Marvel Offers Free Guardians of the Galaxy Comics Bi-Weekly and Digitally
This is awesome news, especially since I’m currently reading the hard to find and incredibly pricey 2008 run of Guardians of the Galaxy. Marvel is releasing free bi-weekly comics written by Brian Michael Bendis, to help give spotlight to the individuals of the team before their comic book debut this March 27th and the film that’s releasing next year.
This bi-week’s free edition shines the light on Drax the Destroyer — a space badass who spends his time going from bar to bar and picking fights with others. Guardians leader, Star-Lord, eventually recruits him to the team.
This is a nice opportunity for newcomers to be introduced to the Guardians of the Galaxy. Plus, if you have the Marvel or ComiXology app, it’s completely free to read, so why not?
Check it: More Marvel on Albotas Buy it: The incredibly pricey Guardians of the Galaxy paperback

Marvel Offers Free Guardians of the Galaxy Comics Bi-Weekly and Digitally

This is awesome news, especially since I’m currently reading the hard to find and incredibly pricey 2008 run of Guardians of the Galaxy. Marvel is releasing free bi-weekly comics written by Brian Michael Bendis, to help give spotlight to the individuals of the team before their comic book debut this March 27th and the film that’s releasing next year.

This bi-week’s free edition shines the light on Drax the Destroyer — a space badass who spends his time going from bar to bar and picking fights with others. Guardians leader, Star-Lord, eventually recruits him to the team.

This is a nice opportunity for newcomers to be introduced to the Guardians of the Galaxy. Plus, if you have the Marvel or ComiXology app, it’s completely free to read, so why not?

Check it: More Marvel on Albotas 
Buy it: 
The incredibly pricey Guardians of the Galaxy paperback
Pokémon TV App, Now Out and Free
The amount of Pokémon news that comes out every week honestly blows my mind.
Today saw the release of the official Pokémon TV app for iTunes and Google Play. Smartphone users can now download the video app to watch different episodes of the Pokémon animated television show. The app rotates 50 different episodes — get this — every single week.
The app is separated by region, which is really awesome, and every episode you can view is free to watch. The app will also be hosting full-length movies, starting with Pokémon the Movie: Kyurem vs. The Sword of Justice from February 15-18. The app will also be debuting the animated short “Meloetta’s Moonlight Serenade" on February 15.

Pokémon TV App, Now Out and Free

The amount of Pokémon news that comes out every week honestly blows my mind.

Today saw the release of the official Pokémon TV app for iTunes and Google Play. Smartphone users can now download the video app to watch different episodes of the Pokémon animated television show. The app rotates 50 different episodes — get this — every single week.

The app is separated by region, which is really awesome, and every episode you can view is free to watch. The app will also be hosting full-length movies, starting with Pokémon the Movie: Kyurem vs. The Sword of Justice from February 15-18. The app will also be debuting the animated short “Meloetta’s Moonlight Serenade" on February 15.

New iPhone App Allows Users to Create Temporary Phone Numbers

Ad Hoc Labs has developed a brand new iPhone app that allows users to create multiple temporary phone numbers that can be used to call/text others anonymously. The app is called “Burner,” which also is a street term used to describe prepaid phones or other lines that are used for drug deals, or to simply avoid some sort of surveillance.

Each number has limited use, but it does allow you to call or text like you normally would a regular phone. The app simply redirects the fake number to your real number and can be deleted any time you’d like. 

According to the site:

Need a phone number for a day, a week, a month or more? Create a Burner number for your iPhone in less than 30 seconds. Give out a number without fear of having your real phone number compromised. Publish your number to Twitter or Facebook and see what happens! Be in full control Turn off inbound SMS notifications or rings quickly and easily. Manage all your inbound calls, SMS messages, and voicemails in one place. Done with the number? It’s easy (and fun) to “burn” the number, taking it out of service and wiping it from your phone as if it never existed!

The app is being sold for $1.99 at the iTunes app store, and I’m sure it’s going to be abused as much as possible.

The App Store: For What It’s Worth
So, I woke up this morning and started messing around with my iPhone - like I usually do these days - and I decided to hit the app store.
I’m not sure exactly what it is that led me to it, but it’s gotten to be a bit of a habit of mine. Occasionally I find myself flicking the icons back and forth and just clicking whatever looks prettiest to me at the time.
I happened to notice that Osmos - an iPad game that had received some coverage on Kotaku - is the “app of the week.” It has, evidently, been ported to iPhone.  I haven’t personally checked it out or watched too many gameplay videos, but the impression I got from the general response to the game was a good one. 
I trust the sites that I frequent and the art style alone is selling the point to me: the game is good. At the least, it can’t be that bad. It takes some work to get good reviews, after all.
It’s stuff like this that irritates me:

Now, I understand people not liking the game. It’s perfectly fine to find a game ‘frustrating.’ Different people feel different ways about different things. Besides that, I can understand the additional frustration that the second reviewer might have felt after accidentally buying the application. Nobody likes surprise charges.
What really bugs me, though, is the idea the the app is “pricy.” 
I know that money doesn’t grow on trees, and I’ve been in my own bit of tough financial spots… but the app is $2.99. That’s little more than the price of a $2 meal deal at Taco Bell. (Those are cheap and good, buy them).
It’s roughly the same price as a hamburger somewhere else. In fact, people pay much more for hamburgers. Or sub-sammiches.
It’s much less than the price of a 2-hour movie, for that matter. The price would be fairly justified if you played it for any longer than that, if you look at its value as measured by the ‘time of entertainment’ it provides.
Considering that, I really don’t feel that the app is, in any way, expensive.
The inherent problem here is the fact that it’s “app-store expensive.”
If you’re familiar with the app store, then you’re probably aware of the pricing structure used therein. There is a great volume of applications available for free, (Facebook, Pandora, Twitter), and there are tons of apps and games that are available for 99¢. Even when things start getting “expensive,” they usually stay below five or six dollars. Anything that starts approaching $10 is entering “specialty app” territory, and anything for more than that is, essentially, claiming to offer a lot of functionality.
What this amounts to is a major distortion of value. Take, for example, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars. It was released, originally, for the Nintendo Ds. It’s been a while since I bought a game for full price, (I’ve been buying used, lately. I know about tough financial situations, like I said), but the average price of a DS game is, as I recall, somewhere between $25 and $30. You can find GTA for cheaper these days, due to the fact that it’s an older game and probably didn’t sell as well as the more popular titles on the platform. 
When it got ported to iPhone and iPod touch, though, the price was reduced to $10. This was inevitable: for Rockstar to even think about selling it on this platform, they couldn’t dare to ask for much more. $25? For a game? You’re kidding, right?
What’s even worse is the fact that the port has been enhanced in a number of ways. Just looking at a screenshot tells me that the graphics have been buffed. The iPhone version allows custom playlists, too. Even a flash-cart wouldn’t get you that on the DS. Beyond that, it’s more portable than it’s DS companion. When it comes to going places, even for the most hardcore of gamers among us, the pocket-hierarchy usually follows thus: Phone and Wallet-Keys-Mp3 Player-Handheld Console. 
Even with those benefits aside, the price of the game is forced down simply by the platform it’s being sold upon. That really begs the question: How much is the game actually worth? How much is the experience worth? Is it $10? $20? $30?
What really irks me is the tendency of today’s youth and gamer culture to quickly flag things as being worth nothing. The second commenter from earlier is flatly telling the developers that their game should be worth 99¢, or maybe even nothing at all.
There’s no regard for the amount of time and energy that Hemisphere put into it. No thought given to the fact that there are countless games on the market demanding around twenty times as much. There’s no comparison between the price of the game and the price of a burger. Or a dinner. Or a movie. Or even other games.
There are some people out there that see the price tag and immediately turn away. There are some people out there that see any price tag and immediately turn away. It doesn’t matter if the game is your life’s work. It doesn’t matter if you have a family to support or bills to pay. The populace just can’t be bothered to give you any money for anything you do.
I think I’m going to watch a few reviews and see if I’ve got that $3.

The App Store: For What It’s Worth

So, I woke up this morning and started messing around with my iPhone - like I usually do these days - and I decided to hit the app store.

I’m not sure exactly what it is that led me to it, but it’s gotten to be a bit of a habit of mine. Occasionally I find myself flicking the icons back and forth and just clicking whatever looks prettiest to me at the time.

I happened to notice that Osmos - an iPad game that had received some coverage on Kotaku - is the “app of the week.” It has, evidently, been ported to iPhone.  I haven’t personally checked it out or watched too many gameplay videos, but the impression I got from the general response to the game was a good one. 

I trust the sites that I frequent and the art style alone is selling the point to me: the game is good. At the least, it can’t be that bad. It takes some work to get good reviews, after all.

It’s stuff like this that irritates me:

Now, I understand people not liking the game. It’s perfectly fine to find a game ‘frustrating.’ Different people feel different ways about different things. Besides that, I can understand the additional frustration that the second reviewer might have felt after accidentally buying the application. Nobody likes surprise charges.

What really bugs me, though, is the idea the the app is “pricy.” 

I know that money doesn’t grow on trees, and I’ve been in my own bit of tough financial spots… but the app is $2.99. That’s little more than the price of a $2 meal deal at Taco Bell. (Those are cheap and good, buy them).

It’s roughly the same price as a hamburger somewhere else. In fact, people pay much more for hamburgers. Or sub-sammiches.

It’s much less than the price of a 2-hour movie, for that matter. The price would be fairly justified if you played it for any longer than that, if you look at its value as measured by the ‘time of entertainment’ it provides.

Considering that, I really don’t feel that the app is, in any way, expensive.

The inherent problem here is the fact that it’s “app-store expensive.”

If you’re familiar with the app store, then you’re probably aware of the pricing structure used therein. There is a great volume of applications available for free, (Facebook, Pandora, Twitter), and there are tons of apps and games that are available for 99¢. Even when things start getting “expensive,” they usually stay below five or six dollars. Anything that starts approaching $10 is entering “specialty app” territory, and anything for more than that is, essentially, claiming to offer a lot of functionality.

What this amounts to is a major distortion of value. Take, for example, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars. It was released, originally, for the Nintendo Ds. It’s been a while since I bought a game for full price, (I’ve been buying used, lately. I know about tough financial situations, like I said), but the average price of a DS game is, as I recall, somewhere between $25 and $30. You can find GTA for cheaper these days, due to the fact that it’s an older game and probably didn’t sell as well as the more popular titles on the platform. 

When it got ported to iPhone and iPod touch, though, the price was reduced to $10. This was inevitable: for Rockstar to even think about selling it on this platform, they couldn’t dare to ask for much more. $25? For a game? You’re kidding, right?

What’s even worse is the fact that the port has been enhanced in a number of ways. Just looking at a screenshot tells me that the graphics have been buffed. The iPhone version allows custom playlists, too. Even a flash-cart wouldn’t get you that on the DS. Beyond that, it’s more portable than it’s DS companion. When it comes to going places, even for the most hardcore of gamers among us, the pocket-hierarchy usually follows thus: Phone and Wallet-Keys-Mp3 Player-Handheld Console. 

Even with those benefits aside, the price of the game is forced down simply by the platform it’s being sold upon. That really begs the question: How much is the game actually worth? How much is the experience worth? Is it $10? $20? $30?

What really irks me is the tendency of today’s youth and gamer culture to quickly flag things as being worth nothing. The second commenter from earlier is flatly telling the developers that their game should be worth 99¢, or maybe even nothing at all.

There’s no regard for the amount of time and energy that Hemisphere put into it. No thought given to the fact that there are countless games on the market demanding around twenty times as much. There’s no comparison between the price of the game and the price of a burger. Or a dinner. Or a movie. Or even other games.

There are some people out there that see the price tag and immediately turn away. There are some people out there that see any price tag and immediately turn away. It doesn’t matter if the game is your life’s work. It doesn’t matter if you have a family to support or bills to pay. The populace just can’t be bothered to give you any money for anything you do.

I think I’m going to watch a few reviews and see if I’ve got that $3.

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