Friday, November 24, 2017

Video: The Toy Show 2016 Supercut

The Late Late Toy Show - one of the TV highlights of the year here in Ireland. Having not seen one in at least thirteen years, I finally gave into the peer pressure and the FOMO and tuned into to last year's show, and boy, I don't know what I was expecting, but this is pretty much what I got. :D

I don't know, a two-hour show of kids reviewing toys I think I could get behind, but that's just not what this is. The toys are more or less a sideshow here to all the musical numbers, celebrity appearances, awkward audience interactions, and a volume of promotional tie-ins so large, it would make Geoff Keighley blush. Well, probably not, but...

Even the toy segments themselves - and I may get thrown out of the country for saying this - I think are kind of bad. Ryan just doesn't seem that that into the toys, or even particularly engaged in what the kids have to say most of the time. If he's not rushing them along to get to the next segment, he's half ignoring them while trying to score a few cheap laughs from the audience. Sometimes even at the kid's expense, which kind of shocked me to be honest. That bit in the video where he's grilling the kid about his dead pet lamb: my jaw was hanging open. And he only kept going from there! Come on, man, they're kids, and they're doing their best; you can really see in the show just how much they've prepared for their bits, and you're just blowing through them, making bad jokes? Not cool.

Overall - and I have to admit, musically talented kids didn't do anything for me even as a kid - I found watching this a gruelling experience. :D The cringe levels here were easily up there with the worst of E3. I mean, hence the video. Within minutes of watching I knew that this demanded the supercut treatment. I don't know how long this is going to stay up. I'm kind of expecting a copyright strike, but for the moment, please enjoy some of the very finest moments last year's show had to offer.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Tumblr Doodles: Jul-Dec '15

For more doodley nonsense, check out

Friday, November 17, 2017

Photos: Picking Blackberries

One of the major perks in living out in countryside the middle of nowhere: blackberries! Every year from about the middle of August into October they grow in vast numbers on hedgerows all around here. I spent a fair bit of time picking them as a kid, but it's only since I got into this whole gardening thing that I've gotten back to it, stockpiling them in the freezer for pies, jam, ice cream and more. I grabbed my camera to take along with me, out into the wilderness, the last couple of times I went picking them and, of course, never got around to posting any of the pictures I took. But hey, let's take a look now:

Oh, you thought I was kidding about the wilderness part? No, this is for real the middle of nowhere.

Quite a dramatic sky, even if it is a bit spoiled by the phone lines. Hey, people out in the country need to watch E3 cringe compilations too. I assume.

So I only brought this little container for my first time out in 2014, which would have been hardly worth my while. I came back to a different spot a couple of weeks later with two huge bucket to do things right. That lot actually lasted me right up until last year...

... where I found myself replenishing my supplies, on a much more blustery day in the middle of this semi-flooded cattle path.

Very much a wellies-only job.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Nintendo Direct 14/09/2017: Not-so-live Impressions

Woo, woo! Nintendo Direct time. It's been quite a while since the last full-on, non-E3 Direct: April by my calculations - a time when if you had asked me if I'd be getting a Switch in time for Mario Odyssey, I'd have said "absolutely". Now though, now that it's nearly upon us, ehh, I'm kind of having second thoughts. I don't know, looking at how the line-up has shaken out so far for the Switch - excluding Breath of the Wild, which I've already played to death on the Wii U - there are a few nice-to-have games there, but for me, there just isn't that wealth of content, or those few must-have games right now that would justify the current price tag. Will today's Direct change anything in that department? Let's find out:

00:12 - And we're off. It's always mildly intriguing to see a PEGI 18 pop up on one of these. Much as I'd be excited for Mario + Extreme Beach Volleyball though, - much as we all would - I suspect it's for a couple of Switch game announcement that I managed to spoil myself on last night. Ooh, secrets.

- What's in store for 3DS? I know I'm being selfish here, but hopefully not much. :D Damn it, Nintendo, you have a hybrid platform now; put everything on that! Cater to my needs only. Is that so much to ask?
00:42 - Booo! They're doing the spoilerific "headlines" in this Direct again. This time I'm just going to straight-up look away.

00:50 - Not quite yet though. First we have some Pokémon Ultra Sun and Moon.
01:30 - Yikes! Those graphics sure look like they're from a 3DS game

01:53 - Yep, Dawn Wings Necrozma. Definitely caught all that in the trailer.

01:42 - I have to admit, they're still killing it with these starter Pokémon designs though.

02:58 - Whoah! The last thing I expected to have announced here: new Virtual Console releases. Pokémon Gold and Silver. Not bad. (Be a lot cooler they were on the Switch though...)

03:51 - I'm not into collecting limited edition consoles, but damn, that Pokéball 2Ds is hot.

04:01 - Limited edition boxed copies of Pokémon Gold and Silver too. Kind of cool, but if they're anywhere near as limited as that freakin' Samus Returns Limited Edition, I'd extinguish any hope of getting hold of those immediately. #SaltyAsHellCommaDamnItNintendo

04:08 - Arrgh! Headlines. Looking over at my retro console cabinet instead. Damn, that's a mess. You know, I'd swear that empty Pepsi bottle's been up there for two weeks. At least. I don't even know why!

04:18 - Okay, looks like it's safe to look again. Oh, this is that Superstar Saga remake - one game I'm not really bothered about missing out on on Switch. Oh, I said it: Superstar Saga was never anything but an average, watered-down Paper Mario. But, but, Fawful! Fawful is mildly amusing for a few minutes, maybe. In a game full of bean and laughter puns. No!

04:22 - I will give it one thing though: Superstar Saga does feature Mario and Luigi doing some actual plumbing for once, which I appreciated.

05:17 - Kirby Battle Royale. Not sure if this was shown at E3, but I don't think so.

05:31 - Then again, I do remember being displeased with the announcement of a Kirby game with local 4-player multiplayer, so they must have at least announced it then. Yeah, I'll never play this. :D

06:01 - Copy ability global poll? Wow; Nintendo really celebrating Kirby's 25th anniversary in style.

06:17 - A new Layton game. I guess it won't surprise anyone to hear that I've yet to try out any of these. I was hoping that with the Switch that Layton and other Japanese DS/3DS franchises might finally make their way onto a TV screen. Hopefully soon.

06:53 - Uh, what?

07:04 - Ohh, Style Boutique. I'm kind of surprised that that series is still going. I guess they must sell okay, but it really feels like these kind of sims have all but died out since the DS era (or, more likely, moved to mobile).

07:59 - Minecraft on 3DS, because of course. Hey, you guys, I played some Minecraft. I picked up a Raspberry Pi recently, only to discover that it comes pre installed on those. So, I chopped down some trees, started digging a tunnel down into the ground and... I don't know; I can still see the appeal of it, it just doesn't really appeal to me. If it had some direction and some goals though, maybe it might. I should give Dragon Quest Builders a go.

08:52 - A compilation of the top 100 Mario Party games. Great! :D Never played Mario party back in the day tbh. I could never justify using up precious funds on these, like, weird board games. Having watched many hours of the Giant Bomb guys playing through them now though, I'm pretty confident that I made the right call. Even the mini games in these - the fun bits, allegedly - look... not great.

09:14 - Really not liking the tux, red pants and hat combo here, Mario. (Looks like someone needs to take a trip to the Style Boutique. (sorry))

09:26 - Wait, what? Why should Smash Bros. fans take notice of Samus Returns, voice-over guy?
09:44 - ...and none of those are reasons Smash Bros. fans should notice. How about "It's like the Subspace Emissary, but good". :D (Those cut scenes were pretty great though.)
09:53 - I'm so salty that I wasn't able to get the limited edition of this. But JiliK, don't you irrationaly hate playing on a handheld? Well, sure. I mean, I wasn't going to play the game. I mostly just wanted it for the soundtrack and all the other chachkies. :D Now I don't know if I'll bother until I get a really good discount on it.

10:03 - Hm, this SNES 3DS I'm not crazy about. Putting "Edition" between grey bars in the logo, where "PAL Version" was back in the SNES days is a nice touch though.

10:13 - Oh, this is good news though. I might have barley touched my 3DS since I got it, but I have been on the hunt for Luigi's Mansion 2 and Mario 3D Land for cheap since then, and they're still both freakin' full price! Which doesn't exactly bode well for getting a bargain on Samus Returns, but...
10:26 - Yep, I'll be grabbing the two of those on October 13th. Actually, you know what.... Just pre-ordered them now on Amazon. £15.99 each. Not bad.

10:43 - Alliance Alive: a new, old school JRPG from Atlus. Looks...urrgh...interesting.,....must...stop...port...begging.

11:07 - And another Ace Attorney game too. Hoping that series makes it's way to the Switch eventually as well. Even some remakes of the old ones would be great.
11:20 - That's it for the 3DS. And not just here I think. It really does look they're winding down the platform now. I get the feeling that 3DS releases are going to be few and far between next year. (Squee!!! Er, I mean how tragic. No more dedicated handhelds. Noo. Why?)

11:35 - Phew! I getting anxious that he wasn't he wasn't going to do it there. I think I'd miss it now.

11:53 - Xenoblade Chronicles 2 still looking great. Still haven't even gotten around to playing the original.
12:04 - "... on the top of it lies Elysium. Matt Damon's trying to get there. It's really boring."

14:33 - Whoah! I genuinely had no idea that this thing was talking. The lip-synching here: oh, boy.

14:45 - Shepard.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Candy @ Halloween 2015

Yeah, I meant to quickly follow up the 2014 post with this one, but I seem to have gotten slightly side tracked again. :D So, kind of the same deal again this time. I managed to get my hands on a grand total of one Halloween-themed thing in 2015. There was nothing to do but to continue my descent into the vast well of US candy. *sploosh*

Mm. It's like I'm drowning in a sea of high-fructose corn syrup.

Jaffa Cakes Scary Cake Bars

Hey, why not? Let's start off with the only real Halloween thing here: Lemon and "Slime" flavoured Jaffa Cake bars.

I really loved the tangy layer of jelly here: it had a nice, tasty lemon and lime flavour that I thought went great with the dark chocolate coating. The base here though, I found a little dry. I guess it had about the same consistency as the bases in regular Jaffa Cakes -  which I love, dearly :D -  but in a cake bar like this, with a much thicker layer of cake-type stuff, I'd have preferred it to be a little moister. I'll give these a four out of five.

4/5 / 5

Naturally, I'm rating everything here on a scale of tossers from RTE Two's embarrassing current idents out of 5, with making-tweed-cap-cool-again guy being the lowest, and inappropriate-internet-posting guy being the highest.

No wonder no one watches TV any more.

Junior Mints

A brand I've heard thrown around a lot in old sitcoms and the like; inside these was a soft - I'd say even bordering on wet - mint fondant, surrounded by what the pack claims is "rich dark chocolate", but it seemed to have the taste and texture of a pretty so-so chocolate-flavoured coating to me. The fondant was great though; there was a real good mintiness to it. And while the coating didn't quite live up to the pack's lofty claims, it was still serviceable enough to give you the classic, dark chocolate and mint combination they're going for. That, along with the melt in the mouth fondant made these addictive as hell.

5/5 / 5

Wonka Nerds Bumby Jelly Beans

These guys were jelly beans on the inside, surrounded by thick, hard, bumpy shells. The shells I really loved. They had a great mouth feel to them, to borrow a phrase from the early days of the Bombcast: sort of pleasingly smooth, but bumpy at the same time (insert dildo joke here). The flavours I thought were great too, though they weren't especially easy to identify. I'm still not sure what the red and green ones were supposed to be. But, along the grape, lemon and orange, they were very tasty nonetheless. The jelly beans inside though, aside from being vaguely sweet, I found to be almost flavourless. Granted, I'm not a big fan of jelly beans in general, but I still feel I've had better than the ones inside here. Those shell though: damn.

4/5 /5

Hawaiian Punch Candy Chews

Maybe I just saw the wrappers here and jumped to conclusions, but I was really expecting these to be taffy, pretty much. Unfortunately, the chewiness just wasn't there. These started off with a consistency kind of like chewing gum before quickly melting away into nothing. Even as basic chews, I wouldn't really rate these. Getting on to the flavours, these were quite a mixed bad, if you'll excuse the terrible pun. The green berry wasn't bad, falling somewhere between lime and apple; not really getting the "berry" though. The orange was pretty much your typical bad orange candy flavour, which always tastes to me like a gross satsuma. The blue ones, I guess if you use your imagination you could just about get a blue raspberry flavour from them, but to me - and maybe my taste buds are fucked at this point :D - they tasted quite similar to the orange ones, so also terrible. The lemon berry squeeze definitely had a hint of lemon in there, but the prevailing flavour I got from them was, weirdly, cherry cola. Those were actually pretty damn good though. Finally, the fruity juicy reds; it might be further evidence that my taste buds have packed in, but cherry cola was what I got from these ones too, just a slightly more watered-down version. Still, those were petty good too. A few good flavours, but overall, these were quite disappointing.

2/5 /5

0% Vitamin A, C, Calcium and Iron. That's good eatin'!