Posts Tagged ‘PS3’

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PlayStation Home Beta Video Tour

December 6, 2008

Part 1

Part 2

I’ve taken the liberty to record some footage with my digital camera straight from my TV screen to give all of you out there a better idea of what to expect once the public beta launches. The video has been split into two parts and I’ll update this post once the second half has been finished and uploaded for your viewing pleasure. Alright, enough talk. I hope you enjoy this brief look into the PlayStation Home Beta!

UPDATE: Part 2 of the beta tour has been uploaded and posted for your viewing pleasure!

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Playstation Home Beta Impressions

December 2, 2008

playstation-home-beta-logo

In the days, weeks and months since the announcement of Sony’s Xbox Live killer, Home, I’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster. I’ve gone from hotly anticipating this feature to almost completely uninterested after numerous delays. I began to think that this was one of many things that looks and sounds great on paper but ultimately fails in execution. And who could blame me for feeling this way? What was supposed to launch to all Playstation Network users as early as September 2007 is still only in the beta stages well over a year later.

Oh how quickly things change when you press the right buttons…

Yesterday afternoon, I opened my email account to see that I’d received a long awaited invitation to the pubic beta for Playstation Home. Naturally, I quickly rushed over to my Playstation 3 to turn it on, input my beta access code and start playing around with it. So, how do I feel about it? Well, in a word…conflicted.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Metal Gear Solid 4 Impressions

June 24, 2008

Yes, I’ve finally seen the proverbial light I mentioned in my recent MGS 4 related blog post. I’ve finally played Metal Gear Solid 4 and…let’s just say I am very, very pleased.

It all began last Sunday when I was at work and a customer walked to my register with a copy of the game in question in his hand to trade in. Once I completed his transaction, I promptly informed my co-workers that I’d be checking the game out when my shift ended and set the game aside. That night I took it home and…didn’t play it. That day at work had worn me down so I was in no mood to play any games. Of course, the very next day, I finally popped the game into my Playstation 3 and started to play.

Let’s get the wild praise out of the way first before getting into the meat of these impressions. The game is freaking great. It reached out and grabbed me from the first minute like no other Metal Gear Solid game has. The story is keeping me compelled to see it through to the end to the point where I had to force myself to stop playing the other day after having played for nearly 4 hours.

Now that the unmitigated praise is out of the way, I can start being a critic. Now, one of the reasons why the Metal Gear Solid series has never reached out and grabbed me before now is in part due to the clunky shooting and combat controls. I’ve never gotten the hang of the whole, press lightly on the button to raise the gun and hard to shoot thing that has been utilized in previous entries. While I realize that this is a stealth game and thus, shooting and hand to hand combat shouldn’t be your main priority but almost inevitably, the game would find a way to make you do so, which puts a bit of a damper on the experience if you’re a stealth purist.

In MGS 4, this isn’t a problem. The shooting controls have been completely revamped and vastly improved. The camera instantly jumps into an over-the-shoulder view, similar to Resident Evil 4 or Gears of War, once your weapon is drawn. From there, it plays sort of like a third person shooter, a very good third person shooter at that. It’s because of this new perspective on combat that it becomes significantly easier. The emphasis on stealth is unfortunately diminished and the consequences for alerts take a nosedive early on. It’s far too easy to take out the squad of soldiers closest to you and then duck into an out of the way corner for a little while until things calm down.

But despite the ease of combat, stealth is a very viable option, especially with Snake’s new Octocamo. This invaluable addition to Solid Snake’s equipment is one of your greatest allies in the field and perhaps the greatest sneaking tool ever utilized in any stealth game. What it does is automatically change its texture and appearance to blend in with whatever surface you’re pressed up against, be it a brick wall or grass covered dirt. Oftentimes, AI soldiers and NPC’s will walk right past you without noticing, should you p

Everything isn’t all rosy and wonderful though. One of Metal Gear Solid 4’s biggest strengths is also its biggest flaws. I’m referring to this series’ particular brand of storytelling in which impossibly long cutscenes tell its far-reaching, rich and sometimes utterly convoluted story. It doesn’t help that the ratio of cutscenes to actual playing time is damn near 1:1.These cutscenes are entertaining to sit through sure enough, but occasionally, I can’t help but wish the game would shut up and let me play.

In the end, the game is everything I expected it to be and more. I expected it to be great but the sheer magnitude of its quality and ability to make me hopelessly addicted (I’ve actually taken time off from playing it because I didn’t want to finish it too quickly). This truly is the best Metal Gear Solid game and one of the best reasons to own a Playstation 3. Looking back on my previous blog post once again, I see that my lack of excitement was unfounded and that playing truly is believing.

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So, Metal Gear Solid 4 is Finally Here…

June 12, 2008

Why am I not excited?

After all the months of waiting, after saying repeatedly that this is the reason I bought a Playstation 3, after all the times I’ve said I’m getting it day one, here I sit in front of my computer with my copy of the collector’s edition still waiting in the back room at GameStop instead of in my PS3’s waiting disc drive. I should know, I was the one who put it back there when I walked in for work earlier today.

What’s the deal? Is there something wrong with me? What am I missing? It’s been a long time coming but the excitement…it’s just not there. I’m not even a little excited for it, not even a modicum of hype exists within me right now. As much as I hate to say this (and I know Metal Gear fans the world over will hate me for this as well), Metal Gear Solid 4 is just another game to me.

But for a second here, let me delve into my past experiences with the series. I’ve never been a big fan of the Metal Gear Solid series. The only Metal Gear Solid games I’ve ever played through to the end are Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance and Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops. This is strange because I own many, many games in Metal Gear Solid collection, spanning various consoles, as you can see from the pictures below.

(By the way, the Metal Gear Solid 3 you see on the lower left of the first picture is the original Snake Eater. The cover art you see is from an EGM pullout with replacement cover art. Pretty cool eh?)

Despite owning all of these games, as I stated before, I’ve only completed two of them. I’ve never been sucked into the series like its legions of fans. Sure, the storytelling is great and the cutscenes are enjoyable (albeit incredibly long in some cases) to sit through but the gameplay has never really grabbed me. I can see its appeal, but not when it relates to me.

Again, the question I must ask is…what’s wrong with this picture? Metal Gear Solid 4 is bar none, the most hyped exclusive game for the PS3. It’s the game to get for the PS3 and…I don’t own it and to be honest, I don’t know when I’m going to get it.Hell, the game is getting nines from just about every reviewing outlet worth its salt. While it’s easy to say the reviewers merely bought into the hype, I don’t think that’s the case here. I guess I can attribute my sudden frugality to the fact that I’ve been trying to budget myself, seeing as I’ve got an HDTV purchase coming up very soon (that’s also why I haven’t added Ninja Gaiden 2 to my collection yet). But there’s some games that transcend budgets. Some games are so good that, no matter what, you can afford to buy. I recognize Metal Gear Solid 4 as one of those games…or at least…I think I do.

So. I guess I can end this post here as I still haven’t convinced myself that I truly need to get this game now or in the near future. Before a bunch of Metal Gear fans (or maybe fanboys…) rip my head off, please note that I’m not trying to bash the game or diminish its importance in any way, shape or form. I’m just not excited for it at the time being. Perhaps this will change in time, perhaps not. Perhaps I need to play it before I’ll see the proverbial light and rush back to GameStop and finally pick up my copy.

Or hey, maybe I’m just crazy.