Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Enter AMD R9 390

Looks like it will be several nights of gaming, photo editing, and video editing again!
An Nvidia user for 13 years and this card from AMD is too good even for a Nvidia fanboy to resist

Okay, July 26, 2015 marks my mothers 64th birthday! But that is beyond the point of this post; July 26, 2015 also marks my 13 year run using an Nvidia GPU ending when I picked up my first ever AMD/ATI GPU, the AMD Radeon R9 390 of the VTX3D flavor.

Now, I don't always own the latest video cards from both brands at the same time, so I CANNOT give a thorough review and benchmarks on this card unlike other tech blogs or YouTube channels do. This isn't my job so I am not sponsored or be given any review models for a lot of GPUs; I am like you, the average consumer.

So, the least I can do is compare it with my previous GPU, an Nvidia GTX 660Ti, and it is obvious right off the bat, that this blows that card out of the water, and the some. But to what extent was the improvement?

After talking about the comparisons and obvious improvements from my previous GPU, I will just give a modest benchmark using some benchmarking programs. I will also tell you how it performs in the usual games I play on ULTRA and how this helps me in my productivity like photo editing or video editing.

And then I will give my thoughts as an avid Nvidia fan; can this impress a fanboy like me? Was my decision to get an AMD card for this generation of GPUs a good idea? Will I consider returning to Nvidia next upgrade/build or will I look into more AMD GPUs?

All the above and more in a few days time... I like writing reviews after I have used the item at least a week to give some real world uses and tests.

So until then...

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Blog on the Go: Make Up and some R&R

Late at Night When All the World is Sleeping
Rare selfie... But you will see a lot of selfies in this post... Ah well.

Ah, a successful make up duty must be rewarded with a little r&r.

I made my way to my favorite part of SM North EDSA, which is Annex 1, because most of the enthusiast PC shops are here.

What better way to wash down the last remaining taste of internship, than having to look at my passion: computers. Well, one of my passions.

But being all elated, I was able to walk all the way here in spite of my operates. I guess it is the endorphins that got me all happy and blinded by the fact that it is painful; it must adrenaline that kept me going when I realized the pain I was going through.

Thankfully, I found a little stall inside Annex 1, right next to the electronics, called InfiniTEA. Now, I am not a tea lover, I am a pure bred coffee lover. Such an addict I am that I have my own, yes my own, and not a family owned, coffee maker in my room. Yes, I also like my coffee black. To hell, I say, to these coffee establishments that sell for the name and not the coffee itself.

Yet! I found that I needed a place to stay to rest my knee for the moment, but for the life of me, the closest coffee shop feels like a mile away, so going back to my resentment to tea, I had no choice but to try out InfiniTEA.

The sleepy head and the crippled. Needed a place to rest the wary knee, and somehow
eradicated my sleepiness

Luckily, they have other derivatives without tea in it and I got me a cookies and cream frappe, and upon the first sip and subsequent brain freeze that followed, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

Technology around me, my favorite tunes bursting thru my
earphones, and Cookies and Cream frappe; a perfect
way to relax after some make up duty

Now can this be something I'll get used to and start drinking these type of beverages? Probably not, but that's coming from a coffee junkie who needs 5 mugs of coffee throughout the day to even remotely function right.

As I am typing this, I am resting my weary knee, but nonetheless, scouting for beauty. No, not girls; I just got out of a serious relationship I wanted, where I was sure of pursuing... but that's a tale for another day me thinks.

This beauty I speak of is technology; apart from my passion of computers, I am also into photography and music (I play the guitar mostly), and Annex 1 is melting pot, well for the most part, for my passions.

I am literally breaking my neck trying to look around from my seat. And as soon as I finish this drink and feel as though my knee can make it through a triathalon, I am look into every nook and cranny for best possible deals for whatever tech I need.
posted from Bloggeroid

Sunday, 12 July 2015

My Love Letter to Ah! Megami Sama!

I had no idea that the long running manga series ended last year. It ran from September 1988 up to April 2014. 

Now, I first saw the 1993 OVA around the early 2000s; this was when I was starting to get into anime and it was this OVA that solidified my liking anime. Sure before that, I watched Macross, Gundam Wing, and the like, but this was something fresh for a young pubescent such as I in the early 2000s; somcething less of the run and gun, ask questions later, but more of the human element... more of love.

It brought a sense of love to me (but later on when I started reading Love Hina, did the idea of falling in love was something to look forward to), otherwise, I would only know the clenched fist mayhem of pure shonen. This opened the door to a slew of romantic comedies for me to look forward to; some harem here and there, but nothing like having that one girl that you set your eyes on, work your ass off to get her in the, and the vindication that she felt the same way afterall. That is what I felt with such a genre, and it was Ah! Megami Sama that opened the door to all of them. To a broader range of anime.

I loved how it was hand drawn, the OVA that is, love the opening and ending themes, even if I didn't speak or understand Japanese, you knew it was filled with love and joy. Something that even someone like me, who has a lot of testosterone (yes, look it up; testosterone closes the epiphyseal plate... and since my growth was stunted, I believe it is due to my raging testosterone levels), can appreciate and smile; feel warm inside, and like I said, brings the idea of falling in love something that I can look forward to (and again, this was cemented after reading Love Hina; everything I need to know about love I learned in Love Hina).

I then felt that I needed more... more than just 5 episodes of the OVA and as the internet was about to boom, I found out about the manga series; at first I was a bit let down by the drawing, but when I found out it would later better with later volumes and become close to the OVA that I was first introduced to, I was at ease. But I will admit, the drawing may have put me off a bit, it was the story pacing that got me hooked; people did tell me that the OVA was just scraping the surface of what the story was really like, and they were right... it was far superior in the manga.

But with all the good I can say about Ah! Megami-Sama!, and although this series is SO close to my heart for what it stood for in my life: it introduced me to romantic comedy, and it taught me about love and the beauty of it, if done right. I was never one to watch all the movies it spawned, or read ALL the chapters of the manga (but now that it has ended, I might try and read now), or collect any of the merchandise (Though I did watch the 2011 anime series and I thought it was also great!). I am a fan and I love the series to death... but I just didn't feel the need to all those I just mentioned.

Now knowing that the series in the manga sense has ended (and pretty much ended as a whole series... it was the main storyline), I can't help but look back at those days where I pretended to be Keiichi and I am patiently waiting for my Belldandy... and you know what? Sometimes I still do think that I am Keiichi... just waiting for my Beldandy.

And I think that is what the series is as a whole... find your better half, and through all the shit the world and BEYOND will throw at you, you will stay together and show the world the beautiful it is to be in love. IF DONE RIGHT.

I say done right because, there are many people in the world in love, but they lost the love I have seen in the old days. Nowadays, people just want to get into eachother's pants. I am old fashioned, and seeing the love projected in Ah! Megami-Sama! is what I long for... both sides are strong individuals, working tirelessly to make the relationship work; no such thing as this knight in shining armor doing all the work for the weak damsel in distress. Both are capable, and smart enough, to keep a relationship work in spite of what, again, the world and BEYOND will throw.

And with that, I want to thank Fujishima-Sensei for introducing me to Keiichi, Belldandy, and the rest of the cast; for teaching this man that there is more to anime that robots and guns... And telling me, this hopeless romantic, that falling in love is something that I can look forward to.

I want to leave with my favorite song from the series; this is the ending theme of the 1993 OVA (though the songs in the 2011 anime series were also worth an ear), appropriately entitled "Congratulations!".

So... Ah! Megami-Sama!... Thank you for all the memories. And Congratulations!!

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Can this year for PC gaming get any better?

Can this year for PC gaming get any better?

Let us start earlier this year when Cities: Skyline came out; a great city builder the likes of me, a Sim City fan, deserves after the disappointments EA has been releasing as of late. The city builder games I probably spent the same amount of time in as Cities were Sim City 3000 and Sim City 4. And just like previous Sim Cities, the traffic can be bothersome; what do you expect from the creators of Cities in Motion, but thankfully, the traffic isn't as complex as it is in Cities in Motion, but you can still see you city not booming because of it. There is also lack of calamities and such, but heck, you already have a lot to worry about in this game, and that is not to shy you away from the game, it is to challenge you to play one of the more in depth city builders of late.

Next, you have the love-letter, the homage to classic RPGs, particularly the Infinity Engine games, Pillars of Eternity (I have been so addicted to this since it's release last March, I will write a review for this fantastic game when I have more time.); I have waited for this game since its announcement in Kickstarter last 2012, and I was nearly floored that not even a year after its release, they have an expansion called The White March is slated to be released also within the year... or at least a "part" of it. The Infinity Engine games are what converted me from a console gamer to a PC master race gamer; it was 1998, when I first played Baldur's Gate, and since then, I have measured every RPG with that series. Then the lack of RPG of the same caliber... years and years of lackluster RPG, apart from The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Star Wars Knight of the Old Republic, and Dragon Age Origins. But even so, I longed for a classic RPG with true Dungeons and Dragons feel to it. Then March of this year, my heroes at Obsidian gifted me this... and you should play it too if you're an RPG fan.

Torment, another one of my all time favorite classic RPG will also have a new title in the series this December. Or so I hope they won't delay, but then again, if it will make the game even better, then delay away! Though not too long... Planescape Torment, another dear Infinity Engine game, even beat out my favorite Baldur's Gate series in story. It is a masterpiece of videogame writing. A writing that not even books or movies can beat. It was... and still is... the most emotionally gripping games I have ever played. A new Torment would have to be at par or better, and I trust the guys at inXile Entertainment, with no less than Brian Fargo at the helm, that released Wasteland 2 last year (and it was a blast to play!). They also recently had a successful Kickstarter for Bard's Tale IV, but I think that comes out next year or so...

As if those to games wouldn't keep me busy, Grand Theft Auto V is released, though I am yet to own this in Steam (Running short on cash lately... ugh); but I will surely get this within the year, especially once I upgrade my GTX 660ti to a new card.

Then E3 came and gone, and left us gamers drooling over more games that are coming out this year, starting with Fallout 4; I have all the canon Fallout games, and sure I was surprised at first by the FPS direction Bethesda took with Fallout 3 instead of the classic Isometric, and it became real time, instead of turn based, but Bethesda, being the ethereal developers as they are, still crafted a great RPG in spite of my fears.

Doom, fresh from my revisiting of Doom I and II using my Zenfone 2 (I will have a tutorial on how to set up your Android phone for DOS games, and play with a Bluetooth controller soon), I suddenly had an itch to collect classic shooters, especially from Id Software; I got the Classic Doom I and II, Doom III, Wolfenstein 3d and Spear of Destiny, Return to Castle Wolfentein, Wolfenstein New Order, and Wolfenstein The Old Blood, it comes to no surprise that I became quite hyped about the new Doom. Hopefully they will include heavy metal music like the old days.

If you follow me in my other social sites, you would know that I am also a diehard Deus Ex fan; I loved the original Deus Ex and Human Revolution was nearly as good as the original. Apart from some balancing issues, AKA, if you played the game all stealth, Human Revolution's boss battles will be hard to tackle. But all in all, a neat addition to the series. And so when they announced Deus Ex Mankind Divided, I was glad, but honestly, looking at the gameplay trailer, I wasn't too excited. As a fan, I would love to get a hold of it especially if it isn't anything like Invisible War or The Fall, but I might not get this as soon as it releases.

XCOM with the Long War mod will keep any turn based player on his toes for a long time, as it did me. But sometimes, you want something more, thus my prayers were answered and XCOM 2 was also announced. And if the price is right, I am surely getting this game as it releases.

I was never really a Hitman fan, but I do own some of the games in the series and I love the concept and gameplay, then when they announced World of Assassination, it looked so ambitious that I am interested in the outcome of the game, If it lives up to its self established hype, then this is surely in my wishlist. But right off the bat, my complaint already with this game, the trailer reminds me so much of Watchdogs... let us hope THAT is the only similarity to that game.

The reboot for Tomb Raider gives a good reason to be all hyped up again for new games in the series. My sentimental favorite is still Tomb Raider 2, but get that gameplay in modern times would be suicidal for developers trying to make money... it will be a great homage, but homage will only work for diehard fans (as is the case for Pillars of Eternity, most people say the isometric view and "dated" graphics, are well, dated, but us diehard Infinity Engine fans think it gorgeous). I will admit, I hate quick time event games, and the reboot had its fair share of QTE segments, but not so much to water down the experience. And what an experience it was! With that said, I am also looking forward to the next installment in the reboot of the series.

To have this post have a perfect circle, let's go back to Baldur's Gate. Now Beamdog released the "Enhanced Editions" of both Baldur's gate 1 and 2, but they are hardly enhanced and the extra content they wrote were awful... a slap to the face of the original script. Having owned the physical discs of both games, I can mod the crap out of it to make it run great on modern PCs... for FREE. Yes, Enhanced Edition is technically the game with free mods that you have to pay for. Yes you get new companions, but the modding community has similar, if not, better companion mods out there! If I am so mad about this, why am I writing it? Well, because maybe... just maybe, I have to buy the Enhanced Editions later on because they announced a new expansion to the series after 17 years of existence. Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear requires Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition, and I cautiously optimistic with Beamdog's script writers and all... And if it is good, then okay, I will buy the Enhanced Editions...

There are also countless other IP that may pique the interest of other gamers such as Mass Effect, Dark Souls, Assassin's Creed, Metal Gear Solid, etc, but frankly, I am not too excited or even planning to get any games in any of those series. Call me a hater, but they kind of lost their glory for me after a while. Yes, that includes Final Fantasy but hey, I'm a PC gamer nowadays, so I really won't play them.

So that is my list of the games I found worth waiting for. I repeat, MY LIST. This shouldn't spark a debate because this is my opinion on games I look forward to, and your's (feel free to share) may be very different.

Thus... that's it. PEACE!