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David Baker's Profile

Customer Reviews: 79
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Helpful Votes: 1363

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Resident Evil 3: Nemesis - Sega Dreamcast
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis - Sega Dreamcast
23 used & new from $27.49

2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Taste The Stench Of Death, February 24, 2001
Woo-hoo! Capcom ported over both Resident Evil 2 and 3 for the DC! Err, sorry there... Anyway, the third installment to the zombie-fest series is easily the most action packed--thus making it one of the best. The story, however, is just lacking--Jill Valentine must escape from Raccoon City. That's it. Obviously, Capcom was looking for a quick buck. It turns out though, that this quick buck rocks. It's still the same thing it's always been--shoot, solve dumb puzzles, get scared, repeat--but it proves to still hold up even though it's showing its age by now. The only real difference between this and any other RE game is Nemesis--a big ugly freak in a long trench coat looking to take out all existing S.T.A.R.S. members--and in case you missed out on the first RE, Jill, the coolest character in the RE series, just so happens to be a S.T.A.R.S. member. Nemesis will show up when you least expect it (like the Tyrant from RE2) and scare you silly--you're also faced with certain decisions when fighting him called Live Selection, which will structure your course. This makes for replayability, which is what I always felt the RE series lacked. Another new, but small, aspect is the ability to now make your own ammo--unfortunately, it's more of a waste of time than anything (just give me the ammo!). Other than that, it's the same RE you've been playing for years now--which is its only problem, I felt a case of "been there, shot that" throughout Jill's journey. The sound is still fundamental to the game, the voice actors are still poor (though getting better), the music still pales to the first RE, the control is even worse than the PSX version (the DC control design is to blame for that, not Capcom), but you cannot go wrong picking this game up--especially for the price it's going for. If you didn't pick up the PSX versions of RE 2 and 3, make sure you pick them up now--as in right now. Hurry!

Tekken Tag Tournament - PlayStation 2
Tekken Tag Tournament - PlayStation 2
Offered by Missouri Wholesalers
Price: $46.49
244 used & new from $0.01

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So Good, It Should Be Illegal, February 18, 2001
Back in the early/mid '90s, Yu Suzuki, Sega genius and one of the extremely few game creaters to ever rival Nintendo's Shigeru "God" Miyamoto (the other being Sega's Yuji Naka), created a new type of animal that shocked and stunned the video game world over: Virtua Fighter. It was the first of its kind, and it echoed brilliance in a dark, redundant, cliched-fighter-era of Street Fighter 2 and Mortal Kombat. I, personally, dumped many a quarter into any Virtua Fighter machine I could find (Whaaa?! My $20 is gone already?!). Then, along came Namco with Tekken. Namco had a lot to prove, obviously, as they were already beaten to the punch on being the first 3D fighting game, and would be compared to the godly Virtua Fighter at every turn. And although the graphics were 3D, the gameplay itself was more 2.5D than anything. At the arcades, it was a big success. I loved it, but I didn't get to spend the proper time with it since my local arcades were too cheap to get it. Then, I got me a PlayStation and bought Tekken as soon as it came out. The rest, for me, was history. Though it's extremely debatable, the Tekken series was the superior fighter to the Virtua Fighter series. It has a more refined feel, runs smoother, plays better, looks better, FAR superior character design and was just plain funner. Enter: Tekken Tag Tournament, which is, basically, Tekken one through three with added characters, added moves, rising lifters and PS2 graphics. Everything that I loved about the Tekken series on the original PlayStation has thankfully been kept intact. In other words, Namco didn't tinker with the fighting engine so I can still lay the smack down on anybody and everybody with ease without having to re-learn much. I know what you're thinking: "What did he mean by not having to re-learn much?" And, of course, at this point, you're also probably wondering what the Tag Tournament in the title means. Ah, yes, my friends, Namco didn't just bless us with just Tekken 1-3 and a PS2 paint job, they blessed us with something that enhances how we play this amazing game: tag-team play. Using your shoulder or R3 buttons (of course, you can change this to your liking), you can instantly "tag" right out of the fight you're in and bring in your other fighter ala X-Men vs. Street Fighter. This changes up everything, because now, you not only have to watch your opponent, but your life bar as well. The Tekken series has always been more intense than most fighting games, and like Capcom's vs. games or Street Fighter 2: Turbo Hyperfighting, you are ALWAYS supposed to be on your gaurd, ready to deliver an attack in a fraction of a second, reading your opponents' mind and awaiting their attack--in other words, you rely solely on reflexes, pure reflexes. Add to this frenzy a tag option, and things are twice as insane. And just like Capcom's vs. games, if you "tag" at a certain time in a combo, or while your opponent is on the ground, your other character will attack them differently. This adds to even more insanity. One difference, and one of the few very-slight problems I hade with the game, is that once one of your characters die, that round is over. Take, for instance, those vs. games: there was only one round, and it was only won by defeating both of your opponents. In TTT, you have two rounds, and each round is won just by defeating one opponent. It's not major, but I would have prefered it Capcom's way. And what if you don't want the tag feature, you ask? Don't worry, there's the option of playing one on one. To sum the gameplay up, it's extremely deep, fast, addictive and easy to pick up and difficult to master: just the way all fighting games should be. Graphically, the game's amazing. When TTT was released in Japan, the graphics had major aliasing problems, resulting in "jaggies." In fact, many dubbed the game Tekken Jag Tournament--if not that, Namco should have called it Tekken Rush Job. Thankfully, Namco fixed things up for US gamers and the visuals are nothing short of stunning. Everything runs smooth, and there are times when you just need to sit back, watch, and let the graphics sink in. Now, for the drawbacks. The music to the Tekken series has always been awesome, quality techno. For TTT, I felt it wasn't as good as some of the previous chapters. Don't get me wrong, the music is still addicting and pumping like it's been in the past, it's just a notch below Tekken 3's. And that wraps up my complaint section of the review. There's also a bonus game, Tekken Bowl, which is enough to warrant another star if Amazon would allow it. This is the most addicting mini-game I have ever played. It's unbeliavable... I'll leave it at that. The option to play up to four players at once adds up to even more insanity--extremely fun. In fact, it gives new meaning to the word "fun" in fighting games. Invite your friends over and get lost in this game for hours upon hours upon hours. Throw in all the extras you should expect in a fighting game (training, team battle, time attack, and survivor mode) and you have nothing but pure gold. The characters are brilliantly designed, the gameplay is additing and deep, the music is some of the best you'll find in a fighting game, the control is flawless, and all the extra options are enough to shed a tear of joy--definitely the best 3D fighting game so far (forgot the incredibly overrated Dead Or Alive 2). The ten-hit combos, the unblockable attacks, Nina's multi-bone-breaker techniques, Kazuya's dragon uppercut, Tekken Bowl... this game is just unbelievable. I know... the PS2 has been all hype--the current software line-up is laughable (at best), there's not a whole lot coming out in the near-future worth mentioning, and the present lack of an online feature doesn't help when you can already be playing Phantasy Star Online on your DC--but if you do get a PS2, pick this and SSX up right away. You won't regret it whatsoever. Best PS2 game so far, and it'll stay that way for a while. End of story.

Metal Gear Solid
Metal Gear Solid
116 used & new from $8.01

6 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars How About A Real Review Now?, February 14, 2001
This review is from: Metal Gear Solid (Video Game)
Instead of all these ones from newbie gamers who are fixed on graphics? Alright. Instead of calling this the best PlayStation game of all time, or even more laughable, one of the best games of all time, or even sadder, the best game of all time, let's get a couple of things straight first, shall we? While not bad, Metal Gear Solid left me wanting more and getting less than you'd think. Hideo Kojima set out to make one thing: a movie-like experience game. On that level, Hideo created an unrivalled masterpiece that has few equals in the action and story category of movies... but that's just it: movie; we're supposed to be playing a game here, not watching a movie. And on that level, while Hideo didn't fail, he didn't succeed either... You play Solid Snake, an ex-Fox-Hound, just out of retirement, cold, 30-something, living legend whose whole life seems to circle around the battlefield. Your mission is to infiltrate a nuclear weapons disposal facility in Alaska being ran by terrorists Fox-Hound, and rescue hostages DARPA chief Donald Anderson and the president of Armstech, Kenneth Baker. On top of that, you are to find out if Fox-Hound really has the capability of launching a nuclear attack like they've threatened, and stop them if they do. This is one job you wouldn't want to take for all the copies of Radiant Silvergun in the world. The controls are fairly simple, nicely responsive, and easy to pick. The music ranges from the typical stuff you'd expect to hear to an action game, to some beautiful, almost opera-like vocal performances that are dark and astonishing. The sound is also well done, and very detailed. You (and your enemy) can hear everything: from footsteps, to tapping on the wall, to gunshots that you'd swear were the really thing, even the most jaded would be impressed here (hey... stop looking at me!). Speaking of the enemy, the AI to the game, while not all that intelligent at times (walking a course? Come on), is very interesting. They pick up on footsteps, gunshots, knocks on the wall, and even good ol' David's... I mean, Solid Snake's cold--impressive. The characters are lively and very real. I loved all the characters minus Otacon and Meryl; Otacon who I was hoping would "accidentally" get shot, and Meryl who, well, just felt out of place. The rest though, were amazing. Personal favorites were Sniper Wolf and Vulcan Raven who are, hands down, two of the coolest bad guys ever. There are also some cool bonus stuff to do, like the VR missions and taking pictures. You can also talk to your friends (that word being used loosely...) through Codec, which is like an ultra high-tech walkie-talkie. Occasionally the voice actors sound out of place ("Japanese animes"? Hello!), but that's very rarely, and the rest of the time they manage to not only avoid the trap of the Resident Evil trend, but do so with grace. Then, there's the problems of this game... The small ones would be the over-head camera, which gets annoying quickly. There are times when I'd miss an enemy, who was five feet away from me, all because the camera wouldn't give me a good view. No big. Then, there's the length of the game--it's EXTREMELY short. Scenario: I buy the so-called "best game ever" for ... (that's what it cost when it came out, mind you). I play game and enjoy the gameplay I do find. Metal Gear Solid is beaten in less than a day. Argh! I think you get the point... Not a major, major problem, but enough to deduct a star. But the worst problem is the story itself. Sure, it's impressive, and one of the best stories of all time (forget game of the year, call it movie of the year), but as Hideo himself said, combining a movie and a game is like combining water and oil--they just don't mix. Meryl and Snake's relationship "mature"? Please. By video game standards, yes. I suppose Squall's and Rinoa's was, too (I still shudder at the mere mention of those two Dawson's Creek stars...). But by the real world standards, it seems like cheesy puppy love that quickly becomes hard to swallow. That's not the problem, the problem is this: the story takes up WAY too much time of the game. And that's where everyone who's giving this a top-notch, perfect, five star rating (which seems to be everyone from Amazon reviewers to NextGen to your own ma and pa) gets confused--Metal Gear Solid is supposed to be a game, not a movie. As a movie, it's a masterpiece of epic proportions that can rival even T2. As a game, it's only fun for the few hours it actually lasts--or should I say, the hours where you're trying to stay awake through all the Codec talking. Sure, sure, you can argue that Xenogears was the same way, but A. Xenogears had a groundbreaking story, that just so happens to be the best story of all time, and B. I actually got more gameplay time out of the short and heavily texted second disk of Xenogears than I did the entire two disks of Metal Gear Solid. It gets sad when you're spending minutes upon minutes hearing about Snake talk about how he has no family when you're supposed to actually be playing the game. And while the gameplay that is here is fantastic, it's too-good story is not so surprisingly its own downfall. Just an idea, but wouldn't it be fun if we, I dunno, say, actually played a game, not a movie? Great idea, huh? Afterall, that's what this is supposed to be: a video game, not a movie....
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 17, 2012 5:37 AM PDT

Gundam Wing the Movie - Endless Waltz (Edited Version) [VHS]
Gundam Wing the Movie - Endless Waltz (Edited Version) [VHS]
7 used & new from $0.01

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The End..., February 2, 2001
...but what an ending! Told mostly through flashbacks, the story of Endless Waltz is rock-solid. If you're a fan of the series, this explains the characters backgrounds and how they came to be, which is quite interesting (Trowa's origin, for example, was not only interesting, it's shocking). If you're new to Gundam Wing, well... it wouldn't be the best place to start... and at the same time, it would be if you don't want to sit through all those episodes (which is why I liked the flashbacks: I can show it to my friends and they wouldn't be left out in the cold as to what's going on in the film). Whenever you try to get someone's interest in a series, it's not always easy: nobody really has time to sit through a whole set of tapes/DVDs, and that's if you even have them; and when you try to show them a movie inspired from the series, they know nothing of the characters, and it seems that most movies expect that you already do (take, for example, Tenchi Forever: you can't show that to a first-time Tenchi viewer, as it wouldn't quite register [i.e., no explanation as to how the characters came about]). But, like I said, Endless Waltz gives you a whole background of the characters through the flashbacks, yet, doesn't take away from those that have followed the series--no easy feet. So what's the story here? Taking off a year after the Gundam Wing series ended, Mariemeia--the illegitimate daughter of deceased war leader, OZ chief Treize Krushrenada--has made plans to become the ruler of the new nation--thus taking over Earth and the Space Colonies. Obviously, this isn't good; it's, as the movie said, "An endless waltz of peace, war, and revolution." And obviously, our heroes aren't taking this lightly, either. Past villians are now good guys, the characters are more emotional than ever, and the battle scenes are the best in the entire Gundam Wing series--in fact, I honestly felt this was the peak of everything to the series: the characters have more depth, the story is at its finest, and the battle scenes are beyond amazing. If you've seen any of the episodes, you already know about dubbing: it's perfect. Very few anime titles I'll say I actually loved the dubbing, but the whole Gundam Wing series is just great. The animation is a bit dated (it was made quite awhile back), but the detail is still sharp. I'll be honest... the first time I seen Gundam Wing, I didn't care for it--I'm a Macross/Robotech fan, and I'll always fell that Macross/Robotech is king when it comes to mecha in anime... but I started liking it after awhile, and I truly feel that this movie represents all of Gundam Wing at its finest. Endless Waltz is a great, action-packed, anime movie that, hopefully, will get the success it truly deserves--definitely do not pass this up when its release day comes.

Tenchi Forever [VHS]
Tenchi Forever [VHS]
Offered by video-warehouse
Price: $7.95
7 used & new from $1.49

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Romance Movie Ever--Truly A Masterpiece, January 20, 2001
This review is from: Tenchi Forever [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I've heard that this is the final chapter to the Tenchi Muyo! saga I cherish so deeply... and then I heard that there's another OAV series in the making, which practically made me do cartwheels. Either way, I guess that's irrelevant since I'm reviewing this movie... but let it be known I'm VERY happy about learning this. Anyways, since everyone's already given the whole story away, I guess I'll do the same, heh. At the beginning of the film, Tenchi and the gang are sweeping at the Masaki shrine, and, as usual, Ryoko and Ayeka start fighting... this time, about a broom. They continue to argue until they want to settle it once and for all: they demand to know who Tenchi really loves. Tenchi does the sensible thing: he runs like hell. After taking off faster than Michael Johnson at the Olympics, he runs up to a tree that pulls him in... and he completely disappears. Next thing you know, it's six months later, and Tenchi's still missing. Tenchi isn't really missing though, he's in another world, a fantasy world, if you will. Difference being, he's older... and with another woman, Haruna, who created this alternate world. Ryoko and Ayeka are still looking for him all this time, and when they finally do see him (thanks to Washu and her Tenchi-tracker), he doesn't see them, he doesn't hear them, and he disappears yet again... and again and again. After this happens a few times, Tenchi goes into the little diner the two are working at (!), and he sits with his mystery woman at a booth. Ryoko and Ayeka still can't get to him though, even when Ryoko goes to grab him, her arms just go right through him. Of course, Haruna can see the two, and looks none too pleased about them, either. Ryoko and Ayeka learn from Washu, that the two worlds intertwine at times, due to Tenchi's lingering memory, allowing them to see him. With a little assist from Washu (and Kiyone, Mihoshi, and Tenchi's grandfather, Yosho [or whatever he's calling himself these days]), the two can go into that dimension allowing Tenchi to see them... of course, Haruna kidnapped and brainwased Tenchi in the first place, and it deosn't take a scientific genius like Washu to figure out she's not gonna to give him up so willingly. The story of Tenchi Forever: Tenchi The Movie III is as solid as a love story gets. In fact, it's THE best love story I have ever seen. I know what you're thinking: "Wha?! A love story?! But this is Tenchi Muyo!, not Titanic!" Oh, how very true, but unlike Titanic, you'll actually love this story, it's very heart-warming, sad, and beautiful all at the same time. What made the Tenchi Muyo! saga popular--the humor--is completely missing in this film. Even the fight scenes got as much time as the romace aspects in the Tenchi Muyo! saga... just not in this movie. I think the only time I laughed was when I saw Washu's devices to open up the parallel dimension for Ryoko an Ayeka, and even then, I didn't exactly roll in laughter (I chuckled). And guess what? There were no battles at all. The story is deeply rooted in romance, and honestly, I would not have wanted it any other way: the romance was why I loved this film so much. The character development in Tenchi Forever (Ryoko's, Ayeka's, Haruna's, and Tenchi's and his grandpa's, to be specific) shines with depth, personality, and lots of real emotion (they always have, but not quite like this). You REALLY feel sorry for Ryoko and Ayeka throughout this film. I hated Haruna at first: "Hey... why'd she kidnap and brainwash the Tenchinator? Hey! She seduced Tenchi! HEY!!! She gave an evil grin to my Ryoko! Grrr!" This, obviously, proves that she made one great villian... or was Haruna even a villian? No, she isn't really a villian at all. At the end of the film, you feel for Haruna as well, she's like all of us, in a way... she just doesn't want to be alone (something we all can relate to). The way she came about, through Yosho's past, was utterly brilliant. Even though her character only came out in this one film, she was very well constructed and held her own with the main characters. It just goes to show how beautifully written this story really is. When I think back on the story as a whole, it's actually pretty sad (not as sad as, say, Grave Of The Fireflies [which I admit to crying like a little girl after viewing], but sad nonetheless). The part were Ryoko goes back for me (err, I mean Tenchi, heh... sorry, wrong fantasy world there...) one last time was really touching. Okay... so what about the animation and dubbing, you ask? Well, the animation is beautiful. It's not as rich in detail as some of the other movie epics (Akira, Ghost In The Shell, etc.), but it's very colorful and looks just amazing. The rich backgrounds and vibrant colors really make this film come to life. The characters look a lot better here too compared to the previous Tenchi Muyo! stuff, which is always a nice bonus. The dubbing is absolutely flawless, not once did I think "This is great, but it would be better if this character shut their mouth when the voice comes out right there" like so many of us do to other anime titles (*cough-Sailor Moon-cough*). The voice actors aren't just actors, they really seem like they are their own character--why can't all anime dubbing be like this? *sigh* Thank Pioneer for actually caring about their products... they did one really amazing job here, folks. Even the film's soundtrack is amazing (a really nice change from the lame J-pop that usually accompanies anime), there's some very beautiful piano work to this film. Anyways, to sum it up, the animation is bright and colorful, top-notch stuff; and the dubbing is better than perfect. After watching Tenchi Forever: Tenchi The Movie III I came to one conclusion: this is the second best anime movie I have ever seen (first being Akira, which, let's face it, will never be topped). I honestly loved this movie that much. The story is beautiful and touching, I'm sure that will put off some people expecting humor and great action, which is one major loss for them... honestly, I have never seen a love story as half as good as this. Consider yourself cheated if you don't watch this.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 5, 2015 4:15 PM PST

Land of Rape & Honey
Land of Rape & Honey
13 used & new from $5.65

39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "My Favorite Weapon... Is The Look In Your Eyes!", January 19, 2001
Question: What album made metalheads, punk rockers and dance-fiends recoil in horror upon its debut? Answer: Ministry's "The Land Of Rape And Honey." I hate to sound redundant... but the previous reviewers summed it best: "The Land Of Rape And Honey" is as essential as it gets--not just for Ministry and industrial fans, but for fans of music in general. I (finally) got my grubby mitts on the Australian version of the CD since I couldn't find the out-of-print-for-ages domestic release, so if there's a difference between the two, I apologize beforehand (Adam Naworal, one of the previous reveiwers, said "Hizbollah" and "I Prefer" aren't on the domestic release, for example). The first time I saw "Stigmata" on video I was shocked: the song, like the video, wasn't quite like anything I've heard before... or since. Its obnoxious, wailing guitars and ultra-obnoxious "vocals" (read: skull-shattering screams) topped over an absolutely relentless machine-like rhythm that could easily have been named "Audio Napalm" left my jaw on the floor. To this day, it remains my favorite Ministry song. Thankfully, Al and the boys had more than a few other great songs to serve up on this groundbreaking classic. Both "The Missing" and "Deity" rage with thrash-metal fury to them and make bands like Spineshank and Filter look even more pale in comparison. "Hizbollah" has a slight Arabic-tinge to it and might be my second favorite song here just for that reason, while "You Know What You Are" is one of the craziest songs I've ever heard: an angry dance song with the HARSHEST vocals I ever heard, putting that guy from Cradle Of Filth (I think his name's Dani) to absolute shame... genius. The second half of the disk is, in my opinion, better. It's not as violent with the guitars, but they still pack some angry energy into their more dance-like songs; kind of like the dark and violent synth-pop of "Twitch," but with an edge (the title track would be the best example of this). I'll admit, the production is pretty dated (it did come out thirteen years ago, ya know), but the creativity and beauty-in-ugliness work here doesn't show any signs of age. Ministry single-handedly changed the industrial landscape and was only thanked by seeing a bunch of third-rate computer nerds pathetically trying to emulate the electro-rage of this one groundbreaking masterpiece of an album. Machines hiss, guitars crunch, vocals rage with a snarling wrath, machine-like drums fiercely pound the listener's skull, and samples are brilliantly placed all over--"The Land Of Rape And Honey" is just brilliant. Definitely one of the best albums ever made.

The Art of Final Fantasy IX
The Art of Final Fantasy IX
by Dan Birlew
Edition: Paperback
28 used & new from $23.97

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Art Of Final Fantasy IX Is A Must-Buy, January 18, 2001
I strolled into EB one day, and upon purchasing Persona 2: Eternal Punishment (great game, by the way), they had this book at the counter. I was really happy and a bit sad as well: my last few bucks just went into Persona 2: EP. But a couple days later, my dad had heard of the book through my constant ramblings and picked it up for me as a gift. Happy like a Moogle with a Kupo Nut, I was. Final Fantasy IX is my favorite game, I loved every second of it. Not since Secret of Mana for the SNES have I loved a game this much. There are drawings of the main characters; non-playable characters; monsters; villages, castles, and dungeons; items and equipment; CG scenes; sketches; air ships and worlds--all of which are rich in both beauty in detail. Final Fantasy IX fans will notice the transformation the characters went through the most when they get a glimpse at their earlier sketches. They early drawings were much more life-like and had a more traditional Japanese look to them (especially Steiner); just try to picture them without their super-deformed look and you'd, for the most part, get the picture (Quina, Vivi and Eiko being the major exceptions). Personally, I think they should have left Amarant with the beanie. Much better than the red weave they gave him in the end. Another bonus is the few drawings you get of parts in the game that were cut. None of what was cut was a serious loss (a house here, a house there), but it would have been nice to have had them in the game. Still, at least we got to see them. Not all the charcters made it into the game (where's Cactrot?!), but they managed to put a good number of them in here. And, well it might be really picky of me, I kinda think the selection for the cinemas could have been better (that scene were Kuja was bleeding would have been nice... heh, not to mention more pictures of Garnet), but what they did put in was good enough. There were a lot of drawings that caught my attention (Garnet on the cover came to mind on that thought), but my favorite was on page 66, there's a picture of a black mage standing at the graveyard in the Black Mage Village. Pretty sad, actually. Anyway, at 159 pages (that might seem like a so-so amount, but when you see how big the book is, you won't think so) of beautiful pictures, you'll definitely love this. Saying this is a must for Final Fantasy IX fans is a bit cliche (not to mention obvious), but it's true, and not only that, but this is a must for fans of just art in general. I love that I can open this book up and relive my favorite Final Fantasy IX moments any time--definitely don't pass this up.

Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed & The Way to Suck Eggs
Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed & The Way to Suck Eggs
Price: $13.75
190 used & new from $0.32

60 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Audio Napalm, January 13, 2001
How would you describe this, exactly? Metal with industrial strength? Or industrial with metal guitars? That's the beauty of "Psalm 69," it fuses the two genres so seemlessly, that fans of both genres (like me), have a match made in heaven. I love both "The Land Of Rape & Honey" and "The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste," but for some reason, I think this is my favorite of Al's work. It's darker, heavier and louder, and for those reasons it has just a slight edge as my favorite Ministry album. Guitars are like musical chainsaws, drums hit harder than a crowbar to the head, vocals are harsh enough to satisfy Skinny Puppy fans, and the mood is just as bleak as Metallica's "...And Justice For All." There's never a dull moment hear. Even the opening track, "N.W.O.," starts off with guitars that seem hell-bent on destruction with its irrate buzzsaw cuts aimed at your throat. With a ripping guitar chord, samples of then-president George Bush, screams that will make your ears bleed, and an incredibly angry danceable beat, one wonders why Ministry weren't bigger than their semi-underground status in the first place. There's no time for pondering though, as the next track, "Just One Fix," pummels the listener into a bloody pulp with an incredibly dark tone and one mean and ugly, powerful riff from hell (ala Slayer) that will leave you sprawled out on your floor twitching and begging for your mommy. With Gibby Haynes (of Butthole Surfers fame) on vocals, "Jesus Built My Hotrod" might be the coolest car song ever. While not as dark as the other songs, which might explain its college radio-hit fame, it's a blistering sonic assualt on all your senses that rages forth in a manic tempo rolling over everything in sight and never letting up. Another highlight is the title track. It's, again, dark and bleak, but just like all the other songs, it still has a fun element to it. Voice samples of "Praise Jesus" and a choir lead the way to a chorus that thrashes and bashes like you wouldn't believe; it's too bad Sunday church congregation wasn't this much fun in real life, or I might actually go. The instrumental "Corrosion" is like a tank--ready for war, sirens going off all around, destroying everything in sight, and leaving a path of destruction and mayhem with its sonic wrath--absolutely wonderful. Thrash-dance at its absolute finest, I say. Of course, "Psalm 69" as a whole is amazing. Every second is powerful and filled with visceral wrath waiting to explode at anyone or anything at the touch of the play button. Samples are brilliantly placed all over the chaotic industrial vocals and production, drums make you wanna dance and put your foot in the wall all at the same time, and guitars rip and shred like Filter and Spineshank can only dream of. "Psalm 69" is, like good techno, perfect--never a dull moment; never an out of place instrument, sample, or vocal; and you can never get enough of this stuff. This is exactly what the Terminator called for--a cold, heartless killing machine that only stops to reload before blowing you and everything within four miles up (which is exactly what you'd feel like if you turn this up loud enough). Forget Static-X, Spineshank, Marilyn Manson and Apartment 26--this is the real deal when it comes to industrial-metal, and it will never be topped. If you're into industrial or metal, or anything remotly close to it, for that matter, you need "Psalm 69." Gauranteed headache with every song. And in this case, that's a good thing.
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Jet Grind Radio
Jet Grind Radio
19 used & new from $19.92

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Absolute Classic..., January 4, 2001
This review is from: Jet Grind Radio (Video Game)
...but not without its faults. Jet Grind Radio is getting comparisons to both Tony Hawk's Pro Skater and Crazy Taxi--and it's obvious as to why. The jumping and grinding the rails, the tricks, and the skating vibe has more than its share of Tony Hawk in it. The arrows that direct you, the nonstop action, and the way it plays is very much like Crazy Taxi. So is Jet Grind Radio basically those two games put together? No! Definitely not. The characters and the graphics are superior to those two games put together, and the tagging element is original. My biggest complaint is the control--it's pretty lame. The A button is to jump, the R button is to accelerate, and the L button is used to both guide the camera and tag. The three left over buttons aren't used. Duh, Sega! It's so frustrating using the L button when trying to tag the bosses (I'll get to this later) and instead it refocuses your camera. There's no brake button either, which isn't too important, but would have been nice. What also bothered me was the lack of a two player option. WHY would Sega not put that option in here? Jet Grind Radio could've been one of my all-time favorite games had there been the option of two players. Ah, nemesis that plagues video games everywhere--the camera. It's bad enough that there's a cheap camera/tag button, but the camera has a way of screwing up like they always do. But what about the good points, you say? There's plenty of those, let me tell you... While I usually shy away from starting my praises with the graphics (they're not as important as gameplay, ya know), I can't really help it here. The graphics in Jet Grind Radio are simply astonishing. The cel-shaded world of Jet Grind Radio is unbelievable. Just watching this game looks like you're watching a cartoon--actually, that would be an insult the game. Jet Grind Radio looks better than the cartoons US companies put out (not on par with anime, but we can't have it all, I suppose). It makes Disney look like crayon books in motion. Unbelievable, I tell you, unbelievable. Next would be the gameplay. Addicting comes to mind, so does amazing. But the word that describes Jet Grind Radio best is FUN. I haven't had this much single player fun for my Dreamcast since, well... when was the last time I had this much fun? Yes, this is more addicting than Shenmue, and I think it belongs up there in ranks with it. I can't tell you how much fun it is grinding down a rail at top speed, leaping through the air like a superhero, and then tagging the wall. Sweet. The music to Jet Grind Radio is more quirky hip-hop than anything, and it easily fits the game (and, yes, I like it). There's some cuts from real artists such as Rob Zombie (why did they label him industrial though? Duh!), Jurassic 5, Mix Master Mike, Cold, and more. Some are complaining about this since (most of) the J-pop is gone from the import--I say good riddance, as I hate J-pop. But the music in this game is catchy (and even though I am a Rob Zombie fan, it still seems odd putting him in this game. Still a good [remixed] song though), and I enjoyed it very much. The characters are great, too. My personal favorite was Cube, of course (us Goths are neglected in games, so it's nice to see one in here--plus she's cute, heh). She has become one of my favorite video game characters of all time--she's cool, she's hip, and, well, she's a Goth. But I loved ALL the characters in this game, they all have an irresistable charm to them, and even the bad guys were great (Love Shockers!). One has to wonder why Beat is the main character though (I love the guy, but him over, say, Cube or Combo? Please). I would have prefered having Cube and Combo (you gotta love the fact that Combo skates with a boombox kicking out "phat jams") didn't come out so late in the game though--as they were my two favorite characters--but that's alright, I suppose. Like they should, the characters all have different statistics. One may be better at tagging, one might be faster, while the other might have a bigger life bar; so experimenting with the different characters is key here. Speaking of life bar, something that Tony Hawk or Crazy Taxi didn't have was enemies. At times this can get annoying seeing as how your only real defense is to flea, but they add a challenge to the game. There are all sorts of enemies that chase you--from tanks, to helicopters, to losers running up and tackling you, there's a fair amount of baddies to avoid. Te bosses can get annoying though, as you have to tag three of them onthe back--and like everything else you do, you're on a timer. They always knock you down and take off, this gets frustrating when you need one more tag and they knock you down and you die. The length of the game isn't very long, actually, but for some reason this didn't bother me, as I keep going back to it for more. All in all, Jet Grind Radio is one of the best games for the Dreamcast yet. It has a decent challenge, great characters, great dialogue, the option of creating your own graffiti, and it leaves you with a strong addiction due to its infectious, semi-original gameplay (and hey, there's even some more levels than the Japanese version...although I wish they stuck with the original name, Jet Set Radio). A must own masterpiece that deserves to be in EVERY Dreamcast owners' library. I cannot wait for Jet Grind Radio 2--Sega just better leave Cube in though if they know what's good for 'em.

Cannon Spike
Cannon Spike
Offered by Peara's Premium Products
Price: $499.97
13 used & new from $101.47

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hey...What's This? A Game That Requires Skill?, December 30, 2000
This review is from: Cannon Spike (Video Game)
Cannon Spike isn't about building up your characters, there's no five minute summons here, no collecting 100 pieces of fruit/coins/whatever, none of these characters are called Ryo Hazuki or Lara Croft, this isn't a sports game, and all your GameFAQS in the world can't help newbie gamers for what Cannon Spike is--old-school gaming madness. It is unbelievably refreshing to play a game that harkens back to the days BEFORE PSX, where the only thing that mattered was skill, not graphics (memories...*sigh*). Yeah, that's right, SKILL. S-K-I-L-L, skill. Cannon Spike is an absolute twitchfest. You're gonna need three things when playing this game: skill, reflexes and lots of skilled reflexes. This ain't Metal Gear Sorry, thank you very much, this is a game that requires actual skill, something that is lost in many of today's games (or--in the case of Game Shark users, continue button mashers and EGM--today's "gamers"). But I'm a jaded gamer, and I'm gonna rant about the flaws first. My biggest complaint would be the music. Yes, this hard-core gamer doesn't really care for game music (WHY should I? I listen to real music [Nine Inch Nails], thank you very much). That doesn't mean there aren't exceptions though (Final Fantasy IX, anyone?); but this just isn't one of them--the "music" is extremely forgettable (the one thing Capcom has yet to do right: music). And my next complaint would be...uh, wait a second...other than the music, there ISN'T anything wrong with the game! Yes, I said it before, and I'll say it again, this game is amazing. There seems to be some complaining about the game's length though (the previous reviewer would be one). Yeah, 15 minutes is all it takes to beat the game. BUT, isn't a great action game like Super Contra, Smash TV and Robotron about playing it until your eyes start twitching (like mine usually do--ugh, my poor vision...)? Yes, it is. And in Cannon Spike's defense, I honestly don't think it would have improved if it was hours long (does anyone remember Loaded? Extremely fun at first, but then gets monotonous after a few hours). I know what you're wondering, exactly what is Cannon Spike (other than amazing, of course)? It's a shooter...sort of. Cannon Spike is basically Robotron with Capcom characters and beautiful graphics. I guess, if anything, you could put this in the shooter genre. You're gonna do tons of shooting, and you're gonna be shot at more times than you would if you lived in L.A. And like most shooters, this game is pretty hard (not Gunbird 2 hard though...thank god). Sure, it's easy if you put the difficulty on easy and slap the start button unmercifully when it says continue (wuss), but even on the normal setting things are far from a walk in the park. Bosses practically fill the screen, bullets are shot at you every inch you move, and they all have a way of ganging up on you like you wouldn't believe. But at the same time, this game also has a slight Streets of Rage/Final Fight feel to it (not surprising, seeing as how Capcom was responsible for Final Fight and Cannon Spike). The game is, after all, fully 3D, and you can also punch the enemies. And that leads me to the next subject: control. You have six buttons to use; those being fire, attack, heavy shot, heavy attack, mark (it lets you shoot at one specific enemy), and special attack. The control is tight, it's precise, and I never had a problem with it. And what's a game with its heroes, you say? Relax, Capcom characters are here to save the day. Arthur of Ghoul 'N Ghosts fame (not that I'm complaining, but, uh, why did they change him?), Mega Man of Mega Man fame, Cammy and Charlie of Street Fighter fame, and B.B. Hood of Vampire Savior fame. There's also two completely new characters in the game, skateboarder Shiba Shintaro and half-cyborg, all samurai, Simone. I'll be honest...the two new characters didn't do much for me (I would have liked to see Jill Valentine in here rather than those two), but they are a nice welcome (and a challenge to play with) nonetheless. And, thankfully, all the characters have different moves, different advantages and disadvantages, and different endings. You're gonna see some other Capcom references in here, too. Most notably the dogs from Resident Evil and a futuristic goth (wha!?! A goth in a video game!? About time!) version of Balrog (that's Vega to us). Capcom and Psikyo brought us a shooter/beat 'em up (or, as I call them, shmups) that's not only amazing, not only a joy to play, and not only one of the best games of the year, but is an absolutely must-own masterpiece (and, it's for ... too, how can you beat that?). As for you continue button mashers and Game Shark users, I'd like to think Capcom and their new buddies Psikyo didn't make Cannon Spike for you...but you should buy it anyway. So grab something to drink, grab a friend (Wha!?! A two-player game that isn't a fighter or a sports game!? I must be dreaming...), plug in, and lose yourself into the classic old-school gaming madness that is Cannon Spike. Besides, what are you gonna buy, the new Tomb Raider? *shudder*

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