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All posts by Steven Norris: grumpy curmudgeon

Steven Norris: grumpy curmudgeon
Steven Norris is a born writer, living in Tamboerskloof, Cape Town and educated in the ways of graphic design but destined to follow in the footsteps of the worlds greatest authors. He has had many years of experience as an SEO copywriter, learning the ropes the hard way before utterly mastering them. He loves training others to write, how to create stories from nothing and how to deliver them to a wider audience. His passion is gadgets, video games, and sorting jellybeans by colour and weight.
  • 7 reasons why ‘Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s’ single-player ain’t so bad

    We’re paying a lot of money for games now (R899 is average in South Africa, about US$80), so they’re expected to deliver their money’s worth. Advanced Warfare delivers a lengthy single player campaign, with a constant assault of Michael Bay moments mixed in with excellent graphics and audio. After finishing the surprisingly long single-player mission, I was left satisfied. For once, a Modern Warfare surprised me. Why? The spoiler-filled answers are below. The guns are great Since we’re in the 2050s, developers Sledgehammer Games were left to happily invent any type of weapon they wanted. The modern-age weapons of Modern Warfare games left me...

  • BlackBerry Passport review: back to business

    Internet people love hyperbole. “The best smartphone ever,” some write when describing an iPhone 6. “This is the greatest gadget of all time,” says another about the HTC One M8. I don’t like using hyperbole, but ironically there’s no other way to describe BlackBerry’s Passport other than: a square-screened device that is the best phone ever…  for business. It’s not average and it’s not just great, it really is a brilliant phone. This is why. Best for business Being busy is a filthy habit. It means that you haven’t planned your day well enough to accommodate for random surprises. “Oh, I’m so...

  • Here’s the coding surprise lurking inside every PS4

    Here’s a funny story. In every PS4 right now, there’s the name of an ex-Sony engineer scrawled inside them. Kazuya Sakakihara, according to a Kotaku report, had worked at Sony for well over a decade on both the PS4 and PS3. He’s “written” his name inside every current PS4, even yours. For those who don’t know (us included) that’s a snippet of the hard drive code. There’s a few more things that makes this so strange. Namely that Sakakihara misspelled his own surname, and that text like this should be in the comments section — where other coders usually leave notes for each other. Take a...

  • PlayStation Plus games of November (PS4) review: digging, crying, escaping

    The chatter on the internet when November’s free PlayStation Plus games were announced was fairly hostile. Users moaned about the games but when I heard what was being released — Escape Plan, The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth and SteamWorld Dig are three excellent games, all for the price of nothing at all (if you don’t count the PSN subscription fee). While all have been out for quite some time, they’re now free on PSN so, how do they still hold up? The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth Let’s begin with the strongest game of the trio, and perhaps one of the best Rouge-like adventures...

  • 4K resolution ‘GTA IV’ rides the uncanny valley

    Modders make bad games better and sometimes, they make good games even greater. Case in point: this 4K redo of the blandest Grand Theft Auto, GTA 4. Smarty-pants modder darkdeus offers us images and video of his 4K GTA IV PC modification, as part of the Simple ENB package. The trailer and images are absolutely incredible and prove that with a lot of work and effort, a bland game can look like a title that competes with today’s graphics. Of special note are the cars, which approach Driveclub levels of realism. But then again, the streets look fantastic, as well as the water effects....

  • New Far Cry 4 story trailer proves that we’re born to be wild

    Far Cry 4 launches fairly soon, 18 November to be accurate. And the best way to get hyped up about any game has to be through an official launch trailer. From what’s happening here, we can see that Far Cry 4 is going to be a heck of a lot more epic than the previous entry in the series. The trailer quickly shows us hero Ajay Ghale who’s come back home to Kryat to scatter his mother’s ashes. The problem though, is that Ajay’s old hometown has now been overtaken by a despotic dictator, King Pagan Min. This trailer is fairly...

  • PS4 update 2.00 placing some Sony consoles into ‘Coma Mode’

    Firmware updates for the PS4 are lovely (and free). Most of the time, we get some decent changes such as themes, software fixes and bolstered online stability. This was the crux of PS4 update 2.00, which hit our machines late October. But, the update added a feature that’s leaving most PS4 owners quite frustrated. The new “Rest Mode” replaces Standby Mode and lets users turn their PS4’s off while still allowing their games to download, and their controllers to charge. The issue though is that some PS4’s (like mine) wouldn’t wake up or ever worse, it prompts a disc scan when it...

  • Shadow Warrior (PS4) review: fun-tastic

    Games take themselves too seriously. Between the serious death and destruction of Mass Effect, Shadow of Mordor and Advanced Warfare, games like Hotline Miami, Sunset Overdrive and yes, the titular Shadow Warrior stand out as titles that just wanna have fun. So I’m here to tell you that Shadow Warrior, a remake of a fairly racist Nineties classic by 3D Realms, is fantastic fun. Here’s a game that doesn’t take itself seriously for even a split-second, even while you’re spinning through crowds of exploding demons with a fiery Katana. (As an aside, is Devolver Digital the best games publisher of...

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare meta-review: a return to form

    Today’s the day: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare releases and there’s a few reviews currently out and about. Is this the next-generation shooter we’ve all been hoping for? Let’s see what these lucky publications have to say (spoiler alert: the game’s good): Let’s begin with Joe Anderson’s review (on PS4), off the lesser-known site ShopTo.net. In Anderson’s opinion, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is a solid return to form, with excellent use of the new EXO suit, lifelike graphics and addictive multiplayer. The new shooter isn’t going to convert non-fans though. “Whether Advanced Warfare is for you or not will be down...

  • Count Super Mario, not sheep: Nintendo announces sleep-monitoring device

    This is not a Nintendo article about how well it’s suddenly doing, this is a story about sleep, and how Nintendo wants to monitor our resting time. Nintendo will in fact, make sleeping fun again as it introduces its very own sleep-monitoring device, according to Reuters. Earlier this week, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata took to the stage to announce the company’s first sleep-monitoring device (coming before March 2016), developed in partnership with ResMed Inc. Does this mean we’ll be counting jumping Mario’s instead of sheep? Nintendo already has a few fitness devices already cluttering up living rooms, like the Wii Balance...

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