Top 10 Natural Wonders of the World to See

The Earth is an incredible planet that holds many spectacular places to see. From snowy mountains to the heated air of the desert, this world pulsates with life and never ceases to amaze us.

8 Autombiles That are Forbidden Fruit in America

Whether safety restrictions, marketing plans, or distribution issues stand in the way, American auto consumers can’t get some of the hottest cars drivers around the world enjoy. It doesn’t mean they aren’t worth a look (or a little lusting after). Here are eight automobiles U.S. consumers would love to have but don’t even have the chance.

The Most Anticipated Geek-Friendly Movies of 2015

Looking at this year's calendar of premieres, here's what I'm most excited about over the next 12 months:

10 Best Xbox Games of 2014 That Nobody Can Forget

2014 was a bizarre year. It was a year of HD premasters and “Conclusive Editions” on Xbox One, or more heaps of cross-gen games discharged on both Xbox 360 and Xbox 1. Few games genuinely emerged – especially on 360 – so making our yearly Game of the Year list in the not so distant future was troublesome. So here is the list of 10 best Xbox games of 2014 that no buddy can forget.

Problems Only 90s Gamers Could Understand

With the PS1 turned 20 last December it’s got us thinking about gaming in the 90s. We complain a lot these days, but there were a lot of problems with gaming back then that we all seemed to ignore. If you were a gamer in the 90s you’d know all about these particular problems…

Monday, April 25, 2016

8 Automobiles That Are Forbidden Fruit in America

Now that the Scion FRS is officially the JDM-style Toyota 86, and Ford’s Focus RS is on its way to our shores, American roads are becoming distinctly more international. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t a number of lust-worthy cars that still aren’t available to us — and probably never will be. Take the Land Rover Defender (R.I.P), an epic off-road vehicle that checked out of the U.S. market after airbag restrictions tightened in 1998. Today, there’s such a demand for them that people are willing to risk the wrath of the federal government to import them illegally.

Whether safety restrictions, marketing plans, or distribution issues stand in the way, American consumers still can’t get some of the coolest cars drivers around the world enjoy. Here are eight of the most lust-worthy models U.S. consumers would love to have but can’t. And please, try to resist the urge to smuggle them in.

1. Vauxhall VXR8 GTS

Vauxhall, a subsidiary of Opel (itself a subsidiary of GM in Europe), produces some slayers in its VXR performance division. Take the Vauxhall VXR8 GTS, for example. If it looks a bit familiar, that’s because it’s a close cousin to the 415 horsepower Chevy SS sedan. But this quad-exhaust monster packs a 6.2-liter Eaton supercharged V8 capable of 576 horsepower and 545 pound-feet of torque. And while the Chevy can go from zero to 60 in 4.7 seconds, the big Brit can do it in 4.2 seconds, and top out at 155 mph.

2. Toyota Land Cruiser 70

In America, the Toyota Land Cruiser has evolved from a spartan workhorse to an $80k-plus premium luxury SUV. But in Asia and Australia, our Land Cruiser is the range-topping LC200, and the base model is the 70 – a boxy, no-frills model that has been largely unchanged since 1984. Available as a two-and four-door pickup, wagon, and “troop carrier,” the 70 range would go over huge with old-school 4×4 fans over here, and with the five-door wagon starting at around $44k ($59k Australian), Toyota might be able to find quite a few buyers for it. But with safety and fuel economy standards rising every year, don’t expect the 70 range to reach our shores before they qualify for the 25 year import exemption rule.

3. Renault Mégane RS 275 Trophy-R

The Ford Focus RS is here, and the Honda Civic Type-R is on its way, giving us unenlightened Americans a taste of the European hot hatch arms race. But there’s a crucial player missing: The Renault Mégane RS 275 Trophy-R, the car that’s been at war with Honda for years over the fastest front-wheel drive lap record at the Nürburgring. But despite Renault’s partnership with Nissan, it has no plans on a U.S. presence. That’s a shame, because the idea of a 275 horsepower, 160 mile per hour subcompact that can scramble from zero to 60 in 5.8 seconds, stick to the road like glue, and returns a combined 37 miles per gallon sounds like music to our ears.

4. Chevrolet Niva

In 1977, Russian automaker Lada famously “put a Renault 5 on a Land Rover chassis,” and launched the Niva, an un-killable five-door hatchback built on a lifted 4×4 platform. While that car is still available today as the Lada 4×4 (and starting at the mouth-watering price of just $6,800), the Niva name has been given to a modern model jointly developed with Chevrolet that lives up to the ruggedness of the original.

The Chevy Niva looks a bit like the 2016 Sonic, albeit with a snorkel, roof lights, a silver skid plate, tow hooks and winch, and many other features that make it a candidate for ultimate off-road warrior. With so many milquetoast compact crossovers flooding our street, we’d love it if Chevy started bringing the ass-kicking little Niva over here, but then again, we aren’t holding our breath.

5. Audi R8 e-tron

We may get the Tesla P90D, with its 762 horsepower electric motors that put most supercars to shame. But Europe gets an actual electric supercar with the R8 e-tron, a hand-built to order take on Audi’s venerable R8. With 456 horsepower and 678 pound-feet of torque, it may not be as powerful as the Tesla, but you can’t tell us that half of Silicon Valley wouldn’t line up to buy one of these.

6. Holden VF II Ute

When is the El Camino coming back? Though rumors about an El Camino revival abound, the iconic Chevy hasn’t been in U.S. showrooms since 1987. Out in Australia, where the idea of a coupe utility vehicle originated back in in 1934, the El Camino lives on in the Holden (GM) Ute. The Ute’s SSV Redline model offers over 400 hp and 420 pound-feet of torque from its 6.2 liter LS3 V8. Unfortunately, Australia’s most famous car company is on its last legs. After 2017, the Ute and the rest of the Holden lineup will cease production in Australia.

7. Volkswagen Scirocco R

It can be considered a Golf with a pulse, a hot hatch with attitude, or something entirely different altogether, but in any event the Volkswagen Scirocco R is not available in on our side of the Atlantic. Equipped with 276 horsepower to its front wheels, the Scirocco R trails the rear-wheel Golf R (290 hp) slightly in output, but still roasts the Golf GTI (210 hp). Autoblog reviewers who have handled the Scirocco R abroad tend to gush about the car’s heart-racing character as much as its low-slung style.

8. Ford Troller T4

If ford really wanted to score brownie points with its upcoming Bronco revival, it would just import the Troller T4 from Ford Brazil and call it a day. Introduced in May 2014 in May 2014 at a Sao Paolo exhibition, the Troller packs a 3.2-liter diesel engine mated to manual transmission, a two-panel sky-roof, air intake to connect a snorkel for deep water traveling, and a front guard and running boards integrated into the exterior design. Unfortunately, U.S. safety and emissions standards prevent the Troller from ever reaching our shores, but we can still dream…

Monday, April 18, 2016

PS4 Remasters We’re Still Waiting For

Remasters, remasters, remasters. They’ve become the cheap and easy method for publishers to make a quick buck while also providing players with the means to play some cracking games that they missed last-gen. It’s not all fun and games, though, and many have moaned loud and clear that remasters aren’t welcome. We’re a little different here at Pure PlayStation as we don’t actually mind a well-made remaster. Here’s a few that we still think deserve to remaster treatment on PS4.

Assassin’s Creed Rogue

Ubisoft released Assassin’s Creed Rogue for PS3 and Xbox 360 alongside the next-gen Assassin’s Creed Unity. We expected that the publisher would eventually get round to giving Shay’s tale a polish before re-releasing it on PS4, though it hasn’t happened and it doesn’t look like it will anytime soon. It’s a great shame, really, as it’s basically Assassin’s Creed IV.5 and it was generally better received than the botched release that was Unity. Oi, Ubi, get it together and give us more pirate adventures!

Red Dead Redemption

We know, we know. This one is as likely as Sony suddenly announcing that they’ll be making first-party games for the Vita again, but we can dream, can’t we? Rockstar’s epic-western was a truly spectacular game in just about every sense; even the multiplayer was pretty good.

It’s been rumoured for about five or so years now that Rockstar is working on a follow-up to Red Dead Redemption, but is it too much to ask for a remastered version of the PS3’s best open-world game? We don’t think, but we’re not holding out breaths for it. It’s all the more likely it’ll find its way onto PS Now before it gets reworked.

Splinter Cell: Blacklist

Yep, we’re going back to Ubisoft again with this entry, but that’s hardly a bad thing. Splinter Cell: Blacklist really brought the franchise back to where it needed to be after Conviction’s more-action-less-stealth approach. Actually, PS3 players never even got to experience Conviction as it only released on PC and Xbox 360, so we’ll take a nice remaster of that, too, please. It’s actually about time that we got a new Splinter Cell; Ubisoft has released a new entry with every successive generation since the days of the OG Xbox, PS2 and Gamecube, so we’re a little baffled that Sam hasn’t crept out of the shadows on PS4 yet.

The Killzone Trilogy (plus Mercenary)

We’re a little confused as to why Killzone hasn’t gotten the love it deserves. Honestly, it’s a great series with a decent story (let’s forget about Shadowfall, shall we?) and solid gameplay, but instead of being polished up and improved on, it’s being left on PS Now. Not that PS Now is a terrible, but some games deserve more than streaming and many a Pure PlayStationer have voiced their disinterest in the service.

While we’re at it, the PS Vita’s exclusive Killzone Mercenary would do well on PS4, surely it can’t be too much of a stretch to get it running. Saying that, what do we know about coding a game – we can barely operate a kettle…

Wipeout HD

The PS4 isn’t shy of a few racers with the likes of DriveClub and Project Car, but what we really need is something that’s pure, unadulterated fun. Unfortunately we’re unlikely to see a new Wipeout game in the near future as the studio behind it, Sony Liverpool Studio, has since closed down. Still, we’d be happy if Sony got some coding monkeys to get Wipeout HD working on PS4 – maybe even with the incoming PlayStation VR?


Back to Rockstar with the entry. GTA IV was the first truly “living” city that Rockstar had created for us lot to cause mayhem in. Obviously it doesn’t stand up too well against GTA V, and graphically it’s a little bit underwhelming now, but imagine if you will, a remastered version of GTA IV: a full 1080p experience with razor-sharp image quality and 60fps to boot. OK, 60fps isn’t happening with anything these days, but we’d take a ride through Liberty City again in a heart beat. We miss you, Nico, you and your psychotic tendencies.

Batman: Arkham Asylum/City/Origins

This entry actually has a bit of history behind it and it may not just be wishful thinking. For one, Warner Bros. loves making money, and secondly, there have been whispers of an Arkham collection for PS4. The rumours claimed that Warner was working on getting the first two games working for the PS4 and Xbox One, though Origins may be left behind – not that we’re complaining…

They were technically impressive games on the old hardware, but we’d love to see what could be done if they were given the right care and attention for the PS4. Full-HD, 60fps (not happening) and upgraded textures to give it all a nice shine. C’mon, they looked alright on PS3, but they’d look a world better on PS4.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The 9 Most Expensive Watches In The World

In the 21st century with the invention of the smartphone – which now function as our primary timepiece -, the wristwatch has basically become nothing more than an accessory. The wristwatch used to be a practical piece of jewelry that was worn by virtually everyone who needed to be somewhere on time. But just because wrist worn timepieces are becoming a thing of the past, it doesn’t mean that they don’t exist anymore. In fact, over the last decade, watchmakers have crafted some of the most stunning and complex timepieces that have ever been on the market. Let’s take a few minutes and examine 9 of the most expensive wristwatches in the world.

9. Blancpain 1735 Grande Complication
Blancpain Grande Complication

This exquisite timepiece is perhaps the most daring and eye-catching watch ever made. The watch case is 100% platinum and the strap is hand tooled leather, more precisely crocodile skin. The 740 handmade parts and components of the watch were individually designed and are made of platinum and gold. Blancpain 1735 Grande Complication’s price tag is a whooping $800,000.

8. Louis Moinet Magistralis

What sets this stylish men’s watch apart from the others on this list is what it is constructed out of: a piece of meteorite that was found on the Moon. This perhaps makes the Louis Moinet Magistralis the single most unique time piece on Earth, and it has the price tag to match it’s uniqueness: $860,000.

7. Hublot Black Caviar Bang

Hublot Black Caviar Bang is an absolutely stunning men’s accessory, and yet, is a practical and understated timepiece. The Hublot Black Caviar Bang is covered in 501 baguette-cut black diamonds and its case is constructed out of 18-carat white gold. Despite its conservative appeal, the price tag is far from it and will set back the buyer a cool $1,000,000.

6. Chopard Super Ice Cube

The Swiss made Chopard Super Ice Cube looks exactly as you would imagine it: like a delicately carved ice sculpture. The Chopard Super Ice Cube is a woman’s watch and is covered in 60 karats of cube cut flawless diamonds. Along with being absolutely stunning to look at, the piece is scratch and water resistant. This durable, exquisite bobble will last a lifetime, and with a price tag of $1.1 million, it’d better.

5. Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon

The Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon owns the distinction of being the single most complex watch ever to have been made. This surreal Dali-esque contraption is a true piece of art, and is worth as much as many Picasso paintings (alright, Picasso sketches). It is valued at a cool $1.3 million.

4. Vacheron Constatin Tour de I’lle

The Vacheron Constatin Tour de I’lle is another complex and stunning timepiece and could easily be considered a true object of art. The dual-sided watch is constructed out of 18-carat gold and the watch’s non reflective glass is flawless blue sapphire. Originally manufactured by the Swiss watchmaker Vacheron Constantin to commemorate its 250 anniversary, this one of a kind timepiece will set you back $1.5 million.

3. Patek Philippe Platinum World Time

Created by renowned watchmaker and designer Patek Philippe, it is believed that this unique world clock was the only one ever manufactured. The piece is entirely self winding and because it is a world clock, the wearer is able to tell what time it is no matter where they are in the world. This entirely original, one of a kind piece sold at an auction in 2002 for $4 million, and considering that was well over a decade ago, chances are that the piece is now valued at a much higher price.

2. Patek Philippe Super Complication

Technically not a wristwatch, this magnificent 18-karat gold pocket watch was designed by Patek Philippe for the investment banker Henry Graves Jr. in 1933. The watch contains 24 “complications,” or mechanical features that have never been seen in a practical timepiece, including a different chronological function for each hour of the day. The Philippe timepiece is the most expensive watch ever sold at auction at a breathtaking $11 million.

1. Chopard 201 karat

This gaudy timepiece may look like a piece of costume jewelry, but it is far, far from it. The Chopard 210 karat is layered in 201 karats of colored diamonds and resembles a bracelet more than it does a wristwatch. It is not going to be a good fit for someone who is looking for a practical timepiece, but, of course, this monstrosity of decadence is by no means practical. The piece is so expensive that there is no list price for it, and has an estimated value of close to $30 million.