Posts Tagged ‘online games’

July 25, 2011 – Playstation Plus… or Minus

July 25, 2011 Leave a comment

So… my “welcome back” free subscription to Playstation Plus expired.  The free trial actually made me NOT want to subscribe to the program because it made me realize that much of the content I was getting was in reality only rented.

In particular, I downloaded the DLC Escalation pack for MAG.  Frankly, nobody plays the DLC so it wasn’t the game mode I was interested in… it was the extra weapons that came with the Escalation pack.  I became addicted to using the Gotha assault rifle and losing it has been difficult.  The abrupt loss of DLC and any free games downloaded while being a member of Playstation Plus seems worst than never joining PS Plus in the first place and simply spending that money on owning the actual content instead of the subscription.  I was only a member for one month and felt the pain of loss on leaving the program … I can well imagine all the content I would suddenly be without if I had been with the program for a year or more.

Apparently the only thing you get to keep is the free avatars or games that you bought at a discount price.  So what do you get by being a Playstation Plus member.. well, apparently you get early beta access, but this seems very limited because betas are often now bundled with other games or available on various twitter feeds.  You get the ability to try a game out for one hour… no big deal as most of these games offer demos anyway.  Early access to demos?  Again, not a big deal as the demos soon come available to everyone.  Some free games, yes, but you lose these when your membership expires, and this applies to the free DLC as well.  Overall, what you seem to mostly get is the rental of some free games (mostly small games available at a cheap price anyway) and some free DLC.  You do get some special pricing, which for some people may make the program worthwhile, but overall I think the withdrawal pains of losing free games and free DLC if your subscription ever lapses is a pain that is difficult to measure, and not worth the small amount of savings you might get on some older games when they go on sale.

Playstation Plus… I thank you for your one month free trial.  It has saved me from making an expensive mistake.


The possibilities for the PS3… a look back at UT3.

July 25, 2011 Leave a comment

UT3 seems to be an overlooked game in the PS3 library, yet it’s a game that showed many of the true possibilities of the PS3 system. Just a few of the things they managed to incorporate were:

Keyboard and mouse support! You could play this game with either the controller or you could use a keyboard and mouse. Why is it that no other game has offered this option? It seems that this would be ideal for single player RPG or RTS type games that often originate on the PC, and the option of keyboard/mouse control might attract more PC gamers to the PS3. While the new Move controller system might attract those that are unused to a console controller, there is still a very large number of PC gamers that simply prefer the mouse/keyboard combo input. It seems that other games could use this input as an alternate control scheme, yet no other PS3 game that I’m aware of has done so. Rather than attracting new gamers, it seems that this might be a way of attracting existing gamers.

Mods! UT3 offered PS3 users the ability to freely download user-created mods, mutators and maps from various web sites and seamlessly load them into the game. There was even a later patch that provided web browser integration and mods could be downloaded directly to the game through the web. Unlike games like LittleBigPlanet, there is no moderation or restrictions. Destructoid recently ran a story regarding The Ball, which is to be released on October 18th on Steam. It’s a UT3 mod that is actually freely available to play for those that already own UT3 on the PC or the PS3. There are many sites that offer downloadable user-created mods for the PS3, and but two of the better sites are: Read more…

July 21, 2011 – too much gaming!

July 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Crap!  Daily blogging has fallen by the wayside.  I injured my back a few weeks ago and sitting for any length of time at the computer is just uncomfortable.  I also still torn as to whether I want to do the majority of my blogging over on Destructoid, or whether I want to do it here.

Blogging on one’s own site is nice… but there’s a lack of social interaction that can be found by blogging on a bigger site. I think I’ll maintain this site because there is a freedom in writing what I want to write without worrying too much about presentation, but I’ll continue to do my bigger blogs over on Dtoid and transfer my better ones here for safekeeping and the ability to categorize them.

The odd thing about my back is that I’m writing less, but gaming more.  This probably isn’t good for me either.  I know that after sitting and gaming a lot, my back is sore and the pinched nerve makes my legs quite numb.  I really should be more active, but when my back is sore and my legs are numb/hot (and all the fun stuff that goes with a pinched nerve) I just don’t feel like being overly active.  Still… I guess I’ll have to discipline myself and restrict my gaming because I’m developing the bad habit of gaming in the afternnoons as well as the evenings now.

I picked up Fallout New Vegas at a really good price and have taken to playng the game in the afternoons.. then switching to an online game like MAG or L4D2 in the evenings.  I’m not even really enjoying Fallout New Vegas because it’s just too much like Fallout 3.  Lots and lots and lots of walking around.  The quests are fine, but often they are very unclear and I just spend half an hour dragging some guys body back to his wife only to not be allowed to bring it in the door of where she is… and on looking the quest up on the internet, apparently I was supposed to take his body to some nearby soldiers.  Where in hell was the map marker for that!!!  So many of the smaller quests don’t show in the quest log or have map markers which often makes them an exercise in frustration.  Honestly… I think it was just pure laziness on the part of the developers.

Still… the game is somehow mesmerizing… I find myself saying “let’s just play till I find out what that building on the horizon is”… and two hours later…

Games that tickle the brain

For many who played Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, the above quote may have simply seemed like a throw away line… but for others, it was a direct reference to Machiavelli’s book “The Prince”. My degree is in Political Science and that line was a cute poke at Machiavelli’s most famous piece of literature being a fairly short book in length. It also reinforced the entire theme of the Assassin’s Creed game which is largely influenced by Machiavelli’s philosophies. Machiavelli was one of the first political philosophers that emphasized the realities of politics as opposed to the ideals, and the game certainly shows many of the realities of the time period with the governmental instabilities and unscrupulous vying for power by various forces.

Machiavelli believed that a citizen-led militia was more powerful than externally hired armies because they had more to lose and would fight harder… and to a large degree, this has proven accurate but was fairly revolutionary to speak of during his lifetime. During the game we see this theory take on life as the various factions are united under our main protagonist, Ezio. Machiavelli, however, is best remembered for his theories that political expediency (gains) were above morality, and that deception, manipulation and unscrupulous behavior were often needed to acquire and retain stable power. The actual creed of the Assassin’s guild is “nothing is true, everything is permitted“. This saying is almost a distillation of Machiavellan political theory. Read more…

Girls with Guns

June 15, 2011 Leave a comment

A few years ago we saw online playable female avatars for R6Vegas, Mercenaries 2, UT3… even GTA4 had  online female characters,  Then, Battlefield – no women, the SOCOM franchise took a giant step backwards with Confrontation and neglected to include a female avatar, and  Resistance 2 and MGO launched with no female avatars, followed up by Killzone 2 and a decided lack of big Helgan women.  For awhile it seemed that online female avatars were “almost” becoming normal and accepted… then wham! – the ability to be a one-woman wrecking machine with a gun disappeared.  It seems that the devs are taking a step backward instead of forward.  Resistance 2 and MGO have rectified this oversight with DLC that  included female avatars, but why were they not included in the original game launch? Also, why are upcoming games deciding not to include female avatars?

Top 5 reasons I’ve heard for the lack of female avatars in shooter games: Read more…

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