Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Talk to the Hand! 2 Games That Took Talking to the Next Level

Talking to video games has become extremely commonplace nowadays. It has become such a prominent part of gaming that thousands of games rely on voice recognition, whether you're talking to a pet in Nintendogs or trying to make a Pikachu do ANYTHING BECAUSE IT NEVER LISTENS TO YOU AND IT DRIVES ME INSANE... in Hey, You! Pikachu. Even outside of gaming, voice recognition is everything; why else do people buy so many phones, anyway?
Back to gaming, though, there have been plenty of odd ways talking into a microphone affects gameplay, and here are two semi-obscure ones that utilize it for some.... interesting results.
Takeshi's Challenge Makes You Sing Karaoke
One of the earliest games to utilize the microphone built into the Nintendo Famicom was Takeshi no Chosenjo, or Takeshi's Challenge as we lovingly call it in the West. For years, it was a completely obscure game, but rose to prominence through Youtube, and most of you have probably already heard it by now, especially with JonTron's video released earlier this year. Regardless, I'm gonna talk about it anyway.
The game was developed by Taito for release in 1986, with the "cooperation" of Japanese actor, Takeshi Kitano. Notice how the "cooperation" is in quotation marks; he hardly did anything for the game, and it was created entirely from what Takeshi said in a single meeting, during which he was drunk. Rather than wait for Takeshi to sober up, though, Japan did what they always have done: they made it anyway.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Me Rambling

I don't have that much important to say, but I feel that no justice is done by posting mediocre posts (with the occasional good one standing out). People come to this blog to read, to enjoy, to celebrate gaming, and here I am, half-asleep. Many people, I feel, are patiently waiting for something that will never come, like Half-Life 3 (Ahhh burn!!!!). All this stuff that I'm saying doesn't matter; it's a block of text, yet people enjoy it.
(Casual readers: be warned. This is gonna get really text-heavy.)
The Internet is a beautiful medium to cast one's work onto. It doesn't matter who you are, where you are, what you do, there will always be people there. Ten days ago today, I wrote of my 3000 milestone, and just ten days later, another 100 came up. I don't want to say that I have pride, but I do; lost in the online world, filled with so many other creators, people actually see my stuff. It's amazing how a tiny blog from some town hidden away in the US gets noticed by people around the world.
While not as prestigious as, say, your own publications, the online world is a place to get yourself out there. It doesn't matter if there are three people who see your stuff or three million people seeing your stuff; all that matters is that people have seen your work, have read your writings, have watched your videos, etc. Meet new people, work with them, make friends, and meet people. Even if I'm not the next big thing, I at least want to get out there.
Tangent: I'm sorry if all of this stuff is getting kind of weird, I'm just writing the first things that come to mind.
In conclusion, just don't be afraid to try to step out. I spent years jumping from blog to blog, and I finally found my place. You don't have to have millions of fans to be content as a creator; what matters is that you make someone's day, that you interest people, that you let yourself be known by more people than those you physically meet. The world is a blank canvas, and it needs somebody, anybody, to finish.
Crap just got deep back there.

Sunday, December 14, 2014


Well, it's only been slightly over a year and a half, but I now have 3000 views. Such a tiny milestone, but still amazing. Do you know what that means? Thousands of people flocked to an outdated website to read a series of one-sided, snide comments written by some guy who is epitomizing laziness.
Why are you people even here? I dunno. Either way, I love each and every one of you people!
Anyway, there's a few tiny announcements:
First off, I doubt that the Tumblr will become as prominent as initially perceived. For one thing, it's extremely difficult to get out there. Secondly, the trafficking on the Tumblr wasn't as good as I thought, so I'll probably just stick to my guns and stay over here. It was really frustrating for me to use around an hour working on a post that hardly anyone noticed.
I initially considered making it a multi-network Tumblr, where I would have some of my "collaborators" post alongside me, but that would just be a burden on everyone. While I may try again in the distant future, as of right now I have no intentions of continuing to post there.
Secondly, some of the old segments will be making a return. While this blog has more lists than a cashier prints out every year, I really want to brig back my old fixtures, such as "Video Game Characters IRL" (but probably with a jazzier title) and "Questions that NEED to be Answered."
However, I also plan on a brand-new series, and I'm really hyped about it. A while back on the Tweeter I mentioned a new article entitled "(Their) First Outing." My intentions are that I will get some Youtube friends to talk about and reflect upon their first videos and early Internet memories. Think of it like Youtube Nation's "My First Upload." (RIP YTN 2013-2014 RIP IN PEACE)
I'm pulling all the strings like Jim Henson in an insane asylum. You guys are gonna get some stuff that you've never seen before, stuff creators hardly remember or want to forget ever happened. I'm freaking sadistic with this.
Lastly, there's another blog that I hope will one day see the light of day. I've had many blogs; there used to be a Lego blog when I was ten, and two AQWorlds blogs when I was 11 (Terrible sh!t right there), and most recently, Questionable Confectionaries and that Meow thing. (High-five if you remember Memecyclopedia!) I want to have one that actually works out, though. I'm thinking of a more personal blog where I voice my opinions concerning random things in my life with the same level of facetiousness that you've come to expect of me. Maybe it will come out next summer? I dunno. I've just wanted to do something like this for a long time.
Anyway, thanks so much for 3000! Here's to another 1000!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Year Round-Up: The Best and the Worst

So, it's December. Winter is in the air. Presents are, well, present. (canned laughter and applause) What better time to evaluate the blog? Not much more is to come of this year, anyway.
I've had this blog for around one and a half years, and man, it's been a good time. With just short of 3000 views, life is going pretty sweet. I decided that it would be fun to look back on the best of the best and the ones that live in infamy, so without further ado, here are the ten best and three worst posts of the past!
10. Animal Crossing: New Leaf Coelacanth Fishing Tips
Date of Publication: July 16th, 2013
While it may be simple and not as amazing as some of my other works, it was the first of my early posts to receive attention. While most posts had five views, this one drew in just short of 50 views.
The article itself is terrible, in my opinion. It's basically a short list of "tips" on catching the elusive coelacanth, all of which are pretty widely known. It's short, it's stupid, it's dumb, but for me, it's nostalgic. While by my current standards it's a flaming turd of an article, it launched me into semi-obscurity instead of purely hipster garbage, which is fine by me.

9. Video Game Characters IRL: Funky Kong
Date of Publication: February 12th, 2014
Marking the beginning of a series that spanned a whopping two articles, VGC IRL was an interesting article, to say the least. Using expert examining skills, I reached the conclusion that Funky Kong is the real-world equivalent of that high roommate you'll hang with in college.
It's a good example of what I like to call "The Intermission Period", wherein the posts bridged the gap between my current style and they-who-we-best-not-say-by-name. It's half-decent, utilizing a lot of the weird and stupid wisecracks, but the moment you read the word "Golly!", you know that this thing is of questionable quality. Regardless, I find myself enjoying the article; who knows, I might even make a follow-up to the series.....?
8. A Video Game Quote A Day: The Legendary Starfy Edition
Date of Publication: November 22nd, 2014
In an attempt to update more frequently, I proposed a challenge to myself wherein I would do a weekly encore of the failed "A Video Game a Day" blog page.
It failed.
I was too apathetic to complete it, and also left my reference pages at home, when, at the time, I was up in our northern neighbor, Canada. Nevertheless, despite the agonizingly-betrayed attempt, the article was pretty solid. Short, stupid, and silly, I gave some more of my "brilliant" commentary regarding two quotes from a video game series for kids, the highlight being an image. (You know that it's kinda dumb if the best part is an image.) Easily overlooked, it was a job application for Moe Grommet (not actual last name) about his yearning to make a monopoly off of sea-urchin nachos. Like, he really, really, REALLY wants those nachos. There are not words to express how much he wants to sell nachos, so you'll have to read it to find out....

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Thanksgiving Special: What I'm Thankful For

Haha, look at this guy! Saying he's gonna commit again, but still refuses to! Loser!
Stop rubbing it in. I know I suck at this stuff, but it's gonna come eventually. I'm up in Canada, and forgot my notes for the next few quote articles, so I'm kinda screwed.
Regardless, I knew I had to post something. I mean, it's Thanksgiving. There is no excuse.
So here it is. A list of things I'm thankful for.
Let's be frank. 2014's been a rough year. The world is a terrible place. It's hard to deny that 2014 has been a terrible year in history, but somebody has to find some stuff to be happy about. So, uh, here's some stuff.
I am thankful that......
Super Smash Bros. U and 3DS are amazing.
Brawl was okay. It never really felt right, though. It was good, sure, and it brought a lot of fun, but I never really got that into it. That can be partially blamed on the fact that I'm about as competitive as an ironing board, but I digress. Super Smash Bros. U is probably one of the best Wii U games I've ever played. Beautiful graphics, amazing music, and perfect gameplay. Also, Smash Potato. You gotta mention Smash Potato. Heck, that's one of the best things; there are so many weird and wonderful things you can do. I mean, it's a fighting game, so why is there a game where you throw trees in an attempt to send your opponent flying? Because freaking logic, that's why.
Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are also amazing.Haven't even gotten the chance to play it yet, but lemme tell you, it has to be good. People didn't just wait a decade for a lackluster game to pop out of Game Freak's hands. Screw IGN, there wasn't "too much water", you pricks. It's awesome.
Also, this is the best GIF ever.

Japan is still weird.
Seriously, where would we all be if Japan wasn't as crazy as that one uncle that always shows up at Thanksgiving? You know the one.
It may sound weird, but I'm serious. Japan's weirdness is one of the greatest things I know. They've been trapped on a tiny island for thousands of years. No outside connections until a couple hundred years ago. Had they gotten another few years of isolation, who knows what else they could possibly do? These people have made freaking dresses that turn into putting greens, okay? You can't top that.
Except with video games. As one of the few things to siphon out Japanese culture to Western audiences, video games to a pretty darn good job. Had it not been for them, there would be no Mario, no Legend of Zelda, no Kirby, no Katamari Damacy, no nothing. All we'd have would be Call of Duty. Ugh. Heck, without Japan, video gaming might not even exist. Sure, there was the American Atari, but look where that got us. It drove gaming into the dirt, and it wasn't until Nintendo, like a knight in shining armor, thrust the market out of the garbage better than a Russian pole-vaulter. So, in short, thank you. Thank you so much.
The Internet is Still Weird.
Remember that "Too Much Water" thing from the IGN review? What if I were to tell you that the Internet did that? It has the magic power of taking the dumbest things possible and blowing them up higher than Hungary's post-WWII inflation rate. I mean, seriously, the Internet can find anything. A picture of a man examining a piece of wood? Check. A stock photo of a guy having a heart attack? Double-check. The hero of Hyrule moving to Pennsylvania? Oh yeah, you gotta check that one. Another stock photo of an old guy in pain? Most def. What about the world's most awkward yearbook photo? Pretty solid idea, but what if you were to, say, add a cat? Perfect. I swear, the Internet is a truly wonderful place, and as a person who uses it as a form of escapism (I mean seriously, this stuff you're reading? All escapism.), it's amazing.
Life is amazing.
In a year, I've done so many awesome things. I've been to China and Japan. My dad got a job in Canada. I've met so many awesome people. SOMANYFREAKINGAWESOMEPEOPLE. This is one of the best years in my life. Of course, I haven't been alive very long, sure, but seriously? It's going as smooth as Kenny G.

Now stop reading this. Go and enjoy a day off. Just because I'm on the Internet doesn't mean you should be. Get out, meet new people, and in a few hours, shove some food up your beautiful face. Don't worry about the regret; it will come in tomorrow.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

A Video Game Quote a Day (11/22): The Legendary Starfy Edition

Reference this post if you don't know what the heck is going on.
Starfy! While I did complain about this game quite a bit in one of my old reviews, I think it is a fun and enjoyable little romp of a game. Of course, it isn't exactly Kirby or Mario, but as a series, it is almost as enjoyable. It's cute, it's silly, it's Japanese..... It's weird, which I suppose is expected of the Japanese.... Hey look! A weird Japanese cleaning device! Anyway, there was a sheet with some quotes on it.... and by some I meant there were only two.... and I'll write some vaguely-beloved nonsense regarding them. I assume that's why you're here, anyway. I mean, what other reason would you be reading this? Seriously, what? No, I just wanna know, dangit!
Oh, I bow before your fighting skills, Master. I will never forget this kindness. I am Shurikit!
Uh, dude? I'm a star. I don't fight. I just kind of bounce around. Fighting? What do I look like, Little Mac? I'm a star. Literally. An effing star. I don't care what you think, 'cuz I mean it's not like I do much. I'm floating around with a freaking clam and space rabbit, so just GTFO, okay? I just want some nachos.
Heheh, thanks! Persistence is our specialty... That, and homemade sea-urchin nachos!
Good to know. I suppose that every cocktail party you host ends with a visit to the ER to extract all the spikes from your throat? Also, can we briefly acknowledge that Moe makes nachos? You know, because his name is Moe?..... No? Okay, fine. I guess my jokes are pretty lame, but I would think you would've figured it out by now.
Also, what kind of specialty is persistence? Sure, slap that on a job application, I'm sure Wal-Mart would be stoked.
Lastly, I didn't know how to end this post, so here's a random GIF from the weird folks of Tumblr. There are some things that even I fail to understand.

An Early Thanksgiving Apology

Yeah, so I've been busy. I might be dead. To be completely honest, I'm not sure. Let me check... Nope. I'm dead.
(Falls to floor)
Jokes aside, I haven't done much on here lately. School is dictating my everyday life, and it kinda sucks. Most of you guys are probably checking less and less. I would like to apologize. I definitely want to get on a better routine, but it's really hard. I want to do something every week, but I really can't.
It is, however, almost thanksgiving. That means almost a week of nothingness. Hopefully, I can do something there. In fact, starting tomorrow (or maybe today, hmm?), I'm gonna do a special encore of "A Video Game Quote a Day" (or whatever it was called). After cleaning out my closet quite extensively, I discovered a pile of paper with quotes from a handful of games, including Pokemon Black and White, The Legendary Starfy, and Paper Mario: Sticker Star. Of course, considering that these posts were typically short, I'm gonna try to extend them to an average-length post. It'll be a good time, I swear. I would shake on it, but I can't reach through the computer screen at risk of shattering it and being put in asylum for breaking my computer on an empty promise.
Anyway, tune in soon!

I love you!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

New Post!

Check out Tumblr for some weird cat games, courtesy of Japan. While I'm at it, here's a picture of my Espurr. Effing thing keeps stealing my candy.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

INTERVIEW: Gourmet Gaming on Bringing the Pixels to the Plate

Daniella Zelli is the creator of Gourmet Gaming, a Tumblr devoted to recreating video game food in real life. Not only is she an avid video gamer and chef; she is an artist. If there's a delicacy in your favorite game, chances are she's made it. Sinner's Sandwich from Deadly Premonition? Check. Some delicious Chateau Romani? Check. Some Old Gateau to go with your Belle Classic Tea? Double-check!
While she has been featured on such things like Kotaku and my beloved Nintendo Power, she took some time to chat with me and fill me in on what she's been doing lately. Let's see what's cookin'! (That was a bad joke; I apologize for that.)

So.... who exactly are you?
My name is Daniella and I'm a test analyst and graphic artist. I used to work in the games industry. Basically, I'm just a long time videogame fan who really likes to eat good food.

Why did you decide to make Gourmet Gaming?
I was unemployed and needed a project to keep my mind focused. I'd been playing Deadly Premonition and the Sinners Sandwich inspired me. It got me thinking about all the other iconic foods in games. When I made the Sinners Sandwiches for my friends for a playthrough party, I realised more people might be interested in eating food from games.

Were you surprised by the popularity of Gourmet Gaming?
I was totally surprised. It wasn't long after I started the blog that it got featured on Kotaku and took off, which was after I made the Minecraft cake. It's such a niche concept, but I guess it had a wide appeal when you think about it.

What was it like when Nintendo Power (among other websites and magazines) reached out to you?
It was really flattering, it still is, when people want to talk to me about my work and what I've done. Having photographers come to my house for national newspapers, and Wired was a surreal experience. But it's very exciting that I've gotten to share my work in that way, that other people think it's important to share.

What kinds of games did you play when you were young? Which were your favorites? 
I had a Sega MegaDrive as my first console and I was, still am, obsessed with Mickey's Castle of Illusion and World of Illusion. They were the first games that really sparked my love of games, and the first games I completed. It was a passion from then on. I was very fortunate that my mom loved games too and played with me and encouraged me to play. She saw them as a positive in my life.

What is the absolute worst abomination of a game you have ever played?

This is a very good question, and one I've never been asked! Although as I've gotten older and have worked in the industry, I find it harder to be negative because I'm aware of the seriously hard work and dedication that goes into each game, even if I haven't enjoyed it. I like to think there's always something redeeming in the design or gameplay to find. Even if I'm not particularly enjoying a game I will try my best to finish it - as for specifics, I'd rather keep quiet and encourage others to seek a more thoughtful analysis or why they didn't enjoy a game, rather than declaring it "awful".

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Personal List: 25 Strange Cult Classics

Cult classics. Whether you're talking about Birdemic or The Room, there's always something so oddly charming about their shortcomings and failures. Most of the time, however, it is largely contributed to the oddity of it, as is the case in cult video games. While some struck fortunes, others took years to be realized, and some are hardly even realized at all. Such games have everything from goats to half-naked men, flying aimlessly around the screen, yet regardless of the topic, many now admire them. Here are twenty games that break the limits, test the bar, or are just completely unexplainable.  By the way, around 15 are Japanese.... Shocker.
25. Sneak King (2006) - Xbox 360
Yes. The critically-panned game is somehow quite popular. I guess that could be contributed to it being cheaper than four Whoppers, but whatever.
Sneak King is a Burger King advergame released as part of a promotion alongside two other less-popular games, PocketBike Racer and Big Bumpin', both of which sound like rides at the local county fair. They sold for a mere $3.99 at Burger Kings across America, making it the best-selling game of 2006.
It was also, however, one of the worst-received. Scores included 6.7 and 5.8, as well as a well-deserved "BURN IT".
24. Naughty Bear (2010) - Xbox 360, PS3
If a game involving serial killing teddy bears isn't a sure sign for success, than I don't know what is.
The plot of Naughty Bear starts with a bear named, uh, Naughty Bear. He is the only bear on an island known as Perfection Island to not be invited to Daddle's birthday party. Being nice, he makes a gift anyway, but after being made fun of by some other bears, he sulks back to his house and plots a mass genocide on all the teddy bears.
Game critics rejoiced in saying that the game sucked. It got 3s and 2.5s and many awards for being the Worst Game of the Year.
Also; unrelated, but here are some fun reviews from a parenting website. (Indicated is the name, rating, age recommendation, review title, and review.) Enjoy!

Four Stars, 13+
13+ for violence and torture!!!
Fun but is actually quiet violent my character killed an un-ted with bone and jammed it down the bears throat. u can kill, murder, assassinate, snap, choke, and gag your enemys.

Unknown User
One Star, 16+

Five Stars, 2+
epic game
is teddy bears for god sake just let your kids play it

Unknown User
One Star, 17+
hate it.
hate it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i added it as a favorite by accident!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ugh! how do u remove favorites?????????

Unknown User
Four Stars, 12+
This is the whole story
Come on give the game a break ok you kill teddy bears I think your parents would rather have you playing this rather then far cry 2 or black ops 2 ok first of all I have the game not like these people ok the teddy bears you kill are all bullying you and they once did a really bad thing to naughty bear and he got so mad he killed them he has a point he kills teddy bears that where horrible mean to him so think about that first
Unknown User
Two Stars, 12+
teddy bears are supposed to be CUTE. what are they gonna imagine next, a FIG TREE?!

sounds very violent

Five Stars, 10+
I love this game! It is a great stress relief. Sometimes things in life are too cute and you just need to do something. I let the kids I watch play. It is just a silly game that doesn't have real violence in it. Naughty Bear is better than Sid from Toy Story and that is a beloved childrens movie. At least Naughty Bear has a reason.
23. Jackie Chan in Fists of Fire (1995) - Arcade
Wow! There's a game like Mortal Kombat but with not one, not two, but THREE JACKIE CHANS as fighters! This game HAS to be the best!
That's all.

22. Brutal Legend (2009) - PS3
Yes! We finally get to a game deserving of its cult status!
The game features Jack Black as Eddie Riggs, a roadie who somehow finds himself in a heavy metal-inspired world. It even featured, in the game, Ozzy Osbourne, a bunch of people nobody knows unless they live in their parent's basement (Sorry, that was mean, but you know who you are), and a soundtrack of one hundred songs across all the metal subgenres. Advertising included vinyl records, an attempt to break the world record for "most people air guitaring" (440 people showed up), and Jack Black appeared at the VMAs and on Jimmy Kimmel in-character to promote the game. It got astounding reviews.
It was, however, declared a commercial failure, selling 1.5 million units worldwide. (Doesn't really sound like a commercial failure, but whatever).
Despite this, its legacy lives on. Despite poor sales, it had a huge surge in popularity, collectively gaining numerous fans.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Personal List: 5 Curious Cases of Game Developers in Games

Oh, easter eggs. Personally, they are one of my favorite things to talk about in games other than, say, glitches, and with so many ridiculous easter eggs it's rather surprising how few I can think of where the creators appear, in flesh, as a secret. They have since become the stuff of legends. Here are five that I think are worth taking notes on. It doesn't matter if it's surprising, useless, or just downright weird, but these are my favorites.

5. Postal II (2003) - The Whole Staff
Oh, Postal II, you card you. I don't like it, I don't like mentioning it, but it somehow keep appearing on my lists. The game is best known for the controversy surrounding it, what with all the violence, vomiting, urinating, animal cruelty, stereotypes, and the generous amount of gore. As such, there are equally as many people who love it and hate it; it gained a cult following, two notoriously bad movies, and a Kickstarter for a third in the duo. (It failed.) The creators even claimed it was "satire". (Of course, they went a little bit too insane for me to actually consider it as satire.)
At some point in the game, you can actually storm into the Running with Scissors headquarters (the company that created the game) and massacre them like some barbaric savage. Then again, they probably deserved it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Personal List: 7 Celebrities in Video Game Commercials

To hear that Robin Williams committed suicide yesterday is perhaps one of the most tragic things I've heard this year. The man was a legend, a beloved figure who touched the hearts of all who saw his movies. Consider this list a tribute to him as we look back memory lane to see celebrities embracing their love of games.

7. Bryan Cranston - Megaforce (1982)

In this extremely old ad for Megaforce for the Atari, Bryan Cranston, future star of "science b!tching" Breaking Bad makes in appearence. He inserts the game into the Atari, um, turns into a motorcyclist(?) and some, err, weird stuff happens.
Surprisingly, Jack Thompson wasn't all over this stuff after Cranston destroys his room.

6. Christian Bale - Mrs. Pac-Man Cereal (1983)
Before his intense and infamous rant as well as some movies involving giant robots and terrifying ninja turtles, a little Christian Bale starred in a ridiculously '80s cereal commercial for Mrs. Pac-Man cereal. Also; those dance moves. Accompanying lyrics include:
"Pac-man's cereal's got a new surprise; when ya look inside, it's shocking! *whistles*"

5. Evel Knievel - Crash Bandicoot: Warped (1998)
In a really awkward-looking ad, Evel Knievel teaches the Crash Bandicoot guy how to do some motorcycle stunts. 75% percent of the commercial involves talking, 10%  moronic procedures, such as raising up and waving and 15% advertisement. Boring? Yes. Weird? Certainly so.

4. Paul Rudd - SNES Commercial (Unknown Date)
In  SNES commercial, a teenaged Paul Rudd plays a a smorgasbord of beloved SNES games while making some really awkward faces with random shots of people walking.

3. Heidi Klum - Guitar Hero: World Tour (2008)
 In a commercial making fun of Tom Cruise in Risky Business, Heidi Klum rocks out on a plastic Guitar Hero guitar before starting to undress into her lingerie and walk towards us. It should be seductive, but it just comes across as discomforting and kinda perv-y.

2. Jack Black - Pitfall (1982)
At the ripe age of thirteen, Jack Black gives an excited and memorably overacted speech about being lost in the jungle with Pitfall Harry. This is followed by several other testaments, but WHO CARES?! It's all about Jack Black and his crazily excited talking.

1. Robin Williams - Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (2011)
"Dad, are you mixing me up with the princess again?"
"Hard to say, you're both pretty magical."
Robin Williams was one of the biggest Zelda fans of all time, even going as far to name his daughter after the titular princess, Zelda. Who wouldn't want to hang out with the guy?
In one of the greatest commercials of all time, when Zelda Williams asks him if she's confusing her with Princess Zelda, he utters the famous words, "Hard to say, you're both pretty magical." Carpe Diem, Robin, and godspeed.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Personal List: 5 Mario Power-Up That Didn't Quite Catch On

Hey, look! I'm back. Yaaaaaaaaaaay!!!
Anyway, you know what I love? Some good ol' platformers. My biggest soft spot is probably for the Mario franchise, with its often fascinating gameplay, universes, and of course, the power-ups. Nothing is quite as satisfying as that classic sound of when Mario gulps down a Super Mushroom and your NES goes "Frrump-rump-rump" or whatever the sound was (it's hard to describe in words, but dear God was it satusfying). However, I am not here today to talk about the classics; I'm here to talk about that ones that, regardless of if they have a plce in our hearts, didn't quite catch on for the future installments. These are my top 5 favorite power-ups that didn't catch on.

5. The Frog Suit - Super Mario Bros. 3
Possibly the most unloved Mario power-up of all time, the Frog Suit enabled Mario to swim efficiently underwater with the downside of being pathetically slow on land. Unfortunately, since World 3 is the only world that predominantly features water (and with many levels being on-land whilst chased by angry bloated pufferfish), it became a scarcely-used and inferior power-up when compared to more beloved SMB3 ones such as the Raccoon Suit, Tanooki Suit, and Kuribo Boot, which even though only featured in one level (I think) became a beloved item, so popular it reappeared in Paper Mario: Sticker Star and donned blades in Super Mario 3D World as ice skates.

4. Bunny Ears - Super Mario Land 2
I often like to consider Super Mario World and its sequel to be oddballs in the Mario series. Perhaps this is because they were developed by Grunpei Yokoi instead of Miyamoto, but they both came out as black sheep. The first brings you to the land of Tatanga, where an evil alien has kidnapped Princess Daisy. In the sequel, you are instead off the defeat Mario's villian and anti-hero, Wario and reclaim Mario's mansion. While the first gave Mario a feather as an alternative to the Fire Flower, this was only because it was impossible to show the traditional Fire Mario who had a different color scheme but the same sprite. However, SML2 did introduce a brand new power-up, the Bunny Ears, which allowed Mario to carefully flutter to the ground to help coordinate falls. It hasn't appeared since, but as  nod to Rabbit Mario, in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, when Mario puts on the Bunny Hood, he turns into his rabbity form unlike the other characters.
3. P-Balloon - Super Mario World
The dreaded P-Balloon. It does not forgive. It does not forget. It refuses to grieve the many deaths you shall encounter while under its evil curse.
Perhaps the rarest power-up in Super Mario World, grabbing it causes Mario (or Luigi) to swell up like a hot air balloon. Other than arousing paraphiliacs, Mario floats in the air for a temporary time before plummeting back to the ground to uncertain doom.
It is most notorious for its appearance in the mind-numbing, infuriating level "Tubular" in which you float past Chargin' Chucks and death traps.
It sucks. Thankfully, we haven't seen it since.

2. Blue Shell - New Super Mario Bros.
One of my personal favorites, the Blue Shell is possibly the most recent power-up in the main series to not appear in future installments. While it may cause Yoshi to fly in Super Mario World and wreck havoc in Mario Kart, it only appears as a full-fledged power-up in NSMB. Picking it up causes Mario to slip into the shell and roll across the floor like a shuffleboard if he runs for a few seconds. While it is a pain in levels with tons of steps, it is pure fun when you can just glide across levels, knocking out Goombas like glorified bowling pins.

1. The Hammer Suit - Super Mario Bros. 3
Oh, Hammer Suit. How could it not be at number one? The beloved SMB3 power-up is notoriously hard to obtain, but worth all the ordeals. It grants Mario the ability to throw hammers just like those pesky Hammer Bros. There is simply no explaining how amazing it is; imagine a unicorn with ten kittens on its back flying under a double rainbow. Double that by ten and that's how effing awesome this guy is.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Guide to Japan: Fast Food

Fast food. Around the world, McDonald's, Taco Bells, Wendy's, Domino's...... Chains sell millions of food everyday from the US to Japan, but some items never made it to the usual market. Some items were made only for their designated countries, and today, I am here to explore some of the greatest fast food you can only find in Japan.

To start off your large meal, try the MacMango Fizz, MacFizz Blue Lemonade(?), or MacFizz Passion Orange. Hungry for fries? Try the "Mega Potato" size, popular in Japan for "potato parties" in which people gather at a party with a table full of french fries and NOTHING ELSE. Geez Japan, you cray-cray.
Obviously, though, you're gonna need more than just a drink and a bucketful of fries, so try the Shrimp Fireo, a burger with a patty made of deep-fried shrimp. Or maybe a burger with meat sauce that may or may not have been regurgitated from a cat. (Judging by the appearance, we really don't want to know.) If you want to prove your burliness, try the Quarter Pounder with habanero and tomato and hope that your tongue doesn't spontaneously get engulfed in flames. Maybe you wanna try the BLT
with mozzarella or bacon lettuce burger, but obviously don't forget the Teriyaki Mac.
What if the jet lag messes with your head, though? Say you wake up at 2:00 in the morning with the craving for pancakes? Not to fear, fro McDonald's offers the Petit pain cake or ridiculously adorable Oekaki Happy Hotcake, with icing syringes to draw an adorable face on. I mean seriously, if that isn't the most effing cute pancake you've ever seen.
To wrap up your meal, get a dessert of a melon-flavored MacShake. Because everything in Japan has a melon-flavored variant.

Domino's Pizza
Maybe you want to bring your friends out for some pizza, who knows? If you do, we wholeheartedly recommend trying the Mayo Jaga pizza topped with Japanese mayonnaise, which is known to be a lot sweeter than US mayo. Perhaps you should try the Camembert Mille-Feuille Shrimp pizza with Camembert cheese topped with shrimp, tomato, and broccoli. It also comes with the option of a basil sauce-base in place of the typical tomato sauce.
You could also try the BBQ Garlic Chicken pizza, fairly self-explanatory but scientifically proven to keep both vampires and your girlfriend away. What about Goryeo Galbi topped with beef ribs and
paprika? Maybe the Avocado Shrimp with pancetta, shrimp, tomato, and a mayonnaise-avocado sauce? Perhaps the artesian Basil Shrimp on flatbread with basil and pamodoro sauce?
Of course, the best option for only the most gnarly of men is Lasagna Pizza, lovingly smashing two Italian classics into a pizza oven.

Fun fact: KFC is a Japanese tradition. For Christmas. Orders are placed months ahead, and lines stretch out the door for that finger-licking flavor.
Of course, maybe little anecdotes aren't your thing. Well, suck it or suck this Red Curry Twister wrap sandwich, either way. Maybe get an onigiri rice ball with soy sauce flavor to wash down your shame, and stuff a sweet and spicy soy sauce-flavored chicken sandwich.

Who doesn't know this classic Eastern fast food restaraunt? Everybody, but that won't stop me from mentioning their Attack on Titans-inspired MEGA BURGER. I mean just LOOK at that thing. It's a freaking mutant burger among all the others.

Dunkin' Donuts
While China may have Dry Pork and Seaweed donuts, it can't possibly compete with Japan's Mochi Ring Donuts. Seriously, a ring of mochi? Sign. Me. Effing. Up. Whoever invented this was a genius. It defies Beyonce's logic; if you like it, you don't just put a ring on it, you make a ring OUT OF IT. My mind is blown.

Starbuck's Coffee
Black Sesame Green Tea Frappuccino.
That's it.
What? You want more information?! You know it's amazing, and that's all there is to it.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Guide to Japan: Candy

First, let me take this moment to point out that I have FINALLY reached 2000 views. This is amazing. When I started this blog, I was excite about getting one or two views a week, but dangit guys, I love you so much. Here's to another thousand views.
Anyway, I'm back!....... And then I'll be gone for two weeks...... But compromises must be made! I'll be going to Tokyo on Tuesday, so I might not be able to update the blog as frequently. However, I'll try to use the Twitter, so use of that is most appreciated.
Now go follow me.
I have a minute.
Okay, fine.
Anyway, because I'll be in Tokyo, I seriously have to at least make a sequel to my first Guide to Japan post. So, I'm doing that.
(Geez, couldn't be more frank with that, could you?)
So, one of the most interesting things about Tokyo is, well, the city, buildings, culture, video games........ and, of course, candy! Some awesome, some strange, some, err, baffling? So I compiled a list of ridiculously strange and amazing sweets right off the shelves of a Japanese 7/11.

Popin' Cookin' Sushi
This isn't just sushi. It's freaking CANDY sushi.
Considering that sushi is essentially Japan's pride and joy, and I mean who doesn't love sushi, they decided to make a box containing the ingredients to a delightful platter of sour sushi candy, complete with seaweed and fish roe! So cute!

Ramune Tube Bubble Gum
 Just as the mystery of the Stonehenge baffles archaeologists, this Japanese tube of bubble game baffles everybody. How did it form? Who made it? What purpose does it serve? It is truly one of the many wonders of the world.
In all seriousness though, I don't even know what to think of this. Japan, if you want us to take you guys seriously, then WHY DO YOU DO THIS?! It's one of the most ridiculous things I've seen today and I effing LOVE it.

Fuwarinka Rose Gum
Yet another curiosity is this rose gum. It gained notoriety due to its strange health benefits, such as making your manly sweat smell like flowers. Only the most manly men can possibly handle such manliness as the cascading scent of floral arrangements. It ain't for no wusses and weaklings.

Candy Bento Box
Is feel there is some strange imbalance between weirdness and adorableness in Japanese candy. On one hand you have gum that's essentially toothpaste, then there's like a complete 360 and there's candy bento boxes. I just can't. It's as adorable as two kittens frolicking through a field of flowers chasing their tails, and if you get beyond that, I'm pretty sure you enter oblivion.

Kanro Colored Pencil Candy
Going along with the list of Japanese candy with weird themes are colored pencil candies which, let's face it, look more like crystals stolen from the natural history museum. They come in all the classic flavors, such as lime, lemon, green apple, grape, uh... mango, and........... cranberry......? Well sure Japan, that's completely normal..... WHO THE HECK COMES UP WITH THESE?!
Tomato Caramel
I remember a time where I thought that bacon soda was weird, but Jesus, Japan, you keep besting everything else. Sure, why not just throw some Heinz on with that? Couldn't possibly make it weirder, could you?
Hmph. Thought not.

Unchi-kun Lucky Poop Candy
Well, this candy's a piece of crap. Literally.
The Japanese factories just keep pushing out new ideas, and they all seem pretty sTURDy.
Okay, I'll stop.
Japan has always had this weird love of adorable feces; games like the classic WTF game Toilet Kids, where the protagonist is launched into a different dimension by the power of a toilet and fights some enemies that unfortunately aren't made of chocolate. It's almost a deity in Japan, and who wouldn't love poop if it was this freaking adorable in real life? He's even smiling for Christ's sake!

Kani Pan
What started as a simple Google searc became a trap of manga and anime, but somehow I managed to escape alive with a picture.
Kani Pan is a piece of bread shaped like a crab.
That's it. Literally. I wasted hours and hours* searching for a singular picture of a piece of bread.
*Two minutes

Caplico is basically freeze-dried ice cream in a cone; strawberry on the outside, chocolate on the inside. Surrprisingly, it tastes like ice cream. Shocker, right? Just take a few minutes to let that sink in.
You good?

Supitol Tongkat Ali Gum for Men
What?! You say that rose gum ain't manly enough for you?! Well this gum is for only the most manly men! It makes athletes shrivel in despair! It takes musclemen, and kicks them into a wormhole! You still ain't impressed?! Well this stuff makes your ding-a-ling as strong as steel! FREAKING STEEL!*

*It actually is said to enlarge penis size. Pfft. Nonsense.

Echizen Kurage Cookies
Made by students at the Obama Fisheries High School, this strange treat utilizes Echizen Kurage, a type of jellyfish that weighs 440 pounds and is 6 feet long. Because, you know, I always want jellyfish in my food; it adds flavor. Duh!

Genghis Khan Caramel
Genghis Khan. A hero, a gallant warrior in Chinese and Mongolian history and arguably one of the most important figures in Eastern history.
Naturally, we honor him with caramel candies, but not just any caramel. No, that would be folish and disrespectful. How about lamb-flavored caramel? Sure, that's not weird at all!

Chocolate Squid
No, this is not chocolate shaped like squid. It isn't squid-flavored chocolate. It's chocolate-covered squid. Yes, there is actual SQUID in there. *shudders

Anyway, I will push myself to post another part of the "Guide to Japan" series tomorrow, maybe even two, who knows? Also, there's no time for an interview, unfortunately, so maybe two or three in September? After all, it IS my birthday on the 11th, so maybe some miracles may happen? #WishfulThinking