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Nate R RSS Feed (San Jose, California)

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Pocket League Story
Pocket League Story
Price: $4.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Football Manager 2013, but..., March 16, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Pocket League Story (App)
This was a nice free app, and IMO, worth the price. I was unimpressed with their Pokemon-ish IAP-supported game, Beastie Bay. However, this one being free at the time, it was no risk to me to try it.

There are a lot of little fiddly bits if you like "sim"/management type games. This is not a soccer game... this is a soccer team management game. It covers a lot, from facilities to coaches to personnel to sponsorship. There's a surprising amount of things you can do in the game.

My kids like soccer, so watching the games is also fun. The little sprites do a good job, in spite of being little sprites i.e. forward cutting to the back post to receive a lob into the box. You can tell they are making a reasonable facsimile of soccer.

Downsides: there are a LOT of widgets to fiddle with, unlike the Grand Prix game by these guys. Too many buttons to deal with, especially when you're setting up specialized coaching for different parts of your team. There are a lot of things to work on & upgrade. Also, no injuries to players that I can tell, so your bench is kind of pointless. Also, no fouls, no yellow/red cards, and no injury time during the games. If you don't like grass diving, I guess this is a plus.

Bottom line: I liked it so much, I used some leftover points in the Play appstore to pick up the Grand Prix game, which I prefer to this one. However, if you like soccer, and you like sim/management type games, this one is a good buy for you. I would probably purchase this one even if I didn't get it via the free app of the day.


LEGO Star Wars A-wing Starfighter 75003
LEGO Star Wars A-wing Starfighter 75003
Offered by Sweetness Resale
Price: $69.24
38 used & new from $49.95

10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Playable Lego Star Wars set, January 13, 2013
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
One of the prior comments regarding the modeling aspects of the A-Wing is absolutely true. Things like the X-Wing set are way cooler & have more detail.

However, the A-Wing is a brick, man. It's solid. Yes, the X-Wing is something you can play with, but it's huge, the guns on the ends of the S-foils are a little fiddly, and the whole combination of size & somewhat weak linkage on the guns is a slight issue in play.

The A-Wing is just a little tank by comparison. Easier for the little ones to play with than the massive X-Wing or Y-Wing, and less prone to breakage in rougher play. Plus, if you drop the bugger (the A-Wing, not the little ones), it's a less complex model to put back together.

And anyone who's played old X-Wing simulators knows that the A-Wing is a bad little guy to go up against. You need at least one to put in your Lego hangar because it's the A-Wing, man!

The worst part? The stickers. Didn't like applying them, especially the ones on the cockpit. The white stickers on the white blocks were also a pain, and you need intense light to line those up correctly. The landing gear is just the standard thing. The A-Wing pilot helmet looks great in the movie, but the Lego version is bigger & less cool than the standard Rebel pilot helmet.

The best detail work are the engines on the back, along with the little engine pod thing that you can remove. Your little engineers can put the wrench into the hand of the mini-fig & have him fine tune the engines on the ship, as shown in one of the pictures on the back of the box. The size seems right compared to the bigger Rebel starfighters, and the details are there.

Also, I love that the pilot has one of the 2-faced reversible heads... one of the faces is all gung-ho, and the other side has the "OH NOES! I GONNA SMASH INTO A STAR DESTROYER" face. That's pretty awesome. Not as awesome as Porkins in the X-Wing set, but it's still a nice nod to the movies. When I get more A-Wings, I think I'll swap some of our Lego Atlantis heads for the A-Wing pilots.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 2, 2013 2:31 AM PDT


Logitech M510 Wireless Mouse, Blue (910-002533  )
Logitech M510 Wireless Mouse, Blue (910-002533  )
Price: $19.99
27 used & new from $14.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Long fingers? Large hand? Get this affordable mouse!, January 12, 2013
I have long fingers, and like everyone else with larger/longer hands, little bitty mice tend to be very tiring to use after a while. Hand/wrist pain is no joke.

This one just feels right in my hand... not necessarily because of any funky ergo shape. It's just big, and it is long enough to rest my hand on. And it's a big, full sized mouse at a reasonable price. I like it. I like big mice and I cannot lie.

There are probably better ergonomic mice out there for your hand. Logictech makes tons of fancier mice than this one, for a bunch more money. Am I going to shell out the $$$ for that? I really don't need the high end fancy stuff for what I do.

And, yes, there are cheaper lower-end mice than this one, but the size is what counts. What you're paying for is the comfort of a big mouse in your larger hand, not any fancy materials or a ton of extra buttons that you'll never really use, although there are a couple extra buttons on the side if you're into that sort of thing.

Sure, this big mouse might take up extra space in your laptop bag or backpack. For me, who does travel for work, the extra volume occupied by the m510 is worth the hand/wrist comfort.


Kindle Fire HD 7", Dolby Audio, Dual-Band Wi-Fi, 32 GB - Includes Special Offers (Previous Generation - 2nd)
Kindle Fire HD 7", Dolby Audio, Dual-Band Wi-Fi, 32 GB - Includes Special Offers (Previous Generation - 2nd)
27 used & new from $93.51

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fire HD versus Google Nexus 7, January 6, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
So Santa Me got my wife the Kindle Fire HD, and Santa Me also got myself the Google Nexus 7... both in 32gb flavors.

What the web says is true. If you like Android & want to mess with it, you need a Nexus device like a Nexus 4 or a Nexus 7. If you like Amazon's stuff, you pretty much need a Kindle Fire. Both are great little devices.

I absolutely love my Nexus 7. It's a wonderful device. I love my wife's tablet as well.

Why I liked using my wife's tablet?

Prime. There are a lot of free things to stream, although the children's stuff is a wee bit limited compared to all the options for non-children entertainment. Maybe that's a reflection of the value of sex/violence in our culture versus our opinions as parents, I don't know. We got a TON of use out of it over the Xmas break.0

HDMI out. The Nexus doesn't have that. Stream stuff off of Amazon Prime's free stuff collection to your HD TV via HDMI? Awesomeness.

Speakers. I love the little speakers in the Kindle Fire HD. They deliver pretty darn good sound for such a little device.

What I don't like about the Kindle Fire HD versus my Nexus 7...

Not-quite-Android. I love that I can play with the latest Android OS on my Nexus, and all the Android apps I want to deal with. If you want to see the Android tablet on the edge of replacing a real computer, you need a Nexus tablet. The Kindle Fire HD is a content-consuming device (and an awesome one at that).

Funky charger situation. I get a wall charger with my Nexus 7. It seems to charge nicely that way. I don't like that you have to get the fancy charger for the Kindle Fire HD in order to charge it quicker. Of course, any old universal USB wall plug thing should do the trick (I have a couple Belkin adapters at home)... but it's a slight annoyance that the Kindle Fire HD didn't come with its own.

What I was surprised I didn't miss...

Google Play (the app store). I love having it on my Nexus & all my other Android devices. I was bummed that I couldn't get Waking Mars for Android via the Amazon store, so that forced me to go out & actually buy a Google Play prepaid card. Otherwise, I've got so many apps for Android on my Amazon account, it's really kind of a non-issue that I can't get to the Google store.

See, the Kindle Fire HD is my wife's thing. I'm not going to side load apps or load a ton of stuff that only I will use, so as long as I have my own Android devices, the Kindle Fire HD is just about perfect for us.

To sum up...

Really, the ideal Android device would have features of the Kindle Fire HD & the Google Nexus 7. I love all the stuff I can mess with on my Nexus, and I love the content-consumption features of the Kindle Fire HD.

If I had to choose one tablet for me to tinker with, I'd pick the Google Nexus 7. If I had to pick just one tablet for my wife & kids & for the family to enjoy, it would be the Kindle Fire HD. Neither device scratches all the itches, but isn't that a good thing? Daddy should have his own tablet anyway!


3:16 Carnage Amongst the Stars
3:16 Carnage Amongst the Stars
by Gregor Hutton
Edition: Paperback
Price: $20.00
13 used & new from $15.95

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Made me love roleplaying again, January 6, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I can't believe nobody has reviewed this here...

Let me say, this was the game that made me fall in love with roleplaying games again. D&D's 3.x iterations left me cold. I could not love the miniatures & battlemap style of game because I have things like Warhammer 40K for that. Why play miniature game when I want to roleplay?

Gregor Hutton's 3:16 isn't overly melodramatic like some of the narrativist-style games that I love, but it delivers all the setting & inspiration you need in a very slim book. It's perfect to pick up & play hard right away, and you can also see how it can explode into a bigger/dramatic discussion as players offer up various insights into who their characters are through the game mechanics.

Plus, the play's the thing... it's fast for everyone, and good. No horrendous stat-lines to crunch as a gamemaster in order to offer some challenge to your power-mongering players. Dice rolls are simple, and weapon effects are brutal & efficient... which is what you are after in a game about xenos-slaying space marine-types. The game is beautiful in its simplicity, and that simplicity allows you to reinvest mental cycles into the description & the overall narrative.

Some might feel the design is too simple. IMO, it's just right. There's no volumes of source material... Gregor Hutton gives you questions in his description, which you can ask yourself in order to populate your narrative in the way that you & your players' adventures take shape. And the rules evoke that crazy killing machine aspect that you want out of the genre of killer space adventurers.

It's not a tactical wargame cloaked in a shell of roleplaying, even if there's a lot of sneaky stuff that might happen behind the scenes. 3:16 delivers a wonderful framework for roleplaying wind-up soldiers, exterminating the (potential) enemies of mankind, one planet at a time, and possibly discovering something about themselves in the process.

If roleplaying games seem to have passed you by, then pick this up. Maybe you'll change your mind.


Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 Mini Pro (U20i) Unlocked GSM Android Smartphone with 5 MP Camera, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Touchscreen, QWERTY Keyboard--International Version with No U.S. Warranty (Black)
Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 Mini Pro (U20i) Unlocked GSM Android Smartphone with 5 MP Camera, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Touchscreen, QWERTY Keyboard--International Version with No U.S. Warranty (Black)
Offered by ViPhone
Price: $115.00
5 used & new from $65.00

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice phone, but only so-so unless you root, May 15, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The biggest issue with the Xperia Pro Mini (u20i) this is the lack of voice recognition in the base software, so you're going to have to root it if you want to do things like run Google Nav via speech. I can speak right into my cheap LG Optimus V and get directions while I'm on the road, but Sony Ericsson didn't put the voice stuff in the u20i... and the only way to change that is to root. Also, things like pinch zoom also don't work by design unless you root & change the software.

Now, I don't mind rooting, but you always risk bricking your device if you do the wrong thing. If I'm spending $200 on a phone, I don't want to transform it into a paperweight for something that should be in the software already. Very annoying to have to waste time on things like this.

On the plus side, it worked perfectly in Asia with the Telestial international SIM card, and it's working just fine with T-Mo's Pay-go service (including the data plan) here in the US. So if you want a quad-band GSM phone that you can travel with & also use at home by swapping out your SIM card, then this will do it.


Final Fantasy XIII: Platinum Hits
Final Fantasy XIII: Platinum Hits
Price: $14.99
210 used & new from $2.76

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty tech demo on rails, May 16, 2010
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
It's pretty. It isn't chock full of random battles as a "feature", even if some of the bads are dumb & the must-fight linearity almost reminds one of Cliff Racers. And did I say it was pretty? Such a pretty game.

I cut my CRPG teeth on Bard's Tale & Wizardry & Ultima. I prefer games like Morrowind & Oblivion. I honestly didn't like FF VII, having left random battle grinding behind during the Bard's Tale era.

Final Fantasy XIII is clearly not Oblivion or Fallout 3 or even Knights of the Old Republic. It's a pretty tech demo on rails, with a fight system built in. So if you're okay with that, then you'll have a blast with the game.

Because it's damn pretty. The graphics, even on the 360, are simply superb. Stunning. It's why you have a next-gen console & a fancy television... to see stuff like FF XIII.

Seriously, FF VII had an illusion of exploration (bounded by stupid random battles), punctuated by cutscenes. FF XIII has less illusion about its RPG-on-rails experience, and more pretty cutscenes. Surely, XIII will not appeal to all the fans of VII... but to someone who doesn't have high expectations of anything with the Final Fantasy label, FF XIII was satisfying as an eye candy experience.

Game-as-art? No. Art-as-game, maybe. It's beautiful CG with a little battle minigame inside of it. In this respect, it was worth it for me.


Jedi Academy Training Manual (Star Wars Roleplaying Game)
Jedi Academy Training Manual (Star Wars Roleplaying Game)
by Rodney Thompson
Edition: Hardcover
29 used & new from $66.07

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Largely non-helpful fiddly bits for your miniatures gaming, December 4, 2009
This book is successful in bringing more fiddly rules for your Jedi miniatures powergaming with some RPG elements... but for those who have past Jedi/Sith material from the prior Star Wars D20 rulesets, this book is mostly a condensed (in a bad way) version of what has been done before. It does not significantly advance the Jedi to Saga Edition. Rather, it mucks up the works with a whole host of new powers that may imbalance your Jedi player characters.

What I like about Saga Edition is the cleanliness & more accessible nature of the ruleset, but this was a significant step backwards. Even for a Jedi-based game, I would not use the rules in this book. There are simply too many bad ideas grafted onto the Saga Edition rules.

If you are interested in Jedi roleplaying, then get your hands on the Old Republic sourcebook, which places your Jedi into a more interesting era for melodramatic roles... you really don't need this book at all. If you are interested in Jedi miniatures chopping up every other miniatures, then this might be a good purchase for you.
Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide (Star Wars Roleplaying Game)


CthulhuTech Mortal Remains*OP
CthulhuTech Mortal Remains*OP
by Matthew Grau
Edition: Hardcover
27 used & new from $18.11

16 of 34 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A disasterous sourcebook for what is an interesting game line, November 28, 2009
As stated in the previous review, the setting details made me less enthusiastic about the Cthulhutech game line.

Its treatment of religious beliefs is nonsensical, but not a surprise given the hand-waving that leads to English as the one true language of humanity in this universe. Perhaps the truly hard-core anti-religious Atheists might delight in the treatment of religion in the setting, especially those who delight in the failings of Christianity, but what is in the book is neither true to Lovecraft nor reflective of the history of religion. If Lovecraft's characters lose their faiths, it is because they have derived it through the misery found in life... it shouldn't be something like, "due to the existence of Cthulhu & extraterrestrial life, Christianity becomes invalidated and ceases to exist" (not a real quote from the book, but you get the idea).

The addition of the Migou was also something of a mistake, as said before. The time spent rationalizing their motives & behaviors does not make them more impressive or interesting. If they tried to de-mystify the motives of dread Cthulhu, that might be an even bigger failure, but making the Migou more understandable in the style employed by the authors was pretty wrong IMO.

What could have been done in its place to make Migou playable? It's not up to me. Certainly, playable Migou is an attraction of this book. How it was pulled off was not satisfying to this reader, however. It may please others.

Good parts... more Nazzadi information & background is always helpful. How the Nazzadi got to rule over Cuba & the mystical hand-waving involved... meh. The Nephilim are also interesting. Thus, it wasn't a total waste of time.

I guess I'd want sourcebooks to at least pose new questions if they don't fill in the gaps in a setting. "Vade Mecum" was successful in that, and was a solid sourcebook. In contrast, "Mortal Remains" seemed to demystify the setting in a completely unsatisfying way.

Unless you are running 100% Nazzadi games & want the info incredibly badly, or really can't do without the Nephilim rules or the Migou rules, then I couldn't recommend "Mortal Remains". Perhaps if you failed in your World History classes & find organized religion to be totally reprehensible, you may be intrigued by the setting as described.

"Mortal Remains" is mostly a background/story sourcebook with some additional vehicles & rules. Given that the quality of story & background in the sourcebook is almost enough to turn this reader off of the game line completely & have second thoughts about other books by Catalyst, I think "Mortal Remains" might be in the Complete Disaster category of gaming sourcebooks. I would still give Cthulhutech a shot, but the setting has an uneven quality to it & it really shows in this sourcebook. Get "Vade Mecum" long before you get this one.
Cthulhutech Vade Mecum


Dark Heresy RPG: Creatures Anathema
Dark Heresy RPG: Creatures Anathema
6 used & new from $56.99

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars almost great, notable for what is missing, November 5, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
As said many times in various reviews for this book, what is in the book is excellent. What is not in the book is what I want more of.

I appreciate the storytelling, the various "files" on the xenos & other creatures in the book... but for the most part, "Creatures Anathema" seems like half of a great book.

I was particularly interested in the Eldar & Tyranid entries in the book. Whilst I can get by with the Genestealer & Lictor entries for the Tyranids, the authors simply waved away Genestealer hybrids by saying that they are outside the scope of the book. So you either have to make up your own rules for hybrids & infestations, or the Genestealers are pretty much a non-factor for you.

Likewise, the Eldar section begins with a beautiful picture of a Warlock... but no Warlock stats, no Eldar psyker abilities, and not even the stats for a standard Shuriken Catapult (ostensibly because there are no rules/stats for your standard Eldar Guardians). I can certainly make my own stats for Eldar Guardians, and I appreciate the usefulness of Eldar Pathfinders & the fact that Dire Avengers will be more commonly encountered than Warp Spiders or Shining Spears... but why no Eldar psykers? It's a glaring omission, especially since we get psyker abilities for summoning rats in this book. (Oh, yes, you can play as an unsanctioned rat summoner now, thank the Emperor, but you will not find rules for Eldar Warlocks) I guess I can also create my own Warlock abilities, and say that Farseers (like Inquisitors) are far beyond the scope of Dark Heresy... but there's hardly enough meat to put together a suitable Eldar encounter without knowledge of Eldar from the tabletop miniatures game.

Instead of more details on Genestealer Hybrids & Eldar wytches, you get more Calixis sector stuff. While several pages of non-minatures game beasties are appreciated, you get 34+ pages of non-sentient vermin/beasts versus 6 pages for Eldar and 8 pages for Tyranids?

Granted, the Eldar could have an entire book to themselves... but maybe they deserved more pages when you have so many beasts/vermin entries? Maybe an entry for Guardians or Eldar corsairs (since you shouldn't have to buy Rogue Trader if you don't want to)?

That's the frustrating part of the book. There's some great stuff, but it requires a lot more work if you are interested in Xenos threats.

For Ordo Hereticus games, don't even bother with this book. It's interesting, but not worth your time IMO. Get the other books in Dark Heresy, or get the Rogue Trader rulebook instead... you'll get info on Eldar Corsairs & Ork Freebooters as well as Kroot mercs, in addition to Rogue Traders & Astropath characters, which is FAR FAR faaaaar more useful than what you'll find in Creatures Anathema.
Rogue Trader RPG: Core Rulebook (Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay)

For Ordo Xenos or Ordo Malleus games, you'll find useful info here (moreso for Ordo Malleus, with Flesh Hounds & Juggernauts of Khorne, plus Flamers of whatshisname)... but Ordo Xenos acolytes in particular will need more help from a creative gamemaster to round out what's in this one.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 14, 2010 3:37 PM PDT


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