Jul 14, 2017
I’ve been trying to hold on to buying a Nintendo Switch, but I finally succumbed to the desire of playing the copy of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild that’s been laying around on my desk for weeks (don’t ask).
Finally, the Switch in my hands.
I got the grey one, not because it’s my favorite over the red/blue one, I actually like both equally and was a bit divided about which one to choose. I think the grey one has the edge on looks, but the red/blue has more personality and is more fun (these colors are the iconic Switch colors now). Anyway, one can always get a new pair of Joy-Cons if you get bored of the colors. Also, the SNES button color hack is very tempting, but I don’t know if I’m willing to risk a Joy-Con.
The Switch is basically a console with smartphone hardware, and even though it has pretty decent capabilities, it doesn’t have the processing capacity of other current generation consoles, so it might be unreasonable to expect it’ll get those big AAA third-party titles and be a direct rival of Sony and Microsoft’s consoles. I don’t expect that, and that’s why I also have a PS4.
The thing that will make or break the Switch is Nintendo itself. They have really good and unique IP, if they can keep up with great games, all is good. Although I like almost every franchise of Nintendo and I’m interested in a bunch of them, I’m a big Zelda fan, give me more Zelda games of Breath of the Wild’s calibre and I’m a very happy customer. If the Switch gets one or two more Zelda games in its lifetime, it’ll be fantastic.
Here’s my half-assed review of the Switch.
Jun 8, 2017
Here’s my new site. The content previously existed in a private Tumblr or notes in my iPad for years, I never published because I wasn’t very happy with the result. Lately I’ve been testing Hugo for another project, and decided to convert the existing content to it. This site contains some of those posts, the most interesting ones. Some post were retouched, some were excluded because they were crap, and other still need to be rewritten, and will be added in the future.
I’ll try to update it regularly, but I tried the same with previous sites and failed miserably, so no promises.
May 30, 2017
Of course I’ve cleaned the desk for the photo. It never looks like this.
After two month of heavy use, I’m very pleased with the iMac 5K. It’s acceptably fast for the use I give it, mainly iOS/tvOS/web development and graphic tools. The 27-inch screen is amazing and I think that perhaps I’m getting a bit too spoiled with it because all other screens look like rubbish now.
Regarding noise and heat - one of my main gripes with computers, and one area I’ve heard complains with the iMac - no problems whatsoever, even though the summer hasn’t hit full blast, the fan is barely audible and always at minimum speed, although you can hear the Fusion Drive’s spinning disk, but it’s not loud at all. Let’s wait for the summer, maybe my opinion will change.
I got the iMac with a Magic Keyboard and a Magic Trackpad. The Magic Keyboard, is nice, nothing to write home about, but I do miss the keyboard backlight of the Macbook Pro. The trackpad is great, I barely use my Magic Mouse anymore.
The big surprise was the sound, I expected it would suck and would have to buy external speakers. I don’t know what kind of magic they did with the speakers, because the grills are tiny and the sound is amazing.
The thing that annoys me the most is the SD Card slot, while it’s great that it’s there (looking at you new Macbook Pro), the location of it is annoying, it’s located in the back near the ports and that makes it hard to insert a card straight while sitting in front of the computer. The side slot on old iMacs was way better.
May 11, 2017
Although at first it looks like yet another body swap story that are common in japanese manga/animation, but it ends up being much more than that. It’s good, very good. The art is beautiful and very detailed, and the animation is buttery smooth.
It’s one of the best japanese animations I’ve seen.
Apr 4, 2017
After the death of my 2008 Macbook Pro about two months ago, I need a replacement computer. Even though I’m certain that it’s the absolute worst time to buy a new Mac, because most have launched many months (some years) ago and are due for an update very soon, but I am unable to postpone the purchase anymore.
The choice? Laptop or desktop? I can’t remember the last time I needed to take my computer outside the office, and because I’m not a big fan of the newer Macbook Pros, I decided it would be a desktop, either a Mac mini or an iMac (4K or 5K). The latest Mac mini are not that great - old and slow CPUs and not user upgradable, and the 4K suffers the same upgradability problems . So the choice was a question of eliminating all others, and chose an iMac 5K.
That’s a very big box.
The criticism I’ve heard of the iMac 5K are mainly the noise/heat and the image retention problems of the 5K panel. Turns out the noise/heat problems are more pronounced on the i7 CPUs, so I chose the slower i5 CPU, low noise and heat is very important to me. The potential image retention problem was a bit scarier, but the apparently the LCD panel lottery was good to me.
So, In the end I got an iMac 5K with a 3.2GHz i5 and a 2TB Fusion Drive . I upgraded the RAM by adding 16GB of third-party RAM to the original 8GB, for a total of 24GB. I’ve read that this iMac unofficially supports up to 64GB. I got the Magic Trackpad too, since I already have a Magic Mouse.
Mar 13, 2017
Set in a dark and bleak future, with no hope for the few mutants that still exist. The X-Men have failed miserably and no longer exist. Logan is a shadow of his former self, and he takes care of an old, vulnerable Charles Xavier that suffers from dementia.
This movie is a departure from what we are used to get in superhero movies nowadays, a formula that is becoming boring. Because it’s Rated R, Logan is a brutal and gore movie, we get to watch Wolverine chopping limbs without restraints, as he should be.
This might be the best superhero movie yet. I loved it.
Mar 7, 2017
Aloy hunting a Sawtooth.
Every time Sony showed previews of Horizon Zero Dawn I was skeptical, It always seemed like they were promising way more than what they would be able to deliver at the end. But I was wrong, the game is every bit as fantastic as it looked in trailers. Guerrilla Games has been making First Person Shooters for years and to be honest the Killzone franchise felt a bit stale lately, maybe they needed to do something else to excel.
Horizon is an open world game set a thousand years after the end of civilisation, where the wilderness has taken over and is now populated by primitive clans and killing machines. You play as Aloy, a strong and courageous woman whose origin is just as mysterious as the world she’s lives in.
Guerrilla built a big and diverse world, there are forests, jungles, deserts, tundras, mountains, lakes and much more. You want to explore, and everything is so beautiful that I often stop to appreciate the view and take some screenshots. The level design is great and the art direction is excellent.
The game is hard and ruthless, two hits from some of the machines and Aloy is dead, so you have to be careful not to be surprised, a bit of planning while handling your foes doesn’t hurt, and keep in mind that there should be more than one way of tackling the situation. But even though it’s not an easy game, its mechanics are never too complicated (I’m looking at you, The Witcher III).
So, if I want to nitpick it, maybe facial expressions and the acting is not the best, and weather and day/night cycles are too abrupt, in 2 seconds everything changes, I’d like it to be more gradual. That’s it. The game is that good.
Horizon sets the bar so high that it might spoil future open world games, because I’ll compare every new open world game with it from now on.
UPDATE (Jun/22): Finally finished it after about 80 hours of gameplay, could have finished it faster but exploring is so fun I spent a lot of time doing just that. This game is a masterpiece.
Mar 6, 2017
The Nintendo Switch in handheld configuration.
The Switch was released a few days ago, and I had the chance to try it out for a few minutes.
It’s a cool the concept, a home/portable hybrid console, and is beautifully designed, almost like an Apple product. It doesn’t look like a toy anymore, and maybe because of that, it doesn’t feel as sturdy, child-proof and capable of rough handling as previous Nintendo machines. The console sits nicely in the hands, but because it’s wide it feels a bit weird to have the hands that far apart, but not uncomfortable at all.
Tried it first in home configuration, with the controllers attached to the grip, and it felt pretty good. The Switch was running Zelda Breath of the Wild, and while it looks decent, it has this hazy/cloudy look that makes the colours a bit washed out. But when I switched to the handheld configuration, it looked way better than on TV . Colours were looking an order of magnitude better, and the hazy/cloudy effect less pronounced.
I love Zelda games, and I think this Zelda game might be the best Zelda game, ever.
Also, because of years of playing XBox and Playstation games, I realize that my brain completely switched the placement of A and B buttons and it’s hard to go back to the Nintendo button pattern.
So, do I want one? Yes!