All About LeFeverBeaver
29Feb 12***This is just copied & pasted from Amazon.com. 3/5 stars (not tree-fifths; 3 out of 5)***
This is a long review. It is not fact. Hell, it borders on not even being opinion. It is my thoughts on the system after about 3 days of playing with it. I will update it as necessary or as comments inspire.
I have been playing with my Vita for a couple days now. I'm past the growing pains of updating my computer, my PS3, and the Vita twice, as well as re-downloading all my digital PSP games. I feel that I can be fair in my assessment now. Throughout the review I will be comparing the Vita to its predecessor, the PSP 3000 (for some reason I have the Hannah Montana special edition...), the 3DS (which I also own), and smartphones with which, for obvious reasons, it must also compete (I have an HTC Evo 4G). I'll just say up front that if you have to choose between this and something else, go with the something else right now. There's not enough of a game or app selection right now to warrant purchasing this. Of course, if you're a die-hard Lumines fan, you'll be a happy hedgehog. Anyway, on with the review!
Physically, the unit is elegant and stylish. It's shiny, compact, and beautiful. The ports all have nice beefy lids that soft-snap into place (the headphone jack and proprietary USB port don't have covers for convenience's sake). The little nubs feel solid and have a nice `grippy' rubber on them. Overall, the unit is very pleasing visually with a well thought out design and substantial build quality. Nothing on it feels cheap. The PSP definitely felt cheap; like it should have been heavier or something.
As far as what's under the hood goes, I'm not terribly impressed. If this was 2007, I think this thing would blow away the competition but we as a consumer populace have simply come to expect more from manufacturers nowadays. So here's my take on it:
-File transfers are painfully slow. Not much better than PSP. Plus you can't just drag & drop like the PSP. Plus you can't use one of the 5000 USB cables you have lying around like you could with the PSP. Nope. It's all proprietary. Proprietary software, proprietary USB port, proprietary memory card, proprietary proprietarity. It's okay; I made that last word up.
-1.3MP cameras? Really? REALLY? Even a crappy smartphone nowadays has at least 5MP if not more. This is truly unacceptable in a new release in 2012, if you ask me, and one of the downfalls that make it a "meh" on the "must-have" scale. The saving grace of this flaw is that it's still better than the 3DS's cameras. You won't be taking too many pictures. Picture quality isn't horrible, but the camera app is bare-bones. Again, even a crappy smartphone allows you to adjust white balance, zoom, etc. etc. If Sony expects you to take pictures, why not include quality cameras? If they're just there to augment games and apps, then please; call them "light sensors" or "image noticers" or something that doesn't lead people on thinking that this can be used to take pictures.
-The touch screen is VERY nice. It's as bright as you like, smooth, and beautifully responsive. I have no complaints about it. Well... It's probably a majority of the reason battery life sucks so much monkey puckey...
-Battery life. Meh. I am an early adopter on all the devices I mentioned. The 3DS has horrendous battery life. When the Evo 4G first came out, it was awful. So I'm used to carrying around a charger for whatever device(s) I plan on using that day. I suppose my proclivity towards adaptation is not an excuse for Sony, but again; "meh." It does drain pretty fast, but for the most part, I'm always near a power source so I haven't gotten upset because of it. Yet.
-Music. Firstly, let me say that I have 200GB of music on my computer. Not only did Sony's stupid "Content Management Assistant" take nearly an hour to build the database, but CMA is literally the ONLY way you can put music (or games, videos, photos, or apps) on the device. This infuriated me so I punched a baby. Then I felt better. Then it was now and I forget what happened after that. ANYWAY, if I want to put, say, some Red Hot Chili Peppers on the device, I have to scroll for like 4 minutes to get to the "Rs". How is there no search or alphabet function? Even a smartphone will let you choose which letter you want to go to if you start scrolling real fast. Nope. Not even a scroll bar. I assume enough people are going to complain about this terrible feature that it will be patched in the near future. If not, well then, my device will be filled with Bryan Adams, Adele, Anberlin, A perfect Circle, and maybe - just maybe - if I'm feeling frisky, I might venture into the "Cs" and throw some Cake on that bad boy. But the music sounds okay on it the Vita: just okay. It's got a better frequency response than a tiny phone speaker but not as good as even a crappy notebook. It's not terribly loud, but not too quiet. The equalizer function is practically useless and was probably an afterthought. On the plus side, you can hook up your Bluetooth headphones and listen to music or games that way. That is, if you want to shorten your battery life further. I still find myself using my smartphone for music: both just sitting on the desk and at the gym. The unit is too big to just carry around in your pocket. Not to mention the memory card that came with the FEB is only 4 gigs and my phone's is 8 (and didn't cost a jillion dollars).
-Games. This is indeed a gaming device, right? So where are all the good games? Okay; I'm being too harsh: I am really enjoying Uncharted: Golden Abyss as well as Rayman Origins. Lumines: Electronic Symphony is pretty cool. Escape plan looks nice. But I'm a man who likes Final Fantasy, Fallout, Mass Effect, Disgaea, Dragon Age, Skyrim, Dark Souls, etc. While I am enjoying the aforementioned titles, I would never have even considered them were there not such a dearth of appealing games. It's kind of like picking the most beautiful ugly girl. Like choosing which kid at fat camp is the skinniest. Like deciding which zit is your favorite. Like... well, you get the point. Enough of my complaining about game selection. The games that this thing DOES have are beautiful. Colors are vivid, action is smooth, and the extra controls make Uncharted a blast! You use the back pad to climb ropes, you aim by physically moving the device, and you use the touch screen to make charcoal rubs and clean artifacts (As an aside, I can't believe I had to clean the ENTIRE helmet! It was like being at work! ... Incidentally, I was at work when playing this...). In other words, gimmicky though they may be, the games that I've tried so far incorporate the controls and functions well. Overall, I'm glad I can play my DDL PSP games like Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions, Hexzy's Force, Disgaea 2, and CladunX2 while I wait for games that are more up my alley to show up. I am still on the fence as to whether I will purchase digital versions of the games I have on UMD. I mean, it's not HARD to keep both the PSP and the PS Vita in the same drawer, but I feel one may develop resentment towards the other. And trust me: my PSP has got psychological issues from being made fun of for being pink. Glittery pink. So it doesn't need the Vita's shiny screen and dual nubs being crammed down its throat.
-I haven't even tried out the web or Facebook or Twitter. To me, this is like when those things came to Xbox and PS3. It was much easier for my fat body to turn left 45 degrees and type my update into my computer rather than the hassle of trying to do it on a console. I'm sure these apps are nice and mediocre, and they're there if you want them.
In conclusion, I am not unhappy about my purchase. I am, however, unhappy that Sony made the same mistake Nintendo did and decided to use ancient technology in a new device (other reviews cover tech specs so I won't go into that here). I would definitely recommend this to someone with a little extra cash who wants a superb gaming device. I would also recommend this to someone who has been on the fence about buying one or not. I would not recommend this to someone who is on the fence between this and something else (unless the `something else' is an old Lynx or Sega Gamegear. Although...). My problem was that I hyped it up in my mind to become more that it is; to become my main multimedia device. It is not that. It is, however, my favorite handheld gaming device. I'm sure excellent games will be coming out in the future that may indeed make this a must-have. For now, it's like an iPad. You don't really need it and there's really no logical or moral justification to buy one, but there's still something that entices you about it. 3 out of 5 stars. 3 is still good.
EDIT: I have had a chance to play with the internet and some of the other bloatware. Internet crawls along at a snail's pace. No. I'm saying a snail would be gouging out (off?) its four little eyball-feeler doohickies if it went as slow as the Vita's browser. Is it really TOO much to ask to have a decent browser in these gadgets nowadays? I'm looking at you too, 3DS. To be fair, I am in Afghanistan and should be fighting terrorists or something related to `Murrica's freedom, and the internet is understandable slow around here, but still. I'm going to shake my fist angrily towards the sky and yell out, "Alas!" anyhow.
ALSO EDIT: I am delighted by the quality that the Vita brings to PSP games. I am playing Puzzle Quest (AMAZING, BTW, if you haven't played it yet), FF Tactics, Disgaea 2, Mercury Meltdown, etc. With the bilinear filtering (I think it means a fat dude comes in and smears the screen with deliciousness and peanut butter), PSP games do look really good. Hell; I'm thinking about suggesting that you buy the Vita JUST to play your DDL PSP games. I can't wait to see how good Duodecim Dissidia Final Fantasy (stupid name for a game, I know) looks on it.
EDIT #2: I forgot to mention how disappointed I was in this unit's inability to multitask. Even my two-year-old HTC Evo 4G can play music, browse the web, and tweet at the same time. I was ALMOST thrilled: I was playing music (probably Justin Bieber or something) and I went to play a game. At first the song kept playing and I was like, "Sweet!" Now I can listen to music while playing my games on the go! Nope. The song cut off and the game music kicked in. This isn't a horrible flaw, just annoying for in a world where many devices let you do this. I mean, most games give you the option of turning the game music down or off so why should it be too much to ask to have my Vita bumping "MMMbop" while Nathan Drake shoots some people in the face?
27Aug 09One of my biggest gripes with any video game, is the saving system. Since, unless you play the game several times through, you never really know what's around the next corner, you're coerced into saving every 30 seconds so you don't have to do the entire level over again. I can't tell you how many games I've abandoned, if not just temporarily because i forgot to save and had to play the last 4 hours (in the case of Final Fantasy Tactics A2) or even 20 tense minutes (in the case of Rainbow 6) over again. Its so frustrating and yet the computer reloads your last checkpoint and doesn't give a damn how bad you want to complain or how mad it made you that you just died.
Perhaps, though, if this were not the case, there would be little reason to want to stay alive, if you could just respawn a few seconds before your demise and play it out differently, or perhaps know where the baddies are this time around.
Maybe this makes me a spoilsport, but I think it would be sweet if a game had a rewind funtion; say if it save the game every 30 seconds or so in kinda like a Tivo sort of way, so that you could rewind OR revert to a save. I wonder if this would blow up the console with all the processing going on?
Anyway I'm just ranting. I just died playing Rainbow 6 and I don't have the will to go on before I have to go to work, so I figured I'd **** in my blog. Peace yall.
26Aug 09For some reason I just couldn't get into Mass Effect.
It's got a great premise, convincing voice acting (Seth Green as Joker) and a neat futuristic setting. But I took it back today and traded it for Rainbow Six: Vegas. One of my first games on the 360 was Red Faction: Guerrilla so to play anything with a looser, more clumsy control scheme feels awkward and frustrating. I'm sure at some point I will get it again, but for now, It's back on the shelves at Game Stop. Plus I figure with Vegas I wont be spending hours just walking around slowly trying to figure out what I'm supposed to do.
This seems to be one of those 'play through once' games- then, on to Vegas 2!
LeFeverBeaver does not have any recent activity. What a slacker! Maybe you should send LeFeverBeaver a private message and ask, "Where are you hiding?"