The Supreme Chicken

In case I haven’t mentioned it before, I’m quite fond of grilling.  About a month or so ago, my brother was visiting, so it was a prime opportunity to break out my grill and cook tasty animals.  Now, I’m pretty decent when it comes to grilling, but I admittedly have quite a bit to learn.  Unfortunately, I don’t grill as often as I want to.  Mostly because I always want to grill, I cook a lot of food when I want to grill, and overeating will make me fat again.  Since no one likes fat André and I’m not prepared to cook less food when grilling, I have to limit how often I break out the grill.  So my point is this: I don’t have a lot of opportunities to perfect my craft (and yes, grilling is my craft).

So after an afternoon in front of the grill, I have a tray full of chicken drumsticks, hamburgers, and hot dogs for my brother and I to devour.  I bite into one of my drumsticks and I’m dumbfounded.  It’s not just good, it’s great!  It’s without a doubt the best chicken I’ve grilled.  But wait!  This could all just be in my head, or I could have only just cooked that one drumstick extremely well.  Luckily, my brother was there to try another one, and there was agreement: this chicken was, as people said in the 90s, the bomb.  So what did I do differently?  I’m not exactly sure, but I have been able to reproduce it.  So I have a decent idea of what I need to do, but a poor idea of why what I’m doing works…and that bugs me!  So that’s one of my goals for the summer: to figure out the secret of the amazing chicken.

I’m a squid!

I used to be a human.  I walked upright, I possessed bones, I only had 4 limbs, etc.  But last Friday, I bought Splatoon, and my life changed dramatically.  I lost my bones, I can squirt ink, and I now have 10 limbs (which is obviously superior to having 4).  It’s pretty rare for me to buy a game on release date given my sizable gaming backlog, but I played Splatoon during the Global Testfires, and realized that a) this is really fun, and b) I need this in my life.  So when release date came around, I took the dive and bought Splatoon.

The most important thing I have to say about Splatoon is that it’s not only excessively fun, it’s addictive.  It’s I-guess-I-can-play-one-more-round-and-oh-my-two-hours-have-passed addictive.  When I get home, the first thing I will do is play some Splatoon.  It will likely be the last thing I do before I go to bed.  The single player campaign actually exists, and it’s worth pulling yourself away from multi-player long enough to finish.  There are motion controls, and while you can turn them off, you really shouldn’t.  I’m finding it easier to aim with motion controls on, but then again, I don’t normally play first/third person shooters using dual analog sticks, so it didn’t take a lot of effort for me to get comfortable with the motion controls.

It isn’t all roses and sunshine, though.  People have complained about a lack of content for a $60 game, and they aren’t completely unjustified.  There’s only 5 maps, and Nintendo only lets you play on two every 4 hours.  They’re randomly selected for each match, and the two maps gets swapped out with two other ones every 4 hours.  I haven’t had much of an issue with that, but there are times where I’ve played the same map 6 times in a row (which is improbable, but not impossible).  Nintendo has plans for releasing free maps, weapons, and other content over the summer, which is nice, but I can understand the desire to have all that stuff now.

There’s no voice chat, which doesn’t bother me at all (I’d rather not hear people talk), but I can see why people would want that in a team-based game.  You have predefined phrases you can use, but there’s only two (“Booyah!” and “Come on!”), and that’s just woefully inadequate.  One annoyance that I’m surprised didn’t get fixed during development is you can’t change your squid’s weapon & gear without leaving the multi-player lobby, which is annoying.  So you might end up on a team that has everyone using rollers (which is often a bad thing).  But really, I find these all to be minor annoyances.  Splatoon, as I previously mentioned, is excessively fun.  If you have a Wii U and lack Splatoon, you need to get your life right and become a squid.