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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Its early yet, but so far the Pip Boy is a winner, November 10, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Haven't played the game enough to give it a full review. I will say that so far its been beautiful and very immersive. Its Fallout and the controls haven't haven't changed all that much, no have the options (so far), and it remains a sandbox game (with some limitations, if you go too far too fast you will get Deathclawed to death).

I held out for the PIP Boy version of the game (even though buying online and downloading means I would have been playing sooner), because I wanted my very own PIP Boy. It, much like the game is beautiful. One thing I wasn't expecting was just how large this thing is. Its huge. This thing is 8x7x6", being made of plastic, for all its bulk its pretty light and adjusting it to my iPhone and my forearm wasn't too difficult. My only real complaint about it is getting the phone out when I'm done playing and I do worry that the memory foam around that contributes to its comfort will wear out quickly and fall apart. Only time will tell on that.

As far as functionality goes, a lot of the PIP Boy is decorative, turn gears, press buttons, and lights flicker and flash and it all looks really really sexy, but doesn't actually do anything. To use the PIP Boy you have to run the app on your phone (which you can do without the PIP Boy) to interact with the game itself.

The interaction with the game is pretty seamless, I did find myself using it more than the in game menus, and it helped with the already impressive immersive quality of the game. I had to look down at my wrist, juggle the controller, and focus on something other than the TV screen in front of me. I suspect some will find that to be a distraction, but I felt it adds to the game by forcing me to take action that my character would need to take in real life.


Call of Duty: Black Ops III - Standard Edition - Xbox One
Call of Duty: Black Ops III - Standard Edition - Xbox One
Offered by Dream Kitty
Price: Click here to see our price
166 used & new from $23.50

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So glad its not Ghosts, November 9, 2015
Digital Deluxe version purchased through the Microsoft Store (not through amazon).

I've read through quite a few of these reviews and it looks like most (not all) of the negative reviews were written by CoD haters who've never played, the game, have no intention of playing of the game, and are upset that someone could find enjoyment in a game they pre-decided they weren't going to like.

Which bothers me. Black Ops 3 is a great game. I enjoy it more than Advanced Warfare (which I am a fan of), way more than Ghosts (a game I really hated), and I find it more playable than Halo 5 (I'm a huge Halo story line fan, not so much of the multiplayer).

The storyline isn't as good as the original Black Ops storyline, but is better than the Black Ops 2 (or at least it has been so far, I haven't finished the entire story line) and I would put it on par with the Modern Warfare story telling. Zombies is by far the best of the bunch (more challenging, be ready, its not easy fighting the hordes of undead to the point that winning it as a single player is well beyond someone of my average skill set).

I like the graphics. I like the multiplayer. I even like the idea of the specialists classes (though I will often treat their perks as nice to have rather than critical to my success). The weapons seem well balanced (I can hear the Gorgon haters gnashing their teeth right now and thinking I'm wrong). The TTK is fast enough that I don't feel the need to play hardcore, which is good because currently the hardcore game type selection is very limited.

The game isn't perfect, hence the four stars rather than five, and suffers from some weird bugs and connection issues that I wouldn't expect in a released game. Simple things like joining a game in progress and finding out you are out numbered 8 to 4 (should be 6v6), matches that disappear from your theater, or splitting up your party amongst the two teams (the point of playing with friends is to play with friends, not against them). There's also the random hangs, freezes, and sudden spikes of lag (randomly teleporting people). All of these I suspect will get better as the updates roll out.

Playability things irritate me that I suspect will never change:
Quick scoping. Holy balls, I hate quick scopers. But they are apart of the game now, and while I'd hoped they'd get rid of them like they did the n00b-tubers, they didn't.
The screen navigation isn't very intuitive, and I find myself having to hunt things down. I get there are only so many buttons you can use, but having some features not available from a menu bothers me.
The uselessness of the black market (which I suspect is going to turn into a pay to play/micro transaction). You are earning in game currency to buy random cosmetic improvements. So far I have upgraded and really cool camouflage for weapons I'll never use.

Playability things that irritate me and I suspect will get fixed:
Flash bangs, concussion grenades last way too long. If you find yourself in a lobby with someone throwing these puppies, your class really needs to have tac mask, otherwise you are pulling the trigger and hoping your random spray gets the guy.
UAV/Counter UAV times: While not as short as they were in the beta, these still don't last long enough given how easy they are too shoot down (even without a rocket an assault rifle will bring these down pretty quickly).
Lobby balancing: This might be an issue of so many groups and parties playing out there, but so far the match making is really uneven. I'll have games where I go 35-4 and other games where I go 4 and 20. The swing is crazy.

For all of my irritations with the game, they are minor compared with everything else in the game and I fully expect to be playing this for the next year. Well, at least once I'm done with Fallout 4.


Warrior Princess: A U.S. Navy SEAL's Journey to Coming out Transgender
Warrior Princess: A U.S. Navy SEAL's Journey to Coming out Transgender
Price: $9.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Just because someone claims to be a writer doesn't mean they are qualified to tell the story, April 20, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
It took me longer than it should have, but I finished "Warrior Princess: A U.S. Navy SEAL's Journey to Coming out Transgender" by Kristin/Chris Beck and Anne Speckhard.

And I wish I had never read it.

My personal take on Beck's choice to come out transgender is that it is her choice. He spent over twenty years putting boot to [censored] for his country and has earned the right to do whatever the [censored] she wants.

Beck's story deserves to be told by somebody with the ability to write, and I just don't think Speckhard was the right person for the job. Setting aside the stylistic choices (see my paragraph above for an example) and the fact the book really needed the services of a professional editor (I strongly suspect that Advances Press is simply Speckhard's brand), the book turns Beck into a bit of a whiner, offering excuses for her choices rather than explanations.

The book cycles between three major themes:

1) My dad beat me and my family picked on me telling me I should be a man. If this is what it means to be a man, I don't want to be a man.
2) Why me? Why didn't I die when so-and-so did? Why did I screw up? What did I do wrong? How could I survive?
3) I can't be my female self because no one will accept me for who I am.

The last is at odds with the stories from the book. With the exception of his family, everyone else that Beck came out to (including members of the SEAL teams) were OK with it, though they cautioned him to keep it on the down low as there were people out there "who wouldn't support his choices". And these are people he came out to prior to his public announcement of her transition.

The first is as close as the book comes to ever taking a serious look at "Why" Beck felt the way he did, but was presented far too often as an excuse or a complaint about how much harsher he was treated than his brother or sisters.

The second is survivors guilt, compounded by the sheer number of deployments Beck had. And would have been worth exploring in a more meaningful way, rather as a rational as to why he hated himself at times.

I hope that five years from now, after the transition is complete, she sits down with another author, and a different publishing house and tells her story again.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 3, 2015 6:02 AM PDT


Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow
Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow
DVD
Price: $3.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The love child of Starship Troopers, Aliens, and Ground Hog Day, October 8, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Edge of Tomorrow is Ground Hog Day crossed with Starship Troopers with a dash of Aliens blended with almost every movie about the Normandy invasion (The Longest Day, Saving Private Ryan, etc). And it manages to do it well, not perfectly, but very well indeed.

In Ground Hog day, Bill Murray's character says "I'm a god. I'm not *the* God... I don't think." as he lives the same day over and over again, getting better and better at everything he does.

I don't think its spolierific to say that the same thing happens to Tom Cruise in Edge of Tomorrow. He lives a violent series of days over and over again, and his every mistake is punished with death. As such he becomes a god on the battlefield.

And here is where the movie parts ways with most modern action movies. Rather than having Tom slaughter his way off the beach, leaving behind a burning mound of cgi generated aliens and marshaling the beleaguered mass of humanity to victory, the movie instead forces him into situations where it’s not enough to be the god of combat and slaughter.

And it works surprisingly well. It was a nice change to see the hero have to learn something about himself, to have to grow and change, and discover that winning comes with a sacrifice.

Ultimately that is where the movie breaks down for me. The ending. Its not so much that it goes back to typical action hero stuff, but that it robs the hero of his sacrifice to give the audience a happy ending.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 9, 2014 9:55 AM PDT


Warbound (The Grimnoir Chronicles Book 3)
Warbound (The Grimnoir Chronicles Book 3)
Price: $6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars I'm disappointed...the series is over, May 8, 2014
Bottom Line Upfront: The Grimnoir Chronicles is Larry Correia's best work yet, and while "Warbound" is not the best of the series, it comes [insert your choice of expletives here] close.

I grew up reading the noirish, pulpy, and gritty detective novels of the 1950's. These books had such an impact on me, that I was disappointed the first time I visited New York City in 2010, that I was disappointed I wasn't mugged on the subway and didn't have to step over any dead bodies while walking around Central Park. So to say that those books had an effect on shaping my world view is slightly understating the case.

With that in mind, Correia's Grimnoir Chronicles is updated and stylish throwback to that era of detective fiction with a SF/F twist that works. This is a credit to Larry, as a lot of other authors attempts at doing so fail, and fail rather spectacularly. As a result of his efforts, I recommend this series (even over his "Monster Hunter International" and "Dead Six" series) to people all the time.

But enough about the series, this is a review of "Warbound" after all.

I'm disappointed in this book, not because of any flaws, or technical issues (though the Kindle version I read on my iPad had some strange formatting errors and weird line breaks), but because it conclusively wraps up the series. The book does such a good job of wrapping things up, along this particularly storyline and arcs that its done. And I'm going to miss these stories and characters (good and bad), but I'll do so in a good way.

And that's all I can really say, without getting into serious spoilers about the book. It does what a third book in a trilogy is supposed to do. It furthers the world building, it develops the characters by changing them, it advances and wraps up the storyline in a satisfying manner, and none of it feels recycled from previous works.


New Balance Men's MT10BS2 Minimus Trail Running Shoe,Black/Silver,8 D US
New Balance Men's MT10BS2 Minimus Trail Running Shoe,Black/Silver,8 D US

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Because the Army says..., January 21, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The Army, in its infinite wisdom says that I am not allowed to wear five-finger shoes (no matter how much faster and how much more pain free I am in them), because they appear to be faddish and unprofessional. So on the advice of a friend, I picked up a pair of the New Balance Men's MT10BS2 Minimus Trail Running Shoes in black, as they are as "close to five fingers as you are going to find, without being five fingers".

Having run in them for the last couple of weeks on trails, with and without snow, roads, salted and slick, and treadmills, I have to conclude, that while the shoes are better for me than full on running shoes, they aren't really all that close to five fingers.

They are light, but don't fit as well. I purchased the same size as my vibram five fingers (8) and they fit alright without socks. Adding a good pair of running socks, tightened them up a bit, but even then they still lack the fit I prefer.

They also don't let me run as naturally as the five fingers do. They are fine when I'm up on my toes, but once fatigue sets in, and my stride goes all to pot, rather than offering the feedback that I'm doing something wrong, these shoes seem to force my feet to landing inside first, rather than just heel striking. The result has been sore ankles and gnarly shinsplints.

They look good, professional, in the Army's opinion and since I can train in my five fingers, I'll use these for the PT tests and call it good.


Xbox One + Kinect
Xbox One + Kinect
Offered by WE CAN (No Tax Anywhere)
Price: $360.00
157 used & new from $219.19

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The game selection is meh, everything else exceeded my expectations, December 18, 2013
This review is from: Xbox One + Kinect (Console)
I waffled back and forth, trying to decide if I wanted to take the plunge and upgrade from the Xbox 360 and by the time I decided I wanted on, they were all sold out, and being resold at a price I just wasn't willing to pay. It was by sheer happen stance that I was in the Microsoft store at a local mall, and lucked out. They had received a shipment that morning, and still had a few left.

I knew I was going to be hard to impress, the 360 did everything I needed it too, I have plenty of games for it, and I was mostly convinced that the One would be a flop like the "The One" (with Jet Li). I can say, that I am impressed. The console is fast, quite, and the Kinect is very much improved over the 360 version. Everything seems smoother, navigation is faster, and while the new menu system is taking some getting used to, its really no better or worse than the 360's.

Really the only thing that annoys me, is the lack of game selection. No Gears of War. No Halo. No Bioshock. No big name games out there that I couldn't play just as well on the 360. Battlefield 4 and Ghost (which deserve their own reviews) really don't look that much different, though they are smoother, and I seem to have far less lag in the multiplayer than I ever experienced on the older console.

The HDMI in, is a nice idea, and if I had a cable box, or another device to plug in I might be more thrilled with it. As it stands, I was running my 360 through it, but that resulted in a perceptible lag in the game play (even on Black Ops 2).


The Dresden Files Season 1
The Dresden Files Season 1
DVD

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It was a long strange road that lead me to watching the Dresden Files on Amazon Prime, May 2, 2013
I am not a fan of the Dresedn books. The few I've read strike me as "fluffy and cute", which just isn't my thing.

I've enjoyed the TV series, even while it tries to be more clever than it is capable of. The actors are engaging and the storylines are intresting (I do not know if these storylines are taken from the books, adapted from the books, or written just for the TV show) . The special effects aren't low budget and are used sparingly enough that they don't distract from the story being told.


The Ultimate Sniper: An Advanced Training Manual for Military and Police Snipers
The Ultimate Sniper: An Advanced Training Manual for Military and Police Snipers
Price: $44.49

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Much, much better than I expected...and I had high expectations..., April 2, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
A note about the Kindle version of this book: I have the Kindle (for PC/iPad) edition of this book and it made the jump very well. It is not plagued by the many formatting errors that are common to text books of this nature that get converted over.

With that out of the way, this book is an excellent resource for the long range marksman. Its real strength is in the amount of detail that MAJ Plaster gives when covering his chosen topics. Which actually does lead to my one complaint about the revised edition of this book (the edition I own). I felt like some of the information was padding, or was simply included because it added girth to an already hefty book.

Case in point is the discussion about the calibers (5.556, .243, etc) are not caliber that a sniper (military or police) would use unless the situation was so FUBAR as to demand it (which isn't to say it wouldn't ever happen). These discussions just felt out of place for this book.

That said the information was quality, without being preachy and or high handed. The author avoided the whole "do it this way because I say so" that you run into other books and manuals.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 19, 2013 6:58 PM PDT


Poor Man's Fight (Poor Man's Fight Series Book 1)
Poor Man's Fight (Poor Man's Fight Series Book 1)

7 of 36 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I returned this book..., April 2, 2013
This book was so poorly written I returned it after the first two chapters. The editing was uneven, the story telling poor, but worst of all, the author committed the greatest sin an author can commit.

Her characters were boring...uninteresting...tedious...characterless and a few other synonyms for dull. Which is too bad, because the set up for the world and the storyline was decent, but the characters just killed it, choked it out, and then beat it to death with a dry dusty boring old book, er...

You get the idea.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 13, 2014 5:51 PM PDT


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