Super Smash Bros. For Wii U, A Smashing Good Time


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I know the game has been out for a while, but I just wanted to give credit where credit is due. The older Smash Bros. fans will shout “Super Smash Bros. Melee was the best and will always be the best”, but what Nintendo did for SSB for Wii U has taken this series to another level. Enhanced graphics, new characters, different combo options, even more dangerous maps, and 8-player mode all come with the new and improved Super Smash Bros. Also, a player can still use regular Wii remotes on the Wii U, so this makes it easier for lazy people (like me) who do not wish to adapt to the new Wii U controller, which has a screen in the middle of it in case you wanted to use the bathroom without interrupting the game for everyone else.

A list of the new characters include: Mega Man, Wii Fit Trainer, Animal Crossing Villager, Rosalina & Luma, Little Mac, Greninja, Customizable Mii Fighters, Palutena, Robin, Shulk, Lucina, Pac-Man, Dark Pit, Bowser Jr. (with all other koopa kids), and the duck and dog from duck hunt. Also, Zero Suit Samus is available as a starting character as opposed to Regular Samus from SSB Brawl, where you would need to hit a “special ball” in order to become zero suit samus. As for DLC characters, there is only one: Mewtwo. Mewtwo from Melee and Lucario from Brawl had very, very similar attacks so I hope that this new Mewtwo comes with new attacks or other surprises. I personally only got to play as Palutena, Little Mac, Bowser Jr. and Shulk. Palutena you have to get used too. Little Mac is HIGHLY powerful and if you can hone in on timing his attacks, you will be unstoppable. I played as a Bowser Jr. who had a cannon and could also detach himself from his little vehicle thing to place a bomb inside it before returning, which killed my friend about eight times. Shulk is a swordsman character, but his “B” move allows you to use a sort of perk with choices of speed, power, or defense. Trust me, they really do help.

This is pretty much the extent of my knowledge because I just spent thirty minutes in a GameStop doing a trial run of the game and now I wish i wasn’t a broke student so I could purchase a Wii U just for this game. If you live a life without regrets, buy this game and you will not be disappointed.

Thanks for reading! To hear some awesome music and more shenanigans coming straight from my pie-hole, tune into my show “Shred the Gnar” Tuesdays at 8am only on http://www.kssu.com!!!

Much love,

DJGingerbeard

Slice of Sacramento ft. Cole’s Corner: Giovanni’s Pizza (6200 Folsom Blvd)


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Welcome to the first ever post of The Slice of Sacramento. This pizza review will focus on pizzerias in or around the Sacramento area. Basis for comparison will be pepperoni, house specialties, and ‘extra extra.’ In the interest of fairness fellow KSSU DJ Cole in his section ‘Cole’s Corner’. So join us as we find out, “will Jonny Mac go back, or go on the attack?”

We decided to go to the Folsom Blvd. branch of Giovanni’s Pizza as opposed to the original location in Land Park in part due to its close vicinity to Sac State. In addition, the Elements housing as well as St. Francis and Hiram Johnson High Schools are close by, giving Giovanni’s Pizza a potentially prime location. Parking is ample with a large industrial feeling gravel driveway as well as the lot from the F65 complex just next door.  The building itself is a hugely oversized and the space is added to by a patio seating option out front. Although usually a plus, due to the particular area of Folsom Blvd. as well as the industrial nature of the area, the outside patio does not work as well as it does at somewhere close like Burr’s Fountain, and should be chosen judiciously.  The inside is filled almost exclusively with tables, only offering a sparse selection of games, video or otherwise, for those who would be so inclined. The general feeling in the building is one of emptiness not due to a lack of customers, but more so to poor space utilization. The addition of something as simple a billiards table would make Giovanni’s more of a destination of the college/high school demographic.

PizzaNow the good stuff.  The pizza is why we are here. Giovanni’s offers New York Style pizza and in that regard they do not disappoint. The slices are of a general size and the crust is crispy yet foldable. While there is a lunch special available that gets you two slices and a soda for $6.99, they regularly offer whole pizza pies exclusively that run just a little on the expensive size with a large pepperoni roughly $20 for a large and $6 more to get ‘New York size.’ But how was the pizza, is it work that $20 plus dollar point of sale, well the answer depends on what you decide to get.  We sampled the pepperoni as well as the Don Giovanni special that was topped with sausage and fire roasted sweet peppers and it arrived to our table only 15 short minutes after ordering. First and foremost these pizzas were dripping in the greasy flavorful goodness I love, if you love it as well stay put, if not, grab all the napkins you can. The Don Giovanni special was a reserved take on a house special with only two toppings, which although worked together, tended to get lost in the mix, with the sausage seemingly not flavorful enough. The pepperoni on the other hand was exactly what one wants a pep pizza to be. With liberal placement of the peperoni themselves this pie was packed with flavor and would please even the most monetarily stringent.

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IMG_20150213_175113820The sleeper hit of the evening was the order of chicken wings we got thanks to a good old fashioned coupon. The wings came with celery and ranch as was delivered to our table after only ten minutes and gave us a nice small window to enjoy some of the appetizers before the main dish arrived. This 10 piece wing dish was a pleasant surprise for both Cole and I. Instead of ones typical, or expected buffalo wing, Giovanni’s instead offers a rocking sweet habanero wing with a heat that sneaks up on you unexpectedly, but not unwillingly. At only about $8 this 10 wing option works great as an appetizer, or even a meal of its own

Verdict: Jonny Mac goes back!! It would be interesting to see how the original location compares to this Folsom branch, but overall this one is worth checking out if you don’t mind spending a bit more on a New York style pizza, despite the locations shortcomings in regards to decoration or feel, the pizza offers an experience good enough to only need a handful of friends

Cole’s Corner:

Coles Corner

                It’s been a while since I’ve been to a non-chain pizza place. My outings lately have consisted of Round Table or Pizza Hut. That said, Giovanni’s Old World New York Pizzeria is a nice return to the family-style local joints of my yesteryear.
                The location of Giovanni’s is close to Sac State’s campus. A quick bike ride from the grounds to Folsom Blvd takes around ten minutes at the most; if you’re looking for a dine-in experience off campus, it’s a fairly easy commute. The restaurant itself is very spacious. With about twenty tables spaced out, a concrete floor that dampens the atmosphere a bit and a ceiling height of easily twenty-five feet, this place gives off the vibes of a warehouse. Barring the general pictures of The Big Apple hung up in “New York Style” restaurants, there isn’t much else to take in while dining in. Aside from that, the interior is a nice and clean area to rest for a bit after finishing classes for the day.
                With the setting all said and done, it’s time to get to the pizza. John and I ordered one large pizza; half of it being the classic pepperoni we all know and love, the other half being the house special “Don Giovanni”, consisting of Italian sausages and sweet roasted peppers. The large size was roughly $25 without drinks and is split into eight slices, so this pizza is on the pricier side. True to its namesake, the pizza is cooked with a thin crust that easily folds when picking up a slice, emulating the style of a New York pizza.
                The pepperoni pizza is a pizza that you can hardly ever do wrong, and Giovanni’s keeps that statement true. It has plenty of pepperonis without it being overbearing, the slight grease that keeps the pizza hot, and the cheese that compliments the meat without taking over the flavor. It’s a classic staple of pizza and I enjoyed every slice of it.
                The “Don Giovanni”, on the other hand, was a more peculiar pizza. Sausage and pepper alone on a pizza is not a common mix, and with this case left it to be desired. The sweet peppers were delicious, but the flavor overpowered the sausage and I could hardly taste it. On top of that, there was a generous serving of the peppers on each slice while the sausage was lacking. I found myself having one slice with only one or two sausages with a lot more peppers on them.  If there was a more even distribution of toppings, I feel like this pizza would have been a bit tastier.
                Overall, I have to say that Giovanni’s is a decent pizza place. If you don’t mind a pricier dining experience in a spacious environment, this pizzeria has a nice tasting New York Style slice of pizza goodness.
Environment: 3/5
Pepperoni Pizza: 4/5
House Special (Don Giovanni): 3.5/5

 

 

Cole and John are DJ’s at Sacramento State’s only student run radio station KSSU

“Shred the Gnar” Version 2.0


For those of you who do not know me, my name is DJGingerbeard and I have a metal/random show Tuesday mornings at 8am called “Shred the Gnar” on KSSU. When I started at KSSU, I wanted to play music that people would not typically hear in the mainstream, or music that when it comes up in conversation would make them cringe. Examples are metal, death metal, post-hardcore, Djent, etc. Last semester I found myself sticking to one type of metal and even replaying songs from already popular artists. My original intent on becoming a DJ had vanished. Two events made me realize i must return to my Alpha Form.

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I was checking out some bands on Instagram when I saw a band that I thought was already great and pretty well-known had released a new album. That album is titled “The Night God Slept” by a Southern Californian Metal band called “Silent Planet.” The lyrics are all direct quotes, paraphrases, or interpretations of the vocalist cited from historical events, intellectual books, and scriptures. I was blown away by the awesome creativity on this album so I looked up an interview with the band. I found out that this album was their first album ever and they just got signed to a record label (which happens to be Solid State Records). That’s when it hit me. One of the things I wished to do as a DJ was to find great bands in the heavy music industry that are not well known and give them exposure.

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The other event that made me realize what I have become was a few days ago in my girlfriend’s car. We were having a nice day going out to eat, when two songs back to back played in her radio from a mix CD. One was from Underoath in their more recent years, so the music was not that heavy. The other was a pop-punk song by a band called “Knuckle Puck”. I loved both songs so i told my girlfriend “I would play this stuff, but it’s too light”. She replied, “You tell your listeners that you play a wide variety of metal and other stuff, but you seem to only stick to a select type of music.” She was right, so now I am changing my ways.

“Shred the Gnar” version 2.0 will not have just metal, but also thrash, djent, hardcore, punk, post-hardcore, electro-metal, pop-punk, and all other sub-genres. Not only that, I will try harder to find not-so-known bands like “Silent Planet” and play them on my show to give them the credit they deserve. I promise you fellow musicians and music lovers alike, Spring Semester for DJGingerbeard will be better than ever.

Listen in for some great stuff at http://www.kssu.com

Tuesday mornings at 8am

Much love, DJGingerbeard

A Hatred For Stormageddon


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I know we are in a drought and I have come to terms with the fact that we need the rain BUT I still hate it. The gray skies fill my heart with complacency as I mumble around and step through puddles. Here’s three reasons that I use to justify my anger towards the rain.

#1: I am a skateboarder. For those who do not know, skateboards are not compatible with the rain. It makes the ground slippery, water-logs the deck, and rusts bearings. I have seen people ride skateboards and long-boards through the rain on campus and I shake my head every time. They are not skaters, they are posers. I am not hating, I am just being real. skateboarding in the rain will not only severely damage your board, but it is also unsafe for the skater to attempt any tricks due to the slippery conditions. Rain prevents me from doing what I love, so it must die.

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#2: Rain is deceiving. People think the rain is a beautiful thing that they want to dance and sing in. This is a lie. The rain is cold and unforgiving. Dancing in the rain can cause illnesses and then you will not be singing and dancing at all. The rain causes everybody to want to drink cocoa and watch movies. This will lead to diabetes and chronic laziness, which benefits nobody. Don’t trust the rain.

#3: Rain is wet. Being wet sucks. It is cold, things stick easier to wet places, and everyone asks the inevitable stupid question “Is it raining bro?” Nah, I just run through sprinklers on my way to class. Also, wet shoes is the worst. They never dry when you need them and wet shoes makes your feet smell like onions in a toilet- a dirty toilet. My brother had some laikai skate shoes the rain caused the dye to leak through the shoe into his socks and all over his toes. The rain causes sadness.

Rain is good for nature, but not for me. I prefer a cool, crisp, fall evening so I can skate for hours and hours without getting wet, sick, or hurt.

Thanks for reading my rant on rain. For more random words on life and great metal music, listen to my show “Shred the Gnar” every Thursday at 9am on www.kssu.com.

Much Love, DJGingerbeard

The Ghost Inside/ Attila/ Volumes Album Reviews.


I want to take a moment and talk about some news albums that came out recently, and by recently I mean within the last six months. The Ghost Inside, Attila, and Volumes all dropped some heavy stuff and I checked out all their new albums. Holy snap crackle and pop, they were extravagant. The Ghost Inside with some hardcore melodies, Attila with their IDGAF in-your-face attitude, ad Volumes with a melodic change for the better.

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Once again, the Ghost Inside have proven themselves to be one of the leading bands in the hardcore scene. To all those who say they went “mainstream” and are not underground anymore, I say to you, screw that. If a band can make it big and get paid more so they can actually afford nice things instead of sticking to the underground and getting paid diddly squat for a run down apartment, I say go for it and get big. The first song “Avalanche” straight up pumps up the mood for everybody with a nice build up in the beginning and gang vocals to breakdown as a finisher. The debut song “Dear Youth” covers all aspects of a great song; powerful riffs, relatable lyrics, empowering breakdowns, and a harmony that is off the chain. Well done The Ghost Inside.

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First off, Attila is not a band meant to be taken as “meaningful” or important to your life goals. They are a party hard, DGAF kind of band with a new album called “Guilty Pleasure”. With a mix between brutal exhales and rapping, Fronz (vocalist) has multiple virtuoso moments throughout the song. Some tracks make me shake my head and say “what the heck is this” but tracks like “Guilty Pleasure” and “Horse Pig” get me throwing chairs and flipping tables. Again, they are not very deep and philosophical, but they kill it live. I speak from past experiences when i say they put on a fantastic show with lights, and 8O8 drops. This new album will take their concerts to the next level. I saw an Instagram video of a huge wall of death to one of their new songs and that is enough to convince me that this new album is worth purchasing.

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Last but certainly not least, Volumes. Volumes is a Djent band well-known for their breakdowns, but their album “No Sleep” was not what fans expected this album had a lot of lighter, more melodic tracks on it. Don’t get me wrong, the tracks are amazing and I am happy to hear that Volume’s use of music theory and desire to do less heavy music in their future, but Volumes received a lot of fire. In their song “The Mixture”, the lyrics say “you can have metal back” and in an interview, the vocalists said they are dropping from their label to pursue music on their own path. The album “No Sleep” is the first step in Volumes new style and wave of music, and I love every bit of it.

Thanks for reading, I am DJGingerbeard and to hear music from The Ghost Inside and Volumes (Attila is too vulgar) tune into my show “Shred the Gnar” every Thursday at 9am on http://www.kssu.com.

Thanksgiving Extravagance


ThanksGiving

What other day of the year can you eat until you throw up?

None other than Thanksgiving, where we stuff stuffing and good times into our bodies. During Thanksgiving, I usually head up to Chico to my grandparent’s house, or they come down here. Either way, the whole family collects under one household and everybody brings some sort of food or dessert. My mother creates a “Thanksgiving Lasanga”. This Lasagna is like other Lasagnas, except in between each layer of pasta is stuffing, turkey, mashed potatoes, and the sauce is substituted for gravy.

HOO MA GAWSH

It is Heaven in your mouth. Its greatness reaches your taste buds whether it be hot or cold.

After all the typical festivities shenanigans and small talk about who did what where, a brave group of us go out shopping for Black Friday at midnight. Once I went Black Friday shopping and witnessed people fighting over shoes. Shoes! At Wal-mart! They are already cheap!

Last year, I applied for seasonal work at Hot Topic. The Manager was not there the first time I showed up, and was on an “extended lunch break” (smoke break with food) so the assistant manager came to my aid. He said they had a spot to work on Black Friday, so I signed up. I had my employee card, paperwork, and everything. On the day before Thanksgiving, I called to see what time they wanted me to come in and they replied, “sir, we don’t have you scheduled to work here.” Apparently, because the manager did not employ me, my paperwork and card did not matter. After the holidays, I returned to the manager, who promised me a job, only to ignore my calls, texts, e-mails, and visits after an interveiw.

This Thanksgiving, I am heading up to Chico. My grandmother, being a Filipina, is making Lumpia. A relaxing, Lumpia-filled, no work, mini-vacation up to the countryside of Chico is exactly what I want this Thanksgiving.

To hear more about my life’s randomness and shortcomings (with Metal/hardcore/heavyrock music) listen to my show “Shred the Gnar” every Thursday at 9am on http://www.kssu.com.

Until next time, this is DJGingerbeard, heading out.

The NFL: Why We (or I, at Least) Continue to Watch


The NFL made another fun rule change on Wednesday at the owners’ meetings, now making it illegal for an offensive player to initiate contact on a defender with the crown of his helmet. With the league taking heavy fire for post-career concussions, the move towards more player safety makes sense. Still, it’s pretty absurd. Running backs and wide receivers have to finish runs, gaining every inch of field that they can. The new rule will make for more penalties, more stoppages and more complaining.

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Kaepernick or Smith? There’s Only One Correct Answer


A divide has grown amongst 49ers fans ever since Colin Kaepernick replaced Alex Smith at quarterback.  This controversy has grown with each passing week, eventually giving rise to “Team Kaepernick” versus “Team Smith” debates which are, in every single way, asinine.

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It’s not that I am condemning sports debates; they are part of what makes being a fan interesting. But there should never be a rift between fans of a particular team, especially if that rift is based upon who the starting quarterback is.  I understand the merits of this particular case: some people don’t like the way Smith lost his job, while others love the way Kaepernick plays.  But in arguing this, fans are missing a more important reality: THEY’RE BOTH ON THE 49ERS.  49ERS FANS, REGARDLESS OF QUARTERBACK PREFERENCE, SHOULD BE “TEAM 49ERS.”

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Colin Kaepernick ushers in a testudined-up NFL quarterbacking era


It has recently become public knowledge that Colin Kaepernick has a 115-pound pet turtle named Sammy.  This information came from Yahoo! Sports, which posted an article with a photo giving some information about Kaepernick’s shelled friend.

David Whitley recently wrote an opinion piece regarding  Kaepernick’s tattoos, so I decided, with the help of Whitley’s article to do my own piece on the potential threat that a starting NFL quarterback owning a pet turtle poses to our nation’s youth.

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While Whitley’s piece was widely criticized, I think it’s time we move on and have a little fun with it.

The following is Whitley’s article, in it’s entirety, with all tattoo references switched with turtle references.  All credit for this work, with the exception of the turtle references, goes to David Whitley.

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Twitter’s reaction to Alabama’s loss to Texas A&M


Certain games seem to gain a Twitter-wide audience.  I follow around 900 people, and it seems that 95 percent of my timeline will tweet about the same game when there’s a big game on a national station.  A prime example was Saturday’s SEC showdown between #1 Alabama and #15 Texas A&M.

College football fans and sports fans everywhere tuned in to that match-up as soon as it became apparent the Aggies had “upset” on the mind.  The game took over my timeline, not that I’m complaining, with a shade under one minute to go in the first quarter when Christine Michael punched it in from a yard out to give the Aggies a 20-0 advantage over Nick Saban’s top ranked Tide.

The game stayed on my timeline throughout the afternoon and into the early evening.

Malcolme Kennedy hauled in a 24 yard touchdown from Johnny Manziel with 8:07 to play in the game to give the Aggies a 29-17 lead.  This prompted Twitter to begin trolling Alabama.  People poked fun at Saban, Quarterback AJ McCarron, and even Steve Spurrier for saying this Alabama team, that looked so pathetic against Texas A&M, could beat an NFL team.

All of the joking halted after  just a couple of minutes when  McCarron threw a 54 yard strike to Amari Cooper for a touchdown to pull the Crimson Tide within 5, 29-24.

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