RETRO: Banjo-Kazooie [Spooky Edition]

Banjo Kazooie 01

Banjo-Kazooie is a 1998 3D platformer game for the Nintendo 64 by Rareware, and is considered by many to be one of the best games for the N64 altogether. It involves a bear (Banjo) and his best friend (Kazooie) on a quest to save Banjo’s sister Tooty from the evil witch Grunty, who is planning on stealing Tooty’s vestal beauty for herself.

Although Banjo-Kazooie is widely considered to be one of the greatest hits of the 90s, that just means it’s filled with what a lot of those great 90s had in common: pure, pure fear. Although Banjo-Kazooie is a light romp at heart, certain areas of the game are filled with unabashed fright. And no, we’re not just talking about Mad Monster Mansion here – Mad Monster Mansion is child’s play compared to how terrifying some of these levels can get.

After the jump, we’ll journey with the bear and bird to the deepest, spookiest recesses of Grunty’s castle.

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RETRO: Ecco the Dolphin [Spooky Edition]

Ecco the Dolphin 01

Ecco the Dolphin is an action-adventure game developed by Novotrade International and published by Sega in 1992. Starring the titular Ecco, a bottlenosed dolphin with a strange constellation-shaped birthmark on his forehead, the game was unique at the time for exploring the vast depths of the ocean.

“It’s dolphins, right?” was the common refrain of most parents purchasing Ecco games for their children. Nothing could be bad about some nice, adorable, friendly dolphins! Even discarding the fact that real life dolphins are brutal and carnivorous, it was still a flawed premise from the start to assume that every animal protagonist would be as friendly as Sonic the Hedgehog… which was still a game with its own problems, but that’s for another article.

Needless to say, this didn’t pan out well for the children who received these gracious gifts. Just like Ecco himself, we’ll learn to experience true fear after the jump.

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RETRO: Donkey Kong Country [Spooky Edition]

Donkey Kong Country 01

Donkey Kong Country was released in 1994 for the Super Nintendo. It was developed by Rare, and was the first entry to make Donkey Kong his own standalone hero instead of a Mario villain. It was hailed as a gameplay and graphical masterpiece, utilizing pre-rendered CGI models to give a faux-3D look to the 2D game. However, for as impressive these CGI models were, they pushed the limits of realness closer to the border of uncanny.

Many of the things that made Donkey Kong Country so great were also things that made it down right spooky. Join us on a trip through the jungle as we reminisce on the things that made us wonder if 3D gaming was all it was hyped to be.

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FOOD: Popeyes – Wild Pepper Tenderloins [Discontinued]

Wild Pepper Tenderloins 01

There are a lot of different kinds of pepper out there! What most think of first when they say “pepper” is black pepper, a member of the Piper family. For others, it would be Capsicum, the family that provides us with the intense chile peppers. And even outside of those two, there are lots of thing called “pepper” that aren’t pepper in the least, like pink pepper or allspice.

This month, Popeyes has decided to take that same wide ranging idea of what constitutes a pepper in their Wild Pepper Tenderloins, chicken tenderloins spiced with habanero, aji amarillo, and Sichuan peppercorns (spelled as Szechuan in the advertisements). Are these peppery tenderloins really that wild, or are they mild? Find out after the jump.

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RETRO: 3D Monster Maze

3D Monster Maze 01

Some fears are more primal than others. All things spooky tap into the darker parts of our mind, where our basic survival instincts lie, and exploit them to simulate experiencing a level of fear that people in modern society rarely feel. But perhaps one of the most primal fears is that of being hunted by something stronger and unstoppable than you.

3D Monster Maze was released for the Sinclair ZX81 in 1982, written by Malcom Evans for J.K. Greye Software. It relies on a deep, primal fear of being hunted. Hit the jump, and enter the monster’s lair for yourself.

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FOOD: XXTra Flamin’ Hot Cheetos

“Paula, I had a horrible nightmare.”

“What was it?”

“I dreamt that they made a new, hotter variety of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos – XXtra Flamin’ Hot Cheetos – they came in a black bag. I’m scared beyond comprehension!”

“Will, that wasn’t a dream. Those were real, and you have to eat them.”

This is a conversation that actually took place.

Flamin’ Hot Cheetos are an extremely fashionable snack – considering they’re one of the few snack chips that have had a rap written by children about them, they’re unquestionably a favorite among people of all ages. They are hot, sure, but is that really enough? Flamin’ is a state of mind, after all. One man’s red hot is another man’s lukewarm. How can we push the envelope? How can we turn something that’s Flamin’ into even Flamin’er?

XXtra Flamin’ Hot Cheetos are the answer. Promising to be “twice as hot” as regular Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, these chips may just be enough to push our taste buds over the edge. Will they hold up to their doubly intense promise?

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FOOD: Trader Joe’s – Ghost Pepper Chips [Discontinued]

Ghost Pepper Chips 01

We here at Eggware.XYZ love spicy food. We are constantly on the hunt for the most spicy of snacks, no matter the country of origin. But there’s one pepper that’s come into vogue that’s continued to elude us. A pepper that was once the hottest in the world, and still takes home the bronze in heat today. The Bhut Jolokia. The ghost pepper.

Lots of restaurants and snack food providers have tried to obtain the ephemeral essence of the ghost pepper, and many have failed. Like a ghost, capturing the Bhut Jolokia is easier said than done, and it isn’t for the faint of heart to try.

But ghost-chasing is what October is all about, so when we stumbled upon this bag of Trader Joe’s Ghost Pepper Potato Chips, we knew we had may had found a worthy competitor laying claim to the title of The World’s Third Hottest Pepper. Trader Joe’s has always been good for us when it comes to cheap food and wine – will they hold up to the heat of the Bhut Jolokia itself? Hit the jump and find out.

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RETRO: Croc: Legend of the Gobbos [Spooky Edition]

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Welcome to Halloween! Or as most people like to call it, October! This Halloween, we want to talk about some of the stuff that scared us the worst when we were kids. It’s time to take a retrospective look back into the past with Retrospectacles’ Spooky Edition, Retrospooktacles, where we will be not just looking through our old memories, but the things that made them terrifying!

Croc: Legend of the Gobbos is a Playstation game that was released on September 29, 1997 by the now-defunct Argonaut Games. It was originally intended to be produced for Nintendo as a video game starring Yoshi, but Nintendo declined and decided to produce their own 3D platformer with Mario himself. If it wasn’t for Nintendo declining this offer, Croc could’ve been the first true console 3D platformer ever released.

Croc, to most people, might be a minor footnote in the history of 3D platformers. But to those who have played it as kids, we may just remember something very distinctive about it: it was creepy as heck.

After the jump, we’ll explore why this Yoshi expy had reason to fear for his life.

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FOOD: Taco Bell – Lava Sauce & Volcano Quesarito [Discontinued]

Taco Bell Lava Sauce 01

Taco Bell, compared to most other nation-wide fast food restaurants, has an extremely dedicated following. Like most fast food places, Taco Bell’s menu is regularly changing, adding new items and removing old. This has led to a lot of contention among their fanbase, as cult favorites tend to be the first to get the ax. These include items such as the Beefy Crunch Burrito, the Bell Beefer, the Blackjack Taco – all cut down in (what their fans will claim was) their prime.

But there’s always been one menu item that’s had an especially loud clamor for its return. It wasn’t a taco, or a burrito, or even a real meal in itself – it was a sauce. The Lava Sauce, the foundation of the now-discontinued Volcano Menu, has been widely requested for a return to the proper menu ever since its discontinuation in 2013. It was essentially a spicy nacho cheese sauce, yes, but fans will claim that the spice made the difference. If you were to hear it from a Lava Sauce lover it could elevate virtually any Taco Bell food into a heavenly experience, a kind of claim that we only hear about Sriracha sauce nowadays. Although the Taco Bell fans cried loudly for their sauce back, Taco Bell stayed quiet… Until now.

Now, the legendary Lava Sauce is back and featured in the Volcano Quesarito, a standard Taco Bell Quesarito with Lava sauce in place of the regular cheese. We’ve never had the original Lava Sauce, but the idea of having such a monumental sauce for a limited time was too interesting to pass up. Will Lava Sauce live up to its volcanic hype or be a stone cold flop?

Find out after the jump.

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FOOD: Taco Bell – Dare Devil Grillers [Discontinued]

Taco Bell Dare Devil Grillers 01

Taco Bell has been on a roll recently! We didn’t get a chance to review the Bacon Club Chalupa, but we thought it was very good and an excellent bargain in its $5 meal deal. Their latest offering is the Dare Devil Loaded Grillers, a set of three “loaded Grillers” with super-spicy sauce in three heat levels.

Each Griller is wrapped in a grilled burrito and includes Taco Bell’s seasoned ground beef, nacho cheese, and crunchy red tortilla strips. The primary draw is the Dare Devil sauces, however: Chipotle, Habanero, and Ghost Pepper (from least to most hot).

The sauces for the Grillers are all mayonnaise based, with the Habanero sauce also including sour cream. As the sauce for the Chipotle Griller was an already established sauce on their menu, we decided to only review the two new sauces.

After the jump we’ll take the dare and see if these Grillers are red hot or stone cold.

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