Welcome Back, Kotter: The Complete Series... Reviewed!

This is a serious blast from the past, and shout out to WB for providing a copy of this product for my review. My opinions are my own.

I've never seen this show before (like ever), but... when I heard the theme song, I was like... ohhhh. The theme song is connected to multiple things I've heard growing up, "Welcome back... Welcome back... Wel-come... baaaacckkk!", but I never knew the origin. 'Welcome Back', was created by John Sebation back in 1975 (before my time) specifically for the 'Welcome Back, Kotter' TV sitcom. Enough about the theme song though, is the actually show any good? Let's jump in and find out!

 Story: I recognized a few faces in this show, which includes John Travolta, Lawrence Hilton, Della Reese, Vernee Watson, etc. Never knew this was Travolta's breakthrough role, I was thinking of Saturday Night Fever, but that came out a few years after the show started (again, before my time). 'Welcome Back, Kotter" takes place back in 1970's Brooklyn (NY)... keep that in mind, because it will feel outdated in a number of aspects (especially the singing and dancing). That 'Jeppers Creepers' performance definitely felt like something from that time (I made it through without hitting the mute button, but... I've never been crazy about singing in tv/film).

I won't say that this show isn't digestible by anyone beyond the time it came out or the location, because there are certain comedic touches that can be applied today. Horshack is a prime example. He was running his mouth trying to fit in with the other members for the Sweathogs when they were talking smack to Carvelli and Murray (but mainly Carvelli), and wrote a check with his mouth... that his butt didn't care to cash. He tried to get out of it by acting as if he didn't say anything. Some of you can relate to that via the Trolls on social media alone.

I think the story can be appreciated by newcomers aswell, especially teachers... because Mr. Kotter returns back to James Buchanan High School for the purpose of making a positive impact on the slackers. He takes a creative approach to connecting with the class for the purpose of engaging them, and teachers of today come to mind because the saga continues for a number of reasons. It could potentially be inspiration to connect with the students even more and gain more inspiration for the sake of helping them reach the finishline. I wouldn't say let your students trade off the way Kotter did, but... he wasn't uptight to the point where they weren't receptive.

Although the show revolved around Mr. Kotter and the Sweathogs, there were other aspects that challenged work/life balance for the teacher... because he was also a husband and father. It was good to see that addition added in there to give more depth.

 Visuals: Visually speaking, the show was cleaner than I assumed it would. It wasn't super grainy, the colors pop... and if you're cool with visuals that primarily consist of mids, longs, and closeups, enjoy! Speaking of visuals, I think you'll get a kick out of seeing the fashion from that time.

Speaking of visuals, it's too bad Afro's like Boom Boom's are deemed a fad a lot of the time. I rarely ever see them. It's not a fade, it's... natural.

 Audio: The audio is good. It's nothing that wowed me, but it's what I would expect. Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono.

 Price: Pricewise... the SRP for the 'Welcome Back, Kotter' complete DVD series is $74.99. But... you can get the hook up here for $55.99. You get all four seasons (95 episodes), which delivers a total of 35 hours & 30 minutes. If it were me, I would've added a fake gag mustache (similar to Mr. Kotter's) to the package. Overall, not a bad show at all and... I could see people crowding around the old telly back in the day. I think it's a good show for those of that time who want to revisit it, those who are curious and want to get a dose of that era + teachers and other faculty.

Story 4

Visuals 4

Audio 3

Price 5

4 out of 5 Cool Points

FTS: Generation Zero Announces New Skyfire Update, Launching June 25 on PC, PlayStation & Xbox

The stealth-action game’s next free update adds new endgame boss, the ability to repair Companions on the go, and the new Meusser Hunting Rifle

STOCKHOLM – June 11, 2024 – Systemic Reaction is excited to reveal the free Skyfire Update for Generation Zero, the open-world stealth-action shooter. Launching on June 25 for Steam, PlayStation and Xbox, this newest content drop will introduce The Vulture - a brutal new endgame enemy machine - as well as a bonus weapon and Companion Armor Kits, a new feature that gives players the ability to repair their Companions while exploring or in combat.

Skyfire Features:

  • New Endgame Boss: Face off against the terrifying Vulture, a new Tyrant class enemy in the form of an evolved Firebird. Arm yourself with your best equipment and rally your allies to defeat this menacing new foe.
  • Companion Armor Field Repair: Companion Armor Kits can soon be equipped into your weapon wheel and thrown onto Companions. This new feature allows players to repair or re-kit their Companions on the go, increasing the Companion’s versatility and the length of excursions without needing to return to a safehouse.
  • New Weapon & Augmentations: The new Meusser Hunting Rifle fires a chemical laser beam that can set the ground around the player on fire. New weapon augmentations will also be added that require defeating Tyrants to unlock.
  • Revamped Tyrant Spawning System & More: Players can now discover Tyrant locations after defeating Rival machines, gathering Coordinate Keys, and entering them into Tyrant Terminals located in base assault bases. Tyrant progression will also be updated, along with fixes to machine detection.

Generation Zero is a stealth-action shooter that puts players on the front line of an alternate history war against the machines. Explore a vast open world map inspired by the Swedish-era Cold War and take part in the resistance alone or with up to three friends in seamless co-op. Including the upcoming Skyfire update, Generation Zero has received 32 major updates and two substantial story expansions since its launch in 2019. With a growing community of over six million players and more new content on the way, there’s never been a better time to join the resistance! 

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HexGaming Phantom Controller... Reviewed!

Thank you for checking out this review of the Hexgaming Phantom Controller for PS5 and PC. Before I jump in, I want to give a shout out to Hexgaming for supplying us with a controller for the sake of reviewing it... for you. My opinions are my own.

Before I get into the specifics... let's unbox this thing! 

Before I was able to do anything, I had to figure out which thumbsticks I was going to use first, so I went with the standard... concave regular thumbsticks just to see what the experience was like when compared to similar thumbsticks of alternate controllers. My focus is the quality and what makes this controller worth the money for... Playstation DualSense Controller users looking for an upgrade, PC Gamers in the market for a new game controller, eSports players, and break dancing puppies with at least a 2.5 GPA (who love Parappa the Rapper). So with the thumbsticks connected... let's play!

If you haven't picked up a Playstation controller in awhile, then you... (like me) will have to figure out how to sync the controller to your PC if it's your target platform. You may think it's as simple as turning on the controller, but you will have to press the power button + the share button (the 'Select' button on the left) to enter into pairing mode. It won't require much to sync it from that point, just go to Start (in Windows OS) > Bluetooth and other devices settings > (when the pop up box appears... click) Add Bluetooth or other device > (click on) DualSense Wireless Controller. I'm listing this, because it's not on the website from what I see (I would present such an option to better help people connect to their devices without the need to go elsewhere). By the way, the same steps will also help you connect to the PS5(... duh of the day), phones, and tablets.

If you didn't hear everything in the video, I complimented the grip of the controller. You get a nice thorough feel. It's not a gummy grip, its a nice quality textured grip for the handles + you get a nice grip from the thumb sticks that's available on both the rounded and concave options. You can feel the quality. If you aren't familiar with the weight of a controller like this (based on the extra tech on deck), you will notice it, but... it's nothing that decreased my game time (tolerance wise). I've easily sank in 6 hours of game time with this controller, but I also bounced between the standard Xbox & Luna controllers. It wasn't fair to compare, and I won't as far as details go, but... it's a night and day difference as far as features go (for the most part).

It still took some getting adjusted too, but... the long thumbstick (at least for the right analog stick) is something I never realized I would benefit from until given the option. I suspected that it would allow me to improve my aim and so forth (at least with some games), but my assumption was correct... for FPS games. I will plug video as soon as possible.

Can I get by with the standard controller... absolutely, but this controller has options that you will only find in an eSports ready controller (especially if you need such a thing).

You get 8 swappable thumbsticks... which help you refine your feel based on your needs (some domed, wide, rounded, standard, long) and all options have nice grip. So based on your needs, you're good to go.

The 4 extra buttons on back (as mentioned in the video), allow you to add certain moves that you wouldn't normally utilize with that type of placement. You don't need them, but they're good to have if you want to use the for taking cover or whatever the case may be... and you're not limited to one layout. Double tap the button you see below and the options change based on the game you're playing and how you set it up. There are other options where the back buttons run across... but reaching past another button to hit one that's further away isn't as easy as the set up you see in this Hex Phantom controller. Your middle finger is in easy reach of these buttons.

There is one thing that also crossed my mind when it comes to the placement of these buttons, what if someone has a physical challenge preventing them from using other buttons (i.e. L1, R1)? This could increase the abilities some gamers have in terms of enjoying themselves and even taking on the competition in esports because all they have to do is assign the buttons to the back. These do not fully replace an adaptive trigger... so don't get it twisted when it comes to that, but it could make playing more games possible.

By the way, you're able to turn L2 & R2 into digital triggers with the flip of a switch... along with adjusting the trigger pull. This is serious customization, it's not just an a or b switch... you're able to tweak to adapt. I still have to fully setup the controller in a way that suits me. You have to test and test and test... and it's awesome that the controller is able to do such.

Speaking of which... eSports players will love the stick drift fix. You literally just go in and adjust your thumbsticks on the website. You will simply go to the testing page and correct it... in real time (or test to see if it's centered). This allows for accuracy, and less frustration when taking on the competition. Also, money doesn't grow on trees... this manual adjustment is a great way to keep cash in your pocket after such an investment. Speaking of investments, if you're spending money on a pro controller like the Hex Phantom... either get the kickstarter bundle with the case or get a case from the HexGaming store. They also have the USB cables and more thumbsticks.

Weight wise it is heavier than the standard DualSense by 17g. The standard is 278g, and the Phantom is 295g... which is something to take into account. There is a big but though, because the PS5 DualSense Edge is 325g in weight. On that note, let's jump into some more comparisons.

Standard PS5 DualSense
  • Adaptive Triggers
  • Weight 278g

    Price $69.99

PS5 DualSense Edge
  • 2 Remappable Back Buttons
  • 4 Switchable Controller Profiles
  • Trigger Stop Mechanism
  • Adaptive Triggers
  • Replaceable Analog Stick Modules
  • 6 Interchangable Thumsticks
  • Weight 325g

    Price $199.99

  • 4 Remappable Back Buttons
  • 6 Switchable Controller Profiles
  • Trigger Stop Mechanism
  • Digital Triggers
  • Adapter Triggers
  • Built-in DRIFIX Modules
  • 8 Interchangeable Thumbsticks
  • Premium Performance Grips
  • Weight 295g

    Price $189 (100 set) or $199 Kickstarter
    Price $209 Kickstarter + Carrying Case + USB-C Cable

Quality 5

Comfort 5

Customizations 5

Price 5

5 out of 5 Cool Points

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Outta Sight | June 15, 2024!

Top Audiences Last Week + Xbox Showcase 2024 + Marvel's Midnight Suns... Free!

Shout out to Kevin... (Happy Birthday to your son), Damon, Roy and... your families.
It was great to meet all of you, and salute to Rose... game on! Congrats to Danilo for
getting your very first game console, trust me you won't be sorry! - Blu

Top 10... Let's Go! Oh... by the way, I'm hitting a pause on the anime for this:

1. πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ USA

2. πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¬ Singapore

3. πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅ Japan

4. πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦ Canada

5. πŸ‡¦πŸ‡Ί Australia

6. πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ United Kingdom

7. πŸ‡³πŸ‡± Netherlands

8. πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺ Germany

9. πŸ‡­πŸ‡° Hong Kong

10. πŸ‡΅πŸ‡­ Philippines

Thailand, South Africa, and... South Korea came close!

+ A Free Game!

Free Until May 30 @ 11AM!


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