Passing the torch

If anything goes according with what everybody think, today is the day that Sony announces the new PlayStation, whether it will be “PlayStation 4” or “PlayStation Orbis” or even “PlayStation Focus Testing Great Next-Gen Console Name” today maybe the beginning of the new generation of consoles.

PlayStation 3

So I thought it would be a good exercise, for me, to think about the PlayStation 3 and the things I thought it did right and that I loved and the things it did wrong and that should be fixed for the next console.

I bought the PlayStation 3 on launch day, 23 of March of 2007, and it is been my number one console for the last 5 years, despite having a Xbox 360 since 2009 that I bought with the intent of playing Fable 2 and the Xbox exclusives like Gears of War and Alan Wake.

Let’s start then:

I liked – Exclusive Games:

Let’s face it exclusive games is for the most part what makes you buy a console, if you love games like Halo or Gears you would buy a Xbox 360 and if you like Uncharted or InFamous you would buy a PlayStation 3. In this regard I've loved the PS3 exclusives, Uncharted is one of my favorite franchises and one that I think marked this generation of consoles. Sony has bet on exclusives and for me it won the bet, the number of great games that you have exclusive on PS3 speak for itself, whether it is Uncharted or InFamous or Heavy Rain and Little Big Planet the choices are plenty and are great.

It took Sony 6 months to launch a game that I liked, it turned out to be the first in my favorite franchised of this generation.

I didn't like – Launch Lineup:

As I said I bought the PS3 day one but the first game that I've bought was Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune in September, it took 6 months for a game to really catch my attention. I think that the launch lineup for the PS3 wasn't that great I can only remember 2 games, MotorStorm and Resistance, and even that 2 didn't make an impact on me. I think that Sony has to present a strong launch lineup of games day one, Uncharted 4 new IP from Sucker Punch or even The Last Guardian would be a great lineup and something that could prove essential for the success of the new console from the start.

I liked – The possibility of swapping the HDD

This was a great feature for PS3, it allowed users to swap HDD for a bigger drive then the PS3 had, for me it allowed me to swap the 60 GB HDD for a 320 GB without spending too much money. I think that this is something it should continue to the next console.

I didn't like – The controller:

I love the DualShock but I think it has to improve in order to compete with the Xbox controller, manly I think Sony should fix the triggers, that are really bad they become they become way too sensible that the slightest touch counts as a pressing of it, and the analog shouldn't be rounded so they don’t become slippery in long sessions of gaming.

No rumble and bad triggers marked the SixAxis controller, at least they fixed the rumble.

I liked – Backwards capability

I didn't have a PS2 and so this feature was awesome to me it allowed me to play games that I had been anxious to play but couldn't games like Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3 and Final Fantasy X, it also allowed me to be introduced to God of War, a franchised that I didn't know and I loved the first two games. This feature should be on the next console in my opinion whether it would be by playing the Blu-Ray or by cloud gaming I think it’s important to have access to PS3 games, and it would make the transition to the new console easier.

I didn't liked – XMB

I don’t mean to say that the XMB sucked, I liked its concept and design but I think it has to improve greatly manly the interaction with other players and friends. The new console should allowed cross-gaming chat, it should make easier for the player to play games with his friends the way that you set up games with friends is quite complicated.

I liked – PlayStation Plus

This is for me one of the great things that Sony did this generation, to give player’s access to games with a subscription that is accessible to all, discount and other benefits it showed that Sony cares about digital distribution and, for me, Sony and Valve are the two companies that are making us believe in a digital only future.

A great service, good on you Sony.

I didn't liked – Constant updates

The PS3 wasn't that stable in the beginning, every time I turned my console it seemed that a new update had to be downloaded. Sony has to launch a stable console in terms of firmware, and also the firmware that eventually it had to install should be downloaded and installed in the background, for you to turn on your console and only 30 m later (if everything went well) started playing games is really bad.

That’s it, this is my thoughts about the PS3 it has been a great console but like everything it has ground for improvement. I didn't mention on the list but I think that the launch price for the PS3 was excessive, it didn't stop me for buying it but in this new economy that we live if the price is the same it could make harder for Sony to reach mass market, the gamers will find a way to buy it but other consumers will wait for a drop price and this could mean a rough start for the new PlayStation. I don’t know what the future holds for the next PlayStation but I think that if Sony is paying attention to what players want we will see some great improvements.

See you soon.

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January games, news and other stuff.

So the first month of 2013 is ending and I decided to talk about the games that I played in January, I'll try and make this a regular post were I talk about the games I played and news I find important to talk.

First of all some news related to the first post, I’ve gone through the attic and I found my old consoles, the bad news about it is that my PlayStation is missing the cables, controllers and memory card, I’ve also didn’t find a game for my Fake SNES that I had a story about it, I will write the story on a post about the FSNES but I would like to have the game so I could show you.

Now, here is the list of games I played and my thoughts about them:

XCOM: Enemy Unknown:

I’ve finished my first playthrough and it was a complete fail, I lost support from 8 countries and in consequence lost the game, it’s cool that you have a game over like this. Usually games end when you are successful at them and not when you sucked and were incapable to stop the alien invasion. I’ve started my second playthrough and is going much better, the key for it, I started to invest in satellite uplinks and satellites from the beginning. I’m love XCOM but my second playthrough is going slow, but I will win the war against “alien terrorism”.

FTL: Faster Than Light:

FTL is my “I’ve got little time to play a game right now, but I need to pay a game” game, I’ll usually do a run or two, depending on the time I survive. It’s my 30 minute game session I do often. The further I’ve been was sector 5 and it wasn’t even my best ship and crew. I’ve got to learn not to get cocky when I’ve got 3 crew members, a repair Droid and 3 full powered weapons and just accept the surrender of a pirate ship when they offered, I should have learned from that experience, but I didn’t. Also I love the music, sometimes I’ll boot the game so I can hear the menu music for a while.

Terraria:

I bought this game on a Steam sale for less than 2€, that’s about 3 dollars, and I’ve played a little usually I play it while I’m watching GiantBomb videos. My problem with it is that I’m not creative enough to build a shelter that I like, I just have a box that I go to at night and by day I explore the world. Haven’t play much so I don’t know exactly if I like it or not.

Sleeping Dogs:

This is my game of January, despite the late purchase ( I bought it on a Steam sale, it was 50% off, days later it was 75% off goddamn you Steam). I’ve played every day since I bought it, I manage to play it on extreme graphics and the game looks so good, the lights of the city at night, the wet floor, and everything looks so good. It’s an awesome good looking game. As for the game itself, I’m enjoying the story, the balance between the cop life and the triad life is accomplished very well, the combat is rewarding and not button mashing and it as all an open world game needs to have. When I finish it I will try to write a small review about it.

So those were the games I’ve played this month, I haven’t bought any games that were released recently but I’m thinking about buying DmC Devil May Cry and/or Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, the last one looks especially awesome. I would like to write about THQ but this post is getting too long, again, so I just said that I feel bad about the people that have lost their jobs but happy some of the games and companies were bought, and bought by the right companies, but more on that later (maybe).

See you soon.

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Hello GiantBomb! Welcome to my blog.

First of all I would like to apolagize for my writing, it's been quite some time since I wrote in English, and in fact that is one of this blog's purpose but more on that later.

So let's start my blog presentation with the basics:

  • who am I
  • what can you find in this blog
  • the purpose of this blog

Who am I?

My name is João, I'm a Portuguese gamer born in 1984 that had a fake NES as my first console. Since I can remember I love games, I can't quite explain what it facinated me most as a kid, if it was the technology behind the games and consoles or if it was the games itself, the visuals and the idea that I could control something on my TV.

My first recollection of playing a video game was playing Spectrum in a friends house, her father had one and in the summer we spent a lot of time playing it, or at least trying to, I still remember the 30 minutes loadings and the problems with the game cassettes. She also had a pc and I remember playing a Carmen Sandiego game and especially playing Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle, dispite not knowing how to read English.

I said that my first console was a fake NES but in reality I had another console that my dad bought for himself in Spain before I was born and in my early years that was the gaming I did in my house (I don't remember what console that was but I will find it in the attic and post images of it in a later post). My dad only bought me the fake NES (let's call it fNES for short, and it seams apropriate to me that the "f" for fake is in lower case) when all my friends alredy had a Sega MegaDrive (or Genesis) and SNES. My dad dind't like that I played video games and in fact I had to beg that he bought me one for months. He finally gave in and bought me and my older brother the fNES (I will also find it in the attic and post images later) as our christmas present of that year. I confess that we tricked our dad a little, since the fNES came with a 500 Game cartriged we said that we would never ask for a game, ever!

From that fNES I remember playing a LOT of Contra with my brother, I bought other games of course but I can't remember any of them right now. I intend to do post for every console and then I will show the all the games that I have. I also had access to other consoles mainly through friends, so I can say I experienced and played a little bit of everything like Sega Master System, Sega Saturn, SNES and Nintendo 64.

I can say that I played a lot of Sega MegaDrive (or Genesis) since my closest friend at the time had one and when his older brother wasn't at home and we weren't palying soccer we spent our time playing Mortal Kombat II, Fifa Soccer 95 and Streets of Rage.

Years passed and one christmas my dad gave my my first REAL console a Playstation whit one game, Ridge Racer. Unfortunately I ruined my dad's surprised by discovering the present before christmas, to be fair I was teasing me that he alredy had bought my present and that I would never guess what it was. Well dad I didn't had to guess, I found it for myself. Days after christmas me and my older brother bought a game with our money, christmas money is good, and we bought Air Combat. It was with the Playstation that I found that I liked games more then I could imagine and it was then that I understand why did I like playing games, it's the story. The game that made me realise this was Metal Gear Solid, I boiught the game not knowing what it really was I just wanted tho shoot some dudes. What MGS gave me was more then I can explain, I just barely remember the feeling. It was special, the characters, the nonsens story, the action, everything was awesome. It is the first game I played start to finished and I still can remember it took me 15 hours to do it. I played some much of that game that the cd became so used that when I lent it to a friend he couldn't pass the torture scene.

Another game that had a huge impact on me and on my lyfe as a gamer as Final Fantasy VIII, it was the first JRPG that I played and it was the game that broke my Playstation. I had little to none experience with RPG's and even less so with JRPG's, I remember watching a friend playing Zelda on a NES or SNES and playing Heroes of Might and Magic on a pc of a friend. I can say I wasn't prepared for that game and the emotions that came with it, but first I think I should tell you the story behind the purchased of it because I fell that it was the moment made me a real gamer.

It was christmas, again, and my dad dind't know what to give me, I asked for a game more specifically I asked for Fifa 99. At the time I wasn't playing that much I didn't had lot of games I could turn to and no money to buy some, my dad still dind't liked that I played games so he dind't give me any or give me money to buy them ( I mean even if I did some chores if the money was going to a game he dind't give me any). So I started to distance myself from gaming and at the time was only trying to get a game I could play with my friends when they went to my house. Luckly for me my dad didn't had time to purched the game for himself so he gave me the money and sent me and my older brother to the store to get my christmas present.

So my dad droped us at the store, at the time we didn't had a game's only store in town so we went to the our kind of "Wal-Mart", and in the games section of it he found Fifa right next to Final Fantasy VIII. I picked up Fifa but for some reason I looked to Final Fantasy and picked up also, I had read in a magazine that the game was good and had good reviews. Not knowing anything about it I looked at the back of the box in search for more information. It appealed to me somehow, and I think it was the design of it, the way the game looked in that back boxed was amazing to me. I turn to my brother for some kind of help of wich of this games should I buy, I told me he would't play Fifa with me and that I should go with my gut. Well my gut told me to buy Final Fantasy VIII and I'm glad for it (I wil wright more about it in future posts, I would do that for my favorite games and the games that had more impact on me).

I can't say how much I played of that game I can only say that I dind't turn down my console for, at least, two weeks so I didn't waste time with the initial loading of the game, and when I finally shut down the console because it started to make to much noise it never worked again. So Final Fantasy VIII broke my console and worts of all I didn't even finished it.

After the demise of my beloved Playstation I turn myself to pc gaming, I should say that I always played games on pc but, as I never had a great pc until I was old enough to tell my dad what to buy, I didn't care as much as playing console games. So my real pc gaming experience started after my Playstation broke down and for a couple of years it was the only place I played games. I had moved out of my neighborhood and couldn't go to my friends house to play, and the new neighborhood didn't had a lot of great kids, they were ther but they were all kind of assholes.

At the time my pc gaming was essentially playing Footbal Manager games and som other games that didn't had great impact on me, in fact I can say that I rarely finished a game on pc at that time and was almost always playing FM.

When the Playstation 2 launched and after that the XBox I started to saving some money so that I could buy one of them but never could save enough. I finally got to owning a XBox by wining a TV competition with a huge help of a friend of mine, let me explain. The competition asked us to write a little text were we should tell wich WRC car we love the most and why, well I don't know anything about WRC but I wanted the console wich came with Colin McRae Rally 2005. So I asked a friend of mine, that was fairly knowledgeable of WRC and cars, to write me the text. He did, I sent it and I won! I felt kind of bad for not doing anything to win so I tould my friend he could come and play whenever he wanted and that I even lend it to him. And that's the way I returned to consoles, I had an XBox and no Playstation 2 (I will write about how it felt to be a XBox owner with the MGS and FF franchises on the Playstation 2).

I had little games for the XBox, manly I had a friend that lent me his games so I would have to go and ask my dad for money or games. I wasn't a fan of the XBox but I didn't hate it, I mean the franchises that made me a gamer were all on the "other side" but I still had great experiences with it. There were 2 games specially that marked my gamer life with the XBox, they were Fable and Star Wars: Knights of The Old Republic. The first one became on of my favorite games of all time and the reason that I bought a XBox 360 years later, and the second one was the only game that brought back the same feeling I had when I started playing Final Fantasy VIII.

Years later the XBox 360 was launch and after that the Playstation 3, I was then old enough to get I job and I did it so that I could buy a Playstation 30 60GB and play Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and the future Metal Gear Solid Games. So I bought a Playstion 3 and later a XBox 360, I would write something about it, and I probably will in the future, but they are not as much as my gaming pass but more like my gaming present.

I know this is a long post but I tought it would be nice for you to know my gaming past, and a little about myself. You will notice I don't talk about Nintendo all that much, that is because I didn't had much of an experience with Nintendo, apart from playing a little of Super Mario on a store, watching a friend play Zelda one time and playing little of Nintendo 64 I can say that it hadn't much of an influence on my gaming habits.

What can you find in this blog?

Finally lets go to the next topic and this is going to be shorter, much muck shorter. You will find in this blog my experiences with games, past and present, some stories about them and my thoughts on gaming and on being a gamer. It's going to be as personal as I can go and I intend to talk about averything that I like or hate about videogames.

The purpose of this blog

I wanted to start a blog beacuse I felt that I need to do something creative, I need to write and think about videogames because they were and are a great part of my life. I also wanted to start writing in English, I feel that I need to practice it more and what better way to do it by writing about something you love on the site were you spent most of you're "internet time"

So this is the long LONG post that begins my blog, I hope you guys and girls liked it and that you check it from time to time, any sugestion or critic will be greatly apreciated, and once again I apologize for my writing.

See you soon.

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