Product Review: Adidas D Rose 4 Shoes

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Derrick Rose might be out for the 2013-2014 season, but his new kicks from adidas are out there getting the job done in style. The adidas D Rose 4 shoes feature an exclusive, tailored design inspired by Derrick’s distinct on- and off-court personalities. From SPRINTFRAME stability to support any player’s explosive and attacking style of play, to the sleek, clean upper mirroring Derrick Rose’s off-court style, these shoes combine premium performance and innovative design for the ultimate signature basketball shoe. Comfort is top priority if you want to take your game to the next level, and the D Rose 4 seamlessly-bonded SPRINTWEB provides breathable, lightweight support that any player will appreciate.

You can find the new D Rose 4 shoes for $139 online here at Dick’s Sporting Goods.

  

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Jessica Uberuaga stars in “Vigilante Diaries” with Jason Mewes

Jason Mewes has been very busy lately. We know him from cult classics like “Clerks” and all of the Jay and Silent Bob”projects, and earlier this year, Will Harris spoke to him about new TV projects. Now, he’s starring in a new and innovative online TV project on Chill.com called “Vigilante Diaries,” a high energy, fast-paced ride into the dark world of vigilante justice with plenty of guns and blood. The show also stars the lovely Jessica Uberuaga, who you can see in the slideshow above.

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Heat versus Spurs in NBA Finals

While the San Antonio Spurs cruised through the Western Conference Finals against Memphis, the Miami Heat had everything they could handle against the size and youth of the Indiana Pacers. Naturally, throughout that seven-game marathon, the storyline seemed to change over and over again. We had the inevitable drama as Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh took some heat for their play, but as usual (since their choke job two years ago against Dallas), the Heat delivered in crunch time. So now we have a pretty evenly matched NBA Finals, and serious betters will be doing a ton of research and then checking out online gambling site reviews to make their picks and get the latest and best odds, though in the end this one really comes down to your gut.

We have one dynasty led by Tim Duncan, and one potential dynasty led by Lebron James. With Duncan, he’s basically ceded the leadership of the team to Tony Parker, and their “Big Three” with Manu Ginobili have more to do with legacy. The Spurs are a deep team, with these veterans supported by some excellent young talent. The professionalism and experience of the Spurs sets them apart from some of the other teams the Heat have played, so many think they have a shot here.

In Miami, Lebron was ridiculed for being “Robin” to Wade’s “Batman” several years ago, and while we can all mock him for pairing up with superstars to win, there’s no doubt today that he has emerged as the leader of this team, as he matured quite a bit after the humiliation of the Dallas series. Meanwhile, the inconsistency of Wade and Bosh has to worry Heat fans, though like I said earlier, they always seem to rise up. Lebron also has revenge on his mind, so the motivation is definitely there against the Spurs.

So sit back and enjoy what should be a great series.

  

App of the Week: Slayin

Developer: Pixel Licker Games

Compatible with: iPhone (optimized for iPhone 5), iPod Touch, and iPad

Requires: iOS 4.3 or later

Price: $0.99

Available here

“Slayin” is an app that wears its retro gaming heart on its sleeve. You don’t have to look hard to spot its influences from games like “Castlevania,” “Ghosts and Goblins,” “Metal Slug,” “Mega Man,” and more, yet “Slayin” is also unique. It touts its gameplay as the first endless action RPG, in that you are constantly moving, constantly battling, and constantly trying to level up and improve yourself through statistical upgrades and better equipment.

Mix those notions of nostalgic ideology and brand new mobile gameplay together, and it’s like tasting peanut butter and chocolate together for the first time. Yes, “Slayin” is basically the Reeses of the app world, yet infinitely more filling.

“Slayin” tasks you with choosing between three character classes (the strong knight, the ability loaded wizard, and the dual sword wielding knave) and embarking on a timeless quest to slay a dragon, and all other minions and bosses along the way. While all the classes have their own unique abilities and progression systems, they are all bound to the very simple play style which has you constantly moving in a small area, and shifting your direction left and right as you work to destroy everything in your path.

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It may be simple, but it works so, so well. “Slayin” refers to itself as the first of its kind, and its uniquely relentless and dangerously addictive style certainly feels the part. Once you quickly adapt to the flow of “Slayin,” you’ll find yourself in that great zen like state a game can provide, where your actions seem to occur a fraction of a second before you even think them. You’ll need those extra quick reactions, as “Slayin” borrows its difficulty from many of those titles that influenced it, though I’m happy to report that the challenge is one based of skill over trial and error for the most part.

While more of an action game than an RPG, those role playing elements still shine in “Slayin,” especially when it comes to its upgrade system. As mentioned, each character type has their own upgrades and equipment available, which the game cleverly lets you purchase without much break in the action courtesy of an appearing shop keeper. Thankfully, the vast majority of your purchases are made with in-game currency, and the additional in-app purchases available are mostly novelty items that in no way are necessary for your completion, or enjoyment, of the game.

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Where “Slayin” really hits it out of the park, though, is in that retro style. Apply this concept to any other form, and it just wouldn’t have worked as well as it does here in a hybrid world of 8 and 16 bit video game design. There isn’t a visual or audio element that doesn’t harken back to that time, and yet “Slayin” also adds just enough of its own style to those elements to feel fresh. This is particularly evident in the music (done by one of the same guys who did “Retro City Rampage”) where a few notes will remind you of certain classic games, yet the score itself is more of a unique entrant into the field than a mere tribute.

There are games out there without a fraction of the addictive nature and charm of “Slayin” that are still great. “Slayin” is a title that focuses on the advantages of the mobile platform, and uses every single one of them to craft an experience that is a feast for the eyes, ears, mind, and hands. It’s a twitch based actioner with equal measures of looks and heart, as well as a surprising amount of depth.

If you ever want to see and experience the design pinnacle of a three button game, then you need “Slayin.” As I type this, I just want to jump back into it’s one more play world that inevitably stretches on for hours, so let me wrap this up quickly by crowning “Slayin” the unquestioned app of the week.

  

Starbucks Verismo Coffee Maker

Single serving coffee makers are all the rage, so you can expect to hear a lot about them this holiday season. Naturally they make great gift for many people on your gift list, from the busy professionals, young students to moms and dads.

We tested the new Verismo System by Starbucks and liked the system very much. Starbucks knows coffee, so any coffee maker with their brand name on it can be expected to meet a high level of quality, and the Verismo system lives up to that standard. As soon as you pull it out of the box you can tell that it’s well-made and beautifully designed as you can see from the photos above. It has a small footprint so it will fit in nicely on most kitchen counters without taking too much space.

We tested the 580 model pictured above, and a slightly larger and more advanced V-585 system is also available. The system is very easy to use, and all of the parts work seamlessly together. It’s easy to add water, clean by rinsing and also adjust the drip tray grate to adjust for different size cups. The machine warms up quickly in about 15 seconds so you can get your coffee fix right away when you need it.

The system uses pods like other single serving coffee makers, but here you use Starbucks pods that use the exact same coffee that Starbucks uses in their cafes and in their packaged coffee. The Verismo can be used to brew an espresso, regular brewed coffee, lattes and even an Americano. Instead of using milk, this system uses 100% natural dried milk pods so the lattes are very easy to make and you don’t have any messy cleanup. The results were impressive. The espresso in particular comes out great with the crema that espresso lovers expect and the taste is excellent. You can learn more about the available pods here.

Overall, this is a premium single serving coffee system that makes for a great gift idea.

  

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