Gaming

Square Enix reveals more Final Fantasy VII Remake material

The teasers don’t stop coming as launch date nears

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Square Enix continues to gear up for the release of the Final Fantasy VII Remake in April. As such, they continue to provide more details and artwork to get fans excited over the remade PlayStation 1 classic. If the demo released earlier this month wasn’t enough, don’t worry; there’s more content that the company wants to share with all of you.

More character & environment art

More characters get a HD facelift for this remake, as Tseng and Don Corneo return to a much grander fashion. Tseng dons the professional black suit and tie as the calm and collected leader of the Turks. Meanwhile, Don Corneo sports a rather colorful and sophisticated look as the don of the Wall Market. Apart from these two, several other characters like Andrea Rhodea, Leslie Kyle, Chocobo Sam, and Madam M make their return in HD perfection.

The Honeybee Inn

Interestingly enough, we also get a look into the improved environments in which these characters reside in. Don Corneo’s domain, the Wall Market is as festive as ever, complete with beautiful color balance to illustrate the night life. Other locations like the Corneo Colosseum and the Honeybee Inn provide vivid colors that are honestly stunning for a nightlife setting, as well. You will also see something new when traversing the streets with jukeboxes added to the game.

Battling with Barret

If you played the demo version of the remake, you’ve already gotten your first glimpse of Barret Wallace. The brigadier with the gun arm is mostly fit for long-range combat, through the use of his machine gun. In this latest teaser, there are other ways you can maximize Barret’s long-range arsenal should you decide to use him for the rest of the game.

When you press the Square button, you can fire a volley that hits enemies farther away from you. If you feel like you need an extra salvo of attacks, simply hold that button down. Apart from this, you also have access to use his “Overcharge” attack by pressing the Triangle button. The attack has massive power, but also takes a while to recharge once released. Although, you can speed up the process by pressing Triangle while recharging.

Barret’s Overcharge Attack

You also get a glimpse of his abilities such as Focused Shot and Lifesaver. Focused Shot uses up all the available ATB charges you have left and concentrates it into one powerful shot. Meanwhile, Lifesaver shares Barret’s available HP to nearby allies when taking damage from enemies.

Final Fantasy VII Remake will be available on the PlayStation 4 on April 10. It retails at PhP 2,999, with pre-orders still being accepted.

Gaming

The Sims 4 now has customizable pronouns for Sims

Available in English now

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Still the most popular simulation game today, The Sims 4 thrives on allowing players full freedom to customize their experience in the virtual world. Sims can ideally become whatever the player wants them to be. However, amid the game’s inherent freedom, it lacks an arguably important feature in today’s inclusive climate: customizable pronouns. Well, it did. In a new update, users can now do so.

Starting today, players can fully customize their Sim’s pronouns on the Create a Sim interface. They can choose between he/him, she/her, they/them, and fully customized ones. The interface is accessible at any time through the Create a Sim menu with any Sim– not just while creating a new Sim.

Besides the three multiple choice options, players can also create their own mixes of pronouns on the interface. They can customize the subjective, objective, possessive dependent, possessive independent, and reflexive forms of the pronouns they wish to use. (If this sounds too complicated without an English teacher, the game offers a guide and some examples to help players along the way.)

Adding customizable pronouns is a big step in the right direction for inclusivity in an immersive simulation game. However, the update is only available for those playing The Sims 4 in English for now. Naturally, other non-English languages approach pronouns in different ways. Developers at EA and Maxis want to get the system perfect before rolling it out to other users.

SEE ALSO: Electronic Arts is reportedly putting its company up for sale

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Gaming

Electronic Arts is reportedly putting its company up for sale

No concrete suitor yet

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This year is turning into quite a landmark year for the gaming world. Bigger companies are buying smaller companies in landmark deals. We’ve already seen a few just this year. Now, a new rumor is brewing the advent of another potential move in the industry. Electronic Arts is reportedly eyeing buyers or mergers from other companies.

According to Puck (via Kotaku), the company is constantly trying to find suitors for a potential deal. Electronic Arts have reportedly approached Amazon, Apple, Comcast, and Disney already.

However, the source indicates that none of the talks led to anything concrete so far. Disney said no, despite the potential benefits of a partnership between EA’s lineup of sports game and sport-centered network ESPN (which Disney owns).

Comcast, which owns NBC, got extremely close to a deal, though. The deal would have allowed current EA CEO Andrew Wilson to remain in control of his company — which is a key stipulation for EA to accept any buyout. Ultimately, both sides didn’t agree on a price, leaving the deal incomplete.

For its part, EA refused to comment on the rumors at this time. The company currently holds popular titles like The Sims and Apex Legends.

If the company is indeed searching for a deal, it’s in good company this year. At the start of the year, Microsoft, inking one of the most surprising acquisitions in the industry, bought out Activision Blizzard, carving an all-new direction for the iconic studio. Later on, Sony acquired Bungie, the studio behind the Destiny franchise. Finally, Take-Two Interactive acquired Zynga, finishing its deal just recently.

SEE ALSO: Microsoft buys Activision Blizzard for nearly US$ 70B

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Gaming

ROG Zephyrus G15: Lean, mean, gaming machine

And it’s a looker too

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Zephyrus G15

One of my favorite things about getting to try many new gadgets is that I learn more about myself and my preferences. The ROG Zephyrus G15 (2022) GA503 – which henceforth will just be referred to as just Zephyrus G15 – did just that for me and what I want in gaming laptops. 

For context, I have been sparingly using my ROG Flow X13 for most of my general Windows and PC gaming needs. It’s a great device, don’t get me wrong. But having to prop up the laptop itself along with the XG Mobile to reach its full potential can be quite cumbersome.

It’s a huge contrast to the Zephyrus G15 where I simply fire it up and it just works in a jiffy. And all the ports I normally use are right there, ready to use. I’m a big fan of convenience so I absolutely love it when gadgets just work without much friction. 

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Based on this introduction, I’m sure you already have some idea on what I generally think about the Zephyrus G15. But allow me to discuss it further. 

Tale of the tape

Zephyrus G15

Specs and benchmarks never tell the whole story. But specs are a good place to start. Here’s what our review unit is packing: 

  • AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS
  • 15″ WQHD (2560 x 1440) 16:9 240hz Pantone Validated 100% DCI-P
  • RTX 3070 TI 8GB GDDR6
  • 16GB DDR5 on board  + 16GB DDR5-4800 SO-DIMM
  • 1TB M.2 NVM PCIe 4.0 SSD
  • Moonlight White

Some standout stuff from the information provided above are the new processor, the Pantone Validated display as well as the RAM available. This isn’t even its highest configuration. There’s a variant that runs RTX 3080. You can upgrade your RAM up to 48GB and there’s another SSD slot so you can expand your storage. 

Zephyrus G15

That means there’s plenty of room to up the ante down the line should you choose to do so. That’s not something that you can say for every gaming laptop. 

Immaculate look and design

I love that ROG sent over the Moonlight White version for us to try. Black is great, don’t get me wrong. But it’s refreshing to see gaming laptops brimming with power come in other colorways that could appeal to people that are kind of just over with black. 

The magnesium-aluminum lid and chassis also maintain the Zephyrus look giving it a sleek and tough exterior, while keeping the ROG Zephyrus identity. And you don’t have to worry too much about it picking up dust and dirt. In the few weeks I spent with it, it stayed pristine looking despite little to no wiping maintenance. That’s thanks largely to the wear-resistant coating which works exactly as advertised. 

Zephyrus G15

Adding to the overall functional design is the ErgoLift Hinge. This is one of my favorite things about ASUS laptops. The ergolift hinge not only allows a 180° for more flexibility, it’s also just ultra satisfying to move and look at. 

It looks fresh, feels tough, and is relatively compact making it easy to carry around. It’s a looker with some bells and whistles in the right places.

Ports, keyboard, and trackpad

Zephyrus G15

Speaking of those bells and whistles, the Zephyrus G15 is packed with possibly all the ports you’ll need. Whether that’s for a remote setup or one that’s neatly tucked into a home office desk. 

Zephyrus G15

Here’s everything it has to offer: 

  • USB3.2 Gen 2 Type-A (2x)
  • USB3.2 Gen 2 Type-C(supports DP 1.4 & 100W PD Charger), (2x)
  • LAN RJ-45 jack (1x)
  • HDMI 2.0b (1x)
  • Micro SD Card Reader (UHS-II), (1x)
  • 3.5mm Audio combo jack (1x)
  • Kensington Lock (1x)

 

Zephyrus G15

The Stealth Type keyboard was a curious choice but one that I welcome. I was of the impression that the gaming demographic skews more towards the clickity clack of mechanical keyboards. But the one equipped on the Zephyrus G15 is about as quiet as they come. No complaints here though, as it didn’t distract my at-the-moment entanglement in slumber as I toiled away over late night labor. 

Zephyrus G15

One of the best trackpad experiences on a Windows Gaming laptop.

The trackpad, too, was such a pleasant surprise. Perhaps it’s also in conjunction with Windows 11 but using a trackpad on Windows now doesn’t feel as laggy as it used to. On days that I only worked using the Zephyrus G15, I never felt the need to connect a mouse. That feels like a breakthrough as I have never been able to say that for any of the Windows laptops I’ve reviewed in the past. 

Plays like a console

Yes, I paired a DualSense controller with the Zephyrus G15

Alright, before any PC gaming enthusiasts come at my throat, what I mean here is mostly the quality of life things. When I got the Zephyrus G15, I didn’t tweak it very much. Heck, I even opened Armoury Crate less than five times during my time with it. Despite this, it had no trouble running the games I attempted to play. Some of which are even very demanding AAA titles. 

Zephyrus G15

I’m a big fan of tech that just works. Especially with my current workload, the less time I have to figure something out, the better. And that’s the case with this gaming laptop. I simply fired up Steam, downloaded the games, and played to my heart’s content. 

Zephyrus G15

Teen Gohan vs Cell is a classic.

Naturally, I checked the settings on some of the first few games I tried like Control, Genshin Impact, and Dragon Ball FighterZ. Everything was consistently on the highest settings right off the bat. Lags and stutters? I don’t know them. Not with the Zephyrus G15 in tow. 

To better understand where I’m coming from, I own an ROG Flow X13. The one that comes with the ROG XG Mobile. It’s a great machine, no doubt. But to get the most out of it, I still have to hook up the XG Mobile to the Flow X13. Whereas with the Zephyrus G15, I simply have to turn the laptop on. That’s an underrated level of convenience that may or may not mean much for some of you. 

You still have Armoury Crate but I didn’t feel the need to touch it as much.

It’s seriously making me consider trading up for the Zephyrus G15. And that’s just with the raw performance of games. I haven’t even talked about how good the display and speakers are. 

Eyes and ears candy 

Zephyrus G15

Its high-level performance is of course complemented by a stellar audio-visual experience. As indicated in the specs section earlier, this laptop sports a 15” WQHD 16:9 display with a 240Hz refresh rate. It’s also Pantone Validated which is great for color accuracy if you’re working on anything that involves visual media.

But all you really need to know is that it’s an absolute treat to the eyes. The 240Hz refresh rate on the panel is great for first-person shooters. Unfortunately, I am not great at first person shooters. I’d like to take this opportunity to whoever I played Valorant with because I totally dragged the team down. 

Zephyrus G15

This is a “Tomboy” fancam but listen to her album “MY” too!

 

It is a visual treat, no doubt. But like (G)-IDLE’s Miyeon, the Zephyrus G15 isn’t just a treat for the eyes. It also sounds hella good. I spent a good chunk of time watching Miyeon’s fancams on this thing and it’s just a fantastic overall experience. 

I also watched a few episodes of Netflix’s Business Proposal at the time of writing. Really, whatever type of content you consume, it’s bound to look and sound great on this thing. 

Zephyrus G15

Kim SeJeong is just adorable

One thing we did learn is that the display struggles a bit under really bright environments. When taking photos of the device, we opted to step out for natural light. But if you’re using this to work or play remotely, I recommend you find some place that isn’t too bright. 

Is this your GadgetMatch?

Zephyrus G15

The ROG Zephyrus G15 (2022) GA503 is easily one of my personal favorite devices that I’ve reviewed so far in 2022. It’s about as close as it can get to a plug and play PC gaming experience. And that’s not something you can say for many laptops and/or PCs. 

The Zephyrus G15 (2022) brings with it a distinct look, top-notch gaming performance, and a really solid audio-visual experience. As a gaming laptop, this is about as perfect as it gets and is something I can easily recommend especially if you’re willing to splurge for it.

Official pricing will be announced soon. We’ll update this space when it’s out.

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