Wednesday, December 14, 2016

If I were a general manager…

If I were a general manager for a MLB team I would sign both José Bautista and Edwin Encarnación together.  It would be for a terrible team like the Minnesota Twins, or Chicago White Sox.  Not only do these teams have nothing to lose, but also have home run friendly ballparks.  While their contracts might be an issue at first, the amount of money they both would bring in from a winning team and attendance would more than make up for it.  And while age is an issue, the leadership (Alpha male) Bautista would inspire the younger guys, something a team like the White Sox could use with so many great prospects.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Swiss Chalet Sauce Lay’s Potato Chips

I’m usually not a fan of new chip flavours, but this time I couldn’t refuse to try this new flavour; Chalet sauce from Swiss Chalet.  In case you don’t know what Chalet sauce is, well it’s the dipping sauce (gravy) you get on the side when you order rotisserie chicken from Swiss Chalet; a Canadian restaurant.  Their dipping sauce has a unique flavour that is tangy and delicious with their chicken.
While gravy flavour chips have been around for years, Lay’s Canada has done an amazing job in capturing the flavour of Chalet sauce in this chip flavour.   They even included the green spices/herds that are also in the dipping sauce; great attention to detail.  While the chips are savory I suggest you try them before their gone because they are limited edition.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Survivor Series 2016

OMG that Goldberg vs. Lesnar match was amazing.  As much as I think wrestling has sucked the last few years; everyone once in a while I get the pleasure of watching a match that is pure GOLD(berg).  Seriously I was left speechless and fired up by that classic match.  That’s the way Goldberg handled his business back in the day and that’s the way he should always be remembered.  Who's Next!

Oh yeah, Randy Orton took it for the team and Won it.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Loot Crate: Dream Crate

Loot Crate:

One of the best websites for pop culture (nerd, geeks) collectors is Loot Crate; a monthly subscription service that sends you a box full of geek-approved merchandise.  They not only make cool collectables but also unique ones that are usually one of a kind.  I like how every box makes me feel like a kid again, opening up a present full of goodies.  I also like the fact that they are always listening to their fans, so in light of this, I decided to create a list of what would be my dream crate.  To start with, my dream create from Loot Crate would be one for collectors.  They would not only be items that were cool, but also helpful in our never-ending collection.  It would include:
1. A deck of cards; similar to baseball cards, but instead of players, it would be consoles, sneakers, and toys.  For example using video games, imagine opening up a pack of cards, and each card would have a picture of the game box cover, and on the back it would have important information like the year it came out, the designers and other facts.

2.  A journal or book that contains ever single game made.  That way, as I collect them I can just check them off in my journal.  This could also include a journal for Transformers, WWE figures, etc.

3.  Blind bag of mini video game consoles.  Similar to Japanese miniature food.  I would love to display a whole set from Nintendo.
4. A giant puzzle; one for every game console.  For example a picture of every SNES game released in one puzzle picture.
5.  A whole magnetic level from Super Mario Bros. that I could attach to my refrigerator and play with when I’m bored.   I would also include levels from SMB 3, MegaMan and Metroid.

6.  Place mats, or dinner mats with maps from various The Legend of Zelda games.

7.  Last, and probably my most wanted wish of all are adult size pajamas with retro video game and 80’s cartoon images.  I remember Cousin Balki (Perfect Strangers) and Uncle Joey (Full House) both wore some back in the day, now I want to be as nerdy as they were.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Nintendo Classic Mini Game Manuals

Need a manual for a game on your NES classic mini, no worries here’s a link for all the games and console.

NES Classic Edition manuals:

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Playstation VR

A few days ago I had the chance to try out Playstation VR.  While I do think virtual reality is fascinating, I have also been disappointed by past horrendous and expensive VR hardware.  There have been way too many let downs along the years that I wasn’t too optimistic about a Playstation release.  What tickled my interest in this new PSVR, was during E3 2016 when Sony released a trailer for Batman.  I’m a huge fan of Batman, especially of the Arkham games, so to be able to play a game like that in VR got me excited.  However I wasn’t about to drop $700 plus on a new console without first trying it out.

I’m not the biggest Playstation fan, so I wasn’t going to be the first to line up for a Playstaion experience tour.  I thought I would let time go by and wait until the hype had gone so I could try PSVR relaxed and without time pressure.  Thankfully I didn’t have to wait very long because the tour came to a city near me and it so happens hardly anyone was lining up to experience Sony’s VR.

For anyone that hasn’t tried it out yet, the tour staff asks you which game you would like to try out from the menu.  I of course asked for Batman.  They then ask you to put on the headpiece, some earphones, and to hold on to the PlayStation Move controllers (all of which have been sanitized).  The headset is adjustable and the display resolution is clean and impressive.  Once the game started it felt as natural as playing a game on TV.  After Batman I “played” The Deep, an underwater game.  I was totally immersed by that world, and felt like I was somewhere else.

My final thoughts of PSVR is that it’s an incredibly amazing console.  It’s as easy to use as an Apple product, which makes technology seem natural; i.e. you don’t need to read a manual to figure out how to do things.  The graphics are great, but the gameplay is what really absorbs you into the world of the video game.  My only complaint of PSVR is that the lens kept fogging up on me; though I’m sure the solution to that is easy to solve.  I now hope to get PSVR one day, and I hope Sony keeps releasing games and doesn’t abandon it like they did with the PS Vita.

Friday, November 11, 2016

NES Classic Edition

My most anticipated console of the year released today, the NES classic edition; a.k.a. the Nintendo Mini.  Since stores in Canada weren’t taking any pre-orders and shipments would be limited, I knew I had to wake up early to get one.  I decided to go to a store that is a little drives away from where I live, that not many people know about.  I made it there at 6:30 in the morning.  Thankfully I was the only one, but unfortunately it was also the coldest morning of the season.  No big deal I thought because I was guaranteed a console.  By 7:00 another person arrived and shortly after that the line got bigger.  I know lining up sucks, but I really enjoyed this one because everyone was over 30, and was very friendly; talking about old NES memories.  Time flew after that, and by the time the store opened I was almost sad to part ways with the people I had spoken with.
The NES Mini design packaging is a throwback to the original NES box.  You can tell Nintendo wanted to please their fans by touching as many nostalgic memories as possible, which is something that I love.  The console comes neatly packaged in the box, and comes with very little included besides the console, cords, controller and poster/manual.  While the hype for the NES Mini is large, I feel like only those people who grew up on the NES will truly appreciate this little throwback device.  I love the NES Mini, and I can’t wait to bring back Saturday mornings of Nintendo gaming and cereal.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Nintendo Switch

First impressions of the Nintendo Switch are as follows:

The console has a distinguishable new name which can’t be confused with the previous model.  New console name = New Start.

Many of the console’s features are inherited from the Wii and Wii U.  The simple design will make it easy to use and not intimidating to the general population who isn’t a hardcore gamer.  The tablet controller is also carried on from the Wii U, making it possible to take your game on the go.  This feature has been one of my favourites from the Wii U; it just wasn’t used efficiently on the Wii U.

The advertising is focused on adults, which I love.  While Nintendo is known as a family friendly company, focusing on adults appeals to a larger portion of the population.

The main controller seems to be a wireless handheld that can “switch” and attach to other components such as the tablet.  I love this because I prefer an actual controller in my hand for most games, rather than a Wii U style controller that I might be forced to use.  From what I could tell there are at least 4 different ways to use the controller.

The screen on the tablet looks just like any other screen on the market; I like this because a standard screen will seem natural for people that already have iPads.  I also love the fact that there’s an earphone jack that accepts any regular earphone.

From what I saw, I can imagine we’re getting SD cards or some form of cartridges.  I actually prefer SD cards over downloads or wireless connection.

The tablet will allow for a more personal competitive feel because you’re allowed to play games head to head against your opponent on different tablet screens.  I prefer this more than playing online because I prefer to play with friends in the same room.

We’re getting a new freaking Mario game.  Enough said.  Though seriously, although the Wii U was a great system the lack of a Mario game on release really caused it to fail in capturing an initial consumer base.

While I’m not a fan of Splatoon, the competitive portion of the video makes me assume that Nintendo will sponsor competitions in the future.

Seeing a basketball game means we’re getting back third party support, and sports games in general.  The lack of sports games was a strong motivator for me getting a PS3/PS4 before.  Hopefully we get a baseball game as well.

And finally, it’s coming out in March, my Birthday!  Take My Money Nintendo!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Legend of Zelda: NES Link Painting

This is a big year for Zelda fans because Nintendo finally announced that Breath of the Wild is releasing next year.  In order to celebrate my love for the franchise I wanted to do a painting that I’ve had on my mind to do for a long time; the animated character version of Link from the original NES Zelda game.  This version of Link can be found on the map that was included with the game.
I started this painting off by practicing how to draw Link multiple times on paper.  One of the difficulties I encountered at first was the lack of colour and shades within my drawing.  But then I decided to just keep going and worry about the shades later.  I then drew a basic sketch on a 5 x 7 canvas, which is my current size preference.  I went with a white background because it looks cleaner, and because animated colours tend to pop out more.  I then painted all of Link’s colours and shades in one swoop.
Thankfully, rushing like this made it easier to overcome my worries of the painting not looking good.  I then used a thin brush to do the lines which gave it a cel shading look, that worked perfectly.  I did make mistakes along the way, but the size of the painting made it easy to correct any imperfections.  Now that I am done I am very happy with the end result, and I hope to one day do another Link painting.
Link (The Legend of Zelda) Wiki:

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Nintendo MediCom Toy Ultra Detail Figures

A few years ago there was this huge vinyl toy crazy that everyone was into.  With brands such as Medicom Toy and Kidrobot releasing limited edition artist designed toys.  Unfortunately just like beanie babies, trading card games and pogs; it was a craze I just didn’t understand.  I especially didn’t understand the price tag of vinyl toys, considering the fact that some sold for hundreds of dollars.  While I did buy some figures throughout the years, it was still something I had no interest in.
Earlier this year I found out that Medicom Toy would be releasing a line of retro Nintendo figures.  I wasn’t excited about them, but when I happened to see them in a local store one day I decided to get them.  I bought a Super Mario, and a Link figure.  Both figures are inspired by the Famicom version of those games.
Both figures are vinyl, are made in China, and are beautifully packaged in plastic clam shell that displays retro cards on the back.  Both figures also include a black base that pegs the figures in place.  I was disappointed by the paint job considering the price of these figures, and Medicom Toy describing them as “ultra detailed figures”.  Despite that I still love the figures and I’m happy to finally add vinyl figures to my collection that I actually understand.
Medicom Toy:

Monday, August 22, 2016

Funko Pop! Batman Vinyl Figure

Well here’s a collectable that I never thought I would buy; Funko Pop! bobbleheads.  I first noticed them many years ago, but whenever I would pass by them in a store they just didn’t interest me.  I had already bought vinyl toys before such as Mighty Muggs, and figured Pop figures would eventually be discontinued like the others.  But as the years went by I noticed that they kept releasing more and more bobbleheads, and people kept collecting them.
I then decided to buy a Pop figure to see what the whole craze was about.  I decided to go with a Batman Pop from the DC Comic super heroes line.  All Pop figures come nicely packaged in a cute little box that contains a plastic window to see the figure inside.  Once you open the box that isn’t sealed all you get inside is the figure.  While I assumed Pop figures were all bobbleheads considering that they look like bobbleheads, I was disappointed to find out that the majority of Pop figures aren’t true bobbleheads, and that only a few actually do bobble.
The actual design of Pop figures is really basic with all of them containing dwarf bodies, large heads, and large round eyes.  Other than a few basic features, the paint is what usually distinguishes one Pop figure from another.  And paint is another feature that I was also disappointed by because I had to look through 6 different Batman figures in the store before I found one that I was happy with.  Lamentably this will probably be my first and only Pop figure because I just don’t understand the fad.
Funko Pop!:

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

“Open your eyes.  Open your eyes.  Wake up Link.”

And that was the trailer for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.  It was so amazing!  The art style was beautiful and colourful, the game mechanics (puzzles) looked fun and innovative, and the music was magnificent.  I literally had goose bumps watching it all, as it wasn’t just a new Zelda game, but it also was a true Zelda game; bringing back all the familiar elements that I love in a Zelda game.
I must confess that I stopped watching Nintendo’s Treehouse after the extended Pokémon digression, because I didn’t want to see anymore spoilers.  I just watched enough to confirm that Link would be the main protagonist (a male hero), and that he wouldn`t have a voice.  I`m so happy that the same Hero that I played with many years ago, is still the same person.  Besides the trailer, I also saw the amiibo video and I have to say they looked awesome; Nintendo please take my money.  With this Zelda updated, I am now super excited for when the game finally releases.

Nintendo YouTube:

Friday, May 20, 2016

Josh Donaldson Blue Jays Bobblehead

The first time I heard Josh Donaldson was coming to the Blue Jays I was shocked and angry because we had traded Brett Lawrie to get him.  Lawrie wasn’t amazing, but he played with a lot of heart and was a fan favourite.  Funny enough, it only took a few games of watching Donaldson for me to forget about Lawrie, and think that the Jays had gotten away with a steal of a trade.  Donaldson wasn’t only better he was flawless at third base by not letting any ball get past him, and was one of the top hitters in the league.  By mid-summer if you went to a game, you were shouting MVP every time Donaldson went up to bat.
Thankfully the league recognized his greatness by awarding him the 2015 American League MVP award.  His stats were as followed: .297 average, 41 home runs, 123 RBI’s, and he led his team to become A.L. east division champions.  The significance of which was an end to a 22 year drought since the last time the Blue Jays had reached the playoffs; Josh Donaldson truly was the bringer of rain.
Donaldson’s first Blue Jays bobblehead was given out on April 24th, 2016.  Although 20,000 were given away at Roger’s Centre, you could still purchase one a few days later at Pizza Nova locations.  I personally find the bobblehead pose boring, and would have preferred a more exciting and unique pose; but since it was celebrating Donaldson’s MVP award, I guess displaying the award plaque and silver bat required a more traditional pose.  Once you actually look at the bobblehead you will notice how many details are actually in it, and can really appreciate it.  Although it’s not the most interesting bobblehead, it’s still a great start for what I’m sure will be many to come from the Bringer of Rain with the Blue Jays.