Warning: the following post is not an attempt at advertising the forum linked. It's just another source of information about Sony's PS3 failures. If you think otherwise, click here.
A forum i frequent has a long running thread about blu-ray drives dying out. Living in a country (India) where it's relatively cheaper to buy a gray import PS3 has its perks, such as small service centers the size of 4x4 foot rooms where tech gods resurrect PS3s, Wiis and 360s with equal ease.
And according to them, the problem is indeed the blu-ray drive, which doesn't cost more than $50 to replace (provided you can track down a spare and solder it yourself) or willing to plop down $100 to get it done by them.
Or if you actually own an official PS3 (yes it launched here, for real) then you'd be subjected to waiting for a replacement and around $ 100 check. The money is because in case your issue is with a 60GB PS3 (to which most of these problems, dubbed "Spin of Death" have occurred) Sony India would reimburse you the $100 difference along with a 40GB PS3. They don't repair consoles and in some instances they've even asked people if they've modded their PS3s to play pirated games.
As you can see Sony (at least Sony India) knows jackshit and are too busy drooling over the fact that their PS3 stock sold out pretty quick. Seems that while the rest of the world is subject to a more humbler Sony, we in India are stuck with a vintage 2005 Sony Kaz Hirai Arrogance&Ignorance Edition.
For the paranoid, PS3 haters or Xbots needing more ammo, this is a thread worth looking into if you think it's something to be bothered about, while the rest of us continue playing Gran Turismo or whatever is Sony's black box has to offer. If you're one of the unlucky few who're facing this situation (which has so far only hit 60/80GB owners), this is on me.
Alright, i've spent close to 30 hours in FFXII, and i've reached a scenario where i've stopped caring.
i don't care if the evil empire wins. i don't care if pretty boy Vaan fails in his epic quest to score with Ashe. i don't care if Balthier manages to seduce Fran into a threesome with Penelo.
i just don't care.
Seriously, FFXII got rave reviews from nearly every site and publication. If it is the wunderRPG reviews make it out to be, why the hell am i so disinterested?
It's not like i hate the genre, i've been playing the FF games since VII (like most folks) and i've finished all the single player ones barring FFX-2 which was a glorified Charlie's Angels version of FF.
Why is it that this single iteration of what is arguably the most loved and concurrently, most whored out RPG series ever suck so bad?
VII had a unique, if slightly muddled story, VIII had emo angst and what i believe, was a great premise, IX had flair and old school charm while X was, well, in a league of its own when it came to weaving an intersting tale, not to mention it had the most bad ass character i've seen in an FF game, Auron. In an alternate universe where everyone loves J-RPGs, we'd be cracking Auron jokes rather than Chuck Norris jokes.
So where does all of this leave Famitsu's 40/40 FFXII? Nowhere.
The pacing of the game is drab and slow. Sure it's a tale of political intrigue and other such things but it's cloaked in invisibility with a pathetic structure. What on earth possessed them to bookmark each segment of the plot in the form of "Chapters" is absolutely crazy.
As a long time FF fan it hurts to see a series you've grown up playing mutating into some monstrous whored out piece of garbage. In all there attempts to include new features like the real time battle system and gambits, they've forgotten what's core to the FF experience, an epic saga that holds interest. Not a boring, lackluster tale that kills your interest as well as your appetite for the genre.
If anyone needs me, i'll be playing Persona 3 or Odin Sphere hoping that FFVII: Crisis Core does not suck.
Itís that time of the year when people go crazy making lists. Here's mine disguised in a feeble attempt to make up for the lack of time spent on d-toid and mediocre post count.
The Coolest Weapon in a Video Game Award: The Groovitron (Ratchet and Clank Future Tools of Destruction): Sure weapons are meant to murder, maim and kill, but this one is different. Itís meant , as the name subtly suggests, to make you dance. Rather, make your enemies dance. As a game Ratchet and Clank doesnít take itself seriously and this is the best example of it. Imagine facing a 50 foot tall Crocodile monster with acid spewing from the jaws. Scary right? Now imagine the same monster uncontrollably dancing to disco tunes? That is the power of the Groovitron. Making you get rid of irritating bosses faster and having a hilarious time doing it.
The Worst Use of Giant Robots Award: Transfomers: The Game- What couldíve been a dream game ended in epic failure. Repetitive missions, buggy camera and boring side missions make this game destroy your childhood memories of how awesome the Transformers used to be. Play it and youíll wish you purchased that Paris Hilton CD instead. Yes, itís that bad.
The Game with the Longest Name Ever Award: Simple DS Series Vol.13: The Vehicle Learning DS - What you just read was just a simple translation of the gameís name. Itís actual name is (take a deep breath and try reading this) Simple DS Series Vol.14 The Jidousha Kyoushuujo DS --Gendoukitsuki Jidousha, Futsuu Jidou Nirin, Oogata Jidou Nirin, Futsuu Jidousha, Fusuu Jidousha Nishuu, Chuugata Jidousha, Oogata Jidousha, Oogata Jidousha Nishuu, Oogata Tokuchuu Jidousha, Kenbiki. Yes, some things are too good to be made up. This is one of them, Ďnuff said.
The Game that won't win anything because all you folks do is play in HD: Persona 3 - Seriously folks, it's sad that the best RPG of the year doesn't get any loving. It's even sadder that it's one of the few titles this year that can really suck you in for around 40 hours and you won't be able to tell. Though the loss of job, girlfriend, parents and the death of your pet turtle should be tell-tale signs. If you aren't too busy strategizing how to make the most of the Dark Hour that is.
The Nintendo DS Game of the Year (valid till its obsolete):R4. Let's face it, piracy is what, ironically drives a percentage of console sales, be it handheld or otherwise. It's just hilarious that (from my personal experience) a majority of pirates can afford to throw money around on a brilliant home theater set-up or a fancy car but would skimp on games while your average joe who earns a less than spectacular amount would scrimp and save every penny for the legit stuff. Oh well, as long as Nintendo is laughing all the way to the bank who cares?
By now most of the ADD people around might have made filet mignon out of their entrails and in order to prevent what could be the closest they get to a Hannibal moment...
...or so says the sultan of spin at Sega of America.
"Sega of America PR Director Charlie Scibetta is currently looking into the trademark issue and why it was updated. In the meantime he told us that Sega "has no plans to get back into the console business," adding, "We're very happy being a platform agnostic company and have moved up the ranks the past three years from #11, to #9, and now stand at #6 in terms of our market share by units among third-party publishers. We like our current strategy and have no plans to change in the middle of this outstanding growth."
Well, so much for all the 9/9/9 conspiracy theories and DC nostalgia c-blogs. It's a pity though, Sonic HD would rock so hard on the DC2. That is, if this was Narnia.
There it was, finally within my the reach of my meager spending power, a Piano Black PS3 40GB. It just launched in a day of my landing in Hong Kong and there were some sweet offers to be had.
"Wait a minute", i here the denizens of D-toid say, "you can't even possibly considering to buy this version of the PS3 over its better equipped 60GB and 80GB cousins could you?"
Well if the 60GB versions are no where to be found and the 80GB variant costing twice as much, it makes me a sad panda. Besides i still have my PS2 and PSOne lying around, ready to be brought out if need be.
So after resolving all of the above in my head, i headed out to the store to make my purchase. Little did i know that it was the day Assassin's Creed for the Xbox 360 was out. It gets tragic from here...
In a place like Hong Kong, bargaining is always advised as the storekeepers like to pull one over unsuspecting customers, tourists or otherwise. But today nothing short of offering my left nut would've got them to agree to my price. With Assassin's Creed selling by the boatloads they were cocky enough not to bother with a single customer looking to purchase a 40GB PS3 and a few games.
There was a serpentine line of folks of all ages looking to purchase Assassin's Creed on the day. It was like being at a PS2 camp out a few hours before stores would open. Considering that Sony is pumping a lot of money into Hong Kong i was surprised to see so many people lining up for an Xbox 360 game. And that too most of them picking up multiple copies (for Ebay i guess).
In spite of my best efforts at jedi mind tricks, force levitation and other bargaining tactics, i was getting a price that was slightly more expensive that what i would've paid from a place like Toys R Us. Plus i was getting an HDMI cable who's quality can be only described as craptacular and i had to purchase 2 games with the console at the time at which, they only had one game worth buying (Rachet & Clank). Stupid bundles.
After what seemed like ages, i made my way to Toys R Us and finally got my PS3, Rachet & Clank and an official Sony HDMI cable for a steal of a price ($50 cheaper than my Wii and half of what i would have paid if i got it from where i live, Bombay).
And three weeks into owning a PS3 hooked up to a 32" LCD TV, having played the Uncharted demo apart from extended sessions of Rachet & Clank and Folklore it still feels like...