Features

7 must-play re-released video games in HD

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With the number of quality titles coming out these days, there’s never been a better time to be playing video games. That doesn’t mean old games aren’t worth revisiting, though! Thankfully, taking a trip down memory lane is easier with all the HD remasters and remakes of the classics.

Let GadgetMatch help you pick out the best of the re-releases that both fans and new players can enjoy.

Resident Evil HD Remaster

Relive the nightmare in the iconic Spencer Mansion of Resident Evil in all the gory detail that Full HD brings. Resident Evil HD Remaster is based on the GameCube remake of the original, which already looked great in 2002 and boasted a ton of new features. Everything from that package is in this remaster, but with all the visuals touched up and looking crisp in 1080p. What this version adds is the option to switch between control schemes, letting players pick either the old-school “tank” movement or modern omni-directional analog controls.

Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection

Find out how the Indiana Jones of video games earned that lofty reputation of swashbuckling spectacle with Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection. Featuring all three Uncharted games that debuted on the PS3, this remaster updates each title’s graphics to look like they belong on the PS4. The hardware’s horsepower also gets the games running at a much smoother 60 frames per second for more responsive control. The added Photo Mode lets you take pictures of any breathtaking moment, providing all sorts of camera customization and effects to pretty up your shots.

Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age

As one of the less popular, daresay divisive entries in the Final Fantasy franchise, Final Fantasy XII gets a remaster treatment worth nothing but praise in Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age. You won’t mistake this PS2 game for a AAA title released today, but the Full HD reworking of the visuals and the updated orchestral soundtrack are nevertheless impressive. Since this is based on the 2007 Japan exclusive re-release Final Fantasy XII International Zodiac Job System, it also has the more tactical character upgrading mechanics, Speed Mode to make grinding easier, Trial Mode for rewarding challenge runs, New Game Plus to carry over your progress, and two difficulty options.

Grand Theft Auto V

Released on the tail end of the previous console generation, Grand Theft Auto V was already a technical marvel on the PS3 and Xbox 360. The re-release for the PS4 and Xbox One takes the graphical fidelity to the next level. The fictional world of San Andreas looks bigger and feels livelier thanks to the modern hardware the game runs on. Immerse yourself even deeper into the criminal lifestyle with its first-person mode, making you literally see through the eyes of the character you control.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Mario Kart 8 came out on the Wii U in 2014 to critical and commercial acclaim, becoming both the fastest- and highest-selling game on that console. So it made perfect sense for Nintendo to put out an updated version of the beloved kart racer for its more popular platform, the Switch, and it’s kind of amazing how the company managed to improve on near-perfection. Sporting all the DLC of the initial release, a revamped (and way more fun) Battle mode, a host of new content and gameplay features, and the portability of the Switch, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a clear winner. Read our review for a full breakdown!

Grim Fandango Remastered

Unravel a crazy criminal conspiracy in an epic journey through the Land of the Dead, laughing all the way through the charming absurdist humor of Grim Fandango Remastered. Despite its award-winning debut in 1998, this 3D puzzle adventure with Dia de los Muertos stylings was a commercial flop (and heralded the decline of the entire genre). There’s no denying its quality though, so its cult classic status led to this beautifully up-res’d release with improved lighting to better reflect the game’s noir atmosphere, a soundtrack that is now fully orchestrated, more conventional controls, and insightful developer commentary.

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy

As the PlayStation’s first unofficial mascot, Crash Bandicoot has seen better days. Jump back in time to the halcyon years of the attitudinal marsupial with the glorious remakes of the three original PSX platformers in Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy. The 90s are ages (and tens of thousands fewer polygons) ago, so the complete visual overhaul for each entry to look like they just came out today is absolutely welcome. The addition of contemporary saving mechanics, a time trial mode, and the option to play as Crash’s sister Coco through all three games all make for a more accessible and more satisfying experience for hardcore Crash aficionados and newcomers.

SEE ALSO: 7 quick play video games you should try now

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Unboxing

Hermès Apple Watch Series 8: Unboxing and Full Set-Up

What makes it different from the regular Apple Watch though?

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If you’ve been fond of GadgetMatch for quite a while now, you would know that Michael Josh is a big Apple Watch user.

From having to experience several Watch Series up until the Watch Ultra, to having various bands, he now has the most expensive Apple Watch in the Series 8 lineup in his hands.

In this video, he unboxes the most expensive Apple Watch ever — the Hermès Apple Watch Series 8.

To give you the full experience, he’ll also dive into the nitty-gritty of what makes it different and more special than the regular Watch Series 8.

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Camera Shootouts

vivo V25 vs V23 5G: Camera Shootout

Are there even significant improvements?

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vivo V25

It hasn’t even been a year but vivo has already revealed the successor to the V23 5G that was launched earlier this 2022. But is it actually worth upgrading to the new vivo V25? Or should you save yourself some money and buy the older V23 5G instead?

vivo V25

Don’t let that new camera bump with bigger circular cutouts on the vivo V25 fool you. On paper, the cameras are close to one another but the V25 has the advantage of having a slightly wider aperture and OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) that the V23 5G doesn’t have.

vivo V25 vivo V23 5G
Wide 64MP f/1.79
PDAF, OIS + EIS
64MP f/1.89
PDAF, EIS
Ultra-WIde 8MP 120º f/2.2
Macro 2MP f/2.4
Selfie 50MP f/2.0 wide

 

50MP f/2.0 wide
8MP f/2.28 ultra-wide
+ Dual-tone Spotlight

The sad news though is that, vivo has decided to remove the extra ultra-wide selfie camera and dual flash system on the new V25.

vivo V23 with the Dual-tone Spotlight Flash feature

But how do these phones perform side-by-side knowing the new V25 also has a slightly less-powerful MediaTek Dimensity 900 chipset over V23 5G’s Dimensity 920? Are there enough convincing differences or is the older model actually better? Feed yourself some photo sample comparisons below.

Daylight

In any given circumstance, a valuable Android midranger should take at least a decent photo with natural light around — thus me taking lesser photos to compare.
Still, your judgment matters.

#1A (Ultra-wide)

vivo V25

#1B (Wide)

vivo V25

#2

#3A (Wide)

#3B (Zoom)

Food

Taking food shots (mostly with indoor lighting) is a better way to test which phone camera is capable of producing the better image output with the right amount of highlights, shadows, contrast, sharpness, temperature, as well as Dynamic Range.

#4

#5

#6

#7

#8

#9

#10

#11

*Left photo was taken multiple times with the focus tapped on the baked roll. Lens coating was also cleaned several times but still resulted to the same output.

#12

Night Mode

Low-light photos can either make or break the capabilities of a smartphone’s camera.
While it’s a mixed bag of outputs, it still depends on the user if Night Mode photos are important in a midranger or not.

#13A (Wide)

#13B (Ultra-wide)

#14

#15

#16

#17

#18

vivo V25

#19

vivo V25

#20

vivo V25

BONUS: Low-Light Selfie

For users who love taking selfies even in the dark, both phones can take fill-in flash (using the display) to brighten up your faces.

Without Flash

vivo V25

However, the ultra-wide selfie and Dual-tone Spotlight feature were removed completely from the vivo V25. You just have to guess and pick which is which.

With Flash (Aura Fill, Dual-Tone Dual Spotlight Flash)

vivo V25

Results

No more confusions, the results are consistent all throughout the board:

Photo A — vivo V23 5G

Photo B — vivo V25

Conclusion

vivo V25

While it’s barely a big camera quality improvement, the vivo V25 has rendered some of the scenes quite well such as in Photos 1A, 11, and 12 which the V23 5G failed to display at least an acceptable output. Other times, the vivo V23 5G delivered better results like in Photos 1B, 2, 3A, 4, and 13A. Those images delivered overall better photos with a sufficient amount of HDR (High Dynamic Range) and AWB (Auto White Balance).

Overall, the V25 produced better images with decent amount of highlights, shadows, contrast, sharpness. The newer model also has some slight edge on focusing and making shots brighter and more stable at night.

vivo V25

While only two selfies were provided, the V23 5G obviously has the edge — especially with its extra selfie lens and dual-flash feature.

vivo V25

If you’re coming from the V23 5G, you don’t need to upgrade to the vivo V25. Period. But, if you’re looking for a phone to replace your old vivo smartphone (or pretty much any old budget phone or midranger for that matter), buying the V25 won’t hurt.

vivo V25

Unless you’re looking for a used unit, a brand new vivo V23 5G is being sold at PhP 27,999. Whereas, a brand new V25 retails at a cheaper PhP 23,999 price tag.

vivo V25

Imho, choosing the V23 5G over the V25 is advantageous for some reasons: a more premium-looking design with metallic sides, slightly faster chipset, and the extra selfie camera.

vivo V25

But realizing how more capable the cameras of the V25 are, you can also choose it for its bigger battery and brighter display. Also, the OIS feature is very handy if you love taking photos in action or at night or just record stable-free videos without worrying about warping and jitters. At the end of the day, you should know what you value the most in buying a new smartphone.

SEE ALSO:

vivo V25 is a Night Portrait Master

Taking photos to the next level with the vivo V23 5G

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Camera Shootouts

iPhone 14 Pro Max vs 13 Pro Max vs S22 Ultra: Camera Shootout

A Very Different Camera Test

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The iPhone 14 Pro Max finally has an upgraded camera system — highlighted by its 48MP main camera sensor.

But does it really take better photos vs the iPhone 13 Pro Max and Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Ultra?

Find out in our photo-walk style camera shootout with the pro-photographer and Apple’s #ShotoniPhone Macro Challenge Global Winner Tom Reeves.

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