When trailer of the Brad Pitt starrer, World War Z was shown in cinemas, I was taken aback. Sorry, what’s the title again? World War What? It sounded…weird that I felt uneasy for such a movie for Brad Pitt, whom we last heard in Happy Feet Two, and seen in Moneyball. What the heck, zombies again? Haven’t we had enough of the killing and the mayhem in The Walking Dead series (waiting for Season 4 in October!)?

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No offense to author Max Brooks, who wrote the novel with the same title in 2006. It’s just that, the title doesn’t bite at all, just the title. The same feeling I had with Tom Cruise’s War of the Worlds written by H.G. Wells. Nevertheless, director Marc Forster loosely adapted the novel and transformed it into one commercial success, making it the biggest opening for its main actor Brad Pitt. Few of us are aware that Pitt also produced this, through his Plan B Entertainment film outfit.

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World War Z has received a generally positive response from film critics, and the audience alike. The critics are convinced of Pitt’s performance (though not his best) and the audience loved its “fresh take on the zombies” – running, and running fast, and overly sensitive ‘monsters’. Others are still not convinced though that the “virus-infected humans” can ran fast – a big departure from its predecessors in The Night of the Living Dead – with Zombies moved slow and are weak, gross, yet scary.

Is it because of the popularity of the zombies in the past years? And guess what, before CandyCrush came to our midst, and after mastering the art of running, sliding and jumping in Temple Runs 1&2, we succumbed ourselves playing Plants vs. Zombies. And we hate it when they suddenly grew in number, and “threated us to eat our brains.” Alonso Duralde of The Wrap said, “For all its effectiveness at portraying the horror of possible human extinction, the film’s actual humans are so soulless that this could just as well be the movie version of the video game Plants vs. Zombies.” I disagree, I would still love to see a version of this video game converted into a movie.

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But none of these slow-moving and brain-eating zombies are present in the movie. Rather, tons and billions of fast-running “undead” climbing the walls of Israel, causing the teeth-pull outs in South Korea, and creating a pandemonium of some sorts in Philadelphia. And as always, fans of the book and the Brooks, “may be annoyed by how thoroughly it diverges from the source material.”

But guess what, just like what a moviegoer said after the movie, I never thought it can be as thrilling and exciting as I expected it to be. The movie may have put Brad Pitt as the “only good looking actor” in the film, but he delivered a solid performance, making zombie movies cool, again. No funny lines, witty outtakes, or exciting characters – it was just Brad Pitt (and his good looks) in his version of Will Smith’s I Am Legend.

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What made this movie successful is perhaps, the story’s establishment of the drama among the hero, his family, and his role to find cure. We have the usual hero, “who is called to save the world” A number of movies have tried this kind of plot, but was just too much. (Remember the Die Hard series?) Moviegoers enjoyed the film because of the smart, gripping, fast-paced sequences.

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Despite the production problems (which we couldn’t care less as long as the movie has been done), is it the movie that good for a sequel? Producer Pitt, hinted something about the book that needs explored more. In a premiere night in Moscow, Russia, he said that, “There is enough [material] to mine from the book,” he said. “We could barely get a fraction of the book in [this movie]. So we’ll see. We’ll see.”

 

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Witty but sometimes suplado, Mark is the "master" contributor of Gadget Pilipinas Extra, an offshoot category, which talks about lifestyle and philosophy. Mark finished a degree in Communication Arts in University of the Philippines. He is currently working for a top insurance company in the Philippines.

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Tokyo Game Show Special Coverage

Tokyo Game Show 2018

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Witness this year’s biggest gaming convention in Asia, the Tokyo Game Show 2018. This September 19, our team will fly to Tokyo, Japan, to be part to TGS 2018. Special thanks to our brand partners Huawei Mobile, PLDT Home, Smart Communications and Cherry Mobile for making this coverage possible.

The Gadget Pilipinas Team was given access to a press briefing with Hidetaka Miyazaki, Director from From Software and a bit of hands-on gameplay. Here’s our take on the hands-on gameplay and the insights from the press interview. We also  figured a listicle is in order to rundown why this game will match the hype surrounding it.

Here’s our Top 5 reasons why “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice” is to die for.

1) The game is Tenchu-inspired

sk8lqukaqalhq2mrzkqd 770x433 - Top 5 reasons "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice" is to die forIf you’ve played any of the Tenchu games in previous game consoles, you know that the use of the grappling hook to set-up a one-slash-stealth kills from above is a hallmark of the series. Zipping to rooftops and treetops will be the go-to move in this game to get rid of sentries. And yes, those ever-so glorious decapitations and dismemberments with the stealth kill are present.

2) Casual or hardcore can play

sn1rmqcvrwomyuttaoyq 770x433 - Top 5 reasons "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice" is to die forFrom Software is notorious for challenging games and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is no exception. However, Hidetaka Miyazaki, Director of From Software, revealed that he himself is a casual gamer and has made it clear that the game should be accessible to beginners and experienced players alike.

3) Upgradeable prosthetic arm

jjn6e6ivua5u142iukql 770x433 - Top 5 reasons "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice" is to die forThat prosthetic arm that Sekiro has isn’t just for looks. It can launch a grappling hook and is upgradeable too. No details were revealed but its good to know that a skill-tree based system is in place. Think Horizon Zero Dawn or Spiderman on the way skill and gadgets are upgraded. Tech upgrades set in feudal Japan? What’s not to like?

4) Play the style that suits you

jo1pi5md3myj0pxynz9p 770x433 - Top 5 reasons "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice" is to die forStealth like Tenchu or head-on like Dark Souls? It’s up to you. What’s clear is that you can’t use stealth for the whole campaign since the game wasn’t designed that way. Stealth can be used to thin enemy numbers and to preserve your health before confronting the big boss. The mix of stealth and hack and slash is always a good mix to change-up the pace and should suit any gameplay style.

5) Single-player only campaign can last 20 to 30 hours 

ocxemodvr6oa72argpyo 770x433 - Top 5 reasons "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice" is to die forThat’s the length of the campaign as per Miyazaki. The game is focused-solely on the single-player experience. No more wayward players who can just jump-in and help or derail your campaign. From Software also focused on the story-telling. Given that no resources were spent in developing the multiplayer aspect, expect the campaign to take it up a notch.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice will be released on March 22, 2019 on PC, Xbox One and the Playstation 4.

Our Tokyo Game Show 2018 Coverage is brought to you by our brand partners: Huawei Mobile Philippines, PLDT Home Fibr, Smart and Cherry Mobile. Access our coverage here.

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Heads-up, Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) players. The PES game you’re playing on your phone is going to get a major upgrade.

For starters, the visuals will get a major overhaul and will be using Unreal Engine 4 – the same graphics engine used in triple A games for consoles and PCs. With the use of Unreal Engine 4, PES will be inching closer to how it looks versus its console port. It

Next, over 3,000 new animations, improved player AI with every playstyle accounted for, and realistic ball movements has been optimized for fans to enjoy the ultimate soccer game.

And lastly, 10 new league licenses from Europe, South America and Asia have been added, including Japan’s J. League.

The best part? Despite these updates,  Winning Eleven 2019 is still free-to-play (with in-game purchases).

PES 2019 promises to give a life-like behavior of the beautiful game and should take competitive mobile sports gaming to new heights.

Screen Shot 2018 09 21 at 1.16.38 AM 640x327 - TGS 2018: PES mobile game to be updated to "Winning Eleven 2019" this December!

More about the game and new features, here.

Our Tokyo Game Show 2018 Coverage is brought to you by our brand partners: Huawei Mobile Philippines, PLDT Home Fibr, Smart and Cherry Mobile. Access our coverage here.

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