Author - Ripper71

Michael Myers: Absolute Evil Mockumentary Review

Fan films can offer horror fans a welcome break from the stresses of the day. One such fan film is Michael Myers: Absolute Evil, a mockumentary that attempts to address how the town of Haddonfield, Illinois would first try to handle the Michael Myers incident. It looks at how law enforcement would react to his continued slipping through their fingers and how copycats and cultists would no doubt pop up to worship Michael Myers.

The film starts with one of Michael’s first and longest surviving targets, Lindsey Wallace, as she talks about how all small towns have secrets and the one Haddonfield tried to bury was Michael killing his sister. Then it moves on to an author who wrote “The Devil’s Eyes, The Story Of Michael Myers” and nicely picks up speed from there.  It would be really easy to fall into the trap of having one or two talking heads be the sole narrators through the mock documentary but it actually keeps a nice pacing. There are interviews with his mother, a documentary filmmaker knowledgeable about child murders (I fact checked and they were true cases going back to the early 1900s), and it even talked about other movies being made about Michael that had wrong facts about his family.

Later on in the mockumentary, they have Lindsey describe what happened on that fateful Halloween night from her point of view, that of a terrified little girl, which was really well done and believable.  The next time I watch the first Halloween movie I will be thinking of what happens with her and what was said in Michael Myers: Absolute Evil. It also has a journalist who had been extensively through the case notes and reported on the hospital attacks and describes things from an outsider’s point of view.  The last bit I will say without trying to spoil much is the coverage of the cult and copycat were very believable too.

The stylized name plates and photo filters are a bit too heavy handed, making them a little distorted, but it is manageable.

Michael Myers: Absolute Evil isn’t a lovefest mock documentary it is a very well done attempt to imagine what historical documentarians would have tried to piece together about the tragedies created by the serial killer Michael Myers. It is a good watch with just enough historic truth interwoven to make Michael seem that much more believable.  It would be a great watch as part of a marathon.

Michael Myers: Absolute Evil Mockumentary Review Score

(4 out of 5 Stars)


GameACon Convention Postmortem

Some conventions are started by people who have a whole bunch of industry connections that can put out advertising and pay for lots of big appearances.  Others have to start small and work their way up by way of grass roots efforts. GameACon in Las Vegas was one of these smaller events. I had heard about it rather last minute and it felt like most people who went did so the same way.  It was a nice little event! There was fun tournament play, lots of Jenga sets to topple, a few cosplayers in attendance, and a couple important companies that showed up as anchors such as Microsoft and Alienware.  There were also a handful of booths there, one of which I had to be dragged away from because it had Pocky and glow in the dark toys!

We took in an enjoyable panel about the fun and pitfalls of cosplaying, watched a few tournament rounds, and I debated picking up a straight razor from the weapons merch booth (I am “Ripper” after all).  We saw people running in and hugging each other, especially among the few cosplayers since they had planned to meet up which was definitely the way to do it.

GameACon has its share of growing pains right now but I really hope that they are able to get stronger and give it another shot next year.  Some word of mouth will kick in from this year and they just need to get some print notice out and maybe a few celebs (I hear some will fly out for airfare and room!) which are always a draw.  Here’s to hopefully seeing you again next year!

The Houses October Built 2 Review

Over the years, there has developed a more extreme sort of haunted house. One that pops up around Halloween in far smaller quantity than traditional haunted houses. I call them “shock houses”.  Those looking for them can find them through word of mouth and other underground channels.  There is a huge market for these extreme experience too, and they generally require a reservation and sell out early in the scary season.  The fact that the public can’t just walk up and buy a ticket adds to the mystery and, when we talk about how we go to haunted houses, people always want to know if we have been to one of them.  These places have you sign waivers for indemnity that aren’t just for theatrics.

A few years ago, The Houses October Built was released. The film was about a group of twenty somethings, four guys and one girl, going around the country trying to find the scariest haunted house for a documentary they’re filming.  In discussing what entails the “scariest” haunted house it falls somewhere between a haunt and a shock house.  In their search, they end up getting the attention of a legendary underground shock house called the “Blue Skeleton” that sends them a private invitation.  The first film is a combination of found footage from the group and found footage from various security cameras.

Now, The Houses October Built 2 is getting ready to be released, and we got the chance to see an advanced screener for review.  In the film, which takes place after the events of the original, the crew is back on a quest for intense haunted houses. After the events of the first film, Zack (Zack Andrews) is tight on money and wants to cash in on their 15 minutes of internet fame by going to haunts across the country and rating them as pseudo-celebrities.  He gets the four guys together no problem but Brandy (Brandy Schaefer), who is the real draw thanks to The Houses October Built, has had enough trauma in her life.  Now known as “coffin girl”, she is reticent to return on the haunted house quest due to the trauma she previously-incurred.

They talk her into coming along with the promise that they will only attend normal haunted houses. Knowing her one friend is severely tight on cash, she agrees. During their travels, they get the attention of an extreme shock house known as “Hellbent”.  Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it!

That is all in the setup you need, and I’ll avoid spoiling anything else for you.  The movie shows some of the very good and well known haunted houses from around the country and has some creepy surprises and twists.  It’s nice that they are using actual haunted houses too instead of just setting up fake ones. In The Houses October Built 2, you are shown the haunts and you can look them up if you like!

I’m trying to decide which of the movies I liked better but I think they follow a nice, natural progression. Zack, who was the mastermind behind the search for the shock house in the first one is still hooked on the idea. Brandy, who was jumpy to begin with in the first movie, winds up with the a rough, lingering reaction to the Blue Skeleton and definitely doesn’t want anything to do with them. The Houses October Built 2 attempts to ratchet things up.

One thing I watch for in found-footage films are cameras or angles that aren’t explained in a movie.  You would be amazed how often what is supposed to be a three camera shoot suddenly has a completely unexplained shot or uses a camera view that nobody would care enough about to have pointed a static camera at (a chair storage room for example).  This movie not only explains how every shot could happen but showed just about every cameraman in one of the shots so you knew they had even more than you probably thought to get all the angles. Technically, it makes sense.

The film moves along nicely with good pacing thanks to director Bobby Roe, who is also one of the writers and actors in the film. Unfortunately, the climax of The Houses October Built 2 is not quite as satisfying as the original’s ending was, but the entire film is a fun ride. The Houses October Built 2 is due out on September 22, and I highly recommend you watch both films back to back. The two of them a great double feature on an October evening with the lights turned down low.

The Houses October Built 2 Review Score

(4 out of 5 Stars)


Blood Bowl II Legendary Edition Review

The Warhammer Universe is HUGE and they have been very smart about using the franchise in pretty much every way that can be imagined.  The IP’s use in strategy games is one of my favorite of these ways. My favorite Warhammer game I have ever played was Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine, with its third person shooting style. I actually want to go back and play it right now but I don’t have it anymore…  Oh I feel like I am missing out right now not being able to wield that chainsword, but I digress.  In this mix of strategy games is one that disguises itself as a sporting title called Blood Bowl II – Legendary Edition. Blood Bowl is a miniatures board game released by Games Workshop back in 1986 that actually already had two computer games based on it – Blood Bowl in 1995 and Blood Bowl in 2009. Blood Bowl II was initially released in late 2015. The new Legendary Edition features all the DLC and enhancements in one box.

The first place you want to start playing is in the game’s Campaign Mode.  This will give players a series of goals to complete that helps show them around the field of battle play.  You start off as a human on a “Bad News Bears” sort of football team that dumps its coach and players then hires you to try to fix everything.  You make a contract with a company that sells bell polish which is a huge step down from the days of courting “Bloodwiser” and you don’t get near the funds you need to fill your roster.  It has you playing against an AI and I played on its standard difficulty setting of “Medium” since I had never played any other Blood Bowl title.

The graphics are well done, the commentators during the game are hilarious, and the video cuts to a cinematic style view when someone gets particularly clobbered – or the other team cheats in some way. These cinematic moments are funny and continue to feel fresh even when they happen over and over again.  Set at medium difficulty, the opposing team has certain styles of play and it  doesn’t take too long on the first few matches to see their patterns and work around them.  The hardest part are the dice rolls. If you do a battling move or if you try to run at the edge of your range it rolls for you. When running if no one is around there is a good chance that you can stop without falling on your face but I did one time run into the end zone where it did a roll and with no one around I fell down and the ball bounced a few squares away. The dice rolls are a way of keeping its RPG roots alive and adding chance to the game.

Blood Bowl II: Legendary Edition is, at its heart, a turn-based strategy game.  You get a turn and you decide where your characters move across square spaces on the field within their range of movement.  If they encounter an enemy or try to pick up the ball it gives you a percentage of chance that you will complete the task.  So, say you have one of your faster runners and he has to pass to a much slower lineman.  It might say you have a 68% of accomplishing that then when you do it the computer rolls the dice for you.  Now if you are naturally and notoriously bad at rolls in life like me you will fall on your face, get knocked out or possibly killed!  It can be pretty funny when you manage to get past all the blockers then trip over you own two feet.  And it shows a video replay of you face eating the turf.  Every role is done with virtual six-sided dice, some rolls using more or less dice depending on the situation.

The higher you get in the campaign the more interesting skills you can get for your players and upgrades to your stadium that help your team.  It’s all the little tips and such from the campaign that will give you an edge if you play other players.  You can start friendly games where it looks for a local player which means lower ping to play or you can invite a friend to play.  You can also create your own league where you play against AI through a whole season using a team you built yourself. Or, you can play Multiplayer where you search for an existing multiplayer league and join in.  It gives you different options and, let’s face it, while an AI can be easier or harder than a human opponent, it seldom thinks the same.

Blood Bowl II: Legendary Edition is the base Blood Bowl II game, Blood Bowl II Expansion, and 8 more race packs all combined!  The result is a whole bunch of different races you can mix together in some modes, plenty of stadiums with different upgrades and add-ons, and even a Challenge section where you have to do something crazy like kill a Thrall or make improbable touchdowns.  One of the weirdest things I think is a new race that is composed of circus folk and a trained bear…  To say this game has no end is completely true since you can even start a single player mode Eternal League where you just ever level and learn across different campaign, leagues, challenges… FOREVER.  If you really want a laugh, get a friend who swears they hate turn-based strategy game and wait until they are completely engrossed to point out what they are playing.

Blood Bowl II Legendary Edition is one of the best games in the Warhammer franchise and Warhammer is one of the best gaming franchises in existence.  Blood Bowl II Legendary Edition is not only super-addictive, but it is also the best sports game I have ever played.  Time to get back to game before the commentators say any more bad things about me or my players….

Blood Bowl II Legendary Edition Review Score

(5 out of 5 Stars)


ARK: Survival Evolved Review (PC)

Before I hit the age when I got a BB gun, I used to have my plastic dinosaurs fight my plastic soldiers all the time.  I lost a lot of them in my great grandma’s back yard, never to be seen again. I never lost my fascination with dinosaurs. When I learned that we could not only fight dinosaurs but also ride them – not to mention taming sharks, cage dragons, and more, I knew I had to play ARK: Survival Evolved.

Dinosaurs, Dragons And Sharks, Oh My!

ARK: Survival Evolved gives you a massive online experience that starts with very humble beginnings.  You wake up on a beach, pretty much naked, and you have to construct some shelter and defenses.  You have to forage for your own resources and protect yourself at the same time. If you have the means, I definitely recommend starting this game with a friend  so you can watch out for each other and work towards common goals – in this case, surviving.  Another important thing to consider when starting ARK: Survival Evolved is whether you want to start out on a PVP or a PVE server.  In case you don’t know the difference, PVP means “Player Vs. Player” where other players can kill you and loot your corpse for your stuff.  Most players who play this type of server try to find a big group to join or bring friends along to play together.  If you think that it is hard enough, you also have to worry about everything from bugs to dragons wanting you dead! If that isn’t your cup of entertainment, you might want to play on the “Player Vs. Environment” server where players cannot kill each other.  If you are a lone wolf player or, like me, a reviewer who finds he likes a game but knows he probably won’t get back to the game in months, then going PVE makes sure no one boots you from their tribe for inactivity!

Once the server is chosen, you’ve landed on your beach, you can start punching trees for wood and work with stones so that you can get to the “Stone Age” of your existence and are not trying to kill bugs and small dinosaurs with your fists. Many of the dinosaurs roam in packs and you will be outmatched without some good old human ingenuity.  Since you out in a diaper and hungry, staying warm and getting food are your first necessities.

Another cool thing is I know as I am going in I will start with sticks and stone axes but eventually I will have sweet guns and have the ability to tame creatures in order to use them as mounts.  Also some of the animals you can’t ride, but you can use as pack mules! This is really cool as you will have a second dinosaur following you around with all your stuff.  Speaking of stuff, you get recipes to make most of your items, although loot drops do exist as well.  The important thing is you need to know this game definitely has a grind and a pretty long one at that, during which time you have to be willing to dedicate yourself to to get to the end content.

If you find you need a break from that grind, you can play the ARK: Survival of the Fittest multiplayer arena game which is included with ARK: Survival Evolved. This game mode could could have been called ARK: Hunger Games with Dinosaurs in terms of its design. The biggest departure there is that you work in tribes, not by yourself.  In this mode, you and your tribe are in a dome and you have to run around and try to kill off all the other tribes.  When someone gets killed, their face gets projected up on the dome along with who killed them – last tribe surviving wins.

Surviving The Evolution

ARK: Survival Evolved is a huge multiplayer game that, while featuring a grind, has some really great content to explore as well as cool end game capabilities.  The only limitations in the game are your imagination and with how well your latency holds up on a 70 player server.  In addition, the game recently got a map expansion and a bigger game expansion is due out in October.

ARK: Survival Evolved Review Score

(5 out of 5 Stars)


The Atoning Review

I love this time of year because of all the horror and supernatural movie screeners start being distributed to the press.  I don’t care if the budget of the movie is tiny or huge, all that matters is that it does whatever it supposed to. Thrillers building tension, horror spreading fear, etc.  Some movies like The Blair Witch Project managed to reach fame on a micro-budget, while others have millions and completely fail to illicit any response except disappointment.  But, I will give them all a fair shake, especially if they give good poster art or a nice trailer like Michael Williams (OzLand) directed The Atoning did!

The poster art with a pale skinned Vera (well-played by Virginia Newcomb) contrasted by a demonic black hand covering her mouth made me want to see the trailer, and the trailer showing off the demon creatures were made from practical special effects – not CGI – pulled me in even more.  CGI effects can save a movie money and if done right can be down right creepy but, if done poorly, they can ruin an otherwise good film.  A great example of this is American Werewolf in London which had some of the best practical effects in horror history, meaning they really created the hand stretching, spine popping, and muzzle growing.  It’s sequel American Werewolf in Paris however used computer effects when showing the werewolf running around and it looked silly and ruined the movie (ed. note: I still love Julie Delpy in it).

So I was excited going into the movie and now comes the hard part of trying review it without giving too much away.  First off the camera work is excellent, the lighting is spot on, and everything is set up well to immerse you in the film’s setting.  The movie has a few twists and is designed to have them be solved throughout the movie at an almost even pacing.  The filmmakers want to give you a chance at solving them early so they give a hint at the beginning which unfortunately if you get actually makes the movie drag on a bit.  At a certain point in the movie the average person has probably figured out what is going on and the demonic things from the poster and the trailer are in full effect, but in kind of a confusing way.  Why hadn’t these demons shown up 20 minutes into the show, they would have saved the characters (and the viewers) some unnecessary time lost.

That is what it really came down to.  The Atoning had great cinematography, a good story with twists & turns, solid acting, and well-done practical effects.  The problem was it could have been a much shorter film.  If the repetitive nature of the story (which, admittedly, serves a purpose to some extent) were trimmed down a bit this movie would have been excellent but, as a result of deciding to edit to a full length feature, it feels padded and as a result is decent. It should be noted that the film did win the Magnolia Independent Film Festival’s “Best Home Grown” award in 2017!

The Atoning is available now on digital HD and DVD.

GameStop Expo 2017 Post-Mortem

I get the chance to cover a lot of the gaming conventions that roll into Las Vegas and I love the GameStop Expo. In many ways, it is like a mini-E3!  It has many of the same photo op pieces such as the Mario “Capo” tank, Pickachu, Spiderman, Iron Man, and Freddy from 5 Nights At Freddy (it must have been about 10 feet tall).  There were lots of celebrities to get pictures with like Gary Payton, Alexa Bliss, Kirk Angle, and even a wandering Pickachu.  There was a surprisingly small contingency of cosplayers until I found out what other cons were happening this week and which ones were coming up (it has AX in it).

For a long while, the GameStop Expo was an industry-only event for GameStop employees. Now, however, it is open to the public and they even sell a VIP pass that garners the attendee a sweet swag bag. Of course, a huge draw for the convention was getting the chance to play demo builds of games that are not out yet: The Evil Within 2, Vampyr, the latest Super Mario Bros., Star Wars Battlefront 2, and a lot more. Speaking of Battlefront 2, that demo station had a never ending line that had to be cut off before the end of the day, it’s going to be a VERY popular title.  The Nintendo Switch was there for display and Nintendo of America reps were there to answer my questions. Considering how many controllers I have mastered over the years, the Switch Joy Con controllers will take a little while to “get”. The simple fact that moving the controller and splitting it in half was introduced it shouldn’t be that hard but I was instantly struggling, I think I almost caused the Nintendo rep teaching me to use them to have a breakdown – Sorry, Nintendo rep!

Those who are really in the know of this particular event go and check the GameStop mini stores built into the expo floor and the benefits room.  They look like GameStop shops but all the inventory is either drastically discounted, rare to find or, in some cases, both.  I missed a big one and saw just about everyone walking around with a Disney Treasures boxes clutch tightly to them so I couldn’t even see in the bags. They had $2 shirts, $5 hoodies and their wall of shirts that would be between $15-$20 in the stores were all $10.  Those who were seeking out rare Funko Pop! Vinyls figures needed to just keep checking back throughout the day to see what new stock came out, we got a few hard to find horror ones that showed up midday and were gone in minutes.

There were a couple vendor aisles which I don’t remember from two years ago when it was last in Las Vegas, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t there.  Also, it felt like there weren’t as many booths as in previous years but that is possible that I am remembering when it was last here it was for employees so lines were shorter and smaller crowds make a place feel bigger.  Either way I highly recommend going to the GameStop Expo and am anxiously awaiting its return!

Photo Gallery

Retro-Bit RES+ Retro Console Review

I am an old school gamer with a hoarding problem. I keep hold of my game systems, disks, and cartridges even when I go onto the next system that comes along.  So, even though I have a PS4 and an Xbox One, I also have an Atari 2600 system, two original NES consoles, a Super NES console… But I digress.  A big problem for my gaming is time. Time gives us room to make technological advancements and these advancements make playing those original consoles troublesome. For example, I’m not going to keep a CRT television around just so I can play an Atari or NES. There are some ways around this but these workarounds seem to come at the expense of visual quality and clarity.  Retro-Bit makes new consoles that accept old cartridges and disks, and utilize the latest and greatest connections and outputs. Enter: the RES Plus retro game console.

Game On:

The first thing I noticed about the RES Plus when I pulled the system from its box is that it is only about the size of an NES cartridge.  That means for play at home or on the go it takes up very little space.  I can toss the RES Plus and a couple games in a suitcase and head out the door in minutes.  It also means that it can be taken from one room to another, plug it into an HDMI port and be right back into the game!  Or as I mentioned before if I am playing a game and it is time to head off on a trip I just grab the system and it is so compact I can put it anywhere in minutes.  If you are having a hard time getting enough room for an HDMI connection the system also works with an AV one.

The RES Plus is a top loader as apposed to the original NES, which was a front loader. Being a top loader makes it nice because, without even turning on the system, you can tell which game is loaded for play.  For transportation you might be a little more likely to disconnect the cartridge rather than leave it plugged in but that is really the healthiest for the cartridge and the system anyways.  Plus leaving your cartridge in during transporting was believed to be one of the main reasons your system would start having trouble reading games.  The original NES required you push the cartridge in until you couldn’t any longer then you pushed it down.  A lot of people would then leave it in that position when moving it around in the room or taking it over to a friend’s house.  Sometimes the cartridge would pop up due to being shook around instead of the ejection process and, as gamer rage is not a new thing, sometimes people would eject the cartridge roughly.  As a result, it got so players would have to delicately push the cartridge down into position JUST right to make it work… or there was the dreaded folded cardboard trick where you had to fold some up an place it between the cartridge and the top of the loading section to make it work.  No side plugging and engaging with the RES Plus, just push down the cartridge straight down in the top until you can’t anymore and you are ready to play!

One of my other favorite aspects of the RES Plus is the power system.  You can plug the power cable into a standard outlet and play away but sometimes when you are on the road the power outlets are far, far away.  Thankfully, with the RES Plus, the very end of the power cord detaches to allow you to plug into a USB port. In other words, you can plug it right into a USB battery like you might use to recharge your phone on a trip.  At that point your game play is only limited to the amount of juice in your battery. Brilliant!

The game system comes with two 6′ long cable controllers that are a variation of the original NES systems though you shouldn’t have any problem using other controllers like I have for my NES systems such as the NES Advantage, QuickShot, Zinger, you get the idea.

How is the quality? The quality is great! I played on my HD television display and was simply delighted by these classic games that I feared I may not ever get the chance to enjoy again in their full glory.

One of the best things about the system would be its price point, pretty much no matter where you buy it you get it for $40 new, picking up an actual NES with all its wear and tear will usually cost you more than that.

Game Over Man, For Now:

Retro-Bit has given old school gamers a gift when it comes to the RES Plus, one that is great at home and even better on the go.  This system will be a new part of my travels and will let me set my NES systems up on display somewhere instead of taking up space on my media center.  Now I just need to get ahold of the other Retro-Bit systems to make even more room on my shelves.

Retro-Bit RES Plus Console Review Score

(5 out of 5 Stars)


GoGroove AudiOHM HDX Earbuds Review

The other day I needed a stack of sticky notes so I went into one of my old convention bags. They usually have a few of them inside as companies hand them out like candy at the conventions. It’s good marketing for them as, each time you look at the sticky note, you are reminded of their company.  As I reached in I felt something else and no it wasn’t a scorpion or brown recluse spider, both of which you have to be careful of when you reach into bags in my area.  Instead, it was a little round rubber bag slightly smaller than the post notes (which explained their misplace) with the word GoGroove on the top and with that I fell back in love with my GoGroove AudiOHM HDX High Performance Earbuds With Mic.

Grooving Through the Grounds:

The earbuds were in their case and not their box because I had put them to heavy use at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) where the din gets to intensity levels that damage your eardrums and cause you to hear a ringing for a day or two.  I had been visiting GoGroove’s booth when I won a raffle they happen to be having, I said thanks and put them in my pocket with plans to use them after I finished chatting with the booth.  Since it was so loud on the floor I took everything out of the packaging, used a clip to attach the little round storage bag to my backpack and started using the earbuds immediately.  I chose the buds that were already on them since they felt secure and helped drowned out the noise before I even started the music and I began some tunes to try and find a bit of inner chill in this massive electronic market place.

The nice thing was at the end of the day my ears weren’t ringing as bad as usual and I had the case attached in an easy to reach place. The case has an elastic belt strap but I used a clip ring to secure it to my backpack instead.  The next couple days I wore them, I was wearing down but they, of course, were doing fine.  Start the day pulling them out of the case and hanging them over my shoulders until I decided to use them and at the end of the day back into the storage case.  That is how it went for the week until the last day when I took everything from the bottom of my bag and hooked around it’s outside and tossed it into a storage bag.  The earbuds slipped to the bottom until the other day.

I have been walking a lot lately to try to lose some weight and try to get into great condition for Halloween season, when a good deal of the GamingShogun staff and thousands of others travel to everything from home haunts to full-size amusement parks to take on the scares they have to offer.  It involves A LOT of walking and I have a medical condition that highly limits that, so at this time of year I start pushing and testing my endurance while finding out what canes work the best for me and figuring out when I will need a wheelchair.

The cables are wrapped in a nice thick rubber, the design at the earbud is set up so that if you accidently pull it from your ear it will pull at an angle instead of straight down on the connection.  This should give it a lot of extra life.  The call button is bright orange so it stands out nicely against the grey to hit it on the fly and the split section between the input cable and the earbud cables is reinforced rubber to help it from breaking down.

Because of that I use headsets a good deal of the day, trying to distract myself from massive amounts of pain or trying to find inspirational music to push that much further.  I have used all kinds of headsets from dollar store ones WalMart specials.  I never seem to get the $250 ones for gaming or walking but I know my way around affordable and the GoGroove AudiOHM HDX are definitely the higher end of that with a price tag of around $15.

Grooving Along:

The GoGroove AudiOHM HDX High-Performance Earbuds with Microphone are a nice and durable set of earbuds with some sound cancellation and a very affordable price.  I will definitely have them in my headset/earbud rotation and expect for them to stand up to repeated use for some time to come.

GoGroove AudiOHM HDX Earbuds With Mic Review Score

(4 out of 5 stars)


John Carpenter’s Tales Of Science Fiction: Vault (Issue 2 of 3)

The first issue of Vault left us with a strangely alien ship that has a quote from Emily Dickinson on the hull. The strange ship is named Vault and it features an Arabic countdown timer on a large screen on the bridge.  It would all seem quite inviting if not for the bodies strewn about in a eviscerated form, strange gooey slime, and a science officer that seems to want to join the other team.  That last may actually make sense with the conditions of the bodies.

The second issue in the series really ramps up the tension as faces are given to what is to be feared on Vault and probably at least a couple of the explorers of the ship wish they didn’t know now.  Instead of providing the crew with any answers it seems to just have confused them more since the “monsters” have cousins on Earth but those cousins do not cruise around in ships eating folks as snacks.  Their Earth cousin and them do seem to share at least one thing and I keep waiting for some to Google it up (it’s okay to say Google, they use the name in the series).  Thankfully, the crew have finally realized how the creatures managed to get around them in a very Alien kind of way. Because of this, I am hoping that they will be able to keep at least a handful of the crew they have through the rest of issue number two and, maybe, the final issue -perhaps to become re-occurring characters in John Carpenter’s Tales Of Science Fiction comics going forward.  That’s going to be a tall order, however, as they’ve got some big nasty stuff to get by if they are going to have that happen.

Deeper Into The Vault:

The first issue of John Carpenter’s Tales Of Science Fiction: Vault was really good at building up tension but issue two brought on the monsters and showed what they will have to fight or, at least, survive if they want to make it out alive.  I’m still wondering how they will get the whole story tied up in just one last episode but we are talking about John Carpenter. If anyone can pull off a three issue Tales of Science Fiction run, it would be him!