Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: September 2022

~ Game Over ~

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 (Switch) – It was a Xenoblade, alright! And an excellent one at that. I’m writing up some additional thoughts that may or may not ever get published, but the most important takeaway is that I enjoyed every one of the 100+ hours that I spent on it.

TMNT: Fall of the Foot Clan (GB) – A fairly simple platformer/punch-’em-up. Short, easy, and not especially special in any way.

TMNT: Back From the Sewers (GB) – Graphically, a huge step up from FotFC. On the other hand, it’s so brutally hard (on normal!) that I would have lost my mind without rewinds/save states.

TMNT: Radical Rescue (GB) – This one’s a mini-metroidvania, though a little more linear than that descriptor suggests. It’s not quite as unfair as BFtS, except for the bosses, who will absolutely make you pull your hair out.

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Pokémon and Stuff

We are less than two months away from the release of Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet, and that means that I’ve basically just got Pokémon on the brain at all times. The Pokémon Company has been slowly releasing details about the games, and it’s looking real good! In particular, the new Paldean Pokémon that have been shown off so far are awesome pretty much across the board. Especially Klawf! A new crab! And it’s derpy as all heck!

That said, I came here today not to write directly about Pokémon, but rather a YouTube channel that specializes in Pokémon. I started watching Lockstin & Gnoggin earlier this year, and have since caught up on a lot of their back catalog. The main draw of this channel is the analysis of Pokémon designs and theorizing about their inspirations. Many Pokémon are a lot more complicated than you might think! There are also plenty of videos about lore, moves, types, so on and so forth. What really sells it for me is that these are almost all educational videos presented through a Pokémon lens, which makes them a lot more entertaining than some dude just dryly blah blah blahing about whatever topic.

That said: here’s the video they did on Klawf! Go learn about crabs!

The Numbers of Zelda

I played every main game in The Legend of Zelda series last year, and recorded those playthroughs for YouTube content. This is old news. But in the highly unlikely scenario where this is someone’s very first TE post, that sentence provides important context.

What’s news to everyone, though, is that I’ve kept all of those videos on my hard drive all this time because I wanted to look at some of the technical stats of that whole situation, and just haven’t gotten around to it. But I need to reclaim some of that hard drive space, so now is the time! Firstly, I want to look at how long each game took to play:

The Legend of Zelda3:48:31
The Adventure of Link5:53:09
A Link to the Past6:44:26
Link’s Awakening8:15:57
Oracle of Seasons9:08:20
The Minish Cap10:12:09
Four Swords Adventures10:32:22
Oracle of Ages10:34:34
Phantom Hourglass11:46:28
A Link Between Worlds12:42:18
Spirit Tracks13:16:06
Ocarina of Time13:33:15
Majora’s Mask14:03:44
The Wind Waker14:32:19
Twilight Princess19:32:00
Breath of the Wild24:10:32
Skyward Sword26:58:39
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it is mystery

itemLabel is a… revenge based item company? What is happening here? Why can’t I stop watching?

It all started a couple days ago when I go this video as an ad on Youtube…

Honestly, I think it’ll be most rewarding if you take the initiative and dive into the lore of these weird-ass plushies on your own, rather than just having me summarize it for you.

If you need more incentive, here is the description of Peepy from the itemlabel.com store: “After committing a dangerous and disrespectful crime, Peepy is out on bail and ready to come to your house.”

Have a great time!

Le Burger Week 2022

Firstly, I have no idea why there is a “Le” in Le Burger Week. Presumably to make it seem fancier, but let’s be honest, it comes across as more pretentious than anything.

I had a total of five Le Burger Week burgers, which isn’t all that many, considering that Le Burger Week is actually a two-week-long affair now and there are hundreds -possibly even thousands (I didn’t count)- of entrees entries to choose from. I typically try three burgers a year, so five is way above average. I’d go for more, but since these are limited time burgs, you know darn well that they jack up the price on ’em. I can’t be taking out a second mortgage to afford more burgers!

That’s What Cheese Said

“Two grilled smash patties smothered in our house-made Red Ale Beer cheese sauce, topped with Candied Bacon, Crispy Fried onions & Pickles. All on a toasted Brioche Bun brushed with garlic butter topped with rock salt.”

This burg was… very, very good. Definitely up there on the scale of all the Le Burger Week burgers that I’ve tried. While there isn’t anything overly special about it, but that cheese sauce was to die for, and I also really appreciated the garlic butter on the bun. The fries, sadly, left a little bit to be desired. In the moment, I kinda wished I hadn’t bought them and had just made my own instead.

Terry’s thumbs-up is a little sideways, but rest assured that he approves.

Dr. Drake Ramoray

“A delicious Italian sausage and beef patty topped with tomato pancetta jam, lemon basil mayo, banana peppers, Monterey jack cheese, red onion, and field greens served on a brioche bun.”

I really hate to say this, but I was not crazy about this burgaroonie. The beef/sausage combo patty just didn’t work for me at all, and likely would have killed it no matter what the other toppings were. To make matters worse, I didn’t even taste the banana peppers, which sucks because usually they’re very flavourful and make everything better. At least it came with a nice, big pickle spear.

Squirtle is putting on a brave face, but he knows it’s not a great burg.

A Berry Berry Gouda Burger

“This burger is packed full of berry gouda things! Two handmade Smitty’s burger patties, topped with melted smoked gouda cheese, crispy blueberry bacon, and smothered in raspberry chipotle BBQ sauce. Finished with honey Sriracha aioli & crispy cajun onion tanglers.”

Look, I’m not going to lie here, this may be the absolute best cheeseburger that I’ve ever eaten. I don’t have a connoisseur’s palate, and I have no idea how to write about food, but just know that the combination of flavours on this burg worked. They worked hard. They put in a full eight-hour shift and then took on a few overtime hours to help make sure that the rest of the team hit their deadlines. I think the key must have been the raspberry chipotle sauce. I would like to get some for myself so I can put it on crackers and other things. Food things.

Pac-Man not only approves, but is strongly considering going back for another.

The Cows Were Vegan Burger

“Yo dawg, we heard you like beef, so we put some beef in your beef burger so you can eat some extra beef with your beef. Our braised beef burger is a delicious 100% beef 6oz patty perfectly seared, topped with slow cooked BBQ braised beef, with a couple hefty boy onion rings. Add on some smoked cheddar, miso infused mayo, and fresh made pico de gallo, and you’ve got a burger that’ll have you coming back for more, we guarantee it.”

While I enjoyed this burger, there wasn’t anything that really stood out about it. I remember when having onion rings on a burger was novel and exciting, but I think I may be a little desensitized to it at this point. Like, it’s still good, but it doesn’t get my coals burning, you know? What’s most interesting here is that this burger has a different name depending on where you look it up. The name listed above is from the Le Burger Week website, but on the DoorDash app, it’s simply called the “BBQ Chuck Burger”, which is much less creative. It caused me no end of confusion when I was doing the research to put this post together.

No amiibos were present for this burger, and were thus unavailable to provide an opinion.

The Golden Hour

“Double Smash Patty (2x 3oz All Beef Chuck) With Cheddar & Monterey Jack Cheese, Hickory Smoked Peppered Bacon, Jack Daniel’s Whiskey & Sugar Glazed Onions Sautéed In Garlic & Herb Butter, Thin Crispy Butter Frites, Baby Purple & Green Lettuce Mix, Vine Ripe Tomato, White Truffle Aioli & Black Garlic Aioli Sauces. Comes On A Custom Burnt Sugar Potato Bun!”

Honestly, there are so many different flavours here, it was hard to really tell anything apart, but MAN did they ever come together nicely! I would reckon that this is probably my second-favourite burgie of the year, edging out That’s What Cheese Said by just a little bit. As an interesting side note, the restaurant that I got this burger from serves nothing but this burger and fries, so it’s probably a ghost kitchen created entirely because some random dude really wanted to enter his burger idea in Le Burger Week. That or it’s a money laundering front or something.

Zelda also greatly enjoyed this burger, but her gloves were an absolute disaster afterward.

Nintendo Direct 9.13.2022

Yep, it’s that time again. Time to read my knee-jerk reactions to all the games that appear in Nintendo’s newest hype commercial. Let’s-a go!

Fire Emblem Engage – I like the trailer, and it looks amazing, but I just don’t really care about Fire Emblem that much. However, there’s only room for Square-Enix TRPGs in my life.

It Takes Two – Released on every other platform last year, it was a big hit, but I just can’t be bothered. It’s a co-op game, after all, and I have no co with whom to op.

Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse: One day, I’ll get into the Fatal Frame series. I’ve always been very interested, but never made the time. Probably won’t happen in 2022, though. Fun Fact: My ex-wife who wasn’t really into video games had played more Fatal Frames than I have.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 DLC – A new Hero character, challenge battle mode, and… swimsuits… of course. Dammit, Japan. *smh*

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It’s Donatellos all the way down

This blog, as long-time readers know, is pretty much my never-ending quest to preserve the absolute dumbest thoughts that go through my brain. Today, we take a look at the box art of TMNT: The Cowabunga Collection in hopes of discovering the graphic designer’s favourite turtle.

Hey, I prefaced this with a disclaimer that it’s stupid. You were warned!

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Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: August 2022

~ Game Over ~

Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak (Switch) – Cleared all the story missions. While the Sunbreak expansion does seem a little bit light on content for the price, at least I know there are at least two more major (and free!) updates on the way. Moved onto grinding anomaly quests now, and I feel like that could honestly last a very long time if there weren’t so many other games to play.

Subnautica (PS5) – Still not a perfect experience, but significantly more stable than when I played the PS4 version last year. It didn’t crash even once this time!

Whisperwind (PC) – Indie spook-’em-up that is mostly walking, with some very basic puzzles. Got all four endings in well under an hour.

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This is now a donut blog

Autumn is just around the corner, and that means that food-selling companies everywhere are starting to roll out their pumpkin spice menus. Tim Horton’s is no exception, and they have a pretty huge assortment of seasonal goodies, most of which are in fact, pumpkin spiced.

The only thing I’ve tried is the pumpkin spice dream donut, and that’s probably the way it’s going to stay.

This is a pretty big departure from the usual “some combination of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg” that usually comprises any kind of pumpkin spice flavouring. This donut has actual pumpkin seeds on it! Wild! And it’s quite delicious, but that’s not why I’m writing about it today.

Did you know that pumpkin seeds are edible? I didn’t! Every single jack-o-lantern prep I’ve ever been part of, or even just witnessed, had the seeds removed from the pumpkin and thrown in the trash. And, okay, maybe they’re edible but gross, so people just chuck ’em in the bin. But that’s not the case! They’re really friggin’ good! I don’t know if Tim’s has worked some kind of black magic on their seeds to make them as delicious as they are, but holy smokes I’ve never eaten a seed that satisfied my palate the may that those pumpkin seeds did. Pumpkin seeds are definitely something I’m going to be investigating further as a potential snack.

Also, I didn’t notice it before, but doesn’t that icing drizzle look like hot glue? Like, the fact that it’s not completely opaque is really weird to me. Or maybe it’s just a trick of the light, I don’t know.

Back to 4546B

Last year, I spent a couple weeks playing Subnautica very obsessively. I played it and played it, and not only completed the game but got the platinum trophy. Despite the fact that it was one of the most broken, unpolished games I’ve ever played, I had such a good time with it that I included it on my Top 10 Video Games of 2021 list.

And yet, even after all that, I could not shake Subnautica from my mind. I don’t want to say that I’ve thought about it every day since then, but at least every week. And I’m not even exaggerating. But I refrained from starting a new game, because I felt that Subnautica’s greatest asset was the sense of discovery that it constantly fed to me throughout the, I don’t know, let’s say 50-ish hours that I spent with it. There’s no way I’d be able to recapture that same feeling again, now that I was exceptionally familiar with the game.

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