Archive for July, 2015

GAMING: Naut

Naut 05
Alone, on the surface of Mars, the only thing that you have to keep you company is the sound of your car’s engine. You don’t know how long it’s been since you’ve seen another person, but you are certain the ghostly inhabitants of each house you find offer you no help in your journey. Each time you crash into a mysteriously appearing rock, it only highlights your loneliness – oh great, you’ve fallen through the floor again…

Naut is a 2014 game created in Unity by the French game collective Klondike. It was produced specifically by three of the collective’s members: Lucie Viatgé, who did the game’s visuals and animation; Tom Victor, who programmed and did tech art; and Titouan Millet, who did music and additional coding.

After the jump, we explore the existential crises of Mars as viewed through the windshield of a convertible car.

Read On…

FOOD: Little Caesars – Soft Pretzel Crust Pizza

Little Caesars Pretzel Crust 01

Hey, when was the last time you had something with pretzel in it? Not like, actually eating a pretzel, but when was the last time you ate a pretzel bun, or pretzel crust, or anything made with pretzel? Months ago, right? Right. So why is it, on June 29, 2015 on this dear sweet planet Earth, that Little Caesars decided to re-introduce its Soft Pretzel Crust Pizza?

Don’t get us wrong – it’s not a bad pizza, at least in our opinion, but the pretzel fad is over. Their last limited time offer was a bacon-crusted deep dish pizza, which was sensible because bacon will never die as long as Americans continue to love making their hearts suffer (as Wendy’s has recently proven with their Baconator Fries), but the Soft Pretzel Crust Pizza got a lukewarm reception the first time it was around when the pretzel fad was actually relevant. We can’t claim to read the minds of the Little Caesars corporate brains, but this just seems like a bad idea.

Regardless, we missed out on an opportunity to review the pizza proper the first time it came around and figured we’d jump on it while it was still (moderately) relevant again. We actually adored the pizza when it was new, so we really wanted to see if a few months off the menu would change it much.

After the jump, we’ll give this out-of-date fad cash-in another try and see if it’s gotten any better… or worse.

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RETRO: Taco Bell – Tasty Temple Challenge

Tasty Temple Challenge 01

Hey kids! Do you like Taco Bell? Do you like Duke Nukem 3D? Of course you do? Well, what if I told you there was a way you could enjoy Taco Bell and Duke Nukem 3D at the same time Wait, did we do this already?

Taco Bell: Tasty Temple Challenge was an advergame given away with Taco Bell’s kids meal in 2000. Even for advergames, the concept is pretty inane: You play as “Baja Bill”, an adventurer exploring deep into a lost jungle temple to find an imprisoned Grande Meal. Yes, you’re on a quest to rescue precious Taco Bell food from an ancient faux Mayan-Incan-Aztec-Racist Caricature temple. As you battle your way through the temple, you combat snakes and scorpions by… lighting them on fire?

After the jump, we’ll explore the Tasty Temple, discover its secrets, and figure out how some free games demand their own kind of payment.

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NEWS: Nintendo’s Play Station Discovered by Chance

original copy

Just last night (July 2, 2015), a practical unicorn has been discovered in the world of retrogaming. Nintendo’s Play Station, once thought to be long lost in the famous squabble between Sony and Nintendo, has been discovered in a box of junk.
Originally posted on Reddit, this massive discovery was presented as a mere accident: Dan Diebold (Reddit user analogueboy) claimed that his father was given a box of items intended to be thrown away. Amongst computers and PA systems was the legendary console, in surprisingly good quality despite its yellowed plastic.

What exactly does this mean for gaming history? Read On…

FOOD: Wendy’s – Baconator Fries

Wendys Baconator Fries 01

Wendy’s has been in a pretty odd place with regards to its menu, recently. While McDonalds presses on with its “premium” burger selection and Burger King tries to cater to a value market with 2 for $5 sandwich deals, Wendy’s has been taking the healthy tack. They’ve been emphasizing the freshness and healthiness of their menu by pushing strawberry salads and fresh chicken sandwiches.

In this context, Wendy’s latest limited time offer, Baconator Fries (released on June 25th, 2015), is a little surreal. Neither healthy nor constructed out of premium ingredients, and still being sold at a ridiculous mark-up, it’s… trend-bucking? But not necessarily in a good way.

After the jump, we’ll find out if the newest member of the Baconator family can live up to the lofty standards set by its kin, or if this family reunion will just be awkward.

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RETRO: Chex Quest

Chex Quest 01

Hey, kids! Do you like Chex Cereal? Do you like DOOM? Of course you do! Well, what if I told you there was a way you could enjoy Chex and DOOM at the same time? No, no I’m serious – wait – no, don’t leave – hold on –

Chex Quest was an unusual entity in the world of video games, namely because it was one of the few games ever used to promote a brand of breakfast cereal. Released in 1996, it was packaged in with boxes of Chex for free and given nationwide distribution. It’s doubly unusual because the game in question is a commercially sold DOOM mod – a total conversion of the first DOOM game, completely done over with new graphics, sounds, and gameplay.

A second Chex Quest game was made hot on the heels of the first one, but promises of a third never realized. Although fans made plenty of mods to fill in the gap, it wasn’t until 2008 when Charles Jacobi, one of the lead artists on the original Chex Quest, made his own official Chex Quest 3 with the first two games bundled in.

Get out your bootspoons, because after the jump we’ll dig right in and discuss the history, gameplay, and our thoughts about all three games.

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