Archive for December 1st, 2009
Chicken Soup for the Soul * What I Learned from the Dog Winners: #66 Surge, #34 CMC, #28 Benita G, #70 Anne-Marie Tvete, #87 Queen of the Click
Scare Me Nots winner: #129 Amanda Starr!
Olive Kids *Placemats* Winner: #113 Reggieman whom likes the Christmas Lights Pers. Placemat
J Winterbower Glass Works winner: #34 Lee P
Soft Lips Review and Giveaway winner: #72 CMC
Dr. Blooms Chewable Jewels winner: #47 Ale Oliver
Please reply back to the email I send with your full name and address. NO PO Boxes allowed! Winners have 72 hrs to contact me or another reader will be chosen.
I’m really excited to share my thoughts on the starter kit that Soda Stream generously sent me. What better an invention is this that I can create soda or sparkling water in the comfort of my own kitchen!
- No bottles or cans to recycle or throw away
- Saves thousands of containers for a family of four in a year
- Carbonating bottles last for three years
- Highly concentrated sodamix minimizes packaging
- No high-fructose corn syrup in regular flavors. No aspartame in diet flavors.
How Soda Stream save energy…
- No batteries or electricity
- Reduces energy used to manufacture bottles and cans
- Reduces gas and pollution from shipping packaged beverages
- Eliminates pollution from batteries
As you can see, the benefits of making your own soda or sparkling water in your home are many. Everything that Soda Stream is doing is showing their sheer love and concern for those around them as well as the environment we live in.
I mentioned before that I was given the opportunity to review a starter set from Soda Stream. What was included in my Fountain Jet Starter Kit includes: 1 x Fountain Jet Home Soda Maker, 110-Liter Licensed Carbonator & Two Carbonating Bottles. This particular model comes in colors of Black, Red or White, and normally is priced at $99.95.
Along with my machine, I was sent a variety of soda mix flavors from the 25 offered. You’ll find regular, diet, energy and caffeine-free flavors have been included to meet everyone’s personal preference. Each 500ml soda mix bottle makes the equivalent of 12 liters (about 33 cans!) of soda. Regular soda mix contains no high fructose corn syrup and diet soda mix contains no aspartame instead Splenda is used. I was also sent a set of three All-natural My Water flavor essences which are unsweetened and calorie-free.
I must state that we really like our soda machine! It was so easy to set up and start making our own soda, that we may never buy another liter of store bought soda again! The convenience of having the various soda flavors on hand as well as a store (Camping World) near by to restock our carbonater is fantastic.
How are the flavors? Well, we haven’t tried them all yet but a personal favorite of my husband and I is the Orange Soda Flavor! If you are not huge on Splenda flavored products you may not be a fan of their mixes but that’s not to stop anyone from adding their own flavoring after carbonation or trying out the All-natural My Water flavor carried by Soda Stream.
There’s is nothing at all that dislike about about my soda machine and would highly recommend one of these machines to everyone who enjoys soda or sparkling water.
Sodastream has offered one lucky reader a Fountain Jet Soda Lover’s Start-Up Kit (approx. $100 retail value.) It includes the winner’s choice of black/silver, white or red/silver Fountain Jet, CO2 to make over 100 liters of soda, 2 reusable carbonating bottles, a sample pack of flavors, and 3 full-sized flavors of the winner’s choice.
To Enter: Visit Sodastream and let me know what color machine you’d like as well as which 3 flavors you’d like to win!
Personal Thoughts by Justin Lowmaster…
NERF N-Strike Elite is a rails light-gun shooter by EA Games. It is an decent alternative to the more violent and bloody rail shooters such as Dead Space: Extraction or any of the House of the Dead games. While it isn’t a game I enjoyed a lot, it will do well for certain audiences.
Key Game Features
* The NERF: N-Strike Elite Game – Enjoy a classic rail shooter packed with arcade style shooter action where your path through the game is laid out in advance so you can concentrate on having fun.
* NERF Switch Shot EX-3 Blaster Included – Bundled with the game is the NERF Switch Shot EX-3 Blaster, which is compatible with other games utilizing the Wii Remote, and as a standalone NERF gun with a three NERF projectiles capacity.
* Decoder Lens Attachment – Your blaster includes a detachable decoder lens through which special codes and enemy weaknesses can be seen in-game.
* Multiplayer Support – NERF: N-Strike Elite features 2-player off-line. multiplayer co-op functionality for twice the fun.
* Multiple Available Characters – NERF: N-Strike Elite features access to four different characters, each with their own arsenal of NERF blasters
* Weapons Selection – Weapons available in NERF: N-Strike Elite include 16 different NERF blasters, both real and fictional, each with their own specific strengths and weaknesses.
This games enemies are robots who shoot NERF darts and the weapons the players use are also foam NERF projectiles. I have not played the first game in the series, but I believe that in that game the players are in a training course. In the second game, the robots have gone awry and are in ‘real’ danger.
I myself enjoy games like House of the Dead, so when I started the NERF game, I wondered how it would compare. While I hoped for a similar game that was just geared for a younger audience. I was, sadly, a little disappointed. While at its core, it is like any rails shooter. The camera moves around and you fire at whatever enemies pop up. My biggest complaint is the fact that enemies take many hits so sometimes you just stand there holding the trigger, waiting for a robot to explode, then going to the next one. I’d call it slow-paced. There aren’t enemies popping up all over forcing my to quickly blast them. Some robots show up, I hold down the trigger, and wait. Even on the harder difficulty, the only difference is that you take more damage and the rockets you blast from the sky move faster.
Another issue is that there is very little ‘feel’ to the game. The robots will move somewhat when hit, but there is little to no feedback to know you are hitting one. Obviously they are getting hit with foam darts, not shotgun shells, but still, some reaction would be nice. There isn’t much in the way of impending danger. Your shield is the only ‘health’ meter you have, and when it drop to zero, you simply are asked if you want to return to the previous checkpoint or to the menu. Also, to reload you have to shake the remote. This is awkward and I kept wondering if I’d shake something loose, but I didn’t. Shooting off-screen to reload, like most games like this, would have worked just fine. It auto-reloads when you run out of bullets though.
In game you can shoot canisters that you spend to upgrade your weapons. This makes them stronger, hold more ammo, bigger scopes, the normal things in this type of game. I did not find any bonus modes or options, but they could be there.
The game is short, beatable easily in just a few hours. That’s not too uncommon for any of the rails shooters I’ve played. There are three difficulty modes, but playing on Hard didn’t make it much more a challenge as nothing changed that I noticed besides the amount of damage I took and the speed of one enemy. Basically I just had to replay more often. The levels appear to be the same for every character, you just have a different set of weapons to choose from.
The game comes with an actual NERF gun that you can remove the firing mechanism from and insert the Wii Remote into to play. Attached to the top is the Red Reveal scope. It’s a red bit of transparent plastic that will sometimes reveal a specific target to hit. I believe you could play the game without it, but it is meant to be played with it. For me it was kind of a gimmick and didn’t make the game better. Didn’t make it worse though.
All in all, Nerf N-Strike Elite falls short for me, but if you’d like a rails shooter that isn’t full of zombies and blood spattering everywhere, it is a viable alternative. I could have been better with faster paced game play. I worry the younger audience it is meant for will also tire of the repetitive times when the same few robots show up and you just stand there waiting for them to explode. It’s not a bad game though, just could have been better.
This title is rated Everyone 10+ for fantasy violence and can be purchased at various locations as well as Amazon.com .
Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of NERF N-Strike Elite for review from Electronics Arts . This review is 100% our opinion and has not been edited or reviewed by anyone. I was not compensated in any other way for this product review.