Ok, I lied. I will
still talk a little NFL, even after saying I would not be doing much
any more. Why? Because it was one hell of a bad week for 1st seeded
teams. The Titans and the Giants both fell in their first playoff
games of the post season. I didn't catch the Titans (stupid Saturday
games...it just feels unnatural to watch NFL on a Saturday).
However, the Giants played in one of the most boring and tiresome
games I've seen for quite some time. It couldn't be much less
interesting unless it was the Cards playing in this lame of a game.
Speaking of which,
how the hell did the Cards advance? That just boggles the mind. The
Cardinals are going to the NFC championship game against the Eagles.
Let me say that again; the Cards versus the Eagles for the NFC
title!? What the hell is the NFL going to?
Anyway, it would
be a nice twist of fate for the Steelers to face the Cards in the
Superbowl. It would be like a second take on Superbowl XL. I would
even cheer for the Cards, who would be the Seahawks division rival.
I mean anyone is better in these eyes than the Steelers...especially
with memories of XL still lingering.
Ok, to change
topics, and to mention another improbable thing, I am a hypocrite. I
have betrayed my beliefs this weekend. I made a move that astounds
my brain and makes me feel like such a traitor to my beliefs.
However, I feel damned good about it...for now.
I bought a PS3.
There, I said it. My name is Malik and I own a damned PS3. Why would
I get one? That can be answered by saying I also bought Valkyria
Chronicles and LittleBigPlanet. Those games change everything.
I am happy with my
move? Yes...but there is a "but". I forgot about it until my other
PS3 owning friend, Tangwich, brought it up. The PS3 still has no
upscale options built in, despite losing backwards compatibility
(wouldn't that qualify as a good swap?). This means with most games
being made for 720p, my 1080i big screen is feeling a little
underwhelming. Still, LBP is damned fun, and I hope a patch comes
along soon for us non-720p people. I couldn't even comment on my
other games (VC and Uncharted), since LBP has stolen all of my time
Anyway, time to
get back to feeling good and bad about my decision. So many
With getting a
PS3, I had one obvious hurdle I had left to jump before I could
really say I'm fully set up. I needed more controllers. I don't mean
the ridiculous "the PS3 can use 7 controllers" stuff. I mean you
need four controllers if you ever want any real multiplayer. Games
don't usually go to 7 players, and those that do are usually not
going to be good titles. So, I had to grab a few extra controllers.
despite being the superior controller, the Dualshock 3 is $60.
That's a lot of money for a single controller. I have one from my
PS3, so that would be my own controller. Screw the other players.
So, first I simply got one extra controller...a Mad Catz one. It
wasn't too bad, beyond how all third party wireless controllers are
USB-dongle using things, instead of blue tooth. Oh well. That was
one down. I only got this type since it was the only extra
controller that wasn't first party in the store when I got my PS3.
For my other two,
I was able to hit another store and find Logitech controllers in
stock. From my PC gaming I know damned well that Logitech usually
equals quality. Sometimes they are even better than first party
products. I mean they are who I would normally turn to if I wanted
something third party for input in a game. That was my mistake.
Luckily, it's not
like I'd ever use these controllers. I have my Dualshock 3 to keep
me happy. So, I will not notice the lack of sixaxis motion mechanics
with the Logitech. Neither would I have to worry too much about no
power switch (I'll just leave batteries out since I don't trust
these things to be turning themselves off). I also wouldn't notice
the extra button (to swap d-pad and the left analogue stick) getting
in my way or the PS button being moved to a weird location. I
wouldn't even notice the lack of lights to display which controller
number these things are assigned to or the stiff L2 and R2 buttons
that seems to be less than comfortable versus even the Mad Catz
The one thing I
will notice is that, with the lack of features and some weird
ergonomics, that I paid more for a Logitech controller than for the
Mad Catz controller. Maybe the Logitech one will last longer since
Mad Catz is not known, to me at least, to be a reliable company.
Then again, to put it simple, I was ripped off by Logitech. Mad Catz
makes a damned nice PS3 wireless controller that includes sixaxis
features, lights (to display which slot the controller is assigned
to), a good button layout with nice feeling d-pad and L2/R2 buttons,
and an actual shut off switch to conserve batteries. Yes, Mad Catz
makes a far superior PS3 controller than Logitech...and as I say
that, I know the apocalypse is coming since Mad Catz being anything
but the worst is a sign of the end of days coming upon us.
So I am just going
to probably talk about the PS3 for a bit like it's a new system.
Yes, it's been out for a couple years, but it's new to me and
therefore I am looking at it like a new system.
I have found one
problem with the system that I find particularly annoying. I've
started downloading demos like a man possessed. I have some games I
still haven't played (like Valkyria Chronicles and Uncharted), but
the demos call to me when I'm not helping my sackboy in
annoyance for me is in downloading. I like downloading in the
background, just like I can do on my 360. However, since only one
download will be active at a time, I have found an annoyance. That
would be how you cannot just bump something up in the queue. I can
pause every item then manually start the download I want to be next,
but this is more labor intensive than simply bumping something up in
priority on the 360. This get even worse if I have a large number of
downloads and the one I want to download last is just happening to
sit on the top of the list, unless I want to do some downloading
hand holding. I would have imagined a priority feature to come along
The other problem
I keep hitting is that many of these demos for casual games (or
whatever the PS3 term is for non-disk, non-PSX, and non-PSP titles)
are old now. I am still interested, but anything that's new will ask
for you to update it...in an install that cannot be in the
background. That's bad enough, but this "update" is actually a whole
new install file that can clock in at nearly 1 GB. So, I sit. Then
when it's done, and I'm wondering why I had to download this new
file when I just downloaded the original file only 2 hours earlier
(did it update in the last two hours? Really?), I can finally
install, again. When it's done, I load the demo and get a copyright
Yes, the full game
got an update and this overwrites the demo's version and replaces
the game with the full version...but without me being authorized to
use it. If I chose to ignore an update request, I am also logging
out of PSN. While most demos are ones I only want to try offline, it
still is worded in a way which makes me feel like nothing in the
demo will work without this update. There has to be a better
solution for this. If a company wants to sell it's game, they should
ensure no issues with the demo. I am not one to buy a game without
researching it, and this basically stops all of my interest in
potentially buying a game.
Anyway, my PS3
time is not all bad...however, since I'm so addicted to LBP, the bad
is all I can say without just rambling about LBP for the next year.
Damn, LBP is too good of a game. LBP has to be the first exclusive
game I've played since Final Fantasy VII that I have to call a true
killer-app. This is a console selling game and that just doesn't
happen much anymore in this time of higher priced consoles
(especially in a poor economy).
It may be a little
late, since 2008 ended a good 14 days ago, but I will go back on
what I said about "GotY". I said no game can really be called "Game
of the Year". It's all subjective and varies by individual tastes. I
was wrong...while it may not be for everyone, I have to say LBP is a
title that actually deserves being called "GotY" for 2008.
I did break away
from LBP for one day to play Valkyria Chronicles. It was a lot of
fun. So much fun that I went back to LBP the next day, as opposed to
the same day. I really do want to quit my LBP addiction, but I just
cannot...even with a game that is as good as VC.
VC, despite not
pulling permanently from LBP, is a damned good game. It reminds me
of the Sega days that have long passed us by. I mean it was great
characters, a riveting story, and a solid tactical engine with some
twists. This reminds me a lot of why Shining Force 1 and 2 stole
many summers away from me as a kid.
The one main
difference that really makes VC stand out to me is the real time
turn based engine. That is, it's turn based as you make decisions,
but the action turns real time when you move a single unit...but
not. You are moving in real time, and the enemies will return fire
and attack you if you approach their line of sight. However, only a
single unit moves in an action phase (with multiple units able to
move before the computer's turn).
The other part of
VC that really makes me happy is how the game can be based around
war with somewhat modern units (guns, grenades, and tanks), but Sega
can still make it have the general feel and atmosphere of a fantasy
game. As a person who shys away from modern (let's call it WWI to
present) combat games, I am astounded by how much I want to keep
playing this game thats setting feels like it's part of the general
catalogue of WWII games.
Anyway, I will
have to keep playing more than the four hours I've sunk into it.
However, for the time being I need to keep playing LBP. My current
goal is to finish each level without losing a life ("ace" a level)
and to obtain all items possible with a single player. The
multiplayer items will have to wait. The ace part will also have to
wait for some levels (in particular, any boss stages). My next goal
is to ace The Bunker, which has to be the single most frustrating
level of LBP. It's also one of those rarer levels in which multiple
players can be a hindrance rather than a helpful thing.
To get away from
my new obsession, I'll stop my PS3 talk by saying this...I'm amazed
with the PS3. I think it helps that VC and LBP came along recently.
However, between those two games and the abilities (youtube on a big
screen TV and video streaming from a PC that works far more reliably
than on the 360) of the console, I have put more time into the PS3
than any other system in the week that I got the thing. I've barely
even touched my 360 since last Friday.
The only thing
that brings me back to the 360 is Rock Band. Which will be
getting some awesome songs next Tuesday. Well, some awesome ones
(like a Steve Miller Band three pack with great songs in it for
$5.50 for the pack or $2 each)...and some less than awesome (Godsmack).
Rob Zombie is a nice addition, especially for bass, but the song
could have been a bit better (still not bad).
Anyway, with the
singles (five total), for $2 each, and the Steve Miller Band pack,
the variety is nice with a few genres. I can't say I'm disappointed
when Harmonix is hitting such a wide variety of genres in recent
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