The Top 10 Lists: Top 10 Underrated Games

The word underrated could mean different things for different people. For me, I think a game is underrated when it is very fun to play and does everything right, but either sold poorly or got negative reviews, like an Oran Juice Jones album.

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Not to say these games didn’t have their flaws, but if a game sells under the amount that the company anticipated, then it won’t push the game in the way they initially did in the beginning. With that being said…. let’s get down on it (Please don’t sue me, Kool and the Gang).

 #10. URBAN REIGN (PS2)

Urban Reign is a fighting game on the PS2 that was made by Namco, the creators of Tekken and the horrible spin-off Death by Degrees. The game has 100 levels in single-player, and is the typical beat-up-street-thugs-until-you-get-to-the-head-honcho game, a la Bruce Lee in Game of Death. You play as Brad Hawk and are called upon to help clean up China Town, however, this game is better known for its combat. Multiplayer is where this game really shines, as it supports 4-player multiplayer. So if you were lucky enough to own a multiplayer at the time of release, you received maximum enjoyment out of this game. You have plenty of characters to choose from, and as a treat it even has Paul and Marshall Law from the Tekken games as playable characters. The game received mostly mixed reviews but it is a great multiplayer game for you and your buddies to play

#9. DARK SECTOR (XBOX 360)

This game was originally announced back in 2000, but was scrapped and redone. It reemerged in 2004, but was eventually released in 2008, and has been compared to Resident Evil and Gears of War, which is never a bad thing. Boy did it deliver; good thing it did considering it took 8 years to make. The feeling I got when I cut somebody’s head off for the first time after receiving my Glaive (which is like an over-sized ninja star)… The story is generic, but the action and gratuitous violence made me feel like I was in a Quentin Tarantino movie. Plenty of games implemented slow-motion, but the “Aftertouch” feature of this game is very satisfying. Considering that this didn’t sell as initially anticipated, this game was looked over. However, since it’s only 5 bucks, I don’t see why anybody wouldn’t play this game now.


WATCH: Dominic and Trey Mitchell from 1310 The Ticket Radio as they discuss this installment of our Top 10 Lists!

Dominic & Trey discuss this week’s Top 10 List


#8. MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS: THE MOVIE (SEGA GENESIS VERSION)

This was a game of many versions, as it was released on the SNES, Sega Genesis, Game Boy, and Game Gear. For me, the Genesis version was the best, because not only was it a decent Final Fight clone but it let you play with Zords as well. Now, it doesn’t really follow the movie all that much, but it is still a pretty good beat ’em up game. You could play with any of the 6 rangers, and the graphics look pretty good for a game that came out back in ’96. The soundtrack is phenomenal, and the simple controls make this game work. With all that being said, it was called nothing more than a Streets of Rage-type clone, and the game is noticeably short, but I will say this is one of the first movie-based games that I played that was actually well done.

#7. PSI-OPS (PS2 & XBOX)

Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy iss by far one of my favorite PS2 games of all time. As far as early third-person shooters go, this game executes things pretty well; especially its rag doll-like Havok psychics engine. You play as Nick Scryer, whose mind has been wiped out to infiltrate a terrorist organization, but he has been captured and has to escape. The thing that makes this game great iss the arsenal of psychic powers you gain as you progress through the game: Fire, Remote Viewing, Telekinesis, Mind Drain, Mind Control, and Aura View. My favorite is Mind Drain, only because not only does it absorb an enemy’s mental energy, but after you’re done, THEIR HEADS EXPLODE (awesome, I know). Even if had no idea where to go, it was fun to just find enemies and throw them around with telekinesis, or set them on fire and watch them run around until they eventually died. At a time where bullet time was the norm for games, PSI-OPS rejected it, and it was for the best, as just knowing that you can mind control somebody to jump off a building and land on some gas tanks and blow up is all that you need. The game is short, and after it’s all said and done, you get a “To Be Continued” (a la The Lord of The Rings). The reason that this game isn’t higher on the list is because although this game received nothing but positive reviews, it never was good enough for Midway to make a sequel. Considering that Midway is closed down, we may NEVER see a sequel.

#6. DEADPOOL (PS3 & XBOX 360)

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I will be the first to admit that this pick may be a little biased, because I am the biggest Deadpool fan out there. But, hey, it’s not in my top 3, so I should get credit for that, right? Deadpool is a Mature-rated game (rightfully so), and that did limit the audience that could play the game. This game captures Deadpool’s essence perfectly by constantly breaking the fourth-wall (meaning, to interact or acknowledge the players while playing). This is a very HILARIOUS game, and proves that even a lesser known comic book character can have a very entertaining game when portrayed correctly. With that being said, the problem with the game is that although Deadpool and the many cameos from other comic book heroes/villains are great, the gameplay is repetitive, and the enemy types don’t vary as much. Another issue (well, sort of) with this game is that not a lot of people know who Deadpool is, so although fans like myself were excited for the game, it seemed like the developers were trying to capitalize on the recent comic book phase, and just assumed that people would buy it. Admittedly, this game sticks to the source material perfectly, and is a very challenging hack-and-slash game; if only they would’ve implemented a few more enemy types, this game could have been a classic.

#5. INDIGO PROPHECY (PS2 & XBOX)

Indigo Prophecy was forgotten as one of the best interactive video games ever. The sequel to this game, Heavy Rain, was made on the PS3, and was a gold mine. But it was the original game that came out in 2005 that set the tone. First things first: EVERY choice you make in this game impacts not only your character, but the fate of other characters, and the whole story, as well. You actually care about what happens to the characters, which was a welcome change of pace considering the massive number of shooting games that were out at the time. The opening sequence lets you know what type of game it is going to be, as Lucas Kane stabs a man to death in the bathroom and you have to either try to clean it up, or escape out the bathroom window. The different conversation options you can choose from are also refreshing, and you actually have to think about it before you choose your options, because saying the wrong thing can lead to people thinking you are suspicious, and they might try to report you to the police or worse. You control 3 characters at different points, and every story has multiple paths that can be taken, which adds a lot of replay value to the game. Once again, although receiving positive reviews, I personally believed this game came out at the wrong time only because people were more about first-person shooters at the time; it’s kind of a forgotten gem. It’s ok, Quantic Dream, I will still help you find the Indigo Child.

#4. RESIDENT EVIL 6 (PS3 & XBOX 360)

RE6 was hated by pretty much everybody that played, it mostly due to the action approach that it steered the franchise into. Now, I can absolutely understand people’s outrage, but at the same time, after the monstrosity that was Resident Evil 5, RE6 was actually pretty good. The survival horror that made this game is gone, but people should’ve realized that once Resident Evil 4 changed the whole dynamic of the Resident Evil series, so for me it wasn’t a surprise at all. I actually like the 4 different scenarios that you can choose from, and seeing the stories from different perspectives all come together at the end. You play as Resident Evil’s mainstays Leon and Chris, newcomer Jake (who, SPOILER ALERT, is Albert Wesker’s son), and when unlocked, Ada Wong. The co-op is still there, which can hinder your progress considering how dumb the AI can be at times, but it did improve over RE5. My favorite character to play with is Jake, because he’s pretty much an overpowered douche, and I love every minute of it (don’t judge me). The original Resident Evil came out in 1996, so sooner or later, the game was going to go through some change, so stop treating this game like Matilda and throwing it in the closet.

#3. DMC: DEVIL MAY CRY (PS3 AND XBOX 360)

I will not sit here and say that I wasn’t a little skeptical about the design approach of Dante when this game was first announced. As a series follower, I have played every single Devil May Cry game, and I wondered what direction they could go in story-wise, considering they made the origin story with Devil May Cry 3; to see a black-haired, emo-looking Dante was a shocker. After playing the game all my skepticism went out the window, as I realized that this is a perfect “reboot” of Devil May Cry because it dives more into the relationship between Dante and his brother Virgil. The main change to the story is the fact that Dante is no longer half human/half demon, but now half demon/half angel. Everything that people loved about Devil May Cry is still present: he still owns rebellion, and ebony and ivory (his guns); and he is still young, snarky and full of sarcasm. So, for me, this game was a great addition to the franchise. Considering how much success Ninja Theory had after Heavenly Sword, Capcom obviously made the right decision by handing the franchise off to them. This has always been a stylish, fast-paced game, and this iteration of the game emphasized that to the max. Considering you’re in LIMBO (the game world) the whole time, the stage is constantly shifting and changing, so you’re never going to see the stage the same way twice. Unfortunately, no matter how great this game was, it sold less than 2 million copies, even less than Devil May Cry 4, which is baffling considering how awesome this game is.

#2. THE WARRIORS (PS2 & XBOX)

The Warriors game came out 25 years after the movie came out, and was one of the best movie-licensed games ever; that is still a baffling feeling. The game follows the story of the movie without giving away too much, as The Warriors are trying to get back to Coney Island after being framed for murdering Cyrus at the gang meet up. It is a beat-em-up-style game, but there are so many other different things you can do, such as stealing car radios, breaking into stores, tagging, and mugging civilians without ever breaking the flow of the game. They enlisted most of the original actors from the movie to reprise their roles, and it just added to the nostalgia of an already great game. It’s hard to be surprised at how good the game is, considering that Rockstar made it, but in light of the string of bad movie-based games at the time, it was a breath of fresh air. The co-op in this game is phenomenal, as you and a friend can enjoy the whole story line together, or can drop in and out of the game whenever you choose. On top of that, you and your partner never have to be together (even though you should if you want to survive) the whole game, as the screen splits apart whenever y’all separate. This game received mixed reviews, and actually sold decently, but when movie-based games come up, this game is never mentioned for some reason. This game still holds up pretty well even after all these years, and is still fun to pick up and play……WARRIORS COME OUT AND PLAY.

#1. ALPHA PROTOCOL (PS3 & XBOX 360)

No, your eyes are not deceiving you; Alpha Protocol is my number one underrated game. Alpha Protocol is an Action, Stealth, RPG game that takes place over a variety of different locations. Story-wise, it’s a typical Splinter Cell/James Bond espionage-type thriller, but what makes this one different are the choices that you are forced to make in a split second that affect the way the story plays out. Do you execute a terrorist mastermind, or make a deal with him? Do you want to be a professional, or just be jerk to everybody? The character development is what sets this game apart for me. You can make your character to have a mixed bag of abilities, or you can have him focus on just hacking, stealth, fighting, shooting, etc. This game is not without its flaws; the game is buggy, and the boss fights feel a little cheap at times. Even with that, the acting and dialogue in this game are great, and seeing how your choices affect the story is what made this game fantastic. This game could’ve been looked at differently if it didn’t come out after Mass Effect 1 & 2, which pretty much had all the character customization options and took it to another level. All in all, Alpha Protocol was a very underrated game, and in my opinion should at least be given a play-through, because once you start you wouldn’t be able to put this game down.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

  • GOD HAND (PS2)
  • SPIDER-MAN AND VENOM: SEPERATION ANXIETY (SEGA GENESIS)
  • VECTORMAN (SEGA GENESIS)
  • ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN (PS2 & XBOX)
  • DEVIL MAY CRY 4 (XBOX 360 & PS3)

 

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The Top 10 Lists: Top 10 Worst Movies Based on Video Games

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The Top 10 Lists: Top 10 Worst Movies Based on Video Games

Whenever you see the name Uwe Boll attached to a movie, you just know it’s going to be absolutely atrocious. To say that this list is personal would be a gross understatement. I’ll never forget the feeling that I got when I found out that a Double Dragon movie was being released, only to find out that not only did they change up everything about the story, but they destroyed everything that made me love the game in the first place. Despite the people that hate it, you will NOT be seeing Resident Evil on this list because it has been the most successful movie adaptation yet. I know this list will bring back as many unpleasant memories as its doing so for me just typing it up so with that being said….LET’S BEGIN.

#10. NEED FOR SPEED

Oh look, it’s Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad in Need for Speed??? That’s strike one, and strike two will obviously be: How do you make a movie about a game that doesn’t have a story in the first place? It was obvious that the studio was trying to capitalize off of Aaron Paul’s success, but this movie was worth a download at best. It had its moment,s that’s why it’s only #10, but please no more – and stop putting Kid Cudi in movies. No one asked for that.

 

#9. HITMAN

This one was a tough one for me because the action was good, but once again the plot was overly predictable and I just couldn’t see Timothy Olyphant as Agent 47. He’s an emotionless contract killer who suddenly has a change of heart when a woman comes into play (surprise, surprise), but I just didn’t get that same feeling I got watching the movie as I would have playing the game. It wasn’t all bad, though. The last 15 minutes was worth it in the end.

 

#8. DEAD OR ALIVE

I had absolutely no problem with them predominately focusing on the female characters of the game, but I didn’t like the fact that they made the male characters like Hayate and Hayabusa look so weak. The actors that portrayed the characters were lackluster, and the fight scenes were basic. They left out a lot of main characters and added in some of the more minor characters for brief cameos just to say they had them in the movie. The ending was cheesier than an episode of 7th Heaven, and this movie was just forgettable.

 

#7. HOUSE OF THE DEAD

You didn’t think I was going to leave off an Uwe Boll movie, did you? It truly takes someone special to mess up an almost guaranteed successful movie plot with zombies eating people. The House of the Dead video game stories are cheesy and pretty generic; you just shoot zombies, so you would think that it wouldn’t be that hard to translate that into a pretty watchable film … but HOLY CANOLI Batman, was I wrong. A bunch of kids get drunk, ride a boat to a random island to party, do some R-rated things, and party. GREAT set up, right? Beside the fact that these zombies had the leaping ability of LeBron James and the speed of Usain Bolt, the human characters were forgettable. The ending was random when (SPOILER ALERT) Castillo was immortal and made the first zombie and had a sword fight with one of the human characters. (I wish I was making this up, and yes this movie somehow made it into movie theaters.)

 

#6. DOOM

A movie coming out a year after DOOM 3 and starring The Rock – how could you possibly go wrong? How about by trying to pretty much be an Aliens movie knockoff with FPS (first-person shooter) view, and by slightly attempting to mention things affiliated with DOOM? To make the monsters seem more complex, they decided to have them choose who they infect based on their genetic make-up and bad intentions. The Rock played the angry testosterone-filled Sarge, who cared only about getting the mission done, and was so one-dimensional I saw better acting in made-for-TV movies. The one thing that saved this movie was the final confrontation between Sarge and Reaper.

 

#5. MORTAL KOMBAT ANIHILIATION

After the end of the first Mortal Kombat movie, I’m pretty sure you were expecting something epic for the sequel like I was. You should’ve known that things were going to be bad when Bridgette Wilson didn’t want to reprise her role as Sonya Blade, and they got Ajax from The Warriors to play Raiden. The tone was set in the first 5 minutes when Shao Khan killed Johnny Cage, and Sheeva (the 4-armed chick) looked worse than Goro did in the first film. We all know the story of Mortal Kombat. Once every generation, there is an inter-dimensional martial arts tournament known as Mortal Kombat, designed by the Elder Gods to limit invasions between the realms of the universe. If the realm of Outworld wins Mortal Kombat ten consecutive times, its Emperor Shao Kahn will be able to invade and conquer the realm containing the Earth. It seemed as if they were just trying to fit as many characters in this movie as possible without developing any of them. Nightwolf was horrible. Sonya was annoying. Jade could’ve been left out, and the special effects were just GOD awful. The scene with Liu Kang and Shao Khan turning into their animalities (which is a highlight in the game) was just done so poorly that it made you question why you were even watching the movie for as long as you had been.

 

#4. MAX PAYNE

Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, and Ludacris. With a cast like that, and based off a game whose story is actually movie-like already, you would think there was no way that this movie would turn out as bad as it did. Mark Wahlberg will forget about this as fast as he did the Funky Bunch. The story of Max Payne has Max set out for revenge after his wife and daughter were murdered. However, I don’t think they knew what game they were going to base the movie off of, because they incorporated Mona who didn’t show up until the second game. Not only that, but they added winged creatures into the movie – which were not in the game at all. That was another question mark right there, and this movie was just horribly done in my opinion. This movie was by far one of the most disappointing movies I’ve ever watched due to the fact that Max Payne is such a beloved franchise, which is the ONLY reason that it was successful financially. (SIDE NOTE: Someone tell FX to stop showing this movie so much. It’s unbearable.)

 

#3. SUPER MARIO BROS.

I can’t possibly type about everything that is wrong with this movie, so I’ll just say this: THIS MOVIE IS GOD AWFUL. RUN AWAY AS FAR AS POSSIBLE OR YOU’LL LOSE ALL YOUR BRAIN CELLS BY WATCHING IT.

 

#2. STREET FIGHTER

It’s a shame that Raul Julia’s (M. Bison) last movie had to be such a disappointing one. Street Fighter has such a rabid fan base that it was only right for them to make a movie, but this was not the movie that the fans deserved to get. Jean Claude Van Damme (a Belgian actor) played Guile (an AMERICAN member of the United States Armed Forces), so that was already a problem, not to mention that he didn’t have the trademark flat top that Guile always sported. Instead of a being a monk, they changed Dhalsim to be a captured scientist who ended up creating Blanka. They didn’t explore the relastionship between Ken and Ryu, who are really the faces of Street Fighter in my opinion, and not only that, they made them con artists. Balrog, who’s been an M. Bison subordinate for the longest, was made into Chun Li’s partner to try to kill Bison. T Hawk was changed from an Indian warrior to a soldier, the actor playing Dee Jay was horrible, and the fight scenes were horrible. The best part about this movie was the end when all the characters struck their video game poses, and then it went off. Luckily the games are phenomenal; otherwise Street Fighter could’ve gone downhill after this movie.

 

#1. DOUBLE DRAGON

There were so many options to be number one on this list, but for me, Double Dragon takes the #1 spot. This movie ruined my thoughts about one of my favorite video game franchises. Story-wise, the movie was changed from the game, which was to be expected, but it was executed so poorly that it didn’t matter what they were talking about. It was set in 2007 in a post-apocalyptic world where San Diego and Los Angeles had merged into one city, and everybody had curfews, and so on and so on. They had Robert Patrick of Terminator 2 fame play Shuko, who owned half of a Chinese medallion and wanted the other half (which the boys had) to gain power. The best part about this movie was a blond-haired Alyssa Milano. Other than that this movie was worse than Pootie Tang.

 

DISHONORABLE MENTIONS:

STREET FIGHTER THE LEGEND OF CHUN LI

SILENT HILL

BLOODRAYNE (ALL OF THEM)

TEKKEN

SILENT HILL

Dominic Barnes is the Gaming Lead for The Scoop. Follow him on Twitter at @FreshlySnipes21.

The Gamecube Gets Less Respect Than Rodney Dangerfield

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THE NINTENDO GAMECUBE SHOULD BE APPRECIATED

 

The Nintendo Gamecube will forever be the butt of all Nintendo game consoles.  It’s a purple little box with a small disc and a fat handle on the back of the system.

Unfortunately it came out around the same time as Sony’s PS and Microsoft’s Xbox. As far as big budget games go, Mario had no chance at competing with the likes of Xbox’s Halo or Sony’s God of War. It didn’t have online capability like its competitors, and genre-wise there was not a lot of variety. But, while it’s not a console made to be your one and only,  it actually was a very fun and interesting console to play, and has by far one of the most underrated game libraries out there.

As I mentioned earlier, design-wise it looked like a bulky lunch box, but compared to the PS2 and Xbox – which looked like old-school cable boxes – the Gamecube was more convenient, especially if you wanted to take it to a friend’s house. Instead of the typical black system design it was a very vibrant purple (Prince would be proud) which you can see from anywhere, and it came with 4 controller ports instead of 2, like the Playstation 2.

Controller-wise, it’s a hit and a miss depending on how you look at it. Compared to the N64 controller the Gamecube’s was fantastic. It perfectly fit in your hands, and it had the huge green “A” button and the smaller red “B” button right next to each other. The “X” and “Y” buttons are positioned to where they don’t get in the way, and the “START” button is perfectly placed in the middle of the controller. We must give credit to Nintendo for actually releasing a wireless controller (The Wavebird) back in 2002 way before its competitors thought about doing it.

Now the MAIN reason I think this system is underrated is because of the phenomenal 1st and 3rd party games that this system had.

As far launch titles go, the biggest game was Luigi’s Mansion, which finally put Luigi in his own solo adventure, and was the best-selling game of November 2001. You can’t mention Luigi without Mario, so less than a year later Super Mario Sunshine was released and doubled in sales what Luigi’s Mansion did. Sorry, Luigi, but Mario wins again.

Mario is all over the Gamecube, not only with Super Mario Sunshine but with 7 Mario Party games, Super Smash Brothers Melee, all the different Mario sports games, and the awesome Mario Kart Double Dash.

Mario wasn’t the only classic franchise that was taken in a new direction on the Gamecube, as Zelda and Metroid gained new life as both franchises did really well, and were very well received by EVERYONE in the gaming community.

Metroid Prime was the 1st Metroid game released since ’94, and was taken from a 3rd person game to a 1st person shooter, which worked out better than a lot of people expected.

One of the more surprising moves for the Gamecube was Hideo Kojima remaking Metal Gear Solid as a Nintendo Gamecube exclusive, considering its mainstream success started on the original Playstation.

The original Resident Evil game (which made countless people pee on themselves) was also redone with updated graphics and tighter controls. On top of that, Resident Evil O was made as a Nintendo Gamecube exclusive and was received fairly.

And speaking of well-received Resident Evil games on the Gamecube…

Resident Evil 4 is by far not only one of the greatest Gamecube games ever made, but one of the best video games EVER!!! People forget that back when RE4 came out in 2005 it was A GAMECUBE EXCLUSIVE, despite the fact that the Xbox and PS2 could do a lot more graphically than the Gamecube could.

RE4 (sorry, I’m not typing out Resident Evil 4 every time) won so many awards (including game of the year) that it was hard to keep up with, and brought a whole new fan base to Resident Evil. This game also redefined the 3rd person shooter genre, and a lot of the things this game implemented are still done in games today.

Playing multiplayer on the Gamecube was by far the best out of the 3 systems. Not only was the system already 4 player capable (albeit the Xbox was as well), but the games made for this system were the most fun. The likes of Mario Party, Super Smash Bros, Mario Kart, the Naruto game series, and all the WWE wrestling games that were released made multiplayer a blast on the Gamecube.

Every system has those games that people forget about, but DEFINITELY need to be mentioned, and the Gamecube had a fair share of those as well. You had Killer 7, which was ahead of its time when it came to story-telling, Eternal Darkness that showed that Nintendo can make a game for teenagers and adults, Viewtiful Joe that was just AMAZING, XIII‘s fantastic cel-shaded graphics, and the Super Monkey Ball games.

The Gamecube was the definition of one of those “love it or hate it” systems. Although graphically it was nowhere near its Sony and Microsoft counterparts, it deserves way more respect than it has gotten over the years (that must be how Rodney Dangerfield felt).

Like I said earlier, I didn’t have it as my primary game system, but I did have one and enjoyed every minute of it because of its change of pace. In the illustrious words of Malibu’s Most Wanted, B-Rad, “Don’t Be Hating.”

 

The DFW BBQ Scene

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I am a food nerd. I appreciate restaurants that put a great amount of effort into providing a food experience for their patrons. I despise local restaurants that just serve you frozen items provided by Sysco Food Service. Why open a restaurant if you are not going to put any passion into it?

This is why I love good barbecue joints, and I have been to some great ones. Oklahoma Joe’s in Kansas City. Rendezvous in Memphis and the original Saltlick in Driftwood. I only want my barbeque prepared by two types of people:

  1. An older African-American gentleman who despite being around food all day, is about 6″2 and weighs 140 pounds. He should  have a  salt & pepper afro and a substantial mustache. Or,
  2. An old redneck with a pronounced rock-hard belly who chooses to use suspenders instead of a belt, because…well, he really doesn’t have a choice. His face should be purple from being near smokers all day.

The seasonings and sauces these gentlemen use should be homemade recipes so complex that if they did not get it exactly right, they could accidentally create a pipe bomb.

Dallas/Fort Worth has really come out big on the BBQ scene over the last few years, with the openings of Pecan Lodge (now located in Deep Ellum) and Lockhart Smokehouse in Bishop Arts. In Fort Worth, you have staples like Railhead and Angelo’s. DFW is nowhere near Austin when it comes to ribs and brisket….but it ain’t bad. Over the next few months, I pledge to review a BBQ joint every week and tell you exactly what to expect, but until then I’ll give you the scoop on one of my favorites to tide you over: Angelo’s.

My wife’s family introduced to me Angelo’s off of White Settlement in Fort Worth about fifteen years ago, and the place is awesome. If you know someone visiting from outside of Texas, please for the love of all that is holy, do not take them to Sonny Bryan’s or Dickey’s. Take them to Angelo’s in Fort Worth. I know traffic will suck, but it’s worth it. It will give your guests a great feel for Texas. I will post a detailed separate review of Angelo’s for my next post because, let’s face it, I’ll need to go eat there immediately to do some more “research.”

If you have a favorite BBQ joint that you want me to visit, send me a tweet and I will get out there as soon as I can!

 

Ryan Childers is an Entertainment Contributor for The Scoop. Follow him on Twitter at @RyanFromSales.

When the Schick Hits the Van

via Monroe County (FL) Sheriff's Office
via Monroe County (FL) Sheriff’s Office

How unlucky the fates that befell Megan Barnes’ pursuit of love in sunny south Florida that beautiful spring morning! Dreams of passionate romance on a white, sandy beach, all brought to a screeching halt by an SUV…specifically, the one she rear-ended because she was shaving her privates while driving.

On March 2, 2010, Ms. Barnes was headed to Key West to hook up with her boyfriend.  Reasonably, she did not want to rendezvous with her lover while sporting unkempt loins, so she took advantage of the long boring stretch of US Highway 1 to clean her bikini area with a razor.  She was not alone in the car, however.  According to the arresting officer, Florida state trooper Gary Dunick, the Indiana native had asked her passenger to hold the steering wheel while she sheared her stuff. That passenger, Charles Judy, obliged, but the co-driving arrangement unraveled as an SUV slowed in front of them to make a turn off of the Overseas Highway. Ms. Barnes, presumably consumed with the intricacies of stubble management, failed to decelerate.  Mr. Judy, well-meaning but in no position to make informed steering decisions, deftly guided the 1985 Ford Thunderbird into the back end of the larger vehicle, slightly injuring its passenger.

After the accident, Barnes tried to flee the scene but the damage to her “Bird” was too great.  After her car rolled to its mortally wounded stop a few hundred yards beyond the crash site, the couple, fearing the consequences of her involvement in the accident, decided to pull the old “driver switcheroo.”  Barnes climbed into the back seat, carefully so as not to irritate her freshly shaven bits.  Judy scooted quickly into the driver’s seat to take the legal fall for the accident.

Later, as he was interrogating them and investigating the accident, Trooper Dunick sensed some inconsistencies and surprises in the couple’s story.  He learned that Charles Judy was more than merely a helpful friend in Megan Barnes time of lustful indiscretion.  He was also her ex-husband.  The trooper also quickly deduced that Mr. Judy had not been driving the car, because the burn marks on the latter’s chest were consistent with an airbag deployment.  Unfortunately for them, only the passenger side bag had engaged in the crash.  Lastly, Ms. Barnes had been driving on a suspended license, her sixth, which had been revoked by an Indiana judge as a consequence of a DUI conviction, only one day before her ill-fated trip to Key West.

Though four years old, this story yet serves as a morality tale to the wise.  So many errors in judgment led to the jailing and conviction of Megan Barnes, and her subsequent labeling by internet jokesters as Florida’s “Pubic” Enemy #1. With only slightly better time management skills, this accident could have been avoided.  Had her ex-husband offered to drive while she shaved her nether regions, this tale would have had a happier ending, literally and figuratively. A functioning driver’s side airbag perhaps would have sold the driver switch to the trooper.

Hopefully, this story will counsel all who would travel long distances for love.  No matter how noble the cause, there is never – ever – a justifiable reason to shave one’s junk while operating a motor vehicle.

 

Marshall Morris is an Entertainment Contributor for The Scoop. Follow him on Twitter at @DecadePlan.

8-Legged Evil

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AHHHHH!!! SPIDER FACE!!!

Is there anything more frightening than walking into your bathroom after a long night of drinking, playing video games or just being a good human being,  and seeing a big 8-hairy-legged, 8-eyed spawn of Satan just staring at you from the wall of your shower plotting your death?

Well apparently a woman in Wales decided that the only way to get rid of the tiny evil was to purge it into the great beyond with a taste of it’s own medicine. A homemade blowtorch. You know, a lighter, a can of hairspray or other flammable type of aerosol. We all have either done it or been around when a friend showed us how to create one of the dumbest things we could ever create.

Back to the woman of Wales. She ended up setting fire her to house. That’s right her own house. The blaze sparked several advice rendering tweets. One from the South Wales Fire and Rescue offering up a very sound suggestion:

When attempting to remove spiders from properties, please don’t use lit aerosols. NR

It’s not just our neighbors across the pond who have used fire to try to rid themselves of the tiny creatures. Seattle, Kansas, California, and I can almost guarantee that someone in Florida has tried it. A man in California caused $25,000 worth of damage to his house while clearing cobwebs with a flamethrower. So next time you think it’ll be a good idea to try and ARACHNOPHOBIA! an innocent spider in your home, just remember all of this.

With all this being said, if there’s a spider, a lighter, and a can of hairspray near me, you can expect to see me on the news with a look of pure bewilderment wondering how my house caught on fire.

 

Clif Foster is an Entertainment Contributor for The Scoop. Follow him on Twitter at @CliftonFoster.

The Top 10 Lists: Top 10 PS1Games

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The Top 10 Lists: My Top 10 PS1 Games

Hello, ladies and gentlemen! If you are reading this, then I assume that you are either a gamer or somebody who wants to relive your childhood. This is my first entry in a weekly Top 10 countdown list, so it’s a process, as Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett would say. Before I start with the countdown, let me say that this is my personal favorite top 10 games list, so if you are looking for the same typical generic Top 10 List with the same typical games on it you can find those elsewhere.

#10: JET MOTO

This was by far one of the best racing games on the PS1. In this game, you race on “jet motos,” which are part motorcycle and part hovercraft. The game only had a total of 10 tracks (or stages depending on your video game terminology), but what made them special was the variety of the tracks, ranging from ice and snow to beaches and swamps. They had 20 different vehicles to choose from, which all handled differently. Graphically, this game was ok, but the track designs of each stage did more to make up for it. This game is difficult between the level designs and was very intelligent for its time. This game can make you toss your controller a few times. Jet Moto wasn’t for the casual gamer, but If you liked a challenging racing game like I do, then this underrated game is forever worth a pick up.

 

#9: RIVAL SCHOOLS

Most people have not played this game, which is a travesty to say the least. Rival Schools is a 2-disc fighting game made by Capcom, and you will see similarities between it and Street Fighter when it comes to certain move-commands. Just a brief moment on the story of Rival Schools: The story of Rival Schools is set in the Japanese city of Aoharu. Several local schools have recently become the victims of unknown attacks, including kidnappings of students and staff (you have to just love the public school systems). It was one of the first games to really get air combos and team up attacks down pat. The game only had 14 characters, but it was filled with SO MANY high school stereotypes that you can easily look past the lackluster roster. Just to give you an example, it features Roy (the American jock), Tiffany (the blonde cheerleader), and Hayato (the crazy gym coach) to name a few. The animations on this game were phenomenal, especially when it came to the super and tag team moves. Rival Schools is a fighting game that should be thrown into the fighting game hall of fame because of its variety, and also because THIS GAME IS HARD AS CRAP TO FIND!!!!

#8: VS

This game should have won an award for best video game character in the fighting pimp named “Slim Daddy.” This game technically didn’t have a story, you basically just chose from 20 characters, all who (of course) are gang stereotypes. The game didn’t have much commercial success, however it was by far a fantastic fighting game…especially the part with Slim Daddy and a fighting homeless guy.

#7: CRASH BANDICOOT

Nintendo has Mario, SEGA has Sonic, and SONY has Crash Bandicoot. What can be said about Crash Bandicoot that hasn’t been said already? For those who don’t know, Crash was one of the first games to come out on Playstation, and was their attempt at competing with the aforementioned Sonic and Mario. It wasn’t groundbreaking as far as platforming games go, but the fact that you weren’t just going left to right the whole game made it that more intriguing. I will never forget the first time I had to run away from a rolling boulder Indiana Jones style while the camera showed Crash’s hilarious facial expression. Graphically, this game looked great, and that is why it is one of the best-selling PS1 games of all time. On top of that, how can you talk about Crash Bandicoot and not mention the Aku Aku mask? (If you don’t know what that is I highly suggest you Google it. You won’t be sorry.)

#6 SYPHON FILTER

This game showed me at an early age 2 very important things. 1) Never trust a grown man with a taser. 2) Never trust anybody who has two first names (Gabe Logan in this instance). Coming off the heels of a very disappointing Twisted Metal 3, 989 Studios had a lot of making up to do, and boy did they deliver. Story-wise, you’re pretty much a James Bond knockoff on a mission to stop an evil company from unleashing a virus known as…. (drumroll please) SYPHON FILTER. This game was a 3D interpretation of a stealth action game and seemed a lot more grounded. The graphics were good for the time the game came out, and the enemy AI made the game that much more fun to play. By far my fondest memory of the game was tasering an enemy in the nuts until his body caught on fire…you have to enjoy the little things.

#5 FINAL FANTASY 8

I know I know most people would be expecting to see Final Fantasy 7 on this list, but as great as that one was, it was 8 that made me not only a fan of the Final Fantasy series but RPG games as well. The thing that I respect the most about this installment of the game is the fact that it is the sequel to one of the most anticipated and best-selling Playstation games of all time in Final Fantasy 7. Every Final Fantasy game has a theme and the one for this game was LOVE (gross, I know). You play as Squall, and you are up against the typical evil dictator who wants to take over the world. The battle system for this game was fantastic, especially the Guardian Forces. Graphically this game was a step up from FF7, but there were times when the backgrounds looked a little choppy. My main gripe with this game is that there is NO VOICE ACTING IN THIS GAME AT ALL. You literally have to read each and every thing that’s on the screen, which is no easy task when it comes to a game that is about 30 hours if you just go from mission to mission without exploring the environments. With all that being said, if you wanted to start playing Final Fantasy and didn’t know where to start, you can’t go wrong with this one.

#4 TEKKEN 3

I don’t care how old you are, EVERYBODY has played at least one Tekken game. Known as The King of Iron Fist Tournament, Tekken 3 marked the return of a pretty pissed-off Heihachi. When it comes to fighting games, you’re not expecting for the FMV (full motion video to you unhip people), but even the opening sequence to this game was phenomenal. Besides the usual Arcade and Time Attacks mode, this game added a volleyball-like game, and the Tekken Force mode which I spent too much time playing. From the graphics to the sound effects to the characters, this game was great and is still one of the best fighting games ever. I mean who doesn’t want to play with a fighting Panda? Now that I think about it, that’s probably where they got the idea to make Kung Fu Panda from…hmmmmm.

#3: Duke Nukem Time to Kill

“I’ll kick you in the nuts.” No this is not me threatening you, but just one of many insults thrown out by the wise-cracking, beer-drinking, foul-mouthed Duke Nukem. This game by far showed me just how fantastic it was to shoot EVERYTHING with a RPG. Story-wise, you play as Duke and must time travel (now I understand the title) in order to stop aliens from removing you from history. For a game that came out in 1998, this game looked pretty darn good considering the level of details each stage had, including not only Duke but enemies and the huge backgrounds as well. Considering the earlier Duke Nukem games were in first person, it was good to see the new 3rd person perspective and feel even more like Duke, especially when it came to running around in the Wild Wild West. All in all this game was fun to play, and that’s without even mentioning the multiplayer, which was ok for its time. In honor of Duke I will leave you with one of his many awesome quotes, “Little pig, little pig let me in. Or I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll kick your butt in!

 #2: Parappa the Rapper

“Kick punch it’s all in the mind. If you wanna test me until ya find the things I teach will sure to beat ya nevertheless you’ll get a lesson from teacher.” This lyric has been stuck in my head for the last 17 years of my life, and I have no issue with that. Parappa is a teenage rapping dog who is going through the typical phases of life: getting a driver’s license, dating, courage, etc. What made this game great was the art style, with everyone being shown flat like sheets of paper, but the art style never takes you out of the game at all. None of this would work out if it wasn’t for the fantastic rapping that is done in the game. The gameplay might seem simple, with you having to push the corresponding button at the time it appears on the screen, but the higher the stage the more difficult things get. All of its songs are catchy and fun, and who can’t enjoy having to rap your way in the front of the line at the bathroom before you poop on yourself?

#1 METAL GEAR SOLID

It should have been absolutely no doubt that this game would be #1. To say that this game was pretty much a Playstation-seller would be an understatement. You can’t even mention the original Playstation without someone bringing this game up. Metal Gear Solid is a tactical espionage action (or stealth) game whose story is so complex that I don’t even know where to start. This game pushed the PS1 to its limits graphics because this game looked great both in and out of cut-scenes (and there are alot of them). Enemy AI is beyond smart, as they will respond to a noise or even follow your footsteps in the snow. Metal Gear Solid is the definition of a stealth game, ranging from having to hide enemy bodies so they won’t be discovered, to YOU having to hide in lockers, and the legendary cardboard box disguise. Now, I can’t talk about this game without mentioning the plethora of cut-scenes in this game, and at times it felt as if you were doing more watching of the game over playing it. Even with that, Hideo Kojima did such a great job at creating a story that you wouldn’t mind sitting and watching as the game unfolded. As far as villains go, you had Sniper Wolf, the bondage looking Psycho Mantis, Liquid Snake, and my personal favorite, Revolver Ocelot. This game was truly groundbreaking at the time, especially by breaking the 4th wall by having Psycho Mantis read your memory card and tell you what type of gamer you are, and by having to plug your controller in the secondary spot in order to beat him.

CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR (HONORARY MENTIONS)

  • BLOODY ROAR
  • FIGHTING FORCE
  • X-MEN VS STREET FIGHTER
  • TWISTED METAL 4
  • DIE HARD TRILOGY

And there you have it, folks. Hopefully I brought back some sort of nostalgia feeling and you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed typing it, and maybe you will even think of some games of your own. Remember every gamer is different, so what appeals to me might not be appealing to you. If you have any comments, I’ll be very interested in hearing them!

Watch our Google Hangout video on this topic here!