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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Totally Rated: The ultimate gaming desk, poké photography, and next-gen roguelikes

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If you’re interested in things in tech and gaming that can be rated, and the ratings they get, then you’re in the right place with this latest episode of Future’s weekly review show, Totally Rated. This week iMore and TechRadar tell us if we should care about New Pokémon Snap, T3 and Windows Central show us the cable-managed cleverness of Secretlab’s Magnus gaming desk, and GamesRadar and TechRadar break down the latest PS5 exclusive, Returnal.

Starting with some poké photography, New Pokémon Snap landed exclusively on Nintendo Switch last week. If you’re new to photographing anime critters, then this is a revival of the Nintendo 64 version, but with new islands and Pokémon to, well, snap. You’ll be exploring beautiful regions and researching the wildlife that inhabits them at a nice, serene pace.

Both iMore and TechRadar recommend New Pokémon Snap, but with caveats. Sara Gitkos from iMore says “if you are a fan of relaxing games like Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Pokémon, this low-key photography sim should be right up your alley.” Adam Vjestica from TechRadar is cooler on it, saying “it’ll probably pass muster with Pokémon-loving kids, who will delight in seeing Pikachu scamper across the screen for perhaps the very first time. But for anyone aged 10 or above, this eclectic safari park isn’t worth the price of admission.”

In the world of hardware, Windows Central and T3 were lucky enough to try out the new Magnus gaming desk from Secretlab, and with its great cable management, durable design, and magnetic accessories, it’s looking pretty handy. Which isn’t much surprise coming from the makers of the Titan and Omega, two of the best gaming chairs in our book. However, like those stellar-but-expensive seats, I fear the Magnus may be a bit too pricey for my home office.

Either way, T3’s Robert Jones loves the Magnus: “This gaming desk exudes premium in every detail, and it’s all-metal construction imbues it with a quality no other rival can match.” Daniel Thorpe-Lancaster from Windows Central shared Robert’s praise, but also pointed out that “if you want something other than black, need a much larger desk, or prefer the variety of standing desks out there, then you may be better served elsewhere.”

Future’s critics also discuss the difficulty of the latest PlayStation 5 exclusive, Returnal. This roguelike puts you in the spacefaring boots of Selene as she crash lands on a shapeshifting world. You’ll need to search this strange, ever-changing world to escape, and restart the adventure each time you die. It’s not out on PC, but hopefully it’ll follow ex-PlayStation exclusive Horizon Zero Dawn  onto our monitors soon.

Vic Hood from TechRadar is keener on the game, saying it’s the kind of technical showcase PS5 owners—I understand they do exist, somewhere—have been waiting for: “Returnal is a PS5 exclusive that emphatically meets the standards of what we’ve been crying out for from the new console, and it’s a fantastic showcase for what this new hardware is actually capable of.” But while GamesRadar’s Ben Tyrer loved the story, he also says “Returnal can be messy, tough, and perhaps a little too uncompromising for a $70 game.”

You can find new episodes of Totally Rated across Future’s websites every Thursday.

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