Saturday, 6 September 2014

Come On Kiddies, Put On Your Puppy Eyes!

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"Trick or Treat! Do you have those $19 million sweets?" (Silicon Valley, Halloween)

JUSTICE news today, as the Federal Trade Commission has forced Google to pay $19 million back to children who have accidentally bought in-app purchases (Cheers, Eurogamer). If you're one of the "lucky" people who's kids have blown tens and hundreds on microtransactions since they were inaugurated in 2011 (The darkest year of my life), then 1) you could be viable for a refund and 2) blame your kids for atrocities such as Dungeon Keeper.

OK, maybe not that last part. The whole reason he FTC have been enforcing laws and forcing companies like Apple and Google to refund money is because of how easy it is to pay for a microtransaction without knowing it. If a notice keeps popping up and you accidentally press it, then it's not your fault that you've spent that.

This follows the European Commission's announcement back in July when they enforced a law stating that no game could be marketable as "free" if it involved microtransactions, and Google responded by completely removing the free tag from all of it's games.

What do you guys think? Are enough actions being taken against in-app purchases? Or is it our fault if we don't be careful around apps? Tell us in the comments below! 

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Z3 Phones, Z3 Tabs, Z3 Women

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Just bought the new Z2? Too late! We've already brought out 6 new phones since last week!

After Samsung unleashed a flurry of devices onto the public at IFA yesterday, Sony did that the same day! New tablets waerables and phones were announced, so let's take a look at them!

Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
Xperia™ Z3 Tablet Compact is a slim, lightweight, waterproof tablet from Sony
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Usually, Sony have stuck to 10" tablets, but this new effort is a smaller 8", yet still packs the same punch as the Z2 Tab, maybe even more so! As well as the usual waterproof, dust-resistant and slim body we've come to expect fro Sony, it packs a 1200p screen and utilities Triluminos tech to create more vivid and contrasting colors. The headline addition, though, is that it can  PS4 games remotely through PS4 Remote Play, and in case you're skeptical as to how the Z3 Tab will handle these games, 3GB of RAM and a Quad-Core Processer paired with said 1200p screen should calm your worries.

Xperia Z3
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Weighing only 152 grams but still hiding a 2.5Ghz processor, a battery thatcan last up to 2 days and 3GB of RAM, there's no doubt that the Z3 is looking like one of the best phones of the year so far. A 5.2", 1080p screen means that it'll be one of the only smartphones capable of PS4 Remote Play. I don't really need to tell you this, but the Z3 is water and dust proof, plus it's got an outstanding 20.7MP rear camera that has the ability to shoot video in 4K, It'll also have a Dual SIM version, too, plus the Xperia Z3 Compact has everything the Z3 does, except for it's 1080p screen (Swapped out for a 720p screen) and it's 3100mAH battery (Swapped out for a 2600mAH number)

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

One Change

Hi Guys!

Today I've just got a little change to announce: I'm retiring Wayback Wednesday, and bringing back Kickstarting Thursday. With my GCSEs starting, Wayback Wednesday is too time consuming to write, and looking back I enjoyed the KT articles I did. Still, if I can, I'll try to bring back WW in the holidays. If you have any opinions, voice them in the comments!


The Gear... It's Evolving!

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The Gear VR: for when you have hundreds of pounds, but no cardboard.

Have you ever wondered, while playing on your Oculus Rift, "Elite Dangerous is great and all, but I wish there was a way to play terrible knockoffs in front of my face!". Well, you're in luck, as Samsung, at their Unpacked press event, have unveiled the GearVR, Oculus announced on their blog. Despite the Samsung name, Oculus is very much developing it, and the current editon, the Innovator edition designed for "developers and enthusiasts", will only be compatible with the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 4, which was announced at IFA in Berlin today. According to TechRadar, the phone will pack a hefty 2.7Ghz processer, 3GB of RAM and a 500 pixels per inch screen, so it's a pretty powerful phone that will definitely get the job done.

But what are the advantages? Why should we buy a new phone and a headset if we could just make a Google Cardboard and download games for that? Well, the blog mentions 4 unique apps that the GearVR will have:

Oculus Home will be the OS and hub for the GearVR, letting you access all of your downloaded apps, as well as go to the Oculus Store.

Oculus Cinema will be a simulated cinema, where you can watch 2D and 3D movies, choosing the environment you are in and watching VR-specific films. 

Oculus 360 Videos lets you play panoramic and Oculus-compatible videos.

Oculus 360 Photos is the same, but with photos.

Still, this is just what Oculus is working on. What do you think will be the killer app for the GearVR, and will yu buy the Innovator edition? Tell us in the comments below!


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Dream-shattering news today, as kids all around the world who hope that PewDiePie will shout out their channel and they'll become instant famestars sponsored by Doritos and Razer are crying, because the YouTuber in question has turned off the comments on his videos, he explained. The kids in question denied to comment, because they couldn't. Anyways, Kjellberg cited that "people self advertising" and "people trying to prove" were the main reasons and, to be fair, I don't blame him. If the comments are seas of spam, homophobia and all-around annoyingness, why keep them there? 

And it's not like he won't interact with fans anymore. His Twitter and Reddit channels are twat-free, so he can still talk to the good fans. Look at NerdCubed, for instance. Despite his lack of YouTube comments, he talks to people and answers their questions on Twitter and Tumblr, plus most of his videos are suggested on Reddit. It's a prime example of a community-run channel that the owner still primarily controls, and it's a good path for Kjellberg to take.

Still, by the looks of it, PewDiePie may not be on YouTube for long. His company, Maker Studios. is currently in the process of being bought by Disney, and with Google taking big cuts of advertising revenue, it could be a profitable move for the Swede. Still, the YouTuber is set to make millions by the end of year, so he doesn't have money problems, but maybe we could see PewDiePie get his own site and maybe even a show on the Disney TV channels, as it's no big secret that many of his fans are teens and under.

What do you guys think? Was it a good idea for PewDiePie to tunr off the comments? Tell us in the comments below!

Monday, 1 September 2014

The Month Ahead: September 2014

5th: The Sims 4
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The main new feature in the sequel to the much loved and loathed franchise is that each Sim has a bigger personality, and the craziness is even crazier. Sims can die of laughter, go nuts at a party or just be plain douchey. Still, if you've seen what people have created with the Character Creation Demo, you'll pretty much know that you can make even more messed-up Sims than before, plus build them more detailed houses and easily share and receive community content in-game. STOP CHEERING, obviously-planted-by-EA Sims fans...

9th: Destiny
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If you haven't heard of Destiny, you must be a hermit hiding under a rock, so please turn yourself in to the police, your family is worried sick about you. Then play Destiny, because, despite wave after wave of disappointing announcements about features in the game, it's still shaping up to be a fine one. Tons of planets to explore, huge Raid missions to play and an array of vehicles to drive and customize means that Destiny should keep you busy for hours, so just remember to eat and go pee-pee, OK?

Best of Sony's Tokyo Game Show Conference!

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After a great Gamescom comeback following a boring and slow-paced E3 affair, Playstation promised to make 44 game announcements in this pre-TGS conference, which was a bold statement that was actually pretty-well lived up to. Sadly, as this is a Japanese conference, half of these games will either be launched in Europe and the US years later, or will never be lauynched in these territories after all. Still, on with the highlights!

Persona 5
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The only real things we knew about Persona 5 before this conference was that it was coming out for PS3 and that it was in the same school setting as the previous games. Well, thanks to another trailer, we now know two more! First up, P5 won't be last-gen only, as it's also coming to the PS4, and second, the release date has been pushed back to 2015, where it will launch in Japan and North America. Also in the trailer is people looking at other people. Please tell me that it's not a metaphor I'm not missing out on.

Everybody's Golf (PS4)
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After the amazing trailer that showcased EA's PGA Tour back at E3, I thought that the golf game market was too hardcore for me, but now Sony's putting it's own shizzle down in this booming bracket. The sequel to Everybody's Golf Vita, Everybody's Golf is coming to PS4 and will have an open-world to golf in. Once again, not very many details, but it's enough to excite some hardcore fans.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

End of the Week Extravaganza: August 31st

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The world is now complete. Not even Patrick Stewart can hold a candle to the Reggionator's Ice Bucket Challenge. That's right, Reggie Fils-Aime fulfilled his promise and took part in the Ice Bucket Challenge, along with some other Nintendo employees. Why didn't he nominate anyone? Well, who can beat that?

Oh yeah, and Nintendo have announced new 3DS and 3DS XL models with better CPUs, more 3D angles and Amiibo support, plus new Mario Kart 8 DLC with the likes of Link, Dry Bowser and Tanooki Mario joining the fray. I guess that's important, too.

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Well, the new 3DS announcements have a bad side too: you know that new CPU that means you can play such demanding games such as Brain Training? Well, that means that some new games will only be playable on the new model, meaning that if you want to play the latest, demanding games for your 3DS, you'll have to buy a new one. The only new, exclusive game announced for the new models is the Xenoblade Chornicles port. according to Eurogamer. Also, Europeans get teh short end of the release date stick as Nintendo told Eurogamer that it would be arriving in the continent in 2015. 

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Yep, Nintendo have been busy this week! Sadly, one of those announcements was that 320 Nintendo of Europe employees have been made redundant and won't be working at the Germany office anymore. they announced in a statement found by Kotaku. The statement basically expresses that, to keep costs down, Nintendo of Europe are laying off workers and instead outsourcing things like translation and testing from other companies, as it's cheaper.

Anytime Reviews: Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls: Ultimate Evil Edition!

Loot. Lots of loot. And monsters.

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Diablo 3 Ultimate Evil Edition marks the Action RPG's transfer onto the next generation of consoles (i.e the Xbox One and PS4), with improved visuals and the Reaper of Souls DLC included. Both published and developed by Blizzard Entertainment, it follows a protagonist who is Nephalem, offspring of both angel and demon which have a name and class of your choosing who has to defeat the evil Lord of Terror, Diablo and multiple other Lords of various bad things to save the world and collect glorious, powerful loot. The story isn't that interesting, but it sets up multiple zones and makes you face multiple enemies using the fun combat system, not forgetting the realistic voice acting.

You choose one of six classes: The Barbarian, Crusader, Demon Hunter, Monk, Witch Doctor and Wizard, each having different play styles, gear and voice actors. The isometric gameplay itself is enjoyable, with an array of interesting skills to choose from, each bound to different buttons. I played as the Demon Hunter, who was mobile and fought with crossbows and traps. You are also able to dodge and perform mini tasks in order to acquire buffs to help you, such as killing multiple enemies in succession, which provides you with double damage which lets you kill more enemies, extending the buff. Being an RPG, you are also able to find gear and loot by killing things and completing quests, as well as crafting equipment too. You are able to equip armor, weaponry and accessories which, depending on rarity and quality also give you buffs to character stats. You can also carry over your stats from a previous save, even if it was on a separate console brand.

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The areas that aren't dungeons are very open and filled with things to kill, but some seem slightly plain like the desert area in Act II. The dungeons are randomly generated, as is the loot, so it is a unique experience for each player when venturing into dungeons. Traps litter these dungeons, but they are in fact for your enemies and not the player and give increased gold gain. In my opinion it was a little too easy so I set it to Hard halfway through the first Act, although the difficulty can be set to much, much higher for more reward and challenge. The 4 player co-op is fun, making you feel like part of a team if the roles are varied enough, and there is lots of replay value for better equipment, stats and general fun in adventure or nightmare mode after the main campaign is finished. I would say 30-40 hours of enjoyment is included in the box, including an entire Act added in due to the Reaper of Souls expansion pack included with the game, but it does get slightly repetitive after a while, still fun though, and things will start to probably get old after multiple hours, but you can't really blame it.

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Visually the game is stunning in some parts but sometimes drops the ball a little. Most textures are very good and detailed, but there are some flat undetailed ones. There are some jaw-dropping moments where the perspective changes and that's where it starts to look really interesting. Blizzard also makes beautiful cinematics which looked absolutely amazing, tons of detail and brilliantly produced. The frame rate also stays solid apart from when there are massive events occurring and I noticed framerate drop when other players were in my game. It could have used a more varied colour pallete though, as each act only seemed to focus on a single range of colours.

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All in all, Diablo 3 Ultimate Evil Edition  has tonnes of value, with updated graphics and bundled with additional content while having a stellar combat system and enticing loot. The story needs to have more to it though, but other than that, if you are a big RPG fan and own a next gen console, this is not a game to miss.