The following boards from Gigabyte have updates to their BIOS in order to accept new 4th gen Processors going to be released by Intel. The list can be viewed here: http://www.gigabyte.com/press-center/news-page.aspx?nid=1273
Online Contest Gives Consumers a Cloud of Their Own
February 28, 2014 – WD® in Philippines is pleased to announce its Facebook contest entitled, Save Your
Moments on Your Personal Cloud with WD® Photo Contest. This contest is open to all Filipino residents
18 years old and above.
Everyone is inundated with thousands of digital files scattered across multiple computers and mobile
devices. WD My Cloud™ is a complete solution for users to organize, centralize and save the digital
content, and access those files from any device, from anywhere in the world. With direct file uploads
from mobile devices, important files and videos can be safely moved to My Cloud, freeing up valuable
space on users’ tablets and smartphones.
Beginning from 28 February, 2014, consumers can follow these simple steps to participate:
• Visit WD Philippines Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/WDPhilippines and click on the
link to the contest site.
• Upload a photo you most like to keep safe on your Personal Cloud, and write in no more than 30
words, tell us “Why I like to save the photo on WD My Cloud?”
Attractive prizes will be awarded to participants with the best photo and caption:
First Prize: WD My Cloud 4 TB x 1 unit and Apple® iPad Air™ 16 GB Wi-Fi x 1 unit
Second Prize: WD My Cloud 3 TB x 1 unit and ASUS MeMO Pad™ HD 7 16 GB x 1 unit
Weekly Prize: My Passport® Ultra™ 1 TB x 1 unit
More information about WD My Cloud can be found on the company’s website at http://wdc.com/en/
The Lego Movie Videogame ties in pretty well with the movie and manages to fill in some of the gaps that weren’t seen in the game, and manages to do it with flair and pure awesomeness.
Spoilers Ahead after this, especially if you haven’t seen the movie.
One of the recent games that I got this year was Lego Marvel Super Heroes from TT Games. Being a Lego game, expect some fun and wacky humor and surprises within.
After Lego’s forays with their licensed products starting with Lego Star Wars (which I think I reviewed years ago) and released to the PC under the former Games for Windows line. Recent releases included The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Lego City (for consoles), and most recently, DC Superheroes.
With Marvel Super Heroes, Lego has made a game that exclusively features the characters they have thus far released in mini figure form. Factions such as the Avengers, Fantastic Four, X-Men, are included as well as some of their allies (some of these were released in limited edition packs in Comic Con, so having them is a treat in itself), and of course the Villains.
Disclaimer: I haven’t played the DC Superheroes game, and while I do have the LOTR Trilogy, I have yet to open it.
Being a Lego game, some elements involve some assembly with Lego bricks. Each character in the game have their own skillsets. Some like Iron Man (and his different suits) have varying abilities. Characters like the Hulk can transform or use his strength to break objects. Spiderman can use his webs to pull objects and stick to walls, and Magneto is able to manipulate ‘metal’ bricks, and lots more.
The game has its storyline revolving around Galactus’ pending arrival, and the villains grouping together, collecting cosmic bricks (which was silver surfer’s board being broken up on his appearance). Mini-games are abound some involving races, puzzles and the hilarious Stan Lee in Peril missions where we would rescue Stan Lee in various… situations he’s placed in. Other missions involve collecting all of the characters and vehicles. Other missions include Iron Man’s House Party Protocol, and Doc Ock and Agent Coulson teaming up to clean the Daily Bugle.
Speaking of vehicles, this is the first* time I have played a Lego title that involved free play that required riding vehicles. Cars, boats and planes are abound in this game, and can be used for travel, or combat. Some examples include: Cars, Boats, Bikes, SHIELD Fighters, Tanks, the X-Men’s Blackbird, Fantasti-car, and not to mention Tony Stark’s Jet.
The environment is quite big for a Lego Game, easily beating the Mos Eisly Cantina in the Lego Star Wars Trilogy. The SHIELD Heli-carrier is in the game too, serving as the Launchpad to some of the storyline missions. levels are cleverly made/designed, utilizing the current pick of characters to solve puzzles with. Once a level is completed, we can go back in free play mode and use other characters to cover the areas that were initially inaccessible.
Combat involves fighting off henchmen melee or ranged, depending on the current character used. In some end levels, a boss battle. Boss Battles were creatively made, making the players rely on the environment to build weapons or devices that distract or weaken a boss in order to be beaten by us.
All in all, it’s a fun game with lots to see/doo/collect/build. In between missions are cut scenes that have the well known Lego humor mixed in to appeal to everyone. There’s a balance of action and narration, plus some puzzles to give a breather between fights. There’s a ton of characters to collect, as well as vehicles. There are lots of golden bricks to find and earn through side missions or side quests from the citizens of the city.
Some of the letdowns involve the control scheme, some characters that transform (ie Spiderman) have difficulty swapping to another character due to the transformation button being the same button that pulls the player switch menu. This has been fixed in the Lego Movie Video Game (review coming right up after this). Another let down is that there seems to be a bias with Iron Man’s capability, I find it unbalanced, tending to be on the strong side, having access to a insta-kill multi missile launcher, his powerful heat ray in his HeartBreaker and mark 42 armor.
I have the digital version, but there was a pre-order bonus for those who bought the physical copy: A Polybag containing the limited edition (not as rare as the classic Iron Man minifigure, but nevertheless collectible) War… err Iron Patriot with his mounting equipment. I’d love to get one of these days, as I’ve managed to collect most of the Iron Man suits in the game (except for the Classic Iron Man suit, I hear it would cost me around 2x my annual salary to buy it).
Here are some GIFs that I composed from my screen cap session
For the longest time, I’ve managed to pre-order Battlefield 4 from EA’s origin service, getting some early bird discount and other stuff. Back in 2013 I was able to play a few rounds of multiplayer, but given my slower internet account back then I was able to play as much.
This review covers the changes made in single player and multiplayer, as most of the stuff in BF4 I found similar to BF3.
Dice revamped the single player experience by bringing back familiar elements from BF Bad Company 2 such as weapons caches used to outfit Recker. Unlike BF3’s campaign where it’s mostly on rails action, they brought back some levels that are bigger, enabling us to use vehicles and or experiment. Points are also brought in from the Multiplayer experience, letting us try and beat scores and be able to get Multiplayer bonuses like weapons. It’s like they decided to offload the assignments missions over to the campaign. Again, like its predecessor, it’s no where as long as Bad Company’s and each level could be completed quickly by being aggressive and continually push.
Dice improved the overall play of BF4’s multiplayer. The guns were moved around, particularly the powerful M4A1 (default US gun for engineers before and well balanced) was moved as a later acquisition. Some guns were removed and new ones were introduced, drastically letting players re-evaluate some of their well loved weapons to either pick a new one or continue using their old build. Weapon modification is better, having more options to choose. Weapons like the RPG were also updated, making it one of the mid anti tank weapons to acquire. Using anti tank weapons against troops are now challenging to say the least, until probably getting the aforementioned RPG.
Classes have been modified to allow certain classes to be cross trained to use similar weapon classes (carbines are now available for use by everyone) making grinding for kills easier. classes like assault and support now have 2 types of health/ammo packs. instead of a large/semi-permanent medic bag or ammo crate, they now start with small health packs and small ammo packs to restore ammo. In particular, ammo packs don’t restore grenades or grenade launcher / rocket launcher ammo. It would require the regular ammo crate to be able to get replenished. Engineers come up with a weak LAW (but it has lock-on) and equipped with a PDR by default (no longer carbines). Snipers get the advantage of being able to now use carbines, making aggressive recon a more promising venture.
Some of the previous styles of play were changed. In BF3, one can run, and dive while shooting. Now, running and diving pauses the player before allowing them to fire.
Environment in BF4 multiplayer has been improved, features like Levolution has been introduced, making some levels change when certain conditions were made, like blowing up the supports of the central tower in Shanghai Map, or blowing up a dam in one of the China maps.
Battlefield 4 has come some ways but fails to improve on the same things. Single player remained linear and having a short campaign, but had some improvements with regards to some of the level’s sizes and ability to flank enemies. Graphics improved greatly as seen in some of my screen shots. Even with a NVIDIA GTX650, I was still able to get responsive play and decent enough graphics. Most of the changes I’ve found fell in the multiplayer game. While Multiplayer’s Battlefield’s bread and butter, however I do feel I’ve been short changed with their work on the campaign.
Firaxis released an expansion to the well received game XCOM: Enemy Unknown, titled XCOM: Enemy Within. The game expands on the current game, introducing new units and enemies, rebalancing of some player enhancements, new resources, and more maps.
Enemy Within starts off similar to the default game with first signs of alien attack, While on the first mission, the introduction of a new resource called meld is made. Soon as the first mission ends, a briefing is made on the new resource which can be used to enhance XCOM operatives. Further into the game new modes of play like fights against a new faction are added, and an attack on the XCOM base starts the expansion side quest “Operation Progeny”. Other effects in the gameplay include sabotage operations by the new faction, the Exalt, by increasing panic in member countries. Performing intel scans or covert operations reduces that, in exchange of looking at more things to monitor other than alien activities.
Enhancements to the gameplay include performing augmentations to operatives either through performing genetic upgrades like enabling a operative to jump several levels w/o consuming excess movement points, have 2 hearts (overriding an old Academy upgrade, making the game more balanced). Or change the operative’s body into a cyborg, an MEC Trooper having higher hit points and heavier weapons with the downside of being more vulnerable (no defense bonus on environment and defense against Telephatic attacks).
Being an expansion, the game pretty much plays the same, albeit providing a more enjoyable experience with the new maps, additional missions, and more balanced play.
Aside from having a booth and sale during this weekend’s Pinoy Gaming Festival (PGF), NVIDIA Philippines will be having some interesting promos during the event:
1.) NVIDIA 760GTX Auction
Nvidia Auction! on Oct 26-27. We will be auctioning 1pc Asus GTX760 everyday at our booth in Pinoy Gaming Festival
2.) Freebies when buying video cards
|Enjoy the following onsite promotion if you purchase your video card at Pinoy Gaming Festival 2013! Limited quantities only!
PC Worx G.C. (300/600/1500)
Nvidia Sports Bottle
DOTA 2 /Valve 3d Post cards
and raffle coupons for our Gear up Game on! promotion
3.) Not Particular to PGF, but it’s an ongoing promotion… Raffle!
Gear up and Win! Starting Oct 26 to Nov 17! Every purchase of Asus Nvidia qualfiied products gets your a raffle coupon to get a chance to win the following prizes!
(terms can be found when clicking the poster)
WD Introduces Redesigned the popular My Book and My Book for Mac
September 30, 2013 - WD Philippines has announced the release of their redesigned external drives with capacities reaching up to 4TB in size. Along with the higher capacities, WD has also updated the current suite of software found within the external drive with the following: SmartWare Pro automatic backup software with Dropbox integration, and WD edition Acronis True Image. The two new software packages will aid in backing up files and for use in disaster recovery (Acronis True Image WD edition).
My Book and My Book for Mac hard drives are protected by a 3-year limited warranty and is available at selected retailers and distributed by EA Global Supply Chain Solutions, Inc. and Iontech. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) on My Book 4 TB will be PHP 9,990, and the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) on My Book for Mac 2TB will be PHP 6,090 and PHP 7,590 for the 3 TB.
Gigabyte Announces the BRIX Projector
October 14, 2013 – Gigabyte Taiwan has just introduced their latest addition to the BRIX range of ultra compact PC kits, the Gigabyte BRIX Projector. This compact PC packs in a 75 lumen backlit LED projector from its casing, along with stereo speakers. It is powered with a 4th Generation Intel i3 processor and has video input ports (HDMI, and Display Port) if the user wishes to continue using a monitor. The addition of a built in projector aids in making presentations on the go easier by having the convenience of having a projector and a computer in one package. The following further details the specs:
Projector Feature Highlights:
· 75 lumen DLP (LED Backlit) Mini Projector
· WVGA 854 x 480 Resolution
· 16:9 Aspect Ratio
· Variable 7” – 85” Projected Image Size
· Adjustable Focus
· 1.5 watt Integrated Dolby Stereo Speakers
· HDMI Input Port
· Intel® HD Graphics 4400
· Up to 16GB SO-DIMM DRR3L (1.35v)
· 1 x mSATA SSD slot (up to 256GB)
· Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11b/g/n + Bluetooth v4.0 Mini-PCIe Module (included)
· 1 x HDMI, 1x Mini-DisplayPort
· 4 x USB 3.0
· 1 x Gigabit LAN
· 1 x Headphone / SPDIF-Out
(It’s a bit delayed but am posting this for the sake of those waiting for a Steam Sale sometime this Holiday Season or the next Steam Sale)
The Bureau is a first person shooter from the XCOM Universe. After a long delay and several changes to the original XCOM FPS game came this version, set in the 1960s America.
We play as Agent William Carter of the CIA who was on a mission to deliver a highly confidential case for a meeting between the heads of the CIA, FBI and the military at a base in Groom Lake. Chaos ensued as unidentified attackers attacked the base, and this is where the Bureau is activated, and the game begins.
Gameplay for The Bureau is a tactical first person shooter much closely akin to Mass Effect: we can bring in two of our co-agents with us on missions which we could command to use their abilities for combat. These abilities differ from performing throwing a mine, an automated turret to using support skills like putting up a shield.
Carter can hide behind objects, shoot from cover and order his agents around, similar to Commander Shepard in Mass Effect, with an exception that I don’t remember having too dependent agents with me in Mass Effect (requiring constant commands to get out of trouble).
Weapons like in X Com: Enemy Unknown start out as regular ammunition belching M14 Battle rifles, Shotguns, Tommy Guns and bolt sniper rifles and good old .45 caliber 1911 Pistol. Certain missions will enable Carter and his crew access to the alien’s weaponry, which is different from Enemy Unknown’s mechanic of researching weapons in order to develop and buy it. In the game, it’s been done away and lets Carter to immediately pick up a weapon and use it. Outside of Enemy Unknown, the game introduces several variations of the alien weapons such as the assault rifle that replaces the standard M14 rifle. Laser SMG’s are the basic alien weapon first picked up and would vary between it and the more advanced Laser Pulse Rifle and the heavy hitting Blaster Launcher and Lightning Cannon.
Carter can customize his backpack (as well as the other agents’) to have their custom abilities applied such as better damage, better defense or quicker ability cool downs.
Developing your squad also comes into play, bringing a mixed set of agents per mission will ensure Carter’s survival as they level up, they can be able to earn more health and skills to help out in missions. They can be commanded on occasions to work with another team outside of the regular mission; similar to Ezio sending out his Assassin Recruits in AC2: Brotherhood/Revelations.
Missions within The Bureau vary, with some of them taking place inside the base such as interrogating aliens, investigating interior threats and others such as finding a cure to the sleepwalking illness plaguing the citizens in the game. However, the more primary missions where Carter and his squad partakes in are usually long/drawn out affairs which sometimes makes you want to rush things. And the agents Carter assigns to his team doesn’t have that lively feel like those from Mass Effect during cut scenes.
Graphically, the Unreal Engine 3 is definitely showing its age with each mission’s environment looking too similar and feel similar (or it’s just being in the 60’s). I can’t say much of their fashion statement at the time.
The ending is open ended and the player can choose with several outcomes, however that makes it somewhat disjointed with its connection to X Com: Enemy Unknown.
A few months after trying out Logitech’s gaming devices (actually, it’s been a year since that test), all of my input peripherals (except for my X360 controller) died. So in an effort to replace and at the same time try out another set of gaming keyboard/s and mice, I went and bought several Razer devices: Razer Orochi, Razer Black Widow Tournament Edition (due to the regular BlackWidow not being available in stores that time), and last, was the Mass Effect 3 Edition Razer Imperator mouse.
The Orochi mouse is made essentially for mobile gaming, it was the first formal Razer device I bought last year. It’s small, and ergonomically designed for right handed users. It is a laser mouse, powered by either a micro USB cable or two AAA batteries while on Bluetooth mode. The unit I got has a mirror finish, making it a glossy, fingerprint magnet of a mouse. Included in the package is the mouse, complementary batteries, USB cable, and a carrying case.
The mouse itself is responsive, but not easy to palm, as prolonged usage would tend to make the user’s right hand a bit tired. The Bluetooth functionality is a very useful feature of the mouse, letting me connect it to my Microsoft Surface RT (yes, RT is able to recognize and install the driver of the mouse). Also, it is priced a bit high though.
Razer Imperator (Mass Effect 3):
Being a huge fan of Mass Effect, I was lucky to be able to buy it from a computer store in SM North EDSA early this year. I have made this my primary mouse as a.) my old Microsoft Sidewinder was having issues with the left mouse button b.) the Orochi was built for a mobile device, and prolonged usage of it can stress out my hands.
The mouse is clad in a carbon fiber like skin, similar to what the N7 Armor has in Mass Effect 3. the LED on it’s mouse wheel is colored red from the usual blue lighting effect due to its N7 edition status. The side mouse buttons, a feature which differentiates the Imperator from other mice is that it’s adjustable to fit the user’s thumb. Unlike the Orochi, the Imperator only connects through a USB cable. Ergonomics wise, it’s easier to grasp it, and has a thumb rest below the 4th and 5th mouse buttons. Similar to my old Sidewinder, the Imperator has a mouse sensitivity selector which can adjust the overall sensitivity while playing.
At the price point similar to the Orochi, we’re getting something much simpler, less cutting edge technologies applied, but having a more ergonomic profile for right handed mouse users, and that N7 marking too.
Black Widow Tournament Edition:
There wasn’t any stock of the regular Black Widow keyboard when I was out looking for a replacement keyboard. I had to settle with getting the Black Widow Tournament Edition in the meantime. With that said, the reason of picking it at that time was it’s cheaper, way cheaper than the Ultimate Edition, which major difference with the regular Black Widow is that it had lighted keys.
Being a mechanical keyboard, a significant advantage to this against using a a conventional keyboard would be the speed of which commands are made and felt.
A quick history: compared to a conventional membrane based keyboard, the mechanical keyboard instantaneously picks up an entry w/o requiring the user to completely press a key. The only downside was that a mechanical keyboard can be easily damaged when spilled with liquids. That’s the reason why mechanical keyboards ‘disappeared’ from mainstream devices, however this generation’s mechanical keyboards are far faster than the previous generations.
The numpad in the black widow can be missed, and it’s compact nature fits well with my mATX themed casing/setup as well it adds additional space for my mouse to move around in. It has some lighted keys like Caps Lock, keys disablement. The Razer Logo lights up green as well. Another nice feature is the noise the keyboard (and all other mech keyboards have), the click clack sound of a person typing.
Razer has it’s own suite of input device application called Razer Synapse. Similar to Logitech’s device app, it manages macros and general peripheral settings. However, unlike Logitech’s that manages to load all device information to the app, Razer didn’t put all of their devices into Synapse. All of my mice require a separate app to manage them and isn’t tied to Synapse, only the latest models were added (2013 or higher end models). While the individual apps do cover the customizations of the device, I find it weird that it couldn’t be applied to a single app. Although the newer devices released by Razer have full support of the app, I’m a bit disappointed with the support on older releases.