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Double_Wide Blog

Ok, WTF People?!

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So for about a month now, I've been seeing and hearing people ESPECIALLY 360 owners complain about the XBONE. And rightfully so. I mean between insulting you all's intelligence with calling the once 24 connection feature "not always online", being very unclear about used game restrictions, focusing on every other entertainment medium but gaming and oh let's not forget my personal favorite, calling you all backwards for wanting backwards compatitbility, I empathized with you all. That's right, I put aside my personal bias as a Sony customer and came to you all's defense when M$ rewarded you with two great big middle fingers for the many years of your loyal support.

NEVER...AGAIN!

Today has to fit somewhere on my list of the top 5 highest display of ignorance that I have ever witnessed in my life. Unfortunately, that is not an exaggeration and you would be humbled if you only knew the extent of the experiences I have catergorized this with. I've seen the VERY SAME people and amount thereof of those declaring their commitment to seperating themselves from all things XBONE, do a complete 180 (pun intended) upon seeing the launch titles lined up for later this year per E3. Really people?! So what did you expect a month ago? That the games were going to be complete shit? Oh wait, I forgot...none of the stuff you all were complaining about had anything to do with the actual quality of the games!!!

Somehow Killer Instinct, MGSV, and Dead Rising 3 (amongst a few others) makes all the hardware restrictions magically disappear and make the XBONE worth buying. And to make matters even worst, upon finding out that the base price is $500, many of you go on to say how good and fair it is....WHAT?! To take you all down memory lane a bit...these are the same people that mocked Sony customers for buying an initially $600 console AND fast forward to 2013, still blame backwards compatibility for the high price point when many of us complained about its omission in the PS4! Ok, so what's M$ excuse for charging you guys for a console that admittingly does less for just $100 less...7 YEARS LATER?! I mean at least in prison you can get screwed up the ass free of admission.

You know, we all wonder why companies like EA are still around and how it is that they continue to get away with the stuff they do on a regular basis. Why do so many developers treat their consumer base like idiots? Its because of shining moments like this, so many leave no room for doubt that they are. That all you need to do is show them all something shiny and pretty looking and they'll forget about all the bullshit that we've just continue to spew all over their faces.

Well, you know what people? The lack of consistancy and shallow nature of this new generation of gamers is slowly pushing me away from the past time. A lot of unacceptible restrictive business practices are being implemented this upcoming generation and it seems like the majority of folks are just going along with the program and drinking the Kool-Aid. It saddens me and makes me sick that more people won't take a honest stand and refuse to buy into the bullshit.

Enough is about to be enough for me and I just wonder how much longer will I remain a gamer.

What Is Your Bottom Line?

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So...what is the bottom line for you when it comes to gaming? Why do you do it? What matters the most when you are playing a game?

For me, it has and will always be to simply have fun. I assumed this to be true about every other gamer out there but each day I'm finding this to be further and further from the truth. I can't tell you how many times that I've seen posts in gaming forums or gaming social media sites where I see (most often) really young gamers complain how bored they are with a game that they are trying platinum. Or the amount of reviews that I read where the reviewer CLEARLY states that they had fun playing a game but gives it a very low score because of its imperfections.

I feel that this whole achievement/trophy system that has been implemented during this generation of gaming is both a blessing and curse. Its a blessing to gamers and developers alike by keeping people playing certain games that would otherwise have no rewarding value to them in doing so but also a curse that has people only playing cetain games because they are easy "100%s or Platinums". When I see other gamers complain about a game sucking and being anxious to hurry and get the plat...I've casually asked "why are they playing a game that isn't fun to them?". Literally, in EVERY instance of this I've gotten a response back retracting their original assertion about their displeasure with the game and merely being frustarted with the difficulty of achievement hunting. Now, I'm not coming down on achievement hunting because I love it too but why can't people just give a honest answer? Is it really because in reality they lack self confidence and this makes them feel good about themselves? Is it because now they've exchanged one hobby for another (from gaming itself to merely achievement hunting)? Seriously, these questions aren't rhetorical...I would honestly like to know and understand why this is.

To be perfectly honest, I just don't have the time and patience to Platinum every single game that I play. The 2 that I actually have were stressful enough to get and I simply couldn't imagine going through all the extra effort (especially when I don't want to) to do this with EVERY or even the majority of my games. For me to even attempt this, I have to at least like the game to begin with, it be easy & not too time consuming, and give me a reason to do so. Even though one trophy stands between me and Platinum in the game, Mass Effect 1 is a great example of this. In addition to the game being very fun to play, the multiple playthroughs it takes to get the Platinum makes it well worth it since the game plays different each time due to different decisions you can make on the game, and the fact that said decisions & trophies transfer over into the next entry of the series to enhance the experience!

As far as how I personally view games and score them in my mind...at the end of the day, it all boils down to how much fun did I have playing it. If I can say that a game was generally fun, it gets a minimum of a 7.0 (good). To give it anything less is imo, implies that there is something so wrong with the game where it begins to ruin the fun. So, when I see reviews and hear reviewers say "I had fun" or for that matter, don't even mention if they enjoyed playing the game (and to what degree) but see a score lower than 7.0, I lash out. Do the visuals/frame rate really matter that much? Does the voice acting in a game where you have hundreds of different ways of blowing everything to bits really matter? Does the presence of voice chat/party chatting really matter in an other wise well polished experience? I mean, I see and hear complaints like this all the time and ask myself "but what does that have to do with the fun factor of the game?". Games like Retro City Rampage, Jetpack Joyride Super Meatboy, etc prove that games can have dated visuals (intentionally or not) and still provide a very fun and entertaining experience.

Some times I think what its REALLY all about is that folks start becoming nit picky when having to spend $60 a pop on games regularly. I can't say I disagree with this...however, why don't more people just stop buying games at launch? Personally, I believe that there is rarely any game (AAA or not) worth paying $60 for. Why not wait for the inevitable price drop or one day/week sales on these games? I just think that these days that people hold games to such high standards and expectations that they forget that whole purpose of them was to entertain and not just to look pretty with a bunch of bells & whistles.

Feedback is welcomed and appreciated (minus any douchbagory)

PS4 - Why I am not happy so far

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Disclaimer: This just for venting purposes and if you disagree that's find just don't be a douche about in the comments.

I can't say that I was really excited for Sony's next generation console before yesterday's conference. I would definately credit that to all the nasty rumors going around about it (always online DRM, blocked used game, no backward compatibity) and I guess I was just more interested in finiding out just how much of it was true.

So ok, with that said as you can imagine, I was not thrilled with the news of the PS4 having no real backward compatibility but instead will eventually (who knows how long into the cycle) have a cloud service to play the legacy games. Before I go into my views on that...you should get to know a bit about me as a gamer first to get a complete understanding:

I have been a devoted owner of Sony consoles since 1998 when I was 13. I have been building a collection since then...having very rarely ever traded a game in. My collection of retail games are larger from one generation to the next, meaning my PS3 game collection is indeed the largest. I also have bought several digital downloads from psn (for ps3 or cross platform for the portables) many of which are still in the download queue waiting to be played. I'm/was a proud subscriber to Playstation Plus. This all includes an enormous backlog of unwrapped and unplayed games between the two.

Just a sample of PS3 retail collection

Now, its one thing for Sony to decide to not intergrate backwards compatibility for its first to generation of consoles but to complete negate it from very last one is just ri-damn-diculous. Not even the the digital versions of any of the prior legacy consoles! What is the point of buying another console if I cannot play ANY of my current collection on it? I doubt that there will be a suffiecient amount of or the affordibility of having a sufficient amount of launch titles to play on the PS4 to make up for this! BC (backwards compatibility) helps smooths the transition for brand loyals from one console generation to another. In the beginning of PS3's life cycle (when I bought it), I still played so many PS2 games because of the same backlog/affordability issue. Eventually, I eased right on in to playing mostly PS3 games on the console.

I've been in debates with serveral other users today about the fairness of this alone and the most common rebuttal I get is the complete change of technology being used (a PC like engine from a "x86") and how PS3 emulation would be nearly impossible or too painstaking to explore. However, here's my point:

1. If Sony repatedly found away for it to be done in the prior 2 generation then they definately can for this upcoming one.

2. If doing so would take more time, then maybe that should tell us all something? Maybe...just maybe its a bit too early for the next gen. The current one still has more to offer. Personally, I think Sony knows this and wants to have their cake and eat it too. Encourage and maintain the purchase of legacy hardware while making the current hardware accessable. They stand to make more money that way. More people like myself are more likely to hold on to and invest in the PS3 for longer because of the huge investment they've made for years then Sony makes a little money off the PS4 for those that want it immediately in the meantime...besides, you can't sell away any of those PSN game you bought. Take away today's supply and say its because its tomorrow for sake of increasing yesterday's demand (think about that a bit and it'll make sense to ya ;) ). The short version...this isn't about PS4 people, its all about PS3 and increasing its sells and longevity!

3. Why not just say, "we're going to reformat digital PS3/PSN games so that down the line they are playable on the PS4"? Why not just make and eventually a third party accessory that allows it? Better yet why not just plan to release a more expensive version that has BC intergrated in? I'll tell you why...because it is more profitable for Sony to charge us on a periodical basis to play the very same collection of games that we've already owned for years! They offer our legacy collections to us in the form of a service instead of the reimbursement or return in investment that we deserve. Not only that, but who's to say which games of ours they'll actually have in this cloud service...they do. That's because they would totally be in control of the accessibility and avalibility of THEIR games not yours. My concern...if too many of us actually start to pay for this nonscense then who's to say they won't just complete convert to a cloud only gaming service. They hinted at it in the press conference.

Secondly, even though Sony has said the PS4 itself won't block used games, third party publishers can! So in a way many people's greatest concern may become a reality this upcoming generation thanks to Sony for allowing it! I mean they did allow the whole online pass thing, so why be surprised about this?

Lastly, when questioned by Gamespot, the Sony president refused to give a direct answer about whether they would start charing for PSN! One distinct core advantage that Sony has had over its competitor Microsoft for years!

Just hearing all of this make me believe that Sony and possible the gaming industry is taking several HUGE steps backwards. This all feeds my theory into it all being a way to further boost PS3 sells and to eventually fill in a lot of these blanks down the line with PS4. As of yet they haven't given me any real reason as to why I should look forward to buying a PS4 or more so why I should transition away from playing my PS3 as my console of choice. Right now, I'm still keeping my eyes on everything next gen but for the time being PS4 is not on my radar for a possible purchase...or at least any time soon.

Well that's my two cents...love or hate it, its spent now!

My Grudge Against Mainstream Reviewers

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Some may or may not can tell after observing my page and/or comments that I'm not particularly fond of the opinions of mainstream review sites. Yes, sites...as in online. I find that the majority of the game scores that I disagree with come from the direction of the popular online review sites or online gaming communities.

Back when I started gaming in the 80s and the bulk of my experience in the 90s...critics and fans alike didn't seem as hard on games as they are today. I know the standards are much different today than they were then but I also feel that something was lost along the way: HAVING FUN!!! Back then, it didn't seem like every game was judged against the best in its genre. The similarities and the differences were respected. For example, people weren't quick to dismiss Sonic as a cheep Mario knockoff because he was a company mascot, his game was a platformer, he fought the same boss over and over at the end of each world, could go invinsible for a short time, etc. In fact, many games of this time built off the "Super Mario formula" and were still good games in their own right. If something worked, it just worked and everyone seemed to accept that.

Now in days, many gamers complain about the scarcity of new IPs...but I dare argue that many developers have attempted to meet this demand to no avail. As soon as new FPS comes out..."its no COD (Call of Duty) or Battlefield", TPS (Third Person Shooter)..."its boring" or "its a Gears of War ripoff", WRPG (Western Role Playing Game)..."Mass Effect is better/Its a Skyrim rip off", etc. My point is, nothing these days seems to ever be judged on its own merits. Sure, with some of these games the concepts are not original but how well were they executed? Poorly or did it just seem that way because you were too busy whinning about how some other game did it better? Perhaps instead of expecting every game to be like the second coming of these critically acclaimed titles/series, take time to enjoy the trends that have been set and replicated by subsequent IPs.

After playing a handful of what I like to call "misfit titles" (more commonly referred to as bargin bin titles), I discovered some overlooked gems. From then on, I've devoted myself as a gamer to try more of these games that look interesting to me but recieve low critic scores. I can honestly say that since making that commitment, I have only played a handful of these games that are flat out bad. Could some of them had been better...Absolutely, but that's not to say that they weren't good. Where some JUST as good as or better than many mainstream titles...YES and this is what troubles me the worst when I encounter it.

I want to acknowledge a few of these gems and briefly summarize why each are far better than commonly reviewed:

Alpha Protocol

Alpha Protocol

Like many games on this list, I watched the online review for this yet my eyes and ears were not in agreence. I hear the reviewer saying one thing but everything that I'm seeing is telling me that this is an awesome game. After taking a chance and BUYING this game...I wasn't surprised at all to find that it was amazing. It does play along the same lines as Mass Effect: TPS/WRPG hybrid, multiple ways to play the game based on decisions made, intel gathering, choosing a job class & background, romances, etc. However, it also does many things differently. In every decision you make or response you give in the game, you have a 10 second window to do so. Alpha Protocol forces you to either think on your feet or do your research ahead of time to know which direction you want to take. Also, you only control one character...meaning you have to be more strategic in the skills you learn with the primary character. The story and characters were great. Like ME, it was the little things done in the game that could totally effect which direction the game goes. Seriously, right down to the enemy types you decided to kill or spare during fire fights.

I played this before any game in the Mass Effect series. Now after playing both, its obvious that Mass Effect is the superior game BUT that doesn't mean that Alpha Protocol is a 6.0/10.0 game! When compared against a giant like ME, of course it doesn't stand a chance but my arguement is...every game within this genre isn't going to be a ME nor should it expected to be. That doesn't mean it can't be good when judge on its own merits. Due to its more linear nature, Alpha Protocol is better suited to those gamers that may want something faster paced than ME. Plus, being a total douche in the game was more satisfying on some parts than on Mass Effect. Sure, the game's visuals where a bit dated and did appear to fall apart on some parts but I've seen other games get away with much worst and get higher scores!

It's a shame this commonly scored the way it did because I feel that if given the chance, Alpha Protocol could have been a very strong IP and gotten even better over time. Perhaps even rivaling the Mass Effect series.

Fracture

Fracture

I separate TPS shooters into 2 categories when playing them: mindless shooters and story based shooters. Mindless shooters are pretty self explanitory...point your gun, shoot, dodge, and run. Story based shooters are TPS that take more time to actually explore the plot and fire fights tend to require more strategy than the former. Each has their place in the gaming universe. Personally, I'm a fan of both (I understand not everyone is) and Fracture definately fits into the "mindless shooter" category. For a minute, lets ignore the fact of prefence between the 2 categories and lets just focus on how Fracture is as far as mindless shooters go.

Despite the fact that I believe that the game's overall gimmick (terrain deformation) could have been used better, it was a solid and very challenging shooter. One of the most challenging that I've played this generation of gaming. When it comes to gunning and running, Fracture does it right! The story is flat and the characters are as about as shallow as a kiddie pool...but the same can be said about some of the greatest action movies of all time, lol. Seriously though, once you figure out what Fracture actually is, everything else it does poorly can be forgiven. Think on the lines of these NES games: Contra and Metal Gear. If you understand what makes both of these games different but good then you should be able to understand what I'm trying to say about this game...

Venetica

Venetica

Venetica...my one and only Platinum trophy. All bias aside, this game is worth more than 5.0/10.0. Sure the world isn't as immersive and the characters aren't as deep as the more popular action RPGs this gen but the gameplay is solid. If anything, Venetica is a very good game for someone to play if this is their first go at the RPG genre in general. How basic it is and its lack of complexity would keep noobies from feeling overwhelmed with a bunch of concepts they don't understand yet. You have your moral choices, main quests, side quests, different weapon types, enemies that are only weak to specific weapons, skill tree, magic tree, NPCs, towns, etc.

All of it is there, just on a smaller scale. If you go in knowing that you are going to get all of these common elements in a condensed fashion, then Venetica should be a very enjoyable experience. Its not a game that I would recommend if one wants to play a "great" RPG but rather something to play if in between the others. At minimum, it will manage to scratch that RPG itch of yours.

Mindjack

Mindjack

Oh man, the epitomy of my entire arguement. MINDJACK IS A GOOD...NO...GREAT GAME!!! To this day, I do not understand why so many people hate this. I cannot even begin to express the satifaction of defeating a boss who was aided by one to four other players who hacked into my campain playthrough! Or the even greater satisfaction from when I hacked into someone elses game and consistantly rewarded them with "Game Overs" for their efforts :twisted: ! Is it an original concept? No, Demons Souls is famous for this mechanic BUT imo Mindjack does it so much better! The fact that you can possess enemies and turn many others into friendly A.I is awesome enough but there's just something fiendishly gratifying about when you show up in the middle of some else's playthrough and do the same against them!

Not just that but the way this combines the single player campaign and the online competitive multiplayer is amazing to me. Up to 7 other players can hack into someone's playthrough (which I have experienced) and with enough enemies alive on the screen, it will essentially turn into a team deathmatch in the middle of someone's campaign! In the same respect, it becomes an online co-op if you have nothing but human allies hacked into your game. These features can be turned on and off at will.

Again, Mindjack falls into the mindless shooter category...its mostly about gameplay. It's disappointing how the story falls apart at the end but the entire experience of the gameplay makes up for it. Mindjack is definately one of my favorite games on the PS3 and it literally pisses me off every time I hear or see someone bashing it.

Lost Planet 2

Lost Planet 2

This is another, if not bigger head scratcher for me. The reasons this game is commonly bashed are just flat out silly to me. Most people claim that it has a bad story (which if it did, I'd have no problem pointing out) but I beg to differ. Capcom simply changed the format and the storytelling approach that it chose in the first game. It was disappointing for me as well not to know the fates of the original protagonists but that doesn't just automatically make this game's story bad. I actually liked how Capcom chroniclized the different agendas and missions of the many groups that occupy E.D.E.N. III. The lines of heores and villians become blurred especially seeing how the end of the game plays out. Lost Planet 2 definately felt more like a story based shooter than mindless.

The single player campaign is VERY challenging even on moderate difficulty! The game is based around and the difficulty seems to encourage online co-op. I had a ton of fun blasting away hoards of enemies and taking down life sized bosses with 3 other players by my side. Personally, I think most people simply do not like this game because of the different approach to the storytelling, the difficulty, and the nearly impossible platinum trophy to achieve. All are pretty petty reasons imo...

Quantum Theory

Quantum Theory

A classic example of a game that CONSTANTLY get compared to Gears of War! Does the primary protagonist of Quantum Theory look like something out of that game? Yes...but does that and the fact that they are in the same genre mean that this is a shameless rip off...No! They aren't even about the same thing nor play exactly alike. For starters, Gears is more squad based where Quantum Theory focuses on a buddy system.

Besides the unfounded and idiotic comparison, there isn't anything wrong with this game. If anything, it just doesn't do much new within the genre and it does fit into the mindless shooter classification, so the storytelling isn't extravagant. The visuals are impressive, there's great weapon variety, the controls are decent and the game isn't long enough to get bored with it. It uses a formula that works when it comes to delivering something entertaining, so why all the hate? 4.0/10.0? C'mon!

3D Dot Game Heroes

3D Dot Game Heroes

This is more like an honorable mention than anything else because it isn't bashed to the degree as the other games are. People, repeat slowly after me: PAR...O...DY! Apparantly, there aren't a lot of gamers who understand the meaning or concept of the word. The fact that I've seen some people call this a "Zelda Rip-Off" worries me a lot about the state of gaming itself. IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE JUST LIKE ZELDA!!! The game pays homage to it and several other RPGs of the past!

Besides that, I'm just kinda disappointed by how this gem flew under so many people's radar and how the scores for this could have been much higher.

At the end of the day, my beef is that people these days don't seem to have the patience to let the standards that these popular franchises set to be emulated or modified by any other subsequent release. Too many great games are crapped on or slip through the cracks because they weren't judged on their own merits. Too much time is spent on gripping about similarities than appreciating differences. Sure, we should always demand fresh and new gaming content but not to the extent where quality experiences are being neglected and we possibly miss out on the very thing that will get us closer to what we're asking for. What I won't encourage is for anyone to go out and spend $60 on any game that they have doubts about...then again, I wouldn't encourage anyone to go spend $60 on a game in general. I'm just saying, some times taking the risk in spending some money on a title that you're interested in despite mainstream feedback is worth it! I am truely grateful for the time I spent giving these games the time of day. It reenforced the concept that there is more to gaming than the big AAA titles that we are constantly beat over the head with to purchase.

Rome wasn't built in a day and excellent IPs weren't developed in a single release. They all strated from some level of imperfection and unoriginality.

To all PS3 fat model owners: What I learned from my YLOD experience

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At the beginning of this month, as I neared the end of my playthrough on 3D Dot Game Heroes (great game btw), I became one of the unlucky few to get the infamous Yellow Light of Death (YLOD). Since I have a launch 60 GB PS3 model, I kind of always anticipated this happening in the back of mind...I did have it going on 6 years. After repeated times of trying to boot it back up with no success, I did what any sensible, calm minded gamer would do...take to the internet. So, for about a hour I read different people's experiences on how to deal with a YLOD and eventually viewed a set of videos on how to repair it.

So being an IT guy, I thought opening up my PS3 and following the video to repair it wouldn't hurt. Besides, I did the same thing and was successful when I replaced my harddrive for a new 500 GB one, so no harm no foul. After, going to the hardware store and getting all the supplies recommended in the video, I began my 2 hour journey to fixing the issue. I tried the reflow process and needless to say, it didn't work. I was just happy that I was able to reasemble it without frying the motherboard or anything. So, I thought...well maybe the issue isn't the thermal compound seperating the CPU and GPU from the motherboard...maybe it could be the rare chance of it being a faulty power supply. So, I ordered a new power supply and week later (on my birthday) installed it. Second time wasn't the charm. So of course when I went to boot the PS3 up again, I still got the YLOD. At this point, I said "screw it" and attempted another reflow. Somewhere during this last attempt, I officially achieved....turning my PS3 into a paper weight (HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!). No boot, no nothing.

So, I finally gave in and called Sony. Of course having no warrenty (fat 60 GB lauch model, remember?), I took a chance and paid Sony the fee it cost to potentially repair or replace my PS3. I waited a week for the box to arrive and another couple days for my new refurbished PS3 to arrive back to me (stuck game packed in and all). Without further delay, here are the lessons that I learned:

Lesson #1: Always Be Prepared!

This is the one thing that I actually did right and I credit it to my paranoia and my IT backgroud. About a year ago, I decided to invest in a 2 TB external harddrive when I upgraded my harddrive and to back my PS3 up once a week. I got a LaCie for only $100 from Best Buy and had been doing a decent job of backing everything up with the PS3 backup utitlity on a weekly basis. However, in order to even get your PS3 to read an external harddrive...more than likely you're going to have to change the format from NTFS to FAT32 (since the latter is what the PS3 is formatted to). Without getting all techie on you, traditionally you can't do this on a PC due to some insane limitation set by Microsoft that prevents its Windows formating utitlity from changing the format on anything above 30 GB (or so). So, its best to download and use EaseUS Partition Master Home Edition which is a straight forward and easy to use freeware found here:

http://download.cnet.com/EaseUS-Partition-Master-Home-Edition/3000-2248_4-10863346.html

This along with storing all of my PSX and PS2 data on a memory card were the only things that stood between me loosing EVERYTHING. I did lose a week's worth of process on 3D Dot Game Heroes but that still isn't as bad as loosing all of my game saves. The reason having the memory card was important is because when restoring the new fat PS3 model to my original's state, the new one didn't have the virtual memory card spaces to properly allocate the PSX/PS2 data on to the harddrive.

Also, when I swapped my original 60 GB harddrive for the 500 GB one...I didn't throw the old 60 GB one out! Sony has this policy where the only way they will replace your fat PS3 with a refurbished one is if the original 60 GB (or 40 GB or 80 GB) is installed. So, as you may have already figured out, I took out my 500 GB drive and put back in the 60 GB. Here's an indepth tutorial on how to properly do this:

http://www.gamespot.com/users/Double_Wide/show_blog_entry.php?topic_id=m-100-25993017

Lesson #2: Only Believe SOME Of What You Read Online

Remember all of those times I opened up my PS3 to apply a fix I found online? DON'T DO THIS! I know the online videos and message forums all sound very convincing that a self applied reflow can fix your YLOD the majority of the time...but its not worth it (Trust me, I'm an IT guy). Here's why: despite everything that I read online, Sony actually does a good job at addressing customers with a YLOD issue at a reasonable price. Some things that I was reading as to why repairing your PS3 yourself was a better alternative is because...Sony charges $450 to do so; Sony won't touch the PS3 (including the fat models) if the warrenty sticker is gone; if Sony can't fix your fat model they replace it with a slim...ALL FALSE! When I called Sony they basically game me 2 (3 to be technical) options:

1. For $129, ship us your fat model (we'll provide a box with a free shipping label) and let us attempt to fix it.

2. If we cannot fix it, provided you supply the original harddrive, we can either replace it with a refirbished version of the same model OR

3. Replace it with a brand new slim model

Now, if you're like me and value the backward compatitiblity of the original fat models...option #2 sounds like music to your ears. This all took about 2 weeks from when I placed the phone call for me to get the refirbished fat model PS3. As you may have figured, Sony was not able to fix my PS3. By the grace of God they either did not pick up on the fact that I opened it and tried to fix it OR none of what I did was considered modification/ware n' tear. Either way, this is why I'm stating trying to fix the issue yourself isn't worth it! I could have very easily lost any opportunity to own another fat model and could have saved myself more money (wasted on supplies trying to fix my PS3) & probably had my own PS3 back, fixed 2 weeks faster than what did. When/If you get a YLOD, just call Sony...PERIOD.

The fixes shown online may actually work but its not worth anything potentially going wrong and a common theme is that the reflow fix is only good for a couple of months before the PS3 gets the YLOD again. One other piece of advice that I did read that seemed pretty legit was, not to plug too many things into your fat model at once to avoid a potential YLOD. At the time, I had a hub connected to one of the usb slots which allowed me to plug in the Eye Toy, headphones, two controller chargers in addition to the other two controller chargers and fan that I had attached to the other 3 usb ports. Yeah, I should have known better but it makes sense that this may have greatly contributed to my YLOD as the fat models probably can't handle powering so many devices at a given time.

Lesson #3: There's No Reason To Go A Month With No PS3

After this (especially now owning a refurbished fat model), I'm going to invest in a back up slim model in the case (not sure how likely) of another YLOD. Something to just restore my last backup on and keep playing until I get my fat version back. It was a nice little hiatus from my PS3 and I did have fun playing my portables more but I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss my PS3.

So, that's what I took away from the whole experience as I was very fortunate not to really suffer much from it. Hopefully, someone will read this and it can help them from making some of the same mistakes I did...which will minimize the stress associated with such a crappy situation. -Peace

How to replace your PS3 harddrive

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So I decided to share an indepth tutorial I wrote on the best way to replace a PS3 harddrive:

As far as which harddrive to upgrade to, I recommend the Western Digital Scorpio Blue 500 GB harddrive. That bad boy'll last you until PS4 comes out:

http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digital-Scorpio-Drive-WD5000BEVT/dp/B001JSSDGU

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Also, do not...I repeat...DO NOT...use any screw drivers to unscrew the bolts that hold the current harddrive into its gate! They are small, tight, and stubborn and a screw driver will strip the groves which run you the risk of turning your PS3 into a paperweight...or at least a console with no means to save data. Use a pair of needle nose pliers to unscrew the nails binding the harddrive to the gate and to screw the new one in...just not too tightly in case you ever have to remove it again. It takes a bit of patience, but you'll eventually get it and will be better off than if you screwed the nails up with a screw driver.

Here are some tutorials about how to back everything up and how to install the new harddrive:

Removal and Installation-

http://www.hard-drive-help.com/ps3-hard-drive.html

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Backing up and Restoring (whichever one makes the most sense)-

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-back-up-and-import-ps3-game-saves/

http://www.tech-recipes.com/rx/2570/ps3_how_to_backup_ps3_game_save_files/

http://www.brighthub.com/video-games/console/articles/5957.aspx

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Oh, one more thing. You're going to need a storage device that can hold at least the maximum amount of gigs on your current harddrive since that's the amount you want to back up and restore. I recommend either a 1 or 2 TB (terrabyte) harddrive. No matter which type or size external harddrive you use to do it, it must be formatted to FAT32 since that's the format the PS3 is. If your external harddrive isn't, then the PS3 will not pick it up when you plug it into it.Its pretty standard now in days for harddrive(internal and external) to come formatted in NTFS, so is pretty much guarenteed that you are going to have to reformat whatever external harddrive you buy. Lacie makes some really good ones:

1 TB - http://www.amazon.com/LaCie-External-designed-Poulton-301304U/dp/B0010YWPZ8

2 TB - http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=lacie+2tb+external+hard+drive&hl=en&gs_upl=1196l9277l0l11948l9l9l0l0l0l0l264l1124l2.6.1l9l0&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=9526883959752400060&os=reviews

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Since most Windows platforms won't let you format a harddrive larger than 32 GB, download EaseUS Partition Master Home Edition. It's free and straight forward to use:

http://download.cnet.com/EaseUS-Partition-Master-Home-Edition/3000-2248_4-10863346.html

My First Platinum!!!!

by on

I finally got a platinum trophy!!! For a really long time I've been trying to find a game that I like and have enough patience to put in the time to "platinum". Evidently I found that game in Venetica:

Venetica

Since I usually only put in a few hours of gaming during week nights and have been busy the past couple of weekends, it took me approxiamtely 2 weeks to do this. Which I still think is pretty good considering that I was using 3 different save files to play.

Keep your eyes out, my review for the game is coming soon...and I'll try to be as impartial as possible :oops:

HUGE AMAZON SALE TODAY! Mass Effect 3 and Deus Ex MORE THAN HALF OFF TODAY!

by on

Hey just letting everyone know that I got Mass Effect 3 (PS3 but other verison are on sale too) today on Amazon for $29.99 with free shipping:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B004FYJFNA/ref=dp_olp_new?ie=UTF8&condition=new

And Deus Ex: Human Revolution (PS3) for $22.00 plus 3.99 shipping (keep scrolling down for this particular listing):

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B002I0K5NC/ref=dp_olp_new?ie=UTF8&condition=new