If you would have asked me six months ago from videos what i thought playstation Home would be like I would have replied "Probably a lot like a lobby in Phantasy Star Online"... What is Playstation Home like?????
A lobby in Phantasy Star Online. ( Minus the chance that you might go out and kill alien monsters )
Just a bunch of people running about doing stupid dances, pointing and nodding their head. I Knew There was something wrong the moment my HIDEOUSLY UGLY, More realistic avatar looked much less like me than my NXE avatar and even the Mii sitting on my sisters Wii. At the least they could have given you access to a full range of faces and hairstyles to make something kind of resembling what you may actually look like. I accept they want to sell clothes... ratchet ears and clank backpack whatever, but let me make something that won't give small children nightmares.
It's a BETA! you may cry. But that doesnt really change the core of Home (or is that QUORE?) And that core is hugely , hugely outdated and boring, completely and utterly boring. I have had more fun in a Beautiful Katamari online lobby than in home and youre given about seven things to do in that. Sony has given me an ugly avatar, lots of places I can potentially spend money and access to media faster accessed though switching on my PC and going to websites. It seems it took sony two years to try and create something new and amazing and to be honest I'm not even certain It was ever that. It was always going to be a second rate second life or the non gaming equivalent of the sims both of which are completely love/hate in the way they work, Home is never going to be a drawing point for a much larger community, It will be a Huge failure when all is said and done all you can look forward to the already-packed-with "YOU Iz a Girl... lets fuck" crowd hanging about trying to pick up virtual dates with inbred mutant avatars. How very, very depressing.
I am a pretty unsociable, solitary person But when something comes along and makes me want to tell people to go out and make friends in the real world there must be something wrong with it.
Super Streetfighter II HD Remix is pretty much perfect, or as perfectly balanced as any fighter you will ever find on the planet ever, I have no intention of talking about my endless summer holiday where I played the game on the snes or the first time I became transfixed by the arcade machine I had no money for at a Butlins when I was a very young boy. Instead I wish to talk about 15 second audio clips sent over Xbox live. The first time i encountered this was after playing Soulcalibur IV often from oppponents using kilik or cervantes. Not to compliment me on my so-so playing style but to whine about LOSING "why dont you learn how to play the game properly" etc, etc.. But I did....I won...sorry, I shall try harder to lose next time *shrug* Now all of the 6 or so messages i recieved over the past couple of days were from Ryu/Ken/Akuma hadoukenhadoukenhadoukenshoryukennnnnn!!!jumpkicksweep! spammers, all of them. I said this before and I shall say it again, When did it stop being fun and more of a deadly serious "game" to people? Surely you shouldnt expect this of games that essentially are of a bygone era (revivals aside) The games we played as kids seem to now judge twentysomethings (and a few others) on their manliness. (or womanliness...maybe) I am very fond of ending up in games where It is quite apparent I am of a similar skill level, sure I'm not brilliant and I still have strange difficulty pulling off a dragon punch (still not so sure why i can't do it right) But I can Hold down my corner with an above average Chun-Li. (Ive also grown a new fondness for E Honda) But the ryu/ken/akuma bunch really need to stop it. I don't really care about how many fireballs they can do in a row because y'know theyre easily jumped over/ blocked, And the spammers with the highest complaints seem to be the ones who cannot win unless they come across someone who cannot read the other players (usually) very simple patterns. Also Be kind. Dhalsim Sucks, if youre fighting against Dhalsim and come across the same player trying to win with him over and over... let them win, go on be good person and let them get their win for the achievement you know you want to... I always do, But then again i'm a pretty good person.
Also hugely fond of the fact that if someone quits it nets you a win and the other player a loss... So all you early quitters at the end of round 3/5... FAIL!
also, also.. I got my 100 matches achievement at 99... weird huh?
This is probably the most eloquently I could ever sum up my thoughts on LittleBigPlanet. I have been angered enthralled, in love with, hateful, charmed frustrated, amused and many other things with sonys not-very-good-at system seller.
I had mentioned before in a previous blog that I really did not like having to play the Idiotically frustrating single player levels for creation tools to use in creation mode The bare minimum is ok , but it kinda annoys me to know there is still many, many items I will either never get or be able to use... Another thing I hate about the story levels is the x2, x4 parts of the levels... put costumes in those areas by any means but seriously MM do not deprive me of creation tools, That is just bad, bad design considering your game is so heavily geared towards that solitary part of the game.
And this is where my anger has risen considerably. I'm not going to go into the well documented moderation stuff but the TERRIBLE design of the online game. Firstly I have yet to play a multiplayer game where someone hasn't suffered from crippling lag , Whenever I was doing Ok I would always be informed that the other player was either having difficulty with lag or connection issues to my game. (this is NOT a problem with my internet speed..I play Many, many, many online games and rarely have these kinds of issues) Now level tagging is ridiculous, It is borderline broken, full of misinformation and random statements to not get your level played, If my level has been tagged with a certain amount of descriptions why can I not pick and choose which three best describe my level? And boy are those tags irrelevant.
MY levels and their tags......
"Good things come to those that wait" (first level i made.... not exciting or anything but far from broken)
Now I think Treeworld is the best example of this. with many of the tags completely contradicting each other, That level is so simple, straightforward and hand-holding that I wonder how it got some of those tags. For one the level is NOT nerve wracking or very weird...maybe the bear..but yknow.
"cool levels" you know what? most of these fucking levels are NOT cool... 10000000000 TROPHY OH YEAH COOLZZ levels are just not "cool",. Neither are really simple levels that someone spent two minutes on... and why are all the cool levels still the same as two weeks ago? I do not deny how amazing azure palace or how well made world of colour or littlebigbasketball are..but seriously theres a whole planet and supposedly 800000 user created levels... FILL THE DAMN PLANET! and preferably with... COOL LEVELS.
Level burying... have you just spent 5, 6, 7 10! hours building a level?, Have you published it and nobody played it? yeah, thought so. The only way it seems to be able to get people to play your levels is to constantly republish them.... every fuckin day! Im certain theres a few people that will deny this happens becuse of luck or good fortune and all that but I have No luck with anyone playing by levels unless I constantly republish them. I know theyre not the best levels but I want something to come of the time and effort I put in and I have put a LOT of time and effort into tweaking a couple of them. (I guess you had to be in the beta to get any substantial plays on your level.... oh great) On top of that I made very different levels (first one not counting because It was me figuring out the controls) and It seems more people play your level if it took 30 minutes to make.. I have gotten more plays time ratio wise on "jack" by a mile, and admittedly it didnt take very long to build at all. "LAPIN!" on the otherhand is so very weird and switch/mechanism-heavy and has had very few plays in comparison republish, republish, republish!!!!!!!
Now the most unforgiveable thing... I have searched specifically (on another psn name) for each of my levels, exact spelling on all of them and how many did the search find????? NONE of them... dear media molecule YOUR GAME IS BROKEN! In another game this is disappointing, in LBP with the slogan "play, create, SHARE" it verges on being unforgiveable.
So yeah LBP I am almost at the point of giving up on it, I like its style and the way it does things, I have even almost come to terms with the imprecise and fiddly controls. I want it to be the greatest game ever but it seems the online wishes to stop this at every turn I take. I will say it again.. my levels are not the bees knees but theyve had time and effort put into them, I have tried.. and I have tried a LOT harder than many others, I just get so infuriated that some level which is just an entrance and an exit or a million prize bubbles has ten thousand plays and 200 hearts and seventeen with 0 hearts have played mine in over a week.
Feel free for anyone to add me to their PSN i am "seamonsterking" if anyone wants to heart me (i need one more for trophy) or heart my level with the most hearts/plays already i will happily return the favour
and would be hugely, hugely, hugely grateful.
Gears of War 2 - Is very, very good. Has stunning art design and that i was unprepared for. It also Broke my save meaning I had to restart about halfway into the game.
Dead space: downfall - is OK but lacks the menace of the game and really needed to tone down its uberviolence a couple of notches.
mirrors edge reviews - dont surprise me, all the issues the reviewers have are the same as I had playing the demo.
left 4 dead demo - is taking forever to download.
world at war - seeing jason ocampo's review on IGN made me want this game... and I was not blown away by the beta.
LittleBigPlanet - just hasnt captivated me as much as it should have, I find the single player levels to verge more on the side of frustration than fun, The jumping is often the cause of death. Even with skill and a firm grasp of the jump mechanic the game will still decide to kill you. Dont play the single player then... Well, you HAVE to play the single player to collect items if not youll be left with a bare bones creation tool which means that media molecule are total liars, I dont need to go search back on LBP news to know that MM said if you werent comfortable with the single player EVERYTHING could be gainable in the creation mode... and that is just not true in fact the game DEMANDS you play the so-so single player to get anything worth a damn (including costumes).. and loads of those bubbles can only be gained with two or even four players.. often well into the levels that are very tricky meaning that many people will never, ever gain some of the items the game has to offer. I should have just waited for LBP to become cheap and sit down with it during a much more reasonable gaming climate than in sept-nov .
In my personal opinion Dead Space is the first truly, truly great multiplatform game of 2008, and yes I am saying this over GTAIV which is a four star game stuck in a five star city. First thing I would like to point out is that Dead spaces style and look is really rather ace, somewhere between alien and even horizon but instead of greys and blues theres an orange hue over everything. DS is easily one of the most beautiful games of this generation, I am seriously surprised more attention hasn't been on the really rather beautiful graphics. There was at least six or seven points where I was truly in awe of the game. Gameplay wise I was seriously not expecting the amount of different tasks I would be undertaking, stopping fans, shooting asteroids, running across the surface of two docked ships in zero gravity, avoiding huge flaming jets of fire. and on top of that one of the most solid combat systems in a game since probably gears of war. Talking of the weapons They are amazing! the line cutter being one of my personal favourites mixed with the ripper saw which is quite possibly the noise hell makes when you get dragged there. I found the variation in enemies a big plus even if most of them can be taken down with pretty much the same strategy give or take a couple of them. The game definitely comes from the Doom 3 school of jumps and shocks but minus the idiotic torch system..and y'know some light in the rooms. I never found doom 3 scary because of the lack of light, just kind of frustrating because i never knew where the hell I was going. I was seriously surprised to see Dead space has these wide open and clearly lit areas past the initial straight-up horror section at the start of the game. I found the sound design to be amazing like when everything goes muffled when your in the vacuum areas or the whispers and singing around parts of the Ishimura, I really like the heavy breathing and the echoey heart beat when something is about to happen, The fact that its not prominently noticeable really does show how well it is done. This along with a creepy strings and brass swelling horror movie score hitting the right notes at the perfect times. Theres so much to gush about dead space... Its easy to dismiss it because of its kind of predictable story... a story which feels like you need to watch the online comics and see the animated film to fully appreciate. I dont mind that its like that because it is pulled off with such style I would seriously be willing to investigate more, I am fond of this when films ask for more investigation so why not a game. I really cant stress enough how good this game is I am 100% glad i got this over fable or fallout (the former I have much interest in , the latter not so much) Easily the best Horror game since Resident evil 4 and definitely a game i will remember fondly in ten years time.
Mirrors edge demo
I want to love it, I really do but after playing through the demo something just isn't sitting right with me, The controls (which I am sure make more sense over time) Just don't feel intuitive like say Assassins creed, A very unique system that totally works, maybe something similar would have sat better with me. Another problem i had was some of the stilted and choppy animation transitions like when you slide and jump off a zipline and she just puts her hands up in her face like "whaaaaaaa , what am i doing" The game just doesn't seem to give any freedom at all in its linear way. Yes, yes I get it she can run and jump up nearly everything but in the demo there is one way and one way only.. all "routes" lead to the same path, It gives you about as much freedom as tomb raider: the angel of darkness. I don't hate the game from the demo I just find some of it's control decisions to be quirky just to fit with its unique style.
How come a game made in the UK is not out in the UK until next wednesday?, That said I dont think i mind knowing that the most appealing part of the game is kind of broken, but If i was in the US I would most definately be angry about it, Two weeks running Sony has released Online focussed games and neither have had fully functional online at launch. Its things like this that fully justify that £40 for xbox live, And i know It has had dodgy times (last christmas) and I am fully awating the disaster that will be November the 19th but on a whole I have had very, very, very little problems with it...
PSN on the otherhand kicks me out , disconnects, reconnects, wont connect til i restart... and plain wont connect quite often Sony needs to figure out how the internet works.
I want to be excited about LBP I have been all year and then It got delayed, and now has server issues, I thought Betas were to find and fix problems before a games release. Its become quite apparent that in both the case of the LBP and the Socom beta that theyre not Betas at all but glorified promotional tools, I didnt want to believe that , but with the what feels like its finished Cod5 and the endwar one which had about 12 minutes of exclusivity before being upgraded to a "demo" on marketplace it has become incredibly obvious.
All of this and then the big issue... Nov 5th release.. that is TWO...count em TWO days before gears of war 2...a game i have no hesitation in buying... broken online or not. Good work sony europe!!!!!
More Sony hate... I have had a strong sense of bitterness since last october when i bought me PS3, Part of me sometimes thinks it has something to do with the lack of gamerpoints in games until recently, Another part of me thinks it has something to do with the hideous online, sometimes i assume its becasue i ended up with two shitty blu rays (ghost rider/casino royale).... sometimes I assume its the mediocre games i recieved when buying the machine (heavenly sword/ resistance). I just dont know what it is. I just can't put my finger of why i have such bitterness towards the machine. Its an amazing media player.... but i didnt buy a media player i bought a GAMES CONSOLE!
I Just cant ever seem to justify buying ps3 games, I dont know why but i just cannot. I bought the console for Ratchet and clank (Massive fan) with metal gear and the then exclusive final fantasy XIII in my mind. and from that first "proper" games purchase I have always looked down upon my ps3 as a lesser console. Which seems absurd considering taht in my top ten games of 07 i would place Uncharted at number 2 and Metal gear solid is a dead certainty for my favourite game of 08... I Then try to think abotu what else i have bought but then remember thats it...since march of this year i have bought ZERO playstation 3 boxed products. I will not deny that PSN store doesnt have amazingly original content and completely artsy distractions like flOw, locoroco and linger in shadows Because i own stardust which to me is a million times more enjoyable than geometry wars, wipeout which is fun but too difficult for people dabbling in dl games and the awesome and more enjoyable than the retail game ratchet. The thing is out of all of those games the only one i have really put any dedication into would be stardust. whereas i have put hours into castle crashers or N+ on XBL.
I dont know if theres any point here or that im still trying to justify owning my ps3... sure, probably..YES metal gear solid is perfection in every way possible . (personal opinion) So why do I always treat it like my least favourite child?
Banjo nuts& Boltsssss.... MARRRRRRRRMITE!!!!!!!!!!!, That game is WEIRD!... i took time out of the unrelenting bleakness of dead space to give it a second spin after being weirded out by it earlier in the day... and I can confirm nuts and bolts is awesome..... sometimes!
ALSSSSSSO remember all those "its like a pixar movie" R&C comparisons last year.... the visuals are ONLY doable on the super mega power of the BLU RAY.... Nuts and bolts looks easily if not better than tools of destruction (i heard in an insomniac podcast once that it was all audio and not visual stuff that filled the blu ray..FACT!)
Tomb Raider Underworld
keeley hawes lara voice is hot, yes I said it, fuck you, I LOVE the design and stylistic nature of the newer TR games..and underworld is pretty, pretty, pretty, probably not the greatest technical feat ever but it feels tomb raiderish and It still has unbelieveable amounts of wildlife cruelty in it...just for the record... I am fond of legend. and LOVED anniversary.
Mirrors edge... apparently its out today...i dont know why i put it here.... and on the ps3 a day earlier than XBL... HA (giggles at my own rantisness above)
FULL GAMES (I have saved for a long, long, long time)
Saints row 2. For all its gangster artwork on the cover and on the title screen, the game is so very un-gangsterish. I agree 100% with ryans review of the game. For every one thing i love about the game which i hated about gtaIV (decent combat, kinder police, more variety in missions) I found a problem to counter it (same 5 songs on a loop, too many objects that hinder driving, occassional WTF cheapo deaths).. i never played the original and i love how very street this game isnt regardless of how it is advertised. I see TV commercials all the time and the game I see is not the game I played.
NPH ANDDDDDD Simple minds... Oh yeah!
Dead space.. . im 4 hours in(as of last night) It is really kind of amazing...better than i imagined...easily one of the top 3 best looking games of this generation so far...Im at a bit on a brodge with things falling about outside the windows and the lens flare and planet outside seriously blew me away.... all six of my mutant limbs witha line cutter.
if you read all this, you have too much time on your hands.
d'you know what i really like about cliffy B.... He never go's back on his word. You see it with musicians,film makers and game developers when their products are picked on. They always start to pick out where it all went wrong.
cliffy B still talks up how awesome gears 1 is...
also on that note i am finally EXCITED for gears of war 2. It can't be game of the year, I will happily be proven wrong but metal gear is so far ahead of everything this year i dont think any game released between now and december can even touch it.