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Preserved Roses
Preserved Roses
Price: $0.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The loneliness of a caged life. Preserved Roses~, May 16, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Preserved Roses (MP3 Music)
A powerful POWERFUL OP song made by two of the strongest J-pop singers around. Worth every piece of currency! Glad we can buy this one. :D I wanted to also buy angela's song, "It's Not Me", but alas... A[...] D:

Snippet of the translated lyrics, done by bambooxzx.wordpress.com

Pressed under every brief and fleeting dream,
The flower becomes a piece of eternity.
The deception pains the heart.
It will present to you
The loneliness of a caged life. Preserved Rose...

You only need to take what flows forth from deep within and change it into human form.
Everything is "too cold", you say - then don't unclasp your fingers from mine.

We can exist within either light or darkness.
Don't be afraid - the morning that you dread will not come.
We'll repeat only brilliance.
Connecting, then ending - once again...

Pressed under every brief and fleeting dream,
The flower becomes a piece of eternity.
The deception, ever so painfully,
Cuts deeply into the world that rejects it.

If you wish, I'll let you captivate me,
So don't fade into the distance and disappear.
I'll greet with open arms
The new breaths of life
Of the tomorrow that you see. Don't let go...


The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky - Sony PSP
The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky - Sony PSP
Price: $19.99
24 used & new from $13.81

5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely one of the most interesting/fun RPGs around, March 31, 2013
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I'm a half picky/open person when it comes to certain genres. RPGs are no exception. I mostly look for something that is equal in gameplay, story and fun. I wasn't familiar with the Legend of Heroes series until Andriasang started reporting on the current games in this series. One of those games had a plotline that perked my interest, but it would be a looong time before we see any of it in the West if it was possible. I ended up researching what other Legend of Heroes games are available in the West. Trails in the Sky was the game that caught my interest the most. It had a fairly good reputation and the characters/plot had the kind of mystery I was looking for.

After some months of debating, ordered it off of Amazon. The price was reasonable so why not? (Although, fans would recommend people to order off of Xseed's site to drum up support. --- The series really needs support.) When the game came, a rush of excitement overwhelmed me, which I haven't felt in a long time for a game. Popped it in my PSP and couldn't put it down.

STORY ---

The story opens up in a small mysterious way, which I won't say here. Five years later, from the prologue, Estelle and Joshua Bright start their training to become Bracers, a guild that helps people out without interfering with politics, or so everyone thinks. However, things start to get a bit hairy when Estelle and Joshua's father disappears with an air ship he was riding on. The Bright siblings go on a semi-long journey to find out the truth behind this, which ultimately sets towards a bigger unexpected conspiracy that involves the royal family. Throughout the adventure, Estelle and Joshua will meet old and new friends, gain party members, and confront new enemies. By the time you, the player, reaches the "end" of the game, you'll start to crave more for the game, because........this is only the first part of the story! Even if there was closure within the game, the main gut of the story isn't done yet. We, in the West, is still waiting patiently for the second game to be localized.

The story's pace went by smoothly without much filler in-between. The J-cliches (i.e. what you see in Japan real life/games/anime/manga) aren't so obnoxious or over-the-top, even though they're there. Even Estelle's constant yelling or eccentric "gentleman" Olivier's behavior aren't that annoying compared to Luke's beginning behavior in "Tales of Abyss" or Neku Sakuraba's personality in the beginning 1st week of "The World Ends With You".

Text-wise, this game has a lot of text. Considering this is an RPG, this should be a no-brainer. There's a lot of character interaction between the playable characters and NPCs. It's not like Tales' skits, thankfully. I understand that there seems to be some people, who do not like a game with a lot of text. However, if you enjoy reading as much as I do, this shouldn't be a problem. :D

GAMEPLAY ---

What complements the amount of text and characters in this game is the gameplay.

It's like a mix between strategy and turn base. Coming off of the Fire Emblem Awakening demo, the Trails gameplay was very refreshing. I like that I can move around without having to go one-by-one, do pre-emptive strikes on enemies, and still do the chess-like strategy when in battle with the enemy. Furthermore, you can expand your target from one enemy to a whole area of them depending on who's in your field of battle.

Magic? Check. In the form of orbment arts that you can upgrade for stronger power. Normal attacks? Check. Upgradable armor? Check. Upgradable weaponry? Check. Recipe book to make a lot of different medicinal/healing stuff? Check x 100!!

Like every RPG, there are quests in this game. Some of them are story-based so they're required, but others are optionable. If you're a completionist, definitely try to put off doing all of the required quests, because you can only do them while you're within a specific town/area. If you progress past that town/area, you cannot go back to that town/area. Upon beating the game, you'll get an NG+ so if you like second play-throughs, you'll have that chance to do whatever quests you miss. Furthermore, the air ships will be open to you in NG+.

In terms of backtracking to do certain quests, it's not so bad. Well, compared to Tales of Abyss, it's DEFINITELY not so bad. You won't be going across the ocean to find something. That's for sure.

Tired of seeing the word "Empty" every time you go back to a treasure chest you opened before? Well, this game changes that concept a little, although, not sure if this is Falcon's or XSeed's idea. Well, you'll see what I mean.

MUSIC ---

In my opinion, the music is good -> decent/okay to me, except for the OP and ED vocal songs. The OP and ED songs are awesome. They truly captured the feel of the game.

OVERALL ---

If I had to give a rating to my enjoyment level, it would be this many stars: ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

Trails in the Sky is pretty underrated (although, that may be an understatement online?--), which saddens me a little. If this was available on something like the 3DS and the PC, I think it would help boost its awareness in the West. Otherwise, it'll remain to be pretty well known in Asia, and just Asia. :0 So, to any of you guys reading this, and have played Trails, please spread word of this fascinating trilogy. Would you prefer to watch the other two games in Japanese online or play it in your hands/TV/computer? (Xseed isn't putting Trails on their priority list at the moment.)

I wish Xseed good luck on tackling the localization and marketing for Trails in the Sky Second Chapter~!!


Kingdom Hearts 3D Dream Drop Distance
Kingdom Hearts 3D Dream Drop Distance
Price: $21.96
101 used & new from $19.55

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This game can Drop-Me-Not forever and ever and ever....[update 1], August 22, 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
I pre-ordered the MoM edition for release date delivery. I'm still playing the game since that day. I'm currently 43 hours into the game on Proud mode with 38% of the story completed. Hence, you can tell I am taking my sweet time with the game unlike other people, who just rush through it for the story. I've played all of the localized released KH games, except for re:coded (which was originally a cell phone game). Birth by Sleep was my favorite game out of the KH series, but I think Dream Drop Distance can sit right next to it.

Story: A Dream? -----

I probably don't have to repeat it here as it's been posted, said and repeated a million times, but whatever...

You get that the story's gist is: Sora and Riku must enter the dreams of seven sleeping worlds as a part of their Mark of Mastery exam in order to become full-fledged keyblade masters. However, a mysterious boy shows up trying to "incept" the exam and throw some riddles at both of them. Who he is and why he resembles Xehanort when he was a young boy, we'll find out eventually at the end. In the world of the waking, everything may seem fine on their end, but they're not....?? Remember this: "Darkness becomes light and light falls into darkness."

If you're a KH newbie, there are Chronicle entries that you can read in this game, that are unlocked as you go through it, explaining to you what happened in the previous KH games. Unlike other game series out there, KH is one big continuous storyline ala Harry Potter. So, you'll come across a plot point that won't be answered until a future game. I highly recommend you guys to Google the "KH Info Block", because that Tumblr explains certain plot details a little better than the Chronicles. The Chronicles are still alright for giving you guys a good gist of the story. If you ever think about playing some of the past KH games, go in release order. You can try the official timeline order, but things work out better, both story and gameplay-wise, in release order.

(Out of all the KH games, re:coded holds the least importance to the story so you can skip that one if you want, and watch the ending cutscenes on Youtube.)

For KH fans/veterans, the story pacing has improved a lot from its early days of KH1, CoM and 2. It is also paced a little differently than Birth by Sleep, because you're dealing with two characters who battle in separate identical worlds instead of three characters trying to find one another in three separate storylines. Overall though, Dream Drop Distance works almost just like Birth by Sleep, but you're playing the two storylines at the same time. You no longer have to switch out of one character's file just to go to another character's file. That's why the Drop system exists for that purpose, however, I'll get into that a little later.

In each world, you won't find NPCs, except for Moogles and a particular Dream Eater, that you can simply walk up to and talk to them. All of the NPC conversations are in cutscenes, but they can be replayed again in the Flashback section of your Momentos menu.

Going back to DDD's pacing a bit, each world makes you go on a "mini quest" to do something for the NPCs who live there. Thus, it is a different type of interactive feel compared to trying to find a button behind a wall in Cinderella's house. However, each world holds a moral/theme that's actually important enough that both Sora and Riku keep reflecting on them. Some people seem to not look at Sora and Riku's thoughts/feelings. They just see the Disney worlds as they are calling them "filler", but they're not. You'll also be "interrupted" by someone, or some people, in each world that is/are related to the story's main villain, Xehanort. After beating each world, you'll see the other half of the story as to what's going on in the waking world. If you've seen the trailers, you can kind of picture how the beginning of that portion unfolds.

The System -----

Like the previous KH games, you are offered three different difficulty levels: Beginner, Standard, and Proud. If you complete Proud mode, then, you can unlock Critical mode. I highly recommend Proud mode. It's an improvement mode over Birth by Sleep, where the Unversed there were very easy to triumph over after just leveling up a few levels. In other words, there was a lack of a need to grind in Birth by Sleep throughout most of the game. That was the main disappointing thing in BbS that I had an issue with. However, in Dream Drop Distance, we can grind once more with enemies that are push overs.

For the two 3DS screens, the top shows your gameplay and cutscenes. The bottom screen functions as a world's map (which can be enlarged or shrunk), access to setting up a Link portal, checking up on what you need to do (via story), interacting with the Link ability system, and doing any Dream Eater training related activity.

The menu system, itself, is just like the previous KH games, but probably the most similar to the Birth by Sleep menu system. What's new about it is the Momentos section, which I already explained above. In that section, you can view past cutscenes, tutorials and other review type of information. Very easy to read and digest.

The camera system works the same way the first Kingdom Hearts game worked, but a little more stable where it does follow your character around more. You use the L and R buttons to pivot the camera, but I don't really use it so much. Some people think the camera follows the character too closely, but it's not that big of an issue to me.

Gameplay and Monsters Galore -----

One good chunk of the physical gameplay relies on "Flowmotion" where you parkour off walls, lightpoles, stair railings, strings of light, etc. and etc. It's a little bit of what some people would call, "the battle system on crack". You can even use it to scale up buildings such as Notre Dame. However, it's not invincible against enemies. Some of the enemies will be able to interrupt your Flowmotion with their own attacks. So, you can't always rely on it for everything. If you ever do feel that Flowmotion is overpowering you, you do have the option to turn it off in the menu. However for me, I'm completely fine with it as it's fun to use and makes traveling through the big worlds much easier. You'll also be able to unlock the normal platforming abilities in this game. How you choose to use both systems are all up to you. You have the option to turn off abilities in your Command menu section.

Update 1: Sorry, forgot one thing. Reality Shift. It's a system that involves both the air and the ground. When you're near Dream Eaters and objects, like barrels, a group of flashing pinkish/purpleish arrows show up. Slide down your stylus and you activate Reality Shift. There are different Reality Shifts per world each fitted to that world's theme. You might find some of them to be helpful when dealing with bosses and hordes of DEs.

The amount of Commands are less in Dream Drop Distance than in Birth by Sleep, but they still pack a punch. It seems that Square Osaka (- Square-Enix's division in the western part of Japan, who made Birth by Sleep -) were able to pick out some of the popular ones from BbS into Dream Drop Distance. At the same time, they invented some new Commands, which are just as awesome. Unlike Birth by Sleep, you don't level up these Commands. What you have to level up, besides Sora and Riku, are your Dream Eaters. In Birth by Sleep, you had Shot-locks and Dual Linking. In DDD, the same can still be seen when you link up with your Dream Eater. Certain Dream Eater abilities look exactly like Shot-locking. Just minus the target icon.

Dream Eaters are indeed cute and colorful looking residents of the dreaming universe. There are two kinds of Dream Eaters. The ones that are good are called "Spirits". The bad ones are known as "Nightmares". Despite their appearances, the enemy Dream Eaters do get really powerful and menacing if you're not too careful. Their A.I.s are MUCH better than Donald and Goofy's so that's how good they are to you. Sometimes, I would let them battle some DEs for me in order to succeed in a "Special Portal", where I'm not allowed to get hit more than two times. (Portals will be explained later.)

You're responsible for taking care of your Dream Eaters in order to level them and their abilities, up. Taking care of them are similar to Nintendogs/cats "petting the pet" effect, but these rubs and pokes are effective towards your Dream Eaters' Link Points and EXP as well. For a certain number of pokes and rubs you do on a Dream Eater, you can change their "Disposition" levels in order to unlock new abilities. What's amusing about these Dream Eaters, they each have their own personalities. Some are very happy, while others can be very moody and are easily prone to anger management problems. The pickier Dream Eaters can be harder to train.

You can also play a few mini-games with the Dream Eaters that go into their EXP level. The only slight downside for some people with the Dream Eaters are: if you switch a Dream Eater out of your party for a different DE, you lose all the resistance abilities (i.e. Dark Screen) that you gained with that particular DE. If you want them back, all you have to do is switch that DE back into your party. Despite saying all that, Sora/Riku can do pretty well with a lack of resistance abilities on hand. It doesn't bother me one bit, at least. For some other people, they just want to keep that resistance level all the way through, regardless of the Dream Eater they have in their party.

Speaking of Dream Eater resistance abilities, you'll be leveling up your Dream Eater through an Ability Link status matrix grid system. The more Ability Link points your Dream Eater gains while fighting against other Dream Eaters, the more abilities you can unlock on the matrix grid.

In Birth by Sleep, you level up Commands and fuse them together with a crystal in order to get a new Command. In DDD, you mix Dream Eater ingredients with Commands in order to create new Dream Eaters. So, the process of combining something with something else is still there. You're just not required to constantly level up new Commands to level 3 or 4. Leveling up newly acquired Dream Eaters have taken that place. You may also not be using all 50 Dream Eaters, however, in order to gain one of the completion trophies, you will need to make all 50 Dream Eaters. Before you can even make a Dream Eater, you will need to find that Dream Eater's recipe scattered about in the seven worlds.

Drop System -----

The other main component of the game's system is the Drop System, which makes you switch between Sora and Riku in intervals of 20 minutes each. There's a bonus countdown that kicks in towards the end of your Drop gauge where you can get extra items from enemies. That's if you choose to do it by any means.

When the game first came out in Japan, I was completely worried about this because I had nightmares of time limit gameplays with Majora's Mask. Even some of the Japanese fans were ripping it apart. I am seriously NOT a fan of time limits. I love taking my time and exploring the worlds of games. I could tolerate them in Birth by Sleep, but something like Majora's Mask's three day system (which can be countered by a song) was scary.

However, to my pleasant surprise, it's very very veeery easy to counter the Drop system with items that you can buy early on in the game starting at the affordable price of 40 munny. (You can buy up to 99 of them so you have plenty of time to spare.) One such item is the one in my subject line, "Drop-Me-Not", which resets your Drop counter one-two bars back. In the future portion of the game, you can also purchase a "Drop-Me-Never", which completely resets your Drop counter back to however it started.

Another way to elongate your time is by obtaining Drop Points that you get when you fight enemy Dream Eaters. During the process of "Dropping", you'll be shown a menu of choices that affect the character that you'll be switch to. One of these choices is a "Drop Decelerator", which slows down your Drop gauge in three different speeds. The more Drop Points you obtain, the easier chances you can obtain the highest level of the Decelerator.

Thus, I encourage you guys to spend a lot of time per character/world grinding and fighting DEs so you can get the desired number of Drop Points. This particularly works well in Proud mode. I hear that Standard mode is sort of easy. (For Proud, it's probably not easy to do this in the beginning of the game, but a little later on, I find that spending an hour or two in one world can net me, at least, 200 DPs easily.)

Any remaining Drop Points get turned into munny, which can be used for more Drop-Me-Nots, so it's a fair deal.

If you ever come across people constantly complaining about Dropping constantly in the middle of boss battles or exploring in their games, there is something completely wrong with this picture. Some of these people do not know that Drop-Me-Nots exist so they keep playing through the game allowing the system to Drop for them. (Thus, thinking that the game "forces" them to rush.) You can also Drop yourself any time you want in the game via save points, accessing the menu, or putting the game on pause. So, you actually have full control of how you want to play the game rather than let the game play you. Couple that with the Drop-Me-Nots and highest Decelerator level, and you can play both characters for as long as you want. You just can't progress past a certain number of worlds as one character until you beat the other character's required portion of worlds. Their stories are suppose to play out in synch. Not separate like Birth by Sleep.

I would recommend playing as one of character's world stories all out first before Dropping to another character's story and play that from beginning to end. That way, you wouldn't get that "lost" feeling of trying to remember what happened before you were there. (Though, you could consult the Momentos section just for a memory refresher.)

Other people think they can only put the Drop-Me-Not in their active Command deck and it interrupts with their battles. For me, I put my Drop-Me-Not in the second Command deck, which is void of any Commands. It's very easy to go into the Command menu, switch to the second Command deck, press the X button for Drop-Me-Not, go back into the Command menu and switch back to my active Command deck. It only takes a few seconds to do this. You can make up to three Command decks, but I think one is enough for me and some other people to go by if you like mixing up your Commands once in awhile.

Note of caution: Being hit by some Dream Eaters may cause your Drop Gauge to speed up a little so that adds a teeny bit of challenge to your time management. It's not really that much of an issue when you have Drop-Me-Nots at your disposal.

The Seven Sleeping Worlds -----

You go through seven huge worlds. Some of them, you've been to before, but they're expanded. You may think you knew one area so well, but turn a corner, and you may find yourself becoming lost in it (which is good in my book). In true KH fashion, you'll find most of them to be "empty" except with Moogles and unlimited Dream Eaters/Tron NPCs. So, it's not really a surprise if you're use to this from the past KH games. The only difference here is that you won't be bumping into any standing non-Moogle NPCs. As I said earlier in this impression/review, they're all accessed through cutscenes.

For this kind of game, I don't mind there being a lack of standing non-Moogle NPCs, because they'll be in the way of the Flowmotion. Furthermore, coming across them, they'll usually say the same things over and over when you talk to them. Thirdly, I don't see any way you could incorporate non-Moogle NPCs in this game as all the worlds are in dreamland dreaming up of only the "important" characters of their respective worlds. Thus, these worlds are not the true versions of themselves. And yet, I have a feeling we can never truly know what's real or not later on in the game.

The Portals -----

There are four types of portals that exist in DDD.

One is a "Dive" portal that is used to travel between worlds that replace the existence of Gummi ships/shape-shifting keyblades. You only have to do them once per character and world, but you can replay them over and over in order to obtain certain abilities. Like KH2, traveling through a Dive portal is in the form of a mini-game. You'll come across some special Dive bosses in the midst of your travels. I enjoy the challenge of not being able to obtain the required amount of points or dying in these Dive portals. It makes you want to push your limit with what you can do.

The other three portals are Dream Eater related. One of them is the "Friendship" portal that lets you leave three DEs anywhere in the seven worlds, that will be found by other players via local wi-fi. Your DEs will be borrowed by those other players in order to fight the enemy DEs. The other portal works just like the friendship portal, except, it requires you to fight against the DEs that other players left for you.

If you don't know anybody nearby with DDD (that's like, the majority of KH players in the West), worry not. There are preset random A.I. portals that show up everywhere in the game. They all have Final Fantasy related names so you can't miss them.

The fourth portal is strictly an A.I. set up challenge type of portal that's known as "Special". Each Special portal you find gives you a requirement you must fulfill in order to make a mark of accomplishment in your Journal.

The Extra Content & Post-game Stuff To Do? -----

I previously explained that there are some mini-games you can do with Dream Eaters, while another one is the Dive portal system. The third one is the Flick Rush game, which is found in the first world (Traverse Town). It's a game that takes a little bit of patience and number skill to succeed through. Primarily, it works just like Chain of Memories' battle system, but at a faster pace and you must find a way to match up cards in order to get the upper hand. It's definitely a fun addicting mini-game. What you win from a Flick Rush round are a number of medals that can be traded in for abilities, items, etc. at the Moogle's medal shop. This is a refreshing change from seeing the Olympus Colosseum in almost every single KH game.

If you want the full experience of a game, you do your best on 100%ing the game. On top of collecting over 50 Dream Eaters, completing most of the DEs' matrix boards, and finding every single Comamnd/ability out there, there are 438 treasure chests to be found. For me, I try to find as many chests as I can while playing in the main story, rather then save it for post-game stuff. Some people do it that way, but I rather do it all before the final boss.

The amount of collectibles are smaller than how many collectibles you have to find in Birth by Sleep, but just like Birth by Sleep, there is a Trophy Shelf that needs to be fulfilled. Eighteen trophies to be exact. They are all mostly doable, except the questionable link portal trophy. So, these trophies add onto the re-playability. One of the trophies require you to beat the game in Critical mode.

As for what goes on post-game-wise, I know there is a New Game+, which is a little rare for a KH game. (Birth by Sleep touched "lightly" on this with Aqua.) I believe your Dream Eaters are carried over, but a lot of other things do not.

Music -----

Yoko Shimomura, Takeharu Ishimoto, and the rest of the DDD composers, arrangers and performers all deserve a big pat on their backs for creating another golden KH soundtrack. With everything from old songs we've heard before to new composed ones, there's nothing really much else I have to say with their music. It's magic. ^_^

Overall ----- <3

DDD is easily up there with Birth by Sleep for me in the favorite KH column. It's not a perfect game, but it's fun and won my heart easily. I wish you could be more interactive with your environments, beyond what they give you here in both BbS and DDD, and be able to unlock more hidden things/rooms/secrets. Also, I wish the portal system and Flick Rush game were open to global wi-fi instead of just local wi-fi. Those issues I have are minor compared to a lot of things that I do like in this game. (And if there's anything else I notice, I'll add it in here.)

Looking forward to seeing how this game sets everyone up for KH3. :)


Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West
Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West
by Blaine Harden
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.32
183 used & new from $2.20

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a true Hunger Game.... Period., April 15, 2012
I've been pretty obsessed with anything North Korean related for a few years now. I'd watch countless Youtube vids of the "showpiece facade" capital city, defectors' interviews, North Korean amusement park vids, tourist videos, North Korean police barking orders, North Korean restaurants outside of North Korea, and even the "snuck in" public execution vids. It's pretty heart-wrenching already just to revisit the countless videos of starving people. (For a "hermit" kingdom, it's a wonder that we know a lot about the country, that isn't really open to the world.)

North Korea is almost like George Orwell's 1984, alive and still kicking in the 21st century. At this point in time, the privileged Pyongyangers now have cell phones (that can only work, most likely, within the country only). What a quick rate of progression when over three years ago, they were introduced to American fast food (ironically).

With all of that said, I have to say, "Escape From Camp 14" is a chilling story that you will rarely ever hear of. Unlike other NK defector stories, this man's story is from a concentration camp. He wasn't sentenced to imprisonment for being in there. He was literally raised in the camp from a very young age and didn't know much about the outside world.

Do we have to literally understand what's going on inside this man's head? From my viewpoint, I don't think it's necessary. If you read the words that he allowed his mother to die in that kind of way, without much of an emotional response other than a turning of the head, you have to understand that he had to bury all of his real feelings into some kind of locked box. He knew what he did was wrong, but he had to go with the flow in order to survive. Hence, some sacrifices must be made. (Noting, I never read the Hunger Game series, but I watched the movie. Watching some of it made me think of North Korea...)

I highly recommend this book to pretty much anyone looking for a slight different kind of NK defector story. Hayden was able to capture this man's story quite well. It may not include a lot of thought-input/feelings from Shin, but the main gist of its message resonates throughout the book. I read the first several pages of the book in B&N, and it instantly hooked me in. I do plan on purchasing the book,eventually. (Or maybe, borrow it from a library when it comes out.)


Pokemon White Version
Pokemon White Version
Offered by GameSeek
Price: $39.82
64 used & new from $25.52

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I haven't played Poke'mon in 11 years..., March 18, 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Pokemon White Version (Video Game)
Played the first two generations, and then, called it quits. I had a blast with both Poke'mon Red and Silver, plus, the several Poke'mon spin-off games that ended up on the Game Boy Color and N64. But then, I decided to take an extremely long break. The Poke'mon formula is addictive but it wasn't enough for me to go nab the next couple of generations.

So fast-forward to a couple of days before the official N.A. release of B/W. I was looking at the different details, and thought, "why not?" So, had it pre-ordered and here I am right now. I'm taking my sweet time with the game so I'm far from finishing it with 32 hours clocking in.

There are a lot of impressive things in the game and of course, some disappointments. But overall, I think B/W is a good generation to try on for someone who hasn't played Poke'mon in a long time. It definitely does give off a refreshing feel even if it uses a lot of familiar past Poke'mon game elements.

Good stuff...

+ Battles are much quicker now from what I remembered. Same with the speaking text. You can now change how fast you want the text to go.
+ Two - three Poke'mon VS battles now.
+ Game animation is more fluid.
+ 3-dimensional buildings in a city. I'd have to give Game Freak a lot of credit for that, even though, graphics is really something I don't judge into that much.
+ You have the change of seasons and weather per area.
+ Different forms of climate regions are explored as well.
+ Different shops/people will offer events that may be a daily thing or happens only on a particular day.
+ Unlimited TM/HM usage is a huge relief!
+ The scope of the Unova region is huge. There is a lot more to do now than I can recall, in terms of battling and backtracking areas. Also, finding secret items is a fun quest of its own.
+ The prices for items have gone up for the better from experience. I find myself purchasing items with money worries, which is a plus, compared to the first two generations where it was easy to not spend much money. (And the duplication cheats pretty much annhilated the point of buying Poke'balls...) Maybe, this may be attributed to how much easier it is, in B/W, to be KOed by a lower leveled Poke'mon no matter how high you are. Back in the early days, it was easier to KO by your level number and not so much by your element power.
+ The Battle Subway offers up a nice challenge.
+ Enjoyed the brief interactions with several of the people you run into. Some of them may even be weird....
+ You get the bicycle after the beginning of the game. Yaay...
+ I like the use of the C-Gear shortcut options. Yet...(continued in the negative section)..
+ What I liked the most among all these positives is: there's an improvement in plot. There is now a story that I can actually care about compared to the past. It's like combining the plot of a Poke'mon show/movie with the game. It's still a bit simple, but it's much better than: "I am going to be the best Poke'mon master in the whole world! Once I defeat the Elite Four and Team Rocket, I'll come back home and wave my ego in my (pre-determined) RIVAL's face!!"

You still have the goal of filling up a Poke'dex and beating every single gym leader in the Unova Region. Yet, you now have story-interactive gym leaders, a ditzy best friend, and a best friend who has a determined dream. Above all, you now have enemies whose goals are not to obtain rare and powerful Poke'mon. We now have Team Plasma, who thinks on the same level as extreme activism (-- worse than that?). To say further would be spoiling it.

What I wasn't crazy about:

- The Poke'mon PC. There were some new features added to it from the last time I saw it, but, I was hoping there were more flexibilities in the system. I wish Game Freak could just combine DEPOSIT and WITHDRAWL together. Meaning, you could switch and move around Poke'mon without having to manually switch in and out all the time. It's 2011, and we're still manually going back and forth between DEPOSIT and WITHDRAWL. Also, the Battle Box. You can't just move Poke'mon from your party to it or withdrawl Poke'mon. You have to first move Battle Box Poke'mon into any of your boxes just to withdrawl a Poke'mon.
- Edit update for the C-Gear: After further exploring, I finally understood about check-marking the box underneath all the other items. Yet, the check-mark pretty much saves the area in the item selection that you were last lingering on. I think this could still be implemented in a slightly better way, but it's better than opening up the C-Gear menu entirely. I think the boxes need to be moved to the top part of the screen rather than the bottom part.
- I said there were more things to do/see, but within each town/city, other than item/Poke'mon related events, you just talk to some people and battle others. There is still this feeling of wasted potential. In the amusement park related city, for example, there could've been carnival-like mini-games here. You can't even access the ferris wheel (again). Sure, the Battle Subway is the main meat along with the gym, but there was just this feeling of "that's it?". This feeling echoed with me from the very first main town. I know there is a lot that was put into this game already, but, Game Freak has the chance to push the system even further to match Level-5's "Ni no Kuni".
- The mail feature is very limiting. You can't type out your own words. You're forced to use the system's custom made mail.
- In 2011, you still can't skip cutscenes or chats with NPCs. Oh Game Freak...

Neutrals:

o Feels a bit odd to be going through a region that mirrors the NYC tri-state area. It's like combining NYC with Japan elements. In the past Poke'mon games, we had stores with multi-leveled floors and I didn't understand that until I had a trip to Japan. Now, back with a Poke'mon game that focuses on my region, it took a bit of a time to get use to this.
o I actually tried not to remember too many Poke'mon names after Red. I just couldn't keep up even when I was playing Silver. :D So with White, I'm just taking it easy with some names. In the long run though, I'm not even going to bother with them too much (and just their custom made nicknames).
o I remain neutral on graphics. Graphics are the least of my concern for any game.
o The Poke' balls seem to have irregularities in the type of Poke'mon they can contain? Sometimes, the basic Poke'ball can capture a powerful Poke'mon and the higher level balls don't seem to work at all.
o Game Freak should make the next generation have a more interactive wi-fi community than just limiting a wi-fi city to Black. Also, GF should also be thinking of letting us customize our characters in the future, too. (Although, I'm not sure if I'll be playing a Poke'mon game after this one. I stopped being die-hard during Silver/Gold's time after all.)
o Is there a duplication method for items/Poke' balls in B/W? I have to wonder...

Overall, my experience has been 9/10 so far. The game is definitely not Famitsu perfect, of course, but it's fun and that's what counts the most. Even if it uses the same ol' battle formula with some improvements.


Moon Boy, Vol. 8
Moon Boy, Vol. 8
by Yŏng-yu Yi
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.99
46 used & new from $2.48

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Expect the unexpected with this one..., November 30, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Moon Boy, Vol. 8 (Paperback)
I'm very late on giving my input on this volume, but I'm finally back and can't wait to read the final book as well.

One word that defines this: Woah

Because of my reaction to this volume, this review will come out very different from the other ones that I typed out in the past.

If everything you knew from the beginning was a lie, well, that's exactly what that feeling is with this particular volume. (Not quite like Yu-Da's situation, but dang....) It's been awhile that I read a comic story that put you in this kind of mind-set. You think you know how this story will go, but the way to its happy ending actually comes with a heavy price.

With Volume 8, you find out that the "war" isn't exactly what it seems to be and a particular character isn't someone you're bound to expect. At. All. And this is a bit beyond knowing that some of the characters have connections to the Moon, itself.

I'm still actually surprised about how this came to be and this is very good. Unlike some other manga/manhwa that feature character secrets but don't really twist you that much in this kind of direction. Moon Boy just kept getting a bit more in depth per volume until BANG. Volume 8 appears and explains certain things within a few chapters.

And yet, not all...

Volume 9.

If only this story lasted longer... I suppose though, it would require some filler stories that might not have anything to do with the main storyline. (sighs)


Moon Boy, Vol. 7
Moon Boy, Vol. 7
by Yŏng-yu Yi
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.99
51 used & new from $0.29

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm late on this, but yay for no. 7! <3, June 6, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Moon Boy, Vol. 7 (Paperback)
This is a faster pace book as there is less talking, some action in the beginning, an unknown unexpected friendship between two people, and an explanation of Ha-Eun-Nim's goal (but, more questions just keep bottling up...).

Can tell you though that this book is just the appetizer. The character progression (esp. for Yu-Da) happens in the 8th book, but we'll just have to wait until August to find out!

Don't we all wish Moon Boy lasted more than 9 volumes? O_o


Scribblenauts - Nintendo DS
Scribblenauts - Nintendo DS
Offered by RNTOD
Price: $13.95
260 used & new from $1.29

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Original idea but the controls like to hug you.., October 18, 2009
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
I like the idea of being able to type anything into a game and be able to come up with a creative solution to it. It's an innovative idea. Yet, I agree with others, it came up short.

Pros

+ Type a word in, and poof, what you type in is what you get. If it's a person, give the person a specific object and see what they do with it. Put two characters next to each other and see what they do to each other.
+ Lots of secret words and easter eggs.
+ Back to the Future area homage. Thought that was spiffy.
+ 10 puzzle areas. Some can be solved within a couple of seconds.
+ Customizable level editor and find a way to create your own puzzle.
+ Some of the numerous ways on killing Maxwell are enjoyable (when intentional). Accidental happenings can be funny too.

Cons

- Controls can be managable at times, but, for the most part.. frustrating! You'll try to do something in one area and Maxwell might just commit suicide without your permission. And yes, physics definitely don't make much sense in this game.
- You'll be trying to focus on one area but the camera will always find a way to snap back to Maxwell.
- Some of the ways to solve the puzzles are ludicrous even if you're trying to do them in a creative way. You could even solve some puzzles without even doing everything they ask you to.
- Some of the characters, that you expect them to do something, they...well... They don't do anything but stand there!
- Some of the words you put in, will come out as something different. Which means, a limitation on your imagination.
- No DeLorean! If you're going to have a BTTF area, you might as well put it in, eh? (I understand copyright issues but a BTTF area is in there so why not?)
- I definitely felt the "it's interesting/fun feeling at first but gets stale later on" feeling.
- The music is pretty much the same. I thought it was good at first until they re-used it over and over.

Neutral

o The game has potential. If there is a sequel, test it, please! Also, add more words in.
o This game made many people enjoy the title screen more than the puzzles, themselves. Which is a good sign for the next one to do it differently, if there is one.

Overall, I recommend: rent this game, borrow it, or wait for a price drop. (And if you like it so much, then buy it.) It's not bad. It's not the worst. But, it's just not there yet.


Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days - Nintendo DS
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days - Nintendo DS
Offered by Budget Video Games Inc.
Price: $24.98
64 used & new from $14.88

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a hard to put down game..., October 18, 2009
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
If you're a big KH fan, who wants to know the back-story of Roxas' time in the Organization and who the 14th member is, then you might want to check this out. If you're a newbie KH player, you might survive understanding this without playing any of the other KH games. Several people's testaments say they haven't had much of a problem. It is recommended though, if you want to completely understand everything, you play the PS2 games first. But, it's not bad for stand-alone players either. I got my younger cousins hooked right away with it. (And for those who haven't touched this game but reviewed it anyways, like the one below me, I can only say that you intentionally want to lower the ratings...)

Pros:

+ Vibrant colorful transition from its PS2 predecessors. It's like you're staring at a PS2 game inside a DS. Not bad for pushing the system to its limits.

+ The difficulty level is just right, because the Panel system affects it greatly. You can be 10 hours into the game and still be level 6.

+ Platforming is back compared to KH2. You'll be doing a lot more pushing columns and jumping around.

+ Beautiful FMVs (even though, they're just a few)

+ Dodge roll is back!

+ Some new orchestrations by Yoko Shimomura. Don't expect majority of the game to have new ones because you're going back to the same worlds from the PS2 games.

+ New parts of the PS2 worlds created. Meaning, even though we go to the same worlds as before, a lot of them have new environments made for them. So, we're not always completely in the same familiar area i.e. Agrabah's marketplace area and outside Cave of Wonders.

+ This is a long DS game. At least 25 hours and up, depending on what you do. (Not including multi-player so just consider that extra.)

+ The new Panel system, which you can customize how many things you want. It also limits what you have in your inventory. You gain a new panel piece for every mission you beat. It gives you the strategy on how you want to do your battling. Picture the Chain of Memories cards but not in a card deck. Also, you'll be using potion a lot more at the beginning of the game so it'll go quickly. You have to constantly add to the Panel deck and alter it several times.

+ New Secret Reports are added for this game. I've yet to come across them so I can't wait to read them.

+ Roxas' diary entries are interesting to read.

+ The game's script is witty and good. Good enough that it makes me dislike Larxene 10 times more now.

Neutral

o The tutorial is long but it's not as long as KH2's.

o In the Panel system, they give you level-up panels, which allow you to obviously, as the name says, level up. You have to keep collecting them to increase your level but sometimes, you won't have any place to put them.

o The story will start off very slow but it gets better as you go along. Everyone recommends the 250th day and up to 300th for the story to really pick up. For me, I don't really care. It's already good as it is. I'm less than 80 days in at this point. Unfortunately, I'm playing this game already spoiled so I know what happens. Plus, the secret behind the 14th member...

o You'll only be using the stylus to control the camera to look left, right, and up. Which, I don't have too many qualms about.

o You have customizable options on your camera control and other things.

o Yes, you might find some parts of the worlds/scenes repetitive, but the ice cream eating has a somber meaning behind it.

o There is a meaning behind the title! If you still don't understand what it means, go look it up! :P

Cons

- The camera can get a bit shaky at some times when you're up against something.
- The D-pad will hurt your thumb at the beginning so please, take a break in-between playing it!
- When locking onto an enemy, I wish they allowed you to switch from one enemy to another like in the PS2 games.

That's all I really have to say about it for now. Be prepared for a slow moving story but a well-worth reward ending. :D
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 13, 2013 11:45 PM PST


Apricorn USB Power Adapter Y Cable AUSB-Y USB (Black/Grey)
Apricorn USB Power Adapter Y Cable AUSB-Y USB (Black/Grey)
Price: $13.85
38 used & new from $11.25

8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended for the external HD problem!, August 17, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
If you had problems, like me, of your computer suddenly thinking your external HD is malfunctioned and cannot be found, well, this cable solves everything.

I took my external HD (WD 500 gb big thick book) onboard a cruise ship trip and it was able to shut down two laptops in an instant. Which was strange because my external HD has been working fine for over an year. Never had this kind of problem before. So, when I got back home and inserted the HD into my desktop computer, the external HD came up as "malfunctioned" by my Vaio. Frustrated, I tried several ways to bring my external HD back up, but majority wise, they will not work. My external HD could pop up fine for a few seconds but go back to being considered "malfunction" and not showing up on "My Computer" even if the light is all green (but constant blinking). In-between trying to revive the external HD, I surfed the net for solutions and was shocked by how common this problem is. External HD makers should address this problem one day. External HDs work great except, they do take up a lot of energy as I came to realize. Getting this kind of USB cable came up several times in people's solutions, so I thought, why not?

Ordered it through Amazon. Even though it is a little pricey for this short cable, it saves you the headache trying all the dozen other ways that people came up with the solution. It was either this cable or try the "delete the infocache1 file from your computer" option, which I had doubts on so I went with, what I considered, a safer alternative.

It feels a little mind-bending that such a short cable can give that extra energy boost to the original supplied cable. I think WD does now supply their smaller external HD boxes with these kind of cables, or at least, I've seen it before. I could be wrong.

I believe this cable is suitable for majority of the external HDs out there regardless of the brand name and your computer. So, if you're tired of looking through the net for help or ready to combust thinking you lost a lot of files, well, rest assure. This cable is all you really need. ^_^


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