2017 is shaping up to be a banner year for video games. With a bevy of new releases flooding the first quarter of the year, GadgetMatch is here to help you pick out the best.
Based on order of release:
Resident Evil 7
Miss the genuine terror of being vulnerable in the old Resident Evil games? The seventh installment in the hallowed survival horror series gets back to basics, thrusting you into a labyrinthine estate of a deranged, murderous family. You have only your wits and whatever you can find in that madhouse to survive. It also marks a franchise first, as the whole game is set in first-person, shoving every jump scare right in your face. Play the whole game on PlayStation VR if you dare!
Available on Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One (January 24)
Fans of the cult Japanese gangster sim finally get the origin stories for antiheroes Kiryu and Majima in Yakuza 0. Showing their struggle as they rise through the ranks of the Tojo clan, this prequel also works as an introduction for series newbies to the twisting intrigue and occasionally wacky world of Yakuza. It uses the economic bubble period of 1988 Tokyo and Osaka to maximum effect, casting a light on the politicking, backstabbing, and brawling of organized crime with glitz and grit.
Available on PlayStation 4 (January 24)
Hardcore action RPG gamers who love the challenge of Dark Souls need not worry about the end of that particular franchise. Nioh is a worthy successor to the unforgiving tactical combat throne. It’s set in a fictional feudal Japan where demons are wreaking havoc across the war-torn lands, and it’s up to you, the Irish swordsman William, to put an end to this yokai menace. With responsive controls, a varied arsenal of medieval weaponry, and intense boss battles, Nioh is the “Samurai Souls” you’ve always wanted.
Available on PlayStation 4 (February 7)
If fighting AI-controlled opponents has gotten too predictable but you still want to live out that middle ages power fantasy, then For Honor is for you. It’s a competitive online multiplayer brawler that pits knights versus vikings versus samurai. There is a single-player campaign that serves as a short tutorial to the frenetic large-scale battles and intricate duels. When you’re ready to face actual humans, jump into team fights and one-on-one affairs where you clash for control over multi-tiered maps littered with computer mobs, or just see who can slay their enemies more.
Available on Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One (February 14)
Night in the Woods
Compelling conflicts in games don’t always involve extreme competition. Sometimes, they take on the form of an existential crisis, such as finding your once ambitious college-educated self returning to your backwater hometown, realizing you’re not the hotshot you thought you were. This is Night in the Woods, a charming, introspective story-heavy adventure game where you talk to fellow anthropomorphic animals rendered in punchy 2D cartoon art, and make small but weighty decisions.
Available on Windows, macOS, Linux, and PlayStation 4 (February 21)
Horizon Zero Dawn
Ever had that childhood dream of fighting and taming cool robot dinosaurs? Horizon Zero Dawn fulfills that fantasy through a gorgeous post-post-apocalyptic wilderness where long-lost technology is as mystical as magic. You play as the determined, redheaded hunter Aloy on a quest for redemption. Master a vast open world chock-full of savage mechanical beasts and majestic vistas that rival Uncharted 4‘s visuals. It’s also the best reason for getting a PS4 Pro, as the game’s graphical fidelity takes full advantage of the upgraded console’s 4K resolution and HDR lighting capabilities.
Available on PlayStation 4 (February 28)
Torment: Tides of Numenera
Old-school CRPG enthusiasts who hail the cult hit Planescape: Torment as the gold standard of the genre are raving about this crowdfunded spiritual sequel. Torment: Tides of Numenera wears its forebears’ influence proudly, with its classic isometric camera, pre-rendered backgrounds and 3D art, and pages and pages of text for dialogue and world-building. If complex characters and difficult choices are what you’re looking for, then you’ll enjoy the well-written narrative Torment weaves based on your every action.
Available on Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One (February 28)
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
What better way to say goodbye to the Wii U and hello to the Nintendo Switch than with a boldly ambitious title from a flagship franchise? The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild isn’t revolutionary, taking on sandbox and survival game conventions such as a sprawling map, stamina and equipment management, and crafting. It’s how Nintendo refines these mechanics and melds them with familiar Zelda trappings, resulting in an immersive world of dynamism and discovery on an unprecedented scale. Play it on the Switch for the optimum experience, but the Wii U version is fine if you’re on a budget.
Available on Wii U and Nintendo Switch (March 3)
In case the new Zelda isn’t enough for you to get a Switch, Snipperclips might just do the trick. Take control of Snip and Clip, two anthropomorphic shapes with meme-worthy reaction faces, and solve a variety of puzzles by cutting each of the two into the appropriate, well, shapes to interact with the environment. You can play through the game by yourself, but it truly shines when you’re sharing the joy (and the frustration) with friends and family.
Available on Nintendo Switch (March 3)
Plenty of sci-fi stories across all media have meditated on consciousness, sapience, and morality through the lens of artificial intelligence. There just hasn’t been a video game that does so with the perfect balance of style and substance until Nier: Automata. It blends super cool swordplay with breakneck bullet hell into a ballet of brutality, all the while philosophizing over what it means to be human. Pro-tip: keep playing after the credits roll, and get ready to have your mind blown and your heart broken.
Available on Windows and PlayStation 4 (March 7)
Samsung Galaxy S9 guide for the selfie lover
How to get the best out of the beauty mode
The Samsung Galaxy S9 is a power-packed phone, but one great feature that is most overlooked is its front-facing camera capabilities. I’ve taken it upon myself to walk you through the wonders of what magic Samsung’s latest flagship can do to your selfies.
It all depends on what look you want to achieve. But first, the basics.
The S9 has a number of selfie modes but we’ll focus on two modes here: Selfie Focus and Selfie. Both can be found on the upper part of the camera app, when the front-facing camera is activated.
This tiny button, dubbed “beauty crystals” by one of our unboxing guests, will be your best friend. This unlocks a host of beauty filters and options that will allow you attain those flawless shots.
Now, let’s begin. On to the first look!
Sometimes, you need a no-fuss, natural-looking selfie for the times that you know you can’t be spending that much time on a selfie, but you still want to look cute.
Turn to the Galaxy S9’s Selfie Focus mode. This activates the bokeh mode which will blur out the background and makes sure that you’re the center of attention in the photo. Find good, soft lighting, find your angle and smile!
A big bright window was used in this instance, and though other GadgetMatch people were proving to be big distractions in this photo, the bokeh took care of their annoying intrusion.
Sometimes, you don’t necessarily have to up the beauty mode to take a good selfie.
For times that your fave needs a little boost, we turn to those “beauty crystals!”
The same Selfie Focus mode allow for a little airbrushing. Tap the “beauty crystals” found at the bottom right of the screen and this will allow you to toggle Color and Skin Tone.
Bumping these controls up can give you a fresh, glowing face, even on days when your face is nowhere near those two things.
With above mentioned settings, I managed to take a fresh photo as I was haggardly trying to navigate my way through an unfamiliar city by foot. A little beauty mode air-brushing does wonders, I tell you.
Basic makeup look
We move on to makeup looks! The following uses the Galaxy S9’s Selfie mode.
After navigating to this mode, tap the “beauty crystals” and a slew of themed looks will appear. Tap “Basic” and adjust intensity as needed. Tapping on the tiny “beauty pencil” will also allow you to customize the settings more.
On days when you need a tiny makeup retouch, this option works best. This setting allows for a filter that makes for subtle but made up look. The sample shown above is me at the end of a long day — my face still looks makeup fresh because of this mode, even when I personally wasn’t.
For a more va va voom look, we turn to other settings on the S9’s Selfie mode.
Tapping each pre-set look will give you a fresh new makeup theme. The toggle at the bottom of the screen controls the filter’s intensity. Remember to take great care in making sure that the filter isn’t too much for your face, otherwise, you run the risk of looking fake.
After picking a particular look, tapping the “beauty pencil” brings you to even more makeup options — you can choose to change eyeshadow, lipstick, eyelashes, contouring, and more. Go crazy with the choices! And, you can even have a friend join in on the fun as the filters work for more than one person.
This is how me and Chay looked after a long day of shooting. In this photo, we’re fresh AF and makeup was definitely on fleek, which wasn’t necessarily true in real life.
Live your life on fleek with these Galaxy S9 tips. Seriously, I never thought a device could make application so easy, but here we are.
Technology, you’ve done it again.
Samsung Galaxy S9 Unboxing with Georgina Wilson
She talks about her life with the Galaxy and her new favorite feature!
It’s not every day that we get to collaborate with someone who’s not from the tech industry. Not known to many, model and businesswoman Georgina Wilson-Burnand has been a long-time Samsung Galaxy user — ever since the Galaxy S6 came out.
In this video, Georgina does her very first unboxing with Michael Josh and talks about how her life has changed so much the last few years. Now married and a new mom, the only thing that hasn’t changed is she’s still using a Samsung smartphone.
“It really has grown with me. When I switched to the S6, I was just using it for selfies but now, I already gave up my laptop because I just work on my phone. Anyone in my life can attest that I live on my phone.”
Not only does Georgina use her phone 24/7 for work, it’s also the only camera that she uses to catch those precious moments of her son Archie that she would otherwise not be able to with another camera.
“My son has completely grown up on the Galaxy. I want to do a digital album of the millions of photos that I have because his life, even before he was born, has just been captured on my phone.”
The timing could not have been more perfect because Samsung promises to have reimagined the camera on the S9 which is also Georgina’s favorite feature on the new phone.
“I was so happy already with the S8 and I keep wondering how Samsung is going to outdo themselves. But the S9 has.”
The marquee feature of the S9 is Dual Aperture, a first on a smartphone. Michael Josh stresses it’s an engineering feat for Samsung to pull it off.
For a non-photographer, it’s one of those features that Georgina just assumes to be there but now that she understands what it means, she realizes it’s the reason why her photos are much better on the S9, especially in low light.
“It’s really mimicking how brilliant the human eye is.” She says it needs to be the best camera because it’s what she brings with her everyday.
As someone who’s been working in fashion, Georgina also commends Samsung for releasing the S9 in Lilac Purple — a color all her favorite designers are also using this season.
Michael Josh challenges Georgina to a dunk challenge, where they try to capture the splash after dunking a cookie in a glass of milk using the S9’s super slow-mo feature.
Fascinated by the idea of making a cartoon version of herself, Georgina finds herself gravitating towards using its selfie camera to make her own AR Emoji. She gave her character a pair of spectacles and the medium-length hair she’s sporting in real-life.
In between takes, Georgina also tries the new selfie features on the S9. She loves being able to blur her background using Selfie Focus, and virtually appling makeup straight from the camera app.
This feature was produced in collaboration between GadgetMatch and Samsung.
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