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First 30: Octopath Traveler

Octopath Traveler is one beautiful-looking RPG. They took old-school JRPG elements and paired them with 3D for an eye-catching classic that delivers a solid challenge.

Octopath Traveler

Eight travelers. Eight adventures. Eight roles to play. Embark on an epic journey across the vast and wondrous world of Orsterra and discover the captivating stories of each of the eight travelers.

- Play as eight different characters, each with their own stories to uncover and side quests to complete
- Explore the enchanting yet perilous world of Orsterra, spanning 8 vast regions, and discover each character’s full story as their journey unfolds
- Use each character's distinctive abilities (Path Actions), skills, and talents in frenetic battles
- Enjoy the accessible yet deep turn-based combat battle system and breakthrough enemy lines by identifying and targeting their weaknesses
- Solve side quests and story scenarios in a few different ways and take decisions that shape your path.
- Experience visuals inspired by retro 2D RPGs with beautiful realistic elements set in a 3D world

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SdgtEnt Mask Up Mondays: Muse Dash - Yuki no Shizuku Ame no Oto

Enjoy your Monday! I started out a little sluggish on this one, but I was able to bring it back around.

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Game On w/ the Burn Rubber Bundle!


If you're thirsty for 'pedal to the metal' action then look no further than the Burn Rubber Bundle. This bundle features three different tiers with a total of eight games! 

Grab the lowest tier if you'd like Absolute Drift Zen Edition for $1.

Grab the second tier if you'd like Dirt Rally 2.0, Grip: Combat Racing, and Pacer for the average donation amount.

Grab the third tier if you'd like Assetto Corsa, 6 Assetto Corsa Car Packs, Monster Truck Championship, Nascar Heat 5, Nascar Heat 5 - Playoff Pack, and KartKraft. The third tier will give you all the games in this bundle for $12!

Supporting this bundle also gives you the option to support a charity and/or the developers, our partner, and yours truly. 

If you're a racing fanatic, the Logitech Driving Force Racing Wheel will up your game!

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游戏开始!
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Top Audiences Last Week | 03.26.2021

             

Top 10... let's go!



USA
Hong Kong
Australia
United Kingdom
Germany
United Arab Emirates
Ukraine
Canada
France
Netherlands

Indonesia, Turkey, and... Japan came close!

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Power up your Friday... too! :p








          
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Xencelabs Pen Tablet (Medium)... Reviewed!

Before we jump in, I would like to thank the team over at Xencelabs Technologies for supplying a tablet for this review. As always... my opinions are my own. When this package arrived from Xencelabs, I was both curious + excited so... before we jump in I want to share the unboxing action with you, enjoy!


Now that you've seen the unboxing... let's get into the review.

So here you have the Xencelabs Pen Tablet, and this is the medium one... which is the first on the market (congrats to the team for making it this far). As far as release this size first, it makes... Xence as the most commonly used pen tablet size. Rather than just create the next cheap generic tablet that's not a Wacom, Xencelabs stepped it up for the purpose of making a professional drawing tablet... with professional quality and value wrapped into one.

Build: As far as the body of this tablet goes, you have a nice metal underbelly with a durable plastic surface.

I literally had to feel this thing numerous times just to make sure that the top and the underbelly were different materials... and the pen tablet's case utilizes the same durable plastic. It's heavy and could definitely double as personal security if needed. I'm just kidding, or... am I?

Seriously though, I really like the quality put into this case... because it's not exactly the main product and didn't have to be included at all.

Going back to the tablet, the body has rubber feet on the underbelly for desktop drawing, and these areas to the side of the underbelly for you to hold during wireless drawing (thank you for that). I probably would've added some pen grip material to this area... to ensure that the tablet doesn't slip. It hasn't slipped out of my hands yet, but that would increase the chance of it not slipping (x 2).

The buttons of the tablet are also located in an area that just makes Xence in the north location of the surface. You don't have to worry about your grip on the tablet activating a shortcut or something. You have to intentionally press a button... which is just around the corner from the power button located on the top (which is next door to the USB-C port and down the hall from the Kensington lock port).

One thing I appreciate about this tablet is that it doesn't have that... drop-off near the bottom of the tablet which allows you to be able to flow without a potential bump affecting your artwork.

As far as the pens go, the build quality feels as good as my Wacom pen... just to give you an idea of feel. This isn't a plus or a minus but the Xencelabs Pens (6.25") are shorter in size when compared side by side to my Wacom Cintiq pen (just shy of 7").


The thin pen gives you the standard feel of your everyday pen, except... it's digital, and the 3 button pen gives you that pro digital pen feel with one noticeable difference when compared to my Wacom pen. 

These digital pens have grip that extend further, which allow you to hold them as close to the nib as possible... if you fancy drawing that way. 

The 3 button pen's grip is up to a comfortable degree to where you're gripping beyond the thick of it, and the thin pen's grip literally runs all the way down to the nib. Love it.


The erasers aren't stuck out further than necessary either, which prevents them from loosening over time as quickly as other digital pens I've used (even the Wacom pen I currently have). 

The buttons are nice and clicky too, not to a degree where you have to manhandle them to get a response, but you will know that you've clicked them.

The pens are just as important as the tablet, so I appreciate the quality build of both pens, the case that protects them, and the tablet.

Before getting to the extras, I want to highlight one more thing about the case. 

Outside of housing the pens... which gives you access to them anytime you want to switch up, the case also houses the nibs + nib replacer + USB-C adapter + wireless dongle. I know this is the "Duh of the day", but this is great for portability... keeps everything in one place for immediate access.

Functionality: When it comes to functionality, you're able to use the Xencelabs Pen Tablet in both wired and wireless modes. I will personally try to avoid drawing with it in wired mode for the most part and reserve the cord for charging purposes only, but having the option is great for artists in a time crunch. Wireless is a beautiful thing so that you can... break free from the restrictions of the cord. You can draw from a distance when needed, possibly on a larger display for your team (i.e. socially distancing at this time + a group meeting where you may be fleshing something out or explaining something).

By the way, this tablet's drawing surface serves up a native 16:9 aspect ratio for your drawing pleasure.

Also, you may not feel like leaning on a desk or sitting in a certain position, you want to kick back in your favorite chair a draw without the old... cord yank reminding you to reel it back in.

The pen tablet also includes 3 programmable buttons, the Thin Pen also includes the same number of programmable buttons, while the 3 button pen includes... 4 (didn't see that one coming did ya?). Here's a small vid showcasing the Tablet + Pen UI:


There is also protection for your investment by way of the Kensington Lock Port. Feel free to take a look at the Kensington Cable Lock to see how durable it is as far as securing your device from... sticky fingers.

As far as the pens go, you have pressure levels of 8192 for both pens and a + 60-degree tilt range... which are professional grades just like other pro drawing tablets. The remaining two sections will further highlight why this is a better buy.

This is my drawing from the live preview seen in the recap below. Just FYI, I'm not big on using drawing tablets without a screen... but this one is easily the best product I've used thus far. I look forward to tightening my skills with it. I thought of doing something extra with this outside of the live preview but... I wanted to stick with everything seen in the live preview so you can confirm that this actual tablet was used.



Extras: Check out this recap of the live preview!


As seen in the live preview... you not only get the obvious tablet and pen, but you get two drawing pens of different sizes. Come on son! Who does that? Xencelabs does that. I'm not trying to fanboy it up... but seriously the option to have both sizes are great and they threw it in at no additional charge.

That comes with the standard Pen Tablet from the company + a smudge protector so that the gunk doesn't build up on your tablet as easily. If you aren't familiar with these types of gloves, they really come in handy... not only from gunk but also it increases the smoothness of your glide.

The Pen Tablet Medium bundle includes everything above in addition to a tablet sleeve with a really soft interior that protects the device. The sleeve also has an additional section for your cord with two pockets for your pen case + the Xencelabs Quick Keys. By the way, the quick keys remote is included in the bundle. Stay tuned for a review of the remote, but for now, I will focus on the package I received.

Price: Pricewise the Xencelabs Pen Tablet Medium comes in at $279.99. This is $100 less than the Wacom Intuos Pro - Medium ($99.95 less if you want to be technical), and it comes with more. This isn't to sway your buying decision, but with a new product on the market like this pro tablet... I hope it helps you make a more informed decision.


Build 5

Functionality 5

Extra 5

Price 5

5 out of 5 Cool Points


For more information check out https://www.xencelabs.com/

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The Undoing... Reviewed!

 Shout out to Warner Bros for supplying a copy of, The Undoing for this review. My opinions are my own.


This show gave me weird vibes immediately, I really didn't know what to think of it... but it was all part of the tone the director's wanted to set.

Story: In this HBO limited series the story revolves around Grace (Nicole Kidman) and Jonathan Fraser (Hugh Grant), though the show opens with a little boy who I later identified. Grace and Jonathan seemed to have a pretty good life together. Jonathan is a Child Oncologist, while Grace is a respected Therapist.

There are some real-life therapists who have a problem with Kidman's character in the show but... some were taking low-key shots at other real-life therapists. I'm saying no names, and I'm not a therapist, but I thought the goal was to... highlight the source of problems + provide tools to solve, cope and/or overcome those problems resulting in a breakthrough. I guess that's just me, and I'm not saying that Grace has to be harsh or anything with her clients but... I don't see anything wrong with mentioning certain things that challenge them to take personal responsibility for their actions. Spoiled milk shouldn't be sold in stores, but at the same time... if you see the bad date, smell a bad smell, see a thick consistency and... you still indulge, that's a personal decision.

Anyway, their life goes from joyful to miserable in the blink of an eye... as a tragedy sets them on a course for this undoing. It all stemmed from this mysterious woman who emerged on the scene acting very strange (almost like a free spirit who couldn't help herself). I thought she was attracted to Grace, and then I thought she was trying to get therapy sessions with Grace, and then that switched to me questioning her being potentially obsessed with her. I don't want to spoil it, but this particular woman set off a chain reaction of drama following a violent murder. There was bombshell after bombshell in this show as investigators began to dig and information began to come to the surface.

I didn't know what to make of it... because there were so many twists and turns, but when it's all said and done it was an interesting experience. My initial suspicion was confirmed in the end as far as who did it, but they make you feel almost surprised that you were right (and it doesn't stop there as the goosebumps start to form for the grand finale). I don't know how a season 2 would be possible... but I'd be interested in seeing how that plays out. I guess I can kind of see it, but... I can't explain without delivering spoilers.



Visuals: Visually the show has a lot of eye-catching cinematic scenes, whether it's the galas, shots in the courtroom, or even a small apartment... the shots were quality. While watching the show, it felt like it was meant to be a movie but it was made into an extended film by way of this limited series.



You had a lot of mid shots, close-ups, and even an extreme closeup to deliver on the tone Susanne Bier + David E. Kelley were aiming for. Nothing felt overused even if an extreme close-up on Grace's eye were interestingly weird, they still delivered because I began to question her sanity. If your shots do more than just showcase the acting... you're on the right track.

Audio + Extras: The audio in The Undoing was great and lent itself to the overall tone of the show. Audio is delivered in DTS-HD and Dolby Digital 5.1 for your audio pleasure, and even if it's not exactly an action film... crank it a little.

Extras include:

Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant Introduce The Undoing... which is cool to see them interact outside of the show and reveal something that I never realized about them. Of course they talk a little about the show but seeing how they worked together in this series... I'd like to see more. I'm not sure if you should watch this before watching the show either because Hugh slips up a little.

Creating The Undoing... is basically what you'd think, it highlights the directors (which Nicole Kidman is also an executive producer). Mainly it showcases the film style of Susanne Bier, but it also delivers additional info about the show.

The Undoing Revelations... delivers more of the character perspectives, but... I'd advice leaving this one until after the show. This particular extra contains its own section of revelations for: 

Fernando Alves, Franklin Reinhart, Henry Fraser, and... The Bridge Scene. 

I was trying to pick and choose between which of these extras are safe to watch before the show (maybe Creating The Undoing)... but if you want to jump in without an idea of whats to do, just leave these until after the show is done.

Price: Pricewise... The Undoing comes in at $24.98 on DVD and $29.98 on Blu-Ray + Digital  Copy. This limited series delivers 6 episodes that run for about an hour each... plus the extras. The overall quality delivered here can justify the price for the most part because some movies rival the MSRP with less runtime and quality.

Overall, solid series... they play with you a bit make you speculate, doubt your own suspicions and encourage discussions about what the deal could be. I like shows that engage me on this level.

Story 5

Visuals 5

Audio + Extras 5

Price 5

5 out of 5 Cool Points

Square Enix Presents Spring 2021

The games are pouring in! Great to see Life is Strange finding its own audience,
and I think they owe that to the TellTale Team.



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FTS: Square Enix and Luminous Productions Unveil 'Forspoken'



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SQUARE ENIX AND LUMINOUS PRODUCTIONS UNVEIL
‘FORSPOKEN’

Originally Teased as PROJECT ATHIA, The New Narrative-Driven Adventure
Set in a Beautiful Yet Cruel World will be Released in 2022
 
Actor Ella Balinska to Star in the Game as Lead Character, Frey Holland

LOS ANGELES (Mar. 18, 2021) – During the SQUARE ENIX PRESENTS digital-showcase event,
SQUARE ENIX announced Forspoken™, the debut title from its newly established studio, Luminous
Productions. Originally revealed as PROJECT ATHIA last year, Forspoken puts players in the shoes of
Frey Holland, an ordinary young woman who must harness her magical abilities to survive in a fantastical
and dangerous land called Athia.
 

As a part of today’s show, the team announced that the game’s protagonist, Frey, will be performed by
Ella Balinska, best known for her starring role in the 2019 film, Charlie’s Angels.

View the new “Forspoken – Official Title Announcement” trailer below:



“As the first video game I’ve worked on, and growing up a huge fan of video games myself, it’s remarkable
to see the incredible world and story of Forspoken come together, blurring the lines between reality and
fantasy,” said Balinska. “Frey as a character is real, she’s raw, she’s a girl who lost her way—both
figuratively and literally—and is a character I immediately connected with, as I feel many people around the
world will too when they set off on this adventure.”

Frey takes center stage in Forspoken, exploring an unknown world and facing treacherous trials to unravel|
the mystery behind Athia. SQUARE ENIX also teased new Forspoken gameplay to give players a glimpse
at the magical and perilous journey ahead.
 
Designed for the PlayStation®5 console (PS5™), Forspoken will harness the full power of the console and
demonstrate Luminous Productions’ philosophy to provide a gaming experience like never before, fusing
together the latest technology with creativity. The game is being developed simultaneously for the PS5™
and PC and is set for release in 2022. This title is not yet rated by the ESRB.


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