Currently Tinkering: Hitfilm 4 Express

I got Hitfilm 4 Express last year, but never got into experimenting it until recently. I used to use the old ever reliable Microsoft Movie Maker. Why? Because I really didn’t have time to do some editing of my own, especially with the work I do Captain’s Sweet Galley, making basically simple image slides. At some point I really wanted to do something more. I really didn’t like the idea that I can’t put up logos on my video on Movie Maker, and the text feature is just bothersome.

So, I actually tried other video editing software, like Lightworks. But I had problems with their registration especially when I had to reformat my computer recently. Eventually I got to try Hitfilm 4 Express. Why I tried it? Because I really didn’t want to download Movie Maker anymore since it’s an outdated program and I really wanted something more.

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My first experimental video, a friend of mine brought his boardgames. We take videos of unboxing them, but I really had a hard time getting time to actually edit one, especially I rarely had any free time myself. At first I really didn’t know what to do, so I held it off for a while. Until one day, I had to compile a bunch of home made videos in a matter of hours. And, I really didn’t have time to download Movie Maker, so it gave me the opportunity to experiment with Hitfilm 4 Express.

I know this application has been designed as an alternative to Adobe Afer Effects. I haven’t used After Effects but it seems surprisingly powerful. I haven’t tried composing effects yet, but Hitfilm has a lot of them. Most of them are paid though, come to think of it, I think all of them are. But if you can make your own effects, you are welcome to compose your own effects. It reminds me of playing around with Adobe/Macromedia Flash. And since this is video, I’m happy that the output is going to be smoother than it was in Flash regardless of how much animation I put into a scene.

The video below is a basic video editing, no composing to speak of, but I was able to do what I wanted to do. I want to do more now.

There are tons of tutorials on how to use Hitfilm Express and it’s really impressive what it can do. It is close or equal to high end video editing programs. If you want a good quality video editor, I highly recommend people to try this out.

Download Hitfim Express below.
https://hitfilm.com/express

 

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Game Trailer: Megaman 11

At long last, there is a new Megaman. The last game was actually 7 years ago released on the PS3, Xbox360, PC and the Wii. Capcom really took their time on this. This new game will be released on the PS4, XboxOne, Switch and on the PC.

Currently Playing: Path of Exile

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I’ve been a while since I posted anything new. I’ve been very busy lately, since I’ve been getting into a board games and taking care of our family business. Anyway, I’ll be quick in posting this for now. I’ve been trying to find time to play lately, since it feels like a while since I played a proper game. But for now, I’ll be posting some pictures but no review for now. Here’s what I’ve been playing lately which is Path of Exile. I’ve registered to this game before when it was in Beta, but I didn’t last too long since I was playing other games at the time. Recently I got curious when I suddenly wanted to play Diablo III again, but since I only had the PS3 version I can’t do any updates. I was not interested in playing Torchlight II at the moment.

So, I downloaded Path of Exile, to my surprise, just a few days before the new 3.0 update which will introduce the game with more acts than the original. The total is 10 acts, which is a lot. Compared to Diablo III which has 4 or Torchlight II which only has 3. So far, I’m actually enjoying it. I’ll post more when I have the time.

Gaming News: King’s Quest “The Vision” Behind the Scenes

It’s been a while since we least heard of King’s Quest, good news that there is an update via a behind the scenes video.

The original King’s Quest has been an inspiration to so many gamers and game developers. It came out at a time that video games on the PC were so in the early stages of PC games. I remember playing this on a green monochrome monitor. Using a piece of graphing paper to track all my movements in the land of Daventry.  I’m so excited to see the new game, it’s about time. I wonder if Wing Commander and Ultima will ever come back.

If you are not familiar with King’s Quest, you can check out the original game here.

Currently Tinkering: HOOQ (Updated April 21, 2015)

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Update: HOOQ has replied directly in regards to my review. I have listed the items they are currently working on below. I do look forward to the future of HOOQ. We can’t wait to watch more new and old shows and movies. We have not updated our review since the current state of HOOQ is still the same. But we will update the review once we get more updates. Thanks.

I subscribed to HOOQ recently, because I really want to see TV and movies on demand locally in the Philippines. I have a feeling that the Philippine market is desperate for this type of service, if not, I am.

My initial impressions were, that signing up was pretty easy enough. But you do have to have a Globe number, preferably postpaid, but I think prepaid should work just fine too. You’ll need to subscribe through your Globe mobile number. You should get an email confirmation and a text verification code. Once you get that, you should be able to get in quickly. I just had problems with the site a bit, since it was using Silverlight (some kind of Flash counterpart made by Microsoft). I had to use IE to get it working properly.

I was excited to see that once you are logged it, you are immediately greeted with a bunch of shows. What I noticed is that the selection was very limited. Rather than me getting excited to see the shows, I got disappointed. This is not On-Demand TV, but an archive of semi-old shows, and some of them are not even updated.

hooq2 First, I tried to look for shows that started at least a year ago, like Marvel Agents of SHIELD. That didn’t show up. I look up some more. Okay, why not a movie, why not Hunger Games, that was a little more older. That didn’t show up either. I check out Chuck, it did show up, but 2 seasons only? The show lasted for 5.

Okay, I realized the site is not for the currently updated. Okay, I consider watching some older stuff. Why not the classic Alf, nope. Fringe? 2 seasons only out of 5. Rescue 911? nope, not available too. They do have Harry Potter Deathly Hallows 2, but the other Harry Potter movies are not available.

While looking through the movie list, I was surprised to see local movies. Why should I be surprised? I have no idea, I just have very little interest with local movies I suppose. But what bothered me is that the movies and TV  shows are mostly made by GMA Network, a rival of ABS-CBN. Because of that, HOOQ is showing that it seems like a one sided beast, just as the TV network rivalry that we have have locally. (ABS-CBN vs GMA, or Kapamiliya vs Kapuso). I really hate that. I hate network rivalries and actors exclusive to a specific network. So, if you are interested in watching movies or TV shows from the other network, HOOQ is not for you.

Another thing I noticed was, there were a number of Bollywood movies, Korean and Japanese movies. I think there are some Chinese movies too. I find that interesting, but I want to filter them out. Apparently, there is a terrible filter system. There were very few options. To really discover what you want, you really have to use search bar and hope you get the movie you search for.

In regards to video playback, okay, I tried watching something. I loaded up Ghostbusters. The video is okay,  in general, Remember, this is streaming video. It starts up pretty quick, but the video quality is so much worse than watching a video in YouTube. it seems like the video is designed for old crt TV sets. So, on a computer monitor or an HD ready TV, it’s a pain to watch the video, but if you just want to watch something on your spare time, it’s fine. But if you are looking for a great movie or TV experience, this is not it. They do have options for Closed Caption (subtitles), but I have not seen any of their English videos use this feature.

So, international movies and TV shows, the list is fine, not outstanding. There are some old, some new. But that’s the problem, “some”. I was disappointed because regardless of how old or new I was looking for, most of what I wanted to watch is not there. I was actually fine with the idea of this being an archive of old shows, but even that was a disappointment.

There is supposed to be a mobile app to watch HOOQ other than using a web browser. But I did have problems downloading the iPad app since my account is US based, and the app only can be downloaded if you are using an Asian account. Why am I using a US account? Because I can’t find a way to buy apps using an Asian account, while it’s easier for me to get an US iTunes prepaid card.

The website feels like a trap, because you really have no way to see if HOOQ’s web service will offer you TV or movie shows that you want when you first sign up in which you have to pay. It’s only when you sign up you discover if this service is something that you want to pay for. Considering it’s about PhP200 a month, There is no free trial period too. I presume a service like will at least offer a 30 day free trial service before you even pay anything. I don’t think it’s worth it at this time. I do hope that they improve their service soon, but without current shows or even classic ones that I am interested in, this is not their time.

Update: Peter from HOOQ sent me a reply in regards to things that they are working on.

  • On silver light, yes, we are aware of this. It’s a real pain right now and we are working to make it better
  • ABS v GMA: Actually, we are proud partners of both ABS and GMA. We are always looking to improve our catalog from both, so we note your feedback
  • WRT hollywood movies and TV, we have put a lot of time and energy into building a catalog for people who love stories and great content. We already have the largest catalog of any premium service in Asia. Having said that, we are not finished yet (in fact we are just getting started!). So, stay tuned for some exciting additions in the coming weeks and months ahead. In fact, you will get new stuff every month and we look forward to telling you about it.

Thanks Peter, now I do look forward for the future of HOOQ.

You can check out their site here.

Game Trailer: Sword Coast Legends

For people who are into classic Role Playing Games like Baldur’s Gate, look at this video. What’s interesting is that it’s also made by the director of Dragon Age: Origins by BioWare, which is an amazing game in itself. And people from BioWare used to make Baldur’s Gate, so I presume that this might be a pretty promising game. It’s cool to see the ability to be a dungeon master. I know it has been done with previous games like Neverwinter Nights but I still want to see it in a new game like this.

Description from YouTube:

Your Story. Your Adventure. Your Legend.
Set in the lush and vibrant universe of the Forgotten Realms Sword Coast Legends offers an all-new way to enjoy the time-tested magic of playing Dungeons & Dragons as a shared storytelling experience. With a deep narrative written by an experienced team, and overseen by Wizards of the Coast

More details about the game:

Sword Coast Legends also brings the roleplaying dynamic between players and Dungeon Masters to life with DM Mode, a first-of-its-kind real-time experience in which Dungeon Masters guide players through unique customizable adventures. In DM Mode, the Dungeon Master engages players and empowers them to have fun in a way that suits the party best while creating a tailored, non-adversarial 4 with 1 experience that any RPG or pen-and-paper fan will enjoy.
Game Features:

  • Single player campaign created by members of the leadership team that brought you Dragon Age™: Origins
  • Choose from five playable races and six unique character classes to build your own stalwart adventurer
  • A return to form, Sword Coast Legends is the compelling and complex RPG you’ve been waiting for and features pause time, party-based tactical combat and involving storylines
  • Dungeon Master Mode: Create your own epic adventure to share with your friends, or enhance their experience in real time as they traverse your dungeon
  • Set in the Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms universe based on the fifth edition ruleset and populated with Dungeons & Dragons lore and legend

You can check out the official website for more details.

Gaming News: GOG.com got some Warner Brothers games

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GOG.com just got some Warner Brothers games.

  • Mortal Kombat 1-3
  • LEGO Harry Potter 1-4
  • LEGO Harry Potter 5-7
  • FEAR Platinum trilogy
  • LEGO Batman
  • Bastion

These are pretty great games, I look forward to playing Bastion when I get the chance. Although I do have that game on the iPad, I just haven’t had the time to play that recently. Playing the touch screen is not the best way to pay some action games. Although I did enjoy playing Modern Combat 4.

Anyway, good to know that GOG is releasing a lot of great games at really cheap prices. Looking forward for more.

Currently Playing: Shovel Knight (PC)

Would you believe me that the screenshot above is actually a game just recently released. The game is called Shovel Knight. I took some time to play Shovel Knight since I hear it’s very similar to playing classic old NES games. Some games just really try to replicate classic 8bit graphics and show it off in a new game. Even look at the game Flappy Bird, the graphics look 8bit the movement doesn’t feel like it comes from the 80s or 90s. This one on the other hand has been very careful with every single part of the game. The animation, the sound, the gameplay itself feels like it’s from that era. The only dead giveaway with this game is that there is an autosave feature once you finish a level or get an upgrade. But you can’t save anytime inbetween.

There is a story in the game, Shovel Knight used to fight with Shield Knight. But one day while fighting, Shield Knight was lost. It’s not explained if she dies or if she just vanished. Shovel Knight tried to live a simple life, but when the Enchantress came with her Knights, Shovel Knight had to save his land. That’s pretty much it. It’s that simple. Once in a while, after finishing a level, Shovel Knight dreams of saving Shield Knight, and the more you get through this, the harder it gets later on since you have to fight hordes of enemies at the same time.

The game reminds me of several games, but right now, the games that do stand out is Super Mario Brothers, Megaman/Rockman, Legend of Zelda 2 and Castlevania. I’m pretty sure that there are other games that were an inspiration for this modern take.

There is also a town, this is where you can get upgrades and talk to ingame characters. You really have to talk to them since other than they can talk to you and give you details, they really are interesting characters themselves the more you talk to them. They will talk more every time you finish a level. They will show more character, give you upgrades or even give you tips. Some of them will even give a dance number which you really can’t skip through.

The game levels themselves are very similar to playing Megaman or even Castlevania. There are secret passage ways, the map is generally linear, but you may find interesting paths. You’d really want to get back to some of the levels since they have secrets that can only be opened once you have a certain item or upgrade.

Controls are not complicated at all. It’s best if you have a gamepad, but you should be fine with a keyboard. You can easily modify the controls to your liking. The buttons are so few, that their diagram for the controls is a classic NES/Famicom controller. In other words, its just the directional pad, pause, options, attack and jump. It’s so simple that you can get into the game pretty easily. They didn’t even give you instructions how to play the game, you just get it. If you don’t know how to do it, you’ll learn how to do it eventually. The more you play, the more you get better in the game. The only time that they’ll give an instruction is when you get an item that uses magic or for fishing. And if you’ve played classic NES games, it should be pretty easy to understand.

Another thing that reminds me of newer gameplay is that there is a little grinding involved, but it’s not that bad. It reminds me of playing Megaman 7, where I can go back to older levels to gain some power ups before going into the final battle.

Stage selection is very similar to Super Mario Brothers 3 where you are shown a map and is given access to areas that you can go back anytime. The map unlocks more areas once you have defeated some bosses. Also, level selection is not completely linear, you have an option on which ones you want to start off and end at.

Overall, it a great game. Even without the 8 bit graphics, it’s challenging enough to frustrate you a bit, but not impossible. I really enjoy the game so far, and I can’t wait to go back for more. It feels like it’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed a game like this.

The game should be out on PC, WiiU and 3DS.

First video of Star Citizen: Squadron 42 (running on CryEngine 3)

Here’s the first video of Star Citizen. This is the upcoming game which Wing Commander creator Chris Roberts, which is planned to be released sometime in 2013. The video is said is rendered in real-time using the CryTek’s CryEngine 3. And it looks stunning, and I look forward to be able to play this. So much of it looks very much like Wing Commander, even the battleship reminds me of the famous Tiger Claw.

Video is from IGN’s YouTube page. 

Currently Playing: Torchlight 2

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Let’s talk about Diablo… sorry, I mean Torchlight 2. Here’s the latest offering of Runic Games, a company composed of mostly ex-Bizzard North employees (well known for Diablo 1 and 2). Although I do have to admit, that before they made Torchlight, their previous company under the name “Flagship Studios” didn’t work out so well. But Torchlight was a different beast altogether, and even though it was an amazing game, it only had a single player experience. Now with the new game out, they promised us the one thing that was mainly missing from the first one… MULTIPLAYER!

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