2 Newbs and a Berger: Episode 50 (Golden Like R Kelly)

The Super Corvette from The Last Stand

The Super Corvette from The Last Stand

This week, we sit down to discuss depressing video games and exciting movies. We also learn that David has a fancy way of describing his interests. Yes, we do also cover some important music news and some not-s0-impressive song covers.

Important Stuff:

The Last Stand

Interstellar

Punk Goes 90′s Volume 2

Sean Bean

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seanbean

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2 Newbs and a Berger: Episode 49 (David’s Milkshake)

Isaac loves Whitesnake with a passion.

Isaac loves Whitesnake with a passion.

This week, we sat down, got real, and played some terrible music. Yes, this episode is about the music that we should be ashamed to listen to. Each of us brought a few different ideas that showed the major differences in our musical tastes. We sincerely hope that you don’t cry too much during the episode.

Important Stuff: 

Skid Row

Laser Time (this was originally their idea)

 

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Froning and Briggs Lead the Crossfit Open Competitors After Three Weeks

Samantha Briggs Currently Leads all Female Competitors

Samantha Briggs Currently Leads all Female Competitors

The fourth week of the Crossfit Open is beginning, and athletes have submitted their final scores for 14.3. This workout followed the pattern set by the past two workouts by combining two movements with high repetitions. However, the workout designers made one major change by increasing repetitions and weights for the Olympic lift instead of keeping everything the same.

14.3 was an AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible) workout consisting of Deadlifts and Box Jumps. The workout is listed with male weights first, followed by female weights.

Deadlifts, 10 reps
 – 135-lb., 95-lb.

15 box jumps, 24-inch, 20-inch

Deadlifts, 15 reps
 – 185-lb., 135-lb.

15 box jumps, 24-inch, 20-inch

Deadlifts, 20 reps
 – 225-lb., 155-lb.

15 box jumps, 24-inch, 20-inch

Deadlifts, 25 reps
 – 275-lb., 185-lb.

15 box jumps, 24-inch, 20-inch

Deadlifts, 30 reps
 – 315-lb., 205-lb.

15 box jumps, 24-inch, 20-inch

Deadlifts, 35 reps
 – 365-lb., 225-lb.

15 box jumps, 24-inch, 20-inch

Rich Froning leads the men's category.

Rich Froning leads the men’s category.

After three weeks of Crossfit Open competition, Samantha Briggs is leading the female leaderboards. Briggs was the female winner of the 2013 Crossfit Games. Rich Froning is leading the male leaderboards. Froning was the male winner of the 2013 Crossfit Games.

Workout 14.4 will be announced live from Seattle Washington on Thursday, March 20, at 5 p.m., PST.

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2 Newbs and a Berger: Episode 48 (Swayze Time)

roadhousecoverThis week, Isaac and John are joined by Stephanie to discuss the class movie Roadhouse. To be honest, John hasn’t seen this movie yet, but Isaac assures him that it is epic. We also discuss some South Park: The Stick of Truth, Julia Roberts’ mouth, and the Dukes of Hazzard.

Important Stuff:

Roadhouse

South Park

 

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The Crossfit Open Continues with WOD 14.2

2014GamesWorkout 14.2 of the 2014 Crossfit Open has officially come to a close. The final scores have been submitted, and the athletes have begun worrying about 14.3. For those not familiar with the workouts, here is the explanation of 14.2 courtesy of the Crossfit Games web site:

From 0:00-3:00

2 rounds of:

10 overhead squats

10 chest-to-bar pull-ups

From 3:00-6:00

2 rounds of:

12 overhead squats

12 chest-to-bar pull-ups

From 6:00-9:00

2 rounds of:

14 overhead squats

14 chest-to-bar pull-ups

Etc., following same pattern until you fail to complete both rounds

Rich Froning leads the men's category.

Rich Froning leads the men’s category.

The weights for the overhead squats are determined by gender of the athletes, with men lifting 95 pounds and women lifting 65 pounds. Scores on 14.2 were determined by the amount of rounds and repetitions completed with one rep equaling one point.

Camille Leblanc-Bazinet finished at the top of the women’s leaderboard with a score of 404 points. The 2013 Crossfit Games champion Rich Froning finished at the top of the men’s leaderboard with a score of 359 points.

Camille Leblanc-Bazinet currently leads all women competitors.

Camille Leblanc-Bazinet currently leads all women competitors.

The Crossfit Open workout 14.3 will be announced from New Orleans at 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. You can find more information about the Open at the official site.

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2 Newbs and a Berger: Episode 47 (Waffle Tacos)

Taco Bell's New Waffle Taco

Taco Bell’s New Waffle Taco

This week, David is back to discuss his ongoing love/hate relationship with Mercedes. We also find time to discuss important Fast Food topics and The Wolverine.

Important Stuff:

The Waffle Taco

Gran Turismo 5 Shutting Down

The Wolverine

 

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Wolverine's best outfit.

Wolverine’s best outfit.

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The 2014 Crossfit Open Starts In a Classic Way

Sam Briggs Currently Leads All Individual Women on the Open Leader Board.

Sam Briggs currently leads all individual women on the Open leader board.

The 2014 Crossfit Open started off magnificently by repeating a classic WOD from the very first Crossfit Open. This WOD, simply known as 14.1, was a 10-minute AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible) consisting of 30 double unders and 15 power snatches. Each successful repetition would count as one point toward the final score.

The purpose of this WOD was to show how far the Crossfit Games have come since they began in 2011. The very first Open had a little more than 26,000 registered participants, but the 2014 Open has over 180,000 registered participants. The number of competitors isn’t the only thing that grown in the last few years. The top competitors have all improved upon their scores from the original WOD (11.1).

Dan Bailey currently leads all individual men on the Open leader board.

Dan Bailey currently leads all individual men on the Open leader board.

The current leader on the individual men’s leaderboard Dan Bailey posted 461 repetitions during 14.1, which is a 17-rep improvement on his 11.1 score. Samantha Briggs is the women’s individual leader with 472 reps, a 78-rep improvement on her 11.1 score.

The Open workouts are announced every Thursday at 5 pm PST, after which two competitors demonstrate the workout for an audience. The 2014 Open will end on March 31 when the final scores will be submitted.

 

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2 Newbs and a Berger: Episode 46 (Cheating At Mario Kart)

Need For Speed III was awesome.

Need For Speed III was awesome.

I’ll be honest, this episode is the angriest and profanity-laden episode yet. However, we did have a good reason for the anger: it was a Thursday, and we wanted to be angry. Basically, we found a lot of stuff to complain about while discussing video games. All four of us present for the episode (Isaac, Andrew, John, and Justin) love video games more than most things, but we do have issues with certain aspects of these games. So, we had a therapeutic discussion about our video game pet peeves.

Important Stuff:

Need For Speed III: Hot Pursuit

George Lucas Selling Star Wars

Borderlands 2 Headhunter Packs

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headhunter

 

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The 2014 Crossfit Season Is Almost Here

2014GamesFebruary 27th marks the beginning of the 2014 season of Crossfit competitions with the first workout from the Crossfit Open. This will be the first in a series of five workouts to determine who will advance to further competitions with the ultimate goal of reaching the 2014 Crossfit Games.

Crossfitters from around the world are able to compete in the Open by simply registering online. Athletes can earn their scores during the workouts by competing at an affiliate with a level 1 judge, or they can record their workouts and submit them online for judging. However, the workouts do not have to be submitted only once. Athletes can attempt the Open workouts multiple times, provided their scores are submitted before the event closes.

The Open will conclude with 48 men, 48 women, and 30 teams from each region being selected to compete at regionals. These athletes will then compete for the few open spots at the Crossfit Games, where they will compete to be known as the fittest person on the planet.

Registration began on January 15, and competitors can register until the first workout is released on February 27th.

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2 Newbs and a Berger: Episode 45 (Rusty Venture)

hank-the-bat-ventureThis episode is dedicated to one of the greatest television shows ever: The Venture Brothers. Isaac and John are joined by Andrew Mayhill to discuss our top episodes, why the acting is great, and how Hank Venture is the best character.

Important Stuff:

The new ability to play sound effects

Hank Venture

The Venture Brothers

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tagsale

 

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2 Newbs and a Berger: Episode 44 (What a Sheen)

The greatest Charlie Sheen movie ever filmed.

The greatest Charlie Sheen movie ever filmed.

This week, we got into some philosophical discussions about the meaning of life, death, Kevin Hart, and taxes. We also found time to mention Charlie Sheen, video games, music, and great action flicks. We also learned that David hasn’t seen Rumble in the Bronx. That’s sad, but David spends his time hanging out with celebrities and their cars.

Important Stuff: 

The Chase

Rumble in the Bronx

Chino from the Deftones

 

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2010 Rock On The Range - Day 1

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Microsoft Studios Acquires Rights to Gears of War Franchise

Gears-of-War-LogoGears of War has a new home for future releases.

Phil Spencer announced Monday that Microsoft Studios had acquired the rights to Gears of War from Epic Games, including all rights to future games and merchandise.

Spencer also announced that Rod Fergusson, the former Director of Production at Epic Games would be joining Microsoft in a key leadership role during development, which will be handled by Black Tusk Studios, a developer from Vancouver, B.C.

When asked about new Gears information, Black Tusk’s General Manager Hanno Lemke simply stated “We hope to be able to share more news about “Gears of War” later this year.”

rodfergussonFergusson held leadership roles during development of the previous Gears of War games, but he left Epic to help Irrational Games finish Bioshock Infinite. Fergusson joined 2K Games in 2013 to form a new development team for an unannounced game.

In an email to Game Informer, a 2K representative provided comments about Fergusson’s departure. “We can confirm that Rod Fergusson is no longer with 2K. Any projects the new studio is working on are unaffected by his departure. We wish Rod the best of luck in his future endeavors.”

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Batman: Arkham Origins Review (The Clown Prince of Assassins)

Batman giving Alfred a stern look.

Batman giving Alfred a stern look.

Batman had been subjected to terrible video game adaptations until Rocksteady released Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City. He officially became the world’s greatest detective, and comic fans rejoiced. After Rocksteady made the first two games, Warner Bros. Montreal had the unfortunate task of creating a third Arkham game that would stay true to the combat mechanics and fantastic stories while avoiding making the fans angry.

Arkham Origins takes place on Christmas Eve during a storm that shuts down Gotham. This doesn’t mean that Bruce Wayne has the night off; he has to race to Blackgate Prison and try to stop Black Mask from murdering Commissioner Loeb. During this rescue, Batman discovers that Black Mask has also offered a ridiculous sum of money to eight assassins for killing Batman before Christmas morning. Batman now has to restore order to Gotham while constantly watching his back for the slightest hint of danger.

This is a fantastic premise, but it doesn’t last for the entire game. Arkham Origins’ story becomes so convoluted with the different story components and side missions that you completely forget about the assassins until one of them shows up to trigger a boss battle. To be fair, the majority of these battles feature large set pieces or special circumstances that make them entertaining. The Deathstroke battle, in particular, is one of the best because it truly feels like two masterful combatants are struggling to gain any advantage.

Sadly, the tone of Arkham Origins completely changes once Joker is introduced. The Clown Prince of Crime immediately takes center stage and proves why he is the focus of the Arkham franchise. The assassins don’t matter anymore, and characters like Shiva and Anarky become distractions during Batman’s quest to figure out who Joker really is.

Batman’s mission takes him all over Gotham which means he is traveling with a combination of glides and grapple pulls. This method of travel feels fantastic until you have to travel across Pioneer Bridge two or three times during a mission. Flying over this bridge gets tedious after the first few times, but WB Montreal included fast travel stations to aid in travel time; however, these stations can only be unlocked after a nearby radio tower has been hacked using Batman’s cryptographic sequencer.

This sequencer is one of the small problems with Arkham Origins. It seems like WB Montreal took the successful aspects from Arkham City and Asylum like the cryptographic sequencer and the grapple hook gun and simply multiplied the amount of times that they were used. Some missions like the battle with Firefly involved using the sequencer to open the same door multiple times, which became frustrating.

ArkhamOrigins Screen Shot 1:5:14 7.10 PM

Thankfully, WB Montreal kept the combat system from previous Arkham games. Batman is still a master of martial arts, so he can switch between attacks and counters with the greatest of ease. Each battle with a group of thugs soon becomes an artful dance that normally ends with a pile of unconscious enemies. Later battles include gigantic thugs and knife wielders so Batman has to focus on leaping out of harm’s way while still attacking the smaller enemies.

One main change between the Arkham games was the central cast. Troy Baker and Roger Craig Smith replaced Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy in the roles of Batman and Joker, and their versions are very well done. Joker is still demented, and Batman still sounds like he gargled concrete. It’s actually difficult to differentiate between the voice actors unless you are listening to each version back to back. Other actors from previous Arkham games make returns as central villains including Nolan North’s glorious version of The Penguin.

These new and returning characters are part of the reason to explore the open environments of Gotham City and take part in the side missions. Side missions are divided into crime scenes, crimes being committed, and most wanted villains. Batman has the opportunity to stop crimes that are being committed while gliding around Gotham and listening to the police radio chatter. Most of these crime missions are completed by going to a certain spot and beating up a group of enemies. These missions are short, sweet, and they help Batman quickly earn XP to purchase upgrades.

The crime scenes are more in-depth, and they become very interesting at times. Batman will normally hear police chatter about a body at a crime scene and how the police are baffled by the death. These crime scenes become an exercise in using Detective Vision to find various clues, recreate the crime, and ultimately find the murderer. Crime scene missions are fairly short and simple, but they are strangely addicting.

The Most Wanted missions are the best side missions available. These missions in which you capture high profile villains interweave with some of the main story beats, but some can only be completed by tracking them down separately. The Mad Hatter mission, for example, combines aspects from the previous Arkham Scarecrow missions with Alice from Wonderland. The result is a very psychedelic mix of platforming and action that Mad Hatter narrates.

The only thing missing is the "Biff" and "Pow".

The only thing missing is the “Biff” and “Pow”.

Arkham Origins also features collectibles like many open world games, but these are mostly items that have to be destroyed. Penguin and Black Mask both have gun/drug shipments strewn around Gotham that all need to be destroyed. Enigma also has collectibles around Gotham, but his are a mixture of Riddler Trophies to find and network devices to destroy. These collectibles aren’t particularly essential to the experience, but they do provide a good reason to keep spending time in Gotham.

Once the main story is completed, you have the opportunity to play through the campaign again in New Game Plus, or you could spend time with the Challenge Maps. These challenge maps give you a chance to practice your combat skills against large groups of enemies. The enemies aren’t hard to defeat, but the challenge maps are made difficult by the fact that you have to combine multiple combat methods in order to earn the most points. Simply punching and countering attacks will only be good enough for Bronze.

Warner Bros. Montreal had some ridiculous standards to meet when they released Batman: Arkham Origins, but they seemed to be up to the task. They took their cues and mechanics from Rocksteady and found a good way to create a fairly new experience. Arkham Origins isn’t the perfect game created, but it has a mostly great story and fantastic combat that we have grown to love. Gliding around an open Gotham to track down new villains is just an added bonus. Arkham Origins was just enough to scratch the itch from wanting a new Batman game.

Final Score:   8/10

 

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Five Games that Should be Ashamed of Bovine Abuse

Cows are a staple of life for those that live outside of major cities around the world. Whether these animals are providing food, clothing, traffic jams, or something to worship, they remain an important part of our culture. This is why we get disgusted when video games (or the players) take these beautiful bovines and use them in a manner other than prescribed. These 5 games are some of the worst offenders of living or dead Bovine Abuse, and they will be harshly judged.

Cows Screen Shot 1:22:14 12.24 PM5) Earthworm Jim: Earthworm Jim was known for many different signs of weirdness including using your head as a climbing tool and a whip. However, these were only part of the reason why Earthworm Jim was considered very random. Part of the experience involved finding cows standing harmlessly on a piece of wood just minding their own business. The obvious thing to do in this situation was drop a refrigerator on the other side of the wood launching the cow into who-knows-where. Flashing text reading “Cow Launched” immediately followed this action.

I don’t know why Earthworm Jim’s developer felt the need to reward me for launching a cow, nor do I know where/if the cow landed. All I know is that David Perry and Doug TenNapel should be ashamed. Cows aren’t known for their ability to fly, so why would you send them on a trip to the skies? More importantly, why would you reward me with bright, flashing text? This only supports my cow-launching habit.

4) Worms 2: Armageddon: Team 17 has long been known for their animal abuse. For crying out loud, they maim, murder, and drown worms for a living. These “murder simulators” known as Worms have included multiple weapons like the Holy Hand Grenade and the Super Sheep, which is fine, but none of these weapons come close to the horror that is The Mad Cows. This travesty involves sending three “trustworthy heifers” (the developer’s phrasing) towards enemies while carrying dynamite in their mouths. These cows then explode whenever they encounter an obstacle or enemy.

Using cows as weapons seems like abuse, but there is a deeper issue here. Team 17 stuck dynamite in the mouths of “trustworthy” cows. If they are so trustworthy, why didn’t Team 17 just give them some guns and orders to murder some worms. The dynamite is just an excuse to abuse and murder these cows that started out as allies. Obviously, Team 17 didn’t have trust in the cows or their friendship.

3) The Saboteur: Pandemic was a developer known mainly for games like Destroy All Humans, Star Wars Battlefront, and Mercenaries, but they should have been known for their utter hatred of cows.

In 2009, Pandemic created The Saboteur, an open-world game set in a Nazi-controlled version of Paris. The Saboteur’s version of Paris was a beautiful place to explore, but the countryside was even better because it featured bustling farms, lazy rivers, and grazing cattle. It was so peaceful, that is, until I accidentally hit a cow with our car causing it to explode into a thousand pieces.

Not much is more traumatizing than hitting a cow with a car and having it explode unless you count the time I placed 12 remote explosives on different cows before detonating them all at the same time. Yes, it is disgusting that I abused the cattle in this way, but I feel that Pandemic is to blame. They are the ones who designed the cow to explode in such an entertaining…I mean horrifying way. Those developers should be ashamed.

2) Postal 2: Running With Scissors is a special kind of developer. When they create games, the purpose is to evenly offend as many people as possible. It would only stand to reason that they would create a game to offend the cattle aficionados as well. During the course of Postal 2, The Postal Dude has many weapons that aid in brutally murdering anyone that gets in his way including automatic rifles, pistols, and scissors. However, one of the most shameful weapons in Postal 2 is an infected cow head. Some…monster let a cow die and begin to rot before cutting off its head and carrying it around as a weapon. Throwing the cow head at enemies causes them to vomit violently and eventually die.

Disgusting.

Disgusting.

This method of murder seems to be overkill, in our opinion. Why forfeit the conventional methods that involve rifles or shotguns in favor of defiling such a glorious creature? If Running With Scissors insisted on cow mutilation, why didn’t they at least make some hamburgers or steak? Any of these options would have been less shameful than using an infected cow head as a weapon.

1) Destroy All Humans: How did Pandemic land on this list twice? Well, they achieved this by proving how much they truly hate cows. While The Saboteur provided a very subtle, yet maniacal way to murder cows, Destroy All Humans focused on abusing cows as much as humanly…um…alienly possible. During the Citizen Crypto mission in Rockwell, Crypto lands on a farm only to discover that human scientists have been conducting experiments on the cows that essentially turn them into radioactive zombie cows. Crypto must punish these scientists by using telekinesis to launch the cows at the scientists causing them to explode.

Shameful.

Shameful.

I understand the punishment that Crypto inflicts on the scientists because they were destroying those beautiful bovines with their radioactive zombie science. However, Crypto is also to blame because throwing exploding cows at each other is just as reprehensible as turning the cows into zombies. Crypto should have found a way using alien powers to heal the cows from their unfortunate fate. Doing this would have saved Pandemic from being declared the “Biggest Cow-Hating Developer in the World”. Rest In Peace.

 

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Fable Trilogy Confirmed for February Release

The Fable Trilogy will include Fable Anniversary, Fable II, and Fable III.  Image courtesy of Microsoft

The Fable Trilogy will include Fable Anniversary, Fable II, and Fable III.
Image courtesy of Microsoft

Microsoft has confirmed the existence of the Fable Trilogy—an Xbox 360 bundle including Fable Anniversary, Fable II, and Fable III.

A listing on the Xbox Marketplace states that the games are available at a discounted rate as part of the bundle. The games will also be available for individual purchase, but they are “exactly the same” as those in the trilogy bundle.

Eurogamer first revealed news and received confirmation from a Microsoft spokesperson. “The Fable Trilogy bundle in the Xbox Marketplace is real and in development. The bundle will include full Xbox 360 titles for Fable Anniversary, Fable 2, and Fable 3.” the publisher said. “We’re excited to share official details regarding the release soon on Lionhead.com.”

The Fable Trilogy has a release date of February 7 in Europe and February 4 in North America.

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