As we spend more time in the comfort of our own homes, we find ways to stay sane. The same goes for us in GadgetMatch, where we’re all still working at home and trying to get ourselves entertained with games to play, shows to watch, and music to listen to. Here’s what’s Now Playing at GadgetMatch!
Games to play
NBA 2K20 2000s Roster
Rodneil: I consumed a lot of NBA basketball in the 2000s and I am inexplicably fond of the teams and players that played in that decade. To get my 2000s NBA fix, I’ve been using user-created rosters on NBA 2K20. I even made an entire Twitter thread about the teams I missed and have since played each on in a few exhibition games.
7 Deadly Sins: Grand Cross
Rodneil: I wanted to check this out as soon as it came out but life got in the way. I found my way back to the game as I reviewed some midrange smartphones in the past couple of weeks. It’s mostly another way to experience the first season of the animé. It’s a fantastic, truly made for mobile, JRPG that’s pretty fun to play.
Shows to binge-watch
The World of the Married
MJ: There’s a reason why The World of the Married took over social media by storm. It’s not your typical Mexican telenovelas about infidelity and betrayal where there are ridiculous situations that don’t just happen in real life. This K-Drama tackled the painful loss of a marriage, abuse in different forms, divorce, cheating, and the struggles of a broken family. Every episode might leave you fuming, triggered, or heartbroken. Watch with caution!
Vincenz: This isn’t your typical medical K-Drama. Hospital Playlist is about five doctors whose friendship dates back to medical school, centering around their music band. Reminiscing their youthful days, they formed their band once more, practicing songs they used to play. It’s an uplifting rollercoaster ride of emotions to keep you company in your mundane life.
Vincenz: It’s all about how a professional gamer’s first defeat after battling a “noob” which led to another loss after a rematch. In an unexpected turn, one friend request and video call changed everything — both players caught feelings. Although this isn’t based on a BL manga, this is still a better take for a BL series produced in the Philippines for the first time.
Rodneil: I like fire, but I wasn’t expecting much when I started watching Fire Force. It didn’t get the same level of hype as its contemporaries like Kimetsu No Yaiba (Demon Slayer) and Dr. STONE, but I thoroughly enjoyed this show. The first three episodes, I think, is a masterclass in character introduction, world-building, and establishing motivations. The rest of the episodes is just one fun, fiery ride.
Yu Yu Hakusho/ Ghost Files/ Ghost Fighter
Rodneil: This was a fan favorite animé growing up and was almost part of the stuff kids talked about at school. It’s a classic shounen animé that a lot of Filipinos grew up with. Look for it to quickly rise in Netflix’s Top 10 trending list.
Shivam: If you’ve seen and liked Narcos, this show is made for you. Portraying Ibiza, the show starts like a thriller where the protagonist is trying to find the killer of her brother. But, with the island’s showbiz and craziness, be ready to see the unexpected. While we’re all missing travel, this show perfectly highlights the dark secrets of the world’s party island.
Movies to see
Mission Impossible: Fallout
Rodneil: I missed this when it arrived at cinemas so I was delighted to see it on Netflix. I just really like spy action movies. It’s the same old formula for Mission Impossible movies, but at a time when everything feels new and nothing feels normal, this was the good old, same old I needed.
The Big Short
Shivam: The movie perfectly summarizes the 2008 financial crisis and how it brewed. Finance is usually complicated to understand, but thanks to a mix of humor and panic, the most complex concepts are easy to understand and digest. It’s a perfect package that’ll teach you something new without boring or dragging you along.
Albums/Songs/Podcasts to listen to
Lifetime by Ben&Ben
Kenrick: What does it feel like to love someone unrequitedly? This song by Ben&Ben imagines all that longing to be loved in return. The beats are as addictive as the visuals portraying a love that is no more. Perhaps, there is more to love with this new Ben&Ben single, aside from the fact that it is inspired by a comment from one of their fans. It’s mellow, melodramatic, and delivers the right line for a reminiscing moment.
Zombie by DAY6
Vincenz: In this pandemic, it’s hard to not think about how our life runs on a daily basis. Just like a zombie, you’re not alive nor dead. You’ve been walking endlessly, circling around without the thought of progression — like how I feel my life is repetitive and part of an inescapable routine. Luckily, songs such as this, and people I value the most make me forget such thoughts once in a while. If you can’t feel the song in Korean, there’s also an English version here.
Eight by IU (feat. Suga)
Vincenz: If you’ve been following K-Pop for years, you’d know how close IU was with the late Jonghyun and Sulli. Although this wasn’t mentioned, the music video depicted how IU departs from her original location through a plane and meets them halfway through the orange sky — Sulli in white and Jonghyun as the lizard turned dragon (as he liked Charmander a lot). The light-hearted song that talks about youth will suddenly turn into a tear-jerking emotional song. You’ll feel it more when you read the translated lyrics every time you play it.
Girls by NATURE
Vincenz: NATURE is one of K-Pop’s most underrated girl groups. Though this isn’t their past concept, they completely transformed and revealed their mysterious and eerie vibe with ‘Girls’. The Korean title ‘어린애’ (eorinae) might be a contradiction as it means ‘child’ but it goes well with how they paired a catchy and eargasmic song with dark and gory visuals. The official music video is less horrifying — just in case you want that version. Overall, this is a song that needs more attention from the crowd.
Dance with Somebody by The Midnight
Vincenz: Between the ongoing pandemic and racial inequality, the real world sucks right now. We all just miss (and hope for) those times when we can just dance with anybody. Off their upcoming album Monsters, The Midnight’s new retrowave single echoes a nostalgia for both times long gone and for a normal that we might never see again. If you don’t love it for its nostalgia, you’ll love it for its wicked saxophone solos!
MORE and MORE by TWICE
Rodneil: It’s my favorite girl group’s comeback after nine long months (unusual for TWICE) and it’s another chapter in their evolving sound. “More and More” is an EDM summer dance track but you need to go beyond the title track. The album is home to some of their best songs — I particularly enjoyed “Firework” and “Make Me Go.” For their usual bright vibe, there’s “Sweet Summer Day.”
Fanfare by TWICE
Rodneil: This Japanese single was supposed to launch right alongside the 2020 Olympics. Unfortunately, we’re dealing with a global health crisis that forced multiple events to either postpone or cancel. If that thought is bringing you down, then give “Fanfare” a listen or two for that instant shot of happiness.
NBA Redraftables 2008 by The Ringer
Rodneil: No live sports means plenty of time to look back at things from the past. The Ringer started with the 1996 draft and made their way to 2008 which featured one of my favorite players ever — Javale McGee (kidding! I really mean Derrick Rose). It’s a fun ‘What If’ listen for NBA fans.
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!
Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special is 2020’s salvation
Mariah Carey, pray for us
Christmas Icon Mariah Carey, together with Apple TV+, released the official trailer for Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special.
The holiday extravaganza will feature Carey and a fabulous line-up of superstars: Tiffany Haddish, Billy Eichner, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, Snoop Dogg, Jermaine Dupri, Misty Copeland, and Mykal-Michelle Harris. Carey’s nine-year-old twins Moroccan and Monroe will also have a special appearance in the show.
The Special tackles a holiday cheer crisis where only one person can solve: Santa’s great friend, Mariah Carey. Through musical performances, dynamic dancing, and groundbreaking animation, the Queen of Christmas is about to bring a holiday spectacular that will make the whole world merry.
Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special will premiere globally on December 4, exclusively at Apple TV+. The soundtrack single and new music video for “Oh Santa!” will also be distributed by Sony Music and released on Apple Music and other streaming platforms on the same day. Other soundtracks will be available exclusively on Apple Music by December 4, and on other platforms by December 11.
Apple TV+ is available on the Apple TV app in over 100 countries and regions. It’s also available on over 1 billion screens, including iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch, Mac, select Samsung and LG smart TVs, Amazon Fire TV, and Roku devices, as well as at tv.apple.com/sg, for S$6.98 per month with a seven-day free trial.
For a limited time, customers who purchase a new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac, or iPod touch can enjoy one year of Apple TV+ for free. This special offer is good for three months after the first activation of the eligible device.
BLACKPINK is new Globe Telecom ambassador
Plus more treats from Globe for the holidays
Announced during the Wonderful World of Globe event, K-Pop sensation BLACKPINK is now the newest brand ambassador of Globe Telecom. Specific details of the partnership have yet to be announced. But, we can expect to hear more from Jennie, Rosé, Jisso, and Lisa through Globe in 2021.
Globe also announced a few other things during the Wonderful World of Globe Event.
New data plan Surf4ALL
Surf4All, as Globe explains, is a fully convergent data offer that knows no boundaries across Globe brands. The promo gives users high GBs for all sites and a shareable GB allocation that is seamlessly accessible to up to four (4) users or devices. Now, you can share data with Globe Prepaid, Globe Postpaid, Globe Platinum, Globe At Home Prepaid WiFi, and even TM.
It can be accessed through the GlobeOne app. Currently there are two promos which are both valid for seven (7) days:
- Surf4ALL99 — 9GB of shareable data
- Surf4ALL249 — 20GB shared access (15GB + 5GB limited-time bonus data)
Globe’s 917Ventures also partnered with supermarket store PureGold to give us PureGo. It’s an online grocery shopping platform that delivers groceries to customers’ doorstep with a next day delivery promise. It supports multiple payment options including GCash.
Globe for Gaming and Entertainment
Globe partnered with Riot Games for special data offers for the mobile game League of Legends: Wild Rift. But it doesn’t stop there. Globe also partnered with Niantic — makers of the once very popular Pokemon Go game. The partnership will explore opportunities in AR and 5G.
Speaking of 5G, Globe is also working with YouTube VR to bring VR experience to more people with the help of 5G connectivity.
On the more mainstream entertainment side of things, Globe also announced closer ties with HBO Go as well Filipino-centric live streaming platform Kumu.
Globe Platinum for gift-giving
In the spirit of the holidays, Globe Platinum has partnered with World Vision to create the #ForFutureHeroes program. It consists of virtual experiences in collaboration with BGC Arts Center, Electric Studio, and others that allow Globe Platinum customers to pursue their passions at home while making an impact on others.
Participation in every activity is matched by Globe Platinum with World Vision school kits filled with DepEd approved learning modules and supplies, so the children of Baseco Compound, Manila can continue their education.
Globe Platinum’s Thank-A-Hero program is also ongoing for the countless frontliners in the country. Apart from sending them treats from Auntie Anne’s, Coco, The Cookie Bar, and JCo Donuts, Globe Platinum is also preparing a Noche Buena feast for our frontliners, to thank those who will be hard at work all throughout Christmas Eve, keeping Filipinos safe.
Globe at Home also donated modems to DepEd to equip selected public school teachers and ensure that education remains unhampered. The program continues as it now works towards raising funds to provide free WiFi modems for public school students.
For every Globe At Home Prepaid Wifi sold, PhP 100 will be donated to help fund internet connectivity of selected public school students.
Do more with GCash
Since social distancing protocols are still in effect, GCash now has Send Aguinaldo. With it, Ninongs and Ninangs (god parents) can send digital gift envelopes as aguinaldos (tokens/gifts) to their god children. They can even gift insurance thru the app’s GInsure service.
GLife, the newest GCash app feature, likewise, provides more gift and handaan options across different brands and e-commerce platforms, ranging from Lazada, Puregold, DataBlitz, Purego, Boozy, Goldilocks, Goama Games, and more.
GCash is also giving up to PhP 30 million worth of prizes just by using the app. Leading up to a few days to Christmas, consumers can get gifts just by buying load, or using GCredit to pay when they shop on their favorite online platforms. They will also get a chance to win a gift of their choice in the grand raffle.
Spotify is testing its own Stories feature
Currently in testing
Every social media platform today is obsessed with the disappearing short-form video. Stemming from TikTok’s success worldwide, everyone is developing or launching a rivaling TikTok feature — or, more subtly, a Stories feature. Even Snapchat, the platform most similar to TikTok already, has recently launched its own format. Now, joining the cast of unlikely TikTok adopters, Spotify is testing its own Stories feature.
Tagging along with its holiday lineup, Spotify has unveiled Instagram-like Stories currently exclusive to its artists. Right now, users can view videos created by artists like Jennifer Lopez and Pentatonix.
At the moment, the feature is only a test. The platform has not confirmed if Spotify Stories (or whatever the final name is) will eventually open up to ordinary users.
For every other user, Spotify can link up with other social media platforms for their Stories features. With its own Stories feature on the horizon, Spotify can cut out the middleman. However, no one knows if users will warm up to Spotify Stories in lieu of their social media platforms.
Besides a Stories feature, Spotify has also developed numerous functionalities throughout the year. Among others, the music streaming platform has introduced couple plans, searching by lyrics, and listening together.
Amid the pandemic, Spotify has risen up as a true performer this year, despite the strangeness of a Stories feature.
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