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Velcro Reusable Self-Gripping Cable Ties, 0.5 Inches x 8 Inches Long, Black, 100 Ties per Pack (91140)
Velcro Reusable Self-Gripping Cable Ties, 0.5 Inches x 8 Inches Long, Black, 100 Ties per Pack (91140)
Price: $6.49
50 used & new from $3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great, cheap cable ties, September 4, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
These things always come in handy for tying up cables. I typically use them for heavy sound equipment cables, but these can just as easily be used for storing extension cords, phone chargers, laptop cords, or any number of other things. They hold strong, they last a long time, and they're cheap. Zero complaints.


Bean's Quest
Bean's Quest
Offered by Appstore - US - MP - Offer
Price: $2.99

5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun, unique platformer, December 13, 2012
This review is from: Bean's Quest (App)
I bought this game on the Play Store a while back, and played through it from beginning to end. It's a fun twist on the traditional platformer, where you're constantly jumping and your only controls are moving left or right. It's surprisingly challenging on the later levels, but the true challenge comes from the collectible and maximum jump goals to reach on each level. If you're an obsessive completionist, this game will keep you busy for a long time.


Cards Against Humanity
Cards Against Humanity
Offered by Cards Against Humanity, LLC
Price: $25.00

81 of 581 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pure garbage, November 30, 2012
= Durability:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:1.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Cards Against Humanity (Toy)
Pretty much Apples to Apples, created by people with the maturity of a 13 year old teenage boy. If dead baby jokes and toilet humor are your cup of tea, you'll enjoy this game. For those of us that eventually grew out of puberty, you'd be better off finding something else to play.
Comment Comments (20) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 2, 2013 11:54 AM PST


The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Offered by MOST WANTED
Price: $55.50
31 used & new from $38.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A deeply flawed, yet still enjoyable Zelda experience, June 7, 2012
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
My history with Zelda dates all the way back to Link's Awakening on the original Game Boy. Few franchises have enraptured me and have delivered such consistently high quality titles as the Legend of Zelda series has. These games have a reputation for just oozing quality and a sense of adventure. Majora's Mask and Wind Waker still rank among my top 10 games of all time. Recently, however, I've seen a bit of decline in quality in the series. Twilight Princess, while still a very good title, had a tendency to feel "dull" and drag out at times. Phantom Hourglass on the DS was even worse, removing direct control of Link from the player in favor a clunkier touchscreen approach, and forcing the player to replay the same terrible dungeon half a dozen times during the game. Spirit Tracks fixed a few of the issues introduced in Phantom Hourglass, but still had its share of problems.

So enough about the history, what do I think about Skyward Sword? Well, after spending about 40 hours completing the main adventure and trying to find every collectible scattered about the world, I can say that although I was rather disappointed with certain aspects of the game, the Zelda spark is still alive and kicking. Let's take a look at what I like and don't like about the game. I will try to keep my review as spoiler-free as possible, although I will need to reference a few different game mechanics (but I'll be as vague as I can).

The Good

The Story - Longtime fans of the Zelda series will find a lot to enjoy about this game's story. As you have probably heard, Skyward Sword has been established as the very first game in the chronology of the Legend of Zelda series. There are a lot of answers here regarding the origins of Hyrule, the Master Sword, Ganondorf, Link, and Zelda. Although I'd say that this game draws more parallels to Twilight Princess than any other game, there is still much for fans of the other games (particularly Ocarina of Time) to find as well.

The Graphics - In a stark contrast to Twilight Princess's dark, washed-out world, Skyward Sword is full of bright, vibrant colors that spark memories of Wind Waker. The characters are much more realistically proportioned than Wind Waker's characters, while still maintaining a great deal of expression. The game retains the enormous draw distance of its predecessors, and accomplishes this by fading distant objects to have a watercolor-like look to them. The result is a game that looks extremely pretty and art-like. However, the Wii's underpowered hardware is certainly starting to show its age here. Some models have a tendency to look jagged, and 480p can only convey so much detail. The game is doing the best with what it's been given, but unfortunately, that might not be enough anymore. Nintendo knows this, and I think that's why they're rushing to get the Wii U out to market while Microsoft and Sony are sticking with the consoles that they have for now. It would be smart of Nintendo to seize the opportunity and come out with Skyward Sword HD as a launch title for Wii U.

The Sound - Once again, Koji Kondo and company manage to create an entralling, memorable soundtrack for Skyward Sword. There are a number of memorable songs that you'll be hearing throughout your adventure. For a mind-blowing experience, listen to Ballad of the Goddess backwards (look it up on YouTube). Sound effects are also excellent, giving you a real sense of immersion into your environment.

Dungeon Design - Dungeons have always been a hallmark of the LoZ series, and Skyward Sword is no exception. While a couple are forgettable, dungeons 4, 5, and 7 are some of the most innovative and mind-blowing ones to date.

The Bad

The Story - I already explained everything that I like about the story, but there's one major thing I didn't like about the story: There's very little motivation. I don't want to go into too much more detail, but I will say that, for the most part, your world doesn't really feel all that threatened. In Ocarina of Time, you saw the devastation that Ganondorf unleashed on Hyrule over 7 years. In Majora's Mask, you saw the moon literally falling out of the sky. In Wind Waker, you met your nemesis early on, and he made this fight personal. In Twilight Princess, you saw your world being consumed by another realm. In Skyward Sword, you don't have that same motivation or sense of urgency. Most of the dungeons and challenges revolve around "proving yourself" rather than defeating bad guys. You should be on a quest to save the world, not on a quest to show how brave you are.

World Design - Skyward Sword contains my least favorite version of Hyrule to date. In every other Zelda I've played, the world is a single, cohesive unit, where you are able to start off in one location and traverse the entire world by foot/horse/boat. Not so in Skyward Sword. There are 4 major areas in the game: The Sky, and 3 provinces on the ground. The provinces are completely cut off from one another, the only way to travel from one to the other is via The Sky. This breaks the epic, sprawling feel of the world that the LoZ series is known for. And with the lack of a decent warp system, it makes travel extremely tedious.

Inventory Management - The Wii version of Twilight Princess made some excellent advances toward inventory management by adding a radial menu that allowed you to quickly select and assign items to different inventory slots. While Skyward Sword retained the whole "radial menu" concept, they took the "inventory slots" idea and tossed it out of the window. You now retain two separate types of inventory: A standard inventory for your main tools, such as your slingshot, your bow, and your bombs, and an "adventure pouch" which stores shields, bottles, and medals (a new concept to the game, basically trinkets which bestow various effects on you). You get exactly 1 inventory slot for each pouch. This means that if you need to use your bow to shoot an enemy and then you want to toss a bomb at it, you need to open your inventory, select the bow, shoot the bad guy, open the inventory again, select your bombs, and then use the bombs. This is, quite frankly, a stupid design choice, and one that I hope Nintendo never makes again. And it's not for lack of button options either, the left and right buttons on the D-Pad remain unused for the entire game.

The Ugly

Controls - If there was still any debate as to whether motion controls could ever work for serious gaming, let Skyward Sword put that debate to rest. The controls are, quite frankly, terrible. The game uses MotionPlus rather than the sensor bar to figure out where you're trying to aim, and the results are often unreliable. In fact, they're so bad that they had to create a dedicated button to re-center your cursor. And trust me, you'll be pressing it often. Sword swings rarely give you that true 1:1 feeling that you're expecting, with Link often swinging the sword in the completely opposite direction, cause you to miss your enemy or take unexpected damage. For a game that focuses so much on precision swordplay, that's completely unacceptable.

Repetitiveness - As I mentioned before, there are only 4 major areas in the game. And you'll be revisiting them like crazy. Expect to visit each major area of the game at least 5 times before you finish the game. There are also a couple of repetitive boss encounters. There are two recurring boss fights, each of which you will face 3 times (with slight variations). Neither of these boss fights is very fun at any point. There is also another end of dungeon boss which is repeated once again later in the game. Repetitive boss fights aren't fun, they're just a sign of laziness and a lack of creativity.

Annoyances - Skyward Sword is a game that seems to be intentionally designed to annoy the player as much as possible. Your companion, Fi, is obnoxious, interrupting you constantly by stating the obvious. When it comes to actually needing her help with something, the information that she provides is usually completely useless. Another annoyance deals with collecting treasures and bugs. These collectibles are used to upgrade your equipment and potions, respectively. But every time you pick up a type of treasure or bug for the first time during that particular play session, you get a popup explaining what you just collected (even if you already have 50 or 100 of them), and the game opens up your treasure screen to show everything you've collected so far. The whole process takes about 10 seconds, and there's no way to disable it. Eventually you'll just give up on collecting these things, because the hassle simply isn't worth it. Yet another annoyance is the number of "stealth missions" that the game forces you to do. These aren't fun, they're simply annoying, especially when you get close to completing one, get caught, and have to do the whole mission all over again.

Game Length Padding - There's a lot of this in the game. Much comes from what I just mentioned, but there's a few other examples of this. You'll often be sent to other provinces to retrieve objects. Due to the clunky travel system, this is a chore in and of itself. However, there's one point in the game where you're supposed to bring something to the top of a mountain. Normally you can dive out of the sky and just land on top of the mountain. But for a completely meaningless reason, during this quest you have to start at the bottom of the mountain (that you've already climbed several times before), and escort an NPC all the way to the top before he takes too much damage from enemies. Stuff like that wants to make me throw the game out of the window. There was absolutely no point to it, and it made the game worse as a result. As I mentioned before, I spent about 40 hours playing this game, but they could have easily had 25 hours of content by stripping out all of the annoying stuff and this would have been a much better game as a result. In the case of Skyward Sword, less is definitely more.

So I've spoken my peace about this game. There's a lot about it that I hate. So why 4 stars? Because despite all of these glaring issues, this is still a gem of a game, and deserves to be played by everybody. While I was somewhat disappointed in it as far as Zelda games go, as far as video games go, it's very good. Far from perfect, but definitely good. If you own a Wii, you'd be remiss not to pick this one up.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 24, 2012 2:13 PM PDT


Diablo III - PC
Diablo III - PC
Price: $19.99
129 used & new from $6.00

13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The slow decline of Blizzard continues, June 6, 2012
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Diablo III - PC (Computer Game)
I've been a Blizzard fan ever since the days of Warcraft 2. Few companies have delivered quality games with such consistency as Blizzard has. Sadly, that trend of quality seems to have waned in recent years, particularly since Blizzard's merger with Activision in 2008. The focus shifted away from delivering the highest possible quality of product, and toward milking as much money as possible out of these games. It began with World of Warcraft, and the overhauls in the game intended to add as many paying subscribers as possible, while leaving the longtime players hanging out to dry. Then it became the sale of in-game vanity items for real cash, in a game that already charges $40 for an expansion every 2 years on top of the existing $15 monthly fee.

In Starcraft 2, there was surprisingly very little milking of the product on the surface. This is likely due to the fact that this is the eSports poster child for Blizzard, and there's just not that much to sell cosmetically in a RTS. However, they did plan for 2 expansions right off of the bat, and there is talk of selling custom maps for real money in the future. But for the most part, Starcraft 2 is actually a quality title, and one that I will continue to play and enjoy.

Sadly, the same amount of time and effort put into Starcraft 2 was not made here. Diablo 3, while pretty, is not a very deep or complex game. It is mostly a spammable clickfest, where you occasionally get a shiny item that may or may not be useful to you. Strategy is limited to "stay out of the glowing stuff, click the bad guy until he falls over". You beat the game in about 6 hours, at which point you're invited to play the exact same game through a second time, and then a third time, and then a fourth time. That's the extent of replayability in this game. Play the exact same 6 hour stretch of content over and over and over again, just hoping that the right shiny thing drops for you.

One addition of controversy in this game is the "Real Money Auction House", where players are able to buy and sell the shiny things they find in the game for actual money. Blizzard claims this is to reduce illegitimate items sales and gold farming, in reality, it's just another money grab for them. If you want to know why, look no further than the selling fees. You lose 15% any time you sell and item, and you lose another 15% every time you try to actually to redeem the money that you've earned. You lose a whopping 30% on the sale of a digital item. That's absolute insanity, and the result is that it drives up prices, making the illegitimate "black market" sellers all the more appealing.

And of course, there's the issue of servers. You're forced to play on Blizzard's servers, which have had an embarrassingly high amount of downtime thus far. Clearly Blizzard wasn't prepared for this.

Needless to say, I've found myself rather bored of this game already. There's very little incentive to continue playing it aside from the chance to try and make some money on the auction house. There's not any significant content on the horizon other than the PvP patch (which will get old very quickly), there's no custom user-created content like Starcraft 2 has either (which isn't necessary under normal circumstances, but when there's this little content to the game, it absolutely is necessary). I will consider my lesson learned for this game, and will eagerly be looking forward to the release of Guild Wars 2 instead. For those lifetime Blizzard fans like me that are still clinging onto hope, know that the Blizzard you once loved is all but dead now. Move on.


CrossMe Premium Nonograms
CrossMe Premium Nonograms
Offered by Appstore - US - MP - Offer
Price: $4.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not quite there yet, May 23, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: CrossMe Premium Nonograms (App)
This is a fairly visually polished implementation of nonogram puzzles on Android. Everything looks and sounds good, and the puzzles are solid, but I feel like the input interface could use a bit more work. After playing Picross DS, I know just how well nonograms can work with a touchscreen, and sadly this app falls short of that standard. The whole "tap once to mark, tap twice to X, tap three times to clear" mechanic is unintuitive, and would work much better by utilizing a toggle area on one side of the screen to switch between marking modes, or by taking advantage of multitouch functionality. Additionally, zooming in on a particular area (a necessity on phones) prevents you from seeing the hint row and column. Picross DS addressed both of these issues admirably.

I think that, with a little more thought put into the input process, this would easily be a 5 star title, and possibly even worth the $4.99 asking price. But it's not quite there yet. I'll definitely be trying out this app on my tablet though.


Roku LT Streaming Player (Old Version)
Roku LT Streaming Player (Old Version)
5 used & new from $39.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best value you can find in a streaming device, April 23, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've been a Roku user for about a year and a half now. My first device was a Roku XD from the previous generation and it's seen a lot of love in the time since we've gotten it. Between Netflix, Hulu Plus, and the occasional Amazon video rental, we've cut the cable with no regrets whatsoever. However, recently we've added a TV to our bedroom and a new Roku was a necessity. We looked over each of the options and it appeared as though the LT was completely sufficient for our needs. We have no need for the gaming (we have enough other gadgets that we can play Angry Birds on), Ethernet, or USB of the XS; the 1080p of the XD; or the Bluetooth and MicroSD slot of the HD. All we need is something that can stream, has Wi-Fi, and will support composite or HDMI output. This fits the bill admirably.

Performance is great...it fixed a lot of the minor annoyances present in my previous generation Roku. Everything is snappy and the applications rarely bug out. Plus it now supports subtitles on Netflix, which is a nice feature to have (and completely essential for some).

I only have a couple of (extremely) minor complaints. First one is the color. Purple might look cool in a kid's room, but it stands out on most entertainment sets. It's a design choice that's baffling, quite frankly. Perhaps it's a move to drive the customers to spend $10 more on a black device, but if that were true, why even offer the LT in the first place? However, the device is so tiny that I can just hide it in a dark corner of the TV stand and it doesn't really bother me all that much.

The other complaint is the remote. It's a step down from the previous generation. For one, it's awkwardly designed. It's too small for someone with adult-sized hands, and it has a fairly rounded bottom, so it's difficult to set down flat on a surface. The button layout is a bit odd, and the "instant replay" button which replays the last 10 seconds of whatever you're watching has been eliminated. That's a shame, because I find it incredibly useful when I'm watching a show with the occasional whispered dialogue. Yes, this can be fixed by using an older generation remote or the Android/iPhone remote app, but I shouldn't have to resort to that to unlock that functionality. My last annoyance with the remote is the presence of the 3 dedicated app buttons. Don't get me wrong, dedicated app buttons are a good idea, but you should be able to choose which apps they go to. The fact that your only options are Netflix, Pandora, and Crackle completely removes the benefit of having these buttons. I don't watch Crackle and I rarely use Pandora on the Roku. I can't help but think that these 3 companies paid Roku to slap what essentially amounts to advertising, right on the remote. It's definitely a disappointment, but minor enough that I've managed to ignore it completely.

Those minor issues aside, I have no issues at all with this player. It's a fantastic value for the price, and everybody who does any sort of streaming should own one.


Seidio CSR3HTRZD-BK SURFACE Case for HTC Rezound - 1-Pack - Retail Packaging - Black
Seidio CSR3HTRZD-BK SURFACE Case for HTC Rezound - 1-Pack - Retail Packaging - Black
Price: $28.55
3 used & new from $22.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good case, but not without flaws, April 23, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've had this case for a couple days, and while I can certainly see the appeal to some people, I definitely find a few annoyances with it. Here are the pros and cons:

Pros:

- Case is extremely thin. You will barely notice the added bulk. If the phone fit in your pocket before, it will fit in your pocket now. It will also fit in the iBolt car dock (the one Verizon sells for this phone) using the case attachment that came with the dock, with room to spare.

- The case is easy to install and sturdy. The plastic is high quality, and it seems like it would take a lot of abuse to break it.

- The plastic isn't "sticky" like it can be on some other cases...you won't pull it out of your pocket and have fuzz covering everything.

- All of the cutouts that need to be there, are there. Microphones, camera, external speakers, and buttons. They are generously sized enough so that somebody with large fingers can still easily press all of the buttons. The cutout for the MicroUSB port is also plenty large to fit most cables.

Cons:

- This case is almost impossible to remove. It took me an hour or two of fidgeting with it before I finally figured out a method that worked. Disregard what the instructions say, you can't remove the case like that. What you have to do is, with the screen facing you, use your thumb to push back on the top half of the case, just above the seam. The idea is to almost try and get the top half of the case to pop off of the back of the phone, rather than slide off like the instructions say. Eventually you'll be able to pop the little "latch" apart where the two pieces come together, and you can then remove both pieces of the case.

- The case is too slippery. There is zero texture to it. The Rezound has a nice textured back which makes the phone easier to grip, especially one-handed. This case foregoes the textured back in favor of a completely smooth surface. The result is a phone that's harder to hold. I realize that the purpose of a case is to protect the phone in case you drop it, but the case shouldn't cause you to drop the phone more often just for the sake of testing it.

All in all, this is an alright case, especially if you're in the market for something super thin. But for the money, I'm a bit disappointed in it. I may keep looking, as the two fairly significant flaws are enough to mar the experience for me.


Copag Playing Cards Dealer Kit - 1546 Red/Blue Poker Regular
Copag Playing Cards Dealer Kit - 1546 Red/Blue Poker Regular
Offered by E-Brands
Price: $15.95
4 used & new from $13.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great quality, extras didn't come quite as pictured, April 20, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
These are absolutely fantastic playing cards. Granted, I've never used any other "high-end" plastic playing cards like KEMs, so I don't have much to compare to, but Copags are a huge step up from the standard Bicycle or other $1/deck cards that you're used to playing with. These cards feel great, shuffle extremely well, and don't bend or crease like traditional plastic-coated cards do. I won't say too much more on the subject, as there's a multitude of places where you can find reviews on Copag cards.

I would like to just mention that the Dealer button that I received was an inverted version of the one pictured, being white with black text instead of black with white text. Also, there's a slight blemish on the side of the button that says "Dealer" that's visible when viewing it from an angle. It's still a perfectly suitable button though. Also, I recieved 4 cut cards instead of the 2 mentioned in the product description. Don't know why I need 4 cut cards for 2 decks, but I'm certainly not complaining about getting extras. Finally, the small plastic piece that helps hold the decks in place in the carrying case is not the one shown in the product picture. Instead of the rectangular piece with a picture of an armored knight on it, it's a piece that's the shape of the Copag logo (a heart inside a spade).

Please note that I'm not complaining about any of these differences, I'm simply mentioning them so that other buyers have an idea of what to expect. This set is a great deal, the fact that you get buttons and cut cards for the same price as just buying the decks means there's no real reason to pass this up. And if you've never used plastic playing cards before, try it. You won't go back.


Master Lock 1500iD Speed Dial Combination Lock, Assorted Colors
Master Lock 1500iD Speed Dial Combination Lock, Assorted Colors
Price: $6.97
56 used & new from $5.16

1.0 out of 5 stars Pure Crap, January 15, 2012
As you can see from many of the other reviews here, this lock is pure garbage. It's a sound idea, but the implementation is absolutely horrible, and does nothing but tarnish the reputation of Master Lock. After opening the lock the first time (took me 3 tries with the combination that they set at the factory, should have been a warning of things to come), I proceeded to set my own 8 length combination, taking care to follow each step of the instructions exactly as written. Unfortunately, now the lock refuses to open. I have spent almost an hour trying my combination multiple times, trying variants of the combination (leaving out a step/multiple steps, adding an extra step), and every time the lock has failed to open. I guess that at least I can be thankful that this thing stopped working right now and not while on my locker at the gym.

I am completely and utterly baffled that Master Lock would allow such an obviously faulty product to pass their quality control department. Do yourself a favor: Buy a lock that has been tried and tested in the past...one that actually opens when you enter the combination, and one that costs significantly less than this utterly useless hunk of metal.


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