All posts by David Smith

Games and technology editor, Dungeons and Dragons fanboy and your new best friend. You can reach me at david.smith@theaureview.com with news tips, pitches, press releases, invites, review content and more.

Games Review: Octopath Traveler (Switch, 2018): Looking back, moving forward

I have a rule when it comes to playing games for review: Remain objective, even when the game is in a genre you aren’t crazy about. Last week, I broke that rule. I had assumed I would detest Octopath Traveler. I had resigned myself to reviewing yet another JRPG, despite my long and well-documented history of not enjoying the genre one bit. I expected to hate it, so the fact that I love it as much as I do has come as a bit of a surprise. A loving homage to Square’s legendary Super Nintendo RPG’s, Octopath Traveler will remind you of everything you loved about that era, and everything you didn’t. Continue reading Games Review: Octopath Traveler (Switch, 2018): Looking back, moving forward

Tech Review: Logitech G Powerplay Wireless Charging System: Free to play

There is a pervasive assumption among PC gaming hobbyists that wireless accessories like mice are going to be a problem. That corded solutions are always the way to go. For a long time, this rather conventional wisdom was correct, but its getting harder and harder for it to stand up under scrutiny. Devices like Logitech’s Powerplay Wireless Charging mat are a great example of how wireless tech is meeting its cabled counterparts in utility and accuracy. Continue reading Tech Review: Logitech G Powerplay Wireless Charging System: Free to play

Tech Review: HyperX Cloud Stinger Core: Great sound on a budget

The HyperX Cloud Stinger Core shouldn’t sound as good as it does. This is a $70 AUD pair of headphones. You expect certain things from $70 headphones. You expect them to be cheap. You expect them to be made from hard, unyeilding plastic that keeps them from being worn comfortably for long periods. You certainly don’t expect them to sound good. But they do. Continue reading Tech Review: HyperX Cloud Stinger Core: Great sound on a budget

Games Review: Mario + Rabbids: Donkey Kong Adventure (Switch, 2018): More of the same

Ubisoft returns to Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, the surprise strategy hit of 2017, with a lengthy new slab of DLC with Donkey Kong in the spotlight. To call Donkey Kong Adventure an “expansion” in the strictest sense might be to oversell it. It doesn’t really add much to the game that wasn’t there already. What it is, is more — much more — of what you enjoyed last year. Continue reading Games Review: Mario + Rabbids: Donkey Kong Adventure (Switch, 2018): More of the same

Tech Review: Elgato Game Capture HD60 S: Easy does it

Younger audiences don’t give a shit about television. They watch Netflix, they watch YouTube and, in greater numbers than ever, they’re watching Twitch. This means that Twitch has become an attractive platform for streamers of all stripes to get their start. Elgato’s HD60 S is, for the first-time streamer, exactly the kind of kit you need as you set out on the road to internet stardom. Continue reading Tech Review: Elgato Game Capture HD60 S: Easy does it

Games Review: Paladins: Champions of the Realm (PC, 2018): Something borrowed, something new

There is a trend in modern AAA game design of pinching the best ideas from other games and building on them to create something new. Hi-Rez Studios is a developer that has built a successful portfolio by doing exactly this. They are very good at looking at successful multiplayer games, distilling their most enjoyable components and putting their own spin on them. When Hi-Rez’s team shooter/MOBA hybrid Paladins went into early access a couple of years ago, a major source of amusement among the gaming community was in how closely, sometimes shamelessly, it resembled Blizzard’s Overwatch. Continue reading Games Review: Paladins: Champions of the Realm (PC, 2018): Something borrowed, something new

Tech Review: Cygnett FreePlay Wireless Earphones: Puzzle bobble

One thing a pair of earphones should do the first time you put them in your ears is make a good impression. Before you even turn them on, they should sit comfortably in the ears with minimal wobble and, ideally, not make you feel like Lobot from Star Wars (though I’ve reviewed my share that do). Cygnett’s FreePlay Wireless Earphones did not make a great impression when I first tried to put them in. They require a bit of warming up to, but will reward you if you give them the space. Continue reading Tech Review: Cygnett FreePlay Wireless Earphones: Puzzle bobble