The Strangest WWE Game Ever

crushhour

Notice in the title that I said “The Strangest WWE Game Ever” and not “The Strangest Wrestling Game Ever.” That’s because WWE Crush Hour is not a wrestling game. It’s a Twisted Metal rip-off. How are they connected? I’ll let the game’s intro tell you.

Continue reading “The Strangest WWE Game Ever”

E3 2018 Hopes/Predictions

Some of you may have read my E3 2017 predictions a year ago, before Mid-American Culture existed. I was wrong. However, that doesn’t mean that I could do it again! The Electronic Entertainment Expo is always highly anticipated by the gaming community, It’s a cliche to say so, but it really is. Speculating is always fun, so here’s my hopes/predictions for the 2018 edition! Continue reading “E3 2018 Hopes/Predictions”

Fortnite Battle Royale Season 4: My First Impressions

Welcome back to Mid-American Culture and thank you for checking out the newest addition to the “My First Impressions” series. This is the series where I gave my initial opinion on things in popular culture long before I have had time to create any sort of legitimate thoughts or feelings about whatever I am reviewing.  Today, I will be examining the newest season of the gaming sensation Fortnite Battle Royale. As you may know, if you’ve read any of my previous content, I am a huge fan of Fortnite. The new season launched on May 1, 2018 to a great deal of hype and speculation. Epic Games did an outstanding job during Season 3 of building suspense regarding the incoming meteors and the effect they would have on the game in Season 4. In my opinion, they closed out Season 3 perfectly. That leads me into Season 4….

squad leader

The first thing I wanted to check out upon purchasing my Season 4 Battle Pass was the new skins. I found them to be hit or miss. Some of the skins are absolutely incredible. The “Squad Leader” skin  (pictured above) is 100% my favorite Battle Pass skin that the game has ever had. The outfit on the Squad Leader is epic and the sleeve of tattoos absolutely speaks to me. I have the utmost confidence that this skin will lead me to many wins in the future once I have unlocked it. Some of the other skins are cool as well. Considering it is the first skin unlocked, I also like the Carbide skin. It kind of looks like a dollar store version of Captain America but it’s solid and fits the season theme of superheroes well. I am obligated to point out that I am not a fan of the Omega skin. It is the final skin unlocked at Tier 100. It is a bitter disappointment. The Reaper skin (better known as the John Wick skin) became a sort of enigma to the Fortnite community. The Omega just looks like a blacked out version of the Carbide skin. Last season’s Dark Voyager was significantly more imposing and took virtually half the effort. Outside of that, I would say that Epic Games did a pretty good job with the skins. Along the same lines as the skins, the game also did a solid job with the other cosmetics. The new emotes, loading screens, gliders, and pickaxes are all fairly creative and well done.

divot

Moving on to what is probably the most significant change to the game, the enigmatic meteor finally struck the Fortnite map. However, it did not destroy Tilted Towers as many had speculated. Instead, it struck Dusty Depot. The impact resulted in a deep crater on the map, sprinkled with consumable crystals that give your character a sort of low gravity effect. These crystals enhance jumping capabilities for short period of time and also eliminate fall damage. I loved the concept of a meteor hitting the map and destroying a location from the very beginning. I am also glad it wasn’t Tilted Towers. Despite my love/hate relationship with Tilted, I would have been very sad to see it go. Instead, they opted to destroy part of Dusty Depot and I couldn’t be happier. You could make the case that Dusty was the worst named location on the entire map. While I wouldn’t agree with that statement, it is certainly up there. They took a massively underwhelming location and made it significantly more interesting. Kudos to you once again, Epic Games. In addition to the new Dusty Divot location, several other structures were added to the game. A new location, called Risky Reels was added. This location has a drive-in movie theatre theme. Similarly, Moisty Mire was also given a movie-themed makeover. Also, several structures that I would describe as superhero bases and lairs have also popped up around the map. I think the new locations are pretty neat. I can’t say that I love them, but I also don’t have any real complaints with them either.

royale

Overall, I think that Season 4 of Fortnite Battle Royale is very promising. Although I’m not in love with every aspect, I think the changes they made to the game will effectively keep the game new and fresh while still maintaining the basic battle royale concept that we all have grown to love. Epic Games will undoubtedly release many more updates with new additions to the game in the coming months and I look forward to all of them. I can’t wait for a Season 4 full of Victory Royales!

Thanks for reading and make sure to check out some of the other great content from the Mid-American Culture Staff!

My Twitter: @BigRedAFerg

Mid-American Culture Twitter: @M_American_C

 

Far Cry 5: My First Impressions

Far Cry 5 was the most excited I’ve been for a new video game since the release of Mafia 3 in 2016. Despite my excitement, I was skeptical. Mafia 2 was one of my favorite games of all time and Mafia 3’s attempt to follow it up had fallen horrendously short and left me immensely disappointed. Far Cry 5 is in an almost identical situation: following up one of my favorite games of all time (Far Cry 4) and facing great expectations from the gaming community. The setup could not be better for Far Cry 5 to be a failure as well.

With that being said, I do not consider Far Cry 5 to be a failure at this point. It does, however, have some noteworthy problems. At the time of writing this article, I am approximately 4 hours of play time into the game. I have encountered several bugs that forced me to either manually restart missions or led me to an inevitable death that forced me to restart at a prior checkpoint. I can’t even begin to explain how frustrating this is, especially considering my next gripe with the game. The combat is very very challenging. While I must point out that I am used to Fortnite combat, which is a far cry different than that of Far Cry 5 (pun intended). But regardless, I found myself dying far more than I ever should as early as I was into the game. Perhaps the combat will get easier as I become more familiar. I simply wouldn’t be honest in giving my initial thoughts of the game if I didn’t mention that. My only other significant complaint about the game thus far is that the open-world concept that the game employs may be a little too open world, if that makes any sort of sense. The missions are entirely spread out throughout the immense map as of this point, the game doesn’t feel linear in the slightest. I feel as if I could do these quests in any order and the game would make just as much sense as it does now. It is worth mentioning again that I am only around 4 hours into a campaign that is said to be able to last up to 25 hours, so the story may line up more as time progresses.

Now that my issues with the game are out of the way, I can talk about the good. First off, I absolutely love the game’s concept. The idea of fighting a right-wing religious cult in the heartland of America speaks to me on a subconscious level. This fresh concept paired with the current real-world political climate make the game that much more enthralling. In addition to this, I find the game’s main protagonists, the 4 members of the Seed family, to be utterly brilliant. Each has their own twisted, semi-psychotic characteristics. This makes them extremely easy to hate, a quality which they share with Far Cry 4’s protagonist Pagan Min. The story, elevated by these great protagonists, has potential to be fantastic if executed properly. I look forward to seeing if the campaign meets its full potential. Before I wrap up my favorite parts of the game, I feel like I have to mention the Pee Tape mission. Early on in my play-through, I encountered a certain familiar CIA agent from past games in the series who had been tasked with recovering a videotape that was said to be greatly embarrassing to the in-game President of the United States. The subtle innuendos and references to the so called “Pee Tape” which is rumored to contain video proof of Russian prostitutes urinating on President Donald Trump are absolutely hilarious. I was so glad the game included a real-world reference like this, especially given its parallel to our current political climate. I really enjoyed it.

Overall, I feel that the game has a lot of potential. With bug fixes certain to be coming in the form of updates and further plot development, it could really be something special. It may even have what it takes to beat out its predecessor. Once I finish the game, I will post a full review and give my final thoughts on it. This may come as early as next Wednesday, or as late as the following Wednesday. Regardless, you can rest assured that it is coming. In the meantime, check out some of the other great content put out by the Mid-American Culture crew. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next Wednesday.

My Twitter: @BigRedAFerg

Mid-American Culture Twitter: @M_American_C

Predicting The First 10 Picks of The NFL Draft

We are just over a month away from the 2018 NFL Draft. Draft time is my favorite time of year on the NFL calendar. I genuinely think I take more joy in the offseason, and particularly the draft, than I do with the actual games. I love the analytical and behind the scenes aspects of the game so much. Every year, I try to predict how the first ten or so picks will play out. While my list very well may change, and I very well may upload another mock draft before the April 26th draft date, here is who I believe will be selected in the top 10 of the 2018 NFL Draft.

1. Cleveland Browns-Sam Darnold

USC v Washington

Sam Darnold is the best QB prospect in this draft, hands down. He towers at 6’4 and has the physical build to take the beatings that the Cleveland O-line is sure to put him through. He makes throws that others simply can’t. Colin Cowherd said it best when he referred to Darnold as “the best QB prospect since Andrew Luck”. While sometimes his decision making leaves you scratching your head, his good moments are absolutely brilliant and if done properly, Darnold could be developed into an elite level NFL quarterback within a few years.

2.New York Giants-Saquon Barkley

barkley

All signs point to the Giants drafting Saquon Barkley. Before I go on the mini-rant I am about to go on, let me make myself very clear when I say that Saquon Barkley is extremely talented and very well may be one of the best running back prospects in the last decade. With that being said, taking a running back this early in the draft is completely idiotic, especially if you need a quarterback as badly as New York does. Running back is a dying position. You could get most of the value you get from a guy like Saquon Barkley from a 2nd or even 3rd round running back. If I were the Giants GM, I’m drafting whichever remaining quarterback I like best (personally, I like Josh Allen) and not thinking twice. However, the Giants organization, as well as the fans, seem stuck on Eli Manning. He’s likely going to be sticking around for a few more years and the Giants will be drafting the Penn State back to accompany him in the Giants backfield. I like the Giants to be strong contenders for the 1st pick in next year’s draft.

3. New York Jets-Baker Mayfield

mayfield

While this is another pick I don’t like even a little bit, I like the chances of Baker Mayfield being the second quarterback off the board. Baker Mayfield is the off-field trouble of Johnny Manziel paired with the skillset of……… Johnny Manzeil. The guy is basically Johnny Manziel. While I was a big fan of Manziel, it was clear that his problems deeply impacted his ability to play the game at a high level. The same will happen to Mayfield. With that being said, he’s an exciting player with a big personality that is fit for New York. It isn’t hard to understand why the Jets will take him at 3.

4. Cleveland Browns-Minkah Fitzpatrick

CAM160903020_Alabama_v_USC

I think Minkah Fitzpatrick is the most talented player in this year’s draft. He will be an instant contributor to the Cleveland defense. He does not have the blazing speed that I generally like to see in defensive backs, but the Alabama safety is the definition of a defensive anchor. I envision Fitzpatrick being the defensive captain of the Browns within two seasons. He’s that good of a player.

5. Denver Broncos-Quenton Nelson

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Quenton Nelson is one of the most talented linemen I have ever seen coming out of college. In preparation for writing this article, I looked up his dimensions and I was stunned. While he isn’t mind-blowingly tall, he is absolutely huge in terms of his arm length and his overall girth. He has the skillset to completely move opposing defensive linemen off the line. My only complaint is that his slightly shorter stature will prevent him from playing the tackle position and I like my linemen to be interchangeable. Other than that, I feel that Nelson is an absolutely incredible prospect.

6. Indianapolis Colts-Denzel Ward

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In my humble opinion, Denzel Ward is the most under the radar player in this year’s draft. Indianapolis lost its standout cornerback Vontae Davis this offseason. Ward is a perfect replacement. I would trust him to cover top corners in the league immediately. While the secondary certainly isn’t Indy’s biggest problem, it still certainly needs to be addressed. Denzel Ward is a great pick for the Colts at 6.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Bradley Chubb

chubb

Simply put, Bradley Chubb is a man. Watching him play this past season was incredible. I have not seen a pass-rusher of this caliber since Jadeveon Clowney. While Chubb is no Clowney, he is still immensely talented and Tampa Bay is in desperate need for a viable pass-rusher. Chubb is an excellent fit for Tampa. Paired with newly signed defensive end Vinny Curry, Chubb could lead a defensive resurgence in Tampa Bay.

8.Chicago Bears-Calvin Ridley

ridley

Alabama’s Calvin Ridley is the only highlight in this abysmal receiver class. Ridley is an extremely dynamic player who can immediately make an impact on the perimeter. While I worry deeply about the guy who will be throwing to him, the Bears believe that they have their quarterback in Mitchell Trubisky. It makes sense to draft him a viable weapon and Ridley is the best available weapon at the 8th spot.

9.San Francisco 49ers-Tremaine Edmunds

edmunds

The 49ers need to beef up their linebacking corps in the worst way possible. Reuben Foster has gotten himself into trouble already this offseason. There is no telling if he will be available for the 9ers to utilize next season. Even if he is, Edmunds is an excellent addition to the defense who can contribute from either side of the field.

10. Oakland Raiders-Derwin James

derwin

The Oakland Raiders are a viable defense away from being serious Super Bowl contenders. The secondary is probably Oakland’s biggest hole. Derwin James is an elite prospect with All-Pro potential. Jones would have easily been the best safety in this draft if not for Minkah Fitzpatrick. While the Raiders need a corner much more than they need a safety, James is simply too good of a player to pass on at the 10 spot.

*I conducted this mock draft without any trades. I think it is strongly possible that at least one, but probably two teams trade into the top 10 at some point to draft a quarterback. I like Josh Allen to Buffalo and Josh Rosen to Miami or Arizona. I think that there almost certainly be at least 3 quarterbacks taken in the top 10.*

My Twitter: @BigRedAFerg

Mid-American Culture Twitter: @M_American_C

My Favorite YouTubers

YouTube is an awesome platform. It gives anyone with a creative drive and a camera the opportunity to both express themselves and to entertain others who share an interest in their content. Today, I am going to tell you about my three favorite YouTube channels. One of them is a gaming channel, one is a music channel, and one is a sneaker/fashion channel. If anyone is interested in checking them out, links to their respective channels will be provided. Enjoy!

Swiftor

swiftor

Swiftor is hands down my favorite gaming channel on YouTube. I think what I really like about his channel is that it is not your typical gaming channel. My favorite content of his would probably have to be the mini-games he plays with other gamers, typically in Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto. Anyone who enjoys gaming content should watch his recordings of a game called Mafia, played within Call of Duty. However, if games such as Call of Duty just aren’t your thing, Swiftor has also posted gameplay from games such as The Price is Right, PUBG, Friday the 13th, and H1Z1 Auto Royale all in the last week. As far as gaming goes, I feel like Swift has content for just about everybody. He is an absurdly entertaining dude and I highly recommend anyone who enjoys gaming videos check out his channel!

YouTube: Swiftor

Twitter: @Swiftor

Meami

meami

Meami is a music reaction channel that I just recent discovered. I’m so glad that I did. Reaction videos are some of my favorite videos on all of YouTube and as far as music reactions go, Meami is the best. Watching him react to new music releases is just entertaining. There’s something about the dude’s energy that just makes him a blast to watch. I completely agree with his musical opinions more than not, which is always nice when watching reaction content. Meami is just a cool guy who likes music, games, and his awesome tattoos are also worth noting. Anyone who enjoys hip-hop/rap and/or reaction videos should definitely check him out.

YouTube: Meami

Twitter: @Meami_Ami

YoAnty

yoanty

YoAnty was the very first channel I ever subscribed to on YouTube. To this day, he is still my absolute favorite YouTuber. There isn’t a more genuine guy on YouTube. Although he doesn’t do them anymore, his vlogs were the most entertaining on the internet, in my opinion. His sneaker/clothing hauls and reviews are great. The production quality of all of his videos is top-notch, and his thoughts on whatever he’s talking about are always extremely informative. Above all else, he is just a fun, entertaining guy on YouTube who likes talking about shoes, cats, and iced coffee (jet fuel only). He hasn’t fallen victim to the clickbait nonsense that seems to have taken over sneaker YouTube in recent years. He has stayed true to what earned him his subscriber base and I think that’s extremely commendable. Anyone who likes sneakers should absolutely check out his channel!

YouTube: YoAnty

Twitter: @YoAnty_

Everyone should check out these three awesome content creators, as well as the awesome ones here at Mid-American Culture. Thanks for reading!

My Twitter: @BigRedAFerg

Mid-American Culture Twitter: @M_American_C

 

The 3 Best Things About 2018 So Far

We are just under two months into 2018. This year has certainly had its ups and downs. These last two months have certainly been eventful. From Jennifer Anniston splitting with her husband, to Elon Musk’s Space X rocket launch, to the tragic Parkland shooting and everything in between, 2018 is shaping up to be one interesting year. After the somber tone of my last article, I decided to brighten the mood of the Wednesday articles a little and write about three things that have happened this year that made me smile (anyone who knows me knows how rare an occurrence that is).

3. Fortnite

fortnite

I know, I was a little late jumping onto the Fortnite wave. However, I did finally jump on and I haven’t gotten off since. I started playing right around the new year. I can honestly say that Fortnite resurrected gaming for me. I hardly ever used my Xbox for anything other than Netflix until I started playing the game and now I play it almost every day. I’m going to paraphrase a tweet I saw a while back… Fortnite brought back the all night gaming with your friends, the likes of which we haven’t seen since the Modern Warfare 2 days. Honestly, that is so true. Fortnite has undoubtedly made my 2018 better.

2. God’s Plan

gods plan

In my 20 years of existence, I have never enjoyed a music video more than I enjoy the video for Drake’s “God’s Plan”. Something about seeing Drake give away the entire $996,631.90 budget the video made me extremely happy. As big a Drake fan as I already was, seeing this video made me like him that much more. Hopefully, more celebrities will follow I his footsteps and spread this kind of love in 2018.

1. The demand for stricter gun laws

parkland.jpg

Something great seems to be coming from the tragic shooting in Parkland, Florida. While the shooting itself was horrific and completely avoidable, students from the school have taken the opportunity to use the platform given to them by the shooting. They are demanding that the government take action to prevent anymore tragedies like this from ever happening again. Students, adults, and many lawmakers across the nation are calling for increased gun control measures. President Trump even signed a memo calling for the banning of bump stocks, which were used by the Las Vegas shooter who killed 58 in October of last year. While this is absolutely not enough, it shows that even the far right can be pushed to do the right thing if the people demand it. This could save a significant amount of lives. If real gun control measures are implemented in 2018, then that would be a revolutionary step in the betterment of society. Seeing the victims of the horrible tragedy rise to the occasion and call for change is one of the more empowering things I have ever seen.

2018 is sure to be an eventful year. I’m looking forward to seeing how this list changes as the year goes on.

Twitter: @ BigRedAFerg