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We Review: Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (3DS)

It’s another year for the Summer Olympic games, and this year it’s in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In usual fashion, Mario and Sonic are there to take part and compete in as many of the events as they possibly can. Although the game will see a Wii U release later this year, this time around we’re covering the 3DS version. Are you up for a sporty review?

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We Review: Atari Vault

Atari was one of the biggest names in video games during the 2nd Generation of consoles, and helped contribute to the popularity of home-based consoles as a form of interactive entertainment. In fact, until the 3rd generation and the rise of Nintendo, Atari was the best-selling video game console of that era. Like many early consoles, development was easy and cheap, and often could be done by a single person, as opposed to the teams of up to 100 people needed for a single AAA development title today. Many of us old fogeys, myself included, whiled many hours away on Atari’s best-selling console, the Atari 2600, as well as played many popular Atari games in the video arcades. To fuel the current nostalgia going around, Code Mystics has brought us Atari Vault, a collection of 100 of the most popular first party Atari 2600 and Atari arcade games.

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We Review: Day of the Tentacle HD Remaster

The 90s were an amazing time for video games, as is evidenced by the flood of remakes, remasters, and redos we’re currently getting. Adventure gaming was in its prime back then (although it’s recently seen a re-surge in popularity), and one of the major studios involved with making these amazing works of comedy was LucasArts, the video game arm of George Lucas’ company, LucasFilm. One of the most critically successful games from that era, Day of the Tentacle, now has an HD remaster, released by Double Fine productions. Come time travel with me as I review this game.

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We Review: Hyrule Warriors Legends

Hyrule Warriors was a Wii U game, released in 2014, that played like Dynasty Warriors set in the Legend of Zelda universe. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, by the way, you’re missing out on two extremely fun game series and you should be extremely ashamed of yourself. The 3DS now sees its own release called Hyrule Warriors Legends, and it was a huge surprise given the amazing amount of detail and action that went into Hyrule Warriors. Can the little console keep up with its big brother? I grab my Hero’s garb and Master Sword and charge at the hordes of moblins to find out.

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Preview: Hitman (2016)

In what is already promising to be one of the best years for online gaming yet, the highly successful Square Enix publishers have sought to make a bid for gaming glory with the latest installment of Hitman.

It’ll be the seventh in the series of sneak-n-shoot games, and with Hitman being released for PS4, Xbox One, and Windows, it looks to be the most far-reaching Hitman yet.

Hitman_2016_01

Since its release on 11 March, Hitman has already proven to be a big hit with critics; Wired, for example, lauded the game’s successful blend of suspense and comedy as you enter an upmarket fashion event to attempt to assassinate the supermodel-turned-power broker Dalia Margolis.

A big part of Hitman‘s success is expected to rest on the game’s time-sensitive features that add a realistic sense of pressure as you try to use ever-decreasing moments of opportunity to explore the premises and use your cutthroat assassination talents.

Although there is currently just one episode of the game available, there promises to be no less than six further installments to try your skills as the mysterious Agent 47.

Hitman_2016_02

Furthermore, it should be noted that Hitman has already made some successful outings for iOS and Android devices with the likes of Hitman GO and Hitman: Sniper. Mind you, if you can’t wait until the next mobile episode of the game, you could always hit up Springbok Casino, which provides a series of suitably glamorous and gory slots styles including horror that would be more than well-suited to the high-stakes assassination plots of the Hitman series.

All of these games seem to feature a healthy degree of strategy and planning that is a welcome change from the more formulaic point-and-shoot games of recent times. And with Hitman providing a helpful way for you to eavesdrop on people’s conversations in the game so as to find out when to strike, it adds a further level of realism to the already complex and compelling title.

Despite the fact that the first episode is somewhat short, it has many unforeseen twists that mean that, much like a game of online slots, you’ll never play the same game twice. With The Verge commending the first episode’s early promise, it looks like this cold-blooded killer is only going to be more….deadly.

Seiko’s “Art of Time”

Seiko has been manufacturing watches for over 90 years. This little video entitled Art of Time highlights the skilled craftsmanship and precision that goes into creating their time pieces.

It’s a Rube Golberg contraption reduced to a size that could fit on a work bench, a stark contrast to some machines that could fill a large studio. Seiko’s machine includes 1200 parts, with some as small as 0.7mm, and the setup reportedly has been a year in the making. Arguably the machine requires human intervention to get to its conclusion, but I suspect that’s a nod to the Grand Seiko watches and movements that are still built by hand. Check out Art of Time below.

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We Review: Pokkén Tournament

When I was a kid playing Pokémon, I’d imagine the battles quite vividly in my head. They actually looked closer to what I saw in the anime series than the mostly-static images on the Gameboy at the time. As I got older, I started wondering if the game was ever going to look like what an actual Pokémon battle would look like. Even though we had Pokémon Battle Arena and Pokémon Stadium/Colosseum, they were still turn-based affairs that mimicked the main series battles, impressive as they looked at the time. Introducing Pokkén Tournament, a game that combines the one-on-one battles of Tekken with the world of Pokémon. We’re not here to catch them all, but we are here to beat every other trainer’s Pokémon into submission. Go, Review! I choose you!

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Importing With Aramex Global Shopper

Aramex Global Shopper (henceforth referred to as AGS) is a shipping service that enables you to buy items from online websites that don’t (or won’t) ship to a specific country, South Africa, for example. By signing up to AGS, you have access to 14 physical forwarding locations spread between New York, USA and Shanghai, China. When you buy any item from an online retailer, you simply have the item sent to the nearest AGS location, and when the item reaches that location, it is forwarded to the AGS facility in your country (Johannesburg in our case), and then delivered straight to your door. Well that’s the theory. Conveniently, it’s how the service works in practice too.

In October of last year, mystery gift box service Loot Crate started shipping to South Africa , and we rejoiced. We have come to expect that packages from the USA usually take some weeks to get here using the normal shipping channels, but there’s always the dread that the parcel will get lost in transit, or worse: get stuck in the black hole that is South African customs. This is what happened to a local whose Loot Crate packages took so long to be delivered that he cancelled his subscription.

So that got me thinking: could AGS guarantee a safe, reliable, convenient way to get one’s Loot Crate to South Africa? I decided to test this by ordering February’s Loot Crate (the 1 month plan) and getting AGS to ship it to me. For science, I kept track of the shipment.

On February 22nd, Loot Crate shipped the parcel from Los Angeles and it arrived at my selected AGS forwarding location, New York, on February 27th. AGS promptly notified me of my parcel’s arrival. It was put on a scale and shipping charges to South Africa were calculated based on the parcel weight. These details were clearly visible on my AGS online profile. Oddly and out of place, at the bottom of the page, there was a link to a randomly-numbered JPG file. That, as it turns out, is actually the photo of my parcel as it was captured at the AGS operations facility.

Aramex Global Shopper profile

I had an option to pay for the shipping at the time, or wait until the parcel arrived at the AGS Joburg facility. I opted to wait. The parcel got shipped regardless. On March 2nd, I was contacted by AGS customer support asking for a commercial invoice to have my parcel cleared at customs. AGS does provide the option to upload an invoice, but I had forgotten to do so, my bad. I e-mailed the required documentation to AGS, and *SIX* days later on March 8th, customs released the parcel. On March 10th, I was contacted by AGS customer support requesting payment for the shipping charges and the customs duties. There were NO duties, what luck! Payment was made, and the parcel arrived at my door on the morning of March 11th.

Let’s talk about the costs. I paid R339.16 for Loot Crate (including shipping to New York) and R274.00 for AGS to ship and courier the 0.7 KG parcel to me in Cape Town. There were no customs duties to be paid, so the total was R613.16. Bear in mind that using AGS is obviously more expensive than just having Loot Crate ship the parcel to me, and in this case I paid approximately R150.50 extra to use AGS. Personally, that is a price that I would happily pay for peace of mind in knowing where my parcel is at any time, having the customs process sorted on my behalf, and having it personally couriered to my home.

Aramex Global Shopper

If you’re looking for a reliable shipping service that gives you 14 18 personalised shipping addresses across the world, I would recommend Aramex Global Shopper. You’ll need to register once for a lifetime membership, which costs USD 45.00 (about R690 at the current exchange rate; just be aware that this figure will obviously fluctuate). If you’re interested, here’s a code that will net you the lifetime membership for just USD 10.00 — AGS10OLP (it expires in June 2017).

For more info, check out www.aramexglobalshopper.com.

We Review: McDroid

What do you get when you cross a robot with a puppy, and then ask it to protect a sentient, jabbermouthed spaceship from incessant hordes of alien life? Turns out you get a game called McDroid. Join me as I try to fix my servos and grind my gears and engineer my engines as I review this game by indie studio, Elephantopia.

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Hell’s Club: Another Night

Hell’s Club: Another Night is a quite possibly the greatest movie mashup of all time. Editing whizz Antonio Maria Da Silva creates a fictional nightclub where characters from disparate movies meet and interact. Outside of time. Outside of all logic.

Blade is the bouncer at the entrance. Daft Punk, the resident DJs, are banging out the killer tunes. Multiple James Bonds are at the bar. RoboCop is enforcing the no smoking rules. John Travolta is feeling the Saturday night fever, and so is the terrible dancer Jean-Claude Van Damme. Naturally, cocktails are being served by Tom Cruise.

Everyone’s having a great time until a bunch of Xenomorphs crash the party (via the ventilation shafts, obvs). It’s…madness, glorious mashup madness.

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