Features

Best Video Games of 2017 (Q3 Edition)

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Deep into 2017, there’s still no end in sight to the flood of excellent video game releases. To help keep you from drowning in the goodness, here are the ten best games of Q3 2017 ordered by release date.

Splatoon 2

Nintendo’s funky fresh team-based competitive shooter is back and better than ever. Splatoon 2 features the same solid foundation of spraying ink to control space and eliminate opponents, but with new weapons, new skills, and new modes. The biggest change is that you can now play it on the go, as it’s on the Nintendo Switch.

Available on Nintendo Switch (July 21)

Pyre

What do you get when you cross basketball with fantasy and visual novel mechanics? You get Supergiant Games’ Pyre. It’s a character-driven drama played at the spaciest of arenas and with the highest of stakes: freedom. Revel in the art and ruminate on heavy decisions that will stick with you for a long time. Read our review for a more in-depth breakdown!

Available on Windows and PlayStation 4 (July 25)

Tacoma

There’s a mystery in the space station Tacoma, and it’s up to you find out what happened to its missing crew. Rifle through drawers, access personal computers, and scrub through conversations of holographic projections in real time. Unfold the untold stories of every staff member in a chill yet eye-opening experience.

Available on Windows and Xbox One (August 2)

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

Mental illness has never been quite so sensitively depicted in big, blockbuster games until Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. You take control of Senua, a Celtic warrior dealing with psychosis that’s made worse after a traumatic event. Cut down enemies, recognize patterns in the environment to solve puzzles, and wrestle with your inner demons in a harrowing visual tour de force.

Available on Windows and PlayStation 4 (August 8)

Sonic Mania

SEGA’s old blue furry mascot has seen better days. It makes perfect sense then that Sonic’s best adventure in years is a trip back to the golden years, but with a twist. Sonic Mania has you replaying old favorite stages remixed for the modern era alongside brand new levels that match the design of a 90s child’s wild imagination.

Available on Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch (August 15)

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

Nathan Drake’s treasure hunting days may be over after Uncharted 4, but there’s still a lot of fun to be had exploring ancient architecture and shooting mobs of mooks. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy puts you in the boots of sassy thief Chloe Price and partners you with stone cold mercenary Nadine Ross in a tightly paced, action-packed caper through the jungles and caves of India. Check out our review for a full analysis!

Available on PlayStation 4 (August 22)

Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle

Who would have ever imagined that putting guns in the hands of Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, and Princess Peach would turn out to be a good idea? The makers of Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry, apparently, as this cutesy turn-based strategy mash-up with the raving Rabbids is the best video game crossover of the year. Put your thinking cap on, and lead your crack squad of Nintendo icons to tactical triumph in a colorful world.

Available on Nintendo Switch (August 29)

Destiny 2

Fighting aliens was the only consistently good thing in the first Destiny. Destiny 2 makes everything else about this online sci-fi first person shooter bigger and better. Whether you just want to shoot your way through spectacular set pieces by yourself or team up with friends to conquer hardcore coordinated challenges, you’ll be having fun and looking cool while you’re at it. Get all the details by reading our review.

Available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One (September 6). To be released on Windows (October 24).

Divinity: Original Sin II 

If you’re looking for the closest thing to authentic Dungeons and Dragons-style role playing in a good-looking computer game, your search stops with Divinity: Original Sin II. No other RPG right now respects player choice in character creation, combat, and conversations, and rewards it with satisfying battles and superb narratives. Play it by yourself or with a companion!

Available on Windows (September 14)

Metroid: Samus Returns

Although it’s technically a reimagining of a classic, there are enough changes to the elegant 2D side-scrolling action adventure formula in Metroid: Samus Returns to justify revisiting it. New controls and abilities give you more options to fight and traverse, while the sleek visual upgrade highlights the fun like never before. It’s a good reason to dust off that 3DS!

Available on Nintendo 3DS (September 15)

SEE ALSO: Best Video Games of 2017 (Q2 Edition)

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Hands-On

Samsung Galaxy M20 hands-on: Give the users what they want

Awakening of the sleeping giant

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Samsung has been the smartphone market leader for half a decade now, and its flagship phones continue to be an inspiration for everyone. However, while the brand is dominating in developed markets, it has taken a massive beating in the developing ones.

Thanks to players like Xiaomi, the South Korean brand has consistently lost market share in countries like India. Samsung slowly prepared itself to change strategy by the end of last year and intends to go hard in 2019. It announced the new Galaxy M-series lineup of phones in the budget segment and the M10 and M20 are the first ones to roll off the shelf.

The M20 has been launched in India for INR 10,990 (US$ 154) and comes with 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage. The option with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage costs INR 12,990 (US$ 182). The phone goes up against the Redmi 6 Pro, Realme U1, and even the Mi A2.

To start with, Samsung has opted to go with a basic design, consisting of a plastic body that is curved at the edges and is pretty glossy. The phone is extremely comfortable to hold, and the build quality is top-notch. Even the buttons are very tactile and bezels are smaller.

On the front is a 6.3-inch TFT display with a Full HD resolution and small water-drop style notch on the top. This is the first Samsung phone to feature a notch, and the display quality is surprisingly good. The color production is vivid and satisfying, while the viewing angles are perfect. It is easily visible even under direct sunlight.

For authentication, a fingerprint scanner is located on the rear and it is fast enough. You also have the option of face unlock and it works quickly in well-lit conditions. It has dual-SIM support and there’s a separate slot for microSD card, as well.

Powering the phone is an octa-core Exynos 7904 processor, which is considered to be on par with the Snapdragon 636. It is a very power-efficient processor with more emphasis on the cameras. Day-to-day tasks are handled smoothly and games like PUBG are playable with low graphics.

It has a dual-camera setup on the rear, consisting of a 13-megapixel primary shooter and a 5-megapixel wide-angle sensor. The pictures clicked during daytime are decently saturated but lack sharpness. Even focus tends to get slow in low-light conditions. The wide-angle lens works best in bright surroundings only and is a very handy tool. For selfies, it has an 8-megapixel shooter with built-in beauty enhancements.

It ships with Samsung Experience 9.5 out of the box and is actually well optimized. There is barely any lag and the UI offers a plethora of customizations and features. The company announced that the Android Pie update will be landing soon. Lastly, it has a massive 5000mAh battery that’ll get you through two days of usage.

Xiaomi has been successful because it offers users a balanced product that suits everyone’s needs. With the M20, Samsung goes down the same road. While the recently announced A-series phones were for photography enthusiasts, the M20 is good enough for everything.

The M20 is no disruptor, but an indication that Samsung is gearing up. And as a generation-one product, it’s performing fairly well.

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Cameras

Fujifilm Instax SQ20 hands-on: How good is it?

Trying out the new Motion Mode on doggies!

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Fujifilm’s sequel to their first ever digital/analog hybrid is here and it’s looking better than ever. The Instax SQ20 is one classy-looking instant camera but what can it do? With a set of built-in filters and new features like the Motion Mode, it looks like a promising device.

I finally try it out, with help from some doggies, on our hands-on video.

The SQ20 retails for US$ 199 in the US, PhP 12,999 in the Philippines, and SG$ 299 in Singapore.

In case you’re having trouble viewing, watch HERE.

READ ALSO: Fujifilm Instax SQ10 review

READ ALSO: Prynt Pocket unboxing and review: A printer that prints videos?

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Features

DALLA DALLA, Crazy Rich Asians: Now Playing

A Valentine’s special!

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While we wait for the Galaxy S10 to launch and MWC 2019 to start, let’s take a moment to celebrate Valentine’s Day!

If you don’t have a date, don’t be grumpy. Sometimes, all you need is self-love and entertainment to keep you going. Have some fun alone time and enjoy what’s now playing at GadgetMatch!

Movies to see

Dragon Ball Super: Broly
Marvin: If you’re single and unhappy about it this month, catching a late showing of Dragon Ball Super: Broly may be the best way to release stress in the theater. It’s by far the best Dragon Ball movie yet with tireless action and gorgeous visuals, plus it’s surprisingly friendly to both old fans and those new to the franchise.

Crazy Rich Asians
MJ: Crazy Rich Asians is a film for those who are ready to take it to the next level. It’s about standing up to people who get in the way of your happiness, and choosing what’s best for the person you love. It’s a dash of romance with a sprinkle of comedy to keep you from crying in heart-wrenching scenes.

TV shows to binge watch

Kakegurui
Rodneil: The anime follows a transfer student who seemed sweet and normal at first, but has an insatiable thirst for gambling. It’s a relatively easy watch and you can follow along even if you’re doing something else.

Games to play

Kingdom Hearts III
Rodneil: There’s too much backstory heading into this game that it can get super confusing, especially if this is your first game in the franchise. The story is clunky at best but the game is a visual spectacle. Push the narrative to the side and just play it for the fireworks.

Resident Evil 2
Marvin: I was too afraid to finish Resident Evil 2 on my own as a kid, so I’m glad it’s been remade for my braver adult self. In line with Valentine’s Day, I’d say it’s a perfect game to play with a partner so that you have someone to hold your hand during the most intense zombie sightings. 💕

Albums/Songs/Podcasts to listen to

Kahit Ayaw Mo Na by This Band
Rodneil: Only caught wind of this song recently and I haven’t been able to stop listening since. It talks about someone wanting to work it out with her/his partner. However, the partner seems unwilling. The music invites multiple listens and the way the words flow is ear-candy.

Shine by Pentagon
Rodneil: My obsession with girl group Twice has served as a gateway to other K-Pop tracks, and this is one of them. It’s simply an absolutely fun song to listen to. A great pick-me-up to get you started in the morning.

Can’t Help Falling In Love by Kina Grannis
MJ: Kina Grannis’ strings and acoustic guitar rendition of Elvis Presley’s classic love song makes you remember how love is a force you can’t resist. The emotion you’ll feel in this song is overwhelming — ranging from the bliss of being in love to confusion and even heartbreak.

DALLA DALLA by ITZY
Vincenz: The song’s unique and dynamic blend of sounds, from a hip-hop centric intro and bridge up to a contrasting, bright chorus, makes it a great and catchy debut song (their visuals are exceptional, too). Message of the song? It’s all about empowerment and self-love!

Gokigen Sayonara (A Happy Goodbye) by IZ*ONE
Vincenz: This song caught my ears with its catchy tune and lyrics, which doesn’t usually happen since most J-Pop releases sound so different. Its lively, electro-pop vibe opposes the song’s message about bidding farewell to someone you truly love, but it works.

Cities/Places to visit

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Boracay
Marvin: Now cleaner and more beautiful than ever, Boracay’s beach is the perfect weekend getaway once again. A lot of activities and shops are still unavailable, but if you simply want to soak in the sun and sea breeze, it would be a great time to go once the tourists leave post-Valentine’s.


Now Playing is the GadgetMatch team’s favorite games, movies, TV shows, and more each month. If you’re curious to know what we’re into at the moment, this is what you should check out. So grab your popcorn, get some drinks, and enjoy what’s now playing!

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