I have to admit: I hardly hear much about games that focus on the Eastern side of the world that aren’t Pokémon or Dragon Ball. But, I do like games that have some sort of historical background to them, say folklore or modern history. And wouldn’t you know it, FromSoftware and Activision pull out one from underneath all of us.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice dives into the world of a reimagined 16th century Japan, ravaged by countless wars. It is an open-world, action-adventure game made by the same guys behind Dark Souls. I got the chance to see what this game is all about, and here are some of my initial thoughts.
We start with an insightful backstory
I did appreciate that the first ten minutes of the two and a half hours worth of gameplay gave a good backstory on Sekiro and his humble beginnings. He started out as a simple boy, found at the crossroads of war. A samurai offered to nurse him in his early years, until he grew old enough to be a protector of his lord. However, gameplay picks up on a much older Sekiro, so playing through a childhood with lots of fighting didn’t seem to be that important.
The overworld of early Japan is breathtaking! FromSoftware really did a good job with the visual presentation of the whole game. What stood out to me the most was the detail not just on Sekiro, but also on all his enemies.
It plays well into the whole open-world aesthetic, in that it allows you to explore everywhere and grab as much as you can, including extra items to use for healing or fighting. And you probably want to do that to prepare for all the tough battles ahead.
Waking up a one “good” armed man
After 30 minutes of trying not to die, I arrive at this garden with a mysterious samurai who basically challenges Sekiro to a duel. After the duel you’re supposed to lose, the samurai not only takes your master but he also slashes your arm off. You then wake up in an old temple, and the first thing you gaze upon is a wooden arm attached to your shoulder.
That wooden arm is called the Shinobi Prosthetic, and you can actually do some crazy stuff with it. I was only able to try the prosthetic arm with a Grappling Hook that allows you to travel much faster. It’s a simple press of the L2 button on any “hook” you can sling onto, whether it’s a tree branch or a rooftop. It’s like being Spider-Man minus the webs!
Apart from the Shinobi Prosthetic, Sekiro also carries his trusted katana to slice and dice enemies. It’s his only form of defense, but at least it doesn’t break! Pressing R1 multiple times lets you continually attack opponents until they are too weak to fight back. On paper, combat looks easy to do, right? Well…
Nothing comes easy for a shinobi
Let’s be real: This game has a difficulty spike that rises faster than the sun does in Japan! Although, this isn’t necessarily surprising from the developers that brought you Dark Souls. The whole deal is having the right amount of aggressiveness when dealing with enemies. You use Circle to dodge incoming attacks and L1 to block strong attacks (mostly with weapons). But even that won’t stop your opponents from beating the living hell out of you if you don’t fight back.
Of course, you are alerted when the enemy is about to strike you heavily, giving you a chance to block the attack properly. It’s a healthy dose of combat, mind games, and reading the situation accordingly. I can’t even count how many times I’ve died, then resurrected but still died trying to fend off strong enemies. And some of them even have guns and cannons shooting at you, dealing heavy damage.
Is it worth playing through and through?
In the short amount of time I got to play it, I really think that Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a great game. It’s got great visuals, fast-paced and aggressive gameplay, and an enjoyable open-world experience. But again, I really can’t stress enough that this game is difficult. If you enjoy a challenge, you will definitely enjoy this game.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice will be available for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The game will be released on March 22, 2019, priced at PhP 2,799 in the Philippines, SG$ 69 in Singapore, MYR 219 in Malaysia, and THB 1,790 in Thailand.
ASUS ROG launches new gaming laptop in tandem with SCAR Runner
Announced at For Those Who Dare: Boundless event
During their For Those Who Dare: Boundless event, ASUS ROG announced the launch of their latest gaming laptops, accessories, and SCAR Runner for the ROG Citadel Game on Steam.
The launch covers the following:
- ROG Strix SCAR 17 Special Edition
- ROG Flow X16
- SCAR Runner first-person parkour game
- Expanded ROG Slash Fashion Line
- Team ROG partnerships
Pricing and availability of the models announced during the event are yet to be known.
ROG Strix SCAR 17 Special Edition
With more powerful specs than its predecessor, the Strix SCAR 17 SE is poised to be a class-leading gaming laptop.
It is powered by the new Intel Core i9-12950HX processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti GPU, on top of advanced features such as:
- Maximum GPU TGP of 175W with Dynamic Boost
- Maximum CPU TDP of 65W
- Boost frequency of 5.2GHz
- Up to 64GB DDR5 memory and PCIe Gen 4 storage
- ROG’s Conductonaut Extreme liquid metal
SCAR Runner: Vault to new heights
Available as an expansion of the ROG Citadel XV game, SCAR Runner is a first-person parkour game set in the world of ROG SAGA.
The protagonist, X, is in a race against time in Goemon City and needs to recover critical information while solving puzzles and challenges.
It’s no coincidence that the new Strix SCAR laptop and new game have same name, as they were released as a tandem.
Gamers can in fact find clues hidden on the laptop chassis itself, that will allow them to solve in-game puzzles.
SCAR Runner is launching with a giveaway campaign with over US$ 20,000 worth of prizes to be won from May 17 to June 30, 2022.
ROG Flow X16
In addition to the Strix SCAR 17 SE, the Flow X16 has been added to the ROG Flow series, the most powerful yet from the line.
It has a Ryzen 9 6900HS processor and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti GPU. It likewise supports up to 64GB of memory and up to 2TB of SSD storage.
The Flow X16 features ROG’s Nebula HDR Display, a 165Hz Mini LED panel with 1100 nits peak brightness and 100 percent DCI-P3 gamut.
These are all complemented by Frost Force Technology and Pulsar Heatsink to ensure high performance but low temperatures.
ROG Slash accessories
Aside from the two new gaming laptops, ROG also introduced new apparels:
- Crossbody Bag
- Hip Bag
- Protective Laptop Bag
- Cobra Buckle Cap
- Bucket Hat
All these items are built with durable quality and have features like adjustable straps, multiple compartments, and water-repellent TPU materials.
Some of these items are also included in the SCAR Runner giveaway campaign.
The Team ROG initiative
Lastly, Team ROG is expanding its 2022 roster, pairing high-end ROG products with influencers, professional gamers, content creators, and athletes around the world.
A new partnership with ReKT Gaming has been announced while the current partnership with esports team Misfits Gaming has likewise been extended.
505 Games releases 3 new titles available soon
Released after their first-ever product showcase
After their first-ever product showcase, global video game publisher 505 Games has announced three new exciting titles.
Among the Trolls (2022), Stray Blade (2023), and Miasma Chronicles (2023) will be available within the next two years on different platforms.
Gamers may now add them to their wishlists.
Among the Trolls
Among the Trolls is a first-person, survival, action-adventure game where strange mysteries of folklore-laden Finnish forests are unraveled.
Gamers will embark on a quest to find their characters’ grandparents who have disappeared in the wilderness, learning how to survive the wild in the process.
For the trailer and how to add to your wishlist, click here.
An Action RPG, Stray Blade will allow players to assume a rogue Adventurer persona exploring the ancient Valley of Acrea.
The character will be accompanied by a mischievous companion, the Xhinnon wolf Boji.
The goal is to unveil the history of the forgotten valley and master the powers of the three Acrean Metals to restore balance to the war-torn land.
Stray Blade will be available in 2023 on PC Steam, Epic, PS5 and Xbox Series X|S.
From the creators of Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden, comes an unforgettable and beautifully-crafted tactical adventure.
Players will embark on a quest across a post-apocalyptic wasteland, torn apart by a savage force known only as the “Miasma”, and unlock the dark secrets that are ravaging the world.
Wishlist Miasma Chronicles on Steam, Epic Games, Xbox and PlayStation now.
Lenovo Legion Gen 7 laptops lineup now official
Powered by 12th Gen Intel Core
Lenovo has released its latest generation gaming devices in the Philippines, which are custom-built for top-notch performance. The new Lenovo Legion Gen 7 lineup includes six new battle-ready computers:
- Legion 5i and 5i Pro
- Legion 7i
- IdeaPad Gaming 3i
- Legion Slim 7i
- Legion Tower 7i
Depending on the model, the new gaming devices all come with these latest features:
- 12th Gen Intel Core (up to i9) processors
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX laptop GPUs (up to 3080Ti)
- Memory up to 32GB DDR5 and storage up to 2TB SSD Gen 4
- Adaptive refresh rate up to 240Hz
- IPS display up to 2960 x 1600
And thanks to gamer research, the laptops also come with the next-level Legion Coldfront 4.0, Legion TrueStrike keyboard, and Lenovo Vantage for gaming.
Pricing, specs, availability
For the prices and basic specs of each laptop, check the table below.
||Starts at PhP 89,995|
|Legion 5i Pro
||Starts at PhP 119,995|
||Starts at PhP 179,995|
|Legion Slim 7i
||Starts at PhP 124,995|
|Legion Tower 7i||
||Starts at PhP 159,995|
|IdeaPad Gaming 3
||Starts at PhP 69,995|
- Free Microsoft Office Home & student 2021 Lifetime License
- Lenovo’s 3-Year accidental Damage Protection
- 3-Year Legion Ultimate Support
Netflix is losing a lot of long-term subscribers
IFA 2022 gets greenlit for in-person event
vivo X80 Pro Unboxing and Review
ASUS ROG launches new gaming laptop in tandem with SCAR Runner
Honor teases Honor 70 series launching soon
Latest ‘PC-like’ Huawei MatePad 10.4 now available
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G review
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs iPhone 13 Pro Max: Camera Shootout
All-new PlayStation Plus coming to Asia on May 23
SCARLET NEXUS hits 2M players, release Story Demo version
Smartphones1 week ago
The Pixel 6a is now official
Gaming2 weeks ago
Sifu PS5, PS4 retail editions now available
Features2 weeks ago
Dear Moms: 19 things you never thought you needed
Apps1 week ago
Here’s what’s coming in Android 13
Gaming2 weeks ago
A gold Nintendo Wii meant for the Queen is up for auction
Deals2 weeks ago
SHARP Mega May Sale S’pore: Up to $400 off, free products
Reviews2 weeks ago
realme Buds Air 3 review: Noise off, rock on
Reviews1 week ago
Samsung Galaxy S22+ review: Love at first touch