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Normalizing the higher breed

TO PARAPHRASE that almost ubiquitous tee with the swoosh, Toyota knows hybrids -- even if many of us probably do not.

Fujifilm instax mini LiPlay

FUJIFILM’S new instax mini LiPlay is the latest in its line of hybrid instant cameras. Like Fujifilm’s first hybrid instant camera, the instax Square SQ10, and its predecessor, the SQ20, the LiPlay does away with the optical viewfinder found in most instax cameras and instead lets users to frame and review their shots via an LCD screen. Aside from digital images, however, the LiPlay also comes with the ability to capture audio -- perhaps for all those times you wished your still photos had sound so you could relive moments more vividly (Harry Potter, anyone?).

Simplified routine

I HAD previously used Hada Labo products from the core line when they were sent over from Japan by relatives, and while I remember that my skin loved the products, it was a problem getting them regularly enough to become staples so I stopped using them for a couple of years.

Mommy direst

PART of what makes Halloween (2018) remarkable: the return of John Carpenter (helped with music); the return of Nick Castle (he provided the heavy breathing and at one point plays masked killer Michael Myers); the return of Jamie Lee Curtis (reprising the role that made her famous, Laurie Strode) but what for me really sets this sequel apart from the 10 other sequels reboots remakes and so on is a new name: David Gordon Green.

Aiming to please

AT THE TURN of the millennium, SNK Corp. came out with the two-dimensional SNK Gals’ Fighters on the Neo Geo Pocket Color. Designed to be the female version of the hugely successful The King of Fighters series, it was released near the end of the handheld’s life cycle. Needless to say, it was an attempt to boost flagging sales; it tried to widen the user base by making 10 distaff characters from popular licenses its protagonists under proven gameplay mechanics.

Houston, we have a problem

YOU NEED TO KEEP reminding yourself: Damien Chazelle’s adaptation of James Hansen’s biographical book First Man is not The Right Stuff and astronaut Neil Armstrong (played by Ryan Gosling) is no test pilot in the mold of Chuck Yeager, nor was it -- or he -- meant to be. Question: does it manage to stand on its own four radically redesigned fins?

The undisputed king

LET’S FACE IT. The NBA 2K franchise is a venerable one built on both the intrinsic pull of its source material and the collective talent of its developers. Never has the National Basketball Association (NBA) been more popular, and its already immense global reach -- propped up by outstanding leadership and instantly recognizable marquee names -- continues to grow by the day. Meanwhile, Visual Concepts has turned the otherwise-vicarious experience of appreciating matches at the sport’s highest level into an extremely impressive undertaking.

Fitbit Flyer: Great sound, premium design

FITBIT FLYER is a pair of in-ear Bluetooth headphones launched early this year in the Philippines alongside Fitbit’s first true smartwatch, the Ionic. It sports a durable, ergonomic design with waterproof coating that repels rain, splash, and sweat. It also comes with interchangeable ear tips to ensure snug in-ear fit.

Star wars

By Noel Vera Movie Review A Star is Born Directed by Bradley Cooper THERE ARE as of this writing five, count em, five, different versions of the story,...

Product review: Orly Breathable Treatment + Color

As a nail polish formulated as a one-step system, Orly Breathable Treatment + Color saves one the hassle of having to apply several coats of different polishes as it can be used as both base and top coat.

The best game in the series to date

IT’S NOT HARD to understand why Nihon Falcom and NIS America have moved to port Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana in the Nintendo Switch. Having seen the title generate positive reception upon its release on the PlayStation Vita in 2016, on the PS4 last year, and on the PC earlier this year, they understand its potential to reach a new set of gamers via the hybrid console. Their confidence is not unfounded, and not simply because they carry a lot of weight in the gaming industry. More importantly, their latest contribution to the Ys franchise has been praised as the best yet.

Fitbit Ionic

FITBIT’S first flagship smartwatch, Ionic, got the bad raps when it hit markets globally in late 2017. Early adopters complained about its lack of aesthetic appeal and its laggy performance. For Fitbit fans, the Ionic was supposed to be their ideal smartwatch: it has GPS, it’s water resistant, and it can last almost a week without charging. The Ionic seemed to have failed to meet their expectations.

Gameplay flourishes where the story languishes

By Alexander O. Cuaycong and Anthony L. Cuaycong NIPPON ICHI Software distinguishes itself from other developers by the style of its games. Displaying its strengths...

Happy Skin enters the skincare arena

By Zsarlene B. Chua Reporter HAPPY SKIN, the Filipino brand known for its color cosmetics, has finally branched out into skin care -- a plan that...

Know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em

By Alexander O. Cuaycong and Anthony L. Cuaycong THERE are a slew of popular free-to-play online card games currently out to tickle the fancy of...

Well worth its price

NIHON FALCOM is no stranger to Japanese role-playing games. Having been behind the successful Legend Of Heroes, Dragon Slayer, and Ys series, it was...

Four products to start the new year looking pretty

By Zsarlene B. Chua Reporter IN KEEPING with the “New Year, New Me” cliché, this writer decided to dedicate the entire month of January to trying...

First impressions: Lenovo Miix 630

Lenovo’s Miix 630, which was unveiled at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, is a detachable 2-in-1 that promises up to...

Recommended for first-timers

By Alexander O. Cuaycong and Anthony L. Cuaycong AT FIRST GLANCE, it’s not wrong to think of L.A. Noire as a spin-off of Rockstar Games’...

A game to try again, and again, and again

By Anthony L. Cuaycong WHEN BLAZING STAR was introduced in the late ’90s, arcades were already replete with shoot-em-ups. In fact, it could be reasonably...

Smashing new stuff from Smashbox

CALIFORNIA-based cosmetics brand Smashbox has added new products to its already extensive line -- four eyeshadow palettes, a highlight palette done in collaboration with...

A game to sink your teeth into

By Alexander O. Cuaycong Total War: Warhammer II, the second offering in the Warhammer Trilogy of Creative Assembly and published by Sega, takes its lore...

Samsung Galaxy Book: A practical compromise

By Santiago J. Arnaiz THE 2-in-1 category gets a lot of flak for being rife with compromise machines, marrying the weaknesses of both laptops and...

Sony Xperia XZ Premium: Fancy upgrade

EARLY this year, Sony rolled out its most expensive smartphone to date — the Sony Xperia XZ Premium, priced at a whopping P45,490. It...

Good quality for its price point

NOW THAT H&M Beauty has landed in Manila, this writer -- like numerous other beauty enthusiasts -- was looking forward to trying out some...

Value for money proposition

By Anthony L. Cuaycong CONSIDERING the thematic foundations of Oceanhorn: Monster of the Uncharted Seas, you wouldn’t be wrong to argue that it harks closely...

REVIEW: Fitbit Flex 2

When Fitbit introduced the Flex 2 in late 2016, Fitbit fans rejoiced because the pioneering maker of wearable fitness trackers has finally introduced a...

A good game held back by technical flaws

By Alexander O. Cuaycong and Anthony L. Cuaycong Game Review Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada PlayStation 4 BASED on Luo Guanzhong’s novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Dynasty...

Lenovo Yoga Book: A true ultraportable with steep learning curve

IT IS DIFFICULT not to be impressed by the Lenovo Yoga Book the first time you see it. This 2-in-1 convertible tablet is wafer-thin...

For Honor is at the mercy of one’s Internet connection

By Alexander O. Cuaycong and Anthony L. Cuaycong Videogame Review For Honor Ubisoft WITHOUT a doubt, For Honor can be an immersive experience. Boot up the game and...

For Honor is at the mercy of one’s Internet connection

By Alexander O. Cuaycong and Anthony L. Cuaycong Videogame Review For Honor Ubisoft WITHOUT a doubt, For Honor can be an immersive experience. Boot up the game and...

An obscenity

By Noel Vera Review The Devils Directed by Ken Russell I THINK The Devils, Ken Russell’s fifth big-screen feature, is a culmination of his previous works dealing in...

Cops and robbers

DVD Review Hell or High Water Directed by David Mackenzie DAVID MACKENZIE’S Hell or High Water, from a script by Taylor Sheridan (Sicario) turns on a terrifically...

Tomorrow is only a day away;In these dark days, Annie is...

Theater Review Annie Presented by Resorts World Manila and Full House Theater Company Ongoing until Dec. 4; 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m....

Huawei Mate 8 review

By Sam Gonzales Is Huawei's new flagship device competitive enough to join the big leagues? Check out this review.  FEATURES AND PERFORMANCE (click the image to expand)     CAMERA...

The customer review is broken. That’s bad news for Yelp.

LIKE A LOT of people, Jared Andrews finds online customer reviews frustrating and often unhelpful. “There’s usually someone who absolutely loves the product and someone...