Showing posts from March, 2014

Steins;Gate Visual Novel Localization Hits March 31

It’s not every day fans of Japanese entertainment get a treat like this. Though the idea of animated, interactive books somewhat caught on in the west in the ’80s and ’90s, for the most part the visual novel trend that’s so popular in Japan never took off, stateside. As a result, only a handful of the terrific stories waiting to be ‘read’ have ever reached an English-speaking audience, at least in any official capacity. With time the internet has given rise to more and more translations made by fans and released as downloadable ‘patches’ to the Japanese originals, but the patching process is often rather involved, and even with the likes of Amazon at your disposal hunting down imported visual novels can be challenging and expensive, not to mention the end result of it all is likely to have at least a few grammatical issues or stray lines of text that for one reason or another couldn’t be translated without breaking the game code. An official localization is always best, but remember w…

Windows 8.1 Update 1 – 1 Step Forward, 1 Step Back

Well, it’s official: Microsoft has pushed out the door what is likely the last build for Windows 8.1 Update 1, set to hit the public on April 8 (whatever could have made them choose that day?). The name may imply that not much has changed—and truly that is the case on the system level—but Update 1 actually brings a fair amount of UI tweaks particularly targeted at keyboard and mouse users. Yes, Microsoft is still designing Windows 8 for you. But is Update 1 the patch that will finally let desktop users breathe a sigh of relief, or will it only contribute to their woes? Unfortunately, the answer is: both.

For the rundown, Update 1 features:

• Power and search buttons on the Start Screen (should’ve been there from day 1)
• Traditional context menu on Modern apps (keyboard/mouse only)
• Pinning Modern apps to the taskbar (no more weird shortcuts needed!)
• Displaying running Modern apps on the taskbar (all your open apps in one place, desktop users)
• Access to the taskbar from anywhere (more …

Crysis 3 – What Crysis was Meant to Be (Review)

They say the third time’s the charm, and the adage has an uncanny way of ringing true. While Crysis has been a staple of the gaming industry since the first series title hit back in 2007, most of its popularity has stemmed from being famously taxing for gaming machines to run due to its intense, realistic visuals, not for actually being remarkably fun to play. Though the main draw of Crysis 3 is still to prove the worth of your gaming hardware, this time around Crytek has made a game actually worth playing and not merely seeing.

While Crysis 1 and 2 did have storylines, to the player they amounted to simply heading towards a checkpoint and blasting anything that got in their way. A few cutscenes served as jarring reminders that there was actual purpose behind everywhere you went, but as a whole the story seemed distant and disconnected. Thankfully Crysis 3 finally breaks this trend and even realizes the potential of its predecessors’ plots, though there are still a few of these di…