NOVABLOG 2: THE SQUEAKQUEL

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Monday 11/07/16

IPFW Walb Jr. Cheeseburger Review

Aside from the Charbroil Pizza with Cheese, almost every burger you can get from a vending machine at IPFW is pretty terrible.

I was hungry and there were no pizza burgers in the vending machine, so I decided to go and actually eat a burger from Walb.

The Junior Cheeseburger was $2.99 (with tax it was like $3.20 and that's way too much for a junior burger) and for once, I was eating a regular burger at IPFW that was not a soggy mess with weird tasting beef.

The burger actually strongly resembled Wendy's in taste, except the beef was just a bit tough. You also have to open it up to apply ketchup if you want it since it doesn't come with it.

If you absolutely need a burger at IPFW I would eat one of these but with the price I wouldn't really be able to justify it otherwise. It does taste good though.

Wednesday 11/02/16

Pierre Jumbo Cheeseburger

Against my better instincts I decided to try another cheeseburger from the vending machine. The Pierre Jumbo Cheeseburger ($2.75) doesn't come out super soggy. It comes out soft but not necessarily soggy. The beef patty is extra big which means that it's a little difficult to actually get enough ketchup coverage since it extends past the bun. The beef tastes alright, nothing special and still lower quality than a fast food place but it's a fast way to get a cheeseburger. It's like the frozen cheeseburgers from stores.

I'd still prefer the Pizza Charbroil with Cheese which tastes better and is cheaper, but it wasn't available.

Wednesday 10/19/16

Double Charbroil Deluxe Review

With how much I love the Pizza Charbroil with Cheese I decided to try the Double Charbroil Deluxe I saw. The name made it sound like one of those actually good, with the "deluxe" and all but it was not. I think it was a different company, too.

I microwaved it and it came out ultra soggy, unlike the pizza one which doesn't, and since it doesn't come with any toppings you have to manually add ketchup, but the buns melt together so much and it's difficult to do that without tearing the bun. The whole thing stuck together pretty poorly for me and the bottom bun came off easily. The beef doesn't hold up very well taste-wise, it's like stereotypical middle school cafeteria food and it's this weird gray thing.

It was $2.75 and I can't recommend getting this at all. Please go down to Walb and order one of the cafeteria burgers if you want a burger. Do not buy these. Starting to rethink trying random vending machine meals too.

Tuesday 10/04/16

Tony's Deep Dish Pepperoni Review

This is another microwaveable pizza. I was very wary because of the pizza rectangle I bought previously from the Tony's brand but this one was okay.

it was unbelievably greasy as usual but I dabbed up as much of it as I could with a napkin and it was still very greasy but okay. It was tough and not too easy to cut through but I guess that's to be expected when it's deep dish. It was chewy but not soggy. The pepperoni wasn't tough like in Lunchables and was pleasantly spicy. In fact the whole thing had a nice spiciness to it and was sort of flavorful.

I guess it's okay for $2.25.

Tuesday 09/20/16

Hungryman Selects Classic Fried Chicken Review

I like fried chicken, but fried chicken in the microwave is pretty awful most of the time. The chicken always turns out soggy and it's not very good.

So I put this meal in the oven. That's right, I actually used the comical "cook for 45 minutes" oven instructions. Most of the time I would ignore them and just use the microwave because it's always like 40 or 30 minutes but this time I decided not to because it's so awful to microwave fried chicken.

The meal has fried chicken, a brownie, mashed potatoes and corn. The corn and brownie came out as you'd expect, and there wasn't anything really special about it. They always come out the same way. The mashed potatoes were not even as good as instant mashed potatoes. They're not very thick, but I doubt an oven is a very good thing to make mashed potatoes in. The chicken though was actually pretty good. The crust was really crispy and the chicken tasted nice, and there wasn't very much fat or anything.

I guess it's a good meal overall but the 45 minute cook time is kinda bad.

Monday 09/05/16

Pajama Sam Sockworks Review

I used to play this game as a kid and I decided to get it again and play through the campaign. It's pretty neat but I think I'm really out of the age range for it now (21). The puzzles you get are random and in a random order so you'll be at like level 90 and get something dreadfully easy.

One thing I really don't like in level-based puzzle games is when there's an element of luck applied when solving puzzles. In Pajama Jam Sockworks, when a sock enters into a T intersection it will split off in a random direction and when it lands into a chute it will jump out of another random chute in a random direction. Many of the puzzles were extremely simple and ended up being a long wait for the socks to do what you want them to do. At least you can speed it up.

One really annoying thing that happens also is when two socks overlap each other, because they're very difficult to separate again. Like in Chip's Challenge there's a lot of challenge from "action" elements like switching things at the right time, and you have to keep track of up to four socks at once but I was usually able to stop three of the socks and just direct one sock into the appropriate basket one at a time.

The best part of the game is the level editor. Someone needs to make some actually good puzzles with it.

I guess I'd only recommend it if it went on sale. The game will run in ScummVM so you can play it on anything you want.

Saturday 08/13/16

Kirby: Planet Robobot Review

I played Kirby: Planet Robobot and beat it, though I've only played the main story and haven't played all the EX stages or the other modes.
It's pretty awesome. I haven't played any Kirby games after Nightmare in Dreamland so keep that in mind that I don't really know what direction the Kirby franchise has really gone.
First off I noticed a strong Kirby Superstar vibe. Like Superstar you can do lots of different attacks and combos with each ability, and the Jet and Mirror abilities to me feel distinctly Superstar-ish and they hadn't appeared in any other games until this one. There's also some recognizable Superstar sound effects.
The robot suit is fun and you feel really powerful while using it. When it's in use the player can't just fly forever (except in parasol mode) so here, in a Kirby game, you've got more traditional platforming. There are other places that find a way to justify the player not just being able to fly, like the sections that have Kirby holding a battery that he has to carry somewhere. There are whole levels set up around the robot suit bringing in new gameplay, like when it copies the jet it turns into a shooter game (with awesome music), and when it copies the wheel ability it's pretty different as well.
The level design has a lot more puzzles than before! The code cubes thing makes you do all sorts of little challenges and exploration. The puzzles actually have you using abilities, like ice to freeze water to make a bridge for yourself or enemies, and electricity to power something.
The levels are designed a lot around jumping between the foreground and background, which Kirby Triple Deluxe apparently also does, but since I hadn't played that I thought of Virtual Boy Wario Land and Mutant Mudds.
Thoughts for final boss:
Holy crap it's sooooo long, like I had to take down 5 life bars or so. A lot of it was just moving around in a 2D space while avoiding things, which Undertale surprisingly prepared me very well for, and then the last part of it had me spinning the circle pad around super quickly like this was Mario Party or something. It felt pretty epic though and it was really satisfying.

Sunday 07/31/16

Papa Johns Pan Pizza Review

I got a pepperoni and sausage Papa Johns pan pizza because they were only $10.

Usually I associate pan pizza with Pizza Hut. It reminded me of their pan pizza a lot, and it was like some weird hybrid between the two. I think the crust was thinner than Pizza Hut is but it was thicker than the usual for Papa Johns. The crust was sort of crispy and it was actually a little tiny bit burnt on the very edge but it didn't affect anything. I wouldn't be surprised if Papa Johns is still sorta figuring things out since pan pizzas are new for them.

Taste-wise it was the same as a regular Papa Johns pizza, and it was sort of odd having a pizza that feels and looks like a Pizza Hut pan pizza without all the grease. The crust is definitely a lot less of the taste than it is for store-brand rising crust pizzas, even with how thick it was.

I dunno if I'd pay extra for a pan pizza, but when it's on sale it's nice to get.

Sunday 07/17/16

Freschetta Pepperoni pizza review

Another rising crust pizza. Except, this tastes a lot better than the usual generic rising crust pizzas, like how DiGiorno does. It has a pleasant spicy and savory taste to it and the crust actually reminds me of IPFW's crust. It's nice and soft and doughy, while still crunchy. Actually, now that I think about it it's good in a lot of the same ways IPFW's pizza is.

I recommend it.

Wednesday 07/13/16

Pepperoni Pizza Funnel Cake Review

Against my better judgment I tried pepperoni pizza funnel cake.

It's sugarless funnel cake with a layer of sauce, then a layer of the kinda cheese they put on pretzels and nachos, then pepperonis.

The cheese was a poor decision and they should have figured out how to put melted mozzarella on it. That would have been so much better. I found it hard to eat after awhile since it was pretty gross after the novelty wore off. I started wiping the massive amounts of cheese off and even then it was kinda hard to eat. I couldn't finish it.

Not worth $9.

Sunday 06/19/16

Culver's Strawberry Smoothie Review

Apparently all the smoothies had an additional lemon flavor. There were strawberry chunks and it was sweet, tasty and thick, but also sour. The lemon taste was kind of overpowering everything else later on in the drink and it really reminded me of raspberry lemonade, but with strawberry instead of raspberry.

Portillo's cheeseburger and strawberry/banana smoothie, Review

I dunno about the toppings, since I don't usually get many toppings (I picked off the onion and asked for no tomato in this case but kept the rest), but the cheeseburger was indistinguishable from a Five Guys burger and it was $5 even. It was pretty good.

The smoothie was flavorful and thick, and it had visible and noticeable separate strawberry and banana portions, probably because they have separate smoothies and they probably just mix both of them together.

Tuesday 04/19/16

Mini Twin Cheeseburgers Review

I dunno what the actual brand name for these are since I threw the package away but IPFW's vending machines sometimes have twin cheeseburgers. Unlike some other microwaveable burgers, for the recommended cooking time these don't turn out soggy. It's sorta bland but it tastes pretty decent despite that. Also the price is $1.75 which isn't that bad compared to some of the $3 items.

Thursday 04/14/16

Temple Run VR Review

best way to get motion sickness

0/10 stars

Monday 04/04/16

Littieri's Pepperoni Pizza Calzone Review

I forgot to bring pizza with me and there were no pizza wraps so I tried the $3 Littieri's Pepperoni stuffed Calzone. It advertised "authentic bread with flavorful fillings" and it actually had microwaving instructions, so I put it in for like 1:15. It came out really soft and poofy and it's tastes pretty nice, and tasted like proper pizza crust rather than like Lunchmakers (so authentic bread is right). There was transparent tape on the package for some reason, holding it together which I thought was weird. It smells decent and while it's really soft you don't necessarily need a plate as long as you're careful.

The calzone is pretty spicy from the pepperonis and it tasted alright. The taste isn't amazing (it's sorta like rising crust frozen pizza) and the texture is pretty bad. It's sorta mushy and the cheese isn't great.

Like before, I think I'd prefer the regular pizza for a little bit more money, though it's a long walk to Walb from Kettler.

Monday 03/28/16

IPFW Vending Machine Pizza Wrap Review

The pizza wraps have been kind of hard to find, and for good reason: they're pretty good actually.

The wrap had no instructions on it so I heated it up for 30 seconds which still left it mostly cold. I guessed that was good enough and just ate it. It also came with a dipping cup (?) of marinara sauce which was kind of hard to use because ingredients kept falling into it. I think maybe instead you're supposed to spread it out over something and dip into that instead of directly using the cup.

The pizza taste is very much like a Lunchmakers pizza, which I think is probably from the tortilla used in place of a crust. The inside has pepperoni as an entire layer so there's TONS of pepperoni in there, and there's Italian sausages which give it a very spicy taste. The cheese reminded me of Lunchmakers too. This isn't a surprise since they both seem like they're meant to be eaten cold.

The pizza has lots of meat in it and it's very flavorful and quite spicy. It's honestly not a huge upgrade from Lunchmakers in pure flavor but it feels a lot more filling because there's so much and because of how juicy and nice it is. It's $3 which is kinda expensive but still cheaper than the cafeteria pizza (which is like ~$3.50 with tax?). Honestly, I might as well just pay the extra 50 cents for the awesome pizza in the cafeteria, especially with how hard it is to find the pizza wraps.

Monday 02/29/16

Lunchables Pepperoni Pizza Fun Pack, Review

Today I had a Lunchables pizza rather than an Armour Lunchmakers one. It came in a cardboard box that contained a Capri Sun fruit punch pouch, and a Crunch candy bar. The box had jokes on the inside and fun fax and tongue twisters but there was nothing in there that was really amusing for a college student.

Unlike Lunchmakers, Lunchables Pizza has tons of sauce and tons of cheese so you definitely have enough. I ended up using the whole amount of cheese and sauce I got. The big difference between Lunchmakers Pepperoni Pizza and Lunchables Pepperoni Pizza is that Lunchmakers has "pepperoni flavored sausage" which is really thin and easy to tear through and it tasted pretty decent. Lunchables on the other hand has real pepperonis.

These are pretty huge and sorta thick, and you get enough for three pepperonis per pizza, and if you use them evenly all the pizzas are mostly covered with the pepperonis. The pepperonis honestly don't taste all that much better (they're okay, taste like pepperoni and are a little spicy) and the big difference is the texture. They feel tough and leathery even when cooked for 30 seconds, and because of them you can't tear into the pizza with a fork very easily. You also have to chew it.

I'd probably honestly stick to Armour Lunchmakers here.

Friday 01/29/16

Armour LunchMakers Pepperoni Pizza, review

In my need to have better things to eat at college than granola bars I have turned to microwaveable pizzas. The pizza was heated to 30 seconds in my review, and the pizza will primarily be compared to the Tony's Microwaveable pizza rectangle.

The pizza is pretty soft, but not in a gooey or unpleasant way. It's just soft, and easy to tear through with a fork or bite through. The amount of toppings, while seemingly small when you're topping the pizza, seems small but after actually cooking, it can easily cover the whole pizza and it manages to stay on the pizza while eating. The flimsy IPFW forks didn't really matter that much since I could hold onto the sides of the pizza if I needed a grip to cut it with one, and the pizza didn't smell, taste and look weird. The pizza uses mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce and it contributes to a real pizza flavor, but the sausage is actually "pepperoni flavored sausage" which is actually pretty good.

I don't know if it's from having a lot of pizzas of this type as a kid but this pizza is actually really pleasant and although it's barely pizza I would still definitely choose it over Tony's Microwaveable Pizza Rectangle.

Monday 01/18/16

Kroger Three Meat Rising Crust pizza, Review

I felt like trying some new pizza, so I baked a self-rising crust pizza from Kroger. I know, it's store-brand so I shouldn't be expecting a lot, but Meijer's rising crust and Great Value pizzas turned out to be decent in both the pepperoni and cheese versions, if a little bland. This was not the case for Kroger's rising crust pizzas. I don't know if it was undercooked but it was put in between the minimum and maximum cooking times so I don't think it was. I didn't really like it.

The pizza was really gooey, in a sort of bad way. It's sort of like how Tombstone cheese pizza is a little too gooey but it's the whole pizza. In fact, the pizza is so gooey that it can't really hold itself together very well. It's very difficult to lift up a piece without it falling apart and spilling toppings. A lot of the pizza was the bread part which wasn't very crunchy at all except for some bits on the end, and the pizza was mostly just soggy. The flavors weren't all that great; the toppings were kind of bland and seemed moist rather than actually being juicy.

I don't know if the cheese version is any better, but as it stands I'm not really looking to try this brand again soon.

Wednesday 11/04/15

IPFW Walb Pepperoni and Sausage pizza slice, Review

Because Walb has pizza too in the cafeteria that used to be Pizza Hut, I bought a slice even though it was $3.29. It's a pretty big slice though. It looked delicious and way better than Tony's, with infinitely less grease though there was still some visible grease. There were TONS of sausages and they were big and juicy. They seemed a little crunchy too in a good way. The pepperonis were juicy and overall the toppings were way better than Pizza Hut's toppings and Little Caesars's toppings, but not quite as good as Papa John's. There are pepperonis on the crust which were crunchy.The dough wasn't tough and the cheese and sauce were really good. Overall it was a really good slice of pizza but $3.29 kinda kills it for me. If I'm hungry and I want pizza I could pay like, twice that and get a whole Papa Johns pizza.

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