Adventures of Mana and Secret of Mana Video Game Review

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By: Matt Alexander

Bundle Extravaganza!

Never underestimate the power of either nostalgia or mana. The awesome power of bright colors and synthesized music come together on the iOS for your amusement and/or infatuation with a bundle of games from before Squaresoft merged with its boring boyfriend Enix and started staying at home on Saturdays to play charades instead of producing good games. (/rant)

“Adventures of Mana” (“Seiken Dentetsu” on Game Boy or “Final Fantasy Adventures” as the Game Boy Advance remake) stars Sumo, a surprisingly thin and non-diapered hero fighting to save the world and its Mana Tree from the appropriately named “Dark Lord”. He meets a sweet dime piece named Fuji, who is not an apple, but has a connection to the Mana Tree so [insert cheesy joke here].

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There’s also an evil wizard name Julius and a lot of helpful NPCs, but the main attraction is the gameplay. The style is much like the first Zelda, with top-down action adventure and a slew of weapons that double as field tools. The controls are a little clunky and the game is short — I finished it in under 10 hours — but sweet, and provides a good amount of context for its sequel.

“Secret of Mana”, originally for SNES, is a classic with similar gameplay to its predecessor. The hero of the story pulls a blade out of a stone and after defeating a giant ant he does not become king of the village, but is rather exiled for bringing monsters back into the world. At the same time, the empire is trying to gain power from resurrecting the Mana Fortress by breaking the seals on the 8 Mana Seeds. Along the way our hero meets a Sprite and a girl, they get magic, beat up bad dudes, and save the day.

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SoM is about twice as long as AoM, and has a bit more freedom to explore. This, along with its eclectic mood music, give it a high replayability, and the epic storyline is sure to bring a tear to even the toughest bro eye.

Remember to get a hard case before playing; you can throw phones just like controllers after video game disappointment, but they break much more easily.

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9/10 Bro Fists

NFL Week 3 DFS Optimal Lineups

If you haven not bitten the bullet and taken the daily fantasy sports plunge, I highly recommend it.  It’s like the cocaine to the marijuana of season long fantasy sports.  And just like cocaine and marijuana, you have the treat them and use them in very different ways.  DFS is all about finding the bargains week to week – either “next man up” after an injury to a starter or a matchup that just screams 17 touchdowns.

I play in a few leagues and tournaments every week during the NFL season, and I’m going to try and hand out some free advice on players that I think you should ride in DFS each week.

Quarterback

The Indianapolis Colts couldn’t stop your grandma from throwing for 300 yards on them, and Philip Rivers gets the pleasure of facing their lack of a secondary this week.  Even without Keenan Allen he has been productive, as Travis Benjamin and Tyrell Williams have stepped up nicely.  His price point is just below the elite QBs, and he is set up nicely for a stud performance this week.

Matt Ryan is another QB with a mouth watering matchup this week as he faces the Saints in their dome in New Orleans.  Ryan has been fantasy gold so far this year, throwing for over 700 yards so far this year, and NO is not exactly know for stopping an offense (remember Oakland in Week 1?).

Running Back

A running back that has put up elite numbers so far this season but is still priced well below elite status is Melvin Gordon.  For all of the reasoning for playing him this week, see above: Colts can’t stop shit.

Christine Michael is getting the start this week of Thomas Rawls, and because he hasn’t been the starter all year his price doesn’t reflect his projected output this weekend.  I know that the Seattle offense has left a lot to be desired this year, but this one is a steal, folks.

Another “backup” poised for a great weekend is Tevin Coleman of the Falcons.  He has looked like the better of the two runners in Atlanta this year, and gets the pleasure of facing the Saints line this weekend.

Wide Receiver

I always like stacking a wide out with my QB, so this week I like playing either Travis Benjamin or Tyrell Williams in San Diego.  Both players are cheap, and without Keenan Allen Rivers is going to have to throw to somebody.

And in line with the comments above, Julio Jones is a great play this week.  Even though he’s expensive (and rightfully so), it is going to be hard to top his production.

I also like Cole Beasley of the Dallas Cowboys.  Dak Prescott has targeted him often through the first two weeks, and this isn’t the old Chicago defense.  And in the fact that he is super cheap and you have a bonafide steal.

Tight End

There seems to be a pretty large drop-off after the top-tier tight ends, but you can get decent production from the mid-tier guys who are relatively inexpensive in DFS.  Dennis Pitta has shown great chemistry with Joe Flacco so far this season, and he has a relatively easy matchup against Jacksonville on Sunday.

Kicker

Who cares, just play one who is in a dome this weekend.

Defense

Miami is a nice option this weekend going against the Brown’s third string quarterback and no Corey Coleman.  Sucks to be a Cleveland football fan…

Alright, y’all.  Go win some money and have fun watching the games this weekend!

 

Throwback Review: Bloodsport

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By: Matt Alexander
TRIGGER WARNINGS: comas, face-punching, MPs, steroids, testosterone, and stank-eye

What would you do if you woke up from a coma you’d been in since 1988? The obvious answer is “go see Bloodsport”, because any rational person would assume the greatest film of all time would still be playing in theaters.

“Bloodsport”, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme as kumite (Google it) fighter Frank Dux, is an epic tale of face-punching with a side of military desertion. JCVD goes to Asialand and plays video games with a biker dude, they become besties, then they enter a fight-to-the-sorta-death tournament like any self-respecting bro would. There they see the bad mofo Chong Lee, a roided out Asian dude with a sick headband and a penchant for snapping necks. The stage is set for an epic series of beatdowns in this high stakes game. Who will win it all?

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Spoiler alert: Van Damme wins.

The supporting cast is also a supporting cast! Forest Whitaker plays a loveable goofy-eyed MP trying to bust Dux for going AWOL for his higher calling to asskickery, but he is foiled by sick ninja skills and language barriers or something. There’s a female reporter / love interest who gets with JCVD, the old Asian sensei, and many other forgettable non-JCVD characters.

There are at least 3 sequels (not starring van Damme) but they clearly suck and you are not required by Bro Code to see them. However, if you haven’t seen “Bloodsport”, go now or risk being put back into that coma.

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11/10 Bro Fists

 

Suicide Squad Review: It’s no Deadpool

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By: Matt Alexander
Suicide Squad is not quite what you might expect from writer/director David Ayers if compared to his previous films (End of Watch, Training Day); there’s still plenty of gunfire, but the PG-13 rating and tie-ins to the larger DCEU make the movie a little less chaotic and edgy than previously advertised. It is, however, heavily character-driven.

This latest entry in the DCEU introduces casual fans to some lesser-known villains. Stone-cold government agent Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) gathers a team of imprisoned supervillains and “Metahumans” to stop Enchantress from gaining an army and destroying the world.

The film references the events of both Superman films, and there are mentions of other superheroes and even a cameo by the Flash, but the focus is on the team of villains. Will Smith shines in the role of Deadshot, acting opposite Joel Kinnaman’s Rick Flagg to drive the plot. This Deadshot is an assassin with a conscience, and his relationship with his daughter is nice, if predictable. Jay Hernandez is a bright spot as Diablo; Slipknot, Captain Boomerang, and Killer Croc are criminally underwritten. Margot Robbie portrays a crazy yet thoughtful Harley Quinn, though much of her backstory and Jared Leto’s mobster Joker did not make it off the cutting room floor.

The visual effects were interesting and entertaining, and the classic rock soundtrack fits for the most part. The movie is far from perfect – some of the dramatic moments were downright cringeworthy – but it is a nice appetizer to the future of the DCEU. Would not give it perfect 5/7.

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6/10 Bro Fists

UFC 202 Diaz vs. McGregor II / Woodley: Choosy Champ / Durant to Warriors good for NBA? (Fight Breakdown Video)

Broest Bros You Knows 44

The Bros are back with a jammed-packed BBYK. The Host, Viet, brings on fellow sports-junkie, Bry-On, to talk about the launch of his new Texas sports website Texas Triangle Trio, the epic #UFC202, and the NBA’s Brave New World of spending. This episode gets extra Brotacular when the Bros start to compare UFC 202 to Rocky 4 and… Armageddon? Trust us, you don’t want to miss a thing with this episode.

First on the docket, UFC 202. This is the rematch MMA fans have been waiting for. The Notorious #ConorMcGregor goes up against 209’s finest, #NateDiaz, as the two run it back. #UFC196 was an instant classic when the heavy favorite Conor McGregor was submitted by Nate Diaz in the second round to become the new… well nothing official. But the Bros would be remiss if they dismissed how much that fight has changed the MMA landscape. Long considered the anti-establishment bad boy of mma, Nate has shown a more good-natured and charismatic side to the media… and boy was there been a ton of media!

For the first time, it was Nate, not Conor, doing the big TV interviews and plugging the UFC in late talk show spots. Conor on the other hand went radio silent. That is until the retirement heard around the twitter-verse. Initially, the rematch was due to take place at UFC 200 but McGregor’s refusal to attend a press-conference (and brief retirement) saw the UFC postpone the much anticipated rematch. A renewed focus on training has Conor concentrating on what pays the bills, and that is his skills. Now, Nathan Diaz and Conor McGregor meet for the second time at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on an absolutely stacked UFC 202 card that features a co-main event pitting two knock out artists in Glover Teixeira and Anthony “Rumble” Johnson. Blink and you’ll miss it folks, this isn’t getting out of the first round. The Bros cover what you can expect and which parts of the fight may favor which fighter. Tune in folks, it is going to be #hyped af!

Next the Bros discuss the new Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley. The Bros give there hot takes on whether or not a Champion should get to pick his next opponent. At what point is it campaigning versus ducking. The UFC is largely successful because it constantly challenges the best fighters to fight the best. In contrast, this is not the case in boxing. The Bros discuss the pros and cons of fighters having a say in their opponents. Lets not forget that Dan Henderson is getting a title shot against Michael Bisping. Meritocracy makes sense when in makes money-sense. The Bros do agree that Tyron should stop concentrating on his texts with GSP and prepare for a showdown with number one contender Stephen Thompson. How do you guys fee about it? Please tell us in the comments below!

Last, the Bros do their 2nd annual NBA Round Up as they cover the NBA free agency and make predictions for the upcoming season. These are just a few of the questions that will be answered: Is Durant going to the Golden State Warriors good for the league? How great can they be? Is it a two team league now with the San Antonio Spurs playing the dark horse? How good will the Spurs be post Tim Duncan? Is Chandler Parson a superstar? Is John Wall mentally weak? Are the Rockets going to improve over last season with the additions of Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon? Does James Harden actually wear his shirt open? What is Harrison Barnes potential? Who was the better number one pick, Andrew Bogut or Alex Smith?

*quick breath

Will the Knicks finally be good? Is “Olympics Carmelo Anthony” coming back to New York? Will the Celtics be a top 3 seed in the East? Will Steph Curry retire a Warrior? Will he get better shoes from UA? How bad is Brooklyn? How many centers do the 76ers need? Should the NBA institute a Super Max Contract? This and many more questions are covered, do not miss it. Agree/Disagree? Tell us in the comments below. Have any questions you would like the Bros to answer? Tweet at us or put them in the comments and we’ll feature them on the show! Remember to stick around at the end for Matt’s Rattling the Cage!

Follow all us on Twitter because and be our BFF’s:

Bryan – @bbcardus

Viet – @facethefacts22

Texas Triangle Trio – @txtriangle

us – @broestbros

Check out Bryan’s feature in Runners World:

http://www.runnersworld.com/running-with-dogs/the-best-types-of-dogs-for-runners

Check out DC Dog Runner: dcdogrunner.com

DC Dog Runner Promo Code: mitchmoreland

UFC 202 Main Card Picks

Well shit.  Let’s just forget that I picked anything for UFC 201.

My record is now a paltry 12-13, which means that the comeback starting this weekend in UFC 202 is going to be EPIC.

Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz – so what has changed since the last time these two fought?  Diaz has had a full training camp, yes, but McGregor has also had time to get accustomed to 170 lbs.  Why will the outcome this weekend be different from March’s outcome?  Because McGregor is a madman, and will simply not let himself lose.  He wants to prove that he can beat Nate, and he will in the 3rd by TKO.

Anthony Johnson vs. Glover Teixeira – two good wrestlers? Check.  Two powerful overhands?  Check.  I know Glover is a granite chin, but only DC has really been able to survive Rumble’s blitz so far.  However, when things don’t go his way, Johnson get’s complacent.  If this is a fun fight, Johnson wins by KO.  If this fight sucks, Glover takes the decision.  Let’s root for a fun one and a 2nd round knockout

Rick Story vs. Donald Cerrone – I’ll be honest here, this pick is a little heart over head.  Story is the bigger fighter, a powerful wrestler, and can throw heavy hands.  While Cerrone did beat the bigger Cote in his last fight, Story is the younger, better version.  It’ll be tough for Cowboy, but I believe that his newfound welterweight career continues successfully with a back-and-forth decision victory.

Hyun Gyu Lim vs. Mike Perry – I might be a little biased here, as Lim is seriously one of my favorite fighters to watch.  At 6 foot 3, he is a massive welterweight, and he uses that size beautifully to throw knees at his opponent’s face every chance he gets.  Perry has some serious power, but he is still very young in the fight game.  Lim by 2nd round KO.

Tim Means vs. Sabah Homassi – Means has been a bit of a run lately, seemingly finishing opponents left and right.  Homassi, on the other hand, has a tendency to be finished in his losses, and took the fight on only 2 weeks notice.  Means by 2nd round TKO.

The 10 Commandments of Fantasy Football

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 I still kindly insist that you set it nonetheless.

 

“Stuff Joe Does That Really Annoys Me”

You hear that noise?  That’s billions of bros intelligently discussing the upcoming fantasy football season.  Rankings reports are being read, mock drafts are being repeated, and pre-season NFL games are being watched.  To prepare you for the season (or maybe to prepare your fellow league managers), here are the 10 Commandments of Fantasy Football.  Read them, memorize them, and follow them.  

 

  1. Thou Shalt Never Arrive Late to the Draft

Or if you do, at least don’t complain about it.  I know, seems like a no brainer, right?  But it happens.

If you’re drafting in person, give yourself enough time to arrive at the location and get your materials in order.  Drafting online?  Test run the drafting lobby on your computer to ensure that it works (yeah, updating flash is a bitch).  Nobody cares that you’ve been “so busy” lately and that you’r kids have been little monsters – everyone has excuses and they don’t want to hear yours.  Nobody cares that you got your timezone confused.  Not our fault that you’re an f-ing moron.  

 

  1.   Thou Shalt Make Every Effort to Actually Draft

Yeah, we get that you’re not that “into it” and that you’re busy.  But if you’re not going to participate, why are you in the league in the first place?  Having an auto-drafter changes the complexion of the entire draft, and also means that you’re team will be drafting a kicker in round 9.

Yeah, I’ve heard that folks autodraft and then win their leagues all of the time, but that is not what I’m talking about.  I’m talking about the integrity of the game here.  Besides, the trash talking that occurs during the draft is half the fun.  And do you really want to be drafting a kicker in round 9?

At your grandma’s funeral?  Use that smartphone app and draft.  Isn’t technology great?

 

  1.   Thou Shalt Set Your Freaking Lineup

I get it, you’re busy.  Life and shit.  But it seriously it takes less than a minute to do the barest of minimums and ensure that no nobody in your starting lineup is on a bye or has been injured for 3 weeks.

First of all, if you’re not going to actually play, why are you playing?  Second, essentially giving away W’s to opponents upsets the entire equilibrium of the league.  They guy in week 1 had to play your entire roster, while the guy in week 6 gets to face literally half of it?  Come on, man!

 

  1.  Thou Shalt Respond to Trade Offers in a Timely Manner

It really sucks when you send out a trade offer and then wait an entire week to hear back from the other party.  Hey man, lineup decisions, and possibly other trades, are riding on your acceptance/counter/rejection.  Didn’t see the trade offer?  Sign up in your league settings to receive an email when you’re offered a trade.  #SuperSimpleStuff

Need more time to think about it?  Great, think about it, but just don’t let the offer sit for a week.  

 

  1.  Thou Shalt Not Offer Obviously Stupid Trades

Sure, it’s your first offer and you expect a little back and forth, but if literally nobody on earth would accept that trade to begin with, why are you wasting my time?  I’m more inclined to just reject it outright rather than offer a counter at that point.  You just done pissed me off, son.

If the first offer is at least a little reasonable, you have a better chance of working out a deal.  It’s a win/win.

 

  1. Thou Shalt Not Complain if Thou Does Not Participate

Don’t like a trade?  Did you vote against it?  

Don’t like a rule change?  Did you vote against it?  

Don’t like the manner in which draft order was chosen?  Did you participate in the potato sack race?

You get the idea.

 

  1. Thou Shalt Not Get Mad About Trash Talk

Trash talk is half the fun of the whole damn thing.  Ever seen The League?  Yeah, that shit is   hilarious.  If you’re skin is paper thin, maybe having fun with your bros just isn’t for you.  

BTW, your mom had fun with the bros last night. #Roasted

 

  1. Thou Shalt Not Be Opposed to Money Leagues

Hey, I’m not suggesting a $100 buy-in, but $20 per team makes things just a bit more interesting, and can hopefully negate some of the above issues (see Thou Shalt Set Your Freaking Lineup).  $20 is less than one afternoon at the bar watching football.  And who knows?  Maybe the champ takes his winnings and treats everyone to a nice end-of-season happy hour.

 

  1. Thou Shalt Not Have Unrealistic Home Team Bias

Yeah, the second wide receiver from your team is totes the best, but maybe you shouldn’t be drafting him in the third round.  That just throws off the competitive balance of the league (see above, Thou Shalt Set Your Freaking Lineup).  Maybe you’re new to the whole fantasy sports thing and don’t know many players, but that’s what the pre-set ranking are for.  Do your damn homework.

 

  1. Thou Shalt Care for Your Favorite Team More than Your Fantasy Team

This one seems to be self-explanatory, and the inverse of Commandment Number 9.  Don’t get overly excited when your fantasy player scores a TD against your favorite team, that’s just being a bad fan and being waaaaay too into fantasy football.  

I bet that guy writes articles just making up a bunch of random BS “Commandments” for fantasy football…
Alright, y’all.  May all of your sleeper picks awake and may your trades be rated A+.  Have fun this season and don’t be a douche.  Remember the Commandments.  

UFC 201 Lawler vs. Woodley / UFC Chicago / Pokemon Go: Bro or No?

Broest Bros You Knows Ep. 43

BBYK is back with an epic show talking about MMA face-punchery and the power of nostalgia in nerd form. Your host Viet is joined by Matt “Two Stripe” Alexander to discuss Beers, Pokemon Go, UFC Chicago, and breakdown UFC 201!

The Pokemon Go craze has taken over the planet. The Bros discuss whether #PokemonGo is Bro or No and the future potential of geo-spatial based video games and augmented reality applications for local businesses. The future is now… and the future is strange.

Things unfold quickly with a recap of UFC Chicago and the Bros talk about the revolving door that the Women’s Bantamweight Title has become post Ronda. Holly Holm suffers her second loss in another fight that many are left questioning whether she should taken in the first place. Shevchenko looked absolutely fantastic and has firmly placed herself in the title picture. Amanda Nunes may be calling out Ronda Rousey, but a rematch with Schevchenko has MMA fans very excited.

The Bros move on to #UFC201 and break down the card. Stripped of a Might Mouse Johnson title defense, the card has flown relatively under the radar despite some very interesting match ups, including a welterweight title fight between Robbie Lawler and Tyron Woodley. The Bros talk about the potential barnburner that is Scoggins vs fan favorite Ian McCall. The B.R.O. (Blueprint to Rule the Octagon) is discussed for both fighters, as opinions vary greatly on the outcome of this fight! There is also a great female straw weight matchup between Rose Namajunas and Karolina Kowalkiewicz. The bros argue whether or not the fight go to the ground, with one bro adamant that it won’t.

The raging Robbie Lawler gets to go to his happy place when he steps in the octagon to defend his title against Tyron Woodley. It has been a while since we’ve seen Woodley. What will he look like after the prolonged absence? Will we see a refined Woodley 2.0 that gives Lawler a run for his money. At least one Bro thinks so and believes there is very good reason to think Lawler’s reign ends in Atlanta.

Matt burns more MMA bridges with the most scandalous segment yet of Rattling the Cage… you won’t want to miss this one! Pokemon Go: Bro or No? Tell us in the comments below. Also give us your thoughts on the fights. Tweet at us your thoughts and questions and they may be featured on the show!

Follow me @facethefacts22

Follow BBYK @broestbros

Check out TexasTriangleTrio.com for some good ol’ Texas sports talk!

Final Fantasy 6 Video Game Review

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Bro, you even lift?

By Matt Alexander

The IOS version of Final Fantasy 6, or Final Fantasy 3* as the old-school SNES players know it, is an instant success of a timeless classic.

Jump into a world of political intrigue with magic and war disrupting the delicate balance of various nations. Add in a few moogles, airships, and other staples from the series and you have a Final Fantasy unique in tone yet classic in RPG elements.

This version is a port of the Game Boy Advance version, so there are a few translation differences as well as two post-game dungeons and four new summons, but none of the cheesy FMVs from the PlayStation version. Unfortunately a few of the exploitable glitches have been fixed, but this game was always lower on the difficulty scale than previous entries.

Still, the masterful score from Nobuo Uematsu and the compelling story and characters remain, which lends to the game’s high replayability.

Remember, everyone: the ability to play video games on your phone while driving is an awesome power, and with great power comes great irresponsibility (thank you, Wade Wilson). Play only at red lights, and make use of the AutoBattle function.

8/10 Bro Fists

UFC 201 Main Card Picks

So UFC 200 wasn’t my best night of picks… I went 2-3 during the main card, dropping my overall record to 12-8.  But hey, batting .600 would be hella insane in the major leagues.

With that being said, you can 100% trust me to get everything right for this weekend’s 201 main card.*

Robbie Lawler vs. Tyrone Woodley for the welterweight championship – Lawler has a tendency to make every fight a war, which means that his opponent always has a chance.  Despite his vaunted toughness and chin, this fighting style has to catch up to the champ at some point.  Is this Saturday that time?  I doubt it, but you never know.  Woodley has the power to put someone to sleep, but I doubt that he is active enough to do it to Lawler.  #AndStill

Rose Namajunas vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz – Grappler vs. Striker, and possible title eliminator matchup?  Karolina throws punches in bunches, and likes to swarm her opponent, but she doesn’t throw with much ill intent.  Rose, a grappler by trade, has vastly improved her striking to a point where it is now more than just serviceable.  Rose’s style is perfectly suited to deal with a pressure fighter like Karolina, and she takes the decision here.

Matt Brown vs. Jake Ellenberger – I think I was still in diapers the last time Ellenberger won a fight.  While Brown is on his own 1-3 slide recently, it has been against much stiffer competition, which Ellenberger is not.  This seems like a “get back on track” fight for Brown, and he might just retire Ellenberger with those vicious clinch elbows.

Francisco Rivera vs. Erik Perez – this is going to be a fun fight.  Rivera throws some heavy hands for a bantemweight, and Perez is usually happy to oblige.  However, Perez is still too hittable, which means bad things for him against a fighter like Rivera.  Unless he can weather the early storm and tire out Rivera he’s not leaving with his hand raised.  Rivera for the win.

Ian McCall vs. Justin Scoggins – Uncle Creepy seems to get a bad rep, and I’m not sure why.  He only losses to the cream of the crop.  Unfortunately for him, Scoggins looks like he belongs up there with his karate/wrestling combination.  The young “Tank” cements himself as a contender in a close decision victory.

*You can absolutely in no way trust me at all.