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Prey Limited Collector's Edition -Xbox 360
Prey Limited Collector's Edition -Xbox 360
Offered by Lotsa Electronics
Price: $39.99
38 used & new from $5.00

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric, unusual, and visually striking, August 6, 2006
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
Prey is a beautiful looking game. The graphics, which are based on the Doom 3 engine, create a stunning world in which to play. Whether it is the gross bio-sphincter door-holes, which gleam wetly at you, or the glowing interdimensional portals, or the vast sci-fi dyson sphere you are trapped in, it all has an immersive visual quality that will draw you in and keep you there.

The music is also top-notch, with a dramatic, emotionally rousing soundtrack by composer Jeremy Soule (Icewind Dale, Oblivion, Guild Wars).

The premise of the game is workable: you are Tommy, a Cherokee garage mechanic who gets abducted by an alien spaceship along with your grandfather, girlfriend, and other fellow humans from around the globe. You are one of the few who escape from the clutches of the aliens and are able to roam inside the huge alien space vessel. With the help of weapons you pick up, and supernatural powers you discover that you have, you set out to defeat the powers that are keeping you prisoner and go back home. This seems kind of simple and weird. Yet perhaps the story can be interpreted as having to do more with oppressed peoples fighting their oppressors in general, about retaining human dignity in the face of dehumanizing manipulation, than about just fighting aliens. In that light, Prey is saying something pretty powerful.

The gameplay boils down to getting from point A to point B, with puzzles and enemies blocking your path. Simple in principle, but fun and novel in execution. Especially with the unique weapons, gravity-altering mechanics, portals, spirit-walking(you leave your body in spirit form to bypass certain obstacles), and wall-walking.

In summary, this game provides a very unique experience with many memorable moments. I'm glad I got this game.

About the Limited Collector's Edition: the extras included are a nice metal case, two small pewter figurines, a free download of the official soundtrack, and an "Art of Prey" booklet.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 14, 2009 8:41 AM PDT


Gun - Xbox 360
Gun - Xbox 360
Offered by DAGI SALES
Price: $55.00
45 used & new from $7.95

4.0 out of 5 stars A welcome addition to my xbox360 collection., July 16, 2006
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Gun - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
Gun for Xbox 360, while not outstanding, is a solid game that delivers a well-written story, memorable characters, and addictive gameplay.

The story, which is full of betrayal, revenge, and Wild West panache and style, will motivate you to play through to the end. In it, you are Colton White, son of Ned White, a hunter and trapper with a secret he needs to tell you. But before he can, he is mortally wounded in a ferryboat massacre; as he dies, he bequeaths to you a mysterious token and instructions to present it to a person he knows in another town. The ferryboat is about to explode, and with his last ounce of strength he pushes you off the side into the river. As you call out to your father right before you lose consciousness, his last words to you are, "Damn it, I'm not your father."

The voice-acting is top notch, featuring Thomas Jane, Kris Kristofferson, Ron Perlman, and Lance Hendricksen. The in-game cutscenes show off this talent well with excellent motion capture, and you really feel emotion from the characters, who at times seem uncanny.

The game is set up as a GTA-style open sandbox world with story missions that move you through the game, and side missions you can take to improve your stats and have fun. The only problem with this is the size of the world, which is commensurate with the short length of the main story(maybe seven or eight hours). There aren't as many things to do in the world as it seems there should be.

The gameplay is third-person shooting with a nice variety of weapons, very similar to that in Red Dead Revolver by Rockstar, and quite fun. The horse riding mechanic is easy and fun, as well.

Neversoft has the basics down really well, but missed a few details here and there (for example, poor animation of the wild animals in the game world). And the graphics, while superior to other console versions, do not fully utilize the resources the 360 makes available. Overall, this is a good game that, given more development time to polish things up more and a larger scope, could have been truly great.


Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30
Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30
Offered by MESS OF STUFF
Price: $24.99
166 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Realistic, occasionally frustrating rendition of squad-based WWII combat., July 12, 2006
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
With Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30, developer Gearbox has created a strategy-oriented first-person shooter that tests more than your hand-eye coordination. To succeed at the game, you will have to become proficient with some basic squad commands and learn to "suppress and flank" in the midst of a firefight.

Add to this decreased, more realistic shot accuracy from your weapons (the targeting reticle is turned off by default, and doesn't help much anyway - to be accurate, you'll have to switch to the zoom view down the barrel of your rifle, which limits your movement and peripheral vision) and you have something significantly different from other WWII shooters like Call of Duty where you're a one-man army. The emphasis is on group tactics - holding the enemy down with suppressive fire, then hitting them from their exposed sides with flanking. Running and gunning will get you only so far in the game (although it is sometimes necessary).

This can be loads of fun, but will sometimes cause you to scratch your head when you're faced with more than one group of enemies in complex terrain. To help with this, there is an in-game feature that allows you to take a bird's eye view of the battlefield, and highlights yours and your enemy's positions. It's not bad, although I wished you could freely move around the map while in this mode; they only let you switch from the positions you and your enemies have taken on the map, and rotate the camera around those positions. In addition, your men will behave pretty intelligently most of the time, taking cover if they're fired upon, or telling you that they can't carry out the command you've given them.

Besides the gameplay, there is the story and immersion in the game world. Gearbox succeeds here, showing through in-game character dialogue and narrative by the main character in between missions, the life of a soldier during this time. I felt attachment to the characters I fought alongside with during the game, and also the camaraderie the real soldiers they're based on must have felt.

In addition to the core game, there is quite a bit of extra content you can unlock just by completing the levels on a given difficulty setting. Plus figuring out how to really dominate the battlefield is another incentive to replay the game.

It was with a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that I finished the last mission for this game.


Shadow of the Colossus - PlayStation 2
Shadow of the Colossus - PlayStation 2
Offered by mindless entertainment
Price: $42.80
79 used & new from $13.45

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Immerse yourself in another world., December 1, 2005
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Shadow of the Colossus is the spiritual successor to Sony's 2001 adventure, ICO. Like that game, Shadow of the Colossus is also beautiful, atmospheric, desolate and utterly immersive.

The premise is simple and the backstory is minimal, allowing you ample room to wonder and imagine: a man named Wanda and his horse Agro have traveled to a distant land in order to bring back his love from the dead. With the help of a legendary sword, he confronts the gods of that land and asks for their assistance. They agree to help him, but the young man must first defeat and release the souls of the sixteen colossi who inhabit and guard the mythical country.

To accomplish this task, the young man will make use of nothing but the sword, a bow, his body, his horse, and his environment. That said, what you are able to do with this simple set of tools and what you will witness as a result is amazing. I don't want to spoil the game by saying too much, but I have to say that each time I felled a colossus I was in awe; there is something deep and meaningful about the sight of an ancient titan crumbling to the ground, defeated.

Everything about this game contributes to a distinct atmosphere of solemnity, solitude, and wonder. The music is excellent, the mechanics and nature of the gameplay is intelligent and fun, the environments are stark and beautiful, and the hero, his horse and the colossi all have very subtle yet strong characterizations.

This game (or work of art) is a defining example of what videogames are all about these days. The various individual aspects of a game like gameplay, art work, and story are becoming vehicles for creating and experiencing another world. Buy this game and play it. You won't regret it.


Samsung LN-R238WA 23-Inch Widescreen HDTV-Ready Flat-Panel LCD TV
Samsung LN-R238WA 23-Inch Widescreen HDTV-Ready Flat-Panel LCD TV

5.0 out of 5 stars An awesome HDTV: perfect for gaming, November 30, 2005
I bought this Samsung LNR238W to serve all of my gaming needs. It met my all my expectations and I give it my highest recommendation. The following are my experiences while testing for problems.

Pixel Response Time/Ghosting: Nonexistent. I tried 480i signals through component, s-video, and composite and this lcd is just as responsive as a crt.

Input lag: Nonexistent. I heard of a problem that some hdtv owners(50"DLP for example) experienced where there is lag or delay between the time they input a command on a game console and the time action appears on screen, due to video scaling or upconversion. This problem would also manifest itself as unsynchronized video and audio when watching movies. I was worried about it, but extensive testing showed that this monitor is free of this problem. I tried Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for N64 (composite), Wave Race: Blue Storm for Nintendo Gamecube (s-video), Ninja Gaiden for Xbox (480i and 480p through components), Need for Speed Underground for Xbox (480i component), and Tekken 5 for PS2(480i component) and they all were responsive and fine, no problems. Video was perfectly synchronized with the audio, which I ran through my hometheater system.

Dead Pixels: My monitor didn't have any.

Uniformity: My monitor didn't have this problem. Colors appear as they should throughout the whole screen. That is, there aren't any spots where red things show up green, for example.

Quality of scaling: Solid image-wise, and no processing lag. The video of non-native resolution signals that lcd's display are typically lower in quality than that of scaled signals on a crt. However, this hdtv scales pretty well compared to other lcds, and I am completely satisfied with the image quality while I watch 480i/p video. There is some noticeable pixelation and sharp edges sometimes on scaled 480i/p video, but that is to be expected - a crt would smooth those things over.

Image geometry: perfect. No bending, bowing, or other distortion you almost always get with crts nowadays. Straight lines appear straight.

I don't have a spare vga cable or an xbox 360 yet, so I haven't tested native resolution signals, but I'm sure they'll be excellent, I've seen xbox 360 running on this monitor at retail kiosks and the image is great - it's just a matter of whether a particular unit of this model is normal or not.

As for the one review that mentioned input lag, maybe he reviewed a different tv by mistake, or had a defective unit, or was running his console through a pc tv tuner card through to the monitor or something unusual like that? I don't know.

This hdtv kicks butt. By the way, this is the monitor that Microsoft chose to use in all their retail kisoks - so if you go to bestbuy, circuitcity or EB the xbox 360 is using this model. Microsoft has confidence in this tv.


Philips 20PT6441 20" Flat-Screen CRT TV (Silver)
Philips 20PT6441 20" Flat-Screen CRT TV (Silver)

15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Otherwise nice picture quality suffers from Blooming Distortion, September 10, 2005
This tv would be nice except for blooming: when bright bodies of solid color(whites, yellows) appear on screen, they bulge out, distorting the picture. So sometimes, when the colors are subdued, the picture looks pretty good, but when something bright appears on screen the picture is messed up. This can sometimes seriously screw up what you're looking at. I say look somewhere else.


Nobody Knows Anything
Nobody Knows Anything
DVD ~ Alanna Ubach
20 used & new from $0.01

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Strong casting helps weak script., September 7, 2005
This review is from: Nobody Knows Anything (DVD)
I decided to buy this dvd after seeing how many good actors had supporting roles and cameos in it(Margaret Cho, Mike Myers, Robin Ruzan, Ben Stiller, Tim Meadows, etc.), and because Strangers With Candy/Second City alums David Pasquesi and Mitch Rouse were in it. Well, individually, all these people are pretty funny, and in the movie they play what they're given pretty well, but something is missing. Most times you'll have to make an effort to laugh. I think the problem is the script -the plot isn't too compelling and the situations it produces are lacking some driving force.

However, since I am a fan of some of the actors, just seeing them play their roles was interesting, and enough reason to keep watching. It isn't the best dvd I ever bought, but it's a part of my collection now and I'm satisfied with it.


Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
180 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Platforming at its best., January 22, 2005
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This critically acclaimed game(IGN gives it a 9.6) did not sell that well, but is really good. It is presented as a tale told by the prince after everything happened, so you are playing the game as the prince remembers it in his memory. The tale begins with you and your father and his army besieging an Indian kingdom with the help of their vizier, who betrays them to you. You breach the outer defenses and sally forth to find a treasure that will honor your father and make him proud... The narrative and gameplay thus presented are seamlessly woven together into a great gaming experience.

Hundreds of animations for the prince make the action incredibly smooth and natural, and a marvel to behold. My favorite is wall running, which you have to do alot of. The acrobatics you will pull off in the course of this platformer will astound you. You'll jump from crumbling ledges into a balance walk on wooden beams, swing on flagpoles over hundred foot drops, run on the walls of a circular tower in a descending spiral; the levels will push the limits of your imagination.

The fighting, which some people complain about, is dance-like and rhythmic, and isn't extreme or hardcore enough for some. However, I think the fighting is still fun, and appropriate for the game's emphasis and style. The game developers change this in the sequel, which centers on fighting more.

The camera, of which you have at least partial control throughout the whole game, works well and allows you to fully explore the environments. The environments themselves are epic in scale and awesome to look at, showcasing the power of the xbox.

This is a five star game. You'll probably log less than 15 hours finishing this, but you will definitely feel satisfied at the end. And you'll probably want to replay it at least once. Oh yeah, the original prince of persia game and prince of persia 2 are unlockable. Great value!


Deus Ex: Invisible War
Deus Ex: Invisible War
Offered by DealTavern
Price: $18.75
151 used & new from $0.01

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars decent sequel, December 25, 2004
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
The game is a story driven adventure game that uses an fps

perspective and rpg elements. It offers you a variety of

objectives you can complete in a number of different ways,

depending on your approach and which abilities you choose to

utilize. Your choice of actions affects what happens in the

game world, and the path the story takes.

The story, like the first, is philosophically speculative

science fiction centering on political intrigue, adventure and

self-discovery.

The basic game concept is first-person stealth action set up by

character dialogue and interaction. You complete objectives and talk to people to learn a little bit more of the story and move it along.

The action is decent. You're put in situations where you have

to infiltrate places in order to talk to people or obtain

something, and this usually involves sneaking around, getting

past guards, robots, and electronic security. The tools they

give you to do this, weapons, electronics, and personal

biomodifications, are pretty cool.

In the way of guns, you can equip the neurotoxin dart gun, the

pistol, the shotgun, the sniper rifle, and the mag rail, to name a few. Each gun can have up to two weapon mods, which include enhancements such as glass destabilizer, silencer, emp

converter, range enhancement, etc. Personally, I like being

able to knock out an enemy from afar with two shots from the

dart gun in zoom mode.

The graphics are ok. However, while static screens look good,

during actual gameplay the framerate is slower than optimal and

occasionally drags. But it doesn't detract that much from the

experience, in my opinion.

Overall, this a decent game with an interesting story.


Yalu Flows: A Korean Childhood
Yalu Flows: A Korean Childhood
by Mi-rŭk Yi
Edition: Hardcover
6 used & new from $34.98

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars another world, November 25, 2004
In simple, lucid prose Mirok Li brings his readers into the idyllic yet also vibrant world of his childhood and youth. Through carefully chosen words he conveys to the reader the beautiful dream of his past: Korea, his home, his family, and his friends; his aspirations, fears, longings, sadnesses and joys.

This book is written in a calm, at times lyrical style that is soothing to read.


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