October 2019 Game Releases

It’s October, so that means pumpkin spice, Halloween and scary costumes for some people. For the rest of us, it means that the colder nights give an excuse to hunker down in front of some cool new games, while making sure we keep ourselves warm!

PC Games coming out this month include:-

Warsaw – (RPG)

This 2D turn-based WWII tactics game calls to mind the likes of Darkest Dungeon, with a management angle that resembles This War of Mine. Rather than hardened soldiers, you’ll play as a far more ragtag group, sending out scouting groups and scrounging up supplies from Nazi, and recruiting more friends who want a piece of the action.

Neo Cab – (Adventure)

Being an Uber driver in the future is hell, just like the present. As the last human driver around, you’ll ferry around the odd citizens of a neon-soaked city while also searching for your lost friend, who just so happens is being hunted by the mega-corporation that runs the place. Gig labor is the big topic being addressed here, as gameplay seemingly blends elements of VA-11 HALL-A and ‘Papers, Please’ to illustrate just how tough it is to make a buck when your job depends on positive ratings.

Ghost Recon Breakpoint – (Third-Person Shooter)

BUY: Xbox360PS4

Ubisoft promises that Breakpoint will be more about survival than overwhelming firepower, but it looks like a lot of run-and-gunning as you and your squad fight to reclaim a fictional island from Jon Bernthal (playing an ex-Ghost operative) and his bad guy crew, this time with 300% more drones.

Time 4 – (Puzzle Platformer)

After dabbling in 3D puzzle platforming in Trine 3, Frozenbyte is returning to the expected 2.5D platforming of the series’ past with Trine 4. The basics are the same as ever—trouble in the realm that the heroes of the Trine must work together to resolve—but the characters themselves have been upgraded somewhat: Pontius the Knight can conjure Ghost Shields, for instance, while Zoya the Entrepreneur now has access to Elemental Arrows, and Amadeus the Wizard has added balls to his repertoire. As ever, Trine 4 will allow solo or co-op play. This time around, Trine 4 will even offer a 4-player co-op mode that allows for multiple of each character to be played if you choose.

Indivisible – (Action Platformer)

After a rebellious young girl’s home is attacked and an ancient power awakens inside her, she must absorb the “Incarnations” of people she meets along the way to aid her journey. Side-scrolling platforming and party-based combat set in a hand-drawn 2D world will keep you busy while you reunite the land.

That’s all for part one of this article – join us again next week for part two. In the meantime, as the nights draw in and it gets colder, start thinking ahead to your winter plans. Need new quilts and winter bedding? There’s an amazing range at Aldi right now – but grab it before it’s gone. Need a new winter car, maybe a 4WD to get you through the snowstorms and home to your PC in time for that raid? Check out an excellent advice blog of a real car know-it-all and whatever you do, make sure you get enough sweeties in for those pesky trick or treaters. After all, if they fail to show up you can always keep them all to yourself!!

Computers Components to Look Forward to in 2017

Alberto Statti

The year is just beginning, and there is a lot to look forward to in the tech world. 2016 left us with spectacular designs, but they are gone just as fast as they came. Late last year, AMD released some basic information about their new Ryzen processors. The enthusiasm was multiplied when they launched Ryzen motherboards and PCs at CES 2017. Here, you will find information on the new Ryzen products plus a few of their technical details.
Motherboards

 

On this front, we can expect new AM4 motherboards from AMD. These motherboards carry the X370 chipset; some even have the X300 chipset – both types purposed for high end computers and mini-ITX systems. This year, there will be A300 motherboards to cover the needs of you mainstream mITX computer, A320 motherboards for those budget rigs, and last but not least, B350 motherboards simply for mainstream computers. The mITX motherboards have an added advantage to them – there are no I/O lanes onboard to allow vendors to add their own specialized links. Any of these AM4 boards can accommodate the new Ryzen chipsets, and given the various features of these chips, you are guaranteed to see fully differentiated hardware in the tech world this year.
CPUs
Intel is set to launch the latest version of Kaby Lake Architecture, bringing them up to their 6th generation of Core CPUs. With a dual-core, a four thread unlocked multiplier processor with a 4.2GHz clockspeed, Kaby Lake is a promise of better performance and even better overclocking potential. AMD was not left behind as the tech giant is set to bring forth the Zen CPU. At about half the price, gamers can get the same experience Intel is offering from Ryzen. More to this, Ryzen CPUs are to be offered in 6-core, 12-thread versions, as well as in 8 thread. Quad-core versions.
GPUs

We are expecting AMD’s Vega GPU architecture to change the entire market with its 8GB performance and high bandwidth memory. A 16GB version is rumoured to also appear this year, and knowing AMD’s performance history, these new components can be expected to stay in the market long after technologies like DDR5 are fully functional. The Vega based cards are not all AMD is about, there are also Polaris GPUs set to be released by this company. Nvidia will also be releasing their GTX 1080 Ti.

By Alberto Statti

PC Games to Look Forward to in 2017

2017 promises to be a great year for gaming, with PC releases from some of the major franchises hitting the shelves this spring. Here at Alberto Statti, we’re just itching to play them all, but here’s a selection of our most anticipated:

Tekken 7
Fans of the fighting games will be eagerly awaiting the release of Tekken 7 in early 2017. It’s been a long wait since its predecessor, Tekken 6, was released for the home console market back in 2009. The new instalment, subtitled “Fated Retribution”, features new game mechanics, gameplay changes and eight new characters. Favourites like Yoshimitsu, King and Nina return, and the story revolves around Heihachi, Kazuya and Jin, revealing mysteries like the Devil Gene.

Sniper Elite 4
Due for release on 14th February, Sniper Elite 4 promises improved AI, significantly larger maps and the introduction of climbing ability. The third-person stealth shooter is well known for its X-ray kill camera, which shows gruesome details of body parts being torn apart by the player’s bullet. This has now been extended to include other types of kill, such as melee and shrapnel. The story directly follows Sniper Elite 3 and is set in 1943, with protagonist, Karl Fairburne, assisting the Italian resistance.

South Park: The Fractured But Whole
Delayed from December 2016 to spring 2017, the second South Park game follows events in “The Stick of Truth”. As their alter ego superhero characters, the children of South Park cannot agree on a franchise plan so embark on a civil war with The Coon (Cartman) leading one side and Mysterion (Kenny) the other. Playing as the New Kid, the player must reunite the gang. Unlike the first game, players can choose to be a boy or a girl, leading to different dialogue.

Outlast 2
Horror aficionados will no doubt be keen for the release of Outlast 2 in early 2017, the survival horror sequel that uses a found footage approach to gameplay. This time round, the main character is a journalist investigating a murder in the Arizonan desert. Unfortunately, he encounters a village inhabited by a deranged cult. The plot is said to be based on the real-life Jonestown massacre of 1978.

Mass Effect: Andromeda
With a European release date of 23rd March confirmed, fans can at last get really excited about the fourth Mass Effect instalment. The sci-fi shooter is set in an open world for the first time with several planets to explore. Taking place six centuries after events of the initial trilogy, there is more of a feel of the original game in Andromeda.

Ghost Recon: Wildlands
The Tom Clancy series continues with the release of its fourteenth game and tenth main instalment, Ghost Recon: Wildlands, on 7th March. Taking a new approach that crosses GTA with Far Cry, Wildlands sets Ghost Recon players in an open world for the first time. The map is claimed by Ubisoft to be one of the most expansive they’ve published, and there’s a wide range of terrains. The return to a present-day environment coupled with the vast open world should exceed expectations.

Written by Alberto Statti

Final Fantasy 15 – Worth it?

Final Fantasy XV

Are you a new or returning player to the Final Fantasy universe? Then worry not. We can help get you started on your brand new or continuing journey!

First things first, no matter which type of player you are, to get a bit of background it is worth watching the new Final Fantasy Kingsglaive film which helps to get you acquainted with some of the other characters in the game that are occasionally referenced.

Don’t get me wrong, you don’t have to watch the movie or the anime episodes(free on YouTube), they are just there as a sort of prequel (Kingsglaive happens between the first couple of missions in the game.)

Right now, the game is available to buy for Xbox One and PS4 and there is a possibility for it to be released on PC.

The game offers a bunch of new features that weren’t available on the other games:

  1. You now own a car which can be damaged and run out of petrol, you can fix it at a garage where you can also trick it out with custom paint jobs etc.
  2. Each character has their own abilities. Noctis can fish, Prompto takes pictures throughout your game, Ignis does the cooking for some very good buffs and Gladiolus allows access to survival missions which help gain a lot of XP and items.
  3. You can now take cover to gan HP and MP back!
  4. Warp points allow instant MP recovery
  5. First real-world open game play
  6. Only 1 load screen for the entire area but on Xbox One it is a big load time!
  7. Fast paced combat, not turn based.
  8. A sort of wait system where everything pauses so you can potion up and think of what to do next (only lasts for a limited time)

Pros of Final Fantasy XV

  • The combat system is either a love it or hate it, returning players that are used to turn based might hate it but players that enjoy fact action may love it
  • The characters themselves are very like-able especially when resting where you get to see the pictures taken by Prompto.
  • So far through my play through, the story seems to be pretty good, and from what other Final Fantasy’s are like, only get better.
  • Open world exploration is great and proves some very nice scenery which you can drive/run to.

Cons of Final Fantasy XV

  • Sometimes the combat system can be buggy where you block and just get knocked down for 3+ seconds getting hit over and over.
  • Magic seems to be very lackluster. You spend a lot of time gather magic power just to use it within 1 minute of combat.
  • Being unable to save while in certain places certainly makes it very annoying if you die.
  • The camera not only in combat but in general is terrible. It doesn’t follow your character sometimes and other times it will just fly past your character while in combat at super speed causing you to start attacking in the opposite direction

Conclusion

Overall, the game is definitely something with potential and definitely overall a great game to play. Most of the problems in the cons section are bugs which will be ironed out so best avoided til then. If story and immersion is what you want, then this is the game for you. I would recommend that you watch the anime and the film if you want to get to know the characters a little better.

by Alberto Statti

Best Wall Mountable PC Speakers

Wall Mounted Speakers

Last Updated: 12th August 2019

Buying speakers for your computer is a relatively simple process, determine your budget, find speakers in that budget then narrow them down based on features and preference. In 2016, you would expect Googleing wall mounted speakers for your computer would give a nice up to date list of speakers systems for you to match against your budget and preference. That is not the case. The first thing on the search is a direct link to Ebays own sales in the “wall mounted speakers” section.

Skip to wall mountable selection below

Fear not, we have a …..solution. Not only will this solution prove to be perfect, it allows you to use any speaker systems! First things first, follow our best speaker brand guide to find the brand for you. Next determine your budget and required features.

Now that we have gotten the list of potential speakers down to at least 3 or 4, we will be needing a more in depth look at the speakers themselves. You may need to mount them using Wall Mounting plate (£12.35) or Universal Speaker Brackets (£32.99) if you want to swivel them. They should both work right so go through your speakers and see if the cheaper options work for any of the speaker systems. Using amazon, the most cost effective wall mounting options look like Btech BT332 (£16.67) which screw to the wall and into the speaker system while providing 180 degrees of swivel action. This type of wall mount will require a speaker system that either has a hole to screw into or at the very least a speaker that is square and wooden. (Imagine wall mounting this with screws)

Alberto Statti
Logitech X230

If you speaker is square but is made of plastic and you aren’t particularly interest in screwing holes into your speakers, Velcro to the rescue! I will assume you know what Velcro is and how to use it. You best course of action is to use quite a bit of Velcro as you don’t want it loosening over time then suddenly dropping off the wall.

Velcro
Velcro

Now, I know that speakers that aren’t designed to be wall mounted wont have long enough wires, that is why we will now look at extension wires. The ones linked are extremely long so you could probably measure the extra you need and go to a local store and pick some up for cheaper. If you want the extra wire and ease of purchase provided by amazon, go for that one.

So you have your speakers, they are mounted on the walls using extension wires, now what? Cable trunking! Cabling is always a problem so the trunking can be used not only on your PC speakers but on your other component cables. In my case, I bought the smallest ones for the PC speakers, then bought the thickest one and attached it  to the back of my desk which custom drilled holes for cables to go into it and to my PC.

cabling - Alberto Statti
Cable management

PC Speakers and their associated brackets:

SONOS PLAY:1 – £139.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Mini: Fits in any space, fills any room
  • Rich sound despite its size
  • Also works as a Sonos home cinema rear speaker
  • Amazon alexa compatible device. This Sonos Play 1 does not have Bluetooth. (Amazon Echo Input currently not supported)
  • Trueplay tuning: For the best sound possible, wherever you place your speaker
  • Wall mountable with compatible third party accessories
  • Comes with three years manufacturer free breakdown cover; terms and conditions apply

Learn More and Buy

SONOS PLAY BRACKETS – £29.99

sonos play

 

 

 

 

 

  • INGENIOUS DESIGN: This design is simple yet cleverly thought out, the mounts are slim and almost invisible once the speaker is mounted to the wall. The speaker can be mount in either orientation with a wall clearance of 57mm. the mount provides a swivel of +42° to -42° (Left to Right) and a tilt of +3° up, -35° down
  • DESIGNED IN ENGLAND: By SOUNDBASS, a team of mechanical & acoustic engineers to ensure you get the best possible audio performance from your new SONOS PLAY:1 Speakers
  • PLEASE NOTE: Pack Of 2pcs (Twin Pack), Quick and easy to fit, and adjust, The Wall bracket comes with instructions plus all necessary mounting hardware including screws, lead anchors & screw caps to provide the perfect finishing touches. SONOS SPEAKERS NOT INCLUDED

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60W Compact Wall Mounted Speakers+Brackets – £41.49

60W 8 OHM BLACK 2 Way Compact Wall Mounted Speakers

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Height 150mm, Width 105mm, Depth 105mm (Per Speaker)
  • Construction – Housed in a rugged ABS plastic casing with a subtle, yet durable mesh grille, these speakers will look stylish & discrete in most environments.
  • Fitting – There is an adjustable mounting bracket on the back of each speaker allowing you to securely position each speaker where it needs to be.

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Sonos One (Gen 2)

Sonos One (Gen 2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Start and control your music with your voice and Amazon Alexa is built right in
  • Combine voice with the Sonos app to easily manage all your streaming services
  • Connect wirelessly to other Sonos speakers to enjoy clear sound in any or every room
  • Enjoy surprisingly rich sound from a compact speaker
  • Second generation Sonos One with increased memory and updated processor

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Sonos One Wall Mount – £29.99

Sonos One Wall Mount

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Base seamlessly fits the speaker, holding it securely wherever you want to wall mount it
  • Can be inverted to securely hold the Sonos One or Sonos PLAY:1 upside down – so its gesture controls and microphone are easily accessible if mounting higher up the wall
  • Has a unique tilting mechanism (down 15°) plus can swivel up to 80° (40° left, 40° right), so you can perfectly angle your Sonos One or Sonos PLAY:1
  • Precision engineered, quick and easy to fit and adjust

Learn More and Buy