Each month, CGM writers get the chance to review the latest and greatest tech, toys, games and media. At the end of each month, we round up the ten highest scoring reviews to show our readers what gear and games we can stand behind with confidence! From our CGM family to yours, we want to ensure you never miss the top reviews to help you make informed choices on all your media and gear!
Here are our CGM Monthly Top 10 Reviews: October 2021
The Best of the Rest
Age of Empires IV (PC)
“It’s been sixteen years since the release of a new Age of Empires games, and the RTS genre has grown by leaps and bounds in that time. The lingering question with Age of Empires IV, was if a new title could sufficiently update the legendary franchise while still staying true to its roots. Relic Entertainment has answered that question with a resounding yes, creating one of the most fresh and engaging RTS titles in years, and an incredible experience no matter how you plan to play.” Here is CGM’s review of Age of Empires IV (PC).
Final Thoughts: Age of Empires IV is a bold and ambitious evolution of the series, and quite likely one of the best RTS games ever made.
Tetris Effect: Connected (Nintendo Switch)
“In the years since its release, Tetris Effect has been released on other platforms alongside an update that adds online multiplayer. It is that update, coupled with a truly great port that takes full advantage of the Switch’s features, that makes Tetris Effect: Connected a must-own title.” Here is CGMs review of Tetris Effect: Connected (Nintendo Switch).
Final Thoughts: Tetris Effect: Connected is a must play game, and should not be missed by anyone.
The Best in the West
Razer Seiren V2 Pro
“Introducing the Razer Seiren V2 Pro, a sleek design, similar to that of the Seiren Mini (only larger) and a rare trait in a USB microphone, it is dynamic. The mic offers a fairly standard 24 bits and a variable sample rate of up to 96 kHz.” Here is CGMs review of the Razer Seiren V2 Pro.
Final Thoughts: The Razer Seiren V2 Pro is a powerful mic with powerful software and may have just become the leading competitor in the USB microphone market. It has superior build quality and is a rare offering of a dynamic USB mic, since most are condenser microphones. It’s an ideal solution for any serious content creator and affordable enough to be worth considering as your first investment.
OnePlus Buds Pro
“Once I got my hands on the OnePlus Buds Pro, I was keen to try them out because I have seen earbuds like them before and not had the best experience. I could not have been more wrong about these, however. From sound quality to battery life, it was very difficult to find fault with the earbuds.” Here is CGMs review of the OnePlus Buds Pro.
Final Thoughts: The OnePlus Buds Pro are easily the best earbuds I’ve ever used, bar none. Not much more needs to be said than that. The only thing I would change is the price.
The French Dispatch (2021)
“The storyline can also be thought of as a full-course meal, with the introduction offering a little olive tapenade appetizer, the three stories making up the confit de canard for the entrée and finally, for the dessert, crème brûlée for a sweet ending to tie the whole dining and viewing experience together.” Here is CGM’s review of The French Dispatch (2021).
Final Thoughts: The French Dispatch masterfully paints a splendid portrait of postmodern colours and stories that set precedent for the future history of journalism through cinematic delight.
Google Pixel 6 Pro
“There have been plenty of powerful Android phones, and even some that try to find that balance between software and hardware. But there is something to be said for the company that makes the software, working closely with the hardware team to deliver the best possible device. With the Pixel 6 Pro, Google’s hardware team delivered a phone that looks stunning, delivered industry first features, and just feels great to use.” Here is CGM’s review of the Google Pixel 6 Pro.
Final Thoughts: The Google Pixel 6 Pro is the perfect blend of software and hardware that makes the Pixel range of phones a must have for anyone looking for a camera centric upgrade.
The Supreme Six
Far Cry 6 (Xbox Series X)
“After playing the game for a week, I came away with the realization that what little of “the same” that actually remained from the previous games was only more of the good, and that even those familiar elements have taken on a new spin inspired by Far Cry 6’s new setting. Players who dare take the plunge back into Far Cry’s warm, crocodile-infested waters, as I have, are likely to find that the constantly evolving series hasn’t jumped the shark just yet.” Here is CGMs review of Far Cry 6 (Xbox Series X).
Final Thoughts: As the most expansive instalment in the franchise to date, Far Cry 6 is literally the GTA V of Far Cry games, with a solid story, vibrant, engaging characters and no shortage of things to do alone or online with a friend; for FPS action-adventure fans this is a MUST BUY.
Metroid Dread (Nintendo Switch)
“For a side-scrolling game, the environments in Metroid Dread are rich with depth. Every pixel on the screen comes to life, and you can feel the multiple dimensions in a way that is very uncommon for a game of this type. The map reminds you of the Metroid games of old, but the environments that you navigate are diverse and challenging. Try not to get lost while you try to avoid being caught or killed.” Here is CGMs review of Metroid Dread (Nintendo Switch).
Final Thoughts: Metroid Dread is a wonderful, modern take on a classic game from childhood. It looks as beautiful as any of today’s games, but has a feel of the games of old. The scary tone of the game and its intense foes give you a challenge worthy of the series.
Tronsmart Studio Bluetooth Speaker
“If you need a speaker to play music for some ambiance, or you’re throwing a medium-sized indoor party, this thing will deliver. It might be possible to throw a rager party if you use the TuneConn Tech and sync a few more Tronsmart Studio speakers together, but you didn’t hear that advice from me.” Here is CGMs review of the Tronsmart Studio Bluetooth Speaker.
Final Thoughts: The Tronsmart Soundpulse Technology puts the Tronsmart Studio Bluetooth Speaker on a competitive level with bigger, well-known name brands as it showcases great sound quality at a fair price.
Alan Wake Remastered (PS5)
“Even eleven years later, Alan Wake remains one of the most unique games I’ve ever played, and a masterclass in psychological horror. Alan Wake Remastered brings a substantial visual upgrade to the game, but underneath it’s the same core experience, with one interesting exception.” Here is CGMs review of Alan Wake Remastered (PS5).
Final Thoughts: Although some visual and design elements feel a bit dated, Alan Wake Remastered is the definitive version of an all-time classic horror game.
Hohem ISteady V2 AI Smartphone Gimbal
“The iSteady V2 features three-axis stabilization, controls on the handle and an AI sensor that can detect your face and movement to follow you as you move about the space. On the device, you’ll find a joystick for motion control of the gimbal, shutter and power/function buttons beneath the joystick and a zoom slider on the side.” Here is CGM’s review of the Hohem ISteady V2 AI Smartphone Gimbal.
Final Thoughts: The Hohem iSteady V2 is a wonderful addition to the arsenal of anyone creating content on their phones. It gives you all the controls at your fingertips, yet the freedom to step away from it and have it still work with you.
Resident Evil 4 (VR)
“Resident Evil 4 has claimed virtual reality as its latest victim for remastering. Somehow, the influential survival horror classic isn’t the same game with VR. Instead, players get to experience the game as they first imagined it in 2005. Bleak, gory and full of mad twists along the road. Resident Evil 4 suddenly pulls players into a nightmare and dials the tension up two-fold. Oculus’ commitment to Resident Evil 4 makes it one of VR most successful ports I’ve ever seen. While setting a precedent for how older games can be properly moved to the VR realm.” Here is CGMs review of Resident Evil 4 (VR).
Final Thoughts: Resident Evil 4 VR is a near-perfect way to revisit the survival horror classic, thanks to Oculus taking every measure for a truly immersive day in Leon’s life.
Life Is Strange: True Colors – Wavelengths (PC)
“Life Is Strange: True Colors is filled with phenomenal characters, but few are quite as memorable as Steph Gingrich, the dungeon-master DJ of Haven Springs. While there’s plenty of great Steph moments in the main game, the new Wavelengths DLC helps dig deeper into an already fascinating character and helps flesh out two different Life Is Strange games.” Here is CGM’s review of Life Is Strange: True Colors – Wavelengths (PC).
Final Thoughts: Life Is Strange: True Colors – Wavelengths is an intimate look at one of the game’s most dynamic characters, and a laid-back experience with meaningful messages behind it.
And Our Monthly Dishonourable Mention:
“Marvel’s latest phase in the MCU is well underway, and we are introducing a whole new group of heroes in the Eternals. It’s a group that the casual Marvel fan might not be familiar with, but with similar success with a movie like Guardians of the Galaxy, I came into the screening with a lot of hope. Those hopes, I am sad to say, were largely dashed.” Here is CGM’s review of Eternals (2021).
Final Thoughts: The Eternals is my first experience in complete disappointment with an MCU film. Even titles that I didn’t fully enjoy came with some elements that were exciting, either by furthering the Infinity Saga or just some fun sequences, both of which were sorely missing in this film. It’s a movie that took itself a little too seriously and misused the simplest storytelling tools to help make this into something great. The franchise is not beyond saving, but if it moves forward, it needs work.
That sums up our CGM Monthly Top 10 Reviews for October 2021. Come back on November 30, 2021 to see how the world of tech, toys, games and media compares to this month!