Edifier e10BT multimedia speakers First look (video)

Thanks to the fine folk at Edifier in Australia, a pair (set?) of its e10BT multimedia speakers arrived on my doorstep this week, just crying out to be reviewed. So that’s what I’m going to do.

I currently have the speakers connected to my desktop PC but they also have Bluetooth connectivity so they can be used for other multimedia use. I’ll use them to play music from my phone and play some movies off my iPad.

I’m going to do a full-length review when I’ve tested the speakers out for a bit longer but here’s a short video showing what they look like and sound quality (you also hear my Kiwi accent, which is supposedly sexy according to some survey some person/people did. Not sure I hear it, to be honest). I haven’t gone into specifications of the hardware: I’ll leave that for the long-form review.

I selected the opening credits music from Rocksteady’s Batman Arkham Knight to showcase the e10BT’s, which has some of the most impressive bass in any video game’s opening credits music I’ve heard in recent times.

Turn on your ears, enjoy & look out for a review soon.

 

My most loved games of 2015

When I wrote for a metropolitan newspaper, I did the obligatory “Games of the Year” write-up, which culminated in my best pick as Game of the Year.

I’m not going to do that anymore. I’m not going to decide from the games I’ve played this year (which hasn’t been as many in past years) which one is the best of the lot. What I’m going to do is tell you which games were my highlight of the year, in no particular order.

Let’s start, shall we?

The cast of Until Dawn: They quite like what I've written about the game they star in, too.

The cast of Until Dawn: They quite like what I’ve written about the game they star in, too.

Until Dawn: Something of a surprise hit to everyone, which is even more surprising as I can’t recall it getting a lot of marketing love from PlayStaiton. It’s also a game that I didn’t actually play until after watching a YouTube walkthrough. Yep, that’s right: I played it after watching a video playthrough. I’m not the world’s biggest fan of horror games and Until Dawn is a horror game, through and through, so I wanted to see how scary it was going to be. It has jump scares but it’s almost like a pick-your-own adventure where you determine the path that the characters take then they do it. Yes, it’s cliche-ridden and holds your hand at times but it’s horror done right.

BatmanBatman Arkham Knight: Probably one of the only AA titles that I really, really enjoyed this year. I’ve always liked Rocksteady’s take on Batman and Arkham Knight was no different, even if the Batmobile might have been overused too much and there were too many of those damn tank battles (those who have played it will know what I mean). What I’ve always liked about Rocksteady’s Batman series is the grittiness and the ever presence darkness that Batman is all about. Arkham Knight might not be the best in the trilogy but it’s damn good. [I’m sure someone will exclaim “But you can’t say Arkham Knight was a good game because it was broken on PC!”. Actually, I can say it was a good game because a) I played it on PS4 and had no problems  and b) it’s my list and I can have whatever games on it I like.]

life-is-strange-episode-1-0016Life is Strange: Dontnod’s episodic coming of age story about Arcadia Bay teenager Max Caulfield (with a little bit of super powers thrown in) was a bit of a slow burner for me. I played the first episode months ago, and liked it, but it didn’t capture me right away. May it was the at times cringe-worthy dialogue, but I could see it had promise and Max’s ability to rewind time to change events held all sorts of interesting propositions. For some reason or another, I didn’t start playing the second episode until few weeks ago. I finished it a couple of nights ago and I’m interested again. It was if the writers stepped things up a notch at episode two and it’s not captured my attention. Hopefully, I’ll finish the other episodes before the end of the year.

screenshot0607Everybody’s Going to the Rapture: Yes, The Chinese Room’s latest game could be described as a walking simulator because that’s what you do most of the time but I loved it for the story that it told and the emotional narrative. Set in a quaint English village after an apocalyptic event, the player has to unravel and piece together what has happened to the villagers by tracing the paths left by, I guess, their spirits that are still around the village. The story telling and emotional voice acting is what gripped me from start to finish. I didn’t care that it was slow-paced and measured. It was quite nice not having to shoot anything, either.

rise-of-the-tomb-raider08Rise of the Tomb Raider: The latest game featuring long-time video game adventurer Lara Croft is perhaps one of the best as she once again tries to find a precious artifact that will destroy the world if it falls into the wrong hands. While being an Xbox One exclusive for the time being may harm the sales of the game, Rise of the Tomb Raider is better than Crystal Dynamic’s Tomb Raider reboot because, pure and simple, it features more tombs to explore, and that, for the most part, is why people started playing Tomb Raider games. Rise is a return to form for the series.

What are your favourites for the year?

Batman Arkham Knight delayed – again – but I can wait a bit longer for some Batmobile action

Warner Bros announced this morning that much-anticipated Batman Arkham City has been delayed – again – a few weeks until June 23.  It had been previously delayed until June 2.

I have to say I was a little miffed about the latest delay as Arkham Knight is probably one of the few games I’m looking forward to this year. The Witcher 3 is the second one.  After watching the latest trailer, though, which could be seen as a “Sorry for the delay. Here’s some awesome Batman action to make up for it” apology from developer Rocksteady, I’m prepared to wait until June 23. Oh, God, I’m prepared to wait.

My jaw literally dropped as I was watching the trailer and I heard an audible “Wow” escape from my mouth. I think it was an involuntary “Wow”. I just couldn’t help myself.

I also think I stopped breathing for a split second when the Batmobile arrived on the scene (about the 3:40 mark) after Batman had decided to “Even the odds” after taking out a multitude of bad guys. OK, I didn’t really stop breathing but it was a mightily impressive scene. Watch it and tell me you’re not impressed.

If the latest trailer is indicative of the final game, then Rocksteady can delay it for as long as it likes. Well, not as long as it likes, I’d like it out by June 23 please and I’ve yet to decide whether I’m going to pick it up on PS4, Xbox One or PC (I have to check whether my PC can run it, though).

If the game was out today, I’d be throwing my money to Warner Bros and Rocksteady right now but it’s not so I’ll have to wait. Oh, yes, I’m prepared to wait.

Oh, shit, I also just realised that The Witcher 3 will only have been released the month before Batman Arkham Knight. OK, I’m going to have to start convincing the wife right now that she needs to watch TV in the other room during May and June.

Wish me luck. I’m not sure how successful I’ll be. Perhaps some flowers are in order …

See the E3 hype following Sony & Microsoft pre-show conferences

Microsoft and Sony held their pre-E3 press events today. Both had games, games and games. Sony also had a TV device. Microsoft hardly mentioned Kinect at all (I think it’s needed for the Dance Central game).

Instead of prattling on, I’ve just posted some videos. Personally, I’m still super keen on Batman Arkham Knight, the time-lapse trailer for Ubisoft’s The Division, the fact that classic point-and-click adventure game Grim Fandango is heating  to PS Vita and PlayStation 4 and Sunset Overdrive: It looks the bee’s knees. Oh, and Crackdown: I loved the original Crackdown and despite being another bad guy being taken down, it could be interesting.

Watch and enjoy. Happy E3!

Batman Arkham Knight (and the Batmobile blowing shit up):  

The Division:  

Sunset Overdrive

Grim Fandango (featuring DoubleFine developer Tim Schafer pretending to be a small child):

Crackdown:

Far Cry 4: 

 

I’ll post more videos when I can be bothered.

Were you swept away by the hype? Did you get up outrageously early to watch the Microsoft livestream? Thoughts? You know what to do …

 

Disappointment alert: Batman Arkham Knight delayed

If there was one game that I really looking forward to this year it was Batman Arkham Knight. I was counting down the days until it’s release on [Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC] in October (well, I wasn’t actually counting the days physically, you understand).

I was even getting ready to pre-order a collector’s edition (when one was announced) because a) I don’t own a collector’s edition of any game and b) If the collector’s edition had a replica model of the new Batmobile, well, let’s just say that would be awesome (hint, hint Rocksteady and Warner Bros Interactive).

Well, sadly, I’m going to have to put my dreams about pre-ordering a Batman Arkham Knight collector’s edition until probably later this year: Rocksteady has delayed the game until next year. Yep, 2015.

Talking to The Escapist at an Arkham Knight press event recently, Rocksteady’s Guy Perkins said with such as “super ambitious project” in development, more time is needed.

“We just want to make the best experience we possibly can and we need more time to do that,” said Perkins. “I think what we’ve shown so far is a super ambitious project and we just want to make sure we are giving Batman fans and gamers the best Batman experience that we can possibly deliver and that just takes time.

“I think we would be doing fans a disservice if we didn’t spend the time on the title. We just want it to be really great.”

Personally, I’m all for games being delayed so they’re polished within an inch of their lives. I don’t want a buggy, glitchy mess that launches with a 8GB patch (sorry, “update”) that fixes all the stuff that should have been fixed in the first place.

Really, though, does this delay come as any surprise? The game was only officially announced a couple of months ago so I wonder whether the October release date was made after pressure from the publisher. Who knows but if this delay makes the game better, then I’m all for it. Besides, Arkham Knight will be hyped to high heaven until it’s out so best it’s the best it can be. Right?

So, I guess as a means of appeasing the restless and disappointed fans,  Rocksteady has released a new trailer that shows off the Batmobile’s Battle Mode, which apparently is going to be shown in more detail at next week’s E3.

Disappointed like me at the news?