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Helpful Votes: 49

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The Golden Compass [Blu-ray]
The Golden Compass [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Nicole Kidman
Offered by Phase 3, LLC
Price: $8.99
91 used & new from $0.01

7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Golden Compass is the most amazing Blu-Ray title yet, May 6, 2008
After being disappointed with several Blu-Ray titles and nearly regretting ever buying a player, this title excels with clarity that I demand. You really see the detail with the 1920x1080p resolution (on a 1920x1080 LCD). Every strand of hair and snow particle was absolutely clear (even when not in the center of the screen) and defeats the theatrical experience.

I saw this movie five times in theaters, but when I viewed this on Blu-Ray, I noticed two new details. They also perfectly cleaned up the 4-5 seconds of graininess of when Lyra enters the conference room at Jordan that was horrid in theaters. The only minor complaint I have is the added grain during the New Line golden company intro (the first 3 seconds). Any other grain during the film was absolutely minimum. That was surprising considering the numerous dark scenes.

The content of the movie itself is as amazing as it is charming. My girlfriend and I quote the movie all the time. We dread the possibility of the studios not doing the sequels. If they can complete the trilogy with the same quality as this one, I will hail it as the best trilogy ever. That's not a small feat as I defend the LOTR trilogy as the best thus far and likely the best in my lifetime.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 3, 2009 12:14 PM PST

Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga - Xbox 360
Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga - Xbox 360
Price: $16.14
99 used & new from $9.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the series -- comparing to former titles, December 11, 2007
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
The Complete Saga improves over LEGO Star Wars II.

Load time is faster especially for character based levels.

The local co-op camera push bug (first AT-ST floating forward in Battle of Endor, and TIE Fighter turrets popping one player out every 30 seconds) was fixed. One player (in local at least) still needs to drop out sometimes to grab some minikits. (Still get stuck at the farthest, last Death Star Escape platform; don't go there.)

True Jedi only needs to be accomplished in Story or Free Play mode. I sort of miss having to get True Jedi in both modes. They replace that gold brick with a Challenge mode where they take away all extras enabled and give you a time limit to find 10 different (blue) minikits. I'd rather take the old trade since time based levels suck in general.

The lobby is better overall. While the outdoor area is smaller than ever, they make up for it by having two cars available! They also added "Beep-Beep" Extra for honking the horns while in the car. My girlfriend thinks that's the best thing ever. They add the band characters in the bar this time. The mini-kits are no longer in the way. They have a gallery for them which you scroll through. There is nothing for bounty hunters/super ewoks in the lobby.

The Jedi glow detection remains the same. Wish they improved it (needed some work -- should prioritize to items and characters over your own buddy). Some NPCs get stuck randomly (but rarely) and twitch in place like crazy. I think it's a new bug.

The grass areas have added lush. It's a nice touch.

There is a new LEGO City: "New Town". It's an improved version of LEGO City with dumber stuff removed and cooler stuff added (boat in water and power lines). Easier to unlock (just 50 gold bricks). They also kept LEGO City as an option too.

There is an alternative New Hope level where you play as Darth Vader and Stormtrooper.

All the stuff from LEGO Star Wars I is definitely improved to at least LSWII standards or better.

Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga - Nintendo DS
Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga - Nintendo DS
Price: $15.79
187 used & new from $3.85

29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The first good 3D DS action game, December 11, 2007
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
TT Fusion was able to pull off a great translation of LSW:TCS for DS (when keeping in mind the limitations of DS hardware).

If you love the franchise and cannot get enough of it on the next gen platforms, pick up the DS version. The levels are recognizable, but different enough to give a fresh experience.

I found none of the bugs that plagued the LSWII DS version in this one as it was built from scratch thankfully.

The DS version keeps True Jedi gold bricks for both Story mode and Free Play mode. I prefer this over the new approach with next gen LSW:TCS using a new challenge mode in replacement of a True Jedi.

Criticism: TT Fusion should have gone with a larger cartridge size so they could have had the room needed to make all 36 main levels (instead of only 30), improved some levels like Speeder Showdown to be closer to the original, and have smoother cut-scenes. The extras like Indiana Jones and good outdoor Cantina area are missing. There is a lot less incentive to collect all gold bricks.

Overall this title has set the standard for 3D DS action games. I look forward to more developments from TT Fusion.

Viva Piñata Party Animals - Xbox 360
Viva Piñata Party Animals - Xbox 360
Offered by Fulfillinc
Price: $19.89
96 used & new from $2.81

8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great potential, but big flaws, December 11, 2007
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
A mini-game tournament starring the Viva Pinata characters is a cool concept. Too bad the execution failed.

1) The mini-games that you want to play cannot be played at any time. You have to be lucky that the tournament selection will pick that mini-game in some long sequence of mini-games. They focus around racing tracks too much. These are fine by themselves, but it would have been nice to have a choice of not including them. What is really needed is to customize your own tournament line-up! Even allow duplication of your favorites.

2) They should have allowed the users to pick any animal -- not just four.

3) The voice commentary is really bad. They are depressing (as if they know this game is bad) and very repetitive.

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