Nyko Uboost (Wii U Gamepad Battery Back)

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The Wii U Gamepad is good and certainly very useful if one wants to play a game “off TV”. But the darn battery just isn’t very good and that’s rather annoying, especially since the thing seems to be required to stay on, even when streaming video using Netflix or other services.

To deal with this issue I purchased a Nyko Uboost extended battery for the Wii U Gamepad, which has significantly improved the total charge of the Gamepad. It’s not a replacement battery – it fits over the existing battery and provides additional power.

Surprisingly, it’s compatible with the original Gamepad charging dock and is very inexpensive at just under $15.

As a backup for longer gaming sessions I also purchased a Gamepad charging cable. It can’t charge the Uboost itself (the Uboost only charges on the dock connections) but the Uboost doesn’t prevent me from being able to easily access the more traditional charging port on the Gamepad. The charging cable also appears to be compatible with a USB extension cable I already had, which works well for a player position farther away from the Wii U or a power outlet. I chose to purchase the additional charging cable so I wouldn’t have to move the existing cable is connected to the Gamepad charging dock.

Mario Kart 8 for Wii U – The Best and Worst Mario Kart Game

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Last Friday I purchased a copy of the new Mario Kart 8 game for the Wii U. It’s something that I’ve been anticipating for a long time. After all, I’ve played almost every single game in the series, with the exclusion of some of the older DS/DSi editions. Now the complaint I have isn’t something I was completely unaware of before I purchased the game, but I was hoping for a better experience with the Battle Mode than I’ve had so far.

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Monster Ntune Headphones

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I had no interest in ever spending more than $100 on a pair of stereo headphones, which is why this particular purchase was a bit unusual for myself.

Personally, I don’t understand why folks are spending an average of $100-$200 for stereo headphones (such as the Beats brand). Perhaps it’s more of a status thing, like owning Apple stuff? It’s not that I think the headphones are bad but at the end of the day they’re just stereo headphones. I’d prefer to spend that kind of money on headphones that include digital, surround-sound support (I’m actually a bit frustrated that I have yet to find a pair of such headphones that don’t require a large, block attachment).

I was out to spend some spare cash one night and after browsing various sections of the electronics department at our local Wal-Mart I was unable to find anything that was remotely interesting. I just happen to pass by a display of these Monster Ntune Headphones. While in the store I started looking up the cost and reading reviews on Amazon. To my surprise, this particular style of headphones was slightly more expensive from Amazon at the time. After careful deliberation I decided to purchase a set at Wal-Mart, which cost about $80.

They are very good headphones. I suspect they’re not too dissimilar from the Beats line considering the interesting history between Monster and Beats. To be frank, this is probably the first time in my life I’ve ever purchased anything made by Monster.

I’m very happy with this purchase. They’re certainly better than any other pair of headphones I own except for my surround-sound headphones (unfortunately, those are not very portable). Are they worth $80? That’s a tough call because I haven’t spent a significant amount of cash on a pair of good headphones in several years though I don’t really care about the minor differences between this model of headphones and other models that cost more but are made by the same company.

Updated 02/22/2014: The headphones continue to work great and have held up just fine. I carry them around in my backpack almost every day, keeping them in the microfiber bag that it came with.