Secretlab Titan 2020: A Gaming Chair For Disabled Gamers?

For the purposes of this review, I’ll be talking about the Titan model of this chair but it is worth pointing out that you can buy this in two other models… the smaller Omega version and the extra-large Titan XL version.

The first thing that stood out when we got this chair was the ease of setup. Secretlab has really tried to make assembly a breeze with all assembly tools are provided with a cool little accessory box to store them in afterward.

In terms of the instructions, you get a nice big picture instruction display. 

Set up took around 15 – 20 minutes but would be quicker with two people. Wheels screw onto the wheelbase which is then inserted into the bottom of the main seat frame. The armrests come pre-built onto the frame and the backrest attaches easily to each side at the rear.  

Materials wise, what’s immediately noticeable is that Secretlab didn’t spare any expense on the 2020 model. Using what’s called Prime 2.0 PU leather, Secretlab says that the fabrics on this chair are up to four times more durable than any other chair on the market.

Cold-cure foam under the upholstery and the mold of the chair shapes to the user’s lower back. There is also a comfortable memory foam pillow can also attach and detach from the backrest.

In terms of actually sitting in the seat, there is an overall firmness with a solid underlay which makes for a different feel to your average seat.

Obviously, you’d expect that given this is a specialized chair and given it retails for over $700NZD.

Visually, the chair is striking. Wherever I put it in the house, be that the lounge or in my bedroom, the design truly drew my attention with a good balance of striking logos and a simple mix of black and red color across most of the frame.

That leads me to one of the criticisms many have of these sorts of chairs, is it just all for the looks? 

Well, materially and as a chair that you’d expect to spend a lot of hours sitting in, the Secretlab Titan certainly feels just as premium a product as it looks, but again, at a $700 NZ Dollar price tag, you’d definitely expect that and it’s a hefty investment to justify if you’re just getting it for the visuals.

I personally loved the look of this chair, logos are also molded into the plastic of the armrests which is a cool, albeit slightly meaningless point in the grand scheme of things. 

Speaking of the arm wrests, they can be moved sideways, from front to back, with height adjustments and a full metal internal mechanism. The lumbar support on the lower back can also be adjusted, and the chair can also lock into full recline which allows the user to have a power nap if need be. 

So, that’s what you need to know about all the features of this chair and how it will serve the average user. It is undoubtedly one of the best chairs on the market today and I’d highly recommend it for most people, especially if you spend multiple hours working at a desk each day. 

I even had a few able-bodied people try it out and they all said it surprised them in terms of how comfortable it actually was. 

But what about for disabled people such as myself who might be wondering if this can serve as a viable option for a seat when sitting at our computer? Can this possibly match up to A the comfort and B the support your wheelchair provides you? 

The answer is, well, it’s complicated and it really depends on the end-user. 

For disabled people who have a good amount of upper body strength, the posture support of this chair is great, but the bigger question really centres around those who may be more physically restricted. If you do fall into this category, despite the ability to move armrests back and forward, up and down, and side to side, this chair won’t provide the support you’re likely needing to move freely. 

For myself personally, as someone who has specialized seating on my power wheelchair as a result of very little upper body strength, I found I couldn’t do much when sitting in the chair unaided. Don’t get me wrong, it’s comfortable, it looks nice, but the benefits here are really for your average user who can do a bit more for themselves. 

This didn’t surprise me in the slightest Secretlab didn’t go into this designing a purpose-built gaming chair to cater for the physically disabled, but in terms of that particular demographic, the Secretlab Titan is a hard sell because it won’t be until you actually get into the thing until you know if it can meet your needs or not. 

And again, at just over $700 NZD, that’s a hell of an expensive trial.

Disclaimer: The Secretlab Titan was provided to us for review purposes.

Ghost of Tsushima Review: Breaking New Ground

Please note – this review is also available on https://dashgamer.com/

In all my years as a gamer, playing as a samurai has never been at the top of my list of to do’s. Thanks to my lack of knowledge of modern or historic Japanese culture, plus a total obliviousness to the Mongol invasions back in the 1200’s, this could easily have been a title to overlook in the already impressive lineup of excellent PlayStation exclusives. 

As it turns out – I’m glad I didn’t sleep on Ghost of Tsushima – because it’s an excellent game and a new personal best for Sucker Punch Productions who have taken an almighty risk by leaving Infamous in the shadows. 

Taking the role of Jin Sakai, a young samurai, you’re immediately propelled into a cross-country mission in search of justice. Sure, that’s nothing new for an action-adventure game, nor is a vast open-world full of areas to explore and regions to liberate from enemy forces.

But a yawn fest this game is not. 

From the beginning, it’s clear that Sucker Punch are true to their word in how the original development for their latest title took inspiration from the likes of Red Dead Redemption and Zelda Breath of the Wild, but there is also a decent hint of Assassins Creed about some the game that players should notice quickly. 

Like in Breath of the Wild, the world in Ghost of Tsushima encourages the “if you can see it, chances are you can get to it” mantra to its exploration. The biggest difference to Zelda and other well-done open worlds is how the environment itself can be your guiding compass to the next destination. If you’ve selected a location on the map, a simple swipe up on the Dualshock’s touchpad will trigger a ‘guiding wind’ where the breeze points you into the direction you need to be going. 

It doesn’t ever get old and I personally found myself using the feature more and more, preferring this cool (albeit slightly tokenistic) mechanic to find my way around rather than just going from the traditional ‘point A to B’ with an ugly guiding line in the middle of your screen. 

Sucker Punch hasn’t tried to rewrite the rulebook of an open-world adventure title, they’ve just added their own spin to it, and it works. 

Visuals That Will Make Your Jaw Drop 

Speaking of the world itself, Ghost of Tsushima is one of the most visually stunning gaming experiences ever made. Period. 

During the over six-year development, Sucker Punch devs took regular trips to real-world Japan and the Island of Tsushima (located between mainland Japan and the Korean Peninsula) to get a true sense of the world they wanted to capture in the game. 

Work included taking hundreds of photo scanned leaves, tree models, grass, and bush in their bid to develop as realistic a world as possible based on the real thing. From an audio perspective, Sucker Punch also took the time to record various nature sounds, such as birds and the sound of wind rustling through trees in forests. 

It all works in the final product, but it’s the visuals that truly stand out, the cool atmospheric sounds are just a bonus. 

Whether it be tall mountains in the distance, smoke pouring out of a building on another horizon, a shrine on a hilltop, or the several wonderfully detailed Japanese temples, Ghost of Tsushima feels like a world that is alive and well. 

Of course, the game is based (albeit loosely) on the first Mongol Invasion of Japan in 1274. To build an experience around a real-life historic event and not put in the detail to do it justice would’ve been easily noticeable to gamers, and what Sucker Punch achieve in this area could be a lesson other developers could learn. 

It’s all very well and good to have solid gameplay, but if the environments fail to deliver, the title as a whole suffers. Ghost of Tsushima refuses to let any detail in its world slip past the quality test. 

Thankfully, the moment-to-moment gameplay in Ghost of Tsushima is on par with its amazing visuals. This is no more true than when in combat. 

Fights feel great and require a decent amount of concentration and timing on the pad to get right. Early on, Ghost of Tsushima gives a combat tutorial that will serve gamers well moving forward, covering the basic striking and defence mechanics as well as some tricks that help give a slight advantage. 

As the game goes on and you enter more battles, you’ll only ever have a slight advantage depending on the approach taken to combat and the various upgrades and skill points earned. Making use of the skill tree, constantly upgrading abilities and utilising armour is crucial in Ghost of Tsushima as you’ll take on several different types of enemies. 

There are also different battle stance options to be learned and mastered. These stances are critical to giving yourself the best chance against the different enemies, most of which require different stances in order to beat. 

As an example – the stone stance is ideal for taking on other swordsmen whereas the water stance is best for Mongols with shields. Light and heavy attacks with the Katana (your main weapon) are used best in variation, plus there is simply nothing more satisfying than an accurate headshot using your upgradable bow. 

Combat just feels great, every battle feels exciting, and the audio/visual cues Sucker Punch have implemented into the fight system should keep even the most unreliable of players feeling like they’re always capable of getting the win. 

Yes, Ghost of Tsushima is a samurai game and its combat reflects this in large part, but you’d be hard stretched to find more fun in moment to moment fights in any other game. 

A Sloggy Story 

But despite its brilliant visuals, addicting gameplay in battles, Ghost of Tsushima does have issues in its storytelling. Jin Sakai is pretty one-dimensional in his motives, and as such, the main story feels like a chore at times despite some fun missions that push the plot forward. 

But unlike The Last of Us Part II or Red Dead Redemption 2, characters in Ghost of Tsushima just don’t have the conviction that made me care about their fortunes. I just wanted to get to the next mission to enjoy the fantastic combat and see how many Mongol enemies I could stealth until getting caught. What happened to Jin, or his various well-acted sidekicks, didn’t really phase me a whole lot. 

As for the antagonists, without giving too much away, they didn’t really do a whole lot for me either and their motivations seemed fairly run of the mill. 

All that being said, at the time of writing this review I am approaching on 20-hours of game time and I do sense there is still a lot more to come from the story itself. So far it hasn’t grabbed me, but the brilliance of other areas mentioned in this monologue will keep me coming back for multiple playthroughs I’m sure. 

Also, I am fairly new to the samurai genre, so much of the underpinning “swordy stuff” behind the plot could well be over my head. 

Sucker Punch Has Found Its Next Big Franchise 

Ghost of Tsushima is an utterly beautiful game that features an open world you should explore and take a lot of time with. To not do so defeats the purpose. 

On top of its seemingly endless discovery, the battle system provides one of the best and most intense gaming experiences I’ve had that equal everything that was great about the combat systems in games like The Last of Us Part II, Red Dead Redemption 2, and even some of the better Assassins Creed games. 

The combat does what it does exceptionally well, and it’s that wider game within the game during these moments that provide the biggest highlight throughout all the well-designed missions. 

What Ghost of Tsushima lacks is a great story. Everything else is on par with some of the best title on PS4, and it’s a fitting farewell to a simply outstanding lineup of AAA+ single-player experiences that make this generation a winner for PlayStation.

Ghost of Tsushima might be the last big gun on the PS4, but it’s also one of the best, albeit for a slightly disengaging main plot.  

FINAL RATING: 9/10

The review code for Ghost of Tsushima was provided by PlayStation NZ/AU. Thanks heaps once again!

Review: WrestleMania 36 Was Pretty Good But Also Terrible

The 36th edition of the top wrestling showcase was always going to be a challenging production for WWE to pull off, and whilst that certainly showed at times, WrestleMania 36 probably exceeded original expectations.

Unlike the usual jam-packed stadium experience with 80,000 wrestling fans in attendance, WrestleMania this year was forced to be held behind closed doors in Orlando at WWE’s Performance Center due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speculation prior to the weekend was that most of the wrestlers in the company felt that the event should have been postponed, but WWE owner Vince McMahon decided to go ahead.

Some great matches, multiple title changes and downright weird moments will provide a lot for wrestling fans to reflect on.

What You Need To Know From The Biggest Matches

On night one, Braun Strowman defeated Goldberg in a quick encounter to become the new WWE Universal Champion, and to close out the show on night two, Drew McIntire overcame Brock Lesnar to capture the WWE Championship.

Neither of the two matches for WWE’s biggest titles were altogether memorable but provided a well-earned reward for both of the winners, especially McIntire.

Other big moments of the show were the Boneyard Match between the Undertaker and AJ Styles in a heavily edited, cinematic experience which drew a lot of praise from wrestling fans who lauded the return of Undertaker’s ‘American Badass’.

Edge and Randy Orton also had one of the most brutal Last Man Standing matches in recent memory in a match which culminated a nine-year comeback to wrestling for ‘The Rated R Superstar’ Edge who was forced to retire from performing in 2011.

The two women’s championship singles matches were both highly physical, close and entertaining encounters. Becky Lynch retained her Raw Women’s Championship after beating former cage fighter Shayna Baszler and Charlotte Flair defeated NXT Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley to capture that gold.

Kevin Owens finally got his WrestleMania moment, defeating Seth Rollins in what turned out to be a no DQ match, Sami Zayn became the new Intercontinental Champion after defeating Daniel Bryan, and Alesteir Black got the better of Bobby Lashley.

In terms of the Firefly Fun House match between John Cena and Bray Wyatt… god only knows what happened there.

You can read full results from all the matches at WrestleMania here.

Did WrestleMania Deliver Or Did It Flop?

WrestleMania 36 delivered the best show it possibly could’ve given the circumstances.

It was great at times, bad at times, downright weird at times, but most of the talent on the roster got its time in what would usually be a visual backdrop of the biggest annual wrestling event.

There was a lot that wrestling fans could’ve done without, though.

In some ways it was patchy, but this was always going to be the case with an empty arena. It just didn’t feel like WrestleMania, if that makes any sense.

You can hear more of our thoughts on WrestleMania 36 on our podcast where we delve further into all the action and react to the bright spots and low spots.