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Customer Reviews: 38
Top Reviewer Ranking: 262,180
Helpful Votes: 261

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Super Mario Sunshine
Super Mario Sunshine
Offered by Billings Electronics
Price: $79.99
136 used & new from $27.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Addictive like crack, only in a good way., November 27, 2006
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Super Mario Sunshine (Video Game)
In Super Mario Sunshine, Mario is impersonated by a fiendish fellow wielding a paintbrush that spreads obnoxious goo all over the beautiful island. Mario is charged with cleaning it up, figuring out who the culprit is, and restoring the island's "shine sprites," which have disappeared. Of course, there is also some Princess-saving involved.

The object of this game is collect "shines" by completing various tasks, or finding where they're hidden. There are lots and lots of secrets to discover and gadgets to use, which goes a long way toward keeping one entertained.

The game is quite pretty, the environments are detailed and rich, and the maps are large and satisfying.

The amount of freedom allowed the player in this game is fantastic. Each section of the map has several "episodes" which you can revisit to find more treats and secrets. There are a few temporary limitations that keep you from jumping ahead of what you're capable of, but by in large, you've got the freedom to go wherever you choose.

This game comes highly recommended.

Hot Tools Professional 800 Watt Ionic Soft Bonnet Hair Dryer, Black & White
Hot Tools Professional 800 Watt Ionic Soft Bonnet Hair Dryer, Black & White
Offered by BeautyAnd
Price: $34.99
11 used & new from $33.48

62 of 64 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I'll go back to buying vintage ones on Ebay, November 1, 2006
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I had high hopes for this dryer, since my previous experiences with bonnet dryers were with ones from the 1960s and 70s that I found used. I've bought several old ones for around $6-$8 over the past several years, and have ended up giving some away to friends who liked them, and using others until they died. In general, I've been really happy with the performance of the old ones, but I figured getting one new could only be better. Wrong.

I respect the opinion of the other person who wrote a review, but I have to differ on several points-- the dryer is neither particularly quiet nor powerful. True, it's quieter than a regular hair dryer, but the air output is absolutely lousy. Even on the highest setting, it can't fully inflate the bonnet, even after I made sure the plastic wasn't sticking to itself. I found because of the weak airflow, the front of my head gets getting absolutely NO air. The plastic is just flat against it. I've tried rearranging it, and finally have found that the only way to dry my hair on all sides is to rotate the bonnet regularly, defeating any "convenience" this product might have had.

The other point I must disagree with is about the length of the tube. It's simply not long enough unless you're sitting up aginst the unit and not moving.

Pros - Despite the fact that I overall don't care for this unit, there are some positive things about it. The cord, tube, and bonnet store inside the actual unit. The tube is sturdy. Also, the unit kicks out a decent amount of heat.

Cons - Weak airflow and short tube. Not worth the price. Also, the dryer is not very tall, but has a really large footprint. It takes up about a square foot of space on my counter. It's larger than any of the even the clunkiest vintage dryers I've had.

I highly recommend finding a vintage bonnet dryer in a thrift store or on Ebay. I've owned several, and have never been disappointed in the settings, airflow, or performance. Those things are workhorses, and they come with really neat "hatbox" type cases for storage. Plus they're so cheap that if you do get a bum unit, you can afford to replace it easily.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 3, 2015 8:47 AM PST

Okami - PlayStation 2
Okami - PlayStation 2
Offered by Pixel Perfect Video Games
Price: $48.00
58 used & new from $8.96

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and Original, October 23, 2006
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Okami - PlayStation 2 (Video Game)
Okami rates among the most beautiful games I've ever seen.

The main point of the game is that you're the reincarnation of a god, awakened after a hundred years to dispatch of the evil that's overtaken the land. The entire landscape is bleak and dead--affected by the evil, and it's your task to both fight the ultimate evil, and restore the land using various techniques you learn throughout the game.

One of the really interesting aspects of the game is that, since the main character is folk tale diety (in the form of a wolf), the player can affect the environment of the game by drawing with a calligraphy brush. A circle stroke in the sky creates a sun to turn night into day. Another stroke across a dead tree brings it bursting into full bloom. A slashing stroke across your enemies cuts them.

My only minor complaint so far is that perhaps it does a little too much shepherding in terms of letting you know where to go next. However, this doesn't detract for the game overall. At the same time, the player does have a good deal of freedom--I haven't felt railroaded through the storyline at all. Perhaps the extra guidance will make this game more accessible also for people who aren't usually gamers.

If you're looking for something visually interesting, occasionally humorous, and with very different gameplay from the usual fare, Okami is highly recommended.

Tumaro's Low in Carbs 8-Inch Tortillas, Multigrain, 13.75-Ounce Packages (Pack of 6)
Tumaro's Low in Carbs 8-Inch Tortillas, Multigrain, 13.75-Ounce Packages (Pack of 6)

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hurrah for sandwiches again!, October 11, 2006
These are my favorite flavor of this brand of wraps - mild and nutty like whole grain bread, but low in carbs. They're wonderful for multiple things: sandwich wraps, fried with chicken and cheese as a quesadilla, buttered and baked with parmesan to make chips, etc etc.

The only down side to these tortillas is that they're not quite as flexible, so be prepared to wrap very carefully. Totally worth it, though.

Tumaro's Low in Carbs 8-Inch Tortillas, Green Onion, 13.75-Ounce Packages (Pack of 6)
Tumaro's Low in Carbs 8-Inch Tortillas, Green Onion, 13.75-Ounce Packages (Pack of 6)

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Depends how you make it., October 11, 2006
This brand of tortilla is a godsend for low-carb dieters, but this particular flavor is a little harsh and almost bitter if you eat it cold out of the fridge as a sandwich wrap. I recommend using this flavor either baked with cheese on it, or pan fried as a quesadilla.

In general, this brand of tortilla is great. They're not as flexible as regular non-diet wraps, though, so be prepared for some breakage if you try to wrap something in it tightly.

Kingdom Hearts II - PlayStation 2
Kingdom Hearts II - PlayStation 2
Offered by Budget Video Games Inc.
Price: $32.99
138 used & new from $9.98

10 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not much to do..., May 23, 2006
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
Though it's a very pretty game, Kingdom Hearts II fell pretty flat for me in comparison to the first title.

Pros: graphics were fun to look at; though the combat was mostly button mashing, there were improved aspects to it, like the special "drive" forms, where Sora can use two keyblades, and limits, which provided you with a short period of being able to use a special ability or move. Call me a fan-girl, but I also really enjoyed being able to race light cycles in Tron's world.

Cons: You're railroaded through short, boring worlds on what seems more like one long movie than a game. The maps are miniscule, there's no exploring, no hidden ledges with goodies... nothing like that at ALL. I was frustrated that "high jump" was not available until I'd earned it through using one of the special forms. I kept telling myself that maybe once I had high jump, I'd be able to go back and reach some places I couldn't before. Maybe I'd find something interesting. But nooo... I'm not sure what the point of being able to jump any higher was. What a waste of time. The game provides you with plenty of places that LOOK as though they should be reachable, but even when you should be able to get there, you just slide back down to the ground because the programmers didn't bother to make the surface usable.

This seems to be a theme in most of the game: enjoy looking at the pretty environments, but don't expect to interact with them in any way.

The final two major complaints I have are the series of interminable final boss battles, and the existence of Atlantica.

Atlantica: does this make any sense? "The universe is in peril! Only we can save it! Oh wait--you want me to waste time performing in your ridiculous undersea musical extravaganza instead of saving innocent people and defeating evil? Sure!" There is not anything to defeat in Atlantica. I do not know why it was included in the game. I loathed it in the first one, and I gnashed my teeth even more in the second because I had NO REASON TO BE THERE.


Good games force you to work, and the fun is in the rewards they dole out. Challenge, then reward.

I didn't feel rewarded in Kingdom Hearts II. I just felt kind of gypped.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 17, 2010 7:28 AM PDT

27 used & new from $24.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Your Average Summer Camp, March 4, 2006
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: PsychoNauts (Video Game)
This sadly underrated game is different from most anything you've played before, and this is certainly a good thing.

You play as Raz, a youngster who's gate-crashed his way into a government sponsered summer camp for psychically gifted kids. His goal (despite his father's wishes) is to ultimately become a psychonaut--one of an elite government unit using psychic powers.

The game's environments are not only great to look at, they're fun as well, with plenty of hidden goodies to stumble over and search out. Besides the campground, you're eventually able to hop into various people's subconscious minds and encounter drastically different and intricate levels in each. These are just a few:

- The mind of an artist is rendered as a stylized world that looks like a black velvet Spanish painting

- You can tromp through a city in which you're Godzilla sized, able to crunch buildings at will, and swat airplanes from the sky.

- A paranoid mental patient's mind is a bizzare neighborhood controlled mysterious agents. Surveillence cameras peek out of nicely manicured hedges.

The writing is pretty hilarous at times.

For the most part, the game is well balanced: hard enough to be a fun challenge, but not so hard you end up repeating boss fights a thousand times.

My only complaint comes with the later part of the game when you're suddenly required to do some intense platforming with a time limit while projectiles are being hurled at you. It seems out of character with the rest of the game, and it's intensely frustrating because suddenly you're required to use the sort of platforming skills the game hasn't required of you before, and it's a "one chance or you die" situation. I actually almost quit playing the game at this point because I failed this section so many times.

However, if you weigh the incongruous and difficult section near the end against the hours of crazy fun you've already had, and I think this game still definitely comes out as a keeper.

Arcanum: of Steamworks & Magick Obscura - PC
Arcanum: of Steamworks & Magick Obscura - PC
34 used & new from $1.45

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nothing Short of Epic (but look out for the learning curve), December 4, 2005
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
I almost stopped playing Arcanum before I'd really begun because the interface was so intricate and...uh...arcane. This is not a game one can simply hop into without reading the manual. After a few frustrating false starts, I got the hang of it, and the fun began to commence.

The range of choice in this game is staggering. You can use a pre-made charcter, or create an entirely new one, and fully customize either. The maps are expansive and full of goodies, and there's no penalty for simply wandering around and collecting quests that don't particularly drive the main storyline. Depending on how you interact with people, and what quests you take, your character's good/evil alignment can change, opening different options and quests.

There were a couple issues that caused the game to rate at a 4 rather than a 5 overall: (downloading the patch from the Arcanum website seems to have solved some of them) Most of the problems seemed to be with non-player party members--occasionally someone wandered away from the party into the thick of enemy territory to pick up a random old pair of boots (!?) or something of the like, and I had to dive in and rescue them from the hoarde of baddies they'd just trundled obliviously through. Also, a couple of times the NPCs noticed an enemy behind a wall, they all clustered there, unresponsive, waiting to fight, until I picked a lock to open a door or ran around back and killed the enemy myself. Frustrating.

Despite these few annoyances, Arcanum has infinite replay value, and I *highly* recommend it to anyone looking for an incredibly flexible RPG with an immersive story and intricately crafted world.

Living in Skin
Living in Skin
8 used & new from $6.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended Folk/Americana Music, November 14, 2005
This review is from: Living in Skin (Audio CD)
If you have any love of folk, traditional music, or excellent singer-songwriter work, you'll most likely adore this album. Heck--if you like music at all, the quality of this songwriting and performance is something you'll appreciate; the melodies are memorable and lovely, and there is plenty of energy.

Harrod's voice is perfect for this type of music: slightly raspy, with a southern mellowness, but he has excellent vocal control. "Looming" (of my favorite tracks) is a live performace, and shows his talent, because it entails some vocal gymnastics that (without any studio tricks) Harrod just nails.

It's also worth pointing out that the year this came out, Jason Harrod won first place for one of these songs in the Chris Austin Songwriting Competition for Bluegrass Category at Merlefest in North Carolina. Apparently Gillan Welsh was a judge that year. It's a well deserved award.

"Living in Skin" came out 5 years ago, but it still regularly finds its way into rotation because it's that strong an album.

Films for Radio
Films for Radio
Offered by CDWarehouseOnline
Price: $39.49
28 used & new from $0.32

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Buy ANY other album by this great band., November 14, 2005
This review is from: Films for Radio (Audio CD)
As much as I adore Over the Rhine, I cannot strongly recommend this cd--particularly if it will be your first Over the Rhine purchase. I do heartily recommend anything and EVERYTHING else by them, however.

If you've never heard Over the Rhine: Films for Radio is a decent pop album that may catch your ear after several listens. The songwriting is interesting and fun and the vocals are "quite nice." It's good pop music for listening to while you're doing other things.

If you're familiar with Over the Rhine: You can buy, but you will be a sad tomato. After listening to their other beautifully simple, gorgeous, warm albums, this one comes off as sterile, over-produced, and mediocre. The standout songs, "The World Can Wait," and "Goodbye (This is not Goodbye)" are ones I remember from live shows years ago.

I think that the label is really at fault here, and there was pressure to be more "marketable." If you can, judge this album separately from the band. Over the Rhine generally produces beautiful, poetic, memorable music.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 16, 2015 6:14 PM PST

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