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Fujita Japan Xtreme Sports Camera HD-LITE
Fujita Japan Xtreme Sports Camera HD-LITE

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A very simple camera, December 3, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The short story is that, unfortunately, the camera I purchased was defective and failed about one week after I purchased it; however, I don't necessarily consider my experience bad.

PROS:
Good quality video
Sleek, low-profile design
Decent price
Pretty much every form of mount you might need for whatever fits your fancy
O-rings, grease, and special cap for waterproofing

CONS:
Muffled audio
Only about 2 hours recording time
Bare-bones build (e.g., camera doesn't compensate for position, so if the button isn't on top the video WILL be upside-down; programming the date/time is in no way intuitive or otherwise plug-n-play; apparently only charges when connected to a computer, if a special charger for the batteries isn't available; no night-vision capability)

As for my personal experience, the camera worked fine for a week or so. Then I noticed that I wasn't getting the two hours of recording time out of it. I studied it and saw that the light would blink normally, at first, then it would slow to roughly twenty-second intervals, then forty. Then the light would get stuck, and I couldn't turn it off until the battery died or some internal failsafe was triggered or the like. When this happened, the files would end up corrupted. Very quickly, every time I attempted to record the files would be corrupted. I contacted the seller with details of the issue, it was determined that the camera was defective, and I received a refund. The details of my customer-service experience(s) are worth noting here, as it absolutely influences my view of my overall experience:

The camera is ready to record after the initial charge and a firmware update (no programming necessary), but I wanted a date/time stamp for my videos as well. This required going to the seller's website and downloading a special .txt file, making manual changes to the time, and then manually adding the file to the camera's SD card and taking a quick video to get the clock started. But none of this information was what I would call "easy to find," because there was nothing whatsoever that indicated that what I had found would definitely work for my particular camera (knowing what I do now I assume so, but as a new consumer I couldn't have). After a few hours of fruitless efforts reading, rereading, and watching videos, I contacted the seller and received a response within twenty-four hours. It wasn't exactly step-by-step, but it did give me what I needed to solve the problem when combined with what I'd already found. When the camera failed, I contacted the seller again. The response was prompt and interested/concerned. I admit there were some communication problems, but given my personal circumstances I can't say they weren't my fault; I can definitely say that each time I followed up and reached out again to the seller, the response was virtually immediate (it's usually late at night by the time I get around to my emails, so I did have to wait until business hours for a response) and always polite. So I'm satisfied with how the seller handled the situation.

Despite the camera I received being defective, my overall experience means that I wouldn't actually be against purchasing another one. While I've determined that this camera doesn't exactly fit my CURRENT needs, it wasn't so problematic that I would have stopped using it had it continued to function properly (for the time it functioned it did precisely what I wanted, just not quite as conveniently as I'd imagined), and I can think of future situations where its simplicity, design, and features (e.g., water resistant or waterproof) would be perfectly suitable. This is a "primitive" camera--people expecting something like a video screen or instant playback or on-site programming need to look elsewhere--but I wouldn't dismiss it entirely. Just have your exact needs, even the little things, clear and prioritized.


Viking Warriors from Outer Space
Viking Warriors from Outer Space
Price: $8.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heavier than the previous albums, April 3, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The album title pretty much explains the situation. In general, the songs in this album hit a little harder than in Rising Storm and Origin of Iron. But that is by no means an advisory to avoid buying this--as a writer, I find it great as background music for building suspenseful scenes centered around aggressive confrontations. This is "edge of war" music like WHOA.

Favorites include "Rebellion," "Interceptor," "Supernova," "Eclipse," "Evade," and "The Wild Giant."


No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars First understand what you're buying, folks., April 3, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I wear US size 7 shoes, as a rule, but sometimes I wear US size 8 depending on the style of shoe and the maker. So when I looked at this item and considered that a) these were coming from Japan, b) compared to Americans the Japanese are not giants, and c) I'd recently gained a bit of weight and thus would have slightly bigger feet, I knew I was taking a chance with the purchase (but they were so cute I had to!).

I'm glad I did, because I LOVE these and they DO fit me . . . but barely. My sister wears US size 8 and I'd been hoping to get a similar pair for her, but there is just no way that will work out, unfortunately.

So be warned! This style of tabi is 100% nylon and DOES stretch, but NOT far. They consist of three major pieces of fabric--the sole and two sides--that are stitched together. Obviously, this design places a limit on what sort of feet the tabi can tolerate. The nylon is thick and strong enough to accept a little bit of manhandling, but there is NO elastic beyond what's inherent in the fabric, so if you try to force your foot or are careless the stitching WILL tear. I would also advise trimming your toenails short (especially if you have bigger feet) and filing them smooth, as the design of the stitching means the nylon will cling; at best it may be unsightly, at worst you risk snagging it.


Classics, Vol. 1
Classics, Vol. 1
Price: $8.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More of What's Great, September 16, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Classics, Vol. 1 (MP3 Music)
Yeah, I'm pretty much considering the benefits of having my paychecks direct-deposited to TSFH's bank account, that way they can just send me new stuff whenever it's ready. That seems like a suitable solution to simplify my life and ensure that it's filled with the sort of music that makes me feel like I'm living one gigantic adventure. Does anyone seriously need me to explain how amazing their stuff is?

It seems the tracks on this album, while brand-new as public releases, are sort of a mix of themes from previous albums. In other words, it has the tracks devoted to singular entities and small groups the way Invincible and Archangel are, while there are some tracks devoted to broad worlds and old legends like what you'll find on SkyWorld.

I absolutely enjoy the entire album, but favorite tracks include "Sons of War," "The Ancients," "Birth of a Hero," "Path To Earth," "Clairvoyant," "White Witch," "The Cross of Antiquan," "Asimov," and "The World is Mind."


Origin of Iron
Origin of Iron
Price: $8.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Regrets With This Purchase!, September 16, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Origin of Iron (MP3 Music)
The second album from newcomer Epic North, Origin of Iron builds on its predecessor and maintains a high-quality presentation. Personally, I think I might enjoy this album just a BIT more than Rising Storm, but both are amazing. Epic North seems to use a little more in the way of synthesized sounds compared to current epic-music powerhouses, but if you like Audiomachine and Two Steps From Hell, you will like this. Like Rising Storm, this album is just shy of a full hour of music and well worth the cost.

Favorite tracks include "Hailstone," "Heroic Acts," "The Fire in My Soul," "Striking Fire," "Northern Lights," and "An Act of Defiance." There are others I greatly enjoy, but if I did I'd probably list pretty much the entire album; these stand out the most for me, I think.


Rising Storm
Rising Storm
Price: $8.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strong Out of the Gate, September 16, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Rising Storm (MP3 Music)
Epic North is new to the epic-music scene, although there are clearly years of experience behind this album. Rising Storm is an amazing introduction of EN's skill, well worth the cost even though it runs just shy of an hour's runtime. They seem to use a little more in the way of synthesized sounds compared to current epic-music powerhouses such as Audiomachine and Two Steps From Hell, but if you like that music then you will like this.

While I believe I prefer Epic North's second album, Origin of Iron, over this one, there are still tracks I adore. Favorites include "A Hero Will Rise," "Darkness Falls," "Oceanstorm," "The Viking," and "The Archmage." There are others I much enjoy, but these stand out for me.


Naruto Shippuden: The Movie - The Lost Tower
Naruto Shippuden: The Movie - The Lost Tower
DVD ~ Various
Price: $13.79
28 used & new from $7.73

15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the Best, June 23, 2013
First of all, let me start by saying that I like the Naruto series a lot and for a couple of (personal) reasons I'll still be buying this movie once it's on sale in NA, but from this point on consider yourself warned: This is not the best Naruto movie. At all.

As I recall, this was the one that did in the scriptwriter for the past few (all of them?) movies--he was let go because this movie was panned so hard in Japan. Weak plot and weaker character interaction added to the weakest battle sequences I've seen so far made this movie a trial to sit through even though it isn't even an hour and a half in length. Watch it just for the sake of watching it, to say you've seen it, and you might not notice the issues present. Watch it twice, though, with greater attention paid to the nuances, and the flaws really begin to glare at you. I could go into a massive list of what's wrong with it from start to finish, but I already did that on my blog; at a ten-point font size it took three and a half pages to complete, so I'll just stick to the immediate issues here.

Barring Inheritors of the Will of Fire, the plot of this movie is essentially what has been seen in various series filler arcs and since the very first movie, Clash in the Land of Snow: Spoiled/jaded woman/child selfishly rejects everyone/everything because of some great personal past agony, but Naruto's blunt honesty and overbearing optimism inspire his unwitting victim to step from a suffocating cocoon of nihilistic turmoil, find an inner strength once feared lost, and help him save the day from a figure in the victim's life who had previously been considered trustworthy. The main difference in The Lost Tower--and a big plus, in my opinion--is that the new, one-time Rasengan invented for this movie has nothing to do with the angsty princess and her special connection to what in movies past would have been the chosen Rasengan power-up. Unfortunately, that's pretty much the only good thing I can say about it.

Yeah, Minato is on the cover here, but don't expect to see much of him; he and his team periodically drift in and out of various scenes, offering virtually no information and precious little assistance in the overall scheme, so that Naruto is more or less doing ALL the investigating (such as it is), ALL the rescuing, and ALL the boss-battling. What makes this particularly bad is that when there ARE battles, they pretty much consist of Naruto using shadow clones and Rasengan. Really--that's all he ever uses. EVER. The other characters--by which I mean Minato and his team, as they're the only ninja you see for any length of time--have similarly lacking repertoires. Each has a maximum of two techniques he uses, but the difference is that it's slightly less noticeable with them because they simply aren't THERE for most of the movie (nope, no Hiraishin/Flying Thunder God here--sorry). They tend to show up and save Naruto from a situation he probably could have saved himself from, then vanish while he dives back into the fight ALONE. I don't normally concern myself with the fighting aspect of any show or movie because I consider the story and characters more important, but these sequences really were just plain BAD.

You might have been hoping to get some father/son interaction with this movie. You were? Ha ha--joke's on you. If it were possible I'd advise you to buy just the last fifteen minutes of the movie and forget the rest. This movie takes place after Jiraiya's death but before the Pain-arc reveal of Daddy!Yondy, though, so there is no overt discussion about the topic--it's hinted at, but not explored. That, at least, couldn't be helped. However, there is nevertheless a nice, somewhat emotional scene between Minato and Naruto at what is pretty much the very, VERY end of the movie, and it's worth seeing if you're a fan of either or both of these two. And no, Kushina is never even mentioned, let alone seen--hold your breath for that one and you'll definitely pass out.

I wish I could give this a higher rating, because I like Minato a lot and it was fun to see him in a movie before the big canonical revelations, but his presence was minimized so much--whether because so little had been officially shared at that time or simply because as the title character Naruto was considered the only one worthy of the limelight--that he just couldn't carry the whole movie. If you REALLY want to see Minato and Naruto interacting and don't have a lot of money to spend, save your cash for the sixth movie--Road to Ninja.


Halloween
Halloween
Price: $6.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Basic Halloween Stuff, March 2, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Halloween (MP3 Music)
First of all, notice that this is an album titled after a holiday that is traditionally marked by spooky noises and the shrill, grating squeals of musical instruments being tortured. Next, notice that more than ninety percent of the album's song are under two and a half minutes long. After that, kindly fail to be offended merely because TSFH went with tradition. Those are the complaints I keep seeing, so now everyone is suitably forewarned.

For the record, I like this album a lot. As has been mentioned by someone else, most Halloween-oriented albums are hokey and of poor quality. I'll add that these albums are meant mainly for families with young children, whose parents won't want them to be too afraid to sleep in their own beds; adults are expected to have outgrown any personal interest in Halloween. I was irritated by this, to the point that years ago, I put together my own "Halloween album" comprised mainly of stuff from the original Devil May Cry game because that soundtrack has the suspense and ambiance that just screams "creepy as hell." While I feel that maybe TSFH's album could perhaps have had more ambient noise--for example, the inclusion of thunderstorms, distant moans and screams, whistling wind, strange music that fades in and out occasionally to signify the twisted memories of a disturbed mind, and bare branches scraping over window panes--at the same time I don't miss them much because the music itself takes up the slack. And yeah, there's a lot of what might be called "traditional" aspects, as mentioned above with the instrument-torture, but tradition isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Why? Well, honestly, I can't imagine twenty suspense themes being carried successfully in twenty three-minute songs on one album. I just can't. And even if it were done, I can't imagine that such an album would be worth buying. The point of suspense is not to be the final goal, but to be a buildup--a subtle warning. People always say, "We had no warning," but usually there is, it's just that nobody realizes it until it's too late. THAT'S suspense, though--to have that warning and KNOW it's a warning but not understand what it's trying to warn you of, which leads to the terrifying knowledge that you have only a very limited time to defend yourself from something you don't know the identity of and therefore can't adequately prepare for. Thus follows the chilling realization that dear lord, you might really die within the next ten seconds. The duty of suspense is to appeal to the human animal--that primal, survivalist part of us that we generally try to deny the existence of. Suspense is meant to be short and abrupt, and make the hair on your arms stand on end as you listen to that odd scratching noise at the cellar door, half a second before this THING bursts out and comes after you with arterial blood dripping from six-inch claws. But if you try to drag out a series of three-minute warnings over the span of an hour, it becomes tedious. You stop being held in suspense because it's too tiring to constantly be on the alert. Hence the value of going with tradition.

Sometimes, tradition lingers because no one tries to challenge it even if someone should. Other times, tradition lingers because it's a perfectly acceptable way of going about things. So-called "Halloween music" is one of the latter. Go ahead and challenge it, by all means, with the knowledge that it's already pretty good the way it is, and mainly just needs a branch of it to be made spooky for adults rather than for kids, without the addition of crashing heavy metal played at deafening volumes. This album does that. If you don't like that idea because you expected this to be more like TSFH's previous albums, that's fine. Don't buy it--and if you have, I'm sorry you feel you wasted your money. Otherwise, approach this album with the understanding that it's mostly just quality background music for adults who want their Halloween to be just a little scarier than it was when they were seven years old. It's atmosphere for your haunted house, your Halloween party, or even just to give the obnoxious little neighbor kids nightmares when the ingrates come to your door for candy, and that's pretty much it.

This is basic Halloween stuff, people--love it for what it is.


SkyWorld
SkyWorld
Price: $8.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Album of Grand Gestures, March 2, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: SkyWorld (MP3 Music)
I LOVE THIS ALBUM. Don't get me wrong--Invincible and Archangel are extremely good too, and I don't regret buying them. But honestly, I'm pretty sure I've listened to SkyWorld FAR more than I have either of them. I adore cinematic-style stuff, but I don't constantly need overwhelming drumbeats, pounding electrical guitars, and prolonged choral arrangements to convey the urgency of a situation. I certainly don't need it to grasp less aggressive emotions, which might mean "Titan Dream" is my favorite song on this album (the sense of adventure in "Winterspell" is enjoyable as well).

That's not to say SkyWorld doesn't have its flaws. Other than "The End is the Beginning," which gets notice only because I do choose to listen to it occasionally, I'm really not feeling the lyrical songs. I REALLY don't care for "Back to the Earth"--the lyrics are probably very moving and inspiring, but I can't get over how the vocals are done, so I skip the song as fast as I can. Those aside, "Juggernaut" and "Dark Ages" are unquestionably my LEAST favorite songs on the album; as someone who uses music to create specific atmospheres for writing, I can imagine myself having no use for those two songs--especially "Juggernaut"--except in the event that I need to write a scene of chaos and death or the like. For the same reason I don't often listen to "Our Last Hope."

"All is Hell That Ends Well" gets special mention because I can't decide whether or not I like it. I don't hate it, but I don't listen to it every playthrough the way I do songs like "Titan Dream," "SkyWorld," "Winterspell," "For the Win," and "Blizzard." I enjoy the orchestral elements, especially the piano bits, but it is a bit heavier than I need on a given day. I've encountered a lot of complaints about the dubstep at the end, but it's never struck me as the travesty others seem to think it is. It's strange because it's something TSFH hasn't really explored before, and I don't feel it needs to be pursued too vigorously (I can get dubstep anywhere, after all), but it wasn't horrible. Still, I can understand that it might not be everyone's cup of tea.

SkyWorld doesn't contain nearly the same percentage of driving, beat-you-over-the-head-with-ferocity music as you'll find in Invincible and Archangel. I suppose this is because Invincible and Archangel are primarily about individuals or small groups saving the world, as can be told by the song titles; by comparison SkyWorld is primarily about expansive landscapes and forgotten legends. So if you have to have music that pushes you through every second of your day--if you have/want to feel like you're about to go into a fight and take over the world or if you have/want to feel like YOU are the legend--you might not like this album. But if you want music you can build a world to, you might just find that SkyWorld is right up your alley.


Divinus
Divinus
Price: $15.99

4.0 out of 5 stars One Way of Telling a Story, November 15, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Divinus (MP3 Music)
Although definitely not mood music, this album is not always a hard-driving, heart-stopping series of songs, either. Taking into account the cover art and the names of the songs, this album diverges from typical epic fare in that it appears to be intended to tell a specific story (Heaven versus Hell); unlike other cinematic-style albums, which tend to possess self-contained songs that generally have nothing to do with each other, Divinus is more like a complete soundtrack for a movie that doesn't exist. In that regard, the story is told in the music if you care to hear it . . . but you have to hear the WHOLE album to grasp the full story. That's not to say there aren't individual songs you can love and build unique imagery around, for they do hold up under scrutiny, but I think something will be lost if you try to look at the songs ONLY as separate entities and not also as the unit they are.


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