Features

Best Black Friday game deals

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It’s been said before — many times before — but it’s hard to overstate: Shop for games in bulk, when prices are at their cheapest. Do your shopping during the festive seasons, and avoid full-priced games like a plague if you want to stretch your dollar furthest.

Today, it’s as good a day as any to open your wallet wide. Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, Steam, and a few others are getting into the Black Friday spirit, offering some of 2016’s top releases, alongside a slew of smash hits on the cheap.

There’s a lot to comb through — thousands of games are currently on sale. To save you the trouble of Googling and wading through a thick, muddy bog of search results, we thought it’d be best to give you a preview of some of the hottest discounts on digital games available online.

And there’s still plenty more to come over the next few days and weeks. So check back with your favorite gaming platform for updates.

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Xbox Store deals (for Xbox One; note: prices are for Xbox Live Gold members only)

  • Batman: Arkham Knight Premium Edition for $16 (save 60 percent)
  • Battlefield 1 Deluxe Edition + Titanfall 2 Deluxe Bundle for $75 (save 50 percent)
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition GOTY Edition for $16 (save 60 percent)
  • Forza Horizon 3 for $39 (save 35 percent)
  • Gears of War 4 for $36 (save 40 percent)
  • Grand Theft Auto V for $30 (save 50 percent)
  • Hitman The Complete First Season for $30 (save 50 percent)
  • Mafia 3 for $42 (save 30 percent)
  • Overwatch: Origins Edition for $36 (save 40 percent)
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Complete Edition for $30 (save 45 percent)
  • XCOM 2 for $39 (save 35 percent)

While the Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2 bundle certainly stands out, the Xbox Store offers legitimately great deals on some of the best-reviewed Xbox One titles of 2016, including The Witcher 3, Gears of War 4, and Forza Horizon 3.

Sale ends November 28.

Nintendo eShop deals

3DS

  • Fire Emblem Awakening for $20 (from $40)
  • Hyrule Warriors Legends for $28 (from $40)
  • Monster Hunter Generations for $24 (from $40)
  • The Legend of Zelda for $3 (from $5)

Wii U

  • Kirby Mass Attack for $5 (from $10)
  • Star Fox: Zero for $35 (from $50)
  • Super Mario Galaxy 2 for $10 (from $20)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD for $35 (from $50)

Nintendo has several console-defining originals that can be had on the cheap. If you haven’t bought them yet, for whatever excuse, now is the best time to do so, if you’re still interested in trying them out. Waiting for the next-gen Switch console to drop in March next year seems like a better use of one’s time and resources.

Sale ends December 5.

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PlayStation Store deals (for PS4; most discounted prices are for PlayStation Plus members)

  • Batman: Arkham Knight for $10 (from $20)
  • Far Cry Primal for $15 (from $60)
  • Hitman The Complete First Season for $30 (from $60)
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Game of the Year Edition for $8 (from $20)
  • MLB The Show 16 for $15 (from $20)
  • Overwatch: Origins Edition for $35 (from $60)
  • Star Wars Battlefront for $7.50 (from $30)
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Complete Edition for $25 (from $50)

Far Cry Primal for $15 is practically a steal. We also wouldn’t mind paying $10 for Arkham Knight, or $8 for Shadow of Mordor, if we hadn’t already gotten them under our collective belt.

Sale ends on November 29.

Steam Autumn Sale (for PC)

  • Batman franchise (up to 75 percent off)
  • Civilization franchise (up to 92 percent off)
  • Far Cry franchise (up to 75 percent off)
  • Grand Theft Auto franchise (up to 70 percent off)
  • Just Cause franchise (up to 82 percent off)
  • The Elder Scrolls franchise (up to 73 percent off)
  • Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare for $40 (33 percent off)
  • Dark Souls 3 for $39 (35 percent off)
  • I Am Setsuna for $27 (33 percent off)
  • Quantum Break for $30 (25 percent off)
  • Tom Clancy’s The Division for $13.50 (50 percent off)

Steam is the most popular gaming client for PCs, and it offers a huge selection of discounted video games — far too many to list here. If you don’t see anything you like, don’t worry; Steam will hold another sale next month. Maybe by then you’ll find something special, worthy of hours of your time.

Sale ends November 30.

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GOG Black Friday Sale (for PC)

  • Banished for $5 (75 percent off)
  • Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition for $20 (50 percent off)
  • Grim Dawn for $15 (45 percent off)
  • Inside for $15 (25 percent off)
  • Kerbal Space Program for $24 (40 percent off)
  • Limbo for $2 (80 percent off)
  • No Man’s Sky for $36 (40 percent off)
  • Shadow Warrior 2 for $30 (25 percent off)
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R. franchise (up to 75 percent off)

In addition to the sweet deals above, GOG is giving away free digital downloads of Limbo to those who connect their Steam account to their GOG account.

Sale ends November 27.

Origin Super Sale (for PC)

  • Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2 Deluxe Bundle for $75 (save 50 percent)
  • FIFA 17 for $36 (save 40 percent)
  • Mass Effect Trilogy for $15 (save 50 percent)
  • Mirror’s Edge Catalyst for $16 (save 60 percent)
  • Need for Speed for $15 (save 63 percent)
  • Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2: Standard Edition for $10 (save 75 percent)
  • Star Wars Battlefront for $15 (save 50 percent)
  • SimCity for $5 (save 75 percent)
  • The Sims 4 for $10 (save 75 percent)

If you’ve missed out on some great EA titles for PC, Origin serves you plenty of opportunity to get caught up.

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Green Man Gaming Black Friday Sale (for PC)

  • Civilization 6 for $54 (save 10 percent)
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition for $11 (save 45 percent)
  • Dishonored 2 for $48 (save 20 percent)
  • Eve Online Core Starter Pack for $5 (save 75 percent)
  • Fallout 4 for $19 (save 67 percent)
  • Grand Theft Auto V for $30 (save 50 percent)
  • Kerbal Space Program for $24 (save 40 percent)
  • Mafia 3 for $42 (save 30 percent)
  • Street Fighter V for $29 (save 50 percent)

As a bonus for shopping during Black Friday week, Green Man Gaming will take an extra 10 percent off of every purchase of participating games. Use promo code BLACKFRIDAY10 at checkout. Every sale also gets you a free random game from the Green Man Gaming catalog, so it’s a win-win.

Humble Store 2K Games Sale (for PC)

  • Battleborn for $20 (67 percent off)
  • NBA 2K17 for $42 (30 percent off)
  • XCOM 2 for $30 (50 percent off)

XCOM 2 is one of the best tactics games ever made, and it’s now up for grabs on the Humble Store for half of its original price. For those who fancy a fix of basketball, NBA 2K17 is at its lowest ever price, coming right in time as the NBA season starts to get interesting.

Entertainment

3 comedies you need to watch for good laughs

Keeping it inclusive and culturally diverse!

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We can all use a good laugh every now and then. But now that our society and culture has become more progressive, popular comedies that people used to love — mostly from the 90s — aren’t really that funny anymore.

As the world gets more connected, our awareness of  global, socio-political issues increases. Nowadays, the comedies worth watching are the shows with subtle messages that raise issues reflecting our reality.

Here, we listed down three comedies that are worth checking out, especially if you want a good laugh while staying woke.

Community

I was late to Community party but was very glad I made it. When Netflix dropped its six seasons last April 2020, I found myself sneaking in an episode or two in my daily quarantine life. Having spent three months on lockdown, we can all use a comedy to lift our spirits (other than a psychological evaluation right after the crisis).

Community is a popular sitcom that’s (forgive me for saying this) streets ahead. First aired in 2009, it had a pretty diverse cast. There’s a classic white alpha guy and two white women; one atheist who’s also an activist and a Jewish obsessed with competing.

There are African-Americans, too! One of them is a highly-religious Christian mom, the other is played by Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino. There’s also a half-Arab, half-Polish Muslim, a senior citizen who practices a Buddhist-like cult, and a Chinese-American teacher turned student.

Together, they formed a storyline of misfits turned friends, turned families.

Britta Perry (Gillian Jacobs) performing her awkward song on a Christmas episode

Watching Community heightened my awareness of issues regarding race, gender, nationalities, ages, and cultures. While most of these issues are brought out for comic relief, the characters worked together to find a solution and come into realizations.

Personally, I found it interesting how I can learn life lessons after watching a show that’s supposed to just make me laugh. It’s like hitting two birds with one stone: getting entertained and educated!

The Good Place

I first heard about The Good Place through my best friend who loved watching tellies and was instantly hooked. I honestly believe when pilot episodes make you laugh so hard, the series is going to be extremely good. And that’s what happened when I watched The Good Place.

It’s a story about four deceased individuals who end up in a heavenly utopia called The Good Place. The cast comprise of a white, selfish saleswoman from Arizona, an indecisive black Ethics professor, a hot rich fraud British philanthropist with legs for days, and a Filipino DJ and drug dealer from Florida.

Jason Mendoza (Manny Jacinto) acting as the Taiwanese monk Jianyu to prevent his cover from being blown

What I love about The Good Place is how it tackled ethics and philosophy creatively, bringing up morals through the concept of heaven and hell. Moreover, diversity and representation are on point in this show, with ethnically appropriate actors and actresses. (And they don’t even make a big deal out of it!)

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Last but not the least, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a must-watch comedy for everyone. As usual, I was late to the party but I’ve fallen in love with it.

The show didn’t tackle pressing topics such as racism, sexism, and homophobia through specific episodes. Rather, it’s intertwined in the storyline along with a racially mixed group of cops.

The precinct’s captain is a happily married, openly gay cop. Being in the police force since the 80s, he shared his many disadvantages and struggles due to his sexuality.

Gina Linetti (Chelsea Peretti) being sarcastically frustrated during her mother’s wedding

There are topics mirroring our reality in each and every episode: a bisexual cop’s coming out and her parent’s refusal to accept it, the horrors and fear that black people endure in their daily lives (even if they’re in a position of power), struggles of motherhood, pursuing your passion, and a lot more.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is the most inclusive, diverse, and progressive comedy we all need to watch. It’s open-minded, lighthearted, and ridiculously funny. I still re-watch it to this day when I need a good laugh. It’s guaranteed to have me in tears while laughing out loud.

March on, progressive and inclusive comedies!

I still find myself at odds with my friends, especially with the types of comedies they enjoy. However, I believe that we just need to help our friends explore comedies that don’t use transphobia, homophobia, sexism, fat-shaming, white supremacy, and plain racism as a way to deliver ‘funny’ lines.

How about you? Do you have a go-to comedy you enjoy? Share it with us!

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Huawei MatePad Pro: Stay connected, stay creative

Equipped with the right resources to let creativity thrive

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Creativity isn’t something you’re born with, it’s something you learn and hone throughout your life. We learn how to be ingenious because we’re all inherently talented to be able to connect things and ideas.

But what sets highly creative people apart isn’t their insane amount of creative juices stored. They work hard to pump out their ideas. You need to keep going and keep on doing something creative!

If you’re feeling stuck (or if you feel like you lost your creativity as you grew up), it’s time to rekindle that fire. Thankfully, we live in an era where ideas and inspiration can spark in a single touch. Huawei’s premium and elegant tablet — the MatePad Pro — can help you stay and be creative in four practical ways.

Connect with yourself

When you listen to what makes you happy and pursue what sets your soul on fire, you ignite your creativity and fuel your passion. But when you keep on moving, you eventually burn out. When this happens, listen to your body and relax. Being still is a way for you to connect with yourself.

Take your mind off of stressful things and let your brain breathe a little. The MatePad Pro has a 10.8-inch QHD FullView display with quad-channel and quad-speakers tuned by Harman/Kardon — a real audio-visual treat to help you relax.

If you need some films and TV series for inspiration, Viu and iFlix are available for download in AppGallery, home to visually stunning yet complex stories.

Playing games rich in aesthetically-moving colorway can help entertain you, too. Asphalt 9, Naruto: Slugfest, and Burger Deluxe are wonderful games to feast your eyes on.

Moreover, some games can help you improve your creativity. Rise of Kingdom, Pool Ball Club, Word Jungle, and Empire: Rise of Battleship are games engaging your strategic thinking! Whatever helps you relax, there are a lot of apps you can download and enjoy.

The MatePad Pro has a whopping 7250mAh battery life, so you don’t have to worry about running out of juice. It’s also capable of 40W Super Charge using its USB-C cable, and up to 15W of wireless charging. When you recharge with the right connection (or cable for this matter), it’s easy to regain creative juice (and energy) quickly!

Connect with people

If you think sitting on a balcony overlooking a refreshing landscape is the way to be creative while you sip wine or coffee, that’s far from reality. Unlike how pop culture depicts isolation as a way to unleash your creativity and focus on your work, it just isn’t the case for everyone.

Humans are social beings. We can’t thrive fully when we’re alone for an extended period of time. At the very least, we need a fine balance between connecting with people and creating an undisturbed space so we can concentrate.

MeeTime, Huawei’s video-calling app

Allow yourself to collaborate with fellow creatives. When you’re surrounded by like-minded people, your ideas develop because they encourage you. If you don’t have a circle to inspire you, sometimes, talking to your friends and loved ones can give birth to new ideas. Or at least help you realize ways to improve your work.

For instance, you can use MEETime to connect with someone and brainstorm your ideas. This video-calling app allows you to have 1080p video calls despite having poor network quality.

Furthermore, you can share your screen to the person you’re calling — a feature that makes it easier to ask feedback and share ideas with someone over video calls.

There are plenty of social apps so you can use to call and chat with your peers, too. You can download Facebook, Snapchat, Viber, WeChat, Weibo, and even TikTok. Some can be downloaded using the Huawei browser and through an official APK file. Some of the popular apps are still finding their way to AppGallery, so in the meantime, you can be creative and find ways to download it.

When you find yourself wanting to set aside alone time, you can turn on the Do Not Disturb mode. The Huawei MatePad Pro has this feature since it runs EMUI 10.1 (based on Android 10).

Connect with the world

One of the best ways to stay creative is to interact with the world around you. Inspiration can be found anywhere — from your surroundings, to mundane moments of your life, and even on the internet.

Take a close look at the sights around you. Sit in the backyard and wonder. Creative people can always make something beautiful out of the ordinary. The MatePad Pro has an 8-megapixel front camera and a 13-megapixel rear camera — perfect for recording references and making art out of moments captured.

Furthermore, this premium tablet lets you engage with the world even if you’re sitting at your lovely home. You can browse the internet for inspiration! Sometimes reading an article, engaging with someone else’s opinions, and researching help you form a new perspective — necessary for birthing new ideas.

There are also art forms worth responding to. When you connect to the world, you allow your creativity to thrive. You need to nourish it like a plant; you help it grow.

Connect with your ideas

Some people may not need to relax and get inspiration to unlock their creativity. They just need to put some hard work. Internalize and look inside. Listen and connect with your ideas. You need to think and strategize on how you can bring them to life. Maybe, you just need to get the ball running.

By knowing the right tools and understanding how to make your idea work, you’ll be able to create something extraordinaire.

The Huawei MatePad Pro sports a powerful Kirin 990 chip, so it can handle anything you throw at it. It comes with Bluetooth-enabled Smart Magnetic Keyboard, so you can easily write and type your ideas.

This tablet is also bundled with the Huawei M-Pencil so you can sketch your ideas and scribble your notes. It’s wireless and has plenty of juice so you can keep creating. Apps like Concepts, Poster, Penup, and Adobe Spark Post are easy to use so you can bring forth your idea.

Along with these accessories, the MatePad Pro has a lot of features to help you be productive. You can utilize AppMultiplier which supports apps such as Investagram and SSS Mobile for checking your finances; GMA News, ClickTheCity, and Wattpad for reading news and stories; and other apps like HUAWEI Health, Lazada, and Philippine Airlines.

Moreover, you can take advantage of Huawei’s ecosystem to split and/or share the screen. For most creatives using multiple references to enhance their ideas, this is truly a helpful feature.

Truly made for every type of creative

Whatever kind of creative you are, the Huawei MatePad Pro helps you stay connected so you can stay creative, ultimately coming up with a marvelous creation to show off to the world. It has the tools and resources needed to let your creativity thrive. You just need to take advantage of it.

The Huawei MatePad Pro is priced at PhP 32,990. You can get this tablet at Lazada, Shopee, MemoXpress, Abenson, Bluelite, Intogadgets, Silicon Valley, FLW.PH, and Aerophone.


This feature was produced in collaboration between Her GadgetMatch and Huawei Philippines.

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Features

Nintendo and Sony are in a heated battle during lockdown

Study also reveals which consoles were the most searched as lockdowns continue in SEA

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Photos by Alvaro Reyes and Mélanie THESE on Unsplash

It’s been roughly two and a half months since Southeast Asian countries have gone on lockdown due to COVID-19. As people were kept off the streets, video game companies found a way to reach these audiences through their consoles and game libraries. We watched as people spent most of their days learning new skills, staying healthy, and playing video games.

Little did we know, video game companies maximized this opportunity to sell more consoles, as well. A study by the iPrice Group revealed interesting data about the mini-console war that’s currently happening in Southeast Asia (SEA). In most countries, the Nintendo Switch and the PlayStation 4 are leading the charge towards greater heights.

It made perfect sense that Nintendo’s handheld console is seeing its staggering sales increase during this period. Searches on online shopping platforms related to the Nintendo Switch skyrocketed by 245% within SEA alone, thanks in part to the release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons back in March.

Image source: Livedoor

Apart from that, the Nintendo Switch dominates 5 out of 7 markets in SEA in terms of search volume. This, of course takes into account searches and purchases from people between mid-March to mid-April.

For most markets, the big 3 of gaming consoles (Nintendo Switch, PlayStation4, and Xbox One) dominated the charts. Apart from the Switch, the PlayStation 4 saw significant increase in interest between mid-March and mid-April by 135%.

The releases of the remastered versions of Resident Evil 3 and Final Fantasy VII contributed heavily to that increase. Surprisingly, in three countries (Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines), the PlayStation 3 makes an appearances as a widely-searched console.

Looks like people really love their video games! If you want to know more about this trend, you can find the full report here.

SEE ALSO:
#PlayApartTogether: Embracing lockdowns and social distancing
Tinder users are going on Animal Crossing for their first dates
Just Dance 2020 helps with your workout-from-home

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