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Morgan Cahall "so many books so little time" RSS Feed (Delaware, USA)
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Bravely Default - Nintendo 3DS
Bravely Default - Nintendo 3DS
Price: $39.99
91 used & new from $27.65

4.0 out of 5 stars Bravely Default: A fun fantasy RPG... up to a point., February 25, 2015
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
-small spoiler at the end, stop at conclusion pt. 1 if you don't like even small spoilers-

The Setup:

The world is in chaos. Natural disasters are rampant. The wind has stopped blowing, the seas are corrupted, and the fires within the earth are no longer contained. To add to all that more monsters appear every day. All of this though is merely rumors and speculation to Tiz and the people of Norende village. The problems of the world have not yet affected their out of the way village. One day Tiz and his brother are out gathering supplies, when the earth opens up with a roar and in a blinding flash of light. Tiz loses both his village and his brother. Distraught and grieving Tiz blacks out.

He wakes up sometime later at a inn. The kings guardsmen found him wandering around the forest rambling about the destruction of his home village. Tiz thanks the king for his hospitality and insists that he must return to his village to search for survivors. Tiz heads back to what was once the town of Norende only to see why the site has become known as the "Great Chasm". Nothing remains. Only a giant, still smoking hole marks the location of Tiz's former home.

Instead of giving into to despair Tiz vows that one day Norende will stand again. On his way back to town Tiz bumps into Agne's and her fairy guide Airy. The girl is hopelessly lost and even though she won't admit it, so is the fairy. Tiz offers to guide them back to the town so that Agnes can meet with the king.

Once there Agnes explains that her mission is to restore order to the world by cleansing the four crystals. The king provides what assistance he can and wishes her well on her journey. She goes to depart, but Tiz insists on joining her since he has nowhere to go and she is going to need help clearing the shrines so that she can cleanse the crystals within. Agnes reluctantly agrees and then has to reluctantly agree again when another man by the name of Ringabel decides to come along. He has no memory of who he is other than a mysterious journal that he carries which seems to somehow relate to the journey the three are going on.

The three have a few adventures before coming across the fourth and final member of their group. Edea is a solider in the service of Eternia the nation that is behind the Anti-Crystalism movement. They believe that the crystals are bad for mankind and that the current troubles will fix themselves if the crystals are allowed to fade and go out. Edea also happens to be the daughter of the king of Eternia.
Compelled by Agne's pleas, and her belief that the Eternia armies tactics have become to heavy handed, she helps Agne escape and joins her on her journey.

Story:

The story follows Agne's efforts to cleanse the crystals and restore balance to the world. She must somehow overcome the forces of anti-crystalism and if she cannot not make them see reason, then she must at least prevent them from allowing nature to run out of control. Along the way Agnes and her friends will find out the history of the current conflict and what led to the war beginning in the first place. As with anything there are two sides to every story and while Anges is unwavering in her faith events unfold that begin to make her friends question whether or not either side in the war has the greater good in mind.

All Anges and her friends can do is press on and hope their efforts actually bring a end to the crisis and that the world will once again be balanced. What it takes to do this though will be much more difficult then they ever imagined. The most difficult task they face will be answering a single question: "Who do they serve and who do they trust?"

Game play:

Bravely Default plays like a typical JRPG with a few twists that make it a little different. The big one is the Brave / Default system. This system allows the player to either do up to four actions in one turn or default (defend) in order to save up actions to use in the next turn(s) without having to incur a action penalty or at least lessening the penalty. As you can probably imagine leaving your party motionless for four turns in a game like this probably is not going to end well. So the game encourages you to use a bit of strategy when planning out who is going to do what.

This is especially true as the game progresses since it can become quite easy to get annihilated if the player does not correctly time their buffs, debuffs, and null spells correctly. Let me give you an example. You are fighting a boss that has an area attack that drops meteors on your party and also randomly can cast various ailment spells on your party. It also has a pretty strong attack. The anti element spell uses up four turns but lasts 4 turns. In game logic that means the character is not ready again until turn 5.

That will protect you from the fire but that leaves you open to the status ailments. You have another character that has anti ailment spell that lasts two turns and also costs two turns, but the character also has a group heal spell that only uses one turn. In the games logic that means by turn 4 that character will be up again. So that leaves you two characters to deal damage with and react to anything that might go wrong. Just rinse and repeat and hopefully you will win. Now you can always take your chances and try to power through a fight but that usually just ends in frustration unless your characters are a much higher level than what ever is being fought.

The game also features a job system that lets you mix and match skills among the jobs. It's fairly in depth and there are plenty of combinations that can be used to make a powerful character.

Finally the game gives you the option of rebuilding Norende. This is accomplished by acquiring villagers that you assign to build new shops that you can purchase items from. This is useful as it gives you access to weapons and other items that are usually a little more powerful than what you can find out in the game world.

The only catch to this is that you have acquire villagers via street pass. This is not that big of a deal as the game also allows you to acquire villagers, up to three a day, over the internet by uploading your character information to the server. If you aren't able to get street passes and you aren't able to update over the internet then most likely you will not get much use out of this part of the game.

Conclusion;

-pt.1 (No Spoilers)

Since I like JRPG's anyways, I generally liked this game. The story is interesting and it made me keep playing to see what would happen next. That is up to a point, which I will get to in part two of this conclusion. The graphics are great for being a hand held game and even though I did not use the 3D very much it appears to be well executed also. The combat system is also entertaining and it actually made me me think about my attacks instead of just hitting the auto button.

Which to anyone who plays this I advise actually paying attention to what the auto button is since it can make leveling a great deal easier instead of entering the same commands every single turn. When I figured out that there actually was a auto command in the battle system... well lets just say the head smack that I gave myself was well deserved.

There's not much else, I found this to be a very enjoyable JRPG that does enough to be different that it is definitely worth playing through. I recommend this to anyone who likes old fashioned JRPG's and to those that are looking for a good RPG in general. m.a.c

-pt.2 (stop reading here if you do not like spoilers)-

My problem with this game comes from the fact that I really enjoyed up to the point that I mentioned earlier. At a certain part of the game the story pulls a ground hog / edge of tomorrow plot twist. If you actually want to get the best ending to the game it does this three or four times depending on how you count it. This means that if the player wants to get the entire story they have to basically beat every boss in the game three to four times. Each time the bosses are harder. Which is not a problem really.. its just that the story also kind of falls apart a little here.

Every time the world resets there are little differences in the dialogue, but there is no great difference in the way that things play out. Every encounter goes the same. Even the parts where the player cleanses the crystals.

Now the game does give the player an "out" in this sequence, as you can choose to disregard Airy's instructions, this only works after the first reset, and skip right to the final chapter. This of course results in the "bad" ending and also does not unlock the sneak peak of the second game. Unfortunately I did not feel like slogging through another 10 or so hours to do everything again multiple times so I did not finish the game.

Instead I resorted to looking up a lets play in which the person playing did not mind slogging through that section. The "good" ending in general wraps things up more, while the bad ending skips over a few of the loose ends. Either way I still think the game is worth playing. Just keep in mind that if you want the complete story there is a lot of repetition required to get there. m.a.c


Far Cry 3
Far Cry 3
Price: $19.96
134 used & new from $9.52

4.0 out of 5 stars Far Cry 3: A spoiled rich kid must embrace the ways of an island tribe to save his friends., February 3, 2015
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Far Cry 3 (Video Game)
The Setup:

You play as Jason Brody a young man who comes from a wealthy family and knows very little about life other than it's an endless party and bad things only happen to other people.

Jason and his friends, who also have a bottomless line credit from their parents, were on the vacation of their dreams until they made a fateful decision that ended them up in the care of an insane pirate by the name of Vaas.

The game begins with Jason and his brother trying to escape Vaas's camp. Unfortunately they are detected and only Jason escapes. After fleeing headlong into the jungle and being wounded, Jason is rescued by a man named Dennis who dresses his wounds and introduces him to the island that he has found himself on. Jason has landed on the island of the Raykayt, a warrior tribe that is in a fight for its very existence with Vaas and the pirates that he controls. The rules in this war are very simple: kill or be killed.

Soon after Jason finds information that indicates that his friends are still alive and on the island. Seeing no other option, Jason agrees to help the Raykayt in their war against the pirates and they agree to help him find and rescue his friends from Vaas. Jason has his task and everything seems so simple.

That is until Jason the Raykayt warrior begins to seem more real than Jason Brody the endless party boy ever was...

-*-

To start off I liked this game. It set a different tone than most other games of this type and after reading up on the background of the game I realize what they were going for. The character starts out scared to death and traumatized from the events that led to him being on the run from a group of ruthless leaders and their lunatic leader. Slowly but surely he begins to embrace the ways of the warrior tribe that inhabits the island since it gives him a way to strike back at his enemies and save his friends. This brings me to the problem I always have with these games though.

The main problem is that there is no sense of time and in this case the game points it out over and over again that you as the character are out running around earning tattoos while your friends are most likely suffering. On the other hand the only way to save Jason's friends is to earn the skills necessary to take out Vaa's forces. If your interested in the whole setup I really recommend looking up some of the developers commentary and some of the retrospectives on the game, like Spec-Ops: The Line, they can really put a new spin on the game. All in all though if you like open world games / FPS's that let you do your own thing and have a decent story I recommend checking this out. m.a.c

Game time: 20-25 hours, I did beat the game though, got all the radio towers, completed all the medicine runs, found all the letters of the lost, liberated all the bases and did all the unknown research missions.

Game Play: It's what you would expect from a Far Cry game. A big world to explore, multiple weapons to use and collect, and plenty of side quests / activities to complete.

Graphics: They look great to me. There are some neat effects with the water and fire. The game for the most part runs smooth.

Story: See Above.

Sound: The sound in this game is good, which is good since you really need it. The game likes to randomly have animals attack you and the only warning you might get is a single growl before a very hungry panther ruins your day.


The Site
The Site
by Melisand March
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
35 used & new from $0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars A Building steeped in tragedy claims those that treat it lightly., November 17, 2014
This review is from: The Site (Mass Market Paperback)
The building. It's always been there it seems. Shifting its appearance every now and then to fit in with the changing times around it. But it always seems to stay the same in the memories of those who lived, worked or passed through it's halls at some point. Valerie is one of those people that has lived in the building when it was an apartment complex and now works in the office complex it has become. Even working in the building there is a sense that the past is just around the corner and ready to take some one to a different time and place.

Valerie has worked at the building for over ten years and even though she has had a few odd experiences she has mostly ignored the strange feelings that the site can occasionally cause. It's a dangerous time to be working at the site of her old apartment building though. Something seems to be stirring in the depths of the old building, randomly affecting those that walked have walked its halls.

Strange and painful deaths have begun to claim those that have a past with the building, seemingly at random. Valerie though does not believe that the deaths are random and that some unknown force is causing all of the havoc. As Valerie investigates the history of the site her questions slowly begin to be answered, even as her friends and family begin to question whether she is losing her grip on reality.

The answer's to Valerie's questions lie in the past and as she digs deeper she finds that the site and the building constructed on it have a history of tragedy and misfortune that always seems to end in the death of all those involved. The question still remains though, is the building harboring some supernatural force targeting people for some unknown reason? Or is Valerie simply slowly losing her mind unable to cope with all the tragedy that she has had to endure?

-_-

This is one of those stories where the story operates on a slow burn. In some cases this can cause tension and in other cases it just seemed like I was following a bunch of loony people whose carefully constructed lies were finally crumbling around them, with one woman being the cause and the victim of most of them. Not to say that the story is bad it's just kind of slow and while there is an outright conclusion.... it was still hard for me to say who or what was responsible for all the deaths. Which I guess is the point, since this story relies on as much on what it tells the reader as what it doesn't really specifically say. All in all a good read if you like stories that are rely on their slowness to build the tension and make it muddy as to what is causing all the issues. If your like myself though and want your ghosties more active you might want to skip this one. m.a.c


Audrey's Door(Advance Uncorrected Proof)
Audrey's Door(Advance Uncorrected Proof)
by Sarah Langan
Edition: Paperback
4 used & new from $2.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Audrey's Door: Some Idea's should never be given form., November 1, 2014
Audrey Lucas is an aspiring architect with a troubled past and a conflicted present. Audrey has recently broken up with her boyfriend over the fears that her OCD / depression would do what it always does and ruin any chance of her having a close relation ship with anyone. Searching for a new apartment in the ever pricey New York market is a daunting task until Audrey stumbles across a listing that seems to fit exactly what she is looking for, except for some reason no price is listed. Even though she knows the price has to be out of her range, Audrey sets up a meeting to see the apartment anyways. Much to her surprise the apartment is affordable and as a added bonus the apartment building seems to be the last remaining example of a architectural style known as natural chaoticism.

With that Audrey's life seems to be getting back on track as she has recently been made assistant to one of the partners at the design firm she works for. She has a big presentation in a couple of days where she will present a design she made from scratch. A rare honor for some one that hasn't been at the firm for very long.

Everything is going fine. Except Audrey keeps having these dreams. In them she wants to build something. Or someone wants her to, she's not sure. It's nothing she can't handle, she's been hearing and seeing things no one else can for years. At first she chalks up these spells to being in a new apartment. But an uneasy feeling follows her around, always reminding her that she should be building something. Then she gets a notice that her committed mother has over dosed and gone into a coma, she starts having problems at work, and she starts having violent arguments with her ex-boyfriend. Audrey doesn't quite know it yet but she has been caught in a trap that has claimed many lives and will continue to do so until those behind it get what they want.

Will Audrey be the final piece of the puzzle or will she find that her dark past offers her, her greatest hope?

_-_

I like stories about building that have something that is a little... off about them. Whether it's about a haunted house or a high tech building gone wrong. Of course these types of stories can be hit or miss. In this case I consider this story a hit. The story also most reminds me of the Silent Hill games in the way that the building slowly begins to twist reality on Audrey and a few of the other inhabitants of the building until it finally shows it true power. On the other hand Audrey can be a bit.. off herself on occasion. I realize she has a few mental issues that were never treated, or were treated very badly, but sometimes some of the things she does just don't make much sense. My only other complaint was that the ending was a little predictable, but with how dark this story is I guess it makes sense. All in all though this is a great read if you like dark atmosphere's and haunted houses. m.a.c


The Journey Home: A Novel
The Journey Home: A Novel
by Ólafur Jóhann Ólafsson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.70
138 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars The Journey Home: A woman makes one last journey home to face what she left behind., October 17, 2014
Disa is at the end of her life. Her doctor has given her, at the outside, a year to live. The disease that is killing her doesn't matter, its finality makes her realize that she can no longer put off dealing with a past she did not want to relive. So Disa sets off on a journey to her native Iceland to see the outcome of that terrible time during WW2 when she found happiness for a while and then lost it when the horrible realities of war became all to real to her younger self.

Along the way we learn about what led her to start her successful bed and breakfast with her friend Anthony, her attempt to fix a falling out with a old friend, and finally what caused her to move to England.

-*-

This was a nice departure from my usual staple of Sci-Fi and action / adventure stories. I like these kinds of books every now and then especially when they are done well. In this case, at least to me, it was done well as the author succeeds in moving the story along by bringing the past alive and by making the conversations between characters interesting.

The way the story is written almost reminds me of an old sci-fi book I read called "Cuckoo's Egg by C.J. Cherryh". In that story the conversations are almost more interesting and tense than any of the battles that occur throughout the story. In this story it's more the recreation of what it was like for those that were affected by WW2 and what the atmosphere was like at the time. When it comes to Disa she can come off as a little stiff and frosty on occasion but in the end it's understandable why she trys to keep everyone and everything at arm's length. If I have one complaint with this story its that it does have the "whiplash" effect occasionally as the story can bounce back and forth around the time line abruptly sometimes. All and in all I recommend this to anyone who is looking for a story that takes the reader to the past and tells a story about why someone became who they are. m.a.c


Brute Orbits
Brute Orbits
by George Zebrowski
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Brute Orbits: They sent away the good, the bad, and they ugly. They had no idea what they lost., September 7, 2014
This review is from: Brute Orbits (Paperback)
This is the story of the Rocks and the "long orbits". In the not to distant future the rising costs of the correctional system, and the rising populace of those incarcerated within, has the countries of the world looking for new ways and places to deal with those that cannot follow the rules of the society that they live in.

An answer comes in the form of an asteroid that narrowly misses hitting the Earth. While it didn't hit the Earth it was close enough were it could be easily caught and mined. This led to a faster expansion into near earth space and more asteroids were captured that could be "near misses" . Eventually someone had the idea of moving prisons up to the moon and then to the asteroids themselves. This allowed the governments of the world to ship their criminals somewhere "out of sight and out of mind".

The idea of the "long orbit" sentences met little resistance and the first Rock was launched outward with a group of all male prisoners that were convicted of violent offenses such as assault and murder. Their sentence was a fifty year orbit. Unknown to the prisoners, and the general populace, there orbit is miscalculated and these men are given a death sentence. With only a few knowing this however the Rocks continue to be launched. Some adhere to the to the original idea, some are used to get rid of those who disagree with various administrations and some are used to get rid of those that have mental problems. For the most part these Rocks have a miscalculated orbit.

Fast forward in time and the first Rock comes back fifty years after it was supposed to. Only ghosts observe a earth that has changed so much from the planet they left over a hundred years before and only silent remains greet those who come to investigate the fate of those on the Rock.

The peoples of Earth have come far in dealing with the issues that those sentenced to the Rocks represented. While not a perfect future for the most part a squabbling humanity has settled down and now focuses more finding ways to get along and expanding humanity's knowledge. There are those who wonder though what happened to the populace on other Rocks and whether they now differ greatly from the main branch of humanity.

Soon a expedition is created to find the remaining rocks and determine what happened to the prisoners on board. What they find will show them that the human race may not have made as much progress as it thought.

-*--*-

I've had this book for a while, but for some reason or another I never got around to reading it until now. In a way though I'm glad I didn't read it when I got as I was more into to action heavy books and would have probably skimmed through it without really reading the story. Don't get me wrong though, there are still a few parts that I skimmed through that were kind of dense but over all the story moves at a good pace as it bounces between the different characters that end up on the rocks and the guy who for the most part ends up putting them there. The really interesting part of the story comes toward the middle when a hundred years have passed and Earth rediscovers the Rock's and starts to investigate the fate of the prisoners.

The story does ask some interesting questions and it's conceivable that one day we will have "space prisons" of some sort. It also makes sense that some people would decide that out of sight is better coupled with out of mind. At the end of the book the author also discusses the research that he did for the book and gives references for several books that examine ideas that are presented in the story and also gives several examples of similar situations throughout history that are similar to the story. If your looking for a sci-fi book that asks some interesting questions and is not entirely reliant on violence and explosions and takes a futuristic look at an idea / practice that has been around for a while then you might enjoy giving this a read. m.a.c


No Other Gods
No Other Gods
Price: $2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No Other Gods: A solider fights endless battles for the gods, until he begins to question which side he is fighting for., August 10, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: No Other Gods (Kindle Edition)
Geno and his fellow soldiers have fought endless battles day after day since before they can remember. Each battle is different and the battle field can range from primitive times to the far future. When the battle is done they wake up back at the gathering hall where all the wounds they receive are gone and all those that died during the battle are miraculously resurrected. They are then greeted by a being they know as the god Hermes. Hermes congratulates the victors and then informs all of the soldiers of what they can expect in the next battle.

This cycle has repeated for as long as any of the soldiers can remember. Until after one battle Hermes seems to take a interest in Geno for some reason. While cryptic, Hermes indicates that Geno and his fellow soldiers have been training to fight a war against an enemy that is trying to wipe them from existence and will do anything to do so, even alter history. Soon afterward Geno begins to have visions of a life he never remembers living and the battles he and his fellow soldiers fight suddenly become a lot less random and a lot more deadly.

Between a scheming "god", a treacherous memory, and the line between friend and foe blurring; the only people that Geno can trust are the surviving members of his team. If Hermes is not what he seems then who has Geno been fighting and who is the true the enemy?

-*- -*-

This was a decent read that reminded me of another book called Fortress on the Sun by Paul Cook and a few other books in the same vein. The story moves at a quick pace and for the most part doesn't have to many "movie logic" moments. There is enough of a twist in the story that keeps it interesting till the end. The story is more action / adventure than Science Fiction, so expect plenty of explosions and not too much thinking on the mysteries of the universe. Which, when I got to the ending made sense from the characters point of view. Still it would have been interesting to see what effect the war they had been fighting actually had on history. I recommend this book to any one who likes action / adventure, science fiction, and is looking for a fast paced story. m.a.c


Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen - Xbox 360
Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen - Xbox 360
Offered by Isomergames
Price: $17.88
39 used & new from $11.08

4.0 out of 5 stars DD:Dark Arisen: An interesting story, an interesting game, and worth playing if you can get past a few missteps., July 12, 2014
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
You are a simple fisherman living in a remote village untroubled by what goes on in the outside world. Cassidris has been your home ever since you were taken in by Quina and her family as a child. You have never felt the need to leave your village and the rumors of returning dragons and marauding monsters rarely trouble your ears or your dreams.

One day you are going about your daily routine when you see the sky darken and the ground is shaken by explosions and the landing of a massive beast on the beach. You see Quina fall and without thinking you rush in and urge her onto safety. With the raging dragon raining destruction down on the only home you have ever known you decide that any action is better than nothing. You grab a sword from a fallen solider and rush forward and stab the dragon in the leg, if nothing else hoping to distract it so more villagers can escape.

For your efforts you are awarded with a body shattering blow that leaves you laying in the surf, unable to move. With your fading vision you see the dragon lumbering toward you for what you assume is the final blow. Instead the dragon reaches down with its claw and you feel like your chest is on fire as you see what appears to be your heart floating out of your body and into the creature's mouth.

Sometime later you awake in your home. You could believe it was all a dream except for the massive scar that is on your chest and the strange vision you had of the dragon challenging the Arisen, you, to find him and defeat him if you can.
Your quest begins with only questions. Why were you chosen to challenge the dragon? What are the Arisen? If you are a savior, why does the king treat you more like a villain? What will it take to be free of the dragons curse?

You will find answers to these questions and more during your journey. In the end only one question will remain:

Which freedom will you chose?
_*_ _*_
I picked this game up because I am a fan of games that let you explore, go on quests and generally allow you to get lost in another world for awhile. I played the original version and was put off by some of the rough edges that I found while playing it. When I heard that the game was being re-released I decided to give it a second try. While there are a few remaining rough edges, for the most part the game is much more playable in the second version.

Here's the break down:

Story:
The story in this game is your pretty standard hero chosen to save the world fare. Except there are enough differences that it is still enjoyable to play and I will say that the ending of the game is.... different. It almost makes me want to play it again just to see how they play with the ending to the game. Without giving away too much... lets just say history repeats itself. If you beat the game you'll get why this is interesting.

Also it is easy to miss bits of the story if you are not paying attention. My best suggestion is to talk to everyone and check the message boards to make sure that your not missing out on any extra story missions. This is especially true of escort missions as they seem to pop up randomly and disappear after moderate amount of time. If you miss enough or do not do enough missions the story may seem to be a little thin and the end game may seem a little vague as the game fills in come choices for you here and there.

The story in the expansion is self contained and is somewhat interesting. By the time I got to that section I was ready to move on to another game so I did not finish it. I can say that it ties into the ending of the main game as it asks the question of what would happen if a Arisen asked for what it would take to end the cycle and was given the power to do so... except that would have meant destroying what he cared for the most.

Graphics:
To me they looked good. Apparently by installing the Dark Arisen content you get access to the HD texture pack which makes everything look a lot better. The game overall looks good and there are a lot of details in the characters and the environments. While not up to Skyrim or Call of Duty standards, they do the job.

Game Play:
This part is a little tricky. The game works well enough, it just does not always explain things very well. So if you don't mind playing around to figure out how exactly it all works then it wont be a problem. If on the other hand you like everything explained then you may get frustrated.

This version of the game addresses a couple of major complaints with the original. There is now a version of fast travel in the game where you can set your own fast travel points. Unfortunately there is still a lot walking around to get from a to b as you are not given very many warp crystals to place, not to mention the fact that you actually have to walk to where your going to begin with. This isnt as much of a problem as the game goes on though. The next issue that was improved was the save system as the auto save was made more frequent and an ability to save from the pause screen was added by hitting the back button. This does save time as there is not as much menu digging.

There is also a Dark Souls like multi-player function in this game in the form of pawns that your character can summon. I can't really say much about it as I was playing this game way after its release, but is is kind of neat as you can summon up to two characters that other players have created and have them fight with you. When you rest your pawn information is sent to the server for others to use, if they chose your pawn to fight they can chose to send it back with a gift if they like the character you created Or if you don't want to use the online functionality the game creates random pawns that you can summon as well.

Conclusion:

This is a huge game that does have a lot to offer and if you like wandering around, finding secrets, and taking down giant monster's Ico style then this might be a game to check out. Just make sure you pick up the Dark Arisen because it does smooth over a lot of the rough edges from the original. m.a.c


Micro: A Novel
Micro: A Novel
by Michael Crichton
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $9.35
376 used & new from $0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Micro: Inner space in the jungle., June 29, 2014
A mysterious company, Nanigen, is making some of it's investors nervous with rumors about it's unstable and ruthless CEO. A local private investigator is hired to see what he can find out about what is going on inside the company and if there is any truth to the rumors that the company CEO may be up to no good. The PI gains access to the companies building but doesn't find anything at all really, or so he thinks.

A few days later the PI, his boss, and another man are found dead in a office that was locked from the inside. They look like they were attacked with a knife or some kind of blade, but no weapon is found.

Meanwhile Peter Jansen receives a visit from his brother, Eric, who is ready to reveal the company he has been working for. It turns out that Nanigen is hiring and he wants to know if Peter would like to come out to Hawaii and listen to what the company has to say. He also extends the offer to Peter's coworkers. They all agree to go out and begin to make preparations for the trip.

Right before Peters is leaves he is informed that his brother has vanished in a boating accident and that a company representative will be waiting for him when he arrives. This is after he receives a strange text from his brother which simply reads "Don't Come". Worried and confused Peter heads out to Nanigen to see if he can find out what happened to his brother.

After he arrives his concerns are confirmed when he finds that his brother may have been "hushed" up in order to hide some of Nanigens secrets. Peter decides to take matters into his own hands and bring Nanigen to justice. What he didn't count on was that the CEO of Nanigne would go to any legnths to make sure that his secrets would only go to the highest bidder. That includes making sure that his "little" problem stays that way.

_*_

I found this book interesting. It was completed after Crichton's death by Richard Preston. I figured this would be a good read since I like Preston's stories as well. For the most part the story does work overall. It just seemed to me that it was easy to tell what Crichtion had actually written and what was basically filled in from an outline of the story that he was going to write.

This also happens with the characters as a few of them seem to be a list of personality traits that were checked off so that the story could keep going. Kind of like the beginning, middle, and end of the story were written but he never got to go back and fill in all the details that would have made the characters "gel" with the story better.

Overall I liked the book, in some parts the story really moves and in other parts it seems like Preston may have been told to just go with what materials he had and not alter the story too much, just make sure that it still made sense. There is one big twist that I did not see coming, but beyond that this book is really just by the numbers. Give it a read if you Crichton or if you are looking for a decent adventure with a few Science Fiction elements thrown in. m.a.c


Old Souls: Compelling Evidence from Children Who Remember Past Lives (Scientific Search for Proof of Past Lives)
Old Souls: Compelling Evidence from Children Who Remember Past Lives (Scientific Search for Proof of Past Lives)
Offered by Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
Price: $11.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Old Souls: A doctor spends a lifetime studying reincarnation, May 31, 2014
Tom Schroder was doing a story on a rather unusual subject. His editor has sent hem to interview a doctor that was publishing a new book in the field of reincarnation. While the doctor focused more on using hypnosis to help his patients recall past lives, he mentions another doctor by the name of Ian Stevenson that uses a more hands on approach to studying the phenomenon. He also mentions that the doctor has been studying the field for over forty years. Tom files the information away and writes his story and then moves on.

Except something about the subject interests him and draws him back to it on and off for the next several years. He can't really explain why but he wants to know more. One day he gets his chance when Dr. Stevenson is featured in a news story and says that he is planning to make a final research trip to both India and Lebanon to follow up on some interviews that he conducted twenty years before.

Tom meets with the doctor and explains that he would like to accompany him on his trip to chronicle it and write a book about the experience. The doctor doesn't give Tom an answer right away but does eventually agree to let him go.

Over the next year Tom follows the doctor around as he follows up on old cases and finds a few new ones along the way. Each case has it's merits and also some indications that that the subjects may be making their tale up. Yet Dr. Stevenson keeps on in search of that case that may one day prove that reincarnation is provable.

While Tom provides his take on the adventure at the end it is up to the reader to judge for themselves.

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I came across this book randomly and picked it up because I like to read about the supernatural. This book is definitely different than the usual bump in the night ghost stories I usually read. The author's account is interesting and details the trouble and travails that Dr. Stevens and the group encounters on their journey along with the actual interviews that the doctor conducts. The author is neither for against the idea of reincarnation, which is the approach he keeps throughout the book. He just feels that there might be something there, much like Dr. Stevenson.

The account kept me engaged through much of the book as the author describes very well the conditions found in the countries that they are visiting as well as the details of the interviews. Towards the end of the book the account does slow down a little bit, but that is mostly because the trip has to end eventually. In this case both the doctor and the author return to their homes and the author is left to sum up his feeling on the whole matter.

If you are interested in the paranormal, the phenomenon of reincarnation or the way different cultures view the idea of reincarnation give this book a read. It is definitely a interesting trip. m.a. c


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