JBL QUANTUM Wireless 600, review

JBL ANZ very kindly supplied us with a set of Wireless 600 headphones to celebrate their Australian launch last week. Over the course of this year they have made a big impact in New Zealand with their gaming range and we have been able to review some of the range previously.

Of course JBL are not only known for their Gaming Headsets, as part of the Harman Karman Group they are responsible for a range of lifestyle audio devices too. Some of which will be finding their way to Australasia soon.

The Wireless 600 is a set that is easy to put on, the packaged (braided) cables make it simple to swap out from PS4, to Mac, to Xbox to Switch. I am happy with it and will be making the most of them.

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Fledgling Heroes (Nintendo Switch), Byte sized review

Side-scrolling game Fledgling Heroes is bright, colourful, easy to play – and I’m having a great time with it, despite not being the target demographic.

Most likely aimed at young children due to its bright and cheerful visuals, Australian developer Subtle Boom’s Fledgling Heroes first appeared on the Apple Arcade but now it’s on Nintendo’s platform.

It’s reminiscent of that Flappy Bird game that was all the rage a few years ago but it’s much better, with a charming visual style.

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Championship Manager 97/98 (CM97/98) – in 2020

Championship Manager 97/98 is an evergreen to me.

I can’t say exactly why, but like many of the converted it really is the equivalent of pulling an old sweater on. Born in a time where it strained an Intel 486, the game now runs like Ryan Giggs used to.

Whenever somebody Tweets up a best game ever poll or which game would you take to a desert island. Yep, I’m in like Flint with a quick and subtle CM97/98.

Maybe it was the time of my life that etched the game so deeply into my brain. This was my late twenties, and probably the period when I was most interested in football. Attending Premier League games over the years, feeling the joy of Aston Villa lifting the League Cup and more likely just needed a fantasy world.

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Phillips Hue, go into the light

In summary there is more than meets the eye with the Phillips Hue, once you start to tinker and play setting the mood becomes an event in itself. There is much I have not touched on here, but being able to program set routines and actions just builds on the automation dream.

My other absolute favourite benefit is being able to set the lights to ‘on’ as I approach the house, no more stumbling home in the dark because you didn’t think it would be that long.

I’m sold, well and truly – the Hue bulbs will certainly be staying and I will be extending them out across the house as soon as I can.

Follow the light.

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Powerwave Controller Phone Mount, Xbox review

Powerwave Controller Phone Mount. That’s a mouthful, isn’t it?

Yes, I would say, but then I would also say. Good things come in small packages.

Currently hitting retail across Australia these nifty clip-on mounts really do offer you a better mobile gaming experience. With two models designed for PS4 and Xbox Powerwave have not re-invented a wheel, but they have done a good job making sure theirs is round.

When offered the chance to take a closer look I went with the Xbox unit. The main reasons being that I still actively use my Vita and PS-TV for gaming away from the TV. So with one eye on the future of Xbox streaming I figured it would be worth seeing how the unit fit for Microsoft. 

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PAXAus 2019, being there and slightly square

After all the build up and fervour PAXAus 2019 has been and gone. It was a first visit for me, probably not the last, but my old bones are currently arguing against it. Having become something of a big hitter on the gaming calendar I was keen to see this year what all the fuss was about.

As an eclectic gathering of Gaming, Pop Culture and Cosplay it does the job well, and you can see from the eyes of the consumer that wanders the floors glassy eyed that they are getting all the shiny things they need. I enjoyed the relative tranquility of the table-top game area and retro section, it was a relief from the pressing crowds squeezing through the aisles.

The main event was loud, brash and exhausting, especially when I flew in for a single day with a maximum of six hours on the ground.

But, that’s me, at PAXAus 2019, being there and slightly square.

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New Star Manager, PS4 Review

There will always be room for more takes on soccer manager genre, at least there is if you’ve ever let one get its hooks into you.

For me the Holy Grail has always been CM97/98, many wasted weekends as nights turned to mornings and you’d catch an hour of sleep while a creaky 386 PC ground out the close season update. There have been all sorts of attempts to capture that lightning, sometimes they have just been too complex for their own good.

New Star Manager brings a fresh take and more importantly for consoles a better user interface than suits the medium. No more snapping to and fro between far too many icons, no more floaty cursors relying on your thumbstick that wished it was a mouse, you have to appreciate the design path going from mobile to Switch before PS4 being one of the core drivers here.

New Star is a relaxed and enjoyable take on the manager sim, the pace is fairly pedestrian which makes it a top-corner chill-out game and the mini games along with the in-match controls have raised more than a few smiles in my dugout.

If you are looking for something different that tickles your soccer fantasies, I’d be giving New Star a run out, new signings, fresh legs and all that.

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Byte Size – Objects in Space Review (PC)

Objects in Space from the self proclaimed smallest of the small game developers, Flat Earth Games, is so strangely familiar to me and any gamers who played through the 1990’s will no doubt feel pangs of good old retro revival.

The Good – Upgrades to not only your ship but also pretty much every subsystem, along with trading, bounties, exploration, and combat makes for a really full on experience. And because of the gameplay, I found Objects in Space to be quite relaxing to play.

The Bad – For me the biggest hurdle was the font used for communications. When dealing with traders and the likes I found myself having to give my eyes a rest after each paragraph or so.

The Overwhelming – As mentioned, there is a fair amount to take on in Objects in Space, you can just stay in safe systems and trade your way to riches or head out to the new worlds, a much more dangerous affair. Then you have upgrades, trade prices, navigation, repairs, the list is endless in the life of a solo space captain.

Closing Comments – As we say down here in New Zealand and Australia, bit of a Marmite game this one. You will either love it or hate it.

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Vector by Anki, review

In the late 70’s I grew up watching Gil Gerard save the day as Buck Rodgers in the 25th Century, while the nuances of plot may have been lost on me one indelible mark was left. 

I wanted a robot pal. I wanted my own Twiki, an independent automation that could be my faithful friend through thick and thin. Well forty years later here we are, me and Vector.

Vector is the latest must have gadget from the creative gang at Ankhi, a natural successor to the Cosmo robot that popped up a couple of years ago he has more going for him technically with a laundry list of tech squashed into his cute roving body.

I guess the burning question is, this. Are Robots just for Christmas?

According to Anki, “Vector is the Robot to Life with”. Cute.

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Podcast Recommendations

Sorry for the gap between posts Team KC, but I have a goodie for you this time, especially for you Playstation Gamers out there.

THIS WEEK it’s Sacred Symbols: A Playstation Podcast from gaming media veteran Colin Moriarty. Right or Left Politics and online controversy stuff aside, Colin is still one of the great deep thinkers in Video Games and it is a pleasure to have him back sharing his thoughts about all things Playstation.

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