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I S S U E 2 3 / Vo l . 2 September 2012

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In the Beginning The true pioneers of computing...

Performer Logic 3 enters the Ferrari market

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21.09.2012 WWW.BORDERLANDS2.COM ©2012 Gearbox Software, LLC. All rights reserved. Borderlands, Gearbox, and the Gearbox Software logos are registered trademarks, and the Borderlands logo is a trademark, all of Gearbox Software, LLC and are used here under license. Borderlands 2 is published and distributed by 2K Games, a subsidiary of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. 2K Games, Take-Two Interactive Software and their respective logos are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. KINECT, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE, and the Xbox logos are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies and are used under license from Microsoft. “2”, “PlayStation”, “PS3” , “Ô and “À” are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. All other marks are property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.


Inside 6 From the Editor

8 Tech Pioneers The founders of computer theory 12 Precise Power The Ferrari by Logic 3 range 16 Reviews Some great hardwre and gadgets to look out for 58 DVD Seen The good, the bad and the ugly of the DVD market... 66 Photography Primer Chaos and order combined 76 PC Builder Communication with the PC... 80 Money to Burn Go gold!

THIS MONTH’S COVER Combining style, precision and power... See the feature on page 12

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Reviews

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FujiFilm FinePix F750 EXR Compact Camera

20

Asus G75V Notebook PC

22

Seagate GoFlex Satellite Mobile Wireless Storage

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Asus Vulcan Pro Gaming Headset

GLADGET Volume 2 Issue 23 September 2012 Editor: Walt Pretorius walt@1337-media.com

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LG LM9600 47 Inch Smart TV

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SanDisk Extreme 120GB Solid State Drive

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Philips Fidelio Docking Station for Android

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Asus Sabertooth 990FX R2.0 Motherboard

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Logitech Speaker Stand for iPad

36

Epson WorkForce WF-7015 Printer

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Nintendo 3DS XL

Newsletter Subscriptions: www.gladgetmag.com

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Guild Wars 2 (PC)

Design & Photography: 1337 Media cc

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Sleeping Dogs (X360)

Marketing Contact: Katia Taliadoros katia@1337-media.com

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Darksiders II (X360)

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New Super Mario Bros. 2 (3DS)

Writers: Charlie Fripp Christo van Gemert Dylan Bouch Grant Wilson Iwan Pienaar James Francis Lein Baart Pippa Tshabalala Sarah Snyman Suvesh Arumugam Walt Pretorius Letters: letters@gladgetmag.com Competition Entries: competitions@gladgetmag.com

technology. simply. All rights reserved. No content may be reproduced, copied or transmitted without the express permission of the publishers. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the editors and publishers. All Trademarks and Registered Trademarks are the sole property of the respective owners.

GAMECCA is published by 1337 MEDIA

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Copyright Š 1337 Media CC 2009 - 2012

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Almost There... From the Editor

by Walt Pretorius

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his particular issue of Gladget magazine is the last one for the current volume, which means that next month will mark our second birthday. As part of this event – which is rather momentous for us – there will be quite a few changes happening in Gladget. Some of those can already be seen in this issue, particularly as far as our review section is concerned. Other changes will include more feature articles, comparative reviews (something that many people have been asking us to include) and a restructuring of the order in which we present information. In short, Gladget will be bigger and better from now on, even down to cover design concepts. We will continue to bring you reviews and features, but will also be adding in many aspects related to trends, living with technology and education of the end-user… all of which we believe is

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vital to living in this modern world of ours, and so will be informative and entertaining for our readers. Another change that will take place is that Gladget will have a new editor from the October 2012 issue. I will be increasing my focus on Gladget’s sister magazine, Gamecca, while Gladget’s new editor will do the same right here. As the team expands and more is required from each of the magazines, this is a solid step to ensure that all our publications here at 1337 Media remain strong and evolve in all the right directions. And, in the end, we believe that it will be our valued readers who benefit from this exciting and positive growth process. Our new editor will be Katia Taliadoros, who has been with 1337 Media from the beginning. Katia has a very strong understanding of Gladget magazine, and will bring a

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fresh approach to the editorial, as well as to the look and feel of the magazine. Drawing on many years of experience gained in the European market place, she will be guiding the evolution of Gladget in new and exciting ways. Everyone at 1337 Media is looking forward to seeing the product of her very capable approach. As for me, well… you don’t break a technology addiction that easily! With all the awesome technology and gadgets that are arriving on an almost daily basis, I will still be keeping an eye on what’s new, fresh and funky. In closing, I want to extend a thank you to all the readers that have supported us for the last 23 issues of Gladget magazine. I know that you’re going to love where we’re going with the publication, and I trust that you are as excited about all the new ideas as we are. g


Tech

Feature

Pioneer Ramon Llull

Gottfried Leibniz

he age we live in is one of constant technological advancement. Because of the extremely fast-paced evolution of technology, our lives are much simpler. And, as a result, it is very easy to take the technology we have for granted. Imagine, if you would, taking our technology back fifty years. There would be a great many people who would view it as almost mystical, and certainly the work of science fiction. But computers existed in the 1960s already, so there would be some that were impressed, but not necessarily wowed. So how about a longer leap… let’s say 200 years. That would certainly make a big difference, but the truth is that theories that would evolve into modern computing already

existed even then. In truth, you would need to go back more than seven hundred years to find a time when theories that grew and developed towards modern computing didn’t exist. When we think of the pioneers of computers, names like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs spring to mind immediately. But the fathers of computing have actually been around far longer – five of them predate the 20th century. Perhaps the earliest influence on modern computing was Ramon Llull, a Majorcan writer, philosopher and logician. He was born around 1232, and died in 1315. He was a pioneer in computation theory, specialising in mathematics, statistic and classification. While it is unlikely that Llull could have conceived of machine like modern computers, he was a great influence of Gottfried Leibniz (who we

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Early adventurers in computers... by Walt Pretorius

Charles Babbage

Ada Lovelace

will get to later) and was recently discovered to have uncovered mathematical systems previously credited to people born hundreds of years after he died. Llull was important to the process of computing because of his effective computational mathematical theories. And many of his ideas lead Gottfried Leibniz to make early developments in first-order predicate calculus, an essential part for the theoretical foundation of computers. He is credited, along with Sir Isaac Newton, with the invention of infinitesimal calculus. Leibniz was born in Germany in 1646, and died in 1716. Perhaps the most famous father of computing, however, is Charles Babbage. Born in England in 1791, Babbage was a mathematician, philosopher, inventor and mechanical engineer credited with originating the concept of a

programmable computer. The idea rose – as so many great ones do – out of a combination of necessity and opportunity. B V Bowden describes the spark of inspiration in his book, Faster than Thought: “In 1812 he [Babbage] was sitting in his rooms in the Analytical Society looking at a table of logarithms, which he knew to be full of mistakes, when the idea occurred to him of computing all tabular functions by machinery. The French government had produced several tables by a new method. Three or four of their mathematicians decided how to compute the tables, half a dozen more broke down the operations into simple stages, and the work itself, which was restricted to addition and subtraction, was done by eighty [human] computers who knew only these two arithmetical processes. Here, for the

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Feature

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first time, mass production was applied to arithmetic, and Babbage was seized by the idea that the labours of the unskilled computers could be taken over completely by machinery which would be quicker and more reliable.” Babbage began wok of his ‘Difference Engine’ in 1820, but never completed the prototype. Had he done so, the world’s first computer would have been composed of 25 000 parts, standing 2.5m tall and weighing over 13 metric tons. But Babbage never finished the work. He later designed the improved Difference Engine 2, but this device was not constructed until 1989, 118 years after his death (in 1871). The completed Difference Engine 2 performed its first calculation at the London Science museum shortly after its completion in 1991, and returned results of up to 31 digits. Find the modern pocket calculator that can do that. Babbage’s system, although massive, used many principles still seen in computers today. Separated program and data memory, instruction-based operation, a control unit capable of conditional jumps and a separate I/O unit were all hallmarks of the Difference Engine design. After he had abandoned work on the difference engine, Babbage began designing the Analytical Engine, a far more complex machine. There was never a true design for the machine, but rather a collection of tinkerings and designs that kept Babbage busy to his death. The Analytical Engine was designed to use loops of punch cards, based on designs by Frenchman Joseph Marie Jacquard (who used them in an ‘advanced’ loom designed to make textile manufacturing easier.) These cards would, in essence, have been the earliest forms of computer programmes, as they would allow the user to repeat functions without reprogramming them manually each time. Strangely enough, although the British Treasury, at the time, lost faith in Babbage and cut off his funding, principles he created have helped modern high-tech experiments in mechanical computation. One of Babbage’s contemporaries, and a regular correspondent with him, was Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace (better known as Ada Lovelace). She collaborated with Babbage on the Analytical Engine, and is widely considered to have been the world’s first computer programmer. Unlike Babbage and many others, Lovelace sw the potential of computers to go beyond calculations and number crunching. But numerous detractors of Lovelace question her actual contribution to the project, despite the fact that Babbage wrote of her value. Still, the United States Department of Defence uses a programming language named in her honour, and the British Computer Society has awarded a medal in her name since 1998. There were many others who contributed to computer science reaching the point it has today and, as we move forward through history from the pioneering days of Babbage, the names become more common and more recognisable. But the contribution delivered by these very early pioneers, from the invention of calculus through to the creation of mechanical computing, certainly played a massive part in making our modern lives so much easier. g gladget23

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Precise

Ferrari by Logic 3

Logic 3 captures the spirit of Ferrari with a new audio range.

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e Power

O

by Walt Pretorius

O

riginally founded in 1977 as a photographic accessory wholesaler, Logic 3 has, over the years, repositioned itself to become one of the world’s most recognised brands for audio and video gaming peripherals. Using a team of highly specialised designers, Logic 3 draws on the experience that they offer in design, development and manufacturing to ensure a range of good quality, competitively priced products reach their markets worldwide. With a careful analysis of market trends and demand, Logic 3 continuously develops new ranges and products to meet with ever-changing end-user needs. An example of this is the Ferrari by Logic 3 range, a series of striking personal audio products that carry the famous prancing horse logo of the Ferrari franchise. Knowing the love that people have for the Italian performance car brand, Logic 3 have applied similar design principles to this range of headphones. “We’re delighted to launch the first earphones and headphones within the iconic Ferrari by Logic3 collection, which celebrate the style and technical excellence of Ferrari,” said Ashvin Patel, CEO of Logic 3, according to a press release issued by the company. “Throughout the design and engineering process, we have worked meticulously with the Italian brand to ensure the Ferrari by Logic3 collection delivers the excellence that the legendary marque demands.” But the range extends beyond just portable audio, as the Ferrari logo will also grace docking solutions made by Logic 3. The headphone and speaker dock collection will be comprised of two primary design ideas; Cavallino, which will embody the spirit of Ferrari’s road cars, and Scuderia, inspired by the Ferrari F1 team. Cavallino products will be more downtoned and classically elegant, while the Scuderia range will embody the bold power associated with Ferrari’s F1 performance. Ferrari by Logic 3 is distributed in South Africa by Apex Interactive, who also distribute a full range of other Logic 3 ranges. g

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Ferrari by Logic 3

P200

T150

R300

FS1

T350

T250

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S100

R200

GT1

R100

“A series of striking personal audio products that carry the famous prancing horse logo of the Ferrari franchise.� G150 gladget23

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Reviews Highlights 18 FujiFilm FinePix F750 EXR Compact Camera Power in your pocket 20 Asus G75V Notebook PC Multimedia on the move 22 Seagate GoFlex Satellite Mobile Wireless Storage Active HD gaming 38 Nintendo 3DS XL Top notch graphics

W

ith the festive season around the corner, there are a lot of new products hitting the market, across all fields of technology. In this issue we take a look at 11 great pieces of hardware. You will notice that our review look quite different this month part of the changes that Gladget is rather rapidly going through. But the information and user-friendly nature of the reviews remains unchanged. Enjoy! g

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Out Now


Pocket Ro FujiFilm FinePix F750 EXR Compact Camera

A pocket camera for all seasons…

F Review

F

ujiFilm have been around for a long time, and as their name implies, they were well known for great quality photographic film. But with the advent of digital photography, FujiFilm realised that the demand for film would decline rapidly, and they made the move into the digital camera arena fairly early. This means that they have had many years to work with the idea, and perfect their craft. This experience shows in the FujiFilm FinePix F770 EXR compact camera. I used the term compact camera, rather than pocket camera, because this particular device outstrips the average pocket camera by leaps and bounds. It offers the user power and versatility, combined with reliability and excellent picture quality, all in a beautifully designed, sturdy package. Some of the more prominent camera producers would do well to take a leaf out of FujiFilm’s book.

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Despite being a relatively small camera, it packs a generous 16 megapixel image size, which is big enough for pretty much any image application. The camera provides the user with a number of shooting modes, including automatic, presets, and a fully functional manual mode (something which is becoming increasingly rare in terms of pocket cameras) that is achingly simple to use. Even more surprising is that the F770 packs a whopping 20x optical zoom, which can be extended even further into a digital range, with the camera automatically scaling down the megapixels as necessary. In short, it is an extremely capable camera that is quick and easy to use, making it a great backup camera for enthusiasts, and an excellent device for hobbyists. And it doesn’t skimp on all the gimmicky bells and whistles either. Editing functionality and easy web uploading

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ocket! by Walt Pretorius

are included, as well as full HD video recording and 360 degree panorama shooting. And then there are other features, like 11 frames per second in continuous shooting mode, that just make the device seem a lot more serious than it looks. Speaking of looks, the F770 is beautifully designed. The sleek lines of the camera are complemented by a 3 inch screen on the back, which has a simple yet effective set of controls to the right of it. Easy access to the zoom controls and a comfortably placed shutter button are also the order of the day, and the function control is placed in an easy to reach location at the top rear of the device. It is difficult not to fall hopelessly head over heels in love with the F770. It is a compact camera that does everything right, balancing power, versatility and convenience beautifully. You won’t be sorry with this one. g

Summary

Tech Specs:

When it comes to compact cameras, things don’t get much better than this.

M a nufa c turer Distributer: O nline: RRP:

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Very powerful Full manual control Looks good

16 megapixel 20x zoom Full manual mode HD video 11 frames per second shooting

FujiFilm FujiFilm www.fujifilm- dig ita l.c om R3699

Pros • • • • •

• • • • • •

Cons • • • • •

You can’t change lenses on a compact camera

Score

97 19


Game Stat Big size, big power

W Review

Asus G75V Notebook PC

W

e love it when people buck trends. OK, maybe this isn’t exactly that, because it does fall into a growing category of portable computers, but Asus’ G75V certainly doesn’t follow the ideas that the majority of notebooks follow these days. In a world where everything is getting smaller and lighter, the G75 enters the fray as a literal and figuarive heavyweight. See, having a sleek, tiny notebook that you carry around with you is all good and well if you’re going to be using it for light work or internet browsing, but these devices don’t cater for a massive market out there – gamers. And while some might scoff at gaming as being unimportant, there is a multi-billion dollar industry out there that feels otherwise. And so devices like the G75 become necessary, because there are many gamers out there that want to carry their machine with them. This is always a chore when it comes to desktop computers, but those are generally the most common devices capable of running games. Hang on a second, though… let’s consider the specifications of the G75. An Intel i7 CPU running at 2.6GHz forms the core of the device, supported by a generous 16GB of RAM. Graphics are provided by a GeForce GTX 670M chipset, with a rather nice 1GB of VRAM at its disposal. And a total of just over 1TB of hard drive space - with 256GB of that by way of solid state storage – rounds off the picture. On paper, that’s pretty impressive. And it is impressive in practice, too; the G75 blazes along at speeds that will keep any gamer happy. The full chicklet style keyboard and large display also help. A very responsive off-set track pad rounds out the control system. Keeping that hardware cool can be a challenge, but the G75 uses an intelligent cooling system (that is easy to keep clean, thankfully) to calm temperatures down. And for other entertainment, the device has a built-in Blu-Ray drive and 3D capabilities. The sound is pretty good, too – it even sports a small sub-woofer to help fill out the bass tones. Audio ports, a card reader, HDMI output, four USB 3.0 ports and several other connectors provide everything a gamer would need, and add versatility to this powerful device. The only real downside here is that this is a very large, very heavy portable computer. But when you cram as much power into a system as this has, it needs to be big. There isn’t much of a way around that yet. And considering the impressive aesthetic and brilliant performance it delivers, a little weight isn’t that much of a sacrifice. In short, if you want your PC gaming portable, this is a brilliant device for you. g

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tion

by Walt Pretorius

Summary

Tech Specs:

A very big notebook, with performance to match – perfect for gaming on the go...

M a nufa c turer Distributer: O nline: RRP:

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Very powerful Big screen Great design

i7 2.6GHz CPU 16GB RAM 750GB HDD 250GB SSD 1GB VRAM

A sus A sus www.a sus.c om TB C

Pros • • • • •

• • • • • •

Cons • • • • •

Massive

Score

95 21


Portable Seagate GoFlex Satellite Mobile Wireless Storage

An extremely practical device

O Review

O

ne of the biggest failings with mobile devices like tablets and smart phones is that they have extremely limited storage capacities. This is a matter of necessity; while storage technology advances and miniaturisation improves on an almost daily basis, as things currently stand, you can’t make an iPad the size it is if you’re going to put a huge amount of storage in it. Seagate, though, have a solution, and it is great for people who are on the go, but cannot leave their entertainment (or files) behind. The Seagate GoFlex Satellite is a large storage device that will form the perfect companion for the entertainment junkie’s iOS or Android device. Essentially, this is a portable hard drive, and we have seen tons of those. But what makes the GoFlex special is that it is also a Wi-Fi device.

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We don’t mean that it can only hook up to a Wi-Fi network – rather, this nifty gadget creates its own Wi-Fi hotspot, to which your iOS or Android devices can connect. That means streaming video on demand, without killing the storage on your tablet for a handful of movies. You will be able to connect to the GoFlex really easily, thanks to apps for both iOS and Android operating systems. That means easy access to all kinds f media, no matter where you are. And we really mean that. See, the GoFlex is a little bigger than the average portable hard drive for two reasons… the Wi-Fi, and the rechargeable batteries. These will provide you with up to five hours of battery life, which is not too shabby. And when the batteries run out, you can either charge it with direct current from a wall socket, or with the conveniently included

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Sanity by Rob Edwards

car charger. Armed with this device, a tablet or two and some headphones, those long car trips will be less painful as the kids can stay entertained for as long as the movies hold out. A tablet or two, we hear you ask? Yes. Actually, up to three – the GoFlex can stream content to up to three different devices at the same time – so the kids won’t be fighting about which movies they want to watch, either. In fact, we are willing to bet that there is no greater device for preserving a parent’s sanity on those aforementioned long drives. The only downside here is that you will need to download the apps. That’s not really a big deal at all when you consider the myriad uses that this device offers. And loading content really is as easy as plugging it into your PC (or Mac) and synching the required data. Now that’s practical thinking! g

Summary

Tech Specs:

How much would you give for peace and quiet on those long trips? Or reliable portable media?

M a nufa c turer Distributer: O nline: RRP:

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Great idea Easy to use Recharging options

500GB Wi-Fi Rechargable iOS Android

Sea g a te Rec tron www.rec tron.c o.za R2499

Pros • • • • •

• • • • • •

Cons • • • • •

5 hour battery life

Score

88 23


No Noise! Other than the noise you want

Review

Asus Vulcan Pro Active-Noise-Cancelling Pro Gaming Headset

T T

he number one gripe that anyone using a printer regularly has comes down to the often exorbitant cost of replacement ink cartridges. The semi-joke that is cheaper to just replace the printer has some truth to it… in some cases, this would really be cheaper. But there is a general move in the printer industry to change this idea, and HP are one of the companies at the forefront of that drive. Their new Ink Advantage range of printers is intended to introduce better ink pricing for those that use their products, provided they have a compatible printer. The trade-off is that the printers are generally a bit more expensive but, in the long run, this works out better for the consumer. The HP Ink Advantage 5525 is part of this range, and offers the end-user a printer that is not only better in terms of running costs, but is also very easy to use. HP haven’t dumbed the printer down, though – rather, they have created a very friendly device. In terms of economy, the 5525 uses four individual ink cartridges, which automatically makes more financial sense. But HP are also claiming that you can print as many as twice the number of pages at the same cost, which makes even more sense. While conditions vary, we did find that the cartridges lasted longer than expected, even when printing full colour, high resolution images. The 5525 also allows for double sided printing, which not only looks spiffy, but also means less paper gets used… cost effective and environmentally friendly. Speaking of friendly, the 5525 is designed to make the user’s life as easy as possible. It allows for scanning, printing and copying, as well as scanning to email. There is no fax functionality, which shouldn’t be a problem for the majority of users. In addition, the device allows for ePrinting and web-connectivity. The latter feature allows apps for the printer to be downloaded. All controls are handled by a 2.65 inch touch screen mounted on the front of the printer. In terms of design, it is a rather nice looking device. The omission of a document feeder means that it is a bit smaller than the average HP all-in-one, and the designers obviously played to that compact idea as much as they could. It is sleeker, rather than big and bulky, which makes for a nice change. On the whole, the new technology and clever ideas worked into the 5525 make it a reliable, cost effective and easy-to-use device. How cost effective it will be in the long run remains to be seen, but we feel pretty confident in predicting that this new technology will certainly prove pocket-friendly, too. g

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Y

by Walt Pretorius

Y

ou can’t beat a great set of headphones. They are one of the most useful devices around, because they provide personal audio for a great many activities. But a large focus for headphones has become the video gaming arena, particularly when it comes to PC based games. A great number of advances have been made in headphone technology thanks to this activity, and the market for gaming-specific headphones is very strong indeed. Here in South Africa we don’t often see products like headphones from Asus (we are more used to their PC components and laptops) but their Vulcan Pro headset is locally available, and is well worth considering when you make your next headset purchase. The headset looks really impressive, finished in black and red. It can be folded up and transported in a sturdy carry case, provided with the headset. The carry case also has space for the removable microphone, as well as the cables needed to connect the headset to your PC. This is really the only downside of the device – it is not wireless. But the cable length is generous, and an included cable management system makes is fairly easy to control. The headset can be plugged directly into the PC, or into the cables, driver-free USB audio processor. This really is the best option, as it allows for the extended audio functionality – including virtual surround sound – to be used. It does add a bit of cable length, but the ease of being able to process audio in different ways, just at the press of a button on the unit, makes it worth it. An in-line volume control and mic-mute switch are situated on the cable that plugs into the headset, so the user will have that control whether using the audio processor or not. Another big bonus is that the Vulcan Pro makes use of active noise cancellation technology. That means the user can cut out the vast majority of external sound and really concentrate on their gaming. The ANC does affect bass response a little, though, so it is best used only when necessary. That said, it does make quite a difference… 85% of low frequency noise is eliminated, and things like the human voice and other environmental noise is greatly reduced. Most importantly, this headset delivers great audio performance. In addition, it is extremely comfortable to use, even for extended periods. Although it looks pretty big, it is very light in weight, and the head band and full ear cups are coated with memory foam (covered in breathable Japanese protein leather). Asus’ Vulcan Pro headset is a serious winner when it comes to gaming audio. The comfort, sound quality and USB processing all add significantly to getting great ingame sound. g

Summary

Tech Specs:

This is a great headset for those who take their PC gaming seriously

M a nufa c turer Distributer: O nline: RRP:

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Excellent audio Noise cancelling Audio modes

40mm neodymium driver Noise cancelling USB processor 326g Virtual 7.1 surround

A sus A sus www.a sus.c om TB C

Pros • • • • •

• • • • • •

Cons • • • • •

Cables...

Score

90 25


Shiny... LG LM9600 47 Inch Smart TV

A new direction

S Review

S

mart TVs are here to stay, even though they do seem a bit strange in the South African market, where very few homes have the level of internet connectivity and networking to take full advantage of the idea. And the technology is moving very quickly, zooming through generations faster than a greased pig. And with the new technology comes a number of new ideas in terms of functionality and design. LG’s LM9600 47” Smart TV, which also features their excellent Cinema 3D technology, is a good example of this. When you look at the unit, with its unusual stand and seriously skinny bezel, you can almost picture where the future of TV is going. The big, clear screen is surrounded by a bezel that is less than 10mm thick – which looks great. It would have looked better, though, if LG had stuck with their traditional matt black plastic

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look, rather than opting for a slightly anachronistic chrome finish. Additionally, the manufacturer – for some strange reason – decided to move away from the matt screen finish, and made this one shiny. I have always been a fan of those matt screens, found in LG TVs and monitors. I hope this is not a new direction… Armed with Nano LED technology, the image is clear and bright, with good colour reproduction. There was a little ghosting happening from time to time, from different input sources, which is a little concerning. Then again, it might be the unit we reviewed – it would be something you should check for on a demo model. The LM9600 features a host of inputs, including direct USB input and external HDD compatibility. These are great features, making viewing media from external sources a breeze. And with LG’s 2D to 3D technology, viewing family photos on this TV can be fun. Don’t expect

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by Walt Pretorius

miracles, but it does work. The TV, aside from its host of Smart TV applications and other bells and whistles, ships with passive 3D glasses and two remotes. The first remote is a standard one, while the other is an improved, motion sensitive unit that is quite cool to use, when you get used to it. On the whole, this is not a bad TV, but it certainly is not the best one we have seen from LG. With the exceptional quality that LG generally delivers, the LM9600’s few shortcomings become a bit more disappointing than they should be. And thanks to the Smart TV component’s higher price point, this is exacerbated even more. It’s not a bad TV, and when compared to similar units from other manufacturers, it stands up well. But when compared to LG TVs available at a better price point, the extra expense seems unnecessary. g

Summary

Tech Specs:

While it performs well enough, this isn’t the best TV we have seen from LG

M a nufa c turer Distributer: O nline: RRP:

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Excellent 3D Good colouR

47 inch screen Cinema 3D Smart TV Nano LED technology 2 remotes included

LG LG www.lg e.c om R21 999

Pros • • • • •

• • • • • •

Cons • • • • •

Retro? Not the finest LG TV

Score

79 27


Evolution Getting there will take time…

SanDisk Extreme 120GB Solid State Drive

by Rob Edwards

S Review

S

olid state drives are a massive step forward for technology, opening all kinds of opportunities for numerous exciting applications. And, of course, they bring a lot of advantages when used in your computer; more stability, less noise, less heat and all that kind of stuff. The thing is, though, that they need to play catch-up in terms of storage capacity. Stability and speed are all good and well, but a lot of people are still going to stick with their old disc-based HDDs, on the basis that they are bigger and haven’t given problems in the past. Take, for example, this 120GB solid state drive from SanDisk. It performs beautifully, when all is said and done, but the small storage capacity and higher price point may well drive people away. It is still early days for the whole solid state thing, and the rate of advancement is fast. We’re sure SanDisk will still be producing great SSDs when the capacities are higher. g

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Summary

Tech Specs:

Solid state drives like this one are a great idea, but they still have a way to go...

M a nufa c turer Distributer: O nline: RRP:

Fast Reliable Cool

120GB SSD 2.5 inch SATA 6gb/s

Sa nDisk Tudor Tec h www.sa ndisk.c om R1 299

Pros • • • • •

• • • • • •

Cons • • • • •

Not enough storage space

Score

79


Philips Fidelio Docking Station for Android

The Other K

D

A docking station for Android phones

Review

D

ocking station! The second you read that you thought “iPod”, right? You would be excused for that kind of thinking, too, because it seems that Apple’s devices have not only infiltrated the minds of consumers, but also the minds of people making the products that they buy. Generally, if you find a docking station on a shelf, it’s for an i-device. Not so, say Philips. The Philips Fidelio Docking Speaker for Android isn’t for iPods (the name might, just maybe, have given you a clue there.) With so many big name manufacturers completely brainwashed into thinking that the iPod is the only device out there, it is nice to see one of them coming up with an alternative option. But there is a problem in that, too. See, while this Fidelio is an alternative, it doesn’t allow for alternatives. Last month we looked at Philips’ Sound Tower, which

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you could plug pretty much anything in to. The Fidelio, though, is for people who have Android phones. Not Android devices, mind you, but specifically Android phones armed with a mini USB jack. There is no form of other input, so if you’re planning to use anything else with the Fidelio, well… a comment about being unfortunate and excrement comes to mind. Unless, of course, you use Bluetooth. That’s an option for other types of phones and devices. While a physical connection isn’t possible, at least there is that. If you have a compatible Android or Bluetooth device, the Fidelio is a great option. It offers excellent sound quality, which is something that one would expect from Philips. There are advantages to that direct physical connection, though, that make it the perfect option for those with Android smart phones. For example, the phone can, to a degree, be controlled from the device (at least

gladget23


Kind by Alex Scanlon

in terms of volume) and it charges while plugged in. There is also an Android specific Fidelio app, making it easier to use. The attractive unit is basically a large round speaker base with basic controls and a dock built into the top. The dock itself is fully adjustable, meaning a secure place to hook up your phone, no matter what configuration it has. The front of the device features a discrete, old fashioned LED display, too, with adjustable brightness levels. Power is provided by a wall socket adapter. Had the Fidelio been a little less specific in terms of inputs and compatible devices, it would be a near perfect option. Its stylish design makes it usable in virtually any environment, and the great sound quality that it delivers makes one wish that it was just a little more versatile. Still, as it stands, it is a more than decent option for Android phone users. g

Summary

Tech Specs: • • • • • •

This alternative to iPod docking is perfect for Android smart phone owners.

M a nufa c turer Distributer: O nline: RRP:

Philips Philips www.philips.c om R1 299

Pros • • • • •

gladget23

Looks good Good sound

Micro USB port Adjustable dock Bluetooth LED display 4W RMS

Cons • • • • •

Limited

Score

79 31


Lots of Bac Asus Sabertooth 990FX R2.0 Motherboard

A fast, cool, stable AMD motherboard

A Review

A

good motherboard is essential for effective computing. It’s a fact. But there are many good motherboards out there, so choosing the right one can be tricky. And because they generally all deliver excellent performance, one needs to start looking at special features when selecting the perfect device. There are certain brands, though, that can generally be relied on for excellent results, and Asus is one of them. With a strong focus not only on quality products, but also on enthusiast-level features, Asus motherboards normally deliver excellent performance. And the Sabertooth 990FX R2.0 is no different. If you prefer your processor to be AMD flavoured, this is an excellent option. Using an AMD AM3+ socket, this board provides excellent stability and very good performance. And it looks the part, too, moving away from the more “fun” bright colours towards down-toned

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neutral hues. Then again, looks aren’t what are important for a motherboard (not really). It is the kind of components used, and the technology built into the device. The Sabertooth makes use of CeraM!X cooling technology, which provides a larger heat dissipation area (thanks to surface irregularities on a microscopic level) and uses non-traditional materials to get rid of heat faster. This is supported by a heat sensing system that automatically adjusts fan speeds when critical areas of the motherboard need extra cooling. And it really does run a lot cooler than expected, which is never a bad thing. Military standard components add longevity to the device, particularly for overclockers. Here, too, the Sabertooth excels, with extremely good technology to help squeeze every available ounce of performance out of the board. Digi+ Power Control technology monitors voltages to ensure stability, allowing for extremely precise tuning of the CPU and RAM.

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Even working with the BIOS is easy with this board, thanks to a mouse driven interface. And flashing the BIOS is simple, too, with systems that allow new BIOS updates to be tested before they are applied, and even letting the user roll back BIOS updates if they need to. The board is generous with USB and other ports, and includes on-board eight channel audio. This device is a rather serious motherboard. While it will serve the more casual user perfectly, it has a lot of appeal for enthusiasts. Overclockers will be able to tweak to their heart’s content, and always keep the board updated and running smoothly. The excellent heat dissipation and strong components are massive bonuses too. In fact, there are numerous features and bonuses on offer with this board that not only improve performance, but also provide peace of mind. It is stable, effective and quick, at the end of the day, and a very good option to consider. g

by Rob Edwards

ckbone

Summary

Tech Specs:

Tis board is great for enthusiasts and hobbyists alike, with tons of excellent features.

M a nufa c turer Distributer: O nline: RRP:

gladget23

Stable Easy BIOS systems Runs cool

AMD AM3+ TUF components Thermal radar CeraM!X technology Multi-GPU support 8 channel audio

A sus A sus www.a sus.c om TB C

Pros • • • • •

• • • • • •

Cons • • • • •

Not the cheapest board around

Score

92 33


Hands-

Review

Logitech Speaker Stand for iPad

More than just a docking station‌

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Free! I by Alex Scanlon

I

t seems that almost everyone has climbed aboard the iWagon, producing peripherals for use with – generally – Apple’s iPod. But there are a growing number of devices being made to be used with the iPad, and Logitech have secured their position as a strong contender in that particular playing field. Thanks to the wild popularity of the iPad, devices that work with the tablet have a very viable appeal to a large market, so Logitech’s move into this arena is a sensible one. The Speaker Stand for iPad is something of an unusual device, because we haven’t seen a huge number of docking stations for the tablet yet. We have seen keyboards and external speakers, even cases with extended functionality, but a dock like this is still fairly original. Quite simply, it allows the user to dock their tablet and, as a result, make use of excellent sound (as one would expect from Logitech.) But this device goes beyond just improved audio, and the creative user will find many ways that it can improve their tablet computing experience. See, the Speaker Stand has a large bracket that holds the iPad, with an interface port at the bottom. This bracket can be rotated 90 degrees, allowing either a portrait or landscape orientation of the tablet. Further, it can be angled according to the user’s needs. This gives the user a great number of angles at which they can position their iPad while it is docked, and the bracket does not interfere with the screen at all. It offers, therefore, a stable and solid ‘hands-free’ solution for using the iPad, in addition to charging the tablet while it is docked, and delivering great sound. From watching movies, listening to music and playing games, through to surfing the web and typing up notes, the Speaker Stand is a great companion. It makes tablet computing a lot easier, and even more enjoyable. Even reading an ebook is better with this stand. The bracket and arm are mounted atop a sturdy base, which houses the speakers and volume controls in the front. The device can get fairly loud, too, without much distortion at all. Around the back is the power port, as well as a ort for a 3.5mm jack, which allows other devices (like MP3 players) to be used with the Speaker Stand as well. Although it is fairly focussed in its functionality, the Speaker Stand is excellent if you own an iPad. The only thing that would have made it better is if you could have connected to your PC via the device. But we can’t always have everything we want and, aside from this minor complaint, it really is a great tool. g

Summary

Tech Specs:

A great sound solution for iPad, as well as a really handy device for tablet computing.

M a nufa c turer Distributer: O nline: RRP:

gladget23

Sturdy Hands-free iPad! Good sound

iPad compatible 3.5mm jack Fully positionable Recharges iPad 6W RMS

Log itec h Log itec h www.log itec h.c om R699

Pros • • • • •

• • • • • •

Cons • • • • •

Need to get an iPad first...

Score

82 35


Work H It’s all about printing

S

Review

Epson WorkForce WF-7015 Printer

S

mall and sleek is all good and well, but it doesn’t really inspire confidence as far as heavy workloads are concerned. And neither should it – we think of small and sleek when we consider personal devices, not work. So when you take the Epson WorkForce WF-7015 printer out of its box, you won’t be confused. This massive printer is designed to work hard. Part of Epson’s new WorkForce range of inkjet printers, the WF-7015 is perfect for businesses that have a fair share of printing to do. It comes armed with dual paper trays and can produce a page of black printing in around four seconds. That’s fifteen black pages per minute, and around five full colour in the same time period. The dual trays will hold up to five hundred sheets of paper between the two, so you won’t be reloading paper all the time, either. And it prints A3 sheets, too. All of that solidifies the fact that this is a work-horse, perfect for a business network. It features Ethernet and Wi-Fi connectivity, too, and makes use of long lasting Durabrite Ultra inks. It’s work place focus is further enhanced by the fact that this device is a printer, and nothing more. It is made for printing, and eschews faxing, scanning and copying in favour of reliable print performance. Another aspect that makes it great for the work place is that it is extremely simple to use – even the office village idiot will be fine using it. The interface on the printer itself features ink level warnings and very simple controls. The performance that the WF-7015 delivers is great. It is quick and efficient, which forms part of the direction that Epson is taking with this range of printers. It’s faster than a laser-jet, which many companies opt for, and the durable inks mean that prints last longer and are less resistant to things like liquid spills (one of the reasons why inkjets aren’t very popular in the work place). In addition, it uses individual colour cartridges, which work out to be more economical in the long run. Epson have, in this printer, created a viable workplace inkjet alternative. The lack of multiple functions to take a little appeal way from the device but, then again, focussed devices are preferred by many. The large paper load, A3 capabilities and economic operation of this device make sense, but it does belong in the kind of environment that would require this type of device. It is not compact at all, and an office that needs scanning and copying as well will need even more space, because the WF-7015 won’t provide those. But if you have the right kind of environment, and require a printer that will breeze through a heavy work-load effortlessly, it’s a strong contender. g

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Horse

by Walt Pretorius

Summary

Tech Specs:

If you’re looking for an economical printing workhorse, here it is...

M a nufa c turer Distributer: O nline: RRP:

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Quick Good print quality Economical

Inkjet A3 printing 500 sheets Durabrite Ultra inks Individual ink cartridges Wi-Fi

Epson Epson www.epson.c o.za R1 709

Pros • • • • •

• • • • • •

Cons • • • • •

Big Only one function

Score

80 37


Super-sized! Bigger screen, same hardware

N Review

N

intendo are well known for releasing new versions of existing hardware fairly regularly. It is a system that seems to work rather well for the mega-corporation and, with the release of the newest version of 3DS, it doesn’t look like they’re going to stop the trend any time soon. So what makes the 3DS XL something you may want to look at purchasing? Well, as the name implies, it’s bigger. Quite a lot bigger, in fact, with screen sizes that are almost double the size of the original. At 90% bigger, the screen does make the gaming experience a lot better. Other than that, though, it’s pretty much the same hardware that we saw before. So if you want your 3D images to be larger (and consequently more impressive) then this is a great option for you… particularly if you don’t own an older version of the 3DS. g

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by Walt Pretorius

Summary

Tech Specs:

Aside from a much larger screen, it really is the same spec as before.

M a nufa c turer Distributer: O nline: RRP:

gladget23

Nice big screen

90% larger screen SD card compatible 3D camera Power supply sold separately

Nintendo Core Group www.nintendo.c om R2 349

Pros • • • • •

• • • • • •

Cons • • • • •

Same hardware, just revamped

Score

80


Guild Wars 2

The Second Coming Awesome just isn’t strong enough a word…

by Walt Pretorius

R

similar experiences, but the way the game unfolds lets the player feel not only like a true hero, but like they are actually crafting a somewhat unique tale at the same time. Right from the start, as the player first enters the game world, they are giving numerous options for activities. There is a degree of grinding here, just like any MMO has, but this grinding is cleverly disguised in the form of numerous sub quests, random events and miscellaneous activities, all which support the player’s main story. The player will need to do these tasks, because the main story is rather demanding on having the right level as you tackle each chapter, but it really doesn’t feel like a chore. And that, in MMO terms, is gold. Achievements and levels are gained while enjoying the game, not while laboriously killing the same wolf thirty times.

Review

eviewing an MMO is a tricky deal. These are games that takes months (if not years) to fully appreciate, rather than the standard few hours that most titles grant us. It seems that most reviewers are in agreement with this, because the reviews are appearing slowly, rather than in the mad rush that so often marks the release of a big game. It is a massive, sprawling game that offers so much for the player to do and experience that it is almost impossible to encapsulate everything in just over a thousand words… but we’re going to try. Developers ArenaNet obviously have very strong ideas about the whole MMO thing, and they show very clearly right from the start of the game. One of those ideas is giving players a personalised experience. Sure, there are thousands of players that will have

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Starting out, the player creates a character, which will take up one of five character slots that they have at their disposal. There are five races available; Humans, giant Norn, feline Charr, diminutive Asura and the elflike tree-folk, Sylvari. After selecting race and sex, the player then has a choice of eight character classes: elementalist, warrior, guardian, engineer, thief, Mesmer, necromancer and ranger. After that, the player will tweak their character’s appearance in a surprisingly versatile character creation system, before making a number of back-story choices, based on race and class. The variety available is already staggering at this point, and you haven’t even clicked your mouse in anger once yet. The player’s starting point and initial story are determined by many of these choices. That said, each starting area has several common tasks and quests

available and, as the massive world unfolds before the player, even more become available. It is roughly at this point that Guild Wars 2 starts showing off. The initial few moments of play may well be overwhelming to the player, who simply has so much to choose from. Aside from a short initial mission, which serves to introduce the character and player to the world, there is a huge amount of potential laid bare, even at the earliest stages of the game. The player can start taking on side quests or participating in random events. They can try out their main story quests. Or they can run around gathering resources, gaining experience, taking out enemies and completing all the exploration tasks that each section of the world has on offer. They can pay attention to their daily achievement goals, or can simply just revel in the joy of the world and the game. It’s not

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to guild leaders to at least try and provide players with what they want. I could go on about everything you can do in the game, but that could take forever. Rather, let’s move on to playing the game itself. The first impression that Guild Wars 2 makes lasts; visually, it is a very pretty game. Yes, we’ve seen better, but not in MMOs. The world is rich and detailed, from characters right through to environments. This is supported by decent voice acting and a user interface that is less confusing and a little fancier (in terms of looks) than many other MMOs have on offer. The control system is what one would expect from an MMO, although the controls are generally more responsive, and the ‘hot button’ based combat systems seems to have a better flow than before.

Review

quite “sky is the limit” from the word go, but it comes close. And, as the player gains levels and discovers new areas, even more options become available. The character can gain experience in artisan levels, including armour smithing, weapon smithing, cooking, tailoring and so on. And then, of course, there are guild activities, like world vs world, PvP, PvE and more. The guilds are central to the game, as the name implies, and membership in one has many advantages. Guilds are complex structures, of course, and activities may not always be to the player’s liking in a particular guild. However, in this instalment, players can belong to more than one guild, choosing who to represent at which time. Representing a guild means that the player contributes to the power of the guild, so it is up

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The experience, in short, is very enjoyable. These are still early days for Guild Wars 2, though, and a problem or two have arisen with the service. However, ArenaNet’s fast response time and tendency to communicate with users show that they are not only on the ball, but they actually care about those who are playing their game. That just makes the experience even better. Guild Wars 2, in its current state, is a strong contender for becoming the top dog in the MMO pack. It delivers an excellent gaming experience in MMO terms, complete with lots of activities, and an effective way to deal with server load (in the form of very effective overflow servers). Not only that, but Guild Wars 2 is, like the original game, free to play. That’s huge, particularly when considering the high quality of this title.

The potential that Guild Wars 2 holds, considering the first few days of full operation and the obvious care that ArenaNet are putting into the title, is simply unparalleled in the MMO market. The new ideas and high quality that the game delivers is fantastic, and the free-to-play model (balanced out by a team that obviously gives two hoots about the community) are simply awesome. If you are an MMO fan, you should be playing this game. If you want a massive game to help you create a rich, character driven story, you should be playing this game. If you want to be part of an already massive online community who are enjoying a host of activities in a vast and varied wold, you should be laying this game. It really is that simple. Guild Wars 2 is everything we hoped for, and more – and it can only get better. g

AT A GLANCE: Genre:

MMO

Reviewed on:

PC

Similar to: MaxPlayers Developer: Publisher: Distributer:

The Secret World, World of WarCraft Local

0

Network

Online MMO

ArenaNet NC Soft Megarom

Parental Advisory

12+ gladget23

0

Violence Language Sex Drug Use Prejudice

Accessibility Hard-Core Medium Casual

Platforms

Guild Wars 2 delivers players the kind of experience that all other MMOs could learn from. And it’s free-to-play...

PC X360 Kinect

PS3 Move

Wii PSV DS 3DS

Score

96 43


I S S U E 3 9 / Vo l . 4 September 2012

w w w. g a m e c c a m ag . c o m

Guild Wars 2 Darksiders 2 Sleeping Dogs New Super Mario Bros 2 and more...

Being Death Darksiders 2 rides out

To the Rescue Super Mario goes 3D

Massive! Guild Wars 2 is finally here...

Free Online Mag


www.gameccamag.com Taking fun seriously!


Sleeping Dogs

The Mean Streets Taking on Hong Kong

by Walt Pretorius

T

birth) after spending most of his life in San Francisco. Wei is a cop, but he also has ties with members of the Sun On Yee, a powerful triad operating in the city. No, he is not a crooked cop – he just grew up on the wrong side of the tracks. But his history with these mobsters makes him the perfect candidate for a risky undercover operation, infiltrating the Triad to bring it down. It’s not a totally original idea, no. It reminds one of the True Crime series, which was canned by Activision. And that’s pretty fine, because this game is actually the reincarnated True Crime: Hong Kong. The rights were bought by Square Enix after Activision dropped the title… other than the name, it’s the same thing. Comparisons to GTA are understandable, but are not really all that accurate, what with this more direct link. The game is a free roaming action title, which allows

Review

here are very few occasions when you read a game review in which the subject is not compared to other games. Sadly, this particular review will not fall into that rare category; Sleeping Dogs borrows ideas from a whole bunch of other games. But it does so relatively well, which is often the best one can say about the huge number of derivative games out there these days. OK, that sounds rather negative, but it isn’t meant to be. The derivative nature of the video game market is undeniable. Originality is becoming more and more rare. Rather, everything seems to be about improving on what has come before. And Sleeping Dogs manages to do this. Sleeping Dogs casts the player in the role of Wei Shen, recently returned to Hong Kong (the place of his

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the player to undertake all manner of activities. There are the main story missions, of course, which involve the investigation into the Triad. There are also cop missions, which allow the player to investigate other criminal activities. There are favours, which let the player gain valuable reputation. There are even loan collection and car theft missions. On top of all of those – which the player can undertake at their leisure, more or less – there are collectable items (which have an impact on the game, like increasing health, buffing attributes or allowing the character to learn new martial arts moves) and other challenges, like karaoke and car stunt leader boards, as well as street races. In short, there is a hell of a lot for the player to do. This is where Sleeping Dogs gets its longevity from – the playing around. The main story mission is not as long as

one would hope for, but pacing things and just messing around in the city add a lot of value to the game. Many of these activities spur character growth. Wei Shen has skills and perks in four categories: Triad, Cop, Martial Arts and Face (which is reputation). These four categories improve independently of each other. The player will be awarded points to spend in a particular category. In Cop, Triad and Martial Arts, he will have a choice between two new skills. Face has one skill for each level. Some of the other activities are tied in to missions, though – for example, a few of the collectable items can only be found during missions. But the game will allow the player to deviate from missions, even as far as doing a side quest while completing a main one, without resetting the main mission. That’s nice flow, in the end, and adds even more to the free-form feel of the title.

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well thought out and responsive. One other oddity does bear mention – the sprint button and action button are the same. So, in other words, you need to hold down the button to sprint, release and tap it to vault over an object, and then hold it again to keep sprinting. It takes some getting used to, just like a few other elements of Sleeping Dogs. But once you are there, the game becomes addictive and very entertaining. The presentation of the game is great. The graphics are good, and the voice acting (which combines English and Cantonese) is excellent. The Far East feel of the virtual Hong Kong is well presented, and the entire city is available to the player from the word go. Once you have explored a bit of it – and maybe managed to find a gun – Sleeping Dogs becomes an action packed playground

Review

The skill system is a decent idea, because the player will improve in the fields that they are most active in. And this improvement is very necessary, because the early stages of the game will be frustrating for most. In fact, I spoke to a few people who played this game, and they all agree: in order to really enjoy Sleeping Dogs, you have to tough out the first few hours. A large amount of this frustration comes from the melee combat. Guns aren’t common in Hong Kong, and the game reflects this. But the combat system can be really tricky, and the player will likely have to redo fights every now and then. The system is very simple, using minimal buttons to build up a combo idea. But timing can be tricky, and the player’s character is very fragile. Other than melee combat, the controls are generally

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that will suck you in and keep you exploring and fighting for hours. The city doesn’t seem anywhere near crowded enough, though… then again, too many characters walking around the streets would have made the game a lot more difficult. The plot is fairly good, too, but while it hints at the emotional turmoil that Wei Shen is undergoing during the operation, this aspect of the tale could have been turned up a notch or two. Still, it’s good entertainment, and features a number of eccentric characters for the player to interact with. If John Woo ever made a movie starring Bruce Lee, and they made a decent video game of that project, this would be it. Car chases (with a decent shooting-while-driving system) street fights, gun battles and crazy stunts abound in Sleeping Dogs. There is no

multiplayer, other than leader boards, but the game would likely not work well with more than one player anyway, other than things like street races. It will require patience, though. The true joy of this game takes a few hours to discover, as said before. Setting it aside after a little frustration would be a true crime (see what I did there) because it evolves from being an OK game to a good game a few hours in. Adjust your thinking a little, and get used to the control system. Then you’re A-OK, and enjoying a compelling game, to boot. If driving around causing chaos is your bag, then Sleeping Dogs is a good bet; with so much to do, including many amusing mini-games (even for action like lock picking a code breaking) it offers something for virtually any taste. g

AT A GLANCE: Action Adventure

Reviewed on:

Although the first few hours can be frustrating, Sleeping Dogs is an awesome, action packed free-roaming title. Similar to: MaxPlayers Developer: Publisher: Distributer:

True Crime, Grand Theft Auto Local

1

Network

Online

0

United Front Games Square Enix Megarom

Parental Advisory

18+ gladget23

0

Violence Language Sex Drug Use Prejudice

Accessibility Hard-Core Medium Casual

X360 Platforms

Genre:

PC X360 Kinect

PS3 Move

Wii PSV DS 3DS

Score

83 49


Darksiders II

Strange Eons Death rides out, and deals some… um, death.

by Walt Pretorius

T

all on his own and damning humanity. This landed the rider in rather hot water, resulting in his meaner brother, Death (because war doesn’t necessarily kill you, but death always does) to ride out and try and redeem him. His plan: to resurrect humanity. Not very Death-like, really, but neither is finding redemption for someone. All in all, it’s an odd concept, and the mythology behind this new game (which expands upon that created in the first Darksiders) liberally borrows from ideas in the Christian Bible, and messes with them completely. The origin of the Nephilim, for example, has been altered, as well as the origins of the Four Horsemen. Then again, this game isn’t a Bible lesson, so… poetic license and all that, right? I will stop being such a stickler for tradition. Death’s adventure takes him through various different

Review

he Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse - War, Death, Famine and Pestilence – are once again… oh, wait. Um, let’s try that again. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, War, Death, Fury and Strife… OK, wait, hang on. I am all for poetic license, but if you’re going to use a concept as widely known as the Four Horsemen, surely you need to stick to tradition? Not according to developers Vigil, who have summarily changed a centuries old concept for some or other reason. Whatever that may be doesn’t really matter, I guess, because in Darksiders II it is Death that matters. And Death is pretty traditional. In the previous game, War rode out and caused all kinds of trouble, pretty much launching the Apocalypse

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realms as he searches for a way to resurrect humanity (with references to all kinds of mythologies). In these realms, he needs to face obstacles, overcome puzzles and destroy thousands of enemies to get to where he needs to go. That, quite simply is what a game like this should have on offer. Darksiders II is lots of fun, sometimes almost despite itself. It treads a fine line between brilliance and disappointment, with elements that fall in both directions. First off, the game world is huge, offering a far longer gaming experience than the original. That’s a brilliant aspect. But the action gets rather repetitive before long, and the realms also lack large amounts of variety. Disappointment. That kind of ‘plus-and-minus’ enters into almost every aspect of the game, resulting in a title that

most will enjoy, some will love, and some will hate. The major difference between Darksiders II and the original game is the very nature of it. Where War’s adventure was really all about killing lots of things, Darksiders II leads Death down a different kind of path. This time around, the focus has shifted slightly away from combat, thanks to the introduction of role-playing style elements. Death will gain levels throughout the course of the game, along with skill points that can be spent in one of two skill trees. In addition, Death will gain new useful items during his adventures, including a huge number of very cool weapons. Some of these can even be upgraded with skill levels of their own, which allows the player to – to a degree – create a weapon that better suits their purpose. With the greater focus on adventure-type gaming, the

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case that the player will be kicking themselves for not seeing the obvious path sooner. There are a few challenges that take inventive thinking, but they are the exception rather than the rule. The game’s combat is also a mixed bag. General enemies are plentiful, but they do not require much more than button mashing to wade through. On the other hand, the game feature some epic boss battles that will have the player scratching their head to figure out the bad guy’s weaknesses. These boss battles are where Darksiders II shines, because they are fun and often very challenging. They can punish the player a bit, though, with unskippable cut-scenes drawing the process out a little too much from time to time. A lot of the game’s charm comes from its presentation.

Review

player can expect maze-like levels and lots of fetchingand-carrying. In fact, there is too much of the latter. Virtually every mission will have Death running around looking for a bunch of items before he gets down to business. This aspect of the game can get a little annoying, when all is said and done. Another annoyance stems from the levels themselves. They tend towards movement-puzzles. The kind of thing where you have to flip that lever over there to unlock this door, which will allow you to access that pressure plate to lower the platform, which will get you to the section where you have to wall run to get to the next lever. You know what I am talking about. For the most part, these stages tend to be more time consuming than challenging, and even when they do get tougher, often it will be the

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Although the graphics are not quite what we had hoped they would be, they are still good, and the overall art direction is excellent. Added to that is very good voice acting, particularly for the droll and sometimes snide character of Death – who you can’t help but liking, despite the fact that he is the embodiment of mortality. Darksiders II did not escape issues. There are a number of bugs that crop up momentarily in this title, as is often the case with games that are so massive in scope. They are little more than minor annoyances, though, and the player will be able to deal with them more often than not. The slightly dodgy camera is by far the worst of them, but it is by no means ruinous. In fact, none of Darksiders II’s problems could be called that. It is one of those games that, even if it takes you

to the heights of controller-smashing frustration, you will still go back to time and again. It might be a little too ambitious, with many of its shortcomings the direct result of the fact that it is simply too big, but the overall experience is really rather fun. It feels very different to the previous game, moving away from the blasted earth to varied realms, and the heightened focus on adventure may be a little disconcerting to fans of the previous title. But when all is said and done, this is a very entertaining title indeed. The lead character is cool, the action is intense – particularly during boss battles – and the puzzles will, at times, get you scratching your head. Vigil may have missed a few marks here, but this is a very interesting – and entertaining – step for the franchise. One cannot help but wonder what the inevitable sequel will bring to the table. g

AT A GLANCE: Action Adventure

Reviewed on:

X360

It may have a few flaws, but Darksiders II presents an interesting new route for the franchise. Similar to: MaxPlayers Developer: Publisher: Distributer:

Darksiders, Soul Reaver Local

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Accessibility Hard-Core Medium Casual

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New Super Mario Bros. 2

Same Again

OK, this ‘kidnapping Peach’ plotline is getting old… by Walt Pretorius

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ideas behind the title are exactly the same as any other Mario title. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it… that is how the old saw goes and, quite frankly, in the case of the platform-style Mario game, they aren’t broken. But does this kind of game dynamic – addictive as it is – appeal to a newer generation. Sure, Mario has tons of tradition behind it, but evolution is also important, and these games are feeling more than a little like rehashed formulas. This one in particular. Perhaps it is time for the developers to do a little more than add shiny new elements to the game. Purists may well strongly disagree, but in the case of this release in particular, things are starting to feel just a little old. Not that the game isn’t fun. Far from it, in fact; New Super Mario Bros. 2 is as enjoyable and addictive as any

Review

ew franchises can claim the longevity of the Mario series. In fact, I am willing to wager that no other series of video games has the rich variety, number of releases and well-entrenched recognisability of these games. And we have seen Mario everywhere. But the real core of the franchise is the platforming action that made him famous. So it is hardly surprising that Nintendo produces games the hail back to those early days. New Super Mario Bros. 2 is the second title to carry the word “new” in its name but, in essence, while these two games have offered a few new ideas, the core game dynamics have not changed since the first time Mario collected a coin. That, when you get down to it, is actually a bit worrying. Sure, there are concepts like new suits for the Italian plumber to wear, but the core

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Super Mario Bros game in the past. Princess Peach has, predictably, been kidnapped (that chick really needs better home security) and Mario and Luigi undertake her recue. This is done by running through numerous platform based worlds, each of which has several levels and two boss castles. The boss battles are probably the easiest in any Mario title yet, and the whole thing feels simpler than before. That said, the player won’t necessarily breeze through the title, as there are more than enough challenging stages around. A great emphasis has been placed on gold this time around, and the game keeps an overall tally of coins collected, urging the player to try for one million coins. Every now and then the coin tally unlocks new aspects of the game, too. In addition, there are power-ups that turn enemies into

hyper-gold-producing types, a gold brick for Mario to wear on his head (during which time he spawns gold coins) and tons of other things that make coins more important than ever in this outing. Players who prefer to take the challenge on with a friend can engage in co-op gaming, but the camera and viewing angles aren’t very friendly in this respect; independent views would have been nice, but no-go here. The sadest aspect here, though, is that the 3D element of the game is almost entirely window dressing. You might as well just turn it off and save yourself some potential eye strain. In fact, the game looks better with the 3D turned off. Despite its problems, this is an extremely fun and addictive game. Yes, the franchise needs a bit of refreshing… as long as they don’t lose the fun. g

AT A GLANCE: Platform

Reviewed on:

3DS

It’s great fun to play, but the franchise is starting to show it age... Similar to: MaxPlayers Developer: Publisher: Distributer:

New Super Mario Bros. Local

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Nintendo Nintendo Core Group

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Violence Language Sex Drug Use Prejudice

Accessibility Hard-Core Medium Casual

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Wii PSV DS 3DS

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DVD SEEN

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The Hunger Games The Hunger Games is based on the novels of the same name, and so is the first film in a series. I admit that I rolled my eyes a little at first, but was pleasantly surprised by the movie as a whole. Set in a strange vision of the future, Panem (the country that was once the USA) demands tributes from the districts that rose in revolt many years before. These tributes are in the form of one teenage boy and girl from each territory, who must then compete in a brutal reality TV show called The Hunger Games. In this show, there can only be one winner, and losing means death. When her sister is chosen as tribute, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers to take her place, relying on her abilities as a hunter and woodsman in this most dangerous game. The Hunger Games presents an odd future, almost reminiscent of ancient Rome, in which a spoiled and decadent upper class draw enjoyment from gladiatorial games and bloodshed. On the surface it is very entertaining, but this well-made film has many messages floating around, too. Whether it is an important film is debatable, but it gets you thinking, at very least. And as the first of a series, The Hunger Games does well to set up for what’s to come. g

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DIRECTOR: Gary Ross DISTRIBUTOR: Nu Metro

FPB Rating: 16V Score

STARRING: Jennifer Lawrence Josh Hutcherson Woody Harrelson

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Puncture

A hunter working in Alaska, protecting his oil company co-workers from wolves, is a loner - all he has are his memories. While trying to get home after a long shift, the flight that he and his co-workers are on goes through some bad weather and then crashes in the frozen countryside of Alaska. Stuck in one of the coldest places on earth, there’s not much you can do but survive for as long as you can. John Ottway (Liam Neeson) takes charge of the remaining survivors as they get ready to head out to find a way back to civilization, but the trek back is harder than they could ever have imagined… what with wolves hunting them down. Liam Neeson takes the lead and delivers a very good (as expected) performance, which dominates the film. Frank Grillo, playing Diaz, as well as a few other decent support roles, adds to the suspenseful movie. This is an interesting and bone chilling story, well written by Joe Carnaham, who also did an excellent job directing this film. But The Grey owes most to Neeson; without his appearance this movie wouldn’t be as great. g

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DIRECTOR: Joe Carnahan

DISTRIBUTOR: Ster Kinekor

FPB Rating: 16LV Score

STARRING: Liam Neeson Dermot Mulroney Frank Grillo

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A drug addicted lawyer (Chris Evans), partnered in a law firm together with a friend, takes on a case which a nurse brings to their attention. Her accident, and many others, wouldn’t have happened if the hospital used a “safety needle” which the Medical Department refuses to utilise. These safety needles can save hundreds of thousands of lives but because of big corporations the hospitals can’t use them. Mike Weiss (Chris Evans) puts all his efforts into this case, hoping to crack open something bigger than just hospital policy. Taking drugs is Mike’s greatest asset but also his biggest down fall; can he keep it together and win this case before it’s too late? Fantastic 4 and Captain America star Chris Evans puts in decent performance, with good supporting roles from Marshall Bell, who takes on the role of the desperate creator of the safety needle, as well as actor and director Mark Kassen as Mike’s partner in the law firm. This film has a great script, too, and delivers a solid story dealing with a contentious topic. g

STARRING: Chris Evans Mark Kassen Vinessa Shaw

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DIRECTOR:

Adam & Mark Kassen

DISTRIBUTOR: Ster Kinekor

FPB Rating: 13LD Score

The Grey

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Brake

After a few nights out together Jonny and Elizabeth’s relationship seems to be on the rocks. When they have an argument Jonny leaves for the night, he ends up in a car accident. In the hospital, Elizabeth confesses her love to Jonny… and that’s the night that everything changes for him. Jonny wakes up the next day with life changing news: Seth a friend of the family has turned him into vampire to save his life. After a bit of training Seth and Jonny become good friends, and now Jonny has a second chance at life… and another chance with Elizabeth. Elizabeth is not surprised that Jonny has been turned into a vampire, or the fact that they exist. At first the acting is not that good but does get slightly better as the film progresses. There were no standout performances or anything else to make this movie great. Although this is not a blockbuster film it does have a few good elements to it. It is a tragic Romeo and Juliet love story with vampires… not that we needed another one. g

DIRECTOR: Brad Ellis DISTRIBUTOR: Ster Kinekor

FPB Rating: 16VLS Score

STARRING: Matthew Stiller Rachel Miles Allen Gardner

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A man wakes up trapped in a dark place, thinking it’s related to a gambling debt he hasn’t paid yet. Secret Service Agent Jeremy Reins is locked up in a box, in the trunk of a car, and is being manipulated to divulge secrete information about the American government and the President. While the clock the clock counts down he doesn’t have much time to get out of a rather complicated and dangerous situation. It’s now up to him to save his wife, country and himself before the clock runs out. A thriller that gets better as the film progresses, Brake is mostly filmed in the back of the car. Considering this, the cinematography isn’t too bad. Stuck in the back of the car, Stephen Dorff does a great job going through all the emotions as well as delivering an allround good performance. Armed with a few twists towards the end, while watching Brake you’ll never know who’s telling the truth, or how the film is going to end. g

STARRING: Stephen Dorff Chyler Leigh Tom Berenger

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DIRECTOR: Gabe Torres DISTRIBUTOR: Ster Kinekor

FPB Rating: 13LV Score

Daylight Fades

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21 Jump Street

After a school yard altercation, the parents of the two boys involved in the fight get together to discuss the situation. What starts out as a cordial, if tense, meeting soon devolves into a really ugly situation, as the two couples become increasingly aggressive with each other... and then the cracks really start showing. Based on a play called God of Carnage, this film is touted as a comedy, and in some ways it is… but in an emotionally black sense. The four characters, beautifully played by Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz and John C Reilly, are masterfully directed by legend Roman Polanski. The end result is a film that is utterly convincing, despite how ridiculous the situation gets. An excellent cast, a strong premise and brilliant film making combine in Carnage. The only downside is that this film has very limited appeal. Although it is brilliantly made, it is aimed at a more art-oriented viewer, who can see past what might be a somewhat mundane premise to the artistry of the film making process that it displays. Action fans need not apply. g

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DIRECTOR: an Polanski

DISTRIBUTOR: Nu Metro

FPB Rating: 13L Score

STARRING: Jodie Foster Kate Winslet Christoph Waltz John C. Reilly

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Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum star in an irreverent remake of the popular ‘80s TV series, 21 Jump Street. Where the series was all serious and saw actors like Johnny Depp get a boost from appearing in it, this new film does nothing to take itself seriously. In fact, one particularly funny scene makes reference to the spate of ‘80s remakes in a rather cutting fashion. Two former high-school rivals team up with each other during police training, but their ineptitude follows them into the work place. After messing up a valuable bust, they are assigned to the Jump Street unit. There, they must infiltrate a high school to track down the makers of a dangerous new designer drug. 21 Jump Street is something that we don’t see very often these days – a surprisingly funny, entertaining comedy. The humour is generally pretty sharp here, with very little descending to toilet humour and below-the-belt gags. The acting, direction and editing are all beautifully paced, making this film a highly entertaining, often smart comedic romp. Tatum and Hill have a great chemistry in their roles, while appearances by the likes of Ice Cube add significantly to its entertainment value. It is an action comedy that reminds one of a time when movies like this were still funny. This is well worth watching. g

STARRING: Jonah Hill Channing Tatum Ice Cube

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DIRECTOR: Phil Lord

DISTRIBUTOR: Nu Metro

FPB Rating: 16LVD Score

Carnage

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Balls to the Wall

Open on LA, California… typical upbeat day from the start, with hip hop music and gun shots. Right away a convenience store gets held up by thugs. When things go wrong and the criminals take hostages, the tactical force is called in, in the form of Tate (Steve Austin) and his are trigger happy S.W.A.T buddies. After they go in and kill all the thugs and injure a few hostages, the thick cops need to re-do Their tactical training. On their training day, once again they run into trouble which leads to another messy gun battle with a lot of dead bodies. “Stone Cold” isn’t just a sharp shooter, he also is one mean fighting machine that likes physicality (choke holds and wrestling moves). He possibly the best performance of the film. Tactical Force is more action than acting so don’t expect any Oscar winning performances or dialogue. Beside the belowaverage acting the editing felt choppy, and there was poor cinematography in some scenes… all telling a complicated story which is not that interesting. Tactical Force is for Steve Austin fans. g

DIRECTOR: Adamo P. Cultraro DISTRIBUTOR: Ster Kinekor

FPB Rating: 16LV Score

STARRING: Michael Shanks Steve Austin Candace Elaine

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During the day Ben has a boring day job from hell, but at the end of the day he gets to go home to the love of his life. The happy couple are planning the wedding of her dreams, which Ben can’t afford. Her father agreed to pay for his daughter’s wedding but really can’t afford it as he is already in debt with a loan shark, who happens to own a strip club. While looking for his father-in-law to be in the strip club Ben accidentally walks back stage and is sent on stage to dance, and discovers a way to pay off the debt and fund the wedding. A behind-the-scenes look at competitive male stripping, which is very funny indeed, sends Ben on a quest to find himself and become a better dancer. Balls to the Wall is hilarious and Joe Hursley (Ben) does a great job acting and dancing on stage, with good supporting roles delivered by Justin Ybarra (Ben’s loyal friend) and Christopher McDonald (as the gambling addict father). Balls to the Wall is a film for anyone who enjoys a good comedy and excellent soundtrack. g

STARRING: Joe Hursley Jenna Dewan-Tatum Christopher McDonald

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DIRECTOR: Penelope Spheeris DISTRIBUTOR: Ster Kinekor

FPB Rating: 13 Score

Tactical Force

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DVD SEEN DVD S

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SEEN DVD SEEN Kalifornia When a researcher and his girlfriend set out on a cross country trip to investigate the sites of famous murders, they decide to get another couple to travel with them – to help share expenses. Their ad is answered by Early Grace and Adele, a pair of wrong-sideof-the-tracks rednecks. But Early is more dangerous than he first appears, and the researchers soon find themselves not just researching terrible crimes, but potentially becoming the victim of one. Kalifornia has an extremely solid cast: David Duchovny, Michelle Forbes and Juliette Lewis form part of it. But it is Brad Pitt, in the role of Early Grace, that steals the show. It is also this performance that makes it such a remarkable film. Anyone inclined to accusing Pitt of relying on his looks rather than talent to get where he is today hasn’t seen Kalifornia. His depiction of the greasy haired, common-as-muck psycho is stunning, and one of the highlights of his early career. Kalifornia doesn’t offer the greatest plot, but it does deliver buckets of tension as Early becomes more and more violent and unpredictable. It’s something of a surprising film, when all is said and done – not least of which to Brad Pitt fans. He moves so far away from any kind of stereotyping in this movie, it’s scary. This film is essential viewing for any fan of the masterful Pitt. g

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DIRECTOR: Dominic Sena DISTRIBUTOR: Nu Metro

FPB Rating: 13PGV Score

STARRING: Brad Pitt David Duchovny Juliette Lewis

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Photography Primer

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by Walt Pretorius

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ature is an inspiration for artists of all kinds. From painters to architects, art imitates nature in many ways. One of those is the idea of texture and pattern. Artistically speaking, form is extremely important. But form only forms part of the combination of visual appeal. Texture and colour are as important, and the combination of these two often results in fascinating patterns. In turn, artists try to emulate and recreate these patterns, capturing the combination of order and chaos that can make the natural world so strikingly beautiful. As photographers, though, we have the perfect medium for capturing this beauty, without as much effort. A good eye for detail and possibly a macro setting on the camera are enough to celebrate the visual splendour of these varied and beautiful natural designs.

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Interfacing... Communicating with the machine

PC Builder

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e can put all of the very best components into our desktop PC cases. We can make sure that everything on the inside of the box is top notch – even the box itself – and that we won’t have any performance issues. We cn build the perfect PC for our needs. But that makes no difference if we cannot effectively communicate with the machine. And that communication needs to be right, in both directions. That is where peripherals come in – the last purchases we need to make before putting the system together.

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Communication from the computer to the user comes in the form of audio-visual elements. Display and sound, in other words. And from the user to the PC, communication is delivered via input devices. Even the simplest of set-ups will need a mouse, a keyboard, a monitor, and maybe speakers or headphones. Let’s start with the input devices – the mouse and keyboard. Without these, the user cannot give the computer any form of instructions. They are as vital as a power supply, RAM or processor, but are often just tacked on to the system without much thought.

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by Alex Scalon

As with all components, the user must take their needs into account when choosing the right mouse and keyboard… and there are a great many different types to choose from. The major consideration is whether the user should get hold of wired or wireless devices. Wireless devices keep clutter to a minimum, and often allow the user a greater degree of ‘personalisation’ of the work space. They are unrestricted by cables, obviously, and are therefore very appealing. Added to this is the fact that wireless technology has come a long way, making these devices effective for most computing

tasks. However, they are generally battery operated, so the user will need to keep an eye on power levels (and keep some spare batteries around) to avoid interruptions in work flow. Additionally, wireless technology doesn’t send a steady stream of information to the PC, relying rather on a series of very rapid bursts to and from the PC. This means that gaming can be poorly affected. Whether wired or wireless, the comfort of both the mouse and keyboard is extremely important. A well designed mouse, for example, will ensure less strain on the user’s hand and wrist, while the right keyboard

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PC Builder

will provide the user not only with a comfortable typing experience, but also with a noise level that is acceptable. Many mouse and keyboard units have extra functions - particularly where gaming and multimedia is concerned – that may push their prices up. But spending a little extra on a mouse and keyboard that will suit your needs better is not a bad idea. They will, after all, be the components you actually, physically make use of more than any others. For a similar reason, the monitor and sound set-up

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you choose is also important. These devices will allow the PC to communicate with you in various ways. The monitor is the most important of this group, because no PC can work without one (where sound is often optional.) Once again, there are a wide variety of makes and models available. Pick the one that will suit your needs the best, in terms of size, input types and panel type (LCD, LED, and so on.) Also, consider the space you have, whether you want to use more than one monitor, and if you might use the monitor with other input devices, like games consoles. In this last instance,

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by Alex Scalon

for example, you will need to check for HDMI inputs and audio outputs. And while it might seem vital to get the biggest monitor possible, be realistic about your needs; a 27 inch, 3D enabled LED monitor is not cheap! If you need sound with your computer, there are many options, ranging from simple headphones to full surround sound systems. Once again, consider your needs, and get the product that works best for you, not the one in the shiniest packaging. If, for example, you plan to do a lot of gaming, but need to consider disturbing others, a good set of headphones (with a microphone) are a

great bet. And if you are purely going t be using your PC for work – no gaming, movies or music – then sound is something you may not need at all. Next month we will be running a longer PC Builder section, as we look at putting your PC together. Before we get to that, though, always remember – you need to ask yourself what you will need. Do some research on the internet. Think about the software you will be using. And don’t assume that the salesman is trustworthy, or understands your needs better than you do. g

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GoldBook Money to Burn

MacBooks get blinged up

by Walt Pretorius

Regular

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hen asking people about their choice between PC and Mac, many will cite price as being a deciding factor. Let’s face it, Apple’s products are hardly cheap, and thriftier users may well avoid them purely based on that principle. Throw Stuart Hughes into the picture, and things start looking very different, and not necessarily in favour of those wanting to cut back on their spending in these hard times. In keeping with creating exclusive items for the insanely rich, Stuart Hughes has added his contribution to the Apple world in the form of the MacBook Air Supreme Fire Edition. Encrusted with 25.5 carats of flawless diamonds (most of which are in the Apple logo on the back, which PC users thought was pretentious enough before, without the bling) and encased in 2.6kg of highly polished 24 carat gold, this is the perfect laptop for those who want to show the world that they have more money than sense (and possibly taste, too.) Al this for a paltry R2.9 million. You might not be able to buy a mansion for that, but you could almost. Or a handful of cars. Or a big donation to charity, which is sorely needed here in South Africa. However, if you want

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to spend your three million bucks on something infinitely shallower than, say, feeding the hungry, you can try to get hold of one of these. There were only ten produced, though, so charity might have to be your plan B. OK, so let’s say that you want to give some of the money to charity, and the rest… well, you only live once, right? You could spend a paltry R80 000 on the 24 carat Gold MacBook Air, from the same designer. It doesn’t have the diamond encrusted logo, though – bad luck there, and a great indicator of just how insanely valuable those little rocks really are. And it is only “embellished” with gold, whatever that means. We’re guessing you get less than 2.6kgs… Maybe you want to stand out from the crowd? Well, then you can take a look at the platinum version, for the same price. Or maybe 18 carat rose gold, for the more feminine, tackily pink touch. So, the next time you are in the market for a new laptop, you might want to consider than, even though the price point on the Mac alternative looks rather high, it’s nowhere near as high as it could be. And keep in mind that you can get a brand new, higher spec device for half the price of these blinged up models... g

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Gladget Magazine Septermber 2012