Thursday, November 18, 2010

Jack-o'-lantern 2010

It's 18 days since Halloween and that can only mean one thing: bad photos of a totally unremarkable Jack-o'-lantern I made almost a month ago.

Enjoy! :D

Jack-o'-lantern 2010: Ariel Shot

Jack-o'-lantern 2010: In the Dark

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Halloween Candy 2010

Halloween Candy 2010: First Batch

While picking up some Halloween candy I stumbled across in October, I thought I should probably blatantly rip off -RoG- do a blog post, reviewing whatever spooky treats I could get my hands on locally. Not much as it turns out, but that didn't stop me from photographing dissected chocolate eggs like a crazy person or indeed, rating all the candy on offer on a Screaming Torres scale of 1 to 5. So let's get to it:

Cadbury Screme Eggs

Halloween Candy 2010: Screme Eggs

Halloween Candy 2010: Screme Egg Dissected

A new Halloween variety of creme egg had me so excited that I bought two. Imagine my disappointment when I bit into the thing and discovered that it was just a regular old creme egg, with the yellow dye used for the yolk replaced with green. They didn't even use a Halloween themed mould for the eggs themselves. Come on guys, you can do better than this.

They may still be creme eggs, but I can only give this kind of unimaginative laziness a three out of five.


Cadbury Dead Heads

Halloween Candy 2010: Dead Heads Spilling

Halloween Candy 2010: Dead Heads Unwrapped

Halloween Candy 2010: Dead Heads Dissected 2

More egg-based business from Cadbury. I really like the look of the monster faces on these guys and while I was a bit disappointed that the red/maroon filling wasn't cherry or strawberry flavour, any chocolate product filled with caramel (even when it's dyed red) is always more than welcome by me.


Natural Confectionery Company Spooky Treats

Halloween Candy 2010: Natural Confectionery Company

Halloween Candy 2010: Spooky Treats (Sharpened)

Here we have a some jellies boasting natural colours and flavours. I really liked these - the fruit flavours are tasty and quite intense and I appreciate how there are more jelly shapes than there are flavours. Although I guess that's why there were far more black (blackcurrant) and red (strawberry) jellies in the bag than the others - bad news if you prefer orange, lemon or lime.


Natural Confectionery Company Cauldron's Mix

Halloween Candy 2010: Cauldron's Mix

The sour coating's pretty weak on these, but I'm still digging the fruit flavours, which seem to be exactly the same as the Spooky Treats. Can anyone tell what the green, black and white ones above meant to be though? I'm going for a troll, a lump of coal and a mound of bird shit (A ghost you say? How dare you dismantle my sub-par jokes).


Haribo Horror Mix

Halloween Candy 2010: Horror Mix

You can't go wrong with some Haribo, especially when it's the kind with the soft white underside, which makes up most of the bag here. I'm not really seeing where frogs and snakes fit in with a Halloween themed product, but I 'm liking the design of these, especially the spiders, who naturally, have crosses embossed on their backs. The skeletons look a bit goofy though and their creepy, smiley faces freak me out for some reason.


Haribo Super Sour Monsters

Halloween Candy 2010: Super Sour Monsters

Where the Cauldron's Mix coating failed, these deliver with a damn sour exterior. Underneath that you've got an interesting and delicious trio of flavours: cherry, lemon and apple. And to top it off, the odd, alien-looking monsters they went for here are pretty awesome-looking. I guess they could have added another flavour or two to the bag, but as things stand, these are already sour candy perfection.


Spooky Halloween Bars

Halloween Candy 2010: Spooky Halloween Bars Zooomed In

Halloween Candy 2010: Spooky Halloween Bars

A full-sized Snickers? Naw, you're getting a portion controlled Halloween bar, fatty. With "portion controlled" prominently displayed on the packing, I was expecting some joyless, tasteless, low fat chocolate inside, but these aren't too bad actually. Half of each bar is fairly generic-tasting, but passable milk chocolate and the other half's white chocolate dyed orange, which I kind of liked. They're not the best bars in the world but I could happily munch my way through them a pack of them. I love the cute little wrappers they come in too.

If the bars themselves do nothing for you, you can also grab a scissors and cut out the smallest playing cards known to humanity from the included fun card and play snap with them. Make sure to grab a magnifying glass first.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Great Moments in Marketing: Screaming Torres

Well friends, the World Cup may be long gone, but there's still a bit of footballing business I need to take care of. And seeing as adverts and the like irk me on a pretty regular basis I thought I might start a feature with it.

So here we have the Pepsi Max World Cup-themed 2l bottle label from the summer (or at least the only one they had shops around here). It's got Spain's, Fernando Torres as some sort of tribal football warrior. A valid angle to take, I guess, but his pose and expression along with all the weird, photoshopped psychedelia make him look like an angry, shirtless hippy doing his best Mario impersonation. Or in other words, ridiculous.


As an added bonus, we also get a bit of life advice, apparently from Pepsi's newly acquired Wheel of Morality - "Life's a pitch; You can't win without friends." After pondering how life was in any way like a football pitch, I started wondering if the Spanish team had a big falling out before the Switzerland game back in the summer. This label, thought provoking, if nothing else.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

GameStop Pick-Ups: PS2 Games from 99c, JiliK Goes Wild

GameStop Pick-Ups 29/03/10

The following recently-finished, four-month-old blog post is brought to you by laziness...

Urgh, as if my backlog wasn't sizeable enough already, I wandered into GameStop last week with €20. Seeing that PS2 games were on sale for as little as €0.99 and that there was a buy two get one free promotion, I knew it was my mission to buy as much stupid shit as possible.

I rifled through the PS2 section, grabbed ten games coming to about €18 and marched up to the counter with my haul. It was a spectacularly low-rent display of extravagance, like waving around wads of dollar bills or speeding around in a Honda Civic. Having thoroughly impressed all the eight-year-olds in the shop with my purchasing prowess, I headed home to check out my big bag of crap.

GameStop Pick-Ups 29/03/10

From Russia with Love - €0.99

The first thing I picked up, mainly because it's one of my favourite Bond movies and I was always curious as to how this turned out. I can't really comment on the game from the nanosecond I had it on for, but the inclusion of the Connery era gun-barrel is pretty awesome and I really like the box art. I think this is the style of Everything or Nothing though, which wouldn't be a good thing, given how much of a chore I found that to be.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 - €0.99

Believe it or not, I've never picked up one of the Tiger games. 99c seemed like the perfect price of entry, so I decided to give this golf thing a go. Rather than being constantly berated for my lack of club-swinging prowess, I made sure to shut the commentary hitting the green - a move well justified as it took me more strokes than you'll see at a masturbation convention to finish the first course. The controls were pretty easy to get the hang of though and this seems like the perfect game to just pick up and play while you're listening to a podcast or something.

Enter the Matrix - €0.99

Oh, Year of the Matrix, where did it all go wrong? From what I've played of this, I'm not especially hopefully that it'll be any more enjoyable than stinky turd that was Revolutions - the camera's jerky, the graphics are pretty poor and the tutorial has you constantly referring to the controls menu to figure out what button does what. A Matrix game could have been awesome, but not like this. (Sorry)

More bargain bin crawling after the jump.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Steam Perils of Summer Sale

Wait a second...

Not content to just wring our wallets dry at the end of the year, Steam sprung a surprise Perils of Summer sale on us on June 24th. Knowing that the only real peril here was Steam itself, I waded into the bargain-infested waters.

Alien vs. Predator Classic 2000 (€0.75)

I'm not sure if this is any good or not, but for that price I'll buy pretty much anything. It did sound kind of interesting in the preview I read of it in Arcade in 1999. Never thought I'd be downloading a legal copy of it from the internet for a pittance in 2010.

Shatter (€2.00)

I've had the supposedly awesome soundtrack for this for a few months without listening to it, might as well grab the game so I can fully ignore all things Shatter.

I'm kidding. I have played through a few levels and the soundtrack is indeed awesome (glad I grabbed it now). The game itself looks promising - it's a Breakout-style game with a really nice look to it and suck and blow (I'm sure that's the official name) mechanic is a really clever addition, allowing for greater control of the ball than any of these games I've played before. Looking forward to getting deeper into this one.

The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom (€1.99)

I don't know much about this either, other than it involves solving puzzles to steal pie. The art direction looks awesome from what I've seen of it though.

Beat Hazard (€1.74)

I've been having a ton of fun with this since I got it. It's an awesome little 2D shooter where the levels, and the strength of your ship's laser at any given time are based on the the music track you've loaded into it. Just like Audiosurf, it's fascinating playing different tracks just to see what the game turns them into and I always like to do something else to occupy myself while listening to music, so this is right up my alley.

Max and the Magic Marker (€3.75)

Previously a WiiWare-only game, this has you using your mouse cursor as a pencil to fashion wonky-looking stairs, platforms, boxes, rafts and the like to help a crazy-haired kid (who you control with the keyboard) to make his way from left to right. Enjoying it so far, but it looks like every level has the same music. It's not grating or anything, but I'd like the option to mute the sound and put on my own music instead, an option that I haven't found so far.

Puzzle Kingdoms (€0.95)

I'm always hearing great things about Puzzle Quest, so a spin-off made by the same guys has to be worth a shot for that price.

Super Laser Racer (€1.00)

I've never been particularly good at old school overhead racers, but the colourful, vector-style graphics caught my eye. I mightn't get very far, but it was only a Euro.

Chrome + Chrome: Specforce (€1.49)

As I'd been fairly sensible with my purchases throughout most of the sale, I felt the overwhelming urge to grab something stupid as it drew to a close. The gleeful cat slaughter of Bad Rats put me off that and Alpha Prime looked like it might chug on my relatively modest PC, but two cheap, janky-looking shooters? Sign me up. (I'm never going to download these, am I?)

In the end, that's a total of €13.67, a surprising show of restraint for once. I guess it helped that I was still sitting on a massive backlog from the Holiday Sale; Starting off by playing Morrrowind may not have been the best move in retrospect. :D

Walkers Flavour Cup: Part Three

With the actual World Cup winding up soon, it's high time to get off my lazy ass and wrap up this crisp tasting extravaganza - or at least I would if I could track down the remaining flavours. The Scottish, Welsh, South African and Australian crisps remain elusive. I'm thinking the first two may be exclusive to the UK, but surely the other two must be out there somewhere? In the meantime, let's put another three bags through their paces:

Irish Stew

I don't think I've ever came across lamb flavoured crisps, so I was kind of excited to try these. Sadly, like the Brazilian ones, they barley taste of anything. There's some kind of meat flavour deep down there, but it's easily overpowered by the base flavour of the crisps. A single head-butt is almost too much.

Spanish Chicken Paella

I've never had paella, but I'd wager that it involves chicken and peppers from tasting these. The peppers come across way more powerfully than the chicken does and these are easily the saltiest Walkers crisps I've ever had. Like the cheeseburger ones, that may sound bad, but I quite enjoyed them. I'll give these a respectable three out of five.

Italian Spaghetti Bolognese

Initially, I got kind of a barbecue flavour from these. That soon gave way to a herby, meaty stab at a bolognese sauce. It's a decent stab, but I think one bag of these is plenty for me. I'll give these two unenthusiastic head-butts out of five.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Nintendo E3 Conference 2010 Live Impressions

It's E3 once again and seeing as I kind of enjoyed doing it last year, I pulled up Notepad and jotted down some impressions as Nintendo's conference unfolded. If you want to follow along at home, you can watch again here or here. So, without further ado let's witness some megatons being dropped. Or not.
  • 08:48 Just tapped into the GameSpot live feed a few minutes ago. I'm rocking a cup of Twinings green tea with pineapple and grapefruit and I just got some hastily-ordered Microsoft points in the post to take advantage of the XBLA sales this week. Nothing you do can bring me down now, Cammie.
  • 08:52 People are still trickling in, taking their seats. It looks like they're cycling through trivia questions on the three big screens in front of the audience.
  • 08:55 That looks like a Mario Kart 64 question. Definitely Nintendo trivia then.
  • 08:57 Yay for generic indie music!
  • 08:59 Nintendo logos on the screens. Shit's about to get real!
  • 09:01 Countdown!
  • 09:01 Reggie!
  • 09:03 Zelda!! Cel-shaded adult link. Otherwise, it looks a lot like Twilight Princess in terms of style.
  • 09:06 Miyamoto sporting the old master sword and shield combo. The game's sounding worryingly on-rails at the moment.
  • 09:07 Miyamoto bursts out of the backstage like a boss.
  • 09:08 Sword control doesn't exactly seem 1:1, Shiggy.
  • 09:10 Shiggy's not doing too well with those octoroks.
  • 09:11 Okay, so it looks like he's moving Link with the analogue stick. Phew!
  • 09:12 Item selection looks pointer-based, less fumbling through menus is always welcomed.
  • 09:13 No pointer controls for the bow and arrow. Too bad, I thought they worked really well in TP. Plus, Miyamoto's making some really weird noises.
  • 09:14 He seems like he's really having fun though. Nice to see.
  • 09:15 The Motion Plus based aiming looks kind of janky here. Shiggy and Bill Trinen are claiming wireless interference.
  • 09:16 Shiggy's flying a beetle. Hopefully it's easier to control than that damn pointer-controlled bird section in TP.
  • 09:17 A whip! Eat that Igarashi! Looks cool.
  • 09:18 Looks like Bill and Shiggy are abandoning the demo.
  • 09:19 Next year for Zelda. Boo.
  • 09:20 A pretty cool gameplay trailer. Is that some skydiving I see? Transporting a bomb with the beetle item brings back memories of PD's CamSpy. I approve.
  • 09:21 Reggie's going on about sports games.
  • 09:22 A new Mario sports game. Looks like volleyball.
  • 09:22 Nope. Basketball and hockey too.
  • 09:23 Mario sports mix. Looks neat. A multi sports Mario game just seems more appealing than a single one to me for some reason.
  • 09:24 Sales talk. Using that Wii lifestyle shot to refer to casual Wii players makes me laugh for some reason.
  • 09:25 Oh, those lifestyle shots are are as hilariously lame as ever.
  • 09:25 A new "bridge" title. Hmm.
  • 09:26 So much fun! So this is Wii Party I guess.
  • 09:27 Yep. How is this in any way a "bridge" game, Reggie?
  • 09:27 Another Just Dance? I'd rather not.
  • 09:28 Dance crew face-offs! Finally.
  • 09:28 That guy wooing needs a slap.
More live blogging and a little analysis after the jump.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Walkers Flavour Cup: Part Two

Brazilian Salsa

An ambiguous plasticy flavour with a vague hint of something resembling a tomato or a pepper. Barely deserving of Zidane's attention, I'll give them a single headbutt.

(I bet the bag tastes better.)

American Cheeseburger

They may have been ridged crisps as opposed to regular ones, but I've definitely had these before. They've got kind of greasy, pickly Big Mac flavour and as gross as that sounds, I quite like 'em. These get a respectable three headbutts out of five.

English Roast Beef & Yorkshire Pudding

I assumed these were just going to be the Argentinian steak flavoured ones in a different bag, but they've done a great job here capturing a drier roast beef flavour. I've only had Yorkshire pudding once or twice, so I'm not sure what to look for in that department - There's definitely a faint secondary flavour of some kind, but I can't quite place it. Being right up there with their Argentinian counterparts, I'll give these four headbutts out of five.

German Bratwurst Sausage

These have got quite a sweet bacon flavour. I'm not sure how that stacks up to the actual taste of a bratwurst sausage, but I'm definitely a fan. Another three headbutts coming right up.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Walkers Flavour Cup: Part One

To coincide with the World Cup, Walkers have fifteen new crisp flavours out competing in the "Walkers Flavour Cup""for the prestigious title of "Walkers Flavour Champion". I'm struggling to think of a more pointless contest, but I'm all for weird new snack foods, so I'll be checking them all out over the summer and rating them in Zidane headbutts out of five (the only scale that matters). Let's kick off (*gets shot*) with this lot:

Dutch Edam Cheese

Calling these Edam flavour is a bit of a stretch. They taste just like every other cheese-flavoured crisp you've ever eaten. That's not to say they're bad though, I quite liked them - probably more than I would have liked Edam-flavoured ones. I'll give these three Zidane headbutts out of five.

French Garlic Baguette

A pretty spot-on garlic bread flavour, with a really strong buttery taste. If that's your thing, you won't go far wrong with these. Personally, butter kind of makes me wretch. I'll give these two Zidane headbutts out of five.

Argentinian Flame Grilled Steak

Definitely the pick of this bunch with a tasty and pretty convincing beef flavour and a hint of onion. I'll give these an impressive four Zidane headbutts out of five.

Japanese Teriyaki Chicken

Generic oriental-spice-flavour crisps. There's a bit of ginger in there and a vague meaty flavour - nothing your taste buds will get too excited about though. I'll give these two Zidane headbutts out of five.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Check Out My NikeiD's, Bro

With the limited variety of size 13 shoes available locally, I decided to grab a custom pair from Nike's on-line store for the first time a few months ago. To preserve the majesty of the sweet-ass colour scheme I choose, I took a few photos before I hit the streets with them and started standing in dog turds. (It's how I like to break in a new pair.)

The customisation's a fairly simple process done through a Flash-based interface. You start off by either selecting a pre-set scheme or going with a blank (grey) shoe. Then you can rotate your flash-based shoe around, while you click on the various shoe parts and select their colour from a pop-up menu. There are only a limited number of colours for each part and some parts are tied to the colour of others, but there's plenty of scope for customisation there.

For the shoe I was ordering, part of the design included optional numbers on the tongue and sides. The one on the tongue would be covered up most of the time anyway, so I decided to go with "64" (in honour of the Atari Jaguar, of course). The number on the side, I wasn't so sure about. It could be up to ten digits long, so the choice of number was immediately apparent, but wouldn't it look really dumb there? Well, on the Flash shoe, it looked pretty small and it was grey against a white background, not that noticeable, so...

I totally went for it. However, on arrival a month later, those damn numbers looked black, bold and FUCKING HUGE. I had clearly geeked these shoes up beyond all repair. :D

Despite the possibility of incurring eye rolls from fellow Losties though, the shoes are quite well made and I'm really pleased with how the colour scheme turned out. I would have expected a wide size 13 to be a little wider than these, but overall, I'm pretty happy with them. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go find a pair of extra long boot-cuts.

Some more pics here

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A St. Patrick's Day Gift for You from JiliK

the front

It's St. Patrick's Day apparently, which makes it the perfect time to post this old home-made card I found again last summer. I drew it in school one day while I was bored in 1996. I'm not really sure why though, I was never that big on the occasion and you can't get me far away enough from parades, Irish music and the like. I usually just lay low today so they pack me off to wherever those non-existent snakes are hanging out now.

and the inside

It's also ten years ago today since I unleashed my first web site on the unsuspecting internet. I had only been hooked up to it about a week earlier, but for some reason, I desperately wanted to have a web site and I set St. Patrick's Day as the day of the grand launch. I worked on it night after night that week with Microsoft Publisher and sometime after 1AM or 2AM on the 18th March, it was finally up.

The end result was a gloriously awful-looking site, full of idiotic, poorly-spelled opinions written by a know-it-all teenager. I really wish I had a copy to post, but it's all gone now, which makes all the nights I spent slaving over it seem like even more of a waste of time. :D

Anyway, happy St. Patrick's Day. I guess. :D