Thursday, December 14, 2017

This is Goodbye to Net Neutrality... or is it?

Goodbye Net Neutrality?

Well... that happened. Net Neutrality has been repealed and we don't know what it will mean for us, other platforms, and fellow gamers like you. How can an ISP gain my respect in the wake of net neutrality being repealed? Simple... don't throttle sites and don't be a scumbag trying to feed greed & control or you deserve to be boycotted. I say that because it doesn't automatically mean it will be done, but if there wasn't anything to worry about, net neutrality would still exist. It's because someone wants to do something without facing consequences. Ajit Pai tried to pathetically assure us that it will remain the same, but I just don't believe him. Yeah... we might be able to shop online or game online, but prices will likely be higher the way they did with Netflix.

The New York Attorney General (Eric Schneiderman) revealed that the names of deceased citizens were used to comment on net neutrality. I can't be... assured of things like this, but also... I just know better. If you participated in the fight to save net neutrality, this could be a silver lining because to use someone's name in a fraudulent manner isn't exactly... legal.

If this (in anyway) swayed the decision, it needs to be considered in reversing the decision... and legal action needs to be included. That's super foul... and I wouldn't be happy seeing the name of my family member(s) used in vain to influence something like this. Would you?




OMG Dude, Ajit Pai is just a pure d-bag in its prime. Using dead people as moral support? I hope they haunt these losers. Who does that? I think everybody who gets affected by this financially should be able to sue. The corruption is real. They don't care about the jobs that might be lost because of new fees, people need to eat and pay bills!!!


It can still be overturned, so the fight isn't lost but the bigger entities better do something. There is a host of companies with a lot to lose.


Yep... the repeal can be overturned in court or Congress. Legislation is being worked on now by Ed Markey... so the fight is on. All isn't lost! Now let's go get food!


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Monday, December 11, 2017

Alcatel Idol 5S... Reviewed!


This is a pretty nice phone... but I don't recommend it.

I've been using the Alcatel Idol 5S for a few months now... the packaging is decent for this phone, nothing flimsy... which gets a thumbs up but don't get roped in by your first impression. Opening the package up... I wasn't expected all the bells and whistles that some companies provide with their flagship phones, not even the headphones. I just wait to be surprised but there was nothing beyond the expected.

Headphones would've been a nice addition, but... there were none. 

The one thing I was highly disappointed about (before even getting to the phone) was the length of the cord. W...T...F is someone supposed to do with these nearly bite-sized cords? Okay... maybe not bite-sized, but they are half or less than half the size of factory cords that I've usually had the pleasure of getting with other phones (no joke). It has to be extremely close to a wall outlet, preferably near a side table or a counter so that it's not resting on the floor (of a low wall outlet).

It came with a USB Type-C cable... which I prefer so much more than the standard mini because it slips right in regardless of which way the connector is placed in. Late at night when I just want to sleep, I don't want to fight with a cord. The specific cord that came with this phone has now been designated to the vehicle. It works well in there, and since I didn't have additional ones to accommodate charging this phone in the vehicle... I was happy to get some use of it that didn't involve frustration. I replaced the cable with a much longer one for home & office use.

As far as the phone itself, it's a nice metal & glass combination. Think of a thin ice cream sandwich with glass as the cookies and... metal as the ice cream. The feel is nice, although it feels too smooth to hold confidently without it potentially slipping. The clear case I purchased for it... saved the day, it allows for a nice grip. One thing the case takes away from though is access to the 2.5D screen. You might be thinking "What in the heck is  2.5D screen".

This phone's screen sticks out a bit... not for the purpose of seeing things at an angle or something, but when using the phone and you want to swipe the side of the screen to get access to another screen or options... you don't have to worry about the body of the phone being in the way. All you have to do is run your finger from the side of that unblocked glass and easily use that function. It's a nice convenient way to flow and I'm glad it's designed that way... and I can't overlook the fingerprint scanner on the back.

That's one thing I give this phone... the design is pretty darn good, which includes the speaker placement. They have two front-facing speakers on this thing which I love vs the back ones I call... mufflers. I never got that, if I want to look at something and the phone's cradled or its laying on something... then why not put the speakers in the front in order for the audio to be enjoyed? That's a valid question.

Anyway, I like the way they use the metal frame to house the speaker... which add to the overall length of the phone by way of their placement just above and below the screen. It's a clean premium design and the headphone jack being on the bottom is a win for me... it just feels better when using wired headphones. I've noticed that I don't get that tug the way I do when it's on the top for some reason, I don't even know what I do to avoid it... it just doesn't happen.

Using apps on the phone is pretty smooth for the most part... I didn't really experience problems there aside from apps just closing once every blue moon or not starting at all (which was rare... like with Sonic Forces). By the way, the music app that comes with this phone sorta stinks. It works, but you can't even start a track over, it will take you to the previous track... so if you have a better option (roll with that).

Other cons I've experienced with this phone beyond the length of the cord... are the lack of updates.
The phone needs updates in more ways than one. The Alcatel Idol 5S won't always give you proper playback through the headphone jack. Sometimes it will play through the phones built-in speakers instead. Staying in the realm of audio... I've experienced even more playback problems with Bluetooth headphones than with the wired ones. I don't get that... if it's connected and will allow for calls to be made... then what's up with the media? I literally have to go into the settings to uncheck the media box and recheck it at times. That can be annoying... especially if you're on a plane or somewhere you should probably be hush hush (noise in a study hall is unacceptable). They have to get that together because I use headphones often... technical difficulties are not a part of the plan.

Still remaining in the wonderful realm of audio... another problem I have with this phone is the sound notifications. You turn the phone on silent mode and... it turns the sound back on when it's good and ready. That should be up to me.

Something else I've experienced with the audio... is this squeaky cart's wheel like sound (almost like a whistle) when using Google Duo. There is no way to enjoy conversations with family and friends when you can't hear each other and I've even resorted to using sign language at times. Alcatel... go ahead and deliver those updates.

The reason I do not recommend this phone... is the battery life, it's downright horrible. If I have to be out for awhile, I bring a cord... just in case an outlet is available and I try to preserve my battery as much as possible. The dance gets annoying though because if you want to game, talk, text, get on "the Twitter" or whatever... the battery takes a hit harder than other phones I've owned (even those at lower price points). You're better off just waiting in order to save a few more rupees to get a phone with better or comparable features with a much better battery life.

That sucks because the phone has a pretty good 12MP camera... allows for split screen activity when needed (if the apps are compatible), allows for 512GB of expanded memory, etc. It should've allowed for battery swapping at least.

Pricewise... I got this phone for about $120, which is pretty good considering the standard unlocked price is nearly $300. The price point for this phone should be about $160 to $200 in my opinion, anything higher needs a better battery because at least the quality softens the blow... but it still isn't a good trade-off to me. Check out the specs below and I'll end this review with the reason I can't recommend this phone.

TECH SPECS:

DESIGN

  • Size: 5.85 x 2.79 x 0.29 in
  • Weight: 5.25 oz
  • Color: Crystal Black
  • Aluminum Frame, 2.5D Glass

MEMORY

  • 32GB ROM/3GB RAM
  • SD Support: Micro SD (Up to 512GB)

FEATURES

  • Processor: MSM8953 / Qualcomm®Snapdragon 625
  • CPU Frequency: 8*2.0GHz
  • GPU: Adreno 506
  • Sensors: G-Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Light Sensor, E-Compass, Gyro, Hall Switch, A-GPS, Fingerprint

OPERATING SYSTEM

  • Android 7.1 Nougat

DISPLAY

  • Size: 5.2 in
  • Resolution: FHD (1920×1080)
  • Glass Type: Dragontrail 2.5D
  • Touch Technology: Capacitive
  • Touch Points: 5
  • Screen to Body Ratio: 77.6%
  • LED Indicator: Indicate Charging, Events
  • Oleophobic Coating (Anti-finger Coating)

CONNECTIVITY

  • GSM: 850/900/1800/1900
  • UMTS: B1/2/4/5
  • CDMA: 1x BC0/1/10, EVDO BC0/1/10
  • 3G/4G/LTE: FDD: B1/2/3/4/5/7/12/13/17/25/26/66 TDD: B41
  • 4G Data: Cat 6
  •  
  • VoLTE (On T-Mobile Network Only)
  •  
  • Wi-Fi Specs: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz & 5GHz)
  • Wi-Fi Display
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • USB Type: Micro USB 2.0 (Type C)
  • SIM Type: 4FF (Nano-SIM)

BATTERY

  • Size: 2620 mAh
  • Standby Time: 753 hrs (3G)
  • Talk Time: 20 hrs (3G)
    This doesn't include the time you use the screen.

CAMERA

  • 12MP Rear Camera
  • Flash Type: Dual Tone
  • Focus: Contrast Auto Focus + Phase Detection AutoFocus
  • Image Sensor: OV12870
  • Sensor Size: 1/2. 8”
  • Sensor Pixel Size: 1.25um
  • Sensor Aperture Size: f/2.0
  • Angle: 79 Degrees
  • Rear Camera Video: 1080 @ 30fps with EIS
  • 8MP Front Camera
  • Image Sensor: OV8865
  • Sensor Size: 1/3.2”
  • Sensor Pixel Size: 1.4um
  • Lens Aperture Size: f/2.0
  • Lens Angle: 78

SOUND

  • Music Player: Google Play Music
  • Supported Formats: AAC LC, AAC+, enhanced AAC+, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, FLAC, MP3, MIDI, Vorbis, PCM/WAVE
  • Power Watts: Dual 3.6 w Speakers
  • HD Voice
  • Dual-mic Noise Cancellation
  • HAC Rating: M3/T3

BIOMETRICS

  • Fingerprint Sensor
  • Fingerprint Functionality: Unlock, Private Mode

IN BOX

  • Quick Start Guide
  • Data Cable
  • SIM Tool

OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES

  • UNI360
Overall... it's not a bad phone, but I honestly can't recommend it with the battery life. Serious things happen that require battery life, and apps are all cool but if you need something that can hold juice without also being a drain on standby... you can't risk owning phones like this. Emergencies happen.

Design: 5

Quality: 5

Battery: 1

Price: 3

"3.5 / 5 Cool Points"



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Thursday, December 7, 2017

FTS: Dragon's Crown Pro + Free Game!



Playable at PlayStation Experience 2017 (Hall B, Booth #B210)!

IRVINE, Calif. -- Dec. 6, 2017 -- It's time to bravely venture back to face the horrors of Wallace's Underground Labyrinth, battle monstrous orcs in Bilbaron Subterranean Fortress, and go on a magic carpet ride in the Mage's Tower because Dragon's Crown Pro is coming to the West in Spring 2018!

This remaster of 2013's acclaimed 2-D hack and slash couch co-op, beat 'em up action game from Vanillaware and ATLUS will be returning to the PlayStation®4 and PlayStation®4 Pro in 2018 for $49.99 USD and $64.99 CAD! With updated visuals and presentation for the current-gen, hunting for treasure in the Kingdom of Hydeland has never been more rewarding.

Dragon's Crown Pro retains all the gameplay elements of the original game, including Vanillaware's gorgeous 2-D visual flair and character design, but adds current-gen upgrades.
Dragon's Crown Pro features:
  • Visuals Fit for an Ancient Dragon - With beautifully refined artwork and 4K resolution support, Vanillaware's signature art style will come alive as you bludgeon, cleave, shoot, and loot through the dungeons of Hydeland.
  • A Rousing Adventurer's Soundtrack - A newly recorded soundtrack by fabled composer Hitoshi Sakimoto, supported by a live orchestra, will accompany daring treasure hunters on their search for the Dragon's Crown.
  • Glorious Presentation - Rejoice because English and Japanese audio options will now be available! Plus, game text will be localized in French, Italian, German, and Spanish.
  • All the Royal Bells and Whistles - If you already own Dragon's Crown, your saves won't go to waste. There will be online cross-play & cross-save compatibility with existing PS3 and Vita versions. Oh, and all patches, features, and the Storyteller Voice Pack DLC from the original game will be included!
  • Four Player Frenzy - With the fun local couch co-op and online multiplayer you remember, up to four players can experience countless hours battling together.


 
As with the original release, Dragon's Crown Pro features groups of heroes that face dreadful challenges in the labyrinthine dungeons surrounding the medieval fantasy kingdom of Hydeland. As they explore deeper into the dungeons, non-player characters such as Samuel the Adventurer's Guild leader and Lucain, the wizard come in to play with quests and tasks to complete. Use six adventurers (Fighter, Dwarf, Amazon, Wizard, Elf, and Sorceress) and their unique abilities to unravel the story behind the ultimate treasure, the Dragon's Crown.
Dragon's Crown Pro will be available to play hands-on at PlayStation Experience 2017 in Anaheim on Dec. 9 and Dec. 10. Check out all of the improvements and witness the game in 4K glory at the ATLUS/SEGA booth (Hall B, #B210)!
 
Dragon's Crown Pro will be available physically and digitally on the PS4 and PS4 Pro in Spring 2018. The game will be priced at $49.99 USD / $64.99 CAD (with commensurate European pricing) and has not yet been rated by the ESRB. For more information, please visit atlus.com/dragonscrown.

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FTS: World War Z... the game!


I always felt this could be a video game. - Luis D. Lucha


SABER INTERACTIVE REVEALS NEW GAME BASED ON 
PARAMOUNT PICTURES’ WORLD WAR Z, IN DEVELOPMENT FOR PLAYSTATION®4, XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS PC


MAPLEWOOD, N.J.  December 7, 2017 – Independent developer Saber Interactive has announced World War Z, a new four-player cooperative game inspired by Paramount Pictures’ blockbuster film franchise.  Featuring massive swarms of zombies who rush their living prey, World War Z is in production for the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One, and Windows PC.

World War Z is a name synonymous with heart-pounding fear and action, and we’re excited to finally capture that energy in a fast-paced and gruesome experience crafted specifically for modern consoles and PC,” said Saber Interactive CEO Matt Karch.

World War Z’s co-op campaign focuses on unique survivor stories and missions around the globe, including New York, Moscow, and Jerusalem. Use traps, barriers and the environment strategically to stay alive while unleashing a storm of firepower with a variety of weapons on the unrelenting hordes of the undead.

"Saber has tons of experience working on high-quality games and they've done a great job capturing the massive, frantic hordes of 'zekes' that sets our franchise apart,” said Bil Bertini, Executive Vice President of Worldwide Licensing for Paramount Pictures.  “They have created a fiercely original experience in the rich universe of World War Z that fans are sure to love.” 

World War Z is expected to release in 2018.


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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Road Rage... Reviewed!

Here is a Steam game code for... Brutal Legend: 7EXJ0-DL6XA-NN6BL

I might have road rage if I go for a drive after playing this. Then again, I might just be happy I'm not playing it anymore... so scratch the road rage part.


This review will be a bit different from others because this game just doesn't come off as... complete. Until the time comes (if the time comes) that they actually... fix this game's bugs and even add more to it, a revision will be considered. As of this date and time, this is a fitting review.

What can I say about Road Rage? Hmmm... you can still play the game, but I don't know... it's a frustrating lackluster experience. Please don't approach this game thinking you're about to embark on the remake of Road Rash... or you'll regret it. I tried to get into Road Rage, but the messy layout, the gloomy/visually challenging environment, and bugs... had me (literally) going back and forth to play this game in segments. It reminds of how some people are so difficult to deal with you can only handle them for a short while. It may be the complete opposite for someone else, and if someone is thoroughly enjoying this game... I'm happy for them (because I'm not).

Gameplay by Luis D. Lucha

What initially threw me off about this game... is the lack of a title screen. All it shows is a video loop of a police car flipped over on the side of the road. That wasn't even jazzed up to show you how the cop car got there, which honestly gave off a... demo vibe. Some of you may not be as familiar with demo's at game conventions, but since some games are still being developed... the experience is presented sometimes with the lack of a title screen (with a member of the team standing close by just in case it crashes). That's what this felt like. FYI: You get access to the menu once you're in-game.

What it also felt like was GTA after initially starting a new game and you have your auto-save to start automatically where you left off. Which made me wonder if the game was meant to be a mod for GTA and they just took it a step further and made a stand-alone game. If that's so, I totally applaud them for having the ambition, because some mods or fan remakes waste man hours on projects that get shut down by the IP holders. Then again, man hours also go to waste when games are not completed like they should be.

After that initial race (where an NPC got stuck on the side of the road)... I decided to check out the open world, all the while ignoring that annoying phone pop-up that continues to appear again and again until you get tired of it and accept the call. I rode into an area where I guess I wasn't supposed to be... and the police sirens began to go off, so I thought I was going to be in for a police chase... but that wasn't exactly the case. Don't get me wrong... I saw Swat trucks and cop cars, but I was able to drive by the swat vehicles which seemed to be positioned on every corner to block the way as the cop cars drove around like they were chasing someone else. I was eventually hit and the bike exploded... multiple times, and then I would drop back into the scene and it would happen again until the car moved enough. I was busted after hitting one of those detour street blockers... but it wasn't like an actual pursuit.

The blame could go either way or both ways with certain outcomes... because some publishers rush the development, while others let certain things slide. At the end of the day, thinking of the development cycle, I'm not a total stranger. If you only have so much time to get the game done... sacrifice the unnecessaries to ensure that the focus can go towards a stable product. That's important because the game isn't free.

The music's okay, but the in-game sounds are pretty generic to me... so I didn't really notice anything to appreciate (audio quality-wise). I didn't even use the headphones because the explosion sound isn't something I wanted to hear up close. If you are stuck in an area where your bike continues to go... KA-BOOM (shout out to RkRk)... you will know what I'm talking about. It's not pretty.

Although the open world really isn't something that I really care about in this game... I'm glad they put it in there to a degree to break things up, but something else came to mind. If they did a mission-driven game that took you from one scenario to the next, it may have been better... because then they could've focused on the adventure. There is plenty of dialogue, so that would've been a nice, in theory.

There are upgrades you can make to your bike so that it handles somewhat better, a variety of characters, weapons, and motorcycles to choose from also. You can even customize your bike which is a nice touch also. This doesn't make the game, but I didn't mind spending some time on this menu.

The price point is easily... $10 to $15 off the mark. It's not even me trying to argue a sweet spot. I'm saying for what its worth, that would decrease buyers remorse. This game still has the potential to be patched and given some other appealing updates... but it's up to the decision makers. Especially if they want maximum sales because right now... it's just a frustrating experience to me. There is plenty of that to experience... as you take on 42 missions and 56 side missions ranging from escorting, time trials, delivery jobs, etc.

Fun factor: 1

Visually: 1

Replay value: 5

Price: 2

"2.25 / 5 Cool Points"



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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

FTS: Tomb Raider SteamVR action!



Square Enix

RISE OF THE TOMB RAIDER “BLOOD TIES” CHAPTER NOW AVAILABLE FOR SteamVR 

HTC Vive and Oculus Rift Headset Owners Can Now Experience “Blood Ties” in Virtual Reality
REDWOOD SHORES, CA (December 5, 2017) – Square Enix® and award-winning studios Crystal Dynamics® and Nixxes Software today announced that the “Blood Ties” story chapter from the critically acclaimed Rise of the Tomb Raider®, is now available for Steam®VR and compatible with HTC Vive and Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets.

For the first time, HTC Vive and Oculus Rift owners can experience the “Blood Ties” single-player story chapter to unlock the mysteries of Croft Manor on SteamVR. When Lara’s uncle contests ownership of the family Manor, Lara must explore deep within the estate to find the hidden history that she is the rightful heir; or, lose her birthright and father’s secrets forever. Explore Lara’s childhood home in over an hour of new story, and uncover a Croft family mystery that will change her life forever. This new release adds another treasure celebrating Crystal Dynamics 25th anniversary: new functionality to the critically acclaimed and award-winning Rise of the Tomb Raider.

Season pass owners can download the VR content for free and also receive all of the new content featured in the 20 Year Celebration edition including: Co-op Endurance gameplay, “Extreme Survivor” difficulty for the main campaign, 20 Year Celebration outfit and gun, 5 classic Lara skins, and all previously released Downloadable Content such as “Baba Yaga: The Temple of the Witch,” “Cold Darkness Awakened,” 12 outfits, seven weapons, multiple Expedition Card packs, and more!



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Friday, December 1, 2017

FTS: Cloud Strife rolls in for Mobius Final Fantasy action!


Just a tip... our next game review will include a game code for a random title. It will be hidden somewhere in the review... so this is just a tip for those who check out this post! ;) You will have to highlight it in order to see it because... the text is white. - Blu


Square Enix
BECOME THE ULTIMATE HERO AND FIGHT AS CLOUD
IN MOBIUS FINAL FANTASY

New Job Accompanies Return of FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE Collaboration
LOS ANGELES (Dec. 1, 2017) – MOBIUS FINAL FANTASY® continues to provide fans with exciting new storylines from the FINAL FANTASY series, as the FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE™ collaboration returns this month. In addition to exclusive story content allowing players to team up with Cloud and explore a Mako reactor, Cloud also joins as the newest Ultimate Hero—a powerful job card that greatly enhances player stats. A new trailer showcasing the Cloud Strife Ultimate Hero may be viewed on here: 


The December update includes a number of updates and gifts for players, just in time for the holidays:
  • Final Fantasy VII Remake Event Stage – “Eclipse Contact”: Starting December 2, the Warrior of Light and Cloud journey together once again through this popular region. All players who venture through the Mako reactor can obtain new items, including Aerith’s iconic ‘Umbrella’ weapon. 
     
  • New Ultimate Hero – “Cloud Strife”: Cloud joins Lightning as the second Ultimate Hero inMOBIUS FINAL FANTASY. Players who obtain and equip this powerful card will not only receive generous boosts to their stats and Ultimate abilities, but will also take on appearance of Cloud in battle.
     
  • Year-End Greater Summon Festival: FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE cards will be re-released and can be obtained through the FFVII REMAKE Boosted Greater Summon. Additionally, specific Legend jobs will be guaranteed whenever players successfully summon a job card through the Legend Job Greater Summon. The guaranteed Legend job will change every four days, offering the chance to obtain every Legend job throughout the month.
     
  • Novices’ Hall New Area: Newcomers to the game can enjoy an expanded tutorial area to learn the basics of battle using the Warrior, Mage, and Ranger jobs. Veteran and beginner players will also be rewarded with Magicite, Summon Tickets and large amounts of skillseeds by completing these new stages. The Warrior, Mage and Ranger cards will be gifted to the players for free in this area.
     
  • Christmas Campaign: From December 17 through December 25, a special Christmas campaign brings all Mobius Day bonuses to players. Bonuses such as double stamina recovery from Elixirs, increased fusion success rates, and a fully open Pleiades Lagoon will be in effect for the entire week. Christmas companion spirits will also boost the rate at which card skills are unlocked.
     
  • Rewards for New & Returning Players: A prize tier will be assigned based on the combined number of new and returning users accessing the game from December 2 to 20. Depending on the total number of players, all users can earn free single summon draws in addition to one free Greater Summon. Full details on prize tiers may be found on the MOBIUS FINAL FANTASY holiday page: http://sqex.to/MobiusFF_Holiday2017

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