Not sure where to start in Photoshop? Here's a crash course on the basics
Photoshop is a powerful application that can be used for a variety of purposes, from editing photos or other images to graphic design and 3D art to light videography work. But Photoshop's power and versatility can also make it incredibly intimidating. The program’s main window is strewn with 20 different tools plus a ton of filter effects and image layers to top it all off. While Photoshop may be as understandable as Sanskrit to a novice, we’re going to show you how to get started with the basics.
A much-needed kick in the pants revamps the franchise
When we last left our hero Diablo, the Lord of Terror wasn’t all that scary anymore. In fact, he’s probably been a bit lonely. The joy of killing Diablo 3’s big boss alongside Blizzard’s army of players has long since faded for those who haven’t already abandoned the game at some point since its May 2012 release.
Note: This review was originally featured in the July 2014 issue of the magazine.
If you’re reading this, it’s highly likely that your PC is a fine-tuned piece of 64-bit technology, customized to the hilt and purring like a kitten with a belly full of formula. Yup, she’s a beaut, and attacks your daily tasks like a Belgian Police Dog going after a fleeing perp. All is well in the world, until one day when you sit down, fire it up, and realize something is different. That extra bit of snap when programs open is missing, and encoding video seems to take longer than it used to. Even downloading files seems to require more patience than you’re accustomed to exhibiting. It’s at this very moment that you silently say to yourself, “What the FRACK???”
Note: This article was originally featured in the May 2014 issue of the magazine.
Two stories, tons of creativity, yummy ice cream, no grog
That’s fair advice for the half of you who will start out Broken Age in a miserable funk instead of a monster-filled fairy tale. At least, that’s how we felt when we initially began our trip through Tim Schafer’s imaginative title—the first half of a two-part, point-and-click adventure from the industry veteran whose previous credits stand well on their own within the genre: Day of the Tentacle, The Secret of Monkey Island, Full Throttle, et cetera.
Note: This review was originally featured in the May 2014 issue of the magazine.
When your images aren’t up to snuff, there’s always photo-editing software
Photography can be impenetrable from the gear to actually shooting and then the image editing software is a whole other uphill battle. Even with Adobe introducing Lightroom as a lightweight Photoshop alternative, it can be daunting to see a screen full of sliders as a complete novice. To help get you from serial Instagramer to amateur photographer, here’s a crash course to making your images look great with just a few steps in Lightroom.
How to save lots of money without sacrificing quality, performance, or features
Our Cheapskate’s Guide has become an annual installment in the magazine, because for most of us working stiffs, the ability to stretch a dollar and get more for less is always relevant. For some of us, it means that our love of technology and all its amazing uses won’t get in the way of us paying the rent or putting new Crocs on our kids’ feet. For others, saving money is more a matter of personal pride—the result of knowing the ins and outs of getting a good deal. Only suckers pay the sticker price! Whatever motivates your cheapskate tendencies, we say embrace them, and this year we offer our support in the form of tips for savvy shopping, guidance on making wise hardware purchases, pointers to killer deals in digital entertainment, and a whole lot more. Just don’t spend your savings foolishly!
Note: This review was originally featured in the March 2014 issue of the magazine.
As much as we initially disliked the over-the-top storyline, action, and gameplay of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, the more we played, the more we found ourselves growing quite fond of the game. It’s more like exercise than a bad wine; worth sticking with for the end results, rather than tossing out after the first sip or two.
Note: This review was originally featured in the April 2014 issue of the magazine.
We reason there are a number of you who have heard of The Walking Dead, but have never gotten a chance to exercise your mouse fingers in this quasi-game. This has led us to wonder: Is the second season of Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead compelling enough to make one go through the entire series up until this point? Could you even jump back in if you had a peek at Season One but never quite got around to finishing it?
Note: This review was originally featured in our March 2014 issue of the magazine.
To all the Windows 8 haters out there, we feel your pain! The update might be too little, too late for some, but if you're ready to accept a Win 8.1 fate, our guide will get you started
Sometimes we wonder if Microsoft didn’t actually build a new OS so much as a Frankenstein that its customers could direct years of pent up anger, frustration, and fear onto. For example, just hint that Windows 8.0 ain’t that bad on the Internet, and some Windows users will react as if you keyed their mint ’64 Chevelle Malibu and kicked their dog with your steel-toed boot. To say you’ll get a beat down of YouTube-able proportions is an understatement of people’s rage at Windows 8.0 today.
Note: This article originally appeared in the January 2014 issue of the magazine.