Review: Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange is the latest in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, featuring the character of Doctor Steven Strange, a neurosurgeon that gets into an accident, loses the ability to operate with his hands, and then seeks out a group of people in the East to heal himself.  During this he also gets tangled into their world of magic, eventually finding himself in a position where the fate of the world kinda rests in his hands.

Being an origin story, ‘Doctor Strange’ spends a lot of time building the main character. There are also some training montages where you see him learn magic and develop his skills, and then eventually use that to take down the main bad guy. In that it is not too different from other origin stories, like ‘Iron Man’ or ‘Batman Begins’. 


Review: iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

It’s been nine years since Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPhone. Back then, the most sought after phone looked like this, and the company that made it was actually relevant. It would be an understatement to say that the iPhone turned the smartphone industry on its head. No one had seen anything like it, and it went on to change the way we used our smartphones, much like it changed the smartphone itself.

Along the years the iPhone introduced us to several innovations. Things like a large capacitive touchscreen that didn’t need a stylus to operate and fluid UI that scrolled like physical objects with kinetic motion. These are the things we take for granted today but were groundbreaking back then. Then there are other things as well, such as the Retina display that resulted in phones now having more pixels than your average HDTV, or the App Store that provided customers a unified platform to find new and interesting apps for their phone, and provided a source of income for millions of developers. I would even go so far as to count Siri, which, for all its faults, was the first of its kind and something others have been trying to emulate since.

As the years went by, the groundbreaking revolutions gave way to more measured evolutions. The iPhone’s success meant that competitors were no longer releasing sliding phones with physical buttons but were actually pushing pretty hard on innovating on their end as well. This meant it was often the iPhone that was left behind trying to catch up with what everybody else was doing.

This year’s iPhone 7 is no different. Sure, there are plenty of improvements over the last year’s iPhone 6s but very little of it is new on paper when you look at what other manufacturers have been offering over the years. The question is, does it really matter anymore and should the iPhone really reinvent the wheel every time instead of just focusing on being a good phone? And more importantly, is it even a good phone? The answer to the first question is no. As for the second, let’s find out. 


OnePlus 3 Review

The OnePlus 3 is the company’s third flagship and the fourth phone since it set up shop back in 2014. Their first phone, the OnePlus One, was launched to much fanfare. The company never really invested in proper advertising but bombarded the social media with various marketing material that often talked less about the actual product and focused more on putting the competition down. This, followed with further, less than tasteful attempts at promoting the phone and the now infamous invite system, meant that the company was already off on a wrong foot for a lot of people.

The OnePlus One was followed by the aptly named OnePlus 2, which came with the tagline ‘2016 Flagship Killer’. This was for a phone that came out in 2015, which meant OnePlus had clearly not lost its hubris in the one year since its inception. Unfortunately for the company, the hubris was completely misplaced, with the products often failing to match the lofty expectations set by the company. Plagued with software issues and fledgling customer service, the company was struggling to meet its own motto of ‘Never Settle’.

Come 2016 and suddenly everything seems to have changed. The OnePlus 3 launched with an uncharacteristically non-existent brouhaha. There was no competition bashing, no weird contests, no tall claims. Best of all, there was no invite system this time, either. It seems the company was doing everything right, and this was even before anyone got their hands on the phone. Was this change for the better going to reflect in the product as well? As it turned out, it was. 


Suicide Squad – Pros and Cons

I watched Suicide Squad yesterday and had some thoughts on it that I wanted to share. But I’ve realized reviewing movies is hard and I’m not particularly good at it. But then I saw some of these pros and cons posts that people on reddit like to do for movies, and thought it was a good way to get the things I liked and disliked about the movie out there without making it into a full review. So here it is, Suicide Squad pros and cons list. 


DOOM Review

(The review focuses solely on the single-player aspect of the game.)

The 2016 DOOM is the fourth game in the series that pioneered the very genre of first person shooters. Brash, beautiful, and an absolute hoot, DOOM reminds us why this genre became so popular in the first place.

The new DOOM is once again set on Mars at the Union Aerospace Corporation or UAC, as has been the case with all the previous games. Something goes terribly wrong and now the demons from Hell have overrun the facility, and you’re the only one that can stop them. While there is a story here, it’s mostly a flimsy excuse to slaughter enemies and that is pretty much what DOOM has always been about.

So here’s the basic gist of DOOM gameplay: you kill things. You shoot everything that moves and you don’t stop shooting until it stops moving. And then you shoot it again, just in case. The gunplay is not just the core gameplay element here but pretty much the only gameplay element. As such, it needed to be absolutely perfect for the game to work, and it damn well is.