Tag Archives: tech

Top 5 Movies of 2016 – A Year Full of Gold

As we get excited for our favorite part of the year (November and December) and look forward to upcoming movies and video games, we want to reflect on what we’ve been fortunate enough to be exposed to so far this year. While there are certainly major challenges to living in LA, such as the traffic and rent prices, there are amazing benefits such as the exposure to cultural events and amazing cuisine. As a result, we have the ability to go to the movies and watch extremely limited releases. 

While you’ve seen a handful of movie reviews from us in the past, we missed some opportunities to review some of these films that you probably haven’t heard of, which is a shame! For that reason, we’re going to countdown our Top 5 movies that you probably haven’t seen this year. They’re all either on DVD or will be released so add them to your holiday wishlist or treat yourself to something special. You won’t regret it. 

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The Greatest Games of All Time: The Master List

Dungeon Master. Game Master. Master Chief. Master Hand. Master Sword.

What is Link without the Master Sword? What is this group of games without the Master List?

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The #1 Greatest Video Game of All Time

This is it. The final entry in H&F’s Greatest Video Game of All Time series. This is big-time stuff. This is our ultimate FAVORITE game ever in the world. These games are important to us, tied to who we are, and in our hearts. We’ve finally arrived. If you missed the others on our countdown, please check them out: #25,#24,#23,#22,#21,#20#19#18#17#16#15, #14#13#12#11#10, #9#8, #7#6, #5#4#3, and #2

#1 Greatest Video Game of All Time

Kai – Morrowind I struggled to decide which of my top 3 is my most favorite game, but in the end it had to be Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind.  No other piece of art has ever transported me to another world like Morrowind.  The art, the lore, the music, and the quests all contribute to an amazing world that you can truly get lost in.

Like most Elder Scrolls games, you start out as a prisoner, this time exiled to the island of Vvardenfell, home of the dark elves or Dunmer.  You wake up as your ship reaches the harbor, with vague memories of a strange dream.  With only a vague instruction to meet with an Imperial agent named Caius, you’re dropped off into this strange world, with the freedom to take part in any of the hundreds of stories taking place throughout the land.
 
I’m not sure what it is that makes Morrowind so much better than the other Elder Scrolls games.  Perhaps it’s the lack of guidance and hand-holding, causing the player to feel like they’re exploring a wide-open world, rather than the set of fairly linear narratives in Skyrim and Oblivion.  There are great secrets hidden within the world and the game allows the player to find them rather than leading the player to them.  Also a tremendous amount of work and care was put into the art and lore to really make the world feel real and it really shows.  The graphics don’t quite hold up anymore (at the time they were amazing), but the game is still really engrossing.  
 
If you want to see the best of what gaming has to offer, you have to try Morrowind.

Hungry & Fit Gamecast: Launched on YouTube

This is an exciting moment for Team H&F and the Nerdy Neanderthal for taking the lead in creating and hosting the Gamecast. Just as the blog was a work in progress in the beginning (and it still is) this podcast will also see significant changes and improvements over time. We’ve introduced Scott, known as the Nerdy Neanderthal, before but here is a re-introduction. You better get used to him, since you’ll be hearing a lot more from him! 

The Gamecast will be a little on the nerdy side, discussing various types of gaming, but we will let you know what the topics discussed are so you know if you want to listen. These are a great way to pass time during commutes, long sessions on cardio equipment, or wherever you fancy. The best part is… they’re free! We’ll have guests, different speakers, will invite our followers (YOU) to participate remotely so this will be a blast. They will be posted on our YouTube channel for now, until they are more developed. At that time, we’ll deliver them to you through downloadable files, on iTunes and such. (Still free, always!)

Here is the first one, a little sample, mostly for testing purposes but full of amazing information and discussion about gaming in 2015. Alana and Chris aren’t in this one but please give Scott your attention. Here are some fun cards to get a better idea about who you’ll be listening to. Credit for these amazing character sheets goes to Nerdy Neanderthal, all this was his hard and high quality work, as an important member of the team!
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The #2 Greatest Video Game of All Time

We are down to the SECOND greatest video game of all time! I can’t believe we only have two games to review left! There are some really spectacular games in this list and each of you should consider playing all of them if you haven’t already! It’s funny that all the top games are RPGs, but hey, we’re kind of awesome so it’s to be expected. If you missed the others on our countdown, please check them out: #25,#24,#23,#22,#21,#20#19#18#17#16#15, #14#13#12#11#10, #9#8, #7#6, #5#4, and #3. Enough talking…check these awesome games out!

#2 Greatest Video Game of All Time 

Kai- Half-Life series  Half-Life changed everything.  It took the Quake engine and created an entire universe out of it.  No longer were you moving level to level, killing everything in sight.  Instead the entire experience is a seamless journey through the life of a scientist in a top-secret lab the day everything goes wrong.  In fact, the first 30 minutes of Half-Life involve no violence whatsoever.  It was the first FPS to succeed at immersing you fully in an alternate reality.

Not only that, but Half-Life also was extremely friendly to the modding community, producing the world-famous mod Counterstrike, as well as Day of Defeat and many others.  Its lifetime was extended many times over by such mods, as well as several expansion packs exploring the story from other’s perspectives.
 
When Half-Life 2 was released it again revolutionized FPSs.  It continued the trend of a seamless artificial world (this time a futuristic and alien Earth).  It also had an amazing physics engine and multiple mini-sequels (“episodes”) which extended the story.  I have no hope for a Half-Life 3, but the originals still stand up due to the quality writing, gameplay, and professional voice acting.

The #3 Greatest Video Game of All Time

We have now come to the top THREE greatest video games of all time! Can you feel the heat? I don’t want to blab too much in the introduction so we can get right down to the fun stuff!  If you missed the others on our countdown, please check them out: #25,#24,#23,#22,#21,#20#19#18#17#16#15, #14#13#12#11#10, #9#8, #7#6, #5, and #4.  

Kai – Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri Alpha Centauri is my favorite strategy game of all time.  It does a fantastic job combining strategic depth and science fiction theme.  It takes place in the near-future, after a colony ship from Earth is sent to Alpha Centauri.  During the journey, the colonists lose contact with Earth, the captain is murdered, and the colonists break into 7 ideological factions.  The game does an amazing job conveying the transition from small compound in an alien wilderness to a planet-wide technological utopia.

In terms of gameplay, it was an enhanced version of the earlier Civilization games.  Its biggest addition was customizable units (a base body with added components/weapons/armor).  It still suffers from the Stack of Doom mechanic of the earlier Civ games, but the other elements definitely make up for it.
 
Firaxis created a pseudo-sequel with Beyond Earth, but it’s more of a mod than a real standalone game.  If you feel the need to spend a weekend colonizing an alien planet, Alpha Centauri is your game.

New on YouTube

We’ve been doing a lot on YouTube lately. Or, rather, Hungry has been putting a ton of work into it! We’ve done some together, but at the moment, it’s mostly Hungry rocking the camera. Did you even know we had a YouTube channel?! The topics range from swimming tips to food to fitness talks and more! Take a look at some below:

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The #4 Greatest Video Game of All Time

We are now at our #4 Greatest Video Game of All Time. Two people have the same game today! We are getting down to the nitty gritty. If you missed the others on our countdown, please check them out: #25,#24,#23,#22,#21,#20#19#18#17#16#15, #14#13#12#11#10, #9#8, #7#6, and #5

Kai – Mass Effect 2  As I’ve said before in these posts, I love science fiction, especially grand space opera.  No game has made me felt more like I was living in a space opera than Mass Effect 2.  It’s an action RPG with an epic story, detailed worlds/locations, and interesting characters.  The settings and writing alone make it worth playing as an interactive novel, but the combat and characters make it even more fun without getting in the way of the story.

I felt Mass Effect 2 stood out specifically for its darker story and improved combat (although I really enjoyed all three games).  If you’re looking to spend a month or two living on a starship and saving the galaxy with a crew of friends, I can’t recommend anything other than the Mass Effect series.

The #5 Greatest Video Game of All Time

Today, we arrive at a biggie. #5 of the Greatest Video Game of All Time! We’ve traveled many months to get to the Top 5 and we have finally arrived! Will there be any similarities? Will they all be different? What game company is going to be the most loved? You’ll just have to read on! If you missed the others on our countdown, please check them out: #25,#24,#23,#22,#21,#20#19#18#17#16#15, #14#13#12#11#10, #9#8, #7 and #6

#5 Greatest Video Game of All Time

Kai – Civilization II – One of the first games I really got into, Civilization II is an epic game spanning all of human history.  I haven’t played every iteration of the series, but I played 2, 4, and 5 heavily.  I love them all, but have the fondest memories of Civilization II.  

Civilization II was similar to SimCity 2000 in its massive impact on the computer gaming world.  I distinctly remember during 4th grade YMCA summer camp reading the strategy guide and making an ordered list of all 90 technologies.  My cousin and I would play it every summer (along with the related game Colonization), conquering continent after continent.
 
It played like an epic game of Risk, starting in 4000 BC and ending with humans headed to Alpha Centauri (or total nuclear war).  You built cities, controlled armies, researched technology, and constructed wonders, all to prove that your civilization was the greatest.  I’d recommend any of the versions of Civilization if you haven’t tried any, but if you’re looking to jump into world conquest right away, Civilization 5 is probably your best bet.  Just don’t blame me when you can’t stop playing one more turn.

The #6 Greatest Video Game of All Time

Here we go–with each entry more epic than the next! We come to the #6 Greatest Video Game of All Time! If you missed the others on our countdown, please check them out: #25,#24,#23,#22,#21,#20#19#18#17#16#15, #14#13#12#11#10, #9#8, and #7

Kai – World of Warcraft – World of Warcraft was the first massively multiplayer online roleplaying game (MMORPG) I ever played.  Fit had been playing it for a little while and encouraged me to join.  I created a Gnome mage named Norqueatus and started exploring the frozen tundra of Dun Murogh.

World of Warcraft is the most approachable MMORPG I’ve played, due to its rock solid engine/controls and the slow growth of your character’s powers.  Initially you’re sent on very simple quests with only a single spell, but by the end you’re fighting dragons with dozens of spells and twenty-four other players.  It has a very balanced learning curve.
The art and lore are also top quality, provided a cartoonish world with every imaginable type of scenery.  Quest storylines are complex and your character can really change the way the world looks and acts.
 
I don’t play much anymore (other than purchasing and leveling up with every latest expansion), but that’s mostly due to feeling like there’s nothing new for me to try (not to mention the amount of time that is required at high levels of play).  If you’re looking to live in another world for a few months, no other game has the combination of an easy learning curve and massive scope.