Features

These video games from our childhood made us who we are today

An ode to the young at heart, and who we are now

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We were all kids once, and we all found our own little ways to be happy. Some of us were fortunate enough to have as many toys as possible while some just wanted to enjoy time with the family, especially with older siblings. Others had a whole new world that mixed both quality time with siblings and toys — console gaming.

In the spirit of remembering the past, members of the GadgetMatch team wanted to share each one’s first taste of gaming as kids. More importantly, we want to show how these experiences shaped who we are today.

The games we played

One console we all had back in the day was the PlayStation 1. I remember having my PlayStation 1 at the age of three. Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage and Ape Escape were the first cartoon-like platforming titles I experienced. Crash Team Racing was the game that introduced me to the world of kart-racing, in a time when Mario Kart was the most popular title in the 90s.

For others, their introduction to gaming came in the era of RPGs for the PS1. Rodneil dabbled with RPGs back in the day, specifically with the Final Fantasy series. In Marvin’s case, what really got him to play with his PS1 was far from a JRPG in Monster Rancher 2. “While my friends were into Pokémon and Digimon, I was hunting down certain CDs to obtain rare creatures in the game.” 

“The Final Fantasy franchise brought and immersed me in worlds I can only dream of.” — Rodneil

Even with a plethora of RPG titles for the PS1, there were those who found their first experience elsewhere. Dan, for one, had his first gaming experience with simulation and survival games like Resident Evil 2, Harvest Moon: Back to Nature, and Sim Theme Park. Kevin, on the other hand, ventured into the world of Dance Dance Revolution, with his family “even buying a dance mat so the experience was complete.”

Then, there were others who didn’t just stick to one console and widened their horizons early on. MJ had a ton of consoles at his disposal, which meant the games he played were just as much. “Back then, I had my own PlayStation, Nintendo 64, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, and PSP.” He was exposed to titles we know and love, like Pokémon, Tekken, and Grand Theft Auto — among others.

What we learned from them

Perhaps one aspect of video games that a lot of people tend to overlook is what we really picked up from them. We get it: They’re just video games, right? But more than the gameplay, lovable characters, and storylines, our childhood video games etched a mark on who we would end up becoming.

With my experience in platforming games, it’s important to know where you’re going at all times. It’s the kind of mindfulness and attention to detail that allowed me to solve most of the challenging stages. This is also fairly true for games like Resident Evil 2 wherein, according to Dan, he would “stay up late just to solve the puzzles and make sure we got all the items we could collect.”

Dance Dance Revolution is the reason why I can still bust out some moves and surprise new friends during random trips to the arcade.” — Kevin

A lot of the games we played also required strategies to get through; strategies that enable our creativity in finishing the game. I remember how, on the first level of Spyro 2, you can instantly finish the level at 100 percent without any cheat codes. Other strategies often include understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your character, and using it to your advantage. Games like Pokémon and Monster Rancher hinge on your understanding of the opponent and executing your moves properly.

Often times, games are about muscle memory and planning ahead given the information you have. Kevin pointed this out when he first started playing Dance Dance Revolution, he was “awkwardly timing [his] steps at first.” Eventually, he picked up on the steps of certain tracks and memorized them. In the case of Harvest Moon, Dan noted how he needed to plan out the next harvest on top of all the other tasks he had on his plate. But even in planning ahead, there are risks to it.

How did it trickle down to today?

As a whole, playing video games at an early age contributed to our upbringing as human beings. While we don’t give a lot of credit to them, we recognize that much of our lives wouldn’t be the same without them.

Video games turned me into a competitive and creative completionist. Throughout my life, I’ve always set goals and stuck with just one way to reach a hundred percent. But by playing Spyro 2 and CTR over and over again, I discovered just how many other times I could achieve the same result.

For both Rodneil and Dan, video games helped them appreciate the world more and its complications. Dan, in particular, noted how playing Harvest Moon taught him how to be a more responsible adult and understand the consequences of his actions. Rodneil could only dream of a better world thanks to Final Fantasy!

“I guess my fondness of simulation games allowed me to understand the consequences of my actions.” — Dan

For both Kevin and MJ, video games helped them discover who they are and what they’re truly capable of. It’s because of Dance Dance Revolution that Kevin, to this day, can bust out a move or two, especially in the arcade! MJ, on the other hand, recognized his own strength from within despite being physically frail.

But all in all, no matter how bad the world may be, video games are our source of joy. We find the strength and the capacity to be happy despite all the stress at work or school. At the end of the day, as Marvin would put it: We may not have learned much, but video games are “fun AF.”

“Who would’ve known that video games have an effect like this?” — MJ

Hands-On

Snapdragon 865 Hands-on: Top 5 Features

5G for all, 200MP, 8K, and more.

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As we lean towards the second decade of the millennium, Qualcomm is ready to ship out their next flagship chipset.

Snapdragon has been running most devices people use today. Snapdragon 865 (together with the midrange 765) are two of Qualcomm’s chipset offerings for 2020. They offer more than incremental performance boosts.

Watch more to know the top 5 promising features of the new chipset.

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24 Hours Series

24 hours in Mövenpick with the Honor 9X

I didn’t want to leave

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I know you must feel strange to be hearing back from me writing another travel article when last time I tried, I preemptively said that I was horrible at writing about my adventures. Well, you guys might have to deal with reading my silly little travel psychobabble again because I went to Cebu for a weekend and I brought the Honor 9X with me.

Feeling beachy

Okay, this is technically not fair since Cebu is like home to me at this point. I luckily grew up visiting Cebu a lot. My older siblings were born there, so that’s not much of a surprise. On this trip though, my parents opted out of staying in a hotel in the middle of the bustling city. We decided to stay by the beach at Mövenpick. We have never been to Mövenpick before. So, it was going to be pretty interesting to explore the place.

The view was stunning. I didn’t even know what to capture first. It was that gorgeous. When we arrived, the staff were lovely enough to let us roam the area despite not having checked in yet. Mövenpick is pretty. The moment you get dropped off at the lobby, the place instantly assaults your senses with everything beach. It smells, sounds, and feels like you’re at the beach. 

That’s obviously because a few steps farther, you’re already at the beach. The place is well designed to have the ocean breeze flow from the bayfront to the resort lobby. It’s open-spaced.

No such thing as fasting at breakfast

This is the only photo of food I managed to snag before inhaling it. I’m not going to apologize for being a little hangry considering I hadn’t had a meal for hours and I stayed up all night. This is Mövenpick’s poached egg breakfast. Was it good? Yes. I mean, look at it. How could it not be?

I think off the bat, that how the food tasted may have shifted a little considering I was zoning out because of the view. It’s really pretty and honestly, it testing my writing skills (if I have any) to try and find more synonyms to great, pretty, and lovely. 

Dinner at the Ibiza

No, I didn’t take a pill in Ibiza. And yes I know, nobody asked. Mövenpick has this by-the-bay restaurant and bar called the Ibiza. They have live music and good food so if you’ve booked a room, this is the place to be at night. There’s food, an amazing view, and live music. Is there anything more I could have asked for? No. It was perfect.

The Ibiza is open in the morning too. If you want to have your breakfast there, you can soak in the early morning ocean breeze while eating.

Here come excuses

Alright, I didn’t take many photos while in Cebu, at least, not as many as I would like to. I wanted to savor every stunning moment there. I haven’t been back in ages and I’ve barely spent time at the beach. Not to mention, I rarely get to see my little nephew. 

I guess as much as this article is about bringing the Honor 9X with me to show off how the phone is capable of capturing every lovely moment of your travels, it’s good to sometimes be in the moment. It isn’t on the Honor 9X for uncaptured moments. It’s totally on me for leaving it in my bag. Having said that, I think it was good to have eased off bringing the phone along every single second of the trip. I’m more than happy to have lived those quiet undocumented moments.

I’m not saying you should drop taking pictures altogether. It’s nice to have documented moments of a trip especially when it’s somewhere stunning. It’s nice to have something to look back on and to remind us of good times. I suppose it’s just nice to sometimes wean off of being so obsessive with what you can capture and instead, be in the moment.

All photos are taken with the Honor 9X

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Hands-On

Realme X2 Pro Master Edition hands-on: Tough looks, solid performance

It’s made of a soft-frosted glass but feels like cement

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The Realme X2 Pro has gotten fans really excited. Touted as the new flagship killer, it has quad cameras, Snapdragon 855+, and other flagship-level features at an affordable price tag.

While the regular Realme X2 Pro is already pretty awesome, what we got here is even more intense. We have the Reame X2 Pro Master Edition to check out, the Concrete edition to be exact.

Tough looks

The Master Edition of the Realme X2 Pro also comes in a Red Brick design. I’m not too big a fan of that look, so I got the Concrete version instead.

The Realme X2 Pro Master Edition is designed by famous Japanese designer Naoto Fukasawa. It comes with a signature of the designer on the back panel.

The texture is pretty similar to the Sandstone feel of the older OnePlus devices — just less rough and more matte.

Realme says this is a soft-frosted glass although it’s hard to tell to be honest. The finish looks and feels like concrete cement even if it’s soft-to-touch.

Solid performance

Apart from the differences in design, it’s pretty much the same exact Realme X2 Pro inside. It packs 12GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage.

The Realme X2 Pro has a 6.5-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display with a waterdrop notch, and a high 90Hz refresh rate. It boasts a 91.7 percent screen-to-body ratio and an in-display fingerprint scanner that works really fast.

Making it an even better media device is a pair of stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

There’s also a vapor chamber liquid cooling, a superconducting carbon fiber multi-layer scheme, multi-layer graphite sheet and other heat-dissipating materials so the phone can definitely game without heating issues.

This is all backed up by a massive 4000 mAh battery with 50W SuperVOOC Flash Charging technology. It can fully charge the phone from zero, in just about 35 minutes.

This super fast charging is definitely something anyone would appreciate. Imagine waking up in the morning and charging your phone while you’re in the shower. It’ll be ready and full just before you head out.

Capable cameras

The Realme X2 Pro has a quad-camera setup, with the Samsung GW1 64-MP sensor with a fast f/1.8 aperture as the main camera. There’s also a 13MP telephoto lens with support for up to 20x hybrid zoom, an 8MP ultra-wide with a 115-degree field-of-view, as well as a 2-megapixel depth sensor to help with portrait shots. Up front is a 16MP selfie camera.

In China the Realme X2 Pro is priced at CNY 3299 (US$ 469). In India, it will be going on sale around Christmas time for INR 34,999 (US$ 490).

What do you think about this version? Should phone companies make more special edition phones in a similar design? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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