Battlefleet Gothic: Armada

Battlefleet Gothic: Armada is the latest Real Time Strategy Warhammer 40k game. Unlike other RTSes, Battlefleet Gothic takes the game to space, during the time of the 12th Black Crusade. This game, is developed by Tindalos Interactive and published by Focus Home Interactive.

The campaign is unique compared to other games. The story is true to the original story written by Games Workshop and it is real time. As you, an admiral, you control the entire sector which is under siege by aliens, pirates and the forces of Chaos. Instead of conquering, this game is a crisis manager. Whether you should respond to a pirate attack here or deal with an alien incursion there makes a difference in the campaign. If you want to read up about the entire 12th Black Crusade, here is link .

Battlefleet Gothic boasts quite a few multiplayer modes. Escort Convoy, where you will either defend a convoy or attack it. Space Station Assault, where you will defend space stations or attack them. Assassination, where you have to defend your flagship or destroy your opponent’s one. Last but not least, the classic Planetary Assault, where you have to bombard on the planet below three times or prevent the enemy from doing so. In each mode there is one thing that is constant, every move you make matters. In basic, this is Chess made more advanced and harder, every mistake you make will have a repercussion on the game. Under such pressure and the need to make critical decisions makes the already tense game feel more pressurised. The decisions you make is not limited to the battlefield, even customising and choosing the ship to build can play a big part to your strategy.

The game, did stay true to its board game origins. Terrain advantages and disadvantages are a thing, along with the gorgeous background of the void. The planets are detailed and nebulae are vibrant. The ships, no matter from which faction consists of over 60000 polygons. The immense amount of detail and effort put into the aesthetics of the game is massive, and it paid off really well.

Overall, the game has breathtaking graphics but a difficult and steep learning curve which might falter new players to the game or the genre. Most upgrades however, requires a lot of Renown (currency) to unlock. The gem of this is the fact that even in defeat, the felling of pressure and enjoyment is usually present. The game is only available on PC costing $45 on Steam.

Photo Courtesy : http://store.steampowered.com/app/363680/

Overwatch

Overwatch is the first orginal IP by Blizzard in 17 years. Released on the 24th of May this year, it was really good as it killed all other competitors when it was released for a while. The class-based first person shooter is out on the XBox One, Playstation 4 and PC.

First and foremost, the gameplay is really smooth, it is unbelievably easy to pick up any hero in the game. It is easy to get used to a certain hero but really hard to master him or her with a few exceptions. There are 4 multiplayer modes, Quick Play, a multiplayer match with a bunch of people around your skill level, vs AI, a multiplayer match against AI bots, Competitive, where everyone is playing their best against you and Arcade, where there is a special theme for every week.

Unlike the tactical shooter Rainbow Six Siege, Overwatch has all 22 playable characters unlocked at the start. Each character is very unique to their core, in short Bastion and Widowmaker are polar opposites, though they are defenders. Since everyone has unique abilities, certain heroes mixed with others create a deadly duo or trio. For example, Bastion and Reinhardt is a lethal pair. Bastion mows down enemies effectively while Reinhardt soaks up all damage with his Barrier Shield. That said, every hero has a counter too. Bastion with a minigun might shred your team apart, but Genji’s deflect is a good way to kill a Bastion. That said, some matches are an endless game of rock paper scissors as both teams keeps on swapping heroes to counter the other team.

The maps are really distinct from each other. Dorado and Route 66 may be Payload maps, but they play really differently, Route 66 is more ‘sniper-friendly’ with all the high ledges while Dorado has many routes to ambush or flank. Each map is hand-crafted till the point that playing Payload on Hanamura feels odd. Each map is well crafted, with secret ledges and pathways for both sides to utilise to their potential. Blizzard also pays lots of attention to intricate details. On the last point in Hanamura, you can see Hanzo’s arrows and Genji’s shurikens all over the place, Junkrat’s grenade launcher has a flap that bounces around while moving.

That said, Overwatch is strictly multiplayer only with a handful of modes on a few maps. Yes it is fun to watch jaw-dropping Play of the Games and surprise everyone with a comeback, but if you play long enough, it becomes really boring. To earn boxes to customise whichever character you have picked up is really slow too, you earn these Loot Boxes everytime you level up, at higher levels, it becomes an endless grind to look good with your ‘main’.

All in all, Overwatch is a masterpiece when it comes to meeting the requirements of a multiplayer first person shooter, excelling at the balacing the characters. However, the Origins Edition is not worth it if you are on PC and do not play any other games, which costs you around 80SGD.

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Defy Gravity Extended

 

Defy Gravity is an indie game made by Fish Factory Games. The game itself is a 2D platformer that place it space. It has interesting features and is quite unique. You play as a gravitymancer and your name is Kara. A gravitymancer is someone who has a gravity controlling device that manipulates the world and laws of physics itself.

Instructions ingame

The game although has pretty simple mechanics and not so outstanding graphics, the gameplay is extremely fun and can keep you playing for a good bit. You are able to create gravity wells which are small pockets of gravity and anti-Gravity. Gravity pockets pull certain object towards it and anti-gravity pockets push them away instead.

Gameplay image of a level

There are 24 unique levels in this game, from simple jumps to challenging puzzles that take some thinking to solve. The custom soundtrack this game has is also fairly calming and peaceful, you could listen to it for an astonishing amount of time.

It might take quite a while to understand the game and its features as sometimes instructions might not be clear, but once you are familiarized with the controls it would be easier from then on.

In conclusion, this game is not only simplistic with fun mechanics but it is really unique in its own ways. The game itself costs S$3.50 and it can be found on the steam market. The only downside to this game is the length of the game. You could easily finish the game in just two to three hours but it is generally worth the price and has good replay value.

 

Photo courtesy of:

http://store.steampowered.com/app/96100/

http://www.dealspwn.com/defy-gravity-extended-9p-steam-202463

http://i.ytimg.com/vi/I4w1v31iLl0/hqdefault.jpg

 

Logitech Wireless Headset H600

The Logitech Wireless Headset H600 is like any wireless headsets, it comes with a USB Nano Receiver and a chargeable cable. It promises to works well with your normal social media like Skype, Windows Live Messenger and more.

The headset comes with a 2-year limited hardware warranty. It comes with a six-hour long battery life but varies on how much you use it.

If you need to be on the move often, it has a fold-and-go design to pack when space is limited. It has adjustable headbands to suit you best and has simplistic on-ear controls to adjust the volume if it is too loud or soft. It is very lightweight so it wouldn’t burden you much when using it.

It has good Noise Cancelling so there would not be much disturbance and would not have to compete with background noise. It has a using distance of up to 10m but might vary if there are obstructions.

The sound quality is clear and has a lot of bass although the headset doesn’t fully cover your ears. It also does not feel cheap as it is firm and solid.

In conclusion, it is a really good headset that is also not very expensive at a price of S$89.00 and has a battery life that is quite long and will suit most users. However after a few months of use, the sound quality might sound a little choppy and some even experienced one side of the headset not working anymore. The amount of bass and comparability makes up for it though. I wouldn’t recommend this headset as the durability is not great but if you are looking for a temporary headset or doesn’t mind the cons of the device, this might suit you.

 

photo courtesy of:

http://www.logitech.com/en-sg/product/wireless-headset-h600

Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse

 

The Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse is a special type of mouse. Unlike other average computer mice, it has a flexible design. The flexible design allows the mouse to be curved to suit to what you think best and can be flattened after use for packing.

Another unique feature is that it does not have a mouse wheel. Instead it comes with a touch-sensitive scroll wheel, where all you require is a quick flick and a hyper fast vertical scrolling for smooth, intuitive navigation.  However, the mouse wheel tab is easy to lose track of and might cause some minor annoyance.

It comes with the usual two physical buttons for both the left-click and right-click functions. The mouse comes with the BlueTrack Technology which allows you to track on almost any surface, from your office desk to your living room floor. However, it doesn’t work on clear glass or mirrored surfaces.

A Plug-and-go Nano Transceiver is provided where it can either be stowed magnetically in the mouse or it can be plugged into your computer’s USB 3.0 port, but it does not support Bluetooth. By flattening the mouse, it turns off the mouse to avoid draining its AAA batteries with a green light to show the battery working.

In conclusion, the Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse is a great mouse for people who are required to travel a lot and need an easily portable mouse. It also has a variety of surfaces that you can use it on. However, it is said to have a slightly unresponsive scroll tab and it is easy to lose track of the scroll tab, making it slightly inconvenient. The price of it is around S$59.95 depending on the retailer price. Thus, I would recommend this mouse if you find the price affordable and need to travel frequently.

 

photo courtesy of:                                                       https://www.microsoft.com/hardware/en-us/p/arc-touch-mouse#details

Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard K480

The Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard K480 is a computer keyboard that works with not only your computer but also your tablets and smartphones.

The Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard K480 has a rubberised groove stand where you are able to slide in your devices. Above the ‘esc’ button is a dial that allows you to select the devices that you would like to connect to by Bluetooth. They’re labelled as 1, 2 and 3 so if you have many devices, you just have to remember which number is assigned to which device.

The device is 2cm by 29.89cm by 19.5cm which said to be rather compact width-wise and is longer in depth. However by placing your device in the groove stand, it would not take up much space on your desk.

The device weighs 821g and is not exactly the lightest keyboard to be bringing around. It also comes with 2 AAA batteries which are included with the keyboard and it is said to last up to two years depending on one’s usage.

The Keyboard is also compatible with almost every operating system and platforms such as the Windows 7/8 or later. However Windows Phone is not compatible although Windows PCs are.

The well-spaced keys and comfortable keys to type on make the device a much better keyboard than others.  The keyboard contains shortcut keys like a Home button that works for all mobile operating systems.

In conclusion, the Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard K480 is a really good keyboard with a cheap price of S$59.00 and long battery life. You can easily switch up to 3 devices with a dial and is compatible with almost all devices. It adds simplicity to one if you’re not comfortable with the keyboard that comes with your device. I would recommend this device as it is really a great edition to your digital life.

 

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of http://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/multi-device-keyboard-k480

 

Vector Smartwatch

Although Vector is a fairly new company to most people, it promises a great smart watch and goes against Google and Apple by promising a battery life of at least 30 days.

The displays of the Vector Smartwatch is digital but in monochrome. This is done to increase the contrast so that you are able to read what is on the watch even in bright lights.

Of course, the Vector Smartwatch comes with all the functions you would expect from a typical smartwatch. It comes with a step, calorie and distance activity tracking and also sleep tracking. All this are linked to your android, IOS and the Windows Phones, providing incoming notifications, appointments that you have set or even read the news. The Look of the watch face is also customisable from the app you downloaded on your phone too.

The Smartwatch does not come with a touchscreen and it has to be navigated with the buttons located at the side of the watch. This is a little of a hassle as it’s a little hard to navigate with if you’re in a rush.

The watch faces are designed with simplicity and is easy to read. Notifications would come in but they’re not immediately displayed, instead if you would like to read the notification, you can flick the watch within 5 seconds to view it. Third-party app developers are also allowed to install their own software on the watch.

In conclusion, it’s a huge risk for a small company like Vector to go against huge companies like Apple and Google but with the 30-day battery life and the simple and easy-to-use functions the watch has makes it very appealing. Its design also doesn’t affect the watch that much either. With the price of US$349.00, it’s a somewhat a worthy purchase if you are okay with the simple design and function. Thus, this smartwatch has potential and I would recommend this watch if you’re not worried about the price.

photo courtesy of: http://www.cnet.com/pictures/check-out-the-vector-smart-watch-with-30-days-of-battery-life-pictures/

 

Google Nexus 9

A photo of the Google nexus 9

The Google Nexus 9 is known to be one of the best tablets of 2014. Due to the fact that it came everyone needs. A HD display with incredible performance. It is also the first tablet to run Google’s latest OS, the Android 5.0 Lollipop

Android 5.0 Lollipop offers a “pick up where you left off” function where you can access your songs, photos, applications and even recent searches from one android device to another.

It also comes with longer battery life and it’s easier to manage your power usage as they show an estimate amount of time before it needs to be charged or how much time left before its fully charged.

It also allows you to let your friends or relative use your phone with ease and not have the worry of them messing up anything as it comes with a guest user mode or you’re able to create multiple user accounts to let your friends log in onto your device.

You’re able to interact with your lock screen notifications. An improved quick menu can be accessed by swiping down from the top of the screen and it displays notifications. Swiping down again would expand the menu and shows settings shortcuts like brightness levels.

The Google Nexus 9 comes with up-to-date specs which is one of its greatest features. Specs that it comes with 64-bit version of the Nvidia Tegra K1 system-on-a-chip, 2.3GHz dual-core Denver CPU, 192-core Kepler DX1 GPU, Speedy 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard, Bluetooth 4.1

The performance of the Google Nexus is mind-blowing as it come with fast performance and it has a powerful chip, ready to be thrown with any type of tasks. Even with over 20 apps running, it is able to run large games without any large performance lost.

It also has a solid Wi-Fi connection, for example, browsing through the web is very fast and app downloads are quick.

However, the Google Nexus 9 would occasionally launch apps to a blank and unresponsive screen or would crash consistently. Due to the fact that Android 5.0 lollipop is still quite new and not all apps are still compatible with the new OS.

In conclusion, the Google Nexus 9 is a good and fast performing tablet which are typically for people who does not need to travel a lot and is usually stationed at one area for some time. It has great new functions, however due to the fact that Android 5.0 Lollipop is still quite new and most apps still not compatible with it and has problem loading them or crashes consistently from time to time. It is believed to receive frequent updates, fixing bugs that the came with the phone. However the price of US$339 is still quite cheap for a tablet with great potential. Thus, I would recommend you getting this tablet if the price and current-soon-to-fix bugs don’t affect you.

 

 

Photo courtesy of: http://www.cnet.com/pictures/google-nexus-9/

http://www.cnet.com/au/pictures/hands-on-with-the-google-nexus-9-pictures/

 

Cytus

A musical game, Cytus requires your utmost attention and focus while playing this game. With simplistic designs, just a line and appearing dots, Cytus is surprisingly entertaining.

This game is available on Google play and  the App Store. There are three different of points that one has to tap. The first is the normal tapping circles, another requires you to follow the circle when it moves, and the last is just a button that you hold down. When the line reaches the circle, you have to tap it. Although this may seem simple, the song scales in difficulty with each “chapter”. A chapter consists of multiple songs and there are 10 main chapters in total. There are also some add on chapters which have been added, like “Symphony” and “Retro”.

There are two different difficulties one can choose from, Easy and Hard. They also show the level of difficulty of each song, and allow the player to see if they are up to the challenge. The player is also ranked to the amount of points they get, mainly million master, S, A, B, C and Fail. Million master is obtaining a million points, the total score obtainable for each song. The only minor problem with musical games like this is that headphones are usually recommended for optimal experience, however, the connector between the headphones and the phone sometimes get in the way of tapping the circles that pop up.

Overall, Cytus is a game worth one’s time and money if they enjoy musical games. With over a hundred songs to choose for, there is never a dull moment.

Photo Courtesy of: forums.appgoer.com