Wednesday, 27 April 2011

You, me and the PSN hack..

As James Brown would say “Lets get on the good foot.” I fucking LOVE videogames. I always have. No other medium gives me so many emotions and allows me to interact with it at the same time. I have visited atmospheric worlds and met characters that will stay with me for life. I have marvelled at stunning graphics and found myself absorbed by dynamic audio. I have sat for hours mastering game play mechanics and control techniques. I am also the perfect age to have matured with the videogame industry. I started getting sucked in during the 80’s and by the 90’s I was a gamer. We’re now in 2011 and I consider myself a videogame veteran. Over the years I have played on many, MANY systems. Probably at least had a go on most of them at some point. Over the past few generations I have become a fan of Playstation. I loved my Amiga more than anything and I lost months of my life on my Super Nintendo. But, the Playstation  really pulled me in. While my friends were starting to grow out of videogames I was getting pulled in deeper and deeper. It was games like Wipeout, Ridge Racer, Tekken, Soul Reaver, Tony Hawk, Parappa the Rapper, FFVII, MGS, Gran Turismo and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night that ignited my senses. I loved every passing moment of my Playstation. [Even when I had to balance the console on its side so that it would read discs.] Later on I bought a Playstation 2 and got married to Rockstar Games. Well, I proposed but I’m yet to get a definite response. The Xbox had now been released and many of my fellow gamers had migrated to the more powerful machine. But, I knew were my allegiances were. My dedication to this little Japanese box of wonder was running strong. This generation has seen the arrival of the Xbox360 and the Playstation 3, two of the most amazing consoles to have ever graced the gaming community. Obviously, I chose the Playstation 3 as my main system, but I do own both as the exclusive games are too good to miss. Having read this and seeing as its written on a blog dedicated to videogames you’ll understand that videogame culture spills into my lifestyle.


I would really appreciate it if people stopped rubbing it in my face about Sony fucking up and the shit hitting the fan. I imagine it’s not just me going through this either. I would put money on most Playstation fans getting a hard time from Xbox fans about this. You talk to me as if I have some control over what Sony do. You’re gleeful at the possibility of Sony stopping production and the Playstation brand dying. Although Nintendo are about to enter the HD market, currently Microsoft and Sony are at the forefront. Imagine if Sony Playstation does disappear from the market place. Microsoft would have no direct competition and could feasibly increase their prices higher and higher. Having both brands in competition is good for us as gamers. Anyway, I don’t care for multimillion-pound corporate industries. I feel the same as most rational people about this. I am sad for the customers and angry at both Sony and the fucking dicks who did the hack. Sony has acted irresponsibly. They should have security measures in place to stop these kinds of terrorist acts and when the shit did hit the fan, well then Sony should have immediately made customers aware so that we could take appropriate action. I personally think that the hackers should be feeling the hate from gamers in this situation, as they are the cause of this. Most hacking attempts are a big-dick contest, greed, or an anti-establishment statement and their irresponsible actions have fucked over millions of innocent gamers. People need to stop throwing childish insults and rubbing salt in the wounds of Playstation gamers about this. We are all pretty badly affected and nobody yet knows what the future will be for the brand and its followers.

People who play Playstation consoles fucking love videogames, just like the people who play Xbox consoles. I don’t want to defend a round table of millionaires and I don’t want you to throw insults at me as if I do! This is where I could rant about fanboys being the football hooligans of the community. Or, about them being bullies. But, you have heard it all before so I won’t bother.

I guess that this was my vent and nothing more. I’d be considered an Idealist because I’m the kind of person who wishes that gamers would stand together in these situations and not belittle each other. After all..

All I want to do is play great videogames.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Portal 2

We all expected a tight script. The first game had a tight script. We all expected intelligent wit. After all, the first game was full of intelligent wit. I don’t want to sound repetitive here, but we all expected amazingly constructed puzzles inside a wonderfully atmospheric world, a game with ultra-tight mechanics that never crumbled under pressure. This is because Portal 1 had all of these features. See, Portal 2 had a pretty hard act to follow. The small, but perfectly formed Portal 1 captured the hearts of many for being so damn good. Portal 2 is outstandingly good and pretty much better in every possible way. If you want to know why, then go and get the orange box and play Portal 1.. was pretty good, huh!? Having read my first incredibly well constructed paragraph you are now aware that the sequel to that masterpiece you just played is even fucking better! I know.. I couldn’t believe it either.

Its longer and offers a glimpse into what the hell might have been going down over at the Aperture Science Laboratories. I’m not going to ruin anything about this special game. What I will talk about is the sound design. Nobody else seems to be talking about the sound design!? It is, without a doubt, the unsung hero of the game. Not the conversation, but the music and sound effects. From the booming of the environment that surrounds you, to the little vocal touches of the machinery, every moment of the game is accompanied with superb sound design. Then, there is the electronica that accompanies the games toys and mechanics. The simple glitch notes and synthesizer chords are a perfect ambience to the gameplay and atmosphere. But, as you near the conclusion of a puzzle, when you have multiple mechanics active and running in sync, then the audio comes alive with all of the audio layers working together to create stunning electronic sound-scapes.

Portal 2 is a game that offers an intelligent alternative to the violent face of videogaming. Its not going to be for everybody. But, for the people who do allow themselves to be drawn into Valve’s world will be offered a hugely entertaining experience.  

*I didn’t mention the co-op as I haven’t decided whom I want to play through it with yet. I’ll get back to you in the future