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Profile for Sam E. Howard > Reviews


Sam E. Howard's Profile

Customer Reviews: 8
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Helpful Votes: 772

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Sam E. Howard "sultanofsquat" RSS Feed (MN)

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Hario Water Brew Coffee Pot, 600ml, Brown
Hario Water Brew Coffee Pot, 600ml, Brown
Offered by CARE.
Price: $13.98
106 used & new from $8.53

4.0 out of 5 stars Great little device, April 30, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Great little device, this doesn't make the best cold brew I've ever had, but for the price you can't beat this. For ~$15 dollars you can't go wrong. Easy to use, easy to clean and maintain, and well made. If you are interested in making your own cold brew, this is a great option to start before investing in pricier systems.

Great for travel as well, store your ground beans in some Ziploc bags and place them in the jar along with the filter basket and voila, cold brew coffee on vacation for pennies!

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword with Music CD
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword with Music CD
Offered by Toyequities
Price: $69.99
116 used & new from $31.67

25 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great so far, November 20, 2011
Obviously writing a review of a Zelda game after playing only 4-5 hours is stupid, but people do stupid things and this is a rare chance for me to say something and actually know someone will listen to it. So here we go. First off the Wii motion plus is a lot of fun, I was afraid it would feel gimmicky after a few hours (Waggle your wii mote, now waggle it again). The fights with baddies however are a lot of fun you cant just slash and swing with no reason like Ryan Howard in an 0-2 hole, as doing so will get you killed quickly. The fighting's been great fun already, and I expect they'll be a lot of different ways they'll use this fighting dynamic which should keep enemies and combat entertaining throughout the rest of the game.

Another concern many have regard to the art direction and visuals of this game. It's a Wii people so let's be realistic. However anyone who played either of the Mario Galaxy games know that if done well, the Wii can produce a pretty nice picture. The watercolor "texturing" of far off objects is an awesome technique. It gives the game a unique animated feel that covers up the Wii's weaknesses in processing power. Textures are usually a glaring weakness in Wii games, in Zelda however the watercolor style/technique turns this weakness into a strength. I would definitely recommend playing this with component cables, especially if you have an HDTV. After dusting off my paperweight/wii I couldn't initially find my component cables so I hooked the Wii using some AUX cables and it looked washed out, so washed out that I had to stop and find my component cables. Which is a hard and painful thing to do after you just popped a brand new Zelda game into your glowing blue paperweight

Music is always a big part of Zelda games and the full orchestration definitely adds something that we probably should have seen a while ago in the game. Better late than never though. Haven't heard any new songs yet that will be classics like Song of Storms or Gerudo Valley but the music is, as always, on point. Character and art direction are both top notch. The story has been great so far, and Zelda games usually start a little slow. We'll see whats in store for the rest of the game, but so far this appears to be what you expect when you buy a Zelda game.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 - Xbox 360
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 - Xbox 360
Offered by Budget Video Games Inc.
Price: $8.25
773 used & new from $0.49

728 of 853 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars People made better maps back when they still thought the world was flat, November 11, 2011
I bought this game knowing it would be a redux of MW2, I didn't care as I enjoyed that game. COD has always been a game that I could easily pick up and play for a few hours a couple of times a week. The good news is that this game still runs smooth as butter and has the same smooth controls. The bad news is that the new maps are all garbage (well ok not all of them, but you get the point). Its a total --to borrow a phrase from Fantastic Mr. Fox-- "Clustercuss". The maps are decently sized, but they're also cramped and claustrophobic. Way too many small alleys and corridors that eliminate the ability to get a feel for where the opposition is coming from.

Any indoor/enclosed area is a death trap, apparently in the world of COD there are building laws and building codes that require every wall in every structure to have at least one door and one window. Meanwhile the open areas are full of boxes, crates, burning cars, and yes even ANOTHER downed helicopter (really? we already played Crash twice). The turf war aspect of multiplayer is what I enjoyed about COD4 and MW2, that dynamic is sorely missing from this game, basically you run around and hope that when you come across someone you are behind them, and not the other way around.

When I go to the firing range I don't go there to shoot targets four feet away, if I wanted if i wanted to that I'd go play Lasertag with a bunch of 11 year olds, which is think is actually the age demographic this game is trying to appeal to.

If you are going to release what is essentially a re-do of your old game at least create some new and interesting maps. If you've ever played paintball at a speedball/indoor course then you know how every map will play out in this game, except that when you play indoor paintball people don't magically spawn 10 feet behind you.

COD we had some fun together, we knew it wouldn't last forever, and we've both changed. I'd love to tell you that it's not you, it's me, but that would be a lie. It's you. Sorry. Now go make me a sandwich
Comment Comments (52) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 5, 2012 5:56 PM PST

Madden NFL 12 - Playstation 3
Madden NFL 12 - Playstation 3
Offered by insomniacsonline
Price: $7.95
520 used & new from $0.01

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Time for Madden to enter rebuilding mode, September 6, 2011
I haven't played much of Madden since the 05-06 versions, friends have always had the new versions and they've always felt the same, decided to give 12 a shot and have to say, in my opinion the series has gotten worse. Perhaps EA/Tiburon has too much on their plate with all the new features, engines and modes etc etc, but honestly Madden 06 feels more real than this game. That's my main complaint with Madden these days, it still doesn't feel "real"; the graphics are still awkward, the commentary is still off, presentation is half-hearted, crowds and grass still look wrong and the players still all control "the same". Yes madden does things well, but it doesn't do anything really well. Whoever does the brunt of the work on EA's NHL series needs to move to Madden. The NHL series plays like a real game of hockey, you are immersed in the game, when I play madden however I feel like I'm playing a video game version of a real game of football, everything is just a little artificial.

Now I'm not the type of person who obsesses over graphics, but honestly Madden's graphics are distractingly sub par. I'm playing on a brand new Mitsubishi HC4000 1080p projector and every game I've popped in it looked great, until I popped in Madden. I was kind of surprised, it reminded me of the early days of HD gaming consoles when developers were just learning the technology and things often looked off. Apparently Tiburon is a ways behind other studios. Maybe it's the number of moving objects that Madden has to put on screen but it just looks weird. As for the gameplay, well it just feels flat. Anyone who has played football in high school, and even those who played in college, goes to an NFL game and is amazed at the speed of the game, yet this game feels slow and clunky. Play calling, audibles and hot routes are tedious. I don't know, if The Show, NBA2K and NHL can replicate their respective sports as well as they have why can't Madden?

honestly the only reason Madden still sells is because it has exclusive rights to the NFL. the NBA2k series and MLB the Show games blow anything EA has made out of the water (though NHL is a pretty awesome line)

When does EA lose exclusivity again? I pray soon


Maybe I was a little harsh on Madden's graphics, especially after seeing NCAA's graphics on the PS3, my god it was like traveling back to 2004, yikes.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 8, 2011 3:12 PM PDT

Call of Duty: Black Ops - Playstation 3
Call of Duty: Black Ops - Playstation 3
Offered by Games 4 Life
Price: $18.77
594 used & new from $1.70

0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Just not that good, as much as I want to like it, November 12, 2010
So I played both Modern Warfare's and logged a ton of time playing Zombies in WaW, I've always liked CoD because it does a great job balancing maps and player styles, for every small map like scrapyard you had a larger map like afghan. And even within the maps you could play your own style once you mapped out your strategy Personally I used the sniper in 4-5 maps and used SMG's and Assault Rifles on the rest. So far with Black Ops I don't see the same potential, funny thing is my K/D ratio is higher in this game. Too many small maps that are similar, no wide open maps, and a lot of the guns just plain stink. Snipers are garbage and a lot of the SMG's are so weak they aren't worth it. Famas and the AUG are great gun and there are others, but in the end I feel like all I do in this game in get two or three kills before someone spawns behind me and kills me. Treyarch needs to learn how to set ups effective spawn patterns.

I guess if you want to turn your brain off, run around with the trigger held down and try to get some kills without thinking then you are in luck, if on the other hand you dont like playing games with redundant, boring maps that seem as if they were created and designed in ten minutes then I suggest you look elsewhere.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 20, 2011 10:48 AM PDT

The State Within
The State Within
DVD ~ Jason Isaacs
18 used & new from $19.17

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining FICTION, October 11, 2010
This review is from: The State Within (DVD)
This series was not as good as State of Play, but was still worth the time. I wouldn't put too much weight on the 1 star reviews as most of those people clearly were unable to separate real world ideologies from a fictional movie, definitely not a series for the xenophobic. The parallels to Iraq, Halliburton and Cheney are hardly subtle and I suspect thats what drew all of the "left wing drivel" reviews. If you liked state of play, or 24 then this might appeal to you, though be warned this isn't the Jack Bauer adrenaline rushing gun blasting experience you get from 24. Also be ready to invest yourself in the story, not the kind of show you can watch with divided attention. Good but not great, and certainly a disappointment if you are expecting State of Play II.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 22, 2011 11:50 AM PDT

Martin Lawrence Live - Runteldat (Full Screen Edition)
Martin Lawrence Live - Runteldat (Full Screen Edition)
DVD ~ Martin Lawrence
Price: $19.95
59 used & new from $0.01

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars terrible, December 12, 2009
A man who makes predictable, stupid, and boring movies performs predictable, stupid and boring stand up
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 7, 2011 8:08 PM PDT

Gladiator (Sapphire Series) [Blu-ray]
Gladiator (Sapphire Series) [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Russell Crowe
Offered by Christian's Treasures
Price: $6.94
61 used & new from $1.70

13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Just Buy the DVD, September 9, 2009
Don't believe all the five star reviews this release has received, many of those are for the film itself and were entered in before the blu ray was even released.As others have said, the picture on this blu ray is pathetic, DNR and EE everywhere, I'm no A/V fanatic but even I can tell when a blu ray looks like crap, especially this one. If you love the movie just buy the DVD version and watch it up-scaled on your blu ray player, it'll save you some serious money and frustration.

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