Robert J. Ballantyne

Robert J. Ballantyne is a senior editor at Popjournalism and Creative Director at Artsculture.ca. Previously, he was a journalist at the CBC on a number of news programs including the fifth estate, Marketplace and The National. He also worked as a staff writer at the Toronto Star

Food & Drink Review: Madelyn’s Diner

When you mention Stratford, Ontario, two things probably come to mind: it’s the home of the Stratford Festival and the birthplace of pop star Justin Bieber. Culturally speaking, the two mix together like broccoli and bubble gum. Both worlds do manage to collide comfortably at Madelyn’s Diner, however. The down-to-earth diner is a destination for Stratford locals […]

Video Game Review: ‘Mega Man: Legacy Collection’ (Nintendo 3DS)

I am terrible at Mega Man games. Back in the ’80s, I used to play Mega Man II at my friend’s house, and despite numerous attempts, I could never get very far. But don’t get me wrong: I can do old-school difficult games. Just not Mega Man, unfortunately. I am forced to confront old-school Mega Man again with […]

Album Review: Cyndi Lauper, ‘Detour’

Talk about a girl just having fun. Over the years, Cyndi Lauper has really done whatever the hell she’s wanted to musically. Since 2003, Lauper has released a collection of jazz standards, an acoustic compilation, a dance-pop album, a blues record, a Broadway musical, and now, a country album. In Detour, Lauper continues her eccentric […]

Album Review: RY X, ‘Dawn’

Australian singer-songwriter Ry Cuming, who now goes by the stage name RY X, has always had one hand on his guitar and the other wiping away a tear.

Video Game Review: ‘Bravely Second: End Layer’ (Nintendo 3DS)

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. That motto clearly applies to Bravely Second: End Layer, the sequel to the hit 2012 RPG Bravely Default, available on the portable Nintendo 3DS. Usually, video game sequels attempt to top themselves, but when your source material is as exquisite as Bravely Default, there’s no need. Consistency looks […]
Supplied publicity photo, Nintendo, 2016

Video Game Review: ‘Star Fox Guard’ (Wii U)

Nintendo couldn’t have bundled a more different game with its 3D shooter Star Fox Zero. This charming tower defense game does have lasers and characters from the Star Fox series — namely Slippy Toad and his uncle Grippy Toad — but that’s where the similarities end. In Star Fox Guard, you use the Wii U […]

Video Game Review: ‘Miitomo’ (Mobile)

Nintendo’s first smartphone app is pretty underwhelming. While cute and polished, Miitomo is mostly for kids or those few adults who like their social networks to be very, very tame. Miitomo encourages you to share innocent life details with your friends, and for you to learn those same kinds of details from your friends in […]

Unofficial 3D Zelda game playable on web browser

Watch some gameplay from the unofficial 2.5D fan-made tribute to the 30th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda. Play it on your web browser (while you can!): http://www.zelda30tribute.com/

Video Game Review: ‘Hyrule Warriors Legends’ (3DS)

It’s hard to believe that Nintendo could pack in a whole Wii U disc’s worth of Hyrule Warriors content plus DLC into its tiny 3DS handheld system. But that’s exactly what they did with Hyrule Warriors Legends — and shockingly, it runs smoother than its console counterpart. Legends, like Hyrule Warriors, contains the same hack-and-slash […]
Supplied publicity photo, CTV/CBS, 2016

Canadian TV Ratings: ‘Big Bang Theory’ tops with 3.9 million viewers

American programming continues to dominate the Canadian TV ratings. CTV’s simulcast of Big Bang Theory absolutely trounced the competition with over 3.9 million viewers tuning in to see whether Sheldon’s royalty contract would lead to hilarious conflict. (Spoiler: it did.) It’s remarkable how much Canadians love Big Bang Theory. In the U.S., that same Big Bang episode lured 14.68 million viewers […]

In praise of video game invincibility

Nintendo's upcoming 'Star Fox Zero' introduces an "invincible" mode. Here's why that decision could open up the world of gaming to all.