Borderlands: The Handsome Collection (PS4) Video Game Review

Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel in one package is a significant deal in light of retail video games being delayed in the next few months.  It is worth a purchase, but it’s not without its problems.  Most notably, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel still has glitches and sometimes does not save or work properly.

Gameplay (Out of 10)

The gameplay is still very much first-person shooter and still an enjoyable first-person shooter with great game mechanics.  The shooting is fluid, and the cooperative gameplay is great.  While Borderlands 2 is generally fluid and functional, the Pre-Sequel is sometimes not.  It will not allow the Vault Hunter to complete the quests, despite completing them.  And sometimes, some of the missions are needlessly more difficult than they need to be.  The four classes, the Gladiator, the Enforcer, the Lawbringer and Fragtrap are each enjoyable in their own right.  The DLC classes, the Doppleganger and the Baroness, are also fun although the Doppleganger is pretty much a land-based version of the Enforcer class.  With all the glitches, the gameplay takes a hit.  It gets a Fringe Fiction 8 out of 10 as in the the Pre-Sequel is not without its problems.

Graphics (Out of 10)

The cel-shaded graphics is still top-notch with the particle explosions. Not much has changed since the original Borderlands besides smoother gameplay. It gets a 10 out of 10.

Sound (Out of 10)

The game sounds amazing with the characters.  It gets a 9 out 10.

Overall (Out of 10)

Overall, Borderlands: The Handsome Collection gets a Fringe Fiction 9 out 10.  It is worthy of a purchase, but Borderlands 2 functions and plays better overall than the Pre-Sequel.

Top 10 American Horror Movie Rules: The Millennial Generation

The Most Recent Horror Movie Premiered October 11, 2013

All the Boys Love Mandy Lane

With Wes Craven being the last classic horror movie maker to go for the X-Generation, the next generation of horror movie makers, the Milleniums, have arrived.  However, these film makers rely on cheap scares, cheap sex and cheap nudity to bring in the viewers, and bad acting and mediocre script to force them away.

Here are 10 tips on surviving the next generation of horror movies:

  • Bring your camera. With this generation, whether a digital camera or camera phone, they love to film their exploits.
  • Dumb blondes aren’t so dumb anymore.  With this generation, unlike the previous one, blondes are a force to be reckoned with.  Be careful around them.  They can’t be trusted when the hammer falls.
  • Leave your  cell and/or smart phone at home.  I don’t know why.  Nowadays, cell phones are left at home or locked away.  With crazy people  chasing after you, this isn’t so smart.
  • Survive the reboots. Chucky, Freddy Kreuger and Jason all have been revived, but the well seems to have run dry. For now.
  • Survive the derivatives. Every villain is now a derivative of the previous villain, without much creativity, aside from a couple of exceptions that came out of the United Kingdom.
  • Enjoy the T & A. Without acting, most of the current generation horror movies is leaning on T & A.  Although exciting for its brief moments, it’s not all that scary. Really.
  • Survive the villain’s bad costumes. Insidious topped it off with their ridiculous demon villain costume.  Paranormal Activity was no better.
  • Survive the mediocre to bad CGI. Mama topped it off with its ghost from the 1980s. Compared to the ghost in MamaGhostbusters‘ librarian ghost  was much better. Chucky’s revival in Curse of Chucky was only slightly better than the animatronic Chucky doll.
  • Have either Tony Todd or Danny Trejo by your side.  These two have become the stars of horror movies.
  • Say it with feeling. More and more “horror” movies are independent.  Even more so, they are attempting to convey messages, often moral, sometimes not.

The horror movies of the Millennial Generation have ultimately become very derivative and not at all scary.  Compared to horror movies of days gone by, survival will be far easier.

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag Legendary Ships: Tips and Tactics on Becoming the Devil of the Caribbean [SPOILERS AHEAD]

Ubisoft made a masterpiece of a game in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag.  The video game wasn’t as ham-fisted in history as with Assassin’s Creed III, and Edward Kenway was about as engaging an assassin as Ezio Audiotore in Assassin’s Creed II.  It’s a pretty amazing game when it can create sympathy for Edward “Blackbeard” Thatch and a villain of Bartholomew “Black Bart” Roberts.

Unlike the previous Assassin’s Creed video games, this one is heavily focused on naval combat as to exploring the cities themselves.  And with naval combat, there comes focused on the Spanish and British fleets and warships as well as civilian ships.  Included with the naval combat are four Legendary Ships with one consisting of tandem of two British man o’ wars.  These Legendary Ships will test the skills and patience of even the best of naval captains.

So here are some tips on Preparation for the Legendary Ships:

  • I highly suggest that you have fully upgraded the Jackdaw, including all the Elite design plans.  This may take some time and well near the end of the video game.
  • Conquer all forts.  The last thing you need is to have two-sided war going on with the Legendary Ship and  a roaming fleet.
  • It goes without saying that you should rearm and have a full stock of ammunition for the ship.
  • It also goes without saying that you should know where the Legendary Ships are.

Here are some General Strategies for the Legendary Ships: 

  • Master controlling the Jackdaw using half-mast and full-mast.
  • Broadside cannons are the Jackdaw’s best friend, next to the mortars and chain cannons.
  • Learn to PIT maneuver the Legendary Ships. It will give you an opportunity to fire your broadside cannons and chain cannons.
  • Facing perpendicular (for El Impoluto in particular), behind and aside the Legendary Ships are integral maneuvers for the Jackdaw.
  • Learn to tag the Legendary Ships with the scope and/or map.  Know the relative distance they are to the Jackdaw.  Generally below 700 nm means the Legendary Ship is coming your way, and 500 nm is mortar range.
  • After the cinematic ends introducing the particular Legendary ship, deploy full-mast on the Jackdaw immediately.

The Four Legendary Ships are:

  • HMS Prince (Navassa Zone). Otherwise, known as the Ghost Ship.
  • La Dama Negra (Serranilla Zone)
  • HMS Fearless And Royal Sovereign (Eleuthera Zone). These are two British man o’ wars working as one. Perhaps one of the hardest.
  • El Impoluto (Dry Tortuga). Perhaps the hardest because of its aggressiveness and the damage it can cause.

The Strategies for each of the following is below.  It is done in a chess format — as dealing with these Legendary Ships is essentially a chess game filled with tactics.

HMS Fearless And Royal Sovereign (Eleuthera Zone)

HMS Fearless And Royal Sovereign (Eleuthera Zone)

Opening Maneuver: Fire mortars once at both ships HMS Fearless and Royal Sovereign after the formal introduction immediately and when the ships separate, target one and attempt to PIT maneuver at full mast. Once done, fire your broadside cannons as frequently as possible on that single ship.

Mid-Game: This naval battle is similar to facing the Katayanagi Twins in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World video game (or movie).  You have to fight both, but treat them as a single opponent.  Both should be similarly damaged by the Jackdaw throughout the naval battle.  Each ship can only fire two volleys of broadside cannons at the Jackdaw prior to reloading and regrouping.  As you PIT maneuver  the ships, they have a chance of firing upon each other which makes taking them down that much easier.

End-Game: One or the other ship is sunk.  While one or the other ship is retreating, fire mortars and chain cannons to slow it down. Finally, when it attempts to ram you once last time, fire your broadside cannons and end it.

El Impoluto (Dry Tortuga)

El Impoluto (Dry Tortuga)

Opening Maneuver: Unlike what your instincts tell you, turn the Jackdaw directly at El Impoluto and head directly at El Impoluto at full mast, facing its ram.  As El Impoluto gets fairly close, veer off to the left or right and fire your broadside cannons immediately. Again, you should be able to get two volleys off as you get near the back end of the ship. Then attempt to PIT maneuver  and fire your chain cannons on the backside of the ship.  Deploy at half-mast and attempt to follow right behind El Impoluto at full-mast or half-mast, as necessary.

Mid-Game: El Impoluto is fast, aggressive and maneuverable for being a large ship.  Like in chess, you have to think at least two steps ahead. The main tactic of El Impoluto is fear in that it wants the Jackdaw to run away, but don’t.  When El Impoluto attempts to turn around to face you, face it and veer off and then fire your broadside cannons.  The Jackdaw should be able to get two volleys off. Follow behind it, if possible, firing your chain cannons and broadside cannons. Rinse and repeat.  If it follows behind you, launch your fire barrels and turn sharply right or left so that the Jackdaw is perpendicular to El Impoluto, firing your broadside cannons, if possible, and make your way around to the side or back of El Impoluto.

End-Game: El Impoluto should be charging you one last time as it hits the fire barrels and the volleys of your regular and heavy broadside cannons.  It should have sunken by now.

HMS Prince (Navassa Zone)

HMS Prince (Navassa Zone)

Opening Maneuver: Turn the ship directly toward the HMS Prince and avoid the mortar fire.  Attempt to PIT maneuver the ship and fire the chain cannons.  Proceed to follow behind the Prince and fire your chain cannons and broadside cannons as much as possible.

Mid-Game: Not exactly one of the most agile ships out there, but as long as you trail behind it, the Jackdaw should be fine.  This is not a a particularly complicated ship as the mortars area of effect can clearly be seen and avoided with evasive maneuvers. Basically treat it as a giant man o’ war, and you should aptly survive this battle.

End-Game: With repeated assaults by your chain cannons and broadside cannons and the occasional mortar, the ship should well be with Davy Jones’ locker by now.

La Dama Negra (Serranilla Zone)

La Dama Negra (Serranilla Zone)

Opening Maneuver: Turn the ship directly toward La Dama Negra and avoid the mortar fire.  Attempt to PIT maneuver  the ship and fire the chain cannons.  Proceed to follow behind the Prince and fire your chain cannons and broadside cannons as much as possible. Basically rinse and repeat of HMS Prince.

Mid-Game: Not exactly one of the most agile ships out there with the HMS Prince, but as long as you trail behind it, the Jackdaw should be fine.  This is not a a particularly complicated ship as the mortars area of effect can clearly be seen firing from the ship.  Although you can’t see the area of effect of the mortar fire, they can be avoided with patience and evasive maneuvers.

End-Game: With repeated assaults by your chain cannons and broadside cannons and the occasional mortar, La Dama Negra should be well sunk.


The Amazon Locker in Philadelphia: Nice, Not Necessary

With the introduction of the Amazon Locker in the Philadelphia area finally, I decided to give it a go.  I ordered something that’s small and relatively inexpensive so if it does get lost, I won’t be out more than I put in.  It will be shipped to a 7-11 nearby, which the lockers are appropriately stationed beside the sodas and the Slurpees.  The 7-11 is stationed near a SEPTA train station, a couple of SEPTA bus stops and both University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University are close.  With business magazines touting the lockers’ appropriateness for college students, this place seems ideal.

From a business standpoint, I still fail to understand why Staples or Radio Shack decided to undertake Amazon’s Locker program in the first place.  Neither retailer would particularly benefit and would lose real estate space.  It’s like the cooperation between UPS, DHL and FedEx and the US Post Office in their Surepost, Global Mail and Smartpost programs. Why involve two companies when USPS is the lesser of all four — and redundant for redundancy’s sake?

The delivery went off without a hitch. The Amazon Locker is nice.  I picked it up, and it was delivered safe and sound.  Old technology in a new form.  On the bright side, Lasership actually worked with the Amazon Locker.  For students, it will work out well.  Perhaps if Amazon wrapped it with their Amazon Students program, it will be a nice addition.  Again, the Locker may be redundant for redundancy’s sake.

What do you think?  Have you used the Amazon Locker?  Is it truly as a necessity on Amazon’s part or a redundant convenience?

The Following: Season 1: Episode 14: The End is Near Review

With the first season of The Following drawing to a close, Joe Carroll, played by James Purefoy, is on edge.  After being stabbed by Claire Matthews, he retreats to alcohol — and with Ryan Hardy and the FBI closing in, Joe Carroll plays his final aces up his sleeve.  Carroll asks some of his followers to commit suicide as a statement of their loyalty to him.  When Ryan Hardy finds the boarding house where Carroll resided, Joe Carroll left a message for him — a bookmark for Edgar Allan Poe’s short story The Masque of the Red Death, a gothic story about the inevitability of death.  Carroll’s white horses come in his followers as they lay seige publicly, killing several in the process, including a news reporter.  A young woman, declaring herself “Annabelle Lee” from The Masque of the Red Death, declares that the Red Death is coming.  With the message delivered to Carroll’s followers, a public onslaught occurs, and several innocent civilians and police officers are killed or seriously injured in the process. Meanwhile, Joe Carroll, Claire Matthews, Jacob Wells and Emma Hill retreat to an occupied house, and Joe Carroll and Emma Hill vent their differences to Claire Matthews and Jacob Wells respectively in their own ways.

The body count has seriously jumped up in this episode.  The Final Chapter comes next, but it won’t be the end of this fine series. It is one of the better episodes as we see Joe Carroll’s charisma strewn in his cult.

Doctor Who and Clara Oswin Oswald: Season 7: Part 2 Impressions So Far

With the departure of Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill) from the last part of Season 7 of Doctor Who, here comes a new companion for the Doctor, the Impossible Girl, Clara Oswin Oswald.  Although her deaths are fixed, she continually exists throughout time.   In a way, she is much like the Doctor minus the transforming part.  With the Christmas special The Snowmen and the episodes The Bells of Saint JohnThe Rings of Akhaten, and Cold War under our belts, this new season has started out with a roar and a whimper.

Matt Smith has excelled in his role as The Doctor after the departure of David Tennant from the show.  He plays it with liveliness and childfulness unlike the sometimes somber David Tennant and mostly somber Christoper Eccleston.  Matt Smith definitely has an appeal — for those long-time viewers and for the next generation of viewers.  Despite his great acting skills, the scripts have been mediocre mostly.  With the most recent  The Rings of Akhaten being one of the better episodes so far, this season has been lackluster.  The aliens have been boring at best and a snoozer at worst, even through the funny parts.  By the way, the music in The Rings of Akhaten has to be one of the best ever in Doctor Who.

Jenna-Louise Coleman as Clara Oswin Oswald has the potential to become one of the better companions.  So far, she has demonstrated the intellect of Martha Jones with the beauty and charm of Rose Tyler.  However, again, the scripts so far have her playing the helpless maiden in distress most of the time.  In my opinion, she should be one of the stronger characters in the Doctor Who universe, but so far, she hasn’t been portrayed as one.  Maybe it will take a full season before Clara Oswin Oswald will take the reigns much like Rose Tyler did in the second season of Doctor Who.  In all honesty, Clara should play the lioness instead of the lamb.

Perhaps in the future, they need to interject some real humor back into Doctor Who.  John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness would be a great choice, if he wasn’t otherwise preoccupied with Arrow as Malcolm Merle.  Or some intrigue in the form of Harkness’ companion, Captain John Hart, played by James Marsters. This series need a rejuvenation of its own pretty soon.  Otherwise, it may lose viewers gradually, including myself.

What do you think of the seventh season of Doctor Who so far?

The Following: Season 1: Episode 13: Havenport Review

What’s been building up to this point came into fruition in this episode of The Following.  Joe Carroll’s followers are unraveling much like he is — and egos are coming into play.  With Roderick compromised by Agent Mike Weston, Roderick resorts to the unexpected — the kidnapping of Joey Matthews, Joe Carroll’s and Claire Matthews’ son.  This places Roderick between a rock and a hard place as both the FBI and Joe Carroll’s followers pursue him.  With Jacob Wells unhinged already, he pursues Roderick with Joe Carroll’s blessing.  All goes as planned for Jacob Wells minus a few casualties of the war between him and Ryan Hardy (via Joe Carroll).  Agent Mike Weston demonstrates his toughness, and Ryan Hardy finds solace.  However, Joe Carroll has become unhinged as his followers are beginning to dissent.  Not a pretty picture over the next couple of episodes to conclude this first season of The Following.

This episode is the start of the beginning of the end.  How far Joe Carroll is willing to go to see things through will be something to watch.  How far Ryan Hardy and Claire Matthews will go to rebuild their lives even for a few moments will be more interesting to watch.

The Following: Season 1: Episode 12: The Curse Review

Emma Hill and Claire Matthews Settle Their Differences in The Following

This episode of The Following seemed like such a teaser.  With Jacob Wells going off the deep end, with Joe Carroll‘s permission, Jacob goes on the hunt for Ryan Hardy.  Ryan Hardy discovers Carroll’s armory and head of his militia, David Monroe. Obviously, Ryan Hardy is drawing close to Joe Carroll and his boarding house.  With the impending standoff looming, Joe Carroll is driving up his intensity as well as calling the assistance of Roderick.  Emma Hill and Claire Matthews settle their differences in their own special way. Most particular in this episode is Ryan Hardy’s background when he was a child.  He had the potential to become a serial killer, but something — or quite possibly someone — took him off the rail.

With few episodes left, this season of The Following by Kevin Williamson has demonstrated tremendous amounts of potential.   This episode was a bit lackluster but led to a few surprises as Jacob Wells went on a rampage of his own after dealing with his demon his own special way.

Bioshock: Infinite: Fringe Fiction’s Theories and Predictions [SPOILERS]

Rosalind and Robert Lutece in Bioshock: Infinite

With completion of the game and quite thorough exploration of Columbia and its multiple versions of it, Fringe Fiction would like to give its two-cents on what did happen and what really happened during the tour of Columbia with Booker DeWitt, Father Comstock and Elizabeth — and the Lutece twins.


Columbia is more or less an alternate version of Rapture.  Instead of Big Daddies, Handymen took over their role, and they now have assistance from the Motorized Patriots.

Booker DeWitt/Father Zachary Hale Comstock

Booker DeWitt is Father Zachary Hale Comstock, but it depends on which reality of Columbia.  He is both — depending on which side of the coin.  They are different and equivalent much like Robert and Rosalind Lutece.  Booker DeWitt’s memories and perceptions change as the world of Columbia changes.  It can be argued that he was already “dead” when he initially entered Columbia as he has the Possession vigor much like Lady Comstock had her version of Possession later on. In terms of the overall story of Bioshock: Infinite, Booker DeWitt was officially dead in the third version of Rapture when the Vox Populi took over the Founders.  It can also be debated that he is a Big Daddy essentially — whether he pre-dates Subject Delta or becomes Subject Delta in Rapture.


Elizabeth is a Little Sister (or its equivalent) in Columbia.  When Booker DeWitt dies, you’ll find that she injects you with a needle much like the Little Sisters did to the Big Daddies.  More importantly though, as she was addressed as the Lamb, she may become the future Eleanor Lamb in Rapture.  She can exist in that world as Eleanor Lamb, one of the future Little Sisters. To support this theory, Elizabeth remembers the artificial beach.  In the good ending of Bioshock 2, Eleanor Lamb arrives on a beach as well.  In that respect, they are both mirrors of one another.  Lastly, Booker DeWitt’s daughter, Anna, becomes Elizabeth in Columbia.


Songbird is Big Daddy 2.0 in Columbia and Rapture.  The Songbird is consistent in all realities of Columbia, Rapture or otherwise.

Daisy Fitzroy and the Vox Populi

She remains the consistent piece in all versions of Columbia as the potent anarchist.  Depending on the reality, it changes her station in life, but her goals remain the same for Vox Populi.

The Ending

The ending is a bit of mind-twister.  In a vein similar to  12 Monkeys, the future Elizabeth took the present’s Booker DeWitt’s marker to show him the effect of his actions upon the world as both Booker and Comstock.  The perplexing problem comes from the fact his future alternate self as Father Comstock is his own worst enemy as Booker DeWitt.  I remain skeptical as to whether Booker DeWitt did indeed die in the ending as he had died many times before and survived.

The Future

Overall, Bioshock: Infinite excels past both Bioshocks as Columbia is a living city.  On the downside, the city changes, but it is forced change.  The three DLCs coming up should be a treat.  And the elimination of competitive multi-player is an appreciative change. Fringe Fiction is hoping for more involvement of the Lutece twins in the future DLCs — and perhaps a more thorough explanation of their backstories.


The Following: Season 1: Episode 11: Whips and Regret Review

Vince and Roderick in The Following

With the eleventh episode of The Following underway, we are introduced to another member, Vince, who is a right-wing militia fanatic.  Special Agent Debra Parker traces the server for one of the Joe Carroll‘s fan sites to a server in New York that happens to be stationed in a BDSM (bondage-domination sadomasochism) place.  Vince is one of those that enjoy whips, among other things, by her girlfriend who is the owner of the place. After an unsuccessful raid by both Debra Parker and Ryan Hardy, Vince’s girlfriend tells them of a Caroll‘s cult “training” camp nearby, and the FBI place a wire on her as she and Vince meet.  The camp is discovered, but casualties on both sides ensue as Vince escapes as the FBI comes bearing down.  The backstory of Molly is further explored as she is a mercy killer at a local hospital with evil intent.  In fact, she wants to one-up Joe Carroll.  Finally, Roderick is put in his place — with blood.

This is one of the most intriguing and un-family-friendly episodes there is.  Although BDSM places have quite the following in Europe, being broadcasted as one in the United States may not be everyone’s tastes.  The training the Carroll’s cult members undergo is a bit disturbing and excessive as the members have already volunteered to join Joe Carroll’s cult.  It is a bit ritualistic, I suppose, as in hazing of the new members perhaps.  It teaches them submission and endurance to survive torture — or worse. Kevin Williamson upped the ante in this episode, and it was one of the better episodes this season by far.



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