It’s that time again – the time when I have my monthly article up on the awesome Comic Book & Movie Reviews!
This month, I deviate a bit from my norm there to talk about the thing that has been a major obsession of mine for a while now: the idea of a 4K display. Here, I talk a little bit about my journey to 4K, my opinion regarding 4K vs. 1080p (both in terms of a monitor and a TV), and get a little into the tech side of things. The end result, though, I think is a well-crafted piece that should at least make you think a little!
As always, I hope you enjoy this piece! I guess we’ll have to see what my new obsession is for the July 2016 piece!
A little while back, I received an email from Charles Deck, developer of Rescuties, asking me if I’d ever heard of his game. Sadly, I had to answer no to that question, but he was very polite and told me about the game’s KickStarter campaign and even sent over a copy of the KickStarter Demo, even though I wasn’t an official backer or anything (thanks, Charles!).
On the surface, this is a really silly game. Actually, it’s more like a series of mini-games to be fair to it. In the preview build I was sent, though, I could only play two of them.
The other day, I was reading about AMD’s announcement of two new cards for their upcoming RX 400 series of graphics cards and one of the commenters asked what the deal was with all the rainbow sashes, ribbons, and everything else. He even went as far as to ask if Lisa Su (AMD’s President and CEO) and some of the other presenters that day were “soapbox warriors” for the LGBT community.
Seriously? Did this person not bother to read the news from the past 24 hours?
The recent announcements about the XBOX One S and the “Project Scorpio” at this year’s E3 made me start reflecting a lot on the way console technology is really starting to mirror the PC gaming field. And, ultimately, it makes sense: back in the early-2000s the PlayStation 2 and XBOX were getting touted as being “computer game consoles,” and in many years since then gaming and computer technology has improved at an exponential rate. When new video game consoles come out, they often rival mid-ranged gaming computers of their time, with hardware meant to deliver smooth gaming experiences for several years to come.
Yet, when it comes to PC gaming, there’s the traditional “tick-tock” cycle that happens with computer technology, where on one year of the swing of the virtual pendulum a new graphics card or CPU chipset gets released, and on the next year of the cycle a hardware upgrade/refresh occurs, ironing out the issues of the first release and adding in more functionality. Regardless though of whether you get an early-adopter or refresh version of a component, usually you are guaranteed at least a few years of enjoyment before it becomes terribly outdated, depending on what you want to use it for.
Somehow, I seem to have gotten into the whole crazy, twin-stick shoot ’em up genre of games, and this certainly was not intentional! It just seems like some of the more interesting small-studio games that have crossed my virtual desk in recent months have fallen into this category, and being a relatively equal-opportunity gamer, I have given them a try and most have been a lot of fun. Kick Ass Commandos was certainly an interesting, unique one I looked at not that long ago, but now I’ve got another fun offering!
Dual Core is a futuristic twin-stick shooter from Gray Fin Studios, having seen its full release on Steam on May 26, 2016. The game is set in 2147 on the Europa Space Station where two robots awaken from hibernation to find that the station has suffered a horrendous fate while they were in stasis. The two embark on a mission to blast a bunch of baddies (robots, aliens, and more!) and uncover what really befell the colony, but it seems as if staying alive will be the greater priority for them!
What’s neat about this one is that although the gameplay is pretty crazy and fun, really coming to a head in both the Arcade (pure SHMUP fun) and co-op gameplay modes, Dual Core also boasts a story mode that takes you on a mission to discover what led to the colony’s fate, complete with action and some fun RPG elements as well. So, even if you aren’t into co-op gameplay or pure action, there’s something for most players here.
Eventually, I may come back and do a gameplay sample of this one, but for now, I wanted to get some info out on it so you all can check it out! After all, it is only $9.99 on Steam!
Philips is a fairly well-known electronics company, but for the longest time I never paid attention to their presence in the retail TV and monitor space (though yes, I am aware that they have put out some fantastic PC monitors in recent years). However, Philips does make some really great products, and so after having enjoyed the M50-C1 but having to return it due to a damaged panel, and not being satisfied with the 50″ 4K Hisense TV, I came across a great deal on the Philips 49PFL7900 Smart Slim TV.
Philips has set an MSRP of $1,199 for this higher end display, but several merchandisers are selling it for between $458 and $600 USD.
Hisense is an electronics manufacturer that I really knew nothing about until recently. I’d seen their TVs advertised before, but like many I assumed that they were off-brand and not worth worrying too much about. Yet, some basic research returned the fact that Hisense is actually the owner of a large conglomerate that controls or has major investing shares in a smattering of other companies (such as Hitachi), yet if you never looked them up you’d never know this. At any rate, in my quest to find the perfect 4K large-format display for my main desktop PC, I decided to pick up their 50″ 50H7GB1 model and give it a try. After all, the M50-C1, which I really liked, had to be returned, and so this one was offered at a great price at Walmart.
This specific TV currently retails for $548 USD on Amazon, though some retailers offer it a fair amount lower than that.