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Shaman's Crossing: Book One of The Soldier Son Trilogy
Shaman's Crossing: Book One of The Soldier Son Trilogy
by Robin Hobb
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.99
250 used & new from $0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Snoozer's Crossing, January 6, 2008
There are so many wonderful possibilities in the world Ms. Hobb creates for this series, but somehow this book is a chore to read. I liked the idea of American Indian style shaman magic and the clash of cultures but I am 287 pages into the book and hardly anything has happened. She really could have used a good editor on this project. I like descriptive prose, but I don't care about reading page after page with long decriptions of things that don't relate to the main story. Maybe the trilogy should have been one book and she would not have needed so much tedious filler.
I logged on to see other opinions of the book because I was about to throw it away and it looks like tossing it is a good choice. I am sorry to see an interesting world go to waste. I did enjoy the Farseer series.

Darkwatch - Xbox
Darkwatch - Xbox
Offered by MediaNett
Price: $49.15
50 used & new from $1.37

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun shooter with some nice twists but visually repetetive, August 23, 2005
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Darkwatch - Xbox (Video Game)
Darkwatch for Xbox is an above average first person shooter (FPS) with a few cool features to seperate it from the pack. I'm sure anyone reading this knows what to expect from a FPS game and there are some good descriptions here, so I'll just add a few comments. My main complaint is that it's visually repetitive (both the characters and worlds). There are probably 12 or so character models in the entire game. I would have rather done without the cheesy cut scenes and spent more budget on varied enemy models.

+ It's fun to run around in the old west for a change, and the levels are nicely laid out to include close-up and long range fighting (I am one of those people who love sniping - carefully lining up a long-range shot and blowing off an enemies' head).

+ Throwing dynamite is always fun.

+ The weapons are fun to use and I like the fact that it matters where you hit an enemy (a head shot kills right away, while it may take several body shots).

+ The game moves along quickly and the difficulty increases at a good rate. Each new level is tougher, but not so much that you want to quit.

- There isn't much variation in character models.

- Most of the characters in the cut-scenes are annoying dorks. The voice acting is good, though. Having the 'ghost' Cassidy say stuff like 'Here they come, you'd better shoot them' can bug you real quick-like. I have yelled "No sh*t" or "Shut the H*ll up" at the TV quite a few times during this game.

- You see the same enemies over and over.

- There seems to be about 7 or 8 enemy types, and they get boring quickly. I would have appreciated if the developer just changed the color of clothing on enemies once in awhile. You'd think with all of the space on a DVD, you would not have to look at 20 of the exact same monster coming at you (over... and... over... and... over...). Come on guys - if there are 5 Banshees coming for you, how about a few different dress colors? It's like playing Robotron or Space Invaders. There's one character model for the guys that help you. It's like you are playing on clone planet.

- Did I mention that the enemies all look the same and keep repeating?

- Also, there are the same character models used again and again...

The Quick & Dirty Guide to Salsa - Part 1, Beginners
The Quick & Dirty Guide to Salsa - Part 1, Beginners
DVD ~ Gigi & Pedro
3 used & new from $23.55

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much better than your average dance instruction CD, June 23, 2005
I've become interested in learning a few basic dance styles, so I picked up this DVD on Amazon as well as a few others. I have to say that the production values and instruction quality on this DVD are much better than most offerings. The use of three camera angles is a great idea, and I took advantage of that feature. The instructor keeps the pace moving while still remembering this is a beginner class. The sound quality and picture are top notch. I recommend this DVD.

The Coward's Guide to Conflict
The Coward's Guide to Conflict
by Timothy Ursiny
Edition: Audio CD
Price: $19.84
16 used & new from $7.09

10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The information could have been in one CD (instead of 3), December 22, 2003
I like to listen to self improvement CDs while at the gym, so I picked this one up. While there is some good information in here, CD #1 was a complete time waster and CDs #2 & #3 could have been condensed into one effective CD. It also doesn't help that the narrator sounds like a gerbil on helium. It's the most annoying narration voice I've heard in quite awhile, and it makes it hard to take the content seriously. There are some great self improvement CDs out there - this isn't one of them.

Time Splitters 2
Time Splitters 2
Offered by MPSSTORE
Price: $35.99
94 used & new from $0.47

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Loads of replay value! A rare 5-Star game..., October 20, 2002
This review is from: Time Splitters 2 (Video Game)
I wanted a good FPS and decided to risk buying this game. It's awesome!
I tried the two X-Box demos of this game before buying it. The first time I tried the demo, I couldn't stand the aiming. I'm not sure if they've tweaked it, but it actually seemed fine in the second demo and now in the full game). Or maybe I've gotten used to it...
There's a load of replay value: you can unlock minigames, characters, complete levels on various difficulty settings, play multiplayer (with map editor), etc. I know I have only scratched the surface because I am on level 5. The environments and voice acting are excellent, and on the Xbox the graphics are smooth and lovely. Each level has competely new enemies and environments. I could see a whole game built around one level of this game!
The creative weapons are a nice change from your average FPS. Use a flamethrower, but you can catch yourself on fire. So, you'll need to be carrying a fire extinguisher (found on the wall) to put people out before they reach you! If you DO catch on fire, run to the broken shower. Details like this make a special game.
I hope this is legible - I am in a hurry because I want to go back to playing. I just wanted to let folks know that this is a great game and worth the 50 bucks. You'll get a LOT of gameplay from it.

Turok: Evolution
Turok: Evolution
Offered by You Name the Game
Price: $49.99
76 used & new from $1.78

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Could have been a great game, September 7, 2002
This review is from: Turok: Evolution (Video Game)
I remember playing the first Turok game of this series on the N64. It was good, but had some annoying control issues and infuriating 'jump' sequences. I figured that by the 3rd game of the series they'd have things ironed out - wrong.
There's great potential here - the sound effects are very well done, the levels are huge, and the dinosaurs and A.I. are good. But...
* There are long levels with few saves and sometimes unclear objectives.
* There are 'cheap' deaths. Sometimes you have no idea why you were killed. I don't mind if a game is hard, but it needs to follow some sort of logic so you feel you were beaten fairly.
* The stupid jumps are back. I feel precise jumping has no place in a 1st person shooter unless you can change perspective. For example I just played 30 minutes to get near the end of a level, only to miss a jump and die. I am not particularly interested in starting over...
* The voice acting (especially the flying chick) stinks.
I didn't expect it to compare to Halo, but I figured it would be a fun shooter. I should have known when the box had a blurb from Maxim magazine saying the game was great. I love Maxim but they don't know doo-doo about games (judging by previous reviews).
I wanted to like it. I really did...

Creative Labs NOMAD Jukebox 10 GB MP3 Player
Creative Labs NOMAD Jukebox 10 GB MP3 Player

38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent sound quality and features! Easy to use., May 14, 2002
I know some folks had trouble using this thing, but in my opinion a dunken monkey could hook it up. I have a Mac and a PC; it worked flawlessly with both. On the Mac it even appears in iTunes, so you simply drag files to it.
I have owned and used a HipDisk, RAM MP3 players (2), and MP3 CD Players (2). The sound quality on this thing is better than any of them (I am a professional audio engineer and picky). I think the CODEC is simply better (with free firmware updates it'll always improve). There's even a parametric EQ which lets you tailor Bass/Midrange/Treble to your tastes, but it actually sounds good flat. There's 2 line outs and a line in so you can record to the unit. As a musician, I have recorded song ideas, etc. with ease.
I have over 1,600 songs in it at 192 kbs, which the flexible and intuitive interface makes easy to pick and choose from. Besides using playlists, you can listen to a certain genre, album or artist.
At work I was using my Mac to play MP3s, but that slowed it down a little. Now I just plug the Jukebox into my PC, control it with the onscreen interface and rock out.
At the gym with it on random play I have a "radio station" with over 1,600 of my favorite tunes.
It's bulkier than the iPod, but has twice the drive space, costs $150.00 less and works with Mac/PC. The new Jukebox III looks even better (with 20 GB and firewire), but they were out of stock and I am leaving to India for a month and needed tunes (I would have had to take a gazillion CDs!).
Bottom line: I would buy another in a second!
p.s. I have never bothered to review anything except this and TiVo. Two of the greatest inventions ever.

Superbike 2001 - PC
Superbike 2001 - PC
Offered by GNL Designs
9 used & new from $3.99

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent motorcycle racing game. The best ever!, November 5, 2000
This review is from: Superbike 2001 - PC (Video Game)
If you are a fan of World Superbikes, or simply want a great racer, you can't go wrong with this one. It's the HIGHEST RATED RACING GAME on ...
An incredible amount of effort must have gone into this game, and it shows. Not only is it the best motorcycle game I have ever played, it's one of the best racing games. You can configure the difficulty to suit anyone's tastes, from hardcore simulation to an arcade blast. The graphics are spectacular, and as a fan of World Suberbike Racing, I can say the bikes, tracks and leathers are near spot on. On my GeForce2 video card, the race "replays" almost look like TV coverage of a real race! I owned World Superbikes, but passed on Superbike 2000 because the demo didn't play well (in my opinion). After playing the demo of Superbike 2001, I hopped on my motorcycle and raced to the store to buy a copy. I have seen video footage of most of the tracks in the game, and they are very accurate ...
There's a Championship mode, as well a a Quick Race option. The game ran great on the 2 PCs I have tested it on, and even played OK on my laptop.
If only there was an online multiplayer option (there is LAN play)...
By the way: If you need a great joypad, try the Interact Hammerhead FX! I read a great review of this pad ... and I'm glad I bought it. It is a close copy of the excellent PlayStation Dual-Shock pad, and works with Game or USB ports. The great thing for racing games like Superbike 2001 is that you can use one analog stick for steering (L-R), and the other for Gas/Brakes (U-D), but the game sees them as one stick which makes configuration a breeze! It's a huge improvement over playing with a digital pad or even one analog stick. The included software works great, and the pad is very comfortable. The PSX pad has both shoulder buttons stacked, while this pad places the lower shoulder buttons a little farther under the pad. This is actually better, and works very well in shooters like Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2, in my opinion.
Keep the rubber side down!

EverQuest: The Ruins of Kunark (Prima's Official Strategy Guide)
EverQuest: The Ruins of Kunark (Prima's Official Strategy Guide)
by Inc. IMGS
Edition: Paperback
40 used & new from $0.01

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Can't compete with the FREE EverQuest web sites!, October 21, 2000
I picked up this book when I bought EQ, and found that I rarely needed it. There are so many excellent EQ web sites with <i>up to date</i> information, that the book is not needed. You obviously have access to the web sites if you can play the game. Here's a few to try: [...] , [...] , [...] . There are tons more. For example [...] and [...] have up to date maps of most if not all areas of the game. Also, since the idea of a game like EQ is to play in a community environment, the web sites add to your enjoyment and feeling of "shared experience". Have fun!

Using Director 7 (Special Edition)
Using Director 7 (Special Edition)
by Gary Rosenzweig
Edition: Paperback
36 used & new from $0.98

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loads of practical examples. Inspiring content. Great value., August 19, 1999
I use Director about 30% of the time during work (otherwise Java and Perl). I learned Director 6 on the fly when I was given a project to complete, and searched for books aimed at an experienced programmer - there were none. Most were of the "this is a mouse" variety. Now, luckily there's this book and the Director/Lingo Nutshell books. One reason I like this book is because the examples are actually written in Director 7 syntax, which I like a lot more than the previous "wordy" Lingo. Also, it includes inspiring demos - the sort that egg you on to build a finished product out of them.
The author actually assumes you can think, and there's a lot of great tips. For example one states that text members have a graphic property (a bitmap representation), which is useful to know. Also, the author writes in a clear, concise manner, and there's no obvious padding in the book. The CD has some useful stuff one it, too.
Most Director books are a letdown, but this one has already paid for itself in time saved.

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