Posting about posts

I added a few links. It’s been a few days since the last update, so I figured I’d do something. ChatRadio is more or less dead. I’m still not totally sure. Oh yeah, and you’ll have noticed if you’re reading this, but I decided to archive my news posts. It’s not like they’re important or anything, but there are some nice memories hidden in there somewhere.

Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising

Yet again, I’ve been downloading ROMs. I know it’s wrong, but I just can’t help myself. They bring so much happiness. It’s kinda like… errr… “killin’ kittens”. Actually, that’s exactly what it’s like. They both involve plenty of use of my hands and generally make use of the internet as well. But, I digress, that’s not exactly the kind of thing that I want my site (or myself, for that matter) to be known for. So as I was saying, I was downloading ROMs yet again.

This time around, it wasn’t just to see what was there and take whatever had the most colourful screenshots. No, this time I had a mission. I was looking for Rock ‘N Roll Racing. Why Rock ‘N Roll Racing? I’m not sure myself. But it might have something to do with the fact that just before this ROM search, I read something about it on Planet GameCube. I’m still not sure why I wanted to play it. I don’t really like racing games. Especially ports of SNES racing games. Before you say anything, F-Zero: Maximum Velocity and Mario Kart: Super Circuit were not ports. Just sequels. Rather good sequels at that.

Back to the story. Have you ever been looking for something and then found something better? And I’m not talking looking for a cookie and finding donuts, I’m talking about searching for coin and finding a wad of bills. Oh yeah, what I found instead (probably) kicks Rock ‘N Roll Racing‘s ass into next week. Maybe. I never actually found the ROM, I just settled after I found Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising. Mostly because I’m too damn lazy to search any archives and if it’s not on the first page it’s not worth it to me. So with the intro out of the way, onto the review!

Way back when, sometime in 2001 I think, Advance Wars was released for the GameBoy Advance. My friends got it some time around Christmas, I borrowed my brother’s copy, and we played the Hell out of the game. Almost every day during spare and lunch we could be found in the cafeteria playing Advance Wars, or on occasion Bomberman Tournament. I still think the best time was when we were forced to spend gym class in the library and we stealthily played in the little cubicle thingys. In any case, it was a great game.

Just the beginning

Now, 2 years later, Advance Wars 2 appears. The only question that you ask is “what could they possibly add to Advance Wars?”. And let me tell you, that is a really good question. I’ll cover that more in-depth later, but for now my answer is this “Not a whole lot”. AW2 relies mostly on the greatness of the first game and the name recognition to get anywhere. It’s a lot like the MegaMan series. But like I say so often when it comes to sequels; if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Go T-Copter!

“So if there’s nothing new about it, why should I buy it and not just play the first one?” Maybe I wasn’t very clear the first time around. There are indeed new things added to expand the game, but there is actually very little. I haven’t even scratched the surface of this monster, so I don’t know if my account of the new stuff is accurate or not, but I have a pretty good idea of what’s new. In short, there are a bunch of new CO’s and one new unit, which (at first) appears to be available only to the enemy. Also, a whole bunch of new campaign missions and a couple other, less impressive, features.

You just know it's gonna be good

The actual gameplay is the real gem in both AW and AW2. It’s a turn based strategy game, and obviously enough, it’s about war. While some may complain that turn based is crap and it should be more of an RTS, the majority loves AW the way it is. I agree, since I don’t think all that fast when it comes to strategy. Actually, I barely think at all when it comes to strategy. My usual tactic is to assemble a massive force and mow down my enemies. It might sound like a good idea, but it generally takes time and money, both of which you don’t get a lot of. Did I mention that it’s really, really hard?

Yeah. Hard as stone. Or at least I think it is. I’ve never been able to finish the original, and I don’t think that I’ll do much better at AW2, because they say it’s got “improved AI”. Improved AI only means that it’ll kick my ass faster than it did the last time around. I’m just asking for an easy mode. My strength lies in platformers, not strategy games. Anyway, most AW gurus will probably tell you it’s not that hard, but just ask any of them to get an S rank on every Campaign and War Room mission and they’ll lose their lustre in the blink of an eye.

Not very far yet...

I suppose I should explain what a “turn-based strategy game” is for the newbies. On the other hand, anyone who visits this site is more than likely well acquainted with AW. The general idea is that there are two armies. Each gets a turn to move their units, and then the next day starts. On the player’s turn, they can move their units, attack the enemy, capture cities/bases, build new units, look at game info and stuff like that. Sometimes, there will be three or four players, which could help or hinder you, depending on your alliances. The only real problem with this way of playing is that you have to wait for the other players to finish their turn, and if they think hard or are distracted easily, you’re in for a long wait.

Here comes the BOOM!

Now what are these “units” I have spoken of so often? They’re what you control. They can be soldiers, tanks, planes, subs, and various other crap. Each army has it’s own model of every unit type, and they range from cool-looking to “Who would build that?”-looking. But for the record, regardless of appearance, all the armies have the exact same units, and they all have the exact same abilities. The thing that makes one army different from the other are the COs, but more on that later. As for the different types of units, you’ve got soldiers, tanks, planes, subs, and …I went over that already. Damn. All the standard war-type stuff you would expect. My personal favourite unit is… ummm… I guess I really don’t have a favourite. They all have their ups and downs, mostly revolving around firepower, movement, and range. Some can hit hard, some can move far, and some can fire at ungodly distances. In the end, you have to pool them all together to be successful.

The one thing that kind of disappointed me was the fact that Nintendo only added one new unit. Yeah, that’s right, one. And you can’t even use it until you’re noticeably far in the game. Even then you have to find the four hidden plans and beat the extra missions to get it. But what is this weapon that is worth so much trouble? Well, my friends and not-friends, it’s called the “Neo Tank”. Matrixy.

Neo Tank, armed with the mighty NEW CANNON!

Look at that sucker. I thought that Tiberian Sun was the only game where tanks had legs. But since the world exists only to prove me wrong, there it is. I’m not sure if they’re actually legs, I haven’t actually used one as of yet. My plan is to beat the first AW before I move any further in 2. Looks like I might never pick up this game again. *sigh*

Look! It's Santa!

Moving on, I think I should explain the COs now. There are 5 armies/countries in Wars World (props to whoever thought that up). Every army is composed of three Commanding Officers, except for Orange Star and Black Hole, who have five each. In the first game it was every country for itself, but now Orange Star, Blue Moon, Green Earth, and Yellow Comet have formed an alliance. Anyway, you get to pick a CO to play as for every mission. Except for the ones where you can’t choose, which seem to be much more abundant. Each CO has different strengths and weaknesses. For example, Max’s units get high firepower while indirect units have lower range/firepower and Kanbei’s units are strong, but they cost a lot more to deploy. They’re all different. As a nice little bonus, Nintendo added a CO effect chart, which shows how each CO affects their units.

Unit strengths/weaknesses

The Legend

Also, every CO has two CO Powers (bar Sturm, who only has one). In AW, they only had one, but now they have two. You’ll have to take damage and deal damage to charge up enough power to use one of these Powers. Obviously, one is a Super CO Power and takes longer to charge than the other, less impressive power. As you might have guessed, the powers usually capitalize on the CO’s strength or negates their weakness. I’ll use newcomer Colin as an example. His units cost less, but in turn, they’re weak. His Co Power, Gold Rush, multiplies his funds by 1.5. His Super CO Power, Power of Money, gives his units a power boost proportional to his funds (more cash, more power).

Unlike the pitiful addition to the units, there is a significant increase in COs. The allied countries all gained one new CO, and Black Hole has recruited four of ’em. So the total number of COs has gone from 11 to 19. The only problem is that you might never be able to actually play as all of them. You’re faced with the daunting task of unlocking all of them except for Andy, Max, and Sami(the arguable ‘main characters’). Doing this will more than likely involve going through the entire campaign mode several times. I don’t know for sure, but that how it worked in the first AW game. and that’s why I’ve never gotten any of them.

Andy! Get out of my pants!

Let’s see, what haven’t I mentioned? I guess some other changes that are noteworthy should be worthily noted. Black Hole get a whole slew of special stuff. They’ve got huge canons, missile silos, pipes for blocking your progression, and that kind of stuff. I’m pretty sure that it’s all Campaign mode exclusive, because, like I said, I really haven’t explored all the game’s modes all too thoroughly. The Map Editor is rumoured to have new options(possibly the canons and such). There’s a stupid ‘Color Edit’ mode, where you can change your CO’s colours to preselected colours. Not exactly what I’d call ‘editing’. And then there’s apparently an unlockable Sound Test mode. Those are always good. Gotta love the Sound Test. I guess I should mention that like every good movie and game, AW2 gives every character his or her own theme music. I gotta get me summa that.

The laughable colour edit mode

Next is, next is, next is gameplay modes! There are a few to choose from here, most prominently would be the Campaign mode, which takes you on a long and arduous journey to stop the Black Hole army. The next most important is the Vs. mode, in which you can partake in a battle against friends or CPU players. For the hardcore strategist, AW2 brings back the War Room, with all of the original scenarios, plus some new ones. Then we have the highly acclaimed Map Editor mode, which could be glitched up in the original game to edit the Campaign levels. Then there’s Hachi’s shop. It’s where you ‘unlock’ everything with the cash you win in the Campaign and War Room. That’s about it. I can’t remember is Field Training was actually an option or if it was just integrated into the Campaign mode this time.

Aren't dawns usually orange?

Heya, Hachi!

Now that I think I’ve told you about all the important stuff, onto the review! As I’m going to make a habit of, I’ll start with graphics. The actual in-game graphics are the exact same as AW. No difference at all. Of course, that not necessarily a bad thing. All cartoony looking and happy. The CO portraits have changed from the first game, not in quality, but mostly in pose. The most notable change is Olaf, who has gone from a comical fatman to a serious blue Santa. The rest of the game’s look has changed dramatically, especially the victory screen backgrounds, which have gone from simple ‘shape’ backgrounds to almost realistic portrait-type things. Overall, the graphics look very, very nice in AW2.

I am invincible!

Next, we’ve got sounds and music under the scope. While AW2 is missing the trademark Nintendo voice samples, it’s not without it’s aural charm. The SFX are limited to mostly explosions and vehicle moveage sounds. Yeah. That’s about it. Maybe some menu sounds too. The music is a mixed bag. All the COs have their own theme, and then there’s the menu themes. Most of ’em are catchy war-sounding stuff, but a couple of the themes can get really annoying. It gets really bad when one of said themes plays over and over every turn because all the players chose the same character. But the sound is the easiest category to cope with, cause if you don’t like it, turn it off and turn on the Slipknot. Easy as pie.

Control is a bit of a gimme in this situation. You really can’t screw up controls when they involve only pointing and clicking. Even that is simplified by making the battlefield a grid. You don’t have to worry about making quick movements or something like that. Just point, click, and watch. But all in all, the controls are nice and responsive anyway.

Now presentation, oh presentation. This is where the game goes leaps and bounds above pretty much everything. The intro video alone has got enough attitude to rival a biker gang and the entire WWE cast. The menus are slick and easy to navigate. In-game meters and such are less clunky looking than last time around. It all just comes together so nicely that you wouldn’t believe. I can’t begin to tell you how much style this game has got. It’s beyond amazing. If you played AW and then immediately switched to AW2, you’d probably get the impression that you started playing a whole different game.(Technically it is a whole different game, but in reality it’s just an extension of the first. Like Mario Sunshine to Mario 64.). I’m very, very impressed by the turn AW has taken.

Great, Nell is back...

As for gameplay, like I said, it’s absolutely identical to the first except for a few little tweaks and additions. Very challenging strategy game that could easily become more universally loved than chess, if everyone had (cheap) access to it. Seriously speaking, probably the best strategy game I’ve played in a long time. Of course the experience only gets better if you play with friends. And even better if you play against greenhorns after getting your ass handed to you by the CPU. The only qualm I have with it is that it is a very, very slow paced game and can take around half an hour to finish a single mission. Only recommended for patient people who’ve got time on their hands.

Go B-Copter!

There isn’t a whole lot else I can say about it. Okay, I lied. There’s a lot more I can say about it, but more words equals more pics and more pics equals more frustration and less site space. So I’ll just finish it up now by saying that Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising would be a wise investment for anyone who owns a GameBoy Advance/SP, even moreso if you don’t have the first, because (once again) it’s pretty much the same game. But hey, who am I to tell you what to do with your cash? I’ll let the proper advertisement agencies do that. But, uh, do yourself a favour and at least borrow it from a friend. AW2 really is the kickass game of the summer.

Henshin-a-go-go, baby! That was long. I’m gonna have to start taking word counts for these things. And actually using a spellchecker rather than just skimming over it to pick out obvious errors. But maybe I won’t keep word counts, cause then I’d feel pressured to actually keep up the pace of lots of words. So far I think the Hulk article was the longest, but this one might be a bit longer. As long as you people don’t actually expect anything from me, we’ll get along nicely.

Back to the topic, I had the option to actually purchase the game recently. I passed it up for the GameBoy Player though, and I stand by my decision. My b-day is only two months away (quite literally), and I can wait that long. Then Advance Wars 2 and MegaMan Battle Network 3 will be mine! Aah sequels, is there anything they can’t do?


Rise of the Exaggerations

Summer is still busy, I’m still procrastinating, and the article is due out Wednesday. I guessed Monday, but I still have to take the pics, and you wouldn’t believe how monotonous it is unless you actually did it. Screenshots = no fun. Anyway, the actual writing is all done, so it’s just the pics and I can put it up. But I’m not doing it today. Not until the shock of how fricking great Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines is wears off. I knew it would be good, but it as just beyond words. Go see that movie right now. It’s worth every last penny you’ll spend on it. Hell, it’s worth double admission. I’m serious. Why are you still reading this? Get to that damn movie. I guarantee you will love it.
~Ryan out.

Going off on a rant here…

I guess that firstly, I should inform you that this “article” is not all that it appears to be. In fact, it is not an article at all, it’s just a collective embodiment of my biggest complaints at this point in time. It’s not intended to be funny at all, but if you wanna laugh at/with me, go nuts. If you do read it, at the end you’ll probably think “Man, this guy has it easy” because most of this stuff is rather trivial, but it plays a large part in my life, so I’m gonna rant about it. Got it? Good. Also, a lot of it might not make sense to you, but don’t worry, it makes sense in my head, and that’s all that really matters.

The first thing I wanna complain about is file-sharing. Specifically music. Now all was well and good back in the days of Napster supremacy, but it’s gone steadily downhill. I know that technically it’s wrong to do, but everyone who has a computer, internet access, and the ability to hear does it. Hell, I’m sure even deaf people do it just to smite whoever the Hell they might wanna smite. Now there’s seventy-billion-and-one file sharing programs out there, and 98.7% of them are virtually (and I use that in the literal sense) drenched in Spyware. Now I’m not sure exactly what the purpose of this Spyware is, but I do know that it decreases the performance of my PC by 200%, and that’s not including the lag that’s caused by legitimate programs. And then it’s impossible to properly clean out of the system without permanetly screwing it over. Then you’ve gotta reformat the whole damn thing. And for waht? A couple songs from a slutty popstar or ass-stupid (I stand by my phrasing) rapper. And the people who make these things are probably “rotfltao” because they know they’ve killed the computers of everyone else in the world. Like I said, everyone and his grandma are in on this thing. Computers aren’t just for us geeks anymore. But that’s another rant. My second problem with these “P2Ps” is the actual probability of getting what you want. Fisrt off, we have idiots who rename files to something completely different. Say you want the new Saliva song for some reason. You wait however long your connection feels necessary and then you discover that your time has been wasted on “The Ketchup Song”. Which, while I’m here, is probably the worst song that I’ve ever heard, and I’ve been exposed to a lot of crappy music. Then there’s the people who take the chorus of a song repeat it over and over for ten minutes, and then stick that file up as if it’s the real deal. It wouldn’t be so bad, but the morons who eventually come into posession of these things actually keep them and then they spread even further and the real file become rarer than some really rare thing. I mean come on people! Why the Hell would you keep a song that is so clearly a ruse meant to appease the fad-followers instead of deleting it and trying to find the real one? Just more proof that humanity’s collective intelligence had dropped dangerously low.

Finally we’ve got the problem of horrible waits. Depending on which program you’re using, D/Ling one 2-minute song could take weeks. WinMX, for example very rarely has any content available, you’re always in a queue. Then once you do start downloading, the connection is lost or the user from whom you’re taking the file logs out. It only gets worse when you want video files. They’re huge, and coupled with the problems above, they can literally take forever to finish. Sure you could get lucky and find a file which doesn’t have 2000 people waiting in line to get it, but I’ll fly before that ever happens. Lastly, I’m tackling porn. It’s everywhere. You can’t search for a single item without at least 5 results related to porn. Sure, if it’s what you’re looking for that’s all well and good, but 7 year-olds are using these things for God’s sake. Kids are already slutting themselves out at the grade 5 level, all we need is for the elementary kids to start. It doesn’t help that most of the popular music is strongly encouraging that kind of behaviour. Seriously, people like Eminem and Christina Ag-whatever should really think about what they’re teaching their largest audiences. I don’t know about you, but I don’t everwant to see a world led by the youth of today.

Now, I’ve gotta do some complaining about technology, but mosly about computers and computer-related things. Wait… that is technology. And the P2Ps fall into that catgory too… Whatever. The biggest thing right now is the one thing that is least complained about. The mouse. No, not the rodent, stupid. That little thing attached to your computer that makes things happen when you push on it. Now in a normal scenario, I have nothing to complain about, but my scenario isn’t normal. I have a battery-operated mouse. I wanna slap the idiot who came up with this idea. But then again, I wanna slap everyone. It’s a huge problem in my household, becasue we never, ever, buy batteries until we need them. My mom thought it was a gesture of kindness to buy this for us, and I don’t blame her, she’s not all up to speed on these kind of things. And besides, we really needed a new mouse. Now I’m fine if it dies. I can navigate everything I need to without the help of the mouse, but everyone else is pretty much cut off from the PC until someone goes out and gets new batteries. Which alone, can take weeks. And think of all the other non-geeks who get one of these babies. Totally screwed. What are they to do? Sure they could use the batteries from the TV remote, but then they can’t surf the music video channels and use the computer at the same time.

As I mentioned earlier, all the cool and socially accepted people are getting into computers now. It’s not just a geek hobby anymore. But what do they use them for? Instant messenging and downloading music. Gone are the days of actually going to see your friends, now you just see their font. Now you may call me a hypocrite because I myself use MSN Messenger to do most of my conversing. Be that as it may, but I’m a one of the poeple who has other computer needs, such as webmastering, gaming, and that tiny bit of programming I used to do so badly. That and I’m very introverted, so it’s a lot easier for me to talk to people when it’s not face-to-face. My brother always begs to get on the computer “just so he can see who’s online”. Yup, I live with a veritable IM-man-slut. If you need proof, I’ll send some of the chat logs he so willingly keeps. I just think that internet chatting on a whole is a stupid thing. I’m the last person to say it, but we’re gonna get very, very distant from one another someday. And it’s not gonna be too long before verbal communication all but disappears. Back to the topic at hand though, we’ve got everyone on the internet now. Actually, besides the whole IM thing and all-around slowing down the net, that’s about all I can pull from it.

I really want to rag on PC’s now. It’s a very thin line between love and hate with ’em. Yes, I spend most of my time with my computer, but it’s also the source of 80% of my anger and frustration. If the damn thing woudln’t be such a pile of crap, maybe I could get some real use out of it. As you may or may not know, I’m first and foremost a gamer. Everything else comes second. Unfortunately, my PC was optimized for gaming 5 years ago, if not more. Even then, optimized is being nice. Really nice. Nowadays, I can’t even install most of the games that I’d like to play because my PC is so damn outdated. And it’s not like it’s cheap to get a new PC either. Luckily, I can fall back on my precious consoles, which don’t need to be updated every week so that they can play the newest game. It makes no sense to increase the system requirements every damn time they make a game. There should be options for those like me who can’t afford to drop several grand on new computer parts every month. The other thing that really saves me here is that for the most part, I love old games and would choose a bunch of NES ROMS over some repeated first-person shooter anyday. But there’s still the strategy games that I love so much. All of them have made this huge leap from fake 3D to real 3D, effectively disabling me from playing them. I’m talking mainly about Command & Conquer here. SimCity 4 probably doesn’t have that much on 3000, but C&C Generals makes me salivate and I can’t do a damn thing but watch the intro scene play at 60 frames per hour.

The last thing I have to complain about here is the overall terribleness of Windows. It just can’t do anything right. I know that anyone who knows a lick about computers will be laughing their asses of when they read this, but all I want is a computer that can just work 100%. No “System errors” or “Your registy is screwed. I’ll have to restart fifty times now”; just smooth workage. It’s hard when you can’t do anything without being afraid of a freeze attack or haphazard closing of your current project. It’s bound to happen at least once every time you try to type something important. I can’t even run some of my older games because Windows is having it’s period and won’t respond to anything I do and makes a horrible buzzing noise after locking up the installation program. Not to mention that it’s extremely prone to buggage and other assorted virii. And it’s always hard for me to solve the constant problems, because in the art of computers, I’m still what my peers might call a padawan. I’m just lucky that my friends don’t charge for their services, or I’d have abandoned this thing altogether years ago.

Well, that’s all I really had to get off my chest today. After looking back at it, I was right, some of it might not make as much sense as it did while I was typing it, but it’s a rant, so it doesn’t necessarily have to make sense. It’s not like I thought it out like an article or review, I just let if flow into my fingers and let them do their work. Kinda subconsciously. I think I was actually paying more attention to the music I was listening to than what I was typing. I have some more things to complain about, but I’ll save them for the next rant, if I ever get around to doing another one. If I do, here are some things to look forward to, and to make sure I remember to mention them:

-crappiness of new games

-crappiness of new movies

-why waiting sucks


Play now, pay later

As promised, Chat Radio 10 is up and running. The BBQ was a debatable success, but I had a good time. I did learn that I can overexert myself with no immediate consequences, but after a few hours I begin to feel the tired. My body hurts all over and I just wanna sleep. I’m sure that there was something else I wanted to say but damned if I can remember.
~Ryan out

UPDATE! – Added a hit counter! Finally! Props to Edwin for finding the site that gave it to me.
~Ryan out, again

Cap’n Crunch’s Choco Donuts

They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I eat breakfast maybe 2 times a month. And that’s if I’m lucky. Maybe now that school is out I’ll be able to eat breakfast more often, seeing as I don’t have to get up and leave anymore. Really. School starts at 8:50, I get up and have a shower at 8:15, we leave at 8:30 and it’s a fifteen minute drive since we have to drop my brother(s) off as well. There’s absolutely no time in my morning for breakfast. Of course, you’re probably thinking that I could just wake up earlier, but I like my sleep, so to Hell with you.

Anyway, there’s been a plethora of different breakfast foods invented over time. Some making less sense than others, and some being much more loved than others. Honestly, I don’t think any meat (except for bacon) should be ingested before noon. It just doesn’t seem right. As for more loved than others, I haven’t encountered one person in my lifetime of introvertness that doesn’t love waffles. Everyone loves waffles, Eggo or otherwise. But the thing is, making waffles is a long and sticky procedure, and frozen waffles generally don’t come cheap. These factors make them a more rare breakfast food, possibly adding to the love.

But waffles are not today’s topic. Oh no, I’m going to delve into the realm of cereal. The most notorious of the food groups is also probably the biggest. There are literally billions of different types of cereals. And while most are the same things in different packaging, the sheer amount of cereals can make choosing one a long and arduous task, especially to those inexperienced in the field of breakfast-eating. Luckily for me, I am quite experienced in that particular field even if I don’t eat breakfast on a regular basis. So here we go.

I’ve tried pretty much every cereal out there. Well, to make that sentence a little more accurate, every cereal over here in Canada. Those damn Americans get so much more cereal than we do. But the goodness of the US exclusive stuff is kinda iffy. They’ve got Cookie Crisp and Coco Puffs, but they also have to put up with more varieties of that bran crap. We had Fruity/Cocoa Pebbles, but I think around the time they turned into flakes was when we stopped getting them. And that change is more than enough to make me stop liking them.

Today, though, I’ve picked up a new variation of an old favorite. Or a few days ago anyway. There’s a new Cap’n Crunch cereal on the market, and I figured that with the backing of such a famous cereal mascot, it had to be good. Cap’n Crunch is a rather large staple in the world of breakfast, producing the original Cap’n Crunh, Crunchberries, and Peanut Butter Crunch. But now he’s got a new trick up his sleeve. The Cap’n’s new cereal has taken a turn from corny bits to chocolatey circles. Enter Choco Donuts.

I’m working up to the good part, so I’ll start with a good look at the box. As we can see here, the Cap’n seems pretty happy with his newest creation. Though, soon enough, you’ll discover that the Cap’n is very, very wrong. Of course, they look really good. Little cereal donuts with sprinkles. How could that possibly go wrong? Did you ever try the Simpsons Cinnamon Donuts cereal? Donuts are one of the many foods that do not translate well into cereal. At the top right corner, we can also see that these little buggers are only available for a limited time. Trust me, in some cases, especially this one, the words “limited time” are a Godsend and not a curse.

Next we see the back of the box. There’s so much stuff going of here that I had to take several pictures of it just so that I could make fun of it all. At first glance, it seems to be some kind of assembly line. But if you look closer, you’ll see that it’s not regular assembly line. It’s an assembly line that forces children with a very loose grip on the English language to work day and night for not money, but Choco Donuts. Ladies and gentlemen, I think we’ve found our new Nike. And I always thought of Cap’n Crunch as more of an upstanding citizen. Every day I find out that I’ve been living another lie.

Look at that smug face. I bet he thinks that he’s gonna get away with this. Sure, he’s making it seem all nice and inviting us to his factory, but one day we’re gonna realize that nobody has ever come back from this “tour”. I wonder if he turns them into more slaves or if he just kills them all. Hmmm… If you look at the next picture, you’ll see that there’s a huge boiling vat of “chocolate”. I bet that’s where he puts the tourists. Yup. It seems like the general evil plot. Only one person can save us now. Only one person has enough power to defeat this evil Cap’n. That person is Count Chocula. Save us Count! Save us from this horrible man who turns people into oversized chocolate donuts!

Just further proof that Cap’n Crunch is working a factory of child slaves. Look at this poor boy. That Cap’n probably kidnapped him from his home country on one of his crunchberry expeditions. Not only was he only taught 3 debatable words, he also had to learn to say them in French. In an effort to make sure he didn’t sabotage the operation, they probably won’t let him learn any other words until the Choco Donuts campaign is over. And just look at that smile. How badly can you tell that there’s someone holding a gun to his back? If that isn’t a forced smile, people, I don’t know what is. And as for “Choc-O-Tize”, I think we all know that that comes nowhere close to an actual word.

Oh the horrors! First he’s kidnapping little African children, and now he’s going after the mentally handicapped! That poor girl probably doesn’t even realize that she’s working for nothing but crappy cereal. She’s just so mesmerized by all the colorful sprinkes that she’s lent herself to a lifetime of pulling a lever over and over and over and over and so forth. And I thought “Choc-O-Tize” was pretty bad as far as bad made-up words go, but “Sprinkle-Tize” just takes the cake. Really! They couldn’t have gone with an existing word like “Sprinkle!” could they? Even a word describing the machine like “Sprinkle Cannon!” Would have worked better. Screw you and your made-up words, Cap’n. You’ll also notice that on the big green machine that it says “Chocolate Donut Taste Injector”, which couldn’t be more worng, as you’ll soon see.

I think this girl is one of the Cap’n’s cronies rather than a slave. Look at her. She’s evil incarnate, I swear. “Wanna be Crunch-A-Tized?”. Come on, she’s pretty much asking if she can kill you right there. How can she not be evil? Now really, you have to wonder about “Crunch-A-Tize” as well. I’m pretty sure that the Cap’n has been using that one forever, but it’s still barely good enough to pass as a word. I guess if they added “bling bling” to the dictionary though, it’s not that far off. Dear God, what’s happened to this world? When did we go wrong? Everything seemed fine until those damn 60’s came along. I guess we’ve just been going downhill since then, and the pace is only getting faster. Yet another reason for me not to have kids.

I also wonder about that machine. It somehow manages to break a giant donut into perfect little copies. Now I could see it happening if the machine was a little bit more complex, but it’s just a big metal doorway-lookin’ thing attached to a pole. How could it possibly accomplish anything, never mind cloning mini-donuts? And why does it seem to be zapping the donut? It’s a big freaking piece of metal! It’s not even a big magnet or ray gun, which are more often associated with the little cartoon zap lines. And don’t gimme none of that “it’s magic” crap either. Of all the things the Cap’n ain’t, magic is very close to the top of the list. Other things include: thin, smart, heterosexual, [opposite of pedophile], sane.

Ah, the poor child thinks he’s getting just payment for his labor. Someone needs to go save these kids. Choco Donuts just aren’t good enough to replace money. Hell, they aren’t good enough to replace dog crap. “Sensass”? What the Hell is “Sensass”? I know my command of French isn’t exactly great, but I’m pretty sure that “sensass” isn’t a word. In any language. It’s probably something he was taught to say every hour so that the Cap’n would know it’s time for another …err… violation. Finally, I’ll point out that the cereal bits are not that big. Those things are the size of real donuts, not crappy little cereal donuts.

Possibly the only slightly redeeming quality of this cereal is the fact that buying it gives you the right to a free Dairy Queen Blizzard. That quality is instantly nullified by the fact that it’s a Choco Donuts flavoured Blizzard. I suppose if you went and picked out all the cereal bits it would be fine, but if you ate it as it is, you’d have one Hell of a sore upper mouth. As we all know Cap’n Crunch cereals are famous for their upper mouth ripping ability, and I assume that when frozen, the shreddage would only be amplified.

On the side of the box, there’s an advertisement for the Cap’n Crunch website. I bet the Cap’n taught toddlers to do HTML and forced them to make it in exchange for clean diapers. I’m not even gonna think about visiting that site. “Game Mania” just doesn’t strike me as something completely legit. I mean they didn’t even use a hyphen when it so obviously need to be there. And I like my desktop the way it is, thank you. Last time I played a Cap’n Crunch game I strongly considered killing myself and everyone within a [Earth’s diameter] kilometer distance. It was really bad. It was some kind of mix between Pokemon(Game Boy) and Decathlon(Atari). Both were awesome games, so you’d think mixing them would create a super-game of some sort. But no, it just led to mounds upon mounds of crappiness and wasted life.

Now we get too the actual cereal. I actually think it looks good. Presentation counts for a lot less when it comes to cereal though, so it can’t save itself. Did anyone ever try those Oreo O’s? Well, in short, they taste about twenty times better than this crap, and they have the exact same taste as cardboard. I know this because in the interest of science, I have indeed chewed on cardboard. As I stated earlier, Cap’n Crunch cereals will maul the top of your upper mouth. Surprisingly enough, the Choco Donuts do a lot less damage than the original cereal does. Not to say that it’s not still a significant amount of damage, but at least the Choco Donuts won’t carry the taste of blood after a few mouthfuls.

Look at that, the Jawa won’t even eat them. And you just know they’re bad when even a scavenger won’t eat them. Crap. Now that means that I’m gonna have to eat them. Personally, I think that they would have been better if it was normal Cap’n Crunch with sprinkles, or Crunchberries with sprinkles. In reality though, if these things do make their way into your home, let someone else eat them and then just eat the sprinkles out of the bottom of the package.

Speaking of package, look at that. This thing is tiny beyond belief. And that’s compared to a normal sized box of Lucky Charms. Imagine how small it would look next to one of those mega-sized boxes of Raisin Bran. I guess cereal boxes are going the way of computer game boxes. But with cereal, it makes a bit of a difference. Strangely enough, this box of Choco Donuts lasted a whole 3 days in my house. Usually cereal lasts about a day at the most before the 4 of us finish it off. That really tells you how bad the stuff is. There might have been the fact that it was competing against the Lucky Charms, but for the sake of comedy, we’ll forget that detail.

And that’s pretty much how it goes. In the ever-going battle for cereal dominance, Cap’n Crunch has lost a bit of his foothold with this little endeavor. I know that I’ve lost a lot of respect for the guy now that I know that he’s a big crook. As I said before, it’s a good thing that this is a “limited time” cereal. It’s certainly not fit to become a recurring part of anyone’s morning. What I don’t understand is why Apple Jacks always have “limited time” stamped on the box, yet they’ve been around for just under forever. Maybe I’ll tackle that mystery one day, but not today. Today I uncovered Cap’n Crunch’s big secret, and that’s enough work for a whole month when you’re me.

I know that I was saying something about a new article in the news, but this isn’t it. There’s still another one coming up soon. Probably late this week. I’m not sure what my original forecast was, but now it’s end of the week. Damn it, I’m doing it again. Must try to stay on topic for conclusions! Aah!

So in the end, the Choco Donuts really suck. Go get Shreddies instead. I love Shreddies. I love Shreddies so much that I did a speech about them back in in grade 9. It was great. We had this teacher who was really, really strict, and I made even him laugh. He tried to hide it, but he was practically rolling around on the floor. Ah, good memories. He taped it too, so if he hadn’t retired I would probably be able to track it down and make a transcript of it. But I think it would lose a lot of it’s comedic value if it was written rather than spoken. Oh well.