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Dead Space 2 Collector’s Edition

March 1, 2011 4 comments

I’ve not updated anything in a long while and I’d like to say that I’m lazy but that would mean I have time to waste. Totally not true. Family always comes first and the past few months have been family heavy. It’s been tough. Anyway we’re not here to discuss family, we’re here to discuss my opinion on Dead Space 2.

Dead Space 2 Collector's Edition

First I’ll fill you in on what’s in the Collector’s Edition. First and foremost it comes with the game (manual, case and all) but as a bonus it’s the Limited Edition version of the game. What makes it a limited edition is that the disc comes with a full copy of Dead Space Extraction on it. If you don’t know what this is, it’s essentially a HD version of the prequel to Dead Space that was originally released on the Wii. It’s a great bonus to an already awesome game. I had always wanted this for the Wii but never got around to purchasing it. Now I have it for the lowly sum of FREE and it has a full trophy set also. EA dun me proud.

Plasma Cutter

Secondly it comes with a little plastic replica of the plasma cutter in Dead Space 2. Now when I say little… that’s exactly what it is. It seems to be about 1/2 – 2/3 scale model of what you’re using in the game. Makes it look comical and actually feels rather comical when equipping it in real life 😀
Lastly there is a soundtrack CD and art cell in the box which aren’t a big deal on their own but a nice bonus overall.

I finished up my platinum in Dead Space 2 last week so I figured I’d comment on the game. Simply put, it’s great. If you loved the original, there isn’t a darn thing about this game that you wouldn’t like. It’s everything you loved in the first one but more of it… Oh and there isn’t an asteroid shooting gallery to slow you up this time round ;P
Story is pretty good though can get old on multiple play throughs. Wouldn’t be a problem but you can’t skip through scenes or anything. You just have to let everything play through on its own. Kinda sucks but but overall not bad considering that’s my only gripe. Make sure to stay through the entire credits. There’s a little bit at the end of it that I’d say is an important piece of the puzzle.
Gameplay and controls are essentially identical to the first one with very minor tweaks. I guess they felt that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. One nice fix is that you can now reload without having to hold the aim button at the same time. Simple change but helps tremendously when you are trying to skeedaddle away from some necromorphs.
Music and sound is just as good as the original. It’s excellent. Surround sound is the only way to go when playing this game. I feel sorry for any of you who only have your tv speakers. Just the thought of it makes me sad.
I won’t comment on multiplay. I never tried it and don’t really intend to.

I honestly can’t say there was much that was added that was new. Basically if you liked the original, you’ll love this sequel.

I’d give the Collector’s Edition a $75/80. The game with bonus Extraction is already worth that amount. Everything else is just icing on the cake.
I’d give the standard edition wo/Extraction a $55/60. Definitely a great game and worth your time.

Well I must be off. Dead Space Severed just got released today. Gonna go kill me some more necromorphs… or would I be RE-killing them? Who knows? It’s gonna be a great ride anyway!

A Season of Making… then Giving (Kindle Style)

December 28, 2010 4 comments

Well Christmas has come and gone and as I age, I realize it’s not the same as it used to be… But that’s not the story today. Today I just wanted to share my gift giving endeavor.

To start off, my wife has been wanting a Kindle for quite some time. This was even before the most recent Kindle version (third generation). Anyway I decided to get her one for Christmas. Now financially it’s not really within our budget but through cashing in different credits from different programs, I was able to procure one for roughly half price. This was great but when purchasing anything “nice” for a clumsy person, you better have a way to protect that investment.

In spending quite a bit already on the Kindle itself, I really didn’t feel the need to spend another $35-$60 on a case. I’m frugal (or cheap if you prefer) like that. I decided to consult the interwebernetz for possible ways to hand make a case. I found quite a few creative ways that people have made cases for their Kindles and it amazes me to see how everyone has used their own personal strengths and skills to do so. Every homemade case I have seen is so unique and creative. One thing that my search did was it got my creative juices stirring. I studied design in school and am a package designer by day. I have the necessary skills to make my own sweet case. I work at a company that does book binding and custom packaging so all of the materials are at my disposal. Why the heck did I bother the internet anyway?

So there I was. I had an idea, I had the necessary skills, and I had all of the supplies. It was time to design. One beneficial thing when designing a package is to have the item in hand to be packaged. Unfortunately at the time I had no Kindle so I had to build around dimensions that I found while searching the internet.

 

Handmade Kindle Covers

First off, in looking at different pre-made cases, I considered a standard book style but that would leave an opening on the right of the case. I felt an extra panel would be extra protection. I came up with a very clean mini Tri-fold binder. The right panel somewhat interferes with use but I felt the extra protection was well worth it.

 

Handmade Kindle Covers

Next step would be the closure. I considered velcro dots but I personally think velcro tends to cheapen any product. I considered magnets but through testing, the adhesive tended to fail before the magnets. Also I am unsure if magnets affect e-ink screens. I couldn’t find any solid information on the internet either so I decided not to take the chance of having my protective cover be the actual thing that destroys the item I was protecting. My final decision was to use an elastic band. I went through many different options to attach the bands to the binders but I eventually came up with a rather elegant solution. Hope you would agree.

 

Handmade Kindle Covers

Final step was to find a way to attach the Kindle to the binder itself. I didn’t want to use any adhesives because I hate the residue that they can leave on plastics. I wanted it to be secure yet easily removed if need be with no damage to the Kindle or the case. I had already used bands as the closure and knew that the bands themselves wouldn’t damage the Kindle. I think I found a rather clever way of piecing everything together into a nice package.

 

Handmade Kindle Covers

Through the entire process I was essentially using extra materials from previous mockup requests. The great thing about that was using up waste materials. Also it gave me a variety of materials in which to cover my binders with. I mean really, you can’t go wrong with faux white snake skin or whatever it is.

 

Handmade Kindle Covers

I was quite pleased with the final products. If there were only one thing I would change, it would be to add another elastic band across the center (below the screen) for added support and peace of mind. Well that will be for my next version 😉

The lady was pleased so I guess that’s all that matters right? If the lady is happy, everyone is happy 😛

My Thoughts – Darksiders

January 25, 2010 3 comments

Darksiders

Well I have finished it… On Apocalyptic mode I might add. Twas much easier than expected but I would have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it.

It’s a great third person hack and slash game. Anyone who has played any Devil May Cry or God of War will be comfortable in the apocalyptic lands of Darksiders.
Actually, anyone who has played either of those should jump straight to apocalyptic mode. It’s a much easier and forgiving game than those.

Controls are tight which is one of my favorite aspects of the game. There was just enough story to keep my interest but not too much to detract from the core purpose of the game. That would be to just kick ass all over the place (don’t even bother with taking names). Considering that this game is about the apocalypse or end of days or whatever you want to call it, the art style had a punch that I didn’t expect. It looks amazing! Sharp details and bright colors aplenty. The contrast of gritty demons to bright and vibrant angels looks pretty awesome. I especially liked the glow of War’s Sword with different enhancements. Purple flames look pretty sweet on his obscenely large sword.

The one thing they could have done away with was Mercy. Seriously guys, what would War need with a revolver? Couldn’t you have thought up some much cooler projectile weapon? The only time I used the silly thing was to kill the worms… which was unfortunately the ONLY way to kill them.

Anyway, this game is a great fill in before God of War III gets released. Don’t expect anything new here though. Darksiders plays it safe. It takes the great parts from so many other games and melds them into one tight little package and it does a surprisingly good job at it.

Overall I’d give it a $55/$60 for the mere fact that it tries nothing new but does an excellent job with combining the tried and true.

Holiday Loot

December 30, 2009 7 comments

Ok so the gifting season is over and I was just wondering what everyone got.

I was hoping to get Star Trek on Blu-ray but the ante was dramatically upped without me knowing it. Instead of getting what I was hoping for, three of my sisters and two brothers pitched in and got me a $100 gift card to Target and a brand new 250GB PS3. Yeah talk about a significant difference in what you want and what you get. Understand that this is not a typical family gift. It’s like going on a loot run in Diablo 2. It takes about 32 runs to get anything worth keeping 😛

250GB PS3

Granted the PS3 isn’t completely for me, it’s probably more for the lady but I’ll probably be using it quite a bit as well. Family got it so that when Final Fantasy XIV gets released next year, we’ll both be able to hit the ground running. That’s gonna be good times.

250GB PS3

I also wanted to mention that Sony has always done quite well with packaging their hardware. Just check out the corrugated sweetness holding the PS3 in place! That is some impressive package design work there I tell ya (ok that was the packaging geek comin out).

250GB PS3

My only gripe with Sony is that both of my PS3’s only came with composite cables… How could you possibly tout a high definition system when it can’t provide high definition right out of the box? Just doesn’t make any sense. I figured the new slims would be shipped with HDMI cables but I guessed wrong.

Well I hope everyone else got what they wanted (and thensome). Keep gaming through the new year and just plain have fun!

PS I’ve ordered Star Trek and District 9 (which has the GoW 3 demo) from Amazon so I’m covered. Got everything and more this holiday!

Games long, Times short

October 26, 2009 Leave a comment

Yeah I realize that I don’t update or write nearly as much as I should. Then again it’s for good reason. Got many good games on the plate and just so little time to truly enjoy each of them to their best.

Demon's Souls: Deluxe Edition

Currently I’m working on Demon’s Souls in the evenings and Borderlands during my lunch hours.

Borderlands

So far I’m truly loving every bit about these games. I’ll have to go into more depth in future blog additions but for now, I just wanted to say that these are consuming much of my time. I’d also love to jump into Prince of Persia that I purchased for $8 new at Target as well as Bioshock that I got at Toy’s R Us for $14. Couldn’t pass up the deals even though I don’t have the time to invest in them yet. I’ll get around to it though. Hopefully sooner than later.

My Resident Evil 5 (CE) Preorder

February 24, 2009 1 comment

As the days have gone by and I’ve had more time to think, I’m doubting my preorder of this game.

My RE5 Preorder

I am a huge fan of the Resident Evil series and I absolutely loved RE4. That being said, it’s natural that I would want this game. I have also preordered it at an awesome discounted price. I’d say that $74.99 total (free shipping & no tax) is awesome considering that the Collector’s edition runs for $89.99 plus shipping and handling at most other online retailers.

There’s more than one issue that’s bothering me about the preorder. First off, I’ve played the demo and the fact is… I’m not really sold on the gameplay. I know that I’ll love the story because I love the series and I always want to know more. I just couldn’t get used to the controls and physics. I think I got a little spoiled with Dead Space. The controls were tight (aside from lack of a 180° turn) and the weapons had a real solid feel. When you shot something, it felt like you were hitting it hard. RE5 feels like you’re shooting with a BB gun.

Secondly, I doubt there will be a shortage of collector’s editions. If I wait it out, I’ll probably see a stack of them on an endcap somewhere for 50% off or so.

Which brings me to the third issue. I have too many games to play as it is. Even if I were to get this game on release day, it would inevitably sit on my shelf for the next year before I started playing it.

I know that I’ll be getting this game eventually. It’s a question of whether it’s sooner or later. So the question I leave you with is this:

Is it worth my time to get it on release day at a roughly $15 – $20 discounted price just to let it sit on the shelf for an unknown amount of time? Or should I just wait until I find the CE on sale somewhere else in the late future when I actually have time to play it?

Recent Target Deals

February 18, 2009 Leave a comment

I admit that I frequent Target way more than I should. One thing I love about that store is the clearance endcaps. I especially like to visit the ones close to the electronics department. I have found many a deal there and sometimes I find things that I just can’t leave on the shelf. One time I found GTA IV Special Edition for $44.99 and by golly I snatched that up with the quickness.

Last Remnant

Just over the weekend I picked up the Last Remnant. I’ve been eyeing it since before its release but had never picked it up. Well with a price point of $29.98 I decided it was time. I realize that I won’t get to it for quite some time since Fallout 3 is eating up time. I also have Infinite Undiscovery to get to as well. Oh well, at least it’s on my shelf waiting to get played. I’ll get to it hopefully sooner than later and I’ll try to write up a quick review of it. Until then, let’s keep on gaming!