Happy Holidays! The GadgetMatch team is taking a break, and these are the forms of entertainment we’ll have while we recuperate before a series of tech events — CES 2021 and Galaxy Unpacked 2021 — rushes in next year.
Play, watch, and listen with us. Here’s what’s Now Playing in GadgetMatch:
Games to play
Luigi: Hades is one of the best games I’ve played this year. Zagreus, son of Hades, fights his way out of Hell. A roguelite game in essence, Hades features levels, powers, and abilities that change after every attempt to escape. It’s a simple game in concept but has one of the densest, most well-polished systems for its scale.
Watch Dogs 1 and 2
Vincenz: I may be super duper late to the party (and I know this isn’t the latest release) but I prefer playing them over the last two Grand Theft Auto releases. Although the worlds are not as big as Liberty City or Los Santos and the graphics are not as realistic, I love the storyline, overall physics, as well as how you go through missions not totally relying on weapons but also by hacking through CTOS that runs the smart city of Chicago and San Francisco.
Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Rodneil: In this more condensed Spidey experience, you play rookie Spider-Man Miles Morales protecting New York on his own for the first time with Peter going on a trip with MJ. It follows much of the same coming-of-age, family, and friendship beats as Miles’ animated film debut Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse while still managing to still be its own thing. Gameplay is slightly tighter than the 2018 game but it’s just every bit as fun and fulfilling.
NBA 2K21 Next Gen
Rodneil: I’ve been spending most of my time with the PS5 playing NBA 2K21 and Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered. The next gen version almost feels like a whole new game. The menu screens are different, the game physics and graphics a little more realistic, and there are things in the game that take advantage of the DualSense controller. Some additions — like Shot Aiming — feel gimmicky and unnecessary but this is still an overall leveled up experience especially for fans of the NBA 2K franchise.
Cyberpunk 2077 PC
Gab: I specifically picked the PC version of this game because, at the very least, I could experience playing it without much mess in the way. Behind relatively bad visual bugs and glitches, the game itself is a joy to play. From stealth-based playthroughs to insane armed combat, Cyberpunk 2077 takes you through a wild ride through Night City — and you’re in full control of everything. On a personal note, I do enjoy starting every encounter with a sniper headshot to the enemies.
Shows to binge-watch
Luigi: Inspired by a racist author’s works, Lovecraft Country (and the novel of the same name) claims the horror genre for the Black community. It’s a horror anthology series weaved together by a common narrative. More than its terrifying plots, Lovecraft Country creates stories about race, equality, and identity.
Vincenz: Regardless if you’re a tech nerd, young programmer, an aspiring entrepreneur, Hallyu fan, or just a regular viewer who’s curious enough to find new titles, Start-Up is a well-versed K-Drama that will show not only an individual’s quarter-life crisis in career and love but also a very informational series that portray what and how start-ups work together (especially in the tech industry) with the help of marketing and modern technology.
Attack on Titan, Season 4
Rodneil: As of writing, I’ve only seen the first two episodes of the much anticipated final season to an anime series that is slowly regaining the hype it got following its first season. Season 4 begins much like Season 2 in that it pulls the focus from the anime’s main protagonists to build on the story even further. Instead of focusing on Eren, it starts by putting the spotlight on the Titan shifters that have long terrorized their existence.
The Crown, Season 4
Kenrick: The Crown’s latest season could be its best yet. The new season features the tumultuous marriage of Princess Diana and Prince Charles. Margaret Thatcher — one of the UK’s most famous yet equally controversial prime ministers — also shares half of the spotlight. Delivering on sheer performance and superb portrayal of real events, season 4 solidifies The Crown as one of the best historical dramas to date. It’s a little unfair though, that viewers are left to wait for a long time before a new season drops as this season ends in one of the pivotal moments on the UK’s storied monarchy.
Fire Force, Season 2
Rodneil: Everything about this anime just speaks to me on a spiritual level. I’ve low-key always wanted to be some type of pyrokinetic and having an anime built around that concept is something I find deeply entertaining. Season 2 dives deeper into the secrets of the Adolla Burst with some astonishing reveals about the religion that rules the world in the show. The Season also saw Company 8 forge more allies as in the Fire Soldier ranks as they take on the Evangelist that are out to cause another great fire to restart the world.
Record of Youth
Apple: We’re so used to dramas and movies about the struggles of the impoverished and the discriminated but with Record of the Youth, we get a glimpse of the hardships of the rich and in the limelight, away from all the glamour and the glitz. This K-Drama mostly tackles the life of Hye-Jun played by Park Bo-gum, a model who thought all he needed was a successful career to be truly happy but when he got to the top, his life took an unexpected turn that he had to painfully accept.
Alice in Borderland
Rodneil: I had zero idea what the show was about coming in. I didn’t even know this was based on a manga but after a few episodes I could immediately tell that it was — the way the characters are portrayed and the progression of the story — these had all the makings of a Shonen title. It’s somewhat Isekai in that the main protagonist is displaced in an alternate world and has to go through it by playing by the rules of that world. In a nutshell this show is bloody, takes interesting twists and turns, and will have you eagerly anticipating what will happen next. Also, for the boys — watch out for Hikari Kuina (Asahina Aya). Very glad this has been green lit for a Season 2 and will be looking forward to when it drops.
Movies to see
Vincenz: A well-thought-out masterpiece that depicts the life of a teenager dealing with himself as a PLHIV while trying to go against his family and peers with their stigma, prejudice, and discrimination against the virus and AIDS. It also gives us a real glimpse of the Philippine society (regardless if an adult or a teenager) when it comes to sex, drug and alcohol abuse, dysfunctional families, child neglect, infidelity, and even lapses in religious leaders in power. You can watch it here in Netflix.
Apple: I’m a big fan of films that have great storylines and really unexpected twists, and this movie was exactly like that. The Call is a thriller film that takes time travel stories into a different and horrifying level. Park Shin-Hye plays the lead role in this story about the repercussions of a person from a vengeful past who becomes resentful of a person in the present. You’ll definitely be on your toes as you wait for the ending to see who’ll survive.
Albums/Songs/Podcasts to listen to
“evermore” by Taylor Swift
MJ: Get in your feelings by listening to Taylor Swift’s surprise ninth album entitled “evermore”. It’s the sister record to “folklore”, Swift’s eight album produced in the middle of quarantine. Both albums speaks in a soulful level, with lyrical themes revolving around love, infidelity, noir, and everything in between relationships — told through an interlacing narrative between songs.
“Miracles in December” EP by EXO
Vincenz: EXO may not be active and complete anymore but we know these songs remained in the hearts, minds, and ears of every EXO-L out there. This isn’t totally a new release as it was released way back in December 2013 (exactly seven years ago), I still get the chills whenever I listen to all the songs in this Extended Play featuring all their vocals. What a perfect time to play them again.
“[12:00]” EP by LOONA
Vincenz: A total opposite of my first suggestion as LOONA’s “[12:00]” gives me a summer vibe especially when listening to their comeback track “Why Not”. Meanwhile, listening to “Universe” and “Voice” reminds me of a cold, breezy night regardless of the season — my fave tracks in this album that suit their soothing and refreshing vocals.
Fun fact: “Star” is the English version of “Voice” which is also included in this EP.
Vincenz: As a complement to our craze with the K-Drama Start-Up, this drama’s Original Soundtrack (OST) list is one of the best IMHO. With song variations starting with Red Velvet’s pop track “Future”, ballad-y “One Day” sung by Kim Feel, and even a motivational track by Gaho entitled “Running”, you’ll surely enjoy the drama all-along and even miss it more once you finish all the episodes.
“Warm on a Christmas Night” by HONNE
Martynne: Just when we thought Honne’s songs could be warmer, they release a Christmas version of their “Warm on a Christmas Night.”
“Eyes Wide Open” by TWICE
Rodneil: No. Skip. Album. Coming back with only their second full album, TWICE made sure there’s something you’ll love in every track. There’s a good mix of Color Pop, City Pop, and even some Jazzy tunes here to keep you hooked. My personal favorites are “Hell in Heaven,” “Up No More,” and “Handle It.”
“Cry For Me” by TWICE
Rodneil: The Nation’s Girl Group surprised their fans by making music awards show MAMA 2020 their comeback stage. The group released a single “Cry For Me” that one of their members, Nayeon, said was almost completely scratched. She goes on to say that it’s a gift for ONCEs but fans suspect it’s more than just an out-of-nowhere single release. P.S. The SaChaeng second verse is absolutely eargasmic.
“Polaris” by December Avenue
Rodneil: This fresh release from the OPM pop-rock band has more in common with their early 2010s version than the emotionally charged Filipino “hugot” songs that pushed them towards more fan recognition. As someone who’s followed the band since 2009, Polaris sounds refreshing and a return to their roots.
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!
Shopee’s 10.10 K-Pop performer is ITZY
Following sister group TWICE’s footsteps
Shopee is on a roll. After securing performances from K-Pop supergroup TWICE, the online shopping company has also secured performances from K-Pop 4th Gen superstars ITZY. The group is set to perform on their 10.10 Brand Festival Shopee live.
Shopee has yet to reveal what else they have in store for 10.10. But what we can expect for sure is another generous round of vouchers and giveaways.
ITZY is a five-member girl group featuring Yeji, Lia, Ryujin, Chaeryeong, and Yuna. The group debuted with the song “Dalla Dalla”. In 2020, they launched the shoulder dance craze with their comeback “Wannabe”. On September 24, the group will release their first full album called Crazy In-Love with the title track “Loco”.
Early Shopee Christmas
In the Philippines, Shopee is already kickstarting its Christmas campaign. They are welcoming the holidays essentially the voice and face of Christmas in the country — Jose Mari Chan. Shoppers can catch the singer-songwriter on holiday-themed in-app games such as Shopee Catch and Shopee Collectibles from September to December.
The singer-songwriter will also give out treats via ShopeePay come December. He’s doing it along with other celebrities and influencers. Look for ShopeePay Celebrity Pamasko on your homepage and play the game to receive ShopeePay credits.
You can activate your ShopeePay wallet by clicking on the ShopeePay wallet bar, entering your personal information and OTP, and creating and confirming your ShopeePay PIN.
Netflix, WWE announces interactive film Escape The Undertaker
Premiering in October
Since the release of Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, Netflix has invested more and more in interactive content. In fact, besides its growing library of interactive content, the company is also working on its own video games for the future. Amid the rise of interactive content, Netflix is also working on a new collaboration to bolster its library. Netflix and WWE are releasing an interactive movie featuring The Undertaker.
Escape The Undertaker is an interactive Halloween film from both WWE Studios and Netflix. As the title indicates, the film stars Mark Calloway, otherwise known for his in-ring persona The Undertaker. Viewers have to guide the members of The New Day, a faction consisting of WWE stars Big E, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods, to… well, escape The Undertaker. The fearsome legend invited The New Day to his mansion. Unbeknownst to the trio, The Undertaker’s mansion is filled with traps which The New Day have to escape from.
WWE Studios is no stranger to cinematic experiences. Before the age of Netflix, WWE produced and released action and horror films featuring their superstars including Steve Austin, John Cena, and Kane. In recent history, the company’s more creative arm got a breath of fresh air with last year’s cinematic matches. Because of the pandemic, WWE held more cinematic matches to compensate for the pandemic’s limitations. Coincidentally, one of those matches also included The Undertaker’s final match before retiring.
Escape The Undertaker premiers on Netflix on October 5.
JMGO launches JMGO U2, an IMAX-like projector for your home
Already available for your home theater
The seemingly endless pandemic has forced us back into our homes. Though cinemas are already starting to open up, home theaters are still the safest way to enjoy movies, new and old, without sitting around everyone else. Home projectors are naturally making a huge comeback. Fresh off a recent projector launch, JMGO is already releasing its next home projector, the JMGO U2, an IMAX experience for your home.
Touted as a projector that can outperform IMAX theaters, the JMGO U2 can project a 100-inch screen from just 9.44 inches away. Using a tri-chroma laser engine, the projector can deliver crystal clear images from the comforts of your own home. It offers better quality than standard TV sets these days.
Two built-in speakers and two tweeter speakers complement the projector’s image quality. Both can provide surround sound without the need for external speakers.
For extended viewing periods, the U2 has a blue light filter and an eye protection mode to save your eyes while watching in the dark, especially if viewers get too close. Plus, if viewers are close, the projector operates at less than 28 decibels. It also has smart temperature control to regulate how hard the fans will work.
Inside, the projector comes installed with the Android-based Luna OS. The software offers good features for users including previewing different sources.
The JMGO U2 is available at an early bird rate of US$ 1,799 for a limited time, with more announcements to be posted on its Facebook Group. Afterwards, it will retail for US$ 2,099. It can also come with an ambient light rejecting screen bundled at US$ 2,628. Buyers will also get a free one-year warranty and can avail of an additional year for US$ 217.
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