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Dead Island: Riptide - PC
Dead Island: Riptide - PC
Offered by GameWizard
Price: $12.99
21 used & new from $7.94

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad (Minor spoilers), April 30, 2013
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
I just finished the story with a character I imported from the first game. There are a few changes and added elements, but it plays more like an expansion than a new game. The storyline is similar, as well as the game play. Unfortunately, it was just like the first game in that there are massive bugs and glitches that still need to be worked out. Near the middle I had to redo a zombie defense mission because there was a hidden zombie that could not be killed. There are also some graphic errors (i.e. dead zombies standing up for no reason), and there were no major improvements this area when compared to the first game. The voice acting is overall good (with some funny parts for good measure), but the characters still have virtually no facial expression changes. Occasionally the voice of female zombies will show up on male zombies, and vice versa.

Guns are incorporated a bit more (With some alternatives in harpoon and nail guns), but it still takes forever to get a decent one. There are a few new zombies, and overall a significantly higher number than before. This is a fun challenge in the later part of the game, but is FRUSTRATING in the beginning when you don't have decent weapons both melee and ranged. Even with an imported character I died more in the first quarter of the game by a significant amount. They felt the need to make new characters start at level 15. Not only does that scream this game should have been an expansion, but that difficulty may have needed a rework in the beginning. It is very difficult to play this game solo.

The boating elements are fun and challenging, but it is only incorporated in the earlier parts of the game.

The new base defense events are awesome, but I don't know why they didn't incorporate a survival mode with this element considering they had one in the first game. That would really be a great bonus.

Overall it is still a fun game, but has many flaws that should have been taken care of. The ending is very odd, and may open the potential for a sequel.

Pros
+ Base defense is awesome
+ New weapons and modifications
+ Storyline revolves more around a team than just you wandering around
+ New character and new enemies; Enemy AI is slightly better
+ Added bonus to skill trees makes each character capable with all weapons
+ Tons of side quests, some of which are actually quite beneficial to complete. Some don't really benefit you though (i.e. you'll bust your ass to get a weapon you could get from any zombie).

Cons
- Storyline is ok (The ending???)
- Still many glitches and bugs
- Too many enemies initially (Play with other people!)
- Still unbalanced chances of getting legendary items (I've played both and only gotten two that weren't issued for completing a quest)
- No survival mode (not even with the base defense)
- Graphics are about the same. It's even worse when considering all the bugs.

3/5 overall, but it's still pretty fun.


Swiss Gear Raised Airbed with Electric Pump (Queen)
Swiss Gear Raised Airbed with Electric Pump (Queen)

2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Slowly deflated on the first night..., April 5, 2013
I was hoping to make this bed a permanent bed since I will be moving a lot, but I already have to return it. This bed does not have good reviews on other sites as well.


INSANITY: The ASYLUM Volume 2 - Elite Training 30-day DVD Workout
INSANITY: The ASYLUM Volume 2 - Elite Training 30-day DVD Workout
Offered by Beachbody
Price: $72.80

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another great program that builds upon the last!, February 1, 2013
I started using beachbody products in late 2008. I began with P90x, and I started the first insanity program in 2009. I have since completed insanity the asylum volume 1 and 2.

I highly recommend that you progress through the programs in that order, because asylum volume 2 is crazy! The complexity rises quite a bit, but the learning curve is fair. There is a video dedicated to teaching the complex moves, and you will definitely need it. While asylum volume 1 is more balanced than insanity, asylum volume 2 has a stronger focus on conditioning over pure cardio compared to volume 1. The intense cardio elements of the past programs are thrown in with a significant increase in strength training.

It's a great program, and the schedule is very simple. It is 30 days, but you do the same set of workouts every week. The championship sudden death overtime has your gauge of progress.... at the end of the workout. He tries to crush you at the end of every workout as well with a "Burnout" dedicated to what you worked on. You thought Shaun would go easy on you for once didn't you? Not even close. haha.

Asylum volume 1 and 2 as a hybrid is a better fit for me because volume 1 is heavier on cardio than conditioning versus volume 2, but I think it's a great program on its own. I wouldn't say it is less intense, but more that it focuses on the strength aspects a bit more than punishing cardio and agility. So more of a burn mixed with exhaustion. It will definitely prepare you for almost any sport with a balance of strong cardio, agility, and muscles prepared for specific functions.

In saying that, I found myself enjoying the workouts a bit more than asylum volume 1. Shaun T is still a meanie lol, but I had a lot of fun with this program.

The program comes with a nutrition plan, a calendar with hybrids, and some tips. It also does not come with equipment, so you will need to buy dumbbells/resistance bands, a pull up bar (Optional), jump rope, strength bands (Similar to those in pilates), and a agility ladder. You may need to watch the workouts a few times before jumping in, but don't let it discourage you. Have fun and push!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 27, 2013 2:01 PM PST


Torchlight
Torchlight
Offered by GBA Global
Price: $2.92
29 used & new from $2.92

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Damn impressive., September 20, 2012
This review is from: Torchlight (DVD-ROM)
I only just recently got around to playing this title after a preorder of the sequel Torchlight II. I have played around twenty hours. My destroyer is around level 27 now.

It's a great game. Steampunk really works into the flow of all the events, and it's enjoyable. It feels good to hack something in half with an axe after you've shot it with a flintlock pistol a few times. lol

Diablo III was unique in that while there was some flexiblity with the classes, there was an attempt to make them all very unique. That left a lot of players feeling off about it, but torchlight has a whole lot of variety. The destroyer is like a barbarian, but with the four optional spell slots, you can add a bunch of new elements, adding your own feel to a character. A barbarian that can summon skeletons? Sign me up. lol

Fishing is impressive, and the fact that your pet can turn into many of the monsters you face from the fish you catch is something I that I really enjoyed.

Pros:
- Great return of good items relative to gameplay put in. (I got a unique at level 10... *Meanwhile in Diablo III...* lol)
- Great gameplay
- Great flexibility
- Steampunk is cool.

The only gripes I have are minor:

- No Multiplayer (Taken care of in torchlight II)
- It's really a dungeon with many levels (Also taken care of in torchlight II)
- Cartoon graphics are ok. (So not really a con here)
- Not so big on the storyline, but that is minor.

Impressive game.


Sleeping Dogs [Download]
Sleeping Dogs [Download]
Price: $19.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Satisfyingly brutal, August 28, 2012
(SPOILERS in some of the details)

The title is best way I can describe the game. lol

I bought it on a whim when a coworker suggested this game along with some others (Darksiders II, Guild wars 2). I bought this one not really having any idea what I was getting myself into.

I've played about 16 hours now, and I have really enjoyed it. The storyline is engaging with the good cop/bad cop balance of Undercover/budding gang member. Great voice acting, and a very interesting set of plots. I love that you get upgrades based on the tasks that you do. I.e. A cop bonus is being able to break into a car without the alarm going off versus melee upgrades involving greater martial arts techniques.

The combat is simple to play, but surely hard to master. The reactionary counter system is something I enjoy. It's very smooth in this game. The techniques are amazing, brutal, and impressive. We've all seen games where someone counters with just a punch. Wei Shen has a few of those, but how about countering a kick with a takedown and a diving punch to the face? Or shoulder throwing someone trying to strike from behind? Very impressive. I say this as a gamer and martial artist.
There is some great use of the environment if you're feeling sadistic too. Payphones, electric boxes, dumpsters, and more are there for you to use. Weapons add an interesting dynamic, including some off-the-wall items that one might not be used to. Like purses. lol

Roaming is great as well. The parkour elements as well as the movie style moments are great to watch.

Firearm combat is well done, but it is not a priority in this game. There is still enough of it to be a great piece, and this can also get brutal with slow motion aiming moments. The camera can be a little burdensome at times though. It's interesting how the people of the city react to weapons being drawn.

Two things I really enjoy are the soundtrack (Good rock, Chinese hip hop [Something I am new to], Alternative hip hop [Flying Lotus, JJ DOOM], classical), and the car ramming system. Pressing a button allows you to slide into cars, and you can eventually total someone. The ramming was something new to me, and it's been fun.

There are a variety of things to be done. You have cop missions, gang missions, odd jobs around the city, street racing, A FIGHT CLUB, and many other things. You can also be a troll and cause mayhem as we all learned to enjoy from the Grand Theft Auto series. lol

All in all - A hidden gem. Balanced, fun, and intriguing. Definitely a formidable title among all sandbox games.


Fat Sex: The Naked Truth
Fat Sex: The Naked Truth
by Rebecca Jane Weinstein
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.45
29 used & new from $11.98

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It resonates with me., July 18, 2012
This is the first book I have bought on this topic. I wasn't really sure what to expect because the subject matter could be expressed on many levels. The book involves a series of memoirs, with great details. The stories are varied, and I think anyone intrigued by this topic can find one story that they either really enjoy, or they may end up finding one that is similar to something they have experienced. I did not expect the latter to apply to me, but the man in chapter 8 and I are basically clones. (Laughs)

The author makes it a point to cite studies to balance things out. A lot of people may not take the idea of the book itself very seriously without those details. In the beginning I felt this was unnecessary. But given the topic, and the amount of hatred that we as a collective have for our bodies these days, I feel as though it does have its place. There's enough of the story to keep you intrigued, but the citations act as segues and small notes to add to some of the details. It is very well written.

One thing I find refreshing is that the book is really balanced. Like it wasn't intended to be erotica, but some of the details are racy. It is also prose, but some of the quotes, expressions, and details are engaging. It is right in the middle.
Rebecca also did great research on common terminology in online communities dedicated to the subject, and that helps to bring in new readers who may not be familiar.

I would recommend this book to big people, admirers like myself, and really anyone that can really empathize with this topic. It is very well done.


Diablo III - PC/Mac
Diablo III - PC/Mac
Price: $31.26
108 used & new from $9.94

8 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A logical progression on the timeline. Balance between old and new., May 18, 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
I started playing the Diablo series in 2000 at the age of 13. Warcraft II was the first computer game I was given. Diablo was the second. I will be 25 in August, and I have continued to play Lord of Destruction over the years.

Let's be honest: Diablo III should have come out around 2005. This was long overdue, and I know how that can affect fans both old and new emotionally. But there were a lot of negative circumstances given the axing of Blizzard North.

I was not able to sleep the night of the debut, and I was of course disappointed I could not wake up to simply start my characters given the server issues. But things have begun to calm down, and I played for the first time with very few connection issues.
I played the open beta, and felt that Diablo III was great, but not amazing. After getting much farther in the game however, I have become very impressed. Gaming has its crowd that demand sequels be as close to the original as possible. But there are also gamers who love experimentation, evolution, and gratuity. I consider myself a mix of both.

- The graphics are great. I personally feel gameplay always trumps graphics, but Diablo III is similar to the Diablo series in that one does not need a particularly high end computer to run it. Some of the features are just amazing though. Looking down on Caldeum, it reminds me of when you are near the top of Mount Arreat, and can look below at the base. But it is modern enough to see the advances over time. Seeing the background at times makes me think "Wow. That is a beautiful scene." I feel the same way about the dungeons as well.
It balances old and new well. I can recognize some elements from the past, even noting the levels (i.e. Inner cloister, the Jail, randomized caves, etc...), but it still has its own feel, as well as progression.

It feels amazing to teleport to a demon, body punch it, and watch it explode from an electrical charge. lol I see a lot of people complain about the lightning, but I am not sure if these people have gotten far enough to see the lighting darken more and more. I've noticed it is overall brighter, but it still gets pretty dark. Some of the scenes are as gory and demonic as we all wanted. Just a different art direction.

- The music is great. The themes are similar to Diablo, but also have some advances. The sound effects are also great. Explosions, strikes, wind, summoning, blood, gore, etc. They were overall very well done. The voice acting at times is meh, but not enough to take much from it. It just made me LOL DAFUQ given some of the odd conversations (i.e. "I feel like you are my older brother. Is that bad?" "No. But don't ask me any advice about men." DAFUQ is that doing in Diablo? lol).

Storyline/Gameplay - The storyline actually engages me a bit. I keep tuned in, and love all the references to the past Diablo games.
The gameplay is absolutely awesome. I'm still in normal, but the combat is extremely well done, and for me not in any way monotonous. In Diablo II, your equipment can really make or break you, but given the wide variety of attacks that each character has for even just a simple left click, the possibilities are endless in Diablo III. You can have the items and abilities to rush in and dominate, but you can also play clever with traps, escapes, dodges, etc.

And I personally feel you can still customize even though it's more simplified. My monk is what I call a "Blitzer." I teleport in, three thunder strikes, and a tail kick ending. I have a heal, an thorns aura, and a water based Shadow Warrior ("Mystic Ally"). So I'm the assassin/paladin mix that I hoped to be, yet I still have my own feel to how I want to play. My Demon Hunter just got grenades as a left click. O_O It's like every new spell I get, the more I am impressed.

- The item system is a bit more simplified, but still great. I absolutely love that you can level up the blacksmith, as well as get rare items from him. I have not gotten any "Legendary" items yet, but some good rare items have shown up for me.

The inventory is HUGE, and it's nice that you can give items and gold between characters. It's also more efficient given that gems, potions, and the like stack together, giving you more room while doing quests. It's great that there are more pieces as well. My demon hunter is a bit behind my monk, but I've used my monk and the blacksmith to get him items that really up his game.
Difficulty wise, I would say normal is where it needs to be. Yes, we have a lot of crazy attacks, but I have been close to being killed on my own accord. I died twice due to lag, but I've had a few close calls where I almost died because of my own moves. I'm sure nightmare, hell, and inferno will be tough.

My biggest gripe is the lack of an offline single player, and the multiplayer situation. I am a fan of the series, but blizzard deserves the backlash for this. Diablo is not WoW.
But the servers seem to be smoothing out, and I will not count that against them. But they need an offline expansion (With added characters lol).

Overall, Diablo III is a great game that is a logical progression in the series. I have played just as much as I played Diablo II in the past. Will I get Torchlight II? Probably, but I may still end up liking DIII more.


INSANITY: The ASYLUM Volume 1 - Sports Performance 30-day DVD Workout
INSANITY: The ASYLUM Volume 1 - Sports Performance 30-day DVD Workout
Offered by Beachbody
Price: $104.80
2 used & new from $96.42

62 of 109 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Insanity is your practice. Asylum is your game.", January 14, 2012
While deployed, I worked out using the original insanity and ended with a Rushfit/insanity extension. I wanted to build the cardio and conditioning to start Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu again when I returned. Around day 45, I got addicted to the punishment that is Insanity, so I randomly thought "I wonder if there's a sequel?" So I went on my search. I bought the program while still deployed the day it came out, and grabbed it from family when I returned.

I have no issue with P90X and Insanity. They are both great programs with a different routes and goals to fitness, but I always wondered if they could be more technically aligned for athletes. I was hoping asylum would be that for me, and it turns out that it is!

Insanity: The Asylum is a 30 day program that is meant to build athletic function. Various drills from sports are thrown in at a crushing pace reminiscent of Insanity. The approach however, is much more balanced with added equipment required (Dumbbells, Agility ladder, Jump rope, Resistance bands, a pullup bar if available), and a new concept behind the madness. Plyometrics (You will not escape this lol), agility, speed, power, balance, flexibility, and strength are all emphasized at various levels.

Shaun T isn't very friendly this time around unfortunately. He will never say it's ok to stop, and will continue to push you to newer levels. Mp3 players are your friend. lol

Some claim the cardio isn't as intense as insanity, but if you think you'll easily get through asylum after 60 days of Insanity, or 90 of P90X, then you are in for a rude awakening. I personally think it's much harder, and more technical. The moves are more complicated, and if you truly push yourself, you will be sweating buckets. I almost went through an entire gallon of water the first time I did Gameday + Overtime. It's a killer combo.

My Muay Thighs are back (Yay! Lol), so I returned to Muay Thai today to see how well it applied over.

For those of you that may have not read my review of insanity, I actually quit Insanity the first time after 30 days because I gassed quicker in Muay Thai then I thought I would after dealing with Shaun for a month.

But today after over a year without training with my Kru, and completing another round of Asylum, I went back to Muay Thai.
It went really well. I'm a terrible critic of myself, and I felt that I did good, but not great. However, my partners, the assistant instructor, and the apprentice teaching the class all said I have a great gas tank and power. My kicks and knees were a bit more powerful and explosive then they were before. I wasn't able to pull out my new awesome jump rope skills (No jumping rope for class today lol), but I was very happy with the results. My recovery is much better too. Usually after Muay Thai, I just perish into my bed, but today I almost felt like I could go at it again no problem.

It seems as though beachbody is stepping their game up with Asylum and P90X2. They are more complicated, more technical sequels to the original programs, and I really admire them for going the functional route.

Asylum is EXTREME.

It is recommended that one go through a previous product, or be at a level of fitness where they do comfortably on the fitness assessment provided. For insanity users, Shaun recommends a "Feeling of accomplishment" when doing Max Interval Plyo as a means of determining if you are ready. I went from doing around 50 to over 200 pushups with that workout as my own personal gauge (Along with keeping up for the most part with it).
I'm not in this war of attrition for looks, but to be functionally fit, healthy, and to be a great Martial Artist. The "Sports" emphasis of Asylum drew me in. I had a feeling the gains would throw me back into Martial Arts with many new found abilities. It is right up my alley, and while I will continue looking for newer things, at this point in time I consider Asylum my base workout just like Tae Kwon Do and Muay Thai are my base martial arts.

I took a star off (A half really) for just minor gripes:
- The strength workout doesn't really have a proper warmup. You just start lifting.
- The stretching isn't bad, but it feels kind of rushed in some of the dvds. Granted, relief is always there to help with that, but that shouldn't mean the stretching included in the workout itself should be rushed.
- I recommend a person first starting out to watch the videos a few times to get a grasp for the moves. They can be pretty complicated at times.

I'm of course eagerly waiting Insanity The Asylum Volume 2.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 24, 2014 10:26 PM PDT


INSANITY Base Kit - DVD Workout
INSANITY Base Kit - DVD Workout
Offered by Beachbody
Price: $144.80

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A cardio thriller... (4 1/2), March 18, 2011
I just finished week 7, but I am stopping to mix the program with another one (Rushfit). Since rushfit has no cardio dvd, I'm going to mix the month 2 workouts in on days where cardio is required after I heal for a few days as a means to maintain the gains I've made.

I actually got insanity when it first came out. I was already in decent shape, but decided to check it out as prior to doing it I had finished p90x.

I did both programs to simply get ready to start martial arts again as that's my primary means of staying in shape along with just general physical training (Running, sprints, bodyweight exercises, isometrics, etc...)

I did the first month and I liked it then. I stopped to start Muay Thai (Again) and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The first day in Muay Thai I did a lot better than many of the people in my class, but I still gassed faster than I expected, and unfortunately at that time that really discouraged me, so I stopped doing it and decided to move on to my training.

Now I am deployed. I have an even worse work schedule. I've have some of the worst highs and lows through this program. I've had to do two workouts in one day more than once; I've had days where I slept in for 10 hours to recover; I've had days where because of issues I couldn't sleep at all the night before. It was a wild ride. But I pushed through. It's all I really have minus a heavy bag that I occasionally strike, and I have no major qualms with it.

I'm just in it for the cardio and conditioning. It's impeccable the hell you'll put yourself through. I haven't had one day in the second month where I haven't returned with my shirt looking like I took a swim. Yet it's all sweat. If you are ready to take your cardio to a new level: Try this program.

Pros:
- Amazing cardio, core strength and lower body explosive strength built. Ok Upper body strength is built through various movements.
- Simple setup due to no needed equipment (Although a mat is advised). I just pop it in my laptop and I'm game. I've even done a few workouts outside.
- Shaun T is.... Ok in my opinion. He'll ask you to push a lot, but what do you expect? I personally like Tony Horton more personality wise, but Shaun isn't bad.
- I can say that maybe it doesn't apply over completely to certain martial arts training, but I've developed some of the most ridiculous recovery ever, and that does apply over. I guess it's the "Dig deeper" thing? My second wind doesn't always come in, but when it does, it's like I didn't just push myself for the last 20-30 minutes.
I took a fitness test in the middle of the program. I ran a 10 minute 1.5 mile, took a breather for 30 seconds after, and was fine. That hasn't happened to me in I don't know how long.
- The moves occasionally build on one another leading to more complexity, but the after a few workout it become second nature. It's more about blasting than crazier and crazier moves.
- Self-paced progression based results

Cons:
- Your joints are going to take a beating. Do NOT do this program if you have any serious joint issues, especially in your lower body. There are Lots of jumps, squats, and so on. No major issues here minus my shins, but my knee has begun getting "Clicky." I used two mats for most of the program. I still had some days where my shins were screaming at me, and I do stretch them.
- It may not apply over to the sport/activity that you do. It doesn't tout itself as such, but still. Granted after the second month I think what happened to me before would not apply (I could go a couple more rounds than normal).
I take 1/2 a point away because of the first issue though. I'm anticipating the sequel (Insanity: The Asylum) to be a cure for the second con as it is supposed to be more sports based conditioning with higher intensity.

Overall great program.


Hemi Sync: Sound Sleeper
Hemi Sync: Sound Sleeper
2 used & new from $13.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great experiences!, December 1, 2010
This was one of the first sleep audio aids that I used. To this day I use it often because everything seems to fall into place well. You are given a time to get comfortable, clear your mind, a relaxed pose, and then you dive down. I have fallen asleep in the middle of the two tracks many times, and nearly every time I listen to it I at the very least get tired. I've also noticed that I've have some dreams in the middle, and in the beginning of listening there was a few occasions where I could actually feel myself about to go into very deep sleep (Sadly I never stayed in but it helped).

It's one of my favorite audio sleep aids, and I will definitely be using it a lot while I am deployed to the Middle East.


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