Author Archives: Edric

SCANDAL Back in Singapore For a One Night Only Concert

12 Mar , 2015,
Edric
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All Girl Rock band, SCANDAL, will back rocking Singapore for the fourth time as part of their [Hello World] tour. The one night only concert will be held on 8th May 2015 at The Coliseum™, Hard Rock Hotel® Singapore, Resorts World™ Sentosa.

Tickets are now on sale via SISTIC. VIP tickets are SOLD OUT on the first day of ticketing sales. Grab your tickets now to avoid disappointment.

Title: SCANDAL WORLD TOUR 2015 [HELLO WORLD] In Singapore
Date: 8th May 2015 7pm doors open / 8pm concert start
Location: The Coliseum™, Hard Rock Hotel® Singapore, Resorts World™ Sentosa
Ticket Price: VIP$148(sold out in 45mins!), GA$98

Feasting on a Budget — Japan

1 Aug , 2014,
Edric
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Let’s face the harsh reality of how small our dollar is as compared to the Japanese Yen. For a S$1,000 I could only get about ¥81,000 and that is how I got by 14 days from Osaka to Tokyo with Minakami in between (buying a Nintendo 3DS, 5 kg worth of books, games and souvenirs). That’s slightly more than ¥5,784 per day.

If the plan is to dine at an Okonomiyake restaurant spending almost a thousand Yen in Osaka for lunch, you are not likely to last a week in Japan without spending the next week living on cup ramen. Especially when lunch is one of the best time to get a really good deal!

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Okonomiyake is a local specialty in Osaka.

There are many ways to feast in Japan without blowing a hole in your pocket and that comes with careful planning, information gathering, web research like japan-guide.com and reading this article.

There are several types of shops in Japan offering food a lower prices and restaurants found on top of expensive looking shopping malls often charge a premium for a similar dish just a street away. The question is how far, or how low, you are willing to look for your next meal. When you want to min-max your budget to get as much Otaku goodies as your luggage can carry.

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A Singapore restaurant found at a dining area on top of a shopping center.

Gyudon 「牛丼」 

Gyudon is one of the most economical meals anyone will find hard to miss. There are Gyudon chains everywhere at every corner in major cities. So, there is no excuse not to find one unless you’re in rural Minakami.

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There are three food chains (YoshinoyaSukiya and Matsuya) vying against each other to be the king of budget Gyudon. There are others, but these are the big three and it is really hard not to find any of them. All three chains offer the standard size for ¥300  or below. Some of their outlets open 24-7. If you’re really hungry in the middle of the night and sick of convenience store food, you might consider checking out the local friendly Gyudon store. On a side note, Gyudon chains are often packed during lunch and dinner times, while empty during late mornings and after hours.

Lunch Deals 

Screenshot 2014-06-26 07.48.49NTPEK“You should eat as much as you can for lunch. It will have to last until dinner.”

Restaurants often put forth lunch deals at tempting prices. Take Saizeriya for example. This Italian restaurant chain has been feeding the Italian craze (with a Japanese twist) at an affordable price tag of ¥500 (including tax). That comes with a free flow of water and miso soup.

However, Saizeriya is not the only restaurant out there offering a budget lunch menu. Many restaurants offer lunch deals from ¥600 to around ¥1000. If stretching every single yen in your pocket is your kind of hobby, lunch will be the best time to start food hunting.

Supermarkets 「スーパー」
In late 2011, Ben-To, a fighting anime inspired by the mad rush to grab food going at half-price. While the anime had over exaggerated the necessity to the point of a fighting match for a packet of cold food. The reality (less the fighting scenes) is not far from the scene depicted on the anime.

Bentos are not the only food that are affordable at Super Markets.

Bentos are not the only food that are affordable at Super Markets.

At the supermarket next to my hotel at Ikebukuro, Tokyo. It opens 24-7 and the discount man only works at 11pm. No later, no earlier. Other supermarkets start as early as 6 or 7pm. Nightly, a throng of people, salary man, house wives and average Joes will crowd around the cooked food section. Eyeing their next meal while they wait for the discount man to do his work. Pasting discount stickers on each packet. The moment the sticker is slapped on the packet it is almost immediately snapped up if someone wants it for dinner.

However, what drives people to supermarkets to grab their dinner is a matter of money. The price of pre-cooked meals at supermarkets range between ¥300-500 for a rice bowl or a set meal. Side dishes range between ¥90 – 500 depending on the quantity. Chicken yakitori sell for about ¥100 per stick and ¥93 for a piece of korokke (of any favor). There are gyoza and karage among other side dishes.

Working back the equation once the half-price sticker is on the package, a simple Katsudon which normally sells for ¥350 goes down to ¥175. The supermarket gives a 20% discount for some dishes . At others, they would stick stickers stating the precise amount they would shave off the original amount. With a ¥500 coin, this goes into a lot of food and an packet of Milk Tea which retails for 93 yen per 1 liter packet. Put in 200-300 yen more and you could have Sashimi for dinner.

If you are worried about getting souvenirs for many people and Kit Kat comes to mind, try the supermarkets. They sell Kit Kats in bulk. But, they don’t carry exotic favors like wasabi or chili, should you need them to torture your friends’ taste buds back home.

There is always a supermarket somewhere. Even in rural Minakami, there was one right down the street from the Ryokan we stayed in.

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Supermarkets have microwave oven and boiled water if you’re wondering where to heat up your food or cook your instant ramen. Unlike supermarkets back home, you have to pack your own groceries or even purchase your own plastic bags.

Convenience Stores 「コンビニ」 

Sometimes Murphy strikes and that is when you head down to the convenience stores.
Convenience Stores are open 24-7 rain or shine. Unlike other countries, they are as well stocked as supermarkets (maybe more).

They sell Bentos, instant Ramen, surgical mask to limited edition anime Kuji (only at Family Mart). Prices are reasonable, and the selection is surprisingly huge considering its limited floor space. While microwave ovens are common place at all convenience stores, some offer tables and chairs for customers to enjoy their meals.

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A selection from a 7-11 Convenience Store in Osaka.

There is a huge variety of bentos for sale at convenience stores. Mostly comfort food, fusion western cuisine to salads for the health conscious eater. The only difference between a convenience store and a supermarket is the lack discounts. Between an expensive izakaya and a posh restaurant, the convenience stores gets my vote for budget.

Convenience stores near hotels and tourist attraction have a habit of placing English speaking staff, mainly foreign students studying in Japan. Don’t be surprised to meet a non-Japanese staff at the counter. They speak English!

Off the Beaten Path

“When in Rome do as the Romans do.”

We all know that in Singapore locals pay about S$2-4 for a plate of chicken rice. And we jest at tourist for paying S$12 per plate. However, everyday, tourists still patronize these restaurants when you could get them at hawker centers. They don’t know where to find S$2 Chicken Rice. It’s not on the ‘tourist’ map.

I hate to drop the bomb to those who insist on consulting the holy map. But, they are the yellow brick road to tourist traps. I suggest ditching that piece of paper! Okay, not totally trashing it but bring it out only when you’re lost getting back to the hotel. Flaunting the map around is also not the wisest fashion in Tokyo when you ‘re announcing to the world that you’re a tourist. I’ll rather be lost than to be led by the nose.

There are several tell tale signs about the district, whether it is for tourist or locals. The biggest give away are the maps found near junctions and train stations. Tourist maps are illustrated with green backgrounds and landmarks are written in both English and Japanese. Local maps however, are in shades of blue and contains directions only in Japanese.

The other subtle give away are drink prices on vending machines.

After all, an average Japanese don’t earn more than you and me, they have bills to pay and things they want to buy and families to raise. If they are able to get by day to day on that tight budget, they must be doing something right; while we’re doing everything proper to burst our budget.

Ikebukuro and “Otome Road”

25 Jul , 2014,
Edric
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At the doorstep of Sunshine City Prince Hotel is Otome Road, often referred as Fujoshi Street, is one of the most well stocked and up-to-date in BL content. When I went down in April, this little street had expended to the neighboring shopping and food district, right up to the doorstep of Ikebukuro Station.

Walking along the street towards Sunshine City and Otome Road are stylishly dressed male promoters, some with long blond dyed hair line the street. Like girls dressed in fluffy maid outfits in Akihabara who would only become chatty with guys, Ikemen at Ikebukuro, would only devout their attention on girls.

Most Anime related shops at Ikebukuro are generally skewered towards the Otome market.

Animate

DPP_0407If you are in the hunt for unique off the shelve merchandize. You should never give Animate a miss. Anywhere Otakus would congregate, Animate will be there. But the two sitting in Ikebukuro which are different from the rest around Japan.

Along Otome Road is ACOS, the Animate that marks the start of Otome Road. Right across from Sunshine City, this Animate sells everything for the girls and girls only. Even its café sitting on the 6th floor of the building spots either a yaoish or reverse harem theme. Often polarized from the Moe Moe Kyun Kyun fluff at Akihabara.

ACOS do not only stock up on keychains, folders and other character goods, but also delicate an entire floor to Cosplay. It is a one stop center for the casual Cosplayer to buy off the shelf costumes (sadly no armor), wigs, costume accessories and prop weapons.

IMG_2560NTPEKLocated a few streets away, in a recently furbished building is Animate’s Flagship store. This is the biggest Animate around with multiple floors dedicated to merchandizes and character goods for both guys and girls. From food products like instant curry, tapestry, cups to Manga, Doujinshi for girls to digital media.

Animate is probably the most convenient retailer to purchase anime related music without rummaging through shelves after shelves or records.

The combination of convenience and variety at a convenient location makes both Animates at Ikebukuro a must go to place to end your shopping in Japan. Just remember leave some yen for Tokyo Banana if you promised anyone back home.

Comic Toranoana Shop B

Until recently, Shop B was Shop A. Stocking an inventory of male oriented Hentai. But, with companies wasting no time in capturing the women’s market. It takes little logic to see why one of the biggest retailers in doujinshi should not delicate at least one of it’s many shops for the ladies.

There is no better place to plug that shop in other than Ikebukuro. Located opposite Ikebukuro Station, Shop B now host an inventory of doujishi of stacking men on top of other men, reverse harem, Boys’ Love and shoujo manga. This is the holy grail of yaoi content. If you’re looking for copies of Eren x Levi, Tiger X Bunny or Uta Prince you missed at Doujin Events, this is the place to be.

What happened to Shop A?

Well they got evicted by Shop B, kicked a couple streets, down the road, into a dingy looking building. It now occupies two floors. One solely for the high moral reader who prefer less skin and the other for those who prefer less clothing.

Lashinbang

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The Japanese got to love second retailers and by the end of the first week in Japan, we start to see why. Second-hand retailers holds a major advantage over others mainly because of their unique inventory, cheaper prices and the wild chance to find an out of production antique. Random loot from UFO machines, Gachapon and Kuji often end up on the shelves at second hand retailers, most of the time, they still smell new.

We cannot help to leave Lashinbang out from the fun when they recently expanded their shop last year to hold more products for the ladies.

Situated between ACOS and K-Books on Otome Road, Lashinbang operates a second-hand shop selling a mixture of figures, games and character goods. On their ground floor units every corner is stocked up for the ladies.

DPP_0406On the second floor, that’s the guy’s department with stocks of generic figures, illustration books and doujinshi. It lacks the grandeur as compared to shops in Akihabara, but what choice would you have if you’re dragged by the collar to go shopping on Otome Road?

Right, if Lashinbang have doujinshi for the guys, they definitely have one for the girls. The shop is not on Otome Road, but the neighbouring shopping district. This outlet is for the bookworms. They don’t carry stock of any other products other than books.

If you cannot find what you fancy, you could always hop off to Fromagee next door.

K-Books

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Ikebukuro would not have always been the place for girls to get their Anime goods. But in 2000, after next door rivals Animate decided to make the switch to emphasize on the girls, K-Books decided to make the switch as well. Ikebukuro would have to content with Akihabara and Nakano Broadway. There is no better demographic than to target the girls market and to give them some privacy in the process.

Most retailers of Anime merchandizes rarely mix first and second hand goods together. But K-Books does just that, at least not under the same roof. Spotting five shops littered along Otome Road, this is the largest congregation of K-Books on a single road.

They sell everything from Otome merchandizes, doujinshi, digital media to Cosplay related products.

To complete the experience on Otome street, K-Books also operates the Swallowtail Butler’s Café.

 

Otome Road ends with Mandarake. In our next edition, talk about food as we dine on a tight budget from Osaka to Tokyo.

Additional Photographs by Bob

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Nanda Collection World Tour 2014

22 Jun , 2014,
Edric
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Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, former fashion blogger, DokiDoki fan and the international symbol of ‘Kawaii’, brings Harajuku to Singapore for the second time with her latest “Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Nanda Collection World Tour 2014” on June 21st, 2014 at The Star Theatre.

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Fans turned up dressed in various outfits from Cosplay, lolita and Pamyu Pamyu inspired dress code.

As the lights dimmed, anxious fans who had been waiting for more than an hour, whipped out their light sticks and exploded in cheers when Pamyu Pamyu, dressed in her unique Harajuku sub-culture inspired attire, began her performance with the catchy tunes of “Invader Invader”, her 6th single released in March, 2013.

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“Hello everybody,” screamed Pamyu Pamyu in English, “this is my second live in Singapore.”  causing more squeals from the fans. She talks about the various places she visited in Singapore. “Singapore is very very hot”, she commented as the audience roared with laughter.

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The highlight of the evening began after the interval where the audience were entertained by a mascot bunny. Pamyu Pamyu performed her recent releases from her Nanda Collection which includes “Mottai Night Land” and “Yume no Hajima Ring Ring”. Each performance was accompanied by an energetic and well executed choreographed dance which includes a mascot teddy bear for one track. We really have to hand it to Pamyu Pamyu and her dancers for pulling off the concert effortlessly.

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The night ended on a high note as Pamyu Pamyu performed her classic hits including “PonPonPon” and “Fashion Monster”.  Pamyu Pamyu may (yet) be the next queen of J-Pop, but, her over-the-top, cutesy and often thought provoking music is here to stay. Her concert definitely left fans craving for more!

This coverage is made possible thanks to Sozo, the organizer for Anime Festival Asia and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu.

Shopping at Akihabara

6 Jun , 2014,
Edric
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Akihabara, the holy ground for Otakus; a must visit for any true blue Otaku. Akihabara is well known for anime merchandises, electronics and exotic toys. Some establishments have several outlets along the same street selling different kinds of products.

Where to start?

Mandarake

mandarake

Mandarake sells everything Otaku. Figures, consoles, old manga, music CDs, cosplay stuff. The list goes on. The only item that isn’t second are Doujin-shi (they sell second hand Doujin-shi as well).

Besides the price, Mandarake is extremely honesty about the condition of their goods. The condition is clearly stated, using a grading system and notes describing the defects, on every Doujin-shi, Nintendo DS, Games, from it’s packaging, instruction booklet to the condition of the actual product. It is possible to find something in a mint condition at Mandarake.

If you’re not convinced, when buying a new Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation Vita or something behind their glass cases, you could ask the staff to open the product to have a look. It not strange to find unopened set at second-hand price.

Mandarake at Akihabara is mostly staffed by Japanese speaking staff. They employ foreign students at their establishments, especially at Akihabara. If Nihon-go doesn’t work for you, try speaking English, slowly, clearly, and pray they start running for their Gaijin part-timer.

Start with Mandarake! Be warned, it is possible to spend an entire day rummaging their building at Akihabara for loot.

http://mandarake.co.jp

Comic Toranoana

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Manga is common in Japan, but Doujin-shi aren’t and not every establishment carry what you want. Comic Toranoana is one such establishment that specialize in helping Doujin circles sell their works to Otakus. You don’t have to rush for Comiket or other Doujin events to grab a Doujin-shi when you can buy them directly from Comic Toranoana.

Comic Toranoana have several shops along Akihabara, all of them caters for every fetish. Hentai materials are always at the highest levels. Remember to bring your passport if you want to buy anything NSFW, their staff will check for identification if they suspect you’re below 18.

Take it as a compliment if someone of the opposite gender asks for identification.

Other than Doujin-shi, they also have a collection of games, illustration books, manga.

http://www.toranoana.jp

IMG_1605NTPEKYellow Submarine

If TCG like Magic The Gathering, Weib Schwarz or Pokemon is what you seek, head down to Yellow Submarine. Not only an Otaku theme retailing figures and merchandises, they sell TCGs. TCG shops sells a lot of rare cards, prominently displayed on the cabinets.

Some outlets provide tables and chairs. If you’re really good with your Japanese, you could join their in house tournament or find someone who would gladly play a game or two with you.

On top of figures, merchandizes and TCGs, some of the outlets stock a huge range of model kits. Not only mecha, but tanks, battleships, guns, trains, including the various accessories to give them more bling.

Yellow Submarine also specialize in board gaming. Sadly, most of them are in Japanese. But, they sell weird dice like an extra large D20 to hurt your DM with.

http://www.yellowsubmarine.co.jp

Electronics Shops

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Other than the Otaku stuff, Akihabara is also the hardware zone in Tokyo. If you want to build your own customized PC, Gundam or your personal Dethcube, you will need to get the materials here. Laptops are expensive and often below specifications. On the other hand, peripherals, like keyboards and mice, are competitively priced.

Nothing moe here.

Traders

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Games, console, DVDs and Eroge. Traders is the place to go. They carry second-hand products. Mainly consoles and console games and gamepads. They are very honest about the condition of the products they sell. If you could master some words of Japanese, you could ask them to have a look at the product you want.

Trader’s selection of games range from localized western titles, PC games. Eroge are on the top floor.

http://www.e-trader.jp

IMG_1576NTPEKKimidore

Kimidore at Akihabara specialize in selling illustration books, A4 size folders and tapestries. Not just the normal run-of-the-mill ones, but beautifully illustrations by famous artist like Tony and CoffeeKizoku.

Kimidore is one shop you don’t want to miss if you are looking for something to fill up that empty space on your wall, or souvenir ideas for your friends back home.

It’s illustration books makes perfect coffee table books and they are not always available at second-hand shops.

If you’re an art collector, Kimidore sells paintings by famous illustrators — at a price.

Don’t miss the wall graffiti along the stairwell.

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http://ameblo.jp/kimidore-akihabara/

Mottainai Flea Market

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The Mottainai Flea market is always held outside UDX Building on selected weekends. At Akihabara, vendors sell their second figures, folders and plushies. If you’re on a mighty quest in search of epic loot at low prices, the Flea Market is the best place to start the weekend morning. They close by late afternoon or bad weather.

Check out their website to find out when they will organize their next Flea Market at Akihabara.

http://mottainai.info/fleama/schedule.php

Street Performers

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There’s no better way to end the evening than to find a cozy spot at Akihabara Station to listen to street performers singing to Anime music. They are not professionals or idols but damn, they do have good voices.

Some of them sell their own CDs. Many like Rinka, don’t, and the only payment is your appreciation and support.

Akihabara is generally for the guys, although they do carry materials fujoshi will love too. However, Ikebukuro is the true fujoshi playground and holy land of BL, and that’s coming up in our next article.

YouTube Fan Fest Singapore — May 24, 2014

29 May , 2014,
Edric

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We were invited to YouTube Fan Fest 2014 on Saturday.

Surprise visit by Apl.de.Ap from the Black Eye Peas. With performance from Tree Potatoes, Alodia GosiengfiaoBethany MotaTyler OakleyTroye Sivan and local pop group Trick.

If you missed this event, want to find out more about what is happening in other countries. Subscribe to YouTube Fan Fest with HP.

Next stop — Australia. This event is made possible thanks to HP.

Book Review: Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential: How Teenage Girls Made a Nation Cool

28 May , 2014,
Edric
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If you’re an Otaku and you’re not reading this book, you’re missing out on the fun.

Cosplay Queen -- li Niku Urshijima. Japan's most famous (and controversial) cosplayers.

Cosplay Queen — li Niku Urshijima, Japan’s most famous (and controversial) cosplayer

The first time I picked up Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential was from Kinokuniya when it first was released in 2010. Written by Brian Ashcraft and Shoko Ueda, a husband and wife team based in Osaka. Brian Ashcraft was a familiar name to me as I had read his works on video game website Kotaku as a Senior Contributing Editor. He writes for many other publications.

Tuttle's Edition versus Kodansha's 2010 Edition with a monochrome finish.

Tuttle’s Edition versus Kodansha’s 2010 Edition

The 2014 Tuttle Edition reprint comes in color and new content, reflecting changes that took place since 2010. Making Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential the most up-to-date text about Japanese popular culture. It contains more than 16 pages of new content and adjustments made to existing articles to keep them coherent to the present.

Sailor Dude GrowHair san

Sailor Dude GrowHair san

When Ashcraft first published Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential, reviewers are initially dumb struck with his brazen use of prose, with one online reviewer in 2011 commented that “He can’t decide whether he’s writing a piece for a magazine, or a serious investigation into this unique culture.”

Reviewers should get their heads out of their assess. No one will enjoys a long-winded academic essay on Schoolgirls, that is the harsh reality of today. This book is for Otakus, brought up by the internet, anime, manga and schoolgirl idols, who are thinking of making their hobbies an academic obsession.

Schoolgirl photographs by Motoyuki Kobayashi who believes that schoolgirls prevents suicide.

Schoolgirl photographs by Motoyuki Kobayashi who believes that schoolgirls prevents suicide

The Tuttle edition had done well to draw in readers with the use of full colored pages coupled Ashcraft’s addictive short, direct, bite sized prose. If you’re lost on where to start your own research about Japanese popular culture, start flipping through the pages of Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential: How Teenage Girls Made a Nation Cool.

6% Doki Doki at Harajuku

6% Doki Doki at Harajuku

Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential is available at Kinokuniya Singapore, Amazon, and Goodreads.

Review: Logitech G430 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset

3 Nov , 2013,
Edric
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Accurate, clear and impressive surround sound experience with a mic to breathe down commands at your comrades on the battlefield.

LG4302It is not everyday you get a gaming headset that is practical with a budget in mind. Meet the Logitech G430 Surround Sound Gaming Headset. The design of this slick black and blue headset is striped down to its bare necessity gamers needs most. Comfort, noise cancellation, crisp clear mic and most importantly, a precise 7.1 Dolby Surround Sound feature. The headset comes with 3.5mm inputs and an USB adapter.

An immersive sound experience is becoming a standard for gaming headphones. Especially, when you are able to detect foes around corners a stray grenade falling next to you or a sneaky bastard scheming a backstab. A good surround sound headset makes the difference between life and death in today’s fast paced gaming experience.

Getting used to the G430 takes sometime due to its weight and firm padded ear cups. Gamers with big heads and glasses (like me), will find this set a little harder to get comfortable with at the start. Once the comfort level sets in after some duration of usage, the headset feels extreme comfortable. The fabric used allows heat to escape and keep your ears comfortable and cool, a great feature I always find lacking in other headsets. The large ear cups allows gamers to comfortably place their entire ear within which improves the surround sound experience.

Oh, just in case you are worried about dirtying your headphones, the fabric covered ear cups are detachable for cleaning.

Mics are becoming a standard for gaming since normalisation of gaming headsets and they are becoming an essential tool for gamers to communicate with one another more efficiently. The mic that comes together with the G430 is capable of delivering clear instructions to teammates. When it is not in use, just fold it back to the ear caps and its out of the way.

The headset comes with a 2.3 metre cable along with an attached controller for quick audio tweaking. An analogue volume dial for quick audio adjustments and mute switch for the mic. The mic is very sensitive and readily picks up anything that sounds human from the background. It is an alternative to shut down the mic other than folding up the mic.

The Logitech G430 gives a minimalist experience, leaving just the essential features that makes the crucial difference. While it is certainly not the most fashionable pair of headphones to head down to town with, it certainly shows your foes you mean business on the virtual battlefield.

Product Photography by Joey Lim

Review: Logitech G19s Gaming Keyboard

24 Oct , 2013,
Edric
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Not just another keyboard loaded with bells and whistles to get gamers to part with their hard earned cash.

The G19s Gaming Keyboard is Logitech’s answer for the professional gamer’s quest to kill better than they normally could. Designing a keyboard for today’s gaming needs is a challenging feat. First, there are so many game genre to think about. Then, there are gamers who prefers to play in the dark and lastly, the reviewer who will most likely be typing this review on the same keyboard. That is an uphill task which the G19s managed to have an answer for.LG19sGK3

Meet the Logitech G19s. It is a keyboard designed for the gamer in mind. There are a total of 12 additional customisable buttons and media control panels for volume adjustments on the fly. It also comes a really cool LCD screen, called the Game Panel. The keyboard also comes with two additional USB ports which is great for the modern gamer. The backlighting is great for gamers who prefer playing games in the dark. The fingerprint resistant coating maintains a clean look on the keyboards. It helps prevents the keys from feeling grimy and sticky from dirt, oil and sweat.

The keyboard is carefully designed to prevent accidents from happening, seriously. It comes with a small sliding notch which disables the Windows/Context menu keys. This is really useful when you’re playing FPS titles where the crucial Left CTRL (usually for crouching) is next to your Windows key. This removes the off chance of pressing the Windows button in the heat of the moment.

What makes a gaming keyboard is the number of customisable buttons for Macros. The G19s have a total of 12 keys dedicated for this function. Okay, maybe not just 12 keys since there are another 3 more buttons which records an additional Macro profiles. But that is not what Logitech stopped at. With the help of software, gamers are able to create additional profiles for games recognized by the G19s. That is, not just 12×3 but, separate Macros profiles for every game you have installed on the PC.

LG19sGK2What sets aside the G19s from other gaming keyboards is its integrated LCD, which Logitech dubs as Game Panel. It comes with an integrated clock, stopwatch, movie viewer which also allows you to watch YouTube, system performance monitor. It also includes an option to view the current game profile on the keyboard. While the LCD is a great feature to have on a keyboard, the Game Panel however, is placed at an awkward position. It is a daunting task for gamers to juggle their attention between the Game Panel and monitor where all the action is taking place.

I have a problems with small keyboards that defy the key positions of last decade’s standardized keyboards. Fortunately, the G19s is not one of them. The traditional keys are where they got to be. This makes the G19s the perfect platform to play traditional simulation games like FreeSpace 2. It’s size also makes typing an enjoyable experience.

While the ergonomics for the Logitech G19s is one to be admired, the membrane switches however, may not give the right assuring click for everyone. Regardless, the Logitech G19s is the cheapest Gaming Keyboard that comes attached with a LCD screen. If you are looking for the latest Gaming Keyboard and on a budget, the Logitech G19s maybe the right keyboard for your gaming needs.

Product Photography by Joey Lim

Durango Details in May

9 Apr , 2013,
Edric
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Microsoft set to announce details of the next Xbox, code named Durango, in May.

According to Paul Thurrott’s latest podcast, Microsoft is going to hold an event on May 21st to announce the details of the latest Xbox. Thurrott speculates that the Microsoft may offer two price plans. A 500 USD off the shelf purchase or 300 USD for subscription based model.

Microsoft will be releasing the new Xbox in November, just at the start of the holiday season.

What about the “always-on” bit?

Adam Orth, a creative director at Microsoft Studios, had speculated at great lengths on “always on” devices is the new norm before he given the gag order. So, #dealwithit.