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Profile for Matthew L. Jones > Reviews


Matthew L. Jones' Profile

Customer Reviews: 9
Top Reviewer Ranking: 5,324,748
Helpful Votes: 184

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Reviews Written by
Matthew L. Jones "xhonzi" RSS Feed (Thornton, CO USA)

Page: 1
Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure [Online Game Code]
Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure [Online Game Code]
Price: $19.99

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long time fan extremely pleased, May 8, 2014
Tesla Effect is Sixth in the Tex Murphy series- one that died a premature death in the late nineties. Fans have been desperate for a new Tex adventure for more than 15 years, and all that waiting has finally paid off.

Was it possible to make a 90s style FMV detective game in a post Call of Duty world? Would the shoestring budget hamper the development of game in line with its predecessors? Did the developers still have that spark? Is Chris Jones still Tex?

Yes. Oh, yes.

Tex is back, baby!
Play this game!

Even if you don't play it- buy it so they'll make me another one! Muwahahaha! (Wait did I just type that? (oops)).

BioShock: Rapture
BioShock: Rapture
by John Shirley
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.29
78 used & new from $0.01

13 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Author doesn't get it?, December 12, 2011
This review is from: BioShock: Rapture (Paperback)
Spoilers to the games and the book herein:
I seem to be in the minority here. But let me start by saying that I while I really like BioShock, the games- I love Rapture, the city. There is something so captivating to me about that city under the sea that I can't help myself but revisit it from time to time. For this reason, I didn't find much to like about John Shirley's book of the same name.

The biggest flaw in this book, to me, is that I don't think the author gets what would make a man like Andrew Ryan tick. And he therefore has no understanding of Rapture, the city created by Ryan. At least, he doesn't understand it the same way I do. The thing I find extremely admirable about the way the games handle Rapture and the ideas behind it: They neither fully support nor condemn them. The subject is treated with such gravitas that the gamer/viewer can bring his own opinions and perspectives to the material and find resonance in the way it's handled in the games.

Not so in John Shirley's book. Mr. Shirley seems to have nothing but contempt for the ideas behind Rapture, at least that is the impression I got from reading the book. The cover shows a group of ritzy people dressed to the nines and having a swanky party in a golden age of opulance under the sea. There is nothing in the text of the book that gives off any kind of positive energy. It, instead, focuses on the poor people and the problems they have. Not to say that the poor didn't exist in Rapture, and that their plight was a worthy story to tell- it certainly is. But there is no counter balance which is what made Rapture so intriguing.

As I mentioned before, Mr. Shirley's presentation of Ryan seems to be at odds with the Ryan presented in the games. Again, I draw the conclusion that Mr. Shirley doesn't understand a man like Ryan and has no respect for what he tried to do. Ryan, from the games, had an extremely clear idea of what he wanted to accomplish and the tools he'd use to get there. The Ryan from the book appears to be much more influenced by the things happening around him, which would be odd for a man who brought Rapture into existance by sheer force of will.

The first scene with Ryan when he decides to build a city under the sea is perhaps the most disturbingly wrong. However, it is followed by an odd visit by Ryan to "his favourite musician"- one Sander Cohen. We get to see Ryan cut loose for a few moments while he taps his toe to Cohen's latest masterpiece. Really? Is this what you expect Ryan was up to whilst he was simultaneously planning and building Rapture under the sea.

If you've played the BioShock games, and if you're still reading this review I hope you have, then you've heard most of the story that's presented in this book. Mr. Shirley had to do his homework to understand the timeline into which all of BioShock's backstory fits. Truthfully that was no small task, and filling in the gaps must have been a considerable effort as well. But he seems to have missed the point. As a big fan of the BioShock games, I conclude that reading this book didn't add to my enjoyment of the property at all. All of the good stuff here is already in the games, and better presented to boot.

The book is readable, and I managed to finish it, so I can give it no less than 2 stars. However, due to the other factors explained or summarized above, I can give it no more.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 24, 2013 1:54 PM PST

Playskool Heroes, Star Wars, Jedi Force Figures, Luke Skywalker and Yoda
Playskool Heroes, Star Wars, Jedi Force Figures, Luke Skywalker and Yoda
Offered by Amber Trading Inc
Price: $20.22
20 used & new from $9.99

1 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Why does Yoda have a lightsaber?, December 10, 2011
Why in the world does Yoda have a lightsaber? These figures look like they're based on The Empire Strikes Back. Yoda should have a walking stick, if anything.

Optoma HD33, HD (1080p), 1800 ANSI Lumens, Home Theater Projector (Old Version)
Optoma HD33, HD (1080p), 1800 ANSI Lumens, Home Theater Projector (Old Version)
6 used & new from $599.99

39 of 54 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rainbow Effect Ruined this DLP for Me, November 23, 2011
I owned this projector for 24 hours, and it was obvious it just wasn't going to work out for me. I've still given it 2 stars, which is balancing its subjective worth to me (0 stars) with its aparent subjective worth to others (4 stars). However, if you're not as sensitive to RainBow Effect (RBE) as I am (and who is?) then you'd probably be more happy with this projector. (Edit: My wife also saw lots of RBE on this projector. So it's not just me!)

For those who don't know, single chip DLP projectors can't produce a full colour image all at once. There is one DLP chip which creates separate images for Red, Green and Blue, and they are sent sequentially through the lens of the projector. When this is done fast enough, the eye/brain is convinced it is seeing a full colour image, and not separate R,G, & B images. Think of looking at a high velocity ceiling fan and not seeing separate blades, but one smooth circle. This works, for the most part. The problem is that for some people that the illusion can break down and those people can see the individual coloured images from time to time. Think of the oscillating fan again- if you stare at it and see the unbroken circle, but then you blink, or look away quickly, or follow the path of the blades with your eyes- the individual blades can then be seen. When this happens with DLP, it's called the "RainBow Effect" (RBE) because the viewer perceives the presence of bright primary colours (R, G & B) instead of the full colour image. Even when the RBE doesn't appear, it can cause eye strain which will soon lead to headaches- at least it quickly leads my head to ache.

The HD33 has a 3x/6x colour wheel, which sould eliminate RBE for most people (so I've been told). The wheel spins at 3x the operating frequency of the projector, which in this case is 120hz. It's considered to be an "effective-6x" wheel, because most DLP projectors only operate at 60hz, making this wheel three times as fast as a standard 2x, if that makes any sense. However my experience was that I suffered from RBE on this projector at least as much as any other DLP I've seen.

Aside from the RBE, I think this projector looked fine. It's hard for me to really comment there, as the RBE is so entirely distracting as to make any other objective evaluation nigh impossible.

This projector does not come with any 3D glasses, and the 3D glasses which it uses can be a little hard to find. I know Amazon sells some that are compatible, but I couldn't find any locally. As such, I didn't get to test this projector in 3D.

Of note: Upon returning the HD33, I excitedly bought the Epson 3010 hoping it would be the answer to my 3D quest. Alas, the input lag (~1/10th second delay between picture reception and picture display) made that projector unsuitable for my use as well. Like Wylie Coyote- back to the drawing board.
Comment Comments (26) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 28, 2014 11:00 PM PST

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3010, Full HD 1080p, 2D and 3D Home Theater Projector with Integrated Speakers (V11H421020)
Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3010, Full HD 1080p, 2D and 3D Home Theater Projector with Integrated Speakers (V11H421020)
Offered by Century21 Electronics
Price: $1,358.85
5 used & new from $900.00

41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Almost Perfect- a heartbreak, November 23, 2011
I owned this projector for 2 weeks, and then I returned it. My bottom line- This projector was going to be used for gaming at least half of the time... and the input lag (delay from button press to seeing it on screen) was just too high. To be clear- there is no issue with "blurry image" or "slow response of pixels" that would cause fast action on its own to look bad... it's just the delay before you see a picture. This only affects high speed gaming.

I measured the lag to be 78 ms higher than my laptop and an autocalibrating Rock Band Guitar (RB3, Xbox360) calibrated the lag to be 108 ms, which was 68 ms higher than my previous "sort of laggy" projector. There are a lot of people who wouldn't play with 40 ms input lag, but it never consciously bothered me. On the 3010, the 78-108 ms lag was just too high. I was always at least a little aware of it and it made certain types of games just hard to play. I wouldn't call any of them unplayable, just harder than they're supposed to be.

Now that that's out of the way, MAN! WHAT A PICTURE! Others can probably give a more definitive review here, but I was very impressed with the picture. Placement was also convenient to my dedicated home theatre (it went up in the same position as my previous PJs for the same screen size) and the price was definitely right. Especially considering it comes with 2 pair of 3D Glasses.

The 3D was quite good, but I think I saw a fair amount more ghosting than some other reviewers. There are apparently "early run" units and "later run" units and some people have reported improvements in iris noise, convergence, and ghosting when replacing an earlier unit with a newer one. (No word on whether lag is reduced in the new units). I hope that was the case with the ghosting/crosstalk that I saw. In most film/video content, you couldn't really see much crosstalk, but when completely different pictures were going to either eye, the ammount of crosstalk was rather high. I sit relatively close to the screen, which broadens the angles the light is coming into the glasses and this may be another reason I saw more ghosting.

Other than that, I was quite happy with the 3010. If not a gamer, I think I would have been quite satisfied with this option. As a gamer, it just wouldn't do. If Epson can do anything to reduce the input lag, I would buy one again and be very happy with it.

Also worth noting: The other 3D projector at this price point is the HD33. I owned one of these for a day or so, but the RainBow Effect (RBE) was too much for me and I returned it right away. Not everyone is sensitive to RBE, but be aware if you are.
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 8, 2012 1:18 PM PDT

Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Episodes I-VI) (Packaging May Vary) [Blu-ray]
Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Episodes I-VI) (Packaging May Vary) [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Mark Hamill
Offered by abc.sell
Price: $74.77
92 used & new from $30.74

32 of 47 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Know what you're getting, August 31, 2011
Until yesterday, I think we all knew what we were getting- all of the changes made up 'til 2004 plus maybe a few new ones. But then we learned about the "Noooooooooooooooooooo". Return of the Jedi was not without its flaws. But this critical moment of Vader's sacrifice for his son, his own redemption, and the end of the galaxy wide conflict was not only the highpoint of Return of the Jedi, and a highpoint of the whole trilogy, but it's also a classic moment of film history. Ask yourself if you can enjoy the finale to the Star Wars trilogy with this new version of the climax. I know I cannot. Save your money, folks. The hobbyists are doing what the professionals choose not to... Ask your geek friends. They will know what to do.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 31, 2011 1:14 PM PDT

Casio Exilim EX-S5 10MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Zoom and 2.7 inch LCD (Purple) (OLD MODEL)
Casio Exilim EX-S5 10MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Zoom and 2.7 inch LCD (Purple) (OLD MODEL)
Offered by thehappystore
Price: $198.88
4 used & new from $29.99

16 of 29 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Can't record 720p video: Amazon details incorrect., June 29, 2009
A lot of Casio's EX series of camera's can record video at 1280x720x24 fps (720p) but the EX-S5 cannot. The max resolution for the S5 is 848x480x30fps. The details on Amazon's listing are incorrect. Because there are camera's in this price range that do record 720p video, I'll be returning this sweet little number and getting one of those instead.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 2, 2009 12:24 PM PDT

Inspiretech Universal Audio and Video A/V Cable
Inspiretech Universal Audio and Video A/V Cable

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent cable, even for camcorders, January 14, 2008
I actually bought this for my Panasonic camcorder since the AV cable mysteriously disappeared one day. I wasn't absolutely sure it would work, but I thought the low price was worth the gamble. As someone else pointed out, the shipping was a little exhorbitant. I bought several items from the shipper thinking I would get a little break on the shipping but it looks like I paid full shipping for each...

Anyways, the cable works fine, but Apple uses apparently different parts of the cable for sound and video. Shocker, I know, Apple being proprietary... Anyways, I found I could plug the "left" audio plug in for video, the "right" audio plug for left, and the "video" plug for right and everything works fine. Where's my coloured electrical tape...

The Audio/Video quality is on par with the OEM cable, which is to say it looks like a Mini-DV camcorder on a Standard Def TV with composite cables.

UPDATE: I bought a Zune and the cable works well with that too. They use the same configuration as Apple, so I'm glad I actually bought 2 cables. Once I taped with the colours for the camcorder and one I left as is for the Zune.


X-Men: The Complete Onslaught Epic, Book 1
X-Men: The Complete Onslaught Epic, Book 1
by Jeph Loeb
Edition: Paperback
Price: $24.99
64 used & new from $13.70

22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing format and price, January 7, 2008
Last year when Marvel printed the Age of Apocalypse storyline in 4 volumes for 29.99 each, I took the opportunity to read the entire storyline that would have been impossible to collect otherwise. It made me think, "Boy, I hope they're working on Onslaught next!"

But now that it's here, I feel like I'm being ripped off. Again, the series is being presented across four volumes. There's significantly less content here, so each volume is signigicantly smaller. That's not too bad seeing how the AoA volumes really were so heavy that they were a little hard to read and I was constantly worrying about the spine. However, the powers that be have decided that the 29.99 price point should stick. We're talking 68% of the pages from the AoA books, but at %100 of the price.

Ah, well... it's still cheaper than getting the individual issues or the original TPBs...

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