DrHyde / Member

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Lots of boredom here...

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Seems like a drought of games right now. Most games that I'm interested in are getting very mediocre reviews by Gamespot in spite of the Metacritic evidence. I'm beginning to seriously doubt Gamespot's ability to review games. Still, there isn't much out there. Gravity Rush sounds alright, but much of the games that I want to buy are reissues. Metal Gear Solid Collection (Vita), Devil May Cry, Ico/Shadow collection, etc. It's looking more and more like October will be the magic month.

So far October has:

Assassin's Creed III (going to get the Freedom edition)

Assassin's Creed III: Liberation (possibly the first system seller for the Vita)

Resident Evil 6


Doom 3 BFG Edition

In addition, we've got:

Call of Duty: Black Ops II (November)

Dead Or Alive 5 (September)

I guess I'm going to be playing things I already have or some games I've been meaning to pick up like Dragon Age and Shadows of the Damned. I really hope Sony gets the PS1 emulator working soon. At least then I can play the classics I used to love as a kid.

Time for more careful consideration...

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I've been burned twice by video games within the past 6 months, a very rare event indeed. First, Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City was horrible and now I found myself trudging through Resistance: Burning Skies. I used to be a lot more careful about my purchases and I'm going to have to be more leery in the future. Apparently, even would-be AAA franchises have gone to **** these days.

PS Vita Review

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I thought I might give a much more detailed review of the PS Vita since the last time it was a much more negative light than I would have preferred.

Looking at the system initially, the overall shape of the Vita is much rounder than its predecessor the PSP. The dimensions of the Vita are just a little bigger in every way compared to the PSP. The weight of the Vita (3G version for this post) is pretty the same as the original PSP. However, it feels lighter in the hand owing to the larger size (creating greater weight distribution) and a lack of a metal chassis. It's very shiny and extremely prone to smudges. It lacks any coating to prevent smudges so bring a cleaning cloth. You're going to need it.

For space accommodation, the Vita does a very good job with what it has. The dual joysticks only stick out about a quarter inch from any other button. Obviously, the large 5" touch screen takes up the majority of the front. Aside from the joysticks and screen, the left side of the front contains the standard directional pad and the playstation button which serves as the equivalent of the home key from the PSP. This button also glows blue when in standby and orange when charging. On the right side you have the Start, Select, and standard four button set found on all Playstation product. This is where I run into a bit of issues. The four button set feels very cramped (though they have great feedback) and playing for extended periods of time can really hurt. The Start and Select button are placed awkwardly below the shape buttons making them difficult to get at when you're playing a game. I personally feel they would have been better suited below the screen like the PSP. There's certainly plenty of bezel to work with. There's also a 0.3 MP camera cleverly placed above the shape buttons. It's built into the system and covered with the glossy plastic so there's no risk of scratching the camera directly.

On the top rim you have the Power, Volume Keys, card slot for games, shoulder buttons, and output for accessories. The power and volume keys appear to be made of metal and look very striking on first glance. Both the accessory and game slot ports have covers which I appreciate at it keeps them dust free. The shoulder buttons are clear and have excellent feedback. They really feel like controller buttons. Overall this area is very well thought out.

The left side and bottom edge contain the SIM card slot on the left (only on the 3G model), headphone jack, microphone port, charging port, and Vita storage card slot. There's not much to say here, but I'm still disappointed in Sony with going with a proprietary card as opposed to the norm. There's no reason you couldn't have a regular microSD card here. The only reason they are doing it is because the Vita is selling at a loss and the cards help recoup costs. On the back side you have the rear 0.3 MP camera, the touch pad which takes up most of the space, and two oval shaped indentations. The indentations are meant as spots for your hands to hold the Vita so you don't disrupt the rear touch pad during gaming. However, in my experience, this made hold the Vita much harder. It's true you can play like this, but this just hastens the cramping of your hands.

Overall I'm giving the physical design of the Vita an 8.5. I'm taking points off because of the cramped shape buttons, placement of the start and select, and overal smudginess of the glossy plastic.

Turning the Vita on, you're greeted with the ultra colorful OLED screen. This is definitely one of the best selling points of the handheld. The Vita's extremely responsive touch screen is used to navigate the "bubble" style menus. You'll see some nods here and there to Android in the appearance. I'll admit I was leery at first of the bubble style they chose. I thought the XMB system the PS3 and PSP had was wonderful, but that wouldn't take advantage of the touch screen and I suppose diminish the system somewhat. Still, it works wonderfully.

Flipping between the home screens is fast as is opening menus. The qHD screen shows fine level details on everything. The ability to stop what you are doing by pressing the PS button and navigating to something else on the fly is excellent. However, some elements of the system seem very counter intuitive. For instance, there's no way to navigate or find files on the system itself, nor can you just plug and play. Instead, you're forced to use a program called content manager to do mundane tasks. Also, there's no way to determine exactly how much battery life you have, only a rough estimate based on the little icon at the top. None of these things are unfixable. In fact, a software update would take care of them so I'm not too frustrated, but I would like to know what exactly is using up my memory card.

Overall, the replacement for the XMB is pretty passable. However, it is the one time I was hoping the OLED wasn't there. Even on the lowest brightness setting, the colors are almost painful to the eye. Still, the new menu system works and is very stable. Giving it an 8, more if Sony updates the system some.

Internally, the quad core CPU and GPU are a beast of a combination. There's been no word on frequency sets, but the chipset listed runs from 800 MHz to 2 GHz. I'm betting it's running at 1 GHz right now, with some options to increase later on like they did with the PSP. The 512 MB of RAM and 128 MB of RAM is decent, but I just feel like they skimped here. 1 GB of RAM really could have done the system some good. You can't browse the web and play a game at the same time, likely because of the limited RAM.

Outside of the system's engine, you have all the usual suspects: Bluetooth, GPS (3G model only), Wifi b-g-n, 3G, and Sixaxis motion control. Curiously, however, is no vibration. I figured Sony would have went for this considering it's in every modern smartphone and their controllers. Alas, I assume it was passed on due to space or battery concerns.

Speaking of batteries, I'm happy to say that the battery for the Vita lasts quite long. They said 4-5 hours of gameplay, but I'm getting longer. I keep the Bluetooth and 3G off, plus the brightness low and I usually get 6-7 hours of game time for Vita games and even longer for PSP games. The standby feature is awesome. The ability to push the power button and pause the action, even in the middle of a cutscene, is great. The standby time is excellent too. You can put this system into standby for almost a day or more and come back for a little gaming afterwards. Sony did a great job here, but I'm disappointed with the built in battery.

Overall, I'm giving the guts of the system a 9. The non-replaceable battery and low RAM hurt the system some, but it's damn good for what it costs.

On to games, I'm happy to report that the majority of games you can buy on the PSN for PSP actually do work. You can purchase them directly for the system, but you can transfer them. There's no official list from Sony, but you can find them online at various forums. Still, there are a few choice titles that don't work for the system or can't be obtained at all. These include Crisis Core, MGS: Portable Ops, any of the Lumines games, Motorstorm, Resistance, and Twisted Metal to name a few. If any of those games are your favorites, either get a PSP or hold on to the one you have because they aren't here. There's no PSOne support yet, further keeping with "hold onto the PSP" theme.

For the Vita games, we're a bit hit or miss here. Some of the games are great. Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is just like the console version packed into your handheld. Lumines is great and so is Uncharted. However, there's been a lot of really weak games. There's also a lot of digital only games. Now granted, these are games like Plants vs. Zombies and Escape Plan, but for those who enjoy having physical copies beware because there are going to be a lot of these in the future.

Speaking of the future, the Vita's is a bit uncertain. On one hand, you have a new Resistance, Mortal Kombat, and Final Fantasy X HD, but on the other you have a lot of nothing. Really, right now, there isn't much to root for. I'm really hoping for some AAA titles to hit. Gravity Rush looks really cool, but outside of that, there's not much. Compound that with the fact that the Vita really needs these titles, but they are months out and it's going to hurt the system bad.

For the games, I'm saying 7. The Vita needs a lot of work here. Sony needs to get as many PSP titles working as they can along with PSOne support. They also need a killer game to make people want to buy the system. Uncharted is good, but a new exclusive Metal Gear or God of War or Final Fantasy could give the system the push it needs.

Everything else... well, the system already has very good accessory support. They have great cases and screen protectors out there. I bought a cradle to keep mine safe along with a nice case that allows me to put up to 16 games in it. Other elements of the OS are ok. Near helps you find other Vita owners close to you, plus welcome park has some nice mini games to help you learn how to use the system. You've also got Google Maps support as well as Netflix (though I don't recommend using it with 3G data). I'm going to give the fluff an 8. None of these things sell the system, but they can't make you think twice about it if they were wrong.

When taken together and averaged, I gave it all an 8.1 (81) or B-. There's definitely a bumpy road ahead of Sony. They've really got to get their act together if they're going to sell this thing. The fact that they didn't even have a CAPS lock button before a firmware update is a bad sign. These are things not even worth mentioning during updates if they weren't such necessity. And yet, I can't help thinking Sony could have brought this system out with everything ready to right off the bat. Being hasty has only hurt them before, so why do it again?

Final Verdict: B- (Worth it, but do your research first)

Silent Hill HD Collection...off the mark?

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Perhaps I missed something about Silent Hill. 2 out of 5 users agree? Really? Usually, my reviews carry few dissenters as I try to thoroughly play through all games to ensure I got my review right. For some reason, I seem to have hit a brick wall with this review. Anyone know why? I still think the games are great and worthy of purchase, especially considering the fact that I've seen Silent Hill 2 go for almost $100 for PS2 online. I feel that spending $40 for two games, likely the best in the series, is worth it. Is it the technical glitches or does anyone think I rated it too high? Someone throw me a bone here.

PS Vita...almost greatness...

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Well, it's been a long time since I've thought much about a gaming blog post. I'm a little depressed Sony went and removed the backwards compatibility from the PS3, but on the whole, I think Sony has done a wonderful job with the system. I've owned every major Sony system from the PSOne, PS2, to the original and revised PSP. So I'm always willing to go in on a new system.

The PS Vita is the successor to the PSP in every way and yet I can't help but feel it's missing things that it should have launched with. In terms of hardware, the Vita excels in nearly every way. It has everything the PSP and PSP Go did along with a few other things. First off, the processor and GPU are top of the line, comparable to an original Xbox in terms of power. Secondly, the additional things such as 3G, dual cameras, touch screen, and rear touch pad are things the PSP didn't have. All in all, I find the hardware wonderful, if a bit of a smudge magnet.

On to the negative now. Proprietary madness: there is too much of it in the system. Everything from a lack of UMD drive (or method to transfer existing UMDs), memory cards (which you WILL be required to have), cables, and software, make the Vita a proprietary nightmare. Seriously, Sony has become notorious for this and really needs to stop. There is no reason that the Vita couldn't have a standard micro USB port for charging or a microSD slot. This is further exacerbatedby the fact that Sony is really gouging on prices ($100 for a 32GB card when acomparativemicroSD one will run you around $30-35). This is obviously Sony's method of recouping costs since the hardware for the Vita very likely costs more than $250 for the Wifi only version. Sony needs to bring theirperipheralsdown in cost and soon or risk alienating potential customers.

Next, backwards compatibility support. While the system doesn't have a UMD drive, anyone who purchased titles from the Store can put them on their Vita and play...as long as the Vita supports them. Seriously, the Vita launched with only 275 games out of the 740 available. Of these games, there is no Gran Turismo, Lumines, ModNation Racers, Metal Gear games (Solid or Acid), Crisis Core, Grand Theft Auto, etc. Really, there are very few if any AAA titles right now. This thing should have launched with all of the PSP library intact.

Then, there's the issue of Minis and PSOne Classics. At launch, the system doesn't have support for PSOne classics at all. That means any games that I have downloaded are useless unless I want to pick up a PSP, something I shouldn't have to do, nor do I really want to at the moment. The minis only fare slightly better. They are lacking in some of the biggest mini games like Angry Birds. Why Angry Birds didn't make it on to the system when it has a touch screen is beyond me?

Finally, there are the Vita games themselves. While the PSP did have a lot of the same as the PS2 (and PS3 to a certain extent), it also had many exclusive games as well as games geared much closer to a portable systems battery requirements (being that they could be played in bite size increments). The Vita has at least two duplicates from the PS3 (with many more on the way), some fringe titles, and only a couple of winners for launch titles. Really, outside of the PSP games for backwards compatibility and the few truly good Vita games, there isn't much of a good reason to purchase one, especially if you have a PSP already.

The few other qualms you should be aware of are a pitiful web browser, high cost of Vita games, some PSP games costing way too much for how long they have been out ($40 for Tekken 6, really?), and what I feel is a lack of organization in the settings menu (you can't find out how much battery you have left in actual percentage).

I don't want to turn anybody off from buying the system, but much like the original PSP and the PS3 to a lesser extent, early adopters are going to be disappointed. Now, when you look at the PSP or the PS3 nowadays, you wouldn't even think about beinghesitantunless you just don't want to own one because Sony has done such a good job updating them and adding new features constantly. I think the Vita will get there in time, but my personal opinion is that unless you have a good amount of disposable income or just love technology like me, you're better off waiting until the price comes down, AAA titles hit, or updates enable more features, or all of the above.

Unusually bored...

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I want to play some video games on my PSP or PS2, but I just can't seem to get into the right mood for it. I'm getting frustrated with the low level of PSP games released thus far and some of the really great ones are far off. :(

Next up...Pirates!

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Thinking about getting Sid Meier's Pirates! Can't figure out why GS decided to give the score an 8.6 based on some weak sound and music problems, but the game looks pretty fun. I've been needing a new PSP game to pass the time. I haven't picked up the PSP for anything other than web browsing or music playing in over a week.

Yey! Taxes!

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Got my tax check in. Wasn't too much, but I did manage to get a new digital camera, a very nice Canon Elph SD600 6 megapixel, and a 200 GB external hard drive, some new headphones, 3 1 GB SD cards for the camera, and Nintendogs for my GF's DS Lite. I'm pretty happy today even I'm broke again.

Happy fun time...

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Just gave my GF a DS for her birthday early. Had to get it used since Nintendo is terrible at that whole supply and demand thing. It's pink which I guess works. Got her New Super Mario Bros. as the first game, but she said she wants Tetris and Nintendogs. I played NSMB, which was real fun. I'll probably review it when I finish playing it so I can get an accurate review. Other than that I just started my reviewing series for Resident Evil. Going to work my way up to Code Veronica X in the main series (never played Outbreak or Survivor).

Rabid fanboys...why?

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I recall getting my first gaming system around the age of 11. It was an Atari 2600. Considering the fact that I'm only 24, it will tell you how far behind the times I was. Regardless of that, the games were $0.50 to a dollar at our local Big Lots and because my parents couldn't afford the Nintendo system and the soon-to-arrive Super Nintendo, I got a lot of Atari games. My brother and I had loads of fun playing with it to the point of practically breaking the controllers. Now a couple of years later we finally did get the Nintendo (and of course all of the downfalls of having to constantly blow into the system to get games to work), while our cousins got a Super Nintendo and one of our friends got a Genesis. Now, I had already played the SNES at my cousin's and the Nintendo at my house and developed a sort of love for Nintendo (which would be further projected onto the Gameboy), but did I reject my friend's system or friendship? Hell, no! I sat right down and played for hours with him. Of course, I never bought the system, but I did see the appeal in it at the time.

So why has everyone chosen sides and become touchy about their gaming system of choice lately (or at least on these forums)? Does everyone have such buyer's remorse that they practically have to defend their purchases to the death if someone doesn't like them? Is this forum really filled with prepubescent boys (and girls) that have to make themselves feel better by insulting people or bragging about their system's power and exclusive games?

I've always keep an open mind. The only console I disagreed with was the Xbox. Not because the concept of it was bad, but because Microsoft was involved and I'm well aware of their shady business tactics. Have I never played the Xbox? No, in fact I've spent a great deal with my friend's Xbox and enjoyed. Would I ever purchase one? Probably not. However, that doesn't mean that I can't see the strengths of the system and enjoy playing it. I've owned or played almost every system that's ever existed and I've never held a system in bad regard. I'm thinking that a little maturity would be a good investment for anyone that wants to post on here.

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