Category Archives: smackdown

Freemium Game Smackdown Part Deux: Avengers Alliance 2 Vs. Injustice Gods Among Us

Avengers Alliance Vs Injustice

Recently, Daffystardust pitted two free apps against each other in a Freemium smackdown.  But where Daffy’s tastes run towards tapping screens to customize cities and/or theme parks, I’m more drawn to games that let me recreate super hero battles.  As such, I’m comparing the new Avengers Alliance game to the mobile version of Injustice Gods Among Us.

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Superhero Smackdown: Batman Vs. Superman

Batman V Superman

At long last, Batman and Superman are finally sharing the silver screen.  Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice finds the two heroes at cross purposes.  If you want to see how that plays out, you’ll have to see the movie.  Or you could just watch the trailer and assume that they team up with Wonder Woman to fight Doomsday and form the Justice League in the already-announced follow-up movies.  But where’s the fun in that?  Like most cinematic prize fights, this one will probably end inconclusively.  But that’s not how we roll here at Le Blog.  We’re having a Super Hero Smackdown which will end with a definitive victor.  Who will it be?  The Man of Steel or The Dark Knight?

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Freemium Game Smackdown: Tapped Out vs. Magic Kingdoms

Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 9.22.31 AM

As soon as I acquired my very first iPad several years ago, one of the first things I started looking into was a good (and cheap) town building app. What I mostly came across was what is called the “freemium” platform. What this means is that you can download the game and play it without spending any money, but that if you want to include some of the most attractive decorations, buildings, or characters for your game you probably have to spend some real world cash. So unless you have plenty of disposable income to spend on the allocation of pixels on one part of your tablet you’ll have to exercise a lot of patience and self control in order to continue enjoying the game and building your town on the cheap. Depending on how much you’re enjoying and playing the game you could maybe make an argument that spending a little actual money is worth it, but isn’t free better most of the time if you can swing it? Better to be patient and practice a little self restraint, let your premium currency add up slowly and get those premium items gratis.

It has clearly been a very popular and successful gaming format for companies like EA and Gameloft (who created the two games I’ll be talking about here). Players are drawn in by the ability to play for free and many then start giving in to the temptation of speeding up or plussing their gaming experience. I know I did. After trying a couple of different games of this type and reaching a point where I got bored or frustrated by the format and deleted the games from my devices (goodbye CityVille, Happy Park, and City Friends). Sometimes the artwork or gameplay was unimpressive and sometimes the possibilities for truly free play were way too limited. It wasn’t until I ran across “The Simpsons Tapped Out” game that I found my kryptonite. I’ve been playing the game off and on for something like three years, and even converted some iTunes gift cards into premium currency to help spiffy up my very own Springfield. With the amount of time I was spending on the game I reasoned it was worth it.

So when I heard that Disney was going to throw their hats into the freemium world building game ring I was pretty excited. For a theme park enthusiast, what could be more enticing than the idea of designing your own Disney park during your time away from the real things? Disney park designing is an unavoidable discussion that pops up in the fan community and the concept of maybe putting the very best attractions and restaurants into a single park and seeing how it would look is pretty appealing. Let’s see how Gameloft’s new Magic Kingdoms game measures up to the industry standard of Tapped Out.
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D’Abo Smackdown: Olivia Vs. Maryam

Dabo Smackdown

In the eighties, if you were crushing on an English blonde actress, there was a pretty good chance her last name was D’abo.  The D’abo clan gave the world not one but two lovely ladies who would star in not just movies and television, but also the fantasies of a generation of young boys.  Or so I hear.  It’s not like I watched Conan the Destroyer and The Living Daylights over and over again just for the D’abo factor.

In recent weeks, we’ve been talking about James Bond and the Golden Rasberries; two topics which inevitably lead us to the cousins D’abo.  Odds are if you liked one actress, you were probably fond of the other as well.  They share some truly spectacular DNA.  But the time has come to make a choice.  Who is your preferred D’abo?  Olivia or Maryam.

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Halloween Treat Smackdown: Candy Apples Vs. Caramel Apples

candy - caramel apples

It’s Fall and that can only mean one thing: apples on a stick!  But how you like your apples probably depends a lot on where you’re from.  The debate of caramel vs. candy apples has raged on for decades.  Today, we settle it once and for all.  Which is the superior dipped apple?

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Dessert Tray Smackdown: Cake Vs. Pie

Cake Vs. Pie

We cover a lot of important topics here at Le Blog.  But perhaps no topic is as near and dear to my heart as this one: Dessert.  At family gatherings, no debate gets more heated than which dessert is better.  Cake or pie.  Today, we’re going to settle this once and for all.

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80’s Nerd Comedy Smackdown: Weird Science Vs. Real Genius

real genius vs weird science

This week, we’re celebrating the 30th anniversary of two comedy classics.  Well, that may be overstating things.  Two really good teen movies.  Um, two pretty decent cult movies from the 80’s?  Yeah, that sounds about right.  We’re celebrating the 30th anniversaries of John Hughes’ Weird Science and Martha Coolidge’s Real Genius.  Both movies were released within the first week of August, 1985 and both had at least some nominal connection to science.

Thirty years ago, these nerd comedies battled for supremacy.  Since then,the battle to be the best-loved cult movie for people who were shy kids during the Reagan era has raged on.  Today, after more than three decades of debate, we will pick a winner once and for all.  Or at least until the 40th anniversary.

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Dead Wife Family Comedy Smackdown: The Descendants vs. We Bought a Zoo


Winter of 2011 saw the release of two comedy-dramas starring members of the cast of the Ocean’s Eleven films that dealt with a family coming to grips with the loss of a wife and mother.  Both films were written and directed by A-list talents after a relatively long sabbatical.  We Bought a Zoo and The Descendents were both released with great expectations, but at least one of them fell a little short.  With so much in common, which film comes out on top?

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Super Hero Cartoon Block Smack-Down: DC Nation Vs. Marvel Universe

When I was a kid, Saturday morning was the highlight of my week.  The reason?  Saturday morning cartoons.  Sure, there were cartoons on every day after school.  But only for an hour or two.  And then the reruns of old sitcoms started.  But Sarurday morning featured hours of brand new (or newish) cartoons.  Best of all, there was the Superfriends.

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Halloween Smackdown: Vampires Vs. Zombies


The undead are more popular (and relevant?) than ever.  It’s easy to take them for granted now, but not so long ago zombies and vampires were the stuff of fringe groups.  Cult movies and black and white comic books.  I never imagined there would come a day when either vampires or zombies would come to be embraced by the mainstream.  Much less both classifications of the undead!

With Halloween looming (and lots of zombie talk around Le Blog these days) I figured the time was right to pit these monsters against each other and see who comes up on top.

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A-List Smackdown: Pfeiffer Vs. Ryan

Jodie Foster in a Pfeiffer/Ryan sandwich!

Regular readers of my What the Hell Happened articles know that sometimes the comments section takes on a life of its own.  For reasons unknown, we have discussed Michael Keaton fighting just about every actor who worked in the 1980’s.  The most recent entry focused on Michelle Pfeiffer.  Blogger, Paul S brought up the idea of comparing Pfeiffer’s career to previous WtHH subject, Meg Ryan.  This resulted in an excellent article on Paul S’s blog devoted to the two actresses comparing their careers.

I started typing up a response to the article.  It may not surprise anyone to know I rambled on and on.  My final comment was practically an article unto itself.  But then tragedy struck. (which doesn’t seem to like me very much) ate my comments!  I left an abbreviated version of my original comments and vowed to come back later for a more detailed analysis.

You’re clever folks.  You have probably already figured out that those comments morphed into this article.

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