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The Google Pixel 2 XL Review - Let it burn! Let Burn! Let it Burn!

ONE… THOUSAND... DOLLARS... That’s what you’ll spend if you decide to buy the 128 GB variant of the Google Pixel 2 XL.  In my case, the total price was $1,033.22 after tax, and this price could become the norm if this phone and competing high-end smartphones such as Apple’s iPhone X and the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 continue to sell well.

For that price, the iPhone usually provides around five years of support, and the Note series of phones are packed-to-the-brim with features such as the S-pen and expandable storage. Google’s Pixel 2 XL can’t compete on those terms, but what it does have may still be worth it for consumers looking to purchase a new device.

In the box, the included accessories are a welcome manual with a sim ejection tool hidden inside, a USB A to USB C adapter, a power brick with a double-sided USB C connection, and a 3.5 mm to USB C adapter for your standard headphones. What’s not included in the box is a pair of USB C headphones. This is a disappointing omission for a p…
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Super Russian Roulette: It's all fun and games until you end up with a hole in your head

Russian roulette is the ultimate game of chance where players load up a revolver with one bullet, point it at their own heads, and take turns pulling the trigger. It’s an insane way to pass the time that usually leaves everyone but the winner dead or seriously injured. However, what if there was a way to play it without running the risk of getting a pesky hole-in-the head? 
Prepare to have your mind blown, (pun intended) by an independent developer named Andrew Reitano, and his company, Batlab Electronics.  Super Russian Roulette is a new Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) game that allows up to three players to partake in a game of chance without endangering anyone. Yes, this is an actual cartridge released in 2017 for a game console from the 1980’s.  It’s meant to be played with the Nintendo Zapper, a light gun which was normally used to shoot pixelated 8-bit ducks on an ancient CRT tube TV.  This game asks for gamers to aim it at their own heads which may invoke strange psychologic…

What have I been up to? AKA, Lifesperience is now Raycommend on Youtube!!

It may seem that I have disappeared and abandoned this blog, but in all honestly, that isn't the case. For those wondering, (and thanks for not forgetting me!) I am quite alive and what some would call "well" at the moment.  So...what have I been up to, and why hasn't the blog received an update?

Attack of the Nes Clones: RetroUSB AVS Review

Nostalgia is a powerful force, and with the Nintendo Entertainment System past its 30th anniversary, there are now more choices than ever to play those classic, over-sized cartridges from your youth.  With numerous clone systems out there ranging from under $20, and all the way up to $500, how does the RetroUSB AVS stack up to the competition coming in at $185 before shipping/taxes?  Let's find out.

Upon receiving the RetroUSB AVS, the first noticeable characteristic is that the box itself looks and feels like some cheap Chinese product that you'd likely find at a site like Aliexpress, or in your local Chinatown. Upon opening the box, the experience isn't particularly elegant. It took some work to get the inside cardboard to come out of the box.  The strong suction kept a tight grip and almost made me rip the cardboard in an attempt to get the AVS out of its own packaging.  Once it was finally out, the contents were an HDMI cable, a Mini (not Micro) USB cable with a separ…

Latest update for the Retron 5 breaks Master System support *Updated*

Lifesperience is now Raycommend, which can be found here:Ray Commend

As of 6/27/16, Hyperkin has put an update that specifically targets the SMS issue. The fix can be found here.

Changes since v2.4 include:
Fixed issue preventing SMS games from running
Will the blunders at Hyperkin never stop?  I really, really want to like their products, but the Retron 5 debacle has been an unmitigated disaster of epic proportions ever since release.  From stealing emulator source code, to faulty release hardware (since revised), it just seems like Hyperkin just can't get their priorities straight.  This is the company that is currently working on a strange contraption that will turn your cell phone into a gameboy for some reason.

With over a year since since the last official release which was also disastrous, Hyperkin has finally decided to release the 2.4 update.  Below are their release notes:

Changes in application update v2.4 include: Various optimizations and fixes included, resulting in the u…

8bitdo's Retro Receiver: Reliable Wireless for the NES at last!

As I waited anxiously this week for 8bitdo's retro receiver to arrive, I looked over at my old wireless solution for the NES; The Acclaim Wireless Nes Infrared Controller.  The old controller still works decades later, but is hampered down by its infrared technology.  The range is limited to a few feet, and even worse, line of sight between the controller and its huge sensor is a must for it to work at all.

8bitdo has answered the call with its Retro Receiver adapter.  This modern take on wireless uses modern bluetooth technology.  The adapter itself is about the size of the average adult thumb, and powered directly from the NES port itself.  No controllers come with the $20 adapter, but it does work with all of 8bitdo's controllers and joysticks in addition to the Wiimote, Wii U pro controller, PS3, & PS4 controllers.  The contents of the box are sparse, and only contain the adapter, a usb cable for connecting to your PC/Mac, and what can loosely be called "instruc…

Retron 5 gets 3rd Party Controller support via the Nes30

Lifesperience is now Raycommend, which can be found here:Ray Commend

8bitdo, the creators of the Nes30 and other clone gamepads, have recently released a firmware updates that allow them to directly link to Hyperkin's Retron 5 system wirelessly via bluetooth.  If you have a Nes30 pad, then simply update your firmware by following the directions via this link, and start playing!!

Due to the Retron 5 gamepad having more buttons than the Nes30, mapping isn't absolutely perfect, but works well enough with the NES, SNES, Sega Master System (with adapter), Gameboy, and Gameboy advance systems.  The Genesis mapping is missing buttons "^" and ">" which would correspond to "C" and "Z" buttons on the official six button Sega Genesis controller.  Fortunately, there are options to remap gamepad buttons via the Retron 5's settings menu and create alternate profiles which can be saved to system memory.

Once you have updated your firmware; turn o…