCube, and at the time I had never played a Metroid game and I wanted to see what all of the fuss was about. When I opened the game on Christmas morning, I was extremely disappointed with it, the game just felt too slow and too quiet; not what I was expecting at all. So the game ended up to go on the shelf and get zero playtime for the next few years, and wouldn't be played again until the Wii had been out for a couple years.

After being online for a bit, I decided to look into the highest rated GameCube games and it amazed me that Metroid Prime was rated so high, I believe it was the 2nd highest rated GameCube game outside of Resident Evil 4 and I decided to dust the game off and give it another go. When I put the game in, it blew me away, the game was so in depth and had that eerie feel about it that I guess only someone of age could fully appreciate.

The game begins with Samus Aran receiving a distress signal from a Space Pirate Frigate called the Orpheon, upon arrival she discovered that the pirates had been slaughtered by their own genetic experiments. Samus fights her way through the ship and eventually defeats the Parasite Queen, causing her to fall into the ship's reactor core setting off a chain reaction that will eventually destroy the ship. Samus then had to rush to the exit of the ship and get back to her own, and evidently chases her neesis Meta Ridley to the surface of Talon IV, in turn losing all of her Power Suit upgrades to an electrical surge which opens the way for the game to begin.

The game consists of a central map which leads the player to several different submaps, that open the game up to a huge web as each section opens. The game in effect is pretty linear being that you can't complete certain tasks without fulfilling others, but there is no hand-holding through the game so this leads the player to attain their goals through trial and error.

The controls were fantastic and felt extremely fluent with the GameCube controller, but the ability to play opened up even more with the re-release for the GameCube. Being able to control Samus with the Wii Remote permitted the user to point and shoot which helped aiming in general, so that way the reticule was variable and didn't keep itself in the middle of the screen; one was able to look in one direction and shoot in another. Going back to the GameCube controls, it would be easy to say that the controller was designed around this game if it was a launch title, so it would be impossible to wish you had another controller in your hand while playing through this game.

Keep that GameCube out and throw in Metroid Prime! Or better yet, just put it into your Wii and get a shootin'! I love this game, and I'm sure all of you guys will too. This First Person Shooter Adventure Game is definitely something you need to check out if you haven't before.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Super Mario Sunshine

After playing through Luigi's Mansion for the first time in a year, I decided to give Super Mario Sunshine another go! Super Mario Sunshine is one of my overall favourite video games, this game got so much play from me back when it came out and has been played through several times even after the GameCube was retired. I originally got Super Mario Sunshine as part of the Nintendo Power Bundle, that gave me the game, a T-Shirt, and a 2 year subscription at a discounted price, and it was worth every penny.

This game was very much the Mario game that everyone was waiting for on the Nintendo GameCube, since people didn't exactly get what they were wanting with Luigi's Mansion, although this isn't considered one of the best games in the series. Super Mario Sunshine was highly revered due to its gameplay and typical Mario storyline, it expanded on the Mario universe by giving the player more of a sandbox feel and also permitted players to get stars in whatever order they wanted without giving many boundaries.

Super Mario Sunshine starts out with Mario and Peach en route to a tropical resort on the Isle Delfino which is mainly inhabited by the Piantas and Nokis. Upon arrival, it is discovered that the entire island has been completely polluted and covered in graffiti, and all of the Shine Sprites have disappeared giving the island a perpetual shadow. The island's populace believe Mario to be the culprit due to the fact that the shadowy figure that they have seen committing the crimes suits his description, and Mario is then incarcerated after the discovery. After convincing the island's population that he is not the guilty party, Mario finds the FLUDD Water Cannon, Mario's answer to Luigi's Poltergust 3000, and sets out to remove the islands of its blight.

Giving this game another playthrough, it was fun as it always has been. I really love the story to the game and the gameplay that it gives the user. The controls were very fluent and seemed to improve upon the miscues that Luigi's Mansion had, and even allowed the player to use several different Yoshi characters that each have different traits at some points.

So since your GameCube has all ready been dusted off, you might as well bring out some Super Mario Sunshine and give it another playthrough!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Luigi's Mansion

So I decided to surprise you guys with a Halloween "Themed" blog post, about the Nintendo GameCube launch title Luigi's Mansion. For me, the history with this game was an ebay purchase over a year ago in order to play the title for the first time ever. Being a Nintendo fanboy at heart, I purchased the GameCube on launch but for some reason never got the launch title that was Luigi's Mansion, so it took 9 years for me to finally do it.

At a first glance, the game was very strange and didn't feel at all like a Mario Title, but that was the point.... it was Luigi and not Mario. This is the problem that forced a lot of gamers away from this game early on, they were more familiar with what they had in Super Mario 64 and wanted more of that, and they had to wait until Super Mario Sunshine was released until they were able to get their fix.

The game begins with Luigi approaching a large dark mansion on the outskirts of a forest that is later discovered to be haunted by various ghosts, most notably Boos which are a staple of the Mario Franchise. These ghosts are all being investigated by Professor E. Gadd who lives in a small shack close to the mansion, and utilizes Luigi to test out his new invention the Poltergust 3000, which allows him to catch ghosts Bill Murray style.

Luigi had apparently won the mansion in a contest despite not having entered any contest to begin with, and while attempting to meet up with Mario at said mansion, Mario disappears in an apparent ghost kidnapping and it is up to Luigi to find his brother and free him of the ghosts and ghouls inside.

Professor E. Gadd with the Poltergust 3000

Giving this game a 2nd playthrough a year later, the game is just as fun as before. The game is faily linear and straight forward, not giving too many routes to get lost in, however some exploration is needed since the game won't straight up tell you what to do and where to go, which is a great feature since many games now hold your hand the entire way through. I loved the fact that there were really no "boss" battles, sure you will run into larger ghosts that have certain mortal ties to the rooms they are in, but the game doesn't actually stop the action to introduce a boss much like that in games of the Zelda series.

The controls were a little funky, but it didn't take long to get used to them. The Nintendo GameCube's controller was the first controller to utilize dual analog sticks by removing their typical "C" buttons and replacing it with a yellow stick to represent the different buttons. This stick is what controlled your Poltergust 3000, and it was often awkward to attempt to use it along with the buttons above it.

What I really enjoyed about this game was the fact that it really opened up Luigi as a character, and allowed the Mario universe to span outside of Mario himself. Growing up in the late 80's and early 90's, Mario was everywhere and everyone always knew of Mario AND Luigi; who was never really given any spotlight other than being a secondary character in the series.

Go ahead and bring out your GameCube, dust off Luigi's Mansion and give this game a 2nd playthrough! The new Luigi's Mansion 2 will be released on the Nintendo 3DS in Quarter 1 of 2012.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Frys Electronics Purchase - Mercenaries 2: World In Flames

Now it’s been a little while since I did a video game review, but I’ve had this one sitting on my shelf for a few months now and it’s been relatively untouched since its purchase. The reason I own this game isn’t because it was something that I exactly wanted, but taking a trip through Frys Electronics can get you to buy stuff you don’t exactly need. My trip through Frys consisted of the desire to purchase Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune for the PS3, and bundled with it at the same retail price was Mercenaries 2 and Tomb Raider: Underworld, so 3 games for the price of 1 was definitely up my alley.

A few weeks ago, I attempted to play this game, but after putting the disc in and letting the PS3 load it all up, the game decided to freeze on me and I had no desire to restart my PS3, and I went onto playing something else. Although I have heard from many people that this game is beyond awful, I just can't help but check it out and see for myself, I often appreciate aspects of games that others find irritating or just plain bad, but poor words spoken from others won't hinder my playthrough of it. I believe that it may be time to give this game another go because I believe that all games require justice.

If you have played Mercenaries 2, go ahead and post some comments on what you think of the game, I'd love to hear the opinions of my readers prior to my own playthrough.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ghostbusters Theatrical Re-Release

So as some of you guys may know, Ghostbusters has come back to theaters for select viewing in the United States. For those of you who don't know a thing about Ghostbusters (if you don't, please get off my lawn), it is about 3 comedic scientists played by Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd, and Bill Murray. The scientists were basically kicked out of their university and were forced to go into the private sector, creating their own Ghost Hunting service in which they'd catch ghosts which were then taken back to their station for storage. Ghostbusters is a classic movie, and I'd recommend that everyone goes out and sees it!

Growing up in the late 80's and early 90's, Ghostbusters was a huge part of my childhood; we had so much Ghostbusters shit around, it was ridiculous. I remember back in the day, every kid on the block had their own toy Proton Packs, toy Ecto-1s, and figures for all of the characters. Not only was there a movie, there was the one sequel along with the animated television show, so if you grew up in the early 90's you know what I'm talking about. I even remember drinking this green shit that used to have Slimer on the label, I'm sure it wasn't even that good, but just because it was Ghostbusters it was a must have.

Be sure to check your local theaters, in my city it is only showing on Thursdays for the remainder of October.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Gorillaz - Plastic Beach

It's been a while since I bought an album, but while I was driving around with my friend Joe he was playing one of his random playlists and a Gorillaz song came on from the new album Plastic Beach. I've always been a Gorillaz fan, but I never really gave the new album a chance due to the fact that I never looked into it.

So a few days later at school, I was getting in my car and whipped out my phone and headed over to the Zune Marketplace and looked up the song "On Melancholy Hill", so the album had 16 tracks and were $1.29 individually or I could spend $9.99 on the entire album, so I just went for it. And holy fuck......

Track Listing recommend in bold
1. "Orchestral Intro"
2. "Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach"
3. "White Flag"
4. "Rhinestone Eyes"
5. "Stylo"
6. "Superfast Jellyfish"
7. "Empire Ants"
8. "Glitter Freeze"
9. "Some Kind of Nature"
10. "On Melancholy Hill"
11. "Broken"
12. "Sweepstakes"
13. "Plastic Beach"
14. "To Binge"
15. "Cloud of Unknowing"
16. "Pirate Jet"
Total length:

My Thoughts
The album, I personally think is a great album. Just like normal albums, there are a ton of forgettable songs, but the more you listen to it you learn to appreciate. If I had to pick one song out of the bunch that I could listen to on repeat all day, it would have to be "Superfast Jellyfish", that song is just simply amazing and it has a ton of energy in it. The albums only drawback is that there are so many forgettable songs, or at least songs that aren't catchy enough to get my attention in order for them to grow on me.

Album Score

Sunday, October 9, 2011

New Era Cap Repair - Broken Seam

I recently received a message asking how to repair a busted seam on a New Era cap, and luckily for the person who asked I had a cap that also needed this repair. With the convenience of having the same problem with one of my caps, it was a perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone and repair my cap along with teaching him how to repair his.

What you will need:
1. New Era Cap with a broken seam.
2. Amazing GOOP glue.
3. Clamp

My Kansas City Royals "Diamond Collection" cap

Step 1
With the busted New Era cap, you will want to pull apart the busted seem to expose the silk lining underneath, should the busted seem look like this, my tutorial will be able to help you fix the issue.

Step 2
With the busted seam, what you will need to do is pick up a glue called "Amazing GOOP", this glue is a silicone based glue that will fuse perfectly with fabric and will be flexible enough for daily wear. This glue can be purchased at any Wal-Mart or Hardware Store located near any paint section, if you have any trouble looking for the glue, you can purchase from my link located below the picture from

Step 3
Now what you need to do, is pull back the fabric and lay the glue on the underside of the wool/polyester along with the black silk piping, the glue should ONLY be applied to the underside of the material, so that none will be seen on the outside of the cap when it is completely dried.

Step 4
When you have laid the glue down, just simply fold the fabric on top of it again. When it is laid flush just simply use a clamp, magnets, or any heavy object to keep the fabric pinched. Be sure to leave the glue drying for at least 24 hours, I would recommend 2-3 days just to be on the safe side.

Step 5
After a few days have passed, you will be ready to unclamp the cap to see the completed repairs. After the repairs are completed, I wouldn't recommend trying to stretch the cap or do anything to put stress on the seam again, but GOOP is some strong stuff and will be pretty mighty when used on a fabric.

I hope that my tutorial will help in any repair to your caps that have suffered damage.

Any advice that you take from me does not hold me responsible for any further damage that is done to your cap, for that you are doing all of the steps yourself and if one followed my steps correctly as seen above, the final result should be the same leaving the hat with no added damage.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Marlins Rebranding

A few weeks ago, the Florida Marlins announced that their new logo will make a "huge splash" in the city of Miami, and would completely rebrand their team with the move to downtown Miami into their new stadium, Marlins Ballpark. The Marlins are a baseball team that have won two World Series titles, but have never won a division title, this is all thanks to them taking full advantage of the Wild Card in the baseball playoffs. For the past 18 seasons, they had to suffer in the Orange Bowl/Sun Life Stadium, a football stadium that was slightly modified to be able to fit a baseball field, and this stadium has proven to be disastrous for the team due to the stadium's age and inadequate location.

Sun Life Stadium

New Marlins Ballpark

Now that's just the ballpark, the Marlins rebranding is not only going to be a move to a new ballpark, but will be a complete change on all levels. Say goodbye to the Florida Marlins, and say hello to the Miami Marlins.

Florida Marlins

Miami Marlins

Over the past few seasons in the MLB, a few teams have made huge changes in their uniform and colour scheme, most notably the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Tampa Bay Rays. And I'm willing to let the changes go, all because the Marlins really needed to do something to bring their fan base back..... but this gets better. This is a sculpture that was designed to be fired up every time a Marlins player hits a Home Run, video located below.

Should that .gif not work, feel free to indulge yourself the video located on the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs personal facebook:
The Video

I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts about the new logo, stadium, and "The Sculpture" that the team has introduced.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Throwback Diamondbacks New Era

In my previous posts ranting about how the Arizona Diamondbacks and New Era caps botched their sale of "throwback" caps by making them grossly inaccurate, I did a lot of internet hunting to find myself some accurate reproductions of the cap I was looking for. I eventually found myself on Facebook and looking at a physical store's page located in Brooklyn, New York called Lee's Sneakers and sent them an e-mail, within 4 days I had negotiated my purchase and ordered their whole stock of the cap in my size of 7-1/8 :)

I think this cap turned out fantastic! It is an incredibly accurate representation of the original dbacks cap. About the only difference, is that the colour of the "A" is a little too light, but this can be explained due to New Era discontinuing that colour a few years back.

Now as expected, the caps are Made in China, which is a disappointment but something that really can't be avoided in this day and age when it comes to New Era caps, if it isn't On-Field is most likely won't be American. Another anomaly is that the cap isn't a Cooperstown Collection, but listed as just "Genuine Merchandise."

The back of the cap is also accurate due to its flat embroidery, at the start of the 2007 season New Era started giving the rear raised embroidery like they do with the front.



The embroidery on the front also looks fantastic, it is an awesome reproduction of the original in every detail. As described above, the only difference is the colour of the "A", due to a discontinuation of the thread that was used originally.



And here are the two caps next to each other, don't mind the colour difference too much between the shades of purple, the original cap could have been made from anywhere between 1998-2006.

Original vs. Reproduction

For any information on these caps or any other caps that you may be interested in purchasing, please contact Lee's Sneakers for any information.  I recommend that you Like him on Facebook and give a look at his pictures, there you can copy URLs and send them to Lee's Sneakers and they will be more than happy to mail you the caps and they also take PayPal. Now I'm just a young college student attending a university, but I can assure you that the caps are definitely worth the money should you decided to buy them! And with PayPal, your purchases are definitely insured better than the best car insurance you will ever buy!

New Era by far isn't a cheap baseball hat, they are the best quality baseball hats you can find, and they have a wide range of custom baseball hats too.

Please visit Lee's Sneakers at:

E-mail them with any questions at:

Friday, September 23, 2011

*Post-Play* Crackdown 2

After a recommendation on a previous blog post, I decided to pick up Crackdown 2 and give it a go.  When I first started playing, I noticed immediately that the game took place in the exact same city and all of the game models were the same, not a huge problem though.

The plot was just beyond weird, it started out with you as an Agent going through the city and then you're introduced to the Mutants.  Basically, the mutants have taken over the city and rule it by night, the only way to destroy the mutants are to visit different stations to enable them, and when 3 of them connect you are to protect a beacon until it is fully charged and releases its power destroying all mutants in that district.  Mutants were also in the first game, but they are in the game for like half of a second, but they aren't in any strong numbers.

The occurrence of the mutant is basically being blamed on a terrorist organization called "Cell," and these people are basically just dudes with guns in the game, you don't really learn much about them at all.  During the entire game, you really don't learn much at all about them, which was kind of lame since I kept doing the same shit over and over again.  Near the end of the game, their female leader Katalina Thorn attempted to contact me on the headset, and said that I was a pawn or some shit, but I don't even fuckin know who was bad or not.  I assume the game wanted the Agency to be bad and Cell be good, but since the game also tried to force a plot twist on you it was impossible to really tell good from bad.  Basically, Cell released the virus which turned a shit ton of people into Mutants, and the Agency wanted to kill the mutants and take back the city, which sounds worse to you?

Just as before, this traits is what causes you to run faster and jump higher.  This trait has basically zero change from the first game, there are still the 500 agility orbs and rooftop races that help increase this skill.  The one addition to this, is that once you reach level 5 you can do a "Wing Suit" which is basically a suit that allows you to glide through the air, there are certain rings that you can maneuver through, but I honestly didn't care enough to even try to learn those controls.  As before, this is definitely the easiest trait to level up, since you're constantly jumping around on top of buildings and suck, it's impossible to avoid the green glowing orbs.

In my opinion, this is the skill that they increased the most when it came to the sequel.  Just as before, you can drive and steal cards just like in any GTA game, but I hardly drove cars in the 1st game because it was basically useless.  In this game however, any time you die you are spawned at a destination of choice with a vehicle, unlike the 1st game where you could only get Agency vehicles from the Agency Tower.  Driving was much easier and people were also a hell of a lot easier to hit.  You couldn't believe how frustrating it was to try to run someone over in the 1st game, it was impossible to get that skill up to its peak.  This game at least lets you have fun with the vehicles, and you will most likely be driving around a lot more than you did in the first game.

Grenades in this game wasn't exactly the most fun thing to do.  In the previous game, I was using them all of the god damned time, but this time your skill doesn't affect the blast radius or strength of a grenade, all leveling up does is unlock other grenades.  Now let me tell you, the grenades that you unlock really aren't that great, the best grenades there are, are the ones that you pick up off of fallen enemies and bring them back to a drop zone to unlock them.

This trait just wasn't as fun in the sequel, maybe because they really didn't do anything to improve on it.  The moves are all the same, the build up is all the same, zero improvement.  The stronger you get, the faster people die when you kick them and you can pick up and throw larger objects.

The improvement on the guns skill isn't exactly an "improvement".  Just as the grenades, your skill has no affect on your aim or strength of the weapon, all it does is unlock other weapons when you get to a drop zone.  The weapons were pretty cool though, if you play it I recommend trying out the Harpoon Gun, that thing was awesome.

If you're a fan of the 1st game, you might as well pick this up to at least give it a try, but don't expect a fantastic game that will blow your mind like the first one.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Diamondbacks Throwback New Era Caps

All right, time to do some god damned ranting now...........

Last weekend, the Arizona Diamondbacks were having a throwback weekend back to when they wore Purple and Teal uniforms, they switched to Red, Beige, and Black back in 2007. The Diamondbacks New Era caps haven't been produced in purple since 2006 so no non-custom order caps have been produced since then.

With the upcoming throwback weekend, we all knew that New Era was going to produce the caps for the team, so everyone anticipated the upcoming Polyester version of the purple dbacks hat. Turns out, New Era's competency can't expand THAT far. We all know they've fucked up before on throwbacks such as with the Orioles from the 70s and what not, but not on a cap that they discontinued under 5 years ago.

Here is a picture of two Diamondbacks hats next to each other, the left is the authentic dbacks New Era and the right is the version that New Era made for the throwbacks which were sold in the Diamondbacks Official Team Shop.

Here we can see there are some huge differences right off of the bat. The first error is the immense size of the “A” on the front of the cap, it's a good 130% larger than the original caps and the embroidery is mainly flat instead of raised as it should be. The central part of the “A” is also incorrect, as you can see the piece is supposed to be black instead of turquoise.

Many New Era customers were extremely disappointed with the way that they handled this cap, one customer who was disappointed was the team itself! The Arizona Diamondbacks didn't even wear these caps on the field, instead they wore caps they had in stock which dated back to 2006, at least they knew then they would be getting the correct cap to give the throwback uniforms some justice.

Here is a screencap of manager Kirk Gibson the September 9th game vs. the Padres, wearing the correct throwback caps.

Imaged owned by Major League Baseball

About the only plus about the cap was the fact that it was made in the USA, I was extremely disappointed because I've been an Arizona Diamondbacks fan since their formation in 1998 and I was looking forward to getting a modern throwback hat which is made out of the modern Performance Polyester material, I was so irritated with New Era that I didn't even buy the cap, which is amazing due to the fact that I normally can't let anything Dbacks go.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

GameStop Purchase - NHL 12 and Crackdown 2

Yesterday after another trip to GameStop, I rewarded myself with two gifts <3

What made mt go to the store to begin with was the fact that I had a reservation for NHL 12, which I am really excited for. My friends all played NHL 11 last season, so after they kept bugging me I finally dropped the coin to get the game, so after about 10 minutes on Craigslist, I found myself a copy and began my obsession. Prior to last year, I hadn't played a Hockey Game since Blades of Steel on the Nintendo, and I was extremely happy with the results of NHL 11, so I was able to look past all of the glitches. After playing 2-3 games of NHL 12, I can say that it's still an extremely fun game, a few tweeks here and there but it's generally the same game. One odd thing I saw was that you have the option to make a female hockey player, problem is she has a male body but a female head, so whatever.

My other gift to myself was purchasing a copy of Crackdown 2. The first Crackdown was an extremely fun game, as you can read in my previous reviews, but this game just doesn't have the same feel to it. Sure it's a sequel and they can't re-hash the same game, but it just doesn't exactly have the same feel to it. Currently I'm a few hours into it, and they've definitely made some improvements but I feel they regressed in some places. Remember in Crackdown when there would be a random mutant? Well there's 8 million in this game, basically a terror organization releases a virus that causes everyone to turn into a mutant..... guess their goal here was to zombify the game which seems to be the norm lately.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

New Era: Made in USA vs. China

USA vs. China
I have been purchasing New Era caps ever since 1999, my first cap was the original purple Arizona Diamondbacks, I ordered it from the Dbacks own website and I loved that hat to death.  To this date, I own more than 40 New Era caps, and I don't plan on discontinuing my love of them any time soon.
New Era was always a company that prided itself in advertizing that their caps were made in the USA, but up until about 2007 however, New Era started to outsource their cap manufacturing to China.  New Era still does produce some of their stock in the United States, but since the caps are made of the same materials and basically the same way, you wouldn't think there would be that much of a difference, but there is.
Currently as it seems, most of the MLB On-Field caps are made in America, but some of them are Chinese made, especially the god awful Stars and Stripes collection.  Come to think of it.... why the fuck are the STARS AND STRIPES hats made in fucking China?  Minor League Baseball hats are also currently made in China, and it appears that most custom logo/colour hats are Chinese also.

New Era caps have always been subject to debate when it comes to quality and sizing, but when I see a cap that's made in China, I really don't know what to think.  When I buy American caps, I know that I will fit somewhere between a size 7 and a size 7-1/8, but when it comes to Chinese hats, I can fit between a size 6-7/8 and 7-1/4, that's a huge difference, thankfully the sizing for me hasn't caused too much of a problem, but it makes me feel like it's impossible to order a cap online, not knowing what it will fit like when it gets here.

The size of the crown is also subject of distortion, in American caps the crown sits somewhat high, and will allow for it to fall as the user wears it so that it will conform to his/her head, but with Chinese caps the goal seems to be to make the crown as high and boxy as possible, and it is nearly impossible to remove the shape even through alterations to the cap's crown.

USA on Left, Chinese "Stars and Stripes" on right.

Now here are two identical caps located next to each other on the shelf at Chase Field in Phoenix, AZ; home of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

There are major differences between the two caps, the cap on the left is made in the USA and the cap on the right is made in China.

1. Colour Difference
The colour of the two caps are noticeably different, and the picture doesn't do it justice; The American made cap has a lot more colour to it, a much deeper red to it while the Chinese made cap is extremely faded and just looks dusty, overall disappointing.

2. Material Difference
Both of the caps claim to be 100% "performance" polyester, but they are most definitely two different materials. The American cap is much softer whereas the Chinese cap feels extremely stiff, as if it was soaking in starch all day; almost helmet like.

3. Embroidery Detail
The American embroidery is pristine and fantastic, the detail of the snake is awesome and everything is clean without stray strings ruining the overall look.  As you can see in the Chinese cap, there are some loose strings which ruin the overall look and would easily be pulled upon and could destroy the logo.  The Chinese logo also has poor detail such as if you look into the eye of the snake.....where is it on the Chinese cap?

The sizing between the two are awful.  The hats pictured are not the ones I tried on, trying on two size 7-1/8 caps the Chinese cap was noticabley larger, and trying on a 2nd one it felt smaller; trying a size 7 and it fit right.

Bottom line is, the Chinese caps have no quality control and should be discontinued immediately.  The only time I can tolerate Chinese caps are when it comes to Customs and Minor League Baseball caps.  I advise everyone who buys New Era to avoid these Chinese caps if at all possible.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

*Post-Play* Crackdown

As posted in my previous blog, I noticed this game on a recent trip down to GameStop and thought I'd pick it up.  Originally I played this at a friend's house long, long ago, and enjoyed it quite a bit; never followed up on it since I never had an XBOX until years later. When I first started playing, I noticed how heavily the game borrowed from elements of Grand Theft Auto such as the targeting system, the sandbox like cities, and the ability to commandeer vehicles through theft or picking them up from a dealer. Turns out that my suspection of the game borrowing from GTA was true afterall, being that Realtime Worlds' founder, David Jones, was also the creator of the Grand Theft Auto series.

When you start up the game, the menu just wreaks of old XBOX, but don't let the menu fool you... the game itself is fantastic. The basic story of the game is that there are 4 different islands, 3 of which are over-run by their respective gangs: Los Muertos, The Volk, and Shai-Gen Corporation. Your job is to wipe out all 21 of their gang leaders, then wipe out the top leader in order to clean up each faction of the city.

There are different online options for the game, such as your friends or even random people can join in your game at any time (with your approval) and help you fight off the gangs or help you do missions; even simultaneously.

The game, you basically play as a super soldier in the future and have 5 traits that you can level up and "evolve" as the game progresses.

This trait helps you run and jump, this trait is enhanced by finding upwards of 500 Agility Orbs hidden on rooftops or by doing rooftop races. This is by far one of the easiest traits to level up due to the fact that you're running and jumping around constantly, and it's way too hard to avoid glowing orbs.... hah!

Driving is a trait that I guarantee you won't level up to max unless you aim for it. You can drive and steal cars just like in any Grand Theft Auto game, but when you're given super speed and super jumping, along with the ability to warp to ammo stations, it is extremely unlikely that cars will be an asset to you. The only way to level this up is to do tricks in your car and to run over gang members, but still pretty useless IMO.

Fuck yes. You have Grenades of several different types, depending on what you stock up on. The more enemies you kill with grenades the higher your skill increases, it's so fun to blow shit up.

You kick someone, they fuckin FLY. The more you kick, the higher this goes....fuck yeah. The stronger you get, the bigger object you can pick up too. You start out only being able to pick up people, but the higher level you get your fighting skill you can eventually pick up cars or even larger objects to throw at your enemies.

Self explanatory. Aim, shoot, die. Level up. The only difference with levels seems to be the accuracy and how long it takes to reload, but other than that it's just run and gun.

To my surprise, the game does end with quite a twist that I wasn't expecting what so ever. So this makes me want to play Crackdown 2 even more to see what exactly the story is about.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

2011 Stars and Stripes Collection - Part 3

All right.......

So as a follow up to the last post about these New Era Caps, my main complaint was that the caps used a cross hatch for the stars. The hats were originally just really ugly modified versions of the regular team hats, with a depression of the American Flag inside of the team's actual logo, but they decided to ditch that concept mid-season and throw US flags back onto the hats. However as I blogged about before, the flags looked like ass with an AWFUL crosshatch. So what does New Era do next? THEY FUCKIN CHANGE IT AGAIN! So what happens to all of the people who all ready bought the hats? Well fuck them I guess, haha.

The new hats actually look pretty decent. The only real change for the 3rd alteration of the caps was that the cross hatch was removed and replaced with a 32 star flag! Now the 32 star flag actually looks pretty damn good, not much to complain about it other than the fact it looks just a tad messy on the edges. It's really hard to complain about the missing 18 stars though, there's only so much detail you can put into a patch that small.... A for effort, but C- for overall effort put into the whole process.

Pardon the foul language here, but as we all know New Era and MLB only throw these patches on here to make money, and I guess that's all right since everyone continues to buy them.  As a Diamondbacks fan, I'm sure I'll eventually cave in and get my cap with the US flag on it..... but I'm glad that I waited until the 32 star design came out.  I honestly couldn't see myself purchasing the caps if they had the cross hatch.  I'm sure if you were one of the people who purchased the first crosshatch version you'd feel pretty screwed over this.

Now the last thing that I must complain about is the fact that these are not made in the USA....these are made in CHINA.  What's awful about this, is that all proceeds go towards the Welcome Home Veterans foundation, yet New Era decides to have these be made in China to stimulate their economy and not ours.  There used to be a time where New Era valued to quality of American made products, but that apparently isn't in their future plans anymore.

So what are your guys thoughts on the change, I'd love to hear your opinions!

Original Crosshatch

32-Star Flag

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

GameStop Purchase - Crackdown


Just picked it up, never really played this before other than an hour or so at a friends house back when the game was pretty new......  Going through GameStop I saw that it was like $6, so I figured, "Fuck yes, why not?"

So anyways, It is 7am and I have class at 1pm, problem is... I've been up all night playing this, fuckin awesome!  I really like it so far, I'll have to give more insight when I'm done with the game.

Until then.....


Friday, August 26, 2011

*Post-Play* Star Wars: The Force Unleashed


So with The Force Unleashed completed, I'd have to say that I was sorely disappointed with the game. Now back when this game came out, I got two copies for free because I worked some media events with LucasFilm but I was only given the version for the Wii and the Playstation 2. The PS2 game went to Wal-Mart, and the Wii game was the one I kept, and I had a lot of fun with it. It wasn't a great game, but it was at least playable and enjoyable, and probably one of the better 3rd party games for the Wii that you're going to find. A little over a week ago, I was walking through my local GameStop and saw the XBOX 360 version of this game laying in their used selection for only $10, I decided that I'd pick it up and give it a go since I had never played it outside of 5 minutes at a friend's house. When I finally put the game in, I was a bit disappointed with it overall....

The first thing that got to me was the loading times, holy shit it took forever to get anything going. Even from going to your Options it took at least 5 seconds to load and get back to the main page, and I don't even know why... the main page shouldn't have to load what so ever when entering it from a subfolder. In game loading is also a disaster when going from mission to mission, it takes much longer than you'd prefer; while running from area to area, you actually get to see the buildings and terrain growing around you, awful.

Now the controls.... whooooo doggy, fuck them. The controls are so clunky, that you will kill yourself by slipping off ledges and cliffs more than any enemy would. Often I am attacking a stormtrooper or something and my combo of repeatedly pressing the X-Button makes me take steps forward which launches him off of a ledge, which means you start the fuck over. The controls are also quite unresponsive, in the middle of a battle you'll be trying to target onto someone but can't, and if you target onto something you'll often grab onto some rock or boulder. Pressing your Force Attack buttons like lightning often won't work unless your character is in zero motion, same with the enemy you're attacking.

The combos are also an awful part of the control scheme, there are about 20 different combos that you have to memorize, but they're not easy.... often it's like "x,x,x,b" but then you get to some complicated ones like "x,x,x,x,LB(a+y)" is that. I honestly don't have the patience to figure some of these combos out, so I just unlock them for the shit of it because I have the points, so whatever; never used 'em.

The level designs are also a flaw, with a jumping/platforming game like this, you'd think there would be a shit-ton of things to land on...right? Well no... instead you just slip off something if the game doesn't want you to land on it. The level designs are way too linear, really doesn't give you much room to explore; other than to go find Jedi Holocrons to give you more force points or lightsaber crystals. Often times stormtroopers will get stuck in the layout, you'll think you cleaned an area but you will still hear "ptew...ptew....." but can't find the motherfucker, so you can't just leave him there.


What was pretty cool was the fact that you could customize your character based upon lightsaber colour and outfit. When it came to the lightsaber colour, you could get "compressed, regular, or unstable" in any certain colour. Difference? Fuck if I know, I didn't see anything different about them, and I really don't care to google it. The outfits were pretty neat, about 14 or so in the game, but what sucked about them was that you couldn't change it during a level or else you'd go back to your last save point.

The alternate endings were pretty neat, the only choice you had at the end was to either attack the Emporer or attack Vader, one way is good the other is bad if that makes any sense.