Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Food Review (Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger from Wendy's)

Pretzel buns are one of the biggest crazes going on right now... Ruby Tuesday, Wendy's, Sonic, and a handful of local places by me have pretzel bun options for their burgers. I've never had one, but I've wanted to try one for awhile. Unfortunately, the Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger at Wendy's is the first one I tried. Not to say it's bad, but it just doesn't have much taste, despite all the ingredients.

The 680 calorie pretzel burger is described by Wendy's as "A delicious new twist on our classic hot 'n juicy burger with a sweet & smoky honey mustard sauce, melted cheddar cheese, and applewood smoked bacon all on a warm, soft pretzel bun." On top of those toppings, there's also the typical culprits: lettuce, tomato, and onion. When I opened my box (yes, this comes in a box, rather than a wrapper), I was surprised at how nice it looked... a lot like the commercials, to be honest. That doesn't matter though, the taste does. Like I already said, I wasn't impressed. Random YouTubers seem to love this burger and give it high ratings, and I've heard nothing but good things, but I don't even think that's great even in the category of fast-food burgers. The honey mustard sauce seriously tasted like nothing to me. The cheddar cheese on my burger wasn't even melted, and didn't really have any flavor when I tried it by itself. The bacon is what it is -- decent, given that it's from a fast food restaurant. I've never been a huge fan of Wendy's burgers, but they're alright. If all of this isn't enough, my bun was kind of greasy for some reason. The pretzel bun itself just wasn't what I thought it would be. It has a soft pretzel-y texture, but it doesn't even taste like a pretzel as far as I'm concerned. It has a subtle sweetness to it, but it's really nothing special, making me feel like this whole "pretzel bun" thing is just a gimmick more than anything else. Then again, this is a fast food pretzel bun, so I won't pass judgment on others.

Given the amount of calories and the price of this burger (I think it was FIVE BUCKS for a single patty), I couldn't recommend it to anybody. The burger isn't anything out of the ordinary, and the pretzel bun wouldn't really excite somebody who loves pretzels. I had pretty high expectations after hearing such positive things about it, but the PBC from Wendy's is something I won't be having again.


+: It doesn't taste bad... it's just bland. MIRACULOUSLY.
-: The pretzel doesn't really add any special dimension. The honey mustard sauce does nothing for me here. The price.

Game Review (Call of Duty: Black Ops II Apocalypse)

And, here we are... the last of the Black Ops II DLC. As is usually the case with Treyarch's multiplayer maps, they've delivered some really nice ones for this game with a nice variety of locales with a huge array of different colors. As usual, I'm passing on reviewing the Zombie map (I know, it's a huge chunk of the DLC, yadayadayada), so this is for people who are interested in the multiplayer maps.

Going, as usual, in alphabetical order, Dig takes place at an archaeological site in Afghanistan... hence the map's name. Apparently this is essentially a remake of Courtyard from World at War, but I hardly played that game at all, so it's pretty new to me. As you'd probably expect, if you can imagine an archaeological dig in a country like Afghanistan, the map is shades of brown with a bunch of brick half-walls that give the player the ability to run for cover with relative ease. What's nice about dig is that it has a variety of close and far sight lines throughout the map, without any truly designated spots. What I mean by that is, on a lot of maps there tends to be a certain second story window that's oh-so popular for cool kids to camp in. Dig is a good, medium/small sized map that caters to players of all styles... and yes, that includes snipers. Like I said, the map is littered with areas of brick walls for cover, which makes it fun (and frustrating) for snipers to play, and lets people be effective with shotguns if they choose to use one. While I don't care much for the style of the map, it plays pretty well. 3.75/5

Second up is Frost... which reminds me quite a lot of the pretty unpopular map Berlin Wall from Black Ops 1's first DLC pack. I'm one of the few people that enjoyed that map, so the slight resemblance in Frost bodes well with me. It's not all that similar at all in layout, it just looks like Berlin Wall... probably because it's a European map with snow all over the place. The big difference between the two maps is that Frost is considerably smaller, and actually plays a lot like a Counter-Strike map would. My absolute favorite thing about Frost, besides the fact that the layout is great and there are a bunch of easy-to-call-out buildings, is that there are very few obvious head glitching spots for people to camp behind. Frost is just a map that pretty much forces people to have one-on-one firefights without too much cover. What cover there happens to be on Frost is mostly cars that can explode. This is one of the best maps Treyarch has ever made, in my opinion. 5/5

Pod's a map that I saw in the reveal trailer for Apocalypse and was basically "meh" on it. After playing it a few times, I know why. Pod is good in the sense that there are different elevations on the ground which make it easier for a player with good aim to be successful, but it's just pretty uninteresting. I don't like judging maps based on this, but I do it anyway -- Pod doesn't really do it for me because there are just a number of easy camping/head glitching spots to pick off enemy players who are just coming out of their spawn. It doesn't ruin the map, but it makes an already pretty mediocre map a little bit worse. I could see this being a really fun map on a game mode like Headquarters or something like that, but it's pretty forgettable overall. 3.25/5

The final map of Apocalypse is another remade map... this one is a remake of Stadium from Black Ops 1, and is called Takeoff. Stadium is another map from Black Ops 1 that I felt wasn't very popular with the community, but I'm guessing it was, considering it's been remade for Black Ops II. Stadium was (and so Takeoff is) a very fun map. While there are some pretty easy-to-camp at spots on the map, it's also really easy to flank them, or take them out from a distance if you know where the popular spots are at. I preferred the overall look and location of Stadium rather than Takeoff, but it's still the same map that I enjoyed playing in Black Ops... just with a different skin, and improved graphics. 4/5

And that's the end of the content for Black Ops II (at least as far as maps are concerned). The maps included in the pack aren't total mind-blowers (although Frost is an instant classic, for me), but they're fun and diverse enough to keep you entertained for the next few months until Ghosts is released. While I haven't played Origins (Zombies), it appears to be a great send off for the fans from Treyarch for this generation of games. I look forward to see what Treyarch can do with Black Ops III (or whatever game they make next in the series), and the content they bring afterwards.


Monday, August 19, 2013

Food Review (Fiery DLT (Doritos Locos Taco) from Taco Bell)

The third taco in a line of gimmickry from Taco Bell. I was interested at first, but after having the Nacho Cheese DLT, I saw that this was just a great way get suckers to drop cash on a fairly mediocre food item. $1.69 for a single supreme taco? Anyway, the Fiery version probably won't be the last DLT variety we'll see.

First off, no... this isn't a Volcano Taco. I've seen a lot of people say that this is the same thing, when they're not at all, besides the color of the shell. The Volcano Taco is a regular crunchy taco with a red shell, and Volcano sauce. The Fiery DLT is a spicy shell without any sauce. Now that THAT'S cleared up...

Again, I'm not impressed. As usual, the flavor of the shell is really minor and not worth the extra price over a regular shell. For this one, the flavor of the shell is actually reasonably spicy, and has a sort of tangy flavor as well from the lime flavoring that they put in it. It tastes pretty good, but the Taco Bell "beef", as always, overpowers it. I don't normally care for sour cream IN things, but I like it ON things (warm sour cream disgusts me). Having a DLT without it being supreme is something I wouldn't bother with, because otherwise it's just salty as hell, to me.

The Fiery DLT is fine, but it's not worth the price. I think I'd rank it behind the Nacho Cheese, which I wasn't expecting, because I tend to really like spicy things. The Nacho Cheese DLT just has more flavor, I think. It's decent, it's okay, it's alright... but I want the beefy crunch burrito back and permanent.