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Kinivo BTD-300 Bluetooth 3.0 USB adapter - For Windows 7 / Windows XP / Vista, Mac OS 10.3.9 or Later
Kinivo BTD-300 Bluetooth 3.0 USB adapter - For Windows 7 / Windows XP / Vista, Mac OS 10.3.9 or Later
Offered by BlueRigger
Price: $29.99
6 used & new from $8.01

2.0 out of 5 stars Will work with multiple PS4 controllers! (But not very well...), July 30, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Watch this video [http://youtu.be/9gMltAE6BQc] and follow the instructions. I have tried using two controllers and it works, but the signal is pretty weak. Youd probably be better of buying a different dongle.


Dishonored - PC
Dishonored - PC
Offered by GBA Global
Price: $7.35
58 used & new from $1.20

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dishonored Review (No Spoilers), October 15, 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Dishonored - PC (Video Game)
It's difficult to decide how to approach a review for a game like this. Dishonored is one of the few games where a dissection feels more like a mutilation, and while the gameplay, storytelling, and atmosphere of the game are all important, it isn't nearly as significant as the way they meld together to forge one of the best video game experiences I've had in recent years.

The story of Dishonored, which many interested people have no doubt heard dozens of times by now, is simple: you are Corvo Attano, Lord Protector and close friend of Empress Jessamine Kaldwin of Dunwall, who is desperate for a cure for the rat-spread plague that has Dunwall gasping for breath. Corvo is wrongly accused of her murder and the kidnapping of Emily, the girl-child heir to the throne. After a jailbreak you join the self-titled `Loyalists' who seek to overthrow the new tyrannical Lord Regent. This group is Corvo's vehicle for revenge on the high-raking conspirators responsible for the Empress' death. When I first heard this premise it seemed archetypal and uninteresting. I know revenge stories - you know revenge stories. We've seen stealth games, and developers love to boast about the player's ability to make game-changing decisions with visible consequences. I'm not sure we've seen anything quite like this though. Arkane has done something remarkable: they've done everything right.

Let's start with the mask Corvo is given after he joins the Loyalists. It's essentially a metal skull split down the middle with strange bright lenses in the eyes and the jaw wired together. It's terrifying. If you saw someone wearing that mask, you would either run or be an idiot. It's also worth mentioning that Corvo never speaks. Some people might not like the idea, but I really like it. Corvo's decisions are your decisions. You are the knife in the dark, and you are the face and voice behind the mask.

The first thing anyone is going to notice about Dishonored is how gorgeous everything is. Walking through Dunwall is like walking through a painting. This is also a bit clever, because what minor pixelations and blotchyness I would have normally complained about can be easily ignored because, hey, that's what it would look like in a painting; they might have done it on purpose. The characters you encounter are all very well put together. Their cheeks stretch and narrow while characters are forming their words. Their body-language is so unobtrusive and natural that I, on more than one occasion, had to stop and admire how well-done it is. No stiff, poorly-timed movements or corny/preachy speeches such as in Mass Effect, no repeated meaningless hand gestures like in Borderlands 2; these characters look, speak, and move like real people with real personalities - every one of them charming in their own way. Arkane Studios' attention to detail in character design shows how committed they are to telling a good story.

Dishonored comes with a cast of remarkable characters voiced by talented voice actors such as Susan Sarandon, Brad Dourif, Carrie Fisher, and ChloŽ Grace Moretz. These characters are so well written that I not only enjoy them, but I've had multiple favoritism arguments with myself. I still can't decide between Samuel, Piero, and Emily. The fact that I could easily recall every character's name after just my first playthrough is a testament to how well-developed they are. You will be interested in them, you will care about them, and you'll wonder what they're thinking as you progress though the game. You don't play Dishonored to level up and create a badass character to show off to your friends; you're being told a story that could leave you white-knuckled. If you're a sucker for a well-told story with memorable characters, skip the rest of this review and go buy the game.

Corvo has access to a total of five powers and five enhancements, all of which can be upgraded once after unlocking them. These numbers might feel a little underwhelming to anyone who hasn't played the game. After all, in almost every other game with RPG elements you unlock dozens of spells and abilities before you're halfway through, but between the handful of weapons and devices, the number of upgrades you can purchase, the various types of ammunition, and different ways these weapons and devices can be used to compliment the powers and enhancements you choose, you're bound to develop a flexible playstyle of your own creation. At first combat may feel stiff and maybe even a little wonky, but once you understand the mechanics it feels smooth and empowering. I would tell you what all of these powers, enhancements, and weapons are, but discovering the tools available to you and the different ways of using them are a part of the experience I'd hate to deprive anyone of.

The way you play Dishonored and the decisions you make do have noticeable consequences. Of course, we've seen this before, but in Dishonored these consequences not only make sense, but some of them are unexpected - even heartbreaking - and all of them are your fault. Play though the game twice and make different decisions, and you'll see two very different endings that could evoke an emotional response - guilt and regret being the first that come to mind.

I've played and beaten Dishonored three times thus far. Once on the `Very Hard' difficulty, once to complete the game without ever killing anyone or being detected, and once without unlocking any powers or enhancements. Each of these playthoughs were challenging, but I never felt as though the game was unfair. The A.I. is pretty intelligent, and if you're playing on one of the harder difficulty settings, one wrong move or unintentional noise and you'll be confronted by enemies fully capable of overpowering you. During specific chapters of the game, when stealth is the only way to ensure your survival, you will experience a sense of genuine helplessness and the fear of being caught; you might even forget to breathe for a few seconds at a time. Between playthoughs, and even between deaths, enemy behavior varies, meaning you can't always depend on everyone in your way to be in the same place every time you encounter them, which I love.

I have only a few minor complaints about this game. During gameplay, you'll hear guards talking to one another, and they often though not constantly repeat the same conversations over and over which really pulled me out of the experience every now and then. I realize Arkane makes the guards talk as a way to help the player locate them, but it would have been better to replace repetitive dialogue with coughs, sneezes, and other sounds that could alert the player of their presence, or just different dialogue. The Achievement/Trophy descriptions are too vague. Multiple times I had to go online seeking a better explanation of the stipulations of unlocking certain achievements, and one particular achievement seems to be a little finicky. There's also no time keeper in the game, not even in your save file, so I have no idea how long each playthough took me. Lastly, every now and then incapacitated bodies fall through the floor and disappear. This was especially bothersome during the playthrough I did while trying not to kill anyone because I didn't know if they'd fallen through to a lower floor or off a cliff to their death. Thankfully disappearing bodies never counted as deaths at the end of the chapter. None of these problems are game-breakers, and none of them are so bothersome that they made me want to stop playing. These complaints are more like happy corrections to an otherwise fantastic game.

I was extremely skeptical of Dishonored from the day I heard about it to its release. After reading and watching soaring reviews I decided to give it a shot, and I'm glad I did. Dishonored has become one of my very favorite games in less than a week. It's not very long - I started and finished it in one sitting during my first playthough, but the $60 price-tag is justified by the well-told story, beautiful artwork and very high replay value. You will play it multiple times not only to see story alternatives, but to discover the multiple ways to creatively complete each chapter. Dishonored is the perfect blend of fantasy and reality, of violence and storytelling, and of beauty and brutality. Buy it, and then hope Arkane Studios has a few more games of this quality in the making.


Dishonored Greatest Hits - Playstation 3
Dishonored Greatest Hits - Playstation 3
Offered by Delaware
Price: $13.48
213 used & new from $3.33

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dishonored Review (No Spoilers), October 15, 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
It's difficult to decide how to approach a review for a game like this. Dishonored is one of the few games where a dissection feels more like a mutilation, and while the gameplay, storytelling, and atmosphere of the game are all important, it isn't nearly as significant as the way they meld together to forge one of the best video game experiences I've had in recent years.

The story of Dishonored, which many interested people have no doubt heard dozens of times by now, is simple: you are Corvo Attano, Lord Protector and close friend of Empress Jessamine Kaldwin of Dunwall, who is desperate for a cure for the rat-spread plague that has Dunwall gasping for breath. Corvo is wrongly accused of her murder and the kidnapping of Emily, the girl-child heir to the throne. After a jailbreak you join the self-titled `Loyalists' who seek to overthrow the new tyrannical Lord Regent. This group is Corvo's vehicle for revenge on the high-raking conspirators responsible for the Empress' death. When I first heard this premise it seemed archetypal and uninteresting. I know revenge stories - you know revenge stories. We've seen stealth games, and developers love to boast about the player's ability to make game-changing decisions with visible consequences. I'm not sure we've seen anything quite like this though. Arkane has done something remarkable: they've done everything right.

Let's start with the mask Corvo is given after he joins the Loyalists. It's essentially a metal skull split down the middle with strange bright lenses in the eyes and the jaw wired together. It's terrifying. If you saw someone wearing that mask, you would either run or be an idiot. It's also worth mentioning that Corvo never speaks. Some people might not like the idea, but I really like it. Corvo's decisions are your decisions. You are the knife in the dark, and you are the face and voice behind the mask.

The first thing anyone is going to notice about Dishonored is how gorgeous everything is. Walking through Dunwall is like walking through a painting. This is also a bit clever, because what minor pixelations and blotchyness I would have normally complained about can be easily ignored because, hey, that's what it would look like in a painting; they might have done it on purpose. The characters you encounter are all very well put together. Their cheeks stretch and narrow while characters are forming their words. Their body-language is so unobtrusive and natural that I, on more than one occasion, had to stop and admire how well-done it is. No stiff, poorly-timed movements or corny/preachy speeches such as in Mass Effect, no repeated meaningless hand gestures like in Borderlands 2; these characters look, speak, and move like real people with real personalities - every one of them charming in their own way. Arkane Studios' attention to detail in character design shows how committed they are to telling a good story.

Dishonored comes with a cast of remarkable characters voiced by talented voice actors such as Susan Sarandon, Brad Dourif, Carrie Fisher, and ChloŽ Grace Moretz. These characters are so well written that I not only enjoy them, but I've had multiple favoritism arguments with myself. I still can't decide between Samuel, Piero, and Emily. The fact that I could easily recall every character's name after just my first playthrough is a testament to how well-developed they are. You will be interested in them, you will care about them, and you'll wonder what they're thinking as you progress though the game. You don't play Dishonored to level up and create a badass character to show off to your friends; you're being told a story that could leave you white-knuckled. If you're a sucker for a well-told story with memorable characters, skip the rest of this review and go buy the game.

Corvo has access to a total of five powers and five enhancements, all of which can be upgraded once after unlocking them. These numbers might feel a little underwhelming to anyone who hasn't played the game. After all, in almost every other game with RPG elements you unlock dozens of spells and abilities before you're halfway through, but between the handful of weapons and devices, the number of upgrades you can purchase, the various types of ammunition, and different ways these weapons and devices can be used to compliment the powers and enhancements you choose, you're bound to develop a flexible playstyle of your own creation. At first combat may feel stiff and maybe even a little wonky, but once you understand the mechanics it feels smooth and empowering. I would tell you what all of these powers, enhancements, and weapons are, but discovering the tools available to you and the different ways of using them are a part of the experience I'd hate to deprive anyone of.

The way you play Dishonored and the decisions you make do have noticeable consequences. Of course, we've seen this before, but in Dishonored these consequences not only make sense, but some of them are unexpected - even heartbreaking - and all of them are your fault. Play though the game twice and make different decisions, and you'll see two very different endings that could evoke an emotional response - guilt and regret being the first that come to mind.

I've played and beaten Dishonored three times thus far. Once on the `Very Hard' difficulty, once to complete the game without ever killing anyone or being detected, and once without unlocking any powers or enhancements. Each of these playthoughs were challenging, but I never felt as though the game was unfair. The A.I. is pretty intelligent, and if you're playing on one of the harder difficulty settings, one wrong move or unintentional noise and you'll be confronted by enemies fully capable of overpowering you. During specific chapters of the game, when stealth is the only way to ensure your survival, you will experience a sense of genuine helplessness and the fear of being caught; you might even forget to breathe for a few seconds at a time. Between playthoughs, and even between deaths, enemy behavior varies, meaning you can't always depend on everyone in your way to be in the same place every time you encounter them, which I love.

I have only a few minor complaints about this game. During gameplay, you'll hear guards talking to one another, and they often though not constantly repeat the same conversations over and over which really pulled me out of the experience every now and then. I realize Arkane makes the guards talk as a way to help the player locate them, but it would have been better to replace repetitive dialogue with coughs, sneezes, and other sounds that could alert the player of their presence, or just different dialogue. The Achievement/Trophy descriptions are too vague. Multiple times I had to go online seeking a better explanation of the stipulations of unlocking certain achievements, and one particular achievement seems to be a little finicky. There's also no time keeper in the game, not even in your save file, so I have no idea how long each playthough took me. Lastly, every now and then incapacitated bodies fall through the floor and disappear. This was especially bothersome during the playthrough I did while trying not to kill anyone because I didn't know if they'd fallen through to a lower floor or off a cliff to their death. Thankfully disappearing bodies never counted as deaths at the end of the chapter. None of these problems are game-breakers, and none of them are so bothersome that they made me want to stop playing. These complaints are more like happy corrections to an otherwise fantastic game.

I was extremely skeptical of Dishonored from the day I heard about it to its release. After reading and watching soaring reviews I decided to give it a shot, and I'm glad I did. Dishonored has become one of my very favorite games in less than a week. It's not very long - I started and finished it in one sitting during my first playthough, but the $60 price-tag is justified by the well-told story, beautiful artwork and very high replay value. You will play it multiple times not only to see story alternatives, but to discover the multiple ways to creatively complete each chapter. Dishonored is the perfect blend of fantasy and reality, of violence and storytelling, and of beauty and brutality. Buy it, and then hope Arkane Studios has a few more games of this quality in the making.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 16, 2012 2:08 PM PDT


Dishonored
Dishonored
Offered by Hitgaming Video Games
Price: $19.19
179 used & new from $3.24

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dishonored Review (No Spoilers), October 15, 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Dishonored (Video Game)
It's difficult to decide how to approach a review for a game like this. Dishonored is one of the few games where a dissection feels more like a mutilation, and while the gameplay, storytelling, and atmosphere of the game are all important, it isn't nearly as significant as the way they meld together to forge one of the best video game experiences I've had in recent years.

The story of Dishonored, which many interested people have no doubt heard dozens of times by now, is simple: you are Corvo Attano, Lord Protector and close friend of Empress Jessamine Kaldwin of Dunwall, who is desperate for a cure for the rat-spread plague that has Dunwall gasping for breath. Corvo is wrongly accused of her murder and the kidnapping of Emily, the girl-child heir to the throne. After a jailbreak you join the self-titled `Loyalists' who seek to overthrow the new tyrannical Lord Regent. This group is Corvo's vehicle for revenge on the high-raking conspirators responsible for the Empress' death. When I first heard this premise it seemed archetypal and uninteresting. I know revenge stories - you know revenge stories. We've seen stealth games, and developers love to boast about the player's ability to make game-changing decisions with visible consequences. I'm not sure we've seen anything quite like this though. Arkane has done something remarkable: they've done everything right.

Let's start with the mask Corvo is given after he joins the Loyalists. It's essentially a metal skull split down the middle with strange bright lenses in the eyes and the jaw wired together. It's terrifying. If you saw someone wearing that mask, you would either run or be an idiot. It's also worth mentioning that Corvo never speaks. Some people might not like the idea, but I really like it. Corvo's decisions are your decisions. You are the knife in the dark, and you are the face and voice behind the mask.

The first thing anyone is going to notice about Dishonored is how gorgeous everything is. Walking through Dunwall is like walking through a painting. This is also a bit clever, because what minor pixelations and blotchyness I would have normally complained about can be easily ignored because, hey, that's what it would look like in a painting; they might have done it on purpose. The characters you encounter are all very well put together. Their cheeks stretch and narrow while characters are forming their words. Their body-language is so unobtrusive and natural that I, on more than one occasion, had to stop and admire how well-done it is. No stiff, poorly-timed movements or corny/preachy speeches such as in Mass Effect, no repeated meaningless hand gestures like in Borderlands 2; these characters look, speak, and move like real people with real personalities - every one of them charming in their own way. Arkane Studios' attention to detail in character design shows how committed they are to telling a good story.

Dishonored comes with a cast of remarkable characters voiced by talented voice actors such as Susan Sarandon, Brad Dourif, Carrie Fisher, and ChloŽ Grace Moretz. These characters are so well written that I not only enjoy them, but I've had multiple favoritism arguments with myself. I still can't decide between Samuel, Piero, and Emily. The fact that I could easily recall every character's name after just my first playthrough is a testament to how well-developed they are. You will be interested in them, you will care about them, and you'll wonder what they're thinking as you progress though the game. You don't play Dishonored to level up and create a badass character to show off to your friends; you're being told a story that could leave you white-knuckled. If you're a sucker for a well-told story with memorable characters, skip the rest of this review and go buy the game.

Corvo has access to a total of five powers and five enhancements, all of which can be upgraded once after unlocking them. These numbers might feel a little underwhelming to anyone who hasn't played the game. After all, in almost every other game with RPG elements you unlock dozens of spells and abilities before you're halfway through, but between the handful of weapons and devices, the number of upgrades you can purchase, the various types of ammunition, and different ways these weapons and devices can be used to compliment the powers and enhancements you choose, you're bound to develop a flexible playstyle of your own creation. At first combat may feel stiff and maybe even a little wonky, but once you understand the mechanics it feels smooth and empowering. I would tell you what all of these powers, enhancements, and weapons are, but discovering the tools available to you and the different ways of using them are a part of the experience I'd hate to deprive anyone of.

The way you play Dishonored and the decisions you make do have noticeable consequences. Of course, we've seen this before, but in Dishonored these consequences not only make sense, but some of them are unexpected - even heartbreaking - and all of them are your fault. Play though the game twice and make different decisions, and you'll see two very different endings that could evoke an emotional response - guilt and regret being the first that come to mind.

I've played and beaten Dishonored three times thus far. Once on the `Very Hard' difficulty, once to complete the game without ever killing anyone or being detected, and once without unlocking any powers or enhancements. Each of these playthoughs were challenging, but I never felt as though the game was unfair. The A.I. is pretty intelligent, and if you're playing on one of the harder difficulty settings, one wrong move or unintentional noise and you'll be confronted by enemies fully capable of overpowering you. During specific chapters of the game, when stealth is the only way to ensure your survival, you will experience a sense of genuine helplessness and the fear of being caught; you might even forget to breathe for a few seconds at a time. Between playthoughs, and even between deaths, enemy behavior varies, meaning you can't always depend on everyone in your way to be in the same place every time you encounter them, which I love.

I have only a few minor complaints about this game. During gameplay, you'll hear guards talking to one another, and they often though not constantly repeat the same conversations over and over which really pulled me out of the experience every now and then. I realize Arkane makes the guards talk as a way to help the player locate them, but it would have been better to replace repetitive dialogue with coughs, sneezes, and other sounds that could alert the player of their presence, or just different dialogue. The Achievement/Trophy descriptions are too vague. Multiple times I had to go online seeking a better explanation of the stipulations of unlocking certain achievements, and one particular achievement seems to be a little finicky. There's also no time keeper in the game, not even in your save file, so I have no idea how long each playthough took me. Lastly, every now and then incapacitated bodies fall through the floor and disappear. This was especially bothersome during the playthrough I did while trying not to kill anyone because I didn't know if they'd fallen through to a lower floor or off a cliff to their death. Thankfully disappearing bodies never counted as deaths at the end of the chapter. None of these problems are game-breakers, and none of them are so bothersome that they made me want to stop playing. These complaints are more like happy corrections to an otherwise fantastic game.

I was extremely skeptical of Dishonored from the day I heard about it to its release. After reading and watching soaring reviews I decided to give it a shot, and I'm glad I did. Dishonored has become one of my very favorite games in less than a week. It's not very long - I started and finished it in one sitting during my first playthough, but the $60 price-tag is justified by the well-told story, beautiful artwork and very high replay value. You will play it multiple times not only to see story alternatives, but to discover the multiple ways to creatively complete each chapter. Dishonored is the perfect blend of fantasy and reality, of violence and storytelling, and of beauty and brutality. Buy it, and then hope Arkane Studios has a few more games of this quality in the making.


Skelethon
Skelethon
Price: $11.11
43 used & new from $3.99

25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Aesop Rock - Skelethon Review, July 10, 2012
This review is from: Skelethon (Audio CD)
Since his post-None Shall Pass (2007) hiatus, Aesop Rock's work has been a mixed bag. Hail Mary Mallon's Are You Going To Eat That? (2011) lacked the heart and elegant lyricism that made me the die-hard Aesop Rock fan I have been for the past seven years, and to be honest it begrimed my image of Aesop Rock. When Skelethon was announced I became immediately apprehensive, but hopeful. That hope was rewarded.

The fifteen tracks on Skelethon not only live up to Aesop Rock's reputation of writing congested and equivocal lyrics that reveal something new with every listen, but Skelethon is proof that Aesop Rock has improved his technique in every respect.

Skelethon is a more upbeat album than fans like myself are used to, and it compliments Aesop's lyrics and delivery beautifully. Every track is inwrought with more heart than I've seen since the Daylight EP (2002). This album is unique in that listeners will not only be translating tongue-twisting stories slightly reminiscent of "No Regrets" from Labor Days (2001), but this album occasionally serves as an autobiography of Ian Bavitz himself. "Gopher Guts," the last track on Skelethon, is a direct relative of "One of Four" from the Daylight EP. Aesop raps about Camu Tao, his own childhood, bouts of self-loathing, and his current frustrations. Aesop Rock's lyrics have actually improved, and have taken on an almost Tom Waits-ian edge, which I love.

Skelethon is the only Aesop Rock album where Aesop's voice and delivery slightly vary from all of his past work--in a good way. In several tracks Aesop seems to be, for lack of a better description, playing and experimenting with his voice in ways I can't recall him doing ever before. Don't worry, Aesop sounds very much the same, and these slight occasional changes are charming; fans of Aesop Rock are bound to notice and enjoy them.

Aesop himself made the beats in every song, and sometimes they lack the same potency of his lyrics, but this is rare. So rare it's easy to overlook as Aesop Rock's music is lyrically driven. Overall, the beats are appropriate, well-produced and atmospheric. They serve as story-telling tools tailored to compliment Aesop Rock's lyrics, rather than the other way around.

I loved this album from beginning to end, and there is not a single song that I don't like. Skelethon surpassed every expectation I had. With the drive and emotional poignancy of the Daylight EP and the hard-hitting lyricism and anthem-like hooks of Labor Days, Skelethon is easily one of my favorite Aesop Rock albums out of his entire discography.


Bad As Me [Limited Deluxe Edition]
Bad As Me [Limited Deluxe Edition]
Price: $20.22
80 used & new from $7.47

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A less traditional Tom Waits album, July 9, 2012
I own every album Tom Waits has ever released. In my teen years I listened to Blood Money and immediately become obsessed with all things Tom Waits. My Tom Waits enthusiasm was (and still is) boarder-line idolatry, and considering how unique, gritty, and heart-wrenching Tom's past work is, Bad As Me stands out on its own.

A typical Tom Waits album is girdled by a single consistent theme, but Bad As Me is is practically a Tom Waits art show. If you expect this album to have the same feel as his past work, you will be disappointed. Bad As Me is vintage Tom Waits, but this is not necessarily a vintage Tom Waits album; Bad As Me feels like a mixtape.

When exploring this album, you will find showcased a spectrum of styles, moods, and sounds that Tom loves to play with ranging from the exhilarating opening Chicago to the melancholy of the ballad Last Leaf.

Lyrically, Bad As Me is hit or miss, but mostly hit. The majority of these songs have at least one memorable line, but most of the ballads lack the same poignancy as songs like Coney Island Baby, Green Grass, and Fish and Bird.

My favorite track on this album is Hell Broke Luce. This is without a doubt the grittiest, most irreverent, and politically relevant song Tom Waits has ever written and his voice is as brilliant as it's ever been.

When I listened to my first Tom Waits album, I considered him to be one of modern music's most gifted songwriters. Nothing has changed. From his 1973 debut album Closing Time to 2011's Bad As Me, Tom Waits has yet to release a single dissatisfying album.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 10, 2012 2:08 PM PDT


The Witcher 2: Assassins Of Kings Enhanced Edition
The Witcher 2: Assassins Of Kings Enhanced Edition
Offered by 1to3shop-store
Price: $29.99
64 used & new from $12.99

5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars From a disappointed RPG enthusiast., May 21, 2012
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
In The Witcher 2, Geralt of Rivia must gain the favor of a number of undesirables in order to find King Foltest's assailant and clear his own name. Geralt's companions and enemies are neither undeniably good nor evil, each with their flaws and reasons. Geralt's relationships and choices affect the way the game plays out. Players are often faced with choices between moral consciousness and what helps Geralt the most. The story is told from the point of view of a poet, which I like. It is complex and mostly well written, but ultimately inelegant. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is no masterpiece.

There is an absence of closeness among the characters--even between the potential lovers. Geralt's random words of morality and fairness make him look less like the insightful but solitary knight and more like Red Dead Redemption's John Marston, and with the three dominant races being humans and archetypal elves and dwarves, I had very little incentive to progress through the story that is both less interesting and less thought-provoking than other major M-rated titles. With weak characters and a dissatisfying end, the story of The Witcher 2 is not its best quality.

Gameplay in The Witcher 2 does have a few unique elements. Crafting bombs and traps, consuming potions and reading about your enemies to prepare for a difficult fight allows players to strategize, and watching one's forethought play off is its own reward. Skill-point allocation also lends itself to strategy, but completionists will be frustrated that the leveling system is hard-capped to 35, which comes nowhere close to unlocking all of the witcher's abilities.

The game has a number of technical problems. Geralt cannot fall off the edges of walls and buildings, which takes away from the feeling of danger; having your hand held in a supposedly adult game feels a little condescending. The few times Geralt interacts with external objects, you repeatedly press A as opposed to truly interacting with the world. The tedious, not-so-lucrative minigames and the repetitive dialogue from NPCs whether in combat, at the tavern, or sleeping in bed pulls you out of the game before you're really immersed.

Limited exploration in maze-like environments feels elementary in comparison to other RPGs. This is forgivable, though, because The Witcher 2 is not intended to provide an open world, but to tell a story. People and destinations that should be labeled on the map, aren't. A character will claim to mark a location on Geralt's map, but no indicator appears. Searching the entire town to find one person did not make me feel smart or accomplished--it made me feel like playing a different game.

Some of the technical problems get Geralt killed. The targeting system will occasionally fail you, leaving Geralt vulnerable to attack, and sometimes Geralt's blows simply fail to connect. You cannot choose which move Geralt performs and when--you keep pressing the A and X buttons and hope for the best. Invisible walls sometimes obstruct open doorways when Geralt tries to retreat from a mob of enemies, and the sluggish witcher cannot immediately react to incoming attacks. These aren't very bothersome in normal gameplay, but when playing Dark Mode the flaws bleed through.

Conquering Dark Mode requires a level of patience one needs to play Dark Souls, but for different reasons. Along with the flaws in combat and other small glitches, autosaves are seldom; a death will cause you to lose an hour of exploration and item collection. Dark Mode gives you the opportunity to craft three unique sets of weapons and armor, but the final set may only be completed with a unique item, and it's impossible to tell which decision will give you the chance to find it. I spent a lot of time searching for the item only to learn I couldn't use the best set of armor in the game without taking a heavy penalty.

The cutscenes in The Witcher 2 are fantastic. The few blemishes and ripples are only noticeable because they're done so beautifully; the in-game graphics are impressive despite a few pop-in textures and animation quirks. However, the characters never show any emotion; anger, humor, fear and pain, though easily noticeable in the excellent voice acting, are never reflected on their placid faces.

The atmosphere of The Witcher 2 is bogged down. There's frequent sound distortion during the louder scenes of the game and an electric guitar on the Fable-like soundtrack in a world that has yet to harness electricity. There are sounds of blowing wind and splashing water despite their stillness. The banal journal entries have a few grammatical mistakes, which wouldn't have been a problem if the author was anything other than a scholar and master poet. The killing blow to the atmosphere of The Witcher 2 is that the characters somehow know not only about evolution, cells and genotypes, but they make obvious references to philosophers, movies and modern phrases that have no context in their world. This demolishes the fourth wall, and despite there being a Dark Mode and a Dark Edition of the game, it isn't very dark at all.

I finished this game disillusioned and disappointed. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is a decent game, of which this short review gives only a very crude representation, but was perhaps too ambitious for CD Projekt RED. The cacophony of influences from older games makes The Witcher 2 slightly charming and nostalgic, but it definitely isn't anything new. Tighter combat and a compelling story in a more immersive world would have helped this game. Having almost no lasting appeal, the game seems to be made with too much thought and not enough feeling.


The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Official Game Guide
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Official Game Guide
by David S. J. Hodgson
Edition: Hardcover
48 used & new from $9.97

310 of 325 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful., November 11, 2011
You could beat a dragon's skull in with this guide.

The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim Collectors Edition: Prima Official Game Guide is immaculate. Meticulously detailed maps, thorough, well-written quest guides both comprehensive and clear, and every item, vendor, and trainer location in the game have been sewn in to this masterfully rendered tome.

The details of what comes with this guide are on the page, so an in-depth analysis would be both tedious and unnecessary.

I have owned the guides for most of my RPGs including Oblivion, Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas as well as Mass Effect, Mass Effect II, Fable II and Fable III. This one is the best out of them all.

This guide took 2000 hours for Prima to complete, and it shows. If you want the most out of this game, if you want explore every nook and cranny, this guide is the perfect companion.

For those of you who might be worried, this hard-cover guide is made to last. A Harry Potter book probably isn't as tough-looking as this.

My only complaint, and this is an infinitesimally small one, is that the physical map that comes with the guide is connected to the guide itself (which is typical of almost every guide I have ever owned) and must be torn out. This very often (at least for yours truly) results in the edges of the map being torn. However, Prima makes up for this issue raises the bar of game guides by including a code to an online interactive map which may be accessed from any computer.

This is a beautiful, well-written, long-lasting and vast guide that is perfect for a game vast enough to call for it.
Comment Comments (11) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 9, 2012 7:37 AM PST


Bicycle Ghost Playing Cards Deck by Ellusionist
Bicycle Ghost Playing Cards Deck by Ellusionist
Offered by Stay At Home Dads, We Know Games!!!
Price: $7.99
15 used & new from $4.00

8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Ghost Deck, May 24, 2010
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
These cards look much cleaner and more elegant than your standard poker deck, however, the only difference between the two is the coloring.

In addition to the shipping costs, this deck cost a miserable $14.00 which is nearly unacceptable. If I didn't want these specific cards, I would return them.

IF you are absolutely sure you want these cards, you will not be disappointed; but the price is terrible.


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