Features

Best Black Friday game deals

Published

on

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.

[irp posts=”4592" name=”Sony PlayStation 4 Pro and Slim hands-on”]

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.

[i[irp posts=”2962" name=”E3 2016: Meet the Xbox One S”]p>

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.

[irp[irp posts=”3117" name=”Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End review”]

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.

[irp p[irp posts=”8041" name=”Famicom and NES Classic mini unboxing and gameplay”]h2>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.

Editors' Choice

Best of 2019: Our favorite smartphones

So many choices, so we narrowed them down for you

Published

on

There’s really not one best smartphone. We all have different needs and thankfully, the options that brands give us is not lacking at all. Whether your priority is photography, gaming, or just something basic, there is definitely a smartphone for you.

Here are our favorites.

Best smartphones for photography: iPhone 11 Pro, Pixel 4

How good are the cameras? That’s always a topic of conversation when new phones are released. While other brands have made huge strides, the iPhone 11 Pro and the Pixel 4 continue to dominate this category. The iPhone is a no-brainer choice for most people. Consistency is key and Apple has been pretty much consistent with the cameras on the iPhone.

Meanwhile, Google’s computational photography on the Pixel 4 continues to wow reviewers and casual users. Like the iPhone, the Pixel has consistently been one of the best in this category and it appears it will continue to be in the foreseeable future.

Honorable mentions: Huawei Mate 30 Pro, Huawei P30 Pro

Best Android flagship: Samsung Galaxy Note 10, Galaxy Note 10+

While the S Pen continues to set the Galaxy Note 10 series apart, the latest iteration of this Samsung flagship does so many other things at a high level as well. It is still a smartphone that’s literally for anyone, especially with the Galaxy Note 10 being made for people with smaller hands. Audio enthusiasts will lament the lack of a headphone jack for HiFi audio but more casual users are buying wireless earphones for their devices.

Honorable Mentions: OnePlus 7T Pro, Huawei P30 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S10+

Best implementation of a foldable display: Motorola razr

While the Samsung Galaxy Fold dominated this year’s headlines — and not always for the best reasons, it was the Motorola razr that showed us that while it’s notable to be the first, it’s more important to be the first to get it right. The new razr is a buzzer beater entry in this category but it’s also a slam dunk. The device, at launch, just works. No creases, no displays you can tear off, and no threat of software support being banned.

Best smartphone with a 64MP camera: Realme XT

The only two other phones in this category are the Redmi Note 8 Pro and the Vivo NEX 3. We think that of the three, the Realme XT offers the best value. You see, other than the megapixel count, what sets smartphone cameras apart is the phone’s post-processing. The Realme XT consistently produces images with great detail and fantastic color reproduction. It doesn’t hurt that the phone’s white variant looks pretty good too.

Best value smartphone: Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro (Redmi K20 Pro) 

This is 2019’s flagship killer. Not only is it equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 that’s present in most flagships today, it also has a modern all-screen design with a pop-up camera plus its rear cameras more than holds its own against phones that are similarly priced. But the price, that’s where this phone truly sets itself apart. For less than half of most flagships today, you get very near-flagship performance. There’s almost nothing else like it.

Honorable Mentions: OnePlus 7T, Realme 5 Pro

Best budget smartphone: Realme 5

Realme broke out in 2019 like no other brand. They’ve strengthened their foothold in key developing markets by launching devices that punch above their weight class. The Realme 5 is one such device. As one of the few budget smartphones with a quad-camera setup and is capable of basic gaming, it’s a well-rounded device and is perfect for anyone looking to get their first smartphone.

Honorable Mentions: Redmi Note 8, Samsung Galaxy A20s

Best smartphones for videography: iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max 

iPhones have been far and away the best smartphones for taking videos for a while now. The same is true in 2019. The iPhone 11 series has put even more emphasis on the cameras and just took what it was already good at and just became better at it. No one’s touching the iPhone in this category but the challengers have been gaining on them.

Honorable mentions: Huawei Mate 30 Pro, Huawei P30 Pro, OPPO Reno2, Samsung Galaxy Note 10+

Best gaming smartphone: ROG Phone 2

It’s not even about the accessories. Yes, those are cool, but what really makes this a gaming smartphone is its design. We’re not just talking about how it looks. Design should always be how form and function come together. The ROG Phone 2’s features and little touches here and there like the second usb-c port for charging, the flat display, the front-firing speakers — these are all design decisions that address a mobile gamer’s needs. It’s extremely thoughtful of its target market.

Best Android smartphone without Google Mobile Services: Huawei Mate 30 Pro 

Heh. Sorry Huawei, we just had to. ✌

Continue Reading

Hands-On

Motorola razr Hands-On

The popular RAZR is back!

Published

on

The new Motorola razr is a modern version of the popular RAZR V3. It still has a sleek design, but now has a 6.2-inch Flex Display with a perfectly executed zero-gap hinge.

It runs on Snapdragon 710 chipset, 6GB RAM, 128GB of storage, and a 2510 mAh battery with 15W TurboPower charger right out of the box.

But does all of that justify the $1499 price tag?

This is our Motorola razr hands-on.

Continue Reading

Lifestyle

I was in Facebook jail for 24 Hours

Banned unjustly without any chance to appeal

Published

on

It was a lazy Friday morning when I woke up to a 9GAG article. Chuckling on its narrative, I saved the article in hopes of reading it later again so I can decide if I will share it with a close friend of mine. However, saving the article meant posting and sharing it, according to Facebook. I was given a warning for violating their community guidelines.

Shocked and confused, I unsaved the link. To find out if it’s the real culprit, I saved the link once again and then boom! I was banned from posting, liking, and engaging in any posts on Facebook.

At first, I thought the ban would only affect my profile. Little did I know, the ban would extend to the pages I handle. I couldn’t post, not even the scheduled posts I prepared for the day were posted. It affected my job as a social media manager.

Locked up and grounded

Que horror, the only word I uttered after realizing I screwed up. I asked someone to cover for my work while I channel my frustrations on Twitter and Reddit. Mindlessly, I scrolled through Instagram and I repeatedly had the urge to switch apps and browse on Facebook so I can share memes, just like what I would do on a normal day.

“They know everything, they can see what’s happening, but they just can’t tell the world the situation they’re in.”

However, I couldn’t handle it anymore. Not being able to share or at least react, I felt disconnected from everyone. To free myself from the negative feelings circulating inside, I uninstalled Facebook and did the rest of my work for the day.

For 24 hours, I was impatiently waiting to get my ban lifted. Being in Facebook jail didn’t feel like being cut-off from the world, but it was more like being grounded. It’s like my parents decided to stop me from seeing and contacting my friends just because I sneaked out of the house past 10pm.

But more importantly, being in Facebook jail made me reminisce the prison life in the TV series I used to watch. How people — both criminals and victims of injustice alike — band together in a different, locked-up space, watching the world outside prison quietly. They know everything, they can see what’s happening, but they just couldn’t tell the world the situation they’re in.

Why me?

To make it through the day, I casually searched for people who experienced the same situation — unjustly banned for using a feature that isn’t directly hurting anyone. If I would have said something explicit or any form of hate speech, I would understand. But I didn’t.

“Facebook is just an authoritarian organization doomed for failure.”

If the article I wanted to save and read for later was violating the platform’s nudity policy, then why was 9GAG not reprimanded for posting it at all? Why did it have to be me? Up until today, I still can’t fathom the reason. Not even on Facebook’s useless Help center. It was reading stories that shared the same fate as I did that made me feel better. They made me feel that I’m not alone. “I’ll get through this,” was what I told myself.

It’s funny how being connected through the world’s largest social media platform made it both a good and a bad thing for everyone. It’s good in a way that Facebook helped us maintain the connection and relationships despite the distance. It’s bad in a way that we depend on Facebook to get updates from people through the posts they share and the stuff that goes viral; that we need to stay online and check on everyone through our news feed just so we don’t miss anything that might be discussed in real life.

What I learned

The ban was lifted after what felt like forever and I learned my lesson. It’s like being given a second lease on life. But what I learned, first and foremost, is to never use Facebook’s save feature. Without any strict, proper guidelines on what constitutes a ban according to their policies, Facebook is just an authoritarian organization doomed for failure — a dictator deciding what to censor without any justifications or proper explanations.

Of course, it’s their platform. They can do whatever they want with it, but Facebook is more than a platform. It’s a whole new way of connecting with everyone around the world. A lot of realizations dawned on me through this incident, and there is one more lesson to learn here: Life without Facebook can be a good one, too. One where we rely on real, physical, and intimate connections. One where we only catch up with the people that truly matter.

Now I know what people feel like when they claim they have found freedom after deleting their Facebook accounts. I’m still far from deleting my account, but slowly, I’ll figure it out. Maybe, for now, what I can do is step away and disconnect, and live a day or two without social media.

Continue Reading

Trending