VOEZ App Game Review

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Coming off the the mess that is Mafia III Rivals last week I thought I should talk about a game that is actually really enjoyable. VOEZ is a game that has quite a decent following of players. There is even an active sub Reddit. It was originally released in Asia with very good reception they decided to port it to the rest of the world

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What is VOEZ? It is a music based rhythm game where you press keys as they fall from the top of the screen to the bottom in sync to the music. Similar to games you have probably played or at least herd of like Rockband and Dance Dance Revolution. Something I noticed and liked right from the start is how absolutely beautifully the app is designed. Other developers need to look at this game and take notes. It has this pleasant melody playing lightly in the background as you open it up. The UI and layout are smartly placed for ease of use and style. The whole app from the loading screen to the gameplay looks beautiful. It’s I game I wouldn’t mind not playing and just watching. There is also some sort of story that seems to be progressing based on how well you play and meeting certain achievements. It’s not something I find myself caring about in this kind of game but from what I can tell it seems to be a pleasant story to unlock.

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VOEZ has a decent amount of tracks that sway more towards Asian pop/techno/happy hardcore/hardstyle type music. If you are looking to jam out to the hottest new Drake track then you are out of luck. I don’t mind it personally, I appreciate all styles of music and the higher bpm tracks in VOEZ make the gameplay come across more intense and enjoyable. There are also slower easier tracks that don’t require as much effort as some of the more focus driven tracks the game offers. The tracks are all given a level. The higher the level the more difficult the track is. Each track falls into 3 different levels at 3 different difficulties for each track. Easy, Hard and Special. Special seem to be the most difficult of the 3. Also don’t forget the difficulty of a track is based on the individual track not an overall system. So all special tracks for instance are not the same level. It’s best for you to find tracks that fall into the difficulty/level that best suits you and work up from there. I find I like hard tracks and I’m at a skill level of about 8–12.

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The game is free to play but you have to pay for the tracks. The currency they use are these bird keys. Each key unlocks one track but I could swear I bought a track that cost me 2 keys once. You are given some keys early on but it kind of ends there. They really want you to pay here and there for tracks. I don’t really like is kind of system for the most part but I get it here. I just wish there was and unlock all tracks option that wasn’t just buying a bunch of keys. Then again this let’s them make more in the long run I guess. I personally don’t find much of this to be a problem since they have implemented a song rotation. Every week another random set of songs will be available to play. And yes I do believe the rotation is random. So you can run into a track you have seen in rotation recently.

To get every single track you would probably have to pay for the top key bundle which is $55 for 55 keys. I personally think it’s a bit steep for a mobile game. That’s pretty much full retail price for a high budget game. I mean the new Doom game is on discount right now for $40. I know they are not similar games but in terms of value I just don’t see the worth of $55 here. That being said I really don’t mind paying for a cheaper bundle just to support the game and and unlock the tracks I like. Personally speaking I don’t like all of the tracks anyways and the rotation still gives you the option to play them all at some point.

Overall I think the games awesome and I highly recommend it. This is the first game I am giving a 5/5 for. Don’t expect many of these, I am usually very hard with my reviews so you got to earn that extra star there to complete the set. I hope other developers have a look at this game and take some notes because they really need it. I also hope that developers of VOEZ continue to support the game and the community stays strong.

Rating: 5/5

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Nintendo Switch Or Ditch?

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Like the rest of the gaming world I was watching with anticipation for today’s announcement of the Nintendo NX system. Over the months to maybe even year we have herd a lot of interesting and not so interesting thing things about the NX. Well today we got our first look at the system and probably even more importantly Nintendo’s target audience for the newly named Switch.

Let’s start with the name, Switch. I personally like it. Makes sense, easy to market, easy for people who are not gamer to understand with little explanation. Kind of the opposite of the Xbox One name. The design of the system and even the logo I find to be catered to a more mature audience. It’s not aqua green or sky blue or apple white, it’s black. Sure down the line after launch or hell in the next few months they might show other color options but them opening with only showing a more grown up black system is a pro in my book. I have not been a Nintendo fan since the Wii. I think the Wii even with its initial success killed more fans than it gained. Nintendo was for a long time a games company for baby’s and man child’s if you ask me. They made more toys than games. the last few generations but it really looks like they are stepping back and getting on track. If this system in done right it can really bring back Nintendo’s street cred and put a solid dent in the competition. I’m talk from mobile android and iOS to PC gaming. Now I repeat, if done right.

The 3 minute ad we saw was pushing a more mature crowd the whole time. It was cheesy as all hell but we got the point. There were no little kids or grandparents in sight. It was hip, it was cool, it was active and it was Nintendo showing us they know their target audience. Which is the around 20 to 40 year olds. This is the group of people who have the most disposable income to spend on things like games. The group of people who are actively playing games. Lastly and most importantly the group of people they alienated the past few generations. Why be niche when you don’t have to be? Nintendo never had to be niche but in the race for innovation that wasn’t needed they forced them selves into a corner of gimmicks. The Switch by design might also be one of these gimmicks, only time will tell. That being said I’m willing to bet on this gimmick.

No ones going to believe me but this modular console portable hybrid was something I thought would be cool as far back as 10 or so years ago. Believe me or not, I don’t really care. (Ok I care a little.) I’m just glad it’s happening because I really do believe this is the future. We are already seeing similar in PC gaming coming from Alienware and Razer’s gaming laptops. Console gaming has always been slow to adopt or innovate for the most part. If anything that’s what I have to give Nintendo credit for. Even though I didn’t like the Wii and what followed, at least they tried something different and new. I think the Switch might be the one that pays off. 3rd times the charm right?

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They seemed to want to show that they are taking 3rd part support seriously here. Unlike the Switch’s slightly slow and dumb older brothers it doesn’t look like it’s trying to be the second support console anymore. The Switch wants to be the one and only console in and outside the house. I’m happy to see the list of supported 3rd party developers supporting the Switch.

Now let me take off my rose tinted glasses and put my devil horns back on and get real with all you guys. Let’s talk about the potential failing of the Nintendo Switch. A lot of this will be guessing and interpretation so nothing is set in stone. My biggest question to Nintendo is, “What else does it do?” Here’s the thing it’s at home and it’s small and cool and hip and plays games, nice nice nice. Then the moment I take it out with me will I only be able to play games on it? I ask this because I’m a grown man and I really don’t have the time for that sort of thing through most days when I am out and about. It’s portable sure but it’s bigger than some tablets the moment you add the mounted controllers or even the external wireless one. So on top of my tablet, phone and maybe even laptop I have to lug the Switch around so I might be able to play Zelda. I don’t see it for myself and a lot of people. People will say it’s for the hardcore gamers which isn’t true since hardcore gamers aren’t out and about playing basket ball and going to rooftop party’s where they pull out games. Hardcore gamers are in dark room, sitting in gaming chairs with giant headphones on gaming. The portability is not for the hardcore. It’s for the casual and the middle of the ground gamers which are the exact same groups of people I don’t think will buy the Switch or take it with them. Excluding kids.

What I’m basically saying is, if it can do more than just game I would really consider replacing my tablet and bring the Switch with me instead. My iPad mini is my main system of choice at the moment for general tasks at home and when out when my laptop isn’t needed or I don’t feel like bringing it with me . It’s what I’m writing this review on as we speak. If I had the Switch and all it did was play games it would not be a difficult choice to leave it at home for my iPad mini. Games are fun but I have work to do. Even if the additional feature of the Switch were just semi decent I would greatly consider or at least try to make it my main system when out. If not it will simply be a wasted feature/gimmick to me and many other people.

Also something I’m going to go over quickly since it’s fairly self explanatory is battery life. If that sucks and it’s only a gaming system than it becomes a paperweight real fast when outside the house. I don’t think battery life will be that good. Based on what I know about lithium ion battery’s and the graphic capabilities this console seems to be trying to push out based on the ad, it’s not going to last long. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was as little as 2 hours of active game time and would be surprised if It can even pull as much as 5 hours. Battery’s suck. The technology hasn’t changed for decades and I doubt Nintendo figured out a new breakthrough while working on the Switch. Again only time will tell, if they can get it to pull at least 4 hours or more I would consider it a win on the Switch’s part.

The Switch being portable also really makes me wonder what it’s packing for power under the hood. I mean it looked pretty good based on the ad they showed and then being able to take it with you and get similar performance when out. That’s quite impressive. Then again the Vita did look amazing for a handheld and that was what 4 years ago? If the graphics even just match the Vitas I would say they have a solid machine on their hands. Chances are it will be better though.

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My next question is about the dock. Is it just a dock or will it also improve the graphic capabilities of the Switch. If it does then amazing, well done, you should be proud. If it doesn’t than well that was a huge lost opportunity on Nintendo’s part. Being a modular system they wouldn’t have had really make the Switch 2. They could just upgrade the power boosting dock with better specks every year or so to keep up with the needs of the developers and games being made. It would also cost the user less vs getting a brand new system every few years. It also allows people to mix and match builds of different specked tablets and docks catering to their individual needs. They could also offer other size options for people willing to have a smaller Switch when on the go but still want the power when at home. Or options in build. Maybe a more chunky solidly built Switch so you can give it to a kid and not worry about them breaking it.

Overall there is potential here in making this the future of all gaming. Which again the ideas was stolen from my ramblings alone in my room back in grade 9. They must have been listen to me through the Wii. Not only was it a horrible console but it also cost me a multi billion dollar idea. It would be worth it if it turns out to be great, which I hope it does. Only time will tell now. I’ll for sure be keeping a close eye on this one and be preorder one the moment it’s available.

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Mafia III Rivals App Game Review

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I’ll just start off by saying I don’t really like this game. It falls into this category of well made toy type games. It makes you have to come back over and over with the sense of reward but the game itself is lacking and ends up just being a variation of rock, paper, scissors. It might be something to do when in line or a short bus ride but there are far better games laying all over the App Store for that. Take away the animations and fancy graphics and all there really is here is rock, paper, scissors with a bigger budget than it needs. I would have much preferred them working on gameplay and making a decent game then pushing it all into graphics and animation. Sure it looks good but it gets boring fast.

You manage your team equipping them with weapons and then going and battling the other families. There is also a Crew vs Crew option but the gameplay itself falls apart. Or a better way of putting it is the lack of gameplay really makes it fall apart. They makes you think there’s a game here but it’s really just a reason to look at your phone every hours or so and tap things. It’s the equivalent of getting a notification and then opening and closing 5 apps and then putting yours phone back in your pocket. That’s pretty much how the game plays out.

There really isn’t any strategy. Just pick a guy to beat up and click all your guys, keep doing that till all the enemies are dead. If a special triggers use is and that’s going to be how 90% of this game plays. I said this before but App Store or touch screen games fall into 2 categories. Toys and games. Most the apps in the App Store are actually toys and that’s fine because that’s what a lot of people want in their mobile games. This game on the other hand barely even falls into that. If you played any semblance of games before than this is going to be a big pass for you. Don’t even bother, save yourself the battery power and time.

I give this game a 2 out of 5. That 2 is for the graphics, animation, and sound. The game itself would be 0.5 out of 5. I really hope other companies don’t try and copy this style of rock, paper, scissors gameplay. It’s because of games like this the larger gaming population looks down on mobile/touch. Make games not garbage.

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Hammer Bomb App Game Review

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I’m very happy to start off by saying Hammer Bomb is a game. Something I find and bring up in all my game app reviews is that most mobile/touch screen “games” are not games. They are toys. Easily 90% of the games on mobile are toys with a few decent games hidden in the flurry of plastic fisher price gimmicks. Now toys aren’t a bad thing. They work well for their purpose, which is to keep you entertained for a little bit here and there. That being said I’m a gamer, have been since I was 6 years old and toys don’t cut it anymore. There are fun ones sure and they will get a fair review if they are good but for the most part I’m looking for solid content.

Hammer Bomb is very reminiscent of old school point and click dungeon crawlers. I was never a fan of this style back in the day. By the time I started gaming they were able to pulley realize real time characters and active fluent combat. So the whole take a step and figure the way out of a dungeon type adventures were already old news to me. That being said I find they the last 3 years or so there seems to be a small resurgence of this style of game and not having been a part of it when I was young it’s nice to see and try now. It’s a really interesting experience. Makes you feel a little trapped and a little claustrophobic in a good way. Having to figure out where each hall way leads and the fear of a monster being around any corner is a nice thrill. It’s also a cool feeling when something really old feels so new due to my generation missing out on this style of game.

Enough generalizing though, how is Hammer Bomb? It’s really fun. Mirroring everything I said above. It has varying monsters to fight, ever changing dungeon to explore and items to find. The completionists will have a good time here. I don’t find myself to be a completionist but I found myself finding the exit early and turning around to explore the whole dungeon before leaving. Graphically I would say it’s a takes on the old school look of it’s predecessors but I want to say it has a bit of a Minecraft look to it too. It also has some retro 80s style music and looks sprinkled here and there. I personally like it. One thing I don’t like is the constant running aspect of the game. Your character is always moving forward on his own accord and you swipe in the directions you want him to turn and tap for his interactions with monsters and items. It’s fine I just wish I could tap to move forward block by block in the old school style. That’s not a knock on the game just my personal feelings on it.

There is a cash shop you can buy gold with that is used to buy weapons and upgrades. So far with a few hours of game time I never felt the need for more gold. You can also remove the ads for about $3. The ads are not annoying or intrusive but I feel if you like the game it’s good to support it. $3 is a very fair price for this game.

Overall I’m happy with this Hammer Bomb. It’s fun and intuitive. You can play it quickly on the bus or sit on the couch and put some time into it. If you like the game I say support it by removing the ads for $3. I rate Hammer Bomb a 4/5.

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Dan The Man App Game Review


Before we get started with the review I just want to let everyone know that I’ll be doing more app review going forward. I’ll be doing at least one a week or more starting with this one. They will not be limited to just games either.

Dan The man is a new game that came out this month(October 2016). I didn’t think much of it when I downloaded it. I find most touch screen games come down to two categories. Toys and Games. Easily 90% of the App Store and touch screen games in general fall into the toys category. What is a toy game? Something overly simple with little to almost no mechanics made for quick bursts of entertainment. You know when you are waiting in a line or on a short bus ride. Games you can hammer out small amounts of time. Just something to keep you busy. Now I don’t really like these toy games. I get the appeal and I do have some I play but I much rather play game games. The stuff the PC and console guys would consider as games. Games that involve planing, thought and a larger time investment than the length of a short bus ride or a wait in line. Something with evolving mechanics and maybe a larger scale story. Not large scale story mind you, just larger than the toys offer.

Dan The Man is a game. It would fit just fin on a PS4 as it does on touch. It is a side scroller beat them up game that works brilliantly with touch. The attacks animations are smooth and solid and the response time between clicking the button and Dan running the animation is as close to 1 to 1 as I can tell. Simply put, its responsive and feels good. There are fun lively enemies that get stronger and more challenging as you play. You have power ups and health you have to maintain. There is also multiple levels with changing layout and map styles. The most important thing being is that it’s fun.

All that being said the bane of mobile gaming and the reason why the big company’s and other gamers stay away/make fun of mobile is the dreaded cash shop and ads. Every 30 steps or so I’m hit with a video ad for another game. Randomly at check points I would be forced to watch an ad. There are even statues holding TVs that if you hit and break make you watch an ad ending with some kind of weapon or health reward. You can also watch ads for gold and that gold is spent heavily for your needed upgrades and heals. They also sell gold and other things for money. Nothing is pay to win but it sure feels like pay to play.


That is until you pay for premium. It is $4 and there is an option for $8.50 that will give you another playable character. There are also premium bundles that come with varying amounts of gold as well. I feel the $4 regular price is the best bang for you buck here. The game is good but it’s not more than $6 good. If you get the game try it and like it I recommend buying it for $4. Otherwise it’s almost unplayable. I don’t see this as a free to be play. It’s more of a $4 game that has a long annoying demo. It also doesn’t account for the amount of gold you might need. Later on in the game it might get difficult enough that you would want to buy gold. This is not my preferred model for this. I would much rather pay a slightly higher set fee and then pay for future DLC if I want them than this whole run around system all these apps have now. It’s just a way to squeeze a little bit more out of people willing to pay a bit more than others.

All that being said I would rate the game with the $4 purchase a solid 3/5. The game without it would be a 0.5/5. If you like it pay for it because it’s really not worth the annoyance otherwise. If they add coop it would be a solid 4/5 but I don’t really see that happening.

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Why Do You Love Violence While Being Pacifists?

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Over the years people have grown more and more attached to violence in media. It has become a day to day fact for life for us. Who gets killed next in Game of Thrones? Don’t tell me I can’t wait to see for myself. Who got bit this week on The Walking Dead? I hope it’s not Rick but man would that be some crazy character development for Carl. Yeah, a son watching his father die to only come back as a monster and then die again is character development now. It’s exciting, it’s entertaining, its violence. Now Im not here to say let’s end it if that’s what you think I’m doing. If you know me even a little you know very well I’m not on the side of the angels. 🙂

The question is why? Why does our society get off on violence? In music, in tv and movies and the good old classic media target, video games. Well, it’s simple. Everyone deep down is a psychopath. Maybe not to the same degree as others but you all have a little bit of the devil in you. The thing that scares you is you like it. You won’t admit it but we both know you like it just a little. Violence being a part of our culture isn’t a new thing actually. It has always been here we just evolved it as we changed our overall views on life. As we slowly became more and more passive and told ourselves things like violence and being mad isn’t a good thing.

Back in the day, we would watch gladiators murder the living shit out of each other to keep the peace, now we watch Spartacus do the same and get off on random boobs that pop up on the show. At least that’s why I watch it. The thing is you can’t admit anymore you are into violence. I’ve even been looked at all side-eyed glare for saying I’m a Mike Tyson fan. I don’t care if Tyson killed a box of puppies on front street, the guy is a living legend. A true monster among men. These same people that don’t like Tyson or boxing or MMA then go home and jerk off to Game of Thrones and Call of Duty and I got to sit there like an ass hole explaining why Mr. Tyson is the greatest.

The pussification of our society is in direct correlation to the amount of violence we encounter in media. You have a problem with someone in school? Don’t kick the kid in the teeth and teach him a lesson he will never forget, no don’t do that. Instead, go tell a teacher who will make both of you apologize for some fucking reason. Someones being a real prick to you? Well don’t do anything, just keep your head down and get on your knees and suck it up. No, I’m fine right here thanks. The passivity of today’s society, the lack of anger is in direct correlation to the amount of violence in everything else. People are too pussy to have a voice or stand up for themselves or each other so they watch super hero’s do it on the big screen while secretly rooting for the bad guy. I’ll be honest, The Joker and Two-Face made a lot more sense to me than Batman did. My respect to the caped crusader but I rather am a dog chasing cars.

All I’m saying is stop being a little fuck about everything. Pacifist will say this is male posturing or an overdeveloped ego. To that, all I got to say is “blow me”. You’re wrong. The fire in your veins and the Devil in your heart isn’t something you have to hide from the world. You should be proud of it, indulge it, feed it. Not with The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones, but by getting off your ass and defending yourself, by not just sitting there with your phone out recording something horrible happen. If you are going to secretly be a bad person then try and do a good thing for yourself or a few others once in your life. Make love not war sure, but if war is looking you in the eye don’t blink, cause you will wake up later feeling like a piece of shit.

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Panasonic Lumix 25mm 1.7 Lens Review

Shot on the OM-D E-M5 Mark II with the Olympus 17mm f1.8 Unedited

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Shot on the OMD E-M5 Mark II with the Olympus 17mm f1.8 Unedited

I have been using the 17mm (34mm equivalent) Olympus 1.8 with my EM-5II and have been enjoying it. I said this on a few other articles about how versatile the 35mm focal length is but there is something about the 50mm focal length that is special. It is the go to focal length for most people. I would call it the most popular overall focal length of all time. As a street photographer I find myself having a hard time trying to pick between the two. After getting both I would say the 35mm gets more use from me and is what I find to be my preference for street shooting. That being said I would always have my 50mm with me at all times when shooting. I feel when you need a 50mm you really need a 50mm.

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Shot on the OMD E-M5 Mark II with the Panasonic Lumix 25mm f1.8 edited In Lightroom

Build:

The build isn’t the best. You cant expect features like weather sealing and full metal construction here for a lens that costs so little. (It does have a metal mount just in case you were wondering) That being said I have felt much worse which cost much more. The build of this lens isn’t very different from the Olympus 25mm 1.8, but that lens is about $200 more. Having owned that lens I would say the Panasonic Lumix 25mm 1.7 is equal in build quality if not slitty better. It opens up 0.1 more which isn’t huge but counts for something and also comes with a lens hood like the Olympus 25mm.

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Shot on the OMD E-M5 Mark II with the Panasonic Lumix 25mm f1.8 edited In Lightroom

Price:

The Panasonic Lumix 25mm 1.7 is an excellent value for what you get. Honestly just for the price alone I would recommend it. 50mm is a focal length I find is a must. When you need 50mm its difficult to find an alternative for it. That being said you might not be in love with the focal length. Why drop a crap load of cash on something you like but isn’t a must for you? This lens validates a really nice sweet spot when it comes price and function.

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Shot on the OMD E-M5 Mark II with the Panasonic Lumix 25mm f1.8 edited in Lightroom

Image Quality:

The lens is beautiful. Solid sharp images with lots of bokeh if you want it. I find it to be a little softer than my 17mm Olympus when it comes to street photography but there is a lot of movement and timing to account for in street photography. Also the Olympus 17mm is a solid $200 to $300 more. I would expect it to be a little better here and there but it isn’t by much. I would say it comes more down to preference here than anything else when I compare the two focal lengths. That being said I feel the value alone kind of validates this lens.

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Shot on the OMD E-M5 Mark II with the Panasonic Lumix 25mm f1.8 edited In Lightroom

Overall:

If you already have a 50mm and you are happy with it than you are not missing out, but if you don’t than I would have to recommend this lens for your Micro Four Thirds system. Especially if you are a street photographer. I have linked a gallery below of my visit to the Toronto Aquarium which I went to just to test out this lens. There should also be a link to some street photography I did that same day. I hope this article helped, feel free to link this to your friends and read some of my other articles also linked bellow.

Panasonic Lumix 25mm 1.7 Street Photogrpahy Examples

Panasonic Lumix 25mm 1.7 Color Examples

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OM-D E-M5 Mark II Review

Olympus 17mm 1.8 Lens Review

A Lucid Dream I Didn’t Realize Was A Lucid Dream

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I was with 2 or 3 others, either me and another male and 2 females or me another male and 1 female. We were at some location we were not familiar with. I want to say we woke up there but I’m not sure. There was a old kind of creepy looking house behind us. I don’t want to call it creepy but it wasn’t pleasant either. It was right there in the middle. I can’t remember if we woke up in it and came out or if we just woke up in front. Regardless we didn’t go inside it and we woke up facing away from it to a very wide path with tall dark trees that reached high into the sky. I and the others seemed to know each other but I really can’t recall who they were or if they are people I ever knew.

We questioned where we were and what was going on and we realized we had powers. It was one of the girls that noticed it first and was surprised/ scared. Her hand suddenly produced lightning sparks and she was able to shoot them out. The other guy was also able to do something too but I don’t remember what it was. I had some kind of smoke/fire power. Similar to the power the main character of Infamous: Second Son. That whole smokey flame thing. As we stood and tested out our new found powers I noticed that I was really able to push mine more than the others. Blasting my flame smoke far into the sky. I then started to notice that I can change my power altogether.

I started to use a power similar to the lightning girl but at a much more powerful level. To the point I was calling down lightning and thunder from the sky instead of my body. They asked how I can do this and I said I don’t know and continued to test the extent of my powers on the open path in front of us and the sky above. Even now wide awake writing this I can still feel it. The essence of the powers from the dream. I feel like if I stood up and imitated my self I can do the same….no, nvm. Tested it, didn’t work. As I tested the extent of my abilities in the dream it kept getting stronger. I would sway my arms behind me and then throw them in front and gale force winds would blow through the sky and down the path. The tops of the trees would shake and the clouds in the sky flew away with the wind, revealing the large bright moon.

I decided I will bring the clouds back just then. I swirled my hands around me with strong footing on the ground. As I spun and pulled huge black clouds appeared hard, loud and fast swallowing up the view of the moon. It then started to thunder. I can still feel the shocks and force behind those bursts of thunder throughout my body. I called down lightning and rain and wind. The thunder and lightning crashed repeatedly faster and faster in front of me. I kept calling it down harder and faster.

Then I herd the people I was with yelling at me to stop and I did. The rain and storming continued but the lightning and thunder stopped like I flicked a switch. They were scared and worried about what I was doing. I told them I’m in full control of it and to prove it I said see and cleared the skies with a push of my hands. Right about then is when I woke. I still feel it. The rush, the power. I didn’t realize it was a dream at any point. I had full control of the universe but never noticed. I wish I could have tried some more things. Like maybe pick up the house with my mind or fly, stuff like that. All I can say is it was epic, would dream again.

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35mm vs 50mm Photography Comparison

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Shot on the OM-D E-M5 Mark II with the Olympus 17mm f1.8 edited in Lightroom

If you are reading this you are most likely one of a few people, the first being someone looking for their first lens. Another being someone who has either a 35mm or a 50mm and wanted to see what its like to be on the other side. Maybe you are looking for a single prime to take on vacation. Lastly and most likely you might just be one of those gross creepy street photographers like myself. Whoever you might be, I hope I can help you out a little here.

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Shot on the OM-D E-M5 Mark II with the Panasonic Lumix 25mm f1.8 edited in Lightroom

I am a former exclusive member of team 50mm. I still love the focal length and it is still probably my favorite overall focal length. That being said the 35mm focal length is damn good too. I was never really a fan till now where I forced myself to get it and use it. I herd up until this point from other street photographers and other photographers in general about how great the 35mm focal length is. How it’s the perfect all-around focal length and how its great for traveling. If there was anyone lens to do it all it should be the 35mm. I believed it, I just never got the chance. I felt the 50mm was pretty much the same thing but I was able to get more shallow depth of field with the tradeoff of not having as wide a shot. Truly that is what the 50mm is and it is great for that. That is part of why it is considered “Standard”. The 35mm, on the other hand, comes off as much more “normal”. (See what I did there? No? Don’t worry about it.) A better way I would put it is that the 35mm comes off a lot more natural. I feel it covers more ground. Gives you more options including a little bokeh.

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Shot on the OM-D E-M5 Mark II with the Olympus 17mm f1.8 edited in Lightroom

So which is better? Well, I say both. I’m sure thats not what you want to hear so ill go into detail. The 35mm is a swiss army knife, a jack of all trades. It does it all and it does it well. The 50mm, on the other hand, can be a little fancy. It just makes the subject look nice. You cant go as wide sure but on the other hand, you don’t have to go as close to the subject. It’s just at the curve where portrait lenses start so it can double as a portrait lens too. Sure the 35mm can do most of this but you can really make some models uncomfortable with how close you need to get.

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Shot on the OM-D E-M5 Mark II with the Panasonic Lumix 25mm f1.8 edited in Lightroom

Let’s look at it this way. The 35mm is a grey suit and the 50mm is a black suit. This might be going over a lot of heads now since I’m going into fashion territory here but it is openly considered a grey or charcoal suit is much more versatile to wear than a black one. You can mix and match with a grey suit a lot easier than you can with a black one. You can wear a grey (charcoal) suit to a funeral or to a party and not look out of place. All that being said, damn does a black suit just look good. Not as versatile, no. The question is does it need to be? It just looks so good that who cares? So which suit should you buy? For travel get yourself the 35mm grey suit. It will do everything you need it to do and it will do it well. For your first lens? Either one works here. If you plan to take more portraits and such the 50mm black suit. Maybe more into landscapes? Then go with the 35mm grey suit. If you have a 35mm grey suit and you are looking at that 50mm black suit don’t worry you are not missing out. Same goes the other way around. That being said I think all men should have a black suit and a grey suit. To my street photographers. Same deal. You can go either way and be happy but again I think all men should have a black suit and a grey suit.

Twitter – @DarksterMedia

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OM-D E-M5 Mark II Review

Olympus 17mm 1.8 Lens Review

Olympus 17mm 1.8 Lens Review

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Shot on the OM-D E-M5 Mark II with the 35mm f2.8 Canon FD Lens using High Res Shot UnEdited

I got this lens quite last minute before my trip to Cuba. Actually, I got it about an hour before leaving for the airport. Before this, I had the Olympus 25mm 1.8 lens that I got with my OM-D E-M5 Mark II a few days earlier. I love the 50mm focal length but I just didn’t like the build and the continuous wire focus ring on the 25mm. I also felt it overall lacked in the build for its price. The image quality was great and the autofocus was on point, but I like to have the option for solid manual focus and I want a solid build. So last minute I went and returned the 25mm for the 17mm and I’m very happy about it.

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Shot on the OM-D E-M5 Mark II with the 17mm f1.8 edited in Lightroom

The 35mm (actually 34mm with this lens but close enough) focal length you get with the 17mm Olympus is quite something. I was a bit skeptical before this about it since I’m overall on team 50mm. Since using the 35mm I have to say I find myself playing on both teams now. It gives crips solid shots at about 4.0 and up and you can also get some beautiful bokeh in if you stop it down a bit. You should see some samples here and linked below is my Instagram where you should be able to see more. The focus ring is great too, if you pull back on it, it will lock into place and switch to manual focus. It’s not actually manual focus, its still focus by wire. It just simulates old-school manual focus and it does it extremely well. You won’t have the same speed you would with pulling the focus ring around like you would with say a vintage lens but it’s pretty close and it’s as good as it will ever get for focus by wire.

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Shot on the iPhone 6s Plus

The overall build is perfect. Small, solid metal/quality plastic construction all around. It felt heavier than the larger 25mm I had before, if not denser. I was never worried about breaking it in use and when I would bump it into things it seemed to bump back just as hard. I’ll be honest I hate using neck straps and rarely do but it was simply too hot in Cuba for me to carry my backpack around which means my Peak Design Capture Clip couldn’t be used. If you read/heard my review on the OM-D E-M5 Mark II you would understand I didn’t overall like the grip even though I’m used to it now. So I had to use a strap and let me tell you did my camera and lens take a beating. I would get up from tables and the lens and camera go smashing nose first into the edge of the table. They would both shrug it off like it was nothing. I expect this kind of solidarity coming from the OM-D E-M5 Mark II which was built for it but not the lens. Simply put I was impressed at how well it can take a beating.

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Shot on the OM-D E-M5 Mark II with the 17mm f1.8

In conclusion, I would say it was worth every penny. When I got it I thought I would return it if I didn’t like it. (Same with the OM-D E-M5 Mark II) In the end, I couldn’t let either of them go. The only thing that would make this lens perfect in my eyes as if it had weather sealing. Can’t have it all I guess. If you are looking at this lens I highly recommend it and if you are thinking about this vs his brother the 25mm, I still highly recommend this over that. Now that’s not a 35mm vs 50mm thing that this particular 17mm vs that particular 25mm thing. If you want to see my comparison and thoughts on the 35mm focal length vs the 50mm focal length check the links below. I can’t say more good things about this lens from a general use standpoint and a street photographer standpoint.

Twitter – @DarksterMedia

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OM-D E-M5 Mark II Review