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Maniac’s Kitchen – Pocky Almond Crush Review April 28, 2018

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Welcome back to Maniac’s Kitchen, where we review and share recipes for some of the best foods for gamers. Today, we’ll be talking about a staple of the Otaku diet, Pocky.

I’ve seen Pocky sold in large quantities at anime and fan conventions for the past decade, because it’s from Japan and tastes great. I never tried it myself until ConnectiCon 2015. Now, it’s common to see Pocky sold in local corner stores, and I’ve got a new flavor to try. Let’s see how we like Pocky Almond Crush.


Maniac’s Kitchen – McDonald’s Szechuan Sauce Review March 5, 2018

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Welcome back to Maniac’s Kitchen, where we cook or review all kinds of food for gamers. This week, Maniac got some take-out food from McDonald’s, and today we’re going to be looking at Szechuan Sauce. It was originally created to promote Disney’s Mulan, but there’s been a high demand to bring it back after the start of Rick and Morty season three. An earlier attempt to do a smaller promotion for it failed miserably, but now it has a wider release and we got our hands on some earlier today.

Is it as good as Rick says it is? Let’s find out.

Maniac’s Kitchen – Cup Noodles Beef Flavor Review January 25, 2018

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Welcome back to Maniac’s Kitchen, where we are back with a new review of the ultimate gamer’s foods. Today, we will be looking at the Beef Flavored Cup Noodles. How easy is it to make and how does it compare to Chicken flavor? Watch and find out!

Don’t forget to save your receipt if you plan to participate in the Dissidia Final Fantasy NT promotion! More videos from Maniac’s Kitchen are on the way, post a comment below with what you’d like to see.

Maniac’s Kitchen – Super Mario Cereal Review January 11, 2018

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Welcome back to Maniac’s Kitchen, where we take a look at food for gamers! Super Mario Cereal is out and we were lucky enough to get our hands on a box! Unlike previous children’s cereals where you’ll find a prize inside the box, for Super Mario Cereal, the prize is the box. Each box of Super Mario Cereal includes an exclusive Amiibo card printed inside the game box, which you can use in the game Super Mario Odyssey for the Nintendo Switch.

So how’s it taste and is the Amiibo worth it? Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

Super Mario Odyssey is out now exclusively on the Nintendo Switch.

Maniac’s Kitchen – Cup Noodles Review January 10, 2018

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Welcome to Maniac’s Kitchen, an all-new series where we will be sharing recipes and reviews for gaming related food items. Today, we will be taking a closer look at Cup Noodles, the classic staple of nearly every gamer’s diet. Enjoy!

Another episode from Maniac’s Kitchen is on its way, but we’d like to hear what you think. Got ideas for future episodes? Post a comment below!

Pokemon Go Review – Part 2 November 27, 2017

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Over a year has passed since Niantic and The Pokemon Company released the smartphone phenomenon Pokémon Go and while we did a fine job reviewing the game when it initially launched, Niantic has added so much more to the game in the past year we decided to write an addendum to our initial review and give our thoughts about the newest features of Pokémon Go. Let’s get started shall we?


Our initial review of Pokémon Go didn’t include any review of the game’s Gym battles. While this may seem like a huge oversight now, Gym battles were not a huge priory at the time due to the game’s initial instability and the lack of proper in-game documentation about the feature.

Gyms can be found throughout predetermined locations throughout the real world, and players can interact with a Gym location after reaching level 5 when they select their team. With recent updates, all players can now use a Gym like a PokéStop to earn some in-game supplies, but higher level trainers can do battle there.

Since players can’t weaken Pokémon found in the wild before attempting to capture them, and two Pokémon Go players can’t battle each other directly, Pokémon Go‘s Gym Battles are the only way to actually actively have a traditional Pokémon battle in the game. However, other than the fact that a Pokémon’s typing comes into play, Pokémon Go‘s battles work nothing like their Nintendo game counterparts since Pokémon Go battles happen in real-time. During the battle, a player taps the screen to do a primary attack, swipes to dodge, and if the status bar is filled, holds down on the screen for a secondary attack.

Depending on which team is currently controlling that Gym, you can battle the Pokémon being stored in an opposing team’s Gym if the Gym you’re near is controlled by another team. If the gym is already controlled by the team you’re on, players can drop off one of their Pokémon in the gym to assist your team in controlling it.

Controlling Gyms is important because is currently the ONLY way for players to generate in-game currency without paying for it. Over the past year Niantic has done a lot of work to tweak the Gym experience, and have a strict limit as to how much in-game currency can be generated per day.

Pokémon Go Plus

Pokémon Go Plus was announced alongside Pokémon Go but its initial release was delayed by several months. Now that the accessory is out in large enough quantities, I would like to talk a little about it. First off, setup is a breeze, and you’re welcome to watch this video of us setting up the accessory below.

Once its connected, Pokémon Go Plus becomes an incredible assistant to players. Players using Pokémon Go Plus can do tasks like hatch eggs, catch Pokémon and activate PokéStops while their smart device is in standby mode. It runs on a non-rechargeable coin cell battery, and can last for quite a while before it has to be replaced. In my opinion, Pokemon Go Plus is a must-own accessory for any serious Pokémon Go player that doesn’t own an Apple Watch.


Occasionally, a Pokémon Gym will be taken over by a legendary Pokémon for a limited time. When this happens, trainers from all over the area can band together to take down this special Pokémon with the hope of catching it. This is currently the only way to obtain the legendary roaming Pokémon from GEN2, and it isn’t easy.

Raid battles are real-time and play exactly like Gym Battles. However, unlike a Gym battle, a trainer involved in a raid can be joined by twenty other local players, and if the raid is successful, all of the participating trainers will earn the opportunity to catch whichever Pokémon was being offered in the raid event.

I have a few problems with raids. I don’t like the fact that Niantic chose to host these events at areas already designated as Pokémon Gyms. When a raid begins, all progress at the Gym is essentially paused for an hour as the Raid event happens. It is also very difficult to catch a Pokémon after winning a raid, since raid players can only throw premiere balls at the defeated Pokémon. In my experience, berries have little to no effect to improve a capture’s chances. Raid passes are only offered once per day, but that is pretty moot since if a player fails to capture a raid boss, they are locked out of attempting the raid again after completing it.


Special limited-time events are occasionally hosted within Pokémon Go. After the disastrous Pokémon Go Fest earlier in the year, I believe the most successful in-game events have been the ones that didn’t require players to be in one geographic spot to participate. As of the time of this article being published, the most recent special events in Pokémon Go have included the Halloween event where several Generation 3 ghost types were in the wild, and the successful Global Catch Challenge.

It’s clear to me that as long as Niantic doesn’t keep an event to one geographic location and allows players all over a region to participate, it can become an incredible event for new and long time players. It’s always fun to see new Pokémon in the wild, and events like the Global Catch Challenge prompted players from all over the world to team up to unlock a rare Pokémon in the wild for a limited time.

Technical Issues

I’d like to say that over a year after the release of Pokémon Go the game is perfectly stable but that would be a lie. The release of iOS 11 on iPhone brought a lot of technical issues with the game that Niantic still hasn’t fully ironed out. Since the release of iOS 11, there have been widespread reports of poor connectivity with Pokémon Go Plus ranging from random disconnects during standby to lagged response times across the board.

That all said, each new update brings more fixes to the game, and while it is taking a while, Niantic is still ironing out the game while providing players new in-game features. I can safely cancel my previous request not to spend money on the game, and if you choose to do so.


So those are my thoughts about Pokémon Go over a year after it was released. I think it’s a great application well worth your time and I encourage everyone to check it out!

Pokemon Go is out now for Android and iOS devices.

Date Nite – Pokemon: I Choose You Review November 7, 2017

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Over the last two nights, Fathom Events hosted a special event at movie theaters. An all-new feature-length animated Pokémon film was shown at cinemas across the United States. It was a very limited release, but the event intended to celebrate twenty amazing years of Pokémon movies, and participants who bought tickets were given an exclusive Promotional card for the Pokémon TCG and a digital code for the upcoming Pokémon games Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon!

Date Nite is an all-new video series for this website where Maniac and his girlfriend Princess Angel review a film they saw together. Today, they’ll be taking about the Fathom Events premiere of Pokémon: I Choose You, and give their spoiler-free and spoiler-filled thoughts about the special event and the film.

Hope you enjoyed our review, please post a comment below with what you think of this new series!

Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout Review June 17, 2017

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We are back from E3 2017 and as promised we are happy to present you all with our first ever full video review of a theme park ride!

Last month, Disneyland opened an all-new ride in Disney’s California Adventure theme park, Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout. It’s based on the popular Guardians of the Galaxy movie series and takes place between the events of the second movie and one of the film’s post-credits sequences.

Is the ride worth a trip to Disneyland?  Let’s find out!

We plan to have a follow-up video for this review very soon!

Student Bodies Board Game Review May 27, 2017

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It has been raining non-stop for the past two months, why don’t we stay inside and enjoy a nice board game?  Well, Student Bodies is not just any normal board game, in this game you must survive a zombie outbreak in your high school!  Each player has been bitten, but there’s an antidote in the science lab. Only one student can find the cure and make it out of the school first! Who’s it going to be?

Let’s take a closer look at Student Bodies in our first ever board game review, enjoy!

If you liked the review, post a comment below, because we would be happy to review more board games in the future!  Thanks to Angry Duck Games for sending us a review copy!

She Kills Monsters – Spoiler-Free Book Review April 19, 2017

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Author’s Note:  This is a review of the published book version of “She Kills Monsters” by Qui Nguyen, and I will not be reviewing any theatrical version of it since I have not seen a live production of the play yet.

As an author, I have always had a fondness for the written word and I have to admit I love theater!  You can tell any genre of story on stage, just as you could with film, television and video games.  That having been said, I’ve recently grown sick and tired of seeing an oversaturation of boring musicals and depressing drama on theatre stages all across my state.  Recently, I asked a peer of mine if there were any recent plays written completely out of the mainstream that wasn’t Spamalot, and he eagerly recommended the play She Kills Monsters by Qui Nguyen.

Like with some of the other content I’ve done on this website I like to keep my reviews as spoiler-free as possible. I feel it does a disservice to an author to reveal important details about their story, and I also feel it does a disservice to an audience who would be cheated out of the chance of fully enjoying the first time they experience the play, so consider this review spoiler-free. However, while there will be no spoilers in this review, I do need to talk about what the story is about and give a light summary of the plot.  If you don’t want to know anything about the plot, feel free to skip the next paragraph, otherwise continue reading right along.

She Kills Monsters revolves around a woman named Agnes Evans.  Agnes is a twenty-five year old English teacher still recovering from the death of her parents and little sister Tilly in a car crash.  Agnes and Tilly never had much in common while they were growing up, and Agnes regretted the fact she never really knew her sister while she was alive.  One day, Agnes finds a custom Dungeons & Dragons quest module Tilly wrote for her among her sister’s belongings. Agnes has no experience with Dungeons & Dragons, so with the help of local Dungeon Master Chuck, Agnes is compelled to play the module to discover all she can about the sister she lost.

While the story revolves around Dungeons & Dragons, specifically the editions that existed back in 1995, because the protagonist isn’t an experienced player herself the reader does not need to have an encyclopedic knowledge of the core books to understand what is happening in the story.  That being said, the author really did their homework because the rules, races, classes, alignments, and monsters specifically cited in the play do actually appear in the various Dungeons & Dragons editions. You won’t find any mentions of  Gorvilles in this play, thank goodness, so long-term D&D players should feel comfortable reading it.

The book of the play reads like a series of dialog with some minor stage directions.  While there are brief descriptions of battles in the stage notes, I did appreciate there were moments in the stage direction where specific songs or songs of a similar tempo were recommended as background music in certain moments. I will commonly include song notes in scripts that I’ve written and even though I have been constantly told by my peers that is something that is never done, I feel a scriptwriter should be able to name songs in their work as it can greatly influence the audience’s mood.  In this book it is done to great effect, as some of the song choices the author recommends had me breaking down in laughter at certain points, making humorous sequences downright hilarious. 

After reading every word of the play’s book, I found myself moved in a way I had not been in a very long time. When I say this play is hilarious, I mean it.  However, I don’t want readers to think that just because the characters play a game of Dungeons & Dragons during the play, it can only be enjoyed by D&D fans. While there are a few jokes that will be enjoyed by long-term Dungeons & Dragons players, everybody will enjoy the vast majority of its humor.

This is more than just a play that makes you laugh, parts of this play will bring you to absolute tears.  As I write this I’m feeling a bit constrained by my self-imposed spoiler-free guidelines as there are several moments throughout the play that nearly brought me to tears, with one scene in particular still resonating with me days after I finished reading it.  The reader will go through plenty of emotional highs and lows during the story, and I feel that it is because the play is so funny it can make its sadder subject matter even more effective.

After reading the book, I’m sure a lot of you are wondering if I would have preferred to see the play performed on stage and I’m hesitant to give an answer to that question because I’m actually conflicted by it.  On the one hand this is a really imaginative play featuring battles with monsters, dragons and the like, so I really want to see how different production companies would handle adapting it.  On the other hand, having read the book, I have my own expectations for how scenes would look.  With all that said, I think I’m trying to say that even though I already read the book, I would still be interested to see it performed live.

I think what it all boils down to is does this play have heart, and I’m happy to say that it does.  Qui Nguyen has a clear love for D&D, but the specific story she is telling is much more personal.  If you have any interest in geek culture, Dungeons & Dragons, or just unique stories in general, check out She Kills Monsters for an experience you won’t have anywhere else!