Archive | June, 2008

Guitar Hero: On Tour

Written by | June 29, 2008

Topics: 8 Rating, Tech, Video Game

Armed with a $50 gift card and a twisted obsession with anything gimmicky, I drifted into Best Buy with my eyes peeled and my mind open. At every corner, I was ambushed by tall and gawky nerds in bright blue shirts who asked me if I was finding everything okay. I eventually replied, “No, for you see, I’m just an caveman. Your wares frighten and confuse me!” which bemused them and eventually got them off my back.

As I made my way towards the center of the store, I literally stumbled upon the giant display of the new Nintendo DS game Guitar Hero: On Tour. After knocking down roughly half of the boxes, I managed to pick them up in time before any employees could come around to shoot me an angry leer. The game certainly looked intriguing enough, and in the end, the box art’s promise of turning me into a meth-addicted white trash rocker was too much to pass up.

Fifty dollars is a lot for a DS game, but it does have plenty of extras included. The contents of the package are as follows: a four-button fret with an adjustable strap that fits into the DS’s Gameboy slot, a plastic “skin” for the device, a pick-shaped stylus that fits in the contraption, an adapter for players with an old DS, and the video game itself. I must warn you that the device is a bit small. Since I have tiny little girl hands, however, I had no problem with the size.

For those uninitiated with Guitar Hero, you simply match your fingers to the notes displayed on the screen and strum at the moment that they reach the bottom. You would typically do this with a guitar controller that looks like a Fisher Price toy, but in this version you move your fingers on the attached frets and “strum” with your pick stylus on the touch screen. It works surprisingly well with near-perfect accuracy, meaning that you have no one to blame but yourself when you are booed off the stage.

The downside, of course, is that you are actually playing a simulation of a simulation. The creators of Futurama have already parodied this paradox, but little did they know that it would come true 992 years earlier than they predicted. You won’t get the enjoyment of pretending that you’re Slash or any of your other favorite drugged up guitarists, but you will get a great portable music game with enough tracks (26 in all) to keep you entertained until your parents kick your slacker ass out of the house.

If you want more info, check out my poorly narrated video for a content and game play demonstration.



Item: Guitar Hero: On Tour
Price: $49.99
Purchased at: Best Buy
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Comes with fun and gimmicky fret controller that is sure to impress the ladies in public. Game works surprisingly well for a portable version. Other than Elite Beat Agents, this is the only good music game currently released for the DS.
Cons: Much pricier than regular DS games, which typically retail for $30. Can’t pretend that you’re actually playing a guitar. Controller might be a bit small for people with adult-sized hands. Overbearing employees.

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Burger King Ketchup & Fries Potato Snacks

Written by | June 27, 2008

Topics: 4 Rating, Chips, Food, Snacks

From my front door, it takes a few hundred steps for me to get to the Burger King down the street. Sometimes it takes more, if I stop at the Moonlight Massage parlor along the way, which are open during the hours of 10 p.m. and 4 a.m., and sometimes it takes less, if I take my car or if I stop by the Moonlight Massage and ask my masseuse, Persia, to replace the usual “Happy Ending” with a trip to Burger King, because really, getting a Whopper delivered to you is truly a happy ending. Sometimes I wish the Burger King was much closer, but thanks to the Burger King Ketchup & Fries Potato Snacks I can experience Burger King without leaving my apartment and without asking Persia to walk in her five inch heels down the street.

To be honest, I’m not a fan of Burger King french fries so I didn’t think I’d like these. However, the good news is that these potato snacks didn’t taste like Burger King french fries. The bad news is that these potato snacks are worse than Burger King french fries. To sum up how I feel about them, I came up with this simple equation:

Burger King Ketchup & Fries Potato Snacks is less than Burger King french fries is less than a slap in the face

Its tangy ketchup flavor came in the form of a powder that is Homeland Security Red in color and sticks to your fingers, making them look like they caught something from being in Paris Hilton’s disarrayed va-jay-jay. Sucking the flavor off my fingers is usually a pleasurable experience that I pay for at the Moonlight Massage, but that wasn’t the case with the bright red powder since it made my fingers smell like Thousand Island dressing, one of the least erotic salad dressings, right next to blue cheese. The flavor of the Burger King Ketchup & Fries Potato Snacks had a strong vinegary smell and taste, which bordered between bad ketchup flavored Pringles and bad barbeque flavored potato chips.

But not everything is bad about the Burger King Ketchup & Fries Potato Snacks. They are healthier than a small size of Burger King french fries and contain no trans fats, but if that’s all they’ve got going for them, it’s not good. Well, it looks like my Happy Endings will continue to end with a Whopper.

(Nutrition Facts – Approx. 16 chips – 150 calories, 8 grams of fat, 1 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 240 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 1 grams of dietary fiber, 1 grams of sugar, 1 grams of sugars, and 5 red powdery fingers.)

(Editor’s Note: Snack You Silly also reviewed this package of red, vinegar goodness.)

Item: Burger King Ketchup & Fries Potato Snacks
Price: $1.49 (3 ounces)
Purchased at: PriceBusters
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: A Happy Ending and those that end with a Whopper. Zero trans fat. Healthier than Burger King fries. A slap in the face compared with Burger King fries.
Cons: Worse than Burger King fries. Strong vinegar smell and taste. Leaves red powder on fingers that smell like Thousand Island dressing, the least erotic salad dressing. Walking in five inch heels. Burger King fries.

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Pepsi Blue Hawaii

Written by | June 25, 2008

Topics: 6 Rating, Japan, Soda

Last summer, Pepsi in Japan introduced the very limited edition Pepsi Ice Cucumber, which sold out in less than a month and helped Japan maintain their title of Country Most Likely Not To Use Focus Groups. This summer, they gave the finger to focus groups again and released the limited-edition, Japan-only, Pepsi Blue Hawaii.

The beverage is based on the Blue Hawaii cocktail, which is made of rum, pineapple juice, blue Curacao, sweet and sour mix, and sometimes vodka. Despite living in Hawaii and being of drinking age for the past decade, I have yet to consume a Blue Hawaii, because I’m allergic to cocktail umbrellas and drinks that make me look like a drunk sorority girl ready to flash her boobs when a video camera and Joe Francis come by.

The color of the Pepsi Blue Hawaii could best be described as Smurf-like, which makes sense since the idea of the Pepsi Blue Hawaii made me feel the same way I feel about the future Smurfs movie — it’s probably going to suck, but it has a certain allure to it that tickles my smurfs. After tasting it, I have to say that the Pepsi Blue Hawaii isn’t so smurftastic, but it is just a little smurfy.

The pineapple and lemon flavor combination was really smurfing sweet and artificial, especially the pineapple. I really didn’t enjoy it at first, but just like my experience with the Pepsi Ice Cucumber, I got used to its flavor and somewhat enjoyed it. I think its fruity flavor would make it a smurftastic mixer if you want to get totally smurfed off of something blue and can get your hands on some Pepsi Blue Hawaii.

I’m not sure what the smurf is so mutha smurfing appealing to my taste buds with the Pepsi Blue Hawaii, but for some smurfing reason, companies in Japan seem to know how to make smurfing products that sound and look unsmurfy, but in the end, turn out to be kind of smurfy. So I look forward to a new mutha smurfing flavor next summer from Pepsi in Japan. My money is on Pepsi Ice Carrot or Cherry Blossom Pepsi.

(Editor’s Note: TIB would like to thank reader Fury for sending a bottle of Pepsi Blue Hawaii from Japan, along with a bunch of other goodies to review. Domo arigato gozaimasu!)

Item: Pepsi Blue Hawaii
Price: FREE (only available in Japan)
Purchased at: Received from TIB reader Fury
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Just a little smurfy. Comes in a Smurf color. After a few sips, I got used to the flavor and somewhat enjoyed it. Might make a good mixer. Using focus groups. Getting my smurfs tickled.
Cons: Pineapple and lemon flavor was smurfing sweet and artificial. Didn’t like the flavor at first. Available only in Japan. Limited edition. Drinks that make me look like a drunk sorority girl. Cocktail umbrellas.

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REVIEW: Jimmy Dean Pancakes & Sausage Minis

Written by | June 24, 2008

Topics: 2 Rating, Frozen Food, Jimmy Dean

Being a die-hard Celtics fan, I recently had the great pleasure of watching Kobe Bryant lose in historic fashion in the NBA Finals. I never liked Kobe, probably stemming from the time he took pop singer Brandy to his high school prom. It all seemed very insincere. At that moment, I could have sworn that it was a Michael Jackson−Lisa Marie Presley situation where he was covering up his secret disturbing sexuality by dating a woman that he could never really be attracted to. I mean, come on…Moesha? I’m not gay, but I’m pretty certain that I’d rather have sex with her brother Ray J.

Perhaps the best Kobe Bryant-related news I’ve heard all week, however, stems from a club frequented by former teammate and fellow adulterer Shaquille O’Neal. Shaq hates Kobe, not just because he is a sociopathic ball-hog, but because he told the police that Shaq paid off women to keep them quiet about their unsavory trysts. This all led up to TMZ catching juvenile-ly hilarious footage of Shaq in a club commanding Kobe to “tell me how my ass tastes” through the medium of freestyle rap.

I don’t know what Kobe’s response is, though I’m certain that he would somehow manage to fit in “We just have to toughen up on defense,” but I’d imagine that the taste of Shaq’s ass is not dissimilar to Jimmy Dean’s Pancakes & Sausage Minis. Maybe that’s being a little harsh, but I can’t imagine why anyone would ever want to eat these things when there’s a much better version on the market that comes on a stick. My philosophy has always been that things taste better on sticks. Preferably deep fried sticks. Don’t ask me why, it’s just how things are.

Since I bought this box on the eve of my championship celebration, I had high hopes for these bite-sized Minis. Unfortunately for me, nothing ruins my mood faster than crappy and overpriced food. These Minis were soggy, disarmingly sweet, and had the texture of ground rubber. Being a fair reviewer, I then tried a batch in the toaster over.

For my patience, I was rewarded with a saccharine, crispy shell of batter surrounding a fine piece of ground rubber. As you could probably imagine, I quickly grew weary of this mysterious rubber sausage and went to the local Pep Boys to inquire about its recycled value. Alas, as I’m sure Shaq would enjoy hearing Kobe say something about his ass, sometimes things are just better in bigger packages.

(Nutritional Facts – 3 pieces – 260 calories, 160 calories from fat, 18 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 30 mg of cholesterol, 510mg sodium, 19 grams of carbs, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 7 grams of sugar, 5 grams of protein, 0% Vitamin A, 0% Vitamin C, 2% Calcium, 4% Iron)

Item: Jimmy Dean Pancakes & Sausage Minis
Price: $3.29
Purchased at: Stater Bros.
Rating: 2 out of 10
Pros: Small, convenient size for families on the go who don’t care if they enjoy what they’re eating. For the environmentally conscious, sausage may be recyclable. Freestyle rapping about the taste of ass.
Cons: Very small portion for the price that you’re paying. Comes out soggy in the microwave. Extremely sweet for a product that isn’t honey-battered. Sausage tastes like a tire.

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Prize Drawing Winner Announced – Dewmocracy Edition

Written by | June 23, 2008

Topics: Prize Drawing

Congratulations to Impulsive Buy reader Natalie (comment #53) for being the winner of the Mountain Dew Dewmocracy prize pack. Thanks to everyone who participated and keep an eye out for a new prize drawing in the next few weeks.

Oh, while I have your attention, if you have a Twitter account, you can follow The Impulsive Buy Twitter here. I tweet about new products I’ve seen, heard, or tried, plus whatever else comes up. If you don’t know what Twitter is, you can read more about it here. Also, if you think Ace’s writing is sexy, you should hear his voice. He and his friends Omar and Frank discuss various stories from the week for their Better Than Everything podcast.

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