Gaming

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is the game fit for those who dare

A hands-on look at the story of the Shinobi warrior

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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.

Gaming

ASUS ROG launches new gaming laptop in tandem with SCAR Runner

Announced at For Those Who Dare: Boundless event

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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
  • Backpack
  • 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.

 

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Gaming

505 Games releases 3 new titles available soon

Released after their first-ever product showcase

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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.

Stray Blade

 

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.

Miasma Chronicles

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.

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Gaming

Lenovo Legion Gen 7 laptops lineup now official

Powered by 12th Gen Intel Core

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Legion Gen 7

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

All new Lenovo Legion Gen 7devices will be available in all Legion Exclusive Stores, as well as Lenovo Experience stores, authorized resellers, and the Legion Flagship Store in Lazada.

For the prices and basic specs of each laptop, check the table below.

Device Specs Price
Legion 5i

 

  • Storm Grey
  • Comes with a choice of 4-Zone RGB or white backlighting via Legion Spectrum RGB Lighting solution built into the Legion TrueStrike keyboard
  • 12th Gen Intel Core 17-12700H
  • Up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 with 140W maximum TGP
  • Up to 15-inch QHD (2560 x 1440) IPS 16:9 display
  • 165Hz refresh rate
  • Improved stealth cooling system
Starts at PhP 89,995
Legion 5i Pro

  • Storm Grey
  • Features Legion Spectrum RGB Lighting
  • 12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700H processor
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070Ti with 150W maximum TGP
  • 2960 x 1600 IPS 16:10 display
  • 100 percent RGB color gamut
  • Supported by Dolby Vision, NVIDIA G-SYNC
  • 4800Mhz DDR5 memory, 1TB
  • PCle SSD (Gen4)​ storage
  • 80Whr battery capacity with Super Rapid Charge
Starts at PhP 119,995
Legion 7i

  • Storm Grey
  • 16-inch WQHD+ Mini LED display
  • 12th Gen Intel Core i9-12900HX processor
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080Ti
  • 165Hz refresh rate
  • Up to 2TB SSD Gen 4 storage, 32GB DDR5 memory
Starts at PhP 179,995
Legion Slim 7i

  • Onyx Grey
  • 12th Gen Intel Core i9-12900H processor
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 graphics
  • 165Hz refresh rate
  • Up to 1TB SSD Gen4 storage, 24GB DDR5 memory
Starts at PhP 124,995
Legion Tower 7i
  • 12th Gen Intel Core i9-12900K
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080Ti LHR
  • Up to 2TB SSD Gen 4 storage, 32GB DDR5 memory
Starts at PhP 159,995
IdeaPad Gaming 3

  • 15.6-inch model (Onyx Grey)
  • 16-inch model (Onyx Grey)
  • Option between 12th Gen Intel Core i7 and i5 H-Series processors
  • Option between NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 or NVIDIA GeForce RTX3050Ti
  • Dolby Audio speakers
  • 165Hz refresh rate 
Starts at PhP 69,995

More benefits

Additionally, all Legion and IdeaPad Gaming laptops also come with the following benefits and standard warranties:

  • Free Microsoft Office Home & student 2021 Lifetime License
  • Lenovo’s 3-Year accidental Damage Protection
  • 3-Year Legion Ultimate Support
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