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Customer Reviews: 8
Top Reviewer Ranking: 662,120
Helpful Votes: 363

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Chad Winker RSS Feed (Harrisonburg, VA)

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MSI Computer Corp. Notebook Computer GE60 0NC-006US;9S7-16GA11-006 15.6-Inch Laptop
MSI Computer Corp. Notebook Computer GE60 0NC-006US;9S7-16GA11-006 15.6-Inch Laptop

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful laptop for the cost!, August 29, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Was in the market for a new laptop. I did not want to spend much over $1000 and I wanted between 15 and 16" screen size like my previous laptop, with a resolution of at least 1920x1080. I also wanted to be able to play games on it while I have downtime at work or between college classes, or otherwise away from my desktop, and this laptop fit the bill! It uses the latest series (2012) Gtx650m nVidia graphics card which performs very well for a laptop in this price range. It has no problem maxing out GW2 at comfortable FPS and handles Civ 5 and Battlefield at near max as well with no problems. The processor is also very quick, and I am very satisfied with it.

Some negatives to it are the keyboard could use better keys, I am not a fan of the 'feel' of them, however the inclusion of a number pad more than makes up for it. One other minor gripe that I won't fault it for since it's a completely different feature is that I wish it had a keyboard back light. I did not realize I would miss this until I started using this over my old laptop.

Almost forgot, another con is the battery life, it is horrible, but again, that can be fixed quite easy.

Finally, since I like to end on a positive, the sound of this laptop is impressive (for a laptop) While I may still get desktop speakers if I was using it in the same location all day, this is the best sounding sound I have ever heard out of a laptop.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 16, 2012 1:13 PM PDT

Mass Effect 3 - PC
Mass Effect 3 - PC
Offered by BLS Mart
Price: $12.99
67 used & new from $5.49

223 of 252 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I've never been so conflicted!, March 7, 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Mass Effect 3 - PC (Video Game)
Let me start by saying, This game leaves a strange taste in my mouth. Also, this review will be spoiler free up until the row of *****'s

On one hand, the game is great! In less than 3 days, I have completed the entire game it with about 95% completion of all side missions, etc. (excluding dlc), which is saying something because it is not a short game!

The Positive:
1. I love the mass effect universe, and this game delivers on what the previous games did, if a bit less original (see cons)
2. The game is genuinely fun to play, I find myself sucked into it, and when I look up, it's already 4:30 am.
3. The graphics are alright, they are not the best, and you are very limited in how you tweak them, but they are not bad.
4. They do a fairly decent job at tying into the previous games (see cons)

Given that, I would say it is a 5 star game, however there are some things that they did not do well
The Cons:
1. Parts of this game just felt out of place, unlike in the previous games when the dialogue felt natural, in parts of this game it just does not seem like something Sheppard would say, there are many instances of other characters acting out of their typical styles as well, it just bothered me because it felt artificial.
1b. Also included in this is that the game in general does not seem to contain the same amount of effort on the developers part as the first two did, it feels a bit rushed, with a clunky cover system (again) and some interesting difficulty fluctuations. It just feels more linear than the previous mass effect games.
2. Importing my character was a nightmare, I had 3 different profiles and only one got recognized, and that was after about an hour of messing around with it.
3. The choices you made in the previous two games feel like they don't even matter (Some are not even acknowledged), I know this is vague, and arguable, but see cons in the spoiler section if you want a better explanation.
4. The ending (all 3 of them (well, technically 15) are horrible, and leave a huge amount to be desired while simultaneously effectively eliminating all possibility for interpretation. It's Their way or the highway (often this is not bad, but it this case its just horribly disappointing) They are all disappointing, the ending choices all end up with similar endings, all disappointing and left completely open.
5. Don't get me started on day one dlc (nuff said)

This game is a fun to play game, if I was reviewing just based on that, I would give this game a 5. However given how I know what it could have been, and some of the choices the developer made as far as story line goes (more below), I am going to take two stars from it, Like I said above, I have never had so much fun while simultaneously being disappointed by ever plot twist.

Overall, I can't complain too much, it provided a lot of entertainment, it just seems to lack the care put into the previous games, it almost feels rushed and like they got a little lazy with the story, the previous games were great because of the small things (like overhearing conversations, witty dialogue, and other little Easter eggs) There was less witty dialogue in ME2 (compared to ME1), but it was still there. Don't get me wrong, it is still there in ME3 but to a lesser extent, it just feels like the developers don't really care anymore.

*************This contains some spoilers(without mentioning names) (also a mini-rant on the ending(s))*************
This section will contain spoilers, and is here to justify my answers above a bit.

If I started off by saying this game was an emotional roller coaster, I would be lying. I believe "Emotional Free-fall" would be more appropriate. It takes the great story and buildup of the first two games (akin to a roller coaster) and where the mass effect 2 game ends with you at the top of the hill, Mass effect 3 is just a ride down into the station (so to speak). There were not many happy surprises, it was all just depressing. It seems ever main story-line mission somebody dies, which makes me wonder why I worked so hard in ME2 to save them. In this context the story feels very linear. It just feels like people who don't really fit into the story line are just killed off. Also, all the "support" you gather really does not show at all, what was the point if everybody essentially dies anyway, I had over 4000 effective combat readiness (or ~8000 something total) and I feel like the outcome would have been the same even without it, as the "upgrades" and land based reinforcements don't even make an appearance in the final battle (What happened to the mercs I recruited? I did not see one Vorcha or heavy mech during that fight (or any mercenary group)). I recruited the Geth, where were they? Did not see the Elcor I helped, no Volus, no Salarians, perhaps they are shown once in the initial scene, but beyond that, nothing. Just ships, and I had a ton of ground troups 'recruited' yet I was still on my own with no sign of them. So what was the point of recruiting them?

Also, there is a huge disconnect in the end, my team for the final mission was Garrus and Edi, and everybody but Anderson and You (Sheppard) gets absolutely destroyed running to the beam, and then in the final video, they are on the Normandy trying to outrun the "(Insert two of 3 disappointing endings here (Not the case with the destruction ending)) wave". Then the ship goes down and both Edi and Garrus and Jeff(Joker) get off on a happy new unspoiled world. How did they get from being nuked by a collector ship and being under heavy fire on the ground, to being on the Normandy during a massive battle in a time frame of about 2-5 minutes. I'm not disappointed that Sheppard dies in (most) of the endings ((like 15 total outcomes based on choosing one ending of three and you readiness rating), Sheppard can survive 2 of 15 I believe)), its just the fact that thought the game, just about EVERYBODY dies, half the time its not even a good death, its more like, "Okay, we ran out of things for this person to contribute, so lets just kill them off".

The main thing that bothers me about any of the endings is, all the relays are destroyed and half of the galaxy's population is over a badly damaged earth, with no way to get home. What happens then? Earth would descend into anarchy regardless of the ending, and the rest of the galaxy would not fair much better with limited military options and no contact between the tens if not hundreds of thousands (if not more) soldiers stuck around earth. By ending with no possible way to save the relays, the developers are essentially saying "Well we are back to square one, and everything you did does not really matter". I get they are just going for the "whole new beginning" thing, but it just does not fit as the ending for the mass effect series.

I'm so disappointed I am going to make pretend myself a new ending. Here it is

"Sheppard dies, the reapers are destroyed, billions of people are dead, all the home-worlds are decimated,the citadel is destroyed, but those that survive get to go home (via not destroyed mass relays) and (implied) all the synthetics decide not to eliminate all organic life, thus negating the need for the cycle (and creepy ghost/children/machine apparitions) in the first place. The End.".

Is it perfect? No, but now I am happy.

*****End Of Spoilers*****
I believe I have made it clear, but the thing I took off an entire star for was the ending, it is just a very disappointing ending to the end of the mass effect series, it's nothing like the epic conclusion was to mass effect 2. The other star off was for everything else, it just could handle better and it feels like a console port.

I just know that review will upset people, but it's how I feel about the game, if you disagree feel free to write your own review.
Comment Comments (22) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 7, 2013 2:49 PM PST

New Design!! BLACK SMART CRUSHER® 4PCS Space CNC Aluminum Magnetic Pollen Herb Grinder
New Design!! BLACK SMART CRUSHER® 4PCS Space CNC Aluminum Magnetic Pollen Herb Grinder
Offered by SMART-GOODS
Price: $8.95
2 used & new from $8.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Works great, June 27, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Very nice grinder for the price, now when I grind my herbs they are just about the right size (a little big, but that's ok). The 'pollen catcher' on the bottom has very tiny holes, which some reviewers don't like, I don't mind this, I like how fine it is, no chunks will get through.

RSVP White Marble Mortar and Pestle
RSVP White Marble Mortar and Pestle
Offered by The Houseware Shoppe
Price: $14.95
19 used & new from $14.75

133 of 140 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You're both on crack... Sort Of..., April 23, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
For the price, this is a very good Mortar & Pestle, While it DOES produce chalk, it is not in the copious amounts the people here are saying it does. The simple fact is, most stone Mortars (especially in this price range) WILL produce some form of chalk, and the amount produced here is more than acceptable (almost none at all) for just about any purpose.

Also, they do not glaze the insides of most stone mortars because not only would it chip and flake off over time (nobody want's to eat glaze) but you would loose the effects you gain by using a stone Mortar & Pestle (IE: May as well use ceramic)

Anyway, back to the specifics of this product, It is as described, but I would definitely wash it twice before using it, as it does come INITIALLY with quite a good amount of dust from the manufacturing process, and as stated above, it would definitely add more minerals to your diet.

After the initial washes though, while it does produce dust, however it is minimal, it is NOT anything you will need to worry about as it is not enough to cause any change in health, taste, nutrition, texture, looks, anything, what is produced. You wont notice nor will it have any effects. If you want no dust, go with a ceramic Mortar and Pestle.

So to sum up, given the type of Mortar it is, the chalk produced is acceptable (especially for this price range), The quality is also very good for this price range, and it seems to be durable as I have put a good number of hours into it now and it still works and looks as good as the day I bought it. Overall, 5 stars.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 12, 2014 1:50 AM PDT

No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing case, November 25, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I got this case shortly after they were released, and I would recommend them to anybody, this is hands down THE BEST mid size case I have ever used. Much better than the Antic brand, which I have no problem with as it is what I upgraded from, it simply did not have room for the newer gfx cards. This case has plenty of room and a very nice layout, also room to spare with two Gtx 275's.

Would recommend to anybody, best case at or above this price, possibly the best case in it's class.

Sterling Silver Rope Chain Necklace 2mm Diamond cut Nickel Free Italy, 22 inch
Sterling Silver Rope Chain Necklace 2mm Diamond cut Nickel Free Italy, 22 inch
Offered by Sabrina Silver
Price: $22.07

4.0 out of 5 stars Very Shiney, November 25, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
When I got this it was ridiculously shiny, almost to the point I did not want to wear it. Fortunately, it got to a more friendly silver color over the next couple weeks. Seems durable and looks good with just about anything. Price was nice as well.

Edit 2013: After a year or so the clasp started to bend and break, and was in constant need of repair, eventually broke all together.

A Wizard of Earthsea (The Earthsea Cycle, Book 1)
A Wizard of Earthsea (The Earthsea Cycle, Book 1)
by Ursula K. Le Guin
Edition: Paperback
124 used & new from $0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Was unsure at first..., November 25, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Before I started reading this book I was unsure weather this would be a good investment of my time. While I usually like books like this, for some reason I was not expecting much from it. I was happily proven wrong however and it turned out to be a highly addicting book,and I ended up plowing through it in two nights reading. Sadly it is very short coming in at just over 180 pages, but it was good enough I am going to give the other books in the cycle a try, and if you are into fantasy books I would not hesitate to recommend this to anybody that can appreciate a good fantasy book.

Oh, and I forgot to mention, this book covers a VAST landscape, you will NOT get bored of the scenery lol.

Dragon Strike: Book Four of the Age of Fire
Dragon Strike: Book Four of the Age of Fire
by E. E. Knight
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.00
130 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Not as bad as people are saying, August 26, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is actually a good book. At first I was skeptical about it because of the reviews, but it does a decent job of tying some loose ends as well as further developing the characters. It also sets it up for the next book, which I know I already have ordered lol.

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