Author - Jerry Paxton

Viotek GN32LD 32-inch 144Hz 1440P Curved Gaming Monitor Review

Recently, I got to take a look at Viotek’s GN32LD curved gaming monitor. I had not heard of Viotek prior to looking at this display, so I went into this product review with no preconceived notions about the company or its products. So, I opened up the large box that Viotek shipped over and started unpacking everything.

In terms of design, the Viotek GN32LD curved gaming monitor is somewhat dated from the back as it and the stand feature these quasi-futuristic red plastic pieces that do provide some contrast from the primarily gray/gunmetal body. Despite this, it comes off looking like some display partner to one of those crazy 2005 PC gaming chassis with way too many plastic flange pieces for its own good. Now, from the front, the GN32LD looks pretty snazzy and features a fairly thin bezel, which is always a nice thing to feature on a large display. The stand and base units are easy to assemble with just a few screws and Viotek is nice enough to include the screwdriver and hex key. The monitor attaches to the stand in the way that most monitors do these days, it simply clicks into place. Viotek has provided four standoff screws that can be screwed into the back of the mounting area to allow you to use a VESA mount on the GN32LD. It should be noted that the stand of the GN32LD will not allow you to rotate the monitor – something that I find to be rather important on a display where the inputs are on the flat bottom.

The GN32LD features three inputs on the bottom of the monitor: DisplayPort, HDMI, and DVI. There is also an audio output on the bottom of the monitor, which can be used with headphones should be looking to keep quiet with some late night gaming sessions – or just outputting the audio to some external stereo speakers. Also, the Viotek GN32LD does include a DisplayPort cable in the box which is great in case you forgot to buy one for your setup.

The Viotek GN32LD curved gaming monitor is a 16:9 display capable of displaying 2560×1440 resolution. Even with how much I love UltraWide gaming, this resolution has a big benefit over UltraWide displays. Primarily, those UltraWide displays are yet to be supported by game consoles like the Xbox One. This is very important – especially when specifically reviewing the GN32LD. Viotek has released this display with the purpose of being compatible with FreeSync on the Xbox One (and displaying 1440p resolution at 60Hz). Playing games on the Xbox One while using the Viotek GN32LD looks great, and I think one of the areas where the GN32LD really shines. For PC gaming, you can get the display running at 144Hz and there is not any noticeable ghosting at all when the action gets going. However, I did notice a slightly grainy or pixelated quality to the monitor’s picture when sitting about a foot away from it. I usually don’t sit so close to my monitors, but the GN32LD’s stand features a rear leg that pushes the display closer to you – and I have a narrow desk. Once I backed off a couple feet, the graininess was no longer an issue. This could be due to a slightly lower pixel density for its size but, again, once I backed off to a couple feet away, the picture was very nice and I had no complaints. Of course, this is at least in part thanks to the 1800R curve of the GN32LD.

The GN32LD’s on screen display is controlled by simple buttons on the bottom right of the monitor. It has a bit of a learning curve as the menu system is slightly clunky, but it’s nothing too bad. One of the options you can access is the color gamut of the display. Remember to set your color gamut, which is the range of colors capable of being displayed by the monitor, to full. There are numerous other settings to play around with in the on screen menu, such as picture quality, multi-window modes, and rear LED functionality. Take some time to play around with these to get your optimum viewing experience and, again, set that gamut to full before judging it – running the gamut on half will seriously degrade your picture quality.

In terms of pricing, the Viotek GN32LD is currently retailing for $469.99 which is very reasonable given its performance capabilities. Viotek does offer a really cool Dead Pixel Warranty policy in their one year warranty where they will replace the monitor if it has 1 or more dead pixels, 4 or more bright sub-pixels, 6 or more dark sub-pixels, or 5 or more mixed Bright or Dark sub-pixels. This is a terrific policy that ensures their customers will be happy with their purchase. We didn’t note any of these issues in the monitor we got to review.

Overall, the Viotek GN32LD curved gaming display is a good display at a reasonable $469.99 that will both allow you to enjoy FreeSync on your Xbox One game console as well as 144Hz 1440p resolution on your gaming PC. The Viotek GN32LD is available now at various online retailers as well as Viotek’s official website.

Happy Fourth of July 2018

From all of us at GamingShogun.com, we hope everyone has a safe and exciting Fourth of July holiday celebration! See some fireworks and don’t blow off any of your appendages. This is a public service announcement!

Way of the Passive Fist Gets New Update

Toronto, CANADA – June 29, 2018 – The debut title from Household Games, Way of the Passive Fist, receives a massive content update dubbed New Dawn. The update includes a new rogue-lite survival mode called “Passiverse” which features randomized levels, a new epilogue storyline with five new stages and a revamped story mode where the pacing and difficulty curve are improved. Fans who purchased the original game via Steam will immediately receive the New Dawn update for free and PlayStation®4 and Xbox One players can look forward to New Dawn in the near future. To celebrate the release of Way of the Passive Fist: New Dawn, the game is currently 50% off for the annual Steam Summer Sale, which is available now through 10 a.m. PT on July 5. New players can pick-up New Dawn for $7.49 USD via Steam right now.

In Way of the Passive Fist: New Dawn, a side-scrolling action arcade brawler, players take on the role of the mysterious Wanderer and master a rare defensive fighting style to outlast enemies. While utilizing parries, deflections, dashes, and dodges, the Wanderer’s foes exhaust themselves to the point that they can then be defeated and knocked out by a single finger punch.

In addition to the expanded storyline with five new stages and new survival mode “Passiverse,” New Dawn features the following content updates:

Audio Update:

  • New music for the New Dawn modes

Gameplay Updates:

  • New ‘Shadow Warrior’ enemy type added
  • New ‘Robo Clone’ enemy added
  • New enemy variations added
  • Boss variations added
  • Fixed Green Robot hitbox when it misses a grab and the throw timing of the double knife-throwing enemy
  • Caught projectiles can hit any enemy, not just the enemy that originally threw it
  • New Dawn & Passiverse modes save health level between stages and when quitting / resuming

Story Mode Updates:

  • Streamlined Story Mode
  • Improved pacing and difficulty curve

Menu Updates:

  • Main Menu visual update
  • Loading Screen visual update
  • Added ‘Extras’ Menu
  • Extras Menu includes new setting: ‘Score Style’
  • Credits and Statistics accessible from Extras

UI Updates:

  • Score Style allows points that emit from the player to be changed to descriptors or emoticons
  • End of encounter sequence is faster
  • Gold/Silver Rank Up events has been updated so that they are visible when hitting both at once
  • Added colored particles on parry, dodge and catch actions

“With the annual Steam Summer Sale in full swing, we are so happy treat our new and future fans with the release of New Dawn. Players who purchased the game earlier this year will receive the new modes for free and we hope they enjoy the fresh content that aims to improve the overall experience,” says Jason Canam, Founder of Household Games. “New players will get to jump right into the best version of Way of the Passive Fist yet! New Dawn has been a labor of love and we’re thrilled to deliver even more classic 90s arcade brawler awesomeness!”

To learn more about Way of the Passive Fist: New Dawn, visit: www.wayofthepassivefist.com. Fans can follow the game and studio via social media: Twitter @HHGamesInc, and Facebook www.facebook.com/householdgames.

Razer Huntsman Elite Review

Earlier this month I was treated to a special, up-close look at Razer’s new Huntsman Elite, a gaming keyboard equipped with the company’s new opto-mechanical key switches. The media event at their Irvine, CA office was guarded by a strict NDA that made us wait until June 28th to post anything about it. Thankfully, the embargo has lifted, Huntsman Elite keyboard announced and now we can bring your our full review of this revolutionary product!

When talking about gaming keyboard technology, it all started with variations of membrane-based models. Mechanical keyboards were very expensive at the time and the keys were not responsive enough to make it worth consumer cost. The Cherry MX Black key switch was heavy and simply not suited for gaming. In 2008, the Cherry MX Red switch appeared and opened the doors for practical and responsive mechanical gaming keyboards. Since then, some key switch enhancements have been made but a lot of the new tech went into how companies could make the keyboards more attractive with lighting upgrades such as Razer’s Chroma technology.

Enter: the Razer Opto-mechanical key switch. A Razer creation, the opto-mechanical key switch is powered by infrared beams that are broken when the mechanical switch is resting and solid when the key is depressed. It is quite amazing – there is actually an infrared beam under EVERY key on the PCB. This means faster response times, better roll-over protection, as well as the capability to pair the infrared beam system with several types of mechanical switches down the line – depending on what kind of a keyboarding experience the user desires (Clicky or Quiet).

While the Huntsman Elite is a game changer internally, it also signals a new paradigm for Razer when looking at its externals. Razer keyboards have long had a similar profile and overall style. The Huntsman Elite ushers in a brand new design style that is classy, sleek, and eye-catching. According to the folks at Razer, this new style sets the tone for upcoming products as well, so it should be exciting to see what they bring out. The Huntsman Elite feels very well-built and durable with an aluminum frame hefty weight. It also features a cool, multi-function wheel and other media keys that can be programmed to a variety of functions. By default, the wheel adjusts your sound volume (and pressing the button toggles mute) – it is a very clever control that becomes very easy to rely on.

Something that makes the Hunstman Elite even cooler is the magnetically attached (and removable) padded wrist rest. It’s extremely comfortable and a great addition to the keyboard to enhance gamer usability. However, it’s not just a wrist rest, mind you, this wrist rest is equipped with Razer Chroma lighting and adds to your keyboard lighting once you have attached it. This magnetic docking system could be used for a variety of accessories in the future as it supplies power as well as information. Razer is tight-lipped on all its plans but I could tell they are thinking up some winners. Of course, the Huntsman Elite still is equipped with Razer’s tried and true braided cord. This cord is strong and flexible, and the braiding will definitely hold up better than the rubber insulation of most gaming keyboards. It’s a minor feature of the keyboard, but one that I believe to be of the utmost importance in my peripherals.

In terms of performance, I have gotten to use the Razer Huntsman Elite for several weeks now and I don’t even a little regret making it my primary keyboard. This is an incredible product that has light, clicky, and responsive key switches as well as great lighting. They are the lightest mechanical key switches I have used, which is nice because it allows you to connect that infrared beam quicker than you would be able to with other types of mechanical key switch. FPS, MMORPG, and even MOBA titles are all well-served by the Huntsman Elite – I literally could not find a game that the keyboard didn’t make better (sorry for the double negative). Besides its gaming applications, I found that typing on the Huntsman Elite was a very pleasant experience and I was actually typing a lot faster than normal thanks to the light key presses. I hope Razer can set some Huntsman Elites set up as demo units in various retail outlets as these key switches really need to be used to be believed.

The Razer Huntsman Elite is fully compatible with the Razer Synapse control suite, and the software allows for some excellent Chroma customization, and is fully compatible with other Chroma devices. One of the cool things on display at the Razer office was a Chroma enabled room, which had just about every Chroma device imagined working together to bring a truly impressive display. The Razer Chroma lighting on the Huntsman Elite is strong: It goes all the way around the keyboard and is very bright. Razer Chroma allows you to customize lighting effects based a number of criteria, from in-game cues when playing your favorite game – but it doesn’t stop there. You can even tie Razer Chroma to work as a sort of visual graphic equalizer for your music, pulsing and changing hue with the beat.

Overall, the Razer Huntsman Elite signals a new front-runner in the gaming keyboard market. Take it from me, After you have used the opto-mechanical keys of the Huntsman Elite, you will be hard-pressed to return to other key solutions – whether they be completely mechanical or membrane-based. Also, once would think that the Huntsman Elite would cost an extreme amount, what with the futuristic key switch system. Well, at $199.99, the Huntsman Elite does cost a bit more than most high-end gaming keyboards. However, given the technology, capabilities, and performance of the Elite, I don’t think this is out of the question. Should that price point be a bit out of your reach, Razer is also offering the Huntsman gaming keyboard at $149.99 – which still comes with the new opto-mechnical keys sans some extra chroma lighting, the media keys, and the wrist rest.

Pittsburgh Steelers JuJu Smith-Schuster Becomes HyperX Brand Ambassador

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif. – June 25, 2018 – HyperX, the gaming division of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., today announced that Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver and dedicated gamer JuJu Smith-Schuster will join HyperX as a brand ambassador for the gaming industry’s most popular headsets. Smith-Schuster will exclusively use HyperX headsets during his gaming sessions for their superior audio quality and comfort.

“When I’m not training, studying, or at practice, I’m in my element playing video games; my HyperX headset offers the sound quality and comfort I need to stay focused and win,” said Smith-Schuster. “I wanted to work with HyperX because they have the best headsets, and I love how the brand is always looking for unique ways to work together with me. I’m so excited about this partnership.”

As an ambassador, Smith-Schuster will include HyperX branding on his live streams, participate in HyperX marketing campaigns and appear at HyperX fan events. Smith-Schuster recently gained notoriety in the gaming world when he and other notable gamers, including Ninja, Drake and Travis Scott, shattered Twitch viewing records together.

“HyperX is expanding into the console gaming market and is very happy to have JuJu Smith-Schuster join our brand ambassador team,” said Dustin Illingworth, influencer manager, HyperX. “His love for gaming is displayed all over his social media, YouTube, and even on the football field. JuJu has brought more sports fans to gaming.”

HyperX is an avid supporter of esports and the gaming community – developing products designed specifically for gamers. HyperX recently expanded its award-winning lineup with the Cloud Flight

wireless gaming headset, offering up to 30 hours1 of battery life. The new Alloy Elite RGB mechanical gaming keyboard offers per key lighting customization, macros and up to three light profiles, all customizable through NGenuity software. The new Pulsefire Surge RGB mouse offers pro level performance with up to 16,000 DPI accuracy, featuring dynamic 360o RGB light effects using NGenuity software. For more information on HyperX products and availability, please check www.hyperxgaming.com.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour Announces Horror Made Here Back for 2018

LOS ANGELES, CA – June 20, 2018 – This Halloween season, Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood (WBSTH) will send chills down guests’ spines with the return of Horror Made Here: A Festival of Frights. This year’s event will host even more dark mazes, scare zones, horror-themed activities, and plenty of food and drinks available throughout our creepy carnival on Warner Bros.’ legendary backlot.

The Neibolt House maze from New Line Cinema’s record-breaking 2017 film IT will return to Horror Made Here, where guests will experience the full wrath of Pennywise.  This year’s reimagined maze will feature new scares and surprises with every twist and turn. Those daring enough to step into the Neibolt House must remember that “It knows what scares you” and beware of Pennywise, who may be lurking in the dark just around the corner.

From Horror Made Here 2017

From DC, fans will experience the iconic and unhinged characters from Batman: Arkham Asylum as the infamous Gotham City institution for the criminally insane is constructed, for the first time ever, on the Warner Bros. backlot. In this brand-new maze, guests must first face their judge, The Joker, who will decide their fate, leading to encounters with his fellow DC Super-Villains – including Harley Quinn, Scarecrow, and Two-Face, among others – as visitors are driven to the brink of madness while navigating the gruesome asylum.

“We’re not just a scare factory or a haunted house – as the creator of legendary horror films, what better way to celebrate Halloween than with a party on the Warner Bros. backlot?  We’re thrilled to welcome guests who are ready to brave their deepest nightmares,” said Gary Soloff, Director of Marketing, WBSTH. “Due to the overwhelming demand from last year’s event, we’ve extended our nights and hours and made this year’s festival, night tour, and mazes bigger, better, and scarier, so our guests can expect more pulse-pounding terror than ever before.”

Horror Made Here has been extended from six to 13 nights starting October 5, 2018, with more mazes and details to be announced this summer.  Tickets go on sale beginning August 1, starting from $59 per person at horrormadehere.com. This year introduces the “VIP Fright Pass” to accommodate those looking to jump to the front of the line for each attraction and night tour, as well as providing free priority parking and two complimentary beverages.

About Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood

Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood gets you closer to the entertainment you love. As a recipient of Trip Advisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards and recognized as one of the Top 25 Attractions in the United States, the Studio Tour gives guests a revealing look behind the camera at how Hollywood magic is made. From Friends and The Big Bang Theory to Harry Potter and Wonder Woman, fans get to see the real sets and soundstages where the greatest names in entertainment made history as they touch, tour and explore the iconic 110-acre studio lot.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood is open daily from 8:30AM to 4:00PM, with tours departing every 30 minutes and extended hours offered during the summer, spring break and winter holiday seasons. Advanced bookings are strongly recommended, and children eight years or older are welcome. For the best value, book your tickets online at www.wbstudiotour.com or by calling 818-977-TOUR (8687).

Horror Made Here: A Festival of Frights is a special ticketed event, held on October 5-6, October 11-13, October 18-21 and October 25-28, open from 7PM to 1AM. The event ticket includes access to the festival, all scare mazes and the night tour. Visit horrormadehere.com for more information.

Critical Role Forms Own Studio

Geek & Sundry’s tabletop RPG web series, Critical Role, has announced that it has moved to form a new studio. Also in the announcement, Critical Role has taken control of its own merchandising as well as created its own YouTube channel.

In the announcement video, Critical Role’s Marisha Ray announced that she has stepped down as a Creative Director at Geek and Sundry to fully-focus on this new endeavor. It is unknown at this time what the announcement exactly means for the relationship between Critical Role and Geek and Sundry, however in the announcement video Travis Willingham does mention that the show will still be found on Geek and Sundry’s Twitch and Alpha sites.