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Customer Reviews: 79
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Reviews Written by
William Michaels RSS Feed (Hillsborough, NJ United States)
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Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Red Rescue Team
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Red Rescue Team
Offered by NECTAR.CORP
Price: $60.00
50 used & new from $7.55

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Issued with issues, September 5, 2008
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
I would like very much to give this game a good review. Unfortunately, it has a major issue. Having played through most of the excellent DS version of this game (Explorers of Darkness), I understand how the game system works. Unfortunately, with regards to Red Rescue Team:

When I play this game on the DS, THE B BUTTON DOESN'T HALF THE TIME. I often have to press it 4 or more times to get the menu to come up. Since the B button is crucial to gameplay, in and out of dungeons, this is a crippling defect.

When I play the game on GBA, the B button works maybe a little bit more, but the lighting is so poor that it cannot be played at all without scrunching around and arranging lamps just so. Is the GBA meant to be used only outdoors on a sunny day? I'm sure there are lots of those in Seattle.

Recommended only for those DS owners who have finished Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Darkness or Time (if one can ever really be said to finish such a game) and want more. NOT recommended for the GBA!


Perfect Lives
Perfect Lives
Price: $31.61
13 used & new from $31.61

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great American Opera, August 28, 2008
This review is from: Perfect Lives (Audio CD)
In my opinion, this is the 8th-greatest opera ever written, and the greatest American, English-language, and 20th-century opera. Far from being "minimalist," this masterpiece is a continuous deluge of gorgeous musical and verbal improvisation. Each of the seven parts has its own unique musical and philosophical environment, but they all form a greater unity unmatched in opera (matched in music only by Swan Lake). It is a crime that this has not been given a public performance at, e.g., the Met. Totally tonal. Very highly recommended (but not for the faint-hearted).

If you're interested, my candidates for #1-7, in descending order, are Das Rheingold, Don Giovanni, The Magic Flute (without spoken dialog), Tristan, Die Walkure, Monteverdi's L'Orfeo, and Carmen.


Symphony 6
Symphony 6

5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, it's worth $118..., August 26, 2008
This review is from: Symphony 6 (Audio CD)
.. but it's a crime it was allowed to go out of print. This is the best recording of Mahler's 6th at a "normal" tempo (i.e., not conducted by Barbirolli). The playing is so gorgeous, and Sanderling's and the orchestra's understanding of the symphony so complete, that I actually looked forward to hearing the exposition repeat of the first movement (ordinarily my attitude on that is "cut to the chase"). If you can, buy it! If not, pressure the recording philistines to reissue it--or get the Barbirolli.

Amazon: I have already written this review. What happened to it?


Karlheinz Stockhausen: Klavierstucke 1-11, Mikrophonie I & II
Karlheinz Stockhausen: Klavierstucke 1-11, Mikrophonie I & II
9 used & new from $81.42

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 Stars for Mikrophonie II, May 21, 2008
Although I am indifferent to Stockhausen's piano music and only moderately interested in Mikrophonie I, Mikrophonie II is a masterpiece, I would say the greatest electronic (or partially electronic) piece ever written, and possibly Stockhausen's best (though there is plenty of competition). It is like an Anselm Kiefer painting in sound, with all of the brutalities, longings, and woes of Germany depicted in an amazingly compact, rich 15 minutes. 15 minutes of fame indeed!


Momente
Momente

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Badly Neglected Masterpiece, May 8, 2008
This review is from: Momente (Audio CD)
Stockhausen was one of the greatest composers of the last century, and is now probably the most underrated composer of all of musical history! At least if his reputation and availability of recordings/performances in America is any indication. His best works, all of them arge-scale (Momente, Donnerstag aus Licht, Kontakte, Opus 1970 Beethoven/Stockhausen, and others), open up new worlds of timbre, tempo, and musical expression.


Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Darkness
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Darkness
Offered by Chery Inc
Price: $53.85
99 used & new from $7.25

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They got it right this time, April 29, 2008
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This game is a GIANT step forward from the GB Advance version! This is the game that that one should have been. I am really not too knowledgable about the Advance game, since I put it aside as borderline unplayable and a major disappointment. The new version is vastly improved. The following areas are its strong points:

First and foremost, a good combat interface. In this version, your head Pokemon can select one of four moves, just as in the regular Pokemon games. And there is no burdensome double-button punch to use a move. You can also choose an ordinary attack, which is not a move, to save moves: a welcome Pokemon innovation.

Attractively drawn dungeons

Good and varied music

A good story line

Lots of interesting tasks and situations

The real comparison is with the recent Shiren Mystery Dungeon, also a Chun product. This one is less brutal and much larger-scale, though both are excellent games.

Highly recommended for roguelike fans.

I assume that this rating and description can also apply to the "Explorers of Time" version of the game, since the strategy guide says there are only minor differences.


Milhaud: Les Choephores / Roussel: Symphony No. 3 / Honegger: Rugby - Pacific 231
Milhaud: Les Choephores / Roussel: Symphony No. 3 / Honegger: Rugby - Pacific 231
17 used & new from $4.47

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential for the Roussel, March 28, 2008
If the performance of the Roussel on this CD is the same as that on the 1964 LP--grab it!!! That is purely and simply the best recording of a Roussel symphony ever made. It is a large-scale interpretation, like Bernstein's versions of the late Haydn symphonies, and enhances our view of Roussel's capabilities. It puts Symphony No. 3 nearly on an equal footing with Roussel's greatest masterpiece, Bacchus and Ariane.


Mystery Dungeon Shiren the Wanderer - Nintendo DS
Mystery Dungeon Shiren the Wanderer - Nintendo DS
Offered by YtseGames
Price: $19.99
29 used & new from $9.31

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars May be the Best of the Randoms, March 17, 2008
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have played a number of good random-dungeon games, from Sega Master System's Dragon Crystal, through Dragon Warrior Monsters 1 and 2, through the Game Boy Lufia's Ancient Cave, and this may be the best of the lot (though the Ancient Cave is also excellent). It is certainly addictive! What makes it stand out is:

1. Interesting floor layouts, especially from Level 8 onward.
2. A huge variety of weapons and objects, levels of CPU generosity in distributing same, and combat situations. Many narrow escapes from total destruction.
3. A number of gaming ideas not present in previous random-dungeon games: e.g., enemies leveling up, enemies (and jars) that can change objects, warehouses for storing objects from game to game, etc., etc.
4. Fay's puzzle challenge house at the beginning, whose 50 gradated puzzles (and random rewards) test logic and knowledge of the game.

Highly recommended for any RPG fans!


Berlioz: Requiem
Berlioz: Requiem
Price: $29.18
37 used & new from $7.96

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Latest of the Greatest, March 3, 2008
This review is from: Berlioz: Requiem (Audio CD)
Berlioz' Requiem is one of the greatest works of music ever written, and certainly the greatest requiem mass (yes, I know Verdi, Brahms, Britten, and Mozart backwards and forwards). I have been listening to it for more than 50 years, and it never fails to exalt me, despite its devastating subject matter.

The 2006 sound and Norrington's feel for the music are the chief draws for this particular recording. The only negative comment I have is the "original-instrument" quality in a few string passages. On the positive side, his climaxes, especially in "Lachrymosa," are overwhelming.

Overall, I would say this is perhaps the second best recording of the Requiem I have heard, ranking behind Inbal/Frankfurt. But you can't own too many versions of this masterpiece!

I'm inlcuding "Mahler" in the tags for this recording because the Requiem is worthy of that Austrian master, and if you like one, you will probably like the other.


Midsummer Marriage
Midsummer Marriage
Offered by Indigoheirlooms
Price: $29.99
14 used & new from $3.75

3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Opera, Substandard Sound, February 28, 2008
This review is from: Midsummer Marriage (Audio CD)
I agree with all of the positive comments other reviewers have made regarding the value of the opera and the quality of the performance. Yes, the recorded sound is substandard, but I find that it still manages to convey a decent sense of the music and performance. However, since there are more recent recordings available of the opera, a person looking for a first recording should probably consider them.


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