Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year MMXI !!!

Just wanna say a short HAPPY NEW YEAR 2011!

So today will be 1/1/11 - its not gonna happen for another 1000 years so I might as well post this!!!

Again, Happy New Year, 2010 was awesome, 2011 will rock!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Native Instruments / Traktor Scratch Stickers!!!

Lookie lookie! I just received in the mailbox from native instruments:

hmmm an envelope from Germany? I wonder what's inside...


Is this... the infamous APPLE Native Instruments Sticker!!???

Yes They Are! And this is it on my Macbook Pro : Nice right? :D

Native Instruments have kindly sent me a huge set of Traktor Scratch stickers, The best one of all is the one i showed above : A clear, apple shaped Sticker, with a BLACK Native Instruments Logo in the middle of it, specifically made for Macbook / Macbook Pro's - Very nice!

How did I get them? well rumor has it that if you e-mail them and be nice (and have a few of their products of course) , they MIGHT send you some...  Feel free to try! :D

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Scott Pilgrim Vs The World : MOVIE OF THE YEAR!!! (ok maybe not but its pretty damn good)

I actually didnt know about this movie until my friend told me about it, for some weird reason they didnt play this movie in Singapore?? I watched it - and i must say THIS MOVIE IS BLOODY BRILLIANT!! That's all i can say about it - if you havent seen it - GO SEE IT NOW!!! Yes - It's that good :D


its now available in DVD/Blue ray

Kurzweil KS-40A reference monitors (mini-review)

I have been reading positive reviews about the Kurzweil KS40A speakers, at the same time I was on the hunt for a pair of monitor speakers but since i just spent a fortune on a brand new Macbook Pro, I either have to cope with a cheap speaker or Go rob a bank.

Fortunately, i learnt that you dont have to rob a bank to get really good quality speakers!!

Check out what i just bought today:

The packaging

Dont let the packaging fool you! These are probably the best speakers you can buy for below $100 SGD, thats right, i bought them for just SGD$95! (equates to USD $70) from Citymusic (singapore). Of course if you have the cash to spend then i would recommend getting the Yamaha HS50M instead (which costs more than 4 times!) but if you want something NOW that's cheap and is worth every cent - This is it!

Inside the box

Before i started studying audio engineering, I was one of those guys with I-WANT-MORE-BAAAASS syndrome , meaning i didnt care much about the clarity of the sound that was being outputted and bass was all that important, today as I learn about audio mixing and production, I realized the importance of CLARITY and Flat frequency response , well for $95 SGD these bad boys are flatter than kate moss' boobs!!

These speakers are very clean, very balanced, and just sound AWESOME! They simply outperformed every other speaker in its price range, and even the ones which are more expensive! I compared this to the Creative gigaworks T20 (about the same price), even outperformed the Gigaworks T40 (about twice the price) and the kurzweil kills the creative speakers hands down!!  FATALITY!!! FINISH HIM!! *electronic blood splatters everywhere*

This is how they look like - plain and simple!

The speakers are 10W each only, meaning there wont be much bass, but at the same time its a good thing because the sound wont be drowned in all the bass like those typical creative 2.1 speaker + sub combo! You can still hear substantial amount of bass, not too much, just right, and there's a knob at the back to adjust if you want more, but personally i recommend leaving it at the default setting

If you are looking for a decent, super cheap speakers that are worth their price, then you should try to locate a dealer that sells these and give them a listen - chances are you will love them! Again for mixing purposes i will still recommend the Yamaha HS50m over this anytime for its clarity, but the Yamaha costs about four times as much as the Kurzweils, which is understandable! But for the price & value thing, Kurzweil KS40A's ROCK!

I have tested the kurzweil KS40A's for listening to music with really nice results, I also tried hooking up my Traktor S4 dj controller to the KS40A's and the combination of NI Soundcard + Good speakers gives a really nice clean output! So Traktor S4 owners looking for a cheap speaker for bedroom practicing~ This is a good one!

This will do fine until i get my hands on a Yamaha HS80 :) which i will do get in a few months!

Kurzweil KS-40A / KS40A Mini Review By Ivan Zilch

Kurzweil for specs and more info

For those in Singapore you can check

Friday, December 3, 2010

Review: Sega Arcade Nano by AtGames! Pocket sized Retro gaming!

Look at how small they are!!!!

The AV Cable plugs right at the back of the unit

The kind guys from AtGames (the creator of SEGA Firecore Gopher i reviewed in the past) have sent me some samples of their new products : Arcade Nano series. They come in several different flavours, the one i received were Virtual Fighter 2 , Sonic the Hedgehog , and Ecco the Dolphin. Yes, all are Sega's famous mascots and each "nano arcade" contains 10 Games: 5 authentic sega games and 5 bonus mini games.

Ecco , Virtua Fighter 2, and Sonic Nano Arcades!
The back of the packaging

Arcade Nano?
At first glance the arcade nano series looks like a retro style, miniature joystick we used to find at the arcade centres. Most people at first would simple think that they are novelty keychains for retro gamers. One cool thing is that : yes they are keychains, but they also play FULL SEGA GAMES when connected to a TV!

Compared to my hand : so small!!!
Comes in many fruity flavors!!

The list of games available:

Nano Arcade Sonic Set :
  • Sonic
  • Sonic 2
  • Sonic Spinball
  • Sonic 3D Blast
  • Alex Kidd

Nano Arcade Virtua Fighter Set :
  • Virtua Fighter 2
  • Shinobi 3
  • Golden Axe
  • Golden Axe 3
  • Alien Storm

Nano Arcade Ecco the dolphin set:
  • Ecco the dolphin
  • Ecco Jr
  • Flicky
  • Puyo Puyo
  • Columns

As you can see they all have a good range of titles on each set, plus on top of them you get 5 extra mini games with each set (all different) making a total of 10 games per set. I personally find the mini games passable compared to the full blown sega games, but that is just a personal prefference

I must say that each set has their own classic games that a lot of people love, most people would be familiar with the blue hedgehog's set, as it has a lot of the sonic games and also the classic game ALEX KIDD!

Action game addicts would find the virtua fighter 2 set appealing, with included classics like golden axe and shinobi included!!

Those who love the classic puzzle games Columns and Puyo puyo might find the Ecco set very interesting

They are powered by one AAA battery, which will last you many hours of gameplay (so all you need is a tv) , the thing i can think about with these is when you are travelling overseas and find a tv in you hotel, by hooking up the included av cable you can enjoy some retro gaming on your hotel tv to kill time!


Game selection: This is what you see when you turn on the unit

Emulation :
The arcade nano series does a good job of emulating the sega graphics, even on bigger screen tvs, i personally tested this on a 32 inch flatscreen tv and the result is good, of course you cant compare 16 bit games to BLACK OPs! (LOL) but the graphics are comparable to the real sega, the only downside is the audio, the audio seems a bit slower than that of the original sega genesis, but other than that they are reproduced quite well, in mono (it comes with a mono cable only).

The mini joystick and buttons are pretty responsive, although they can be a tad small for people with massive handz like me), but even so i was able to throw special moves on virtua fighter quite well with this small joystick, they are pretty responsive, although very small! Also the av cable they supplied is a tad too short for people with very large tv like mine, you might end up holding the joystick too close to the screen,  if only they give a much longer cable then it would be really really awesome!

Well this is what the arcade nano is good at , they seem to pack some quality titles with each arcade nano, classic such as SHINOBI 3, Golden Axe, Golden axe 3 and alien storm are all present on the Virtua Fighter set, for example, i personally loved those games many years ago as a kid and its good to be able to play them all over again now.  The sonic set will prove to be popular as well, as it contains many classic sonic games (no sonic 3 though? ). Due to the small size of the unit, there is NO two player option.

This is how gameplay looks like on a big screen tv!

Value for money:
They are selling for USD $15 to $19 on amazon or the internet, so they are pretty damn cheap, if you have any retro gamer friend that you wanna give a christmast present to, these would be great! Remember that each set has 5 full games and 5 bonus mini games - not bad!

Who is it for?
The label at the back says "Age 6 and above" but while they are fine for little kids, these nano arcades will appeal the most for those who lived thru and survived the 8bit/16bit era (Like me!). For example, my older sister, whose first experience with gaming was the ATARI 2600, loves these Arcade Nano machines, she is one of those many who find the newer generation of consoles too complicated and too much emphasis on HD Graphics etc, For her retro gaming was what's its all about. I am sure we all know a few people like these, if not ourselves!

  • Small nano-sized, cute looking and doubles as an uber-cool retro keychain!
  • Good selection of Games on each set, many awesome classics!
  • Low price, packed full of retro goodness,  makes an AWESOME gift for retro gamers!
  • Awesome novelty item for sega hardcore fans!!

  • AV Cable supplied a tad too short
  • although acceptable, Sound emulation a bit slower than normal sega

(you can find them for as low as $15/$16 usd on amazon or the web!! If you decide to buy one, make sure to compare first and get the lowest prices possible!)
Sapphire Ar8101 Arcade Nano Vf2
Sapphire Ar8102 Arcade Nano Sonic
Sapphire Ar8103 Arcade Nano Columns

AtGames Sega Arcade Nano Review by Ivan Zilch

AtGames (The creator of Sega Firecore Gopher) told me they are releasing the new and improved GOPHER 2011 very soon, which I've been told has been fixed and way improved than the previous version. Are we finally going to see the ULTIMATE Portable Sega genesis gaming? We shall see in about 3 weeks time - review coming up soon!