Thursday, November 30, 2006

Obligatory Sony-shoots-themself-in-the-face-with-a-shotgun post

1up, as always, sums up the PS3's current anti-delights. All are valid, although most are probably fixable down the road. All I know is that these problems are helping me steer clear of Playstation-hell.

It's bad enough that I already hate the Playstation controller now, but synchronization problems would drive me nuts. Another Next Gen console never has that problem...since launch...hmmm...

At least DevHook is back. Maybe turning on the PSP will be fun for about 5 minutes.

The Wii Proves Age-Old Arguments

Another random thought today.

Remember the old, "Video games are good for improving reflexes as well as eye and hand coordination," defense?

Now think of Jared, the Subway representative that said, "Video games made me fat?" Obviously, it was deduced that video games involve no exercise.

In comes Nintendo, with an movement-reliant video game system. Out with simply moving a half-inch stick, and in with moving the whole forearm. Out with simple button pushing and in with swaying and tilting. Prepare for sore-arm-gaming, also known as exercise. And don't forget to review your statistics afterwards.

Combine that with other realistic arguments, and we have a winner. So much for debunking those original pro-gaming arguments...

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The real PS3 vs Xbox 360 begins

1up comes to to the party with vs screenshots and videos. Go take a look and see what you think. Is it worth the extra $100 to $200?

Even more interesting will be the live vs competition at the Apollo on H3TV. They will be playing both consoles simultaneously on the same big screen in attempt to make the fairest of comparisons. What gets me, is it sounds like picture-in-picture to what's the big deal (about the technology)?

Explanation for Sony's Suckitude: Idiotic QA

Michael Russell blogged about his experience with Sony's First Party QA from a job interview:

the feeling I got inside Sony was that QA was seen as nothing but a bunch of monkeys with controllers.

The straw that broke the camel's back came in the last hour of my interview. I was told that the way that Sony tests their games is that there are one or two test leads on a project starting at about six months out. At T-8 weeks, between 80 and 100 temporary testers are brought on to test the game for those eight weeks. That's it.

Basically, they wait until the last two months to take testing seriously. Think of all the things that are missed during the development stages.

There's plenty more no-goods in the post, be sure to check it out.

Yet another Sony motto, "Money first, quality last"

Sony grills me on my PSP use...or lack thereof

From their survey invitation email:

Dear PlayStation Underground member,

What do you do online with your PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system? Are you browsing the Web in a coffee shop or besting an out-of-town opponent? Take our short survey and let us know.

The survey was brief, but it essentially just asked whether I used the PSP online, how important online gaming was to me, and what online features are the most important.

Unfortunately, it was your typical Strongly-Agree to Strongly-Disagree survey, so I couldn't say, "I don't play it online, but I would do otherwise if there was decent support for it." There was an option for "not enough compelling content" so I did go with that.

And sorry browser-supporters, I said the ability to browse the web (at least crappy PSP style) was not important to me at all.

To answer their graphic's question, "Nothing Playstation-wise...I have Xbox Live, which is actually functional."

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

But to M. Bison, it was Tuesday...another roundup!

Finally...more information on FFVII: Crisis Core (for the PSP). As usually, the Japanese get first dibbs on a playable demo. Please don't let this game suck, Squenix. After FFXI and FFXII, you owe us something. Not to mention my PSP is probably petrified from non-use.

Gran Turismo HD screens are here. It looks good, but I still haven't enjoyed this franchise since it's sophomore effort.

Someone said something about Killzone, nobody gets excited. I still mourn those who think Killzone was an example of a "good FPS".

Applause goes to he who "walked out on the PS3." A writer turned his back on a PS3 purchase opportunity. One does have to wonder why he didn't gobble it up and throw it at ebay...someone would pay for it, whether it was only the 20GB version with a $70 warranty or not. I think the best part of his article is how no one locally was interested in taking him up on his offer to sell it "at cost".

My guess is that he is in agreeance with Ozymandias about the PS3: no surprises, disappointments, and frustrations.

Nintendo's Wii is doing well. I still need to find one. Nintendo, how about you "hook a brotha up?" Don't you want 600,001 consoles out there? =)

How old am I? Old enough to be around for the real-time version of the NES/SNES vs Genesis era. It looks like the Washington Post is reflecting on those days. IMNSHO, Genesis FTW! Hopefully the virtual console war will give my hero another chance.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

One Wii concern is down, replaced by another....

Squashing my original Wii concerns, a Joystiq journalist reports a successful Wii outing with his family. Short-term confidence is solid; now I'm left to wonder about long-term.

The uncomfortable wham has probably happened by now if you started the above video. If I find a Wii remote impaling my 51" television, I will go more than slightly ballistic. Engadget brings a warning to hide all valuables when playing with your Wii.

PS3 blasphemy further inflates

Let's see, Sony is unsure if they can patch up the lack-of-1080i-support. This is a huge blunder and probably the last straw in having a PS3 make my living room ugly grace my living room.

PSOne games require a PS3 for the moment. Not if you you use the homebrew PSOne emulator...(get it here)

Sony's Konami's rockstar Hideo Kojima says he misses rumble. He wants it back. Trust me, the more feedback from the video game the better. Grant him his wish (and everyone else who isn't stubborn).

Remember my prediction on PS3 hacking? It's already begun. Now my prediction may have just been with online multiplayer, but getting backup's to play is where it begins.

"Told you so," slot loading sucks (or doesn't)

Well, that didn't take long.

Nintendo and Sony, I hate to say it, but next time leave the slot-loading to car audio decks.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

I predicted that slot-loading mechanisms would fail

Early on, before I regularly posted on this blog, I used to say that Blu-ray was going to have disc-read-error problems. I also said that slot-loading is a bad idea; I foresaw problems with the mechanisms for both the Wii and the PS3.

PS3 is the first recorded victim of my latter prediction. Any bets on how long before the DRE's happen? Unless Sony learned from last time.

On a side note, I am a bit perturbed that the Wii is having as many problems as it is. Generally, Nintendo is the quality hardware provider. It sure has left me a little less excited to add the Wii to my entertainment center...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Forbidden love in the name of XBLA? Real-pictures of XFPS adapter

It looks like Team Xtender is serious about this Mouse/Keyboard/PS2 controller adapter for the 360. The mockup picture is here; doesn't look like it was far off. Why black?

I'm getting a little ill seeing a PS2 controller's filthy bits in a 360.

Bungie interview reveals Epic could've done 'friendly' ranked games

When Epic was approached about not being able to party-up with friends for ranked games, he said:

Microsoft came to us and said there would be a lot of cheaters if we did it that way so for right now this is how it is. In the future we might roll out some additional functionality. -Mark Rein, Epic V.P.

The blame was directed at Microsoft's anti-cheating efforts with the TrueSkill system. It seems to suck a little bit of the fun out of playing team-based games if you can't play with your friends. Some gamers wait with hope for updates, others prepare themselves to live without the feature, and the motivated use work-arounds.

Those all of these situations will find the following tidbit of information good-to-know. In 1up's review with Allen Murray (of Bungie) reveals a bit more information on playing ranked games with friends. When asked if Halo 3 will have this problem, Allen said:

You will most definitely be able to create a party with your friends and enter into ranked matchmaking -- that's where the fun is! The Xbox certification process and True Skill system do not prevent games from having a feature that allows parties of friends to enter into ranked matchmaking as a team -- but they also do not provide that feature as part of the core set of matchmaking services. -Allen Murray, Producer

In effect, it would seem Microsoft is still to blame, but in a different way. They didn't provide the feature, but didn't prevent developers from using it. In order for Gears of War to allow a group of friends into ranked games, Epic would have had to develop the feature themselves as Bungie has.

At least we know it is possible. I personally implore other developers to follow and shamelessly mimic Bungie's matchmaking efforts. A lot of us are dying for Halo 2's excellent fragfest-creating system in the other games we play.

Hot pre-Thanksgiving PS3 Topics

Wii's are dangerous like Busta Rhymes. 1up has even printed their satirical concerns on their page.

Sony yet again has a gem underneath a pile of negative rubble. Digging through the rubble, we find that they can't come up with PS3's. That's okay, we don't want them and we're not at all surprised. Crecente's wife found that the PS3 can get just as hot and as loud as the Xbox 360. Koei has jumped from the PS-exclusive ship. And the mainstream press hates on the PS3.

Sony's also got a nasty rumor around them; to make up for "free online", it has been suggested they are considering charging the publishers for demo downloads. If true, that's bound to drive away 3rd party publishers from providing demos.

Where the hell is the gem? Below.

You actually CAN upgrade your PS3 with a non-proprietary hard drive. Now that's sweet. One can only wonder if Microsoft's Xbox will ever be capable of such.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Accessory you do it?

I realized I'm a console accessory collector. With the PS2, I bought just about anything that "could" be used one day...but usually wasn't. Hell, I even bought a used EyeToy just because it was $5 (before I even knew you could use it with the PS3).

Out of all I have for the PS2...use very little of it. I almost never use the 4 wired controllers. That also means I never play 4 player games. Network adapter? Uh...PS2 online is a joke. And a handful of console stands. Even the modchip...the homebrew was more limited than I thought. I spent a lot of wasted funds trying to "complete" the PS2 for whatever reason. Unfortunately, I ended up with little return on my investment (little usage). The ninja in me threatened to never allow myself to do that again.

Yet today, I find myself surround in white 360 accessories: 2 wireless controllers, 4 wired controllers, batteries, a recharging station, a camera, charging cables, DOA stick, a remote, and a couple headsets (wired, wireless). More stuff that I burned my money on...the ninja was bound to not be happy.

I was about to discipline myself for buying so much when I realized that this time is different. The only items in that lot I don't use are the Vision Camera and the PNC wires. Compared to the plethora of PS2 junk I have, I'm actually doing much better this time; the goods are useful! It's a little hard to berrate myself when the money is being put to use. Return on investment is good!

My friends list is chock full of gamers that get the newest game/accessory whenever they can. For unknown reasons, I always assume I'm one of very few that keep buying accessories all the time. How about you?

Dare I say, "The PS3 got 'double-pwned'."

PS3s. Wiis. All sold-out. The biggest selling console last weekend was: the Xbox 360.

That was...unexpected. Then again...the 360 was the only easy-to-buy console last weekend. My local Wal-mart still had several Core packs...but who the hell wants those (oh...I need to buy one for Squeaky).

It looks like our Lead Developer's cousin at EA was spot on by saying the PS3 is a PITA to develop for all around.

"That's BIASED" attacks are imminent. As far as this developer is concerned, the PS3 doesn't beat out the 360 at anything, even power. Reasons include SPE-programming difficulties, a less graphics processor, and less memory.

And this quote is something I have been saying for a long time:

The PS3 versions will be ports of the 360 versions. (The opposite was true for XBOX 1 vs. PS2).

Yeah...the original Xbox should have destroyed the PS2 graphically. But developers/publishers could only afford shoddy ports that didn't run well. Halo 2 is a good example of a game that could never run on the PS2. It's too bad we didn't see similar efforts on other titles at the time.

This time...the PS3 gets the shoddy-running ports.

And I also said that .NET will make the development difference.

Timing has also caused all next-gen middleware developers to make XBOX 360 their primary platform, and they will ‘add ps3 support’ as needed. This support will probably be inferior to the XBOX 360’s due to manpower and more importantly, demand. It’s this catch-22 now that will continue to drive the 360 forward and hold PS3 back.

My question is this: Since the 360 is easier to develop for, will we see greater effort towards AI, graphics, and online play with the extra time provided by solid development tools? And since the PS3 "gets the ports", won't those things bleed over anyway?

The jumping on the bed edition of...Tuesday!

We'll start with the bad.

Does Red Steel suck? Wii. To sum up the review: Graphical disappointments, run-of-the-mill FPS action, boring.

That's too bad. =(

Sony really doesn't care about their competitors. Or making improvements over their competitor's blunders. It looks like no one told them the secret of the "background download". Because the PS3 doesn't do it. Well, they did manage to make it worse. If downloads aren't completed, they have to be re-downloaded COMPLETELY. Yeah, no partials.

New York Times says the PS3 is *drum roll* not that great. PS3fanboy came with the appropriate lack-of-backed-up-retort (for the moment). Is anyone surprised at this news? Don't we come to expect this from launch consoles?

I have to take quotes from that article:
In that sense it often feels as if the PlayStation 3 can'’t walk and chew bubble gum at the same time.

The PS3'’s whole online experience feels tacked-on and unpolished. On the Xbox 360 each user has a single unified friends list, so you can track your friends and communicate with them easily, no matter what game you are in. On the PlayStation 3 most games have their own separate friends list and some have no friends function at all. There is a master list as well, but in order to communicate with anyone on it, you have to quit the game you are playing.

As Mr. Grant of Joystiq put it: “"Maybe in six months it'’ll be finished. Maybe by next fall IÂ'll be able to do all the cool stuff. I'm still kind of waiting."”

Well, in lighter news, Small Arms is FINALLY here tomorrow. And a low-budget-noise-canceling-mod has been "made" for Wireless Headset owners.

On that note, I must say that the 360 wireless headset I received yesterday is the most comfortable headset I've ever worn. I love it. I just hope they figure out the random noise problems. For those who don't know, the timed beeps are there just to inform you that you are muted.

In any case, it looks like my dreams of a Wii and a PS3 will be delayed past the holiday season. It's time for us to purchase a new bed. They come at a price of a PS3 and Wii combined. =\ (no, I didn't jump on the old one until it broke)

Monday, November 20, 2006

Monday, the Clustofawk edition

The Good, Bad, and Ugly PS3 is getting reamed in all ways...only natural since it's one of the new guys on the block.

Yay for connecting just about any USB device in the world to the PS3. Most importantly, although not really USB devices, I like the non-proprietary HDD enclosure, USB charging cable, and Bluetooth support.

Surprisingly, ebay prices for PS3 have been none-so-impressive already. Currently, people must be convinced that the PS3 is only worth a little over double it's retail price on the 'bay. This is bound to go back up next month, but is this a sign of the coming of a Playstation recession?

Joining the Blu-ray flicker and 720p-to-1080i upscaling problems, is more proof that that the SIXAXIS controller is a piece of junk. Random power-downs, synchronizing problems, and a made-in-china lightweight feel. Maybe Bluetooth controllers aren't all they are cracked up to be? Let's not even get into the Red-Ring-of-Death-like Red-Light-and-Beep error, or preparing for modding-hell.

Someone crossed the line gave that ugly PS3 its true purpose the modification of a lifetime. The REAL-DEAL PS3 grill. Three cheers for Next Gen cooking....

But wait, THERE'S MORE! The Nintendo Wii isn't doing so hot either. Slot-loading seems cool, right? Definitely, when it works. Looks like someone can't play any games because the mechanism is already dead. Honestly...I'm surprised the PS3 didn't have this problem first. Speaking of...the Wii was the first to have Disc Read Errors...eek.

In Xbox looks like good ol' Gears finally knocked Halo 2 off the top 360 Live game. It took long enough. And the wireless headset that Amazon hasn't delivered to me yet may have some serious issues.

Do gaming consoles suck this bad? What a "clustofawk" of problems. And no PC-defenders please...PC's have even more problems (I fix them for a living...the PS2 is a walk in the park compared to OS problems).

Play PS2 games with the "correct" analog sticks

Baysoft sent me another collection of deals over the weekend. The above controller stood out above the rest.

Play on three different game consoles with this universal controller! This Universal game controller gives you the flexibility to use a single controller on the Xbox, PlayStation 2, and Game Cube consoles. Eliminating the need for multiple game controllers and the clutter!

Notice the analog sticks. They are in the right place! Okay, so it's designed just like an original Xbox s-controller...but that's the one I like. The d-pad looks a little shoddy, but even in current PS2 games, we generally see the d-pad used for hotkeys (so "no biggie"). And Xbox-style triggers (if equipped) would be a big improvement over the painful Gamecube triggers.

Time to toss out the old Dualshock 2 and spend $15. I wish they would have brought this controller to my attention when I was playing Killzone. It would have made my life a lot easier. Oh well, at least I'll get to use it with Final Fantasy XII and Xenosaga II & III (I haven't even played the latter yet). Squeaky will love it for Devil May Cry.

I ordered it yesterday and will report on the controller once it is received.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Probably could have bought a Wii; didn't.

I was at one of the local Wal-marts at midnight to see if there was anything "crazy" going on. The electronics section was pretty boring.

It looks like this particular Wal-mart chose to have the line extend from the layaway department. It was awfully short compared to the PS3 and 360 launches. There was still a couple dozen people, but it seemed uneventful. I'm sure they had plenty of consoles that night, but I didn't feel like waiting in line.

Squeaky and I decided to revisit during the day, and unsurprisingly, all Wiis were sold out at every store we went to.

I noticed an actual PS3 kiosk finally, and some little kid was playing a basketball game. It looked pretty good; the most notable difference between it and whatever basketball game the 360 launched with is that the court floor looked quite a bit better. The muscles were a bit more refined, but you won't notice unless you actively look for it.

Unfortunately, the console is still ugly.

I'll be sure to buy a Wii when it is convenient. I'm not going to fight holiday shopping traffic for one, that's for sure.

Friday, November 17, 2006

It's PS3 day. Looks like it sucks as planned.

TrueHD is filled with flicker. The lauded HDMI cable seems to be cause some problems with the not-so-endearing PS3. Reboot until it works. Sounds like Windows.

People are shooting each other over PS3's. The question is: Is it about playing the PS3, or selling it for mass profits? I vote the latter.

As pictured, someone is able to afford to use the device properly, pimp style. The results are in the above video.

And unsurprisingly, signing up for Playstation Online (is that an oxymoron?), is expectedly unenjoyable and annoying.

The real question is: What if Bill Gates was right, and Halo 3 launched today? How would that change things? We'll never know.

I sure want to rush out at burn $600. Let me tell you.

Wii, show up already. Please.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

DS Lite makes Metroid even worse for me...

I had my first not-at-a-kiosk DS Lite experience tonight. My fiance decided to let me borrow hers since she doesn't use it.

I figured this was my chance to finally play some Metroid Prime: Hunters. Playing on the fatty DS fatigued my hands after a while, so I put the game away until I could get the lighter and hopefully more comfortable DS Lite.

Unfortunately, the experience was not a good one. The new d-pad responds very poorly compared to the solid click of the fat. Samus would keep getting stuck when I tried to move diagonally; the only remedy was to push the whole d-pad down and press the directions. But that's just more hand I was back to square one.

No matter how much I want to like the sleeker new shoulder pads, I just don't like them either. Trying to press them cramps up my fingers almost immediately, since they're not very pressable with the insides of my index fingers; I have to use the fingertips.

The good news is that I think I could handle the Lite just fine...if I didn't have to use the d-pad and the stylus simultaneously. Holding the unit with both hands and not using the stylus rectifies all of the above problems. If the game was stylus-only, I'd also be okay. IT looks like I won't be abandoning my fatty DS anytime soon.

FPS games still haven't found a good home on a portable. The DS provides crampy hands and the PSP is missing a second analog. Hopefully Nintendo or Sony gets it right on the next iteration.

Videogame Store Annoyances from

1up brings us an article appealing to our video game shopping woes and aggravations. The contributing journalist made sure to get stories from both sides of the fence, resulting in some familiar yet surprising results.

As usual, choice quotes are below:

"My manager was harassing us to harass customers because the district manager was harassing him. They eventually came up with a rule called the 'Five Nos'... as in, a customer has to say no five times before you stop harassing them. [&] Eventually, someone higher up decided that it would be a good idea to start calling people at home and harassing them over the phone for preorders."

So if I say, "I want to buy this game. And no times 5," then I can pay for my game and leave without hassle? Sweet.

"As for those of you who live in areas where you don't have many stores to choose from, your only real option is to try to get to know the store's employees. Hopefully when they get to know you and your shopping patterns, they'll be less likely to harass you over services they know you won't buy."

Um...I thought gamers were mentally unable to interact socially. (just kidding)

"Legally it's not used 'until it leaves the store,' so make sure to inspect your games for a fold-wrap and not a heat seal."

You know the situation is a crock when the suggestion to rectify the problem requires you to do something that shouldn't be necessary, like ensuring the product you are purchasing is the product your purchasing.

EB Games Employee: "Just curious: Do you ever think about the 'Obnoxious Salesmen'? All I'm trying to do is make sure there's a roof over my head and food in my belly."

Sometimes I question whether the mental anguish of bluntly receiving foul up-selling tactics is acceptable, even for the "provider" of the family. I feel you. I've been there. I had to sell Gold Coverage at Musician's Friend. And I avoided it at all costs, only selling it when I thought it was a good idea (and felt good about it).

Being a salesman "under pressure" doesn't grant special permission of being an ignorant asshole to another human for the sake of your "career". Remember that.

I'm a sucker....played the Guitar Hero kiosk

Christmas shopping with my fiance last night came with an odd twist: the irrestible urge to pick up a fake guitar and pretend I couldn't actually rock out with a real one. Then again...playing something is better than the bafoonish act of air guitarism.

I've not felt so awkward holding a guitar since my musical cherry was broke in high school. It definitely felt like a "Fisher Price: My First Guitar" hunk of plastic. Before I could get the game started, one of the distribution night force employees of Walmart said unto me, "Apologies for stopping your rock-out session, but could I please get by?" He had a rolling platform with a box pile on top.

Continue reading...

Why the hell would you put the main traffic of distribution right through the gaming isle with the kiosks? Eh, it's Wal-mart. They barely pay minimum wage.

Anyway, my fiance said immediately, "It looks like DDR with a plastic guitar." She was right. It took me a minute to figure out that you have to press the buttons and strum simultaneously. Talk about dying for a real would have been easier to play the song on.

Shortly after it clicked. If anything, Guitar Hero could be a good lesson in timing and accuracy for the real deal (4/4 timing for all you non-technical hardcore wimps).

Conclusively, I jumped the gun on GH mockery. The idea is brillant. It's a good thing this game is going to the Xbox 360. I don't want to spend any money on a Sony game that I don't have to. Actually, the truth is that any Disc Read Error might leave me itching to throw the guitar through my TV...or at least at my PS2. The former is a big concern.

PS2 controller adapter to save XBLA?

TeamXtender is at it again. This time they bring the XFPS 360 (currently in the planning stage).

XFPS 360 is a multifunctional adapter that allows PS2 Dualshock's to be used with the Xbox 360. The current plans also show it as mouse and keyboard adapter (it converts M&K to analog controls for the 360). Turbo functionality is a sweet addition as well.

I'm here to interject however; people who need mouse and keyboard support so desperately are wimps. Learn to adjust already; it's really not that bad. I have the SmartJoy FRAG for the original Xbox and it's mouse/keyboard conversion is clumsy and essentially useless. I expect similar ill-fated results with this adapter. Just learn to go dual analog already!

Anyway, it's sad to say, but dualshock support could save XBLA. There would be no other good reason to use a PS2 controller that I can think of, but that's still a legitimate reason. I know I'd buy the adapter just for that purpose (unless Microsoft makes a better d-pad for their wireless controllers).

Edit 11/17/2006: Added SmartJoy link and cleaned up a few incomplete sentences. I forgot I had submitted this to! Thanks for the coverage! =)

Halo 3 screenies

Stop wasting time at my lowly site and head to 1up for some Halo 3 screenshots.

*Laughs maniacally* PS3 can't upscale to 1080i

If TrueHD means no standard HD support, then Sony is a collection of woeful idiots. Oh wait...they actually are all the time.

The real issue is some HD televisions (including mine), only support 1080i and not 720p. However, the PS3's current offerings are at 720p standard. Rather than upscaling the 720p signal to 1080i (like the 360 does), it downscales it to 480p. Joystiq and xbox360fanboy have already joined in pointing the finger and laughing. It's deserved.

*condescendingly, I say* The all-powerful supercomputer value of a PS3 can't even upscale properly. What a POS. Remember, they are doing us a favor by taking a huge loss on each one of these ugly supercomputers.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Big Halo 3 news supersedes the "other thing ending in 3"

Halo news here, that's covered here, here, and here.

While the commercial isn't that exciting of an idea, the new Halo 2 maps, and Halo 3 beta are.

We get to quench our gaming thirst via Halo 3 in teasing amounts this spring. Better yet, the demo will feature the multiplayer, the aspect that is bound to keep us up in frantic button-pressing all night. *clears spot for you to safely drool in anticipation*

To hype us up, XBLM will feature some "Making Of" featurettes. Essentially, we'll finally have some regular Halo 3 media being pumped into our veins eyes.

More Halo 2 maps? What an even better reason to play Halo 2 again. Sure, they are 360 exclusive, but does it really matter? All Xbox owners were going to need to upgrade eventually anyway.

In other news? PS3 auctions aren't so exorbitant in Japan.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Quick uh...3 day weekend roundup

I need some FF8 Time Compression.


The PSP is still useless (PS3 offers nothing with connectivity yet). Even the "popular" psp games have low sales. OPM hates the PSP, and is going away forever (in favor of PS3 online media). Good riddance.

PS3 is made by Sony...but I don't care...I wanna play with a new toy as well. 1up opens their fresh PS3 box. Others are more daring, and have torn that POS apart!

Sony now says the SIXAXIS battery is replaceable. So...when do they tell the truth? Doesn't matter, Crecente's kid likes it better than the 360 controller.

Hey, the EyeToy I just bought for $5 will work on the PS3! And Resistance, although possibly regurgitated FPS, doesn't suck! Woo! Non-Halo-killer, welcome to the fray!

Halo 3 is going to attempt to even out multiplayer, and Killzone is still a piece of crap that Philly says will be neat.

The HD-DVD attachment for the Xbox 360 is infinitely more useful than the PS3's Blu-ray drive because *GASP* it can be used with your PC as well. Check out the guts of the drive if you want.

Japanese people paid attention to the 360. WTF? Oh. It's a dragon-ball-z-looking RPG called Blue Dragon. Duh.

Sorry...computers are blowing up that I have to fix so no time to dabble. They must be powered by Sony.

RR7 not worth the $40 more than RR6 for 360

Joystiq, Kotaku, and 1up are all making a stink on these Ridge Racer 6 on 360 vs Ridge Racer 7 on PS3 screens.

As opposed to what some of the commenters are saying, there are some aspects where the PS3 is doing a better job; it looks a little cleaner (likely because of 1080p).

But can buy Ridge Racer 6 for $20 on the Xbox 360. I don't see anything to justify $60 on the PS3 "updated" version. Do you?

Maddox feelings on Sony mirror my own.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Xbox 360's true allure this Christmas

Cheap games.

"...but they cost $60, SuicideNinja!"

Hold it!

As far as I know, the Xbox 360 will be the ONLY next generation console this Christmas to have games that cost $40 or less. Think "Platinum Hits".

$20 - Ridge Racer 6
$30 - Burnout: Revenge*
$30 - Kameo
$30 - Need for Speed: Most Wanted*
$30 - Perfect Dark Zero
$30 - Prey*
$30 - The Outfit
$30 - Tomb Raider*
$40 - Ghost Recon
$40 - Quake 4*

*My recommendations

All of the 2006 sports games should drop in price for this Holiday as well. I think many are missing this as a great reason to go Xbox 360 instead of fumbling for the PS3 this Christmas. That's an Xbox 360 Premium with 6 games for the price of a 'spensive PS3 with no game.

For the 360's sake, hopefully this information is what googler's are finding in their searches.

Edit: SFC Steelranger reminded me about some upcoming pricing rumors. Supposedly, "The Outfit" could be as low as $10 on my birthday Black Friday. Thanks!

"The Man" says I should only read Joystiq???

Looks like I better find a decent proxy server. All of my favorite blogs have been blocked at work as of today (save I'm not sure why, it's not like there is inappropriate content on them. What the hell else am I supposed to do for breaks and lunch?

If I have to build my own proxy server for this, I'm going to be pissed. I hate the alternate plan of waiting until I get home to write my posts, so we'll see what happens.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Wireless 360 headset $10 off at Amazon

Amazon has a good deal on the 360 Wireless headset: $50 with free shipping. That's a steal over Datel's $110 Bluetooth Headset.

I ordered mind a few hours ago.

Check out Joystiq's review for more information on this new peripheral.

Early PS3 software gets mediocre reviews

Tony Hawk Project 8 @ 7.3/10.0 - Customization lacking, no online support, framerate issues

Those frame-rate problems hit the PlayStation 3 version of the game significantly harder than the Xbox 360.

Um, Ken Kutaragi, what happened to your 120 frames per second claim?

Genji 2 @ 6.4/10.0 - Tired gameplay, dull levels, framerate issues

NBA 07 - motion control is frustrating, slow to start, but smooth frame rate and good graphics

Sony's new Playstation tagline:

Play B3yond Still full of shxt.

However, it is good to see that they will have at least a "killer-app" at launch unlike the 360 (Resistance: Fall of Man). Then again...1up's Halo 3 preview sounds way more exciting.

Personally, I want to see a game on the PS3 that is as addicting as Dead Rising. While the concept of the game wasn't necessarily new, it's execution was. The same situation applied to Resident Evil 4. Hopefully we'll see an innovative/great PS3 game in the next 6 months. That's about the time it will take any of us to get one anyway.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Trackball PS Controller on the way / Microtransactions: a failed experiment

Short on time again, behind as always, leaving me providing this Butter and Toast post.

The Butter:

This new (and oddball) controller was apparently shown at E306, but I wasn't aware of it until recently. While it's difficult to perceive the controller's usefulness on looks alone, the idea may have merit. I continually voice my disapproval for the PS analog sticks, so replacing one of them with a more viable option seems to be a secret necessity.

That being said, I've never been a fan of trackballs. For anything, except maybe Centipede. However, with all the "Halo Training" I've provided myself via Xbox controller, I think thumbing a trackball may not be an impossible adjustment. I was able to handle the transition to controlling driving games from a d-pad to an analog (moving from PS2 to Xbox in other words), so I don't imagine this would be impossible.

I'm sure the keyboard-and-mouse wimps elitists will have plenty negative things to say about this idea. Just ignore them; they are just mad that we can use either mouse/keyboard or analog sticks. They can only do the former. ;)

I'm up for sampling the controller if anyone's listening. LOL

The Toast:

Continue reading...

Chris at wrote a interesting article criticizing how microtransactions were a good idea put in the wrong hands, and also offers suggestions on how they should have worked.

As far as I'm concerned, he's got "the headshot" right between the eyes. Microtransanctions should have been for extras, but EA seems to think they should be used to milk money out of the consumer by providing partial games.

As some of the commenters suggest, the best we can do is NOT fall into their trap, and only accept microtransactions done right. If we don't buy into their scam, they won't waste resources continuing to screw us and leave us with a headache.


Registration for SOCOM Hell Week is new open. What the hell is that?

Honestly, I'm not completely sure. From what I gather from the website, you first prove to them why you should be selected via your regsitration/application. Afterwords, someone picks 16 individuals to get real training from actual Navy Seals? That's my guess.

It's not really my bag, especially since I'm not a SOCOM fan, and no ninjas are involved, but I'm sure there's plenty of SOCOM fans that would be interested.

(Thanks Glen!)

Monday, November 06, 2006

Couldn't resist the F.E.A.R. - Preliminary experience

About 9 pm or so last night, I decided that I had to go buy FEAR. I'm not sure why, but I just wanted it.

It wasn't a mistake. On its own FPS merits, F.E.A.R. is fairly standard. However, the addition of the horror element, fun physics, and the Matrix SlowMo really set it apart from the crowd.

Granted, some of the "scares" are cheap, but isn't that what we've become accustomed to over the last decade or so? F.E.A.R. may not put you on edge like Condemned, but it certainly has it's own feel. The sound FX, ambient sounds, timing, and visuals meld well together for seemingly unpredictable experience on a player's first run through.

The physics and SlowMo combine into a multitude of way-more-fun-than-it-should-be moments. With the SlowMo, a player can run into a run and fold enemies in half with a shot gun, or use the extra time to ensure headshots. The great part is ragdoll in slow motion. It just reinforces the pain, and accentuates the accomplishment of defeating individual enemies.

One thing that is new to me is "leaning". I assume this is a dated mechanic for peeking around corners. Unfortunately, the default control setup has the left and right leans mapped to the d-pad. This is odd to me, as you cannot move while leaning, and the 360 d-pad is cumbersome when not used as hotkeys. I actually prefer the "Lean" control setup, where leaning is controlled by the bumpers. This puts weapon switching, flashlight, grenade switching, and use Medpack on the d-pad, which makes more sense to me as none of these actions require holding of the button.

The developer deserves praise for not making demo of the game exactly the same as the actual game. The demo provided on XBL is actually somewhat of a medley from several difference levels. This is great because it puts a fresh take on something a gamer may have already played, and makes it less predictable. Hopefully more developers take this route instead of the "just providing a single level" approach.

If you've been dying for a fresh-to-console FPS, I highly recommend F.E.A.R. so far. I'm not very far into the game, but aside from minor glitches, I have no complaints on this game and recommend at least a rental. I imagine that multiplayer will be entertaining as well.


  • SlowMo mode makes "tense" firefights a blast

  • Environment and Sound FX fit very well


  • Framerate hiccups

  • Minor animation glitches

Sunday, November 05, 2006

A brief gaming weekend here

I've been a bit busy but I managed to squeeze a little gaming in.

We decided to hit up Halo 2 for several hours on Friday night. It's still odd to come back to the game and have it feel like I'm broken. Although it doesn't take long to get back into a decent groove, it's just never the same has playing every night.

Also, I'd like to send a small apology to SFC Steelranger. I know he wanted to play me in Halo 2, but while he was in the game, I was too busy trying to unscrew our laggy connection (room mates and their damn downloads). We'll have to try again later.

I played the Rainbow 6 demo a bit ago, and I'm actually rather impressed with it. It feels like a faster paced Splinter Cell, and I like that. Hopefully the retail version isn't so buggy.

I also beat Killzone...I don't know why I wasted my time. The game is a complete joke in comparison to other first person shooters. Anyway, the ending was unsatisfying, and its crappy analog stick support messed me up when I went back to a real FPS Halo 2. Grr.

Squeaky also managed to finally let me borrow her camera, so I've got some pictures of my systems on the right. Not that it matters; the Xbox 360 skin and the PS2 skin are the only pictures worth a look. I also added my PC, even though it's not done. But I figured, why not?

I also have to mention that I'm really glad Microsoft added video streaming support to the 360. Now we can watch Red vs Blue on the 51" screen instead of seemingly small 17". The only problem is now I HAVE to download the bigger Hi-Res versions, because the Lo-Res versions are unbearable on a screen of that magnitude. Thanks M-soft!

Friday, November 03, 2006

What do you think of the Xbox 360's "new features"?

I'm not sure why, but I find it a bit humorous that I was emailed about this latest update. The above picture displays the first portion of it.

On one hand, I want to think, "What idiots, the update is mandatory for Live users, so why tell them about it?" Reality head-butts me and I realize that new features are no good if people don't know about them. Not everyone is a video game blogophile like myself (no, my own blog isn't part of that 'phile).

This Fall update addresses a lot of 360-owner gripes. Video streaming, 1080p, time for Arcade games to come up, etc. The update system is proving itself to be an excellent way to help future-proof the system.

Thankfully, it's nigh guaranteed that Nintendo and Sony will have similar methods of tuning out "teh suck" in their upcoming consoles.

It's interesting to look back at negativity aimed at the 360 last year, such as these "5 reasons the 360 will bomb". The versatility of these updates seem to grant the special power of deflecting at least some antifan ammunition. Even Sony, who could no doubt "F" up a wet dream, will be able to un-F poor software design decisions they've undoubtedly already made in the SPE-attention-stealing PS3 OS.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

FEAR reviews sound good, demo was good, now I need $60!

Gamespot has a short review while Team Xbox has a longer review of the latest PC port: F.E.A.R.

While the review scores are in the upper eights, the game still sounds to be a good one. Especially for the likes of myself, who refuse to game on a PC unless absolutely necessary.

The demo on XBL really sold me on this game. It was the perfect lentgh and provided the exact amount of content to suck a potential customer in. Vivendi gets kudos from me for that.

As soon as I put out the fire of my burned-out-ted-ness, and catch up on some other titles, this will be the next game I buy (unless Gears of War is out by then).

Sony can't say, "We already did that." Too many Halo 2 games played.

It's atrocious to those who don't know. I was once told by a friend that Halo ruins relationships, jobs, and/or lives in general. At the time, I moderately scoffed FPS games, Halo, and whatever the hell that Microsoft console was.

All it took was 3 out of 5 room mate's playing the game via system link, and the question, "Do you want to play?"

My carefree "sure" answer would result in a years worth of a nights plugging at the phenomenon known as Halo 2. Unfathomably, I've come to realize that I've played more hours of Halo 2, than all hours I've ever put into Final Fantasies or all RPGs combined. One could feel gypped by paying for Live!, but all it takes is one game to hook you to make the return-on-investment the best dollar-value for your entertainment. There really is no room for complaints in my case.

According to gamespot, Bungie is reporting that 4 billion Halo 2 games have been played. That is completely insane, especially for a console game. Think of all the time waste devoted collectively. Wow.

So Sony, are your crappy SoCOM or Killzone games anywhere near that number?