jump to navigation

Maniac’s Kitchen – PokeBall Popcorn Popper Review May 28, 2022

Posted by Maniac in Maniac’s Kitchen, Reviews, Site Videos.
add a comment

Welcome back to Maniac’s Kitchen! Popcorn is one of the staple foods of gamer snacking. Most of us will pop them in special microwaveable bags, but roasted kernels can pop by various methods of heat, including hot air. Today, we’re going to try a PokeBall shaped popcorn popper (perfect size for Pokémon trainers who Gigantamax their Pokémon) and see how it works!

Halo Soap Review May 18, 2022

Posted by Maniac in Reviews, Site Videos.
add a comment

To promote the release of Halo Infinite, Microsoft and 343 Industries teamed up with pretty much everyone who makes anything to make special Halo branded products. Today, we’re going to take a look at Halo Spartan Scrub, which is essentially…soap.

I’m game to try some soap out. What do you say we take a closer look at it in glorious 4K HDR?

Halo Infinite is out now for PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.

The Thirteenth Floor (Spoiler-Free) Review December 6, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Reviews, Site Videos.
add a comment

Yesterday, Maniac watched a video by Doug Walker where he outright begged to see a film which explores the themes of what could happen if a video game player fell in love with an NPC, and all the emotional weight that entailed. I’m writing this to tell Doug that film exists. Twenty years ago, Maniac watched a film that has stuck with him ever since he first watched it. However, he seems to be of a minority opinion about the film, as it is rarely discussed in film circles. This might be due to the fact when it released, some other films…of a more striking visual language…were also out and have since gone on to become more recognizable.

How do you know if the reality you exist in is real or a simulation? If you knew the truth for sure, what would you do with that knowledge? What if I told you these ideas are not new, and they have been explored in films other than The Matrix? I’m talking about the 1999 film The Thirteenth Floor, which combined a cyberpunk-worthy story with film noir style.

So now that you saw this review, do you want to actually see the movie? Sadly, finding a copy of it on home video has been a challenge for at least the past fifteen years, although the film can be purchased digitally. While it isn’t currently available on any streaming service, it has shifted around streaming services over the past few years, and it is likely to return to streaming at some point.

Have you seen the film? What did you think of it? Write your thoughts in the comments below.

Maniac’s Kitchen – Nerds Rope Rainbow Flavor December 4, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Maniac’s Kitchen, Reviews, Site Videos.
add a comment

Maniac has been aware of Wonka’s famous Nerds candy for all of his life, but when he visited the supermarket earlier today he saw something new, Nerds Rope.

Nerds has partnered with Wizards of the Coast, the current publishers of Dungeons & Dragons, to offer free digital modules for Nerds candy buyers who redeem their sales receipts on their website. So, to celebrate this promotion, Maniac decided to try this new Nerds Rope for the first time. How does it compare to regular Nerds? Watch and find out.

Date Nite – Ghostbusters Afterlife Review November 28, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Date Nite, Reviews, Site Videos.
add a comment

A movie we’ve been waiting thirty years for, Ghostbusters Afterlife, has been released this past week. Maniac, after just finishing watching it for the first time, is going to give his thoughts about the film. This is a SPOILER-FREE review. In the video below, Maniac discusses his history with the franchise, his feelings about the film, and gives his idea for what he’d like the next Ghostbusters film to be.

Date Nite – Venom: There Will Be Carnage October 11, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Date Nite, Reviews, Site Videos.
add a comment

Last night, Maniac went out to finally watch the newest film in Sony’s perspective Spider-Verse franchise, Venom: Let There Be Carnage. Starring Tom Hardy and Woody Harrelson, the film continues the story of Venom and Eddie Brock, as they now must face a psychopathic serial killer that is imbued with Venom’s powers.

What was his initial reaction to the film and how did he feel about the first one? Watch and find out.

Some day, Maniac will get a guest willing to watch a movie with him again.

Maniac’s Kitchen – Pringles Moa Burger Review March 17, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Maniac’s Kitchen, Reviews, Site Videos.
add a comment

Something from the world of Halo has just entered the real world. Pringles has teamed up with Microsoft and Walmart to offer an exclusive limited-time flavor based on the beloved ostrich-looking Moa from Halo: Reach. It is called the Moa Burger flavor and we are going to be trying it right now in Maniac’s Kitchen.

Halo: Reach is out now for PC, Xbox 360, Xbox Series X/S, and Xbox One. Halo: Infinite is coming to PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S later this year.

Super Meat Boy Forever Review January 6, 2021

Posted by Maniac in Reviews.
add a comment

What better way to start the New Year than with some meat?

Super Meat Boy Forever is a sequel to the independent classic Super Meat Boy. I first became aware of the original game when I watched the documentary Indie Game: The Movie, which detailed its development and release (alongside other games like FEZ). While I didn’t have the chance to play the original game back in the day I was charmed by its art style and gameplay, and upon hearing a sequel was being released my interest was peaked.

Ed Note: A review code for Super Meat Boy Forever was given to us by its publisher.

The Story

Meat Boy and his partner Bandage Girl have had their child kidnapped by the nefarious Dr Fetus (who isn’t a real doctor). Now it’s up to the player to guide them around an unbearably unsafe world in their quest to retrieve the little Nugget. Its simple, but effective and reminds me of the stories of classic 8-bit titles like Double Dragon.

Gameplay

The game’s level design is a throwback to classic 2D platformers of the NES and SNES era. Each level’s art style almost looks hand drawn, while interweaving dangerous spikes, pits and saws with the level’s art style.

Danger is everywhere. Your character is always moving forward, but you can control when your character jumps, ducks, dashes and attacks. There are a few tutorial levels at the beginning of the game which explain the mechanics, and you’ll need to learn them fast. This game is HARD. I went into it assuming it would be hard, but even I was absolutely humbled within the first set of levels. Your player character runs very, very fast, and the difference between a successful and unsuccessful jump could be down to one minor pixel. Thankfully, there doesn’t appear to be a limited life meter, but in-level checkpoints can be spaced out pretty far.

New levels can unlock new sections in the game, and there are plenty of unlockable avatars you can earn as you continue your progression. Given the precision accuracy the game demands, you can be sure you’ll be replaying certain sections so many times by the time you finally complete a level you’ll be able to replay it in your sleep.

Conclusion

I know I devoted an entire paragraph of this review to highlighting just how difficult the game is, but I know that many of you out there would consider overcoming that difficulty a badge of honor. If you are a fan of difficult platformers or have fond memories of the original Super Meat Boy and just want to play another game in that universe, you should totally pick up this game.

Super Meat Boy Forever is out now for PC and Nintendo Switch. Review is based on Nintendo Switch version which was played in tablet mode.

HP X360 Chromebook Review December 16, 2020

Posted by Maniac in Reviews, Site Videos.
add a comment

I think this is the first video review we’ve done on a piece of hardware in a very long time. We spent a lot of the past four months using a Chromebook for work-related purposes, the low specs on the Dell machine we were provided at work left us with a lot to be desired. As we looked for a new computer we could do work with, HP released this Chromebook, the X360, with decent specs, and a glorious 2K touchscreen.

Let’s take a closer look at it. We’re going to tell you what the X360 is capable of, what parts of the laptop we liked and disliked, and then we try gaming on it. Someone on Twitter told me I couldn’t play Cyberpunk 2077 on a Chromebook. They were wrong.

Sam and Max: Save the World Remastered Review December 2, 2020

Posted by Maniac in Reviews.
add a comment

As a child of the 90s one of the earliest PC games I could think of was Sam & Max: Hit the Road. The antics of a cartoon dog and crazy rabbit working as “Freelance Police” was a charming concept for an adventure game. Lucasarts teased a sequel was in development as late as 2004, but it would get cancelled. Despite incredible name recognition and fond memories of the original Lucasarts PC-game, things were not looking good for the titular duo by the early-2000s, and few people believed a new Sam and Max game would ever get released. In 2007, a small game developer called Telltale Games took a chance with creating an exclusively digitally produced episodic game based on the iconic franchise. This resulted in one of the finest adventure series of all time, Sam and Max: Save the World.

It’s now over a decade later, and Telltale Games no longer exists. The game’s distribution was picked up by the company Skunkape, who have chosen to remaster the first season of the game and rerelease it for the PC and Nintendo Switch. Let’s take a look at the game’s trailer:

Editor’s Note: A review copy for the Nintendo Switch version was provided to the site. As per the founding terms of the site we have pledged to review all games provided to us and we were more than happy to oblige the developers in this case.

Sam and Max: Save the World is an adventure game, and because of that requires the player to solve a series of complex puzzles, navigate dialog trees, and bring items from one area to another. I know that sounds like your typical adventure game, but where Sam and Max sets itself apart is with its humor. No, I’m serious, this game is FUNNY! I know the jokes for this game were written over a decade earlier, but they are still just as relevant today as when they were first written. In fact, I constantly found myself laughing and smiling at a funny quip Max, Sybil or Boscov would say, and that is something I badly needed in a year like this.

First up, I want to talk about the game’s graphics and art style. They are just incredible. Skunkape added an extra layer of shadow to all the characters and I would equate the improvement to the polish layer Industrial Light and Magic added to the 2D animations drawn for Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Max, for example, no longer has a flat white shade over his fur, but a layer of shadow that realistically changes as he walks around a scene. I think the developers struck the best balance between staying true to the original art style while still making the models fit in the next-generation. There’s also the addition of widescreen support, something the first season of Sam and Max never supported on its original PC release.

Next, I want to talk about the game controls. We played on the Nintendo Switch while in tablet mode, so we are mostly going to focus on that control system. You move with the game’s Left thumbstick, and interact with the A button. Camera angles are fixed (this is an adventure game) but the Right thumbstick can be used to cycle through selectable hotspots on the screen, such as items, characters, or doors. The inventory can be selected with the Y button. Don’t worry, you can sprint by holding down one of the trigger buttons. If you played the original game on the PC, you’ll typically remember the game’s click to select interface, and the Switch version also offers players a similar control option. While in tablet mode you can tap on an area you wish to investigate with your finger, and Sam will respond as if you selected it with the A button. It takes a little practice if you’re used to playing adventure games with a mouse and keyboard, but you’ll pick it up in no time.

You’re welcome to play the six episodes in any order you wish, although you may spoil some story revelations if you choose to play episodes out of sequence. Eventually, you’ll notice the episodes share similar story rhythm, with certain characters coming back each episode with new problems for you to solve. That said, every episode focuses on a different theme, and you may choose to play and/or replay a mission due to your personal love of that theme. Episode 2 is inspired by classic antenna broadcast television stations. Episode 4 is pure political satire, which is something that is just as relevant today as it was over a decade earlier. That Episode remains my favorite, and I’m sure I’ll replay it plenty of times this month. We have a strict no spoiler policy here for our reviews so I’ll leave it to you to discover the themes behind the other episodes for yourself.

Sam and Max: Save the World combines all six episodes of the first season of Telltale’s episodic Sam and Max series in one easy to download application for a price of $19.99 US. If you never purchased the original game and are a lover of adventure games, Sam and Max, or just hilarious stories in general, this game is TOTALLY worth the full $19.99 purchase. If already own the original game on a platform like Steam, and you want to play the remastered version, this version is worth the discounted upgrade price if only for the widescreen support and improved graphics. If you’re an original Telltale account holder, I would say ABSOLUTELY make the upgrade, as you can get the remastered game for free right now on Skunkape’s website. Personally, I’m hoping that Skunkape has the opportunity to remaster more of Sam and Max, in particular the second or third season of the game.

Sam and Max: Save the World Remastered is out now for the PC and Nintendo Switch. Max for President!