When a game lends itself to a high degree of artistry, one cannot help but wonder if ideas like game dynamics have been sacrificed to make way for a greater focus placed on aesthetics. It happens from time to time – a game that looks absolutely incredible, and is emotionally charged in terms of narrative, treats other important aspects as secondary. But this is not the case with Ori and the Blind Forest. Rather, this game with its rich mythology and incredible looks, is a game first and foremost.
Wednesday, 1 April 2015
Sometimes having to choose between one device or another simply doesn’t make you happy. For example, choosing between the more refined input systems and versatility of a notebook or the absolute ease and portability of a tablet isn’t something some people want to do. If you fall into that category, Asus’ has a solution for you in the form of the Transformerbook T300 Chi.
It’s not a new concept, really… it comes down to a tablet with an attachable keyboard. Or, from the other end of the scale, a notebook with a removable screen. Either way, it fills a “best of both worlds” gap and provides the end user with a machine that can be used in multiple ways.
There seems to be a misconception that bigger is better when it comes to graphics cards. We’re talking physical size here – obviously higher specs are preferable. Some people think that the more monstrous a graphics card is in terms of proportions, the better it’s going to do it terms of performance.
But that makes little sense when you’re trying to remain aware of elements like the all-important air-flow inside your PC case. Getting air moving is paramount, and a large card is a big block to free flowing air.
Shifting control in big business
I’ve once again been extremely lucky to attend the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas. The festival has been running for several years now as a hub of convergence between the film, music and interactive industries. Everyone from top Hollywood producers like Brian Grazer (known for his work with Ron Howard through Imagine Entertainment) to thought-leaders like best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell meet up to discuss everything from capturing people’s attention to harnessing digital platforms to deliver content. In fact, I passed Gladwell and Grazer having dinner in a local Austin restaurant (I was too shy to request a selfie though) so there is definitely a strong spirit of discussion and collaboration here. Many startups, independent films and bands have found their beginnings here at SXSW (or Southby as people tend to affectionately refer to the festival), and from my visit here last year I’ve seen companies like Splash (a platform to help organisers mount and manage events as well as build custom websites) and bands like The Griswolds (who I totally love) go on to great recognition and new fans.
When it comes to power supplies, there is a growing trend towards manufacturing devices that simply perform better. As users become more aware of the importance of a really reliable power supply unit, the idea of the nondescript grey box supplied with your chassis being the way electricity gets distributed to your computer is losing traction fast, and major manufacturers are dedicating themselves not just to building PSUs, but to building really good PSUs. It fills in a valuable gap created by the heightened awareness that end users have of what’s going into the guts of their PC.
The idea of surround sound being delivered by a headset isn’t quite so strange anymore. Technological advances have seen to it that headsets are now capable of simulating believable surround sound without using numerous drivers, making the prospect of surround sound headphones more accessible and more affordable.
And there are some great headsets out there, like GX Gaming’s Junceus Virtual 7.1 Channel Gaming Headset. Looks are deceiving here – the Junceus is a pretty headset, sure, but it looks simpler than one would expect from a headset that delivers such great performance. And the best part about it is that the surround sound really works well. Not only that, but thanks to a smart, included software system, the user can define the ‘position’ of the speakers, thereby trimming their surround sound experience to deliver exactly what they need.
Researchers have been discovering some surprising benefits in playing video games
Video games have often been given a bad rap. Whenever a school shooting or other act of extreme violence takes place, people – including respected, informed celebrities – leap onto the anti-video game band wagon, laying the blame for aberrant behaviour squarely at the feet of this ever-growing pastime. Even lesser evils are blamed on the activity, with the stereotypical image of a parent telling their kids to stop wasting their time with video games and rather go and play outside springing to mind.