Categories
Culture News

This Week in Comic Collecting: Venom Comics to Consider

Every Wednesday, thousands of members of the comic book community pour into local comic shops to grab the new comic book day releases. Most weeks, the community is split over which books are the ones to grab, but every once in a while there is really one true winner. This week happens to be one of those weeks. No matter whether you found yourself in a discussion on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, your LCS or an old school message board or forum, the discussion most likely surrounded one book this week. That book was Venom.  

Now, most of the time I talk about a property in the pages of ONE37pm, we are talking about movie rights or movie releases and their subsequent impact on the comic market. This week though, we are talking about Venom purely from a publishing perspective. Venom has always been a popular character ever since he debuted in a cameo in Amazing Spider Man #299. Originally a villain, his popularity in the early 90s demanded a face turn and in doing so, boxed in creators, forcing them to write the character as good, but with all the badass traits that made him popular in the first place. Many writers tried to accomplish this with varying degrees of success. Each time, the tone of the character and series would change. This all became a distant memory when the dynamic duo of Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman was announced to take over the title in 2018. Cates was the hottest indie comics writer around before taking over his dream character in Venom. 

During Cates run, he fleshed out a ton of backstory as well as introduced us to a new character, Dylan Brock, the son of Eddie Brock. Almost immediately upon his debut in issue #7, Dylan began to get people’s attention. With Dylan appearing only briefly, some collectors gravitated towards issue #9. This issue has been deemed his first full appearance and is the more desirable of the two. He would have two major events in Absolute Carnage and King in Black that really were the anchors of this run. While Venom as a character has been going strong for 200 solo issues as of Wednesday, issue #200 marked the 35th and final of the Cates and Stegman run as they moved on to take over as the creative team behind The Hulk in November. 

Issue #200 was fabulous and really gave you everything you could want from a conclusion to a story that took 3 years to tell. The issue sees a lot of change in the world of our favorite Symbiote Venom. As the issue concludes, making way for a new creative team to take the helm, we see Flash Thompson return as Anti Venom with Eddie even suggesting to Captain America that Flash would make a good Avenger after Cap extended the offer to Eddie. We then see Dylan walking home from school with his dog (and Venom symbiote) when Jack O Lantern is seen accosting a woman in an alley. When Dylan tries to save her, he is shot and in an effort to save him the symbiote joins with Dylan.  Jack O Lantern immediately recognizes the kid as the son of Eddie Brock and becomes wary, only for Dylan to stand up, now monstrous in size and scale and proclaim: “We Are Venom” before attacking and brutalizing the villain right there in the alley. This gives us the first appearance of a new Venom: Dylan Brock. We then see Eddie happy to see his son take the mantle as he is now old and weary and ready to be a “stay at home Dad” as he puts it.  He knows the Venom symbiote is the best way to keep his son safe.  

So this brings me to the investment opportunity. Comic investors have long speculated on a bright future for Dylan Brock upon his debut and this week’s new issue only validated those beliefs for diamond handed investors. Having said that, there is still plenty of opportunity for profit with the newest Anti Hero in the Marvel Universe. Here are 5 options for investing:

Venom #7 (2018 Run) First Cameo Appearance of Dylan Brock
Marvel Comics

In an awesome last page splash page reveal we get the first appearance of Dylan Brock. This issue was immediately popular as comic investors speculated on who the clearly important boy could be. By the time issue #9 hit LCS, buyers had made up their mind.  This issue does not see the same demand as issue #9, but is still a great pick up nonetheless. We have seen a lot of these types of cameos catch up to their “First Full” counterparts in recent years and it will be interesting to see if this one has the legs to do just that. It is currently trading at $45 raw and about $300 in a slabbed 9.8.

Venom #9 (2018 Run) First Full Dylan Brock Appearance
Marvel Comics

As I previously mentioned, first full appearances tend to trump cameos with regard to collector desirability.  This one is red hot and even quoting prices in these pages is dangerous as so much movement has happened since Wednesday’s new issue drop. That said, a Venom #9 1st Print (or similarly the 2nd Print) is running for around $100 raw and $400 in a 9.8.  I only expect to see that total rise as time goes on. There is a good chance that this is a blue chip key. Having said that, my one concern is that with most characters, it isn’t their human first appearance which is desirable, but their first as the character that becomes their final form.

Venom #200 (35) (2018 Run) First Dylan as Venom Appearance
Marvel Comics

With what I just said about Venom #9 in mind, I think this book has the chance to be a major long term player. It being so new and so readily available for cover price (although an inflated cover price of $9.99 for this 96 page giant!) tends to make investors think there are no legs here. But it is early in the process and most likely will dry up on the secondary market. This is a monster first appearance and as Dylan develops as the Venom in the Marvel Universe, I believe interest in this issue will only grow. This is one to grab now for $10, get it slabbed and sit on it. 

Venom #19 (2018 Run) 2nd Print First Dylan with Powers Cover
Marvel Comics

This cover is a bit more of a stretch, but one that is seeing immediate heat, which bodes well for its ability to latch on to the collector market. This second printing of issue #19 sees Dylan front and center on its cover with the first inclination of his natural powers and abilities as the son of two symbiote carriers.   For a long time, this issue sat largely under the radar only to explode since Wednesday, jumping from its $4 cover price to $30 raw and $250 in a 9.8.  

Venom #19 (2018) Tyler Kirkham Frankie’s Comics Exclusive Variant

I absolutely love this cover and find it to be quite possibly the best sleeper investment in Dylan. First off, this exclusive variant is limited to 3000 copies of the trade dress version and just 1000 copies of the virgin variant. It is still available at its drop price of $20 for the trade dress variant and $50 for the set of 2 from Frankies. This cover depicts Dylan front and center with a hoodie and face paint, almost cosplaying as Venom. This is the issue where Dylan first displays his powers, making this cover a major example of foreshadowing. I loved the cover art on this one as soon as it dropped, but I immediately thought of it upon reading Venom #200. I think this is a book that—as time goes on—could become a true must have for Dylan, and now Venom collectors everywhere. 

So while I am truly sad to see this iconic run of Venom end for Cates and Stegman, I am extremely grateful for their 3 year run of awesome stories. I am pumped for what the future can hold for our new Venom, Dylan Brock. Best of all, we won’t be hearing the last of this dynamic creative duo and you can bet your bottom dollar the community will be lined up and ready to grab Hulk #1 from Cates and Stegman when it drops in November. I know I will. 

Categories
NFT Sports

NFTs and Injuries, Lamelo Ball Wins Rookie of the Year

They say “Pikachu can’t tear his ACL.” It is what separates non-sports assets and sports assets. When investing in the sports NFT world, you are banking on a player’s health. 

You look at the last week in the NBA and the playoffs have been decimated by injuries to some of the league’s biggest stars. 

Predicting injuries is impossible. But factoring in this concept of, “what if this player tore their ACL? How would it impact their career?” can be incredibly important in deciding where you want to invest your money in the NFT landscape.

With the Kawhi Leonard news, it’s incredibly disappointing, but most likely, it won’t impact his career arc. Can this be said for some of the younger players who have yet to establish that tenure in the league. 

Even the rookie of the year, Lamelo Ball was dinged up for a small portion of the season. It almost cost him the rookie of the year. 

Speaking of Lamelo, the youngest Ball brother dropped an NFT collection a few weeks ago. And with him winning the prized accolade, it will be included in his NFT series.

Investing in players’ whose careers are already somewhat established can keep you safe from the always possible threat of injuries. 

And if you want to completely avoid the threat of injuries, you can always look to non-sports related NFTs. 

Whether it be a meme, digital art, and digital horses. 

There are risks in other NFTs. An artist can be canceled for things they say. Artist’s careers are not guaranteed either. Decentraland could become the preferred landscape of the metaverse over Sandbox. All of these could impact the value of a non-sports NFT.

I’m not saying that there is necessarily a better NFT group to be invested in. I just want people to understand the importance of weighing all of these different factors that go into it. 

Categories
Culture Trading Cards

Analyzing The Latest Panini Prizm Gold NBA Sales

When it comes to identifying and recognizing the key rookie cards of a modern NBA player, Prizm Gold is almost always in the conversation. Prizm Gold variations are numbered to just 10 copies in a set, and while there are a few other variations with shorter print, they are very rare, popular, and command significant price tags for the top rookies of a class. 

In this analysis, we’ll look at Prizm Gold sales of top NBA players over the past few months. Many of these sales occurred on the Goldin Auctions platform, which caters to a higher-end audience that is seeking these types of rare cards. 

1. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
Getty Images

The Giannis Antetokounmpo Gold Prizm PSA 10 sold on Goldin Auctions on May 23rd for $420,000: 

CardLadder

Giannis most notably won back-to-back MVP awards, but he does not have a championship ring. He is, however, the 27th ranked all-time NBA player according to ESPN

His Gold rookie parallel sold for 15.85x of the most comparable Prizm Silver PSA sale:

CardLadder

There are just 2 copies of the Prizm Gold while there are 75 copies of the Prizm Silver card. 

The Prizm Silver is about 37 times less rare in pure population comparison, which provides some context for the significant price difference in two key rookie cards of a rising star. 

However, Giannis’ gold prizm, despite being in a PSA 10 copy, sold for $90,000 less than a BGS 9.5 copy via Goldin Auctions in early April: 

CardLadder

This represents a 17% drop, and it’s even more significant considering that a PSA 10 typically commands a premium over BGS 9.5s. 

The Prizm Silver PSA 10 sold for $30,700 on April 21st. The Prizm Silver PSA 10 dropped 13.7% between the April and May sale listed above. The card has further declined in price, with a June sale of $18,100. In just two months, that’s 41% of value lost. 

However, in April of last year, the Prizm Silver sold for around $17,300 in April of 2020 consistently, so year over year, the card is up 4.6%.

And in October of 2019, the Giannis Gold Prizm BGS 9.5 sold for $33,800, which is significantly less than what it would trade for in today’s market. 

2. Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
Getty Images

On May 23rd Joel Embiid’s Gold Prizm PSA 10 sold on Goldin Auctions for $50,400, or about 8x less than Giannis’ Gold Prizm. 

Embiid finished 2nd in MVP voting for the 2020-21 season. 

His Silver Prizm PSA 10 is currently valued at $3,000: 

CardLadder

The Prizm Silver PSA is valued at 16.8x less than its Prizm Gold counterpart. This multiplier is within the same ballpark as Giannis, which helps us start to understand the price relationship between Prizm Silver and Prizm Gold. 

Embiid’s Prizm Silver PSA 10 has 66 copies, whereas his Gold PSA 10 has 3 copies. Embiid’s Prizm Gold is 22x more rare than the Silver. 

3. Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers
Getty Images

On March 7th 2021, during a growth period for the hobby, Anthony Davis’ Prizm Gold PSA 9 sold for $181,200. There are no PSA 10 copies of this card and just 2 copies in PSA 9. 

Davis was ranked the 45th best NBA player of all-time according to ESPN

CardLadder

In March, Anthony Davis’ Silver Prizm PSA 10 sold for $24,000, which means the Gold variation was sold at a multiplier of 7.55x. While this is about half the multiplier as Embiid and Antetokounmpo, it’s likely due to the fact that there are no PSA 10 copies of this card. 

Davis’ Silver Prizm PSA 10 last sold for $8,600, a 64% decrease in value, so it’s likely a sale of the Gold Prizm today would sell for significantly less.

4. Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
Getty Images

On March 6th, Damian Lillard’s 2012 Prizm Gold in BGS Pristine 10 sold for $87,330, and on May 23rd Lillard’s 2012 Prizm Gold BGS 9.5 sold for $74,400. 

Lillard’s currently ranked the 72nd best player of all-time according to ESPN

CardLadder

Lillard’s Prizm Silver PSA 10 sold for $5,762 on May 24th, the day after his Gold Prizm BGS 9.5 sold. The Gold Prizm sold for 13.23x of the Prizm Silver PSA 10. 

CardLadder

The BGS 10 copy of the card sold for $87,330 in March, a 14.5% premium from its BGS 9.5 counterpart, which is expected as it’s in a higher grade. 

There are a total of 12 copies of the Gold Prizm in PSA 10, BGS 9.5, BGS 10, which is 2.2x more rare than the Prizm Silver PSA 10 with 32 copies. 

Lillard’s Prizm Gold BGS 9.5 sold for as low as $1,150 in February of 2017. 

5. Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks
Getty Images

On January 31st, the 2018 Luka Doncic Prizm Gold PSA 10 sold for $780,000 on Goldin Auctions and on April 7th, it sold for $645,750. 

Doncic was ranked the #1 NBA Player under the age of 25 by ESPN two years in a row. 

CardLadder

The pop 3 Gold Prizm PSA 10 has lost 17.2% of it’s value since the January sale. 

On January 31st 2021, Doncic’s Prizm Silver sold for $8,120.71. In this case, the Prizm Gold sold for 96x of the Prizm Silver counterpart, likely due to a higher population of silver Prizms. 

The Prizm Gold PSA 10 is 685 times more rare than the Prizm Silver PSA 10. 

On April 8th, the Prizm Silver PSA 10 sold for $7,700, a 5% decrease from the January 31st sale. 

The Prizm Gold lost 12.2% more value in that time period, but as of June 13th, Doncic’s Silver Prizm is valued at $4,742.50, a 38% loss in value. 

In the last month alone, there have been 20 new copies of the Prizm Silver graded in a PSA 10 copy. 

In July of 2019, the BGS 9.5 Prizm Gold Luka Doncic sold for just $8,500 in a private sale while the current predicted value is $111,920, 1,216% growth in 2 years. 

6. Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks
Getty Images

On March 7th, the Trae Young Prizm Gold PSA 10 sold for $111,930 at Goldin Auctions. 

Young finished 6th in All-Star voting for Eastern Conference Guards. 

CardLadder

Young’s Prizm Silver PSA 10 sold for $1,650 on March 8th. Like Doncic’s Gold Prizm, Young’s Gold sold for 67.8x of the Prizm Silver in a similar time frame. 

The Prizm Silver PSA 10 has a population of 2,061 with 36 new PSA 10 copies issued in the past month. The Gold Prizm is 515 times more rare than the Silver, which is less rare than Doncic’s Prizm Gold and may clue us into why the Gold didn’t sell at a similar multiplier. 

Young’s Silver Prizm PSA 10 has increased in value since the sale in March to $1,673, 1.39% growth. 

7. Lebron James, Los Angeles Lakers
Getty Images

On April 6th, the 2012 Prizm Gold Lebron James BGS 9.5 sold for $571,200 on Goldin Auctions. 

Lebron James was ranked #2 on ESPN’s All-Time Basketball rankings

While this isn’t a rookie card, 2012 Prizm was the first year the product was introduced for NBA players and carries some historical significance in the hobby. 

CardLadder

On April 7th, Lebron James’ 2003 Topps Chrome Refractor (Rookie) sold for $147,600. 

That means that the non-rookie, non-PSA 10, Gold Refractor sold for 3.86x the value of a PSA 10 rookie refractor in the same time period. 

The 2003 Topps Chrome Rookie refractor has lost 36% of its value since the March sale, with it’s latest value at $94,470. 

At the current predicted value of the 2012 Prizm Gold BGS 9.5, the card is still worth 1.8x of it’s Topps Chrome rookie refractor counterpart. 

The 2012 Gold Prizm BGS 9.5 is 19x more rare than the Topps Chrome rookie Refractor PSA 10.

Categories
Consoles Gaming

Who Should Be the Final Character for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate?

Welp, Tekken finally got itself a roster spot in the biggest crossover fighter of all time! 

The ruthless Kazuya Mishima will now step into the ring to do battle with some of his fighting game peers and plenty of Nintendo icons. Kazuya’s reveal trailer grabbed everyone’s attention thanks to its shocking display of his massive moveset that utilizes most of his Tekken repertoire and its hilarious cliff-dropping routine with a host of memorable characters. We’re pretty sure longtime Tekken director Katsuhiro Harada twisted Super Smash Bros.’ beloved director Masahiro Sakurai to make this happen. And we’re pretty pleased with the end result of that exciting request. Now there’s just one more character left to add from the second Fighters Pass. And sadly, that final roster entrant will be the very last member of the game. If there’s one thing we know about Sakurai, it’s that he always goes out of his way to shock Smash’s massive fanbase with a major character reveal. 

We hope the still unannounced final character sends Smash Ultimate out with a bang. If any one of the following five characters gets unveiled for that final roster spot, we’d be ever so thankful to King Sakurai.

1. Crash Bandicoot
Stage: N. Sanity Beach
Activision

Fans have become accustomed to platforming icons being a part of the Super Smash Bros. party. Mario, Sonic, Donkey Kong, Yoshi, Kirby, and a host of other hop & bop heroes are all a part of Nintendo’s playable celebration of gaming history. Looking at that cast of characters will instantly make you ask yourself a question that’s probably been asked a million and one times already – “Hey, where’s Crash?” The mobile orange bandicoot ruled the late 90s on the first PlayStation and quickly became a fan favorite due to his spunky attitude (we’re sure you remember all that spicy talk Crash directed at Mario during their heated console war rivalry). 

Thanks to his three remakes and fourth official game, Crash’s renewed fame affords him the right to join the Smash Ultimate roster. His arsenal of moves would be pretty easy to translate into the game – all he needs is his spin attack, his slide maneuver, his body press slam, and his trusty Wumpa Gun. And as far as his Final Smash goes, Crash could tap into his superpowered Aku Aku mask and enter into a running & jumping rampage against his future victims. We think it’d be great for Sakurai to do what PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale was sadly unable to do.

2. Fulgore (‘Killer Instinct’)
Stage: Ultratech Industries
Microsoft Studios

Can you imagine how hype the reveal trailer for Fulgore would be if he ever got the Smash Ultimate treatment? Picture this – Ryu, Ken, Terry Bogard, and Kazuya Mishima can be seen nervously sneaking through a busy factory. All of a sudden, a huge light centers on the whole gang and an alarm goes off. A massive door elicits a whole bunch of smoke and opens, which leads to the emergence of a cloaked figure. Once the smoke clears, shocked expressions pop up on everyone’s faces as their newest rival is unveiled – “FULGORE IS READY TO GO ULTRA!” 

Killer Instinct’s robotic menace got his start on the SNES, so there’s already plenty of Nintendo history to tap into in that regard. Microsoft did Nintendo a solid by lending Smash Ultimate Banjo-Kazooie, so we think the major tech-heads behind the Xbox brand would be happy to do the same as far as Killer Instinct is concerned. Fulgore has a ton of sick moves in his arsenal and we hope the devs behind Smash Ultimate find a way to incorporate KI’s insane combo system into his Final Smash. And to be honest with you all, one of the other reasons why Fulgore is the perfect candidate for Smash Ultimate is the inclusion of KI’s legendary collection of musical bangers.

3. Monster Hunter
Stage: Kamura Village
Capcom

The behemoth known as a Rathalos already makes its presence felt in Smash Ultimate as a boss encounter. At this point, it’d make all the sense in the world to see an actual Monster Hunter step into the fray. And what better way to commemorate the release of Monster Hunter Rise than by featuring the main protagonist from that Nintendo Switch exclusive! This brand new hunter is extra mobile thanks to the addition of the Wirebug, which could be used to offer this character a huge boost in mobility. 

As far as this requested character’s movelist is concerned, we’d love it if each button utilized a different weapon. Monster Hunter could be a combo machine with the Dual Blades, Light Bowgun, Lance, Insect Glaive, and Switch Axe in tow. And being able to join forces with this character’s loyal Palico and Palamute companions for a three-pronged attack would be amazing. Monster Hunter could come in a male and female variation with different armor sets, which would be ideal for this much-requested roster addition.

4. Axel Stone (‘Streets of Rage’)
Stage: Wood Oak City
Dotemu

The Streets of Rage series lay dormant for an excruciatingly long time before Dotemu, Lizardcube, and Guard Crush Games breathed some much-needed life into it. 2020’s release of Streets of Rage 4 hit the scene and managed to be one of the best beat ‘em up experiences of all time. The legacy cast made their return and aged like fine wine from a visual and mechanical standpoint. Wouldn’t it be amazing if the poster boy from Streets of Rage hopped on over to the Smash Ultimate ring to show off his street fighting prowess?

The veteran beat ‘em up hero known as Axel Stone would make for a great character that could do some damage with a pretty cool set of moves. Besides his general use of basic combos, Axel can pull off devastating specials such as Dragon Smash, Dragon Wing, and Grand Upper. It’d be pretty hype if Axel’s Final Smash called on the police cavalry to drop some exploding missiles into the battlefield! And lord knows we’d love to hear the amazing array of electronic dance music tunes the Streets of Rage series is known for thanks to Axel’s inclusion.

5. Dante (‘Devil May Cry’)
Stage: Temen-ni-gru
Capcom

Any time a new Smash Ultimate character is announced, you can always see a series of tweets that complain about that new fighter not being Devil May Cry’s beloved frontman. Dante already got showcased as an amazing fighting game character via his inclusion in Marvel vs. Capcom 3. It makes sense that most of his fans would love to see him take his talents to the world of Smash and show everyone just how badass he is. 

The version that would make the most sense for inclusion is his Devil May Cry 5 self. His armory should include Devil Sword Dante, Balrog, Cavaliere, King Cerberus, and a few of his firearms to boot. It’d be amazing if Sakurai and his team managed to include some of Dante’s past iterations as selectable costumes and featured Vergil chilling in the background of Dante’s signature stage while he did battle. Dante would make for an immensely satisfying DLC roster addition due to his wide variety of weapons, iconic design, and catchy collection of songs from his legendary franchise.

Categories
Style What To Buy

The 13 Best Electric Bikes On Amazon

Summertime is coming around the corner, and like many of us, you may be searching for a new bike that you can ride outside. If you are in this category, then perhaps consider an electric bike. Electric Bikes or e-bikes as they are more commonly known, is a bicycle with an electric motor that helps assist with pedaling. E-bikes have all of the same mechanical features as regular bicycles, but unlike traditional bicycles, electric bicycles offer efficient mobility and better handling than standard models. Additionally, most electric bikes come with a rechargeable battery pack to keep the batteries charged for a considerable period. We have put together a list of the thirteen best electric bicycles that you can currently find on Amazon based on quality, affordability, and ranking.

1. ANCHEER Electric Bike 250W/500W Ebike 26” Electric Bicycle
Top Pick
Amazon
ANCHEER Electric Bike

This electric bike is equipped with a 21-speed transmission system. It has front and rear disc brakes, as well as a bright LED headlamp for night riding. The battery can be charged on or off the frame easily, and there’s also an easy-to-use charging port that allows you to charge your bike without having to worry about it being out of service.

BUY NOW, $599.99
https://amzn.to/2Sas4pE
2. G-Force Electric Bike, 26”Mountain Bike
Best Battery
Amazon
G-Force Electric Bike

The G-Force Electric Bike is a mountain bike that comes with an advanced version of 250W motor, a large-capacity battery that can last 30 to 45 miles in pure electric mode, and hydraulic shock absorption designed to reduce bumps. The G-Force also offers three interchangeable riding modes: pure electric mode, and pedal mode.

BUY NOW
https://amzn.to/2S71wpf
3. NAKTO 26″ 250W Cargo Electric Bicycle Sporting Shimano 6 Speed Gear EBike
Best Storage
Amazon
NAKTO 26″ 250W Cargo Electric Bicycle Sporting Shimano 6 Speed Gear EBike

This electric bike has a high-quality brake and gear shift system. The front fork is made of high-strength carbon steel with premium comfort shock absorption. You can choose any speed according to your needs. There are two working modes, e-bike, and assisted bicycle. It’s also equipped with a smart lithium battery charger that allows you to ride up to 28 miles (30-45 kilometers) without having to worry about running out of power.

BUY NOW, $708.99
https://amzn.to/35E5oAZ
4. Razor MX350 Dirt Rocket Electric Motocross Off-road Bike
Kid-Friendly
Amazon
Razor MX350 Dirt Rocket Electric Motocross Off-road Bike

Known for its affordability, the Razor MX350 veers more towards a sports scooter design, but is still very much a motorbike. This bike is actually on the smaller side, so it can fit easily into certain spaces, and is appropriate for pre-teens/teenagers (anybody 12 and up can ride this bike). The Razor MX350 also comes with 30 minutes of continuous ride time, 12 inch air-filled tires, twist grip throttle, a chain driven motor, and a hand-operated rear brake.

BUY NOW, $259.99
https://go.skimresources.com?id=27667X1584577&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FRazor-MX350-Rocket-Electric-Motocross%2Fdp%2FB0007MZV3C%2Fref%3Dsr_1_2%3Fdchild%3D1%26keywords%3DRazor%2BMX350%2BDirt%2BRocket%2BElectric%2BMotocross%2BOff-road%2BBike%26qid%3D1623971333%26sr%3D8-2
5. SWAGTRON EB7 Elite Plus Folding Electric Bike with Removable Battery & 7-Speed Gear Shift
Most Convenient
Amazon
SWAGTRON EB7

This electric bike has a high-performance range of up to 19 miles on a single charge with the capacity to cruise up to 18.6 mph and conquer 25 inclines. A key-secured compartment keeps the battery locked and protected from dust and splashes rugged, is smooth, and steadfast, has 16-inch wheels, enhanced rear suspension, and rides beautifully.

BUY NOW, $1,197
https://amzn.to/35wUxZL
6. 26 inch Electric Bike for Adults, Commuting Ebike
Best Adults
Amazon
26 inch Electric Bike for Adults, Commuting Ebike

The 26 inch electric bike for adults is meant specifically for commuting. The ebike comes with a battery, a 250W/500W motor, and a whopping 21 speed gears that can be used uphill and downhill. Dual disc brakes accompany the bike, alongside an adjustable handle, and three cycling modes. The ebike also has front shock absorption when riding through bad weather conditions.

BUY NOW, $599.99
https://amzn.to/3gzhHFa
7. Macwheel 16″ Electric Folding Bike, 7.5Ah Lithium-ion Battery
Also Consider
Amazon
Macwheel 16″ Electric Folding Bike

This electric bike has a 270Wh battery that gives up to 37 miles of power-assisted pedaling mode. You can travel up to 18.6 miles in electric mode, and a range of 30-37 miles in pedal-assisted mode.

BUY NOW, $449.99
https://amzn.to/35LjUHz
8. SYX MOTO Spark 24V 100W Kids Mini Electric Balance
Best For Kids
Amazon
SYX MOTO Spark 24V

The SYK Moto has just about everything you could ask for when it comes to a kids electric bike. There are multiple colors to choose from, and the bike prioritizes balance as it is steered towards young children aged three to five. The assembly is labeled as pretty easy (meaning you can do it yourself), and that is always a bonus.

BUY NOW, $330
https://amzn.to/3vHntsQ
9. XPRIT 26” Electric Bike
Best Value
Amazon
XPRIT 26” Electric Bike

The XPRIT 26” is another solid choice for those looking for a new bike. The bike comes with LCD Display, an authentic professional seven speed Shimano Gear Shifter, dual braking, and comfort as the bike is equipped with front fork suspension, and an extra seat post suspension. With a long lasting battery and powerful motor, this is a good pickup.

BUY NOW, $759.95
https://go.skimresources.com?id=27667X1584577&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FXPRIT-Electric-Throttle-Mountain-Conqueror%2Fdp%2FB08FP2Z4ZG%2Fref%3Dsr_1_3%3Fdchild%3D1%26keywords%3DXPRIT%2B26%2527%2527%2BElectric%2BBike%26qid%3D1623972474%26sr%3D8-3
10. VIVI Electric Bike 26″ Electric Mountain Bike
Highly Ranked
Amazon
VIVI Electric Bike 26″ Electric Mountain Bike

The VIVI Electric Bike has many different features that make this a great purchase. For starters, the bike has three different riding modes, high performance components such as 21 speed gears, and comes pre-assembled (all you have to do is assemble the front wheel, bike, and pedals). Electric mode supports 25 to 30 miles, while PAS (pedal assist) can go all the way up to 50 miles. A good pickup for sure!

BUY NOW, $729.99
https://go.skimresources.com?id=27667X1584577&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FElectric-Mountain-Removable-Lithium-ion-Professional%2Fdp%2FB08PSRLMR4%2Fref%3Dsr_1_3%3Fdchild%3D1%26keywords%3DVIVI%2BElectric%2BBike%2B26%2522%2BElectric%2BMountain%2BBike%26qid%3D1623972730%26sr%3D8-3
11. Electric Bike for Adults, 20″ Fat Tire Folding Electric Bicycles
Best Safety
Amazon
Electric Bike for Adults

If you are looking for a slightly bigger e-bike, then consider trying the 20 inch version. This edition comes with all of the same features as the others, but has a more powerful motor (750W). In addition to the three riding modes, this bike also has an LED headlight and taillight, making it easier for night travel.

BUY NOW, $1,299.20
https://go.skimresources.com?id=27667X1584577&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FElectric-Folding-Bicycles-Lithium-Ion-Battery%2Fdp%2FB096TYR3JG%2Fref%3Dsr_1_4%3Fdchild%3D1%26keywords%3DElectric%2BBike%2Bfor%2BAdults%252C%2B20%2522%2BFat%2BTire%2BFolding%2BElectric%2BBicycles%26qid%3D1623972966%26sr%3D8-4
12. BRIGHT GG 20″ ebike
Great Deal
Amazon
BRIGHT GG 20″ ebike

The design of the Bright GG is what really makes this bike standout from the rest. Aside from the awesome color, the bike comes with a removable 36V 10AH lithium battery, three riding modes, and a basket for all of your smaller items. The e-bike also has front and rear disc brakes , and LCD meter display showing driving speed, mileage and remaining power. Not a bad deal if you ask us.

BUY NOW, $608.88
https://amzn.to/3zCcC6o
13. Folding Ebike for Adults 26″
Most Versatile
Amazon
Folding Ebike for Adults 26″

Let’s face it. It’s always extra helpful when a larger item can be folded, and this bike appears to be one of the few out there that can do so. The folding e-bike comes with a 7-speed change transmission system, a powerful motor, a high quality battery, and again, the flexibility to fold the bike in order to make more room. There are a lot of benefits to purchasing the 26 inch e-bike, and while on the pricier side, it very much appears to be worth the investment.

BUY NOW, $699.99
https://amzn.to/2S4KJTA

Categories
Sports Strength

Should Chelsea Go All In on Erling Haaland?

In the age of football where utilizing extreme amounts of money is the norm for the world’s top clubs, it’s not surprising to hear that Chelsea — the defending UEFA Champions League winners — are in the market for another major spending spree less than a year after bringing in Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech and Edouard Mendy.

The Blues have been ambitious in the time that owner Roman Abramovich has owned the Premier League side, which has commonly included sacking managers despite winning titles and moving on from superstar players.

For the second time now in the past decade, Chelsea are European champions, which brings about a new level of pressure for a club that has cemented themselves in the upper echelon of not only the Premier League but all the top teams throughout the continent.

In their first season at Stamford Bridge, it’s easy to argue that Werner, Havertz and Ziyech didn’t fully live up to the billing that was anticipated for a trio of players that feature that much talent.

Now, Werner did finish the season with 12 goals to go along with 15 assists in all competitions and Havertz netted the winner in the UCL final that put the Blues past Manchester City. 

However, there’s a name potentially on the market that would be a game-changing addition to any club in the world.

That player is Erling Haaland.

The rumor mill has been churning with links between Chelsea and the Borussia Dortmund striker for some time now, and it appears that the Blues have made it their top priority to ensure they secure Haaland’s signature either this summer or next year. 

From the outside it seems like a no brainer for manager Thomas Tuchel and his side. They have the money. They have had the success to lure a player of his caliber. They play in a league widely considered to be the best in the world. 

From Haaland’s perspective it may be a little different. While he’s more than talented enough to play at a club like Chelsea, that very reason could make him leave his options open for the future.

The Blues certainly aren’t the only club monitoring Haaland’s future plans, with Man City, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona just a few of the other major clubs that have the means necessary to bring in a talent as stellar as the Dortmund man.

It’s easy to argue though that Chelsea may be one of the few teams with the biggest need at striker though. Havertz began to establish himself towards the end of the season in a variety of roles, but Tuchel did employ him as a false 9 up front at times.

Meanwhile, Werner was most successful when played up top or on the right wing, but his production certainly wasn’t where the club needed it to be throughout the entire Premier League season. 

Olivier Giroud is nearing the end of his career and will likely finish up elsewhere, while Tammy Abraham has been out of favor since the arrival of Tuchel. Abraham, in particular, is still young and possesses a lot of transfer value so it’s quite possible that Chelsea could soon only have Werner available as the team’s striker. 

The need for a Haaland is absolutely warranted if you’re the Blues, and the connection between he and several of Chelsea’s current contingent from their time in the Bundesliga could be a major selling point to Haaland.

This past season, Haaland only trailed Robert Lewandowski in the Bundesliga race for Golden Boot after notching 27 goals and six assists in 28 matches.

His ability to stretch the pitch and drop into the midfield to collect the ball makes Haaland extremely difficult to contain in the attacking third. Meanwhile, his speed is nearly unmatched and allows him to separate himself from defenders in tight spaces.

Ultimately it appears the situation will come down to Dortmund, who have set Haaland’s transfer price tag at 150 million Euros this summer or if teams wait a year it could drastically fall to near half that price as his contract nears the end.

With money not being a major issue for the Stamford Bridge side, it’s hard to see any conceivable reason why Chelsea shouldn’t and won’t make a serious push to bring Haaland to London this summer.

Categories
Consoles Gaming

The 15 Best Games Like ‘Baldur’s Gate’

Role-playing games started with tabletop games so it’s little wonder games like Baldur’s Gate and other early fantasy titles were designed after them. While Baldur’s Gate is widely considered to be one of the top games in the genre there are a handful of others that have played their individuals parts in molding the definition of role-playing games. The following are the best games like Baldur’s Gate.

15. ‘Divinity Original Sin’

Birds-eye view, isometric style role-playing games are a relic of the past. A quality of a bygone era when computers and gaming rigs alike lacked the power to render environments properly. However, it says a lot when a studio intentionally chooses to adhere to such an art style. Divinity Original Sin is one such game that pays homage to top-down role-playing games while maintaining crisp visuals, though your mileage may vary based on what system you play it on. . Everything about the game, from its combat to the inventory system, is polished, making it so players can seamlessly take in the story with minimal distractions. 

Buy Here $39.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/373420/Divinity_Original_Sin__Enhanced_Edition/
14. ‘Icewind Dale’

One does not play Icewind Dale for the stunning visuals because there are none. Even when the game first hit markets in 2000 the graphics were stale and quite up to par as other role-playing games. You also don’t play Icewind Dale for the combat, which is best described as straightforward. You do, however, play Icewind Dale for the comprehensive sweeping story that, by itself, has made this otherwise ho-hum game into something quite special. Icewind Dale is a top-down role-playing game that bridges the gap between old-school RPGs and more modern titles. It’s because of this, the game may look dated but it still has some qualities, like the inventory system, one might find in newer titles. 

Buy Here $19.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/321800/Icewind_Dale_Enhanced_Edition/
13.’The Elder Scrolls Online’

A role-playing game that just so happens to be part of one of the largest fantasy franchises in the world. For years, The Elder Scrolls was a single-player role-playing game, but developers at Bethesda wanted to try their hands at online play. Enter The Elder Scrolls Online an MMORPG set in the Elder Scrolls fantasy world. The game has attracted and maintained a sizeable player base due in large part to developers choosing not to fix what isn’t broken. Elder Scrolls fans will immediately recognize all the game’s ins-and-outs and those unfamiliar with Elder Scrolls won’t have much of a learning curve.

Buy Here $19.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/306130/The_Elder_Scrolls_Online/
12. The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim

Bethesda’s current fantasy flagship, at least until Elder Scrolls 6 is released, Elder Scrolls 5 Skyrim has been a fan favorite for several years now. The game manages to balance excellent storytelling with Elder Scrolls‘ signature open-world setting. Unlike other role-playing games, where it’s easy to differentiate between side quests and the end-game plot, in Skyrim a number of quests have that main quest je ne sais quoi. Skyrim is a very busy game and that is meant in the best way possible. 

Buy Here $39.99
Buy Here $39.99
11. ‘Fabled Lands’

At first blush, Fabled Lands may look like your run-of-the-mill fantasy epic and in many ways it is. However, as derivative as Fabled Lands might be there is a reason why so many come back to play these turn-based role-playing games. Fabled Lands is a role-playing game in the traditional sense of the word. You play the game with an accompanying text, that gives you details about the world and various situations. Fabled Lands is the first solid gateway to get involved with other RPG games like Dungeons and Dragons.

Buy Here for $12.74
https://store.steampowered.com/app/1299620/Fabled_Lands/
10. ‘Guild Wars 2’

Guild Wars 2 tries to do many things and manages to do them all fairly well. Combat is easy to learn and even easier to master. Inventories practically organize themselves and the story, while not as epic as stories from other games on this list, if still fairly epic. Many of Guild Wars 2 systems can be found in modern games like Left 4 Dead. In fact, other game features, like the combat role, are featured in other games as well. Of course, I’m not saying Guild Wars 2 invented these various mechanics but its adoption of them makes for an interesting RPG. 

Download Here
https://store.steampowered.com/app/1284210/Guild_Wars_2/
9. ‘Black Desert’

Without a doubt one of the most underrated games on this list. Released in 2014, Black Desert is an MMORPG that, despite garnering a decent player base, languished in relative obscurity. The buzz surrounding Black Desert‘s unofficial sequel, Crimson Desert, has many taking a second and even first look at Black Desert. Black Desert combines stunning visuals with impressive gameplay. It doesn’t make a difference if you’re a magic wielder or a brawler, Black Desert was designed to impress. While the game’s story might not be anything to write home about, it’s still worth picking up at least until Crimson Desert hits markets.

Buy Here for $9.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/582660/Black_Desert_Online/
8. ‘The Iron Oath’

A turn-based role-playing game in which managing one’s guild is as important as combat. Or so developers say as the Iron Oath is still firmly ensconced in its development stage. The product of a crowdfunding campaign, The Iron Oath is expected to be a straightforward role-playing game with few of the frills of other RPG games. Until the game is released, that will remain to be seen. 

Download Here
https://store.steampowered.com/app/699330/The_Iron_Oath/
7. ‘Final Fantasy 14 Online’

The 14th installment of a beloved fantasy franchise. Final Fantasy 14 was meant as a return to the fantasy aesthetic of the original games but it became so much more. There is something about this game that attracts so many players to its servers even after years. If you don’t believe me, look no further than developers continuing to support the game with downloadable content despite the game being so far removed from its 2010 release. As is usually the case with Final Fantasy titles, the visuals are awe-inspiring. This serves as a bit of a jarring contrast to the wooden characters. Final Fantasy 14 is a mixed bag but one well worth picking up. 

Buy Here for $19.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/39210/FINAL_FANTASY_XIV_Online/
6. ‘Tyranny’

Tyranny is one of those games that makes you think. A top-down RPG like many on this list, Tyranny shines thanks to its ambiguous and nuanced story. In the world of Tyranny, you find yourself working for a Melkor-like big bad, although you yourself aren’t necessarily evil. Tyranny forces players to consider questions of morality while balancing that with a world that doesn’t exactly reward the righteous. It’s an interesting game that’s worth a look for that alone. 

Buy Here for $7.49
https://store.steampowered.com/app/362960/Tyranny/
5. ‘Pillars of Eternity’

Pillars of Eternity offers players a thoughtful story thanks largely to the main character’s ability to see into the past lives of characters. Pillars of Eternity isn’t your standard sword-and-sorcery tale with gallant knights and damsels in distress, although it has plenty of that as well. The combat and gameplay set the standard for games of this kind, and overall, Pillars of Eternity can be a solid addition to anyone’s library. 

Buy Here $29.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/291650/Pillars_of_Eternity/
4. ‘Solasta Crown of the Magister’

There are a handful of games that highlight what a small development team can do and Solasta is one such game. Solasta is a role-playing game that sets itself apart by being one of, if not the most, genuine adaptations of Dungeons and Dragons available. Anyone who has played Dungeons and Dragons will feel right at home playing Solasta. Solasta even gives you the chance to create your Dungeons and Dragons character within the game’s character creation mode. With Dungeons and Dragons and other tabletop games making a comeback and Solasta is the perfect compliment. 

Buy Here $39.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/1096530/Solasta_Crown_of_the_Magister/
3. Torment: Tides of Numenera

Torment is a game that is heavy on the story and even heavier on the text. While that can be a problem for many games, it isn’t for Torment, a game that managed to gather some plaudits during its time. This game is all about the story, so much so that the combat suffers for it. In most people’s summation, however, it’s an even tradeoff. 

Buy Here $19.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/466300/Planescape_Torment_Enhanced_Edition/
2. ‘Dragon Age: Inquisition’

A role-playing game in which the player quickly goes from suspected criminal to the leader of an inquisition. Dragon Age is a game that combines intense combat with an in-depth leveling system. It also helps that the game is one of the most aesthetically pleasing on this list with amazing graphics and meticulous character models. 

Buy Here $39.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/1222690/Dragon_Age_Inquisition/
1. ‘Pathfinder Kingmaker’

Games like Pathfinder Kingmaker show that, in regards to role-playing games, mimicking tabletop RPG games is the easiest way to create something that will appeal to players. With few exceptions, Pathfinder Kingmaker plays more like a tabletop game than most other games of its kind. Everything from the combat to the inventory managing system is reminiscent of a Dungeons and Dragons campaign, which isn’t a bad thing. The combat can get a little repetitive but the game makes up for it in other areas. Overall Pathfinder Kingmaker is your best shot to recreate the magic of Baldur’s Gate

Buy Here $19.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/640820/Pathfinder_Kingmaker__Enhanced_Plus_Edition/
Categories
Style What To Buy

Summer Starter Pack 2021: Everything You Need for Your Summer Aesthetic

The trends we millennials continue to introduce to the social media world are truly mind-boggling. From the ice-bucket challenge to hilarious memes and more, I have found myself struggling to fight off the urge to join in on the fun. So here I am, diving right into the one and only ‘Starter Pack’ trend that we have seen come and go in waves.

Summer is upon us, so there is no better time to introduce you to the Summer Starter pack. Disclaimer: You may not agree with all of my choices here, but let’s remember why we call it a ‘starter pack’—it’s not complete.

Summer Starter Pack:
Classic Baseball Cap
https://go.skimresources.com?id=27667X1584577&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nike.com%2Ft%2Fsportswear-heritage86-futura-washed-hat-9xDxge%2F913011-010
Nike

As much as we love to get out tan on, it can’t hurt to block out the UV rays and protect our precious faces. What we have here is the Classic Nike Baseball Cap that is both trendsetting and protecting. This cap has gained popularity due to its generic look and variety of colors available to purchase.

buy now at nike, $22
https://go.skimresources.com?id=27667X1584577&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nike.com%2Ft%2Fsportswear-heritage86-futura-washed-hat-9xDxge%2F913011-010
Club Master Classic Sunglasses
https://go.skimresources.com?id=27667X1584577&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ray-ban.com%2Fusa%2Fsunglasses%2FRB3016%2520UNISEX%2520clubmaster%2520classic-tortoise%2F805289346913
Ray-Ban

Whether you are blocking out the sun or the haters, these sunglasses are conducive to most wardrobes. If you’re not rocking the Ray-Ban Club Master Classics, then maybe the Aviator Ray-Bans that hit the shelves in the 80s and have been selling in masses ever since are more your speed.

buy now at ray ban, $161+
https://go.skimresources.com?id=27667X1584577&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ray-ban.com%2Fusa%2Fsunglasses%2FRB3016%2520UNISEX%2520clubmaster%2520classic-tortoise%2F805289346913
Button Down Shirt or Basic Tee
https://go.skimresources.com?id=27667X1584577&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.calvinklein.us%2Fen%2Fmens-clothing%2Fck-mens-underwear%2Fshop-all-mens-underwear%2Fcotton-classic-big-tall-3-pack-t-shirt-62062925-029
Calvin Klein

If you are in search of a classic white or black t-shirt suitable for the summer heat, Calvin Klein is the brand for you. The Cotton Classic Big + Tall 3 Pack T-Shirt is 100% cotton and is sold in a pack, making the price and brand worthwhile. The T-shirt comes in different styles as well if you are looking for a specific look.

buy now at calvin klein, $27+
https://go.skimresources.com?id=27667X1584577&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.calvinklein.us%2Fen%2Fmens-clothing%2Fck-mens-underwear%2Fshop-all-mens-underwear%2Fcotton-classic-big-tall-3-pack-t-shirt-62062925-029
Swim Trunks
https://go.skimresources.com?id=27667X1584577&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.psychobunny.com%2Fcollections%2Fswimwear-bathing-suits%2Fproducts%2Fmens-rushup-swim-trunks-b6w214n1ns-433-electric-teal
Psycho Bunny

The second summertime hits, it is essential to own a pair or two of great swim trunks. These Psycho Bunny swim trunks run a tad bit on the pricey side due to the streetwear niche, prime quality, and name brand. Although they are not as cost-conscious, we have found that the mesh lining and pattern options call for them to be at the top of our list in the bathing suit department. But if you’re looking for something a bit more modest price-wise, Uniqlo has some great minimalist offerings.

buy now at psycho bunny, $95
https://go.skimresources.com?id=27667X1584577&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.psychobunny.com%2Fcollections%2Fswimwear-bathing-suits%2Fproducts%2Fmens-rushup-swim-trunks-b6w214n1ns-433-electric-teal
Slides
https://go.skimresources.com?id=27667X1584577&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.adidas.com%2Fus%2Fadilette-slides%2F280647.html%3Fcm_mmc%3DAdieSEM_Feeds-_-GoogleProductAds-_-NA-_-280647%26cm_mmca1%3DUS%26cm_mmca2%3DNA%26kpid%3D280647%26sourceid%3D543457011%26dfw_tracker%3D24819-280647-0002%26ds_rl%3D1257009%26ds_rl%3D1256970%26gclid%3DCjwKCAjwqIiFBhAHEiwANg9szmy4z0XmxXbwUcSLAx9OtkFsqwAFM4FEw8b-QbRbvhoD_uNyCbT2WRoCLRIQAvD_BwE%26gclsrc%3Daw.ds
Adidas

Sandals, slides, waterproof boat shoes, you name it. Any and all of these are more than substantial for most of your summer activities. To stay with the trends, we are going with the slide look. These are one of the most popular slides of today, the Adidas Adilette Slides. They are comfortable, affordable, and designed as the ideal poolside slide. 

buy now at adidas, $45
https://go.skimresources.com?id=27667X1584577&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.adidas.com%2Fus%2Fadilette-slides%2F280647.html%3Fcm_mmc%3DAdieSEM_Feeds-_-GoogleProductAds-_-NA-_-280647%26cm_mmca1%3DUS%26cm_mmca2%3DNA%26kpid%3D280647%26sourceid%3D543457011%26dfw_tracker%3D24819-280647-0002%26ds_rl%3D1257009%26ds_rl%3D1256970%26gclid%3DCjwKCAjwqIiFBhAHEiwANg9szmy4z0XmxXbwUcSLAx9OtkFsqwAFM4FEw8b-QbRbvhoD_uNyCbT2WRoCLRIQAvD_BwE%26gclsrc%3Daw.ds
Backpack
https://www.miersports.com/products/waterproof-roll-top-dry-backpack?currency=USD&variant=31035256635458&utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=google&utm_campaign=Google%20Shopping&gclid=CjwKCAjwqIiFBhAHEiwANg9szqqgK_iT_9_C2FQWI8ghdP0QM4mRfRnjHrnor2Rfm7kfDwGGYSLsnRoCWa8QAvD_BwE
Mier Sports

As all these items accumulate, there is nothing more necessary than having the proper backpack to store your essentials. The Mier Roll-Top Closure Dry Bag Waterproof Backpack Sack is a worthwhile investment to make as it keeps all your goodies safe and organized in one place. This bag is well-equipped for all outdoor activities that you might indulge in this summer.  

buy now at mier sports, $69.99
https://www.miersports.com/products/waterproof-roll-top-dry-backpack?currency=USD&variant=31035256635458&utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=google&utm_campaign=Google%20Shopping&gclid=CjwKCAjwqIiFBhAHEiwANg9szqqgK_iT_9_C2FQWI8ghdP0QM4mRfRnjHrnor2Rfm7kfDwGGYSLsnRoCWa8QAvD_BwE
Portable Speaker
https://go.skimresources.com?id=27667X1584577&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ultimateears.com%2Fen-us%2Fwireless-speakers%2Fwonderboom-2.html%23
Ultimate Ears

No matter the destination, there is one item that can make or break all of your experiences combined. A portable speaker will take your activity to the absolute next level. Being able to blast some great tunes in the back is a game-changing token. The Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 is an excellent option due to its durability, waterproof capabilities, and 13 hours of sound. 

buy now at ultimate ears, $99.99+
https://go.skimresources.com?id=27667X1584577&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ultimateears.com%2Fen-us%2Fwireless-speakers%2Fwonderboom-2.html%23
Yeti Cup
https://go.skimresources.com?id=27667X1584577&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.yeti.com%2Fen_US%2Fdrinkware%2Ftumblers%2F20oz%2F21071500482.html%3Fcountry%3DUS%26currency%3DUSD%26utm_source%3Dgoogle%26utm_medium%3Dcpc%26utm_content%3D__iv_p_1_g_109734591320_c_458434218875_w_pla-1299019824637_n_g_d_c_v__l__t__r__x_pla_y_7597392_f_online_o_21071500482_z_US_i_en_j_1299019824637_s__e__h_9061313_ii__vi__%26gclid%3DCjwKCAjwqIiFBhAHEiwANg9szkRLfhVy6KfplPyNuPwFHHyLxGe67BUnzcHHEKNyVXvcGXOv-RKrjRoCPXQQAvD_BwE%26gclsrc%3Daw.ds
Yeti

As the high temperatures of the season strike, your body tends to be more dehydrated, especially when you are hyperactive. That said, it is beneficial to drink at least half a gallon of water a day. While you could drink out of a plastic water bottle, there are its downfalls. On top of the environmental footprint, water bottles don’t stay cold if not refrigerated. A solution to the problem is purchasing a Yeti Cup—a double-wall vacuum insulated cup that keeps your water ice-cold for extended periods. Or if you’re feeling a little cheeky, feel free to fill it with your non-water beverage of choice.

buy now at yeti, $29.99
https://go.skimresources.com?id=27667X1584577&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.yeti.com%2Fen_US%2Fdrinkware%2Ftumblers%2F20oz%2F21071500482.html%3Fcountry%3DUS%26currency%3DUSD%26utm_source%3Dgoogle%26utm_medium%3Dcpc%26utm_content%3D__iv_p_1_g_109734591320_c_458434218875_w_pla-1299019824637_n_g_d_c_v__l__t__r__x_pla_y_7597392_f_online_o_21071500482_z_US_i_en_j_1299019824637_s__e__h_9061313_ii__vi__%26gclid%3DCjwKCAjwqIiFBhAHEiwANg9szkRLfhVy6KfplPyNuPwFHHyLxGe67BUnzcHHEKNyVXvcGXOv-RKrjRoCPXQQAvD_BwE%26gclsrc%3Daw.ds

This is by no means a complete list of everything you’ll need for the summer, but with these 8 items you should be feeling ready to hit the pool, beach or even just head to a park to toss a frisbee with some friends. Summer 2021 is here; you better get ready.

Categories
Consoles Gaming

All 15 of the Best ‘Final Fantasy’ Games, Ranked

The fantasy genre has always commanded a large following. One can draw a line from the old tabletop games to modern fantasy role-playing games. Despite the number of games within the genre, few have managed to achieve the kind of popularity wielded by the Final Fantasy series of games. 

One of the oldest video game series, Final Fantasy has no signs of slowing down. With each game telling a completely new story, the series is a testament to the depths of storytelling and imagination. Not all Final Fantasy games, however, were made equal. The following are the top Final Fantasy games.

15. ‘Final Fantasy 9’

The unsung hero of the Final Fantasy series, emphasis on unsung. Sandwiched between two of the best Final Fantasy games, Final Fantasy 9 seemed destined for obscurity despite it belonging to a wildly popular franchise. The game’s story is fantastical but nowhere near as epic as other titles. The characters are there but a bit hollow and one-dimensional. The character design was uninspired and generic. The game simply seemed like more of a placeholder for Final Fantasy 10 than a game meant to stand on its own merits. 

Buy now, $20.99
https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP0082-CUSA08877_00-FFIXDIGITALED000?msclkid=a3c735d9ce49198421c35518203922e8&gclid=a3c735d9ce49198421c35518203922e8&gclsrc=3p.ds
14. Final Fantasy 4

There are certain elements Final Fantasy players have come to expect, whether it be turn-based gameplay, a certain rhythm to the leveling system, or recurring enemies like Bahamut. As one of the earlier games in the franchise, you can see those elements start to take shape. Final Fantasy 4 is neither bad nor exceptionally good. You can tell developers were still in the experimenting phase, testing how epic they can make a story without players rolling their eyes at the story. While there are cringe-worthy moments, they are overshadowed by a story that manages to stand on its own even when compared to better titles. 

Buy for $15.99
https://www.amazon.com/Final-Fantasy-IV-nintendo-ds/dp/B00184219U/ref=sr_1_2?crid=23MIKZ4Y9BKS0&dchild=1&keywords=final+fantasy+4&qid=1623954997&sprefix=final+fantasy+4%2Caps%2C150&sr=8-2
13. Final Fantasy 6

The calm before the storm that is Final Fantasy 7. Final Fantasy 6 was released in 1994 and tells a slightly more grounded story, well, as grounded as one can get in a Final Fantasy game. The game revolves around the exploits of the last person able to use magic. It’s an interesting story with ever-increasing stakes. Unfortunately, not much more about it is memorable. 

Buy for $15.99
https://cdn.cloudflare.steamstatic.com/steam/apps/382900/header.jpg?t=1578415704
12. Final Fantasy 11

The start of the path toward modern Final Fantasy. Final Fantasy 11 blends somewhat modern graphics with everything you would expect from a modern Final Fantasy title. The game is a bit of a return to the tried-and-true Dungeons and Dragons formula with classes like mage and thief. It’s the one game that is probably closest to other role-playing games, in that regard. In spite of this, the game suffers from the same issue inherent in Final Fantasy 9. Final Fantasy 11 lacks the ambition of its predecessor Final Fantasy 10 and it shows. Still, Final Fantasy 11 is a cut above other fantasy role-playing games and worth a look. 

Buy for $29.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/230330/FINAL_FANTASY_XI_Ultimate_Collection_Seekers_Edition/
11. Final Fantasy 3

One of the more charming entries in the Final Fantasy series that, unfortunately, lacks the player base due to executives pulling a Super Mario 2 and releasing a completely different game stateside. Eventually, the game was released in the west, and for the few who played it, they were pleasantly surprised. Successful players will take advantage of the game’s unique job options in which party members can switch jobs on the fly. This adds an extra element of strategy to several parts of the game. This game also takes great pride in its mini-games and sidequests, which help flesh out the world. 

Buy Here $29.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/239120/FINAL_FANTASY_III/
10. ‘Final Fantasy 2’

Not to be confused with Final Fantasy 10-2, Final Fantasy 2 was the blueprint for the franchise. It’s another game that, like earlier titles, is not ashamed of its traditional fantasy routes. Fans of Game of Thrones will especially enjoy this title due to the story’s echoes of the Brotherhood Without Banners. Gameplay-wise, Final Fantasy is the first to try something other than the traditional leveling system. Instead of players gaining experience points to burn on leveling, each player becomes stronger based on the battle tactics. For example, a Sword wielder will improve their swordsmanship, while spellcasters become more adept at magic. It’s a clever method to add a bit of reality to the game. 

Buy for $7.99
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/final-fantasy-ii/id354974729
9. ‘Final Fantasy’

The start of it all. Final Fantasy was meant to be an epic role-playing game and it accomplished that in spades. While the graphics and gameplay may be a bit dated compared to the modern title, the game’s story is where it shines through. Others might disagree on this point, saying that the game ultimately boils down to saving the damsel in distress. While they aren’t necessarily wrong, the path you take to get to the endgame makes it worthwhile. Buy it if you can find it. 

Buy for $27
https://www.amazon.com/Final-Fantasy-PSP-Sony/dp/B000NPTOTK/ref=sr_1_6?dchild=1&keywords=final+fantasy+1&qid=1623956058&sr=8-6
8. ‘Final Fantasy 5’

Final Fantasy 5 was one of a handful of games that allowed players to mix and match jobs for their small party of five characters. Everything from mage to barge is available for players to play with until they manage to put together the ultimate team. Successful players will form their ideal team early due to how difficult Final Fantasy 5 is. With the popularity of difficult games like Dark Souls Final Fantasy 5 was a bit of a pioneer, in that regard.

Buy for $15.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/382890/FINAL_FANTASY_V/
7. ‘Final Fantasy 12’

If Final Fantasy 10 is the bridge between old and modern Final Fantasy games then Final Fantasy 12 is the first landmark once you’ve crossed that bridge. Final Fantasy combines modern, if not a bit dated, graphics with an incredible design. Everything front the characters and locations have a certain feel to it. In past Final Fantasy games, it was difficult telling them apart from just screenshots, but Final Fantasy 12 has a unique aesthetic. It’s also worth mentioning that this game prominently features the female rabbit warriors that helped make this game a cult classic. Final Fantasy 12 is worth a playthrough.

Buy for $49.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/595520/FINAL_FANTASY_XII_THE_ZODIAC_AGE/
6. ‘Final Fantasy 14’

Final Fantasy’s stab at being a MMORPG, Final Fantasy 14 is the natural evolution of a roleplaying game that has been around as long as Final Fantasy has. Final Fantasy 14 blended elements longtime Final Fantasy enthusiasts have come to expect with gameplay simple enough to bring in a slew of new players. While the game wasn’t as large as other MMORPGs but it did provide content at a consistent enough pace to keep things interesting. The game also has some of the most breathtaking cinematics. 

Buy for $19.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/39210/FINAL_FANTASY_XIV_Online/
5. ‘Final Fantasy 13’

I struggled with where I should put this game. Final Fantasy 13 is without question one of the best final fantasy games and, yet, it still manages to be wildly underrated. I would go so far as to say that this game and this game alone comes close to rivaling Final Fantasy 7. Not only does it have one of the most iconic main characters, but the supporting cast is every bit as dynamic as those found in FF7. The story also lends itself to a fully fleshed-out world that is entirely believable despite being as fantastical as they come. Final Fantasy 13 goes above and beyond expectations and is well worth your time and attention. 

Buy for $15.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/292120/FINAL_FANTASY_XIII/
4. ‘Final Fantasy 15’

Final Fantasy 15 will take some getting used to. The aesthetics are a bit more modern and grounded than fans are used to and the non-turn-based combat system is a bit more fast-paced than people are used to. Once you get used to the things that make Final Fantasy 15 different, however, it becomes easy to see what makes Final Fantasy 15 so great. It’s a departure from past titles in both gameplay and leveling. It takes place in a world that could very well be our own, minus the roaming monsters of course. In spite of this, however, the game manages to tell a fantasy story that is heads and shoulders above some of the other titles on this list, and that’s saying a lot. You won’t get bored exploring the carefully crafted world developers put together. 

Buy for $34.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/637650/FINAL_FANTASY_XV_WINDOWS_EDITION/
3. ‘Final Fantasy 10’

Four years and three games removed from Final Fantasy 7, there were no expectations to recreate its magic. This gave developers a certain level of freedom that they capitalized on. The simplistic leveling system of the previous games was gone, replaced by a leveling map that, at first blush, looked prohibitively complex. It didn’t take long to get used to, however, and players quickly learned that Final Fantasy 10 added an element of strategy to its leveling system. This was one of several revolutionary gameplay elements introduced in Final Fantasy 10. But it wasn’t just the gameplay that made this title so special. Final Fantasy 10 tells the story of a cast of characters accompanying a doomed priestess all the while trying to find a way to save her life. Along their journey, they are met with trials that put a dark spin on this amazing title. 

buy now $16
https://www.amazon.com/Final-Fantasy-X-playstation-2/dp/B00005TNI6/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=final+fantasy+10&qid=1623956651&sr=8-5
2. ‘Final Fantasy 8’

It was a solid effort, it really was, but the folks behind 1999’s Final Fantasy 8 came up short. Hot on the heels of the previous game’s monumental success, developers were expected to make a follow-up that rivaled Final Fantasy 7. Final Fantasy 8, however, couldn’t quite live up to the expectations placed before it by its predecessor. That doesn’t mean, however, that Final Fantasy 8 isn’t iconic in its own right. Most gamers over the age of 25 will know exactly what you are talking about when you mention a gun blade. Much like its predecessor, the game is filled with iconic characters and memorable moments. While the game’s pacing may be a bit slow near the beginning, overall it’s one of the best Final Fantasy titles there is. 

Buy for $30
https://www.amazon.com/Final-Fantasy-VIII-Remastered-playstation-4/dp/B08LB4HJT2/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=final+fantasy+8&qid=1623956729&sr=8-3
1. ‘Final Fantasy 7’

Any list that ranks Final Fantasy games and doesn’t have Final Fantasy 7 at the top isn’t worth paying attention to. Final Fantasy 7 is simply the standard-bearer that all other Final Fantasy games are compared to. That hasn’t changed since its release in 1997, despite developers’ best efforts to make a new king. 

While some feel the recent remake doesn’t quite have what made the original resonate with players, it still benefits from the original’s legacy. Everything from the unforgettable cast of characters to the epic story, makes this worth playing.

buy now $40
https://www.amazon.com/FINAL-FANTASY-REMAKE-INTERGRADE-PlayStation-5/dp/B08XNRM6QN/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=final+fantasy+7&qid=1623956822&sr=8-3
Categories
Art NFT

Tom Sanders’ Shit House Photo Project is a Humorous Commentary on NFTs

With hundreds of NFT projects cropping up nearly every day, there has to be room for parody of the space. Sometimes it seems like pieces that you wouldn’t expect go on to fetch incredibly high prices on Open Sea or other marketplaces.

That’s why Tom Sanders, photographer, published author and college professor, decided to convert one of his old photo projects into a tongue-in-cheek photo NFT project utilizing an unorthodox model: dog poop. ONE37pm spoke to Tom about his project, and he told us the genesis of the project took cues from Marcel Duchamp’s piece, “Fountain,” a porcelain urinal widely cited as a one of the early pieces in the anti-rational, anti-art cultural movement of the early 20th century in NYC. As was the case with Duchamp’s piece, “Shit House” begs the question: “What is art?”

“Humor in art is so sacred, a lot of the time art is so serious. We don’t often get to laugh at art,” Tom told me. The first shot was taken as part of a project that Sanders completed at Cal Poly back in 2000, but the recent explosion of the NFT space encouraged him to take a few more shots and turn it into a collection. He apparently gave the original image to his dad as a joke, implying that this is what his art degree was contributing towards.

Shooting images of dog excrement is a bit different from other work, as you can imagine. “Some dog shit just doesn’t quite photograph that well, which is funny to think about,” Tom joked to me. He had to really wait and cross his fingers for his furry friend to drop the most photogenic turd to get the right shot. He apparently had to spend a pretty good chunk of time scouring his lawn for just the right model. Tom is also a bit prone to nausea, telling me that he spent a lot of time “dry heaving” while trying to take the appropriate shots. Now that’s commitment to your craft.

Even the prices Sanders selected for the piece have an element of humor to them. The cheapest photo on the Open Sea listing is listed for a whopping 150 ETH, or roughly $350,000 at the time of this writing. The whopping prices are intended as a bit of a commentary on the extreme financial landscape of both the NFT and crypto worlds right now. It’s a jab at the “to the moon!” sort of ethos that pervades through so much of crypto culture right now.

Tom’s intent is not to diminish the amazing work happening in the NFT world right now, but rather to humorously pose a question. Duchamp was asking, “What is art?”, whereas Tom brings the question to the 21st century: “What are NFTs?”