Review The Last Game You Beat

(Gaming discussion not related to Shenmue)

Re: Review The Last Game You Beat

Postby Kenny » Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:30 am

Uncharted 3.

I read my old review and now that I revisited, much is the same except now I don't think the story was as great as I initially thought it was. The beginning was good but after that, it falls apart really fast. Don't know how I didn't notice this before. The drug stuff was way too conveniently cheap of a plot ploy and the bad guys weren't really that menacing. Plus I didn't care for alot of the supporting cast except for Sully.

The game itself still plays great though. The action set pieces were fantastic still and the gameplay is still good. I played Hard this time and it was much easier than last time. Still had its intense moments, but nowhere near as bad as last time.

I want to replay the first two games and see how they hold up, I remember Uncharted 2 being absolutely amazing and I hope it still is. But for this game, i'm going from an 8 to a 7 only cause of the weak story.
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Re: Review The Last Game You Beat

Postby OL » Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:45 am

I love 3, but I still think 2 is better. After playing U3 for the first time, I went back and played through the first two again, and Uncharted 2 felt surprisingly a bit more solid, in a way. I can't say the action scenes are all as crazy as the sinking tanker or the cargo plane in 3, but it certainly feels longer, more focused, more technically sound, and, strangely enough, a little more epic (not that U3 feels small-scale by any means).
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Re: Review The Last Game You Beat

Postby Kenny » Thu Nov 29, 2012 1:04 am

How many times did I use the word "still"?

Anyway, that's exactly how I remember 2. More focused, definitely more amazing as it went on. I remember being absolutely amazed by things like the train chase, so much it inspired me to pay a homage to it in one of my projects. I don't think there are many homages to games aside from the really cliché stuff like a 1-Up.

But the epic stuff in 3 is still as epic as ever. The plane is somehow better than what I remember it. I guess my expectations were very high coming off from the last game. Now that they died down, I can appreciate some of the things here better.
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Re: Review The Last Game You Beat

Postby Spokane » Thu Nov 29, 2012 1:29 am

I actually like 3 more because it focuses less on mythical creatures (the Spiders are just a distraction, but not a main point like the cursed humans in the first or the guardian Yetis/Purple people in the second). Well thats not the only reason. I like the gameplay more (just some of the extra tweaks I guess that were implemented from the 2nd to the 3rd) and the locations more too.

But I would say I like 3 a little more but 2 is right up there with it. Its hard to choose one over the other.


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Re: Review The Last Game You Beat

Postby Tuffty » Fri Nov 30, 2012 5:34 pm

Forza Horizon

As a spinoff to the popular Forza Motorsport racing series, the reception to Horizon was rather...lukewarm, at best. With an emphasis on showcasing, arcade-esque handling and drifting, it came across as a quick cash in by non fans, while something of a travesty for Forza purists. But then Horizon is a spin off, it does not say Forza 5 anywhere in the title and shouldn't be judged as such. Luckily Horizon does enough on it's own merits, as well as retain a lot of the good qualities of a Forza game, to make it worthwhile.

The initial premise of Horizon is that it is an open world racer set in Colorado. Taking place in the 'Horizon Festival' it is essentially an excuse to attract the best cars, best drivers and music artists to attend. All well and good but the game ties something of a story around it. You, the silent, almost Levi-esque looking male model, is a newcomer to the festival and decides to enter the competition. You have an attractive, supportive female manager but I mean, you're only a newcomer, you're not going to get that far right....? Your race rivals certainly don't think you can beat them right...? The no.1 race driver in the world, Darius Flynt is there, but there's no way you could beat him............right? It's generic drivel that never manages to engage your interest unless you are 11 years old, and such fantasies of entering an event like this, winning fame and glory, beating your trash-talking rivals, winning the girls and all the best cars in the world is a constant in your head.

The actual Horizon festival serves a purpose beyond providing a background to the hugely inconsequential 'dudebro' storyline. It's a central hub where you can buy cars, tune them, paint them, join car clubs and collect coloured wristbands whose ascending coloured ranks unlock increasingly difficult racing events which are dotted around the world. These events can range from typical circuit and point to point races, street races where civilian traffic is involved but the payout is much greater or showcase events which can pit you against other vehicles like hot air balloons or a biplane to see who's the fastest. Make no mistake, these events are scattered around and the intent is for you to drive to them, as fast travel spots are fairly limited and they can cost a lot to use. But you won't mind the driving, as it's just that good.

The same physics engine from Forza 4 is mostly intact, but it is still absolutely more forgiving. The world, much like the car models themselves, is gorgeous to look at. Visually, Horizon is up there as one of the best looking racers ever. However, it also adds to the fact that the roads are open and seem built for for speed than technical cornering, which ultimately does create a different driving experience than any of the main Forza games. Not saying it is a bad thing, again, it is a different game altogether. Like many open world games, there's an awful lot to see and do and the tempation is strong. Unlocking events, setting off speed cameras against your friends to see who's the fastest, scouting the land for hidden cars, it's all very satisfying. One of the best features is the rivals mode, basically a way of competing for the best times with those on your friends list or, failing that, against a stranger close to you on the global leaderboard. It's a great way to maintain a rivalry with someone even when not playing directly against them.

The music's awful. There are 3 radio stations (dubstep, electronic and rock) with no real stand out tune among them and a lot of the music just awful unless you're really into something like 'Iron Deer Dream (Chad Valley Remix)'. And seriously, one track by Lost Prophets is bad enough but two? Come on....There's not a lot of it too, so expect a lot of repeats. If I hear The Hives one more fucking time...

Retaining some of the goodness from it's father series, while doing enough to carve out it's own identity, Horizon is a joy to play if you can look past the brash, immaturity that is smothered in it.

8/10

Sidenote: I'd like a sequel that takes the Festival global, different races in different cities, with it's own native speaking DJ's and music acts. Basically I want a direct remake of Metropolis Street Racer/PGR2.
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Re: Review The Last Game You Beat

Postby Who Really Cares? » Sun Dec 02, 2012 8:46 am

Tempted to pick that up. Skipped 4 because i had burned out on 3 but this spin off looks cool.
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Re: Review The Last Game You Beat

Postby Calshot » Sun Dec 16, 2012 1:55 am

I actually beat this a long time ago, but I played it again and felt like writing a review about it. And I did.

Tenchu: Shadow Assassins (Wii)

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Story
Like previous Tenchu games, you play as Rikimaru and Ayame, two ninjas in service of daimyo Lord Gohda. Peace has not been completely restored since the events of the previous game. Rumors of impending war circle throughout Lord Gohda's lands. A kunoichi (female ninja) disguised as a fortune-teller kidnaps Lord Gohda's daughter, Princess Kiku, during a divination session to determine the fate of the kingdom. Ayame chases after the kunoichi while Rikimaru continues his investigation on the war rumors.

Graphics
The game was released for the Wii in 2009. While the graphics don't scream "next-gen" (err, current-gen since the next generation is arriving), the graphics aren't anything to scoff at. Some of the outdoor areas are actually quite nice. There can be a few minor hiccups--the camera might be blocked by a wall when doing a stealth kill for example--but it's generally not enough to break immersion.

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Gameplay
The gameplay of Tenchu: Shadow Assassins was criticized as being a step in the wrong direction for the series. Previous games gave the player much more freedom in completing a stage while Shadow Assassins seems almost like a stealth rail-shooter. Rikimaru and Ayame are much more agile in previous games while in Shadow Assassins they control like ninja tanks. Rooftop exploration, a hallmark of the series, is limited and the player is mostly confined to the ground.

One run through a stage all the claims made about the game seem fairly accurate. However, there's a lot more depth than there appears to be at first glance. While there is an "right" path that the game wants you to take in a stage, there are a good number of hidden, alternative pathways and secret areas, some only accessible when using items from other stages. The items themselves add a good amount of depth to the game. There are 10 unique items to use (excluding bonus and secret items) which range from conventional ninja gear like smoke bombs and assorted throwing weapons to more unusual equipment like fishing rods and ninja cats. These items have obvious uses that the game introduces to you as well as undocumented features.

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It may look like animal abuse, but trust me, ninja cat can take it.

Controls
Like other Wii games released around the same time, it has the obligatory waggle controls. While the controls certainly are gimmicky, they work (for the most part). The game may fail to recognize a motion, but it recognizes most of them and it is generally only a mild inconvenience.

There are a few differences between Rikimaru and Ayame, but they okay mostly the same. Rikimaru controls like the aforementioned ninja tank, but is stronger than Ayame, i.e. he moves near the same speed when he's carrying a box or body. Ayame is speedier and feels much more like a traditional video game ninja, but is weaker than Rikimaru.

Both Azuma Clan ninjas don't move super smoothly since the control is completely digital for some reason. I don't know if it was by design or not, but it seems to work with the new approach this game takes compared to the previous ones (though I admittedly only played a few hours collectively of the first two PS1 games). The controls may not allow you to flip out like crazy slaughtering samurai left and right, but they force you to take your time and plan out your moves lest you get discovered.

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One area Shadow Assassins doesn't fail to deliver in is its stealth kills, also known as hissatsu. There is plenty of neck-snapping, slice 'n dicing, conflagration, drowning, etc. kills to please everyone. Off the top of my head, there around 30-40 unique hissatsu factoring in the item and environmental-based ones. Some hissatsus are more convincing than the others.

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This is a fetish somewhere, I'm sure.

Swordplay
If unarmed, the character you're playing as prefers to flee back to the last checkpoint if discovered by an enemy. If equipped with a sword, then the character will engage the enemy in duel. The swordplay isn't very good and would have benefited from the invention of the motion plus accessory. Basically, there's an attack phase and a defense phase. During the defense phase, you have to hold the Wiimote perpendicular to the angle the enemy is attacking. After the "tenchu" bar fills up, you enter the attack phase. The game points at arrows on the enemy for you to hit for extra damage, but since the attack phase has a time limit and the Wiimote isn't very accurate in detecting where you hit, it's just easier to make random cuts until the enemy is dead or the attack phase ends.

The game seems to discourage combat. If an attack is blocked improperly, your sword takes damage. If it takes too much damage, it breaks and you flee combat. If you miss blocking an attack entirely, than you flee combat (except in unavoidable boss fights, in which case you get a total of three missed hits before you lose). The Wiimote is okay at detecting the angle you're holding the Wiimote at lower speeds, but as the game throws enemies who have much higher health and attack in a faster/higher frequency at you, you're very likely to make a mistake. You can adjust the difficulty of the sword fighting at any time through the options in the pause menu. If you don't care very much and just want to get through the sword matches, you can always "cheat" by pausing, aligning the Wiimote correctly, and then unpausing.

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Audio
Unlike past games, there's no option to switch to a Japanese dub (to my memory at least). Fortunately, the English dub isn't terrible. There are a few out-of-place elements (one or two minor characters have English accents for some reason) and some of the guard dialogue when detected can get pretty annoying, but it's otherwise pretty decent.

The soundtrack is actually quite good and utilizes a variety of traditional string and woodwind instruments. The downside is that, given the lengths of the stages, the music tracks tend to repeat often.

I posted this track in the video game music topic but I'm re-posting it here as an example.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAeT3B_kZ-U[/youtube]


Final Thoughts
However, when judged on its own merits, Tenchu: Shadow Assassins is still a fun and solidly-made game. The main story should take around 10-20 hours. There are also 50 side missions called "assignments" for you to do as well as a hard mode of each story stage. There are also hidden map/mask pieces for you to collect in the main story stages that unlock secret items. If you really hate the motion controls that bad, there is a PSP port. I don't really know the differences between the versions other than that the PSP port has longer loading screens (and the lack of motion controls of course).

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Re: Review The Last Game You Beat

Postby Absentia » Sun Dec 23, 2012 12:17 pm

I've just finished the fifth episode of Walking Dead and it's been quite a ride.

However I have a few complaints. From a storytelling point of view, the games excel like few do. Just great stories (even though the setpieces are pretty much the same as in the series), great characters, great motivations, to be honest the story is really solid on its own to the point that I prefered it when compared to the TVseries counterpart.

Also, TWD really shined in the decisions-making sections of the game, the decisions seemed important and most of them really ended up mattering sooner or later. It's the kind of envolvment Mass Effect tried to achieve but never really got there. Here I was really torn apart about some of the decisions I made and at times appalled at how something I said in the first few episodes ended up affecting how the story unfolds.

There's just two things that bug me
1.
While it's outstanding in the story department, it's really poor as a game. Even the puzzles were all laughably easy. It's the kind of thing that I would probably enjoy a lot more if it were made as a TVserie. I never felt I was playing a game, I never really felt engaged or stressed by any situation like I feel during actual games, it just felt to me like a movie that I had to use x on y so I could see what happened next. I wished they had made the puzzles a lot harder, so that being successful actually felt like a reward. Take it for example the Sam and Max series, which aren't excessively difficult, but they require a lot more than TWD. Also, those stress situations always seemed forced and just bothersome, but I get how difficult it is to make stressful gameplay in a point and click game.

The point being, even though it was a game, I did not enjoy it for the actual gameplay, but for the story it tells, as I guess probably everyone did.
In fact I enjoyed this story much more than I enjoyed TV series, whose 3rd season I'm not even that inclined to see.


2.
The final chapter was just too emotional. They were being really cheap, it's the type of emotional blackmail that can work if you're in the right state of mind, but I just didn't felt like it. The same can be said about Toy Story 3 as well.
You better not get too attached to anyone (nor you really have the time to, perhaps) and that final episode just pushed too hard to be tearjerking


Anyhow, I feel like it's one of the best things I've seen this year and I encourage everyone to try it. My advice is that don't expect a full-fledged game, but more like an interactive adventure (perhaps reminiscent of the FMV adventures of the old days, but good)
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Re: Review The Last Game You Beat

Postby Vyse Hazuky » Mon Dec 24, 2012 7:28 am

^Î have only played the demo, but from that and whatever else I've seend about it, it looks to me like, as you say, an interactive adventure. Now, don't get me wrong, as there's nothing wrong with that, but to me, after seeing so many scathing reviews of stuff like Heavy Rain or Gadget: Past as Future, and games of its ilk in the past, I can't understand how they can praise it on this level.

Moreso as from a gameplay point of view Telltale seems to be regressing from, for instance, their Sam & Max games, which were proper adventure games. As someone who couldn't care less about the WD tv series or comic series, I really don't see the appeal beyond the fans, much like the other Telltale games like Jurassic Park and Back to the Future.

Am I right?
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Re: Review The Last Game You Beat

Postby Tuffty » Mon Dec 24, 2012 9:25 am

^ I guess so. I think the difference that sets The Walking Dead apart from it's contemporaries is the strength in it's narrative. The storytelling is genuinely well done, with some great characters and memorable moments. That, and the choices you make do have an impact within that episode or further on down the line. And these are hard choices to make in this setting, some of which you have to make within seconds, so I can see how there would be appeal playing it for that too.

Also, Jurassic Park is just a shit game, even fans will agree to that.
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Re: Review The Last Game You Beat

Postby Riku Rose » Mon Dec 24, 2012 1:36 pm

I remember seeing something about how the developers decided to pretty much get rid of puzzles after the first episode. I can't blame them as the strength is in the story and characters. It's one of my favorite games ever because it made me feel things I've never felt in a game before.
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Re: Review The Last Game You Beat

Postby Yokosuka Martian » Mon Dec 24, 2012 1:59 pm

Jesus Christ, this topic went from a simple 9/10 to a full on IGN review haha.

Assassin's Creed Brotherhood - 8.5/10
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Re: Review The Last Game You Beat

Postby OL » Mon Dec 24, 2012 9:01 pm

^^Because numbers tell absolutely nothing about a game. An 8.5 means something different to everyone; could be "great," could be "pretty good," or it could mean that something is "shit" (since, as we all know, anything under a 9.0 is unacceptable).
It's preferable if someone explains their views on something, rather than sticking it with a number.
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Re: Review The Last Game You Beat

Postby Ash » Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:35 pm

Crime Scene (DS).

The premise of this game is that you play as a new detective, whom has the authority to carry out forensic investigations. The first case is the apparent murder-suicide of the family of another detective, but as the game goes on, it becomes clear that there's more going on than first appears.

The gameplay is bascially a (small) number of mini-games, as you take blood and saliva samples, dust for finger-prints, and extract evidence. This alone would be enough to deter some gamers, as these mini-games are repeated over and over for all five cases, but there's also the fact that the game is rather glitchy, and, while it is rather lenient in how much tape you cover a print with in some cases, in other cases, it demands almost pixel perfection. This isn't helped by the fact that you have a "life" bar; make too many mistakes while investigating, and the game ends.

On the story side; the game has five cases, which are all tied together by a central storyline. It does all tie together quite well, but the fact that relatively small details from case one are brought up in case five means that this isn't a game that you want to stop playing for a few months and then go back to.

Unfortunately, the game does start going a little downhill come case five. There is a very twisted ethical issue that comes up mid-game, but a late-game revelation turns it from a twisted ethical issue, into a simple horrifying plot point.

End-game spoilers from here:

The central villain doesn't even make an appearance in case five, and the person whom funded the whole operation gets away free. The main character doesn't even care; he's more concerned with how distasteful he finds the planned timing of the central villain's execution.


All in all, people whom enjoy crime stories may enjoy this game; but you will need a lot of patience to be able to play all the way through it.
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Re: Review The Last Game You Beat

Postby Vyse Hazuky » Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:14 am

The Sea Will Claim Everything (2012)
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This is an adventure game where you travel in a fixed perspective from screen to screen. Right at the start you're made aware that you, the character, aren't part of this world (the Land of Dreams) but instead get to see it through a screen. Therefore, the player-character doesn't have a personality, as you never ask questions directly, but choose answers from a list of topics as you talk to the dozens upon dozens of characters. The art-style, like in Kiratzkes earlier works is all hand-made drawings. It may not be to everyone's liking, but the sheer oddity and distinctiveness of it all, the bold use of colours you seldom get to see in games, make it a really original experience.
As for the gameplay, one can say it revolves almost, if not entirely around fetchquests. Of course you still have to think where you might find, or whom you might ask for certain items, and some of them will take a bit of time and skill to decipher. Later on there's also potion-crafting. The game is never hard as even though you rack up a really big number of things to do, they're all noted down on your journal so you don't forget it.
The big thing about the game though, is the sheer quantity of text you can go through, as every character (and there are really dozens of them) has a lot to say, painting you a very vivid picture of the world you're looking at. While talking to so many, and visiting so many places (later on you get a boat and get to go to various islands, all of them unique), the one trouble is sometimes remembering the names of the characters or what they wanted, but that ends up being a smaller detail.
The writing per se, is also surprisingly good, considering this is an indie game with a very short staff. In the hundreds of pages of text the game probably has I did not note any sort of grammatical mistake or miswording. Furthermore the game is peppered with little nods to literature, current events and (of course) Monty Python, but all in the subtlest of manners.
Finally, the music combines greatly with the settings. Even though it's basically the same in every area, it never feels grating (because there are a lot of different areas, and because hearing a new song is a big part of the feeling of discovery when you reach a new area).
The story is revealed gradually but its merits lie in the fact that, while the environment and characters are so otherwordly, the story isn't. In fact, it's the most current story I've read this year, and ends with a very positive message, which games seldom do.
It's also a very decent length for an independent adventure, and one who's going for $5 at that...
A demo is avaiable here: http://landsofdream.net/games/the-sea-w ... hing/demo/


The Shivah (2006)
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I had got this game ages ago, but troubleshooting games from Adventure Game Studio is always a pain, so I only sat to beat it now.
The main draw of the game, of course, is that you play a rabbi, Rabbi Stone, who somehow sees himself in the middle of a murdercase.
The gameplay is classic Lucas Arts style, although there's no interaction with objects. You mainly conduct your investigations through questioning (and there are a couple of instances that can cause you to get a "game over"), which almost always includes a "rabbinical response". spoiler:
Later on, in good old fashioned Monkey Island/Full Throttle style, there's even a bout of fisticuffs for the sharp tongues.

The puzzles themselves are often done through logging in a computer and searching for what you need (being that you need to figure out specific passwords, etc). The game boasts very few locations and characters so you can get stuck if suddenly you can't ask anything new or can't figure out what you need to do. On the other hand the game is very short, and can be finished in an hour (and much less with a walkthrough).
The soundtrack is quite good, with jazzy and jewish songs (israeli noir would probably be the apt description), but the voiceacting is the worst part. Thankfully the Rabbi himself, whom you'll hear the most, is the best one.
All in all, a very decent Lucas Arts-style game, with an interesting premise that emcompasses all the rabbinical honour code in its story. Being so short, the story ends up a little disappointing, but it presents some very interesting and certainly unique issues.
A demo is avaiable here: http://www.wadjeteyegames.com/the-shivah.html


A Grain of Truth (2012)
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For a free browser game, this one reeks professionalism. Being the labour of two brothers, it really feels at home with the so called "modern adventure game" crowd. It presents a very dreamlike world, in a japanese style, dealing with floating stones, cloud gatherers and the like. Its puzzles mainly concern finding specific items hidden away, which would be a bit of bore were it not for a button that displays, for about 2 seconds, all the "clickable" spots.
Sadly, while the world is beautiful and soothing, there's something amiss. The characters you interact with are mainly dull and unremarkable. The puzzles, too classic and unoriginal. Its main original gameplay comes from the ability to learn words so you can use them later in a "fill-the-blanks" conversation. Problem is if you miss one you have to search frantically for what you're missing, all over the world.
The story in itself isn't anything to write home about, although midly enjoyable. The cast of characters is very small and just don't reveal enough of themselves for it to be worthwhile.
Overall, while the production values and graphical and stylistic detail is incredible for a free game, what lies beneath is a very undistinguished game. Still, it's free.
http://www.zamolski.com/agot/


Proteus (2012)
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Less of a game than an experience, Proteus is a delight to indulge in.
Without further explanation, you open your eyes in the middle of the ocean, with an island barely visible in the distance. Without nothing else around, you decide to reach for its shores. And thus, slowly but surely, silence grows into music. Thus you realise that as you explore this island your auditory senses get assaulted with little rhythms and musical lines - a veritable light synthesizer. While just going around a very decent-sized island as you hear the different voicings that come from rocks, trees or castles would be good enough, you start to realise the sun is setting, and in the night things change. You see fireflies, then perhaps some clouds will gather and rain will trickle down. And in the morning, rabbits (or frogs?) will hop around for you to follow, and you've been there for half an hour, creating a symphony, just by walking and exploring.
The only action you can take is actually sitting down and enjoying the world around you and, when you've had enough, you just close your eyes back again. It's a wonderful experience, and a wonderful musical toy.
http://www.visitproteus.com/
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NFAiGF73_U[/youtube]
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