23 October 2007


Orange Box

Anyway I'm still failing to blog. I've got half a write up of a weekender in September (which was awesome) and such to finish, at the rate I'm going I'll have another one to write about as well. To add to that it has taken nearly a week to actually post this rather than have it in draft.

I've been busy playing games; notably The Orange Box and Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts though with a bit of Civilization IV thrown in for good measure and trying to finish my second Neverwinter Nights module which is going fine but still needs quite a bit more done.

After The Orange Box was released I stopped playing Team Fortress 2 and moved to Portal first instead. It's short but it's really, really, good fun. I love the sense of humour in the game, done mostly through the voices (it's amazing how something like a turret can seem silly just by adding some dialogue to it) and the ending was delightful. Some really strong scriptwriting, which is strange for a puzzle game. Though I haven't finished Half Life 2: Episode 2 it reminded me of what fantastic pacing Valve stick in their products. The diversity of game given its basic first person roots really shows off the designers skills. One minute you'll be driving around at breakneck speeds and the next you'll be holed up in a house trying to fight of a force of Combine, or trying to craw through a trench to avoid turrets. A lot of the fights seem really re-playable too with lots of choices about trying to out-manoeuvring you opponents (or get in a car and try and run them down). I noticed that Zero Punctuation covered this, his take is awesome.

I've had some really good matches on Company of Heroes as well. The two new armies have been really interesting to play with. I love the Panzer Elite, their fast play is a different style to the entrenching that I probably did more in the original but it works really well. What didn't seem to be working well was Relic Online servers that seemed to be having issues getting anyone logged in, it was funny to see the game names move to something expressing annoyance at that fact though. It really annoys me that they don't have any sort of direct IP connect or other fall back. Will they still be supporting this game in 10 years? I was, a fair while ago, playing Total Annihilation (which has only recently be crowned by Relic's games for me). Their online lobby is long gone, if it hadn't been for direct IP stuff we'd have been screwed. It's good to provide people with backup in the event that your service isn't working.

Other random news that I was reading was Halo 3 being blamed for slow month at the cinemas. Halo 3 was predicted at around 3 million sales over the first 12 days in the US. With a population around 300 million this accounts for around 1% of the population that might be staying at home instead. Are you sure the reason people aren't going to the cinema is because there isn't anything worth watching on at the moment? (Speaking of which after I failed to post this I watched Resident Evil: Extinction... humm).

08 October 2007

It's Been A While...


So it's been a while since I've posted, I've put a few things into draft but I just never get the time to finish them. I'll try harder :D.

Anyway I was going to post some drivel about how great Team Fortress 2 and how awesome other games are is but I'm going to post some other drivel instead about the new PS3

So a new PS3 model is out. This one is cheaper, which is great. What's awful about it, though, is the lack of any backwards compatibility with the PS2. Apparently it no longer works due to the removal of the Graphics Synthesizer, the final PS2 hardware component in the PS3. This is bad for me because it means that Sony will probably take focus away from their backwards compatibility which means less titles will be ported. This is bad for new consumers as there is a great range of PS2 titles that they won't be able to play on their new console. This is terrible for Sony because they've lost the plot. Seriously if they don't see the PS2 as a potential in road to the PS3 then they've been so consumed by their own hype about the next generation that they can't even see the fact that the Wii is destroying them in terms of market share. I had a plan a while back to give my mother my PS2 for her birthday and buy a couple of the casual games she might enjoy on it. I'm sure my parents, with the HDTV they have might be looking for a Blu-Ray player at some stage. The PS3 would be a great all around upgrade option from the PS2 except now it isn't. The PS2 has a huge install base, why the hell are they throwing that away?

I found the quote:

The new model is no longer backwards compatible with PlayStation®2 titles, reflecting both the reduced emphasis placed on this feature amongst later purchasers of PS3, as well as the availability of a more extensive line-up of PS3 specific titles

fascinating since I got my PS3 in July and most of the things I've been playing on it is PS2 games. Maybe it's that September bunch that are all about the new games but for me throwing away the extensive back catalogue of games that's on the PS2, along with the general confusion surrounding the different PS3 models (3 with varying levels of backwards compatibility in the US) makes me think that Sony aren't really sure what direction they are going in. Whether they can put in complete software emulation for the new breed I don't know, they certainly don't claim they have any plans to.

Update: Actually Edge's online thingy managed to chase this up:

The sheer numbers of PS2 titles available, together with the increased complexity of using a software only solution for each and every title means that to ensure accurate software emulation for the majority would be technically challenging, time consuming and costly.

Obviously they've done the number crunching and felt any increased sales of PS2 games aren't worth their while; or any PS2 to PS3 cross-sales aren't worth pursuing. It's a shame as there are still a few PS2 games I've got on a to buy list and the fact that they are discontinuing the lines that have the ability to play them means if I do need to get another PS3 then I'd be screwed.