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Injustice 2: Review

So you admired what you observed in Injustice 2, yet you weren’t too convinced to buy it immediately and patiently waited for the price to drop a little to reduce the stakes. If the reader falls into this category, this review is for you. Injustice 2 is the second instalment, obviously following Injustice 1, of the Injustice series. The game is based on the Injustice DC comic books, with a story that continues where it left off in the first game. It’s safe to say that Netherrealm have certainly outdone themselves to create a content filled title which stands from the shoulders of the problems of MKX and Injustice 1. Yet, no game is perfect, so let’s delve deeper. Starting with the gameplay, Injustice 2 consists of detailed and characteristic stages, from the noisy atmospheres to the intricate textures. Frame rate on consoles is a smooth 60fps with an acute number of frame drops and glitches. The basics of the game are quite easy to pick up, with concrete combos and mix-ups requiring more time and determination. Super moves and stage transitions are back and improved from Injustice 1. Many super moves are epically dynamic with the player feeling each powerful hit internally, while some are rather luck-lustered. The stage transitions are quick, barely slowing down the game and fail to get uninteresting even after the 15th time. Overall, gameplay is refreshing, although familiar to experienced gamers and riddled with many cinematic instances with add another dimension to the fighting experience. A small point is an easily ignored game bug which has carried over from Injustice 2, when a character loses all health and hits the ground, he/she gets back up and falls again. Graphics and Sound The graphics of Injustice 2 are just remarkable, with each crease in Batman’s cape easily identifiable, the Joker’s insane facial expressions defined marvellously and the fine fur of Grodd as if created hair by hair. Injustice 2 is a staple of next-gen console graphics, confidently flexing the muscles of such hardware and delivering a great looking game. Regarding sound, as a whole, it’s pretty impressive with a few minor gropes. All characters have convincing voices, each punch greeted with a rewarding sound and ambient noise fitting in perfectly. Some flaws can be found in the transmission of some lines, some being too soft or spoken to early and thus easily missed. There are a few sync errors I’ve encountered too, the delayed clanging noise of Wonder Woman battering her shield and poor lip syncing for a few Green Arrow lines, to be exact. Although there are minor mistakes, the sound is captivating, with fitting music and fantastic voice acting for the most part. Also, dialogue between characters before each fight and in clashes is very interactive, with minimal repetition, and includes many references to the DC universe which fans will definitely love. Content Injustice 2 is filled to the brim with it. Firstly, comes the story mode. The story recounts a dystopian society of heroes and villains spread on both sides of the ‘good’ and ‘evil’ spectrum, defining of the Injustice universe. The player follows a main character or two in each chapter, taking down any foe the game presents. However, although you may have heard this all before from previous titles, at certain instances, the player may pick from two characters to use. An element of decision which has never really been there before.  As the story progresses, anxiety builds, and the player is constantly choosing a side, using his/her conscience to decide who is in the right. Ultimately, the one holding the controller must make this decision to unlock one of the two endings available. Regarding the ending, I believe there could have been a stronger boss fight, but it isn’t a push-over, trust me. In short, it’s a sensational story which follows the comic diligently and does manage to add some thought to the choosing of side at the end of it, providing persuading arguments for and against. Continuing on content, is the rest of the game. The multiverse is a new imagination of the traditional ‘Towers’ mode but done so much better. Fitting in with the DC concept of multiple Earths, different multiverses keep opening and closing. There are an infinite number of possibilities in each universe, different modifiers, sidekicks, bosses, difficulties and prizes. The multiverse is a leading contributor in creating a sense of refreshment that no prior title has really had. Compared to the Towers of MKX, this is a massive step forward. In the multiverse mode, under ‘battle simulator’, are the arcade stories of each character which are common-place in Netherrealm fighters.  Regarding each character, the appealing roster of 28 DC icons is a healthy mix of light and heavy heroes and villains, all of which can be found in the story mode and are relevant. However, much controversy has built up on the inclusion of the Joker, with only a minor appearance in a small dream; many think that this spot could have been filled by a new character. Yet, why would Netherrealm leave out DC’s most notorious villain in a fighter game? I’m afraid Joker simply has to be there.  Moving on, every character has unique special moves, combos and traits with the potential to be ranked up to level 20. You may be asking; ‘What’s levelling up gonna do ?’ - A lot. Levelling Up The levelling up system is brand new to fighting games, and Injustice 2 does it just right. By levelling up, one can have access to new gear, ranging from common to epic and potentially changing the look of your favourite DC villain drastically. One can also unlock abilities, to switch things up and even add shaders, to colour some heroes like never before; have you ever seen a blue Flash? What really adds incentive to levelling up is the loot system rewarding by all types of mother boxes.  Ranging from bronze to diamond, the level of awesomeness of the gear corresponds to the precious metal. The game does an annoyingly amazing job at rewarding gear a few levels higher than your character’s current level, so you must play a little more just to equip it. Don’t worry, there is a myriad of activities one can carry out to level up a character, you don’t have to spar with an ai bot. One may defeat multiverses, complete the arcade story mode, assemble a team of ai bots to battle those of other players, play online ranked and regular games while also contributing to their guild. Guild? Yes, guilds are also a new aspect of Injustice 2, an outtake on the well-known ‘clan’ system. Guilds may consist of up to 50 players, who together complete daily and weekly challenges, rewarding all participants heavily. A guild multiverse will also pop up now and then, which you and your buddies can take out together, with even team boss battles available. The possibilities are many with which one may upgrade his character, and Injustice 2 is very generous with loot. Playing locally with friends and receiving respect for how ‘cool’ your Green Lantern looks is worth the grind. Cons There are a few minute cons to Injustice 2, one of them being the currency system. The game has 4 currencies. Personally, I was confused at the beginning, scared to spend any of the currencies before I learnt which were more valuable and what I could spend all of it on. Another point is the micro-transactions, they aren’t too problematic, but through them one may instantly level up a character to level 20 cheaply. However, getting a character to level 20 is extremely possible if done normally, the game doesn’t imply that one must pay to win, but it is easier to pay. Until now, I have 3 level 20 characters and a few at level 10. A final point is the DLC; in my opinion, Warner Bros DLC is either a rip-off or has no content. For Injustice 2, 9 DLC characters will be entered, the most DLC characters ever, meaning that not buying it surely entails that you are missing out. This is true, but a good number of players will be content with the original 28. So, to summarise the review, Injustice 2 is an incredible game. Packed with persuading content, interesting and ambitious changes, Netherrealm have made one of their best fighting games yet. Although there may be a few small problems, including a hell for perfectionists due to constant ‘new gear’, the title is a gem in the DC universe with a vaulting fun-factor and sense of refreshment. The game also connects to DC films and offers events such as the recent Wonder Woman multiverses, which rewarded her gear from the movie as an example. With no numerical score, this game is definitely one to buy if one finds himself to either be a fighter game enthusiast or a hard core DC fan. 

Ozone EKHO H80 Headset Review

The lesser known brand, Ozone, has successfully launched many affordable peripherals over the years which comfort those budget gamers. A product to watch out for is the EKHO H80 headset, which packs some lovely value into a striking appearance. Read on to find out more about this gaming headset in this review. Unboxing the heavy package is quite enjoyable, a tough skin that will definitely withstand any rough journeys from online dealers. The constituents of the packaging are the wired headset and a related manual with nothing more and nothing less. Weighing 340 grams, the headset appears much heavier than it actually is which assists in adding comfort. Together with this surprising weight is the padding, Ozone have really focused on this element by delivering thick, soft leather earcups and three small plush pillows at the headband. Along with the visible comfort are the rest of the visuals, providing a unique and smooth look covering all hinges. A rubbery layer of plastic coats the build held together by a strong metal core visible when adjusting lengths. The etched Ozone logo designs the exterior cups and no physical buttons can be found on the hardware. Like a snake in a hole, the microphone shouldn’t disturb the look unless pulled out. Other physical features include the inline controller, a rubbery wire and the fact that the chassis does not fold in on itself, reducing portability. Initial exposure is positive, celebrating a welcoming appearance and boasting superb comfort. However, I doubt that the gameresque style will be accepted at a serious workplace. Let’s see how it performs when stuck over the ears. Luxury is definitely not treacherous on this headset, pumped up by the forgetful low weight and loving pillows. Long term use is no problem at all, yet it will be said, that one long cushion instead of three smaller ones would have done a slightly better job. Sliding on the ear cups and finding a size is barely problematic. Now, we shall move on to the sound that these oval cups produce. Specifications include a 53 mm driver unit, 97 dB sensitivity and an impedance of 32Ω. It has an overwhelming amount of volume, forcing me to roll at about 60 percent volume most of the time. On the note of changing volume, this is accompanied by a disturbing static which slightly chews on-going audio. Not a problem with constant volume. The sound profile consists of crisp trebles, warm mids and an underwhelming bass which could definitely be improved, yet a norm at this price point. An over-ear experience is given with surprisingly moderate noise cancelling without any specific technology and the drivers fail to contact ears due to thick padding. Ears are well-ventilated to the point that long sessions shouldn’t cause sweaty ears. The 7.1 virtual sound, stated as ‘unbeatable’ by Ozone is a strong performer accurately forming a dimensional immersion into all sounds and games. When plugged in for the first time I did encounter a constant background static, but this was before I downloaded the necessary software which patched up the nuisance. The wearing experience is pleasant, with a few slight hiccups and a very decent sound. Ozone’s software builds on this, unlocking features and personalisation. From the official website, the software is downloadable and will then require a quick system restart to initiate usage. Being notably user-friendly, setting up a profile to control audio, microphone and RGB effects is natural. Just remember to right-click for all the options as I eventually found this out. Control is given over audio output of each earcup, sample rate, equalising with many different pre-set modes all gametypes, surround sound, audio enhancement, dynamic bass, volume normalisation, voice definition and surround enhance. There is a tonne of customisation, making your audio truly unique. Then, there are the RGB effects which give the headset life. With common settings of breathe, constant and spectrum cycling comes my personal favourite, sound reactive, where the headset reacts colourfully to the audio. All 16.8 million colours are yours to toy with, but not with other peripherals of even the same brand. RGB effects will also affect the inline controller which also lights up using a smaller Ozone logo, making it visible in the darkest nights. The inline controller has two physical buttons, ‘mute’ and ‘mic’ opposed by a volume rocker on the other side. The features are what separate this product from others at €90. From the official website, the software is downloadable and will then require a quick system restart to initiate usage. Being notably user-friendly, setting up a profile to control audio, microphone and RGB effects is natural. Just remember to right-click for all the options as I eventually found this out. Control is given over audio output of each earcup, sample rate, equalising with many different pre-set modes all gametypes, surround sound, audio enhancement, dynamic bass, volume normalisation, voice definition and surround enhance. There is a tonne of customisation, making your audio truly unique. Then, there are the RGB effects which give the headset life. With common settings of breathe, constant and spectrum cycling comes my personal favourite, sound reactive, where the headset reacts colourfully to the audio. All 16.8 million colours are yours to toy with, but not with other peripherals of even the same brand. RGB effects will also affect the inline controller which also lights up using a smaller Ozone logo, making it visible in the darkest nights. The inline controller has two physical buttons, ‘mute’ and ‘mic’ opposed by a volume rocker on the other side. The features are what separate this product from others at €90. The microphone is a very strong element on the Ozone EKHO H80. Tucked away at the bottom hemisphere of the left earcup, the microphone sports a neon red light when active and removed upon pressing ‘mic’ on the inline controller. Retracting to 6 cm , the flexible microphone is there for you under your lip in tight communication and easily pushed away in casual discussion. Recorded voice is uni-directional and with a -38dB sensitivity powered by 2200Ω of impedance. All crazy screams and deep roars will be picked up by the range of 50Hz p to 20KHz. The quality is fantastic, beating very sensitive and properly defining every breath. This was found out by testing samples and asking other online player’s opinions. Using the software, one may monitor microphone audio production, change sample rate and even add a funny voice changer to amuse others. It’s not the best microphone out there, but it’s pretty impressive for the price. To summarise, this inexpensive product, sitting at €90, is a recommended purchase for gamers looking to hear enemies without hearing the vacancy in their wallets. A strong performer at this price, with full RGB features, 7.1 virtual surround sounds and a respectable microphone should definitely convince many to fall in love with its modern sleek aesthetic. This is the Ozone EKHO H80 PC gaming headset. Who it’s for; PC gamers who want 7.1 VSS and a decent microphone RGB enthusiasts Casual Video-callers with great mic and RGB to entertain others Those who would like to rock a modern and unique look while gaming Who it’s not for; Console gamers Those who wish to connect RGB to other peripherals Budget-less gamers who can afford higher-end Serious video callers People who want a headset for work and play Get yours now from The Gamers Lounge ; http://shop.gamers.com.mt/product/367/ozone-ekho- h80-rgb-gaming- headset

Project Eversio dive into Dota 2

The Maltese competitive scene is unfortunately ever so barren when it comes to Dota 2. Yet, the local esports organisation that is Project Eversio, have decided to assemble a squad and join the rest of Europe in this popular esport.  Limits are not set by land or sea, but by mentality. Project Eversio are consistently proving that it wishes to breed Maltese talent even if opportunities are somewhat restricted locally. Forming a Dota 2 squad was only a matter of time. Being one of the top tier esport titles as of right now, with persuasive prize pools, constant growth in active player count and an overwhelming amount of competitive support – it’s simply an esport Project Eversio couldn’t turn down. Thus, a crew of five Malta-based Dota 2 players who only recently started playing together, have been selected to represent Project Eversio internationally. The players are overwhelmed with excitement, motivation and a desire to win. After the necessary time required to properly strengthen the team’s dynamic, regular participation in European cups and tournaments will be the first step. Hopefully, further international competition will be part of the team’s activities, knowing that Project Eversio is always challenging all limits. The Maltese roster is based on a young squad, ranging from teenagers to early 20s. Official names are; ‘Yaster’, ‘BaRaCuDa’, ‘N7’, ‘Grimmy’ and ‘ETPanda’. Captained by the Russian Daniil ‘Yaster’ Prorok, two other Russian-Maltese players make up the team along with a couple of original Maltese. It shouldn’t make a difference who is who since we’re all Maltese here and the squad is competing for Malta. On behalf of the Gamers.com.mt team we wish them bundles of luck on their journey to success and achievement on an international level.  For more details regarding the team, be sure to check out; http://eversio.org/news/view/33/welcome-eversio-dota-2 and perhaps find out what else Project Eversio is doing for Maltese esports.

Astralis Win with Turtle Beach Sponsorship

Turtle Beach is well-known for producing some fine gaming headsets which are used globally due to the extent of immersion, audio quality and comfort. Astralis, giants in the CS:GO competitive scene, have recently sealed a long-term partnership with Turtle Beach for many years to come. Such a huge deal is obviously not excluding some lengthy figures, easily gliding into seven figures. Thus, to the disappointment of other teams, the champions have exclusive use to Turtle Beach’s Elite Pro gaming headsets future products. In turn, Astralis will assist TB in creating future headsets following direction and advice from the professional players on the team. With so many console gamers, pro players, and teams already enjoying the Elite Pro since its debut last year, we knew we needed to extend this offering to gamers playing on PC too  - Turtle Beach CEO Juergen Stark. The deal wouldn’t have been possible without RFRSH Entertainmet, acting as Astralis’ agency which landed an impressive two month agreement with Audi, being of $700,000. Enhancing the audio quality for the players on the team was a primary objective for the agency, one which has now been satisfied. There has been controversy regarding RFRSH Entertainment in the past, however, since multiple team ownership is not accepted by WESA, an organisation which looks to nurture professionalism in esports. No team owned by the agency; Astralis, GODSENT and Heroic make part of WESA. With the success that Astralis has been having, one shouldn’t be surprised if other sponsorship deals crop up in the months to come.

Overwatch World Cup Details

Excitement builds as days fall like leaves until the Overwatch World Cup commences for 2017. The earliest matches, of Groups A and B, start July 13 and finish two days later. These groups go all the way to letter H, so here’s a concise list of each member in every group accompanied by their dates of action. Group A; Hong Kong, China, Norway and Romania – July 13 to 15 Group B; Denmark, Thailand, Argentina and France – July 13 to 15 Group C; Sweden, Australia, Italy and Portugal – July 20 to 22 Group D; Finland, Japan, Spain and Vietnam – July 20 to 22 Group E; South Korea, Netherlands, Poland and Austria – August 4 to 6 Group F; Canada, Russia, Singapore and Turkey – August 4 to 6 Group G; United States, Taiwan, Brazil and New Zealand – August 11 to 13 Group H; United Kingdom, Germany, Israel and Belgium -  August 11 to 13 Tickets will be available to support one’s country at the multitude of global venues. Line-ups are settled, but wouldn’t fit into a little article as such. For more details on individual rosters visit; https://worldcup.playoverwatch.com/en-us/#group-stage. Don’t miss the Overwatch World Cup Finals to occur from November 3rd to 4th after groups are settled. Three top countries are South Korea (last year’s champions), United States and France. Yet, France has an advantage no other team has; a deep chemistry due to the fact that every player was taken from the same team, Rogue. Anyhow, it’s absolutely amazing to see a gathering of 32 countries battle it out to resemble well known tournaments such as the World Cup of football. Personally, I commend Blizzard on taking the initiative again to create an intense global event – players will become adjourned to no longer just competing for prize money, but for pride, for their country. Overwatch has brought 32 countries together; hopefully, we could see replicated tournaments for many other titles in the years to come. That would certainly help esports grow in popularity on a global scale just like last year’s event.

Nvidia Graphics Card Prices Increasing

Cryptocurrency is a digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank; that is the definition offered by Google for those unaware. Cryptocurrency in itself is harmless and doesn’t entail illegality, yet certain actions utilising it may. Mining of such currency is an example, which has led to installing fear in manufacturers who are becoming exploited. The AMD Radeon RX 580 and 570, in result to this cryptocurrency mining, have proven to be quite scarce and disgustingly overpriced. The community is able to pin the blame on this action due to AMD stating it themselves. Somewhat rivals of AMD, Nvidia were initially safe, but recent trends in price increase allows us to question- is it due to the same mining? Nvidia’s Geforce GTX 1060 and 1070 cards are very popular GPUs and pack a lot of power, a price jump was easily noticed. A source on Reddit recognised that a 1060 card was first $210, $246 the next day, and $280 the other. After much research, the user’s claims were proven as fact. Globally, whichever seller you choose, Nivida’s 1060 and 1070 cards have become more expensive, maybe to try countering the mining profits. We can only guess at this point in time, with a statement from Nvidia to truly confirm the thought. What we can be sure of, however, is that newer hashing algorithms have been released and cryptocurrency companies such as Bitcoin are thriving and topping charts. If you’re looking for a powerful GPU for the best price; I wouldn’t hesitate much longer. At this rate, prices may keep building until the 1060 and 1070 cards start to become scarce. Damn cryptocurrency mining and its destroying effect, hopefully Nvidia will put a stop to this for the benefit of everyone.

Luminosity Win CWL : Anaheim

Luminosity Gaming is a major esports organisation which is respected across many titles and platforms. As Call of Duty began to peak in attendance, LG made their way in; hungry for victory. Yet, when entering in November 2015, they didn’t know that a couple years of elusion and disappointments would come their way first. Finally, as of yesterday, LG have won a championship, namely CWL Anaheim last Sunday. Entering Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, a huge roster change happened and left many curious to what this new team could accomplish. Players ‘NAMELESS’, ‘SpaceLy’ and StuDyy’ left and were replaced by ‘Classic, ‘Octane’ and ‘Slacked’. Everyone would admit that LG had some serious potential for the year. After being denied the trophy at the CWL Stage 1 Global Pro League by Splyce, they would return the favour at CWL Anaheim. Last Sunday’s grand final, if you haven’t figured it out, was between Splyce and Luminosity Gaming. Splyce had fought through a tough loser bracket and would need two wins to claim victory. Many doubted this would happen with LG’s recent form, defeating favourites Optic Gaming yet again and simply not losing in brackets. Everyone will agree, however, that it was an insane match- up. The first map, Scorch Hardpoint, witnessed jaw-dropping plays with a final score of 249-250; a hyped victory for Splyce. LG would remain calm and snatch the SND on Crusher in a 6-4 fashion. Going into Uplink, LG were the favourites being one of the best uplink teams in the game and not surprisingly, hammered Splyce with an 11-5 scoreline; all the momentum from the first map was gone. Sealing the deal was the second hardpoint, on Retaliation which saw yet another nail-biter closing at 250 to 245. Thus, $80,000 of prize money went the way of Luminosity Gaming and the MVP was respectably given to Octane. The 19 year old impressed and has shown that this is his game. The squad’s integrity will be tested on June 30 th , at second season of the CWL Global Pro League.

Tencent planning to pump $15 billion into esports

Eastern esports is well-known to be relished by governments due to its popularity and growing market. Many companies understand the potential future of esports in the area. Tencent, a chinese gaming company, however, has revealed a plan to accelerate this expansion drastically. The $14.6 billion scheme consists of creating leagues, tournaments, associations and focusing on local talent. Also , perhaps influenced by the recently shown Bethesdaland, esports-themed parks are also planned to pop up across China. The announcement reached the media last week. Overwhelmed market researchers, who estimated a 1 billion dollar increase up to 2019, have foretold that such a soak up of funds will have uncontrolled prosperity. Yet, Tencent probably know something that other companies don’t. Being probably the most gaming involved organisation, through full property of Riot Games, a piece of Activision Blizzard and 84 percent of Supercell with a couple other super agreements. Gao Li is one of the minds behind the plan, as Tencent’s esports section and confidently remarked that there is expansive space for esports revenue to grow; there better be when you wish to invest $15 billion in it. Everything is pointing towards the actualisation of the intention, with multiple agreements between Tencent and the Chinese government and other massive Chinese companies. China is preparing itself for the rapid bacterial surge to come from heavy investment. On the other hand, others are intercepting this expansion, such as Western esports organisations who wish to join the party. An example is Fnatic, which has carefully chosen a partner to benefit from the Asian gaming industry. Tencent could potentially change the esports scene on a global scale, and who knows, perhaps we will finally witness esports as a medal event at the Olympic Events, not just at the Asian Games.

Virtus.Pro Victorious at Adrenaline Cyber League

This year’s Adrenaline Cyber League, located in Moscow at the VTB Ice Palace, was an event to look out for and didn’t disappoint. 4 teams made up the competition at the major event, all of which were invited; Virtus.pro, Natus Vincere, FlipSid3 Tactics and Hell Raisers. With such a small pool of teams, and a total prize money of $100,000, each game was literally a few thousand dollars worth of CS:GO. Without any double-elimination, HellRaisers and FlipSid3 Tactics were quickly beaten and left with a bottom two finish. Thus, Natus Vincere and Virtus.pro immediately landed into the final to battle it out for $40,000 dollars. VP got off to a promising start in the best of three, seizing Nuke in style with a 16-2 scoreline. The second map, Train, was incredibly back and forth with no clear winner until the very end resulting in a 20-22 scoreline for Natus Vincere. Game three would decide the winner, and if you’ve read the title, wha comes up next it no surprise. Virtus.pro take home the $65,000 prize money after a 16-8 score. Playing just a couple of games has allowed VP to leave that much richer; with a roster consisting of ‘TaZ, ‘NEO’, ‘pasha’, ‘Snax’, ‘byali’ and coach ‘kuben’. Short tournaments with a mere 4 teams are a refreshing experience for many. Although, some may prefer longer events based on longer life-spans and a few more games. Yet, tiny tournaments like this drastically increase pressure, with no space for error since one loss sends you home. It would be preferred if teams can qualify instead of being invited, but it’s nothing we can change. Nonetheless, it was a tight tournament consisting of uncomfortable amounts of tension which was a delight for all viewers, who probably barely had any fingernails left to bite by the end of it all.

Ozone Strike Pro Spectra Review

Towards the expensive end of the keyboard spectrum, one expects a solid build, great functionality, RGB lighting and a tool perfect to virtually reap the souls of enemies. Costing approximately €150, what does the Ozone Strike Pro Spectra pack that deserves the emptying of wallets? Let’s find out. After opening the packaging and analysing the manual, extra rubber feet, CD driver and the sticker, picking up the keyboard is all that’s left to do. At 1.3 kg, the Strike Pro Spectra is a sturdy keyboard with an expected thickness that rewards the owner a flex less experience. Placing it down onto a desk, an experienced gamer will be pleasantly surprised with a subtle look. No ‘gamer’ colours which resemble a child’s imagination, but a matte black finish punctuated with a unique font mixed with capitalised and non-capitalised letters. This keyboard is definitely usable in a serious environment such as work, as the font does not wish to eat you alive, which is already a unique quality for such a product. The soft touch feel on the surface is created by a soft layer of rubber and feels lush. On the underside of the keyboard lie 4 frontal rubber feet, all replaceable and a couple of retractable ones at the head to possibly add some angle. Between the retractable legs are three channels for the wire to pass through to facilitate wire management. Speaking about the wire, it’s a lovely thick and braided cable with 4 ends, a couple USB 2.0s with a microphone and headphone input to allow use of I/O at the top-right of the keyboard. All connections are gold-plated to ensure the fastest transactions of information. Without connecting anything, a positive impression can easily be induced from a sleek and minimalistic look. Yet, looks may be deceiving. What is it like to use the Strike Pro Spectra? Pretty great for the most part is a concise answer. On this keyboard, there is the choice of purchasing MX Cherry Red, Blue, Brown or Black switches. An element of choice is always pleasant to see. Paired with whatever switch you choose is the narrow wrist rest. Unlike other high-end keyboards with cushions is the rubbery plastic. Of course, the rest does offer support and a surface to rest palms, yet there are a few negatives. First of all, such a material does tend to make hands sweat easily and the finish attracts dust and oils. It’s comfortable, but not for extra-long gaming sessions, when things may start to get messy. Also, it’s much advised to not raise keyboard using the stands as the mentioned thickness will result in wrist aches. Always use flat unless one has a wrist cushion to raise hands. Apart from the rest, the typing experience is affected by other details. Anti-ghosting of 104 keys is a welcome addition which helps deliver each press and the surface of the keys is a standard plastic concave dome which gets the job done. At first, the top row of keys may seem confusing; with macros and RGB effects married to the function keys. After a while, it’s easily understood. Both shifts are present and the right Windows key is replaced by an Ozone button, whose function will be described later on. User experience is mainly positive with only minor drawbacks ruining the perfection. Yet, there are so many features to mention which definitely make these little flaws take a backseat. These features are what differentiate this keyboard from the original Strike Pro, bringing the whole spectrum of colours, hence the word ‘Spectra.’ Before using the full RGB 16.8 million colours, the driver must first be installed either using the internet or the given disk. The setup process is seamless and over quickly, with a required restart before the fun may begin. Lighting effects consist of ripple, static, breathe, wave, ripple, reactive and custom modes at three levels of brightness. The software is extremely user-friendly and I find it to be in direct competition with Razer and Corsair in this dimension. Colours are rich, saturated and bright. An Ozone button may be used to change these effects on the go, using the understandable symbols below the function keys. It should be mentioned that using lock keys, will prevent them from RGB colours due to a white backlight. Also, activating ‘game mode’ using this button will reduce response time and increase polling rate to ensure the fastest feedback when it’s most important. Keyboard layout may also be customised in the software. However, creating Macros will need a quick drive over a learning curve and there doesn’t seem to be a way to link to other Ozone peripherals. When mastering macro creation is complete, they may be saved onto the onboard memory so that they’re always there. With traditional and unique lighting effects, Ozone has created a keyboard bursting with effects. After a while, the novelty of the colours will wear off, but the quick ‘game mode’ switching will always excite gamers. It’s safe to say, that not many people talk about this keyboard, with popular brands such as Razer and Corsair blocking out the light. Yet, with a torch, one could discover such a treasure. At its price, bang in the middle between 100 and 200 euros, it’s perfect for those who want to purchase a fancy keyboard with effects but wouldn’t mind saving a bit of cash. The Ozone Strike Pro Spectra is definitely a piece of hardware to look out for, and if one could grab a cushion rest, this is possibly the best keyboard available for the price. Who it’s for: Gamers looking for high-end performance at lower price RGB enthusiasts Those looking for a mechanical solution for work and play Gamers who want accessible usb with mic, headphones ports Those looking for a slim and minimalistic look without sacrificing spacing Persons who need a sturdy build quality to last Who it’s not for: Gamers without a budget looking for the most popular brands Gamers with a tight budget Easily confused persons Those looking for a metal build Those who want to connect all peripherals with the same software Get yours now from The Gamers Lounge : http://shop.gamers.com.mt/product/365/ozone-strike-spectra-mechanical- keyboard  

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