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!
Netflix’s ‘To All The Boys: Always and Forever’ is your Valentine’s Day treat
Lara Jean’s last hurrah?
The sequel for Netflix’s To All The Boys I Loved Before and To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You is almost here. Premiering this Valentine’s Day, Netflix’s To All The Boys: Always and Forever follows Lara Jean Covey’s senior year in high school.
In the upcoming film, a pair of life-changing trips lead Lara Jean to reimagine what life with her family, friends, and Peter will look like after graduation.
Of course, Lana Condor and Noah Centineo will take center stage. Netflix will also be starring Janel Parrish, Anna Cathcart, Ross Butler, Madeleine Arthur, Sarayu Blue, and John Corbett. The film is directed by Michael Fimognari and produced by Matt Kaplan, with Katie Lovejoy working on the screenplay.
Netflix’s To All The Boys: Always and Forever is based on the novel by Jenny Han. It will be available on Netflix on February 12, 2021. Stay tuned via Netflix.com/ToAllTheBoysAlwaysAndForever.
‘Fate: The Winx Saga’ is a reimagination of Italian cartoon classic ‘Winx Club’
A six-part series of magic!
Our childhood is back! Or so we think.
Netflix brings out Fate: The Winx Saga, the reimagining of Iginio Straffi’s popular Italian cartoon series Winx Club. The live-action adaptation is a six-part series, following the coming-of-age journey of five fairies.
The five fairies will be attending Alfea, a magical boarding school in the Otherworld. They must learn to master their powers. All while navigating love, rivalries, and the monsters that threaten their very existence.
Netflix will be starring Abigail Cowen as Bloom, Hannah van der Westhuysen as Stella, Precious Mustapha as Aisha, Eliot Salt as Terra, Elisha Applebaum as Musa, and Sadie Soverall as Beatrix.
Fate: The Winx Saga is a joint collaboration between Netflix and Archery Pictures Production, in association with Rainbow.
The series features Brian Young (Vampire Diaries) as showrunner and executive producer. Joining Young as executive producers are Judy Counihan and Kris Thykier from Archery Pictures, and Cristiana Buzzelli and Joanne Lee from Rainbow.
Netflix will release a new movie every week in 2021
Who isn’t looking forward to 2021?
While 2020 was a disaster for most industries due to lockdowns and restricted movement, Netflix gained the most. The streaming service attracted a lot of users who’re just looking for entertainment without leaving the house. And, Netflix wants to ensure you continue streaming endlessly even when the pandemic ends.
With a promise of “a new movie every week,” Netflix announced the titles that will be premiering on the streaming service in 2021.
Netflix has put together some of the biggest names in entertainment for its 70-star studded line-up. The features include the Zack Snyder-directed Army of the Dead, Jennifer Lawrence starrer Don’t Look Up, musical Tick, Tick… Boom! and Dwayne Johnson’s action movie Red Notice, among others, many others.
If the above names weren’t enough, you’d also get to see Chris Hemsworth, Gal Gadot, Ryan Reynolds, Zendaya, Jason Moma, and Leonardo DiCaprio. Netflix has also unveiled a trailer that offers sneak previews of the upcoming titles.
52 titles shall be in the English language, eight will be animated, and 10 shall be non-English language films. One of the most imminent releases is Malcolm & Marie, starring John David Washington and Zendaya, filmed during the Coronavirus pandemic.
This is the first time Netflix has announced a yearly features slate. Though it also means the brand wants users to be excited about upcoming content and continue subscribing.
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