Saturday, 30 November 2013

Android Revolution: Day 1 with Nexus 5

So today was my first full day with my new Nexus 5 and I must say I am quite impressed. I'll be honest last night while I was setting up the phone I was super confused and quite frankly a little annoyed at how complicated android can be. I come from a long line of Windows Phones and compared to that Android is about as cryptic as it gets. But once I got settled in I found it to be quite smooth and easy to use. As you can see one the first things I did was set up my Mass effect background to make myself feel at home with this new device. I didn't go for any fancy launches because I like the 'Clean' homescreen and anyways I've got all the apps on the next screen along with a few widgets.

The one thing that really impressed me was the battery life. Now I know there's been reviews going around that it's not the best and that's what the general consensus seems to be but after a normal day's use with constant wi-fi, quite a bit of talk time and screen time I found the battery to be good enough. As you can see from the screenshot 10 hours of usage and its still going strong. Today was a little less hectic than usual with only 90 mins talktime but I don't see why it will be any worse on any other day. My old phone, a Lumia 920 would have probably been a little worse off by now with asub 50 % battery levels remaining. Though a point to note is that I work from home and the real battery usage will kick in when I go out for meetings or movies and Google Now will be up to all sorts of magic behind my back. I should have more information on that next week but for now I'm super happy with my new Nexus 5. Oh and for those of you who have been following me from my last post I decide to pick up the yellow premium bumper cover, just need a nice screen guard now. Only question is do I go glossy or matte?

Monday, 25 November 2013

Time for Change: My First Android

Two years ago if you asked me to use an Android device i would have probably laughed at your face. Now I find myself sitting in front of my PC having just ordered a Nexus 5, I'm just as surprised as anyone.

I've used quite a few windows phones actually, more than most in my country to be honest. Started all the way back with the HTC Radar followed by the OmniaW which was surprisingly sturdy and lasted me over a year. Then came the Windows Phone 8X by HTC; light and good looking but i eventually switched to the Lumia 920 soon after, mainly because of the exclusive Nokia apps and services. The HTC Radar was easily the best looking of the lot with the 920 and 8X tied for second. However I always found HTC devices sort of sluggish and always moved on.

The Lumia 920 is a solid phone. It lives up to Nokia's reputation of making
phones that can double as assault weapons. I manage to drop it at least a few times a day and I am surprised that apart from a few scars there's never been much wrong with it. It's only recently that the speaker has started acting up and it randmly drops calls, so to avoid the inconveniance of being without a phone while it was being repaired I thought it was a good time to move on. I'll still keep it around as a useful backup.

In all honesty I was tempted by the 1020 but at the end of the day that monster of a camera and its sensor would really destroy a battery. Truth be told I was also a bit tired of the buggy application base of Windows Phone. So about the same time I was lokoing around for a new phone the internet was abuzz with talk of the Nexus 5. Big Screen, Exclusive first access to Kit Kat updates, Wicked looks blah blah blah. So i did a bit of digging and it turns out there really isn't a phone that can keep up with the Nexus 5 in its price range. Sure there are the lower end Micromax and Karbon device, but come on I'm not going from a Lumia to something like that.

The only thing left to do is decide on which cover I want; The Premium bumper cover that looks great but has not screen protection or the more expensive LG flip cover to take a safer option with all round protection. First world problems, I know. All that remains is to see what happens first, my 920 dying or my Nexus 5 delivery.

The 'Safer' Option
The Yellow Premium Bumper Cover really caught my eye  

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Day Of The Doctor *Spoilers*

I'll admit I wasn't always a Whovian but one fine day two years ago I gave in to my curiosity and ever since then I've been kicking myself for waiting that long. Most shows lose their charm when an important character changes but Doctor Who thrives on it. Even though each new doctor takes a little time to warm up to you by the time he reaches his regeneration he will have brought you to tears.

Day Of The Doctor while marking the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who also see's Matt Smith make one of his last on screen appearances as the Doctor with the Christmas Special set to be his last if I'm not mistaken. The episode gave us a look at his past, specifically the last day of the time war and his guilt. Having lived for centuries with the lives of billions weighing down his conscience The Doctor has often referred to the moment as his darkest hour.

The episode see's John Hurt right before he plans to destory  to end the time war, when he encounters the conscience of the super weapon he intends to use(a sentient super weapon, thats right and to top it off she comes as Rose Tyler and calls herself Bad Wolf). She takes him forward in time to see the man he becomes after living with his decision for centuries. Now what's interesting is the interplay between the three incarnations of The Doctor. Hurt, despite being the youngest acts like an old man around Tennant and Smith mocking their juvenile behaviour. They constantly use their position in time to their advantage, either by leaving a message for the future or starting a calculation on Hurt's Sonic Screwdriver which takes centuries to complete and is finally ready in SMiths Screwdrive, pretty neat atually. After saving England, forging an alien treaty and marrying Queen Victoria I (yes, The Doctor is the king of England) Hurt returns to Gallifray to finish the job. Here's when it got really interesting.

Both Smith and Tennat turn up in their TARDIS as well (even though the even was supposed to be time locked, but hey it led to something wicked so to hell with that) and sort of forgave Hurt or themselves. Its really hard to talk about 3 Doctors at the same time; They're the same person, but at the same time they aren't.
Anyway as they proceeded Smith stops to talk to Clara and suddenly realizes they/he doesn't have to do this. The Doctor gets into his "I have a plan and I'm going to save the day' mode with his wicked theme playing in the background. One after the other Tennant and Hurt understand what he intends to do and everyone scurries off in their respective TARDIS. After informing Gallifrey high command of their plan they are told it would take centuries for the calculations to complete and BAM one of the most unforgetable Doctor Who moments. Suddenly all The Doctor's past incarnations fly in with sort of a mini montage and the commander goes "I didn't know I was well off! All twelve of them!" then you hear another voice " No sir, all thirteen!".

As an anniversary special it did a great job on really capturing what The Doctor is all about, doing the right thing. It paid tribute to the last 50 years of Doctor Who by bringing in all his past lives to tackle the one thing they all regretted. It wasn't all action and sadness; it had the usual witty and fun moments the series has come to be known for, whether it was the Doctors joking about or Tennat marrying the queen. The episode also gave us a sneak at the next Doctor and laid the foundation for the Christmas Special! Damn I love the Holidays! GERONIMOOO!!!

Thursday, 21 November 2013

League of Legends Pre Season Updates

I've been out of the League of Legends scene for a while but some recently announced updates have got me thinking again. So while my game client updates I thought I'd talk a little about what they plan to do and why its great.

The MOBA genre is possible one of the most competitive ones around in gaming today. This is great, but at times it creates a hostile environment because folks who consider themselves 'pros' are very set in their ways. Rigid roles, Early and Late game snowballing and a whole lot of infighting really hurts the whole LoL experience which otherwise is pretty great. Personally I love the constant reamphsis on teamwork from Riot through their updates. As someone that usually plays support I usually end up being told what to do, where to go, what to ward and so on. Basically most players treat the Support class as more of a 'servant' class and I for one find it extremely annoying. Being Forced to buy wards for the whole team is expecting a bit much but it kind of comes with the territory. However i like to play as a bit of a hybrid support class that manages to pack a punch, or do a bit more based on my what champion i end up using. This usually doesn't go down well with a lot of these 'pros', who feel its their duty ot carry their team and win the game on their own. I'll be honest, I feel like punching them and if i could send my fist through cyberspace to that punks house somewhere in North America , believe me I would. The latest planned addition to the game however solves that problem for me. Now each champion has a limited ward capacity, making the entire team responsible for warding parts of the map over the course of one game. This si great in two ways; It encourages teams to communicate more and share the responsibility of warding and secondly (more importantly) it lets support players concentrate a little more on their build and get in on the action. These sort of updates keep the game fresh and as a result keep players on their teoes constantly reinventing their play styles. As a support i sure as hell am happy players will at least be less hesitant to let me spend on my build now that I literally can't buy enough wards to cover the map.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Legend Of Korra: Season 2

Avatar: The Legend Of Korra season 2 just ended with a wicked 4 part season finale. Its safe to say i find myself quite hapy with the way things turned out in season 2, however that wasn't the case some weeks ago.

When the season started it came with the promise of exploring the Avatar's spiritual connection and an in-depth look at the Spirit World, a topic The Last Airbender barely touched. The first season was one of self discovery for Korra and exploring her spiritual connection seemed like a good setup for season 2. However after the first few episodes I feel the writers sort of lost their way, its as if they knew where they wanted to go but had no idea how to get there. There were a lot of random elements for a large part of the first half of the season and it wasn't until the episode Beginnings that things started to pick up. The 2 part episode really brought the season back to life with Korra learning about the origin of the first Avatar and his connection to the spirits. It setup a wicked second half of season 2. The 4 part finale really came through with all the characters coming together to play a vital role in the outcome. Korra's personal and spiritual growth brought her closer to realizing her full potential as the Avatar and gave us some pretty epic moments over the course of the season. However I do feel the first season was a more 'complete' experience as compared season 2, that being said it is still a great watch if you are a fan of the series.

As far as the supporting characters are concerned I think the writers really dropped the ball when it came to exploring and developing some of the characters. Bhumi and Beifong top the list for me. The two had so much potential but didn't really get their time on screen. Beifong had some epic moments in season 1 and I was hoping to see more of her in season 2 but alas, it wasn't to be. Bhumi on the other hand was on off screen quite a bit but they reduced him to the family fool rather than showing what really made him a United Forces general. After all he is one of Aang's kids, though he did have his turn in the season finale but it wasn't really what I was expecting. Iroh (the original, not Zuko's son) had a couple of appeareances over the course of the season and personally I was hoping he might have a larger role considering his fondness and immense knowledge of the Spirit World. The twins were a nice addition with their demenour towards other, but at the same time evident symbiotic relationship. They weren't two people called Eska and Desna, they were one entity; if that makes any sense( It did in my head).

The season ends with a bit of a surprise really (won't spoilt it for anyone), but if they do come back for a third installment at least it will be fresh if nothing else; why you ask? Well its because everything's changed! Its quite exciting really, but I just hope they dont turn the Avatar series into garbage, Its one of the few good shows left. They don't make cartoons like they used to.

Friday, 8 November 2013

N7 Day 2013

N7 Day, A great way to celebrate one of the greatest franchises in recent times. Mass Effect has a rich universe like no other, and has proven this by going byeond just the video games. But I'm going to stick to the games here.

Out of the three games, Mass Effect 2 was definitely my favourite. It did a great job of bridging the gap between the first and the third game. In Mass Effect 1 you are relativesly new to the universe and are sort of settling in; Mass Effect 3 throws you into an all out war to save the universe you have come to love. To protect the people you care about, to help those in need and to kick some serious reaper ass. Mass Effect 2 on the other hands affords you the time to explore the games rich universe, Each character you meet has so much more to their story and getting to know your crew over the course of the campaign is really where you build your emotional attachment to the game and to your personal Shepard. The rich character stories were what really did it for me in Mass Effect 2, however I was disappointed at the whole Paragon/Renegade system. I had to play the game twice so that i could save all the people i wanted by doing all the paragon options and the second time so i could make the choices i would have made otherwise.
Yes, Tali is my favourite character.

Its been quite a while since i played the game and I think a playthrough is on the horizon. But with Next Gen consoles coming up, I will have to struggle to make the time for it. I'm secretly hoping for a Mass Effect Trilogy version for Next gen, i would totally buy a collectors edition for that.

P.S. Now that winter has finally settled in, I can wear my N7 Hoodie! Booyah!

Also If you're interested check out the Feature  We did on Just Another Gaming Site on why Mass Effect is one of the greates franchises of all time

Wednesday, 6 November 2013


I wasn't too thrilled when the WWE game came out mainly because I have never really liked 2K games but WWE2K14 is a pretty solid Wrsetling game, possibly the best in quite a while. More than that I absolutely love the Hidden reversable Daniel Bryan cover for retail copies.

More than the new game modes I've actually been spending my time in Universe mode with a ton of custom/downloaded superstars and WWE Legends. Basically I kicked out the 'useles' wrestlers made a dream roster of WWE Legends and current wrestlers and threw in the likes of Sting, Matt & Jeff Hardy etc. Found a lot of great custom superstars on the Xbox Live custom content section, there are some realyl talented people out there with a lot of time on their hands. The level of detail on some of the wrestlers is mindblowing.

I was a little disappointed in Undertakers Defend the Streak mode which is actually a gauntlet match rather than reliving all his Wrestlemania fights. You can create a custom match to do that, but it would have been nice to have it as a game mode with comemntary, promos etc.

You'll have more information when I do my Full Review for the Deccan Chronicle & Asian Age in a week or two.