Friday, November 30, 2012

That Was The Year That Was 2005

I’m not one to really keep with a specific project for very long, but sometimes I surprise myself. I started this blog seven years ago, and with the exception of a two year break where my access to it was curtailed, I kept it going with (occasionally) interesting entries. Now that I have been able to get back to it, I thought I should do a recap/update of some of the items I posted to see how things have changed.

10/26/05 – I brought up a problem in all zombie shooting games (like the awful movie tie-in one for the excellent Land of the Dead), that if they wanted to make it “realistic” to the way zombie movies work, that one bite would be fatal for the player. Interestingly, that is just the way the new Telltale Walking Dead game I’ve been playing works. It took awhile, but someone finally got it right.

11/1/05 – It was a few weeks before the Xbox 360 launch and I did a brief mention of HD-DVD’s – the Zip discs of the home video world.

11/15/05 – Seven years later, this hasn't changed - I still feel that Call of Duty style games illustrate what would happen to me in a real war situation – and it’s not good news.

11/22/05 – Release day for the Xbox 360. Seven years later and they still sold 750,000+ UNITS ON F-ING BLACK FRIDAY WEEKEND 2012! By this time next year, we will probably be able to buy the Xbox 720 (or whatever they end up calling it).

11/28/05 – I never did get that Mario Kart DS I was lusting for at the time. At this point there was also my first mention of our (Morbo, Mews, and Ratheon’s) playing of FFXI, but no indication of levels.

12/2/05 – I had put in some random notes about game stuff and was talking about Nintendo’s next console – The Revolution. I really miss that name.

12/7/05 – Here I started embedding pictures of the covers of games I was “reviewing”, but they are all broken now because since then Cox has taken away the Webspace I used to store stuff on. Guess I’ll have to use Imgur now. I made a mention that I thought I’d never need another Katamari game – but just the other day I got the one for PS3. Never say never, I guess, something that becomes a rather recurring theme in my blogs.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Bad Luck?

OK, do I have a little 8-bit black cloud following me or what?

First, the other day I go to test my PS2 setup on the new "battlestation" (more on that in a later post) and at random pick Bloodrayne 2 from my Wall of Games (ditto). This was the PS2 I had connected to the front room TV which used to be on the bedroom TV in the old house, which means it never got a lot of usage. But for some reason, it couldn't read the disc. It looked pristine and I even tried it in Sarah's PS2 and it worked fine. Another game (this time Baldur's Gate) did work, but I knew I had to swap it out for another unit - one I fortunately found at a Goodwill for all of $20.

Second, I decided to play some PS3 last night and, for some reason, pulled out 3D Dot Hero. (A post about the problems of deciding which game to pull from a large collection is forthcoming.) All was fine, until the game locked up during a scene transition. (I hate it when the screen goes black...and never comes back!)  I was able to go back into the game after a PS3 manual reboot and all was fine until I tried to quit out of the game...and the PS3 rebooted itself! So, now I have to wonder, does this PS3 have problems or is it something else? This unit was bought for our new bedroom and was going to be our Netflix streaming unit, until we dropped Netflix because they got greedy. Other than the occasional Blue-Ray, it has had very little usage. But it did get me thinking - could it be a problem with this game and the fact the system's firmware has gone through multiple updates since its release? Going over my old posts, I realize that this was not a problem with last generation's systems.

And thirdly (wow, that's really a word!), I'm having problems with my misfit PSP. I took it to Starbucks today to check for firmware updates (the primitive network protocols on this unit don't support WPA-2 on my home router). I've done this before and it's worked fine in the past. This time, I couldn't get the network to link up. Now, it's possible this problem is related to the way most free WiFi works these days - when you try to connect, you are forced to a page where you are forced to see a) an usage agreement you have to accept, and b) advertising for the company providing the free WiFi. If that's the case, I think I know what I should have done, so I can try another time. What really bothered me though (aside from the sickly sweet Peppermint Mocha Frappicino) was that the game I put in the PSP, Twisted Metal Head-On, wouldn't load! UMD discs were designed to be basically indestructible and this one has no visible scratches I can see. True, it was a Gamestop used purchase and maybe someone traded in a dud, but I've always been worried about the sturdiness of the PSP's drive. If it ever dies, the whole PSP collection is going up on eBay.

*** Update #1*** : Looks like the PS3 might be fine after all. I did some checking on the Atlus message boards (they made 3D Dot Heroes) and the "fade to black" freezing issue is something other users have had happen too. They mentioned it happening early in the game (not a big deal), but it also happens later as well - in some cases after the person had gone deep into a dungeon, losing an hour or more of play time. Time to leave that one alone.

*** Update #2 *** : Well, maybe UMD discs aren't indestructible after all. The actual disc surface is pretty tough and mostly hidden, but the case is still plastic. It seems that my problem was caused by the clear plastic front of the case being pushed into the top layer of the disc, or at least far enough that it kept the disc from spinning. Other UMD's I've tried have worked fine. Crisis averted.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Three Years later...

It just occurred to me today - I can get to my Video Game blog again!

About three years ago, my company decided to put a content filter on our Internet access. They figured that any site that "talked" about video games must, of course, allow people to "play" video games, so they blocked anything that even mentioned video games - including Gamestop, Metacritic's game ratings, and my blog. Mind you, this content filtering never interfered with access to any sporting site or any other not-really-related-to-work site, just video games. But that ended a couple of months ago, so here I am again.

Needless to say, A LOT has happened in those three years, both personally and in my gaming. I'll leave out the feely stuff - it's not what this blog is about. The game stuff will take some time to catch up on. I'm going to start by going back over my old posts (each one like a mini-time capsules at this point) and post updates on them before I head out into the new spaces of late 2012.

OK, one "feely" *feels* great to be back.