Gaming

ASUS ROG Phone 5 Series now official

Yes. Series. There’s more than one.

Published

on

ROG Phone 5

ASUS ROG just keeps upping the ante on their gaming smartphone. On its fourth iteration, the ROG Phone 5 (yes, it’s the fourth on the series despite the name), is as powerful as ever and now there’s three of them: ROG Phone 5, ROG Phone 5 Pro, and ROG Phone 5 Ultimate. 

The upgrades mostly come in all the places that matter, but there’s also a new feature that takes inspiration from one of their gaming laptops. 😉

Still a specs beast

Let’s start with the things that all three members of the ROG Phone 5 series have in common — they’re all spec monsters. Here’s a quick and easy look at the kind of power and performance they’re packing:

Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G processor

Snapdragon Elite Gaming allows for  ultra-smooth play at the highest possible HDR quality levels, with desktop-level capabilities. It also debuts Qualcomm Game Quick Touch that gives up to a 20 percent increase in touch responsiveness and lower latency.

There’s also a 35 percent increase in GPU performance and 25 percent in CPU performance. These are numbers based on ASUS ROG’s tests.

Upgraded GameCool 5 cooling system 

GameCool 5 now has an optimum thermal structure featuring a centered CPU with the battery split into two parts, one located on each side of the CPU. This ensures the heat generated by the CPU is transferred to all the edges and corners of the chassis simultaneously for higher thermal efficiency.

The reshaped 3D vapor chamber and extensive graphite sheets also help to spread the heat evenly across the device to reduce heat build-up in the middle.

The completely revamped AeroActive Cooler 5 now intakes and expels more air directly onto the center of the phone — right where the CPU is –to drop CPU temperature. A little bummer though, as this will no longer come as a default accessory unlike in past models.

Armoury Crate new performance manager 

The X Mode now has multiple system profiles to cater to a variety of settings and performance tuning tools. This lets users put to all of the phone’s RAM to good use. Speaking of RAM, the ROG Phone 5 Ultimate is seriously packing with its 18GB LPDDR5 RAM. Intense.

A performance display

The series has a 6.78” Samsung AMOLED display. For the refresh rate, it’s a whopping 144Hz and has a touch sampling rate of 300Hz. That’s super smooth and ultra-low touch latency.

The screen is also made with the toughest Corning Gorilla Glass Victus. It also has an always-on HDR tech that improves non-HDR visuals.

Battery king

The ROG Phone has always been a long-lasting device. That remains true with the ROG Phone 5. It has a 6,000mAh battery but now, ROG also made a few tweaks so it saves energy when it needs to.

These come in the form of software optimizations that limit the power consumption of inactive apps. ASUS says this gives up to 67 percent of power savings. There’s also charging improvements like a charging upper limit, steady charging, enhanced scheduled charging.

Speaking charging, there’s a bundled 65W HyperCharge adapter. They didn’t provide an estimate on how fast it goes from zero to 100 but 65W should be pretty fast even for a 6,000mAh battery.

ROG Phone 5

New to ROG Phone 5 Pro and Ultimate — ROG Vision

Do you remember the AniMe Matrix on the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14? The ROG Phone 5 Pro and Ultimate have something like that. It’s called the ROG Vision.

It functions similarly in that it gives another layer of personalization through an extra display at the back of the phone but this one isn’t built with mini-LED lights.

The ROG Phone 5 Pro features a color ROG Vision display, while the ROG Phone 5 Ultimate has a monochrome version.

Even more gaming centric features

ROG put extra care in making sure the ROG Phone 5 gives more control to the user. The AirTrigger 5 now gives the player four distinct ways to interact with the phone. Put the AeroActive Cooler 5 on and you get two extra physical buttons for a close-to-console gaming experience.

It also supports 10 different motion controls. ASUS cites a racing game as a scenario. Gamers can swivel the phone to steer or pull it towards them to brake. It might take a while to get used to but these seem like thoughtful additions.

Pro and Ultimate 

Naturally the Pro and Ultimate versions have more to offer. Both versions of the ROG Phone 5 have hidden rear touch sensors which provide L2/R2-like functions similar to most game controllers.

GameFX audio

Rounding up the gaming experience is the audio. The ROG Phone 5 series now incorporates symmetrical seven-magnet dual speakers for truly balanced stereo sound effects. There’s also a 3.5 mm headphone jack, and a hi-fi-grade ESS DAC for lossless audio processing.

The AudioWizard audio-tuning app has also been completely revamped to optimize sound for different audio styles, including Game, Cinema, and Music settings.

Themes and customization 

Like previous ROG Phones, you get the option to have the gamer-centric UI or the more toned down material design look. ASUS also partnered with some of the most popular game titles for different theme packs to give you more ways to spruce up the ROG Phone 5’s looks.

ROG Phone 5

Colors, Configurations, and Pricing

ROG Phone 5

  • Phantom Black and Storm White
  • Up to 16GB RAM/ 256GB ROM
  • Starts at EUR 799
  • March 2021

ROG Phone 5 Pro

  • Phantom Black
  • Up to 16GB RAM/ 512GB ROM
  • Starts at EUR 1199
  • April 2021

ROG Phone 5 Ultimate

  • Storm White
  • Up to 18GB RAM/ 512GB ROM
  • Starts at EUR 1299
  • May 2021

Gaming

Players finally meet as HoYo FEST kicks off in SEA this November

It’s a grand meetup!

Published

on

hoyo fest

miHoYo, the global interactive entertainment developer and publisher behind hit multiplayer games such as Honkai Impact 3rd, Tears of Themis, and Genshin Impact, announced that HoYo FEST is coming to Southeast Asia this November.

The interactive festival shall be held in six countries: Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam.

The annual celebration will allow for fellow players to finally convene and meet each other off their screens and in real life, allowing for an opportunity to relive memorable, happy, and touching moments in the game together.

Gaming world-themed cafés

All HoYo FEST-related events will be held at collaboration cafés themed after Honkai Impact 3rd, Tears of Themis, and Genshin Impact between November 5 and December 14.

These specific cafés will offer special set menus on dine-in, takeout, and delivery options. Ordering via takeout and delivery also gives customers an additional printed tote bag and cup sleeve.

The interiors will be furnished in the styles of Honkai Impact 3rd, Tears of Themis, and Genshin Impact in order, which is accompanied by photography zones.

That way, fans and players will be able to enjoy exquisite foods and immerse themselves in a real-life feel of the game worlds while bonding with new friends they’ve only previously met in-game.

Mystery gifts and exciting merchandise

Ordering collaboration combos or spending a certain amount of money at a café also entitles guests to an exciting mystery gift box.

The pop-up stores found only at specific cafés will also sell a variety of exclusive Honkai Impact 3rd, Tears of Themis, and Genshin Impact merchandise, to be distributed only by the staff of the collaboration cafés.

Preparations for the celebration are underway, so Captains, Travelers, and Attorneys should brace themselves for upcoming surprises.

Festival Schedule

  • Honkai Impact 3rd: November 5 to November 16
  • Tears of Themis: November 19 to November 30
  • Genshin Impact: December 3 to December 14

Collaboration Cafés

  • Singapore: Aniplus Cafe
  • Malaysia: my Burger Lab
  • Thailand: NANA Coffee Roasters Ari
  • Philippines: Moon Rabbit Café + Restaurant
  • Indonesia: Warung Koffie Batavia
  • Vietnam: To Be Announced

For more event details and pandemic precautions, please visit the miHoYo official website: https://mhy.link/686SLBA6.

Continue Reading

Gaming

War journalists use Call of Duty Vanguard to capture life-like photos

A one-of-a-kind collaboration and experience

Published

on

For me, Photo Mode is a wonderful thing to have when doing game reviews every now and then. Honestly, I would prefer setting the mood for those insane game shots instead of just screenshoting them from the device. For Activision, however, they wanted to take this concept to the next level with Call of Duty: Vanguard. With this one, they enlisted some experts in the field of war photojournalism.

Activision revealed a collaboration with renowned war photojournalists Alex Potter and Sebastiano Tomada Piccolomini. As a refresher, these two photojournalists have vast experience in taking photos of some of the most gruesome battles in war-torn countries. In this special collaboration, Activision gave them access to the game’s engine through a virtual camera console.

As seen in the trailer, the two photojournalists were inside Activision’s motion capture studios as they grab images straight off the game engine. From the explosion of tanks to the banging gunfire during World War II, these two captured photos that depict the reality of war. In the end, they were at awe at the stunning details and the level of immersion the game brought.

Call of Duty: Vanguard will be available on November 5, 2021 for both current and next-generation consoles and PC.

Continue Reading

Gaming

Hot Wheels Unleashed review: A childhood dream realized

It’s action-packed and rather nostalgic

Published

on

Hot Wheels Unleashed

As a kid, I wanted all kinds of toys whenever we went to toy stores in the city. One of the very first toys I had an obsession over was Hot Wheels. From collecting cars to building tracks in the living room, it became the quintessential set of toys that got me into racing games all this time.

When Hot Wheels Unleashed was released, I instantly knew that this was a game I didn’t want to miss. As someone who plays a ton of racing games, this one felt right at home next to Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled. Unlike CTR:NF, the nostalgia I felt for this game was more on the side of “playing my toys on a virtual screen” type of thing.

However, if you’re looking for another game to help you pass the time, is this a game worth considering?

A racing game at its core

As with most games involving toy cars, Hot Wheels Unleashed feels right at home as a racing game. It even comes with some of the most standard game modes you can think of for any racing game, so you won’t necessarily miss out if you’re a racing game fan. Where this game sets itself apart is in its easy-to-grasp game mechanics.

Usually, all you have to do is drive around the course and win 1st Place by outspeeding and outsmarting (in some situations) your opponents. You still do that but with some key differences, particularly towards boosting. Honestly, I like the fact that boosts are activated by button pushes and accumulated by drifting. To me, it’s friendly even to new players getting into racing games.

Hot Wheels Unleashed

The other thing I like is the fact that each Hot Wheels toy car comes with its own cart stats, and not just a general one all throughout. This also gives you an incentive to try and get every available model in the game and try them out for yourself. Furthermore, you can even upgrade these stats using Gears, and customize their Livery to however you like.

Creativity and originality in track design

Every racing game needs some interesting tracks to race around, especially with something like Hot Wheels. In Hot Wheels Unleashed, you have access to 5 main backdrops, each with about 8-9 different tracks that come with their own surprises. From high-arching loops to acid pits, each track will have you doing things a bit differently each time you race.

In fact, the first thing I noticed was that the elements in the tracks are quite similar to the actual models in those track builder sets. The designers did an incredible job with maximizing the entire backdrop to produce tracks with enough twists and turns along the way. Also, I would even argue that these tracks let you play around with the driving mechanics.

Now, I have some good news and bad news for you on these tracks. The bad news is that when you start the game, most of the tracks are locked as in-game transactions. If you wanted to unlock them the easy way, just pay a few bucks to get in-game currency and buy them.

However, the good news is you can unlock them by completing the Hot Wheels City Rumble mode. Although it will be an immense grind on your part, but I honestly think it’s worth it!

Wait, you can make your own tracks?!

Yes, you read that right: Hot Wheels Unleashed also allows you to create your own tracks to race on with your friends online. See, one unique mode to the game is the Track Builder, and I guess the name is self-explanatory. To be honest, this game mode was the best and it actually brings me back to my childhood.

Once you start the game mode, you basically have a blank canvas to work with, depending on the main backdrop you choose. After choosing your desired backdrop, you have a variety of track builder pieces to choose from and customize. Also, it even comes with your set of obstacles and boost pads to add some flavor to your tracks.

I absolutely enjoyed going on Track Builder as someone who collected Hot Wheels track sets before. Basically, you can create some of the most death-defying tracks that your younger self could not afford to before. Seriously, Hot Wheels track builder sets are expensive, and this game basically lets you experience this without spending a hefty amount.

Some low points

Much like most racing games, this one doesn’t come with its own set of shortcomings. To no one’s surprise, this game comes with a Hot Pass that allows you to earn more cars, tracks, and track builder sets. The good thing about it is, well, it’s more content at your disposal. At the time of writing, they’re currently running one with Batman vehicles as the main rewards,

The thing I don’t like about it is that you have to pay for it. I genuinely feel that this is something that would have been better off as a Battle Pass-type of package instead of paid DLC. I mean, it’s additional content that people also want to try out but with a rather hefty price tag. Maybe if they did it this way, people would continue to grind out the game.

Another thing that felt lacking in my eyes was the Basement, particularly the customization aspect.

I get it, it’s another main backdrop for your tracks and you can work with a ton of elements when creating your own. However, I didn’t like that the customization was limited to just the exterior design. Honestly,  I was looking for more customization options like moving the furniture around.

A roaring good time

Hot Wheels Unleashed is a racing game that feels right at home with the best of them. From a vast selection of carts to creative and unique track design, it feels fresh to anybody trying to get into racing games. Also, if you grew up playing your Hot Wheels car collection, this takes you back to simpler times.

Again, it’s not perfect and hopefully with upcoming patches, the game does get better. However, they missed out on some opportunities to make it a worthwhile game to play for any occasion. Sure, if you had money to burn, this wouldn’t be an issue; for others, however, they want a lot more without spending too much.

Overall, this game will give you a roaring good time, especially when you just need some down time from all the stress. What made it even more special for me was that this game pretty much made one of my childhood dreams a reality!

Continue Reading

Trending