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.

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