50 hours into Persona 5, I’ve been having a great time getting to know its cast of stylish teenage misfits and conquering the twisted psychological palaces of bad adults. It’s just baffling that Atlus, the company behind this JRPG gem, doesn’t want me to share screenshots and video clips of my experience. Not easily, at the very least.
Atlus put in heavy restrictions for the average gamer on what can be shared about Persona 5. The game is out exclusively on Sony consoles, the PlayStation 3 and the PlayStation 4. The latter platform has built-in social features, allowing users to take screenshots, record videos up to 15 minutes long, or broadcast live to streaming services such as YouTube Gaming and Twitch. Apart from the intro screens and the brief opening moments of the game, all this sharing functionality is disabled for the rest of Persona 5.
Dedicated streamers who use external hardware to capture and broadcast footage of the game aren’t free from constraints. According to the official statement put out by Atlus USA, those who plan on posting videos are limited to showing only 90-minute chunks among other rules. Those live streaming the game are strongly warned to not exhibit anything past a specific point in the game’s story. Doing so risks video takedowns and account suspensions. All these restraints are for containing spoilers, supposedly.
Never mind the fact that the game has been out in Japan since September of last year, and that spoilers will always be easily found online when you go looking for them. Forget the emotional benefits game makers and fans get from shared experiences. I just have to consider my own time trying to cover the game for a review without the help of a capture device to declare that this sucks.
I’m either frantically reaching for my smartphone to snap a picture of a funny line of dialogue before the scene advances, or I’m looking through my phone’s relatively small, dark, and low-res screen while playing instead of my optimally lit Full HD monitor in anticipation of a screenshot-worthy image. Either way, the result is subpar, and I’m distracted from actually playing. This wouldn’t be the case at all if I were able to simply get a screenshot from the PS4 by pressing the SHARE button on my controller.
Adding to the frustration is that this limitation is dripping with irony given the presence and importance of technology in the world of Persona 5.
As the first game in the series that has come out in the 2010’s, Persona 5 is as modern as it gets. Your friends and confidants are constantly in touch via chat through your smartphone. The Phantom Thieves, your ragtag group of psyche vigilantes, gain public support through the aptly named online message board “Phan-Site.” There, followers share their love for the gang, as well as info that might lead to potential targets. The fictional hacker collective “Medjed” figure into the story as a global cyber threat. The very method by which you infiltrate the dungeons of the antagonists’ minds is through a mysterious GPS-like app on your phone called the Metaverse Navigator.
There’s even this fancy new feature called the “Thieves Guild,” which is basically the worldwide network of Persona 5 players. It shows percentages of what all the other players do with their time on in-game days, so you can get live tips on how you can better optimize your character’s busy schedule. It also shows the answers they choose for the random questions you get from teachers while your character is in class. The Thieves Guild is essentially a handy cheat sheet that brings the Persona gaming community closer!
And there’s also the undeniable feeling of rebellion throughout the game, of breaking free from the shackles of society, and of teenagers sticking it to the man.
These story and design choices are all so very now, especially in this tumultuous social climate. By locking down the simple act of sharing, Atlus undermines the contemporary, free-spirited, and always-connected message of Persona 5, revealing just how short-sighted, narrow-minded, and old-fashioned the company can be.
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realme 9i Hands-On
Solid as usual
The realme 9i is the “little brother” in the realme 9 series. And while it doesn’t pack the same punch as its pro siblings – the realme 9 Pro and realme 9 pro+ – there’s enough here for anyone who just needs a reliable daily smartphone.
Here’s a quick look at the specs before we dive in deeper:
- 6.6-inch IPS LCD display with 90Hz refresh rate
- Qualcomm SM6225 Snapdragon 680 4G processor
- 6GB RAM with Dynamic RAM expansion feature up to 5GB
- 128GB Internal Storage
- 5,000mAh battery
- 33W Dart Charge tech
- 50MP main camera
- 2MP macro lens
- 2MP depth lens
- 16MP selfie shooter
Here are some samples for your appreciation.
Neat, simple, and elegant
The realme 9i is pretty understated in the looks department. The variant we got comes in blue and depending on how the light hits, you’ll see some lines to accentuate its back.
As for button and port placements, at the bottom you’ll find the usuas: speaker grille, USB-C port, and 3.5mm jack.
On the right side is the power button/fingerprint scanner.
And on the left hand side are the two, tiny volume buttons.
Overall, the realme 9i looks neat. Simple yet elegant. The camera stands out, obviously. But you can say that for most phones these days. It’s light for its size and appearance. It’s already easy to hold as is, but it’s even easier if you’re the phone-case-and-pop-up socket type of person.
Switching from one app to the other, or going back to the home screen for that matter is seamless and fast. There’s no trouble opening or loading apps so far.
The apps load from where I last left it, provided I haven’t closed all apps, cleared RAM, or optimized phone usage.
Media consumption and gaming
We enjoyed more than our fair share of watching sports highlights on the realme 9i. It pays to have a great-performing phone to not miss any action. We didn’t have any problems watching on YouTube at the highest resolution settings and at 60 fps.
Same is true for other types of content. The viewing experience was likewise seamless.
The speaker is really loud and complements the video. You don’t have to put it on max volume although it’s still of the best quality when put to max. It doesn’t break.
Playing Mobile Legends with friends and relatives on this phone is perfect even if it’s “only” a mid-level phone. The game’s graphics settings were set on default when opening from the phone. I tinkered it to HD mode with a high refresh rate and “Ultra” graphics, and it didn’t have problems throughout the game like lagging when I played.
On full standby in power saving mode without having to connect it to Wi-Fi or turn on mobile data, the phone consumes just about 5 to 10 percent of its battery power in one whole day.
When charging, it takes less than an hour to charge from 30 percent to full with its 33W fast charging.
Solid as usual
The “i” variants in realme’s numbered series phones have consistently been steady performers and the realme 9i is no different. It’s not gonna wow you with raw specs, but the overall package and performance makes it worthwhile.
The realme 9i retails for PhP 11,990. Buy it here.
vivo X80 Pro Unboxing and Review
vivo’s best smartphone just got even better!
The vivo X70 Pro+ was launched just several months ago. However, we’re already having a follow-up!
Namely the X80 and X80 Pro — with the latter being vivo’s latest flagship smartphone.
But what makes it different from its predecessor? And what makes the successor a lot more exciting?
Watch our vivo X80 Pro Unboxing and Review now to find out more!
Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro Unboxing and First Impressions
Premium, smart timepiece
Huawei has been giving us the best choices for stylish timepieces to help us reach our health and fitness goals. And they’re taking the stage again with their new flagship smartwatch — the Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro.
Now let’s take a closer look at this device and check what Huawei has in store for us this time.
The GT 3 Pro comes in this sleek black box with the name of the device in gold. Through the box, we also get to know that it is powered by HarmonyOS.
Lifting the cover, you’re immediately greeted by the GT 3 Pro Titanium Edition looking classy beside a gold Huawei logo.
Pulling the tab on the right, you’ll see a smaller enclosure. Opening it up, you’ll see some paperwork, a USB-C cable and a wireless charging cradle.
Now here’s the GT 3 Pro taken out of the box. Looks premium, doesn’t it?
By examining the watch strap, you can easily tell that it’s made of genuine high-quality leather.
The Huawei branding is not seen on the strap. It’s instead engraved on the buckle.
Also unlike the previous GT 2 Pro that has the usual double crown design, the GT 3 Pro has a watch crown and a button.
The rotating crown serves as its power button and scroll and zoom wheel. Rotating it feels smooth without much resistance. But it does have haptic feedback, mimicking a mechanical feel.
Powering it up, you’re notified to get the Huawei Health app and pair it with your phone.
Once paired, you can tinker with the settings and apply customizations based on your preference and liking.
What I immediately liked with the GT 3 Pro is how classy it looks. And despite it being a big smartwatch compared to what I usually use, it feels light on my wrist.
I also can’t help but admire how clean and clear it looks with its 1.43-inch AMOLED display and sapphire glass lens.
Its body, on the other hand, is made of titanium and it has a ceramic back case to complete the premium package.
Using it for a few days, it looks like this timepiece will definitely level up my expectations for smartwatches. But I have yet to fully explore and experience everything about the GT 3 Pro that I’ll share on my hands-on review so don’t forget to also check that out.
Pricing and availability
The Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro retails for PhP 16,999 and is available in Titanium and Ceramic Edition.
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