Oct 24 2016

Dead Walking

Adel Gabot



I can’t let this one pass by without make some sort of comment: today’s season premiere of The Walking Dead is abominable.

I’ve gradually been disappointed over the years and frankly, digusted by the depths to which the show has slowly sunk.

This latest episode takes the cake.

It’s just an excuse to shock and showcase the violence and cruelty of men to other men, and it’s just an hour of pure… God, I can’t even begin to put it into words. In a word, it’s unspeakably brutal. It’s repulsive and relentlessly cruel. And I think like that because the show has made me care for the characters too much.

The double-header murder (pun intended) of Abraham and Glenn at the hand of Negan’s barbed-wired baseball bat Lucille as everyone looks on has finally driven the show over the edge. That, and the threatened amputation of the arm of Rick’s son—by a put-upon Rick. And they had the audacity to make it a cliffhanger from the previous season, making us wait for the resolution.

I’ve had enough. Me, a lifelong horror connoiseur and fan. But I have my limits too, you know.

To my view, the show has been steadily deteriorating since Season Three or maybe Four, and I’ve long wanted to give up watching it, but I’ve been horridly fascinated, like a driver happening upon a horrible accident on the road and not being able to look away.

Well, no more. I’m giving up on The Walking Dead. I’m Walking away. The show is Dead to me.

Oct 24 2016


Adel Gabot



I don’t really know why, but I’ve recently been album-buying on iTunes like it’s going out of style. This, after not buying anything for months. (I feel I’m being gypped when buying albums, a feeling of entitlement I got after 20 years of having anything I like for free as an FM DJ just by asking for it.)

Since last week, largely on whims, I’ve bought:

  • Joanne – Lady Gaga
  • Version of Me – Melanie C.
  • Integrity Blues – Jimmy Eat World
  • Mad Love – Jojo
  • Eric Benet – Eric Benet
  • Day Breaks – Norah Jones
  • Outside Looking In – The Radio Sun
  • Ghosthunters OST – Various Artists

Two compilations of old songs:

  • The Power of The 80s
  • Classic Rock (3 CD Set)

A couple of old albums:

  • Kamakiriad – Donald Fagen
  • The Best of Sade – Sade

And, for some reason, a single:

  • Erase (Original Mix) – The Chainsmokers

So far, I love Jimmy Eat World, The Radio Sun and surprisingly, Jojo. I kind of like Eric Benet, Sade and Donald Fagen. And of course I adore the compilations. The jury is still out on the others.

Just trying to get back (very belatedly) into the groove again, I guess. Starting to feel my age.

Oct 15 2016

Quick review: Rise of The Tomb Raider

Adel Gabot

Rise of the Tomb Raider


Ok, ok, I harangued the local game store for my copy of the PS4 version of Rise of The Tomb Raider. I admit it.

I harrassed them for nearly a week, because they didn’t have a pre-order option. It finally came on the expected date—the 11th, although the stock wasn’t delivered before the store opened at 10AM that day; I had to wait for a couple of hours more before it finally came from the warehouse.

It certainly took a long while to arrive. Almost a whole year, as a matter of fact.

It was released as an Xbox One-exclusive game what, 11 months ago?, and us PS4 users had to sit on our heels. As a matter of fact, the hype had already died down, and was only revived by Square Enix releasing it with a ton of extra content that wasn’t available before, as a 20th anniversary treat.

I had loved the first version of the new Lara Croft, Tomb Raider Remastered, that came out a couple of years ago. It first came out for the PS3 some months before the PS4 was even launched, and they released a special version for the new console, which I adored.

This new game exceeded even my expectations, and I’ve been playing it incessantly since Tuesday when I got it, to the point I forgot about my current obsession, Overwatch. Been taking it nice and slow, savoring each moment. But now, I’ve reached the midpoint of the game, and I guess it’s time to take a break and write down my first impressions.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

First off, the scope and open-world environment is larger than I was expecting, much larger than the previous iteration of the game. The gun battles and fights are great, but it’s really the exploration of the environs that’s actually the fun part, looking for hidden tombs and gathering resources and exploring ruins.

This time around, Lara’s on the search for something called the Divine Source, something that gives eternal life to whoever wields it. Rise of The Tomb Raider starts with exciting scenes in Syria, and graduates into climbing the mountains of Siberia and exploring its valleys and underground mines and takes the gamer to all sorts of various locales in the area.

I won’t go into the details of the plot (mainly because I haven’t completed it yet), but suffice it to say it’s vintage Tomb Raider, which is to say it’s complicated, convoluted and completely a hoot to play. Lots of running around, climbing mountains and tall structures, jumping across chasms, crawling under things, zip-lining down cliffs, as well as plenty of puzzle-solving, stealth and fierce combat involved.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

The controls, while fairly intricate, are well laid-out and thought through. As are the menus, which are a bit complex, but after an hour or two you get the hang of quite easily. Quicktime events are seamlessly integrated into the narrative, and the sections and chapters are clear and easy to understand. And gameplay is suitably long—20 to 30 hours or more, depending on how much of a completionist you are.

I have a few niggles that bother me though:

  • It might be my handling of the controls, but Lara seems too jerky and too quick to respond to the controls, so much so that she sometimes appears cartoony in her movements.
  • The writers insert “read-outs” (my term), or short documents that are read out by the characters involved, in terribly awkward moments. Sometimes, Lara is involved in a frantic, frenetic action sequence when there is a read-out inserted in the middle of it. It sort of kills the mood.
  • There is inappropriate shaking of the environment in a scene, as if there was an earthquake occurring, but this goes on for the entire time. Like in an underground mine sequence in the middle of the game where everything is shaking—it’s difficult to believe the scenery is that unstable.
  • Aiming is pretty difficult, and you sometimes miss your target when you thought it was a sure thing. This is a carryover from the first game, and you’d think the developers would have taken the time to fix it. But no, it’s still there.

But on the whole, the game is an achievement, almost matching the complexity and fluidness of Uncharted 4, which is saying something. The animation and the graphical detail are unparalleled, and the story sufficiently complex and involving. Games don’t come any better than this,.

Rise of The Tomb Raider is one of the best to come out for the current generation of consoles, and comes with my highest recommendations.

Oct 11 2016


Adel Gabot



Just finished doing my column for Explore Philippines‘ last issue of the year, a review of Blackmagicdesign’s Pocket Cinema Camera.

Gotta tell you though, the gadget’s kind of… all wrong for our magazine’s readership.

We’re a consumer-level mag, but this camera is professional-level and waaay above our readers’ heads. It requires color-correction and all that complicated post-production stuff on a proper computer before your footage is even presentable. The camera asks a hell of a lot of the user, from a technical standpoint, not to mention craft-wise. And not to mention budget-wise.


The camera, body only, is already over P60k, plus the lenses, the least of which costs over P35k. That’s for a basic, manual one—a Voightlander/Nockton MFT 25mm, F 0.95 II lens.The camera is better served with an image-stabilizing and auto-focusing lens, which is way more expensive. So that’s an investment of around P100k already for the most basic, barely workable setup. Sheesh.

But I do what I’m told, so I did the review anyway.

Actually, the BMPCC’s very nice and compact, about the size and thickness of my iPhone 5s, and suitably heavy-ish. Of course, that’s before you attach a proper Micro Four Thirds (MFT) lens. The camera’s controls are largely manual, so if you’re used to AUTO, you’re SOL.


Anyway, for the full review, buy a copy of next month’s issue of Explore Philippines. I’m not gonna say any more until the issue’s out.



Oct 5 2016

Fare thee well…

Adel Gabot



Saw this on the internet this afternoon.

I had one.

For a long time, I used it and enjoyed using it. It worked well for years, up until the day it didn’t. This was late last year.

I mourned the loss.

It was a faithful, loyal gadget, and it stood up to my casual and constant everyday use and abuse. I watched the hell out of it, everyday. Then suddenly, it just quit working. Just stopped. I was devastated, but there was no way around it. It was gone.

It just so happened, around the time it quit on me a new model had just come out. The features were nicer, better. More modern. It was a little bigger than the old one, but still around the same handy size.

I was kind of hoping to use the one I had for a couple of years more at least, but it was not to be.

So, grudgingly, I bought that latest model, the 4th one they put out. And I am a happy camper again.

But I won’t forget the old one, the one that I loved and lost.

Ye shall be missed, 3rd gen Apple TV.