G’day M8 (HTC One 2014 1st Takes)

Sitting here next to my keyboard is HTC’s brand new flagship phone, the One…wait, I thought, they already had a One, um..

Yeah, HTC didn’t get too fancy with the nomenclature, like calling it the One-2, or the One-A, or what have you, but just left it the same.  In fact they left a lot the same, the same awesome build quality, the same awesome boom sound speakers, same single piece aluminium, same ultra pixel camera.  But unlike the name, they did improve upon what made the original One great.

At first glance, you will be struggling to see that it’s an all new phone, but upon closer inspection, you will notice it just that much bigger, and that much rounder, which actually makes it a lot nicer to hold.  the rounded edges on the M8 makes it feel more at home in my hand, but at the same time, it feels like it will slip off, unlike the previous model, where the corners made it feel grippy.

I was afraid that with Beats and HTC parting ways, boom sound will be less ‘boomy’, but they improved on what should be a standard on all handheld devices.  I played a song one after another, and the M8’s boom sound speakers were more powerful, and sounded a tad more punchier.  I will have to do some more listening though, as Beats provided audio enhancements with headphones attached as well.

Now let’s move on the the camera.  The front facer, is now a 5 MP sensor, and should do nicely to all those that are addicted to selfies (self included).  The rear camera though, still remains a 4 UltraPixel, but with an added ‘depth’ sensor, which allows for post shot fun.  From the little I have played with it, it looks more like a gimmicky type thing, but w/ the API being out on the Google Play store, I am really excited as to what other developers can do with it.

To round out the phone, the extra bit of width actually made it easier for me to type and hold the phone a bit.  Sense 6.0 is slick, but I have not yet been able to dive deep and check out what’s new under the hood. Battery life has said to have improved some 40%, so I am hoping that it’s true. I still have to spend more time with this device, so look forward to my Half Assed Review.

I will be cutting and uploading some footage shortly, so look forward to that also. For now, enjoy some comparison shots between the M7 (old One), and the M8 (new One).

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Batman Arkham Knight Trailer

Arkham Knight

Arkham Knight

This looks really juicy.  I have only briefly played the first Arkham game for PS3 when it first came out, and I thought it was very well done.  I never got around to buying the last 2 releases for PS3, but recently, a good buddy of mine gave the first 2 to me as a gift via Steam.  Anyway, as I mentioned, the trailer looks juicy.  It shows off 3 villains, Harley Quinn, Two Face, and the Penguin, oh and the Batmobile is PRESENT!  This raises a question though as to how the Batmobile will be implemented in the game.  Bats got around the previous games before just fine with out it.

The trailer looks gorgeous.  I doubt it is done in real time, but with the hardware muscle of the next or current gen systems (PS4, and XB1), and the PC, it looks to be visually stunning.  The game drops later this year, and will be only available on PS4, XB1, and PC.  This will be Rocksteady’s final Arkham game, and it will also conclude that story line.

Some screen grabs for you:

Two Face

Two Face

Penguin looking un-penguin like

Penguin looking un-penguin like

Harley, I prefer this one over the past iteration from the previous game

Harley, I prefer this one over the past iteration from the previous game

Jumping into action

Jumping into action

I am now Ben Affleck...wait..what?

I am now Ben Affleck…wait..what?

The new Batmobile, looks pretty sick

The new Batmobile, looks pretty sick

Kit Kat Lands on Verizon HTC One’s

Hot off the heels of Sprints Kit Kat update on its HTC One variant, Verizon, surprisingly is 2nd to push out the Android 4.4.2 update among US carriers. If anyone recalls, Verizon was the last to push out the last Jelly Bean update (4.3) to it’s HTC One by about a month after the other 3 major US carriers. HTC itself said late last year that it will deliver Kit Kat to carrier One variants at the end of January, but with certification process taking a bit more time than they had anticipated, they retracted the end of January delivery date, and pushed it to sometime in February.

Sprint released their updates last week, and now Verizon is following suit some days later (about a week if not less). A tweet from @moversi of HTC announcing that they had received technical approval, and @VZWnews tweeting that it will start OTA in stages. I read this kinda late, and I am still downloading the update as I type this. But anyway, Verizon One customers rejoice! Hit that update button and get some sweet Kit Kat lovin’

Kit Kat!

Kit Kat!

Source:

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition Impressions [UPDATE]

Just a quick update on my progress on the Definitive Edition of  Tomb Raider.  Even though I had beaten the PS3 version (100% on the single player campaign), I still find myself enjoying Lara’s rebooted adventure.  It’s actually a bit fun now, as I’m just really toying with the NPC’s, even with Lara’s low skill level at this point in the game.  Anyway, I find the graphics to be great, and it does add another layer of challenge to the game.  Early on in the game, with the weather ravaging and slowing Lara’s progress, with blinding lightning, and rain drops filling the screen, it makes for an added element of hardship, and it makes you feel like you are there.

I mentioned before the jungle seems more livelier on this version as opposed to the PS3 or even the PC version on ultimate.  Lara’s clothes also seemed more detailed.  These are just initial findings though.  I need to catch up on the PC version to see more and do a better comparison graphically.  The few little things that they added to the PS4 version is a nice touch, like using the Dual Shock 4’s speakers for foot steps, gun fire, and other arbitrary sound effects.  It’s not much, but it somehow add’s a lot.  I notice the sound effects sound a bit better.  Once I get my capture rig going again, I’ll post more video’s of all 3 versions.  For now I leave you with some screen shots done via the PS4’s share button.  I did adjust them slightly for clarity.

Lighting effects are great

Lighting effects are great

Facial detail is absolutely stunning

Facial detail is absolutely stunning

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Nice textures on her hand wrap

Nice textures on her hand wrap

She really needs a day in the spa She really needs a day in the sp

Tomb Raider – Definitive Edition & A Quick PC Comparison

Last year’s reboot of Tomb Raider was, one of my favorite games that came out last year, and perhaps one of my favorite games of all time.  Graphics were great, controls were tight, and the story was right up there.  Supporting cast was, well, not very supportive, but Lara herself had enough gusto to carry everything in her young shoulders.  Fast forward to about roughly a year (OK so about 11 months and change), Tomb Raider: Continue reading

Happy New Years!

On behalf of myself, Nekked Snake, and Cheesecake, we would like to wish everyone a happy and prosperous new year!  2013, was a great year for the three of us.   We are working to bring you more content, like we’ve never brought before here on JWAB (and Nekkesnake.WP).  I know, I know, I have said this many many times before, but we are working behind the scenes to bring forth some more multimedia content.  Let’s hope the timing works out.  But for now, enjoy the end of the year, and as always stay safe, and celebrate responsibly.

PS4 6 Minute Impression

Whilst at lunch, I so happen to stop by the Best Buy near my office (Union Square, in NYC), and they had a kiosk up with a PS4, ready and waiting for customers to try out.  The Best Buy person dude was there, sort of explaining it to people that didn’t know, and a couple of dudes watching the videos that were playing.  One of the dudes, grabs the controller and fired up the Knack Demo.

At first glance, the graphics, while very nice, and a bit more detailed that the current gen games, does not give Continue reading

Female Shepard Kotobukiya Photo’s

Close up of Kotobukiya Femme Shep.  Character rendition by Shunya Yamashita

Close up of Kotobukiya Femme Shep. Character rendition by Shunya Yamashita

As promised, here are the shots of the Kotobukiya Female Commander Shepard. I really enjoyed the fine detail in this figure. This was my first Kotobukiya, and I look forward to getting some more down the line. All photos were taken by me, with a Nikon D700, a Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 & a Nikkor 60mm Micro f/2.8 Macro lens and an SB-900 Flash.

Enjoy the Gallery!

Continue reading

Kotobukiya Female Commander Shepard Figure

I was able to finally pick up this figure of Female Commander Shepard of Mass Effect fame.  It went on sale at Forbidden Planet, a NYC comic book shop for 50 beans, so I picked one up.  I’ve been wanting to get a Kotobukya figure for a while, and with a $20 price drop, I could not pass it up. After taking some photos of it, I am very happy with the level of detail and fit and finish of it.  Below is a quicky shot.  I will post up the rest shortly.

Close up of Kotobukiya Femme Shep.  Character rendition by Shunya Yamashita

Close up of Kotobukiya Femme Shep. Character rendition by Shunya Yamashita.  Photograph by me.