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Game Review: Metal Gear Solid 4 – Guns of the Patriots (PS3) August 26, 2008

Posted by Neal Atienza in Playstation 3, Tech Reviews.
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Solid Snake is back and better than ever. After what has seemed like an eternity of waiting, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is here, and not only is it a stunning achievement in terms of technical aspects (this game utilizes what the PS3 is capable of like nothing you have ever seen before), but it also conveys one of the deepest and most engrossing storylines that you will ever come across in a video game. Yes, as you have no doubt heard by now, the game features some quite lengthy cut-scenes that seemingly pop up out of nowhere in the middle of gameplay. While this can get annoying, nearly everything else about Metal Gear Solid 4 is simply flawless. The storyline, what little can be mentioned without giving away a barrage of spoilers, finds an aging Snake in the middle of Liquid Ocelot’s new, destructive plans. Familiar faces are abound as well, which will lead to many surprises and shocks, even for the most hardcore of Metal Gear Solid fans. As said before, Metal Gear Solid 4 boasts the best audio and visual presentation you will ever see in a video game. Quite frankly, this game is a gorgeous sight to behold.

Gameplay wise, the game offers up some equally impressive shooting and stealth mechanics, while the boss fights are nothing short of epic. Online multiplayer modes seem to be the only aspect of MGS4 that don’t conjure up the awe-inspiring moments that the rest of the game does, but they are fun on their own regardless.

Playing MGS4 in my new 40” LCD was the best combo, it just made the experience a lot better and I even ran out of words when I switched on MGS for the very first time. I’ve been a MGS fan since the debut of the first game in the series and it is safe to say that Hideo Kojima and Konami have delivered amazing games year in and year out. You can find reviews for MGS online and you will see how good this game is, every aspect is done with great detail and pulls the gamer into the storyline. From slow-mo action sequences, war-torn environments, stealth missions and ultimate battlefields, this game covers every single aspect with stunning cut sequences.

Words alone can’t do this game justice though. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is by far and large the best game to come out on the PS3 thus far, and without a doubt is one of the finest video games to ever see the light of day. I just finished the game and I am already planning to play the game again in a harder mode, plus I have online play so that my copy of MGS doesn’t collect dust! Yes, it really is that good, and if you have been waiting for that PS3 “killer app”, your wait is over.

Rumour Alert! – Leaked Next GEN iPod Pictures August 26, 2008

Posted by Neal Atienza in Mac News, Tech News.
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So I stumbled across some leaked pictures of the next generation iPod which everyone knows that it is due this September (excited?), pictures are courtesy of Digg/Engadget and I also read reports of iPod cases being created of the same shape by many companies out there. I’m not a big fan of rumours and I dont know how solid the leaked pictures are. When the leaked pictures of the iPhone 3G surfaced, we all know that it was indeed the final design so what do you think about this leaked picture? I’m guessing, probably not!

Restaurant Review: Big Sushi (Spadina/Bloor) August 26, 2008

Posted by Neal Atienza in Food, Toronto Hot Spots, Uncategorized.
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Saturday, the day I was craving sushi, so met up with 2 of my friends and headed down to Spadina/Bloor for some good ol’ sushi! The restaurant is called “Big Sushi” and it is maybe an 8 min walk and it is located east of Spadina (check map). This is one of the best places for sushi I have been in, and it is not expensive.

This is what we ordered:

1 California Roll (8 pcs) & 1 Salmon Roll (8pcs)

1 Spicy Salmon Roll (8pcs)

1 Lunch Sushi Combo (various types, 14 pcs)

1 Shrimp Tempura

2 Miso Soup

2 Salads

It was the three of us and that was the perfect amount of sushi, actually, we were stuffed at the end so maybe 4 people. Our bill ended up at $32 in total, and the spicy salmon roll was amazing! We wanted to order more but we really couldn’t find space in our stomach for another roll! If you want some good and also cheap (2 words which sometimes don’t get along with each other) sushi, you must give this place a try!

Here’s some of the pictures of the food, I couldnt resist, it looked sooo good.

MacInBlog – Tech Reviews [NEW ADDITION!] August 22, 2008

Posted by Neal Atienza in Uncategorized.
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So part of my plans of reviving my blog, also includes tech reviews of hardware and software which I encounter maybe during a shopping spree, window shopping, saw it somewhere or net reviews. I’ll provide you my personal insight about the product, provide a MacInBlog rating out of 5, cheapest way to get it, and of course pros/cons summary. So to kick things off, I will be reviewing input peripherals this week. Maybe next week I’ll be reviewing video game accessories, if you have any request or certain items you would like to know about, please do shoot me an email or post a comment anywhere, I’ll find it :).

It’s been about a month since I purchased my 2 new mice and a keyboard, I wanted to compliment my MBP with a new keyboard and a mouse so that I’m so comfortable at my desk at home when I’m using my computer. So a month back, and after hard research, I decided to go ahead and buy Logitech’s MX Revolution (the world’s most advanced mouse), Logitech’s VX Nano and Apple’s new aluminum keyboard. Here’s my perspective on each peripheral below.

Tech Reviews: Apple Aluminum Keyboard (Wired or Wireless) August 22, 2008

Posted by Neal Atienza in Mac News, Tech Reviews.
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You know what, I wasn’t a big fan of Apple keyboards, it seemed too ordinary, didn’t pack extra and useful features but I was wrong. Apple based the keyboard design on the Macbooks and the Macbook Air, if you look closely at the picture, you will notice that the keys have maybe 3mm space between them, this space actually reduces typing errors and it works. Your fingers have enough room to hit the key and in this way, accommodating users with large or small fingers.

The keyboard also has function keys located on the top to control spaces, volume, brightness, and many more. The keyboard also provides 2 USB ports located underneath the keyboard and which is perfect for USB dongles for mice or external hard drives, and cameras but there’s a catch. It does not support USB powered peripherals, I think that’s really weak for Apple to design the USB port but I’m just happy that im getting 2 new USB ports because my MBP only has 2 ports.

The USB receiver tucks neatly under the keyboard and you wont even notice its there, its perfect. I would certainly recommend this keyboard to anyone, its available wired or wireless, the wireless bluetooth version does not provide USB ports and that’s why I bought the wired version.

This keyboard can be picked up at your nearest Apple store for $59 and the Bluetooth version for $79. (www.apple.ca)

Pros: Great layout of keys, 2 extra USB ports, thin and durable, barely any space for dust and dirt to get into the keyboard, provides MAC-specific function keys.

Cons: Does not support USB powered devices, can’t elevate or tilt the keyboard, not Windows friendly.

MacInBlog Rating: 4.5/5

Tech Reviews: Logitech MX Revolution August 22, 2008

Posted by Neal Atienza in Tech News, Tech Reviews.
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I was on a one week quest a month ago to purchase a mouse, for work and for my MBP at home. After digging into review sites and online stores, I decided to get the MX revolution for my MBP. I just love everything about this mouse; the design is absolutely stunning, great companion to my MBP. The design allows your thumb to rest on the mouse for comfort, it supports hyper-scrolling (wheel spins when you flick so you can scroll faster), a second scroll wheel on the side of your thumb to perform application switching and no need of batteries.

The MX Revolution comes with a USB dongle, charger and a base, the mouse sits on the base and charges, a single charge lasts about 5-6 days of average use. It uses the latest laser technology so that it is accurate no matter what surface the mouse is placed on. A battery indicator is positioned on the top of the mouse to provide the user a status of the battery life. I used to have the Microsoft Presenter 6000, don’t get me wrong, that’s also a good mouse, but not as good as the Logitech one. It is an expensive mouse, obviously, but if you do your shopping right, and get this at a good price, don’t just stand there, go and get it quick.

If you are thinking about purchasing this mouse, the best place I could find it for was Canada Computers for $85. (www.canadacomputers.com)

Pros: Great Design, Hyper-Scroll wheel, great usage per charge, slides along most surfaces, great point accuracy and second scroll wheel is a great addition. Battery indicator is a great idea.

Cons: Might be too big for some hands and it doesn’t support left-handed users. Expensive. Some features may not work in MACs.

MacInBlog Rating: 4.2/5

Tech Reviews: Logitech VX Nano Mouse August 22, 2008

Posted by Neal Atienza in Uncategorized.
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This mouse has the best reviews I’ve seen for any mouse on the net, it’s unbelievable, so many editors recommend this mouse and that’s why I purchased it.

After using it, its absolutely worth your buck for this mouse, well built and packed with features. It is nice to see that Logitech really revamped their peripherals line up and with products like this, I am getting impressed each year. The mouse has a perfect shape and look to it, accommodates right and left handed users, also provides hyper-scrolling and many programmable buttons. The best feature of this mouse would definitely be it’s USB receiver, it is tiny, you could place it on your laptop and leave it there, you wont even notice it’s there. Whenever you are travelling, the USB receiver neatly tucks inside the back of the mouse and automatically switches off the mouse so that it doesn’t accidentally switch on in your bag while you travel (great feature!). I used this mouse mainly at work and when I travel, It’s always in my bag and it’s the best mouse I’ve owned in a long long time.

The best deal I could find for this mouse is at PC Village for $45 which is a great price for an absolutely great mouse. (www.pcvonline.com).

Pros: Perfect size, packs many features. USB receiver is tiny, great battery life (2 AAA-sized), it has a quick search button.

Cons: Might be too small for some hands.

MacInBlog Rating: 5/5 (Editor’s Choice)

Apple’s September Surprise! – Get Ready….. August 21, 2008

Posted by Neal Atienza in Uncategorized.
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Apple’s been rather quiet for the past couple of months especially for the fact that we haven’t seen any new recent updates on most of their products in their lineup. Yeah the iPhone 3G and MobileMe kept them busy but Apple Analysts and fanboys have released leaked pictures of the new upcoming aluminum macbook. They also predicted significant updates to the iPod lineup, we could possibly see new refreshed versions of the iPod touch, which could also be plastic(same as 3G) instead of the chrome back and could be offered in many different colors. Memory upgrades on the iPod Touch (32Gb or maybe a 64GB version) would be a possibility as the prices of flash and 1.8” hard drives are getting lower and lower, another upgrade we could see also be the Macbook Air. The sleek and ultra portable laptop might pack better harddrives and might see a 120 -160GB 1.8” hard drive and also might offer a 128GB SSD drive for the needy techies.

No information yet about the possible revamp and upgrades of the Macbook Pros and apparently Apple has a big surprise for all it’s consumers around the world and it’s still hush hush right now but maybe in a few weeks, we will surely find leaked information regarding this matter.

So if you are planning to get something for you or someone at the nearest Apple Store, I advise you to hold on for a couple of weeks because you would want to get your hands on the updated line of products. A couple of weeks is a long time but it will be worth it.

Here are some leaked pictures of the new aluminum body macbook. (Pictures courtesy from gizmodo.com & appleowner.com)