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Reviews Written by
Thomas Kryton (Calgary, Alberta Canada)
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Portal 2
Portal 2
Offered by biddeal
Price: CDN$ 13.84
16 used & new from CDN$ 13.84

5.0 out of 5 stars This is just plain fun!, May 25 2011
Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Portal 2 (DVD-ROM)
My only complaint with the Portal series is that they're just not long enough. Other than that to echo the other reviewers sentiments "just go out an buy it." The puzzles, graphics, gameplay, and the wonderfully droll humor is great.

Brink
Brink
Offered by Quickndone Electronics Canada
Price: CDN$ 4.99
12 used & new from CDN$ 3.11

2.0 out of 5 stars Not meant for single player, May 25 2011
Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Brink (DVD-ROM)
The game is probably pretty good in a multi-player scenario but as a stand alone game it leaves a lot to be desired. Between endeavoring to remember to switch from soldier to medic to engineer to operative at a station that may or may not be controlled by the enemy where you spend most of the game play flat on your back waiting for a NPC to come along and give you a revival syringe in order to complete the game it quickly becomes tedious.

Call Of Duty: Black Ops
Call Of Duty: Black Ops
Offered by BEARDOS BAZAAR
Price: CDN$ 19.99
13 used & new from CDN$ 19.99

7 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars great game, frustrating reliability, Dec 20 2010
Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Call Of Duty: Black Ops (DVD-ROM)
The graphics, sound, and overall game are great. If I could play it for longer than half an hour at a time before it crashed that would be even better. The game is structured around missions in which you have to complete the objectives as detailed in the mission. So far so good. Where things start to fall apart is that if you can't complete the entire mission and the various objectives before the game crashes you have to start the entire level over again. I've been through the "S.O.G." mission so many times in the last two days that if it weren't for the constant crashes I could complete the level with my eyes closed.

If I wasn't running a fairly hefty system I'd blame my machine, but I don't think that's the case, system specs are as follows; dual Xeon 3.2Ghz processors, 8Gb of ram, 15,000 rpm SCSI hard-drive with 15Gb space available, NVidia Quadro 5000 with 2.5Gb of ram, and a Creative PCI EXpress X-Fi Titanium sound card. I've disabled everything other than the game, tweaked what I could based on various help sites, and the only thing I got for $80.00 is frustration.

The common denominator in the three games I've bought over the last few months is Steam. I don't know if that has any bearing on the problems but I've also purchased "Fallout New Vegas" and "Civilization V" and all three are plagued with the same crashes that make playing them an effort in futility. It would really be nice if the software manufacturers would stop treating their clients as beta testers.

I'd really like to give this and the other two games a five out of five but because of poor software design I can't.

Mass Effect 2
Mass Effect 2
Offered by Rainy Day Games
Price: CDN$ 6.90
28 used & new from CDN$ 6.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Love, honor, and a smoking gun., Feb. 15 2010
Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Mass Effect 2 (DVD-ROM)
This game has it all and it has to be one of the best RPG's I've played in a while. The first thing I noticed was the graphics, not the backgrounds or the environment, the special effects, but the ingrown hairs on one guys face. The graphics overall are spectacular but the characters in this game are detailed down to the pores.

The story line is good as well. It follows a logical progression and any deviations from that make sense. There's nothing more frustrating than when you're immersed in the game and the aliens you've been battling suddenly introduce a fire breathing, flying dragon from medieval England. In Mass Effect 2 there is the possibility of developing a romantic relationship with some of the characters. I never knew someone with blue skin and tentacles could look so hot. This is where the game designers have done a superb job. The game is an excellent blend between reading a good book or watching a good video and good role playing. The blurring between game play and story is great, when you're standing before you're crew on a radiation hardened chunk of rock on the far side of the galaxy knowing that none of you may come back it brings a tear to your eyes and a surge of adrenalin and pride to your blood. Yeah, it's that good. Action sequences are good and fit the story line well. I did find I wished for a bit better control over my own weapons and how the NPC characters performed.

Production values in the game overall are great. As the credits role by you see voice overs done by notables such as Martin Sheen, Claudia Black, and Carrie Anne-Moss. I can't say I'm familiar with the engineers, designers, or other team members but the game is pure Hollywood all the way from the standpoint of the level of craftsmanship that's gone into it.

On the down side. Whoever came up with introducing sloppy physics into the mouse control on the circuit bypass doors should be slapped. After a while hopping from planet to planet looking for minerals to build things gets a little tedious. The game crashed a few times, most of which we're recoverable, which on my machine isn't unusual, I run Windows 7 64 bit ultimate. One crash that didn't prevent me from finishing the game I could never work through.

Overall though the game is great and worth the money. Auto game saves are logically placed and you don't find yourself slogging through something that took you an hour to do before. Story and action don't get in the way of each other and move the game's progression on nicely. I got about eighty hours worth of play time out of it and couple of very late nights.

Pandorum
Pandorum
DVD ~ Dennis Quaid
Price: CDN$ 11.99
23 used & new from CDN$ 1.89

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Survival when things go wrong., Jan. 21 2010
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This review is from: Pandorum (DVD)
Limited cast, if you don't count the monsters, that pull off the plot nicely. I have to admit that it's nice to see a few movies come out that rely not only on the cinematography, effects, and story, but also include a limited cast that can act.

Two of the crew of the fifth shift charged with running the Elysium for their two year stint awake from hyper-sleep, their memories ravaged by the prolonged slumber soon come to realize that is the least of their problems. Not only do they have to deal with the major gaps in their memory, their flight training and underlying psychological traits remaining relatively intact, they also have to solve the mystery of what has happened to their vessel. Quaid stays in the sleep chamber/command center and sends Foster off through service ducts in search of a way to open the door to the command center. As with all plans of mice and men that's when their plans have to adapt to what they find along the way.

What they find is a failing ship inhabited by creatures, reminiscent of John Carpenter's "Ghosts of Mars", who are fast, intelligent, and possessed of a need to feed on whatever food that presents itself which includes their own wounded. The creatures while being part of the peril they face are minor players while Quaid and Bower work at rediscovering who they are and their roles in relation to each other and themselves as well as the other individuals they meet. The movie revolves around the examination of the range of traits that humanity can express from depravity to hero while trying to survive in adverse circumstances.

On the one hand while being a psychological thriller it also is just plain good sci-fi. The movie is plausible in it's presentation of science as a background to roles of people dealing with that science when it goes wrong. The sets, lighting, and photography, are all handled really well, and does well in the "suspension of disbelief."

Overall it is rich in the visuals, acting, and story line and well worth the watch.

Moon (2009) (Bilingual)
Moon (2009) (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Sam Rockwell
Price: CDN$ 7.49
14 used & new from CDN$ 4.95

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent sci-fi and psychology, Jan. 21 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Moon (2009) (Bilingual) (DVD)
To add to one of the previous reviewers comments one technical flaw I noticed was that in spite of the reduced gravity on the moon the characters still moved as if on Earth. The other flaw was that Sam takes one of the two rovers out for a jaunt and ends up crashing it. Later in the movie the previously empty bay is now restocked with an undamaged rover. Now, in light of the quality of the movie the couple of small flaws can be overlooked.

The movie presents an interesting twist in which you wonder if Sam is having a mental breakdown caused by his extended isolation or is something more sinister at work.

Moon is well shot and directed, the storyline follows a logical progression which is both involving and entertaining and yet manages not only to be smart science fiction but examines the human condition admirably.

My Workout Mini Journal
My Workout Mini Journal
by Potter Style
Edition: Diary
Price: CDN$ 10.80
9 used & new from CDN$ 10.80

2.0 out of 5 stars Very limited layout, Jan. 18 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: My Workout Mini Journal (Diary)
The journal is well crafted with a hard cover and elastic strap to hold it closed. Unfortunately the page layouts won't accommodate more than one exercise per page. With the way my workouts are I'd be looking for a replacement journal in three weeks.

Recon 2020/2022
Recon 2020/2022
DVD ~ Andy Bradshaw
Price: CDN$ 10.89
3 used & new from CDN$ 10.89

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh this is just so bad, Jan. 7 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Recon 2020/2022 (DVD)
Recon 2020 looks like it was shot in an abandoned cement yard complete with gravel piles. And, when it comes to the acting the gravel piles have more character than the actors.

Recon 2022 is just as bad. The CGI in the film could have been copied directly from other blockbusters, badly. Wait, in the background, isn't that a couple of sand walkers, and there in the cave, isn't that a sentinel?

The acting in both flicks is so bad you have to wonder if the actors are reading their scripts off of a teleprompter.

Definitely one to avoid or wait until it shows up in the bargain bins, it might make a good coaster.

WATCH OUT WE'RE MAD
WATCH OUT WE'RE MAD
DVD ~ Various
Offered by Fulfillment Express CA
Price: CDN$ 20.18
9 used & new from CDN$ 20.18

4.0 out of 5 stars Always good chemistry, Jan. 7 2010
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This review is from: WATCH OUT WE'RE MAD (DVD)
Hill and Spencer have a certain chemistry, the first the agile, quick witted, blue eyed buffoon, the latter reminiscent of a smoldering volcano that never quite blows. Hill darts in and out, dodging fists and striking like a mongoose that may have had a drink or two. Spencer wades into every battle stoically like a lumbering grizzly raining out blows with his great paws. The combination of the two is always great slapstick with a loosely held together plot. Not the greatest conversion to television, would have preferred to see it in the original letterbox format, not the best photography, but the two had a real chemistry that still brings a guffaw or two out of me.

My Name Is Nobody
My Name Is Nobody
DVD ~ Terence Hill
Price: CDN$ 18.73
21 used & new from CDN$ 15.02

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as funny as I remembered, Jan. 7 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: My Name Is Nobody (DVD)
Entertaining but nowhere near as funny or as good as when Terrence Hill and Bud Spencer Team up. I bought it because the memory of it was better than I remembered. Not to say that's it terrible, Fonda plays a great reluctant albeit droll reluctant hero. Seeing it again thirty odd years after it's original release you get the feeling that had they written and directed it better it would have stood the test of time better. The movie has an underlying poignancy played against some slap stick comedy that in order to have worked it really should have been handled with some better direction and photography.

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