Sunday, February 1, 2015

Renault Espace V

For over three decades, the Renault Espace has been one of the most important cars in history. Although it's the least sportiest car ever made, it has been one of the greatest seismic shift in automotive history. It's no wonder why the people carrier is invented for the said purpose. In recent history, it seems that the Espace is too much underappreciated for a people carrier no matter how many full model changes occurred. Desperate and Renault's going to remove the Espace from the map but the name's too sacred because it's the name that put the people carrier to the automotive world so with no choice left, Renault decided to keep the Espace for a while but modernize it with a whole new spin.

2015 Renault Espace

So what's the spin? It has transformed from a large MPV of yesteryears to a luxury crossover of today. It wasn't quite pleasing to the loyalists but despite being a full-sized crossover, it still feels like a people carrier because you can still fit some families, dogs, or businesses in it. You can even use it on a weekends whether if its a shopping trip or a road trip to one countryside, province, prefecture, whatever you call it, to another.

It's quite shoddy why they've turned the Espace from a lackluster MPV to a modernized crossover for whatever reason but by the looks of it, it has some premium feel to its sleek design. and even though it looks big for a tall people carrier, the Espace isn't half bad to look at.

2015 Renault Espace interior

In its three-decade history, the Espace is well-known for its clever interior and for this brand new Espace, the interior's redefined with something classy but with the hint of cruelty in it. Inside, you can opt in for either a 5-seater or a 7-seater and for the cruelty of it, there's no twin center glovebox from the previous Espaces, no swiveling seats (because swiveling seats is so old-school), and worse of all, no CD player. What you see on the dashboard is an iPad-esque touch screen loaded with Renault's next-generation R-Link telematics system.

On the upside, there's no need to get rid of seats for luggage purposes. You just have to fold down the seats at the touch of a button and no problem. You can do whatever you want like most people carriers do. You can sleep in it, work in it, play in it, the possibilities are endless but why? Maybe it inherits the same versatility from past Espaces. That's for sure.

2015 Renault Espace

To be a practical people mover, the engine has to be practical and for the new Espace, it's offered with just a small 1.6L engine with three different setups. First, there's the efficient ENERGY dCi 130 which is mated with a 6-speed manual gearbox, producing a reasonably 130PS of power, and 320Nm of torque. Combined fuel economy is 22.2km/L. Then, there's the petrol-powered Energy TCe 200 engine connected with a 7-speed EDC gearbox which produces a more powerful 200PS of power, 260Nm of torque, and combined fuel economy of 16.1km/L. And lastly and the core of the range is the ENERGY dCi 160 engine mated with the 6-speed EDC gearbox. This engine has the most torque of the three engine variations with 160PS of power and 380Nm of torque.

Amazingly, this high-torque diesel engine draws its inspiration from Renault's Formula 1 engines and you can expect similar engine techs as seen on F1 engines such as a transverse water flow system, U-Flex piston rings, and a greatly reduced friction by surface super finishing.

It's not just the engines that shine the Espace out from the rest but thanks to the new platform and refined aerodynamics, it's more lighter as well and with the available 4Control chassis, it feels more nimble as well.

2015 Renault Espace
Although the new Espace lacks some of the classic Espace features of yesteryears but with its clever features, added room, and its bold design, it really works it charm although my point of regret is because of the lack of CD player, its traditional dashboard that lacks the dual glovebox from past Espaces, the choice of diesel engines which will soon be forced out when Parisian laws prohibits cars using them goes on effect, but it's the pricing that made me regret and with prices start at 34,200 Euros, more expensive than the Renault Scenic.

Also, it's available exclusively for left-hand drive markets. Sorry.

Available Colors: Noir Etoile, Marron Glace, Blanc Nacre, Gris Cassiopee, Beige Dune, Gris Platine, Bleu Celeste, Blanc Glacier, and Noir Amethyste.

Photo: Renault

A brief history of Ace Combat

With Ace Combat 3D Cross Rumble Plus recently launched for the New Nintendo 3DS, the revamped version of the original 2012 game kicks off the Ace Combat series' 20th birthday this year since the first one launched in the summer of 1995. Let's take flight down memory lane on the Ace Combat timeline.
Ace Combat history

Ace Combat (1995, PSX) - The first installment was launched in the summer of 1995 on the first-ever Sony Playstation. Known in the west as Air Combat for some reasons, this game pits player on the role of the mercenary bent on reclaiming the nation from terrorist forces. Whether if its air-to-air combat, air-to-ground combat, air-to-sea combat, or whatever combat hits you, the first Ace Combat game really blew gamers away with its intense 3D dogfights that served as the benchmark from the maddest game company ever known.

Ace Combat 2 (1997, PSX) - After the success of the first one, Namco decided to make a sequel of the hit flight-shooting game. As the pilot of the Special Task Force Squadron Scarface, your mission, as always, is to eliminate terrorist threats throughout the nation.

Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere (1999, PSX) - If you live in Japan, you were in luck because the third-installment of the hit flight-shooting game features a more dramatic storyline, something that the Western release couldn't get for numerous reasons. Dramatic aside, AC3 Electrosphere features a more futuristic look to the aircraft, locations, as well as the soundtrack. Set in the 2040's, the two corporations, General Resource and Neucom, are clashing over their ideals for economic domination. With the top scientists from General Resource have defected to Neucom, the tensions between the two companies are fierce and Neucom is threaten to use violence to achieve their corporate objectives. As the member of the Universal Peace Enforcement Organization or UPEO, your mission is to protect the interest of General Resource and put a stop to Neucom's aggressions.

The Japanese version of the game did feature some anime cutscenes on it. We even heard about the game's Mission Zero OVA that we knew it in the first place, which served as the prologue for the game.

Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies (2001, PS2) - A year after the PS2 was launched in Japan, Namco decided to up the series' ante by creating their newest installment which takes advantage of the Playstation2's physics. It's the game that sets the storyline benchmark that was carried over to future installments and we were accustomed to it. This game is set on the fictional USEA continent. After the planetfall of the Ulysses 1994XF04 asteroids in 1999, the Federal Republic of Erusea took over most of the USEAN continent as well as the anti-air railgun installment Stonehenge. The year is 2004 and as the pilot of the Independent States Allied Forces' Mobius squadron, call sign Mobius 1, your mission is to stop the Erusian forces from all over the continent and save USEA, no matter the risks.

Yes, there's some anime part on this game only this time in stills. In these cutscenes, the narrator tells about what he experienced during the war, his encounter with the Yellow Squadron (one of the enemies), and how the war unfolds in the USEAN continent. Seems that the game's storytelling wasn't so bad after all.

Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War (2004, PS2) - This is the game where the term "Project Aces" was born. It's the game that features one of the most dramatic storytelling as well as introducing the whole world of Ace Combat. Gone are the anime cutscenes and it was replaced with some CG-animated cutscenes that makes it more lively for the storytelling of this game. The year is 2010, 15 years after the nuclear explosion triggered in the Principality of Belka that made the winning nations surrendered their weapons and ceased fighting or so they thought. In the present time, the Osean Air Defense Force 108th Tactical Fighter Squadron lost most of its members and later the disappearance of Capt. Jack Bartlett. When the unknown strikes down the OSEAN Federation, only you and your co-pilots must save the country of OSEA from an unknown threat, which turned out to be from the Yuktobanian forces. While it retains the same air and ground combat you'd expect from past installments, this game features the Wingman Command system which puts the fate of your wingmen in your hands. Split-second decision is vital in this game and in some parts of the game, you will respond in a Yes-or-No question where one decision changes everything as you progress.

The aircrafts shown in the game are now more realistic than ever (with the exception of the secret X-02 Wyvern and the Falken plane) because for the first time, Namco made a collaboration with the world's top aviation companies to bring real-world aircrafts, including the F14 Tomcat (the cover plane), to life.

Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (2006, PS2) - So what exactly happened 15 years ago? How did Belka lost the war and triggered the nightmarish nuclear explosion to their own land? This prequel answers all of the questions as Ace Combat Zero takes a thrust back in time, witnessing the events occurred before AC5 as well as the hidden truth of this war. Players take on the role of a mercenary pilot from the republic of Ustio, one of the former East Belka territories that gained independence due to Belka's recession. The year is 1995. 15 years before the Unsung War and four years before the Ulysses incident. With the discovery of the underground natural resources of Ustio, Belka began to invade its neighboring nations and ruled with an iron fist and the country of Ustio placed all their hope for a joint operation with the Allied Forces under the Offensive Campaign No. 4101.

A little Mexican telenovela feel to the game's theme song which is a fitting for the prequel but the game's cutscenes are more of a documentary highlighting the events of The Belkan War. There's also interviews of enemy aces you've encountered who witnessed the war from their own eyes as well.

Familiar elements from Ace Combat 5 such as the Stier Castle (a castle near the ground zero craters triggered by nuclear explosions), Mt. Schirm (the one with the mining area where the Razgriz sealed it in AC5), Heartbreak One (Bartlett), Grabacr, Huckebein (Pops), and the aircraft carrier Kestrel were on this prequel.

Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception (2006, PSP) - The raw firepower of the Ace Combat series goes portable with Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception. Launched for Japan only on the PlayStation Portable in late 2006, this game takes on the role of a fighter pilot from the Aurelian Air Force's Gryphus Squadron and your mission is to save Aurelia from the tyranny of Leasath forces. Like any other Ace Combat games, you can expect secret aircrafts, various missions, and even a battle against a giant airborne fortress.

Ace Combat 6: 解放への戦火 (2007, XBOX 360) - Although a little discontent about Namco's decision to make AC6 an XBOX 360 exclusive as well as the limited choice of aircraft available, this game pushed the genre to its unprecedented heights thanks to its high-definition graphics, physics, sound, and its storytelling. It was the summer of 2015 in the Republic of Emmeria, located at the heart of the Anea continent which is located above Yuktobania, when the Federal Republic of Estovakia took control of the Emmerian capital city Gracemeria with a massive firepower as well as the air force's Strigon team and the heavy command cruiser called Aigaion (otherwise known as Moby Dick). With their homeland gone, it's up to the Emmerian army to take back their nation they called home from the Estovakian tyranny and that's where you come in as Garuda 1 (Talisman) of the Emmerian Air Force 8th Air Division 28th Fighter Squadron.

The Wingman System is now evolved in this game and when you're in places where ESM is active, you can now trigger an Allied Attack or Allied Cover and let every ally in the area as well as Garuda 2 (Shamrock) help you when the battle gets messy.

For the first time in series history, AC6 features online gameplay where you can play with or against other aces from across the world and take on either team deathmatches or online co-ops. There's also downloadable content as well featuring liveries based from past Ace Combat games as well as aircraft inspired from, you've guessed, The iDOLM@STER.

Ace Combat Xi: Skies of Incursion (2009, iPhone/iPod Touch) - Ace Combat goes portable again and this time it's in the screens of the iPhone or iPod Touch in this app game heavily inspired from 2006's Skies of Deception. Although a little complicated to play due to its touch-screen functions, this game is how Namco do when they put their maddest games to smartphones. Want to play one, well sadly you can't because it's no longer compatible with those running on iOS7 or higher.

Ace Combat X2: Joint Assault (2010, PSP) - This is a totally new turn to the Ace Combat franchise because for the first time ever, Ace Combat takes on our world in ACX2 Joint Assault. No more fictional areas like from the previous ones. It's now real-world locations like Tokyo, London, Egypt, San Francisco, and many others. As the member of the Antares Squadron, run by the private military company Martinez Security, your mission is to save the world from threats done by the terrorist organization Valahia.

Ace Combat Assault Horizon (2011, PS3/XBOX 360) - With the storyline penned by Jim DeFelice, writer of two of the New York Times' bestsellers Leopards Kill and Threat Level Black, Assault Horizon draws inspiration from real-time conflict as players take on the role of Colonel William Bishop of the fictional US Air Force 108th Task Force Warwolf as he engage on a war on terror that will change his life. Because it draws inspiration from real-time conflicts, it's set on real-world locations including Russia, USA, and the Middle East. This game puts a new spin on the franchise because of its unique close range assault system that makes dogfights more dynamic unlike any other.

Other than that, Assault Horizon features missions where you can take flight on helicopters, bombers, or even a gunship. There's also a wide range of DLC aircrafts, skins, and more, including fan-favorites such as iDOLM@STER-themed aircraft, Ace Combat 6's CFA-44 Nosferatu, Macross-themed aircraft, US aircrafts, and the Shoji Kawamori-designed fantasy aircraft called the ASF-X Shinden II.

Ace Combat 3D Cross Rumble (2012, 3DS) - Sold in the US under the Assault Horizon Legacy banner, AC3D Cross Rumble sends this fast-flying franchise straight to the Nintendo 3DS for the first time. Taking advantage of the Nintendo 3DS' capabilities, Cross Rumble features intense and engaging battles in 3DS, touch-screen controls, and some edge-of-your-seat controls.

Ace Combat Infinity (2014, PS3) - Launched in mid-May 2014, Ace Combat Infinity is the series' first-ever free-to-play flight shooting game made exclusively for the Playstation3. Whether if its a veteran mercenary or a battle-shy rookie, Ace Combat Infinity pits players behind the cockpit of some of the world's best aircrafts from the F22 Raptor, F14 Tomcat, F15 Strike Eagle, Eurofighter Typhoon, Rafale, Mirage 2000, T50, or any other well-known aircrafts in history as well as fictitious ones as seen in numerous installments such as the Morgan from The Belkan War and the ASF-X Shinden II from Assault Horizon. Over two million players have been downloaded this free-to-play PS3 exclusive since its launch and engage in either campaign or online co-ops as well as the weekly challenges where prizes include special aircrafts, new emblems, research reports, or other prizes.

Ace Combat 3D Cross Rumble Plus (2015, 3DS) - Recently launched in Japan last 29th of January, 2015 and coming in the US this February under the Assault Horizon Legacy Plus banner, Cross Rumble Plus is a revamped version of the 2012 3DS game but now updated for the New Nintendo 3DS. Aside from taking advantage of the new control schemes of the New 3DS, Bandai Namco collaborated with Nintendo for special aircrafts as well as those that can be unlocked with Nintendo's amiibo figures, sold separately.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Let's Do The News (January 31, 2015)

Welcome back. Here is your current sitrep:

- According to EU's incoming finance minister Pierre Moscovici during an interview on BBC's Hardtalk, he vows that Greece should stay at the eurozone no matter what but he said that the Greek government had to respect previous commitments.

- According to the US Military, the chemical weapons expert of ISIS, named Abu Malik, has been killed in a coalition airstrike. Malik served as a chemical weapons engineer under former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, before joining al-Qaeda in Iraq and then ISIS. He was killed in a raid near the Islam-controlled Mosul on the 24th of January according to officials.

- Meanwhile, it is believed that the ISIS have attacked Iraq's oil-rich city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq. A car bomb exploded on Friday near police HQ, injuring 2 people. It was followed by a crossfire between three gunmen and Kurdish forces, who say all the insurgents were killed in the shootout.

- The Japanese government are doing their best to gather intel on the situation of hostage Kenji Goto, in the hopes of freeing him from the clutches of ISIS.

- Chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front said recently that the group denied coddling international terrorists Zulkifli bin Hir (a.k.a. Marwan) and Abdul Basit Usman. He also denied that President Benigno Aquino III asked the MILF to clear the way for government security forces to arrest Usman, who escaped from the SAF in Mamasapano town in Maguindanao last January 25th, the date when 44 SAF members are killed.

- Government security forces in numerous areas within the Mindanao region have been placed on red alert for the possible retaliation by the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in the wake of the death of terrorist Marwan during the Mamasapano incident.

- Two pilots from the Philippine Air Force were killed after their plane crashed off Nasugbu, Batangas Saturday morning during an exhibition flight. The casualties identified as Capt. John Bayao and 2nd Lieutenant Al-Nazer Jana who were on board the SF-260FN aircraft.

- The Lexus LF-LC GT Vision Gran Turismo was revealed and it's set to be playable on the Spring 2015 update of the PS3-exclusive Gran Turismo 6 game.

Lexus LF-LC GT Vision Gran Turismo

- The 2015 Radio Disney Music Awards will be held at the Nokia Theater on April 25th, 2015!

- According to Akio Toyoda, Toyota will return to the World Rally Championship for the 2017 season using a rally-spec Vitz.


"Better Tough Stain Removal In 1 wash"

On the January 30, 2015 episode of Bubble Gang...

- IKAW AT ANG INA takes on...collage

- Robot gags

- The hottest tsismisan is on BALAKUBAK!

- Bubble Gang does Ariel by spoofing this commercial as AERIAL! Better Tough Stain Removal In 1 wash.

- Istambay, Istambay sa Looban, Istorya Ng Isang Balikbayan, Ang Kuwento Ng Ating Tututukan, Masasama Kayo Sa...INGLISAN?!

- News reporter gets interrupted by a massive crowd!

- This bar cares about their customers. That's nice...

Leopaul's Heaven and Hell: Echoes of Maguindanao's bloody fate

Before I begin my opinion about the terrible incidents occurred within the Maguindanao area, I would like to express my sincere condolences to the relatives of the fallen 44 PNP Special Action Forces members. My thoughts and prayers belong to the fallen 44 so God bless these brave soldiers who sacrificed their lives for their nation.

Maguindanao, ARMM, Philippines

In the beginning, I was going to picture the province of Maguindanao, which is part of the Philippines' Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, to be such a wondrous place for would-be adventurers like you and I. Although, I haven't been to this province in ages because I'm stuck at being a city boy for the rest of my life for no reason, some people say that the province of Maguindanao has the awe-inspiring, bountiful, and historic countryside sceneries.

However, the province's image has changed and it became one of the most dangerous places to live...according to one theory anyway. It was probably not because of the tragic Maguindanao Massacre that killed 58 people, 32 of them are journalists, somewhere in Ampatuan, but also it was the spot of the recent Mamasapano siege that killed 44 of the Philippine National Police's top policemen known as the Special Action Force.

Although the massacre of 2009 and the recent slain of 44 SAF units due to a mis-encounter from the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) and the BIFF (Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters) were totally different stories, it seems that the echoes of the province's bloody twist of events are starting to slip through my mind like a careless whisper from a devil beside me.

It's hard to fathom that these two gruesome events occurred on such a peaceful province like this. It's like, as always, history repeats itself. You once witnessed the death of journalists six years ago somewhere in Ampatuan, and now, you witnessed the death of the top policemen in Mamasapano due to some misencounter between the two armed factions. Those killings had turned the wondrous Maguindanao province into a death valley where no one's safe, not even journalists and enforcers alike.

No matter how gruesome those events are, it seems that the nation's government, currently under the administration of President Noynoy Aquino, remains stagnant when it comes to resolving conflicts, At first, I thought the president wanted the Philippines to cross the straight path to strength and stability just as he promised during the 2010 elections but when he took power, he's facing numerous blows from the public such as the 2010 Quirino hostage drama that killed several Hong Kong tourists (and blamed the police's lack of judgment when it comes to negotiate a hostage taker who is revealed to be a sacked cop), the PDAF Scam, Typhoon Yolanda, and so much more that caused people showing dissatisfaction towards President Aquino.

I'm starting to believe that most Filipinos are starting to depreciate President Aquino's actions after all these years and because it's almost a year away from the next elections, it won't be too long until someone will take over his presidential throne and when it does, he or she will correct all the mistakes PNoy heralded in.

I may be a blogger without an ambition but the reason for writing this article is to awake the government and seek justice not just for those who lost their lives in a morally-desolate province but also the morale of the good nation. We maybe a nation that brings the "fun" into the "more fun in the Philippines" but the dream of a corruption-free country is a very very long road ahead unless the government must change and cooperate with the citizens to establish a new standard for our nation.

As the saying goes, we must let time shed light for the truth. Anyway, I should stop here for a now and I think this is what I'll believe in it. I believe that the nation's government will one day awakened from the truth and undo all of the wrongdoings they have heralded in, even in provinces like Maguindanao where the brutal killings made it morally desolated.

Friday, January 30, 2015

FIA Formula E - Buenos Aires

On the 10th of January, 2015, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where the fourth leg of the inaugural FIA Formula E was held, Amlin Aguri's Antonio Felix da Costa was named as the winner of this race followed by e.dams' Nicolas Prost came 2nd and China Racing's Nelson Piquet Jr placed 3rd.

However, Piquet, who placed 3rd, has been handed a 5-place grid penalty at the next race in Miami for speeding under yellow flags. Also, gearbox changes led Jarno Trulli of Trulli to have a 10-place grid penalty as well.


The next race will be held at Miami, USA, this 14th of March, 2015.

PH President attended plant inauguration in the same day the fallen SAF members arrived

The Philippine President, Benigno Aquino III, was absent at the Villamor Air Base where 42 out of the 44 killed Philippine National Police Special Action Force members have arrived Thursday, four days after a police operation in Maguindanao. Reason for his absence is because he attended the inauguration of the Mitsubishi Motors Philippines' Santa Rosa plant, which is the former plant used by Ford Philippines before it was closed in 2012.

His absence sparked fury from netizens, questioning why did he's not present in the arrival of the slain SAF members, but the Malacanang Palace officials denied reports about the president ignoring the slain SAF members because the president will attend the necrological services at Camp Bagong Diwa at 1000 hours, Friday, Philippine Time. The PNP is expected for his presence at the event, which served as the national day of mourning for the elite policemen who were killed last Sunday in an encounter with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.

Image: AFP/Philippine Daily Inquirer
Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer [1][2]

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Let's Do The News (January 29, 2015)

Welcome back. Here is your current sitrep:

- The inquest from last month's Sydney cafe siege heard that Tori Johnson, one of the hostages, was killed by a bullet to the head from gunman Man Haron Monis. 18 people took hostage at the cafe by Monis in a cafe in Martin Place, Sydney, last December 16, that took 17 hours.

- According to Diego Lagomarsino, a colleague of the killed Senior Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman, said that he lent Nisman a gun the day before he was found dead in his apartment last January 18 because he didn't trust law enforcements protecting him. Mr. Nisman had been about the testify about alleged attempts to cover up Iranian involvement in the Buenos Aires incident 11 years ago.

- An audio message by a man who claimed to be Japanese captive Kenji Goto has appeared recently. Goto speaks in English for about 30 seconds and he said that the Islamic State is going to kill captive Jordanian pilot Moaz Kasasbeh unless the Jordanian government released death-row inmate Sajida al-Rishawi to the Turkish border in exchange for Goto by Thursday sunset at Mosul, Iraq time. The sunset in Iraq is around 1730 hours.

- Meanwhile, Jordanian state TV reported the government is ready to release death-row inmate Sajida al-Rishawi if Jordanian pilot Moaz Kasasbeh was freed by ISIS. The TV station said that the Minister of State for Media Affairs and Communications made the proposal, although no mention of Goto was told.

- Sadness broke silence when the first C-130 plane has recently landed at the Villamor Air Base carrying the bodies of the killed 42 out of the 44 PNP Special Action Force units in it. The remaining slain two members were already in Mindanao following Islamic tradition. The 44 SAF units were killed during the police operation on Sunday in Maguindanao.

- Nissan Motor Company called off plans to produce IDx, BladeGlider, and Q50 Eau Rouge concepts due to the Japanese carmaker's shift of focus from driver-oriented to volume, according to one report.

- McLaren teased a more powerful 675LT supercar ahead of its Geneva Motor Show debut. As the name implies, it will be a more powerful version of the 650S with the added long tail.

McLaren 675LT teaser

- Sakamichi Onoda and Yusuke Makishima, stars from the Yowapeda GRANDE ROAD anime series, will be getting their own figmas courtesy of Good Smile Company. Anyway, the figma of Yowapeda's Sakamichi Onoda is back by popular demand and it's set for its re-release this June for 5,370 Yen plus tax. Meanwhile, the recently added figma of the "Peak Spider" will be riding to your stores this July for 5,741 Yen plus tax.

figma Yusuke Makishima

figma Sakamichi Onoda

- IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Japanese gaming conglomerate Nintendo will cease their Brazilian operations due to high import duties.

- MMA fans in the Philippines be ready because UFC, the popular mixed martial arts championship, is coming to the SM Mall of Asia Arena this 16th of May, 2015.

- IN CASE YOU REALLY REALLY MISSED IT: Gravure 4 U or G4U is back and this time, you can now take pics of your favorite Cinderella Girls from The iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls TV anime. With the release of the iM@S CG Blu-Ray Vol.1, buyers can also get the iM@S CG G4U Vol.1 PS3 game as well as the 346 Productions Fan Club Cinderella Cafe Vol.1 book. It will be launched this 23rd of April and there will be a total of 9 volumes on the timetable.


Forza Horizon 2: A classic Ferrari that redefines itself


Well, what do we have here? I've never seen this classic Ferrari for a while. It's a little dusty in here but this vintage Ferrari racing machine is part of Forza Horizon 2's G-SHOCK Car Pack, now on sale. What this is is the mythical Ferrari Sport Prototype 500 Mondial. A racing machine that redefined Ferrari in post-WWII Italy.

Built in the post-war era, the 500 Mondial is the first of the Ferraris that was made by Scaglietti and draws inspiration from a design penned by Enzo's son, Dino.

The models that was built for public selling were made under Pininfarina's supervision and only 15 of these are made.

The 500 Mondial is powered by a small 2.0L 4-cylinder engine mounted in the front rather than in the middle like most Ferraris do. It produces 170HP of power and couple that with the 5-speed gearbox, the top speed of this Ferrari is around 236kph, which sounds quick even by today's standards.

Apart from that, it weighs 720kg of weigh thanks to the use of its tubular steel frame for its chassis. The front features an independent suspension with unequal-length wishbones, transverse leaf spring and Houdaille hydraulic shock absorbers while the rear features a de Dion suspension with twin radius arms, transverse leaf spring, and Houdaille hydraulic shock absorbers.

500m (2)

For millennials, it's hard to get along with this classic Ferrari because while it was born in the age where anti-lock brakes and traction control hasn't invented yet, driving it can be hardly a challenge and no matter how hard you try, it's like gravity will pull you down to the very end. If you are experienced enough, then this Ferrari is a very respectable car that you can brave on. Old-school or not, it's all about gaining the respect of the car you're mastering and if you're getting used to it, it feels like your car can really hear you.

500m (3)

I was given an opportunity to give the mythical 500 Mondial the Forza Horizon 2 treatment it deserves and for this treatment, I'm trying to make the 500 Mondial relive its glory days just like every Ferrari in the history does. So, I've signed this car to a championship related to Classic Racers like this but first, I've given the 500 Mondial some vintage racer looks so it looks like it's going to take on vintage races in Southern Europe.

Like classic racers taking on the Mille Miglia, me and my 500 Mondial are taking on a road trip of a lifetime and it's a road trip to San Giovanni, where the championship I've signed up is held.

With me arrived at the said destination, the 500 Mondial is off for the race of its lifetime. Now, I was going to tweak it out so it can stay competitive against other classic racers like the Ford GT40 but upon witnessing its weaknesses during the road trip and I'm afraid I might go wrong with the improvements, I've decided to source it from another player. Yes, the tuning setup sourced from another player. You just give him a pat in the back for his setup done for you, right?

To whoever made this setup possible, I say thanks because thanks to this clever setup, I've snagged another championship win and with 4 championships left for me to unlock the finale, the journey's end is fast approaching but I must not give up on my adventure for the quest to be one of Horizon's finest.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Let's Do The News (January 28, 2015)

Welcome back. Here is your current sitrep:

- Japanese PM Shinzo Abe opposes the latest video from ISIS, which threatens to kill hostage Kenji Goto, within a day, calling it "despicable". In the said footage, a voice that believes to be the Japanese captive's says that he and the Jordanian pilot will be killed unless Jordan frees an Iraqi woman held on death row. The Japanese prime minister will be coordinating with Jordan officials to secure their release.

- Jim Yong Kim, the president of the World Bank, warned that the world is "dangerously unprepared" for deadly pandemics like West Africa's Ebola Outbreak. He said it was vital that governments, corporations, aid agencies, and insurance companies must coordinate to prepare against incoming outbreaks and they need to learn lessons from the recent Ebola crisis.

- A 15-foot megamouth shark was found dead by fishermen along the shores of Barangay Marigondon in Pio Duran, Albay. No one knows what killed this shark but it was believed to be either trapped in the fishing net or had eating poisonous orgasms.

- Chief Superintendent Wilben Mayor, the spokesperson of the Philippine National Police, has been relived from his position despite the controversial report that a police operation in the Maguindanao province that killed 44 elite policemen.

- The presenters of the hit TV show Top Gear are near to have their contracts renewed for another three years. That's good news for fans of the hit BBC automotive TV show.

- EA's popular racing app game, Real Racing 3 is now 2 years old since its 2013 launch and to celebrate, there's a brand new update featuring new events as well as the addition of Italy's boutique supercar, the Spada Codatronca. Plus, beware and keep playing because over the coming days, a prestigious automaker is about to announce a new vehicle and Real Racing 3 will have an exclusive worldwide reveal to this mystery car. What could it be? Stay tuned!

- Out tomorrow, it's the 9th DLC Catalog for the PS3-exclusive The iDOLM@STER ONE FOR ALL game! For this catalog, Uzuki Shimamura from The iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls will be making a special guest appearance! Also, new outfits such as ドリーミン⌒イリース, Fuwafuwa Otome Pajama, and Newcomer Sunrise, and the brand new song titled We Have A Dream.

765SHOP Catalog Vol.09

- The Automobile Association Philippines, the country's oldest and largest motoring club, pushed an advocacy that they want all road signs to be cleared of advertising, stating that road signs with advertisements are confusing to motorists.

- The Mitsuoka Himiko, a Mazda Roadster NC in Morgan Roadster's clothing, is now on its 2015 model year. 36 colors, 481 variations, only 15 units will be made.

2015 Mitsuoka Himiko

- The Alpine Vision Gran Turismo was unveiled and it's set to be playable in the upcoming March 2015 update of the PS3-exclusive Gran Turismo 6 video game.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Let's Do The News (January 27, 2015)

Welcome back. Here is your current sitrep:

- The East Coast is bracing for the impact of Winter Storm Juno as New York City and other areas in the northeast have shut down as "historic" snowstorm approaches and expected to dump as much as 90cm of snow. All non-essential vehicles are not allowed to drive through NYC from 2300 hours Eastern Standard Time and subway services were suspended. The states of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire are placed within a state of emergency.

- The Syriza far-left party of the Greek government, which won Sunday's general election, wants to renegotiate the nation's 240 billion euro bailout by international lenders. They have warned that the debt repayment in Greek debt in full is "unrealistic".

- An audio statement from the Islamic State militant groups are calling for attacks against Western countries and praised for recent terror attacks in France, Australia, and other countries in a speech purportedly made by its spokesperson. It's all just a bunch of enemy propaganda we suppose.

- Meanwhile in China, there was a report told that the top Chinese officials dine on a critically endangered giant salamander and became violent when journalists photographed the banquet. The 28 diners included senior police officials from the southern city of Shenzhen, according to one report.

- The Department of Justice denied the bid to dismiss US Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton for his murder charges against transgender Jeffrey "Jennifer" Laude in Olongapo last October.

- There was a shooting occurred at Tukwila's Westfield Southcenter and police arrested four people after a fight during which someone fired a handgun inside the mall. The fight left one person in minor injury and that's what the reports told.

- Get ready rugby fans! The Six Nations 2015 kicks off this 6th of February!

- Just before Cinderella hits theaters this Spring, Disney announced that there will be a live-action Beauty and the Beast movie in the works and it will star Harry Potter's Emma Watson as princess Belle.

- More news for iM@S collectors as Good Smile Company announced a new Chihaya Kisaragi Yutaka Version figure which will go on sale this July for 9,074 Yen plus tax.

Chihaya Kisaragi
-Yutaka ver-

- The classic Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3 saloon is the highlight on the latest Jay Leno's Garage webisode.


Top Gear S22E01

Series 22 of BBC Top Gear kicks off with the epic race across St. Petersburg, Russia, where the presenters are finding out who makes it to the finish line first while surviving against traffic in this Russian city. Jeremy Clarkson drives a hovercraft, Richard Hammond rides a bike, James May drives an electric-powered Renault Twizy, and The Stig...well, you know.

In the end, it was the Twizy that arrived on the unpronounceable palace first, proving the car, no matter what powers it, is better. As for The Stig...his head's banging onto something.

Meanwhile, Richard Hammond takes a spin on Lambo's newest V10 monster, the Huracan, and while he's in doubt in the end, The Stig lapped this one round the track in 1:15.8.

Famous celebrity Ed Sheeran is this episode's Star In A Reasonably Priced Car and he did it in 1:54.3 in wet conditions round the Top Gear track.
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