Thursday, August 30, 2012

Cafe Mediterranean

Some of you may have heard of the storm that hit the gulf-coast. Seeing as I live there I had to leave for a bit. Right now I'm staying in Ohio at my grandmothers house. I have a lot of relatives in Ohio and my parents have friends here as well, so an old friend of my mothers eMailed her and they talked on the phone. He asked us if we wanted to go out for dinner and mentioned that he knew several places around here. They decided to wait until we had gotten to his house and talked to discuss where to eat. After they had finished catching up on old a new times we asked where they wanted to eat and we talked about the local eateries and finally settled on the Cafe Mediterranean, a nice little place with good hummus. Hummus is garbanzos, olive oil, tahini, lemon and/or lime juice all mixed together into a paste that goes nice with any choice of bread or vegetables. Anyways, my family decided to go there because we all like Mediterranean food, and i like hummus a lot. We sat down to a table with the nicest folded red napkins, two identical forks, and a knife all arranged very neatly. the owner, who told us he was of Turkish decent, came up to our table and asked us if we had ever been here before and promised us it would not be our last visit. We pondered over the menus for a bit and I and everyone but one of the six got the Falafel Dinner (fried garbanzos and vegetables with hummus and a salad of tomato, cucumber, parsley, onions and scallions with vinegar and olive-oil dressing, along with some tahini sauce) and some got a zucchini pancake (fried zucchini with a cream sauce, it was a special so its make-up wasn't on the takeout menu I got) and one got the Eggplant in Sauce. The portions are very large and everyone split their dishes so I got to taste a bit of everything. The first thing i tasted was the zucchini pancake, and it was amazing. I mean absolutely ASTOUNDING! I automatically knew that the rest of the food was going to be quite good. the next thing i had was some of the Eggplant in Sauce and it was VERY good. I've never had eggplant prepared quite like that and the best eggplant I've had up to now was a Punjabi mixture in an Indian restaurant, this cold eggplant soup-ish thing doesn't quite match it in quality but it's still very good. The next i had was the falafel dinner and I have never had better falafel in my life. Most everything I've had before was mixes out of boxes. I freakin' HATED those before i ate at the Cafe Mediterranean and i hate them even more now! The meal was served with baskets of hot fresh pita-bread which was all used up by the time the meal went into desert. The hummus was the best I've had, including the kind I've made. (Believe me, I've had all kinds of hummus and this was the best) The salad had feta cheese and had the best dressing I've tasted. The iceberg lettuce was kind of brown and the tomato slices were pale but the rest of the food was nicely made and there's no complaints beyond that little bit. For dessert I had some of the best baklava I've EVER tasted. light, soft, sweet, and heavenly. buttery-sweet flavor that spreads through your mouth like sweet nectar of the sweetest, most divine fruit. I had a lemonade to go with it and it was one of the best I've had aside from home-made. It was simply an amazing meal and I would like to go there again. When i get home I'll scan the menu I got and you can see all their dishes for yourselves but for now you'll have to settle for the website, phone number and address. I give the food a 9.8* rating, the service a 10.1*, and the conditions and setup a 10.1* rating, which comes out to a 9.99* rating. intense food and friendly service makes for a fine meal! When we commented on the fine quality of the food he said that the Turkish Chefs were the best in the world, and I'm inclined to agree. Stop by if you're ever in the Cincinnati area, you'll not be disappointed!
Cafe Mediterranean
9525 Kenwood Road
Cincinnati, Ohio, 45242

the death of optical media

here's something that people aren't noticing as much: the slow removal of optical media from newer PCs, laptops, etc. with USB flash drives and SD cards getting faster and more spacious, as well as smaller in form factor people are using the USB flash drive more than they are the CD or DVD or even Blu-Ray for media storage and transfer. the thing is NAND flash memory is faster than Disc based media and i find optical media less reliable than solid-state memory formats. i hate all the modern consoles being disc-based, the discs are easier to damage and break than the carts for my N64, SNES or NES. i get new Wii games from my library all the time and some of them are scratched beyond playability, some will go into the menu, some will play a certain length into the game and freeze, some the Wii can read the game partially, but fail to boot up past the warning screen, and then some it can't even recognize as Wii games. that wouldn't happen if they still used cartridge based media for the games. they could fit more on them, they'd last longer and they'd be faster than any super-mega-ultra-super-high-speed Blu-Ray drive could EVER be. my reasoning behind supporting cartridge based consoles is that mechanical systems become more and more pointless as NAND Flash becomes faster and cheaper. no matter how fast they make the discs spin the motors and gears in the drives will keep on breaking down faster and faster as they put more wear and tear on a drive that could just be simple pin connectors. so, with all these homebrew mods that remove the use of disc drives and allow you to use flash drives, external hard drives, and SD cards to boot games and the digital download games, as well as the ability to copy Xbox 360 games onto the hard-drives, etc. discs become more and more pointless to the companies and the players. they're leaning towards a more cart-based medium for PCs with flash-drives and SD cards, external hard-drives and hot-swap SATA bays. USB slots are replacing optical drives on some new Mac laptops and most Chrome based PCs. with the power-users replacing their optical drives with extra SSDs and USB slots and the average consumer using flash-drives for portable storage and cam-corders that use SD cards the death of optical media is imminent. i can only say it's about time they got rid of it, I've been fed-up with scratched discs for 11 years now!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Kobalt 15-in-1 Folding Multi-Function Tool review

ok, i know i promised a DooM review next, but this was easiest to upload and i have to leave today so i need to exchange this before i go.

Friday, August 24, 2012

my Youtube channel

that's the official channel for Various Reviews, subscribe for new video reviews as i upload them. they WILL be featured in my articles along with other supplemental material including a (legible) transcript if you don't want to watch video reviews. for Let's Plays and testing i'd recommend you watch the videos though. sorry about the poor quality for the first six, my capture software malfunctioned. i'll be using Camstudio from now on.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Let's Play SLENDER

Sorry it's taken so long, my internet is slow and therefore i can't upload videos to Youtube very fast.

This review goes beyond my usual text and picture format and incorporates my thoughts as i'm playing the game i'm reviewing, and then i sum it all up at the end with my final thoughts about the game. i'm going to see if this new format for me helps garner more readers. this is completely unscripted and was filmed with an old camera so forgive me if it seems low quality or impromptu because i was just making it up as i went along. this is most of my review unless for some strange reason i decide to play it again or if you would like to see the extras played, or if i find the 15 minutes of footage i lost when my SD card filled up at the end of part 4. i apologize for it being in five parts but i couldn't upload the original cut within the time i needed to have the article published.

official site:

Monday, August 20, 2012

New Super Mario Bros. 2

this is the first game by Nintendo to be both download and retail purchasable, but regardless of the version you get, it's gonna be forty bucks.

yup, $39.99 for both gamecard and digital download.

Nintendo how you disappoint me. i thought you would either take the more noble route with your first game of this type and make the digital version cheaper, or better yet, take the highest road and never release a game as download at all! granted the WiiWare and VC games are DL only but come on! it's not like it would COST them money to make the download version cheaper, in fact, it would motivate people to buy the download one as well!

now, since i do not have EITHER version of the game, I cannot report on how good or bad it is, but i CAN comment on the pricing:

$39.99 MSRP for either version, or 3999 3DS points (I THINK that's their system), wow, you have to pay for both the boxed game AND the 3DS points cards with a 50, AND you can re-sell one......

this takes no thought on my part, physical games trump downloads especially if the downloads are the same price or more.

image credits: google image search.

Edit: i just realized something! the page i got the info from (here: says the following: "For the first time in a portable Mario game, two players, each with a Nintendo 3DS system and game card, can play through the entire game together as Mario and Luigi over a local wireless connection"  does that mean that people without a gamecard, those who bought it through download cannot play with the co-op mode, or was it just poor-wording? i don't know, but if there's no multiplayer for the download version, then that adds to the list of reasons to buy the retail package.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Mega Man Social game for iOS

apparently there is a MegaMan social game coming out. one question: why? in this era of MMOs and ORPGs why do we need a pseudo-MMO for a Facebook platform? i mean come on, it makes no sense! MegaMan is either a shooter, shooter-platformer, or shooter-RPG depending on the era and console, why turn something so hard core compared to the bulk of social games and fluid that turning it into a social game is pointlessly stupid! i mean, most ORPGs and browser MMOs weaken over time or in the case of most, just flop. Megaman is NOT something to take upon lightly. now, after looking at what i presume are gameplay screenshots (below) it looks better, but for the life of me i can't see why people like gaming on the iPhone and iTouch since they're so small and have no controls except for the touchscreens so i can't see why a MegaMan game (which involves a good deal of button-mashing for most eras) is on the iOS since it relies on touchscreen controls and since the screen is so small (on iTouch and iPhone) your fingers will block out the action because unlike an iPad version they can't have control-specific sections without making the aspects of the screen even harder to see than they would normally be on the iTouch and iPhone screens.

hopefully this isn't what the final version is going to look like as the controls look non-existent, if you are supposed to play it like a cheap point-'n-click game Megaman is going down the tubes along with a good deal of things that get ported to (or at least franchises that have titles on) the mobile platforms always either seem to fail afterwards or at least those titles fail epicly. this game isn't a good book to judge by these covers i posted. this looks OK but the controls seem to not exist. apparently it's a crossover of all the existing Megaman games. i would hate to see this fail but it's not exactly the best idea to release a game for a great series on a terrible platform. if they made it with extra options on the iPad it would be pretty good as they could have better controls and a higher resolution but if they just do like they did with the DSiXL and blow them up, it'll look TERRIBLE. ever played an original Gameboy game on the Gameboy player at maximum size on a 50 inch TV? probably gonna look like that. i won't be getting it unless i get an iDevice sometime soon.

photo credits:

Friday, August 10, 2012

I made a toolbar

well, i got my site listed on Alexa, and they had a toolbar creation tool, so i made a toolbar. i don't know why, i just did. anyways, it's pretty easy to sign up for and claim your site on there. in case you were wondering the letters and numbers up top there are the metatag they required me to add. give me a bit an'd i'll get rid of it when i figure out how.

it's pretty easy to make a toolbar with their creator, just copy/pasting and drag 'n drop mostly. if you want a logo you can upload one as well.

here's the link to the toolbar if for some strange reason you want it:

looks like Amazon has its tentacles in everything nowadays.......

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Sonic The Hedgehog reboot?

oddest thing, i was chatting with some friends in a message board and one of them mentioned something about a possible reboot of Sonic The Hedgehog.

now, i own no Sonic games except Sonic The Hedgehog 2 on Genesis, and despite that i have played a few. Sonic Unleashed, Sonic and the Black Knight, and Sonic Colors, borrowed from my local library. i liked them all and personally, i don't think they need a reboot. i googled "Sonic reboot" and came up with the remake of the first four Sonic The Hedgehog comicbooks, (ie the miniseries that started it all)

so, one of them said the series has nowhere to go after Sonic Generations unless they free the Robotniks or reboot it. so i said that it's be cool if they made the hypothetical new series based on the comicbooks, keeping with the graphics from the previous games and just going with the storyline. then i had another though: this new Sonic videogame series would be based on a comicbook, that is based on a videogame. that made me think of the Street Fighter movie and the game based on it. but SEGA has the ball and can do whatever they want.

now, like i said before, i would like for Nintendo to buy up SEGA and  make them into a first-party developer so we can have the Nintendo/SEGA Zelda-Mario-Starfox-Castlevania-Metroid-Fire Emblem/Sonic/Phantasy Star/other cool SEGA stuff crossover we all know we want. isn't likely, but it'd put more power behind Nintendo and SEGA would be back to having Sonic game exclusively on one console, brining the Sonic and Phantasy Star fans over to Nintendo. it'd be a good business move and it's please the fans.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

TV shows that never should have been canceled

i'm going to go through a list of shows that i think should never have been canceled by their networks:

ok, this show might not have been the best but it tops the reality shows that keep clogging the TV, and didn't need to be canceled this early.

um, OK, here's something interesting, as i was reading the Wikipedia article for this i noticed that they had renewed it two months after they canceled it. why they even canceled it in the first place i have no clue, it still fits here since it makes no sense why they canceled it if they were gonna renew it.

long time readers will remember when i went off on FOX about canceling The Finder. the newcomers can click here to find out what i'm speaking of. this show is a spinoff of Bones and would have been as or more successful than it's parent series had it not been killed off. FOX left a good deal of loose ends with the early ending and now they just use it as weekend afternoon filler for when a sports program ends early. they did not do this show justice, i was looking forward to the next season of this, now all i can tell is worth watching is Castle and Bones, at least i have some more free time from this.......

Human Target: another FOX show, which was also shoved into the death slot and killed off prematurely. good show, it was going to go places, and FOX killed it. sad, just sad.....

                                                                    The Good Guys
if you've read my previous Finder article you can see i'm following a pattern here, mainly because the shows i mentioned there were canceled prematurely and this article is about shows that should not have been canceled.

this was a good show, the comedy was continuous and it never ceased to bring laughs. Pushing Daisies always managed to put everything together. it ended WAY too early, being canceled by ABC after the second season and effectively cutting it short, although they did tie some stuff together in the end, and created a "third season" in comicbooks. why ABC cut this short and let LOST go on for so long i have no clue.

this is all i can think of right now. images are from Wikipedia.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Worst Game Awards Part 1:

this is where i dole out in no particular order awards for what i think are the worst games. maybe I'll come up with a name for the award, but who knows.

i just had to start with this one since it's one of the ones that frustrates me the most. no matter how far i get, or how high my level is (or stats, etc) when i die i get reset back to the base amount. it's annoying since it doesn't let you save unless you die or something, i haven't gotten far enough to know that. i have it on the four-in-one GameCube disc: The Legend of Zelda: Collectors Edition with The Legend of Zelda, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, so with the GameCube controller it's a lot more comfortable than with the old NES controllers. Part of what is wrong with it is it tries to add RPG elements to the game, which fails miserably. here's my entire list:

#1) it's a side-scroller for the action sequences. that in itself isn't enough to make it fail alone but read the rest and you'll see why.
#2) it contains a variation on perma-death. i myself hate the idea of a game (especially an RPG) that erases all of the player hard-earned stats and equipment and spells as soon as they hit 0 HP and 0 1UPs. this alone is enough to make me hate a game as i don't take too kindly to having my character erased after i slip up or if my batteries run out in my WaveBird controller.
#3) it uses XP and such. it wouldn't be a problem except for the fact that the Experience System is so convoluted that i can't figure out how Shigeru Miyamoto allowed it to be in the game, much less to be so hard to increase and yet so pivotal to beating the game.
i'm not sure if i need to go into a whole host of reasons right now, i'll do more in a later review, but trust me, you're gonna be mad at Nintendo and crushing your controller out of rage. it's really hard, and therefore not standable for long periods of play. it will make you hate everything you know and question how Nintendo managed to get this far into the Zelda series with this being the second game. fortunately they never redid this style, although it has been ported ad nauseam (*shakes head and sighs*) this is a game that needs to be remade into the style of Ocarina of Time, remember i mentioned in an earlier post that i wanted this to be one of the 3D Motion+ remakes for Wii U? yeah, this one should be top priority. this gets a (*photoshop sound*) this gets a 2.9* because it still has potential to be a good game for anyone with the patience to play it.

i can't think of a name for my bad game award. oh well.

why? this is like (no wait, it is!) a bad clone of Sonic The Hedgehog, minus the cool music and adding in a bad "free the prisoners" mechanic where you have to free the mice from cages which are almost impossible to find, shoddy reaction time, and anyone who's played any version of Sonic The Hedgehog in 2D can tell it's a blatant ripoff. i used to play this as a placeholder until i got a Genesis and some Sonic games but then i discovered the Sonic Advance series and gave up on that. really there isn't much to list i haven't already, i could criticize the graphics or story or jokes or premise but i don't want to. 2.4*

Ok, on how many levels and how many times can i say this sucks bad? The cutscenes are sprites on a static background, it makes TERRIBLE use of the motion control on the Wii, the story is corny, the fight scenes are just you following the screen-prompts, it's like Guitar Hero: Martial Arts Edition except no cool music,  bad response time (which is odd for a Motion+ game) and impossible challenges that you are required to finish to progress. also, the voice acting and scripting is terrible. 0.7*

that's all for part one. this might become a weekly series, or a daily one. who knows? anyways until i have rated and written up all the bad games i can find i will not end the series, and since there will never be a shortage of terrible games this series shall go on for a while. yippee.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

anime and anime remakes.

This is my thoughts on certain Live action remakes of popular anime:

Dragonball: Evolution:

i honestly don't think too highly of the original Dragon Ball series, it was far too out-landish, the idea that Goku could have lived for however long alone and not encountered anyone else, and the idea that dinosaurs roam the area he lives is far too outlandish (yes, i think we've established the anime was quite outlandish) even for a series about supernatural aliens who can come back to life with the help of magic spheres. i mean, this is set someplace in the middle of Japan for crying out loud! Now, DBE compressed the crap that was the original Dragon Ball series into about 1.5 hours, it is FAR better imo than the anime, and they can slide right into a DBZ movie if they wish with hardly a time jump. now, this was not perfect, as it took a few turns i did not want, also, the suit that looks so cool in Dragon Ball Z is a little harsh so they would need to darken it a bit, but as far as this movie goes Goku's street clothes look better for a cool fighting suit.

Death Note:

i think it's safe to say you've either been living under a rock for almost ten years or are very young or fairly old to not have heard of this. one of the best thriller-fantasy-mystery series there is, and they've made three DS games, two novels, and three movies out of it.

now, as i have not seen the existing Death Note movies yet i have nothing to compare the possible remake by Warner Brothers to, but if Zac Efron is Light (yeah, you read that right), well i'm not entirely sure it's gonna make it. 
my initial reaction was....:
that was because i cannot fathom why he would be cast in such a complex role.
 Efron's main area of expertise is comedy, romantic movies, and musicals, i'm not entirely sure he can recreate the sense of realism and righteousness that the Death Note anime and manga managed to embody in the vigilante and dark hero that is Light Yagami. i hope that Efron knows how to act, and i mean really act because Light Yagami is a complex character and isn't a role to take on lightly (pun semi-intended).

now concerning Live-action adaptions of anime in general:
as a rule, i don't usually like live-action adaptions of cartoons (with the exception of the Ben 10 movie adaptions, which are decent and also have a place in cannon with the rest of the series). they usually wind up being insanely stupid and corny since they did not have good enough material to base a whole movie on so they come up with convoluted plot elements and plot-lines that wind up over-complicating the story to the point of it being totally unrecognizable next to its older original version. cartoon adaptions of live-action movies are a different matter seeing as most of them are low budget deals with most (if not all) of the original cast replaced. 

back on the topic of anime and manga being adapted into live action films, some of them are great, some not so great. while i haven't seen even a fraction of the ones released, i can tell you that certain ones are major improvements on the originals. Dragonball Evolution and Speed Racer being two of them, wheras from what i hear, the Japanese Death Note adaptions sucked.
now, i like the idea of anime and manga being adapted into live-action films, it gives us, the fans an opportunity to enjoy both a stylistically new and revised version of our favorite series, as well as allowing for a redone version that can cut out the filler and other things we didn't like in the original. but if they get too original with their remake, it can fail. likewise if they follow everything to the letter of the original, rather than making something realistic they can make it way too cartoony to appeal to the original fan-base and can even alienate them from it. also if they make a film too dark they can also alienate younger and newer fans.
that being said i don't want everyone to like it, if they did there'd definitely be something wrong.
it all boils down to they need to use some common sense when remaking a hit series into a live-action movie,  don't stray too far from the original yet don't let it hold you back from trying new things that might wind up being cooler than what was in the original. basically: good luck WB, i hope that you mange to create something great.

image credit Wikipedia, the video is by me and of me.


sorry about the white highlighting, Blogger does that sometimes and i can't figure out how or why.