Gaming

Hoa is a Ghibli-inspired platformer that’s coming out soon!

You NEED to play this

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Hao’s stunning hand-painted art and breathtaking music in its announcement trailer got us gripping for its official release. Which, thankfully, won’t be long. The trailer was reminiscent of Ghibli films that have unapologetically pulled at all our heartstrings.

The puzzle platformer with incredible visuals and soundtrack is getting released soon. So, keep your eyes peeled and add this to your wishlist.

The story

The game follows Hoa. She’s a lost fairy with no memory of who she is or where from. On her journey home, she slowly discovers her origins: belonging to a tribe of fairies with the power to nurture plant and animal life.

From making new friends to breathing life into the land, Hoa discovers more about herself and her homeland. Where will her journey take her? We’ll have to explore a vast world of heart-warming mystical creatures, soothing music, and eye-catching art.

The team

The game’s loveliness doesn’t end there. The development team behind it, Skrollcat Studio, have an inspiring story in the making of all this. From two friends (founder Son Tung and Son Tra) storyboarding and creating concept art way back in 2017 while juggling full-time jobs; to an official team of five Vietnamese friends working and studying together in Singapore.

Hoa took a life of its own when they decided to fully commit to the project. And, encouragement online pushed the two founders to commit to the concept in 2019. Being a small team has allowed them to reach out and collaborate with amazing artists and partners across the world. Kyx Studio being one of them.

Pre-order it!

If you’re a huge fan of Ghibli films, this might be the perfect beautiful game to immerse yourself in. Pre-orders are available for both the PS4 and PS5 with exclusive vouchers for the digital soundtrack as well as a postcard with a personal message from Hoa herself. The game will be available on the PS4 and PS5 by July while out on the PC and the Nintendo Switch in April.

E3 2021

Razer unveils its new Raptor 27 gaming monitor

Higher refresh rate, and more RGB to boot

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During Day 3 of E3 2021, Razer kept their announcements simple and straight to the point. Apart from the new laptop and portable charger, the company also unveiled a new iteration of their gaming monitor. If you’re a big fan of RGB setups, the new Razer Raptor 27 might just be the monitor for you.

The new Razer Raptor 27 comes in a similar form factor as its predecessor, with an RGB base at the bottom. Unlike its predecessor, it now comes with a 165Hz refresh rate and a 1ms response rate. For competitive gamers, this is a huge plus to capture higher frame rates without missing a beat. Also, with a 95 percent DCI-P3 color gamut, you can expect more vibrant colors suited for creatives, as well.

Another feature that creatives will also appreciate is that the Razer Raptor 27 is now THX-certified. This means that the 27-inch IPS display will project stunning picture quality according to how creators intended them to. Along with Razer’s Synapse 3 software, you will also be able to control its settings for your preferred viewing experience.

The Razer Raptor 27 will be available early Q3 2021 at US$ 799.99.

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E3 2021

Nintendo announces the arrival of Metroid Dread

After sixteen years of lingering, Samus Aran is back

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Metroid Dread

Nintendo kicked off the final day of E3 2021 with a ton of game releases on deck. Apart from a couple of games getting ports for the Nintendo Switch, there were a handful of new releases to watch out for. One of these is a return to the old days of 2D-style movement and the return of Samus herself in Metroid Dread.

The game serves as the mainline series’ fifth installment, following Metroid Fusion. Although, it suffered through sixteen years of “development hell” since its inception in 2005. Originally, Nintendo planned Metroid Dread for a Nintendo DS release but the technology had its limitations at the time. Now, under both Nintendo and MercurySteam, it will return for the Nintendo Switch nineteen years after Fusion‘s release.

In this game, Samus sets on a mission to uncover a mystery behind the supposedly surviving X Parasites from the events of Fusion. Initally, the Galactic Federation dispatched a unit of E.M.M.I. robots to investigate, but disappeared upon arrival. Samus’ adventure rages on as Metroid Dread will be available on October 8, 2021.

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Gaming

Zelda: Breath of the Wild Sequel trailer breakdown

The trailer has fans guessing

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Remember Breath of the Wild? I don’t know. Just the single most amazing open-world game Nintendo published? Yeah, well, we’re all collectively getting a sequel come 2022 with Nintendo tickling us with their The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 (Not the official title yet, by the way) trailer.

Nothing screams new and improved like a new hair-do. The trailer features Link’s sweet new hairdo, abilities, enemies, and corrupted arm. 

Familiar place, new arms

After a shot of ominous red and black goop and a foreboding shot of Zelda falling, Link sky-dives between clouds into floating islands that look just like the last game’s Skyward Sword Skyloft. The scene cuts to him gliding into the Slyloft-like structure at night and him running on a floating islet at sunset.

A sneak peek into Link’s right arm appears from this falling and gliding sequence. Whereby, the arm is reminiscent of the classic Fullmetal Alchemist mechanical arm but with Sheikah technology.

New skills for familiar targets

Link’s new abilities are closely tied to his corrupted arm. And, Nintendo shows these new abilities off by first showing new targets. In the next scene, Link glides by Bokoblins hanging out in a fort built on top of a Stone Talus. Which, effectively combines two enemies in the previous game, into a hellish moving enemy target.

Nintendo then decides to tease us with a quick look-see of Link’s green-glowing corrupted arm. The scene skips to Link mid-climb with a group of enemies sending a spiky ball his way. He quickly reaches out with his corrupted hand; freezes the ball; and rewinds it back up the hill. All while taking out some Bokoblins along the way.

Sheikah Slate, who’s she?

Link’s new abilities build upon his Breath of the Wild skills. From freezing objects (instead of time) to a quick shot of a flamethrower arm, to swimming through obstacles.

We get an allusion to his new abilities with a drop of water ripple back into a droplet. Whereby the shot is of Link swimming through a stone structure and out the other end. We’ll have to wait to see if the arm augments other powers like Magnet, Remote Bomb, and Cryonis. But, so far, Link looks to be bending objects if not through them.

Nintendo is looking to release the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild some time in 2022. 

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