Archive for the ‘Top 5’ Category

Cuisine all around the world has its variances depending on the location and region. While each culture has its own flavors and uniquer ingredients, many places utilize the same base dish to deliver the flavor. For example, you can find fried chicken just about anywhere in the world. However, the flavor of the fried chicken will greatly depend on your location and where you get it from. Sure fried chicken in itself tastes great, but many places like to add their own personal twist to fried chicken. Check out these five places in the greater Los Angeles area that you can get some tasty and unique fried chicken.

5. Howlin’ Rays‘s Nashville Hot Chicken

When a place takes upwards of two hours from getting in line to receiving food for customers, that either means they work slowly or they have sky-high demand. Luckily for Howlin’ Ray’s, they fall under the latter case. In fact, they even boast when their line only takes an hour to get through. So this Howlin’ Ray’s place in Los Angeles’ Chinatown only opens for five hours on five days of the week. No matter what day or time you go there, expect to wait at least an hour to finally receive your food. Why does it take that long? Howlin’ Ray’s makes the best Nashville Hot Chicken this side of the Mississippi. Nashville Hot Chicken does not taste like any ordinary spicy chicken – it has its own unique combination of savory, zest, zing, tart, and spice that no other type of chicken can match. You could only find better Nashville Hot Chicken in Nashville itself. If you find that you have up to two hours to kill, why not spend it waiting for some Nashville Hot Chicken from Howlin’ Ray’s?

4. Jumping Däk‘s Korean Fried Chicken

If you visit Jumping Däk, you will get Korean Fried Chicken and not much else, but you will get Korean Fried Chicken made very well! Having just opened about a year ago, Jumping Däk boasts a menu specializing in the savory food, along with sides and desserts to accompany the main course. This fast-casual restaurant replaced an old Hawaiian BBQ fast-food restaurant that never really saw too many customers. However, with the recent opening of a ramen restaurant next door, it made sense to open something here to take advantage of the overflow of the ramen restaurant’s customers, and here we have Jumping Däk. For those who have never tasted Korean Fried Chicken, luckily Jumping Däk provides samples of their three flavors: Sweet, Spicy (pictured below), and Fiery. Sweet and Fiery explain themselves, while Spicy represents a happy medium of the Sweet and Fiery. Basically, imagine popcorn chicken tossed in their signature sauces. Customers can enjoy this Korean Fried Chicken a la carte, as a sandwich, or as a combo with sides and a drink.

3. Densetsu no Sutadonya‘s Karaage Don

We moved from Nashville to Korea, and now we move to Japan. Fried chicken exists all over Asia, and each country does their fried chicken a little differently. In the case of Japan, each city or region cooks differently. However, for the major cities of Japan, they have a locally popular place called Densetsu no Sutadonya, known for their Sutadon. The word Sutadon consists of “suta” for stamina and “don” for bowl, so Sutadon literally means “stamina bowl” in Japanese. While originally found in Japan, Southern California now has a Densetsu no Sutadonya in Mitsuwa Marketplace in Torrance. This location prepares food the same way they do in Japan – using extremely high temperatures to cook everything quickly and all at once. You can taste this best in their Karaage Don. They basically flash-fry the meat, so it gets cooked without having it soak in all the oil. That way you can enjoy the chicken’s true flavor instead of a mouthful of oil.

2. Abigaile Restaurant‘s Fried (Jidori) Chicken

Have you heard of Kobe Beef? Kobe Beef represents a higher quality of beef, much higher than that of Angus beef. A higher quality grade of meat applies to more than just beef – it applies to chicken too, but in this case, we refer to it as Jidori Chicken. Just like how Kobe Beef tastes better than normal beef, Jidori Chicken tastes better than regular chicken, and you can taste the difference at Abigaile Restaurant in Hermosa Beach. Although appearing upscale and fancy, Abigaile actually functions like a casual gastropub, especially given their location by the beach so that beachgoers can dine at Abigaile without worry of their outfit. Perhaps Abigaile appears upscale due to their food menu, which contains some highly eclectic items such as their simply named Fried Chicken. Abigaile’s approach to Jidori Chicken contains togarashi in the batter, giving it a kick in each bite without the need for sauce. Speaking of sauce, this chicken comes with housemade hot sauce and preserved lemon gribiche, along with papaya slaw. $15 allows you to taste this upscale version of fried chicken.

1. Jimmy’s Famous Tavern‘s Southern Fried Chicken

If you seek classic American cuisine with an artisanal touch, look no further than Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern (JFAT). Reinventing traditional restaurant faire, JFAT covers many grounds of cuisine familiar to many with their high-quality approach to cooking. Currently boasting five locations between Los Angeles County, Orange County, and San Diego County, JFAT takes what you know about traditional American restaurants and turns it up to eleven. Between brunch, lunch, dinner, and a full bar, any time of the day makes for a great time to stop on by JFAT and enjoy a bite or sip or more. Any time of the day makes a great time to sink your teeth into JFAT’s Southern Fried Chicken. The batter contains Herbes de Provence, which gives the chicken so much flavor that you do not need any sauce or condiment for it – enjoy the chicken on its own for true bliss. Anyway, this fried chicken comes served with garlic mashed potatoes, thyme gravy, and green beans, all for $20 a plate.

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Video games have undergone some substantial changes over the past few years. Those who grew up in the 1990’s era of video games desire nostalgia, and a lot of old-school style games have made a comeback. With all the new programs, software, and technology available today, virtually anyone can now develop their own video games and get it distributed to the public via the internet. Today’s video games range from classic 8-bit or 16-bit style games to rich, beautiful games with tons of graphics and objects. Beyond the standard video games, we now have virtual reality games to further immerse players into the games that they play. With all of the big games and new technology out, sometimes the lesser known games get filtered out fast. Check out these five games of PC that I recommend taking a look at this season.

Watch me play these games and more at Twitch.tv/OnePunkArmy

5. Sundered

The Metroidvania genre of games remains ever popular among gamers, especially those who speedrun games. This genre derives from the Metroid and Castlevania series, 2D platforming games that emphasized items, weapons, exploration, epic bosses, and often backtracking with new abilities to access new areas. Games of this genre also tend to reward players who complete the game in under a certain amount of time, which makes this genre very popular for speedrunning. Earlier this year, we saw the release of Sundered, a Metroidvania game with a twist. In Sundered, while the important rooms remained a constant, the game randomizes the rest of the maps. For example, if you want to get from point A to point B, you could possibly go straight through, but on another visit to this section, you may have to zig-zag through the room. Aside from this, Sundered features an upgrade tree, where you spend EXP on upgrading paths in the tree to reach stats and skills. If you enjoy this genre, definitely check out Sundered.

4. Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls

The Danganronpa series has trended for the past few weeks with the recent western release of Danganronpa V3. The core series plays similarly to the Ace Attorney, where you gather clues and evidence to take to trial, and use what you know and have to call out the lies of the witnesses and true culprit. The Danganronpa series has also had a few spinoff games, including Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls. Essentially Danganronpa 1.5, this game takes place soon after the events of the first Danganronpa game, so Another Episode includes characters from the first game. Unlike the rest of the series, Another Episode plays like a third-person shooter. You make you way through the city trying to escape the hoards of enemies wanting to kill you, and you get a gun that holds multiple types of ammunition. While this sounds basic, the game has its own story that continues off the first game, so fans of the series will not want to miss this installment.

3. Super Cloudbuilt

We used to have a great parkour game, but it contained so many bugs and glitches that many people laughed off any game that contained parkour as the main focus. This negative perception of parkour games may change with the recent release of Super Cloudbuilt. At first, Super Cloudbuilt may appear as a 3D platformer with graphics that resemble the Borderlands franchise. The prologue serves as the tutorial for the game, and introduces you to the mechanics of dashing, wall-walking, jumping, and more. Sooner or later, you gain access to weapons, and then you need to incorporate attacking as you do the parkour stuff. This all appears easy to grasp, but once you realize that you usually have less than a second to time your movements and attacks right, you will find the real challenging meat of this game.

2. Nex Machina

These days, one can not easily find arcade halls still in operation. Trends change, and people prefer their mobile devices or consoles rather than going to the arcade to play games. As such, arcade-style games have largely faded away as gamers make their way towards online games, especially shooters and team-based arenas. Some game developers still cherish traditional arcade games, which led to the development of Nex Machina. Simple to pick up but difficult to master, this twin-stick shooter feels like an arcade machine in your hands. You use a controller’s dual joysticks for primary controls: one to move, and one to shoot. The pace of the game makes you feel like playing an arcade game, as the game holds nothing back when it comes to throwing enemies in your face. Luckily you can pick up items, weapons, and power-ups as you plow your way through each section. Pick up Nex Machina today for some good old shoot ’em up action.

1. A Hat In Time

Gamers just want a bit of nostalgia in their lives. They want games that remind them of the games they played growing up. So when new games come out that resemble older games, you can bet it will have a lot of people interested in it. Enter A Hat In Time, an indie 3D platformer available for multiple platforms. One can call A Hat In Time the spiritual successor to Super Mario Sunshine. Gameplay will remind many gamers of the first generation of 3D platformers such as Super Mario 64 and Banjo Kazooie. The protagonist can run, jump, attack, use skills/tools, and more to explore the world, all while collecting hourglasses, which resemble Super Mario 64’s Stars or Banjo Kazooie’s Jiggies. With cute charm, a vast world, multiple terrains, intuitive controls, A Hat In Time stands out as one of the most underrated 3D platformers of the current generation of video games.

When the seasons change, many more things change than just the weather. Looking at the weather alone, Southern California currently experiences a massive heat wave that may make you believe that the seasons had not turned yet. The pharmaceutical industry has come under heavy scrutiny. Scientists have discovered flowing water on Mars. A drought threatens the inhabitation of California. As a society, we cannot accurately predict what radical event will change the world next, but we can brace ourselves for anything, as we always have in the past as an enduring society. We can also fall back on what we typically associate with this time of the year. Fall, as we know it, indicates pumpkins, red wine, NFL, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the fall harvest, especially the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, giving us a reason to gorge on Mooncakes. Looking at all these opportunities to feast on favorable foods, we should not overlook outdoor grilling, nor the foods prepared that way. Though the winds will chill the air more so than in the summer, many folks will still utilize the grill up through Thanksgiving. In homage of the veritable fall feast, take a look at these five burgers in the Greater Los Angeles Area that I highly recommend seeking out this season.

5. The Federal‘s Smokehouse Burger

When it comes to barbecue, nothing can beat the meats. Southern barbecue boasts all types of meats, from the smoked chicken to the pulled pork to the spicy sausages to the various beef types and much more. Barbecue restaurants typically limit you to a two-meat or three-meat platter. However, The Federal would like to break that barrier by delivering four different types of meat to your face. As a gastropub, The Federal focuses on quality and taste above all else. Between the craft food, craft beer, and craft cocktails, The Federal carefully creates everything from scratch, such as their Smokehouse Burger. A grilled Angus beef patty gets topped with smoked turkey, pepper bacon, BBQ pulled pork, and smoked cheddar all on a milk bun. For $16, you can experience this mountain of meat that can hardly fit in your mouth.

4. Burger Boss‘ Double Grassfed Beef Burger

As a basic human truth, humans want to have control. When one has control, they feel more comfortable. You may ask,”Control over what?” This can apply to just about anything: control over life, control over work, control over a business, control over simple choices, and more. This paves the way for customization, as it gives customers complete control over what they can order. We have plenty of build-it type restaurants, especially when it comes to sandwiches or pizza. We have not seen many customizable burger places up until now, where we have Burger Boss. Burger Boss may feel like a corporate business what with their multiple locations. However, they only have locations in Orange County and Riverside for now, so you can enjoy this local flavor with their Grassfed Beef Burger. At $8.99 for a double, you get to choose the bun, cheese, sauce, and regular toppings. Go premium for $1.19 per topping by adding things like turkey bacon or avocado.

3. Mighty Kitchen‘s Sliders

Would you consider sliders as burgers? Sliders tend to have a greater bun-to-meat ratio than burgers, which explains why I tend to avoid sliders, not to mention that sliders cost as much or more than fast-food burgers. Few places get sliders right, but luckily I discovered that Mighty Kitchen in Los Alamitos actually does a decent job at delivering fun and tasty sliders. You cannot order sliders a la carte at Might Kitchen – you have to order two or three, and they come with fries. I go with three sliders for $15.50 for the better value, and Mighty Kitchen carries many varieties of sliders, such as (pictured from left to right):

  • HHG (Hella Hot Guac): Chorizo patty, pico de gallo, pepper jack cheese, cholula, spicy mayo, housemade jalapeño pepper jelly, guacamole
  • Western Slider: Cheddar cheeseburger, applewood smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, fried onion ring, pickle, BBQ sauce, special sauce
  • PBM Bacon Cheeseburger: Maple peanut butter, applewood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, lettuce, onion, special sauce

2. Humble Potato‘s Karê-bága

Many foods have a region that they typically derive from. For example, schnitzel derives from German cuisine, gyros derive from Greek cuisine, and sushi derives from Japanese cuisine. Some foods have regional differences, such as curry. You can have British curry, Indian curry, Thai curry, Japanese curry, and more, and each type tastes different than others. Speaking of curry, sure you can find curry bowls at just about any Japanese restaurant, but what if you want to enjoy curry as something else? Enter Humble Potato, a humble eatery bringing cuisine from the land of the rising sun to the wild west. Despite the name of the business, Humble Potato carries more than just potatoes – they sling out awesome Japanese-inspired burgers as well, such as the Karê-bága (curry burger, get it?). At $12, this messy burger contains an Angus beef patty, slow-cooked Japanese curry, tomato, yuzu-jalapeño slaw, and a fried egg. For the true burger experience, dig both your hands in and smother your face with this burger.

1. Abricott‘s Abricott Burger w/ Korean Pork Belly

Traditional hamburgers contain a ground beef patty accompanied by an assortment of toppings, usually vegetables as a means of including something somewhat healthy in the burger. The changing times have led to many others ingredients getting thrown into burgers, including other meats, something that Abricott does very well. Locals recognize the small yet humble Abricott in Pasadena for the fusion menu that combines French, Vietnamese, and Thai cuisines. With so many options on the menu, one may overlook the simply titled Abricott Burger. At first, this burger sounds simple with seasoned ground beef, tomato, onions, lettuce, and mayonnaise on a brioche bun, all for just $11.95. However, Abricott turns things up a notch by allowing you to add Korean Pork Belly to the burger for just $1. Suddenly you have a phenomenal taste of the east in your hands. Surprisingly, each mouthful allows you to savor both the beef patty and the pork belly. Abricott does food well, and you ought to taste how well they do food by seeking out this burger the next time you find yourself in or near Pasadena.

Video games have undergone some substantial changes over the past few years. Those who grew up in the 1990’s era of video games desire nostalgia, and a lot of old-school style games have made a comeback. With all the new programs, software, and technology available today, virtually anyone can now develop their own video games and get it distributed to the public via the internet. Today’s video games range from classic 8-bit or 16-bit style games to rich, beautiful games with tons of graphics and objects. Beyond the standard video games, we now have virtual reality games to further immerse players into the games that they play. With all of the big games and new technology out, sometimes the lesser known games get filtered out fast. Check out these five games of PC that I recommend taking a look at this season.

Watch me play these games and more at Twitch.tv/OnePunkArmy

5. Airtone (Steam link)

Virtual Reality technology remains in its introductory phase at this point. VR has not gained too much media attention, as the technology to use it costs about as much as a high-end smartphone. For now, you may find some virtual reality gaming centers – like how department stores used to demo video games, some shops specifically have VR games for you to try. Virtual Reality expos and events also take place occasionally, allowing you to try out VR before making the plunge with your wallet. At this year’s VRLA Expo, I got to try out a handful of VR games, including the VR rhythm game, Airtone. Fans of anime and/or rhythm games would love to check out Airtone, combining the music and characters with the rhythm of tapping or holding on to points along the song track. Song tracks contain three colored notes that each correspond to a different action: touch the green notes, click on yellow notes, or click, hold, & follow pink notes. On harder difficulties, Airtone can really give you a good workout! Dozens of VR rhythm games exist, but none as fast-paced as Airtone.

4. Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni (Steam link)

Anime games have to walk a careful line. Most anime games have scenes or images not suitable for children. As such, anime games receive a bad rap from other gamers due to the cheesy fanservice content. Still, this manages to entice lots of gamers to check out the game anyway, especially if the gameplay has even more ridiculous mechanics. The hack & slash genre usually employs ridiculous mechanics of one versus the world, where a sole person takes out hundreds of foes in one battle. Dynasty Warriors perfected that formula, but that series lacked something. When you take hack & slash and combine it with fanservice, you get the Senran Kagura series. The Senran Kagura series revolves around dozens of high school girls with shinobi powers. Armed with a variety of weapons, these girls can beat up hordes of baddies, and when the going gets tough, like in many anime series, they can transform into a more powerful forms. As for the fanservice part, when the girls take too much damage, their clothes rip off. The series has a handful of games, but the publisher behind it has also entered another franchise, Valkyrie Drive, which led to the launch of Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni. While Senran Kagura wants to introduce you to lots of girls, Valkyrie Drive prefers to keep the roster smaller so that they can develop on characters and their stories. The gameplay remains mostly the same as Senran Kagura – characters have a variety of weapons, characters can transform to gain stronger combat prowess, and you fight off dozens of foes at a time. If you like anime games or hack & slash games or both, check out Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni.

3. Kritika Online

The peak popularity of the MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) occurred years ago during the high times of World of Warcraft, Guild Wars 2, and Final Fantasy XIV. Since then, hundreds of MMORPG’s have launched around the world, most with the free-to-play model. Additionally, the MMORPG genre has paved the way for other multiplayer online games, such as MOBA’s (multiplayer online battle arena) and ARPG’s (action role-playing games), one of which includes Kritika Online. From the publisher behind Tera Online, Kritika Online has come to deliver another ARPG experience to the west. Kritika Online recently entered Open Beta, a term used by game publishers to officially launch the game while allowing bugs and imbalances to exist. However, that does not detract from the fun of Kritika Online. Featuring four classes that branch off into more subclasses, WASD movement, and lots of skills to combo with, Kritika Online can make for a good casual experience to the MMORPG waiting for the next big thing. Do note that this game contains heavy pay-to-win features with the microtransactions. With premium costumes & titles giving stats, and the Elite membership giving unfair boosts, if you do not spend money on this game, do not expect to do too much at max level other than grind for gears.

2. Little Nightmares

Horror in general has captivated the hearts of countless people all over the world. To the typical person, horror typically associates with movies, as in horror movies. Horror also refers to a plethora of video games, from psychological horror to survival horror. Establishing a sense danger and uncertainty makes for a great horror game, something that Bandai Namco has done with their recent release, Little Nightmares. Launched last season, Little Nightmares combines elements of puzzle, platforming, exploration, and horror all into one package. The player controls a child who wants to escape from an unknown area, but on the way out, the player encounters many horror-themed villains, such as a doll-keeper with long extendable arms and a cannibalistic butcher. The player must traverse from room to room, solving the puzzles in the room in order to progress. Criticism for Little Nightmares mainly revolves around the short duration of the game. The game contains five chapters, and each chapter takes between 30-60 minutes to complete. Although initially short, this game will get some DLC to add more chapters with greater difficulty. If you enjoy solving puzzles while having a sense of pressure or urgency, check out Little Nightmares.

1. Aaero

Rail shooter games have existed for a long time. Gamers still remember the classics such as Gradius and Raiden, as well as modern favorites like the Touhou series. On another level, rhythm games have existed for a long time as well. People recognize games like Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero worldwide, with a majority of rhythm games originating from Japan. But what happens if you love both genres of games and want to somehow combine the two? Independent developer Mad Fellows Games has done just that with their entry into the gaming market, Aaero. This visually-stunning game takes the mechanics of a rhythm game and throws in the elements of a rail shooter. The player will automatically move forward through a stage, and will encounter both rhythm and shooting gameplay. On the rhythm side, the player must follow a line, called the Ribbon, that moves with the beat of the stage’s song. On the shooting side, the player can shoot down baddies that appear, but for best effect, the player should shoot to the beat of the song. Shooting not on the beat will cause the shots to fire slower, as well as reward less points. With unique gameplay, stunning graphics, a great independent soundtrack with some popular hits, and a global leaderboard, Aaero represents one of the most underrated releases of 2017.

Summer has undoubtedly arrived, what with the heat wave and all. The weather does not seem that it will lose some degrees in the next month or two, so cool off with a nice cold treat. Some people may not have a sweet tooth like I do, but they have to treat themselves occasionally. Sometimes, your body just craves it – when you feel hot, your body tells you to go find something cold to eat or drink. If you plan on powering through this heat wave, I have some suggestions on how to cool yourself off in Southern California.

5. 21 Choices Frozen Yogurt‘s Peanut Butter Malt

One can find milkshakes at hundreds of places, as milkshakes represent one of the easiest cold treats to make, yet taste amazing nonetheless. While milkshakes exist just about anywhere, one may have a difficult time locating a good malt. Malted milk shakes may sound like a foreign concept to some since not everyone carries malt powder. When you finally find a place that has it, they may not necessarily make it the right way. I have previously covered a place that I believe makes the best malt ever, and I have recently found a new contender for that title in 21 Choices Frozen Yogurt. As its rather direct name suggests, 21 Choices carries 21 flavors of frozen yogurt in their shops. To no one’s surprise, they sell the typical frozen yogurt bowls with toppings here. However, I would like to talk about the other menu items that 21 Choices provides, namely their Peanut Butter Malt. Think peanut butter milkshake, but with a strong hit of malt. To understand the flavor of malt, one needs to understand malt as a primary ingredient in brewing beer. For the beer drinkers out there, a malted milk shake will slightly resemble the malt flavor of beer. Not all places put the right amount of malt in their shakes, but 21 Choices does not skimp on the malt.

4. Hula Girls Shave Ice‘s Pineapple Dole Whip Shave Ice

Southern Californians recognize Disneyland for not just the amusement aspects, but for their food as well. Disney kitchens have churned out some of the most unique foods the world has seen, so when other places can produce similar products they may even taste better, the locals flock to it. I used to swear by Disneyland’s corn dogs until I discovered The Viking Truck. Finally, locals can now find the beloved Pineapple Dole Whip at Hula Girls Shave Ice. Hula Girls serves Hawaiian shave ice and soft serve ice cream out of their little shop down in Huntington Beach. What makes them stand out relates to Disneyland, as Hula Girls serves Pineapple Dole Whip soft serve. Combining their products together, you get a Pineapple Dole Whip Shave Ice, where shave ice with the flavors of your choice sit on top of a swirl of Pineapple Dole Whip soft serve. Enjoy this classic that Disneyland fans rave about without having to pay the exorbitant price to enter the theme park by visiting Hula Girls Shave Ice.

3. Confetti Italian Ice‘s Pineapple Dole Whip + Cococnut Italian Ice Parfait

Everyone loves sweets, but no one can deny that teenagers represent the worst demographic for controlling dessert habits. Teenagers usually have money to buy whatever they want (as long as they can afford it), and they have not grown up enough to make sensible spending decisions. As such, lots of places take advantage of that by introducing desirable foods priced just within reach that young customers will want to come back to, especially cold treats. Starbucks does this well with their blended drinks, as do some Italian Ice places. Take a stroll over to Confetti Italian Ice and you will see that they value quality in their treats instead of simply catering to as many customers as possible. Tightly nestled in a strip mall in Costa Mesa near the Orange County Fairgrounds, Confetti Italian Ice may resemble another popular Southern Californian place that does something similar, but Confetti has vastly unique flavors such as their Pineapple Dole Whip + Cococnut Italian Ice Parfait. This basically resembles a Piña Colada with the smoothness of the coconut and the tanginess of the pineapple. You can get one of these parfaits for $3.75 for a small, $4.25 for a medium, or $5.25 for a large.

2. Shave It‘s Mini B

Have you ever heard of the classic song (These Are A Few Of) My Favorite Things? This song lists a handful of things, tangible or not, that fill a person with joy despite bad times. Though the singer lists individual things in the song, why not skip the hassle and combine some of those things? Whenever I can have one of my favorite things, I eagerly look forward to it. Whenever I can have more than one of my favorite things at the same time, my heart fills with glee. Enter Shave It, the brilliant business capturing the hearts of many with their approach to combining two individual items together to form something even better. As their name suggests, Shave It does the shave ice thing, and yes – pronunciation makes a huge difference. Shaved ice with a D typically refers to ground ice, like that of a snow cone. Shave ice without the D refers to how native Hawaiians see it – finely sliced ice so smooth that it feels like ice cream. Upon hearing that comparison, the folks behind Shave It decided to mash the two up by serving up cups of shave ice WITH ice cream – a match made in heaven I tell you! The list of combinations stretches all the way around their store, since any customer can mix and match ice cream and shave ice flavors, such as with the Mini B. This tropical cup not only features tangy ice flavors as well as the vanilla ice cream, but it includes a caramel drizzle to mix things up. The fruitiness of the shave ice combined with the creaminess of the ice cream almost gives it a strawberry milk effect while the caramel adds a zing of sweetness to the mix, something that any kid can enjoy. For less than $5, you too can experience the childhood joys of combining two of your favorite things into one cup.

1. The Bleu House‘s Potted Plant Milk Tea

We live in an age of technology, the internet, social media, and smartphones. The days of face-to-face interaction have died with the past, as most people spend their time in public with their faces buried in their smartphones. People use this as their means of interacting with others, and social media provides an outlet for that. Especially today, we have Instagram food – basic foods made to look pretty so that customers will share it online. If you want the perfect example of Instagram food, take a look at what The Bleu House has to offer. I never expected something so trendy to exist in an otherwise quiet city, but alas The Bleu House represents a haven for teenagers and young adults to hang out at and enjoy some bites and sips. The Bleu House does a great job at serving up fusion style foods that mix eastern flavors with western foods, but perhaps their cold treats have made The Bleu House so popular, such as their Potted Plant Milk Tea. The Bleu House provides seven types of milk teas: Jasmine, Thai, Rose, Almond, Taro, Honey, and Matcha. For $4.25, you can order this served Potted Plant style, where they top it with sweet cream, chocolate cookie crumbles, and a micro sprout. Boba comes optionally, and I would actually suggest no boba so that you can enjoy the cream and cookie crumbs.

The hot summer days lends perfectly to grilling weather. As an American tradition, citizens officially start the grilling season on Memorial Day weekend, as that signifies many things. First off, on that weekend, Americans celebrate an important federal holiday to celebrate and honor the lives of those lost while serving for the United States Armed Forces. The weather starts to significantly heat up by this weekend, following the inconsistent weather of April and much of May. As a result of the warmer weather, Americans take advantage of a holiday weekend off of work until the next federal holiday, Independence Day, to gather some friends & family for a party involving grilling. When thinking about grilling for a group of people, what food exactly comes to mind? I guarantee that hot dogs and hamburgers top the list. The notion to purchase these items in bulk contributes to the misconception that these foods do not taste good. The phrase “You get what you pay for” has never applied as much as it does now, as most who purchase in bulk tend to pay low per individual unit. If you seek quality, you will have to drop extra money for it. Hot dogs tend to bear questionable ingredients, but true hamburgers still exist in this world. If you happen to find yourself in Southern California this summer, check out these five places to grab some of the best burgers you will ever have. One bite into these will change the way you look at hamburgers forever.

5. Grill Em All‘s Suicidal A.K.A. Rey Fenix

When someone comes to Los Angeles from out of town, they may feel inundated by all the wonderful food that Southern California has to offer. When travelers want the most unique and ridiculous food, I send them to a select few places known for insane, wacky foods. If a traveler asks to eat the best burger ever, I will not send them to In-N-Out like most Californians would – I would send them to Grill ’em All in Alhambra. When it comes to insane burgers, no one comes close to Grill ’em All. When death metal and professional wrestling influence the ideas behind burgers, you know they will have something crazy going on, such as the Suicidal A.K.A. Rey Fenix, the July 2017 burger-of-the-month. Grill ’em All’s signature burger, The Behemoth, uses two grilled cheese sandwiches as buns. In the Suicidal, two double-decker quesadillas filled with refried beans and cheese replace the burger buns. The half-pound burger comes with shredded lettuce, queso fresco, chipotlé hot sauce, and diced tomatoes, making this slightly resemble a taco or burrito. The world has seen burgers in a quesadilla, but the world has never seen quesadillas used as burger buns quite like this before. But hurry – as the burger of the month, you only have a limited time to go try it out!

4. Pizza Port‘s BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza

A burger by any other name would still taste just as savory. A burger can look like anything, even if it takes on the form of an entirely different food. When a restaurant specializes in one food but still wants to make something else, they get creative, which Pizza Port has done well. As the name suggests, Pizza Port specializes in pizzas and other foods that one would expect to find at a pizzeria, such as chicken and salads. For the traditional folks out there, Pizza Port carries a handful of traditional pizzas. For the adventurous, Pizza Port has crafted some gourmet pizzas, such as their BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza. This pizza pit comes topped with tangy barbecue sauce, beef meatballs, bacon, mozzarella & cheddar cheese, and red onions. It basically tastes like a western-style cheeseburger, just in a different shape. For best results, ask for this pizza on Pizza Port’s signature whole-grain beer crust. Like all their pizzas, this pizza comes in three sizes: small for $9.50, medium for $18.25, or large for $22.

3. Melt’s Bulgogi Burger

When it comes to Melt, word-of-mouth has never applied so much before. Tiny does not describe Melt, as they simply exist as a food counter in a supermarket, kind of like a mall’s food court. In Diamond Bar, a local H Mart houses its own food court with a plethora of unique food counters, ranging from unique desserts to traditional Korean food to all the fusion, which leads us to Melt. From a distance, glancing over at the Melt counter makes them appear like some ordinary burger counter, with hamburgers and fries shown on their menu. However, upon closer inspection, you will discover that Melt does the fusion thing here, and they do it well. They cross Korean cuisine over to the world of burgers and fries, such as with their Bulgogi Burger. Though it appears small, this makes for the perfect lunch portioned perfectly, as Melt tops their regular 4oz Angus beef patty with green lettuce, grilled onions, mayonnaise, and bulgogi aioli. At just $4.50, this makes for the perfect lunch that will break the monotony of bland lunches out there.

2. Working Class Kitchen‘s Chianina Beef Burger w/ Foie Gras

Five years ago, a ban on the sale of Foie Gras in California went into effect. However, that ban mysteriously went away in early 2015. While California restaurants may now legally sell Foie Gras once again, many restaurants have felt the aftermath of the ban, and most avoid serving it for fear of the ban returning. As such, it takes some dedicated hunters & searchers to locate where to obtain Foie Gras, such as at Working Class Kitchen in Long Beach. Although located in the middle of a bustling city, Working Class Kitchen resides off the beaten path, so in order to discover it, one must actively look for it as opposed to passing by it. But if you do decide to visit Working Class Kitchen, you will discover some fresh, natural food that you can feel proud to consume, such as their Chianina Beef Burger with Foie Gras. The base burger costs $7 and comes with simply caramelized onions and remoulade spread on a potato bun. For $4 extra, Working Class Kitchen will throw an ounce of Hudson Valley Foie Gras onto the burger. As if the beef burger did not already have enough juices oozing out, the Foie Gras will add even more meaty goodness to the burger. Consider this a cheat meal, because if you eat this, you ought to eat clean the rest of the day.

1. VaKA Burger Express‘ The Vaka

In a condensed city such as Los Angeles, hidden gems and hole-in-the-wall places exist in every nook & cranny. If you discover or someone tells you about VaKA Burger Express and you decide to go look for them, you may require more than one try to actually locate them. If you simply drive to the address, you may completely pass by them, as they have virtually no signage visible from the street. You have to actually enter Whittier’s The Real McCoy and make your way to the bar to find the counter for VaKA Burger Express. Once there, you will discover a mini burger paradise with some of the best hidden burgers this side of Los Angeles, such as The Vaka. Blitz your taste buds with this burger that features a beer-battered tempura ring, muenster cheese, bacon jam, and VaKA’s signature smoked barbecue sauce. Do note that they store their barbecue sauce cold, so the first few bites may feel like a blend of hot and cold. For $11.50 for this burger, you will never taste another burger like this again.

Video games have undergone some substantial changes over the past few years. Those who grew up in the 1990’s era of video games desire nostalgia, and a lot of old-school style games have made a comeback. With all the new programs, software, and technology available today, virtually anyone can now develop their own video games and get it distributed to the public via the internet. Today’s video games ranged from classic 8-bit or 16-bit style games to rich, beautiful games with tons of graphics and objects. Beyond the standard video games, we now have virtual reality games to further immerse players into the games that they play. With all of the big games and new technology out, sometimes the lesser known games get filtered out fast. Check out these five games of PC that I recommend taking a look at this season.

5. Senran Kagura: Estival Versus (Steam link)

We start off the list with a game not suitable for children. The hack & slash genre usually employs ridiculous mechanics of one versus the world, where a sole person takes out hundreds of foes in one battle. Dynasty Warriors perfected that formula, but that series lacked something. When you take hack & slash and combine it with fanservice, you get the Senran Kagura series. The Senran Kagura series revolves around dozens of high school girls with shinobi powers. Armed with a variety of weapons, these girls can beat up hordes of baddies, and when the going gets tough, like in many anime series, they can transform into one of two more powerful forms. As for the fanservice part, when the girls take too much damage, their clothes rip off. The series has a handful of games, but this post focuses on Senran Kagura: Estival Versus. Essentially part two of the second timeline (the first timeline started on the Nintendo 3DS), Estival improves a lot of gameplay from the first game and adds new characters and modes. The base game released for the PC in mid March and costs $39.99 with additional DLC sold separately, which includes new characters and extra costumes. Keep in mind that this game will spoil some of the story from the first game, so if you want to learn more about the lore of Senran Kagura, I highly suggest looking at the first game, Shinovi Versus.

4. Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc

Those who have played the Ace Attorney (Phoenix Wright) games will not want to miss out on the Danganronpa series. While both games have an anime art style, Ace Attorney focus on courtrooms and attorneys, while Danganronpa focuses on high school teenagers. However, gameplay in the Danganronpa series remains similar to the Ace Attorney games – you spend time investigating for clues and evidence to solve murder cases, then you go to trial with your found evidence to solve the case while disputing lies and inconsistencies told by the others. These games really test your mental capacity to spot even the minor details where something does not match up or someone said one word wrong. The first game in the series, Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, comes to you for $29.99. The first game does not have as many mechanics as the later games, but serves as a backdrop for the setting of the Danganronpa universe, explaining why things work the way they do in their world. By completing the first game, you avoid spoilers if you decide to play the later games.

3. Master X Master

Out of the most popular video games across the globe today, League of Legends remains one of the top games. Consistently in the top 5 watched games, League of Legends has set a benchmark for the MOBA genre for others to compete with. Other MOBA games such as DOTA 2, Heroes of the Storm, Smite, and Vain Glory still have a decent audience, but simply cannot compete with the juggernaut known as League of Legends. However, a new challenger appears with the hopes of gaining as much popularity as the aforementioned games. Enter Master X Master (MXM), a different approach to the standard MOBA game. Developed by NCSoft, MXM represents an Action MOBA, a step in a different direction than the rest. The game plays in a top-down isometric view similar to League of Legends, but uses WASD to move instead of click-to-move that the other games have. Players uses the mouse to aim and attack, not move (unless a skill causes movement). This provides a unique spin to the genre, and sits in a nice medium between a MOBA and an ARPG (Diablo, Path of Exlie, etc). MXM currently operates in Beta this month, and as such will close their servers on April 27th. Check out their website to register to play right now, and keep an eye out for its official release, which should occur later this year.

2. Hollow Knight

Independent game developers often face troubles getting their game up and running. Obstacles include marketing, funding development, programming, and much more. Often times, it makes sense to crowdsource, or ask for small donations from the public in order to get going. Some crowdsourcing can fall flat, while others can garner lots of attention. Luckily in the case of Hollow Knight, their crowdsourcing efforts paid off, and Hollow Knight represents one of the highest crowdsourced games in existence, if not the highest. Also luckily, the developers followed through on their promise to deliver a rich, immersive, fun, and difficult game all at the same time. Released in late February, this 2D action-platformer game carries elements of traditional Metroid and Castlevania games, where the protagonist explores a large world to obtain upgrades to further explore the world. Players have fallen in love with Hollow Knight’s art style and high difficulty that tests a player’s true gaming skill. $14.99 gets you a great experience that will provide countless hours of entertainment.

1. Giga Wrecker (Steam link)

Sometimes a company makes one product so popular that the general public recognizes that company for one product, even if that company has many other products. For example, in the beer world, when one mentions Hangar 24, most people will immediately think of their Orange Wheat beer. In video games, this occurs quite often, especially with a little company called Game Freak. When people hear Game Freak, they immediately think of Pokémon. However, Game Freak makes many more video games than just Pokémon. They make a lot of singular games without a series, which kind of sets Game Freak as an indie developer. One of their games includes Giga Wrecker, a charming throwback to 16-bit era games. Those who have played Mega Man, Metroid, or Castlevania games will know what to do in Giga Wrecker, a puzzle-platformer with some action elements. Many of the maps have puzzles that make use of gravity and physics in order to reach an item, switch, or door. Some of these puzzles can greatly frustrate players, but the satisfaction of finally solving a room means so much. Players will also encounter eight boss fights throughout the game that take place in a single room similar to Mega Man. Giga Wrecker released in mid-February, costs $19.99, and includes a level builder/creator that you can share online for others to try.

The age of the domestic beer monopoly in the United States shrinks with each passing day. The beer industry around the world dominates the alcoholic beverage industry, as consumers drink 3,500 bottles of beer for every one glass of wine – that makes 8,000 times more beer consumed by the liter. Annually, consumers worldwide drink 189 billion liters of beer, but only 24 million liters of wine. While drinking habits may peak during certain times of the year such as holidays, the consumption of beverages remains fairly consistent and rarely makes huge changes in consumption from one day to the next. The changing seasons do have a great effect on the types and styles of beers consumed, as more people start to prefer beers not as rich as some of the winter-style brews. In this transitional season between winter and summer, the unpredictable weather means that we can still enjoy the richer beers typically consumed during colder weather while starting to explore the refreshment of summer-style beers. For the right kind of beer to enjoy until summer kicks in after Memorial Day, check out these five beers each with a unique flavor profile of its own.

5. Surf Brewery‘s Blueberry Wahine Wheat

With the arrival of spring comes the rebirth of many natural objects. Flowers start to bloom, animals start to bustle with activity, and fresh fruits start to appear. The arrival of spring also brings about a change in the weather, which starts to heat up and bring about more daylight hours. This makes the beach a great place to start visiting more often, and this makes more refreshing drinks more desirable. Enter Surf Brewery, who knows that both of the aforementioned go great together when springtime rolls around annually. The beach and alcoholic drinks go well together, albeit one cannot legally drink in public. However, if you get the chance to, make sure you enjoy the Blueberry Wahine Wheat at the beach. At a sessionable 5.0%, blueberries give this witbier a refreshingly slightly fruity flavor and aroma. The light tartness and light body does not attack the palate, so you can enjoy this on its own or with light foods such as fish tacos.

4. Belching Beaver Brewery‘s Horchata Imperial Stout

Almost every brewery has some flagship beer that people everywhere recognize the brewery for. For example, Sam Adams has their Boston Lager, New Belgium has their Fat Tire, Stone Brewing has their IPA, and Hangar 24 has their Orange Wheat. If you ask any craft beer enthusiast about Belching Beaver Brewery, they will rave about the brewery’s Peanut Butter Milk Stout, partially because it tastes more like a dessert than a beer. Like the aforementioned breweries, Belching Beaver delivers a lot more than just their most popular beer. Sometimes, they even make a slight variation of it where the end product tastes completely different, such as their Horchata Imperial Stout. Fans of the Peanut Butter Milk Stout would love this horchata-flavored brew, as it basically tastes like a roasted version of horchata. This 9.0% abv imperial stout contains vanilla, cinnamon, and rice malt just like horchata, only now it has alcohol in it. For a fancy treat, serve this beer with a scoop of vanilla ice cream in it. With Cinco de Mayo coming up, your friends and family would love you for serving this to them to celebrate in style.

3. The Pike Brewing Company‘s Octopus Ink Black IPA

Many breweries have some sort of theme to not only their beers, but their entire lifestyle. For example, Unsung Brewing has a comic book theme, and Florida Keys Brewing has a fishing theme. Sometimes these themes get them more popularity from unrelated industries, sometimes these themes can get you in legal trouble. For those who stick with their theme, it makes for a more interesting experience to indulge in and share, plus it also gives people something to talk about. If you visit the famous Pike Place Market in Seattle, no doubt one will encounter The Pike Brewing Company. This local legend started as the local watering hole, and has since turned into a known name across the country. Pike Brewing gives back to the local community that has supported them for many years in the form of their Octopus Ink Black IPA. A deep, dark brown ale with a dense tan head, this 8.3% American black ale contains bold aromas of citrus, pine, and floral notes with coffee and cocoa in the background. It tastes of a sweet dark malt with a creamy, roasty finish. A portion of every Pike Octopus Ink Black IPA sale benefits Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, so drink up!

2. Anderson Valley Brewing Company‘s Horse Tongue Wheat

Sour ales have risen in popularity alongside standard ales, and they have grown so much that sour ales have their own categories by now. In fact, some breweries grow their sour line of ales so much that they need to open a separate facility in order to increase their production of sour ales. Some of these “blenderies” exist in Southern California, such as Beachwood Blendery or Bruery Terreux. Lots of other breweries out there that do not specialize in sour ales do in fact produce a sour ale, such as Anderson Valley Brewing Company. I always underestimate Anderson Valley because, like another known brewery, they tend to stay in the middle of the fray instead of trying to stand out. Perhaps they do this on purpose to avoid controversy by making good beers without getting the attention of the big companies. This means that Anderson Valley can continue to churn out beers such as Horse Tongue Wheat. Coined as a 5.3% American wild ale, Anderson Valley takes a Belgian wheat beer and ages it in white wine barrels to give it a very slightly sour taste. Although not totally tart, this represents a good gateway beer to segway into the more tart sour ales.

1. High Water Brewing‘s Boom Boom Out Gose The Lights

With all the hype over craft beer in the past few years, some millenials want something different to stay ahead of the trends. Some may think that they enjoyed craft beer before it became popular, and thus they seek something else to try. Perhaps craft cider can come into the limelight? How about lesser known styles of beer? If you want a type of beer not often touched on, High Water Brewing has just the answer. Based in California’s Bay Area, High Water Brewing has made lots of waves up in Northern California, from San Jose to Chico to Sacramento to Alameda and more. Though one cannot easily pinpoint their exact location, High Water Brewing has their beers pretty much everywhere by now, including their Boom Boom Out Gose The Lights. Brewed as a gose-inspired style ale, this 7.30% brew primarily contains apple juice, galangal root, and pink Himalayan sea salt. This brew represents a traditional sour mash with less-than traditional ingredients. This refreshing champagne-like beer gose great with any celebratory purposes for its similarity to other toasting beverages.

Perception never falls into the simple categorization of black versus white. Perception falls anywhere within a boundless spectrum of antipodes. The problem lies with people’s ability to conceive perceptions beyond their scope. You can ask a person what type of music they love the most, while the next person may loathe that type of music. Most people claim to not like country music, yet the truth reveals that they simply have no preference for it; however, few people actually get adamant about the music. Going beyond preferences commonly exists in food and beverages. Where one person may call something “the best,” another will claim something else as better. For example, my father swears by the $2 wine from Trader Joe’s, unable to accept that pricier fine wines taste better. Some people say that no other burger can top a common burger from corporate fast food or corporate restaurants. People truly get attached to their fast food burgers and refuse to believe that better burgers exist out there. Whether or not you claim to know about the best burger in the world, I encourage you to seek out these five burgers in the greater Los Angeles area this season and give them a try. Who knows – maybe you will alter your opinions after one bite!

5. Eat Chow‘s Chow BBQ Burger

Portion size means a lot to the typical person who goes out to eat. Fine-dining restaurants focus on quality over quantity, so while fine-dining entrées appear small, it makes up for it with outstanding flavor. Generally, people want that happy medium between fine-dining and fast food, a restaurant that serves high-quality yet affordable food, something that Eat Chow specializes in. Now with three locations in Orange County, Eat Chow does not boast too much, perhaps because their foods speaks for itself. Eat Chow takes common foods and makes them well, from their burgers to the sandwiches to the entrées and more. Clearly a lot of care has gone into the dishes, evident by how much of the food’s natural flavor one can taste. In addition to the heightened food quality, Eat Chow doles up generous portion sizes too, such as in their Chow BBQ Burger. This grass-fed chuck patty comes topped with housemade barbecue sauce, smoked gouda cheese, crispy onion strings, bacon, mayonnaise, shredded lettuce, and tomatoes on a brioche bun. You can take on this huge burger for just $13.

4. Ocean Diner‘s Kiss Me Kate Burger

Different ingredients yield different flavors to the palate. Some ingredients have mild flavors, while some ingredients have extreme flavors. Some of the extreme-flavored ingredients may come with inauspicious side effects, such as spicy foods attacking the taste buds or foods invoking halitosis, or bad breath. Some of the latter ingredients taste so good that people often endure the side effects, such as garlic. For a calamity of ingredients that can cause bad breath, Ocean Diner has found just the combination. From the outside, Ocean Diner looks like your typical small-town American diner. However, Ocean Diner truly has some amazing things going on in here, such as their Kiss Me Kate Burger. This specialty burger comes with bacon-roasted garlic puree, grilled onions, and goat cheese. This $11.95 comes served with French fries, mashed potatoes, brown rice, coleslaw, or cottage cheese. As a special menu item, it will not last forever, so head over to Ocean Diner fast before this burger leaves their menu!

3. green2Go‘s Grass-Fed Bison Burger

A simple human truth states that people desire control in their lives. When someone lacks control over a situation, they may start to feel stress or panic. Give someone control, and they feel a lot more comfortable over their situation. This applies to all walks of life, including food, and green2Go gives you that control over your food. green2Go uses only the freshest all-natural ingredients to ensure pure flavor and nutrition. While you may certainly order any of their items as the menu describes, green2Go proudly offers a Build-Your-Own section where you get to dress up your favorite menu items, such as their Grass-Fed Bison Burger. This bison patty comes on your choice of brioche or squaw bread, or a lettuce-wrap, organic lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and a dill pickle. From there, you can select up to four add-ons to accompany your plate, which you can pick by walking up to the BYO bar to the left of the front counter. For $16, this burger comes to you with your choice of a side salad or roasted mini potatoes.

2. Abricott‘s Lemongrass Chicken Burger

Who says that a burger must contain a ground beef patty? Not all burgers must contain beef.  We have seen multiple different types of burgers, such as turkey burgers, salmon burgers, and even vegetarian patty burgers. We rarely ever see a chicken burger, much less a chicken burger done right. Abricott would like to turn that perception around. Known for their French-Asian cuisine, Abricott remains a staple in local Pasadena food, and has attracted the attention of locals and travelers alike. Pasadena brings in huge amounts of travelers between the convention center and the Rose Bowl, and travelers often want to savor the local flavor. Abricott’s menu covers multiple forms of food, including their Lemongrass Chicken Burger. Not just any old burger, this burger contains a ground chicken patty seasoned with lemongrass, topped with tomato, onions, lettuce, and mayonnaise served on a bun with coconut tamarind sauce. At $10.95, you can taste this unique burger that few other places can match in flavor.

1. Gus’s Barbecue‘s Brisket Burnt End Burger

When one orders a burger, one can typically expect a ground beef patty supported by various toppings, correct? The beef patty usually stars as the protagonist in the story known as the burger, but once in a while a burger may feature more than one co-protagonist. For a story featuring more than one star, we turn to Gus’s Barbecue in South Pasadena. A local barbecue legend, Gus’s Barbecue has done barbecue right for such a long time that they know exactly how to apply their prized meats to other forms of food. For example, take their Brisket Burnt End Burger. This beef burger comes topped with beef brisket burnt ends, cheese sauce, pickled jalapeños, and mustard on a toasted pretzel bun. All burgers come with your choice of French fries, sweet potato fries, potato salad, cole slaw, or BBQ baked beans. You can pound this mound of meat at Gus’s Barbecue for $13.95.

Technology constantly changes and evolves, bringing about new products that seek to either invent or reinvent ways to utilize hardware. Companies can reinvent by releasing new and improved versions of existing items, such as new keyboards or new mice. On the other hand, companies can invent by introducing brand new products that can solve a task in a more efficient manner than existing items can, such as a touchpad to replace a computer mouse. Regardless of the purpose of a particular computer peripheral, thanks to the limitless ways to interact with computers, any user will have a completely customized experience when using a PC. One user can simply use a monitor, mouse, and keyboard. Some users may also have speakers, a microphone, and a camera. Other users may use a wireless headset and more input methods, like a gamepad. In general, something good a year ago may remain just as good today, but many companies release peripherals annually, so read on to check out five new computer peripherals worth checking out.

Logitech‘s G533 Wireless Gaming Headset

A huge market for PC gaming exists, and with that huge market comes a slew of gaming-related peripherals. A basic setup simply involves a monitor or two along with standalone speakers (as opposed to speakers in the monitor). For those who desire a more immersive gaming experience, gaming headsets exist to provide better audio while shutting out external noise, and Logitech has just the solution. Logitech carries a vast lineup or computer peripherals, and they always release something new to add to their already favorable catalog, such as the new G533 Wireless Gaming Headset. This headset delivers exquisite audio quality previously found only in high-end speakers with 7.1 surround-sound technology. Logitech has improved the battery life on this headset compared to previous headsets, allowing for extended play and minimal interruptions due to power loss. For a true immersive gaming experience, pick up the G533 Wireless Gaming Headset from Logitech.

Corsair‘s MM800 Polaris RGB Mouse Pad

Never underestimate a good mouse pad. While you certainly can use a mouse without a mouse pad, a mouse pad brings about multiple benefits to both the mouse and the user. On a bare surface, a mouse will likely get dirty faster than without a mouse pad. Some laser or optical mice also may not track on a bare surface, and needs a mouse pad’s surface to track properly. Even still, cheap mouse pads may not provide adequate tracking due to its poor design. Luckily, Corsair does not skimp on quality in their products. Corsair has released almost every imaginable computer part, from computer cases to USB sticks to internal components to peripherals, and more. If it has to do with computers, Corsair surely has made it, and that includes mouse pads, such as the MM800 Polaris RGB Mouse Pad. Extremely durable, this mouse pad not only provides excellent tracking, but allows for customization of the LED lights that line the mouse pad. The mouse pad also comes with a USB port for your mouse, so the mouse pad will not consume an additional USB slot on your PC. If you want to use a mouse with style, pick up this mouse pad from Corsair.

SteelSeries‘ Rival 500 Gaming Mouse

The term “sports” does not only refer to feats of physical prowess. Sports has grown to encompass forms of competition beyond that of having muscles and/or agility. Racing never required one to remain in tip-top shape to compete. Poker has also seen itself featured on sports media. In recent years, eSports has come into the spotlight to highlight competitive video gaming, with huge cash prizes going to the winners of big competitions. While eSports can involve multiple gaming genres, the most popular eSports competitions revolve around the MOBA genre, and SteelSeries has embraced that genre. SteelSeries specializes in gaming peripherals, paving the way for such products as their Rival 500 Gaming Mouse. SteelSeries designed the Rival 500 with the MOBA player in mind, leading to the creation of this multi-button mouse. The ergonomic design contours well to the player’s thumb and hand movements to bolster mouse efficiency, accuracy, and performance. Competitive MOBA players will want to get their hand on this mouse – for a more general gaming mouse, check out the next product.

Mionix‘s Naos QG Mouse

As one of the most important parts of a computer, one cannot overlook the quality of the mouse. Nearly every computer requires either a mouse or a touchpad of some sort to control the cursor or to interact with objects on the screen far more efficiently than a keyboard only. As such, many cheap mice exist for sale that get the basic job done. However, as a peripheral that will have the most contact with your body, you will want a mouse that feels right (as everyone holds a mouse differently), and Mionix makes plenty of mice that feel right at home in your hand. While Mionix makes plenty of peripherals, consumers recognize Mionix best for their mice, such as the new Naos QG. Designed for right-handed users, this comfortable mouse boasts excellent mouse precision with a near-flawless sensor and very high DPI. The Naos QG also contains a unique feature: a heart rate sensor. The Naos QG can track your heart rate and display it on your monitor using an overlay that can appear even during fullscreen gaming. While not everyone may find this feature useful, it always helps to practice good health behaviors, and monitoring your heart rate can lead to better everyday life.

ZOWIE‘s XL2540 Monitor

When it comes to computer peripherals, nothing matters more than the monitor. Like a windshield to a car, one cannot properly operate a computer without a monitor. Like mice, many monitors exist for sale of varying prices and qualities. Since users often spend a long time looking at a monitor, it helps to have a monitor easy on the eyes to preserve eye health and prevent gradual eye damage. With today’s technology, you can have a fantastic monitor with great specs that will not cause eye strain, especially if you consider monitors from ZOWIE. The ZOWIE brand from BenQ has always focused on the gaming community, and now plays a huge role in the competitive eSports scene. ZOWIE product prices typically reside on the higher end as far as peripherals go because they do not skimp on quality. If you look at their XL2540 Monitor, you will see the fruits of their effort. The XL2540 brings increased smoothness and responsiveness to games with its native 240Hz refresh rate. The monitor comes with built-in side shield “wings” to help you focus on the game and prevent external light from tampering with the display. Other features include a darkness equalizer to brighten dark areas without affecting other colors, color vibrance adjustment, a display settings switch, and plenty more features to optimize your gaming experience.